Power Saving Throws
rules are similar to those used for spellcasting. In
fact, they are largely reiterations of the rules presented in
the Caster Saving Throw sidebar on the Magic page.
However, the key difference is that a Psionic power's DC is
randomized. (Note: I may decide later that the same
holds true for spellcasting. We'll see.)
Saelmaria, the saving throw against a psionic power is
affected by the level of the psionicist. As a psionicist
increases his mental powers, he should gain more insight into
the best way to manifest powers against others. A
1st-Level power manifested by a 20th-Level psion is more
difficult to resist than the same spell cast by a 1st-Level
psion. Additionally, as powers become more difficult to
manifest, they also become a bit more difficult to inflict on
others. As such, the relative DC number decreases
compared to lower-level powers.
saving throw against a psionic power is determine by DC = 1d20
+ Psionicist Level – Power Level + psionicist’s bonus for
the relevant ability score. For example, a 5th-Level
Telepath (Cha 13) manifesting a 3rd-Level Power has a saving
throw DC = 1d20 + 5 – 3 + 1 = 1d20 + 3. This number is
lower (for a 5th-Level Telepath) than that derived from the
formula on page 33 of the Psionics Handbook (DC 1d20 + 4).
However, a 1st-Level power manifested by the same Telepath
would have a save DC 1d20 + 5, whereas the Psionics Handbook
formula would result in a save DC 1d20 + 2.
this change of rules sacrifices some of the deadliness of
higher level powers until the caster reaches slightly higher
levels. A Psychic Warrior manifesting a 6th-Level power,
say Breath of the Dragon, will have a minimum DC 1d20 +
13 (16th Level – 6th Power Level + 3 Str Bonus), which
is still a pretty high DC for lower level characters to beat.
As that same Psychic Warrior grows in power to 20th Level, his
DC rises to 1d20 + 17. According to the old rules, his
DC would always have been 1d20 + 9, regardless of whether the
warrior had just learned to manifest 6th-Level powers or he
had been doing it for years.
may also notice that the DC for Breath of the Dragon
would be different if a psion with the same physical Strength
were to manifest it. A 12th-Level psion can manifest a
6th-Level Power, making the DC 1d20+9. Thus, while
psions may manifest higher-level powers earlier, their
experience with psionics as a whole is not as great (as
evidenced by the lower DC for the same power).
rule obviously makes it harder for characters to fight against
psionicists of much higher level than themselves.
However, it provides a means of adjudicating the expertise a
higher-level psionicist will develop with lower-level powers
over time. After all, at 17th Level a Savant should have
better chance of successfully using the 5th-Level power brilliant
blast (DC 1d20 + 14) than he had at 10th-Level (DC 1d20 +