In Pathfinder Psionics, the standard rule is that magic and psionics are more or less the same. Spell Resistance is also Power Resistance and so forth.

Can Detect Magic detect a n active psionic effect? If so, can it be used to identify the effect? If it can be used to identify, does a Spell Craft check suffice, or is a Psi Craft check required.


Paizo has studiously avoided publishing a single official word on psionics. The only psionics rules are from a third party, Dreamscarred Press, but are in the online Pathfinder SRD. According to those rules, if you are using magic-psionics transparency, then you treat powers just like spells or spell-like abilities, so yes, detect magic would detect and identify them. The question reduces to "How does that work with a spell-like ability?" Transparency means "the same" so yes. Spellcraft would let you ID a power as it was being used; Detect Magic would identify an active power's school (note those are two different things). If you use magic-psi transparency then psi is magic and all the same rules apply.

They include the separate PsiCraft skill because you don't have to use "magic-psionics transparency". That's just the default. A GM could, if they wanted, make them opaque to each other, at which point a Psicraft skill is necessary. Also because some classes might have Psicraft as a class skill that don't have Spellcraft.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It’s worth noting that not using Magic-Psionics Transparency tends to work really poorly unless you do a lot of careful consideration of how that will work, and none of the authors of 3.x psionics (Wizards of the Coast, Bruce Cordel’s indy publishing, or Dreamscarred Press) recommends it. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Feb 17 '14 at 3:35

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