Random Encounters
Mind War - The Mindknights
By Ramon Arjona

Psionic beings were once more common than they are today. In ancient times, when the illithids presented more of a clear and present danger to the surface world and when other beings with psionic power threatened the general populace, the mindknights protected the defenseless. An ancient monastic order of psionic beings, the mindknights devoted themselves to perfecting their bodies and minds, in much the same way that a "normal" monk does in the present day. (In fact, many monks with latent psionic abilities were drawn into the ranks of the mindknights.) The mindknights, however, fused their physical discipline with their hardened psionic abilities, making them formidable warriors against psionic and nonpsionic foes alike.

Discipline was the key to being a mindknight. As such, only lawful individuals were ever taken into their ranks. Unarmed combat was also a core concept of the mindknight's art, and the order would accept only those with extensive prior experience in unarmed fighting. Members of the order held themselves to a set of ethics known as the Five Pillars, which stressed self-reliance and the importance of defending the weak. The mindknights considered it their sworn duty to combat evil psionic beings and defend the common people from psionic threats.

The last mindknights disappeared centuries ago. Some say they vanished as the result of a massive counterassault staged by servants of the illithids. Others claim that the entire order descended into the Underdark to do battle with the ruler of all mind flayers and that none of them have ever been seen since. Many members of the general populace, and some scholars who specialize in the field of psionics, believe the mindknights to be just a myth. The ruins of their training center remain, however, in an isolated mountain region. The walls are crumbling and overgrown with vegetation, but the secrets of the mindknights may yet dwell within this ancient structure.

Mindknight Prestige Class

Hit Die: d8.

Requirements

To qualify as a mindknight, a character must meet the following criteria:

Alignment: Lawful non-evil.
Base Attack Bonus: +6 or better.
Base Power Points/Day: 6+ (not including bonus power points).
Skills: Jump 6 ranks; Move Silently 6 ranks.
Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike.
Other: Induction into order.

Class Skills

The mindknight's class skills are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the mindknight prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Mindknights gain no proficiency in any armor or weapons, though they retain any knowledge gained from former classes.

Power Points*: Mindknight's gain power points every other level starting at 2nd level, as though they gained a level of psychic warrior. Mindknight’s do not gain bonus power points

Powers Discovered: Mindknight's discover powers every other level starting at 2nd level, as though they gained a level of psychic warrior. Powers are chosen from the psychic warrior power list. Their effective manifester level is increased by one every for every two levels of the prestige class.

Psionic Combat: Psionic attack and defense modes are discovered as though the character were a psychic warrior of the same level as the prestige class (characters do not forget previously discovered attack and defense modes).

0-Level Powers: Mindknight's levels count towards the level of psychic warrior for purposes determining the number of free manifestations per day of your 0-level powers.

AC Bonus: When the mindknight is wearing no armor or shield, she receives the AC bonus listed below. As noted above, the character retains any knowledge or proficiencies gained from former classes, so this bonus stacks with any AC bonus she receives for gaining levels as a monk. For example, a 10th-level monk who has 5 levels of mindknight has a total AC bonus of +3 (+2 for the monk and +1 for the mindknight). This AC bonus represents a preternatural awareness of danger, and a mindknight does not lose it even when in situations when she loses her Dexterity modifier due to being unprepared, ambused, stunned, and so on. However, she does lose this AC bonus when immobilized.

Unarmed Damage: The mindknight is an expert at unarmed combat, and so her attacks do the damage listed below. Her damage improves at 6th and at 8th level. This does not stack with the unarmed damage dice roll she would gain as a monk. If the mindknight has monk levels, she uses the greater of her two unarmed damage rolls.

Disarm Mind: At 2nd level, the mindknight gains the feat Disarm Mind for free. She loses this ability while wearing armor or shield.

First Pillar: At 3rd level, the mindknight has mastered the First Pillar: "With power comes responsibility." She gains a +2 circumstance bonus to hit and damage when she is defending weaker individuals (sentient beings with either fewer Hit Dice or character levels).

Second Pillar: At 5th-level, the mindknight has mastered the Second Pillar: "Solidity of Mind." She becomes immune to all mind-affecting spells and spell-like effects, such as charm person or sleep.

Third Pillar: At 7th-level, the mindknight has mastered the Third Pillar: "Solidity of Body." She is immune to all poisons and all nonmagical diseases. She gains a +5 circumstance bonus to saving throws to resist magical diseases.

Fourth Pillar: At 9th-level, the mindknight has mastered the Fourth Pillar: "Nonattachment." She may manifest the etherealness power as a free action 2/day.

Fifth Pillar: At 10th-level, the mindknight has mastered the Fifth Pillar, "Transcendence." Her type changes to outsider, and she gains damage reduction 20/+1.

Table 1-1: The Mindknight

Class Level

Base Attack Bonus

Fort

Ref

Will

Special

Unarmed Attack Bonus

Unarmed Damage (Medium-Size)

AC Bonus

Power Points/
Day

Powers Discovered

1

+1

+2

+2

+2

+0

1d6

+0

--

--

2

+2

+3

+3

+3

Disarm mind

+1

1d6

+0

*see
text

+1 manifester level

3

+3

+3

+3

+3

First Pillar

+2

1d6

+0

--

--

4

+4

+4

+4

+4

+3

1d8

+0

*see
text

+1 manifester level

5

+5

+4

+4

+4

Second Pillar

+3

1d8

+1

--

--

6

+6

+5

+5

+5

+4/+1

1d10

+1

*see
text

+1 manifester level

7

+7

+5

+5

+5

Third Pillar

+5/+2

1d10

+1

--

--

8

+8

+6

+6

+6

+6/+3

2d6

+1

*see
text

+1 manifester level

9

+9

+6

+6

+6

Fourth Pillar

+6/+3

2d6

+1

--

--

10

+10

+7

+7

+7

Fifth Pillar

+7/+4/+1

2d6

+2

*see
text

+1 manifester level

Table 1-2: Damage for Large and Small Monks

Damage
(Medium-Size)
Damage
(Small)
Damage
(Large)
1d6 1d4 1d8
1d8 1d6 1d10
1d10 1d8 2d6
2d6 1d10 2d8

Introducing the Mindknights to Your Campaign

  • The characters stumble across a map to the mindknights' ancient training temple, possibly in an obscure corner of a magic library or in an isolated part of the Underdark. Evil psionic characters are interested in the map and try to get it from the PCs in any way they can in the hopes of unlocking the ancient secrets of the mindknights.

  • The characters are contracted by a wizard who studies psionics. He has discovered the location of the mindknight's training temple and wants the characters to travel there and return with whatever artifacts or information they can carry away. Unfortunately, a group of githzerai has the same idea as this wizard -- and they are not inclined to share the treasure of the temple with the PCs.

  • Rumors abound of a wandering monk with strange powers that are like a sorcerer's, but strangely nonmagical. He claims to be the last of an ancient order called the mindknights. So far, it is said, he has defeated three evil sorcerers and a contingent of the king's guard that was sent to contain him. The PCs are engaged to find this man and discover who he is and what he wants.

Bringing the Parts Together

If the DM wants to have the parts of these Random Encounter articles tied together, introduce Arthes into the campaign. He could be seeking out a ruined mindknight temple or perhaps rumors of a single mindknight who wanders the world still.

Coming in Part 3 of Mind War... Goblins might have a
few mental tricks to spring on unsuspecting beings.

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About the Author

Ramon Arjona is originally from Hawaii. He now lives in Washington State with his wife and two cats. His work has appeared in the Hawai'i Review, the Absinthe Literary Review, and Strange Horizons. He plans to become an 18th-level software developer so that he can get the bonus feats.


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