High Psionics: Psicrystals Expanded (PE) is relatively small supplement that provides new rules and types of psicrystals for players and DM’s alike. With what is quickly becoming the standard for Dreamscarred Press, the production values are top notch. I was very pleased to find my download included both a full color and a black/white version, and that everything in the PDF’s was bookmarked for easy searching. The editing and layout are both well done and smooth. But now, we must venture into what we are all here for: the Content!
The supplement leads off with a section of Alternate Psicrystals. Overall: a valuable resource for psionic characters. However, a number of these can make the Improved Psicrystal feat quite unappealing in comparison. I will now explore each to give both a sort of preview and review.
The Awakened Psicrystal essentially gives the psicrystal the ability to manifest a few (generally) low level powers to manifest a few times a day. The wording on the powers is potentially ambiguous; whether or not each power is usable twice a day, or twice a day the psicrystal can manifest one of the selected powers. Despite that, the Awakened Psicrystal is well done. It requires a feat later introduced in the book.
Now, while the concept of the next psicrystal is both interesting and worthy of development, the “Implanted Psicrystal” alternative strikes an odd nerve with me. The psicrystal is quite fine for lower levels, but at high levels, I can see potential for abuse. The Implanted psicrystal essentially gives up mobility to give bonuses to its master. It’s an interesting trade for your average player, but it is not a stretch to see someone taking it at high levels for a number of significant bonuses, which could potentially tally up to 3-5 feats worth. I think it could use some more play-testing, as I do enjoy the concept- I would like to see the mechanics worked on. Note, this does not cost a feat, rather, 100xp and someone with several ranks in heal.
The Cognizance psicrystal is definitely solid. It gives more use to the otherwise weak Craft Cognizance crystal feat.
The Psycrysmal is also very good, similar in concept to the Combat Familiar’s introduced in Complete Warrior by Wizards of the Coast. One minor quip: the psycrysmal shares its power resistance with its owner. I believe it should be changed to the way alertness is set up (e.g.: if within 5 feet of the master)
The psicrystal weapon is both quality and unique. It is easily a good option for any kind of psionic character. It would be interesting to see some kind of development for a new use for a soulknife, though.
The feats section lists the feats required to use some of these alternates, as well as some more options for psicrystal weapons. Dreamscarred also introduces a new “Fleshcrafting” feat, which can be used to implant psicrystals and is *hinted* that it will be used in future supplements.
PE is a great resource for the psionic minded, and it will definitely see use at my table. Very well done.