Posted by : David Guyll April 16, 2010

This is one of the best articles on Dungeon I've seen in a long time. Its divided into three parts, providing advice on injecting psionic elements into your game and an entire psionic monster theme so that you can swap out powers on existing monsters to represent being fucked with by psionics and/or the Far Realm. It works out well even if you dont like psionics, as most games will still use aberrants and the monster theme is pretty damned extensive.

The first part focuses on various ways to introduce psionic stuff into your game, from running a one-shot to see how your players like it to saying fuck-all to continuity and allowing immediate retraining of MC powers. Personally, I would probably have players retrain feats or let them pick up "psionic talents". Talents are just a flavor-word for boons, and using legendary boons is an excellent way to give characters access to psionic powers without being too overt, and can easily be threaded into the narrative by writing it off as exposure to reality warping energies. Kind of like mutations, just psionic instead of radioactive. There are five featured in the article, with a broad level range and encounter item power built into each that can only be used with un-augmented at-will attacks.

The lion's share of the article, however, is the Far Realm Mutant Theme. It works off of rules presented in DMG2, which does a good job of allowing you to reflavor monsters somewhat without making entire monsters from scratch that are just other monsters with a twist. There are eleven individual powers, divided into attack and utility powers.

  • Grasping tentacle is a given. The monster can grab a target and each turn they remain grabbed they take automatic damage. It deals no damage by itself, but there's a penalty to escape attempts. Very nice.
  • Secret face causes a monster to peel apart when bloodied, pushing enemies back and causing them to grant combat advantage. The idea is similar in effect to all those latest Resident Evil games, when after you riddle a zombie with a shit-ton of bullets, causing a bunch of crazy shit to bust out of it and make your day a lot worse. I endorse this idea.
  • Unpredictable mind causes a kind of psychic backlash whenever you hit it with something that deals psychic damage. In past editions I would fucking HATE this, so I'm really happy that psychic damage isnt relegated to just disciplines: it gives it a nice, wide blanket effect on classes.

Great article if you like psionic or aberrant shit. If you like both, then hey, bonus.

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