Mind over Matter - Chapter 8

Copyright Phillip A. Ellis © 2013

Edited by Terence Wynne for The Guild Companion

"The effort of concentrating has made you go so cross-eyed only a blow to the head can restore your vision."

Chapter Eight: Psionic Skills

8.1: Special Progression Based on Race

There is a "special progression" for each character based upon his race, when developing Power Points for use when casting psionic powers. You should use the progressions given in Table T-8.1.1: Racial Characteristics Table. This table also lists the racial modifiers to Resistance Rolls against Psionics.

T-8.1.1: Racial Characteristics Table

The values in the following table are derived from Races & Cultures by Douglas Sun.

Race RR Mod Psionic PP development
Black Gratar 0 0•5•3•2•2
Common Men 0 0•7•6•5•4
Common Orcs -5 0•2•1•1•1
Droloi 0 0•7•6•5•4
Dwarves +50 0•6•6•4•3
Dwelfs -5 0•3•2•1•1
Dyari -5 0•3•2•1•1
Eritari 0 0•6•4•3•2
Erlini -5 0•3•2•1•1
Garks +25 0•2•1•1•1
Gnomes +10 0•5•4•3•2
Goblins 0 0•3•2•1•1
Greater Lugrôki -5 0•4•3•2•1
Greater Orcs 0 0•2•1•1•1
Green Gratar -10 0•2•1•1•1
Grey Elves -5 0•3•2•1•1
Grey Gratar -10 0•6•5•4•3
Half Elves 0 0•6•4•3•1
Halflings 0 0•2•1•1•1
Half-Orc 0 0•5•3•2•2
High Elves -5 0•3•2•1•1
High Men -5 0•7•6•5•4
Hira'razhir -5 0•7•6•5•4
Hirazi -5 0•7•6•5•4
Hobgoblins 0 0•3•2•1•1
Horse Centaur -5 0•7•6•5•4
Idivya -5 0•7•6•5•4
Jhordi +10 0•7•6•5•4
Kobolds 0 0•3•2•1•1
Ky'taari 0 0•6•4•3•2
Laan -5 0•7•6•5•4
Lennai +15 0•4•3•2•1
Lesser Lugrôki -5 0•2•1•1•1
Linaeri -5 0•3•2•1•1
Lion Centaur -10 0•6•5•4•3
Loari -5 0•3•2•1•1
Mermen 0 0•7•6•5•4
Mixed Men -5 0•7•6•5•4
Murlogi 0 0•3•2•1•1
Punkari 0 0•6•4•3•2
Quishadi -5 0•3•2•1•1
Satyrs (Fauns) -5 0•3•2•1•1
Saukur 0 0•7•6•5•4
Shuikmar 0 0•5•3•2•1
Shuluri -10 0•3•2•1•1
Sohleugir 0 0•7•6•5•4
Sulini 0 0•6•4•3•2
Troglodytes +10 0•7•6•5•4
Tylweth Teg -5 0•3•2•1•1
Umli 0 0•7•6•5•4
Urlocs 0 0•3•2•1•1
Vorloi 0 0•6•4•3•2
Vulfen 0 0•5•3•2•1
Wood Elves +50 0•3•2•1•1
Yellow Gratar -5 0•5•3•2•2

8.2: Variable DP Costs for Power Lists

This section gives you the development point (DP) costs for the skill ranks of power lists if you develop ranks in more than five lists in a given level, or a power rank greater than five.

DP Costs for Ranks Greater Than Five — The DP cost for the skill rank of a power list increases according to the number of the rank being developed. These DP cost increases are noted in Table T-8.2.1: The Power List DP Cost Table. Where there is a single number listed, only one rank may be developed in a given level. Where there are two, separated by a slash, up to two ranks may be developed; where there are three, separated by slashes, up to three ranks may be developed.

DP Costs for Ranks in More Than Five Lists — There is also a DP cost increase based upon how many power lists have already had ranks developed during the current level. For the first five lists developed the DP cost is normal. For the 6th through 10th lists developed the DP cost is doubled. For lists beyond the 10th, the DP cost is quadrupled.

T-8.2.1: The Power List DP Cost Table

Power List Type Skill Rank No. Being Developed Psionicist Non-Mentalist Mentalist* Non
Pure Semi Pure Semi Hybrid Pure Semi Hybrid
Core 1+ 3/3/3 6/6/6 - - - - - - -
Other 1-5 4/4/4 8/8 10/10 30 12 20 45 25 20
6-10 4/4/4 12 12 60 25 25 60 40 40
11-15 4/4/4 20 25 80 40 40 80 60 60
16-20 4/4/4 30 40 100 60 60 100 80 80
21+ 6/6/6 40 60 120 80 80 120 100 100

First 5 Lists Developed in a Given Level: x1
6th - 10th Lists Developed in a Given Level: x2
11th - up Lists Developed in a Given Level: x4

* = These costs reflect that the training of a Mentalist spell user will bias the way the character accesses and develops his psionics.

8.3: Power Point Development Skill Category

Skills: Power Point Development (only one skill)
Applicable Stat Bonuses: SD
Skill Rank Bonus Progression: Based on Race (Special)
Skill Category Bonus Progression: 0 • 0 • 0 • 0 • 0
Group: None
Classification: Special

One of the factors which determines how many psionic powers that a character can cast within a given time period is that character's skill rank in Power Point Development. A character's power point total is equal to his Power Point Development skill bonus.

Skill Descriptions

Developing this skill allows a character to increase the total number of power points (PP) that he may have available at any given time. In order to cast a psionic power, a number of PPs equal to that power's level must be used.

Each character has a maximum number of power points equal to his skill bonus for Power Point Development. Normally, this skill bonus is determined by the following formula:

PP Total = Power Point Development skill bonus = SD stat bonus + profession bonus + skill rank bonus + any special bonuses

Power Point Exhaustion

A character receives a modification to his Power Casting Static Maneuvers (see Section 7.2: Power Casting Static Maneuvers) based upon the percentage of his power points that he has used. Table T-8.3.1: Power Point Exhaustion Table shows these modifiers (they are also summarized at the end of Table T-7.1.1: Power Casting Modifications Table).

T-8.3.1: Power Point Exhaustion Table

% of PPs Used Modification
0% to 25% -0
26% to 50% -10
51% to 75% -20
76% to 100% -30

Recovering Power Points

Once a character's PPs are used by casting powers, they may be regained up to that character's maximum in the following three ways:

  1. If the character is active, he recovers one PP every three hours;
  2. If the character rests, he recovers (SD stat bonus ÷ 2) (round up) PPs every full continuous hour of rest (at least one PP is recovered even if his SD stat bonus is less than one); and
  3. If the character is sleeping, half of his maximum PPs are recovered for every four hours of continuous sleep, or equivalent (if this sleep is interrupted, PPs are still recovered as in 2) above).

8.4: Powers Skill Categories

For All "Powers •" Skill Categories:
Skills: One skill per power list
Applicable Stat Bonuses: SD
Skill Bonus Progression: -30 • 1 • 1 • 0.5 • 0 (Limited)
Skill Category Bonus Progression: 0 • 0 • 0 • 0 • 0
Group: Spells
Classification: Static Maneuver and Special
Powers • Core School Lists Skill Category
This category covers learning and using powers from the caster's core school.
Powers • Other School Lists Skill Category
This category covers learning and using powers from the schools other than the caster's core school.

Skill Descriptions

A character's skill rank for a power list determines which powers on that list that he may cast. In addition, if certain restrictions are not met, a character's skill bonus for a power's list can affect the casting of that power.

A character learns powers by developing skill ranks for the list that the power is on. A character knows all of the powers on a power list that have a level less than or equal to his skill rank for that power list.

A character may cast any power on a list that has a level that is less than or equal to his skill rank for that list (i.e., any power that he knows). A character must use power points to cast a power. See Chapters 6.0: Psionic Combat & 7.0: The Basic Rules for details on preparing and casting powers.

Learning Powers

A character learns powers by developing skill ranks in the list that that the power is on, as noted above. In addition, a character knows all of the powers on a list that have a level less than or equal to his skill rank for that list. A character learns powers during one or more of three skill development periods; these periods are:

  • Adolescence skill development (RMFRP section 4.0: Adolescence Skill Development, p. 18);
  • Apprenticeship skill development (RMFRP section 6.0: Apprenticeship Skill Development, p. 22); and
  • Level advancement (RMFRP section 9.0: Experience & Advancing Levels, p. 36).

Casting Powers

Normally, a character may cast any power on a list that has a level that is less than or equal to his skill rank for that list. As noted above, a character must use Power Points to cast a power. See Chapter 7.0: The Basic Rules for more details on preparing and casting powers.

Automatic Power Casting

If a power is cast automatically, no static maneuver is required. A power may automatically be cast if there are no applicable modifiers from the power Casting Modifications Table T-7.2.1—see Section 7.1: Automatic Power Casting. Such a power may still fail if the following occurs:

  • An attack power fails on an unmodified attack roll of 01-02 (see chapter 6: Psionic Combat).
  • A 1d100 roll should also be made for each non-attack power—the power fails only on an unmodified 01-02; and
  • Attack powers can also fail on certain modified attack roll results (see chapter 6: Psionic Combat).

Power Casting Static Maneuvers

If a caster cannot automatically cast a power, he must make a static maneuver roll in order to be able to cast that power. If this maneuver roll is successful, the power may be cast with the same normal failure chances outlined above. This open-ended static maneuver roll is modified by the caster's skill bonus for the power's list and all other appropriate modifiers from the Power Casting Modifications Table T-7.2.1.

Power Casting Static Maneuver Roll = 1d100 (open-ended) + caster's skill bonus for the power's list + modifiers from Power Casting Modifications Table T-7.2.1

Note: This static maneuver is part of the power casting action and is not a separate action.

8.6: Psionic Power Manipulation Skill Category

Skills: Psionic Power Mastery (one skill for each power list)
Applicable Stat Bonuses: SD/SD/Pr
Skill Rank Bonus Progression: Combined
Skill Category Bonus Progression: 0 • 0 • 0 • 0 • 0
Group: None
Classification: Static Maneuver
This category includes skills involving the manipulation and alteration of psionic energies.

Psionic Power Mastery

This skill allows a user to modify psionic powers within or beyond basic parameters. Each individual power list requires separate skill development (as with the Related Spell Mastery skill). This skill might be used to change the caster's orientation upon arrival using Teleport, or it might be used to allow a caster user to attempt to alter a range of Touch to something longer.

The character should roll for a successful Psionic Power Mastery using the Psionic Power Mastery Static Maneuver Table T-8.6.2 prior to making the relevant Power Casting Static Maneuver Roll (see chapter 7).

T-8.6.1: Psionic Power Mastery Modifiers

Modifying the Range
x2 Normal -20
x3 Normal -30
x4 Normal -40
x5 Normal -50
Each additional x1 -10
Touch to 10' -30†
Caster/Self to Target/Touch -30†
Modifying the Area of Effect
x2 Normal -20*
x3 Normal -30*
x4 Normal -40*
x5 Normal -50*
Each additional x1 -10*
For Additional Targets
+1 target -30
"target" to 10'R -50§
Modifying the Duration
x2 Normal -20
x3 Normal -30
x4 Normal -40
x5 Normal -50
Each additional x1 -10
No duration to 1 round -50‡
Concentration to 1 round/level (c) -20‡
Concentration to 1 minute/level (c) -50‡
Increasing a Critical -30
* Only for Areas of Effect that are not simply "target."
† — may use a range multiplier afterwards
‡ — may use a duration multiplier afterwards
§ — may use an area of effect multiplier afterwards

T-8.6.2: Psionic Power Mastery Static Maneuver Table

The following table is based in large part on the Power Manipulation table in The School of Hard Knocks, by Peter Mork.

-26 down Spectacular Failure: -100% 0.5* -30 Talk about a brain fart! The effort of concentrating has made you go so cross-eyed only a blow to the head can restore your vision. As a result, not only are you completely drained of power points, you also find yourself wondering just how to cast your psychic powers for 1-10 days.
-25 - -04 Absolute Failure: -50% 0.8* -20 Your reach has exceeded your grasp this time. You are hit by a squall of pure psionic feedback. Roll on Table T-7.3.1: Power Failure Table, with a modification of +1 per power point involved.
-05 - 75 Failure: 0% 1.0* -10 Your manipulation fails. Are you sure you were supposed to goggle your eyes like that?
UM 66 Unusual Event: 100% 1.5* +5 Your manipulation inadvertently creates a psychic beacon for all psionically capable beings within a mile. Not only are they aware of your presence, but they are tempted to come racing to check you out. Let's hope that there are no parasites or predators around!
76 - 90 Partial Success: 40% 1.0* +0 Your manipulation does not go as well as hoped. You take 10 concussion hits as you improperly manipulate the psychic energies.
UM 100 Unusual Success: 110% 1.0* +25 You notice a mental shortcut that could allow the power to run itself unattended for a time. If you choose to do so, your manipulation will continue (with full effects) without need of concentration for 5 rounds after you complete it.
91-100 Near Success: 80% 1.0* +10 You grit your teeth as you attempt to bend the psionic energies to your will.
111 - 175 Success: 100% 1.0* +20 Only a slight squint of concentration betrays the effort involved in your psionic manipulations.
176 up Absolute Success: 120% 0.8* +30 The ease with which you control the psionic energies surprises even you. No wonder you get called bighead!

Difficulty Levels

Example Difficulties:
Routine: Changing a minor aspect of a power.
Easy: Adding a minor sensation.
Light: Adding a large illusion.
Medium: Lessening the effect of a power.
Hard: Adding a parameter with random effects.
Very Hard: Fine control of a power.
Extremely Hard: Adding a minor new parameter.
Sheer Folly: Minute control of a power.
Absurd: Adding a radical new parameter.

8.7: Base Skill Development Costs

The following table, Table T-8.7.1: Skill DP Costs, lists the Development Point Costs for two of the three skill categories above. The third is dealt with in section 8.2: Variable DP Costs for Power Lists. The cost for Psionicist classes, both pure and semi, are included in chapter 9: Psionic Professions, along with the DP costs for other skills.

T-8.7.1: Skill DP Costs

Profession Power Point Development Psionic Power Manipulation
Animist 4 4/10
Arcane Elementalist 4 2/7
Arcanist 4 3/9
Armsmaster 9 8
Astrologer 8 7
Bard 9 8
Channeling Alchemist 4 4/10
Chaotic 8 4/10
Cleric 4 4/10
Dabbler 8 6/12
Elemental Champion 8 6/12
Elemental Priest 4 3/9
Elementalist 4 3/9
Enchanter 8 7
Essence Alchemist 4 4/10
Fighter 20 18
Healer 8 7
Illusionist 4 4/10
Lay Healer 7 7
Layman 10 8
Magehunter 8 6/12
Magent 9 8
Magician 4 4/10
Mana Molder 4 3/9
Mentalism Alchemist 7 7
Mentalist 7 7
Monk 8 6/12
Mystic 8 7
Mythic 8 6/12
Paladin 8 6/12
Priests 4 4/10
Ranger 8 6/12
Rogue 12 12
Runemage 4 4/10
Seer 7 7
Sorcerer 6 4/10
Summoner 6 4/10
Taoist Monk 8 6/12
Thief 15 18
Warlock 8 7
Warrior Mage 8 6/12
Warrior Monk 15 14
Wizard 4 3/7
Zen Monk 8 6/12