A psychic impression is residual spiritual energy formed from powerful emotions, such as the expression of true love or horrifying terror. A psychic impression is identified as one of three core emotions: despair, euphoria, and malice. Like any spiritfont, a psychic impression is invisible to normal detection.
Signs of a Psychic Impression
A dormant psychic impression leaves little hints to its presence, aside from the stirrings of its emotion within a creature. Once the spiritfont is active, its presence is more noticeable, displaying features based on its core emotion.
Despair. The colors of the area diminish, appearing bleak. Lights are dim, as if light can’t properly penetrate the area. Sounds are muffled and dulled, and movement seems to be slowed. An unsettled creature will be overwhelmed with an emotion such as abandonment, dread, fear, futility, grief, guilt, hopelessness, ineptitude, remorse, or sorrow.
Euphoria. The area seems brighter, and phantom chimes can be faintly heard. Colors seem more cheery, and sounds echo with harmony, but the area is also hazy, making it harder to decipher details. An unsettled creature will be overwhelmed by feelings of belonging, enthusiasm, joy, laughter, love, pride, or triumph.
Malice. The air seems stagnant and motions seem more sudden and jarring. Color within the area is more stark and vivid, but bleeds into other colors, creating a swirling mess under prolonged viewing. An unsettled creature is overwhelmed by dark emotions such as anger, betrayal, disgust, frustration, greed, hatred, lust, passion, or rage.
Active Psychic Impression
Once active, a psychic impression becomes hazardous for creatures within its range. An unsettled creature has its emotions replaced by the emotion of the spiritfont, and can’t benefit from effects that rely on emotions such as Rage, Bardic Inspiration, heroism, trauma infusion, and similar effects. Additionally, the unsettled creature is extremely unstable emotionally, and if riled, must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against the spiritfont’s save DC or have an emotionally-appropriate outburst, which could result in making an attack.
Roll a d6 each round, and on a 5 or 6, the spiritfont acts during the round. Choose one creature at random within the spiritfont’s range. It must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or be afflicted with an effect based on the emotion of the psychic impression for 1 minute.
Despair. The creature drops prone and becomes restrained. It refuses to move or be moved.
Euphoria. The creature is elated and will refuse to harm another creature or damage an object, and will intercede to prevent others from doing so without attacking.
Malice. The creature is filled with rage and will attack the nearest creature on its turn. If another creature has caught its attention earlier, it will instead attack that creature if it can reach it.
Hostile Psychic Impression
Once hostile, a psychic impression always acts on its turn. It either takes the action from its active state or attempts to possess a creature within its range.
A creature targeted by its possession must make a Charisma saving throw against the spiritfont’s save DC. On a failed save, the creature is possessed and will enact an activity based on the creation of the spiritfont. The spiritfont acts as a puppeteer (see Possession later in this chapter), and won’t relinquish its target until it completes the activity. Psychic impressions have been known to cause targets to fall down cliffs, attempt suicide, re-enact marriages, fervently dance, attempt mass murder, and other such actions. Once possessed, allies can only attempt to break the possession through magical or psionic means or attempt to restrain the target and move it outside of the spiritfont’s range.
Normally a spiritfont can only possess one creature at a time, but in cases where the activity takes more than one creature, such as a wedding, it will attempt to possess two or more creatures as appropriate. The spiritfont may project an illusion over the target creature reflecting a creature whose emotions contributed to the spiritfont’s creation.
Once a creature has been possessed by a psychic impression, it can’t be possessed by the same one for at least 24 hours.
Using Psychic Impressions
A psychic impression should be used infrequently in your campaign. It is useful as a hook or to provide clues for an adventure or to just add some background to a location. A psychic impression pairs well with another spiritfont and with the lairs of a powerful creature, especially one capable of possession.
A psychic impression tends to have a smaller range than other spiritfonts, and it tends to project within a sphere centered at a location rather than conforming to a feature such as a room. This spiritfont appears outdoors more frequently than other spiritfonts. The most powerful and dangerous psychic impressions are usually well known, and their locations are avoided.