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D&D 5E 5e has everything it needs for Dark Sun

Greg K

Hero
I know that's what Kibblestasty's Psion does, although it uses a small pool of SR recharge spell points instead of spell slots. It's certainly my favorite homebrew take on a 5e psion.
It is pretty good compared to a lot of things I have seen for 5e, but I still have several issues with it. More importantly, I find it inferior to the treatment in Green Ronin's Psychic's Handbook for 3e (to which I am going to compare anyone's take on a Psion/Mystic class).
 

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Laurefindel

Legend
It ain't magic. It may -interact- with magic. It may even -create- magical effects. But it ain't magic itself.
But why does it need to be different? I'm not asking as an objection, I'm genuinely interested in your response.

The supernatural is already very varied in D&D. The biggest divide is arcane magic vs divine magic; one is made, the other is granted. Kind of. They are obviously different types of supernatural.

Even within the arcane, the wizard traditions are different from sorcerer powers (which are manifestation of their will or persona or something), different yet from magical patterns of bards, and the granted-but-not-quite-divine magic of the warlock. These are obviously different kinds of supernatural, and we're not comparing them to clerics or druids yet. They all do magic because that's how D&D names the supernatural. So why can't psionic powers be psychic magic, one of the three realms of supernatural (arcane/divine/psychic)?

Yes, the psionics =/= magic dates back to its roots, but clerics, at their roots, were also distinct from magic-users (therefore not practitioners of magic). I can understand the need of a psionic class because that's how D&D separates supernatural (magic) traditions, but what is the attraction of making psionics so different from all other types of supernatural manipulations?
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
In the case of the Psi Knight, the psionic features are "spells", and therefore are "magic".

In 3e and 4e, psionics is explicitly a form of magic. In other words, the position of WotC has always been psionics=magic. WotC objects to certain TSR traditions.



That said, 5e core books avoid the topic of psionics entirely − except for a brief note in the Monster Manual. This is the only 5e core rules with regard to psionics.

MM 10.
"
PSIONICS
A monster that casts spells using only the power of its mind has the psionics tag added to its Spellcasting or Innate Spellcasting special trait. This tag carries no special rules of its own, but other parts of the game might refer to it. A monster that has this tag typically doesn't require any components to cast its spells.

"

That is all 5e has to say about psionics.

Psionics = "spellcasting" "using the power of ones mind"

Normally, psionic spells lack any kind of spell component, whether material, somatic, or verbal.



Tashas is dejure optional but defacto core. Therefore, what it says about psionics is of interest for trying to divinate the intentions of the 5e designers.

I have to admit, Tashas seems to resort to "weasel wording" carefully ambiguous statements, in order to avoid committing to whether psionics is magic or not.

I feel @Steampunkette goes beyond what the text actually says, but her(?) main interpretation that ... psionics is a nonmagical source that can cause magical effects ... seems reasonable to me. One can oppositely argue that psionics is a magical source, but the 5e wording remains ambiguous enough that it being a nonmagical source is also possible.



If we entertain that psionics is a nonmagical source, we nevertheless have a situation where the psionic effects are magical. So far, 5e in the Monster Manual and in Tashas makes explicit that psionic effects are "spells", and as spells an antimagic field can suppress or nullify them.

I dont mind the term "Weave", because it can refer to the "tapestry of fate", or the "interconnectedness of all beings", or the "synchronicity" as an acausal cause aligning with psychological archetypes. The term Weave remains useful enough whether one is in a Forgotten Realms setting or not.

Perhaps psionics is the inherent capacity of a nonmagical mind to manipulate the magical Weave. The Weave itself is understood as a kind of primordial "will". It seems that the free will of the minds of beings inherently participate in this will.



In sum, whether a "mind" is magical or not, all psionic effects are inherently magical spells, involving the Weave.
 
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Compare Wizard spell points that recharge per long rest versus Warlock spell points that recharge per short rest.

The Wizard, Bard, Cleric, Druid, and Sorcerer all share the same Spellcasting table for a fullcaster. So when I refer to "Wizard" the same is true for all fullcasters generally.

Both Wizard and Warlock get the same number of cantrips at the same time. Also both access the highest slots 6 to 9, at the same time. Namely: slot 6 at level 11, S7 at L13, S8 at L15, and S9 at L17. (The Wizard gets an additional S6 and S7 at levels 19 and 20, but I am less concerned about these, since a nice capstone can make up for them.)

Of concern are the spells of slots 1 to 5.

Both the Wizard and the Warlock are fullcasters, so their spellcasting abilities need to be comparable, even if one is refreshing per long rest and the other is refreshing per short rest.

It turns out, that the Warlock is especially insufficient at spellcasting around levels 8 to 10. Later, it gets better again, but the mid-tier is especially painful for the Warlock.

For both Wizard and Warlock, each spell slot is counted as being worth a number of points equal to its slot level + 1.

Look at level 10 for both classes, Wizard and Warlock. The Wizard has about 4.667 times more spell points than the Warlock does. In other words, the Warlock would need to have almost four short rests in the same day to remain comparable to a fullcaster. This disparity feels unacceptable. I dont want this situation for a Psion that uses a Warlock chassis. I want the Psion to be a fullcaster.
I think that the reason that you find a disparity is due to the way you are calculating the spells.
Remember that spell slots are only worth level +1 up to 2nd level. Level 3-5 spells are worth level +2. - This evens up the disparity quite a bit because the warlock gets more max-level spells per day.

Furthermore, many of a warlocks invocations are at the power level of actual spells rather than cantrips. Eldritch blast becomes as powerful as a level 1 or 2 spell with them, and several other invocations are actual spells that are usable repeatedly.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
A "Second Type" to you. Or not magic at all, to me and the writers of both TSR and WotC for previous editions at least.

And while Psionics and Magics can interact, that doesn't mean they're the same thing. Magic can burn your flesh, does that make your flesh magic? A Wisdom save can stop magic from taking hold of your mind. Does that make Wisdom magic?

No. It just means these things interact.

I really dislike the "Let's simplify everything down to one thing" approach to fantasy. It's too clean. Too boring.

There should be -variety-. Different power coming to different people in different ways, rather than everyone just using the same bucket of water and claiming it's somehow different.

4e is where it became "Psionic Magic" which always made me mad. Their devotion to trying to cram everything into the smallest number of boxes possible really sucked... Though, granted, there've always been people, like yourself, who just considered Psionics to be another type of Magic.

But hey... Y'know what the 5e Mystic says about Psionic Magic..?

Not a damned thing.

A "Mysterious form of Power" rather than a Mysterious form of Magic.

But hey, the Mystic is gone. So let's see what they wrote about whether Psionics is Magic in the Psionic Options UA before Tasha's:


Sooo it can -create- magic, but isn't magic by it's very nature.

What does Tasha's say?

Annnnd

No mention of Magic.

It ain't magic. It may -interact- with magic. It may even -create- magical effects. But it ain't magic itself.
Okay. Cool. Call it magic. Call it psi and not magic. All I care about is that they interact with each other which the last 3 editions of psionics did/do. At this point psionics and magic interacting have happened for almost half the time psionics have been around, so it's not as if it's anything new.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
But why does it need to be different? I'm not asking as an objection, I'm genuinely interested in your response.

The supernatural is already very varied in D&D. The biggest divide is arcane magic vs divine magic; one is made, the other is granted. Kind of. They are obviously different types of supernatural.

Even within the arcane, the wizard traditions are different from sorcerer powers (which are manifestation of their will or persona or something), different yet from magical patterns of bards, and the granted-but-not-quite-divine magic of the warlock. These are obviously different kinds of supernatural, and we're not comparing them to clerics or druids yet. They all do magic because that's how D&D names the supernatural. So why can't psionic powers be psychic magic, one of the three realms of supernatural (arcane/divine/psychic)?

Yes, the psionics =/= magic dates back to its roots, but clerics, at their roots, were also distinct from magic-users (therefore not practitioners of magic). I can understand the need of a psionic class because that's how D&D separates supernatural (magic) traditions, but what is the attraction of making psionics so different from all other types of supernatural manipulations?
Because it creates distinction.

If -everything- is Magic then you've got nothing but peanut butter sandwiches. You can put that peanut butter on your bread with a butter knife, a spoon, or a fork if you wanna be difficult... But it's still peanut butter.

Having Arcane Magic and Psionics is Peanut Butter and Jelly. Having Arcane Magic separate from Divine Magic separate from Psionics? Even more variety.

Breaking Primal Magic off, too? Very flavorful. Having Occultists tapping into a wholly different kind of "Old Magic"?

Mmmmm... Now we're getting somewhere!

Suddenly you've got all these different ideas and identities and sources and places to go with stuff. By creating these kinds of distinctions, rather than saying it's all magic and all magic comes from a monolithic source like the Weave, you have a lot more stories to tell.
In the case of the Psi Knight, the psionic features are "spells", and therefore are "magic".

In 3e and 4e, psionics is explicitly a form of magic. In other words, the position of WotC has always been psionics=magic. WotC objects to certain TSR traditions.



That said, 5e core books avoid the topic of psionics entirely − except for a brief note in the Monster Manual. This is the only 5e core rules with regard to psionics.

MM 10.
"
PSIONICS
A monster that casts spells using only the power of its mind has the psionics tag added to its Spellcasting or Innate Spellcasting special trait. This tag carries no special rules of its own, but other parts of the game might refer to it. A monster that has this tag typically doesn't require any components to cast its spells.

"

That is all 5e has to say about psionics.

Psionics = "spellcasting" "using the power of ones mind"

Normally, psionic spells lack any kind of spell component, whether material, somatic, or verbal.



Tashas is dejure optional but defacto core. Therefore, what it says about psionics is of interest for trying to divinate the intentions of the 5e designers.

I have to admit, Tashas seems to resort to "weasel wording" carefully ambiguous statements, in order to avoid committing to whether psionics is magic or not.

I feel @Steampunkette goes beyond what the text actually says, but her(?) main interpretation that ... psionics is a nonmagical source that can cause magical effects ... seems reasonable to me. One can oppositely argue that psionics is a magical source, but the 5e wording remains ambiguous enough that it being a nonmagical source is also possible.



If we entertain that psionics is a nonmagical source, we nevertheless have a situation where the psionic effects are magical. So far, 5e in the Monster Manual and in Tashas makes explicit that psionic effects are "spells", and as spells an antimagic field can suppress or nullify them.

I dont mind the term "Weave", because it can refer to the "tapestry of fate", or the "interconnectedness of all beings", or the "synchronicity" as an acausal cause aligning with psychological archetypes. The term Weave remains useful enough whether one is in a Forgotten Realms setting or not.

Perhaps psionics is the inherent capacity of a nonmagical mind to manipulate the magical Weave. The Weave itself is understood as a kind of primordial "will". It seems that the free will of the minds of beings inherently participate in this will.



In sum, whether a "mind" is magical or not, all psionic effects are inherently magical spells, involving the Weave.
No.

The closest thing we've got to an answer to the question is: Psionics isn't magic, but it can manipulate magic. That's for 5e.

That's not "Entertained". That's from the designers of the game.

And not a single Psionic Knight or Soulknife class feature refers to it as a "Spell". So also no.
Okay. Cool. Call it magic. Call it psi and not magic. All I care about is that they interact with each other which the last 3 editions of psionics did/do. At this point psionics and magic interacting have happened for almost half the time psionics have been around, so it's not as if it's anything new.
That's all, yeah. It can interact. When Psionics duplicates a spell, for example, you can counter it. But when it doesn't? You can't. Like a Kalashtar's Telepathy. That'll function in an Antimagic Field 'cause it's nonmagical, even if it is supernatural.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I think that the reason that you find a disparity is due to the way you are calculating the spells.
Remember that spell slots are only worth level +1 up to 2nd level. Level 3-5 spells are worth level +2. - This evens up the disparity quite a bit because the warlock gets more max-level spells per day.

Furthermore, many of a warlocks invocations are at the power level of actual spells rather than cantrips. Eldritch blast becomes as powerful as a level 1 or 2 spell with them, and several other invocations are actual spells that are usable repeatedly.
The thing is, the spells of slots 1 and 2 are so powerful, there is no detectable gap between slots 2 and 3.

I consider the formula, "points = slot level + 1", to be simpler, more accurate, and more balanced.

Slots 6 to 9, are their own animal, that 5e handles cautiously, and are better off left out of spell point mechanics. These highest slots normally have disappointing spells that seem better off if available at lower levels, But a few spells are outliers that are exceptionally powerful, and it is better if points cannot spam them.

In any case, the Wizard and the Warlock are being measured by the same metric. Thus relative to each other, the results are accurate.

Finally, the ratio between Wizard spell points and Warlock spell points, is highly inconsistent from level to level, no matter how one measures it.



No matter how one measures it, the result is, level 10 sucks for Warlock.
 
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Yaarel

Mind Mage
No.

The closest thing we've got to an answer to the question is: Psionics isn't magic, but it can manipulate magic. That's for 5e.

That's not "Entertained". That's from the designers of the game.

5e NEVER says that psionics is "nonmagical". That is your interpretation that I am entertaining.

In any case, 5e makes explicit that psionics is "spells" that are magical.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That's all, yeah. It can interact. When Psionics duplicates a spell, for example, you can counter it. But when it doesn't? You can't. Like a Kalashtar's Telepathy. That'll function in an Antimagic Field 'cause it's nonmagical, even if it is supernatural.
LOL This has all been a misunderstanding, then. When I talked about the Psion slots working to use Wizard spells and vise versa, that's the same kind of transparency interaction. It doesn't alter what psionics and magic are, but it allows them to interact which doesn't gimp Psions that multiclass. Your objection to that made me think you wanted them completely separate.
 


Remathilis

Legend
Sooo it can -create- magic, but isn't magic by it's very nature.
...
It ain't magic. It may -interact- with magic. It may even -create- magical effects. But it ain't magic itself.

Isn't that a distinction without difference though? Especially in 5e where most effects are represented by spells anyway. I mean, consider:

A wizard laboriously studies an arcane formula and uses that to... cast burning hands.
A cleric devoutly prays to the God of Light and is rewarded by being able to... cast burning hands.
A warlock enters into a pact with an archdevil who teaches him to use hellfire to... cast burning hands.
An Artificer uses her tools and infusions to create a small flamethrower that allows her to... cast burning hands.
A monk of the four elements focus her ki to bend fire and... cast burning hands.
A psion focuses his inner psychic power of pyrokinesis to... cast burning hands.

Etc etc.

Of course, the mechanics involved differs slightly in each casting. Spell slots, ki points, or invocations, Int/Wis/Cha caster stat, type of magical focuses allowed, etc. But the fact remains they are all using the same spell and all that differs is a few details.

I don't see a psion being that different. If WotC had any stomach for a new "supernatural effect" system, surely the artificer was the place to try it, and the fact that we got "refluffed spells" tells me all I need to know about what a psion class would look like.

It would look like a spell-point sorcerer. With alternate class features and a curated spell list. It would psionically "cast" charm person, burning hands, or whatever. Flavor it how you like, but in the end, it's still going to be a 9 level spellcaster.
 


Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
LOL This has all been a misunderstanding, then. When I talked about the Psion slots working to use Wizard spells and vise versa, that's the same kind of transparency interaction. It doesn't alter what psionics and magic are, but it allows them to interact which doesn't gimp Psions that multiclass. Your objection to that made me think you wanted them completely separate.
Not -completely-. Though I don't think they should be able to be great multiclass options with Wizards, no. I still stand by that. It would be much cooler to have their power points interact with non-spell class abilities, rather than just being "More Spellcasting".
Isn't that a distinction without difference though? Especially in 5e where most effects are represented by spells anyway. I mean, consider:

A wizard laboriously studies an arcane formula and uses that to... cast burning hands.
A cleric devoutly prays to the God of Light and is rewarded by being able to... cast burning hands.
A warlock enters into a pact with an archdevil who teaches him to use hellfire to... cast burning hands.
An Artificer uses her tools and infusions to create a small flamethrower that allows her to... cast burning hands.
A monk of the four elements focus her ki to bend fire and... cast burning hands.
A psion focuses his inner psychic power of pyrokinesis to... cast burning hands.

Etc etc.

Of course, the mechanics involved differs slightly in each casting. Spell slots, ki points, or invocations, Int/Wis/Cha caster stat, type of magical focuses allowed, etc. But the fact remains they are all using the same spell and all that differs is a few details.

I don't see a psion being that different. If WotC had any stomach for a new "supernatural effect" system, surely the artificer was the place to try it, and the fact that we got "refluffed spells" tells me all I need to know about what a psion class would look like.

It would look like a spell-point sorcerer. With alternate class features and a curated spell list. It would psionically "cast" charm person, burning hands, or whatever. Flavor it how you like, but in the end, it's still going to be a 9 level spellcaster.
Honestly... that's a problem that I have with D&D in general... I've always thought that the spell lists shouldn't overlap across sources.

Arcane should get it's own spell list, Primal, Divine, even Occult casters should get their own "This is ours, not yours" list of spells.

But even if it is mechanically super similar, having that -narrative- separation helps to spur story. It may be off brand jelly, but at least it's not more Peanut Butter.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
For example. In Tashas, the Psi Knight feature "Telekinetic Master" says the following.

"
TELEKINETIC MASTER
18th-level Psi Warrior feature
Your ability to move creatures and objects with your mind is matched by few.
You can cast the telekinesis spell, requiring no components, and your spellcasting ability for the spell is Intelligence. On each of your turns while you concentrate on the spell, including the turn when you cast it, you can make one attack with a weapon as a bonus action. Once you cast the spell with this feature, you can't do so again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a Psionic Energy die to cast it again.

"

Here, 5e formulates the inherently psionic flavor of telekinesis as a kind of magical spell.

This "psionics=spell" approach continues the 5e core rule in the Monster Manual.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
From the Monster Manual that explicitly says psionics = spells. Likewise, the spell descriptions in Tashas for Psi Knight refer to psionic "spells".
It says that they use psionics to cast spells, yes. And spells are magic, but when they also say that psionics can make magic, that doesn't mean that it's inherently magic. It could very easily be Psi and Psi could be used to make magic in some circumstances, like innate spellcasting. That stuff being quoted by @Steampunkette was from the UA, so it's not set in stone, but it does show their thinking and intent.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
For example. In Tashas, the Psi Knight feature "Telekinetic Master" says the following.

"
TELEKINETIC MASTER
18th-level Psi Warrior feature
Your ability to move creatures and objects with your mind is matched by few.
You can cast the telekinesis spell, requiring no components, and your spellcasting ability for the spell is Intelligence. On each of your turns while you concentrate on the spell, including the turn when you cast it, you can make one attack with a weapon as a bonus action. Once you cast the spell with this feature, you can't do so again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a Psionic Energy die to cast it again.

"

Here, 5e formulates the inherently psionic flavor of telekinesis as a kind of magical spell.

This "psionics=spell" approach continues the 5e core rule in the Monster Manual.
They've also gone out of their way to separate psionics and magic, though. They said very specifically that the psionic wizard subclass wasn't psionic, but rather a wizard that uses magic to access psionic power to augment his spells.

I'm not convinced that they are going to be one and the same in 5e. They WILL interact though.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
It says that they use psionics to cast spells, yes. And spells are magic, but when they also say that psionics can make magic, that doesn't mean that it's inherently magic. It could very easily be Psi and Psi could be used to make magic in some circumstances, like innate spellcasting. That stuff being quoted by @Steampunkette was from the UA, so it's not set in stone, but it does show their thinking and intent.

Yeah, that is the part of the argument by @Steampunkette that makes sense to me.

A "mind" is nonmagical but can (manipulate the Weave to) create a magical effect.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
It says that they use psionics to cast spells, yes. And spells are magic, but when they also say that psionics can make magic, that doesn't mean that it's inherently magic. It could very easily be Psi and Psi could be used to make magic in some circumstances, like innate spellcasting. That stuff being quoted by @Steampunkette was from the UA, so it's not set in stone, but it does show their thinking and intent.
I feel references to UA are useless. If a UA said something that failed to appear in Tashas, it can even mean that designers have rejected that approach.

The only texts that are relevant for psionics are the MM and Tashas.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
They definitely renovated the kitchen, but that kitchen still has a stove, an oven or two, a standing mixer, and refrigerator. They're just newer appliances with a couple more bells and whistles. Y'know. Got an Icemaker, this time!

The only really "Big" changes to Ravenloft are that there's no central map where all the realms are connected, and the majority of people there are soulless puppets acting out their day to day lives so we don't have to consider why the Dark Powers are tormenting a bunch of innocent civilians just because the ruler of their nation was a complete and absolute prong in life. Everything else is changes to individual domain stories to tell interesting and varied morality plays.

They're not going to do that for Dark Sun, though. Why? 'Cause there's no need to heighten the "Nightmare Logic" aspect of the setting in order to make it more oriented toward Action-Horror. But as I've noted in a different thread... they might make it more "Mad Max: Fury Road" than "Conan the Barbarian Enters the Thunderdome". More Action-Survival than previous editions. Maybe they'll focus on threats to survival beyond combat like they did describing each type of Horror and assign different survival threats to regions?

They're probably not going to remove Thri-Kreen from the setting just because they'd need a thri-kreen race. They're probably not going to erase Psionics from the setting because they don't want to make a Psionics System. They're not going to erase Defiling or Preserving, either.

Why? 'Cause those things are -fundamental- to the setting in the same way Monsters and Mists are fundamental to Ravenloft.

Will they change up the names and genders of the Sorcerer-Kings? Oh, probably. Will they alter the different City-States to fit WotC's current political ideology? Absolutely. Will they make the game more action-oriented? 100%.

But roads connecting the domains isn't what makes the Domains of Dread into Ravenloft. Neither is the suffering of innocent souls. (Yeah, I know, you dislike the "Zarovich is the first Vampire and the Morninglord is gone" but that's less about the setting as a whole and more about Strahd's story... or... more accurately... THIS Strahd. 'Cause the other Strahd and the Morninglord and everything still exist in one of the other versions floating around the Shadowfell... though it should be noted that in this version Jander Sunstar tried to kill Strahd when Strahd wanted another servant.)
Just because the morninord isn’t in this book doesn’t mean he won’t be in a later book. Everything can’t be put in one book and he wasn’t in the first boxed set either.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
I feel references to UA are useless. If a UA said something that failed to appear in Tashas, it can even mean that designers have rejected that approach.

The only texts that are relevant for psionics are the MM and Tashas.
In which case -only- the Telekinesis Spell is magical.

None of the other abilities reference spells or magic. None of the rest of the -class- references spells or magic. Only the one spell that is reproduced.

Which still tracks with what they said in the UA.

Almost like it's still their intent... -wild-...

As to Psionics in the MM: It is a descriptor added to Spellcasting traits. Because there is no psionic system currently developed for the game, they couldn't very well provide monsters with the ability to do Psionics according to the Psionicist class.

Just like how Githyanki were "4th level magic users" for their abilities, but the description said they were explicitly Psionicists 10 years before the first Psionicist class came out.
 
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