Expanding Your Mind : Subpsionics

By Mark A. Jindra and Scott Brocius

The psionic activity of the subconscious mind lies just below the level of awareness. In this level, a darker, more insidious side of the psyche resides. While most psionic characters never venture into the subconscious mind, some have embraced it. The subconscious mind provides a psionic character with an alternate conduit for manifesting powers.

Skilled manifesters that utilize the subconscious mind can manifest powers that are extraordinarily difficult for normal psionic creatures to perceive, counter, or nullify.

Those who utilize their subconscious mind suffer some disadvantages. First, the thoughts and secrets of the subconscious mind are disquieting and injurious to the mortal mind. Second, while the conscious mind serves equally well for any kind of power, the subconscious mind is best for the disciplines of Metacreativity, Clairsentience, and Telepathy, and it is unsuited to the Psychometabolism, Psychoportation, and Psychokinesis disciplines. Third, powers with a visible display that involve the creation of light no longer create any visible light; creatures with darkvision can, however, see these powers.

Finally, the more familiar a mortal becomes with the secrets of the subconscious mind, the more divorced they become from the conscious mind. An accomplished subpsionic character can manifest powers that normal psionic creatures find difficult to detect, counter, or nullify, but the subpsionic character becomes similarly unable to affect powers manifested by the conscious mind.

Subpsionic Items

Psionic items created by those who use the subconscious mind are rare and dangerous. These items are nearly identical to items created by the conscious mind, but the differences that exist are profound.

Powerlike effects manifested from subpsionic items have the same benefits and limitations that a subpsionic manifester has: Effects from the Metacreativity, Clairsentience, and Telepathy disciplines gain a +1 bonus to their save DCs and +1 bonus on manifester level checks to overcome power resistance. Effects from the Psychometabolism, Psychoportation, and Psychokinesis disciplines have their manifester levels reduced by -1 (though their costs are based on the original manifester level). The reduced manifester level affects the power's range, duration, damage, and any other level-dependant variables the effect might have. The effect's save DC is lessened by -1 and manifester level checks to overcome power resistance suffer a -1 penalty. The DC to nullify psychometabolic, psychoportation, or psychokinetic effects from a subpsionic item is 11 + the reduced manifester level.

Subpsionic items can pose a serious danger to users that are not familiar with the subconscious mind. Activating a subpsionic item through power trigger, command thought, or use-activation deals 1d4 points of temporary ability damage to the user unless the user has the Conjunctive Mind feat. The temporary ability damage is applied to the primary discipline of the psion user; psychic warriors and non-psionic creatures take the loss from their Intelligence. If the item functions continuously, the temporary ability damage occurs at dusk each day or when the user takes off or puts aside the item, whichever comes first.

Psionic Combat

When a subpsionic creature engages in psionic combat against a normal psionic creature, the Will save DC is modified based on the attack modes chosen. When attacking with mind thrust, psychic crush, or psionic blast, you gain a +2 bonus to the Will save DC. However, when attacking with id insinuation or ego whip, you suffer a penalty of -2 to the Will save DC. Similarly, when defending against mind thrust, psychic crush, or psionic blast, the Will save DC is lowered by -2 and you have an additional point of mental hardness. However when defending against id insinuation or ego whip your Will save DC is increased by +2 and mental hardness is decreased by -1 point. Combat against another subpsionic creature is handled as normal.


Psionics-Magic Transparency

For the purposes of power-to-spell interaction with these feats, Enchantment, Illusion and Necromancy are treated the same as the Metacreativity, Clairsentience, and Telepathy disciplines. Evocation and Transmutation are treated the same as the Psychometabolism, Psychoportation, or Psychokinesis disciplines.

Creatures with the Conjunctive Mind feat interact with creatures that have the Shadow Magic feat as though they were the same, gaining no benefits or penalties. Items created by a creature with the Conjunctive Mind feat are considered the same as items created by creatures with the Shadow Magic feat, and they can use shadow magic items as though they had the Shadow Magic feat.

Forgotten Realms: When using these psionic feats in the Forgotten Realms setting, the subconscious mind is directly linked to the shadow weave. Psions that use these feats understand that they are using the shadow weave and are subject to all limitations and penalties that may be imposed as a result.

Special thanks to Elockloran and Dartanel from the Wizards online community message boards for their astral construct ability suggestions.

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