The Mind's Eye: a Psion Handbook
“If a god can reshape the world and I can enthrall a god, what does that make me?”
Although the Psion class (and the psionic power source) hasn't seen almost any updates since the Psionic Power book came out in 2010, there’s been plenty of new general content since then. This handbook will draw heavily upon the work done by Belial for I Can Kill You With My Brain, mostly adding new material that came out since that handbook was last updated. So most of what you will read here draws upon the excellent work done by him, and of course the feedback from the community (that's you!).
Post 1 - Why you would play a Psion
Post 2 - Power source and role, Class features, Ability scores, Skills
Post 3 - Racial options
Post 4 - At-will attack powers
Post 5 - Daily attack powers
Post 6 - Utility powers
Post 7 - Feats
Post 8 - Themes, backgrounds
Post 9 - Paragon paths, epic destinies
Post 10 - Multiclass, hybrid
Post 11 - Items: implements
Post 12 - items: the rest
Post 13 - Playing a Psion
Post 14 - sample builds
Post 15 - Famous Psions
Know Thyself: Why You Would Play A Psion
Where Wizards use magic gained from years of study and Invokers draw upon powers granted to them by their gods, you shape and influence reality with nothing but the power that lurks between your ears. Whether you’re a telepath who takes control of the minds of others and turns them into a personal puppetshow, a telekineticist that puts Luke Skywalker’s silly Force tricks to shame, or a shaper that can make anything he envisions in his mind’s eye a reality, you have powers that are feared by any but the most powerful beings in the universe.
Like the Wizard and Invoker, you’re a controller. You shape the battlefield to your liking, preventing your enemies from killing you and your friends. Your support isn’t as great as that of the other two major controller classes, but there are a few compelling reasons to play a Psion over them:
Psions are versatile - as a psionic class, you have a myriad of powers at your disposal, which all have different effects depending on the amount of power points you spend. From level 3 onward, you have three vastly different at-will powers that have two augments each, giving you essentially nine powers with different effects. That’s versatility other controllers can only dream of.
Psions can do one thing very, very well - sure, you can build your Psion in such a way that he’ll always have the right trick up his sleeve. But since you’re an at-will class, you can also focus on optimizing around one specific power and spamming that all the live long day during your entire career. For example, Dishearten, which you get at level 1, is a power that a lot of builds still have at level 30.
Hard control is your forte - how you want to control your enemies is up to you, but one thing is for sure when a Psion sits down at the table: the enemies are gonna have a bad time. Whether it’s through movement control (slow, immobilize), action denial (daze, stun, dominate), attack penalties, or positioning through forced movement, you do the controller thing, and do it well.
Credit for this handbook goes out to:
Armisael, who encouraged me to do this.
LordDuskblade for the handbook format we all know and love.
Belial for writing a Psion handbook that I’ve used a great many times in the past, and that I will be building upon.
RuinsFate for writing a Wizard handbook that I will be using as a template for a good controller handbook.
Anyone who posts to make this handbook the best that it can be. Special shout-out to Mommy_was_an_Orc for lots of insightful feedback!
This handbook will use the following system for ratings:
Gold - Why haven't you taken this yet? A defining choice for a build, or even the whole class.
Sky Blue - You want this. Period.
Blue - Good stuff. You probably want this.
Black - OK. You could do worse than pick this.
Purple - Situationally useful, but overall pretty meh.
Red - Garbage, or completely overshadowed by another option.
Green - no rating, mostly roleplay or campaign dependant stuff.
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
DRXXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DiP - Divine Power
DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
DUXXX - Dungeon Magazine, issue XXX
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
HotFL - Heroes of Fallen Lands
HotFK - Heroes of Forgotten Kingdoms
HotFW - Heroes of the Feywild
HotEC - Heroes of the Elemental Chaos
HoS - Heroes of Shadow
MME - Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
MP2- Martial Power 2
NWCS - Neverwinter Campaign Setting
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHH1 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 1
PHR:D - Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn
PHR:T - Player's Handbook Races: Tiefling
PrP - Primal Power
PsP - Psionic Power