The innate power of the mind is present within all creatures. But it is those who choose to take levels in psionic classes who can unlock and develop this immense power contained within. This mental energy exists in many forms: Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma are direct links to the conscious mind, but the physical abilities: Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, are also factors. Each of these component pieces is like a single facet of a greater whole.
Psionic characters do not simply tap into the power of the mind, but the power of the mind and the body together. The psionic classes utilize the totality of consciousness to transform thoughts, ideas, and dreams into the real world.
If you have levels in more than one psionic class, you combine your power points from each class to make up your reserve. You can use these power points to manifest powers from any psionic class you have.
While you maintain a single reserve of power points from your class, race, and feat selections, you are still limited by the manifester level you have achieved with each power you know.
Psionic characters fuel their abilities through a pool, or reserve, of power points. Your power point reserve is equal to your base power points gained from your class, bonus power points from a high key ability score (see Abilities and Manifesters, below), and any additional bonus power points from sources such as your character race and feat selections.
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The ability that your powers depend on—your key ability score as a manifester—is related to what psionic class (or classes) you have levels in: Intelligence (psion), Wisdom (psychic warrior), and Charisma (wilder). The modifier for this ability is referred to as your key ability modifier. If your character’s key ability score is 9 or lower, you can’t manifest powers from that class.
Just as a high Intelligence score grants bonus spells to a wizard and a high Wisdom score grants bonus spells to a cleric, a character who manifests powers (psions, psychic warriors, and wilders) gains bonus power points according to his key ability score. Refer to Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Power Points.
How To Determine Bonus Power Points: Your key ability score grants you additional power points equal to your key ability modifier × your manifester level ×½. Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Power Points shows these calculations for class levels 1st through 20th and key ability scores from 10 to 41. For multiclass characters, calculate bonus power points for each class individually and add all bonus power points gained to your power point pool.
If you already have a psionic character from the previous rule system, you should find that the changes needed are mostly new options available, rather than the removal of your existing abilities.
For psions, you will find that your choice of discipline offers several new abilities as you gain levels in your class, including powers you can use at will, the ability to detect psionics, and an entirely new option for those who do not want to pick a discipline: the generalist. There have also been some consolidation of powers, so you may find that you have empty slots for powers known to choose new powers, and that some powers have been given new names.
For psychic warriors, you will find that you can now pick a path that improves one aspect of your combat abilities, but that it does so without detriment to your other abilities. In addition, you will find that you have a slightly larger power point pool available, and some new class features available regardless of which path you choose for your character.
For soulknives, the changes are more drastic, as your character has been changed to having a good base attack bonus progression, and you now gain blade skills at every even level that offer versatility and never-before-seen options for use with your mind blade. In addition, the options available for your mind blade have been expanded, although some of your previous abilities may now be blade skills, rather than automatic abilities.
For wilders, there are different options available to customize the wild surge that defines your class. These options range from the standard wild surge, to granting nearby allies benefits, to channeling your wild surge through psionic items. In addition, you gain an at-will ability to deal a modest amount of damage.
In addition, many of the feats from previous editions that dealt with expending or maintaining psionic focus have new options available, making them useful for both aspects of psionic focus, rather than only for one or the other.