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Raw psionic energy barely contained in a body of gleaming crystalline shards

Shardmind is a player character race in 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons.[PH3:12]

Racial traits[]

  • Average Height: 5' 9 -6' 3
  • Average Weight: 180-230 lb.
  • Ability Scores: +2 Intelligence, and either +2 Wisdom or +2 Charisma
  • Size: Medium
  • Speed: 6 squares
  • Vision: Normal
  • Languages: Common, Deep Speech, choice of one other
  • Skill Bonuses: +2 Arcana, +2 Endurance, +2 to one other skill
  • Telepathy: You can communicate telepathically with any creature within 5 squares of you that has a language.
  • Crystalline Mind: You have resist 5 psychic. The resistance increases to 10 at 11th level and 15 at 21st level.
  • Living Construct: You are a living construct. You don't need to eat, drink, breathe, or sleep. You never have to make Endurance checks to resist the effects of starvation, thirst, or suffocation.
  • Immortal Origin: You are native to the Astral Sea. So you are considered an immortal creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.
  • Shard Swarm: You have the shard swarm power.

Shardminds are sentient fragments of the Living Gate, which once stood at the pinnacle of the intricate lattace of the Astral Sea. Beyond the gate lay the alien Far Realm, and the gate's destruction during the Dawn War resulted in the rise of the mind flayer empire. Though Ioun's power holds the portal closed, shardminds seek to rebuild the gate and forever cut off the Far Realm's ability to influence the world.

Play shardmind if you want...

  • to play a strange, intellectual character who has a strong psionic flavor.
  • to embody an ancient history that makes you an enemy of the Far Realm and its denizens.
  • to be a member of a race that favors the psion, wizard, and invoker classes.

Physical Qualities[]

Shardminds are crystalline creatures consisting of hundreds of small shards of translucent green, white, red, or amber crystal assembled into humanoid form and animated by a force of pure psionic energy. Shardminds choose their forms to mimic the shapes of humanoids; some take on forms that seem more masculine, while others appear more feminine. A shardmind's animating force glows dimly from within each ofits component shards, emanating most brightly from where the eyes of a natural humanoid would be. This inner light sheds dim light in a shardmind's space, but a shard mind individual can squelch the light with an instant's concentration-in order to hide in the dark, for example.

The crystalline fragments making up a shardmind's body are in constant, silent motion, almost like the circulation of blood. When a shardmind is stunned or unconscious, it might lose control of the tight mental reins that keep its body in humanoid form, a few shards slipping free into orbits around its body until the shardmind regains control.

Shard minds are living creatures only in the loosest sense. Their crystalline bodies require no sustenance, and they don't breathe. They don't need sleep, though they must still rest for six hours to gain the benefits of an extended rest. They don't have gender and don't reproduce, but the shardminds alive today aren't the same ones that sprang to life during the Dawn War. Shardminds say that the Living Gate shattered into countless fragments, and each time an awakened shardmind is killed, another one somewhere in the universe stirs to consciousness.

Playing a Shardmind[]

Shardmind Characteristics: Detached, insightful, intellectual, logical, thoughtful, volatile

Shardminds are fragments of pure thought given life and substance. They are logical, emotionally distant, and naive to the ways of society in the world. Some approach life with innocent curiosity, eager to embrace the wealth of experiences the world has to offer, while others remain reserved and aloof, bearing a higher purpose in mind at all times. Though they often seem dispassionate, when a strong emotion seizes them, they experience it powerfully. For example, shardminds don't get annoyed; they become enraged.

Although the race as a whole shares a common goal of rebuilding the Living Gate, several philosophies disagree on how to accomplish that goal. The three most important sects are the Thought Builders, the God Shards, and the Shard Slayers. See below for more information about each philosophy.

Shardmind Backgrounds[]

These shardmind background elements each represent a distinct philosophy, so it is unlikely that a shardmind would have more than one of them.

Thought Builder[]

Associated Skills: Arcana, Religion

You seek to create a new Living Gate and to imbue it with the psionic power necessary to keep the influence of the Far Realm at bay. The sect is prominent in the planar metropolis of Hestavar. Most members of the Thought Builders are dedicated to Ioun. They tend to be unaligned or good.

God Shard[]

Associated Skills: History, Religion

You believe that each shardmind must seek to acquire as much personal power as possible. Since you are a fragment of the Living Gate, your own power is the force that keeps the Far Realm from destroying the universe; each shardmind, in fact, is a fragment of divine power and carries a responsibility to nurture that power. Most God Shards are unaligned and revere no deity.

Shard Slayer[]

Associated Skills: Arcana, Intimidate

You believe that when a shardmind dies, its animating life force returns to the site of the Living Gate, where it shores up the universe's defenses against the Far Realm's intrusion. Thus, you seek to kill as many shardminds as possible, starting with the adherents of other philosophies. As a precautionary measure, you also seek out fragments of the Living Gate that have not yet awakened to sentience, and you destroy them as well, hoping to reduce the number of shardminds that will exist in the future. Most Shard Slayers are evil, and many are devoted to Vecna.

Shardmind paragon paths[]