Tome of Magic offers three new forms of magic for your D&D game: pact, shadow, and truename magic capitalize on a wealth of fantasy literature, D&D history, and real-world esoterica to give you new play options that fit seamlessly with your ongoing game. This article focuses on pact magic and the nature of vestiges -- the spirits that pact magic practitioners summon.
Vestiges by Level
Arete, the First Elan
Arete, a powerful psion who sought immortality, created a new race but doomed himself to never-ending rebirths. His granted abilities provide binders with access to several qualities that toughen the body and mind.
Legend: After a memorable battle with a powerful lich, Arete, a powerful psion, took the time to explore the path of lichdom. He pondered that if immortality can be achieved through "undeath," could it not also be achieved through "unlife" too? After decades of research, he had his answer, but unknown to him, he had made a small oversight. Life begins with birth and unlife would require rebirth.
He awoke from his ritual immortal and rejuvenated, but soon discovered he had lost a lifetime of knowledge and power. His own journals told him what he had once possessed and it became his obsession to regain that power. Unfortunately, every time he did the ritual again to get back what he had lost, he was reborn anew.
No one knows how many times he was reborn, but somewhere along the way, he became a vestige and some believe that every time his vestige is summoned, he is reborn yet again.
Special Requirement: Arete does not like to be reminded that the elan are considered abominations by some, and he does not answer your summons if you are already bound to Chupoclops or Eurynome.
Manifestation: A mirror rises from his seal, reflecting the binder who makes the summons. The summoner's reflection fades to be replaced by that of a young, male Elan with hair too red, eyes too blue, and skin too bronze. While he speaks, his physical moves mirror the summoner's every action.
Sign: Your body's colors alter to become slightly off. Blonde hair becomes too golden, green eyes become too emerald green, and your skin becomes faultless and has no pores.
Influence: You do not get hungry or tired while bound to Arete, but you do suffer negative effects if you do not eat or sleep for the duration that the vestige is bound. If faced with a need to do research, Arete insists that you seek out lore regarding him and his research into immortality as well, which can often double or even triple the time you spend seeking information (DM's discretion; finding out where the local rowdies ran off to after a tavern fight might not give Arete grounds to require research into his own past, for example).
Granted Abilities: While bound to Arete, you gain powers that Arete had at some point in his search for immortality.
Psionic Boon: You gain 13 power points when you bind to Arete. These are added to your pool of power if you already possess psionic power, or they create a pool and you become a psionic creature for the duration of this binding.
Resistance: Your gain a +4 resistance bonus on a saving throw of your choice. You may change this to another saving throw as a move action.
Damage Reduction: Your body becomes unnaturally tough as you gain damage reduction 5/--.
Repletion: You gain access to the psionic powers body adjustment , body purification, and sustenance for the duration of the binding. You may manifest each power as a psion would and as if it is a power known by you. You may augment each power as a psion normally could, substituting your effective binder level in place of manifester level.
The Triad is a gestalt of three forgotten gods of a lost civilization of mystics. They give binders access to both martial abilities and lore-seeking traits. Inspired by "Beyond the Glittering Veil" by Steven Kurtzin Dungeon #31.
Legend: Once long ago, a civilization of psionic mystics may have been the genesis of much of the known psionic knowledge. Their legacy spanned multiple worlds and planes due to their "glittering portals" that allowed instantaneous travel from city to city and plane to plane. Unfortunately, the very gates that allowed them to rise to greatness also doomed them to darkness. The gates functioned by passing through the Plane of Shadow and, over time, the shadows leaked into the gate and then into the travelers. Eventually, darkness consumed the mystics' cities one by one, and many of the mystics themselves became shades. Even the gods of the mystics started to be consumed by shadow.
Gorn, the god of knowledge; Rujsha, the goddess of justice; and Mintar, the god of battle, were the last three gods of the mystics, and they found themselves losing all their worshipers to shadows. When the shadows started pulling at them, they decided they had only one way to save themselves. They combined their essence into one being, and while it saved them from the shadows, it condemned them to existence as a vestige.
Special Requirement: The Triad will not bind with someone with any connection to the Plane of Shadow, whether that's by feat, class abilities, or any other association.
Granted Abilities and Psionics
As with those granted abilities listed for each vestige in Tome of Magic, the granted abilities listed below are all supernatural abilities. While you may wish to refresh your memory about all of the rules regarding the granted abilities on page 19 of Tome of Magic, we thought it might be helpful to point out a few things here.
All powers granted by vestiges are supernatural in origin, even if they replicate spells or abilities that are not normally considered magical. This includes psionic powers.
Supernatural abilities are magical and thus are suppressed in an antimagic field.
Supernatural abilities are not subject to spell resistance (or psionic resistance).
If a supernatural ability granted by a vestige mimics the effect of a spell or shadow magic mystery (or psionic power), the caster level of that ability is always equal to a binder's effective binder level.
A binder shows no outward sign when using a granted ability, unless the ability description specifies that he must concentrate, or the use of the ability would be obvious based on its description (such as a ray projecting from the binder's eyes).
Effects created by the binder's supernatural abilities end when the vestige leaves the binder, or if the binder dies while bound.
The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a vestige-granted power is 10 + 1/2 effective binder level + binder's Cha modifier.
Manifestation: A glowing purple jade statue rises from the seal. As it rotates, it changes form from a young man with spectacles reading a book (Gorn), to a motherly woman with her eyes covered by bandages (Rujsha), to a man in armor holding his sword in a salute (Mintar).
They continue each other's sentences, but the style of their speech does change with who is speaking (see Influence).
Sign: Your facial features alter slightly each hour you are bound to the Triad; they shift from a young man's inquisitive face to a woman's concerned features to a bearded masculine face and back again.
Influence: Your mental aspect shifts to match the face that is currently your sign. As Gorn, you are inquisitive and use many words -- some would say too many. As Rujsha, you are caring and motherly, speaking to others as if they were children. As Mintar, you are honor-bound and slightly combative in manner. When your path crosses that of one influenced by shadow, the gestalt insists that you either face that being first when in combat or avoid that being (and any effects or assistance the being may wish to provide) outside of combat.
Granted Abilities: While bound to the Triad, you gain a range of abilities that represents the essence of their former separate beings.
Psionic Boon: You gain 15 power points when you bind to the Triad. These are added to your pool of power if you already possess psionic power, or they create a pool and you become a psionic creature for the duration of this binding.
Call to Mind: You gain access to the psionic power call to mind for the duration of the binding. You may manifest the power as a psion would and as if it is a power known by you. You may augment it as a psion normally could, substituting your effective binder level in place of manifester level.
Psicraft Bonus: You gain a +5 bonus on Psicraft checks, and you can make Psicraft checks as if you were trained, even if you have no ranks in that skill.
Bardic Knowledge: You can use bardic knowledge as if you were a bard, but to determine your bonus, use your effective binder level instead of your bard level. Any level-based bonuses for bardic knowleged that are gained from other sources stack with the bonus gained from effective binder level.
Empathy: You gain access to the psionic power empathy for the duration of the binding. You may manifest the power as a psion would and as if it is a power known by you. You may augment it as a psion normally could, substituting your effective binder level in place of manifester level.
Diplomacy Bonus: You gain a +5 bonus on Diplomacy checks.
Smite Evil: Three times per day, you can attempt to smite an evil creature with a single melee attack. You add your Charisma bonus (if any) to the attack roll and deal 1 extra point of damage per effective binder level. If you accidentally smite a creature that is not evil, the attempt has no effect. Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.
Detect Hostile Intent: You gain access to the psionic power detect hostile intent for the duration of the binding. You may manifest the power as a psion would and as if it is a power known by you. You may augment it as a psion normally could, substituting your effective binder level in place of manifester level.
Sense Motive Bonus: You gain a +5 bonus on Sense Motive checks.
Weapon Proficiency: You gain proficiency in all simple, martial, and exotic weapons.
Abysm, the Schismed
Abysm, the Schismed, is a living vestige of a psionic mythal. As a vestige, Abysm gives its host access to several psionic effects.
Legend: Little is known about the origin of the vestige that is Abysm, but some have learned that a strange group of psionic users once visited the great city of Myth Drannor on Faerûn. These visitors wished to learn more about mythals and spent much time in research while in the great elven city. Scholars theorize that they then created a psionic mythal around a secret city of psychics and called it Abysm.
Imagine a city of psions, all interconnected by their psicrystals and a great mythal of psionic energy. Now imagine all of them dying overnight. No one knows what disaster visited the city, but it killed every living thing. Some believe that due to the inhabitants' direct connection to the mythal by way of their psicrystals, their souls did not depart as they should have. Instead they got caught in the weave of psionic energies, and the resulting combination of energies was simply too much for the crystals to hold -- all psicrystals shattered at once and gave birth to the vestige that is Abysm.
Some researchers and lore-seekers say that Abysm has only recently became sane enough to maintain a safe binding for more than a few seconds. Many old tales relate how binders found themselves being nearly driven insane just by contacting it, but now it does respond and answer the call of those who seek it.
Manifestation: Crystals grow from the seal into a prismatic tree that suddenly cracks and shatters into dust. The dust swirls into a shimmering, rainbow-laden cyclone that forms an indistinct face. A discordant voice speaks to the binder, saying, "We, Abysm."
Sign: Your fingernails and toenails become crystal, and you "sweat" gem dust like a maenad does.
Influence: Your speech pattern becomes disconnected, as if many voices are trying to speak through you. Your mannerisms also change from moment to moment: masculine to feminine, regal to shy, and confident to passive. Abysm requires that the binder not use a psicrystal for the duration of the binding.
Granted Abilities: While bound to Abysm, you gain powers that various city inhabitants had at some point in their lifetimes.
Psionic Boon: You gain 21 power points when you bind to Abysm. These are added to your pool of power if you already possess psionic power, or they create a pool and you become a psionic creature for the duration of this binding.
Overpower: You gain access to the psionic powers read thoughts , animal affinity , energy missile, psionic levitate, clairvoyant sense, and astral construct for the duration of the binding. You may manifest each power as a psion would and as if it is a power known by you. You may augment each as a psion normally could, substituting your effective binder level in place of manifester level.