Sunday, October 25, 2015

New BX/LL Psionic Class: The Devine

As I've mentioned previously, the two main sources that fed the input for what Tim Kask developed as psionics in Eldritch Wizardry was a mystic class penned by Steve Marsh (which provided the source for the psionic disciplines) and a devine class created by Gary Gygax (which provided the source for psionic combat). The mystic class for the Basic Psionics Handbook was developed by me under the guidance of Mr. Marsh (and, again, I thank him profusely for his input and advice). Unfortunately, I don't have the same luxury of being able to ask Mr. Gygax for his input on a devine class. I do, however, have as reference a version of the devine class penned by Mr. Marsh under the class title of "Psychics" which I believe was either published in, or intended to be published in, an issue of The Cupric Text zine (I'll need to get clarification from him on this). His psychic class employs combat modes, and it was Mr. Marsh's "rock/paper/scissors" idea that fed the basis of the way psionic combat works in the Basic Psionics Handbook.

What you'll find below is my take on the devine character class for use with the Basic Psionics Handbook, inspired by the demon slayers of hindu legend. (Take a moment and go get your 1e Monster Manuals; you'll find that all greater demons possess psionics.) This class will for sure appear in the Character Class Codex, but will likely appear sooner in an addenda volume for the Basic Psionics Handbook (tentatively titled Addenda Psionica) which will include some additional psionic classes, powers, monsters and items I've been working on.

[BTW, I'm still slated for a PDF release of the BPH tomorrow morning.]


Please note that this character class requires use of Old School Adventures™ Accessory PX1: Basic Psionics Handbook.

The devine is a mystical combatant who balances physical prowess (with traditional weapons) and psionic prowess (through the use of psionic combat modes). Although the powers of a devine are derived from innate psionic talent, devines are akin to clerics in that they receive assistance from divine patrons known as devas (benevolent divinities) and asuras (malevolent divinities). Devines often find themselves in the roll of demon slayer, in service to a deity (or deities).

The prime requisites of a devine are Strength and Wisdom. If a devine has a score of 13 or greater in both Strength and Wisdom, the character will gain a +5% bonus on earned experience points. If a devine has a Strength of 13 or greater AND a Wisdom of 16 or greater, the character will gain a +10% bonus on earned experience.

Devines use the same attack and saving tables as clerics.

RESTRICTIONS: Devines determine their hit points with six-sided dice (d6). Devines may wield any type of weapon, wear any type of armor, and use a shield. They are permitted the magic items normally permitted a fighter, and the psionic items normally permitted a mystic. A devine must have a minimum score of 9 in both Intelligence and Charisma.

When a devine reaches name (9th) level, he or she may choose to build a fortress, which must contain a shrine. The cost of the construction is 125% of the normal cost for a similar fortress, as the devine will spare no expense in furnishing the building and decorating it in such as a way as to honor the divinity(s) to which the devine pledges his or her honor. Once constructed, the fortress will attract 2d6 1st level fighters who will serve the devine as a personal guard. There is a 50% chance that one of those fighters will, instead, be a 1st level devine.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Through a combination of meditation and devotion to the gods, devines are endowed with a number of special abilities. The greatest of these is their knowledge of psionic attack and defense modes, which devines gain as they rise in level. Because the devine dedicates himself to both the physical and the divine, devines earn PSPs at a much more restricted rate than mystics, but at a much greater rate than monks, gaining 4 PSPs per psionic level. Devines are subject to the same “character time” requirements as other psionicists for the daily regeneration of PSPs—an undisturbed period of meditation and prayer (usually about an hour) after a full-night (8 hours) of rest.

As the devine rises in level, a number of other special abilities are gained as outlined below:
Third Eye. Beginning at 3rd level, a devine gains a permanent third eye. While it precludes the use of third eyes (as psionic items), it does provide the devine with a number of permanent abilities based on his or her level, including the following:
– 3rd Level: infravision to 120'
– 5th Level: ability to see into the Ethereal Plane
– 7th Level: psionic true seeing
All of these abilities are usable concurrently if the devine so chooses.

Detect Planar Natives. Beginning at 4th level, a devine gains the ability to sense the presence of planar natives to a radius of 360' (if in the same plane as the devine). This ability works through all materials except iron, and includes bound creatures (e.g., through magic jar or in a soul gem). The type of being detectable depend on the level of the devine as below:
– 4th Level: Ethereal natives
– 6th Level: Astral Natives
– 8th Level: natives of the inner/outer planes
Devines are unable to detect the presence of natives of the Shadow or Dream Planes.

Extra Limbs. Beginning at 9th level, a devine gains access to the use of an extra pair of arms. These arms take 1 round of concentration to manifest and they remain for 3 turns, though the devine may dismiss them before the end of that duration. From 9th through 11th level, this ability is usable 3 times per day. Beginning at 12th level, it is usable 5 teims per day. These arms provide one additional one additional attack per round (as outlined below), but do not allow the use of a second shield:
a) 1 additional melee attack per round with a 1-handed weapon against the same opponent as the first attack (made with a separate 1-handed or 2-handed weapon) or
b) 1 additional arrow attack per round against the same target as the first attack, using the same bow as the first shot
While manifested, these extra limbs provide the opportunity to wear/use additional magic items (e.g., bracers, gloves, rings, etc.), increase the amount of weight a character may carry/lift/drag by 25%, and provide a +3 bonus to any Strength check or grappling attempt.

Banishment. Beginning at 10th level, a devine gains knowledge of the psychoportative discipline banishment. The devine may use this ability at will, but with the same PSP cost as a mystic (3 PSPs per use).

Concurrent Use of 2 Attack Modes. Beginning at 11th level, a devine may use 2 attack modes concurrently. The PSP cost for each is the same as normal. Victims must make separate psionic saving throws for each or suffer the effects of each attack as normally prescribed.

Concurrent Use of 2 Defense Modes. Beginning at 13th level, a devine may use 2 defense modes concurrently. The PSP cost for each is the same as normal. The benefits provided by the concurrent modes do not stack; instead, the more beneficial option of the 2 modes employed is used for the sake of determining saving throws, and the more beneficial option of the 2 modes employed is used for the sake of determining effects on a failed saving throw.


  1. What's up with the PSP numbers for the first three levels? They go up, down, and then back up again! After that, it's just +2 each level in a very uniform way.

    I've always wondered about the funny spelling of "devine". I guess associating it with the Hindu root deva- makes as much sense as anything else.

    1. PSP numbers were my fault (lost in transition when I retyped the table). Fixed now (gaining 4 PSPs per level).