A body snatcher is a telepath of no small skill, capable of jumping from body to body with the ease an actor shifts between roles. Although the discipline developed as a way to truly know other’s minds, it rapidly developed into a means of “borrowing” another’s body and eventually progressed to more permanent means. Most body snatchers are telepaths, although occasionally other manifesters will spend the time to learn the techniques to become a body snatcher.
Role: With their ability to switch bodies with others, body snatchers can make for difficult opponents to defeat. The biggest threat to a body snatcher is an opponent who is immune to mind-affecting powers, so constructs, undead, and similar enemies can be particularly difficult foes.
Alignment: Although the act of stealing a body has an evil connotation, body snatchers can be of any alignment.
Hit Die: d6
To qualify to become a body snatcher, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Feats: Extend Power, any other metapsionic feat.
Skill Points at each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Manifesting|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+1||Body Thief, Extended Transfer, Melding Exchange||–|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+1||The Flesh Remembers, Traumatic Transfer||+1 level of existing class|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+2||Mimic Mind||+1 level of existing class|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+2||Rapid Transfer, Seal the Host||+1 level of existing class|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+3||Mindleap Contingency, Greater Melding Exchange||+1 level of existing class|
|6th||+3||+2||+2||+3||Death is only the beginning, True Mind Switch||–|
All of the following are class features of the body snatcher.
Body snatchers do not gain proficiency with any additional weapons or armor.
When indicated, the character gains additional power points per day and access to new powers as if he had also gained a level in any one manifesting class he belonged to previously. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus metapsionic or item creation feats, and so on). This essentially means that he adds that level of body snatcher to the level of whatever other manifesting class the character has, and then determines power points per day, powers known, and manifester level accordingly.
If a character had more than one manifesting class before he became a body snatcher, he must decide to which class he adds the level of body snatcher for purpose of determining power points per day, powers known, and manifester level.
At 1st level, a body snatcher adds mind switch to her powers known. A body snatcher’s manifester level for mind switch is equal to her normal manifester level plus her class level, which may allow her to manifest it even if she could not normally do so. This improves its level-dependent parameters, including the limit on Hit Dice it can affect and the amount of power points that can be spent manifesting it. For example, Valis, a telepath 11 / body snatcher 4, has a manifester level of 14 normally, but manifests mind switch in all ways as if her manifester level were 18.
During a mind switch, a body snatcher’s mind briefly interfaces with that of her target, resulting in a one-way exchange of information. In addition to rudimentary or instinctive knowledge of the subject as normal for the power, she also learns the subject’s name, where he lives, and who his principle associates and enemies are. While she remains in the subject’s body, she also gains knowledge of all of the subject’s languages (written and spoken), treats any Knowledge check made with a skill with which the subject had ranks as a trained check, and gains a +2 competence bonus per class level on any skill check used to impersonate the subject.
At 2nd level, a body snatcher can connect with a host’s kinaesthetic memories (“muscle memories”) and draw upon learned physical capabilities. While under the influence of mind switch, she gains the host body’s weapon and armor proficiencies. Additionally, she may choose to use her host’s ranks in skills keyed to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution instead of her own. Her training limits how completely she can draw upon her host, though – she cannot emulate a higher rank than her class level + her Intelligence modifier. For instance, Valis (a 4th level body snatcher with an Intelligence modifier of +6) could use her host’s ranks in a physical skill such as Climb, but if the host has more than 10 ranks in Climb, she behaves as if the host had only 10 ranks.
When manifesting mind switch, a body snatcher of 2nd level or higher may elect to make the process traumatic and disorienting to the other mind. The subject is stunned for 1 round upon arriving in the body snatcher’s body, and is dazed for 1d4 rounds thereafter.conceal thoughts, the intruder reads only the decoy thoughts. While the body snatcher does not need to specify the nature of these thoughts (although she may choose to do so), they will reflect what the prying party might expect to find were the body’s normal mind in residence. In addition, while under conceal thoughts, a body snatcher may emulate the alignment of the subject for purposes of fooling abilities that detect alignment. At 5th level, this ability extends to include false memories, foiling effects such as mind probe.
At 4th level, a body snatcher learns to augment her mind switch power in a unique fashion, potentially sealing the subject’s higher mind from taking control of her body. She adds the following augment to mind switch:
If you spend 2 additional power points, the subject’s higher mind may be sealed away when it arrives in your body. If your mind switch is successful, the subject must make a second Will save or be dazed for as long as it remains in your body, similar to the brain lock power. This is in addition to your traumatic transfer ability.
At 5th level, a body snatcher unlocks the ability to use a unique metapsionic effect known as a mindleap contingency. Powers that specify a single target and can affect the body snatcher’s current form can be made into mindleap contingent powers. A mindleap contingent power, once manifest, lies dormant, undetectable and undispellable, for up to five minutes (after which time it fades harmlessly), or until the body snatcher leaves her current body via mind switch (either to return to her original body or to possess another). Immediately after the switch occurs, the mindleap contingency triggers, and the linked power takes effect on the body she was in when she established the contingency. Any choices to be made about the effect must be made when the power is manifest, not when it triggers. Saving throws made against a mindleap contingent power suffer a -5 penalty due to the sudden shift in bodies.
For example, Valis the telepath/body snatcher has already mind switched with a subject and is about to shift her mind back to her body. She manifests memory modification (opting to erase the memory of her time in the body) on her current (host) body as a mindleap contingency, after which she returns her mind to her native body. The subject, upon return to its body, is affected by the memory modification power, and must make a Will save (at -5) or be forced to forget the experience.
Using this ability is akin to using a metapsionic feat – a body snatcher must expend her psionic focus when establishing a mindleap contingency, and establishing one increases the power’s power point cost by 4.
When a 5th level body snatcher uses her melding exchange ability, she draws far more knowledge from her target than usual. She may use the subject’s ranks in Knowledge skills in place of her own, and she learns the command words or thoughts for any items the subject has (provided they were known to the subject). Additionally, as a standard action, she may expend her psionic focus to mentally “ask” her newfound memories one question, typically about the subject’s past or personality. She learns the answer to that question to the best of the subject’s knowledge. Asking about rote facts is often unnecessary, due to the granting of Knowledge ranks – this ability extends beyond the Knowledge skill.
Common folklore suggests that many people see their lives flash before their eyes just before they die. In some ways, this is literal truth for a body snatcher, although she tends to see only opportunity. Immediately upon being reduced to -1 hit points or lower, or failing a saving throw against an effect that would kill her, a 6th level body snatcher may expend her psionic focus to manifest true mind switch as an immediate action at the same manifester level she manifests mind switch. She may only target her killer with this effect (thus, if the killer is out of range, this ability is worthless), and the save DC is reduced by 4 due to the desperate nature of this technique. If successful, her mind switches places with her killer’s just before dying. She suffers level loss as normal for losing her previous body after a true mind switch.
A 6th level body snatcher adds true mind switch to her powers known at 6th level, even if she is incapable of manifesting 9th level powers. She may apply all her body snatcher class features (except seal the host and rapid transfer) to any manifestation of true mind switch, even one made at the moment of death through the use of Death is Only the Beginning.
Psionics Expanded: Advanced Psionics Guide. Copyright 2011, Dreamscarred Press; Authors: Jeremy Smith and Andreas Rönnqvist.