Psychic (3.5e Class)
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The mind has hidden powers that even the most learned scholars don’t fully understand. There exist people gifted with extraordinary abilities: psychics. They have visions or a sense of what others are thinking. They can influence the minds of those around them or even affect the physical world with their thoughts. Some confuse their power with sorcery, but it is not the same. Still, those who possess such gifts often conceal them, out of concern that others will fear or misunderstand them. Psychics who choose to develop their potential are capable of feats to rival sorcerers and wizards. They can become masters of their fate, or else risk becoming the pawns of those who seek to harness and control their powers for their own purposes.
Psychics have innate mental powers, known as “talents,” which can be developed through training and study. While psychic talents aren’t generally as broad or powerful as the magic of spellcasters, they tend to be more flexible. Only their talent, their training, and their stamina limit psychics, since using psychic abilities can be draining. While more subtle than the flash and bang of spellcasting, psychic powers are farreaching. A psychic can cross tremendous distances in the blink of an eye or pull the strings of entire nations from behind the scenes.
Since their talents are both innate and widely varied, psychics tend to be unpredictable. Although they may organize into orders and guilds, they’re often independent.
Making a Psychic
A psychic typically discovers his talents during a time of stress. These may be the changes brought on by adolescence or another trauma in the psychic’s life. The newly awakened talent is often confusing and frightening for the psychic, who may hear voices, have visions, experience poltergeist phenomena, or even awaken from a dream to find himself hundreds of miles from home, with no idea of how he got there. Eventually, the psychic learns to control his powers and begins studying and learning how to use them intentionally.
Fortunate psychics encounter others of their kind, who can teach them and help them understand their talents. Most, however, are on their own and have to make do with trial and error.
Abilities: Mental ability scores (Int, Wis, and Cha) are generally far more important to a psychic than physical abilities. Psychic skills are based on mental abilities, primarily Intelligence and Wisdom. Dexterity provides some additional protection for a lightly armored psychic, and Constitution can aid in Concentration checks and provide additional hit points.
Races: The potential for psychic talent lies within all intelligent creatures, or so most psychics claim. Psychics of nearly every race exist. Human psychics are the most common, perhaps simply because humans are the most common, or because they’re the most adaptable, more given to exploring their innate psychic talents. Elf and half-elf psychics are comparatively rare, perhaps because elves are more given to the study and use of magic. Half-elf psychics often favor their human heritage and most commonly possess the telepathy talent. Taciturn dwarves also rarely become psychics, although the psychometabolism talent seems to come easiest to them. Halfling psychics are perhaps more common than most know, since they tend to keep their abilities to themselves. Psychoportation seems to go hand in hand with halfling wanderlust, and a halfling psychic can often find ways of going places off-limits to others. Gnome psychics are fairly rare, given their innately magical nature, and half-orc psychics are perhaps the rarest of all. The few known usually specialize in the psychometabolism talent.
Alignment: Any. Psychic talent appears randomly, so psychics come from all walks of life and backgrounds. Their abilities are the only thing uniting them, so they may be of any alignment.
Starting Gold: 3d4×10 gp (75 gp).
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Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the psychic.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Focused on the disciplines of the mind, psychics are proficient only with simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type or armor or with shields. Armor does not interfere with the use of psychic skills, but the normal armor check penalties apply to nonpsychic skills such as Climb, Swim, Tumble, and so forth, if the psychic is not proficient in the armor.
Psychic Ability: Psychics begin with the Psychic Ability feat for free.
Bonus Feats: At 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 17th and 20th level, a Psychic gains a bonus psychic feat. These feats are in addition to the character’s normal feats based on level. Feats gained by level and the starting bonus feat for human characters need not be psychic feats, although they can be.
Psychic Skills: Psychics focus on the development of their psychic talents by using various psychic skills, described in Chapter Two. Just like other characters, psychics must have the appropriate psychic talent feats necessary to learn a particular psychic skill before taking ranks in that skill. All psychic skills are considered class skills for psychics.
Playing a Psychic
Religion: For some psychics, their talents are a spiritual experience. They focus on a private, personal connection to an inner spiritual world and understanding. For others, their talent is a gift from the gods, which they use in their service, and there are those who have little or no interest in religion one way or another. Psychics tend to worship the same deities as other folk in the places where they live. They may follow gods of the mind and thought, placing the cerebral above all else, but not always.
Other Classes: Psychics have the most in common with sorcerers, although their powers differ and they tend to be suspicious of each other. Spellcasters tend to mistrust psychics in general simply because their powers are foreign to them. Other classes treat psychics much like spellcasters, for good or ill.
Psychics in the World
Psychics often feel outcast or separated from ordinary society by their gifts. Some adventure to test and hone their talents, pushing their limits to learn what they’re capable of doing. Others use their abilities in the service of a particular cause, whether it’s an ideology, a nation, or simple profit. Some psychics are driven to prove themselves or believe they have a responsibility to use their gifts for the benefit of society, and just as many who think that their psychic talents make them better than “mundane” people, allowing them to do with the mundanes as they will.