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Skip Navigation LinksHigh Fantasy HERO>Content>Psionics>Psionic Items
Psionic Items


Psionic System Psions Wild Talents Psionic Items
Psionic Alternatives Psion Package Deals Sample Psionic Powers  
At the GM's discretion, Psionic Items might exist in a campaign setting, and Psions can create them. This is entirely optional, and rests on the GM's preference for how closely Psionics and Magic parallel one another. Check with your GM prior to making a Character that can create or has Psionic Items to ensure that they are appropriate to your GM's campaign.
There are two sorts of Psionic Items, Permanent Items that are infinitely reusable unless destroyed, and Ephemeral Items that have a finite number of Charges and become useless when they are expended.
Permanent Items must take the Independent Limitation and cost Character Points to create, while Ephemeral Items must take Non-Recoverable Charges as a Limitation but do not cost Character Points to create.
Psionic Items can be thought of as holding Powers in themselves. Psionic Items created by users of different types of Psionic Powers are often similar in their manufacture in game terms, but the "flavor" of the various Disciplines should be injected into Psionic Items by the GM and the players.
Mastery of Psionic Powers as represented by Psionic Discipline Power Skills is a necessary part of the Item Creation process. However, this is only part of the required expertise needed to create a Psionic Item. There are two additional Skills necessary to this process, KS: Empowerment and KS: Imprinting.
Item Creation Skill Notes
KS: Empowerment Used to create Psionic Items, Weapons, Armor, and other Permanent Psionic Items.
KS: Imprinting Used to create Psionic Items holding a readied Power needing only a thought to manifest. This is usually accomplished with Crystals and Dorjes, and are always Ephemeral.
The following guidelines describe the process required to create Psionic Items.
Determine the pertinent details of the new Item:
  1. Determine Base Item
  2. Design Powers/Effects
  3. Craft the Psionic Item
The Psionicist must have an Item to Empower, and this item can be either totally mundane or quite expensive and/or rare; this is left to GM's discretion, as it will vary from Item to Item and campaign to campaign. In some cases acquiring an Item suitable for Empowerment might be the impetus for an adventure in itself.
Otherwise the base Item to be Empowered must be constructed. The Psionicist may subcontract to craftsmen if he pays them or otherwise establishes an in-game means to gain their services, in which case the GM determines the quality of the base Item. Otherwise the Psionicist must make all of the appropriate Craft skill rolls himself.
Using the standard HERO System Powers rules, design the effects of the one or more Powers desired to be placed into the Psionic Item.
The following restrictions apply to the design of Psionic Items.
  • No Power in the Item may have an Endurance Cost.
  • No Power in the Item may have an Activation Limitation.
  • All Continuous Uncontrolled Powers in an Item must have a defined termination declared.
  • All Permanent Psionic Items must take the Independent Limitation on each Power in the Item, but may have a limited form of Independent with GM's permission.
  • All Ephemeral Psionic Items must take the Non-Recoverable Charges Limitation on each Power in the Item.
The following process is required to create a Psionic Items.
  1. For each Power in the Item, prepare and Empower the Item for an amount of time equal to 1 Day/10 Active points in the Power
    • Make an appropriate Discipline Skill Roll at -1 / 10 Active Points in the Power to see if that Power was successfully added to the Item.
      • The crafter may opt to take twice as long for each roll, reducing the penalty to -1/20 Active Points in the Power.
  2. After all Powers have been added to the Item, make a Item Creation Skill Roll at -1/10 Real Cost of the Item.
  3. In the case of a Permanent Psionic Item, the Real Cost of the Item must be paid in Character Points.
If any of the Discipline Skill Rolls are failed then the particular Power being added to the Item is not added. If the GM prefers, the Power might be added, but be flawed. If the Power is the only Power being added to the Item, then the entire process fails.
If the Item Creation Skill Roll at the end of the process is failed, then the Item is not usable, or at the GM's preference is flawed or unreliable in some way; unwanted Side Effects might be appropriate for an Item where the Item Creation Skill Roll was only barely failed for instance.
The above rolls should be made by the GM and concealed from the player to heighten suspense. The process is only complete when the last Power in the Item has been rolled for. Whether the time spent to craft the item must be continuous or not is left to the discretion of the GM.
NOTE: The process described above is deliberately drawn out and difficult in order to discourage casual Item creation. However, ultimately the GM should take the initiative to make Item creation as difficult or as easy as they want it to be. If easier creation is desired, simply streamline all the rolls down to a single roll made at the end of the process or something equivalent.
A Psionicist making an Item similar to an Item they already know how to make gains a bonus to his rolls ranging from 1 to 5 at the GM's option, based upon exactly how similar the new Item is to the other Item, with +5 being for an identical Item, to +1 being a mildly similar Item. A Character should keep a list of all Items they have successfully made.
A Psionicist might be fortunate enough to have a text to work from written by some other Psionicist detailing how to create an Item. Such guides should be keyed to the use of a specific Item Creation Skill. The GM should assess a Skill bonus of +1 to +5 originating from such a work.
A Character can also make their own notes on how to create an Item they have successfully crafted. To do so they simply need a skill called Diagramming (use Computer Programming); by spending a number of days equal to the Real Cost of the Item they have made and taking a penalty of -1/20 Active Points in the Item, a Psionicist can successfully  produce full and useful notes on the process of creating that Item which they themselves or others can use.
The Psionicist may take twice as long to diagram, gaining a +1 per doubling of time.
The bonus to Item Creation Skill Rolls granted by these notes is based upon how well the Psionicist made their Diagramming Skill Roll; the notes grant +1 per 2 points by which their Diagramming Skill Roll was made by. 
Once a Psionicist has successfully created an Item they benefits from a +5 Similarity bonus on each Skill Roll required to make additional exact copies of that Item.
The Psion must pay the Real Cost of the Item with Character Points unless the GM allows the Psion to make the Item for another consenting Character, who must pay the Real Cost of the Item with their Character Points instead.
Ephemeral Psionic Items are far more common than Permanent Psionic Items, and often take the form of crystals, stones, and even string cradles, but endless variations exist. Most Ephemeral Psionic Items merely hold a given Power, trapped in amber as it were and ready for use. Less common are Psionic Items that are indistinguishable from a Permanent Psionic Item to the naked eye but hold a finite amount of power.
Crystals are a particularly common form of Ephemeral Psionic Item, used by Psions for several purposes. In addition to their usefulness as combat-usable firepower, Crystals can also be used to transfer Powers from one Psionicist to another.
Rather than using a Crystal to bring a Power effect into being, a Psionicist with the appropriate Psionic Discipline Skill may attempt to learn that Power instead if they the appropriate Discipline Skill and have enough Character points to pay for the resulting Power.
To do this takes one Minute per Active Point in the Power and a Discipline Skill Roll at -1/10 Active Points in the Power. This penalty can be reduced to -1/20 Active Points in the Power by taking twice as long. This usage, whether successful or not, uses one Charge of the Crystal. This method is a very popular way of teaching novices their first Powers.
Crystals can be quickly built by applying a straightforward "short-hand" Limitation to a Power Construct which works for the majority of Crystals.
CRYSTAL: RSR: Specific Psionic Powers Discipline (-1/20 Active Points, -1/4), Requires Light to Use (-1/4), 1 Nonrecoverable Charge (-3), Obvious Accessible Focus (Fragile; -1 1/4), Extra Time: Full Phase (-1/2); Total Limitation: -5 1/4
Dorjes are identical to Crystals save that they have multiples Charges; all of the rules above regarding Crystals apply to Dorjes; a Character can learn a Power from a Dorjes in the fashion detailed above.
The chosen weapon of many Psionicists, Dorjes are typically used to house offensive Psionic Powers, giving a Psionicist vastly expanded combat effectiveness. Dorjes typically hold mid level offensive Powers.
Dorjes can be quickly built by applying a straightforward "short-hand" Limitation to a Power Construct which works for the majority of Dorjes.
DORJES: RSR: Specific Psionic Powers Discipline (-1/20 Active Points, -1/4), Requires Light to Use (-1/4), 50 Nonrecoverable Charges (-1 1/2), Obvious Accessible Focus (Fragile; -1 1/4), Extra Time: Full Phase (-1/2); Total Limitation: -3 3/4