|System Reference Document v3.5|
Activating a psionic item is a standard action unless the item description indicates otherwise. The manifesting time of a power is the time required to activate the same power in an item, whether it’s a power stone, a dorje, or a psionic tattoo, unless the item description specifically states otherwise.
The four ways to activate psionic items are described below.
Power Completion: This is the activation method for power stones. A power stone holds a power that is mostly finished. All that’s left to do is perform the short, simple, finishing parts of the manifestation (the final mental coda, as it were). To use a power completion item safely, a character must be of high enough level in the appropriate class to manifest the power already. If he can’t already manifest the power, there’s a chance he’ll make a mistake (see Brainburn in the power stone description). Activating a power completion item is a standard action and provokes attacks of opportunity exactly as manifesting a power does.
Powers stored in power completion items are usually not augmented, because the manifester level of such an item is assumed to be the minimum necessary to manifest the stored power. However, an item’s description may specify otherwise (some power stones have manifester levels higher than the minimum required to manifest the stored power, and are then assumed to be augmented as well).
Power Trigger: This is the activation method for dorjes and psicrowns. It requires the special knowledge of power manifestation that a character of the appropriate class would know, and the formation of the appropriate command thought. If a power is on a character’s power list, the character knows how to use a power trigger item that stores that power. The user must still determine what power is stored in the item before she can activate it. Activating a power trigger item is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Powers stored in power trigger items are not augmented. Such powers are assumed to be stored in the item at the minimum manifester level necessary to manifest the power. However, certain items may specify a higher manifester level than necessary. If such an item holds a power that deals hit point damage, the power is assumed to be augmented to the maximum allowed by the power and the manifester level.
Command Thought: If no activation method is suggested either in the psionic item description or by the nature of the item, assume that a command thought is needed to activate it. Command thought activation means that a character mentally projects a thought, and the item activates. No other special knowledge is needed. Activating a command thought psionic item is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Sometimes the command thought to activate an item is mentally imprinted within it and is whispered into the mind of a creature who picks it up. Other items are silent, but a Knowledge (psionics) or Knowledge (history) check might be useful in helping to identify command thoughts. A successful DC 30 check is needed to come up with the command thought in this case. The power psionic identify reveals command thoughts.
Powers stored in command thought items are usually not augmented, because the manifester level of such an item is assumed to be the minimum possible to manifest the stored power.
Use-Activated: This type of psionic item simply has to be used to activate. Use activation is generally straightforward and self-explanatory.
Many use-activated items are objects that a character wears. Some items made for wearing must still be activated. Although this activation sometimes requires a command thought (see above), usually it means mentally willing the activation to happen (a free action). The description of an item states whether a command thought is needed in such a case.
Unless stated otherwise, activating a use-activated psionic item is either a standard action or not an action at all and does not provoke attacks of opportunity, unless the use involves performing an action that provokes attacks of opportunity in itself. If the use of the item takes time before a psionic effect occurs, then use activation is a standard action. If the item’s activation is subsumed in its use and takes no extra time, use activation is not an action at all.
Use activation doesn’t mean that if you use an item, you automatically know what it can do. You must know (or at least guess) what the item can do and then use the item to activate it, unless the benefit of the item comes automatically.
Powers stored in use-activated items are usually not augmented, because the manifester level of such an item is assumed to be the minimum possible to manifest the stored power.
Another way to figure the same number is to multiply the power’s level by 1-1/2 and add 10 to the result.
Psicrowns are an exception to the rule. Treat the saving throw as if the wielder manifested the power, including manifester level and all modifiers to save DC.
Some psionic items take advantage of the fact that powers can be augmented to increase their saving throw DCs. These items are special and have their cost to create and market price calculated using the manifester’s level instead of the power’s level.
Most item descriptions give saving throw DCs for various effects, particularly when the effect has no exact power equivalent (making its level otherwise difficult to quickly determine).
A psionic item, unless otherwise noted, takes damage as a normal item of the same type. A damaged psionic item continues to function, but if it is destroyed, all its psionic power is lost.
Similarly, items that contain power points (such as psicrowns) have a number of points equal to 50 x the manifester level of the creator. If such an item is found as a random part of a treasure, roll d% and divide by 2 to determine the number by which the manifester level is multiplied (round down, minimum 1).
Market prices given on the tables are always for fully charged or fully powered items. (When an item is created, it is fully charged or fully powered.) For an item that’s worthless when its charges or power points run out (which is the case for almost all charged or powered items), the value of the partially used item is proportional to the number of charges left. For an item that has usefulness in addition to its charges, only part of the item’s value is based on the number of charges left.
Some items are single-use and expendable. Such items can often be found in sets or groups.
|Magic Item||Psionic Effect|
|Helm of telepathy||Substitute power for spell|
|Pearl of power||Treat in all ways as a cognizance crystal with power point capacity appropriate to the equivalent power level|
|Crystal ball||Substitute power for spell|
|Vibrant purple||Stores three levels of psionic powers|
|Pale lavender||Absorbs powers up to 4th level (burns out as normal)|
|Rainbow1||Provides 5 power points per day (regenerates)|
|Dull gray2||Provides 1 power point to a psionic character, then disintegrates|
|1 New item: Treat as a cognizance crystal in ioun stone form, except that it regenerates its stored power points each day; Price 16,000 gp. |
2 Dull gray stones are useless for magic but still harbor just enough resonance that a psionic character can eke out 1 power point before the stone is gone forever.
General descriptions include notes on activation, random generation, and other information. The Armor Class, hardness, hit points, and break DC are given for typical examples of some types of psionic items. The Armor Class assumes that the item is unattended and includes a -5 penalty for the item’s effective Dexterity of 0. If a creature holds the item, use the creature’s Dexterity modifier as an adjustment to Armor Class in place of the -5 penalty.
Some individual items, notably those that simply store psionic powers, don’t get full-blown descriptions. Simply reference the power’s description. Assume that the power is manifested at the minimum level required to manifest it, unless otherwise noted. Increasing the manifester level so increases the cost of the item; see Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values, substituting “spell” for “power” and “caster level” for “manifester level” as appropriate. The main reason to make the manifester level higher, or course, would be to increase the potency of the power. Raising the manifester level is common for powers such as astral construct, the duration of which increases with the level of the manifester.
Items with full descriptions have their abilities detailed, and each of the following aspects of these items is summarized at the end of the description.
Aura: Most of the time, a detect psionics power will reveal the discipline associated with a psionic item and the strength of the aura an item emits. This information (when applicable) is given at the beginning of the item’s notational entry in the form of a phrase. See the detect psionics power description for more information.
Manifester Level: The next entry in the summary indicates the level of the creator (or the manifester level of the powers placed within the item, if this level is lower than the actual level of the creator). The manifester level provides the item’s saving throw bonus, as well as range and other level-dependent aspects of the powers of the item (if variable).
It also determines the level that must be contended with should the item come under the effect of a dispel psionics power or a similar situation. This information is given in the form “ML x,” where “ML” is an abbreviation for manifester level and “x” is an ordinal number representing the manifester level itself.
For psionic tattoos, power stones, and dorjes, the creator can set the manifester level of an item at any number high enough to manifest the stored power and not higher than her own manifester level. For other psionic items,the manifester level is determined by the creator. The minimum manifester level is that which is needed to meet the prerequisites given.
Prerequisites: Certain requirements must be met in order for a character to create a psionic item. These include feats, powers, and miscellaneous requirements such as level, alignment, and race or kind. The prerequisites for creation of an item are given in the summary immediately following the item’s manifester level.
A power prerequisite can be provided by a character who knows the power, or through the use of a power completion or power trigger psionic item or a psi-like ability that produces the desired power effect. For each day that passes during the creation process, the creator must expend one power completion item (such as a power stone) or 1 charge from a power trigger item (such as a dorje), if either of those objects is used to supply a prerequisite.
It is possible for more than one character to cooperate in the creation of an item, with each participant providing one or more of the prerequisites. In some cases, cooperation may even be necessary, such as if one character knows some of the powers necessary to create an item and another character knows the rest.
If two or more characters cooperate to create an item, they must agree among themselves who will be considered the creator for the purpose of determinations where the creator’s level must be known. (It’s sensible, although not mandatory, for the highest-level character involved to be considered the creator.) The character designated as the creator pays the experience points required to make the item.
Typically, a list of prerequisites includes one feat and one or more powers (or some other requirement in addition to the feat). When two powers at the end of a list are separated by “or,” one of those powers is required in addition to every other power mentioned prior to the last two.
Market Price: This gold piece value, given in the summary following the word “Price,” represents the price someone should expect to pay to buy the item. Market prices are also included on the random generation tables for easy reference. The market price of an item that can be constructed with a psionic item creation feat is usually equal to the base price + the price for any components (special materials or experience point expenditure).
Cost to Create: The cost in gold pieces and experience points to create the item is given in the summary following the word “Cost.” This information appears only for items with components (material or experience points) that make their market prices higher than their base prices. The cost to create includes the costs derived from the base cost plus the cost of the components. Items without components do not have a “Cost” entry. For them, the market price and base price are the same. The cost in gold pieces is 1/2 the market price, and the cost in experience points is 1/25 the market price.
Weight: The notational entry for many items ends with a value for the item’s weight. When a weight figure is not given, the item has no weight worth noting (for the purpose of determining how much of a load a character can carry).
|01–02||01-05||01-05||Armor, possibly with special ability|
|03.04||06-10||06-10||Shield, possibly with special ability |
|05-06||11-15||11-15||Melee weapon, possibly with special ability |
|08-09||16-20||16-20||Ranged weapon, possibly with special ability|
|10-40||21-40||21-35||Cognizance crystal |
|94-100||-||-||Minor universal item|
|-||90-100||-||Medium universal item|
|-||-||88-100||Major universal item |
To calculate the costs involved in creating a psionic item, refer to Creating Magic Items. Although that information deals with magic items, the price formulas presented there are identical to those for psionic items.
Creating psionic armor and psionic weapons is almost identical to the requirements for creating magic armor and magic weapons.
375 gp x the level of the power x the level of the manifester.
Dorjes are always fully charged (50 charges) when created.
If an augmentable power is incorporated into a dorje at a higher manifester level than the minimum level required to manifest the power, each discharge of the power from the dorje is augmented to the limit of that higher manifester level. Alternatively, if you want to have a higher manifester level in the dorje, you must pay for the dorje as if the power was one level higher for each additional two manifester levels you want.
The creator must know the power or powers to be imprinted in the dorje (or must have the power available in some other form). If manifesting the power would reduce the manifester’s experience point total, she pays the cost (multiplied by 50) upon beginning the dorje in addition to the experience point cost for making the dorje itself. The act of working on the dorje costs a number of power points per day equal to the power point cost of the power that is being embedded in the crystal of the dorje.
Crafting a dorje requires one day for each 1,000 gp of the base price.
Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Dorje.
12.5 gp x the level of the power x the level of the manifester.
All materials used to imprint a power stone must be fresh and unused. A character must pay the full cost for encoding each power stone no matter how many times she previously has imprinted the same power.
The creator must know the power or powers to be imprinted in the power stone (or must have the power available in some other form). If manifesting the power would reduce the manifester’s experience point total, she pays the cost upon beginning the power stone in addition to the experience point cost for making the power stone itself. The act of encoding triggers the power as if it had been manifested, costing the character an appropriate number of power points.
Encoding a power stone requires one day for each 1,000 gp of the base price.
Item Creation Feat Required: Imprint Stone.
375 gp x the level of the highest-level power x the level of the manifester,
+ 75% of the value of the next highest-level power (281.25 gp x the level of the power x the level of the manifester),
+ one-half of the value of any other powers (187.5 gp x the level of the power x the level of the manifester).
Psicrowns are always created with full power points.
Alternatively, if you want to have a higher manifester level in the psicrown, you must pay for the psicrown as if the highest-level power is one level higher for each additional two manifester levels you want.
The creator must know the power or powers to be imprinted in the psicrown (or must have the power available in some other form). If any of the powers has an XP cost, the creator must provide XP equal to 50 x that cost. This expense is in addition to the experience point cost for making the psicrown itself. The act of working on a psicrown costs a number of power points per day equal to the cost of manifesting each of the powers associated with the psicrown once per day.
Crafting a psicrown requires one day for each 1,000 gp of the base price.
Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Psicrown.
All ingredients and materials used to scribe a psionic tattoo must be fresh and unused. The character must pay the full cost for scribing each psionic tattoo. (Economies of scale do not apply.)
The user of the psionic tattoo is both the manifester and the target; therefore, powers that target another creature cannot be stored in psionic tattoo form. Powers with a range of personal can be made into psionic tattoos, but they cost double the price of standard psionic tattoos.
The creator must know the power to be placed in the psionic tattoo (or must have the power available in some other form). If manifesting the power would reduce the manifester’s XP total, he pays the XP cost upon beginning the scribing in addition to the experience point cost for making the psionic tattoo itself. The act of scribing triggers the power as if it had been manifested, costing the character an appropriate number of power points.
Scribing a psionic tattoo requires one day.
Item Creation Feat Required: Scribe Tattoo.
If powers are involved in the prerequisites for making the item, the creator must know the power to be placed in the item (or must have the power available in some other form). Any experience point cost for a prerequisite power is not incurred by the creator of the item. The act of working on the item requires a payment of power points appropriate to the power or powers associated with the item during each day of the item’s creation.
Crafting a universal item requires one day for each 1,000 gp of the base price.
Item Creation Feat Required: Craft Universal Item.
In addition to psionic items with imbedded powers, some substances have innate special properties.
Crystal, Deep: Deep crystal is crystal of above-average quality found at the hearts of large veins or deposits of mundane crystal (see below). Deep crystal is renowned for its strength and its psionically resonant nature. Mundane crystal is used for many items of psionic manufacture, such as dorjes, power stones, and psicrystals. Deep crystal is a better grade.
While a weapon made of deep crystal is no different from a mundane crystal weapon for a nonpsionic character, a psionic wielder of a deep crystal weapon can focus psionic power through it, increasing the damage that weapon deals. As a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, the wielder can channel psionic power into a melee weapon or ranged weapon made of deep crystal. For 2 power points, the deep crystal weapon deals an extra 2d6 points of damage. The weapon will stay charged for 1 minute or until it scores its next hit. Bows, crossbows, and slings bestow this power on their ammunition. All missile weapons lose this effect if they miss. However, they may be recovered and charged again.
Any weapon made of deep crystal costs 1,000 gp more than its noncrystal counterpart. Any item could potentially be made out of deep crystal. Because deep crystal armor is considered to be made out of metal, druids cannot wear it.
Deep crystal has 30 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 10.
Crystal, Mundane: Mundane crystal can be used in place of metal in weapons or armor, using a special forging process. The fortified crystal possesses the properties of a similar masterwork steel weapon or armor, except for visual appearance.
Weapons and armor made of mundane crystal cost the same amount to make as their masterwork counterparts. Any item could potentially be made with mundane crystal. Because mundane crystal armor is considered to be made out of metal, druids cannot wear it.
Mundane crystal properly forged has 25 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 8.