Hi all! @DnDPrincessAria here with your Psionic Power: Psion review! The Psion is a mental warrior, a person who sees that the mind is just as important as the body, if not more so. Starting off with roleplaying tips, you find out that Psions may have varied interests, specialties, alignments, and personalities, but all of them look for the patterns of this world. Learning something new, or learning the steps of a fact already known, are great triumphs to a Psion. They work hard to control their emotions, since it can taint their powers, or rid them of the control they work so hard for. Psion’s seem to be the class in this book with the most variation, most options, and most ways to personalize and role-play.
Builds are the first way to personalize a class. In Player’s Handbook 3, there were two or three psion builds, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Here, we get to check out the Shaper Psion, where anything you can think up can be brought to reality. The book explains it best; for a psion, the world is a canvas for you to paint anything you can think of, beautiful dreams, or horrid nightmares. Shaped Consciousness allows you to conjure a fraction of your being in another square, which lets you get all sensory information from that square, and even use your powers from it! Minor creation is an encounter power that allows you to create a non-living, non-magical item. This may not sound all that impressive, but you never know when you’ll need some obscure piece of adventuring gear. For example, this week in Keep on the Borderlands, we needed a cloak for the “leper”, and nobody had one. Or a ten foot pole for poking around. Anything big, bulky, or annoying to carry around, a shaper can conjure it in a snap.
Choosing your Psion at-wills can be a bit challenging, since there are almost always three options within each power, depending on your augment. At low level, I suggest Static Mote. This power conjures a static mote in an unoccupied square, and lasts until the start of your next turn. When the mote disappears, you get a no action, free attack on anyone within burst 3 of the mote square. Augmenting this power lets you increase the damage, or pull targets inwards. I think a burst 3 attack power as a free action is great, even if you have to spend the standard action before to set it up. As long as you are not in melee with any enemies, the range 10 should make this power super-effective at level 1. At the higher levels, I adore Kinetic Wave (level 13). It’s a blast 3, and on a hit, you get damage, and a push of four squares! The blast, if augmented, creates difficult terrain, or gets larger and expands the damage.
Encounters are mostly utilities for Psions, since they have augmentable at-wills. People seem to overlook utilities, I know I do. I was looking at my level 26 assassin the other day and realized there was a whole page of nifty abilities I never knew I had. For heroic tier, I’d suggest Borrow Training, an encounter power giving you +5 to any skill until the end of your next turn. In small groups, I think this could mean the difference between succeeding and failing a skill challenge. Paragon tier? I’d say Mind Blank. It’s a daily, but it creates a burst 3 zone which makes you and your allies invisible to enemies in said zone. If you sustain minor, you can keep your enemies in the dark as long as you feel like it. That -5 to attacks makes a pretty sizeable difference at these levels, so I think any allies of yours would appreciate the boost. When you reach those epic levels, Interdicting Thoughts is a good leader-ish power to give allies near you a +3 power bonus to all defenses, and make that area difficult terrain for enemies.
Now, onto the crème de la crème, the dailies. We all love to hate our dailies. We love them because they’re super powerful and make us feel like the Chuck Norris of the D&D world. We hate them, because, well, we only get to use them once per day. When you are just starting out in the adventuring world, take a stab at Force Spheres (level 5). You create four spheres which spin around you, and as long as one lives, you get a +2 to defenses! Then, if you expend one, you get a minor action attack which causes damage and knocks opponents on their bums. At first sight, I liked Thought Warrior for paragon tier, but Living Barrage caught my eye in the end. Firstly, you get a burst 1 within 10, making a primary attack, which immobilizes on a hit. Then, while immobilized, you get to use them for minor action attacks, which hit themselves. This causes a tertiary attack, done by these targets, which causes even more damage, and knocks them prone! It’s complicated, but how many powers do you know which give you primary, secondary, and tertiary attacks in one? Epic players get all the fun, especially when you see Ravenous Singularity. First, you attack. A hit does no damage, but makes the target immobilized (save ends). Then you create a singularity in the burst’s origin square. Any creature ending its turn nearby gets pulled towards it. Any creature which fails a save versus immobilized or slowed (on a miss) gets pulled into the singularity, taken out of play, 20 damage, and doesn’t reappear until it succeeds on a save! Oh, and if that wasn’t good enough, it’s sustain minor .
Out of all the new paragon paths, my favorite is the Thrallherd. Straight off at 11th level, you get an obedient thrall, a Medium beast or humanoid under your complete control. You spend actions to control him/her, and there are tons of options using up minor or move actions which accomplish a lot. When you second wind, it heals too. When you action point, they get an action as well. All of the disciplines work through the thrall. Serve me well is a high damage encounter power attack through the Thrall, Restore Thrall is a healing power, and Loosen the chain is a daily which essentially gives your thrall a full set of actions on its own (instead of using up your actions). I love this because it’s the true puppet master, mind control 24/7. Also, for DM’s, this is great story-telling. I also like it because it’s another body, another ally. It reminds me of the companion characters from D&D of old, and is especially helpful in small parties. Perhaps it also has to do with my little tendencies towards mind control and necromancy, both of which I’ve missed till now in 4th edition .
So there it is, the new Psion. We got a taste in Player’s Handbook 3, and now it’s turning into one of the most fun, role-playing and power wise. If you get a chance, check it out! Why just listen to me about the options without trying them out for yourselves?