If a character wants to have a psionic power renew on a once or twice per day schedule (no more than twice per day at max) regardless of external circumstances or personal status conditions up to and including sleeping or unconsciousness, how might one accomplish it?

Auto-hypnosis skill name sounds like it should be able to do something like this, but a reading of the available options does not seem to cover it. Likewise Concentration skill does not cover this concept either.

The method needs to be purely internal, not reliant upon any external item or agent or third party.

An internal item (some item converted to a bone rune, perhaps?) or internal agent (such as a split mind, symbiotic creature, or shared possession of the body or part of the body?) are acceptable. Custom made internal items (so long as they are made in accordance with item creation rules) are acceptable.

The method also needs to be as uninterruptible as possible (null-psi zones or anti-psi resistant or immune would be best).

Multiple methods that combine to achieve the affect are also fine, so long as they meet or come as close as possible to the ideals of internal-only and uninterruptible.

Cost is not an issue, but non-epic is greatly preferred, and answers proposing non-epic items obviously need to remain below the gp cost limit for non-epic items.

The best method would be not only internal and uninterruptible, but also purely mental so that it cannot be lost, stolen, or cut out... if such as thing even exists in D&D.

As an example of a power one might want to pull this sort of effect off with, the Stealsteel power, where one might potentially die once the power turns off. (Power listed at bottom of article.)

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This might be an X–Y Problem. What are you trying to do? Maybe the site can help you do it in a different way that doesn't require doing this. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 18, 2021 at 22:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looking to make a self-targeting power renew on a schedule, like clockwork, even if the character (who is normally the source and target of the power) is sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise disabled? \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jul 18, 2021 at 22:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I know. But what's the power that you want on your character all the time? I mean, it's likely that options will be limited by power/spell level anyway, so revealing that will make it easier to find options that meet your needs. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 18, 2021 at 22:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, sorry, lol. The Stealsteel power, by way of example. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jul 18, 2021 at 22:22

2 Answers 2


The simplest way to do this is psionic contingency, a 6th level psion/wilder power. Renewing steelsteal once per day is trivially easy: you manifest psionic contingency and steelsteal with a condition like, "manifest steelsteal when my only steelsteal is about to expire." Renewing it twice per day is somewhat trickier. Psionic contingency features the following clause:

You can use only one psionic contingency companion power at a time; if a second is manifested, the first one (if still active) is dismissed.

This means that you can't normally affect yourself with a second psionic contingency. You can, however, manifest schism before manifesting psionic contingency. Since your two minds function "in complete autonomy, like two characters in one body," you can both manifest your own contingencies. Since the powers are both manifested together, and that's when psionic contingency does its anti-stacking check, you should be able to keep your two psionic contingencies after schism has expired.

You can only use a companion power with a level up to a third of your manifester level, which means you need to be ML 15 for the first contingency, and since schism manifests at ML - 6, you'll need to be manifester level 21 to get the second contingency. Since you can use feats like Overchannel or Practiced Manifester, this is available pre-epic, though it's still very late in the game.

Alternatively, you could have the contingency manifest psionic freedom of movement and just renew steelsteal manually. If you're really worried about being prevented from renewing steelsteal, getting access to iron heart surge, either through Martial Study or a level of Warblade, might help.

It's also worth pointing out that, RAW, steelsteal seems to send you back to your body when it expires, regardless of whether or not you've manifested a new version of the power. You might want to look into ways of extending the duration of a single manifestation of steelsteal; things like unguent of timelessness, incarnate, and planes with flowing time traits, like the Plane of Faerie in the Manual of the Planes, might be interesting.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If I recall correctly, it does send one back, but there is a range limit, and one could potentially die if out of said range. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jul 23, 2021 at 19:13

Since you don't seem to mind web enhancement sources I've got a potential solution. There was a Mind's Eye article outlining some advanced psionics tattoos.

Going by just the Expanded Psionics Handbook, psionic tattoos are simply a replacement for potions and have to be manually tapped to be activated then fade away. They're also limited to 3rd level or lower. But the article outlines additional advanced tattoos that allow you to do things like set contingencies for automatic activation, quickened mental activation, and even a way to recharge them so they're reusable. It also outlines how to make basic tattoos of up to 9th level.

The one wrinkle is the article is 3.0 and was never officially updated, though fan updates for it exist. For the purposes of your request, the material should be able to be used as written.

(maximum tattoo slots=20)

*Circuit Breaker (300 gp, 1 slot): Protects against nullify tattoos and overload tattoos powers. A triggered circuit breaker requires you to spend 3 PP to reset the breaker. Resetting a circuit breaker is a standard action. This only protects from the new powers introduced in the same article so unnecessary unless you think your DM is going to throw them at you.

*Integrated Circuit (50 gp, 1 slot): Lets you change the links of other tattoos for 1 PP as a standard action.

*Transducer (1250 gp, 1 slot): Spend 2 PP to recharge linked capacitor 1 PP faster. You can spend as many PP as you have available.

*Capacitor (1250 gp, 1 slot): Linked tattoo or relay is reusable, but capacitor must recharge. It recharges at a rate of 1 PP per day. A capacitor is considered fully charged when it has enough PP to power the tattoo or relay it is connected to. A capacitor will only trigger when fully charged. You start the day with one less PP for each charging capacitor.

*Inducer (2400 gp, 2 slots): Linked tattoo or relay triggers automatically on a preset condition.

*Relay (50 gp, 1 slot): Links up to 3 psionic tattoos to trigger one after the other. The first tattoo triggers at the end of the round the relay is triggered in, the second triggers at the end of the next round, and the third tattoo triggers at the end of the round 2 rounds after the relay is triggered.

Capacitors can be connected to individual tattoos in a relay rather than the relay itself for faster recharging. If a tattoo circuit is triggered again before the capacitor is finished charging the basic tattoos will still trigger but will fade away after.

So provided you have the chance to recharge it via the transducer between uses, or enough time has passed for it to recharge naturally you're golden. Even if not, you'll get two uses out of it before it's lost. If cost is no object then you could set up several of these psionic circuits. You could even have them trigger in sequence and only trigger if their capacitor is full unless there are no full capacitors remaining. That will really depend on what power you want to trigger. The slot cost rises sharply. You might want one circuit breaker which is one slot. The transducer, capacitor, and inducer circuit take four slots every time. So if you were wanting a level 5 power like Steelsteal you could set up two circuits plus the circuit breaker and that would put you at 19 slots out of the 20 slot limit.

Set the inducers to:

Inducer 1: if [condition] and [[capacitor 1 is full] or [capacitor 2 is empty]] then trigger.

Inducer 2: if [condition] and [[[capacitor 1 is empty] and [capacitor 2 is full]] or [tattoo 1 = null]] then trigger.

That will get you two uses in succession without worrying about loss and two more with increasing loss until failure.

A 1-3 level power results in three full circuits, or four if you're willing to drop the circuit breaker. For a 4th or 5th level power you could get two full circuits. A 6th level power could only be done twice if you dropped all the transducers and the circuit breaker. Anything higher could only have one circuit.

Here's a link to the article: Link


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