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All Rules in Psychic Duels

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Running Psychic Duels

Source Occult Adventures pg. 201
Each combatant in a psychic duel attacks her opponent and defends herself with the power of her imagination and force of her personality. Such combatants appear in the binary mindscape much as they appear in reality (unless using a mental mask), but their abilities and attacks are enhanced in some ways and limited in others by the strange laws of the binary mindscape.

While the illusion of physical movement exists in the mindscape’s reality, such things as speed and position have little bearing on a psychic duel. Combatants are limited to purely mental actions, speech, and the creation of psychic manifestations (see below). With very few exceptions, spells and spell-like abilities can’t be used (see Concluding a Psychic Duel).

When a character enters a binary mindscape, she uses the following statistics as they were prior to entering: her current hit points; ability scores; AC and touch AC; Reflex, Fortitude, and Will saving throws; highest melee attack bonus; and highest ranged attack bonus. These attack bonuses apply on melee and ranged offensive manifestations, respectively. Regeneration and fast healing are the only special abilities that apply in a psychic duel; uncanny dodge and damage reduction, for example, do not.

Bonuses and penalties granted by items, as well as spells and effects active before entering the mindscape, apply to these statistics, as such items and effects gain psychic equivalents when a creature enters a mindscape. However, while the mind is engaged in a psychic duel, only damaging and healing spells and effects cast on the body of a combatant have an effect on the battle.

Manifestations retain many of the manifestor’s combat capabilities. The nature of the binary mindscape translates martial prowess into psychic parallels; after all, such prowess comes from training, muscle memory, and other subconscious components of the mind. This means that while martially inclined characters have fewer resources in a psychic duel, they can still make powerful attacks against their foes with great accuracy.

Conditions gained during a psychic duel rarely carry over into the real world, but damage is dealt to the physical body of the duelist, so it’s possible for combatants to die. Similarly, unlike all other effects that occur in the real world after a psychic duel begins, damaging and healing a duelist’s physical body carry over to the psychic duel.