Nijineko's Unseen Ways 3.5 conversion project

My previous project has reached the closing phase, thus it is now timely to open this thread.

I hereby announce that I will henceforth be commencing on the prep work for the 3.5 version of the Unseen Ways source book.


  • I anticipate that this thread will be the primary means that I will use to track and coordinate everything related to this project.

  • I welcome questions, suggestions, art, lore, commentary, requests, discussion, etc., to be posted here in this thread.

  • I will be working this project at my own pace in my free time, thus it is theoretically possible that it will take a year or three or so.

  • Contributors and volunteers are welcome to coordinate with me. To make this blunt and clear: I am the project manager; I welcome all input, and will sincerely consider and spend significant time contemplating each and every input… and I make all final decisions. (See also, Creative Criticism, below)

  • I plan to translate all the 2e powers in the Unseen Ways material to 3.5e mechanics, and plan to include an Athas-oriented adaption of every power found in the Master Psionic List. (The Master List has over 900 powers.)

  • NO MAGIC. AT ALL. Not even the StP ACF Erudite. (Which really is the most logical base for the so-called Advanced Being / Dragon thing, imho. )

  • Contributions (text, ideas, artwork, etc.,) must be able to be licensed under the OFSL without conflict or additions.

What I need:

  • Lore and Loremasters.

As all of you have likely become aware of by now, while I have gained more of an appreciation for the story and lore elements of Dark Sun thanks to the tireless efforts of this community, I remain woefully lacking in Athas lore. This is partly because of my autism spectrum disorder as well as personal background in and prefence for rules mechanics.

This is where I hope the community will shine… otherwise I am likely to simply copy/paste the existing text and make the minimal edits needed to update it to 3.5 concepts. I am guessing that you all would want more out of the text?

  • Artwork.

While I am an amateur artist of over 15 years, art takes time, and free time I lack, nor do I feel like playing with AI art at this time.
Please note that I will not include characters in art that I happen to feel is immodest, so thank you in advance for your patience and tolerance with my sensibilities (which may or may not seem capricious to the rest of the community). I prefer no-sunburn-possible styles of dress, FYI.

  • Constructive Criticism.

I welcome agreement, disagreement, and in between… but most especially well reasoned and logically constructed analysis for, against, or tweaking for any aspect of this project. I respond poorly to emotionally charged verbiage, and anything without a logical framework that I can comprehend. Note that this will be especially important for lore related items, as I will often lack context.
I may not agree with a given point in the end, but I am totally willing to consider and converse.

  • Heresies.

Are there alternative options that you want to see? Psi Whales? Idea toolkits for DMs of non-Athas settings? Alternative psionic rules and systems? Options involving how psionics would logically adapt to a post apocalyptic environment?

  • Suggestions.

Something I haven’t thought of that should be included?

What I expect to be responsible for:

  • Project management
  • Editing
  • Layout
  • Conversion to PDF
  • Licensing
  • Might contribute an art piece, depending
  • Rules mechanics (3.5)
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Will you be vetting Dreamscarred Press psionic powers that are available under OGL for inclusion?

A heresy could be some Pathfinder DSP classes, such as the Aegis. You could could make an Unearthed Psionics section of Unseen Ways for people that want to integrate these optional rules ala Unearthed Arcana. Some other classes are here. Including these would make Dark Sun a high psionics campaign.

My off the cuff attitude towards Dreamscarred has long been: interesting work, reasonably well written, not official for 3.5e or PF (as it is not in the PRD).

When I made the Master Psionics List, (and previously in my own gaming groups) I found a need to draw a line somewhere once the explosion of d20 compatible products happened.

For me, that line was “official-ness”.

Thus even before Dreamscarred became a thing, I only accepted official material in my games, which stance carried over into the MPL project. As such, the MPL only has official powers.

Official is defined as, “anything WoTC said was official”. Therefore, this includes all the Official Fan Sites, Dungeon and Dragon magazines, Kalamar during that short run along with other licensed universes, WoTC website material, and so forth.

As such, it has never been my intention to include any third party material, OGL or otherwise.

I am open to discussion about it, as promised. I think my initial contemplation about Dreamscarred would be to do a separate project and include Athas specific adaptions therein… which actually sounds like an interesting project. A world mind would be a logical evolution in a setting like Athas, I think.

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Ahhh, isn’t Dark Sun already a high psionics campaign setting by default? I’m pretty sure even in 2e it was high psionics. I mean time travel powers??

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The Will and the Way brought Dark Sun closer to a high psionics campaign, but it’s not quite there. High psionics means that a psionic oriented character classes could fullfill every party role.

Take another look at the DSP stuff. The vitalist is a psionics healer. Tactician a pisonic leader. Aegis is the psionic armour equivalent of a soul knife with lots of interesting options. And so on.

You could have a party consisting entirely of pisonic characters.

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Also, what about Hyperconscious by Bruce Cordell? AFAIK, these are OGL and Cordell is the designer of 3.5e psionics.

I recall reading over the Dreamscarred classes and feats with interest back when they first came out.

I appreciated the armor options, which was something that I really wanted for the Soulknife… the official option is a psi-shield via a feat, asking your DM nicely to allow you to re-fluff the Call Armor power to make it look the same as your mindblade, or turn on the glowing option on your inertial armor power.

Having a core healer was a nice touch a well, as opposed to the official Sangehirn prestige class psi-healer.

Even using only-official, I can make a full party easily.

The one thing lacking is positive or negative energy channeling, though there is the one power that destroys undead, the Illumine Soul, and the stygian branch of powers… and the whole undead rebuke/control thing which insofar as I can tell is NOT a psionics thing at all.

I guess I’m looking for a solid reason to include non official material when I’m already planning on including over 900 powers as it is, plus the 2e powers.

Prove it.

I think nearly anyone would call Nethril or Halruula in FR or Eberron a “high magic setting” and that is NOT a bar if ever heard of for such a descriptor.


Cordell fixed this in Hyperconscious with the ghost breaker PrC. Hyperconscious is the spiritual sequel to XPH, by the same author as XPH.

OK. I’ll prove it in the negatory sense that Dark Sun is a lower psionics campaign than a campaign that includes these options.

Ah, yes, I almost forgot about that book, it’s been so very long since I last read it. Pity it is not official, along with Dreamscarred. I would be very excited if they both were!

If official is your benchmark instead of game balance and viability, what of your intended conversions of psionic powers? Surely they will be “less official” than material produced by the creator of 3.5e psionics?

(Sigh), i honestly worry sometimes that we are not actually speaking the same language.

I meant, provide external verification/sources that: “High X (psionics in this case) means that a X-oriented character classes could fullfill every party role.” is an accepted definition of a High X setting.


Let me put it another way. Here is an OGL power from Hyperconscious by the creator of 3.5e psionics.

Level: Psion/Wilder 1
Display: None
Manifesting Time: One swift action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: One Diplomacy check
Power Points: 1

You gain temporary, intuitive insight into dealing equitably with others. Your Diplomacy check gains a +2 insight bonus.

Augment: For each 2 additional power points you spend, you can increase your Diplomacy check by +1

To be clear, your reason for exclusion of this power is that the guy that wrote the XPH for WotC didn’t get the WotC rubber stamp for Hyperconscious?

Very well. A higher psionics campaign, to bring the psionic classes more inline with the arcane classes, which have vastly more options.

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Good question.

First, I disagree with your seeming automatic assumption of disregard of balance and viability being somehow associated with my statement and preference.

Second, the unique advantage that has always had its exactly the grant of officiality by WoTC, along with all the other O.F. Sites, which grant has never been rescinded.

Anything Dark Sun 3e produces IS official. So I’m not worried about less official.

So if you published the power I posted above, it would be official Dark Sun material, no?

I’m not really seeing your point.

I do not have Mr. Cordell’s permission to publish said power, which would also cause me to violate copyright law without it.

Would you like me to ask his permission, since he and I have chatted in the past?

I reiterate that my decision to draw the line using official as the yardstick happened long before Dreamscarred existed or Mr. Cordell left WoTC… as such it has nothing to do with quality of product or the fact the he used to work for WoTC and published more stuff afterwards.

While I can see that you disagree, which is fine, and perhaps do not understand my reasoning, i have yet to see a well reasoned logical stance as to why I should include non official material into this specific initial Unseen Ways release, when there is so much material already on the table.

Note also that I specifically stated that OGL psionic material would be a great future release for This actually implies that I agree with you in the sense that an Athas adaption of legally available material should happen.

If it helps you to understand better, think of it in terms of project management: I already have hundreds of pages of material on the task list using my existing criteria, please give me good reasons why I should add tens or another hundred pages to my docket?

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I find this phrasing acceptable, thank you.

Shared and accepted meaning is the foundation of communication. Unclear or non-standard definitions can only lead to misunderstanding, frustration, and hurt feelings.

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I believe the powers themselves are OGL.

Designation of Product Identity: The following items are hereby designated as Product Identity in accordance with Section 1(e) of the Open Game License, version 1.0a: Any and all Malhavoc Press logos and identifying marks and trade dress, such as all Malhavoc Press product and product line names including but not limited to The Book of Eldritch Might, Mindscapes, A Psion’s Guide, Beasts of the Id, If Thoughts Could Kill, Hyperconscious: Explorations in Psionics, Beyond Countless Doorways, When the Sky Falls, any specific characters, monsters, creatures, and places; capitalized names and names of places, artifacts, characters, countries, creatures, geographic locations, gods, historic events, magic items, organizations, and abilities; any and all stories, storylines, histories, plots, thematic elements, and dialogue; and all artwork, symbols, designs, depictions, illustrations, maps, and cartography, likenesses, poses, logos, or graphic designs, except such elements that already appear in final or draft versions of the d20 System Reference Document or as Open Game Content below and are already open by virtue of appearing there. The above Product Identity is not Open Game Content.

Designation of Open Game Content: Subject to the Product Identity designation above, the following portions of Hyperconscious: Explorations in Psionics are designated as Open Game Content: the class advancement tables and Class Features in Chapter Eight; the feats in their entirety in Chapter Four; the power parameters (range, duration, etc.) and game mechanics in Chapter Seven; the psionic items of Chapter Five in their entirety; and anything else contained herein which is already Open Game Content by virtue of appearing in the System Reference Document or some other Open Game Content source.

Would you like me to ask his permission, since he and I have chatted in the past?


Its your rodeo and you should only do something that you are comfortable with. Don’t mind me, I am just shooting the breeze.