[3.5 Conversion] The Ardent, a highly customizable psionic class

Homebrew and House Rules

For those who are unfamiliar, the Ardent in 3.5 was something like a psionic cleric, a full manifester who got all his powers from domain-like representations of abstract concepts called mantles. Feeling nostalgic for my first D&D character, I decided to create a pathfinder ardent.

You can see the whole thing here

The basic concept is largely the same, but the execution has shifted into something closer to an oracle than cleric. The 3.5 ardent was cool, but very inconsistent and lacking for class features, so a lot of changes were necessary:

  • Upped the hit die from d6 to d8 like every other d6 class from 3.5
  • Changed starting gold from 3.5 standard to Pathfinder standard.
  • Removed heavy armor proficiency
  • Increased skills from 2+int to 4+int, because non-int based classes that get 2+int skills are an abomination and must be purged as heresy.
  • Changed class skills to account for differences in Pathfinder’s skills and the addition of class skills to mantles
  • Speaking of, added class skills to mantles
  • Removed alignment mantles, both because psionics interacts less with alignments in Pathfinder and because nearly all the powers associated with them failed to make the jump
  • Standardized power lists to have 2 powers per level for 0-4 and 1 per level for 5-9, as opposed to 3.5’s methodology which seems to be based on throwing darts at a scrambled list while blindfolded.
  • Reduced power overlap down to the barest minimum possible without creating a bunch of new talents and high level powers.
  • Moved some powers around for consistency and to accommodate the previous two changes.
  • Adjusted or replaced virtually all mantle abilities (now called focal abilities, since 3.5 didn’t bother naming them)
  • Added 6th, 12th, and 18th level abilities from primary mantles, as Pathfinder classes are expected to have more features and the ardent was pretty skeletal even by 3.5 standards
  • Added free talents from primary mantles, as talents weren’t really a thing in 3.5 but are in Pathfinder
  • Changed the rules on swapping primary mantles from “at 8th and 15th level” to “whenever you level up if it won’t break the mantle power count rules.” Who am I to tell you when your character can change?
  • Added attuned skills and swift attunement to help fill out empty levels more than anything else.
  • Reworded some of the flavor text to be slightly less terrible and stop referring to all abstract concepts as philosophies. Will probably replace it all for the final version.

    This is one of the biggest projects I've ever done, as it meant making 26 mantles, each with its own power list and 4 abilities. It also means there's a lot more opportunities for mistakes or miscalculations, so I'd definitely appreciate any feedback you guys have.

  • I like it!! I had always thought the concept behind the class had some potential, but none of my fixes looked quite this nice. I kept trying to add in the psionic aura ability of the divine mind, to mixed results. Great job!

    Glad you like it.

    Also, quick update: Added two feats. One upgrades a secondary mantle into a third primary mantle, and the other allows you to have two 6th level insights active at once.

    After playtesting, I've made a few small updates to some of the mantle abilities. The life mantle focal ability now allows ranged manifestation of touch powers in addition to personal, and I clarified the consumption mantle abilities to explicitly state how they interact with different damage types and abilities.

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