I have a character in a 3.PF game (using Pathfinder's core rule set, but allowing classes, feats, and other materials from both D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder) with a very high optimization target (pushing the limits of things that should only be in TO, but still excluding extremes such as Pun-Pun and the Omnificer). I'm trying to complete a chain of effect interactions that will get me a substantial (but still finite, so no Pun-Punning here) Intelligence boost, and the only remaining link in the chain is that I have a non-mind-affecting psionic power of the psychometabolism discipline, and the trick only works with a mind-affecting power, so I need a way to apply the [mind-affecting] descriptor to a power that doesn't already have it, similarly to how the Locate City Bomb uses Snowcasting to add the [cold] descriptor.

We're using a highly inclusive version of vancian/psionic transparency, so most things that would work to add the descriptor to a spell should also work here, though Metamagic Feats don't work so well if they don't have psionic versions. I'm using Dreamscarred Press's psionics system, with levels of DSP psion as the source of my manifesting ability, but effects from 3.5 WotC psionics should also work via the terms of the 3.PF mashup. The game is supergestalt (like regular gestalt, but with 10 "tracks" instead of 2), so a lot of resources are available, possibly allowing things that wouldn't work in a regular game, but I'd still prefer less-expensive methods over more-expensive ones, as the character is intended to actually be played, and in a very demanding meta, so needs to mostly focus on being a functional character who puts the high INT bonus to good use, not just putting the entire character's worth of build resources into completing the combo for its own sake.


1 Answer 1


There is a line in the PF Bestiary, under the Fear special ability, that all fear effects are mind-affecting effects. (Additionally, every source of fear I can find in either ruleset is called out as a mind-affecting effect, for added support.)

There is a prestige class in Heroes of Horror for 3.5 called the Dread Witch, which at 3rd level gets Fearful Empowerment, a 1/day ability to add the [fear] descriptor to any spell that has at least some kind of visual effect or manifestation.

It's stretching RAW to the breaking point, but the case could therefore be made that adding the [fear] descriptor would add the [mind-affecting] descriptor as well, and so the Dread Witch can do so once (or twice, at level 5) per day.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Relating to the question's point about not spending too much of the build's resources on getting this effect - I'm assuming with a 10-track gestalt, 3-5 levels of a prestige class isn't actually a big deal, and the caster-level loss at first level literally won't matter because you can only gain one caster level per level. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 30, 2019 at 15:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Fear effects are also defined as mind-affecting in 3.5e, for the record. This is legit. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    May 1, 2019 at 14:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan (Fear attacks are mind-affecting as per the Monster Manual. What that means exactly—whether this means that only a monster's fear special attacks are mind-affecting; that only fear effects that count as attacks (as per invisibility, for example) are mind-affecting; or that fear effects generally are mind-affecting and the author just accidentally wrote something different—is unclear. Sigh.) \$\endgroup\$ May 1, 2019 at 15:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm going to hold off a bit on officially accepting this answer, in hopes someone can find a better (cheaper, usable more times per day, doesn't force me to risk scaring myself) one, but yea, that definitely qualifies. \$\endgroup\$ May 4, 2019 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, maxing at twice per day is pretty bad, but you are asking to basically rewrite the rules of magic by making physical spells affect the mind instead. I'm honestly in awe that I managed to find a way to manage it that often, short of spamming wish together with a quickened spell to modify the spell to be [mind-affecting]. It comes bundled with free no-slot spells or caster level boosts when you are targeted by fear (even your own), bonuses on saves vs. fear, and the ability to reflect fear.. like, hit a dragon with its own frightful presence. Like what? \$\endgroup\$ May 7, 2019 at 7:55

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