[RPG] How to survive the first five levels as an erudite


Erudite is, potentially, the most powerful psionic class since he can learn every and any power from whatever list he desires. He can have literally hundreds of powers at his disposal, through it is balanced by the fact that he can use only 11 unique powers per day on 20 manifester level and only one unique power at first level

Now, I know that the ability to have, both Astral Construct and Metamorphosis and Psionic Fly and Psionic Dominate and whatever else you want is good; but is it that good with that "unique powers per day" drawback on the lower levels?

Since the class is not a tanky type (d4 hitdice), the erudite clearly needs a high AC. He can't afford fullplate at first level, and even if he could, that would hinder his mobility greatly.

Theoretically, the erudite could somewhat offset with powers which grant him extra speed/bonuses to swim/jump and stuff. On the other hand, he could just get an Inertial Armor/Force Screen and get a non-hindering bonus on armor class. He also wants to be able to blast stuff (with Mind Thrust, or Energy Ray, or Crystal Shards), as well as debuff (Deja Vu), as well as have some utility (Minor Creation). His party even wants you to summon a flying thingie to get the party rogue across that wall. But he can't do most of it. Mostly, because he has, at level 1, 1 unique power per day.

Now, I know, that on later levels, erudites get much stronger. But first, they have to get there. Preferably, alive. Hence, the problem.

What strategies should low level erudites employ to ensure that he gets to those awesome levels? Especially if he is not sure who he is playing with (this question isn't about external assistance that could equally apply to any character).

What powers, feats and stuff should he get? Given that the party is money-starving and has little to no magic gear (it's common where I play). All the Erudite has, is himself, his Psicrystal, and a faint hope that his teammates, at least, will get between him and the enemy when it's necessary (if it is not a solo adventure, which it may be as well).

Best Answer

It's very difficult, but pretend like you're an unskilled bard and take a first level dip into something more survivable.

To be clear, much of your survival, even more so than normal "quadratic" classes, will be a direct result of your personal creativity. Don't engage in fights you don't have to, be liberal in your sneaking about and talking-people-out-of-things. Make your first level dip and your creativity carry you through. Read the commoner handbook to get you into the right mindset.

I was halfway through writing up an answer discussing how totemist and beguiler are excellent 1-2 level dips for a dual-casting progression career when I was reminded of one of the sillier rules of the erudite:

Exception: If a character with erudite levels gains at least as many levels in another psionic class as he has in his erudite class, he permanently loses the ability to add additional powers (above and beyond the two gained at each new erudite level) to his repertoire of powers known.

Which means that there's no dual-classing progressions allowed, and that first dip won't grow with the character.

First, then, consider a rogue or factotum/1 dip, Even though it won't grow, it'll give your character a fantastic basis for skills, allowing him to serve as a scout for the first few levels.

Consider also being an Elan (as Erudite is a variant Psion, there shouldn't be any trouble for favoured classes.) Being an aberration and having access to alter self provides a huge amount of very... odd... forms for polymorph abuse.

Consider instead being a Warforged. Repair light damage is available at level one with Spell-to-power, and when combined with adamantine body, makes you a veritable tank.

Your main objective is to convince your party that you're not a wizard. Wizards are, by definition, tiny gods. That is due to the scope and versatility of their powers. Your character plays much more like a spirit shaman: you can choose, on any given day, to specialise in any given thing. In a normal game, this would be countered with much of your normal "casting" duties being offloaded into items. However, since you've stipulated your game is resource poor, this is out of the question.

At the end of the day, if this is a resource poor game, your erudite is going to be really suffering. Learning all of those spells from the minds of casters will require huge amounts of time and/or money. It's the archivist's challenge, but in a much more restrictive package.

Assuming that you do dip your first level, you do have a few useful things on your side. Spell to power is any arcane spell not simply any sor/wis spell. Therefore, look at the factotum handbook for all of the awesome spells that bards, assassins, hoardstealers, etc.. get. It will be a very tedious search, but odd-entries into early spells open them up for you.

If you don't go warforged, your first psionic feat should be a crafting feat. Here, much like the artificer, you simply cannot afford not to have emergency powers on hand. It'll consume much of your resources, but having rare spells on hand to cast when you need them is key to your staying alive to be awesome.

For example, your primary weapon for the first few levels should be your self-trained warhorse. A light horse is 75gp, but can be trained into a light warhorse with time. Hoof hoof bite on command for 75 gp is ... not horrible. Read the handle animal guide and pretend you're a druid. Given that, with time, you can apply the "warbeast template" to most any trainable animal, (Mind you, these are 3.0ish resources, but should provide an idea for how you should go about approaching the problem.)