Psion Prestige Class : Cerebral Assassin
Mark A. Jindra
With inspiration and testing provided by members of the Wizards of the Coast online community
"The mind is a terrible thing . . . indeed"
The cerebral assassin has chosen a different path than most and embraces the power of psionic combat. Unlike some, they believe that true psionic mastery involves a complete understanding of the mind. Their devotion can at times seem fanatical. They are shunned by most psions and psychic warriors, and they are generally not found in areas with a significant population.
Some believe that a secret society comprised of cerebral assassins may have a stronghold on a demiplane that can be reached only via the Astral Plane. Rumors are that they carry out raids against illithid and gith cities and strongholds, killing all that they find there. Their ruthless aggression and lack of compassion has labeled them as a menace to good and evil alike.
Note: The cerebral assassin was created to take advantage of the feats provided in the "Battle of the Mind" article as well as well as the material from the "Alter Your Basic Psionic Combat" article.
To qualify to become a Cerebral Assassin, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Skills: Knowledge (psionics) 4 ranks, Concentration 4 ranks.
- Feats: Psychic Assault, Psionic Combat Buffer.
- Manifesting: Ability to manifest a 3rd-level power.
- Psionic Combat Modes: 6.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the cerebral assassin prestige class.
Armor and Weapon Proficiency: Cerebral assassins gain no proficiency in any armor or weapons, though they retain any knowledge gained from former classes.
Power Points: When they gain a level, cerebral assassins gain power points per day as though they gained a level of psion. These power points are added to the character's previous total. Cerebral assassins gain bonus power points based on the key ability score for their primary ability. If the character previously could not gain bonus power points for high ability scores (as is the case for psychic warriors), she now chooses a primary discipline and can gain bonus power points based on the related ability score.
Powers Discovered: With the exception of 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th levels, cerebral assassins discover powers per level as though they gained a level of psion. Powers are chosen from the psion power list. Their effective manifester level is increased by one for each level of the prestige class.
Psionic Combat: One psionic combat mode is discovered at each level of the prestige class. (Characters do not forget previously discovered attack and defense modes.) These combat modes cannot be traded in for feats with the Resculpt Mind feat.
Psicrystals: Cerebral assassin levels count toward the level of psion for purposes determining psicrystal Intelligence and special abilities. Psicrystals are a class ability of psions. You must take at least one level of psion if you wish to encode a psicrystal.
0-Level Powers: Cerebral assassin levels count toward the level of psion for purposes determining the number of free manifestations per day of your 0-level powers.
Prepared Mind (Su): The cerebral assassin has mastered control of her psionic attacks. She can add half of her cerebral assassin levels as a modifier to the defender's Will save DC for psionic combat.
Guarded Mind (Su): The cerebral assassin has mastered control of her psionic defenses. She can add half of her cerebral assassin levels as a modifier to the her roll when defending in psionic combat.
Talented Mind (Su): The cerebral assassin may use one of her free 0-level manifestations to reduce the base cost to activate a psionic combat mode by 1 power point. She may not use this ability more than once on a single activation.
Greater Psionic Combat Buffer (Su): At 1st level the cerebral assassin gains the Greater Psionic Combat Buffer feat if she did not already have it.
Bonus Combat Mode: At 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th levels, the cerebral assassin can select a psionic combat mode. These combat modes cannot be traded in for feats with the Resculpt Mind feat.
Bonus Feat: At 3rd, 6th, and 9th level, the cerebral assassin gains a bonus psionic combat related feat. The feat should be chosen from the following; Mental Adversary, Mind Trap, Psychic Bastion, Disarm Mind, Bonus Mode, or Mind Blind.
Mind Twist (Su): At 3rd level, instead of using a standard defense mode, the cerebral assassin can completely negate a psionic attack directed at her. She can use this ability a number of times per day equal to her level of cerebral assassin. At 7th-level, attack modes that would be negated by this ability are instead reflected back upon the attacker. The attacker is caught mentally flat-footed for purposes of defending against the reflected attack mode. The attacker uses his own stats when determining the save DC of the reflected attack.
Superior Psionic Combat Buffer: At 5th-level the cerebral assassin gains a more powerful version of Psionic Combat Buffer, this ability allows the cerebral assassin to activate psionic combat modes for 1/4 the normal cost, and she can designate up to 3/4 of her total power points for the day for use in psionic combat.
Mastered Psionic Combat Buffer (Su): At 9th-level the cerebral assassin has mastered her Psionic Combat Buffer and can activate psionic combat modes for 1/5 the normal cost. She also may designate up to 100% of her total power points for the day for use in psionic combat.
Mind Walk (Su): At 10th level, the cerebral assassin has become perfectly attuned to the patterns of brainwaves; she gains the ability to transport herself via the minds of living creatures. Once per day as a standard action she can seamlessly enter any living creature with an Intelligence score equal to or greater than 1 and pass to another living creature that meets the same requirements and is within line of sight of the first creature. The cerebral assassin appears as close to the second creature as possible.
The entry and destination creatures need not be familiar to the cerebral assassin, but they must be alive and have a metabolism. (Thus, plants and undead are not eligible targets.) The cerebral assassin cannot use herself as the entry or destination creature. Neither creature needs to be a willing participant. When exiting the destination creature, the cerebral assassin chooses an adjacent square in which to appear. Entering and leaving a creature is painless, unless the cerebral assassin wishes otherwise (see below). In most cases, though, the destination creature finds being the endpoint of a psionic portal surprising and quite unsettling.
If she desires, the cerebral assassin can attempt to psionically assault either or both creatures. She can select an attack mode that she knows to assault the creature. Power points for the attack must be paid as normal. Psionic creatures cannot activate a defense mode and both psionic and nonpsionic creatures are caught mentally flat-footed. The cerebral assassin cannot activate any other attack modes this round. If the creature fails its Will save, it takes damage as normal from the attack as well suffering the effects of being stunned for +2d4 rounds.
|The Cerebral Assassin||Hit Die: d4|
|1||+0||+0||+0||+2||Talented mind, Prepared Mind, Guarded Mind, Greater Psionic Combat Buffer||--|
|2||+1||+0||+0||+3||Bonus combat mode||+1 Level Psion|
|3||+1||+1||+1||+3||Bonus feat, Mind twist (1)||+1 Level Psion|
|4||+2||+1||+1||+4||Bonus combat mode||--|
|5||+2||+1||+1||+4||Superior Psionic Combat Buffer||+1 Level Psion|
|6||+3||+2||+2||+5||Bonus combat mode, bonus feat||+1 Level Psion|
|7||+3||+2||+2||+5||Mind twist (2)||--|
|8||+4||+2||+2||+6||Bonus combat mode||+1 Level Psion|
|9||+4||+3||+3||+6||Bonus feat, Mastered psionic combat buffer||+1 Level Psion|