In 3rd edition there was the Arch-Psion, which was the Archmage with the serial numbers filed off. The Arch-psion was for various reasons problematic, didn’t feel very psionic, and thus was never updated to 3.5e. However, there was no psionic prestige class created, even by athas.org, that would fulfill the role of the psionic counterpart to the Archmage.
Therefore I present you with the Master of the Way, a 5 level psionic prestige class for 3.5e (and pathfinder with some very minor alterations).
Not a fan of adding more detritus to leadership, and ego checks are too fringe. Adding another focus might be overpowered because this is a 5 level class and the power level is already sufficient I think. You want something more mechanical - I will come up with something but its not going to be powerful. The class is designed to accelerate in power as you gain levels and it does that.
That’s right. So metapsionics and augments are in play, especially with the lower level powers.
Craft (all skills, taken individually), Decipher Script, Heal.
I can’t account for every potential entry into the class. I may just say for any other cases “select three skills from the manifesting class that qualifies you to take levels in Master of the Way if your class is not one of the above”.
Perhaps I could throw in the ‘capstone’ of Mindbender, which is gained in the Mindbender PrC at 1st level. This -
Telepathy (Su): A mindbender unlocks one of the most basic elements of his mental craft at 1st level, gaining the ability to communicate telepathically with any creature within 100 feet that has a language.
I could give that at 5th level, I suppose. Its certainly not overpowered at the level at which it can be gained.
OK - here are the revisions. I think this makes the Master of the Way a much neater package.
Telepathy (Su): A master of the way unlocks one of the most important elements of the way at 5th level, gaining the ability to communicate telepathically with any creature within 100 feet that has a language.
Acknowledged Master of the Way
At 5th level you are acknowledged as a true Master of the Way. You may use your ranks in psicraft instead of your ranks in diplomacy or intimidate to make diplomacy or intimidate checks against manifesters or creatures with the psionic subtype.
Select three class skills as class skills from the manifesting class that qualifies you to take levels in master of the way if you are not a psion.