Mind Over Ghostly Matter

Friday, February 17, 2017

Illustration by Litos Lopez Rodriguez

Amanda Hamon Kunz and Jason Keeley are back to tell you more about the brand-new Player Companion, Psychic Anthology, a compendium of esoteric ideas and unusual choices for the occult classes.


When writing, editing, or developing a project, I often like to ask myself, "Is this disgusting enough?" Luckily for me, I didn't have to pose that query very often for Psychic Anthology. In a product that features a book written on the inside of a human skull and a tome bound in the hide of an extraplanar monstrosity, my favorite is the Encyclopedia Etherica, which is made entirely out of ectoplasm. A chronicle of spiritualists and their phantoms, the original version of this encyclopedia exists only on the Ethereal Plane. The only way for a copy to appear on the Material Plane is for a spiritualist's phantom to grasp it and then be harbored in the spiritualist's consciousness. The spiritualist then must vomit up the book, page by page. I don't think Amazon will be using this method of delivery any time soon.

But if you can stomach reading about the Encyclopedia Etherica, you can find all kinds of exciting options for spiritualists! The first is the addition of a new phantom emotional focus—kindness. A kindness phantom excels at aiding others and can even provide a small amount of healing. This section also includes archetypes that grant spiritualists phantom animal companions or allow them channel positive energy to harm the undead. Or, if you want to ditch the whole phantom thing and instead wield a sentient ectoplasmic sword, then the phantom blade archetype is for you. Not only does the phantom weapon get more powerful as you gain levels, it can also be reshaped into different weapon types and, eventually, eat souls. Not convinced? Just ask Estra, who seems pretty satisfied with her giant gooey battleaxe.

Illustration by Veli Nystrom

Illustration by Veli Nystrom


Aside from its very theme, the most exciting part of Psychic Anthology was, for me, the opportunity to present psychic versions of concepts that have long been Pathfinder staples. One of my favorite ways that we accomplished this was by creating psychic versions of tried-and-true magic items.

The in-world framework the book uses to introduce these items is the Infinity Scroll, an enigmatic work that only holds a tiny fragment of the Akashic Record—or perhaps a few manifestations of the Dark Tapestry's impossible truths. The scroll was lost long ago, but the fragments that scholars recorded led to the creation of the truly noteworthy items detailed in Psychic Anthology.

For one, the book presents the ring of mysticism, which works much like a psychic ring of wizardry in that it doubles the wearer's psychic spells per day for one specific spell level. We also present the robe of the overmind. I won't spoil exactly what it does, but think a more psychically appropriate version of robe of the archmagi.

There are so many other goodies in Psychic Anthology, but you'll have to pick up the book to find out more!

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Tags: Estra Litos Lopez Rodriguez Pathfinder Player Companion Psychics Rivani Spiritualists Veli Nystrom
Scarab Sages

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Lots of great stuff in here (I love the weird books/archives!) but so far the Kinetic Knight is easily the standout. Love it!

Kinetic Invocation is interesting. I like how it provides the elemental races with a reason to go kineticist and keep elemental affinity.

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