Vile Psionics

From Expanding Your Mind : Thirteen New Slightly Evil Powers and More…

By Mark A. Jindra, Mike Rainey, and Scott Brocius

While not all thirteen of these powers are evil, all of them have a decidedly darker edge to them than the standard psionic powers. Some even include vile damage, a concept first introduced in the Book of Vile Darkness. Also included in this article are suggestions for vile displays that continue this month's theme. And we top it all off with the Dark Heart of Vollus, a psionic item that is sure to make psionic undead even deadlier.

Vile Damage

(From the Book of Vile Darkness,)

Vile damage, like regular damage, results in the loss of hit points or ability score points. Unlike regular damage, vile damage can be healed only by magic cast within the area of a consecrate or hallow spell. Vile damage represents such an evil violation to a character's body or soul that only in a holy place can healing magic repair the damage.

Vile Displays

Normal psionic powers create various "displays" when they are manifested. However, some of the slightly darker powers create horrifying displays that show off the dreadful nature of the manifester. Some examples of vile displays may include the following:

Auditory (Au): A dreadfully shrill death scream, rattling chains, or eerie howling winds that echo dissonantly.

Material (Ma): Instead of an area being briefly slicked in goo, the area is slicked in bubbling pools of thick black tar or even sickening pools of blood.

Mental (Me): Minds that notice the mental displays view a glimpse of absolute and personal fear taken form that sends shivers up their spine.

Olfactory (Ol): The scent of rotted, decaying, or burning flesh fills the area.

Visual (Vi): Instead of a rainbow or harmless light, a creeping mist or an eerie crimson light appear and the manifester's eyes burn may burn with crimson or an unwholesome green fire.


Dark Heart of Vollus: Originally created by Vollus, a grim psion obsessed with keeping his Psychometabolism powers as he embraced his death, the dark heart grants an undead creature a Constitution score of 18 for the purposes of manifesting powers and saving throws only. It does not grant bonus hit points.

A dark heart is a shiny black crystal about the size of a human heart weighing roughly 4 pounds. When inserted into the body cavity where the subject's heart used to be, it begins to pulse with an ominous red glow, and a faint sound similar to that of a heartbeat can be heard with each pulse. Over the course of a round, hundreds of shimmering black strands resembling a circulatory system stretch out from the heart, burrowing through skin and bone, and attaching themselves to all parts of the undead creature.

While the heart does not grant the undead a true metabolism, it does allow them to manifest any Psychometabolism powers that do not rely on the manifester having a metabolism. For example, an undead psion with this could manifest talons but could not manifest vigor. The heart also grants a +4 bonus on Fortitude saves. The heart functions only when placed in a corporeal psionic undead.

Manifester Level: 18th; Prerequisites: Craft Universal Item, psionic reality alteration; Market Price: 225,000 gp; Weight: 4 lb.

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