In the frozen lands of the north, where strength and cunning provide for and protect the populace, folklore speaks of the dangers of hostile mind-magic. With but a thought, malicious witches can usurp your very being, they claim, causing you to wake to a reflection not your own while your body runs off for other purposes, guided by the spirit of another. The local name for this practice is seidr, and those who follow it are called seidmadr (roughly pronounced “SEYD-mad-dr”) – and though it is not a direct translation, the Common terms “usurper” and “body snatcher” have similar connotations to those who don’t speak the language.
A seidmadr is a telepath of no small skill, capable of jumping from body to body with the ease an actor shifts between roles. Although the discipline developed as a way to truly know other’s minds, it rapidly developed into a means of “borrowing” another’s body and eventually progressed to more permanent means. Essentially all seidmadr are telepaths, although the rare society mind has been known to navigate their mental networks more directly via seidr.
To qualify to become a seidmadr, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Skills: Bluff 13 ranks, Perform (Acting) 6 ranks, Sense Motive 6 ranks
Feats: Extend Power, any other metapsionic feat.
Psionics: Manifester level 10th and ability to manifest brain lock and conceal thoughts.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
The seidmadr’s class skills are Autohypnosis, Bluff, Concentration, Diplomacy, Knowledge (all), Perform, Profession, Psicraft, Sense Motive. Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the seidmadr.
Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Seidmadr do not gain proficiency with any additional weapons or armor.
Body Thief (Ex): At 1st level, a seidmadr adds mind switch to her powers known. A seidmadr’s manifester level for mind switch is equal to her normal manifester level plus her class level, which may allow her to manifest it even if she could not normally do so. This improves its level-dependent parameters, including the limit on Hit Dice it can affect and the amount of power points that can be spent manifesting it. For example, Valis, a telepath 11 / seidmadr 4, has a manifester level of 14 normally, but manifests mind switch in all ways as if her manifester level were 18. Additionally, a seidmadr reduces the XP cost of mind switch by 20 XP per class level (to a minimum of 0 XP at 5th level).
Melding Exchange (Su): During a mind switch, a seidmadr’s mind briefly interfaces with that of her target, resulting in a one-way exchange of information. In addition to rudimentary or instinctive knowledge of the subject as normal for the power, she also learns the subject’s name, where he lives, and who his principle associates and enemies are. While she remains in the subject’s body, she also gains knowledge of all of the subject’s languages (written and spoken), treats any Knowledge check made with a skill with which the subject had ranks as a trained check, and gains a +2 competence bonus per class level on any skill check used to impersonate the subject.
The Flesh Remembers (Ex): At 2nd level, a seidmadr can connect with a host’s kinaesthetic memories (“muscle memories”) and draw upon learned physical capabilities. While under the influence of mind switch, she gains the host body’s weapon and armor proficiencies. Additionally, she may choose to use her host’s ranks in skills keyed to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution instead of her own. Her training limits how completely she can draw upon her host, though – she cannot emulate a higher rank than her class level + her Intelligence modifier. For instance, Valis (a 4th level seidmadr with an Intelligence modifier of +6) could use her host’s ranks in a physical skill such as Climb, but if the host has more than 10 ranks in Climb, she behaves as if the host had only 10 ranks.
Traumatic Transfer (Ex): When manifesting mind switch, a seidmadr of 2nd level or higher may elect to make the process traumatic and disorienting to the other mind. The subject is stunned for 1 round upon arriving in the seidmadr’s body, and is dazed for 1d4 rounds thereafter.
Mimic Mind (Su): A 3rd-level seidmadr may use conceal thoughts to create a false set of surface thoughts appropriate for the body she currently occupies. If the seidmadr succeeds on a saving throw against an attempt to read her mind while under conceal thoughts, the intruder reads only the decoy thoughts. While the seidmadr does not need to specify the nature of these thoughts (although she may choose to do so), they will reflect what the prying party might expect to find were the body’s normal mind in residence. In addition, while under conceal thoughts, a seidmadr may emulate the alignment of the subject for purposes of fooling abilities that detect alignment. At 5th level, this ability extends to include false memories, foiling effects such as mind probe.
Seal the Host: Also at 4th level, a seidmadr learns to augment her mind switch power in a unique fashion, potentially sealing the subject’s higher mind from taking control of her body. She adds the following augment to mind switch:
- If you spend 2 additional power points, the subject’s higher mind may be sealed away when it arrives in your body. If your mind switch is successful, the subject must make a second Will save or be dazed for as long as it remains in your body, similar to the brain lock power. This is in addition to your traumatic transfer ability.
Mindleap Contingency (Su): At 5th level, a seidmadr unlocks the ability to use a unique metapsionic effect known as a mindleap contingency. Powers that specify a single target and can affect the seidmadr’s current form can be made into mindleap contingent powers. A mindleap contingent power, once manifest, lies dormant, undetectable and undispellable, for up to five minutes (after which time it fades harmlessly), or until the seidmadr leaves her current body via mind switch (either to return to her original body or to possess another). Immediately after the switch occurs, the mindleap contingency triggers, and the linked power takes effect on the body she was in when she established the contingency. Any choices to be made about the effect must be made when the power is manifest, not when it triggers. Saving throws made against a mindleap contingent power suffer a -5 penalty due to the sudden shift in bodies.
For example, Valis the telepath/seidmadr has already mind switched with a subject and is about to shift her mind back to her body. She manifests psionic modify memory (opting to erase the memory of her time in the body) on her current (host) body as a mindleap contingency, after which she returns her mind to her native body. The subject, upon return to its body, is affected by the psionic modify memory power, and must make a Will save (at -5) or be forced to forget the experience.
Using this ability is akin to using a metapsionic feat – a seidmadr must expend her psionic focus when establishing a mindleap contingency, and establishing one increases the power’s power point cost by 4.
Greater Melding Exchange (Su): When a 5th level seidmadr uses her melding exchange ability, she draws far more knowledge from her target than usual. She may use the subject’s ranks in Knowledge skills in place of her own, and she learns the command words or thoughts for any items the subject has (provided they were known to the subject). Additionally, as a standard action, she may expend her psionic focus to mentally “ask” her newfound memories one question, typically about the subject’s past or personality. She learns the answer to that question to the best of the subject’s knowledge. Asking about rote facts is often unnecessary, due to the granting of Knowledge ranks – this ability extends beyond the Knowledge skill.
Death is Only the Beginning (Su): Common folklore suggests that many people see their lives flash before their eyes just before they die. In some ways, this is literal truth for a seidmadr, although she tends to see only opportunity. Immediately upon being reduced to -1 hit points or lower, or failing a saving throw against an effect that would kill her, a 6th level seidmadr may expend her psionic focus to manifest true mind switch as an immediate action at the same manifester level she manifests mind switch. She may only target her killer with this effect (thus, if the killer is out of range, this ability is worthless), and the DC is reduced by 4 due to the desperate nature of this technique. If successful, her mind switches places with her killer’s just before dying. She suffers level loss as normal for losing her previous body after a true mind switch. Apply the XP cost for true mind switch after the level loss. A seidmadr also adds true mind switch to her powers known at 6th level, even if she is incapable of manifesting 9th level powers. She may apply all her seidmadr class features (except seal the host and the XP cost reduction from body thief, though the manifester level increase applies) to any manifestation of true mind switch, even one made at the moment of death.