So basically my DM gave my 8th-level drow wizard the Wild Talent feat after meeting some old elven dudes and communicating with them via telepathy.

I'm wondering if I can make something cool out of that or is it useless? Should I take levels in psion or is that not worth my levels and XP progression?

Note that my DM uses only official rulebooks and does not like Dragon magazines. Probably will allow me to use Complete Arcane and Complete Psionic and maaaybe something interesting from some other book.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical Note that RPG.SE absolutely does support questions like this, which is of the second sort described in this answer: “I need some general advice on direction for a build.” We have dozens of highly-successful questions like this, and really need people to calm down with those close votes. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 12:37
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    – nick012000
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 12:43
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    – nick012000
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 12:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Meta discussion for reopening this question \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 12:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan, I trust your judgement on matters of 3.5. If you think this can be well-answered, you have my re-open vote. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 12:52

2 Answers 2


Buy out your drow LA.

There's a variant rule for buying off LA; IIRC it originally came from the book Unearthed Arcana. Once you reach a certain level, you pay some XP and the LA goes away since your race's advantages have become largely redundant by that level. My advice in this post will have assumed that you have done so. For a Drow's LA of +2, you could buy off their first point of LA at Level 6 (ECL 8) for 7000 XP, and you'd be able to buy off the second at level 9 (ECL 10) for 9000 XP. This should be made up for over time by the increased XP you'd earn due to being a lower level than the rest of the party, so it's not a problem.

Once you've done this, you have a few options, listed in what, in my opinion, ascending order of power:

Take 3 levels of Psion, then 8 levels in the Cerebremancer Prestige Class.

The Cerebremancer is the Psionic equivalent of the Mytstic Theurge prestige class, allowing you to level the casting abilities of both an Arcane spellcasting class and the manifesting abilities of a Psionic class simultaneously. With a race LA of +1, a Wizard 8/Psion 3/Cerebremancer 9 would have 9th level Wizard spells and 6th level psionic powers, at the cost of slowing your progress towards higher-level wizard spells by 3 levels.

Ask to retrain 5 Wizard levels for 3 Psion levels and 2 Cerebremancer levels, then take more 8 Cerebremancer levels and levels of Archmage or a similar full casting Prestige Class for ECL 20.

The rules for Retraining are in PHB2, but if your GM's willing to give you a free feat, he might also be willing to give you this as well. This will immediately demote you back down to level 3 Wizard spells, but it will also give you immediate access to level 3 Psion powers. At Level 20, as a Wizard 3/Psion 3/Cerebremancer 10/Archmage 4, you will get access to 9th level spells and 8th level Psion powers. The cost you pay for this is, again, delayed access to Wizard spells.

Don't take any Psionic classes, just whatever Psionic feats interest you.

If you want raw power, this is probably your best option, since Wizards pretty well recognized as being Tier 1, while Psions are Tier 2, and Mystic Theurge/Cerebremancer builds are generally recognized as subpar due to the delays in spell levels (though it's not that much worse than a straight Drow Wizard with no LA buyoffs).

By itself, the Wild Talent feat just gives you access to psionic feats, as well as 2 Power Points that you can't spend without a psionic class - it says it gives you access to metapsionic feats (which are useless without the ability to manifest powers, which you get through a taking levels in a psionic class) or psionic item creation feats (which all require a minimum manifester level as a prerequisite, so you can't actually take them without a psionic class, even though the Wild Talent feat says you can).

Most of the remaining psionic feats are centered around enhancing either movement or weapon attacks, either melee or ranged. You're a wizard, so you've probably got better options available to you through spells, but these give you buffs that are always-on or freely re-activatable with just a Full Round Action to recharge your Psionic Focus. Obviously, as a Level 20 Wizard (or Level 8 Wizard combined with whatever mix of full caster Prestige Classes you desire to have), you will gain full access to your Wizard spells with no additional level delays.


2 power points don’t really help much with manifesting

So power points are used to manifest psionic powers, e.g. with the psion class, but 2 more doesn’t make a huge difference. So the Wild Talent feat doesn’t really help very much with being a psion, nor does it really make a good reason, by itself, to multiclass into psion.

Mixing spellcasting and manifesting is hard

There is a prestige class, cerebremancer, that advances both spellcasting and psionic manifesting. However, like mystic theurge, it requires three levels in each class (to get 2nd-level spells and 2nd-level powers), like mystic theurge, it has zero other class features, and like mystic theurge, it only lasts 10 levels. Also like mystic theurge, cerebremancer is a trap. Getting some lower-level psion manifesting is not worth being three levels behind on your wizard spellcasting.

Unlike mystic theurge, cerebremancer doesn’t really open itself up to early entry tricks, at least not on the psionic side. A 1st-level wizard/3rd-level psion could qualify using Precocious Apprentice or any number of other tricks, which would be pretty decent, but there’s no option for reducing the number of psion levels. Since you already have eight wizard levels, that doesn’t really help you. The ardent class from Complete Psionic could get in with just two levels—use the Practiced Manifester feat from the same book to improve your manifester level and allow you to learn higher-level powers with your 2nd level—but it relies on Wisdom rather than Intelligence.

I did once write a revision to cerebremancer that has been well-received and always worked well at my tables. This addresses the pain of qualifying as well as the lack of class features. It also is homebrew, and further gives Dragon magazine feats as bonus feats, so it probably won’t be allowed at your table.

Finally, if you have the drow’s LA +2, and count as a 10th-level character, and are allied with and fighting against 10th-level characters, you are already pretty well behind the curve for a wizard. Unlike the mystic theurge I described in that answer, you don’t necessarily have an overabundance of power to spend on multiclassing.

A cheaper option: psionic feats

Having Wild Talent means you are a psionic character now, which means you qualify for psionic feats. Those don’t cost you XP or your spellcasting progression, which means they are vastly more affordable.

Unfortunately, there aren’t really a lot of psionic feats that are very useful for a wizard. Plenty are useful for warriors, and plenty are useful for manifesters, but not so much for spellcasters—and what options there are, are from Dragon.

Remember psionic focus

As a psionic creature, you can make a DC 20 Concentration check as a full-round action to gain psionic focus. You can then expend that focus in order to “take 15” on a Concentration check. Very, very useful for when, say, you absolutely must successfully cast a spell in a difficult situation.


Unfortunately, trying to become a manifester at 9th level—or worse, 11th—is a bit prohibitive from an optimization perspective. There also aren’t a lot of useful psionic feats for a spellcaster unless they are also a manifester. Ultimately, your Wild Talent is probably best used for psionic focus and that’s it.


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