A Band-Aid Solution -- Last Updated 11-10-00
By Gary Astleford (penangallan@cox.net)

Note that I'm adapting bits and pieces from both the original psionics rules, as well as the more recent "Way of the Psionicist" that was included in Dark Sun 2nd Edition (and later in Skills & Powers). Questions, comments, or complaints should be addressed to the author.

Terms & Rules --

MAB: Mental Attack Bonus. This is dependant on level and modified by a character's intelligence bonus.

Level Psionicist MAB Talent MAB Level Psionicist MAB Talent MAB
1 +1 +1 11 +11/+6/+1 +6/+1
2 +2 +1 12 +12/+7/+2 +6/+1
3 +3 +2 13 +13/+8/+3 +7/+2
4 +4 +2 14 +14/+9/+4 +7/+2
5 +5 +3 15 +15/+10/+5 +8/+3
6 +6/+1 +3 16 +16/+11/+6/+1 +8/+3
7 +7/+2 +4 17 +17/+12/+7/+2 +9/+4
8 +8/+3 +4 18 +18/+13/+8/+3 +9/+4
9 +9/+4 +5 19 +19/+14/+9/+4 +10/+5
10 +10/+5 +5 20 +20/+15/+10/+5 +10/+5

A multi-class psionicist who advances in his non-psionicist class(es) improves his MAB as a wild talent does.

MAC: Mental Armor Class. This starts at a base of 10, and is further modified by adding the character's wisdom bonus.

PSPs: Psionic Strength Points. These are determined based on a character's level, and are used to power psionic disciplines. Bonus PSPs equal to a character Wisdom, Intelligence, and Constitution bonuses are added to a psionicist's total each level.

Starting PSPs: At first level, a psionicist gains a number of PSPs equal to his Constitution Bonus + his Wisdom Bonus + his Intelligence Bonus + 1d6 + 15. A wild talent gains a number of PSPs equal to the PSP cost of his power + his Constitution Bonus + his Wisdom Bonus + his Intelligence Bonus + 1d4 + 5.

Gaining PSPs: For each psionicist class level a psionicist advances, he gains a number of PSPs equal to 1d6 plus any bonuses for high Consitution, Wisdom, and Intelligence. For each character level a wild talent advances, he gains only 1d4 PSPs (with no modifiers for high statistics). A multi-class psionicist who raises his non-psionic class level gains addition PSPs as if he were a wild talent. A non-talent character who becomes a psionicist gains initial PSPs as a first-level psionicist, and does not gain extra PSPs for levels gained previous to becoming a psionicist. Similarly, a wild talent who eventually becomes a psionicist keeps his original PSP total and gains addition PSPs as an advancing psionicist (ie, 1d6 + bonuses).

Recovering PSPs: A psionicist or wild talent regains all of his PSPs within eight hours, as long as he is restful. To determine how many PSPs he recovers per hour, divide his PSP total by eight and round up.

Psionic Attack Modes: These do pretty much what they did before, but they don't do PSP damage as listed in WOTP. Instead, each successful hit grants the psionicist a "tangent" on his target. A tangent is a psychic "touch," and it takes a total of three tangents to "open" a target's mind and make "full contact." A tangent, in and of itself, has no effect on a target. Each tangent costs 1 PSP per round to maintain, but a psionicist can only maintain tangents with one mind at a time (though he can maintain contact with as many as he able to afford). Once contact is established, it costs 1 PSP per round to maintain. If this cost is not (or cannot be) paid, the contact is broken and must be reestablished by gaining another three tangents on the target. A psionic attack can only be performed on a target that is within line of sight.

Attack Mode Cost Effect(s) When Used On An Open Mind Range
Contact 1/1 None. Ineffective against a psionic mind. Close
Mind Thrust 2/1 Target loses one psionic power for 1d6 days. Close
Ego Whip 4/2 Target -5 to all actions & can't cast spells above 3rd level, for 1d4 rds. Medium
Id Insinuation 6/3 Target dazed and confused, and cannot act for 1d4 rounds. Medium
Psychic Crush 8*/4* Target takes 1d6 points of physical damage per 8 PSPs spent. Medium
Psionic Blast 10*/5* Target takes 1d12 points of physical damage per 10 PSPs spent. Close

*: The PSP amount to be spent must be determined before the attack roll is made. A failed roll means that half of the chosen PSP amount is expended.

Psionic Defense Modes: These grant the defender a positive modifier to his MAC as long as he can maintain the defense (by paying the PSP cost). Unlike previous editions, the MAC bonus granted is the same against all attacks. The defenses, their cost per round to maintain, and the MAC bonuses they grant are listed below. Raising and maintaining a defense mode is considered a "free" action.

Defense Mode PSP Cost/Round MAC Bonus
Thought Shield 2 +1
Mind Blank 3 +2
Intellect Fortress 4 +3
Mental Barrier 5 +4
Tower of Iron Will 6 +5

Gaining Attacks/Defenses: At first level, a psionicist can choose one psionic attack and one psionic defense. At every odd class level thereafter (3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th), he automatically gains one new attack and one new defense. Wild talents gain defenses naturally, but may only ever have three of the five. At present, wild talents may never learn psionic attack forms, and must content themselves with the Contact feat.

Tangents: It takes a certain number of psionic "touches" to open someone's mind. The touches are referred to as tangents. Each time a psionicist successfully makes contact with a being, either by using Contact (on a non-psionic mind) or a psionic attack form, he gains a tangent against his foe. Tangents work pretty much as described in "The Complete Psionics Handbook," pages 26-27.

Closing An Open Mind: A character whose mind has been opened, either by Contact or one of the psionic attack modes, can attempt to close his mind. Such an attempt can be made but once per round, and no other action can be taken aside from the attempt. Success requires the character to make a Will save versus a DC equal to half the attacking psionicist's level (rounding down) plus twelve (bonuses for the "Iron Will" feat apply). Once a character's mind has been closed, the attacking psionicist must once again open it in order to make direct attacks or use certain powers.

Psionic Powers: The powers as listed on the last few pages of WOTP use the PSP activation costs listed. The effects should be easy enough to convert into a 3rd edition context (I will be converting them as I need them). The power's MAC should, however, be converted to a 3rd edition Difficulty Class (DC). Certain effects of powers can be converted using the spell conversion notes on pages 17-19 of the 3rd Edition D&D Conversion Manual. This is easy enough to do. Take the power's MAC and subtract is from 20. Voila, you've got the power's DC. As an example, I'll quickly convert Molecular Agitation.

Molecular Agitation (psychokinetic devotion)
DC: 10
PSP Cost: 7/3
Range: Medium
Area of Effect: 1 item, 20 pounds
Prerequisite: None
Notes: This power enables the user to excite the molecules of a substance, causing paper to ignite, wood to smolder, or skin to blister, for example. The degree of destruction is as follows, depending on the number of rounds the item is agitated:
One Round: Readily flammable materials, such a paper and dry grass, ignite; skin becomes red and tender (1 point of damage); wood becomes dark.
Two Rounds: Wood smolders and smokes; metal becomes hot to the touch; skin blisters (1d4 points of damage); hair melts; paint shrivels.
Three Rounds: Wood ignites; metal scorches (1d4 points of damage); skin burns away (1d6 points of damage); water boils, lead melts. Damage doesn't intensify beyond this round, but it does continue.
Four Rounds: Steel grows soft.
Five Rounds: Steel melts.
Magical items receive Fortitude saving throws against magical fire (the heat produced by this power is highly destructive as it comes from inside the item instead of outside). The DC of the save is equal to 10 + ½ Psionicist Level + Psionicist Ability Modifier.

A wild talent who gains levels in the psionicist class keeps his original power(s), and they do not count against those gained as a psionicist. Please note that a psionic power that is being maintained may be disrupted by outside influences, and in such a case a concentration check will be required to keep it going.

Psionicist Class

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Ref Will Special
1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Contact, Mental Resistance, 1st Attack Mode, 1st Defense Mode
2 +1 +0 +0 +3
3 +2 +1 +1 +3 2nd Attack Mode, 2nd Defense Mode
4 +3 +1 +1 +4 Bonus Metapsionic Feat
5 +3 +1 +1 +4 Psychic Fortification +1, 3rd Attack Mode, 3rd Defense Mode
6 +4 +2 +2 +5
7 +5 +2 +2 +5 4th Attack Mode, 4th Defense Mode
8 +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Bonus Metapsionic Feat
9 +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 5th Attack Mode, 5th Defense Mode
10 +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Psychic Fortification +2
11 +8/+3 +3 +3 +7
12 +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Bonus Metapsionic Feat
13 +9/+4 +4 +4 +8
14 +10/+5 +4 +4 +9
15 +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +9 Psychic Fortification +3
16 +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Bonus Metapsionic Feat
17 +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10
18 +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11
19 +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11
20 +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Bonus Metapsionic Feat, Psychic Fortification +4

Psionic Ability Progression

Level Total Discip. Total Sciences Total Dev. Attack Modes Defense Modes
1 1 1 3 1 1
2 2 1 5 1 1
3 2 2 7 2 2
4 2 2 9 2 2
5 2 3 10 3 3
6 3 3 11 3 3
7 3 4 12 4 4
8 3 4 13 4 4
9 3 5 14 5 5
10 4 5 15 5 5
11 4 6 16 5 5
12 4 6 17 5 5
13 4 7 18 5 5
14 5 7 19 5 5
15 5 8 20 5 5
16 5 8 21 5 5
17 5 9 22 5 5
18 5 9 23 5 5
19 5 10 24 5 5
20 5 10 25 5 5

Class Abilities --

Alignment: Non-chaotic.
Hit Die: d6.

Class Skills --

Balance (dex), Climb (str), Concentration (con), Craft (int), Escape Artist (dex), Innuendo (wis), Jump (str), Move Silently (dex), Profession (int), Sense Motive (wis), Spot (wis).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Intelligence modifier) x 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features --

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Psionicists are proficient with all simple weapons, as well as with all forms of light armor.
Attack and Defense Modes: Starting at first level, and every odd level thereafter (until 9th), a psionicist gains one attack mode and one defense mode of his choice.
Bonus Feats: Every fourth level (4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th), a psionicist gains a free metapsionic feat.
Contact: Contact is a Feat that all psionicist-class characters acquire for free at first level. Characters with wild talents may purchase Contact as a feat. Non-psionic characters may not purchase it at all.
Mental Resistance: Psionicists gain a +2 bonus on all Will saves versus Enchantment/Charm spells and effects.
Psychic Fortification: Every five levels (5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th) a psionicist gains a +1 bonus to his MAC.

MetaPsionic Feats --

The following feats are limited exclusively to psionic characters, either wild talents or those of the psionicist class. They can be bought like normal feats.

Attack Focus: This feat may be taken more than once. By taking this feat, a psionicist finely hones his ability for one particular psionic attack mode. This grants the psionicist a +1 to all attacks made with that specific attack. In addition, the psionicist is so familiar with the attack form, that he gains a +1 to his MAC when other psionicists use it against him.

Combat Psionics: Similar to the feat "Combat Casting," but the concentration bonus applies to using psionic powers when on the defensive.

Contact: Contact allows a psionicist (or wild talent) to open a non-psionic opponent's mind. In essence, the Contact feat alone can be used to make stealthy psionic attacks on non-psionic minds (it is ineffective on psionic minds unless they willingly allow the Contact to take place). In order to open a psionic mind, psionic attack forms must be used instead. To make contact, a single PSP is spent and a normal MAB roll is made versus the target's MAC. Success indicates that one tangent as been gained on the target. Each attack made grants the target a Will save versus a DC of 18. Success indicates that the target notices that someone is tampering with his mind (he gets a slight headache, his brain itches, etc.). If the psionicist rolls a natural 1, the target is aware of the intrusion, and may sound the alarm. Note that psionicist class characters gain this feat for free at first level.

Harness Subconscious: With this feat, a psionicist can temporarily boost his PSP total. In order for this feat to work, the psionicist must be at his maximum PSP total. He must spend 48 consecutive hours in deep meditation, gathering energy from his subconscious reserves. Once the time has passed, he will have increased his PSP total by 20% (rounded up). These PSPs remain available for 72 hours, or until they are used up. At the end of the 72 hour period, he loses an amount of PSPs equal to the amount of PSPs he gained (though this cannot take his total below zero). During the period of boosted energy, the psionicist cannot recover PSPs if his current total equals or exceeds his normal maximum amount. Once all bonus PSPs have been used, he can recover PSPs normal up to his usual maximum.

Meditative Focus: This feat allows a psionicist to focus his mental energy into one discipline, causing all known powers within that discipline to receive MAB roll bonuses; known powers within other disciplines receive MAB penalties. The psionicist must meditate for 12 consecutive hours, and he recovers PSPs as normal during this time. When the period ends, the character's energy has been focused into the chosen discipline. All MAB rolls for powers within that discipline receive a +2 bonus for the next 24 hours, or until the psionicist's PSP total is reduced to 0, whichever comes first. Other disciplines receive a -1 penalty for the same length of time.

Mental Armor: This feat can be taken once, and grants a one-time bonus of +2 to a character's MAC.

Psionic Detection: With this feat, a character uses his latent psionic ability to detect the expenditure of PSPs around him. The character must clear his mind and concentrate for at least a minute in order to prepare. Once ready, the character can detect the expenditure of PSPs within 150 feet of his location, regardless of intervening material objects. A character can maintain use of this feat for successive rounds, but during that time he can't move or perform any other actions.

Psychic Domination: When a psionicist with this power has opened an opponent's mind, the DC of the Will save his opponent must make to close his mind is increased by +2.

Rejuvenation: This feat allows a psionicist to recover PSPs more quickly than normal by entering a rejuvenating trance. For every hour the psionicist remains in this state of deep concentration, he regains PSPs at twice the usual rate (1/4th of his total per hour instead of 1/8th). While in the trance, he cannot expend PSPs or use any psionic powers. The trance resembles very deep sleep, and while using this feat the psionicist is completely helpless.

Slippery Mind: This feat grants the psionicist a +2 bonus on attempts to close his own mind after it has been opened.

Psionic Combat

Mental combat between psionicists works pretty much like it does normally. Treat the use of psionics much as magic spells are treated in D&D 3rd edition, with the exception that using a psionic power doesn't always provoke an attack of opportunity (it really depends on how obvious the power is).

Converted Psionic Powers

        The following are powers that have been converted to this "new" system for use in 3rd edition. Unless the effects of the powers have been radically altered, or rules clarifications must be made, there were likely be no detailed description, and you will have to consult either the Complete Psionicist's Handbook, or The Way of the Psionicist for details.

All-Round Vision (clairsentient devotion, Kaylene)
DC: 12
PSP Cost: 5/2
Range: Personal
Area of Effect: Personal
Prerequisite: None
Description: This power lets the user see in all directions simultaneously. This has obvious benefits, including a +2 bonus on all Spot rolls made while the power is in effect. However, the user of the power has a -4 penalty to save against all gaze attacks.
Natural 20: In addition to enhanced vision, the user also gains low light vision (60' range).
Natural 1: The psionicist is blind for 1d4 hours.
Body Control (psychometabolic devotion, Shialu)
DC: 15
PSP Cost: 6/2
Range: Personal
Area of Effect: Personal
Prerequisite: None
Description: No changes.
Natural 20: The psionicist can adapt himself to a new environment while maintaining the power (no new roll is needed).
Natural 1: The character becomes even more vulnerable, and the environment causes 1d4 points of damage per round (in addition to any other damage caused). A second use of Body Control halts the damage.

Body Equilibrium (psychometabolic devotion, Azurite)
DC: 14
PSP Cost: 2/1
Range: Personal
Area of Effect: Personal
Prerequisite: None
Description: No changes.
Natural 20: The effect lasts up to a full day without maintenance.
Natural 1: The psionicist's weight rises by a factor of 10; he must use Body Equilibrium successfully in order to fix the problem.

Catfall (psychometabolic devotion, Memdi)
DC: 13
PSP Cost: 4/2
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: Personal
Prerequisite: None
Description: No changes.
Natural 20: The psionicist can jump 50' instead of thirty with a single use of this power.
Natural 1: No effect.

Cell Adjustment (psychometabolic devotion, Innath)
DC: 14
PSP Cost: 5+
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: Individual
Prerequisite: None
Description: No change, except that "MTHAC0" should be read as "MAB."
Natural 20: All disease -- or up to ten points of damage -- is instantly healed at a cost of 5 PSPs.
Natural 1: The psionicist suffers 1d10 points of damage, but the patient is unaffected (unless, of course, the psionicist is the patient).

Control Light (psychokinetic devotion, Adam)
DC: 12
PSP Cost: 6/2
Range: Close
Area of Effect: 400 square feet
Prerequisite: None
Description: This power allows the user to manipulate ambient light. He can't create light from darkness, but he can create darkness from light. Use of control light can accomplish the following:
1. Deepen existing shadows. A person hidden in such shadows receives a +4 bonus to all Hide rolls.
2. Brighten existing shadows. A person hidden in such shadows receives a -4 penalty to all Hide rolls.
3. Brighten a light source until it becomes blinding. Those exposed to such light receive a -2 penalty to all attack rolls.
4. Dim a light source. This has no effect on attack rolls.
5. Extend shadows into areas that are well-lit. Only existing shadows can be lengthened, increasing in size by 200%.
6. Extend light into areas that are in shadow. Shadows can be reduced by 50%.
Natural 20: The maintenance cost is reduced to 1 PSP per round.
Natural 1: The effect is the opposite of what is desired, and maintenance fails.

Displacement (pyschometabolic devotion, Unok)
DC: 14
PSP Cost: 4/2
Range: Personal
Area of Effect: Personal
Prerequisite: None
Description: No changes, aside from the AC bonus being +2.
Natural 20: The AC bonus is increased to +4.
Natural 1: No effect.

Molecular Agitation (psychokinetic devotion)
DC: 10
PSP Cost: 7/3
Range: Medium
Area of Effect: 1 item, 20 pounds
Prerequisite: None
Notes: This power enables the user to excite the molecules of a substance, causing paper to ignite, wood to smolder, or skin to blister, for example. The degree of destruction is as follows, depending on the number of rounds the item is agitated:
One Round: Readily flammable materials, such a paper and dry grass, ignite; skin becomes red and tender (1 point of damage); wood becomes dark.
Two Rounds: Wood smolders and smokes; metal becomes hot to the touch; skin blisters (1d4 points of damage); hair melts; paint shrivels.
Three Rounds: Wood ignites; metal scorches (1d4 points of damage); skin burns away (1d6 points of damage); water boils, lead melts. Damage doesn't intensify beyond this round, but it does continue.
Four Rounds: Steel grows soft.
Five Rounds: Steel melts.
Magical items receive Fortitude saving throws against magical fire (the heat produced by this power is highly destructive as it comes from inside the item instead of outside). The DC of the save is equal to 10 + ½ Psionicist Level + Psionicist Ability Modifier.
Natural 20: After the first round, the rate of agitation doubles (three rounds of damage occurs in just two, five rounds of damage occurs in three).
Natural 1: An item belonging to the psionicist (chosen at random) is affected for one round.