Return of Randomly Acquired Psionics!

You can’t have a complete discussion 1e/Old School character concepts, without touching on psionics. While many players and GMs dislike psionics, they have a long history with the game. Notably, in early editions your chance of being psionic was determined randomly, and while that often lead to unexpected developments that some groups enjoy, it also meant some characters were randomly more powerful than others.

But that core concept, that it’s possible for a random roll outside of a player’s control to grant special powers, is one that many playstyles work well with. To make that idea work with Pathfinder, it needs to have an acquisition cost or method associated with it as well,

Thus, the Nescient Psionic feat. The feat gives you psionic power (so the feat-for-power paradigm is maintained), but characters must roll to be allowed to take the feat (and may take it more than once, if dice are with them).

This rule assumes you use the excellent psionics rules from Dreamscarred Press, much of which is on

Nescient Psionic

You did not train for your mental powers. They simple evolved in your mind.

Prerequisites: No psionic powers gained form a class, successful d% roll (see first Special entry).

Benefit: You gain a 1st level psionic power of your choice. If you take this feat multiple times, each time you may either gain one psionic power of your choice that is one level higher than the highest-level power you have gained with this feat, or gain a number of lower-level powers that would (collectively) take as many power powers to activate once each as it would take to activate a psionic power one-level higher than the highest-level power you have gained with this feat.

You manifest your psionic power using the normal rules for psionics. Use the highest of your Int, Wis, and Cha modifier to determine save DCs. Your manifester level is equal to your HD or character level. You gain a pool of power points equal to the number needed to activate each power you gain from this feat once, which can only be used to activate psionic powers gained from this feat.

Special: You can take this feat more than once… maybe. Each time you wish to take this feat (including the first time), you must make a d% roll. Add the highest of your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma ability scores, plus your ability modifiers for the other two abilities, as a bonus to this roll. If your total is 100 or higher, you may take the feat. If not, you must wait until the next level you have an available feat. Even if you can take multiple feats at the same level, a failed roll prevents you from trying again until you gain a new level and have a new open feat slot.

The effects of taking the feat more than once are detailed in the benefit.

Special: If you gain psionic powers from a class, you can replace with feat with any other psionic feat you qualify for.


Speaking of, this post is sponsored by that site’s webstore arm, the Open Gaming Store! Along with juice and toast, part of a complete breakfast!*

*You know, metaphorically.

About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on August 1, 2017, in Game Design, Pathfinder Development and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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