There are a lot of ways for a psychic to gain her abilities. One of my favorites is a result of weird science. But in a fantasy setting, what sort of strange entities might be experimenting with creating human psychics? Well, you’ve read the title of the article, so most likely you’ve already guessed that I landed on aboleths. These aquatic masterminds are already known to have a history of tampering with humanity, and are psychic themselves, so the link seemed pretty straightforward. Today’s article presents a new psychic discipline and three phrenic amplifications that are thematically linked to aboleths.
New Psychic Discipline
You are the result of aboleth experimentation with humanoid genetics. This experimentation may have occurred before you were even born, and you may even have been grown in a vat. Alternatively, the experiment may have occurred in your adulthood, and you may have been captured and subjected to strange and alien science against your will. In either case, the experimentation permanently opened your mind to psychic phenomena, and left you with both a number of strange abilities, and the nagging feeling that your creators aren’t done with you yet.
Phrenic Pool Ability: Charisma.
Bonus Spells: touch of the seaAPG (1st), aboleth’s lungARG (4th), suggestion (6th), crushing despair (8th), mirage arcana (10th), program image (12th), project image (14th), symbol of insanity (16th), dominate monster (18th).
Discipline Powers: In addition to opening your mind to psychic phenomena, the aboleth experiments also left you with a number of unique abilities.
Aboleth Slime (Ex): As a swift action, you can cause a glob of ectoplasm with effects similar to aboleth slime to coalesce in the palm of your hand. You can deliver the slime with a melee touch attack, or a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 5 feet. This attack can be made as a standard action, or as part of a full-attack action. Once the slime is created in this way, it must be used within 1 round per point of Charisma modifier you possess, or the slime dissipates into nothingness.
A creature struck by the slime must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your class level + your Charisma modifier), or suffer its effects. An affected creature’s skin and flesh transform into a clear, slimy membrane, inflicting 1d4 points of Constitution damage and reducing the creature’s natural armor bonus to AC by the same amount (to a minimum natural armor bonus to AC of +0). Additionally, if the creature’s flesh isn’t kept moist, it dries quickly and the victim takes 1d12 points of damage every 10 minutes. These effects persist until all ability damage inflicted by this ability is healed, or until the affected creature is subject to a successful remove disease spell, or similar effect. Multiple doses of slime do not stack.
You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. If the target fails its saving throw by 5 or more, you regain 1 point in your phrenic pool.
Psychic Shielding (Ex): You have been conditioned by the aboleths that instilled you with psychic abilities, making you resistant to the psychic abilities of others. You gain a +2 bonus on saving throws made to resist mind-affecting effects, except those originating from aboleths, against which you suffer a –2 penalty.
Rubbery Body (Su): Beginning at 5th level, you can expend 1 point from your phrenic pool in order to cause your body to become rubbery and malleable, like one of the aboleth’s other creations, the faceless stalker. You gain DR 5/piercing and slashing for 1 minute. During this time, you also gain the compression universal monster ability.
Create Skum (Su): Beginning at 13th level, you gain the ability to transform a humanoid creature into skum, the servitor race of the aboleths. This is a lengthy and delicate process, and the subject must be either helpless or willing (for the purposes of effects like charm person or suggestion, this counts as an unreasonable request against the target’s nature, but not a suicidal one). The process requires 8 hours to perform, after which it takes 24 hours for the transformation to occur. This also expends all of your uses of your aboleth slime class feature for the day.
The affected creature’s race changes to skum. It loses all class levels, though it retains vague memories of its former life. Skum created in this way are slavishly obedient to you, as though controlled with dominate person. You can control a total number of Hit Dice worth of skum in this way at any given time equal to twice your class level. Any skum in excess of this have a starting attitude of helpful towards you, but are not under your control.
Skum created in this way are predisposed to serve aboleth masters, and you suffer a –4 penalty on opposed Charisma checks made against aboleths for control of the skum.
New Phrenic Amplifications
The following phrenic amplifications are aboleth-themed, but available to all psychics.
Aquatic Spell (Su): The psychic can expend 1 point from her phrenic pool to cause the linked spell to function underwater in the same fashion that it does above water. This applies only to spells that function differently, or cannot normally be cast, while underwater.
Slimy Spell (Su): The psychic can expend 1 point from her phrenic pool when casting a spell with a range of touch. If she does so, the spell manifests in the form of congealed ectoplasmic slime. The slime can be used to deliver the spell as a melee touch attack, or a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 5 feet. The target is not affected by the spell until 1 round after they have been touched by the ectoplasm. If they take a standard action to scrape off the ectoplasm during that round, they gain a +2 bonus on any saving throw made to resist the spell’s effects, but if they fail to remove the ectoplasm, they suffer a –2 penalty on such saving throws, instead.
Transform Lungs (Su): The psychic can expend 2 points from her phrenic pool when casting a transmutation spell. If she does, the linked spell also causes the target to lose the ability to breathe air, and gain the ability to breathe water (or vice versa). If the target is unwilling, and the spell does not normally allow a saving throw, the target may make a Fortitude save to resist this aspect of the spell. Additionally, at any time during the spell’s duration, the target can attempt a new Fortitude save to resist this effect as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, as the target attempts to regulate its breathing by taking slow, steady breaths and avoiding strenuous activity. Success on this secondary Fortitude save ends only the change to the target’s breathing, not other aspects of the linked spell.