An excellent choice, I will send them both the proposal.
A long standing argument that is simply not settled within the rules. I believe it is rather simply to sort out if we consider a balanced approach.Two related questions have come up in the process of character approval:
(1) The statblock given for a psicrystal (Psicrystal :: d20srd.org) has Alertness as a feat. Can a player substitute a different feat?
(2) As psicrystals gain hit dice, do they gain additional feats?
Arguments for yes and yes:
* The feat is not identified as a bonus feat in the statblock. That suggests it is a standard first-level (first-hit-die) feat. Such choices are considered typical but not mandatory.
* "A monster's total Hit Dice...govern its acquisition of feats and ability score increases." (Improving Monsters :: d20srd.org)
Arguments for no and no:
* The psicrystal rules say "Use the statistics for a psicrystal, but make the following changes." (Psion :: d20srd.org). No change to feats is listed.
* Familiars do not gain feats as they advance, and psicrystals are analogous to familiars.
Does anybody have any further insight into these questions? Know of an authoritative or semi-authoritative ruling?
You are right that in these respects the psicrystal is similar to the familiar, there are other similairites as well such as the psicrystal granted abilities, that make it clear the psicrystal is modeled after the familiar. However, the examples provided are also explicitly mentioned to be execeptions to the normal monster generation rules.Halford said:If it were in fact supposed to gain abilities as a leveled up construct it ought also to gain saves as such. It does not.
If it were in fact supposed to gain abilities as a leveled up construct it ought also to gain skills as such. It does not.
If it were in fact supposed to gain abilities as a leveled up construct it ought also to gain hp as such. It does not.
Normally monsters have feats from two sources, from their Hit Dice, or a bonus feats. The psicrystal, as has been noted, also has some special generation rules.http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/intro.htm said:A monster gains feats just as a character does. Sometimes a creature has one or more bonus feats, marked with a superscript B (B). Creatures often do not have the prerequisites for a bonus feat. If this is so, the creature can still use the feat. If you wish to customize the creature with new feats, you can reassign its other feats, but not its bonus feats. A creature cannot have a feat that is not a bonus feat unless it has the feat’s prerequisites.
I will not argue that the psicrystal affinity feat is not a good feat. I agree that it is. Your are right that personality benfits are equivalent to a skill focus or one of the save improvement feats (but then the familiar benefits are the same.) To a character that would have chosen to take alertness or one of the the skill focusefeats anyway (and not to meet some prerequisite), psicrystal affinity is a a great bargain. However, for those characters that would not have chosen such a feat, they are nice benefits.Halford said:I play a Psion in a game where all the books are allowed and my group considers Kiro, my Psi-crystal, to be vastly overpowered without feats.
The argument that Psi-crstals cost a feat to get and as such should be better than familiars is also highly suspect in my book. A Psi-crystal is effectively three feats for the price of one, you gain alertness, the personality benefit all of which are as good as a feat in their own right, and a Psi-crystal. If there is a better feat available please let me know what it is because I'll be damned if I can think of one!