I'm currently playing in a 3.5 game in which the DM plans to take to very epic levels (65). My current character is level 30, and he's an Elan Psion (Shaper). He has the power psychic reformation, which allows him to reselect feats, skill point allocations, and power selections for 50 xp per level backwards he wishes to reform. It's an extremely powerful campaign, and our ability score generation shows that (5d6, reroll 1s and 2s, add highest 3). I'm conserned that my character is underperforming, and would like to know what I can do to optimize my character. I can essentially re-select feats, choose new skill point allocations, and new powers known. How can I optimize my Elan Psion?

Note: Our enemies have been chaotic in nature, (LvC campaign, we're Lawful), and generally focus around chaotic outsiders. Our enemies tend to have high AC, ridiculously high saves (compared to my DCs, which at the moment is Power Level + 27), and extremely high DCs (in the high 50s and 60s). They also usually sport a SR that has me rolling 18+ in order to defeat.

My current ability scores are:

  • STR 21
  • DEX 22
  • CON 22
  • INT 44
  • WIS 16
  • CHA 16

My current feats are:

  • Psicrystal affinity
  • Overchannel, talented*
  • Psionic meditiation
  • Extend power*
  • Boost construct
  • Psicrystal containment
  • Twin power*
  • Power penetration*
  • Expand knowledge (schism)
  • Greater power penetration*
  • Enhanced elan resistance
  • Epic manifestation
  • Improved overchannel
  • Empower power*
  • Maximize power*
  • Burrowing power*
  • Epic psionic focus

My current saves (with buffs in parentheses):

  • F +29 (39)
  • R +27 (37)
  • W +30 (40)

My current feats and powers shouldn't matter, as I can restructure them anyway. For the purpose of what I'm asking, let's pretend I have 7 non-epic feats, 4 epic feats (21, 24, 27, and 30), and 3 epic psion feats (23, 26, and 29) available. I also have a total of 56 powers known (5 up to first level, 4 up to second level, 4 up to third, 4 up to fourth, 4 up to fifth, 3 up to sixth, 3 up to seventh, 3 up to eighth, 26 up to ninth) available.

If anyone would like more info, just let me know.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you share your characters stats, feats and saves? \$\endgroup\$
    – JoeyD473
    Jul 12, 2013 at 19:50
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    – C. Ross
    Jul 12, 2013 at 20:08
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Just so you know, the dungeons-and-dragons tag is reserved for questions that are about D&D as a whole, not any one particular edition. In the future, when you ask about D&D 3.5 specifically, please use only the dnd-3.5e tag. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jul 12, 2013 at 20:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Most epic spell casters have to deal with high spell resistance and saves at the levels your talking about your dm should be supply you with his own home-brew magics artifacts or spells that start to over come those barriers but as for your question it would help to know what you want to do with your toon to help you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pro756
    Jul 15, 2013 at 18:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Realistically, I just want to have a decent chance to punch through SR and Saves. Many (more than 50%) of the enemies have SR that require me rolling 16+, and can make saves so long as they don't roll a 1 (not hyperbole here). Should I be focusing on debuffing instead of SoD/SoS powers? (I think this might be my main issue, but without ways of dealing with the astronomical saves and SR, most of what I do is moot.) \$\endgroup\$
    – SlatzG
    Jul 15, 2013 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


Looking at this handbook (2010), (Be advised that he uses an unusual colour scheme, for people used to modern handbooks.) we can see some general patterns:

At the end of the day, you'll be looking for ways to bypass it. The two power that you should have, therefore, are Crystal Shard and Amethyst Burst. Nice, low-level powers that can be augmented well. Crystal Shard is a ranged touch attack (with all the ways that that can be cheesed). And Amethyst Burst is nice as an AoE.

The general pattern is: find the no-save, no-sr powers that are most compatible with your party, and take... them. Use the rest of your powers on doing Cool Stuff. Have your signature no-save, no-sr (probably ranged touch, though telekinetic thrust, with the right optimization can be cute), and have your backup no-sr, no-attack. In high epic, the game is silly. You should be focusing on "dirty tricks." Either doing the scry & die game with the opposition, or preventing insta-death teleports from happening to you.

You may want to focus on appropriate astral constructs. It's one of your signatures, and summoned monsters, when appropriately optimized, can be incredibly useful. Consider specializing in it with an appropriate PrC.

If you're really playing silly buggers, embrace taint (and the necessary hooks to ignore it), and grab Subverted Psion. That, combined with Thrallherd means that your evil army (all armed with appropriate magical devices of no-save no-sr powers), can just kinda swarm the badguys.

Pay especial attention here, where the optimizer breaks down some of the better choices:

Ranged Attack Roll Any power you select should preferably be a ranged touch attack. This means rays and the like. In this category, three powers stand out: Crystal Shard (Psion 1), Entangling Ectoplasm (Psion 1), and Crystalstorm (Psion 2). What makes these powers superb choices is that they all fill two other roles: they don’t allow a save (note that Crystalstorm does allow a save against its secondary Con damage effect, but not against its primary HP damage effect), all are instantaneous creation effects and are thus effective in Anti Magic/Null Psionics fields. Finally, none of them are subject to SR/PR.

Ranged attack roll: Crystalstorm (Psion 2), Disintegrate, Psionic (Psion 6)

Melee attack roll: Astral Construct (Shaper 1)

Targets Fortitude Save: Disintegrate, Psionic (Psion 6), Energy Wall (Psion 3)

Targets Reflex Save: Energy Wall (Psion 3), Amethyst Burst (Psion 2)

Targets Will Save: Time Hop (Psion 3)

Allows no Save: Crystalstorm (Psion 2)*

Not Subject to Spell Resistance or Power Resistance (SR/PR): Crystalstorm (Psion 2), Energy Wall (Psion 3), Amethyst Burst (Psion 2)

Area of Effect (particularly for fighting Swarms): Energy Wall (Psion 3), Astral Construct (Shaper 1)**, Amethyst Burst (Psion 2)

Force Effect (for fighting Incorporeal/Ethereal creatures): Amethyst Burst (Psion 2), Astral Construct (Shaper 1)**

Effective against Anti Magic Field/Null Psionics Field: Crystalstorm (Psion 2), Amethyst Burst (Psion 2)

Effective against Globe of Invulnerability: Disintegrate, Psionic (Psion 6)

Creating epic psi powers causes sanity loss, but given that they work like normal peic powers, look around for an epic spellcasting guide and plagiarize. Considering that you'll certainly have thrallherd and/or appropriate leadership chains, you'll have plenty of assistance.

Beyond this, given that you're in a stupid-optimization game, consider:

There are a number of infinite action tricks there. I am especially amused by the save state trick. I would also ask to become a erudite with spell to power. Cause why limit yourself to only psionic tricks?


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