How to Read a Power Description

In most significant respects, manifesting a psionic power follows the same rules as casting a spell. The differences between a power description and a spell description are summarized in this section. See How to Read a Spell Description, above, for information that is the same for both psionic powers and spells.

Key Ability

The first line beneath the power's name provides the key ability associated with the power. A psionic character must have a score in this ability equal to at least 10 + the power's level in order to manifest the power.

Powers By Ability


Descriptors are a way of classifying powers that have some common characteristic. Descriptors are often useful for knowing which creatures are or are not affected by a power. A power's descriptors (if any) appear in brackets on the line containing the key ability. Descriptors for powers include compulsion, electricity, fire, language-dependent, and mind-affecting.


The relative strength of a power is indicated by its level. A power's level also indicates whether a particular psionic character is capable of using the power, based on the character's class level and key ability score.


When psionic powers manifest, secondary displays usually accompany the primary effect. The psionic display may be auditory (Au), material (Ma), mental (Me), olfactory (Ol), or visual (Vi). Each power describes the sort of display that accompanies it.

Manifestation Time

Manifesting a psionic power is either an attack action or a full-round action, depending on the power. See the power descriptions for details.


Each psionic power has a range, as listed in the power description. A power's range is the maximum distance from the psionic character that the power's effect can occur. The range categories are the same as the ones used for spells.

Target, Effect, Area

These terms are defined and used the same as they are for spells.

Saving Throw

Most harmful powers allow an affected target a saving throw to avoid some or all of the effect. Each power lists which saving throw type applies. The DC for a saving throw to resist a power is 10 + the power's level + the psionic character's key ability modifier. The terms used to define the various types of saving throws and results are the same as for spells.

Power Resistance

Power resistance is a special defensive ability that protects against psionic powers. If a psionic character faces a creature with power resistance, he or she must make a level check (1d20 + psionic character's class level) equal to or greater than the creature's power resistance for the power to affect it.

Each power description includes an entry that indicates whether power resistance applies to the power (if so, Yes; if not, No). Other details are the same as for spell resistance.

Power Point Cost

All powers of a certain level have the same power point cost. The point cost to manifest a particular power is also provided in that power's description.

Descriptive Text

A power's descriptive text explains how the power works or what it does.

Power Failure

If a character tries to manifest a power in conditions where the characteristics of the spell (range, area, and so forth) cannot be made to conform, the effort fails and the power is wasted.

Powers also fail if the character's concentration is broken (see the Concentration skill).

New Feat

If the Gamemaster decides to include psionics in the campaign, he or she will make the following feat available to psionic characters.

Wild Talent

The character can manifest one 0-level psionic power.

Benefit: Select one 0-level psionic power. The character can manifest this power up to three times in a 24-hour period. There is no power point cost for using this power. Where manifester level is a factor (such as for determining the range of the power), use the character's manifester level + 1. Thus, if a character has no levels in an appropriate psionic class, she uses the power as if she were a 1st-level manifester.

Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Each time it is taken, the character selects a different power.