Psion Prestige Class : Anarchic Initiate
"Despite its fervent, biting nature, raw emotion is nothing compared to the raw chaos of real, physical anarchy!" - Embersage Fenwillow
The anarchic initiate is more than a wilder; he is an initiate to the truth that underlies the wildness in the depth of his being. Wildness is not merely a psychological trait - rather, it is an aspect of cosmology itself, characterized by the entropic realm of Limbo, a realm of utter randomness. By recognizing this link, an initiate slowly learns to synchronize the wild outbursts of his own mind with natural swells of anarchy, thereby achieving even greater heights of psionic mastery according to the tides of chance and uncertainty. By coupling his psionic efforts with the swells of planar movement, an anarchic initiate cannot only touch chaos, but draw it through into the real world. A true master can even learn to puncture a hole directly into limbo. The wilder class provides characters both the proper frame of mind and the wild surge class feature, and thus is the most standard beginning for anarchic initiates. The prestige class also draws those who, through natural talent or a desire to live on the edge, have learned to channel psionic power to great effect at a cost to their own bodies.
Since anarchic initiates are still concerned with manifesting powers, very few initiates multiclass (aside from the levels they take in their original class), because few desire to lose any levels of manifesting ability.
To qualify to become an Anarchic Initiate, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Alignment: Any chaotic
- Skills: Knowledge (psionics) 8 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 8 ranks.
- Special: Wild surge class feature or Overchannel feat.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Anarchic initiates devote themselves not to conquering the chaos within their minds, but to subsuming themselves within it and, by doing so, enhancing their connection to the anarchy within the universe as a whole until they can bring forth primal chaos at will. All of the following are class features of the anarchic initiate prestige class.
Powers Known: At every level, you gain additional power points per day, an increase in manifester level, and access to new powers as if you had also gained a level in whatever manifesting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one manifesting class before becoming an anarchic initiate, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining power points per day, powers known, and manifester level.
Chaotic Surge (Su): You embrace the chaos that underlies both your own turbulent mind and that of reality itself. Whenever you attempt a wild surge, you can instead choose to attempt a chaotic surge.
When you attempt a chaotic surge, the benefit (and potential enervation) of a standard wild surge is unchanged. In addition to these effects, whenever you attempt a wild surge, you can choose to infuse the surge with the boiling possibility of real chaos. All variable numeric effects of a power successfully manifested with a chaotic surge are altered by a variable amount.
A character with the Overchannel feat instead of the wild surge ability can also benefit from chaotic surge. The ability functions as described above, except you can activate it when using Overchannel. The benefits of Overchannel (and the damage you take from it) are unchanged.
Roll d% to determine the result, according to the following table.
The variable numeric change from the chaotic surge is calculated after the power's level is adjusted for the base effect of the wild surge or Overchannel. Once the effective level of the power is determined, it is modified according to the table.
A result of none means the power manifests normally (but taking into account the wild surge or Overchannel). A result of minus 50% means all variable numeric effects of the power function at half normal level, rounding down. A result of plus 50% means that all variable numeric effects of the power are increased by one-half (much as if the power had been altered with the Empower Power feat). A result of double means all variable numeric effects of the power are maximized, as if by the Maximize Power feat. For the purposes of feats that modify potential downsides of psychic enervation, a chaotic surge counts as a wild surge.
Anarchic Grace (Su): At 2nd level, you more fully accept the random nature of reality. Once per day, you can tap into this randomness to make your movements and posture unpredictable. This effect results in attackers having a 20% miss chance on all their attacks. Even true seeing and similar effects can't offset this ability. Activating the effect is a free action, and it lasts for a number of rounds equal to your class level. When it ends, you are automatically treated as if enervated.
Wild Surge (Su): As you continue to gain levels, you improve your wild surge ability. Your wild surge improves at 3rd level and again at 7th level. The number indicated on the Anarchic Initiate table is added to your current wild surge ability rating to determine the boost given to your manifester level. If you do not already have the wild surge ability, you gain it at 3rd level. This ability functions as the wilder class feature.
Psychic Enervation (Ex): At 3rd level, you gain the psychic enervation class feature if you do not already have it.
Clarity of Confusion (Su): Starting at 4th level, you gain a +2 insight bonus on saves against compulsion effects and effects with the lawful descriptor.
Chaotic Breach, Minor (Su): At 6th level, you can breach reality itself, allowing the chaotic influence of limbo to seep into reality. You can trigger a breach a number of times per day equal to your class level. Once a breach comes fully into being, it has a duration of 1 round per class level (you can dismiss it early as a free action).
As a standard action, you can trigger a chaotic breach that takes 1d4 rounds to fully come into being, accompanied by discharges of multicolored light, wild gusts, and deep rumbling sounds. The breach occurs in a 20-foot-radius spread, the center of which you can place up to 100 feet away. Once it is placed, the spread is fixed.
Once the breach is fully realized, all powers, psi-like abilities, spells, and spell-like abilities manifested, cast, or used in the affected radius are impeded by the chaotic energies of Limbo and have a chance to go awry. Your ability to manifest powers or use psi-like abilities is unimpeded. All other manifesters, spellcasters, or creatures must make a manifester level check or caster level check against a DC of 10 + 1/2 your class level + the level of the attempted power or spell.
If the check fails, roll on the table in the Wild Magic section to determine the outcome of the effect. The table only references spells, but powers are affected in the same way. Exceptions include references to a spell not being expended (power points are not expended, instead) or to material components not being expended (since powers do not have components).
Postpone Enervation: At 8th level, you discover that cause and effect are bound less tightly then you had realized. You gain the Postpone Enervation feat as a bonus feat.
Chaotic Breach, Complete (Su): At 10th level, you can completely pierce reality and punch a hole into the outer plane of Limbo once per day. As with a minor chaotic breach, you can trigger the breach as a standard action; it takes 1d4 rounds to fully come into being. Once a breach comes fully into being, it has a duration of 1 round per class level (you can dismiss it early as a free action).
When a complete breach occurs, it rips a hole in reality. The hole takes the shape of a 10-foot-radius sphere in the center of a 50-foot-radius spread (the same radius as a minor breach) on both affected planes. This larger area exists on both affected planes and contains the traits of both affected planes. The hole at the center is an open portal between the planes, where creatures from either plane can move through the breach at will.
If you choose to form the breach directly on a creature, the creature must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your class level + your Cha modifier). On a successful save, the breach forms normally 1d4 rounds later (and with enough warning for the creature to move away from the rift). On a failed save, the breach doesn't form at all; instead, the subject is pushed bodily through into Limbo. Unless the creature has a method of returning, it is marooned in the chaotic realm of limbo.
|Anarchic Initiate||Hit Die: d6|
|1st||+0||÷0||+0||+2||Chaotic surge||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||.Anarchic grace||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|3rd||+2||+1||+1||+3||Wild surge +1, psychic enervation||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|4th||+3||+1||+1||+4||Clarity of confusion||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|5th||+3||+1||+1||+4||-||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|6th||+4||+2||+2||+5||Chaotic breach, minor||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|7th||+5||+2||+2||+5||Wild surge +2||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|8th||+6||+2||+2||+6||Postpone Enervation||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|9th||+6||+3||+3||+7||-||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
|10th||+7||+3||+3||+7||Chaotic breach, complete||+1 level of existing manifesting class|
Playing An Anarchic Initiate
As an anarchic initiate, you adventure to practice your abilities and gain further understanding and mastery of the linkage of chaos with the material world, where all the various elements of cosmology intersect. During your constant exploration, you can offer assistance to those who suffer under the tyranny of laws too narrowly interpreted (and might in fact delight in undertaking such causes). You are living proof that the universe is formed of anarchy and chaos, and you delight in bringing aspects of this truth to the attention of those who cling to the illusion of order and security, especially when those false ideals threaten the well-being of others.
There is an organization known as the Scofflaws that draws initiates into its fold. Its mandate is to fight oppressive authority and foster a sense of independence from senseless rules. However, anarchic initiates are always suspicious of doctrine and organized groups, even among their own number. You must overcome a basic prejudice in order to associate with movements or causes of any sort (though adventuring groups are typically too small to trigger this prejudice).
Sometimes a would-be wilder seeks to study with an anarchic initiate for a period, because the initiate understands the basic passions, triggers, and psychological techniques required to trigger a wild surge. Initiates have a distaste for indoctrination, and they typically refrain from evangelizing even to wilders. If properly petitioned, however, you need not be shy in explaining your philosophy and offering further instruction on the topic.
In combat, you use your impressive array of psionic powers for both attack and defense against your enemies and opponents, just as any other psionic character would. Of course, as a wilder and an anarchic initiate, you can call upon swells of psionic potential that regular psionic characters cannot access (in the form of wild and chaotic surges).
When you reach 6th level, you can attempt to neutralize the abilities of spellcasting or manifesting foes with your minor chaotic breach ability-if you're working alone, be sure to center the breach on yourself to have the optimal effect.
Once you gain the complete chaotic breach ability at 10th level, you might want to save the use of this ability until you fight against a particularly potent foe. Use it by forming the breach directly on your opponent and try to push it into limbo. If successful, you have put an end to your difficulties, and your opponent will probably not trouble you again.
Prior to your becoming an anarchic initiate, chaos and the nature of reality likely held some significant degree of fascination for you. Since you devoted yourself to studying the effects of these forces and attuning yourself with them, you have likely continued with research into psionics, wild surges, and the planes (particularly limbo). The rest of your time is spent in practical application of your research - after all, psionic characters are a cerebral bunch who learn the truths of their abilities through self-contemplation, at least in part.
Your path is your own, since no overarching organization of anarchic initiates exists to recruit you into its ranks. The very idea is comical, as individualistic as you and the few other initiates you have met are. While you are happy to discuss your research and beliefs with other initiates or wilders, you don't particularly have a need to seek them out.
In many ways, the anarchic initiate prestige class can be viewed as the natural continuation of the wilder class. As with regular wilders, it isn't a bad idea for an initiate to pick up the Enervation Endurance feat. As you increase in level, the powers you choose should include ones that have variable numeric effects, since the chaotic surge is dependent on this quality. Of course, any time you can discover some method through which to learn or add the chaos descriptor to a power, you should do so.
Anarchic initiates can attempt to make contacts with the Scofflaws or similar splinter groups for information or temporary aid, if they can overcome their own prejudice against asking an organization for anything.
Anarchic Initiates In The World
"Most initiates have nothing but disdain for kings, governors, dukes, ruling councils, and other authorities. While this isn't necessarily a bad trait, open, public scorn of Officialdom tends to create powerful enemies. Subtle, anarchs are not." -Ialdabode, warning his pupil against the path of the anarchic initiate
Anarchic initiates can be present in any world that is widely populated with psionic creatures and characters. They represent a random element, change for change's own sake. They are the quintessential activists, always looking to overturn the rule of bad laws (if they are good-aligned), or overthrowing well-governed republics (if evil). Neutral initiates are rare, but such characters often become legendary within the ranks of their comrades, since their vision is unclouded by moral concerns.
Anarchic initiates spend their days in travel and contemplation, with an occasional rant and wild outburst (usually against the foes an adventurer comes across). Anarchic initiates enjoy speaking about their philosophy, both the cosmological implications of chaos underlying reality and the role of anarchy in the power structures of sentient creatures.
While the vast majority of anarchic initiates avoid large organizations, a few loosely knit groups exist. One such group is the Scofflaws, made up primarily of anarchic initiates.
The Scofflaws is only an organization in the loosest sense. It is almost more a concept than a group, in that it is made up of small cells that come together to accomplish specific tasks and then disband. The cells have no hierarchy to answer to and act independently of any other existing cells. Its members are expected to find their own problems to solve and recruit others to help complete the cell as necessary.
A normal Scofflaws cell consists of characters with different abilities, including those with martial, spellcasting, divine, or psionic training. No cell is allowed to exist for longer than it takes to achieve a particular goal. While many of those who made up a previous cell might also make up the next cell, the Scofflaws believe that the continuous, unbroken existence of a cell would lead to doctrine, laws, and loss of random uncertainty. Because the group has no headquarters or centralized location for meetings, it is difficult for people to petition the Scofflaws for aid, or to take vengeance against a Scofflaw cell for its actions.
The founder of the Scofflaw concept, a halfling named Embersage Fenwillow, is herself an anarchic initiate. In crafting the organization, such as it is, she attempted to balance the good that an organized body can accomplish against the evil an organized body can do if it is burdened with bylaws and founded on unchanging principles. She also enjoyed the inherent chaos of breaking apart and putting together a group of people over an uncertain time interval.
To form a cell on your own, you must have previously been a part of a Scofflaw cell and successfully completed its mission, Once someone fits the above criteria, that person is free to organize a cell of his or her own, pulling people together for the purpose at hand and then dissolving the group once the goal has been achieved.
Most people are nor aware that anarchic initiates draw their power from a mental connection with the plane of limbo. Chaos and anarchy are viewed as more dangerous than law, however, so general NPC attitudes toward someone calling himself an anarchic initiate range from indifferent to unfriendly. If an NPC actually witnesses an anarchic initiate breaching reality with leakage from the plane of Limbo, the resultant fear shifts the NPC's attitude toward hostile.
Groups in power (especially those who abuse their power) sometimes pass rules to ban (or take into custody) anarchic initiates, if they know of the profession.
Anarchic Initiate Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (psionics) or Knowledge (the planes) can research anarchic initiates to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
- DC 10: An anarchic initiate can trigger a type of fit that can supercharge his psionic abilities - unless it knocks him for a loop instead.
- DC 15: An anarchic initiate is a kind of psionic wilder, one who embraces the chaos that he says underlies all of reality.
- DC 20: Anarchic initiates can tap into limbo, the plane of chaos itself.
Finding an anarchic initiate is a hit-or-miss proposition at best, unless you happen to be a wilder. Wilders more commonly become anarchic initiates than any other class in the game, and thus have more connections to anarchic initiates than any other group. Should a character wish to find an anarchic initiate, add a +2 circumstance bonus on the check if he or she is asking a wilder for information.
Anarchic Initiates In The Game
Players who take on the role of anarchic initiates should be reminded that it is only large power structures and ridiculous rules that are anathema to the class-the interpersonal interactions of a small group of adventures is the sort of chaotic interaction that anarchic initiates prefer.
Players who enjoy challenging the status quo will likely enjoy playing anarchic initiate characters. Characters who embrace the chaotic side of life also make good initiates, as do those who enjoy taking on injustice or larger-than-life quests.
If an anarchic initiate wants to play in a campaign cosmology that doesn't include Limbo, it is easy enough to change the focus of the character to a different chaotic realm, chaotic deity, or powerful item that encompasses uncertainty.
For instance, in a FORGOTTEN REALMS campaign, an anarchic initiate might draw her chaotic inspiration from the outer plane of Fury's Heart, or even from an aspect of Talos himself. In an EBERRON campaign, an anarchic initiate could be inspired by the plane of Kyrhri, the Churning Chaos.
The PCs might encounter Embersage Fenwillow at any time, particularly if they are traveling in a city or region thick with years of petrified law or orthodox tradition. Her perception of the characters varies depending on whether they are agents of that law or transgressors of it.
El 11: Embersage Fenwillow accosts the characters during some yearly festival or outside the offices of a royal court or governmental institution. Depending on their public status at the time, she either invites them to join a Scofflaw cell she is forming or attacks them for being agents of the government she is trying to dismantle.
Source: Complete Psionic
Older Prestige class adapted to 3.5