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There are conflicting paragraphs and statements in the descriptions currently making the power unplayable.

First of all, the Psionic version lasts 10 minutes per level, not 1 minute per level, which is the duration of the wizard spell. (XPH, p. 114)

Second, the Psionic version adds two directions in addition to the "up and down" As follows:

Levitate, Psionic: You move up and down, forward and back via mental support. (XPH, p. 70)

Again, this variation on mobility is repeated in the Complete Psionics book:

Levitate, Psionic: You move up and down, forward and back via mental support. (Complete Psionics, p. 72)

This is actually different from the text of the spell in the PHB, which reads,

Levitate: Subject move up and down at your direction. (PHB, p. 193)

Third, (as if this wasn't enough), while the text of the Psionic Levitate says

"When a psion, wilder, or a psychic warrior manifests this power, the target is the manifester (not a willing creature or object)

So why do they include the

Target: You or one willing creature or one object (total weight up to 100 lb./level) (XPH, p. 114)

in the description?

Was this power just overlooked in editing (i.e., is this a mistake)? I noticed unlike Flight, this power does not allow the user to go left or right, just forward and back, making it 2 dimensional motion.

If I'm reading this correctly, Wizard/sorcerer levitate is 1 dimension, Psionic Levitate is 2 dimensions, and flight/Overland Flight are 3 dimensions, respectively.

How I Interpret it So if i read the Psionic Levitate perhaps as it was intended, The character, and only the character (not objects or others) moves up, down, forward and back at a speed of 20 ft, for 10 minutes per level.

Psionic Levitate is radically different in duration, dimension, and target options from the Wizard Spell.

How would you interpret it?

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The targeting thing is simple enough, albeit horribly unclear.

Note this in the power’s description:

Level: Nomad 2, psion/wilder 2, psychic warrior 2

So when they say “psion, wilder, or psychic warrior,” they are basically saying “anyone but a nomad.” That is, nomads have the unique ability to manifest psionic levitate on another creature; everyone else has to manifest it only on themselves (it becomes a personal power for them). To me, it would have made much more sense to specify that nomads are the exception here, but oh well.

The forward and back thing vs. truly free movement à la psionic flight basically doesn’t matter since 3.5 does not have any concept of facing. It’s actually kind of bizarre that they made that distinction, since it has no weight. My guess is that they were trying to make things clearer than levitate, which might suggest that you could not move from your horizontal position while levitating.

So yeah, basically, for nomads, you can manifest psionic levitate on anyone in range. Everyone else, just on yourself. Either way, the target of the power gets to move in three dimensions; on a fluff level maybe they have to face the direction of their movement but this has zero effect on gameplay since facing is not a part of the game. Nothing about psionic levitate implies any restriction on turning.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ oh nice! i missed the Nomad notation! I also concluded any of the Complete Psionics classes like Ardent could probably target objects too. I thought about the direction thing, and i'd imagine you could at least use a change in direction to change your direction, but i think you have to be standing or pushing off a wall or something, or at the very least, moving in a straight line each round instead of curving around foes. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Tristian Jun 28 '17 at 21:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Aren't the facing rules plane dependent? Like, on the Plane of Air you can just pick whatever direction to be down or forward or backwards or whatever you want, but on the material plane there is One True Down and One True Left and all that. Pretty sure that's part of the gravity trait. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Jun 28 '17 at 21:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ the dark wanderer - That could be so. I just assumed since flanking and so forth have rules for where you are standing and also facing, that facing direction exists, like when setting down a miniature, so if you can't "see it" without turning 180 degrees, that direction you face is forward, and back is the opposite. \$\endgroup\$ – Tristian Jun 28 '17 at 21:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Flanking doesn't use facing exactly... it's just "your ally is directly opposite". Both you & your ally get a flanking bonus, regardless of which one is being attacked by the target. If you're both rogues, you can both sneak attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Jun 29 '17 at 7:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Tristian No, flanking does not have rules for which direction you are facing. They emphatically, intentionally, explicitly ignore facing, in the interests of simplifying and streamlining the rules. All creatures can see 360° around them for the purposes of Spot checks, because they are assumed to be constantly looking around and such. You cannot generally sneak up behind someone in this game. Turning around does not require any action; you are assumed to always be facing wherever you need to face. Which is why the “forward and back” of psionic levitate does not impede you at all. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jul 1 '17 at 15:03

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