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"If you die, your duplicate remains in existence, and is for all intents you, but with two negative levels. (Once the duration expires, one of the negative levels immediately converts to one lost level; the other negative level can be removed by standard means.)"

So if I

  1. Manifest Fission
  2. Wait until the last round
  3. Kill myself
  4. Next round, after the duration expires, have my Fission manifest Psionic Revivify on my corpse

Is the end result me with no penalties (not even xp loss) with a permanent duration Fission duplicate?

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2 Answers 2

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The duplicate is permanent, and it's you now; the corpse has no psyche to reunite any more

Fission says:

If you die, your duplicate remains in existence, and is for all intents you, but with two negative levels.

It is you. Your former corpse is not you any more, it is just a corpse.

Psionic Revivify says:

Psionic revivify lets a manifester reconnect a corpse’s psyche with its body, restoring life to a recently deceased creature.

That corpse does not have a psyche anymore that could depart. Your psyche is your's, and you are the former manifest duplicate now, for all intents, including the intent to revive yourself.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Way more concise than my answer, while still getting to the core problem. +1! \$\endgroup\$
    – From
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 7:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ So I assume that corpse would be just like an inactivated clone that can be used for the spell Clone but cannot be used for revival? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 8:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TerryWindwalker It's complicated enough as is, I've not considered how or if clone is like it or not. My take would be that each of the two has their own rules, and should be judged on those rules. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 10:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is incorrect. You intentionally left out the most important text. "Before the psyche of the deceased has completely left the body, this power halts its journey while repairing somewhat the damage to the body. " Psionic Revivify prevents the Psyche from completely leaving the body. So you are incorrect when you said there is no psyche anymore that could depart. Also, "for all intents" means "essentially". merriam-webster.com/grammar/…. So your duplicate is not you. It's essentially you but still not you. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 18:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Having said that, the trick doesn't work because the Fission dying does not prevent rejoining. Your dead corpse will rejoin your living duplicate when the duration lapses. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 19:23
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As per your quote, Fission has the built-in side effect an auto-Raise, by keeping one of you alive even if the other dies. Since in this case it is your duplicate, they will be you with one lost level and one negative level.

However...

The full quote paragraph of your quote is this:

If your duplicate dies before the duration expires, no rejoining occurs, and you gain one negative level. If you die, your duplicate remains in existence, and is for all intents you, but with two negative levels. (Once the duration expires, one of the negative levels immediately converts to one lost level; the other negative level can be removed by standard means.)

Note my emphasis; if your duplicate dies, there is explicitly no rejoining. However, that phrase does not exist in the part you cited. This could easily be read to mean that your (dead) self rejoins with your (duplicate) self:

When the duration expires or when you dismiss the power, you and your duplicate rejoin, no matter how far from each other you are. You gain back any power points the duplicate has not spent. At the time of rejoining, you take half of the damage your duplicate has taken since this power was manifested. This damage could potentially leave you with negative hit points, but it can’t reduce your hit points to less than -9.

So, your order of events becomes:

  1. Manifest Fission
  2. Wait until the last round
  3. Kill yourself
  4. (Dead) you rejoins (duplicate) you
  5. Nobody exists to revivify, and you just gained a negative level

Uno Reverse?

However, however...

If your duplicate dies before the duration expires, no rejoining occurs, and you gain one negative level.

  1. Manifest Fission
  2. Wait until the last round
  3. Kill your duplicate
  4. Revivify your duplicate

At this point, your duplicate will have two negative levels, as per the Fission power, but no lost levels, since that parenthesis (arguably) only applies to a surviving Fission duplicate.

Problems

The final paragraph of Fission reads:

All powers affecting a fissioned creature, either the original or the duplicate, end when the fission ends. All damage, including hit point damage, ability damage, ability drain, and ability burn damage, is added together.

Note that this, unlike the paragraph on rejoining, does not seem to care whether any rejoining happens or either of you being dead, so killing your duplicate by any of the listed means will potentially leave you in a poor position to use Revivify.

More problems

You can have only one fissioned duplicate in existence at one time; your duplicate cannot use this power. You cannot use fusion or metaconcert with a duplicate, or share any other power or effect that pools abilities (the sum of you and you is still just you). Similarly, attempting to use powers such as claws of the vampire or vampiric blade to hurt your duplicate only damages your duplicate; these powers do not heal you. Empathic transfer and similar powers are likewise ineffective (transferring wounds to yourself isn’t a good healing strategy).

There are some limitations in place. Noticeably, you cannot repeat the process again until your duplicate dies. Which could, potentially, be solved with more Revivifys. The Fission power is out of play, generally, and your duplicate is not as potentially useful as another full Psion, due to the limitations.

And then a DM came along...

So far, we've been reading the RAW thinking "how can we do this", not "how can we punish this make this interesting".

Psionic Revivify reads:

Psionic revivify lets a manifester reconnect a corpse’s psyche with its body, restoring life to a recently deceased creature.

Your dead Fission duplicate's psyche is your psyche. If you reconnect your own psyche with your dead Fission duplicate's corpse, what happens to that psyche's connection to your own body?

  1. Your psyche could connect to both, leaving you with two bodies (win!)
  2. Your psyche could connect to the corpse and leave your original body, leaving you with two rather than one negative level and an original body without a psyche
  3. Your psyche could refuse to leave your original body, making Revivify fail
  4. 2 or 3, but some other existence uses the opportunity to connect to the psyche-less (soulless?) body, perhaps unknown to you

There may be other options, but I know which one I'd go with as DM. Hope your two negative levels don't get in the way of stopping your original body from getting up to weird things.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @alexstrasa82 Fluff is indeed irrelevant to theoretical optimization, just don't expect your DM to consider it irrelevant at an actual table. But RAW-wise, yes, the "reverse" should work. The issue with "killing the original" is the lack of "no rejoining occurs" text in the description of what happens, which means there is no corpse for your psyche to leave or be yanked back to. \$\endgroup\$
    – From
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 9:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ If I understand the RAW portion of this answer correctly, attempting 'reverse' would leave both you and your dupe dead, with no one to cast revivify you'd simply be dead. \$\endgroup\$
    – RWolfe
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 6:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RWolfe The idea in that portion is that you yourself never dies, only your duplicate does. So you, your original self, would be alive to cast Revivify on your dead duplicate. However, attempting to rejoin your own psyche to a corpse could very well prove fatal, but that is in DM territory, not RAW as far as I understand? \$\endgroup\$
    – From
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 7:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ The line 'All damage, including hit point damage, ability damage, ability drain, and ability burn damage, is added together' to me sounds to me like, if your dupe dies, all damage it has taken is immediately transferred to you yourself, and unless I'm mistaken enough damage to kill your dupe should be enough to kill you. \$\endgroup\$
    – RWolfe
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 7:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RWolfe That part I think I covered under "Problems". Note also the line, "This damage could potentially leave you with negative hit points, but it can’t reduce your hit points to less than -9.", so you won't die. I'd advise some kind of Death Effect, though. A Power Word Kill, for instance, would just kill your duplicate, without any actual damage happening. \$\endgroup\$
    – From
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 8:40

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