Expanded Psionics Handbook introduced a new use of the Concentration skill to gain psionic focus, which can then be expended in order to “take 15” on a future Concentration check. Various psionic feats and class features function only while focused, or require you expend that focus in order to activate some effect.

Importantly, only characters who have at least 1 power point available can gain psionic focus.

Is psionic focus—either gaining it, maintaining it, or expending it—inherently “psionic,” that is, suppressed by null psionics field?

The descriptions in Expanded Psionics Handbook for neither gaining psionic focus nor null psionics field, but Complete Psionic included a lot of really dumb stealth changes to psionics, so it’s difficult for me to rule out anything being found there. Psionic feats, which are some of the most significant sources of things powered by psionic focus, are explicitly supernatural, for example, but for the purposes of this question I am curious about other things that aren’t so explicit, such as basic the “expend focus to take 15” effect.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your link seems to mostly answer this: They're a consequence of doing an action and having something in your possession; why would you lose that in a null psionics field? Have I overlooked an aspect of the question? \$\endgroup\$ – J. Mini Jan 14 '20 at 18:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.Mini A null psionics field suppresses anything “psionic,” just as antimagic field does anything “magical.” And this is psionic focus—seems plausible that it would be “psionic.” I haven’t seen anything that says it is, but it’s hard to be sure that I have seen everything, 3.5e being what it is. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 14 '20 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would a comparison between psionic focus and arcane focus (Dragon #351 Class Acts: Arcane column “Arcane Focus” (88)) be useful or just noise? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 14 '20 at 19:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Not familiar enough with arcane focus to really say. How similar is that to psionic focus? I’m kind of leaning towards “not very useful” but I suppose it depends how similar they are, and what you make of it. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 14 '20 at 19:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ According to the article, "Arcane focus works like psionic focus, as described on a page 37 of the Expanded Psionics Handbook." \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 14 '20 at 19:40

Having scoured the Expanded Psionics Handbook, searching for "psionically", "null psionic", "focus", "antimagic", and (painstakingly) "power point", and having run a similar search in Complete Psionic (for only "focus"), examining all the text in the passages surrounding each, we're confident in saying that:

There is nothing (other than the power point requirement) to imply that psionic focus, and the action taken to gain it, are more than the effects of a Concentration check (a skill often called for in magic, but with a core non-magical use as well; performing actions that provoke attacks of opportunity in stressful conditions).

A character in a null psionics field might not be able to use supernatural abilities, psi-like abilities, or powers, but the null psionics field power description does nothing to say a creature that enters it has no power points while they're inside.

This is not to say that a creature doesn't lose the effects of the Psionic Talent feat (a psionic feat, thus a supernatural ability) while in a null psionics field; such a creature might have a reduced power point reserve as a result of that power, and lose the ability to gain or maintain her psionic focus.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.