Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry part 5

Now we come to the list of psionic powers that each class has access to. The first thing to note is that we get confirmation that Paladins, Rangers, Assassins, and Illusionists can all be psionic. Only Druids and Monks are specifically ruled out. It’s interesting to see here that the rule books are referencing stuff that had only been printed in The Strategic Review. It’s a far cry from the highly optional content of later TSR magazines.

Fighting Men, Rangers and Paladins: Earlier, these classes were said to have access to psionic powers based on the discipline of yoga. I can see that. Most of the powers are to do with controlling the wielder’s own body or using standard telepath/telekinetic type stuff. Each class has a selection of basic powers and superior powers.

The fighter’s basic powers are as follows:

Reduction: The user can shrink up to 1 foot per level. Not too useful at first, but once you hit level six and can become the size of an ant the possibilities open up. That's the example given, but I assume your average Hobbit could become ant-sized at level three.

Expansion: The fighter can get bigger, and his strength increases proportionately. I guess a look at the heights of the various types of giants would give a good indication of damage bonuses and such.

Levitation: It’s about the same as the spell.

Domination: Gives you complete control over the subject, but it costs more points the more hit dice the target has.

Mind Over Body: Lets you ignore the need for 'certain bodily needs' for days at a time. They mean food, water and sleep, of course.

Invisibility: Like the standard spell, where attacking makes you visible again.

Precognition: Ugh. Gives the user a chance to correctly predict the immediate future. They try to balance it out by giving chances for failure, and greater cost the more factors are involved in the prediction. But these types of powers are usually pretty rough on the DM.

Suspend Animation: Lets the user play dead effectively.

Body Equilibrium: Lets the user walk on water or quicksand or any other soft surface.

Clairaudience and Clairvoyance: Like the spells, but at the 7th level, Clairvoyance becomes unlimited by distance! That’s pretty powerful, basically giving the user the ability to spy on anyone, anywhere on the whole planet. Yikes!

Body Weaponry: The user has to give up weapons and armor in order to forge his own body into a living weapon. It sounds good, and at higher levels it is, but surviving those lower levels at Armour Class 8, with a punch that does 1d4 damage? Good luck with that! It will all seem worth it once your punch hits like a +5 sword, I suppose.

Another nice touch is the way this power ties in with the Weapon vs. AC tables. Basically, at each level your fist is equivalent to a certain weapon: dagger at 1st, hand axe at 2nd, mace at 3rd, etc. You use the most favourable of these against the armour type you are facing. So a 1st level guy has no choice but to attack like a dagger, but the 3rd level guy can choose dagger, hand axe or mace, whichever helps him to hit more easily. I’m picturing one of those dudes from kung fu movies who is always changing his stance and using bizarre little hand gestures and finger strikes, and alternating between open hand strikes and punching with his fist.

And now to the Superior Powers:

Energy Control: Lets the user channel energy attacks directed at him around his body, thus taking no damage. That means fire balls, lightning bolts, dragon breath, etc. Nice power if you can get it!

Telekinesis: Much like the spell.

Dimension Walking: The user can walk through dimensions in order to travel to other places faster. So it doesn’t seem like you can use this power to get to Tarterus or anything, but it’ll get you to the supermarket in 5 seconds.

Astral Projection: Much like the spell, with a few minor differences. The speed at which you can project starts at walking speed, and gets faster as you gain levels. Get this: at 10th level, you can astrally project your mind out into space at the speed of light! So, so rad.

The idea is introduced that the astral form is connected to the physical body by a silver cord, and if this cord is broken then both are dead. Just to make it even more of a bastard, the Astral Plane is full of psychic winds that can blow you away and break the cord. It’s more likely in outer space, as well.

Molecular Rearrangement: The user can change one metal into another type – the old lead into gold trick.

Molecular Manipulation: The ability to psychically weaken certain materials and objects.

Body Control: Lets the user survive in hostile environments and extreme conditions.

Mind Bar: Let’s the user ensure that his mate’s seat won’t be taken at the bar in the pub. Haha, I kid. It really just makes the user immune to possession, such as from the magic jar spell, or by demons and devils.

So those are the Fighter’s powers, and it’s a damn handy set to have. It does indicate one interesting thing about the campaign world: they are operating on a level of scientific theory far in advance of medieval or even Renaissance society. All that talk of molecular this and that leads me to believe that the use of magic has given folks some knowledge that would otherwise be centuries in the future.

Tomorrow: I run down the power list for Magic-Users. And maybe Thieves and Clerics.

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