Psionic tattoos are designs scribed on the skin that manifest powers on their wearers. The wearer doesn’t get to make any decisions about the tattoo’s effect—the manifester who scribed it has already done so. Psionic tattoos can vary in size, but a creature can wear only a total of twenty tattoos at one time—attempting to add one more than this maximum causes all previously scribed tattoos to simultaneously activate. A psionic tattoo fades away after use.
A typical psionic tattoo is a colorful pattern of tiny, interlacing lines within a larger design. This design can be as simple as a circle or a star, or as complex as an artist wishes to make it. Once it is scribed, a tattoo’s design does not change. A psionic tattoo usually covers an area of skin no more than 5 inches in diameter (larger ones could be designed, but would have no added effect).
Scribing and Transferring Tattoos:
The manifester level of a psionic tattoo is the minimum level required to manifest the scribed power. A psionic tattoo can contain only powers of 3rd level or lower.
A psionic tattoo inscribed on a wearer is potentially more mobile than a mundane tattoo. As a standard action, the wearer can will the tattoo to move to a different part of his body or onto the skin of any willing (or unconscious) living creature he touches. If the wearer of a psionic tattoo is rendered unconscious or is slain, another sentient creature can touch the tattoo while willing it to leave the previous wearer and apply itself to the new creature as a standard action. Psionic tattoos cannot overlay one another.
Identifying Psionic Tattoos:
In addition to the standard methods of identification, the wearer of a tattoo can concentrate on it and attempt to gain some sense of how it would feel if activated. A successful DC 13 Intelligence check provides a hint to the tattoo’s effect.
A psionic tattoo produces its effect when touched by its wearer and willed to do so. This activity, called “tapping” the tattoo, is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. A psionic tattoo fades away after use. The following rules govern the use of psionic tattoos.
- A creature must have an appropriate physical surface on which to scribe the pattern (thus, incorporeal creatures or creatures with impermanent flesh, such as fire elementals, cannot use psionic tattoos).
- Tapping a psionic tattoo provokes attacks of opportunity. A successful attack (including grappling attacks) against the wearer forces a Concentration check. A wearer who fails this check cannot concentrate effectively on the tattoo to use it. The tattoo remains untapped, and the wearer can make another attempt.
- A character can trigger the effects of another’s psionic tattoo if the other wearer is unconscious. It is a full-round action to find, touch, and concentrate on an unconscious creature’s tattoo in order to tap it.
The manifester level for a standard psionic tattoo is the minimum manifester level needed to manifest the power (unless otherwise specified).
NOTE: Also see crawling tattoos.