Alternate Psionic Class : Psychic Rogue
By Scott Brocius and Mark A. Jindra
Designers' Notes: When we started working on a psionic version of the core rogue, our goal was simply to add the ability to manifest psionic powers to the rogue and in return remove a few things that would help balance it. After initial testing, we decided to add a little more psionic flavor to the class in the hopes that we would have a decent psionic alternative, with a distinct flavor, that was balanced with the core rogue.
Adventures: Unlike their nonpsionic cousins, psychic rogues have discovered their innate talent for psionics and how to best put it to use in their chosen way of life. Understandably they follow a slightly different path that forgoes some of the standards of typical rogue training in favor of developing their psionic prowess.
Characteristics: While skilled in stealthy movement and other arts requiring subtlety, the psychic rogue also depends on his psionic abilities to deal with whatever the world brings his way. Those attracted to the ways of stealth and darkness may find the psychic rogue an attractive choice. Their use of psionic powers also attracts those who have a wish to enhance their mental abilities. The combination of his skills and psionic powers make for a dangerous foe, so those who claim any psychic rogue as an enemy had best watch out for unusual tactics.
Alignment: As with rogues, psychic rogues look for the next opportunity and do not often hold tight to specific ideals. As a result, psychic rogues can be of any of alignment.
Religion: Diversity is one of the keys to the psychic rogue, so while common choices of worship include Olidammara (god of thieves) or Nerull (god of death), these choices are but a small percentage of the actual variety of deities worshiped by psychic rogues. In fact, some psychic rogues choose not to worship a deity at all.
Background: Psychic rogues can learn their skills in a variety of ways. Some work with organizations that utilize the skills of psychic rogues during the course of their activities. In this case, the psychic rogue can learn skills while working with a mentor or from a series of mentors. Others learn their skills while on the streets of a city where psionic powers are not uncommon. Again, a mentor or series of tutors may provide the skills a psychic rogue possesses. In any case, psychic rogues prefer not to tout their skills to the public at large given the nature of their skillset.
Races: Psychic rogues are commonly humans, duergar, elans, elves, halflings, gnomes, xephs, or half-elves. Dwarves, githzerai, half-giants, maenads, thri-kreen, and half-orcs are rarely psychic rogues, but sometimes one will feel drawn to the class.
Other Classes: Psychic rogues, like rogues, work well with those who can serve as distractions or who can provide a buffer in combat, such as a soulknife, psychic warrior, or fighter. Other psionic characters and arcane or divine casters may complement the powers of the psychic rogue. They prefer to stay away from those who have obvious problems with stealthy methods, such as paladins and clerics. At times, they dislike dealing with large groups due to the sheer numbers, and sometimes they find themselves irritated at another group member's inability to move a bit more quietly in situations that call for silence.
Role: Because the psychic rogue has access to psionic powers, he can bolster his own abilities. Depending on the skills and focus the psychic rogue chooses to follow in this class, this could make the character great at conning others, superb at gathering information, or excellent at moving through a dungeon without being noticed. In combat, the psychic rogue has a few options for both attacking personally (though usually opportunistically) or with psionic capability. This makes the psychic rogue quite adaptable to a variety of situations. His ability to detect and disable traps can also assist a party as a whole in moving through an area controlled by an enemy that has no qualms about placing deathly obstacles in the way.
Game Rule Information
Abilities: As with the rogue, psychic rogues find Dexterity to be of high importance on their chosen path both for the ability to gain extra protection and due to the skills they favor. Also, Intelligence provides the psychic rogue with more skill points to spread among his skills, and high scores in both Intelligence and Wisdom assist with other skills psychic rogues find useful.
Hit Die: d6.
The psychic rogue's class skills are Appraise, Autohypnosis, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (local), Knowledge (psionics), Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Perform, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spot, Swim, Tumble, Use Psionic Device, and Use Rope.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill Points at each additional level: 6 + Int modifier.
All the following are class features of the psychic rogue.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Psychic rogues are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, shortbow, and short sword. Psychic rogues are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
Power Points/Day: A psychic rogue's ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points he has available. His base daily allotment of power points is given on Table: The Psychic Rogue. In addition, he receives bonus power points per day if he has a high Intelligence score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Power Points). His race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items. A 1st-level psychic rogue gains no power points for his class level, but he gains bonus power points (if he is entitled to any) and can manifest the single power he knows with those power points.
Powers Known: A psychic rogue begins play knowing one psychic rogue power of your choice. With the exception of 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th levels, each time he achieves a new level, he unlocks the knowledge of a new power.
Choose the powers known from the psychic rogue power list. (Exception: The feats Expanded Knowledge and Epic Expanded Knowledge do allow a psychic rogue to learn powers from the lists of other classes.) A psychic rogue can manifest any power that has a power point cost equal to or lower than his manifester level.
The total number of powers a psychic rogue can manifest in a day is limited only by his daily power points.
A psychic rogue simply knows his powers; they are ingrained in his mind. He does not need to prepare them (in the way that some spellcasters prepare their spells), though he must get a good night's sleep each day to regain all his spent power points.
The Difficulty Class for saving throws against psychic rogue powers is 10 + the power's level + the psychic rogue's Intelligence modifier.
Maximum Power Level Known: A psychic rogue begins play with the ability to learn 1st-level powers. As he attains higher levels, he may gain the ability to master more complex powers.
To learn or manifest a power, a psychic rogue must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the power's level.
Sneak Attack: If a psychic rogue can catch an opponent when she cannot defend herself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage.
Basically, the psychic rogue's attack deals extra damage any time his target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the psychic rogue flanks his target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every three psychic rogue levels thereafter. Should the psychic rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.
Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.
With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a psychic rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. He cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty, because he must make optimal use of his weapon to execute a sneak attack.
A psychic rogue can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies -- undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The psychic rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A psychic rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.
Trapfinding: Psychic rogues can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20.
Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic or psionic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell or power used to create it.
Psychic rogues can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic and psionic traps. Magic and psionic traps generally have a DC of 25 + the level of the spell or power used to create them.
A psychic rogue who beats a trap's DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with his party) without disarming it.
Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level and higher, a psychic rogue can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the psychic rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless psychic rogue does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Danger Sense (Su): At 5th level, a psychic rogue gains the ability to augment his ability to sense danger. When active, this ability grants the psychic rogue the effects of the danger sense power. This ability is active as long as the psychic rogue maintains psionic focus.
At 7th level, the psychic rogue's danger sense ability gains the effects of a single augmentation and he is granted the effects of the uncanny dodge ability. While his danger sense ability is active, the psychic rogue can react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a psychic rogue already has uncanny dodge from a different class (a psychic rogue with at least two levels of barbarian, for example), he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.
At 9th level, he gains a second augmentation and is granted the effects of the improved uncanny dodge ability. While his danger sense ability is active, the psychic rogue cannot be flanked; he can react to opponents on opposite sides of him as easily as he can react to a single attacker. This defense denies another rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target does. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.
Special Abilities: On attaining 11th level, and at every three levels thereafter (14th, 17th, and 20th), a psychic rogue gains a special ability of his choice from among the following options.
Blind Spot (Ps): The psychic rogue can use this ability once per day. While in effect, the psychic rogue can attempt to make himself completely undetectable to any single creature as if manifesting the cloud mind power with a manifester level equal to his psychic rogue level. If the target creature fails its save, the psychic rogue can remain hidden as long as he maintains concentration on this ability.
Decoy (Ps): Once a day, the psychic rogue can create an illusionary duplicate of himself. The illusion functions as a project image spell with a caster level equal to his psychic rogue level, except that it lasts as long as he maintains concentration, to a maximum of 1 round per caster level.
Enhanced Sneak Attack (Su): When the psychic rogue has psionic focus, he adds psionic damage to his sneak attacks. This ability increases his sneak attack damage by +1d6. (For example, an 11th-level psychic rogue would deal +5d6 damage with a sneak attack instead of +4d6). This ability may be selected up to three times.
Improved Evasion (Ex): This ability works like evasion, except that while the psychic rogue still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, he henceforth takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless psychic rogue does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Mind Cripple (Su): A psychic rogue with this ability has learned to focus psychic energy into his sneak attacks, which disrupts the mental capability of his foe. An opponent damaged by one of his sneak attacks also takes 2 points of Intelligence damage. Ability points lost to damage return on their own at the rate of 1 point per day for each damaged ability.
Shadow Jump (Ps): The psychic rogue gains the ability to travel between shadows. This ability works like the psionic dimension door power with a manifester level equal to his psychic rogue level, except as follows: The transport must begin and end in an area with at least some shadow. A psychic rogue can jump up to a total of 60 feet each day in this way; this can be a single jump of 60 feet or he can split the total distance he can jump each day among many jumps, but each one, no matter how small, counts as a 10-foot jump.
The psychic rogue can select this ability up to three times and he adds 60 feet to the daily total each time he selects it.
The psychic rogue can expend his psionic focus to use this ability as a move action.
Skill Mastery: The psychic rogue becomes so certain in the use of specific skills that he can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. Upon gaining this ability, he selects a number of skills equal to 3 + his Intelligence modifier. When making a skill check with one of these skills, he may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so. A psychic rogue may gain this special ability multiple times, selecting additional skills for it to apply to each time.
Slippery Mind (Ex): This ability represents the psychic rogue's ability to wriggle free from magical or psionic effects that would otherwise control or compel him. If a psychic rogue with slippery mind is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails his saving throw, he can attempt it again 1 round later at the same Difficulty Class. He gets only this one extra chance to succeed on his saving throw.
Feat: A psychic rogue can gain a bonus feat in place of a special ability.
|The Psychic Rogue|
|CL||BAB||Fort||Ref||Will||PP/Day||Powers Known||Max PL||Special|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||0*||1||1st||Sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+1||4||3||1st||Sneak attack +2d6|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+2||10||6||2nd||Sneak attack +3d6, Danger sense (uncanny dodge)|
|9th||+6/+1||+3||+6||+3||16||7||3rd||Danger sense (improved uncanny dodge)|
|10th||+7/+2||+3||+7||+3||20||8||3rd||Sneak attack +4d6|
|13th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+4||32||10||4th||Sneak attack +5d6|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+5||56||12||4th||Sneak attack +6d6|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+6||+11||+6||88||15||5th||Sneak attack +7d6|
*The psychic rogue gains no power points from his class at 1st level. However, he does add any bonus power points he gains from a high Intelligence score, his race, and feats or other sources to his reserve. She can use these points (if any) to manifest his powers.
- Psychic Assassin (based on the core assassin v.3.5)
© 2000-2006 Wizards of the Coast, Inc. All rights reserved.