While psionic manifesting usually finds its exemplars in paragons of extreme self-control and discipline (the psion and psychic warrior), it has other practitioners as well. The wilder offers an excellent conceptual counterpoint to her psychic brethren, and at the same time allows for a similarly different play method. However, the mechanical implementation of the wilder is, simply put, a little strange. Its signature ability, wild surge, grows increasingly dangerous to use as levels go up, elude touch (a dodge bonus) becomes more valuable the more armor a wilder straps on, volatile mind is at best a minor hindrance as opposed to a true defense, and the class provides little incentive to consider staying a wilder as opposed to multiclassing.
The variant wilder presented below aims to solve those problems. While it lacks the standard wilder’s ability to wild surge for a smaller amount than possible (which always felt out of place on a supposedly uncontrolled wild talent like the wilder’s), it more than makes up for it with alternate class features and powerful high-level abilities. Using this variant wilder completely replaces the wilder presented in the SRD and Expanded Psionics Handbook.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Hit Die: d6.
Autohypnosis, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (Psionics), Listen, Profession, Psicraft, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim, and Tumble. Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier. Skill Points at 1st level: (4 + Int modifier) x4.
Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Wilders are proficient with all simple weapons, with light armor, and with shields (except tower shields).
Power Points/Day: As the standard wilder.
Powers Known: As the standard wilder.
Maximum Power Level Known: As the standard wilder.
Wild Surge (Su): A wilder can let her passion and emotion rise to the surface in a wild surge when she manifests a power. During a wild surge, a wilder gains phenomenal psionic strength, but may harm herself by the reckless use of her power (see Psychic Enervation, below).
A wilder can choose to invoke a wild surge whenever she manifests a power. When she does so, she gains +1 to her manifester level with that manifestation of the power. The manifester level boost gives her the ability to augment her powers to a higher degree than she otherwise could; however, she pays no extra power point for this wild surge. Instead, the additional 1 power point that would normally be required to augment the power is effectively supplied by the wild surge.
Level-dependent power effects are also improved, depending on the power a wilder manifests with her wild surge. This improvement in manifester level does not grant her any other benefits outside of the manifestation (she gains no higher-level class abilities, for instance). She cannot use the Overchannel psionic feat and invoke her wild surge at the same time.
At 3rd level, a wilder boosts her manifester level by two instead of one. At 7th level, she boosts her manifester level by three; at 11th level, by four; at 15th level, by five; and at 19th level, by six. The wilder always wild surges for the maximum amount possible.
In all cases, the wild surge effectively pays the extra power point cost that is normally required to augment the power by this additional amount; only the standard power point cost is subtracted from the wilder’s power point reserve. For example, if Alrik the 8th level wilder were to invoke his wild surge when manifesting a power, he would spend between 1 and 8 power points as normal, but the power would manifest at 11th manifester level and behave as if he had spent 3 more on it than normal.
Psychic Enervation (Ex): Pushing oneself by invoking a wild surge is dangerous. Immediately following each wild surge, a wilder may be overcome by the strain of her effort. The chance of suffering psychic enervation is 15%. A wilder overcome by psychic enervation is dazed until the end of her next turn and loses a number of power points equal to her normal manifester level (the increase in manifester level from her wild surge does not increase the number of power points lost).
Elude Attack (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a wilder’s intuition supersedes her intellect, alerting her to danger from attacks. She gains a dodge bonus to her Armor Class against all attacks equal to half her Charisma bonus.
Volatile Mind (Ex): A wilder’s temperamental mind is hard to affect with telepathy or enchantment. Beginning at 5th level, the wilder gains a +1 bonus to saving throws against telepathy powers or enchantment spells. Every four levels beyond 5th (9th, 13th, and 17th level), this bonus improves by +1.
Whenever any telepathy power is manifested or any enchantment spell is cast on a wilder of 17th level or higher, the wilder receives a Will save to negate the effect in addition to any save the effect may allow; if the spell or power already allows a Will save to negate, the wilder makes a second one, and would need to fail both to be affected.
Perfect Surge (Su): The wilder has mastered the unmasterable and can now use a blindingly powerful version of wild surge, albeit at great cost. Once per day, the wilder may add +10 to her manifester level on one manifestation as if through wild surge. In addition to this increase, the manifestation also receives +3 to its save DC, +3 to any attack rolls involved, and is treated as a power five levels higher than it really is for the purposes of leveldependent effects (such as minor globe of invulnerability).
A power manifested with a perfect surge has the radius and intensity of its associated displays doubled; such displays
cannot be hidden normally. The wilder exudes light as if she is the subject of the daylight spell while using a perfect surge, and anyone who makes physical contact with her before the start of her next turn takes 1d4 points of fire damage.
However, this extreme example of wild surging has its price. The wilder is struck by psychic enervention afterwards without fail, except she is instead dazed for 1d4 rounds and loses a number of power points equal to her manifester level +10. The wilder also takes 2 points of ability burn to every ability score (ability burn is ability damage that cannot be magically or psionically healed; see the SRD or Expanded Psionics Handbook). The wilder cannot use wild surge or Overchannel on the
same manifestation as a perfect surge.
Using this altered wilder requires the following adjustments to new material presented in this book:
- Maenad Wilder: A maenad wilder struck by psychic enervation loses a number of power points equal to her manifester level +1, and suffers no other ill effects from such enervation. If he uses the Perfect Surge class feature, he dazed for one round (instead of 1d4) and loses a number of power points equal to his manifester level +5 (instead of his manifester level +10), though he still suffers the ability burn. The Resonance ability now reduces the Volatile Mind reducing the standard Volatile Mind’s power point drain.
- Pathos Dragons: A pathos dragon’s enervation acts exactly as it does above, except that they are not dazed.
- Dreamscarred: A dreamscarred wilder, while dreamphased, retains his racial immunity to psychic enervation.