Level Up (A5E) A5e Psionics with the Psi Dice (Project for potential release, A5e, somewhat 5e compatible)


Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
So hey! Yeah. Looking at doing a Psi-Dice based psionic release for my first solo-published work. Wanted to talk about it and the other writers I'm currently working with and ENPublishing aren't involved in it, so I'm torn on how to solicit feedback. Figured I'd come to y'all.

I sort of posted about this months ago with the initial idea of powers as a suite of different options in the form of an always available "cantrip form" with augmented boosts that have associated costs. I think I've got that class and the powers fully hammered out at this point (Though I still need to flesh out the Psionic Constructs and Planeswalking powers)

Right now I'm working on the Psionic Archetypes for the different classes. Specifically:

Adept/Monk: Mind's Eye
Bard: Wilder
Fighter: Psi Knight
Marshal (A5e Only): Mentalist Mastermind
Rogue: Soul Knife
Sorcerer: Wild Talent
Warlock: Grand Design

Right now I've got the Adept, Fighter, Marshal and Rogue each picking up a reservoir of Psi Dice (d6s). They start off with 2, I'm thinking they should all get 4-5 in total as they recharge only on a long rest. You lose them by rolling a 1 or 2 on the d6 (33% chance) and regain a lost die if you roll a 6 (16.5% chance).

The Adept can augment Focus Features (what you spend Ki on for 5e), the Fighter augments Maneuvers, the Marshal augments other people's focus features, maneuvers, or saving throws but not their own, and the Rogue augments their Sneak Attack by sacrificing damage to inflict status effects like Blind, Deafened, Frightened, and Rattled (No reactions) for a number of rounds equal to the Psi Dice value.

So, on average, you get 2 uses of +1d6 damage (for Adepts, Fighters, and Marshals) per Psi Dice. Psi Dice are all recovered at the end of a long rest, or at the end of a short rest you can expend HD to recover Psi Dice at a rate of 1 to 1.

So a Battlemaster Fighter gets 4d8 per short or long rest, where one of these archetypes gains -about- 5 uses per long rest with the option of buying more (Around 7-8 additional uses for the day if they use all 3 of their HD)... but could wind up on a lucky streak and get 8 or even 10 between short rests. Or an unlucky streak and only get 2.

To me that -feels- like it should be fairly comparable while still being unique and interesting in comparison while also holding to the Psi Dice "use format" for the Esper itself. It also means that a Psionic Fighter who multiclasses into Esper gets to use Psi Dice from each source interchangeably because their relative usefulness is about the same and their recovery method is identical.

Though I should also note that these archetypes also gain other ways to use Psi Dice. The Adept, for example, can expend a Psi Dice as if it rolled a 1 to immediately end a loss of control effect. While a Rogue who gets hit with a Sneak Attack type ability or a Critical Hit can expend a Psi Dice to turn it into a regular hit with no conditional damage.

Does 4-5 seem about right for the upper end on Psi Dice? Or should I aim for a higher or lower number?

(Edit) While not all the archetypes are compatible, as they grant access to the Awakened Mind combat tradition for example, the Esper itself is 5e compatible, and so are the monsters I'm working on to go with it.

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I’ll start with a response before handing the baton to people with far more gaming “nous” than me:
On first glance, it looks balanced and interesting. Speaking personally, the thing that has always killed psionics in every campaign I’ve ever run or played in, was being overpowered to a gross extent.
We had a powergamer do weird stuff with 3e Eberron options, races and astral constructs ( little figures that used to look like marshmallow men) which ruined the campaign. Since then, my tabletop group has banned psionics.
So, I’d suggest playtesting extensively to see if it breaks the game. Maybe two psionics characters and two “normals” in a party to see if the psionicists steamroll everything.

Looking at your system, I don’t think they will, but it needs the white heat of battling that froghemoth to be sure.

Anyway, hopefully that starts the responses. Good luck with the project.

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