Psionics represents dedicated study into the innate magic that underlies the world, commonly known as the Luminance. While that study manifests itself most strongly as the ability to better understand and recognize psionic powers and similar magic, those who study it also learn about creatures formed (or twisted) from the Luminance; namely, aberrations, elementals, and fey. Characters with substantial training in Psionics can command and create magic items they could not otherwise use.
Your studies into the Luminance allow you to better identify the creatures most closely tied to it. Fey are capricious incarnations of nature, while elementals are formed directly from the fundamental pieces of the world itself. Aberrations are bizarre creatures result from the blending of the Luminance with the Eternal Autumn. You know enough about the basic working of these creatures to recognize what abilities any individual member might have, even those you’ve never seen before. As an immediate action, you can attempt to identify a creature you are facing. The DC for this check is 15 + the creature’s CR. The creature does not have to be alive for you to try to gather information about it, though deceased creatures need to be largely intact.
Special: The Psionics skill only allows you to identify aberrations, elementals, and fey. If your GM is a nice guy, he’ll just tell you which skill you need to roll to gather information about a creature. As this may reveal more information than they want, they may not tell you which skill you need. In that case, only roll once for all skills; just add your modifier from each skill to your roll and give him all 5 results separately.
Base DC: 15 + the creature’s CR.
- DC+10 and above: You correctly guess everything in the lower success results, as well as every other special quality and attack that the creature has. In a less serious game, you can just ask the GM for their notes and read up on it while everyone else gets into position.
- DC+5 to DC+9: In addition to the information learned from a basic success, you also correctly guess 3 special attacks or qualities of the creature. These are either determined randomly from those you have not yet witnessed or you may ask for further details on one you have witnessed (type of DR if you have witnessed it, type of breath weapon, etc.).
- DC+0 to DC+4: You correctly guess the creature’s type, subtypes, and any traits that would come as a result of those categories. If the creature is sufficiently common you also know its name, and that may provide other information.
- DC-1 and below: You are unable to reach any conclusion that you are happy with. You can not retry this check until you witness one of its special abilities or qualities first hand; sometimes getting bathed in acid jogs a memory.
When you run across magic, it’s nice to know if it is magic that will reveal the secrets of the universe or obliterate your mind, body, and soul. The Psionics skill primarily deals with powers and manifesters, though it can be used to identify sorcerous spells or effects. This ability allows you to identify a power as it is being manifested, identify a standing magical effect, identify magical residue after an effect ends, etc. Additionally, it allows you to learn the power stored within a power completion or power trigger item. However, you must have Detect Psionics or an equivalent power active to learn anything with this ability. The action required for this depends on which power you use.
Special: The Psionics skill is obviously specialized for psionic effects. It is less efficient at identifying sorcery than Sorcery, and it is useless for spell completion or spell trigger items. If you possess ranks in Sorcery and your GM does not specify which particular skill you need to roll (and they have no obligation to tell you), you may check both skills as part of the same action. In that case roll 1d20 one time as the base and report your total check result (this d20 roll + your skill modifier) for either skill to your GM separately. Your GM is responsible for making sure that you get the most information from your individual check results.
Base DC: 16 + twice the effect’s level or 16 + manifester level for effects without power level, +2 for each degradation period passed since an effect ended.
- DC+5 and above: You recognize the type of magic (psionics, sorcery) and learn its discipline/school, subdiscipline/subschool (if any), manifester/caster level, and power/spell level (if applicable). If the magic is psionic, you also learn the name of the power or effect so long as you could generate it yourself, you have compelling reason to know about it (stories, commonality, etc.), or the power has a level less than half your character level (rounded down). If the magic is sorcerous, you only learn the name if you have a compelling reason to know about it.
- DC+0 to DC+4: If the magic is psionic, you learn its discipline, subdiscipline (if any), manifester level, and power level (if applicable). You also learn the name of any power or effect so long as you could generate it yourself, you have compelling reason to know about it (stories, commonality, etc.), or the power has a level less than half your character level (rounded down). You learn no information aside from its type if the magic is sorcerous.
- DC-1 to DC-5: You recognize the type of magic (psionics, sorcery), but nothing further. Additional checks may yield more information.
- DC-6 and below: You do not recognize this effect and understand nothing about it. Additional checks may yield more information.
A little connection with the world can help you to call upon its hidden power. With it you can attempt to use psionic power trigger or power completion items even if you lack the ability to normally use the powers within them. Additionally, your skill with psionics doesn’t stop there. Psionics is based on an innate connection with the world, and if you know how to ask it will grant you powers reserved for other beings. If a magic item functions differently for a particular race or type, you may attempt to have the item treat you as such for a short time.
For continuous use items with a race or type prerequisite, this check requires a swift action. Otherwise, the action to use this ability is included in the activation action for the item (often the power’s manifesting time). Whether you are attempting to use an item as a different race or activate an item without the power on your class list, the DC for this check is equal to 14 + the item’s manifester level. If you succeed on the check, the item functions normally for a period of time based on your check result. You may not attempt this check again during any period while it functions normally, and must wait for the item to stop responding to you before you may make an additional check. If you successfully emulate a race or type when you activate the item, the item responds as if you were the emulated race or type for the duration.
Note that this ability only activates items that are psionic in nature or that have alternate functions for a particular race or type. It only covers those portions of the activation. Items that have additional non-racial prerequisites may not be covered by this ability. Items that have racial prerequisites but are not psionic requires this ability to be used in conjunction with another skill.
Special: If your use of this ability triggers a cursed item, the cursed item becomes activated and functions normally for you until the curse is broken by a power, class feature, or similar ability. This indefinite duration replaces the normal check based duration.
Base DC: 15 + manifester level.
- DC+10 and above: The item functions normally for you for 1 hour, during which time you can use charges or receive benefits as appropriate without making further checks.
- DC+5 to DC+9: The item functions normally for you for 1 minute, during which time you can use charges or receive benefits as appropriate without making further checks.
- DC+0 to DC+4: The item functions normally for you for 1 round, during which time you can use charges or receive the benefits of it as appropriate.
- DC-1 to DC-5: The item does not function for you at this time. You may make another check after spending another activation action on the item.
- DC-6 and below: The item loses 1 charge or use (if applicable) and becomes inoperable for 2d4 minutes. You recognize the temporary shutdown.