“So… what can YOU do?”
The power of the mind allows for nearly unlimited possibilities. In the right hands, it can bring the world miracles; in the wrong, it can cause endless suffering. Some have even learned to use their own mental abilities to tap into the talents and capabilities of those around them, granting them the power to mimic those nearby. By tapping into the power of those in close proximity, the leaching psyche can be as varied in his abilities as those who are near, making them extremely unpredictable in their capabilities.
BECOMING A LEACHING PSYCHE
It is not unusual for egoists or [[psychic warrior| psychic warriors]]], who regularly augment or alter their own physique with abilities or traits of others, to become leaching psyches. Alternatively, envy of allies or enemies and the abilities they possess can trigger the desire to have those same abilities, inducing the individual to seek ways to mimic the abilities they desire.
To qualify to become a leaching psyche, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Skills: Knowledge (psionics) 8 ranks, Psicraft 4 ranks
Feats: Psionic Affinity, Psionic Talent
Special: Power point reserve
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Hit Die: d6
The leaching psyche’s class skills are Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (all skills, taken individually), Profession (any), and Psicraft. Skill Points per level: 2 + Int modifier
The leaching psyche is the master of borrowing the abilities of others. Unlike some egoists or [[[psychic warrior| psychic warriors], the leaching psyche does not borrow the physical form of a target, instead borrowing their special abilities. All of the following are class features of the leaching psyche.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Leaching psyches 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 leaching psyche 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 leaching psyche, she must decide to which class she adds the new level of leaching psyche for the purpose of determining power points per day, powers known, and manifester level.
Identify Abilities (Ex): The key to a leaching psyche’s own ability is to understand what others are capable of doing. By spending a full round action, a leaching psyche may attempt to learn the extraordinary and supernatural abilities of all creatures within range of his mimic ability (detailed below). By making a Psicraft check, the leaching psyche is able to identify the extraordinary abilities of each creature with hit dice lower than the Psicraft check - 10, and all supernatural abilities of each creature with hit dice lower than the Psicraft check - 15. For example, if the Psicraft result was 25, the leaching psyche identifies all extraordinary abilities of creatures with 15 hit dice or less and all supernatural abilities of creatures with 10 hit dice or less. At 6th level, a leaching psyche is able to determine the abilities of creatures nearby as a standard action instead of a full round action.
Mimic Range: A leaching psychic can reach out to 20 ft. to find creatures from which to copy features. At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, this range increases by 10 ft. (30 ft. at 2nd level, 40 ft. at 4th level, and so on).
Limited Mimic (Su): Initially, a leaching psyche can only mimic the lesser abilities of those nearby. As a move action, the leaching psyche may mimic a single extraordinary ability of anyone within range of her mimic ability. Should the creature whose ability is being mimicked move beyond the leaching psychde’s mimic range, the leaching psyche immmediately loses access to the mimicked ability. If the leaching psyche was already mimicking an ability, the benefits of the first ability immediately end. The leaching psyche must have successfully identified the ability being mimicked by the use of the identify abilities class feature. If the leaching psyche does not have the physical form necessary to mimic the ability, such as wings for flight, she cannot mimic that ability. A leaching psyche may not mimic abilities of creatures with more hit dice than her manifester level.
At every odd level thereafter, the leaching psyche is able to mimic an additional extraordinary ability at the same time. Mimicked abilities need not come from the same creature.
Greater Mimic (Su): As a leaching psyche progresses in ability, she learns to mimic the more potent abilities of those nearby. Beginning at 4th level, a leaching psyche is able to mimic a single supernatural ability of anyone within range of her mimic ability. Should the creature whose ability is being mimicked move beyond the leaching psychde’s mimic range, the leaching psyche immmediately loses access to the mimicked ability. This supernatural ability counts against her limit of
how many extraordinary abilities she may mimic at any given time. The leaching psyche must have successfully identified the ability being mimicked by the use of the identify abilities class feature. A leaching psyche may not mimic abilities of creatures with more hit dice than her manifester level.
At every even level thereafter, she is able to mimic another supernatural ability at the same time of any creature within range of her mimic ability. Mimicked abilities need not come from the same creature.
Thieving Mimic (Su): By learning about her talent to mimic the special features of those nearby, the leaching psyche becomes able to steal those abilities, denying the source their use. Beginning at 6th level, when a leaching psychic mimics an extraordinary ability, she may expend psionic focus and attempt to steal that ability, denying the creature its use. The target is allowed a Will save to negate this affect (DC 10 + Leaching Psychic class level + Cha modifier) each minute that the ability is denied. At 10th level, a leaching psyche may attempt to steal the supernatural abilities she mimics. A leaching psyche may not mimic or steal abilities of creatures with more hit dice than her manifester level.
PLAYING A LEACHING PSYCHE
Unlike your group mates, as a leaching psyche, your abilities are directly related to who is nearby. This can make for a unique experience, as your fellow adventurers gain in abilities, you may vicariously gain those same abilities. It is important that, while you seek to utilize those abilities to be most effective, to not impede the other players’ enjoyment of the game.
An unusual combatant, the leaching psyche makes use of the abilities of those nearby, so tactics are always varying depending on whose abilities can be drawn upon. If you are in the same typical company with static abilities, it is possible that a regular tactic will be developed based upon those fellow travelers, making the most of your pool of abilities.
As you gain in power, your ability to absorb the powers of those close to you will grow, granting you more available abilities as well as more powerful abilities of the creatures that are within range of your power. If your allies do not have abilities to mimic that you find worthwhile, it might be worth hiring on an assistant or taming a creature with such capabilities.
As a mimic of all around you, your resources vary greatly from day to day, even from minute to minute. While there is no central bastion of organization for all leaching psyches, you are neither immediately disdained for your nature.
LEACHING PSYCHES IN THE WORLD
Because the leaching psyche requires others to grant the abilities for them to mimic, they are often found in regions with at least a halfcivilized population. While they do not require an organizational tie, it would not be unusual to have a group that focuses on altering one’s being, such as a group devoted to psychometabolism or telepathy.
Many leaching psyches excel in psychometabolic or telepathic powers, as these are the disciplines that train to alter the mind and body. While their skills do not directly manipulate the form, the similarities in the way their abilities and egoist and telepath abilities work often mean many leaching psyches can find teachers within organizations of these types of manifesters. There is no single organization for the leaching psyche, but neither are they barred entry from most organizations.
Because of the variety of powers a leaching psyche might command at any given time, NPCs tend to react differently to different leaching psyches. Many believe they are simply highly skilled manifesters, not realizing that, by their very nature, they are a paragon of versatility.
LEACHING PSYCHE LORE
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (psionics) can attempt to research leaching psyches 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: Leaching psyches steal the power of others.
- DC 15: A leaching psyche’s ability is to mimic those around him, taking the most useful abilities and temporarily making them his own.
- DC 20: The power of a leaching psyche is in harnessing the abilities of those nearby and using them in new ways.
LEACHING PSYCHES IN THE GAME
The leaching psyche can be a difficult class to introduce into your game if you are unfamiliar with how they work, as its abilities completely rely upon the creatures nearby. So long as creatures or NPCs are introduced with abilities that the player can mimic, the player should be able to enjoy the class.
Running a game that a leaching psyche works well within should not be incredibly difficult, although it does require that those with abilities that can be mimicked may need to have better bookkeeping. Opponents that the players encounter
should also have their abilities easily identified and documented so that, should the leaching psyche attempt to mimic the ability, it is a quick process to transfer the ability.