A little help using Psionics Unleashed


Advice


Hi all! A friend of mine is starting a high level, planar hopping game, and I have elected to play a Psion from the Psionics Unleashed by Dreamscarred Press.

Now, I'm kind of new to Psionics, and haven't ever had a chance to play a high level game before. I'm just wondering if anyone out there familiar with the book has any helpful advice for my character.

A little background:
- starts at level 15
- I am playing a Nomad Psion
- I'm not planning on multi-classing, but am not closed to the idea
- I'm playing a Psi-Forged from Eberron

I'm primarily looking for power selection, as they seem very limited in their choices. Not looking for Uber-Optimization, but what powers people think I'll need to survive.

Thanks in advance all!


Vain attempt at a bump?


Ah the thing that people forget about Psions, they are even more focused then a specially bulit casting class. :P

Keep I mind you can pick any power from the generic Psion/Wilder list and you may choose the specialty Nomad powers.

What is your role to be in the party? Wizard/caster replacement? Do you know who your allies are yet?

On way to go about picking powers as a higher start level is to see how many you get at each level. As 14 it should be something like...

7 -- 3
6 -- 3
5 -- 4
4 -- 4
3 -- 4
2 -- 4
1 -- 5

Granted you may find lower level powers that will augment well. That really is the trick to Psionics, finding powers that scale fairly well as you dump Power Points into them.

I try and get some recommendations to you. At the least you need Astral Caravan, and Astral Traveler. Keep in mind this is not Planeshift, Astral Caravan can be slower.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I own the book but have no experience with it yet. You may want to seek advice directly on dreamscarred press' boards here. You may get responses from a more targeted audience there.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'd also add that the feat expanded knowlege does allow you to steal powers from the psychic warrior and other speciality lists. For example, a 5th level psion (first feat gained after being able to manifest second level powers) can use the feat to pick up mindlink or astral construct.

And don't forget the metacap.

Psionics Unleashed wrote:
"If you take no other rule out of this book, it is critical to remember that a manifester may not spend more power points on a power than his manifester level. This includes spending power points augmenting the power, using metapsionic feats, or effects that result in needing to pay an increased power point cost to manifest a power."

Dreamscarred Press

I've been playing a Nomad since the Alpha of Psionics Unleashed.

Without knowing that role you want to play or the campaign you're in, here's some recommendations I can give:

Dimension Swap is extremely useful, especially with your teleportation abilities. It allows you to move around the battlefield and then get an ally into position.

Flight is virtually a must-have.

Psychoport (greater) is also pretty much a must-have.

Time Hop is incredibly useful. One thing I did with my nomad was to have myself and a fellow party member hoist a table over our heads, time hop the table, and then corralled the enemies so they were standing directly under where the table would reappear to knock them down. Time hop doors in the way. Time hop enemies. Time hop wounded allies who are bleeding or in vulnerable positions.

If you aren't wearing some sort of armor, Inertial Armor lasts a long time and helps protect you.

Entangling Ectoplasm - I love this power, can't get enough of it. Highly, highly, highly recommend it.

Fold Space - Good for when you don't need to travel miles, but do need to go more than 50 feet.

Detect Hostile Intent - I've used this power successfully on more than one occasion. The long duration is great.

Then pick some offensive, damage dealing powers (or disabling powers) to give you some offensive capacity without having to rely on a crossbow.


Thanks for the feedback (and really, REALLY sorry it took me so long to get back)

I was gonna leave out dimension swap, but will probably grab it now, as it is a tactical choice. I'm more used to playing wizards/druids, so I'm used to having access to everything. Trying to pick out just a few powers is rough, don't know how sorcerers do it

So far, these are what I've picked out

Level 1 - 5
 : Burst, detect teleportation, catfall, defensive precognition, deceleration, cold ray, know direction & location
Level 2 - 4
 : dimension swap, concussion blast, minor metamorphosis, converse
Level 3 - 4
 : body purification, dispel Psionics, telekinetic force, time hop
Level 4 - 4
 : flight, fold space, trace psychoport, energy adaptation
Level 5 - 4
 : adapt body, pierce the veils, planar travel, incarnate 
Level 6 - 3
 : disintegration, banish, temporal acceleration
Level 7 - 3
 : ethereal form, divert teleport, personal barred mind
Level 8 - 1 
 : greater psychoport

Any criticisms?


Sorry, just realized I never stated what I wanted to do with him

Basically, it's a planar campagn, and I plan on being the taxi character, so we don't have to rely on GM/NPC taking USA where we need to go


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Okay, first of all PU isn't terribly different from the core 3.5e Expanded Psionics Handbook so anyone who's got experience with psionics in the last decade should be able to offer pretty good advice.

Second, being a taxi is fine, but you need to be able to actually do something in a combat encounter. A handful of your powers are offensive in nature, but you're missing some important ones I consider almost must-have.

mind thrust Hey Mr. Big Lumbering Monster Guy... make a Will save or take a bunch of damage. Remember, you can augment this so despite it being 1st level you can jack up all the way to 15d10 damage if you need to.

crystal shard Hey Mr. Wizard With Great Mental Defense, I just need to hit your touch AC to do a bunch of damage. Also works against heavily armored fighter types.

If you take the Expanded Knowledge feat you can pick up a power from another discipline's list. I recommend...

energy missile What kind of energy isn't your enemy immune to? Use it. This is sort of the psionic fireball, really.

Anyway, those three powers let you dish out injury in three different ways. Having choice is really helpful. There are a lot of sneakier ways to do things that don't involve direct-damage but that involves a lot of familiarity with psionics to learn how to master the system. Your choice of time hop is a great example.

Oh. A bit of advice. With arcane or divine casters, I always pick highest-level spells first. With psionc characters, I always pick lowest-level powers first. Why? Because with the augmentation system, you'll find most of your really flexible and key powers at low level. They just get more powerful through augmentation.

Good luck.


DSRMT wrote:

Thanks for the feedback (and really, REALLY sorry it took me so long to get back)

I was gonna leave out dimension swap, but will probably grab it now, as it is a tactical choice. I'm more used to playing wizards/druids, so I'm used to having access to everything. Trying to pick out just a few powers is rough, don't know how sorcerers do it

So far, these are what I've picked out

Any criticisms?

A few ...

DSRMT wrote:

Level 1 - 5

 : Burst, detect teleportation, catfall, defensive precognition, deceleration, cold ray, know direction & location

It's not cold ray, it's energy ray - even as a non-kineticist you can modify the ray to heat, cold, electricity or sonic in a round. Downside, it's all energy damage. Given that at 15th level you will have access to a lot of gear to help your AC, are you going to bother buffing before combat when you are not really expecting to get targeted anyway? Catfall is OK but Burst ... yeah, you aren't really going to need extra land speed when you can teleport, are you? Force screen is more likely to protect you well than defensive precognition for much lower energy cost. Augmentable powers are great but it's the cost you have to factor in - you do not have the staying power of even a specialist wizard.

DSRMT wrote:

Level 2 - 4

 : dimension swap, concussion blast, minor metamorphosis, converse

Concussion blast is OK but it's costly for what it does. Can I recommend that swarm of crystals has better options: no save, no power/spell resistance, and it's an area effect so it will hurt a swarm.

DSRMT wrote:

Level 3 - 4

 : body purification, dispel Psionics, telekinetic force, time hop

Dude, you have a party cleric for the healing. Skip body purification, if you need it that badly your tactics are all wrong to begin with. You haven't taken many sensory powers so I recommend touchsight instead (if it's there you detect it). Better to see them coming and avoid them than to need healing afterwards.

DSRMT wrote:

Level 4 - 4

 : flight, fold space, trace psychoport, energy adaptation

Two powers I would suggest you consider here: wrench to bar extradimensional exits, and intellect fortress because it's an excellent defensive power for you and the whole party.

DSRMT wrote:

Level 5 - 4

 : adapt body, pierce the veils, planar travel, incarnate 

Solid choices, though I am not sure about incarnate - what powers will you start off being permanent?

DSRMT wrote:

Level 6 - 3

 : disintegration, banish, temporal acceleration

Solid choices.

DSRMT wrote:

Level 7 - 3

 : ethereal form, divert teleport, personal barred mind

I'd consider the merits of bend reality to cover other powers you don't have.

DSRMT wrote:

Level 8 - 1 

 : greater psychoport

No objections there, go for it.

Do not forget Expanded Knowledge feat - anything you don't already have, it can provide!


Anguish - Crystal Shard looks promising, but I'm trying to avoid stuff that allows a save, as my GM has proclaimed many times that he always up the enemies saves any way he can (he claims it's too easy to one shot them otherwise) But thank you for the suggestion! I'll look over Mind Thrust

Dabbler - from what I read from the book, only Kineticists are allowed to change the energy type of a power, otherwise you had to pick one and stick with it. And I added Burst as one of the bonus powers from being a Nomad. The Reason I took Defensive Precognition over Force Screen was for the bonus to saves, not to AC.
- Swarm of Crystals probably is better than Concussion blast, but I was mostly looking for something like magic missle (a way to hit no matter what) However, I'll probably end up changing them around, as you make a good point.
- Good point about the Body Purification, I haven't seen what everyone else was making, and I was a little worried there wasn't going to be a good healer. If there is one, though, I'll deffinately swap it out, Thanks!
- I agree with Wrench and Intellect Fortress, I just wasn't sure what to get rid of for them (I actually had Wrench originally, but swapped it out for Fold Space)
- Incarnate is really more of a pipe dream, hoping to buy some extra powers put on me
- Again I agree with Bend Reality, but can't figure out what to get rid of for it, lol

Thanks both of you guys for your help, I'll see if I can clean up the list

Edit: I just realized that you can select the energy type when you get Psionic Focus, so my apologies

Dreamscarred Press

DSRMT wrote:

- I agree with Wrench and Intellect Fortress, I just wasn't sure what to get rid of for them (I actually had Wrench originally, but swapped it out for Fold Space)

- Again I agree with Bend Reality, but can't figure out what to get rid of for it, lol

Depending on what material your DM allows you to use...

We are working on Psionics Expanded (our version of an APG) and one of the feats we have for it is Extra Power Known.

Unlike Expanded Knowledge, which allows ANY power, but it has to be one level lower than your highest power, Extra Power Known lets you add any power from your class list up to your maximum power level.

So, you could use your 15th level feat to gain Extra Power Known: Bend Reality. :)

(Also glad you noticed the difference in Energy Powers from Beta. It's not as limiting as it originally was, especially if you have the Psionic Meditation feat)

Also, keep in mind - Crystal Shard doesn't have a saving throw. It's a touch attack, no save.


Yeah, I keep forgetting about Expanded Knowledge (and Can't wait to see Psionics Expanded!!!)

I'm a little hesitant about taking a power that requires 1,500 gp to cast though (I know, I'm cheap, lol)

And just re-read Crystal Shard *slaps head* yep, I should probably just read stuff before I post responses


It is fascinating that Energy Ray (Psion/wilder 1) has no saving throw, but is Close (Short: 25 + 5 ft/2 lvl) in range, while all the other "Energy" powers (Missile, Push, Cone, Wall, Ball, Bolt) are "Reflex half or Fortitude half" with Medium or longer range. This makes me worried that an enemy with Improved Evasion can shrug off all psionic Energy attacks until they get to you. Making all the attacks Electricity helps up the save DC by 2, but I can easily see a GM-created creature or ninja using +20 Reflex saves until they attack you in melee range.


DSRMT wrote:
And I added Burst as one of the bonus powers from being a Nomad. The Reason I took Defensive Precognition over Force Screen was for the bonus to saves, not to AC.

Oh I see what you mean. That's fair enough, I guess, especially if you Incarnate to make it permanent.

DSRMT wrote:
- Swarm of Crystals probably is better than Concussion blast, but I was mostly looking for something like magic missle (a way to hit no matter what) However, I'll probably end up changing them around, as you make a good point.

Yes, it's a good backstop power that will do anything.

DSRMT wrote:
- Good point about the Body Purification, I haven't seen what everyone else was making, and I was a little worried there wasn't going to be a good healer. If there is one, though, I'll definately swap it out, Thanks!

Yes, if you were a psychic warrior or an Egoist, it would make sense, but if the party doesn't have a decent healer you have a problem.

DSRMT wrote:
- I agree with Wrench and Intellect Fortress, I just wasn't sure what to get rid of for them (I actually had Wrench originally, but swapped it out for Fold Space)

Remember your feats - Expanded Knowledge is your friend.

DSRMT wrote:
- Incarnate is really more of a pipe dream, hoping to buy some extra powers put on me

Then skip it for something you WILL use. Remember you can get lower level powers if you want to ... like maybe that Intellect Fortress?

DSRMT wrote:
- Again I agree with Bend Reality, but can't figure out what to get rid of for it, lol

Again, you have feats as pointed out.

@jhpace - remember evasion applies to Reflex saves, not Fort saves. Hit them with cold, watch 'em freeze! Or use a ray for a ranged touch attack, or use swarm of crystals which has no save ... if all else fails, use empathic feedback so when they hurt you they hurt themselves.

At the end of the day a psionic blaster is a much better blaster than a sorcerer or evoker, it's one of the few areas where psionics is 'better' than magic. On the minus side, the sorcerer or evoker can unleash more damage over the course of a day than the psion or wilder can.


We had that problem in our last campaign. Our 15th level psion spent half of his total PP for the day trying to kill one goblin with telekinesis just to max out what his powers can do. You get versatility but the auto leveling of spells is nice.


Dabbler wrote:
DSRMT wrote:
- Good point about the Body Purification, I haven't seen what everyone else was making, and I was a little worried there wasn't going to be a good healer. If there is one, though, I'll definately swap it out, Thanks!
Yes, if you were a psychic warrior or an Egoist, it would make sense, but if the party doesn't have a decent healer you have a problem.

I'm finding problems in my current gaming table when there is only one healer/cleric/oracle. It's like having only one meatshield and a bunch of powder puffs in the party. At low levels (6th), most players still only have one attack per round, most healers only have a limited number of Restoration spells (there's never enough against undead that cause disease with every attack), and there's nothing that substitutes for Remove Disease or Restoration like "Delay Disease" or "Temporarily Stop Ability Drain". The meatshield starts taking all the hits while the others desperately run around trying to not be attacked. One bad roll and the meatshield is paralyzed or goes down, leaving the enemy licking its' chops at the one-hit wonders left on the board.

I wouldn't mind "wasting" Body Adjustment (3rd), since it lets you also transfer diseases (and your Fort save might be better, or you can buff it better in advance), and Body Purification (3rd) is made for those Shadow attacks. Both powers become much better when your psion has Scribe Tattoo (5th level), which lets you put these powers on others as tattoos ahead of time to be used in the middle of battle. That takes some of the pressure off of the lone band-aid machine. If your psion had a really bad set of rolls, or a 15-point-buy, or is desperate, there's always Fortify (1st) for saves.

Dabbler wrote:
@jhpace - remember evasion applies to Reflex saves, not Fort saves. Hit them with cold, watch 'em freeze! Or use a ray for a ranged touch attack, or use swarm of crystals which has no save ... if all else fails, use empathic feedback so when they hurt you they hurt themselves.

I'm actually discovering that the prestige class Phrenic Slayer gives a lot of the powers I'm looking for when creating the "anti-psionic", or "psionic who defends against other psionics". While you can go for Cloud Mind (2nd), Thought Shield (2nd), Dispel Psionics (3rd), Mind Trap (3rd) and Intellect Fortress (4th), just choose a lower-level anti-psionic power and get into the Phrenic Slayer as fast as you can (8th level for psion, 4th for PW). I like the "not your turn" ability of Mind Trap myself. You can choose other humans as your favored enemy, meaning psionic human NPCs.

The PU psion has the ability to be shaped differently than the 3.x versions, with more variety in the spells. Expanded Knowledge is going to be used often (Psychoport is Nomad-only? Really? Evade Burst is PW 3 but Psion 7? Ouch.).

But I'm still looking at the self-reliant psionic in a group of arcane/divine/mundane adventurers with no other psionics, save what the GM throws at us. I'm not looking for the Shaper replacing the Summon Monster sorcerer, or the Kineticist replacing either the blaster or the lockpicker. Right now I'm still working out how a psion fits in at all in a party, as the primary or secondary in a slot? Or maybe the alternate for every person in the party with the right choice of powers as they level - lockpicker, healer, communicator, and blaster?

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