The Mind's Eye05/23/2003

Psionic Monster Mayhem
"Not Quite 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"

Welcome to psionic monster mayhem! This month we have six aquatic creatures to challenge your psionic character. Also, to assist you in integrating them into your existing campaign, we composed several adventure hooks. To further enhance your enjoyment of the sea, we have created several new powers and items.

Adventure Hooks

Each of the following adventure hooks presents ideas for how to bring the specific creature mentioned into your game!

Deathweed: You can introduce the deathweed to your party simply by having a brood snatch a party member from the water while they are swimming or while they're standing on the deck of a ship they are traveling on. It can act as a diversion from the normal day-to-day activities in your campaign. Another way to introduce deathweed to your campaign is to have a captain of a merchant vessel hire the party to assist him in determining the cause of missing crewmembers. As it turns out, the bay where the ship is normally docked has become a feeding ground for a brood. The captain may offer the use of several crystal masks of the merfolk that he has accumulated over the years to help deal with the problem.

Devil Sail (Sea Nettle): A good way to introduce the devil sail to your campaign is via unforeseen circumstances such as rough seas. A party member can fall overboard and draw the attention of a devil sail. Another way to introduce them would be for the remains of one to wash ashore and harm innocent swimmers that came in contact with it. The party could be asked to help relocate the nearby devil sails.

Hamaguan: Hamaguan live militaristic lifestyles, and one day they hope to control all the world's oceans and seas. Encounters dealing with them would focus on things like the disruption of trade routes, unexplained raids upon ships, or perhaps even subtle land-based plots that help them fulfill their sea-oriented ambitions. The party may be introduced to them when a hamaguan raiding party attacks a ship they are on. Another way might be to have a nearby community of locathah (see the Monster Manual) work with or hire the party to help them stop raids on their homes as well as on shipping.

Hammerfish: Probably the easiest way to introduce the hammerfish is to have it attack a ship the party is on. Sinking the ship would be an interesting start to an adventure to be sure. The ship's crew could tell the party tales of a great "sea monster" that has destroyed entire fleets of ships, leaving no survivors.

Skum Renegade: Party members might encounter these skum in back alleys of seaports or cavernous regions along the sea. They may try to entice the party into getting involved in a battle with the aboleth (see the Monster Manual) they escaped service from; they quite often offer great rewards. If more than one or two renegades are found, it is usually a group that has escaped from their bondage and is struggling to survive.

Fulminating Crab (Zap Crabs): Though they prefer to stay in the water, occasionally zap crabs venture onto the shore in search of food. The party might stumble across a herd of zap crabs while traveling along a beach or rocky region adjacent to a body of water. Another way to introduce them to your campaign is on the menu at a local restaurant; psionic gourmets consider zap crabs a delicacy.

Sunken Treasures

With all of these wonderful sea creatures to encounter, we thought it might be fun to dig up some sunken treasures that might assist you in underwater adventuring. See what items you can add to your game.

Crystal Mask of the Merfolk: This crystal mask grants the wearer the abilities to breathe underwater and see 8d8x10 feet in clear water or 2d8x10 feet in murky water regardless of light conditions. It also grants the wearer a +5 competence bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Knowledge (geography) checks that are related to the sea.

Manifester Level: 6th; Prerequisites: Knowledge (geography) 5 ranks, Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, Craft Universal Item, elfsight, water breathing; Market Price: 32,000 gp; Weight: 1 lb.

Skin of Movement: This psychoactive skin gives the wearer the effect of freedom of movement.

Manifester Level: 8th; Prerequisite: Craft Universal Item, freedom of movement; Market Price: 40,000 gp; Weight: 2 lb.

Skin of the Sahuagin: This rare, ill-sounding psychoactive skin is in fact both useful and popular. It gives the wearer gills to breathe underwater, fin appendages to swim at a speed of 40 feet, two natural attacks (claw) that deal 1d12 points of damage, and one natural attack (bite) that deals 1d8 points of damage. It also grants underwater sense 30 feet just like a sahuagin (see the Monster Manual entry). You also take on the appearance of a sahuagin.

Manifester Level: 6th; Prerequisite: Craft Universal Item, bite of the wolf, claws of the bear, feel light, polymorph self, water breathing; Market Price: 30,000 gp; Weight: 2 lb.

Teeth of the Shark: Once per day, this necklace of shark teeth grants the user powerful jaws and big, nasty teeth, which gives you a natural weapon (bite) that deals 3d8 points of damage. The effect lasts for 10 hours.

Manifester Level: 10th; Prerequisite: Craft Universal Item, bite of the shark (see "Mysteries of the Deep" below); Market Price: 28,800 gp; Weight: 1 lb.

Whip of the Devil Sail: This +2 whip is made from the processed tendrils of the devil sail sea nettle. The process allows the whip to retain the paralytic effect of the devil sail tendrils. Anyone struck by it must make a Fortitude save (DC 16) or take 1d4 points of temporary Dexterity damage.

Manifester Level: 12th; Prerequisite: Craft Arms and Armor; Market Price: 32,301 gp; Cost to Create: 16,301 gp + 1,280 XP.

Items are based on ideas by Thramzorean of the Wizards of the Coast online community and Scott Brocius. Developed by Mark A. Jindra, Scott Brocius, and members of the Wizards of the Coast online playtesting community.

Mysteries of the Deep

Each of the following powers deals with water or underwater adventuring in some way. Whether it is finding water such as with dowsing, or helping your fellow adventurers to swim with enhanced swim, we think you will find something useful and fun for your psion or psychic warrior.

Astral Ichor
Metacreativity (Int)
Level: Psion 3/Psychic Warrior 3
Display: Vi
Manifestation Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature touched
Duration: 10 minutes/level
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Power Resistance: Yes (harmless)
Power Points: 5

Target creature's entire body, plus the inside of its mouth and lungs, is covered in a shimmering coat of ectoplasm. The ectoplasm acts as a filter that allows target to breathe normally in air or under water. The slick covering also grants recipient a +10 circumstance bonus on Escape Artist and Swim checks.

Bite of the Shark
Psychometabolism (Str)
Level: Psion 4/Psychic Warrior 4
Display: Vi, Ma
Manifestation Time: 1 action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 hour/level
Saving Throw: None
Power Resistance: No
Power Points: 7

Your mouth becomes wider and more sharklike, your teeth become pointed and sharp, and a second row of teeth appears just behind your existing teeth. Bite of the shark grants the manifester a natural weapon (bite) with a base damage of 3d8 points. This power can be used in conjunction with feats, other powers, or spells in that it allows additional attacks in 1 round, and it can be used with multiple attacks gained through level advancement. If you already have a bite attack, you use your bite, or the power's, whichever is better.

Clairsentience (Wis) [Divination]
Level: Psion 1
Display: Vi, Me, Au
Manifestation Time: 1 full round
Range: Personal
Effect: See text
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute/level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Power Resistance: No
Power Points: 1

You can detect the nearest water source (above or below ground) if it lies within medium range (100 feet + 10 feet/level). The power can penetrate barriers, including any amount of dirt, stone, or wood (up to the power's range), but 1 inch of common metal or a thin sheet of lead blocks it.

Enhanced Swim
Psychoportation (Dex)
Level: Psion 1/Psychic Warrior 1
Display: Me, Vi
Manifestation Time: 1 action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One creature
Duration: 1 minute/level (D)
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Power Resistance: Yes (harmless)
Power Points: 1

You give the subject creature the ability to swim at a speed of 30 feet (ignoring the effects of armor and encumbrance) without having to make a Swim check. It gets a +8 racial bonus on any Swim checks to perform a special action or to avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10, even if rushed or threatened when swimming. It can use the run option while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Lasting Breath
Psychometabolism (Str)
Level: Psion 0/Psychic Warrior 0
Display: Au
Manifestation Time: See text
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: See text
Power Points: 1

You slightly decrease your body's need for oxygen. You can hold your breath for a number of rounds equal to four times your Constitution score. Use of this power is a free action.

Water Breathing
Psychometabolism (Str)
Level: Psion 3/Psychic Warrior 3
Display: Ma
Manifestation Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Target: Living creatures touched
Duration: 2 hours/level [see text]
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Power Resistance: Yes (harmless)
Power Points: 5

The creatures affected by this power can breathe water freely. Divide the total duration evenly by the number of creatures touched. This power does not make creatures unable to breathe air.

Powers are based on ideas by pingpong, darkpsion, Eagle Prince, Mark A. Jindra, and Scott Brocius. Developed by Mark A. Jindra, Scott Brocius, and members of the Wizards of the Coast online playtesting community.

About the Author

Mark A. Jindra has been a fan of Dungeons & Dragons for the past 25 years and has organized RPGA Network events for many conventions and game days, including Origins and Winter Fantasy. In 1998 he landed his dream job as a web developer for Wizards of the Coast and is currently the developer of the D&D website. Mark has authored or coauthored various tournaments for the RPGA Network, and he also coauthors the monthly Mind's Eye feature on the Wizards of the Coast website.

Scott Brocius has been "kicking around" with the D&D game since being introduced to it 1980. He's been an RPGA member for several years and has helped organize and run RPGA events for several conventions, including Origins. The new edition of D&D has renewed his love for and interest in the game. Scott also coauthors the monthly Mind's Eye feature on the Wizards of the Coast website.

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