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The Awakened PsionD&D Insider Article
Unearthed Arcana
By Peter Schaefer

Long-standing wisdom and experience among those who practice the psionic art holds that prolonged contact with another mind invites a serious danger to the psion’s mental state. Deeper contact can result in an inadvertent merging of consciousness. Anyone who has seen the effect of such “personality pollution” tends to heed the warnings against extensive invasion into a single mind. The “awakened,” as they call themselves with no small pride, ignore or entirely reject these prohibitions. These variant rules for psionic characters let you boost your power to amazing heights ... if you're willing to gamble with your sanity.

Even the cautionary examples of psions who crippled their minds with personality intrusions are not enough to keep all psions on guard against personality pollution. Some psions take few if any precautions, or even welcome contamination for the insights it brings. They object to the notion that psychic scraps slowly drive a person insane. Quite the opposite; they claim that the merging of many personality fragments slowly transforms them into something greater than themselves. They see the world from multiple perspectives, through other beings’ filters, and open their minds wide to accept the secret truths that are denied to others.

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    About the Authors

    Robert J. Schwalb is an award-winning game designer who has contributed design to or developed over one hundred roleplaying game titles for Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, A Song of Ice and Fire RPG, Star Wars RPG, and the d20 system. Some of his more recent work for Wizards of the Coast can be found in Player’s Handbook 3, Martial Power 2, and Draconomicon 2: Metallic Dragons. In addition, he’s a regular contributor to both Dragon and Dungeon magazines. Robert lives, works, and will probably die in Tennessee.

    Peter Schaefer beats Rob Schwalb alphabetically by a hair. In fact, he does all things alphabetically. He doesn’t get up in the morning; he Ascends from Bed, then Continues Downstairs to Eat. It’s not easy, but hey, you gotta be crazy somehow. For years, Peter has artfully been contributing design to every freakin’ game he can imagine: D&D, Exalted, Scion, World of Darkness games, and so on. It’s just killer, man.