Psion Prestige Class : Mind Mage

by Clifford Horowitz, Dragon #313

The mind mage is an introspective arcanist who uses his self-awareness to understand the mysteries of the world around him. Anyone who can meet the prerequisites can use psi-spell feats, but the resulting blends of psionic and magical power are not merely extra abilities to a mind mage. To him, they are the only effective way to access power - casting spells or manifesting psionic powers without blending the two is as mundane to him as basic weapon-play is to wizards and psions. Festooned with tattoos that trace routes of power over his body and swathed in voluminous robes that shimmer with magical runes, the mind mage is the ultimate psi-spellcaster, the perfect blending of internal strength and external power.

Most mind mages are illithids. Aside from the fact that the mind flayers developed the technique that defines this class, their burgeoning intellects and impressive psionic abilities make them naturals for it. But although they guard their secrets zealously, illithids have been known to share their knowledge on occasion, and a few members of other races have also attained entry into the prestige class. Most of these non-illithid mind mages are illithidkin, though there are a few that are not blind servants to the Illithid Empire. Psion/wizards and psion/sorcerers are virtually the only characters who possess the aptitude and interest to become mind mages.


To qualify to become a Mind Mage, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The mind mage's class skills are Autohypnosis, Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (all skills taken individually), Psicraft, and Spellcraft.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Mind Mage Class Features

All the following are class features of the mind mage prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A mind mage gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Spells per Day/Spells Known: At 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th level, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in whatever arcane spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus metamagic or item creation feats, bard or assassin abilities, and so on), except for an increased effective level of spellcasting.

If the character had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a mind mage, he must decide to which class he adds each level of mind mage for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.

Power Points per Day/Powers Discovered: At 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th level, the character gains power points per day and discovers powers as if he had also gained a level in whatever psionic class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained, except for an increased level of manifesting.

If the character had more than one psionic class before becoming a mind mage, he must decide to which class he adds each level of mind mage for the purpose of determining power points per day and powers discovered.

Psionic Components (Ex): The mind mage's merger of psionics and magic starts at 1st level, when he learns to use one discipline to power the abilities of the other. When casting a spell, he may substitute power points for verbal and somatic components, and for material components worth 1 gp or less. The mind mage must pay 2 power points per spell level for each component so replaced. Using this ability does not require an action.

Compensation (Ex): At 2nd level, armed with a better understanding of the interplay between psionic and magical power, the mind mage can blend his energies in more significant ways. Whenever he casts a spell or manifests a power using a metamagic or metapsionic feat that would normally increase the level of the spell slot occupied or the power point cost of the effect, he may instead meet that cost using an alternate form of energy. For every 3 power points spent on a spell enhanced with a metamagic feat, the mind mage may offset the spell level increase by one. Likewise, for every spell level spent on a power enhanced with a metapsionic feat, he may reduce the additional power point cost by 2. This ability may not be used in conjunction with psi-spell feats, and it cannot reduce the level or power point cost below the amount needed for the original effect.

Psionic Reinforcement: The ambient power of the mind mage's psyche now serves to focus his magical manifestations. When he reaches 3rd level, the save DC for each of his spells that allows a save increases by +1 as long as his power point reserve is 5 or greater. When he reaches 9th level, this adjustment increases to +2 as long as he retains 10 power points in reserve. Should his power points dip below 10 but remain at 5 or higher, the +1 increase remains in effect.

Force Touch (Su): By the time a mind mage reaches 4th level, the touch of his mind is no different from the touch of his body. He may now deliver any spell that requires a touch attack using any one of the following force powers that he knows: concussion, detonation, greater concussion, lesser concussion, mass concussion, true concussion. The force power has its normal effect in addition to delivering the spell. If the chosen force power affects more than one target, the mind mage must choose one of the targets to whom he has line of sight and line of effect to receive the touch attack. Force powers that do not deal damage cannot be used to deliver a touch spell. The mind mage must make a successful ranged touch attack to hit the target, and spell resistance applies to both the force power and the touch spell (requiring two separate spell resistance check to be made, if necessary). The touch spell must be prepared that day if the mind mage prepares spells, or he must have a spell slot available at the touch spell's level or higher if he casts spells spontaneously. Using this ability does not require an action and it does not increase the manifestation time of the force power, but any somatic components required for the casting of the touch spell must still be expended (although these could be offset by the compensation ability and the expenditure of extra force points as described above).

Twin Wells (Su): By 5th level, the mind mage has learned enough of the similarities of psionics and magic to bend his abilities in favor of one or the other temporarily. Once per day, as a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity, he may focus his energies toward either psionics or magic. Thereafter, he adds all his mind mage levels to either his psionic class or his arcane spellcasting class for the purpose of determining caster or manifester level, as applicable, for the next 24 hours. This enables the mind mage to make caster or manifester level checks (such as for dispel magic or spell penetration) at the increased level, and all your spells or powers (depending on your selection for the day) are treated as if cast or manifested from a higher-level caster or manifester. This ability does not change the number of spells he can cast or his power point pool.

For example, the 5th-level wizard/5th-level psion/5th-level mind mage Quellthik chooses to use twin wells to increase his psion manifester level. At this level, his manifester level is 8th. Once twin wells is active, Quellthik's manifester level becomes 13th (8 original manifester levels + mind mage levels = 13).

This effect cannot be ended prematurely.

Magical Reinforcement (Su): When the mind mage reaches 6th level, his magical prowess gives him the ability to focus his psionic manifestations. Once per day per mind mage level, the mind mage can increase the effective level of one of his powers by one level, as the Heighten Power feat, at no additional cost in power points. The increase can only be one level, and the mind mage chooses whether to use magical reinforcement at the time he activates the power. This ability can be used in conjunction with the Heighten Power feat to give the mind mage effectively one level of increase for free, should he use the feat to increase the power's effective level by more than one level.

Focus of Discipline (Ex): By 7th level, the mind mage can freely pull from both his psionic and his magical reserves to fuel either sort of ability. He may spend power points to cast spells with less magical energy or translate arcane power into psionic power points.

When casting a spell, the mind mage may lower its effective spell level (and thus the spell slot it occupies) by spending 8 power points per level of reduction (minimum level 1st). Similarly, he may reduce the power point cost of a psionic power by 2 per spell level so expended. Unlike the compensation ability (see above), focus of discipline decreases the base level of the spell or the base cost of the power rather than negating additional spell level or power point costs from metamagic or metapsionic feats.

A spell prepared in a lower-level slot or a power manifested for less than its normal power point cost counts as a correspondingly lower-level effect for the purposes of dispelling, saving throw DC, and identification for counterspelling. Use the new, lowered slot to determine the appropriate values.

For example, suppose Quellthik (wizard 5/psion 5/mind mage 8) decides that cone of cold will be a useful spell for his upcoming battle. But his combined levels of wizard and mind mage grant him access to only a single 5th-level spell, and he will undoubtedly need more than one cone of cold. He prepares the first as his sole 5th-level spell. Then, using the focus of discipline ability, he spends 8 power points and prepares a second cone of cold as a 4th-level spell. This second cone of cold deals just as much damage as the 5th-level spell, but since it's a 4th-level spell, the Reflex DC is 14 + Quellthik's Intelligence modifier (instead of 15 + his Intelligence modifier). The spell is also correspondingly easier to identify with a Spellcraft check.

Quellthik cannot prepare the cone of cold as a 3rd-level spell because the cost of doing so (a total of 16 power points) would exceed his allowed power point limit (manifester level -1), even if he used focus of discipline to raise his manifester level. A mind mage capable of spending 16 power points to achieve this effect, however, could cast cone of cold as a 3rd-level spell, dealing the same amount of damage as the 5th-level version, but with a save DC of 13 + spell level.

Painful Premonition (Su): At 8th level, the mind mage can deliver an excruciating vision of the future just before a damaging spell or power, letting the target see the result moments before the effect actually occurs. This premonition results in such a shock to the target's nervous system that it not only causes neurological damage but also stuns the target during the crucial seconds required to avoid the incoming attack, thereby making the vision a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When the mind mage uses this power to augment a damage-producing effect, the target must make a Will save as though the mind mage had used a 6th-level telepathic power. Success negates all effects of the premonition, including its damage. Failure imposes a -2 penalty on the target's saving throw (if any) against the incoming effect and deals nonlethal damage equal to the damage of the incoming spell or power. If the target somehow escapes some of the damage from the incoming effect (via evasion, a successful saving throw, or the like), then an equivalent portion of the nonlethal damage is immediately negated, since that particular future was averted. Mindless creatures, creatures immune to mind-affecting effects, and those with no discernible anatomy are immune to the effects of this ability.

The mind mage may use painful premonition a number of times per day equal to the ability modifier that controls his primary discipline, or his highest ability modifier if he has no primary discipline.

Twin Wells Same Source (Ex): When the mind mage reaches 10th level, the merger between his magical ability and his psionic power is complete. This ability replaces twin wells (see above) and functions exactly like it except as detailed here.

As a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity, the character may add his full mind mage class level to both his magical and his psionic class levels for the purpose of determining caster or manifester level. Furthermore, invoking this ability enables him to add together the key ability modifier for his psionic powers and the ability modifier that controls his spellcasting when using any psi-spell ability. (If both use the same modifier, simply double it.) This ability, like twin wells, can be invoked once per day, and it lasts for 24 hours.

Mind MageHit Die: d4
1st+0+0+0+2Psionic Components+1 level of existing class+1 level of existing class
3rd+1+1+1+3Psionic reinforcement +1+1 level of existing class+1 level of existing class
4th+2+1+1+4Force touch--
5th+2+1+1+4Focus of Discipline+1 level of existing class+1 level of existing class
6th+3+2+2+5Magical reinforcement+1 level of existing class+1 level of existing class
7th+3+2+2+5Twin wells+1 level of existing class+1 level of existing class
8th+4+2+2+6Painful premonition+1 level of existing class+1 level of existing class
9th+4+3+3+6Psionic reinforcement +2+1 level of existing class+1 level of existing class
10th+5+3+3+7Twin wells same source+1 level of existing class+1 level of existing class

Source: Dragon #313

Psion Prestige Classes