A class for the Palladium Fantasy RPG, 2nd Edition
The tent was dark, and the cloying scent of perfume and burning incense only made the oppressive atmosphere seem heavier. A wizened old dwarf woman sat at the table, looking hopefully at the beautiful human girl who sat across from her, eyes closed. The human began to speak, her eyes still closed as she looked at places the dwarf could never hope to see.
"Darkness... all I see is darkness... to my left, a light appears... I turn towards it. I see your husband, Widow Gretchen. He is well, and wishes to speak..."
Suddenly, the human stiffened, her body twisting slightly, then standing tall, like a man. The voice that issued forth was not one of a young human, but rather of a strong dwarven man. "Gretchen, it has been so long. I watch over you, still, but you need to know where I hid the chest. Look three steps south of the tree we first kissed under. I'll be waiting there for you, Gretchen. I will always wait there for you."
The girl collapsed, exhausted. Her eyes shining with tears, the Widow Gretchen placed a handful of coins on the table. She knew where her man was... and, almost as importantly, the gold he'd saved for a rainy day.
The Spiritualist is perhaps one of the oldest psychic classes in existence. Much like Shamans, their skills are directed towards dealing with the nebulous spirit world and its denizens. However, unlike Shamans, their skills come from no God, only from their own will and inner strength. While most _true_ spiritualists use these skills conscientiously, a few are many rogues who will fake a possession in order to dupe innocent people out of their money. Thus, travelling spiritualists must be careful that they are not mistaken for (or caught being) one of these con men. Those who play with the emotions of people (and fail to get away) are not likely to live very long.
In order to contact the spirits of the dead, the Spiritualist uses a mastery of many common psionic powers. Their focus allows them to use these powers in ways not available to less specialized psychics. The most important of these is Commune with Spirits, which allows them not only to speak with the dead, but to ask them for favors and information. This can make a Spiritualist a dangerous opponent, if one wrongs one (or skips a payment).
There are two types of Spiritualists, city folk and country folk. City folk are likely to travel from town to town throughout their youth, finally settling down in their later years to establish a practice somewhere. They are also the most likely to turn into con artists and enslavers of spirits. Country Folk are very often tribesmen, acting as shamans for their people, and remaining with them until they are no longer needed. There are rarely conflicts between these spiritualists and "true" shamans, simply because their different focus and skills tend to compliment each other, rather than leave them opposed.
The powers of a Spiritualist:
1. Expanded Commune with Spirit
This functions much like the Sensitive Psionic power on page 169 of the PFRPG, 2nd edition book, but has been expanded to be a Super Psionic power available _only_ to the Spiritualist
Commune with Spirits (Super)
Duration: 8 Melees, plus 2 melees per level of Experience
Saving Throw: Varies. None for normal use, but commands can be resisted with a save vs. psionics
Base Chance: 27% at first level, with an additional 7% per level of experience. Add +20% in a place known to contain spirits, +1% per additional ISP spent, +5% in graveyards, and +5% at a ley line (once for every ley line, if at a nexus, so a 3 line nexus will give a +30%... +60% if in a graveyard known to hold spirits).
When using this ability, the psychic is able to summon and speak with all sorts of disembodied entities, including astral beings, poltergeist, haunting entities, nymphs, Will-O-The-Wisp, and just about any disembodied being they encounter. The powerful will of the Spiritualist makes it more likely that these creatures will answer the call. Also, though the Spiritualist can speak with them while they remain disembodied, most spirits prefer to possess a living body in order to speak for themselves. Often, this will be the Spiritualist him or herself, but others present at the seance will sometimes be chosen. Those possessed retain no memory of the events, and are often exhausted by the experience.
Of course, unknown factors remain high, and even a Spiritualist is not guaranteed to get the correct spirit, every time. However, their skill with the power means that, when randomly determining which spirit is called, a spiritualist subtracts 5% per level of experience from the roll, making it more likely that the correct spirit will be summoned. (See page 169 for the random summoning table for spirits)
In addition to the enhanced function of the normal power, a Spiritualist gains other abilities from this power. The first is that they automatically sense the presence of spirits within a 120' radius. They may choose to spend more ISP in order to command a spirit. For 6 ISP, the Spiritualist can issue a single order to a given spirit, which it must carry out to the best of it's ability (provided it fails a saving throw vs. psionics). A Spiritualist may issue as many commands as he has I.S.P. available to fuel. These commands will often have a short duration, and the spirit gets a new saving throw at each sunrise and sunset. Of course, many spirits can be bargained with, as well, without needing to resort to commands, though what they want and are willing to do is up to the GM.
2. Other Psionic Powers:
In addition to the potent ability listed above, Spiritualists have a selection of psionic powers. At first level, they have Astral Projection, Dispel Spirits, Exorcism, Presence Sense, Sense Evil, and See Aura. They may also choose four other psionic sensitive abilities.
At each level after the first, a Spiritualist can select one additional minor psionic power. At any level, they may chose a sensitive power, but they may choose a physical or healing power at any odd level (except the first). At levels 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15, they may choose one of the following super-psionic powers, instead of a minor ability:
Advanced Trance State
Group Mind Block
Mind Block Auto-Defense (very common, as it blocks them from possession as well)
3. I.S.P.: As a master psionic, the Spiritualist has a healthy amount of I.S.P.. Each Spiritualist has 2D4*10 +M.E. I.S.P. at first level. They add 10 I.S.P. for every level, including first.
4. P.P.E. Since so much of the character's potential is focused towards his psychic abilities, very little remains for other purposes. His Permanent P.P.E. base is only 2D6.
5. Bonuses: The Spiritualist's impressive mental discipline, combined with a training filled with exposure to entities that will attempt to control his mind has left the character with a resistance to mental shocks. As a master psionic, he must roll 10 or higher to save against psionics (plus M.E. bonuses), and is +3 to save against Mind Controlling Drugs, potions, and magic charms, +5 vs. possession, and +2 vs. Horror Factor.
Alignments: Any, though there is a predominance of honorable alignments, simply because most have found it in their own best interest to uphold deals made with spirits and clients.
Race: Technically, any race capable of having Master Psionics is allowed to be a Spiritualist. However, they are most common amongst humans, ogres, and the Canine Races.
Attribute Requirements: None, though a High M.E. is almost mandatory, and a High I.Q. and M.A. is very helpful.
Multiple O.C.C.'s are not possible.
O.C.C. Skills for Country Folk:
Wilderness Survival +5%
Languages: Native language at 98%, plus two of choice at +15% each
Lore: Spirit +15% (as Lore: Faerie, but applying specifically to spirit creatures, rather than faeries)
Lore: One of Choice +5%
W.P.: Two of Choice
O.C.C. Skills for City Folk:
Languages: Native Language at 98%, plus three of choice (or two plus literacy) at +15%
Lore: Spirit +15%
Lore: One of Choice +5%
W.P.: Two of Choice
Both City and Country folk may select Hand to Hand: Basic for one "other" skill, Hand to Hand Expert for two "other" skills, or Hand to Hand: Martial Arts (or assassin, if evil) for three "other" skills.
O.C.C. Related Skills: Select nine skills at level one, plus one additional skill at levels 3, 6, 9, and 12. All new skills start at level one proficiency.
Espionage: Any but Forgery, Pick Locks, Pick Pockets, and Sniper (+5%)
Horsemanship: General and Exotic only
Medical: First Aid only (Country Folk: Any +5%)
Physical: Any but Acrobatics, Gymnastics, and Wrestling
Rogue: Any (City folk get a +2%)
Science: Any (+10% on Mathematics)
Scholar/Technical: Any (+10% on Lore, Language, and Literacy, only)
Weapon Proficiencies: Any
Wilderness: Land navigation and Wilderness Survival only (Country Folk: Any, with a +5%)
Secondary Skills: The character may select 4 skills at first level, plus one additional at levels 2, 4, 7, 10, and 13. These have the standard restrictions on secondary skills.
Starting Equipment: 2 sets of clothes, boots, hat, belt, blanket, backpack, one large sack, four small sacks, a water skin, dried meats and fruits equal to 1D4+1 weeks of food rations, a small silver cross, a pocket mirror, 1D4+1 wooden stakes, a small mallet, and a tinder box
Armor: Starts with a suit of studded leather (A.R. 13, S.D.C. 38)
Weapons: Starts with a silver-coated dagger and two weapons of choice. All are basic S.D.C. of fair to good quality. Magic or high-quality weapons much be acquired later.
Money: The character begins with 200 gold, to be either saved or spent on other items. Additional money will come from jobs and/or adventures.
Experience table: Same as a Psi-Sensitive