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Mental Grip (3.5e Martial Discipline)

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Created By
DaTedinator (talk)
Date Created: 1/14/2010
Status: Complete
Editing: Please feel free to edit constructively!
Balance: Fighter


Stories detailing the creation of the style of the mental grip are frequently historically impossible, and always at odds with each other on a number of key points, but in a few areas there tends to be agreement.

First, the style's creation has virtually nothing to do with Reshar, instead owing itself to a pair of mysterious figures known as the Dark Father and the Son. The Dark Father was a mighty psionic being of indeterminate race, whose face was never seen, always veiled behind a shadowy cloak, or black adamantine helm. But even given his great might, there was one greater still whom he served. Even less is known about this figure than the Dark Father himself, but historical artists frequently display him as an Emperor among mind flayers. The Dark Father resented his servitude to this Emperor, but found his power alone was not enough to break the bonds of his servitude. He pushed himself to his limit, and developed the rudiments of the Mental Grip, but could not fully exploit it; either he wasn't powerful enough, or the Emperor watched him too closely, or he was simply lazy, to drunk with his current power to try too hard to gain more.

Second, the Dark Father eventually found a student. In some versions he is the darker Son of the Dark Father, in others he was a master assassin the Dark Father sought out after an untarnished record of assassinating legendary psionic figures, rivaling even the Annulus in number of psionic beings killed. Regardless of his actual familial status, he is known as the Son. The Dark Father taught him all of his exotic techniques, including the bits of the Mental Grip he had initiated. The Son took these rudimentary fragments of a style and honed them to a razor edge; his killing power rose tenfold, and his power grew to eclipse even that of his Father. He wrote many treatises on the style, and it is from these that practitioners of the other styles eventually pieced the Mental Grip style back together.

Third, it was this mastery of the Mental Grip that eventually led to his downfall. Whether it was the Dark Father's jealousy, or the fact that his power grew too large to hide, eventually the Dark Father's plans were reversed; rather than allying himself with the Son against the Emperor, he was forced to ally with the Emperor against the Son. Though the Son's power was indeed great, he could not stand long against the combined might of the Dark Father and the Emperor.

What became of the Father and the Emperor is unknown - though there are a handful of cults that claim to have the truth - and largely irrelevant. The fact remains that the Mental Grip is a potent, if unorthodox style, and is growing in popularity among psionic followers of the Sublime Way. It focuses mostly on the use of small weapons, and those easy to manipulate with one's mind: the dagger, the light hammer, the sai, the handaxe, and the scimitar. It also favors the unarmed strike, as physical discipline is important to fully grasp mental discipline. Its key skill is Autohypnosis, as the style focuses on driving your mind to master itself, its body, and even the outside world.

The way of the Mental Grip is not available to all; a practitioner must be considered a psionic creature, whether due to power point reserve, or inherent psionic abilities. Of the psionic followers of the Sublime Way, only Swordsages find themselves with the ability to grasp the supernatural strongly enough to truly understand the way of the Mental Grip, as the way of the Mental Grip is made up entirely of supernatural techniques that are alien to those used to typical martial disciplines.

However, the cost of studying such a foreign style is indeed great; the potential practitioner must either devote such a large amount of training to the style that most must exclude another style from their learning entirely. Upon gaining their first level of swordsage, a psionic character may choose to lose all access to one discipline typically known to swordsages in order to gain access to Mental Grip. Additionally, Autohypnosis becomes a class skill for the swordsage, and that discipline's associated skill is no longer a class skill. Alternatively, a potential practitioner may gain the Sublime Psychic feat detailed below to gain access to the discipline.

Maneuvers of the Mental Grip Discipline Edit

To see the full, expanded description of every maneuver, click here.


The Crunch, Summarized
Key Skill: Autohypnosis

Associated Weapons: Unarmed Strike, Dagger, Light Hammer, Sai, Handaxe, Scimitar.

All maneuvers of Mental Grip are considered to be supernatural abilities.

Some maneuvers let you make melee attacks at a range; if you're using a weapon, you're assumed to be telekinetically wielding the weapon, and if you're unarmed, you're assumed to be pummeling your opponents with telekinetic energy.

Some maneuvers refer to psionic focus, whether maintaining it or expending it. Details of psionic focus can be found here.

All saves for the Mental Grip discipline are Charisma-based.


1st-Level Maneuvers

{{#ask: Discipline::Mental Grip Level::1 |?Type |?Summary |format=ul |template=3.5e Martial Discipline List/Output |link=none |limit=9999 }}

2nd-Level Maneuvers

{{#ask: Discipline::Mental Grip Level::2 |?Type |?Summary |format=ul |template=3.5e Martial Discipline List/Output |link=none |limit=9999 }}

3rd-Level Maneuvers

{{#ask: Discipline::Mental Grip Level::3 |?Type |?Summary |format=ul |template=3.5e Martial Discipline List/Output |link=none |limit=9999 }}

4th-Level Maneuvers

{{#ask: Discipline::Mental Grip Level::4 |?Type |?Summary |format=ul |template=3.5e Martial Discipline List/Output |link=none |limit=9999 }}

5th-Level Maneuvers

{{#ask: Discipline::Mental Grip Level::5 |?Type |?Summary |format=ul |template=3.5e Martial Discipline List/Output |link=none |limit=9999 }}

6th-Level Maneuvers

{{#ask: Discipline::Mental Grip Level::6 |?Type |?Summary |format=ul |template=3.5e Martial Discipline List/Output |link=none |limit=9999 }}

7th-Level Maneuvers

{{#ask: Discipline::Mental Grip Level::7 |?Type |?Summary |format=ul |template=3.5e Martial Discipline List/Output |link=none |limit=9999 }}

8th-Level Maneuvers

{{#ask: Discipline::Mental Grip Level::8 |?Type |?Summary |format=ul |template=3.5e Martial Discipline List/Output |link=none |limit=9999 }}

9th-Level Maneuvers

{{#ask: Discipline::Mental Grip Level::9 |?Type |?Summary |format=ul |template=3.5e Martial Discipline List/Output |link=none |limit=9999 }}


Feats Edit

SMW::off

Focused Mind

Focused Mind [{{#arraymap: Psionic|, |x|Type::x}}] Summary::You've learned how to push your psionic talents to the limit. Prerequisites: {{#arraymap: One Mental Grip strike, Manifester level 1|,|x|Prerequisite::x}}Benefit: Whenever a Mental Grip maneuver would benefit from you expending your psionic focus, you may instead expend a number of power points equal to the level of the maneuver to gain the same benefit. Whenever you enter a Mental Grip stance, you may spend a number of power points equal to twice the level of the stance to attempt to gain psionic focus as a part of the same action.


Mental Touch

Mental Touch [{{#arraymap: Psionic, Tactical|, |x|Type::x}}] [[Summary::The practitioner of the way of the Mental Grip must understand that not only can he use his psionic abilities to aid his physical ones, he can use his psionic abilities to outright replace his physical ones.]] Prerequisites: {{#arraymap: Psionic Meditation, Three Mental Grip maneuvers (at least one must be a stance), Base Attack Bonus +6|,|x|Prerequisite::x}}Benefit: This feat enables the use of three new combat options:

  • Mental Hand (Su): As long as you are psionically focused, you may use mage hand at will.
  • Telekinetic Force (Su): As long as you are in a Mental Grip stance, you may add your Charisma modifier to damage instead of your Strength modifier when using any weapons associated with Mental Grip.
  • Telekinetic Weapon (Su): As long as you are psionically focused and in a Mental Grip stance, you may add your Charisma modifier to attack instead of your Strength modifier when using any weapons associated with Mental Grip.


Sublime Psychic

Sublime Psychic [{{#arraymap: Psionic|, |x|Type::x}}] [[Summary::You've been trained in the exotic discipline of the Mental Grip.]] Prerequisites: {{#arraymap: Swordsage 3rd or Warblade or Crusader 6th, Autohypnosis 3 ranks or Skill Focus (Autohypnosis).|,|x|Prerequisite::x}}Benefit: Choose one class that you have that grants access to martial maneuvers. You may now choose from Mental Grip maneuvers for that class, following the normal rules for selecting martial maneuvers; additionally, you may immediately exchange up to three of your known maneuvers for maneuvers from the Mental Grip discipline. Autohypnosis is now a class skill for all of your classes. SMW::on


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