“The secrets of the mind take a lifetime to unlock. They are not something that should be rushed into.”
For some, it is enough to have psionic power and to progress with what potential is easily unlocked. For others, they recognize that the psionic power easily available is but the tip of the iceberg. These elite individuals trade some of the raw power of their counterparts for the increased possibilities they discover.
BECOMING A CEREBRIS
It is not an easy thing to take up the mantle of the cerebris. The path to becoming one is many times a long road with sacrifices. In exchange for giving up the quick road to power, a cerebris is able to unlock mysteries that others may not. Typically, a psion is more likely to become a cerebris, although some wilders are willing to invest the necessary time and energy. A few of the more advanced psychic warriors have also been known to travel down the path of the cerebris.
To qualify to become a cerebris, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Skills: Knowledge (psionics) 8 ranks, Psicraft 8 ranks
Feats: Expanded Knowledge, Skill Focus (Knowledge [psionics])
Psionics: Ability manifest 3rd-level powers
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Hit Die: d4
The cerebris’s class skills are Autohypnosis, Concentration, Craft, Heal, Knowledge (all skills, taken individually), Profession (Any), Psicraft. Skill Points per Level: 2 + Int modifier
Unlocking the hidden talents of the mind is the normal motivation of a cerebris. She seeks to plumb the deepest secrets hidden within her own mind. All of the following are class features of the cerebris.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Cerebrises gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.
Manifesting: At every level indicated, the character gains additional power points per day and access to new powers as if she had also gained a level in whatever manifesting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus feats, metapsionic or item creation feats, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of cerebris to the level of whatever manifesting class the character has, and then determines power points per day, powers known, and manifester level accordingly.
If a character had more than one manifesting class before she became a cerebris, she must decide to which class she adds the new level of cerebris for the purpose of determining power points per day, powers known, and manifester level.
Latent Understanding (Ex): A cerebris unlocks hidden abilities inside her own mind through intense study. At 1st level and every four levels thereafter, a cerebris gains either the Expanded Knowledge feat or may learn an additional power of her chosen devotion up to the maximum power level she can manifest. In exchange for this rigorous introspection, the cerebris loses a number of power points equal to the base cost of the new power. If a cerebris did not have a chosen devotion prior to entering the class, she must choose one and, once selected, that choice cannot be changed.
Glimpse of Insight (Ex): A cerebris is able to briefly tap into abilities that she would not normally be able to access, abilities that grant her powers she could not normally manifest. Beginning at 2nd level, a cerebris may manifest a single power per day that is not on her powers known list. This power does not need to be on her class list, but can only be up to one level lower than the highest level power she can manifest. A cerebris may use this ability an additional time per day at each even-numbered level (2 at 4th level, 3 at 6th level, etc.).
Unlocked Mind (Ex): At 10th level, a cerebris has truly unlocked the abilities of her mind, mastering the hidden power within. As a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, she may spend a number of power points equal to her manifester level and change a single power on her powers known list as if she had used the psychic reformation power. She does not pay the experience cost associated with psychic reformation.
PLAYING A CEREBRIS
To truly embrace being a cerebris, it is not enough to simply spend a few hours in study. A true devotee to knowledge, many cerebrises spend substantial amounts of money on libraries on psionic information or to acquire as many powerstones
of unusual powers as they can afford. Other adventurers are often caught off guard at just how much time a cerebris spends in contemplation.
Although a cerebris prefers the study of her own psionic power and potential, she is not without ability in a combat situation. Calling upon the variety of powers at her disposal, a cerebris is careful with her pool of power points, as it is typically smaller than that of other manifesters.
Progressing in the ways of the cerebris is something typically done by those more intellectual than most, although this is not necessarily true. As a cerebris gains several extra powers known through advancing, it is not uncommon for some to take options such as metapsionic feats or Psionic Body, letting their mind enhance their weaker physical form.
The thirst to understand their own abilities tends to draw many cerebrises together, at least for short times. The inner workings of a mind are very personal and, typically, the knowledge each cerebris learns cannot assist another. Sometimes, the insights one cerebris has, however, can help another cerebris unlock her own abilities.
CEREBRISES IN THE WORLD
The nature of the cerebris is such that it is likely they will be relatively unknown outside areas where psionic knowledge is prevalent. The drive to unlock their own minds’ secrets makes many cerebrises more introspective than most other practitioners of psionics.
The myriad organizations devoted to knowledge, such as sages, libraries, or even some orders of monks, are often homes to a variety of cerebrises. While some cerebrises choose to not join such organizations, they are more frequently found among these groups, using the knowledge of those who came before them to help them discover their own secrets.
It is believed that cerebrises were originally part of the Order of Still Water, as their mindset of increasing understanding and knowledge lends great weight to the nature of a cerebris. Over time, others not of the organization have learned this path and the class is not restricted to that single organization.
Many of the more common in society tend to view a cerebris with distrust: why would someone want to know so much? Scholars tend to view them with envy: here is someone who truly seeks out the secrets of the world. In areas where enlightenment is frowned upon, or where everyone is expected to be equal, a cerebris might be viewed with disdain or, sometimes, anger.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (psionics) can attempt to research cerebrises to find out more about them. When a character makes a Knowledge (psionics) check, use the phrases or variations of them from below, including any information from lower DC checks, should there be any.
- DC 10: It is not enough for some to simply have psionic power. A cerebris strives to understand every secret of the psionic arts.
- DC 15: The secrets within are what drive a cerebris, for everything they discover is buried within themselves.
- DC 20: Many do not realize that a cerebris actually gives up some of their psionic power in exchange for the secrets they discover.
CEREBRISES IN THE GAME
The drive for self-knowledge and understanding is fairly commonplace across just about any society. Because of this, a cerebris should have little trouble fitting into your world. Incorporating a cerebris in a particular adventure would be based more on the specifics of the adventure and if the opportunity to learn more about oneself is presented.
Generally, a cerebris fits best into a game that allows the character a sufficient amount of downtime to explore their own mind. This does not necessarily have to be constant; a flurry of activity might promote sudden insight where weeks of introspection might fail, but it is definitely recommended to incorporate enough time for self-study so the cerebris character feels they are successfully plumbing their own secrets.