5E Psionicist (experiment)

5E Psionicist (experiment)

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5E Psionicist (experiment)


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This class is my interpretation of a solid psionic class for 5E. It is meant to be a "quick and dirty" conversion until such time as the official psionics subsystem is released by WotC. This is my experiment in re-skinning and utilizing the existing 5E D&D rules mechanics from the PHB to make a different class concept. This allows for quick access to a psionic archetype without having to create an entirely new system that will be a wasted effort once WotC releases their version. It should also make it much simpler to add to the standard character selection options since there is really not very much that is "new" other than the power points and overpower. In effect, the class is another "caster" class since the spell system was already thee for the using. In some ways the power point (aka spell point) variant makes them a little more versatile in the level of 'spells' they can cast, but are thematically more limited than wizards.

D&D 5E - Psionicist (aka Psion) v1 - EnWorld "WotC Safe" version

PM me if you would like a full text version.
  1. The Shadow
    Very interesting! I like it very much.

    I'm a little surprised not to see any spells like Misty Step or Dimension Door, though. I realize there aren't enough teleportation spells to make a whole discipline, but perhaps they could be part of the Kineticist.

    Also, I dislike the whole Psionic Focus idea, so I'd probably ditch it. The requirement of Concentration for all manifestations is probably onerous enough.
  2. Khaalis
    Quote Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
    Very interesting! I like it very much.
    Thanks.

    I'm a little surprised not to see any spells like Misty Step or Dimension Door, though. I realize there aren't enough teleportation spells to make a whole discipline, but perhaps they could be part of the Kineticist.
    I actually had a sketch for a Bender discipline that focused on time/space but it would require a few more abilities to actually be written from scratch to fill it out. Then the more I thought about it, the more I found that I felt the teleportation and time related abilities (like initiative bonuses, etc.) fell more into the realm of the Psionic Melee concepts (psychic warrior, psi-knight, lurk, soul blade, etc.). I personally felt that the core psionicist should focus on the 3 main psionic fields (psycoportation, metacreativity and psychometabolism just don't seem to fit) and I wanted to see how these core ideas went over first before delving into those concepts for a number of reasons. However, that said, if people really feel they can stretch portation into kinetics (I could see this as a simplified explanation of speeding up matter to appear "almost instantaneous"?). However, it would definitely make the kineticist the heavy hitter for powers.

    The foremost issue I am having with the Melee side is some real concept issues. On one hand, core classes could use some psionic subclasses, but many of the concepts would actually fit for multiple classes (like Soul Knife, which has the core shtick of a psi-weapon which would fit almost any melee class). I wonder if it would be possible to have a subclass that could be open to more than one class? Something like the Lurk or Divine Mind concepts are easy enough though. The big question is how to pair down the possible powers for each class. For instance I could see the fighter actually getting a number of different psionic subclasses such as Psi-Knight (defender), Psychic Warrior (damage oriented), Soulbow (fighter or ranger), etc. On the other hand the Psychic Warrior might actually be beefy enough to warrant a whole class built on the paladin frame.

    Thoughts?

    Also, I dislike the whole Psionic Focus idea, so I'd probably ditch it. The requirement of Concentration for all manifestations is probably onerous enough.
    I honestly wasn't sure if concentration would be sufficient or even applicable in play. Pretty much the only way to have your concentration broken is by having a creature's Reaction used against you in the round you try to manifest a power so its only slightly more risky than a normal spellcaster. I looked at the idea of a "casting" roll but it goes against the core principles of the 5E rules.

    On another note, the Psi Focus was a holdover to the 3E/4E Psi Crystals as well as making a link to the Arcane Focus rules from 5E. if people honestly think it isn't fitting or flavorful its really easy to drop and wouldn't hurt my feelings at all since I'm personally not a fan of the psi crystal concept.
  3. The Shadow
    Quote Originally Posted by Khaalis View Post
    I actually had a sketch for a Bender discipline that focused on time/space but it would require a few more abilities to actually be written from scratch to fill it out.
    Sigh. Yeah. Hey - maybe psychoportation is a feat? The prereq is being able to manifest psionic abilities, and the result is that you expand your 'spell' list slightly?

    Or perhaps it's a third set of customization options.

    The foremost issue I am having with the Melee side is some real concept issues. On one hand, core classes could use some psionic subclasses, but many of the concepts would actually fit for multiple classes (like Soul Knife, which has the core shtick of a psi-weapon which would fit almost any melee class). I wonder if it would be possible to have a subclass that could be open to more than one class? Something like the Lurk or Divine Mind concepts are easy enough though. The big question is how to pair down the possible powers for each class. For instance I could see the fighter actually getting a number of different psionic subclasses such as Psi-Knight (defender), Psychic Warrior (damage oriented), Soulbow (fighter or ranger), etc. On the other hand the Psychic Warrior might actually be beefy enough to warrant a whole class built on the paladin frame.
    I don't see anything wrong in principle with a subclass that could be fitted to more than one base class, but you'd have to be careful. For one thing, though I don't have my book open, I'm pretty sure that different classes get subclass abilities at different levels.

    Soul Knife strikes me more as a feat than a class in 5e terms.

    The frustrating thing is that, really, the sorcerer is perfect for psionics, except for the spell list.

    I honestly wasn't sure if concentration would be sufficient or even applicable in play. Pretty much the only way to have your concentration broken is by having a creature's Reaction used against you in the round you try to manifest a power so its only slightly more risky than a normal spellcaster. I looked at the idea of a "casting" roll but it goes against the core principles of the 5E rules.
    I've considered a casting roll even for regular magic. Anyway, the main thing about Concentration isn't that it can be broken, but that you can only have one thing going at a time.

    On another note, the Psi Focus was a holdover to the 3E/4E Psi Crystals as well as making a link to the Arcane Focus rules from 5E. if people honestly think it isn't fitting or flavorful its really easy to drop and wouldn't hurt my feelings at all since I'm personally not a fan of the psi crystal concept.
    Yeah, it's way too New-Agey for my taste.
  4. RhaezDaevan
    Though I can understand the use of wisdom as the casting stat, I also think intelligence fits too. Would it be broken allowing a player to choose between the two at level 1?
  5. Khaalis
    [QUOTE=The Shadow;6381856]Sigh. Yeah. Hey - maybe psychoportation is a feat? The prereq is being able to manifest psionic abilities, and the result is that you expand your 'spell' list slightly?[quote]
    I think that a feat may actually work. I have to really look over the feat structure and see how much of a class feature you can fit into a feat. What I'd be thinking of is something akin to the Warlock's Misty Escape which is a level 6 class feature. Perhaps just use the Teleport aspect without the invisibility would make it more feat appropriate?


    Or perhaps it's a third set of customization options.
    Honestly, I think that if I were to do a full portation subclass, I'd probably focus it as a melee subclass and it seems to fit thematically most with the rogue, though they already have a few similar powers but they could benefit from other portation powers in a dedicated tree.

    Possible Source Abilities:
    * Wiz6 - Benign Transportation
    * Mon6 - Shadow Step
    * War6 - Misty Escape
    * Rog 9 - Magical Ambush
    * Ran14 - Vanish
    Also as an outlier that would make some form of sense as a "time" power of seeing to be in two places at one would be the Cleric "Duplicity" powers.


    I don't see anything wrong in principle with a subclass that could be fitted to more than one base class, but you'd have to be careful. For one thing, though I don't have my book open, I'm pretty sure that different classes get subclass abilities at different levels.
    Agree on the level issue. One of the reason why I felt the concept wouldn't work. The issue is having to decide how to divy up the possible powers and make each psionic sublcass Different. What makes a Psychic Warrior different from a Lurk? Then also is the question - Does each class demand a psionic subclass?

    Soul Knife strikes me more as a feat than a class in 5e terms.
    If you take just the core concept of the Psionic Weapon, yes, that is the idea I had. Use the warlock ability as the mechanics structure and simply say it deals force damage instead of being a "physical" weapon and name it something like Psi Weapon.

    Actually now that I look back at the soulknife again, the only other unique class features it gets are:
    * Psychic Strike, a form of bonus damage like sneak attack but doesn't require "advantage". However in 5E the inherent need for extra damage is already covered by the classes that would really take this feat.
    * Inherent Magic Bonuses - which in 5E is unnecessary.
    * Throw Mind Blade - already covered by the Warlock power in that it actually creates a melee weapon of choice but this could be expanded to include weapons with the thrown property.


    The frustrating thing is that, really, the sorcerer is perfect for psionics, except for the spell list.
    If you really wanted to go ultimate basics you could just make a generic "Psionic" origin but it would be pretty hard to encompass all that a psionic character can be with such limited abilities. Also, as mentioned you'd also have to change the spell list.


    I've considered a casting roll even for regular magic. Anyway, the main thing about Concentration isn't that it can be broken, but that you can only have one thing going at a time.
    I've thought about a casting roll as well, like in other games (ie Fantasy Craft) but it really does go against the concepts of 5E. IF I were to do it, I would only implement it on spells that dont require a Hit Roll since its highly unfair to make casters have to roll Twice to cast a spell. It also penalizes casters into having to roll for a core class function where no other class has to do the same.

    As for concentration, you only have to maintain concentration while actually manifesting (ie casting). Beyond that the powers (ie spells) work as described in the PHB and only require concentration if listed in the spell's description. Otherwise "psionics" would be inherently weaker than spellcasting and that defeats the purpose. It is only meant to be a balance factor to not having VSM component restrictions.
  6. Khaalis
    Quote Originally Posted by RhaezDaevan View Post
    Though I can understand the use of wisdom as the casting stat, I also think intelligence fits too. Would it be broken allowing a player to choose between the two at level 1?
    As with anything in D&D you could run it at the table anyway you wanted. For me, I see psionics as a matter of mental focus and willpower over analytical and memory skill. I definitely don't think Charisma (as force of personality) fits psionics. JMHO. YMMV.
  7. Khaalis
    Two New Feats, as discussed. Thoughts?


    Dimensional Step
    Prerequisite: The ability to manifest at least one psionic power
    You are gifted with psycoportative power that allows you to vanish with an audible pop in response to harm. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to turn invisible and teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. You remain invisible until the start of your turn or until you attack or manifest a power. Once you use this feature, you canít use it again until you finish a short or long rest.


    Psionic Weapon
    Prerequisite: The ability to manifest at least one psionic power
    You can use your action to create a weapon made of pure kinetic energy in your empty hand. The damage type this weapon deals is chosen when created from either: cold, fire, force, lightning or psychic. You can choose the form that this melee weapon takes each time you create it (including melee weapons with the Thrown property). You are proficient with it while you wield it only if you are already proficient in that weapon type. This weapon counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
  8. The Shadow
    Dimensional Step
    Prerequisite: The ability to manifest at least one psionic power
    You are gifted with psycoportative power that allows you to vanish with an audible pop in response to harm. When you take damage, you can use your reaction to turn invisible and teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. You remain invisible until the start of your turn or until you attack or manifest a power. Once you use this feature, you canít use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
    Hmm. So it's a reactive teleport only. I'd be inclined to remove the invisibility and let it be used as an action as well.


    Psionic Weapon
    Prerequisite: The ability to manifest at least one psionic power
    You can use your action to create a weapon made of pure kinetic energy in your empty hand. The damage type this weapon deals is chosen when created from either: cold, fire, force, lightning or psychic. You can choose the form that this melee weapon takes each time you create it (including melee weapons with the Thrown property). You are proficient with it while you wield it only if you are already proficient in that weapon type. This weapon counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
    I'd be inclined to choose the type of weapon with the feat, or just restrict it to psychic. Or perhaps energy types are 'unlocked' depending on what other powers you know.
  9. Khaalis
    Quote Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
    Hmm. So it's a reactive teleport only. I'd be inclined to remove the invisibility and let it be used as an action as well.
    Ok, I was thinking that might be too powerful. In the reactive form it also effectively makes the teleport a bonus action. As an action, it becomes pretty much all you do for that turn.

    However, if changed it would look like...

    Dimensional Step
    Prerequisite: The ability to manifest at least one psionic power
    You are gifted with psycoportative power that allows you to vanish with an audible pop in response to harm. As an action, you teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. Once you use this feature, you canít use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

    Better?

    I'd be inclined to choose the type of weapon with the feat, or just restrict it to psychic. Or perhaps energy types are 'unlocked' depending on what other powers you know.
    My initial instinct on this was Force or Force/Psychic as the damage type, but then I thought of it as being a kinetic weapon (which includes electrokinetic, pyrokinetic, cryokinetic) to make it a bit more versatile. Is it too versatile? As for unlocking that would seem to make the mechanic a tad too complicated for the 5E model (a lot of 'if this, then that' statements). I think it would just be better dialed down to this:

    Psionic Weapon
    Prerequisite: The ability to manifest at least one psionic power
    You can use your action to create a weapon made of pure kinetic energy in your empty hand. When you choose this feat, choose the damage type this weapon deals from either: force or psychic. You can choose the form that this melee weapon takes each time you create it (including melee weapons with the Thrown property). You are proficient with it while you wield it only if you are already proficient in that weapon type. This weapon counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
  10. Khaalis
    REVISED

    Dimensional Step
    Prerequisite: The ability to manifest at least one psionic power
    You are gifted with psycoportative power that allows you to vanish with an audible pop, gaining the following benefits:
    ē Your Dexterity score increases by 1, to a maximum of 20.
    ē As an action, you teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. Once you use this feature, you canít use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

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