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Advanced Dungeon & Dragons Game Accessory

An expanded-upon version of the Player's Option Skills and Powers, Psionics section


The idea of psionics has evolved tremendously since it's introduction in 1st Edition as a 'sub-class'. In the days of 1st Edition it was about as common to have a character with psionics as it was to have a bard in the party. Since 2nd Edition, the whole thing has stayed the same, the chance of having a character with psionics still is the same chance of having a bard in the party. Luckily for all of us, bards have become possible for characters at 1st level and the psionicist character class was also born, quite a bit later I admit. The psionicist opens up new doors of possibility with their ability to penetrate any magic resistance. These characters can quickly make enemies of any mage foolish enough to tangle with them. Like mages though, they are weak at lower levels.

One of the biggest problem with psionicists is that there were no rules laid down for psionicists or DM's alike to create new powers. The only thing that was given was a whole book of powers. Luckily, most of the psionicist supporters have enough brains to use the given powers as a guideline and make their own. To make things easier, I have also made up rules for the psionicists equivalent of 'researching' like a mage researches spells. Since a psionicists powers come within themselves and not the environment and the magic power it provides, a psionicist goes about power 'research' in a different manner. More on that later in the netbook.

Psionics With psionics, a character can read the minds of others, move objects without physically touching them, or travel across vast distances in an instant. This chapter explains the game mechanics used to run psionic characters and provides enough powers to get wild talent and psionicist heroes started. Consider the definitions of the following terms:

Psionics: The practice of extraordinary psychic powers. A character who has psionic abilities harnesses the power of his or her mind to produce a particular effect. Characters who have psionic powers are either psionicists or wild talents.

Psionicist: A character who uses the force of his or her mind to affect the environment and inhabitants around them.

Wild Talent: A character from any class who has a natural psionic ability and at least one psionic power.

The psionic system presented in this chapter provides descriptions of the core powers. This chapter presents the same psionics rules that appear in the revised Dark Sun boxed set.

What’s Different?

If players are new to psionics, skip this section because the changes to the original rules from The Complete Psionics Handbook discussed below may be confusing. If players are familiar with the previous psionics rules, then a brief discussion of the changes to look for should be noted.

Many of the terms and powers used in The Complete Psionics Handbook have been retained for this new system. However, the definitions and descriptions may have changed, so read this section carefully. The most important changes to watch for are the following:

  • Attack and defense modes are no longer powers, but bonus proficiencies. The new terms are psionic attacks and psionic defenses. Psionicists gain psionic attacks and defenses automatically by level advancement. Existing characters with attack modes must select other telepathic devotions to replace them.

  • The contact power is now the contact bonus proficiency. The proficiency allows characters to participate in psionic combat. In addition, psionic combat has been simplified to work like other AD&D combat forms (that is, using attack and damage rolls). Characters who had the contact power must select another telepathic devotion to replace it.

  • Tangents have been eliminated.

  • Maintenance costs for powers have been eliminated. All powers now have a standard PSP cost per round of use and can be maintained each round by paying that cost.

  • Power scores and the optional effects of rolls of power scores and 20s have been eliminated. All characters now have mental armor classes (MAC) and mental attack numbers (MTHAC0). MTHAC0 stands for “mental THAC0” or “mental attack roll.” The acronym refers to the number (or higher) a particular character needs to roll on 1d20 to hit an opponent with a mental armor class of 0. This mechanic has two distinct uses that work in basically the same manner.

  • The power check has been eliminated. To determine the successful use of a psionic power, a character makes an MTHAC0 roll. In psionic combat, a character makes MTHAC0 rolls to break through a target’s mental defenses and open the mind. To use a psionic power on an open mind, an MTHAC0 roll is made against the power’s MAC instead of the target’s MAC. (All psionic powers have base MAC scores.) Some minds are considered open automatically (like the psionicist’s own mind for the purposes of using a power on himself). In these cases, no psionic combat is needed, for the mind is already open.

  • The metapsionics discipline has been eliminated; its powers have been redistributed among the remaining five disciplines.

Using Psionics Psionic energy can be shaped and used by psionicists and wild talents to produce desired effects, called psionic powers. All psionic powers are grouped into one of five categories, or disciplines, based on how the energy is used. The major powers of a given discipline are called sciences.

Two key concepts need to be presented before the rules for using psionics in the AD&D game are detailed. These are psionic strength points (PSPs) and mental attack rolls (MTHAC0s). These are described below.

Psionic Strength Points (PSPs): Every psionic character has an internal store of psionic energy, represented as psionic strength points. These are used to activate sciences and devotions, to focus psionic attacks, and to determine how much psionic damage a hero’s psionic defenses can stand.

Mental Attack Rolls: The success of psionic attacks against closed minds is determined by the number a character needs to roll on 1d20 to hit a specific mental armor class (MAC). The mental attack number (MTHAC0) is the number the character needs to hit a MAC of 0. When used on open minds, the roll is made against a power’s MAC. Each power has a base MAC number used to determine the difficulty of activating a psionic power against an open mind.

All psionic powers belong to one of five disciplines: clairsentience, psychokinesis, psychometabolism, psychoportation, and telepathy. Within each discipline, the powers are divided into two categories: major powers, or sciences; and minor powers, or devotions. The five disciplines are defined as follows:

Clairsentient powers allow characters to perceive things beyond the natural range of human and demihuman senses.

Psychokinetic powers move objects across space using only the energy of the mind.

Psychometabolic powers affect the user’s body by altering it in some manner.

Psychoportive powers allow psionic travel, moving characters from one location to another without crossing space.

Telepathic powers involve the direct contact of two or more minds.

Closed and Open Minds

The minds of all characters and creatures exist in one of two states: either closed or open. A closed mind has either natural or enhanced defenses that protect it from unwanted intrusion. Only those things that enter through the normal senses (such as sight, sound, taste, touch, or smell) can impact on a closed mind. The minds of all characters and creatures are naturally closed. A character can voluntarily open his or her mind to psionic contact, or a closed mind can be opened by psionic attack.

An open mind is not a natural state. For a mind to be open, psionic defenses must be voluntarily lowered (in the case of a willing subject) or breached by psionic attack (in an unwilling opponent). A psionicist’s own mind is considered open when using a psionic power with an area of effect of “personal” (such as the heightened senses devotion).

Psionics Contact Revisions:

In order to mesh the telepathy rules with the Prism Pentad series (similar to the abilities acquired by Rikus and Sadira in the Prism Pentad), nonpsionicsts will be allowed a saving throw versus contact. The ability to resist psionic contact improves with exposure, hence the saving throw will improve with experience. Also since high wisdom provides a greater chance of fighting off mind based magical attacks, it will also provide some improved protection versus psionic attacks. The magical defense bonus will be applied to the saving throw. In no case may the saving throw be modified below 8. Intelligence of the target will not increase the cost of contact.

Level Saving Throw

1-3 19

4-6 18

7-9 17

10-12 16

13-15 15

16-18 14

19-21 13

22-24 12

25-27 11

28-30 10

If a psionicist makes a successful power check and the target fails his saving throw, contact is established without the target becoming aware.

If a psionicist makes a successful power check and the target makes his saving throw, contact is not established, but the psionicist was able to break off the attempt at contact before the target became aware of it.

If a psionicist makes an unsuccessful power check, the attempt at contact fails and the target becomes aware of the attempt. If the target ceases all activity and focuses on preventing future invasions into his mind, he receives a +2 bonus on all saving throws as long as he concentrates. If he continues to engage in any activities after a failed attempt, he gains a +1 bonus to his saving throw for the next 1d6 rounds.

If a psionicist rolls his power score, in addition to the reduced maintenance cost outlined in the Psionics Handbook, the target receives a -2 penalty to his saving throw on future contact attempts if the initial attempt was thwarted by a made saving throw.

Mental Armor Class (MAC)

All characters and creatures have mental armor classes (MACs). While physical Armor Classes protect a body from physical attacks, MACs provide protection from psionic attacks. The MAC rating ranges from minimal defense (MAC 10) to maximum defense (MAC -10); there are no MACs worse than 10 or better than -10.

As with standard Armor Class, the higher the MAC number, the more vulnerable the character is to psionic attack. Likewise, with all attacks, a roll of 20 always hits and a roll of 1 always misses, regardless of the target’s MAC number.

For those who have copies of The Complete Psionics Handbook and who want to continue using the “optional results” rules (page 28), make the following change. A roll of a power’s MAC score gives the good result (what used to be signified by a roll of the power score), while a roll of 1 gives the bad result (what used to happen on a roll of 20).

To determine a base MAC number, find the character’s Wisdom score on Table 74 below. Then find the character’s Intelligence score and add the indicated MAC modifier. MACs can be improved through proficiencies and other means, as detailed later.

Table 74: Base MAC and PSP Bonuses

Ability Base MAC PSP

Score MAC Modifier Bonus

15 or less 10 0 0

16 9 -1 +1

17 8 -1 +2

18 7 -2 +3

19 6 -2 +4

20 5 -3 +5

21 4 -3 +6

22 3 -3 +7

23 2 -4 +8

24 1 -4 +9

25 0 -4 +10

Example: Tylk of the Westwoods has a Wisdom score of 18, which yields a base MAC of 7. He has an Intelligence score of 16, which gives a modifier of -1. Without other enhancements, Tylk has a MAC of 6 (7-1 = 6).

Psionic Strength Points (PSPs)

Every psionicist and wild talent character has psionic strength points, or PSPs. In many ways, PSPs are like mental hit points, though with a different function. Not only do they determine a character’s current psionic strength, they also power psionic abilities. This mental strength is used to create psionic attacks, activate psionic powers, and keep psionic defenses in place. As long as any PSPs remain, psionic defenses keep the mind closed to psionic intrusion of any sort. When a psionic character’s PSP total falls to zero, his defenses crumble and his mind is left open to psionic contact.

Each time a character uses (or attempts to use) a psionic science, devotion, or attack, he must pay the listed cost from his current PSP total. Damage caused by psionic attacks is also subtracted from PSP totals.

The PSP total for a psionicist depends on four factors: the psionicist’s Wisdom, Intelligence, and Constitution scores, and his experience level. Together, these factors determine the psionicist’s PSP pool. A 1st-level psionicist automatically gets 15 PSPs. This number is modified by bonuses granted by high ability scores. Lastly, the psionicist rolls 1d6, which is added to generate a PSP total.

The PSP total for a wild talent is determined with slight modifications. A wild talent automatically receives enough PSPs to use his power (or powers) once. In addition, he gets 10 PSPs (instead of 15) and any bonuses granted for high Wisdom, Intelligence, and Constitution scores. He also rolls 1d4, instead of 1d6.

Example: Tylk of the Westwoods has a Wisdom score of 18, an Intelligence score of 16, and a Constitution score of 17. At 1st level, he gets 21 PSPs (15 + 3 + 1 + 2 = 21) plus a 1d6 die roll. Garon, a wild talent with the same ability scores, gets 16 PSPs (10 + 3 + 1 + 2 = 16), a 1d4 die roll, and enough PSPs to use his psionic power once.

Gaining PSPs

The PSP total of psionicists and wild talents increases with every level advancement. Psionicists receive 1d6 PSPs with each level increase up to 9th level, plus any bonuses for high Wisdom, Intelligence, and Constitution scores. Starting at 9th level, psionicists gain just 3 PSPs, and they receive bonuses only for high Wisdom scores. Regardless of their Intelligence or Constitution scores, they no longer receive bonuses for these abilities. Wild talents, on the other hand, receive only 4 PSPs at each level increase, regardless of their level. Further, no die rolls or additional modifiers are applied.

Example: The psionicist Tylk of the Westwoods has a Wisdom score of 18, an Intelligence score of 16, and a Constitution score of 17. When he advances from 1st to 2nd level, he receives 1d6+6 PSPs: the automatic 1d6 die roll and a +6 bonus for his high ability scores.

Recovering PSPs

Characters recover expended PSPs by resting for specific lengths of time (minimum of one full hour). The only states of rest that allow for PSP recovery are sleep or meditation. Any other physical activity or the use of psionic powers (which expend PSPs) negates the recovery process for that hour. A character can never recover more PSPs than his maximum total.

During each hour of rest, characters recover one-eighth of their total PSPs (bearing in mind that they never recover more than their maximum total). To do this, divide a character’s PSP total by eight and round up. This is the number of PSPs the character recovers after one full hour of rest. So, if a psionicist is reduced to 0 PSPs, it takes eight full hours of rest to recover the expended PSPs-regardless of whether he has 20 or 100 PSPs.

Example: Neecha Nightmoon has a total of 48 PSPs, and she has lost 24 of them during a recent psionic battle. After an hour of sleep or meditation, Neecha can recover 6 of the expended PSPs (48 ÷ 8 = 6). She is now at 30 PSPs.

Power Score Alternative

I created this system since I was frustrated by the fact that the psionicist's power scores never got better with levels. The system is based upon percentage roles. The formula for the percentage role takes in to account the difficulty (Power score modifier) of the power, the character's level, and the level of the required proficiency attribute eg; wisdom, con, intelligence. The higher your level, stats, or both, the better you will be at a certain power. I have also played around with the Range category and weight for certain powers. A telepath using CONTACT has an unlimited range. I have incorporated % modifiers for range AND PSP modifiers. It didn't make sense to me that a telepath could spend only 3 PSP when he was contacting someone 1 mile or 1,000,000 miles away. Granted, his power score modifier was tremendous but still. DMs can play around with the numbers as they wish, they role the skill percentage secretly.


Using any psionic power is made by rolling percentile dice. There are 4 outcomes:

1. Role under your skill percentage: Power comes off with out a hitch

2. Optional: Role 1-5%: Special Bonus (See specific entry in Psionics Handbook for each power under Power score).

3. Role over your skill percentage: Power doesn't work. You still expend 1/2 the initial amount of points for the failed power.

4. Role 96-100%: Always fails. Optional rules- see the Psionics Handbook for the result of rolling a 20.


A skill percentage can be found using the following formula: Base chance of failure-(character's level * (pertinent attrib. MOD 3)) + external modifiers. Base chance of failure is the power score modifier. Pertinent attrib. is the required proficiency role attrib. eg; Wis., Intelligence., Con. MOD means the INTEGER division of the attribute by 3. NOTE: the skill percentage can never go below 0%!

Base chance Failure

0 power score modifier 6%

1 power score modifier 12%

2 power score modifier 24%

3 power score modifier 36%

4 power score modifier 48%

5 power score modifier 60%

6 power score modifier 72%

7 power score modifier 84%

8 power score modifier 96%

9 power score modifier 108%

10 power score modifier 120%

For example: If a 5 level character having the following stats: Wis.18, Con 16, Int. 14, tries to use the psychometabolic Science ENERGY CONTAINMENT, the power score is listed at CON -2. The skill percentage formula would be figured as follows: (Base failure 24%)- (5*(16MOD3=5) +0 (no external modifiers)= 24%-25%=-1% =0%

The base failure percentage comes from the power score modifier, if the power was listed as Wis -6 the base failure rate would be 72%, etc..

Now, since the energy containment power is used under stressful situations, the DM may give a 10%,20%,30% external modifier to simulate the fear of being in such a situation and its effect on the psionicist's concentration.

Example external adjustments (cumulative):

in combat +05%

attacked in melee +10%

additional attacker in melee +05% (each)

in missile combat +05%

attacked by missile fire +10%

each additional missile attacker +05%

struck for damage +50%

Along with the ability in psionics to cross vast distances, large masses, up to 1 metric ton max., can also be manipulated by the telekinetic. These abilities do not come with out a price ; distance and weight cost you more PSPs and a greater % chance for failure the more distant or heavier the object or creature is. These distance modifiers can ONLY be used for powers where the RANGE is listed as unlimited. The weight modifiers are for the psychokinetic science Telekinesis ONLY!

Distance Initial/Main. Weight Initial/Main. % Failure

in Miles points Mod. in Kilos points mod. modifier

0* 0 0-15 1 pt.per 0%


1 1.5/1 16-125 15*2/14 12%

10 2/1.25 126-250 15*3/21 21%

100 2.5/1.5 251-375 15*4/28 32%

1,000 3/1.75 376-500 15*5/35 45%

10,000 3.5/2 501-625 15*6/42 60%

100,000 4/2.25 626-750 15*7/49 77%

1,000,000 4.5/2.5 751-1000 15*8/56 96%

*0=Line of sight.


For example, if Argent is a 7th level psionicist with a wisdom of 18 and wants to CONTACT Joe(3rd level fighter) who is X(12) miles away, he will have to do the following:

1. Argent must have had prior CONTACT with Joe before. You can not contact a new mind unless your in the line of sight range. Once Argent has contacted Joe for at least 1 round, Joe's "mind print" is now known to Argent and may be recognized and search for in the future.

2. Since Argent does NOT know how far away Joe is, he can either start searching in the smallest radius first and then work his way out OR he may just try to search at say the 10 mile range.

2A. If Argent tries to do an ever widening search, the scenario runs like this:

1st attempt with in a 1 mile radius yields the equation (6%-(7*6)) -12%= -31% therefore is 0%. The DM roles a 55% and Argent's power works. He has expended 3(Joe is 3rd level)*1.5=5 (4.5 rounded up). He finds no Joe. 2nd attempt is with in the 10 mile range and yields the equation (6%-(7*6)) -21%= -19% is again 0%. The DM roles a 39% and the power works. Argent still did not find Joe and used in addition to the 5 PSPs from the last attempt, 2*3=6. So the total PSPs used by Argent is 11. 3rd attempt with in the 100 mile range yields a skill percentage of 0% again. The DM roles a 97%. Argent failed and expends (3*2.5)/2=4(rounded). His running total is now 15 PSP expended. 4th attempt with in the 100 mile range yields a successful search and he finds Joe ( he also senses that Joe is about over 10 miles away but less than 20.) He expends 8 PSPs for the successful role. The total expended is 23 PSPs. To maintain contact with Joe in the following rounds, he must expend (1 * 1.5 (the maintenance modifier))= 2 PSPs per round.

2B. Argent decides he wishes to search with in 100 miles right away. The DM roles a 96% an he fails. He expends 4 PSPs for the failure. He tries again and the DM roles 86%. Argent succeeds and expends 8 PSPs for the success and now has CONTACT with Joe. Once again he "feels" that Joe is between 10 and 20 miles away.

3. If Argent now tries to MINDLINK with Joe, he has already paid the initial cost of CONTACT. To maintain MINDLINK he will expend 8 * 1.5 (the distance maintenance modifier for 100 miles) or 10 total per round.


Psychic combat follows the rules in the Psionics Handbook. The skill percentage formula DOES NOT APPLY!

Psionic Awareness

Power Check: WS

Range: 50 yards

Psionic Awareness is termed a "psionic ability," rather than a "psionic power," since it does not belong to one of the six disciplines, does not take up a science or devotion slot, and does not cost any PSPs to initiate or maintain.

Psionicists develop their Psionic Awareness during their early training. (Wild talents do not develop this ability since they undergo no formal training in harnessing the power of the mind.) As part of the beginning stage of mental exercises that develop a psionicist's mind into a highly focused source of energy and control, neophytes are taught how to use this natural ability. (See page 81 of the TCPH, second paragraph under "Resistance" in the Contact devotion description for a basis on allowing psionicists to have "natural" abilities. Also note that although the five psionic defense modes are devotions and a science under the Telepathy discipline, psionicists learn these powers as part of their level progression and schooling, without the need to use a devotion or science slot.)

The Psionic Awareness ability allows a psionicist to recognize psionically capable minds when he initiates a mental "scan". The psionicist is able to tell which minds (within the Area of Effect) are capable of psionic activity, whether these minds are engaged in any psionic activity at that time or not. The mark of a disciplined and empowered mind is the "signature" that allows the psionicist to recognize other psionically-capable minds. (Wild talents do not have this disciplined mark on their minds since they undergo no training to develop it to this level; therefore, wild talents are not recognized by Psionic Awareness.)

Psionic Awareness does not recognize psionic activity or the expenditure of PSPs, only that a mind is disciplined and capable of such activity. The Mind Bar power prevents the Psionic Awareness scan from identifying that mind as psionically-capable, even though PSPs are being expended. (Likewise, if the Psionic Concealment power is a power available in your campaign, it prevents the scan from properly identifying as well.)

Even though Psionic Awareness costs a psionicist nothing with regards to PSP expense, there are other reasons why this is a dangerous ability to exercise. Psionicists not engaged in physical melee, psionic activity, or other focused activity will immediately recognize that they have been scanned. Further, the scanned psionicist will be able to tell where the scan originated, thereby identifying the psionicist who initiated the ability. Needless to say, utilizing this ability in unfamiliar surroundings can create quite a dangerous situation.

No psionicist appreciates being "checked out" by another. Lawful Good and Lawful Neutral psionicists who recognize that they have just been scanned will at the very least think it to be a serious breach of etiquette. Lawful evil psionicists are quite likely to launch a psionic attack upon the initiator without asking any questions. All psionicists who realize they have been scanned immediately go into a defensive mindset, and realize that they could be in store for a confrontational event.

Because a psionicist never knows what high-level psionicist they might possibly scan and thereby make an enemy of, psionicists simply do not walk down a city street with this ability maintained and "out there" for all other psionicists to pick up on. Beyond using this ability in early training to develop a psionicist's mind, the primary use of this ability is in the following manner: When a psionicist's party has already determined themselves to be in a confrontational event with another party (that will most certainly lead to combat), the psionicist will use Psionic Awareness to scan the other party members for possible psionic combatants; (and the psionicist can bet that any psionicists in the other party are scanning him at the same time!)

Finally, this ability causes psionicists to recognize other psionicists who are just coming into their mental powers. This typically occurs as a young psionicist is involved in puberty; the young psionicist may not even realize that he has psionic capability, but as part of all of the changes his body is undergoing (hormonal, mental, etc.), his untrained mind is "broadcasting" its ability. In this case, a trained psionicist does not need to make a Power Check in order to recognize the psionically-capable mind in his presence. Likewise, several psionicists who recognize a young, broadcasting psionicist in their presence will not recognize each other as scanning since they each are not having to initiate this ability -- all of the signals are being sent to them without them even trying to receive. Trained psionicists will no doubt want to get a moment alone with the young pubescent in order to tell them what they are, what they have the potential to be, and to try to convince them to begin training with their school. Young psionicists who are never exposed to another psionicist while going through this puberty period that causes this mental broadcasting, eventually mature and become wild talents.

Compilers Note: This ability would also be useful for determining if an item is the psionicist equivalent to a magical item, although it would only give an indication, either Aura Sight or Object Reading would determine this for sure.

Power Discovery Rules

The introduction of the psionicist character brings out many opportunities for new and different experiences in the AD&D game world. The main problem with the character is that, unlike mages and priests, there is no existing rules for the creation of new powers. The idea of making new powers by players poses many problems. A mage can just go to the magic guild and study existing spells to find similarities in the way that the magic is shaped. A cleric can pray to their god for a new and different power. But a psionicist's power comes from within themselves, not from a god or the magic power of the world that the character is in. Thus, a psionicist is not so much searching for a way to create a new spell that all mages can use as they are searching for the power within themselves and unleashing it.

Because they are searching within themselves for the power, a lot of meditation is involved. Therefore, the meditative focus proficiency is a requirement. The new power may not fall within the standard rules of new spells in that it cannot duplicate another power. Since self discovered powers are unique to each individual, it is possible for two psionicists to discover a similar power, each with it's own advantages and disadvantages. However, duplicating of powers in the CPH should be disallowed. As well, the creation of powers that are similar in effect to ones in a barred discipline, and yet not in that discipline, should be disallowed. It may be a combination of other powers, but be careful with this, as it is not always good for game balance. The new power should not be a way of circumventing rules that the player does not like. However, this may be allowed if a specific and logical reason is given. For example, the dreamer power Dream Link is able to avoid the problems of ejection and other powers that will break contact. The reason behind this is that the dreamer is linking on a difference consciousness (or in the actual case, sub-conscious) level that most psionicists never deal with and therefore they are not able to understand the nature of the contact. If this kind of circumventing of the rules is allowed, it should be death with in a very cautious and careful manner so as not to give the character and unfair advantage.

The steps in the creation of a new power are similar to the creation of a new spell. First the player must submit to the DM what the character hopes to create. Then the DM and the player must go over the power and talk about what it is suppose to do. Effectively, the character should write out the description of the power and possibly some of it's statistics. The Power Score and 20 results should be done later. As well, and PSP costs should be done at a later time, when the power is defined better. The DM should look for ways in which the power could be abused and misused. Fixing this should be one of the first priorities of this stage.

The next step is to determine the type of the power. A science is a more general power that is harder to learn. Telekinesis for example, is a multi-purpose power that can be used for many things. Therefore it is a science. Detonate on the other hand has a very specific purpose and is more specialized as a devotion. This is also the time to balance out the power by giving it pre-requisites as necessary and giving the PSP costs to the power. This is also the time to decide what happens when the character rolls the Power Score and a 20.

Since the psionicist does not need to research a power, just look within themselves, you might think it will take less time to get the discovery done. But because the introspection is so personal and revealing, it may take longer. As a guideline, it should take 1 day for each PSP needed for the initial cost of the PSP plus the PSP needed to maintain the power once, if that is possible. This is only a guideline, the time needed may possibly be more, possibly less depending on the potential of the power and it's type. Generally, a science will take more time than a devotion. This time should not include any traveling time needed to get to specific places.

During the introspection, the psionicist must be healthy. Adventuring may be needed, especially if the psionicist needs the advice of a wise guru and must travel to find him. This can be part of the cost of research. A psionicist may also need to purchase special incenses and potions to achieve a proper state of mind. As well, paying for any kind of healing due to mistakes made and other strange happenings may be needed. Other then that, there would be no cost. As a guideline, the cost should be the PSP of Initial cost and maintenance cost multiplied by 50 gold pieces. This should keep most powers from costing too much, but some may cost more, depending on what is needed.

The biggest thing that is needed for the power is that it will be able to be adopted by the psionicists after it is discovered. If it is a science, the psionicist must have a slot free for a science. The same goes for a devotion. As well, the power must fall within one of the previously taken disciplines or there must be a slot open for a new discipline. Unlike mages, there can be no extra powers. A mage with one more spell in his spell books than is allowed by the maximum will not unbalance a campaign because of the number of spells that there are. However, one extra discipline or science will due to their rarity.

The actual chance of discovering the power should be 100% as it is not an actual discovering of a new power, but a discovery on one's inner self and the power that they possess. Unless the DM has decided that the power cannot be discovered because of some reason it should be implemented immediately. Because it is not written down in any way, there is very little chance that a rival psionicist will learn the power. Some of the actual research might be role-played just for fun. An example might be what happens with Priran the Powerful succeed in his earth-splitting power and engulfs the city palace by mistake. This kind of thing will also give the psionicist an idea of what happens if they get the power score or a 20 on a roll.

Psionic Combat

Psionicists automatically receive the contact bonus proficiency when they are created. Contact gives them access to psionic attacks and allows them to participate in psionic combat. The psionic attacks come naturally and don’t take up any proficiency slots.

Wild talents, however, must select the contact proficiency and place it in an open nonweapon proficiency slot. (Note that this should occur at the point when a character becomes a wild talent, whether when he is first created or later in his career when his psionic ability becomes known.) Along with the proficiency, wild talents receive only one psionic attack form. However, as a wild talent rises in level and gains nonweapon proficiency slots, he may select additional attack forms. These fill open slots, and the wild talent may choose more forms (for a total of three) as he gains slots. Wild talents may never have more than three of the five psionic attacks.

Psionic combat is used to assault closed minds so that they can be opened to further psionic contact. This is accomplished like other attacks in the AD&D game system: The attacking psionicist selects an attack form and makes an MTHAC0 roll equal to or exceeding the defender’s MAC. Regardless of that MAC, a roll of 1 always fails and a roll of 20 always succeeds.

Psionic attacks can be used against psionic and nonpsionic minds. A nonpsionic mind is defined as any character without a PSP pool. The procedures are the same, but the results are slightly different.

When attacking a psionic mind, psionic combat continues until one opponent is reduced to 0 PSPs or until the battle is broken off. A mind with 0 PSPs is open and can be subjected to other psionic powers. When attacking a nonpsionic mind, however, only one successful attack is required to open the mind.

Psionic powers only can be used on open minds, whether willingly opened or attacked until that state occurs. A psionic power can be used in the same round that a mind is opened by psionic attack.

Psionic defenses, like armor and shields in physical combat, remain in place until the defender’s PSP total is reduced to 0 (in the case of a psionic character) or one successful psionic attack breaches the defenses (of a nonpsionic character).

Psionic attacks require concentration. A psionicist who uses one during a combat round can move at only half his walking rate. A character using a psionic attack also can be disrupted the same way as can a wizard casting a spell. In the round when a character using a psionic attack is disrupted, the attack can’t be used. A disrupted psionic attack costs 1 PSP for the attempt.

Psionicists can make a number of psionic attacks in a round according to their level: 1-6, 1/1 round; 7-12, 3/2 rounds; 13+, 2/1 round. Wild talents can never make more than one psionic attack in a round.

Psionicists and wild talents receive MTHAC0 bonuses depending on their Intelligence scores, making it easier to accomplish psionic attacks.

In telepathic combat, a psionicist uses a psionic attack mode to attack another. The attacker and defender must make power checks to initiate their respective attacks or defenses. Whoever makes his power check with the highest roll wins the psychic contest. If the attacker wins, he gains a tangent on the defender. If the defender wins, the attack is foiled.

Remember, a character can use a psionic defense while taking another action in the round-attacking physically, casting a spell, using a magical item, or initiating a psionic power or attack mode of his own. There can be two simultaneous telepathic combats occurring between two characters!

An overmatched psionicist may decide to defend himself while using his other action to shoot his crossbow at his tormentor, hoping to disrupt his concentration. If a character chooses to attack via the telepathic attack modes, he may make two mental attacks per round.

Another reminder: maintaining a power of any kind does not count as taking an action.

Psionic Combat Sequence

  • The DM secretly decides what actions the monsters or NPCs will take-including choosing psionic attacks and defenses (if they have access to any). The DM doesn’t announce that decision to the players.

  • The players indicate what their characters will do, including choosing psionic attacks and defenses from the ones they have access to.

  • Initiative is determined. Note that psionic attacks and powers don’t have initiative modifiers.

  • Attacks are made in order of initiative.

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