A couple weeks ago we discussed the possible presence of both psionics (Dreamscarred Press or the ancestral system) and psychic magic (from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Occult Adventures) in the same campaign. Further we discussed possibility of associated planar origins for their respective powers. Today we further expand the concept…
Liminal Agents – Mental Power Sources in Pathfinder
While the mysteries of the occult are diverse and not easily attributed to any one source the mechanical realities of the psychic magic classes suggests fascinating cosmological implications. The churn of planar energies between the transitive planes becomes a highly likely source of power.
The concept presents itself that the mentalist character has awakened a liminal point within themselves. Becoming both a being of prime matter flesh and transitive potentials these characters experience a state of hyper-reality allowing them to command fantastic powers and spells. Some of these characters can even reach back through the material world to experience a retrograde liminal flow (a second power undercurrent) mirroring another planar state. Let’s take a look:
Liminal Planar Origins:
Ethereal – Psychic Magic
Dsecribed as a “ghostly realm” in which a traveler “experiences the real world as if the world were… insubstantial.” And that “strange creatures dwell in the Ethereal Plane, as well as ghosts and dreams, many of which can sometimes extend their influence into the real world in mysterious and terrifying ways.” The Ethereal is also strongly linked to the Inner Spheres likely providing kineticists their direct elemental conduits. Demiplanes of raw emotion and dream intersect infuse the ether.
Classes: Occult classes (psychic, spiritualist, medium, occultist, mesmerist and kineticist)
Attributes: Emotive, Haze, Ghosts, Dreams, Reality, Cosmic Fire and ki.
Potential Retrograde Users: Wilders (emotion based surges), dreads (nightmare projection)
Astral – Psionic Power
“Dotted tiny motes of physical reality” with subject gravities and utilizing as an instantaneous mode of teleportation. Is it any surprise with micro-reality motes and the instantaneous movement that a psionic entity with an astral origin would be able to assemble quicksilver effects with mote by mote precision?
Classes: Psionic (psion, wilder, psychic warrior, aegis, soulknife, dread, cryptic)
Attributes: Clarity, Focuses, Spiritual Transition, Thought-Forms, Timeless, and Travel
Potential Retrograde Users: Psychic (some phrenic surges), echo (psionic source)
Shadow – Antipodism/Shadow Magic
Described as a “a grim, colorless ‘duplicate’ and a “warped and mocking ‘reflection’ …infused with negative energy.” The duality and distortions of the Shadow Plane allow spells like shadow walk and the quasi-real effects like shadow evocation or shades. Powers that play light versus shadow or the spin like burning phosphur on the balance.
Classes: Antipodist, edgewalker, edgeblade, nightblade, echo, shadow assassin, shadow warrior, and the ancestral system.
Attributes: Darkness, Duality, Warping Magic, Warping Space, Mimicry, and Liminal Power.
Potential Retrogrades Users: Cryptics (disrupt pattern), dreads (fear and nightmare effects), mesmers and psychics.
The transitive-planar model of liminal empowerment for mentalists, psychics and spiritualists creates a multitude of storyline possibilities and implications for your campaigns.
Liminal Empowerment Story Ideas:
- Rival Orders – It is possible to see these traditions as culturally or inherently oppositional. Each group could be trying to assert itself as the true masters of liminal energy trying to control or dominate the others in subterfuge, competition or open warfare.
- Communal Study – Perhaps a group of liminal users has come together to purse the mastery of all transitive empowered skills to achieve ultimate power over reality itself.
- Invasion – It is possible that one or more of the liminal traditions could be entirely new to the world. Even more so if a persons internal link can be converted to another source. Psions or psychics suddenly collapsing into seas of internal shadow or masters of carefully controlled twilight exploding into wild psionic power.
No one view point can likely contain the power of the mind but introducing liminal origins can have staggering and exciting possibilities for your Pathfinder Roleplaying Campaign.
Echo (our liminal power user) and our other products are available on d20pfsrd.com, drivethruRPG, paizo and RPGNow.
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