I prefer Assume Supernatural Ability over Metamorphic Transfer because it doesn't have a daily limit and I'm only interested in one Su ability.

The problem with Assume Supernatural Ability is this:


WIS 13, ability to assume a new form magically,

Reasons that say NO

  1. Expanded Psionics Handbook goes to painful lengths in every single power description to separate magic and psionics. i.e. "nonpsionic and nonmagic"
  2. Reality Revision goes out of its way to say it can't reproduce spells.
  3. Psionic-Magic Transparency merely states how Psionics and Magic interact with each other. At no point does it say they're the same thing.
  4. All the counterarguments (see below) are implications from non-primary sources.

Reasons that say YES

  1. Magic Item Compendium

If you are using the Psionics Is Different variant (EPH 65), then an item created by a psionic character using a psionic item creation feat would be a psionic item. The guidelines given above should be used to determine the psionic item’s feat and power prerequisites.

This implies if you are not using the Psionics Is Different variant then items created by a psionic character using a psionic item creation feat would not be a psionic item. Therefore it would be a magical item. But once again, this is an implication from a non-primary source.

  1. Complete Psionic

In addition, you always treat magic and psionics as identical. Therefore, powers such as dispel psionics work for both magic and psionics. Most campaigns already treat them in this manner, so this mantle is most useful in campaigns where they are considered different systems.

The above is clearly saying under psionic-magic transparency magic and psionics are treated as identical. But again, an implication and a non-primary source.

So the question here is: does metamorphosis magically let you assume a new form?

I'd like to emphasize that I'm looking for RAW rulings/reasonings here.


1 Answer 1


Here are most of the relevant rules quotes:

EPH p.3 PSI-LIKE ABILITIES Many of the races described in this chapter have psi-like abilities, which function much like spell-like abilities. For an explanation of how psi-like abilities work, see page 65.

EPH p.55 Powers interact with spells and spells interact with powers in the same way a spell or normal spell-like ability interacts with another spell or spell-like ability.


Though not explicitly called out in the spell descriptions in the Player’s Handbook or the magic item descriptions in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, spells, spell-like abilities, and magic items that could potentially affect psionics do affect psionics (unless the DM uses the Psionics Is Different option described later in this chapter.

EPH p.39 psionic feats are supernatural abilities—a departure from the general rule that feats do not grant supernatural abilities-

EPH p.65 The manifestation of powers by a psionic character is considered a psi-like ability, as is the manifestation of powers by creatures without a psionic class (creatures with the psionic subtype, also simply called psionic creatures).


Psi-like abilities have no verbal, somatic, or material components, nor do they require a focus or have an XP cost (even if the equivalent power has an XP cost). The user activates them mentally. Armor never affects a psi-like ability’s use. A psi-like ability has a manifesting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability description. In all other ways, a psi-like ability functions just like a power.

EPH p.184 Most psionic monsters have some number of psi-like abilities. These are very similar to spell-like abilities. Naturally, they are psionic (and therefore magical as well, unless the DM has decided to segregate magic and psionics in the campaign) and work just like powers or spells.


Psi-Like Abilities and Feats Creatures with access to psi-like abilities can use the feats Empower Spell-Like Ability and Quicken Spell-Like Ability (see pages 303 and 304 of the Monster Manual).


For all intents and purposes, creatures with spell-like abilities described as psionics are considered to possess psi-like abilities, and they manifest their powers as described above.

(Emphasis added by me.)

These are the quotations from the Expanded Psionics Handbook that collectively are considered to state that when transparency rules are in effect, that psionics are psi-like abilities (which is not contested), and thus count as spell-like abilities for all purposes (which seems to vary from DM to DM).

The logic chain goes something like this: all psionics are psi-like, psi-like is magical/spell-like, (all PC races count as monsters, if that comes up), therefore psionics can qualify for things that require magic so long as it does not require something that psionics does not possess. (Such as access to spells)

Most often applied to Assume Supernatural Ability and Master of the Unseen Hand prestige class, that I am aware of. There are probably more of there.

Ultimately, whether these quotes are enough for your DM, is up to said person.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think your EPH p.184 quote completely settles the matter. "Naturally, they are psionic (and therefore magical as well, unless the DM has decided to segregate magic and psionics in the campaign) " It's the primary source material for psionics and it directly says the creature is magical because of their psionic ability. That's as damning as it gets. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 17:18

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