How much psionics does a character need to become an advanced being (dragon or avangion)? 3.5e rules

  • Wizard 9th level Spells, Psion 6th level powers ( standard). Can become an advanced being at 21st level.
  • Wizard 9th level Spells, Psion 9th level powers (2E traditional). Can become an advanced being at approximately 24th or 25th level.
  • Something else. Detail in your reply.

0 voters

I am keen to see responses and the results of this poll. Consensus on this is very important, especially since consensus was not achieved back in the day.

I voted something else since “Advanced Beings” covers more than Dragons and Avangions. For arcane advanced beings, I use 2E of 9th level spells and powers with advancement of specific forms being rituals that combine arcane and psionic energy. For the divine advanced beings I use a class level transformation with a heavier focus on the divine class, so only require 9th level spells and 6th level powers.


A dead heat so far. Anyone care to elaborate on the rationale for their vote?

I guess it’s worth bumping this thread to explain why the Athas dot org designers went with 9/6 instead of 9/9. The reasoning given at the time was twofold.

  1. The epic bureau wanted to equate advanced beings with epic play. Since epic is 21st level, 9th levels spells and 6th level powers is as high as you can go.

  2. For various reasons, some of the designers wanted certain Sorcerer Monarchs, such as Hamanu, to be psychic warriors. Psychic warriors have a maximum powers level known of 6th level.

These are the reasons. Unfortunately, Legends of Athas never left beta and Sorcerer Monarchs were not given stats because they would have to be 50 - 80 levels to be credible under the framework they provided.

Under my framework it doesn’t really matter because whether it’s 9/6 or 9/9, the SMs will still be sufficiently powerful. Still, the question of whether it takes 9/6 or 9/9 to become an advanced being is important.

I went with the Athas dot org standard because:

  1. Advanced Beings are generally spellcasters who then mix in psionics. They’re spellcasters first and psychic classes second. Requiring lower psychic potential than spellcasting therefore makes sense.

  2. As you noted later, 9th/6th lets Psychic Warriors get in on the action.

  3. 2E and 3E differ when it comes to character level - a character with 17 levels in wizard and a psychic class is 17th level in 2E and 34th in 3E. 21st level is generally accepted to be the point in both 2E and 3E where the game fundamentally changes, which puts a 3E character needing to take levels 17-34 from 1st to 17th again at a serious disadvantage.

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Thanks. Here are the objections that were raised to psychic warriors back in the day. Objections to point 2 and 3.

Psychic warriors only see 6th level powers at level 17. This creates the scenario of requiring a level 34 character, assuming 9th level spells and 6th level powers. This can be circumvented somewhat by going the 7 wizard 7 psychic warrior, 10 cerebremancer route, which will yield 9/6 at level 24. But the problem with that is that this character isn’t really much of a psychic warrior at all due to the dual progression by cerebremancer. To put it another way, among psychic warriors, these characters will be the least of their kind, lacking the BAB and feats of other psychic warriors.

By contrast, a psion 7 wizard 7 cerebremancer 10 is 9/9 spells/powers at level 24.

One other point which is very important. A psychic warrior sorcerer monarch will be capped at 6th level powers. Some people see Hamanu as a psychic warrior because he enjoys fighting on the front line. If Hamanu is psychic warrior, it’s important to understand that he certainly won’t be doing the kind of things he did with psionics in Rise and Fall of a Dragon King, and he will languish in psionic inferiority to the Sorcerer Monarchs that are psions.

The framework I have created will do much to improve such a character (including increasing BAB), but nothing can be done to fix this fundamental difference of the psionic classes.

To quote another member of this forum in an ancient post on another forum -

Its sad though that the militant champions - Hamanu, Dregoth, and Borys - will only get psychic warrior levels, meaning I won’t be able to reflect what Hamanu does daily in RaFoaDK…because now he simply doesn’t have the powers and the power-levels in question.

I couldn’t say it better myself.

The cap on powers is a greater problem than the entry requirements in my opinion. And if someone wants a sporty or militant Sorcerer Monarch on the psionic side, a specialist in psychometabolism fits the bill just as well.

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I just can’t stomach the idea of a SM without high level psionic powers. The idea of Psionic Enchanments is that mastery of magic and the way allows you to combine the two to create even more powerful effects. If you only have 6th level powers you haven’t mastered the way and you shouldn’t be able to cast Psionic Enchanments, thusly you can’t perform any of the metamorphosis spells.

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I believe that the basis chosen for 9th level spells, whether divine or arcane, is appropriate. At that point the characters are getting into truly ridiculous capabilities. Rather than seeking out 9th level psionic powers, which in theory are just as potent, spells seem to have really damaged and changed the framework of Athas.

Arcane magic really changed things and mopped the floor with the other capabilities. It has showed the most potential in a curious way. However, its not to say that devotees may be able to prove their strengths equal to or greater. It seems that high level spellcasting is more important than high level psionics to become an advanced being.

I would be interested to see a more psionically focused Advanced Being. That would be a curious draft. As is however, I think the current draft of 9/6 is pretty accurate. It also allows for players to have a bit of freedom with their builds if they were trying to pursue those paths.