So, while browsing the psionic powers for anything that is useful-yet-sounds-useless, my attention was drawn to Complete Psionics' Psychic Containment. This little 5pp power works as a sort of psionics EMP that can block manifesters from doing anything psionic. On the plus side, we've got pinpoint precision that allows to EMP just that guy other there, and his minion next to him, without shutting down our Psychic Warrior that's meleeing them. On the minus side, it's Will save, mind-affecting, and if they take a full round, they can reroll. That, and the fact it affects only psionic crea...

No, wait, maybe it doesn't affect only psionic creatures.

WotC had already made their point in Expanded Psionics Handbook that if an effect doesn't work on magic even with 100% transparency, it's outright stated in the book, and the CPsi doesn't specify this limitation of the power, wich would mean it can actually put a "soft magic ban" over any spellcaster, be it a psion, a wizard or a druid given working transparency.

Did I miss this particular limitation of this power, or should it really work this way? I know that even then it's not all that powerful (it targets a strong save, it's mind-affecting, it gives rerolls if the enemy wants to, and doesn't stop the effects that are already, ehm, in effect), but it gives me an impression of a good utility/combat power (especially for ambushes and just pre-combat situations), and seems like an early game substitute for Antimagic Field, which is... Not that bad. Since encounters last for a few rounds anyway, a missed save for one or two enemy spellcasters can basically spell out doom for the enemy party, plus it's a good "shut up" effect for many non-combat situations.

TL;DR: Given normal magic-psionic transparency (Detect/Dispel magic is also Detect/Dispel psionics and such), does Psychic Containment work on non-psionic magic users?


1 Answer 1



When the rule about psionics-magic transparency is in effect, it has the following ramifications.[sic]

Spell resistance is effective against powers, using the same mechanics. Likewise, power resistance is effective against spells, using the same mechanics as spell resistance. If a creature has one kind of resistance, it is assumed to have the other. (The effects have similar ends despite having been brought about by different means.)

All spells that dispel magic have equal effect against powers of the same level using the same mechanics, and vice versa.

The spell detect magic detects powers, their number, and their strength and location within 3 rounds (though a Psicraft check is necessary to identify the discipline of the psionic aura).

Dead magic areas are also dead psionics areas.

This power does not create a "Dead magic area".

You can temporarily prevent a psionic creature from using its psionics or psilike abilities. [...] (Any powers already active continue to work unless concentration is required, but the target can't manifest new powers for the duration.)

Thus it doesn't afflict spellcasters by RAW.


Hold person removes the ability to take actions. It lasts for 1 round/level. It allows a new saving throw every round. It's available to clerics as a 2nd level spell (and to wizards as a 3rd level spell). It is dismissible.

Psychic containment removes the ability to manifest powers (add spells). It lasts for 1 round/level. It allows a new saving throw every round. It's available to psions as a 3rd level power (it is not dismissible).

Those seem even to me.


Not by RAW, but it's a very reasonable ruling.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The Rules Compendium changes a paralyzed creature's options from the creature being unable to take any actions (as summarized in the spell hold person) to the creature being able to take only purely mental actions (RC 35)… which includes manifesting powers. In other words, a hold person spell stops a wizard from casting and a barbarian from charging but not a psion from manifesting, yet the psychic containment power can—maybe?—stop both the psion and the wizard from enacting their foul sorceries but leave the raging barbarian still able to wreck the manifester's face. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15, 2016 at 20:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You should still be able to cast a stilled and silent spell, as that is now effectively a mental action. So long as you don't need material components, or have Eschew Materials and non-expensive components. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    May 2, 2017 at 19:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I should have mentioned that too, yes. \$\endgroup\$
    – sisima70
    Apr 8, 2021 at 17:34

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