5E Build a Better Psion (Poll)

Which Core Race should we use as a template for our Psion class?


  • Total voters
    59

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I voted Sorcerer if you're doing a bit of refluffing.

If you're going with a rewrite warlock.
Kinda both...but neither, really. The intent is to use this like a template in Word or something. Keep the formatting, but replace all of the "Lorem ipsm" stuff with our new class. The current leader is Warlock, so a lot of us are already grinding on a full-spell progression class with fewer spells of higher power, and faster recovery.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Kinda both...but neither, really. The intent is to use this like a template in Word or something. Keep the formatting, but replace all of the "Lorem ipsm" stuff with our new class. The current leader is Warlock, so a lot of us are already grinding on a full-spell progression class with fewer spells of higher power, and faster recovery.
Yeah I used the warlock template to do a warlord. Invocations become class features/powers, spellcasting stays the same or gets replace with more martial/4E type powers.
 

Sabathius42

Explorer
Voted Monk. I'd like the Psion to have the simplicity of X power points and Y powers to use these points on. I also like the idea of making the Psion feel different by having each power have various functions based on how much you power it up rather than just doing more damage or affecting more people.

While the warlock isn't a bad idea, its got a more complex combination of...

1. Always available low level spells.
2. Always on powers that aren't spells.
3. Powers that aren't spell slots that recharge after long/short rests.
4. Spell slots you can use to access a small list of chosen powers that refill on short rests.

...which is actually a pretty inelegant design.
 

Eltab

Explorer
How about a Sorcerer chassis that uses Spell Points instead of spell slots?

(I should play a sorcerer to see if there are any inherent stumbling blocks in the design, come to think of it.)
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Voted Monk. I'd like the Psion to have the simplicity of X power points and Y powers to use these points on. I also like the idea of making the Psion feel different by having each power have various functions based on how much you power it up rather than just doing more damage or affecting more people.

While the warlock isn't a bad idea, its got a more complex combination of...

1. Always available low level spells.
2. Always on powers that aren't spells.
3. Powers that aren't spell slots that recharge after long/short rests.
4. Spell slots you can use to access a small list of chosen powers that refill on short rests.

...which is actually a pretty inelegant design.
Yep, those are all points worth considering. It might help to balance it if there were replacement options for the Eldritch Invocations and the Mystic Arcanum abilities of Warlocks, depending on what gets brewed up...but these four points will remain.

How about a Sorcerer chassis that uses Spell Points instead of spell slots?

(I should play a sorcerer to see if there are any inherent stumbling blocks in the design, come to think of it.)
I'm playing a sorcerer right now in my wife's D&D campaign, and I like it...at mid levels. At low levels, it is very much a "five minute workday" class but it starts to come into its own around 6th level. (shrug) Not a bad model for a psion either, come to think of it.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
How about a Sorcerer chassis that uses Spell Points instead of spell slots?

(I should play a sorcerer to see if there are any inherent stumbling blocks in the design, come to think of it.)
I'm thinking of a quick and dirty version of that as a placeholder.

Uses bard spell list, 3.5 focus and if you want to be a psychokineticist you can pick evocation wizards spells kinda like the divine soul sorcerer.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
How about a Sorcerer chassis that uses Spell Points instead of spell slots?

(I should play a sorcerer to see if there are any inherent stumbling blocks in the design, come to think of it.)
The biggest issue with using spell points in a game with other casters using spell slots, is that it exacerbates the issue of the 5 minute work day. It's generally better to blow you spell points for high level spells, and relying on your cantrips, than it is to have a balanced spread the way other casts. I've had experience with this in 3.5E psion, which quickly led to it being banned.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
While I don't want there to be a Psion class, if there is going to be one I'd like it to be closer to Monk than other classes.

I don't want it to be a caster, esp. a full caster.

We don't need another class that's just going to pull from the same spell list. We have a ton of those. The alternative to have 30+ special powers to replace spells is far too complicated and involved. It's also going to involve giving them a lot of spell points which they need to micro-manage throughout the day.

Instead, look at the Monk. They get 1 Ki per level refreshed on a short rest.

They start off with a bunch of abilities they can spend Ki on. At 5th level they get another one. Subclasses give them a couple more (not counting 4E which is a mess).

That's all a Psion needs to feel unique. Their abilities can be weighted more towards subclasses as needed as well.

People like the martial type Psion I think. Well we don't want that and a full spellcaster. Or even a half spellcaster for that matter, people dislike the spells the Ranger gets.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
(Edit: yeah, ultimately, I suppose there could be 4 templates for D&D classes:
The Full Caster
The half Caster
The 1/3rd caster
...and The Warlock
.)
What would the secondary templates for every class be?
Channel Divinity
Rage/Wildshape
Ki/Sorcerery Points
Invocations/Infusions
Bardic Inspiration
Extra Attack/Sneak Attack
After that it kind of breaks down. Then again the Ranger is known to be dissatisfying and and the Wizard doesn't do much other than cast spells.
 

NaturalZero

Explorer
Honestly, i think the 4e psion is the best starting point. You give the psions a collection of weak, cantrip-level powers that are at-will and a small pool of psi-points that recover on a short rest. The disciplines that you choose are effects that enhance the core cantrip-like powers by spending power points. For example, you could have a mage hand sort of telekinetic ability that is at-will, but then you get branching choices that enhance it's function. Spend 1 pp to lift massive objects for one discipline, spend 2 pp to throw projectiles as a discipline, spend 1 pp to grapple an opponent as a discipline, and so on. As you get higher levels, you get access to more powerful effects that cost more points.

This version gives you the ability to cover a ton of archetypes without falling back on the same old tired spell slot system. Telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, elocation, teleportation, and so on, as base abilities, all with manifestations that grow increasingly powerful as you level and give you the feeling that you actually have an innate power that is getting better instead of just a bunch of discrete spells that you collect.
 

Horwath

Explorer
let's see.

1-9th level powers
cantrips
psi points that are used for casting, upscaling and metamagic.
no verbal, somatic and non-cost material components
powers known; 3 at 1st level, one extra every level until 10th level, then one spell at every odd level.
light armor proficiencies,
d6 HDs,
 

Undrave

Adventurer
I feel like the "spontaneity" and "inborn" nature of the sorcerer, between spells known and metamagic and upcasting fits my head canon for what a psion should look like more than the warlock.

At the same time, Invocations are a good model for Psionic Sciences/Disciplines. I'm torn.
So... a bit like the 4e Psion that would augment his At-Wills into Encounter powers?
 

Undrave

Adventurer
Honestly, i think the 4e psion is the best starting point. You give the psions a collection of weak, cantrip-level powers that are at-will and a small pool of psi-points that recover on a short rest. The disciplines that you choose are effects that enhance the core cantrip-like powers by spending power points. For example, you could have a mage hand sort of telekinetic ability that is at-will, but then you get branching choices that enhance it's function. Spend 1 pp to lift massive objects for one discipline, spend 2 pp to throw projectiles as a discipline, spend 1 pp to grapple an opponent as a discipline, and so on. As you get higher levels, you get access to more powerful effects that cost more points.

This version gives you the ability to cover a ton of archetypes without falling back on the same old tired spell slot system. Telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, elocation, teleportation, and so on, as base abilities, all with manifestations that grow increasingly powerful as you level and give you the feeling that you actually have an innate power that is getting better instead of just a bunch of discrete spells that you collect.
I was wondering what anybody else thought of the 4e Psion. I too think it would be a good base. Your subclass could have an impact on some of the augments you get.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
So... a bit like the 4e Psion that would augment his At-Wills into Encounter powers?
I played 4e exactly 1 time and then got as far from it as I could, so dunno.

I was thinking more in terms of using any spell they know and metamagic to flex them around, but sure?
 
While the warlock .. is actually a pretty inelegant design.
Heh. In almost any context but D&D, sure, not elegant at all. As one PH class out of a dozen, though, not stand-out inelegant.
(I mean, in 3e, the Fighter stood out as an elegant design, and the 3e Sorcerer was probably about as elegant a caster design as D&D ever saw. OK, maybe it had something to do with the classes they shared a book with. ;) But 5e design, driven by tradition, little-someth'n-for-everyone compromise, and tradition, doesn't tend that way, at all.)
So... a bit like the 4e Psion that would augment his At-Wills into Encounter powers?
I was wondering what anybody else thought of the 4e Psion. I too think it would be a good base. Your subclass could have an impact on some of the augments you get.
4e AEDU (and the psionic encounter-augment variation thereon) wouldn't make a good template for a 5e class. It's way too little to hang a full-caster-equivalent on, far too much for a non-caster, and not compartmentalized like a 1/2 or 1/3rd caster. A Psion design trying to stick to it would end up under-powered and under-versatile compared to a 5e full caster, and for the Psion, that's the appropriate comparison.
 

Undrave

Adventurer
4e AEDU (and the psionic encounter-augment variation thereon) wouldn't make a good template for a 5e class. It's way too little to hang a full-caster-equivalent on, far too much for a non-caster, and not compartmentalized like a 1/2 or 1/3rd caster. A Psion design trying to stick to it would end up under-powered and under-versatile compared to a 5e full caster, and for the Psion, that's the appropriate comparison.
Sure, if you port it exactly the same way, but I think it would depend on what the Augments actually DO. If it's just number inflations, sure you'll end up under-versatile, but if it lets you throw different types of debuffs, maybe add a buffing component to your basic cantrips, etc. It could work. You just need to look at the Warlock for the Math.

Maybe go halfway? Your instantaneous effects (mostly attacks) are all cantrips with Psi Point Augments, and the rest of your spell list is mostly utility stuff that take longer than a round to cast or concentration spells?
 

Sabathius42

Explorer
Here is a better idea of what I am thinking as an example of a power description. Not balanced or well thought out, just an example of how I would view psionic power descriptions.

I envision 4 levels of power granted at 1st, 5th, 10th, and 15th level. You will stick with the same set of power choices throughout your career.



Telepathic Link (Mentalism)
Action: Standard
Range: 60'
Save: WIS

0PP: You establish a telepathic link with a friendly creature. You are able to 2-way communicate while the link is established. Lasts 1 minute.
1PP: You force yourself into an opponents mind wearing down their mental defenses and setting yourself up for a greater attack. Failed WIS save give opponent disadvantage on WIS saves until the end of your next turn.
2PP: You strengthen your telepathic link with a friendly creature. Until the next short or long rest you maintain 2-way communication with the target, can use their senses as your own, and can share yours with them.
3PP: You flood an opponents mind with psychic feedback. Psychic damage as appropriate for a 4-5th level spell + Debuff on failed save.
4PP: Either a utility or attack usage equivalent to a 7-8th level spell.
 
Disclaimer: I am not really interested in psionics, so whatever WotC decide to publish for it, I won't have much reason to complain.

I just instinctively voted for Warlock because I prefer that that if they make Psion a full class, it better be different and new. If is not thoroughly new, at least based on the least used class template. No other class casts as a Warlock.

However, if psionics represent the power of the mind, I think daily powers is more appropriate. But if they go that way it'll end up not different enough.
 

NaturalZero

Explorer
4e AEDU (and the psionic encounter-augment variation thereon) wouldn't make a good template for a 5e class. It's way too little to hang a full-caster-equivalent on, far too much for a non-caster, and not compartmentalized like a 1/2 or 1/3rd caster. A Psion design trying to stick to it would end up under-powered and under-versatile compared to a 5e full caster, and for the Psion, that's the appropriate comparison.
But you recall that the 4e psion didn't exactly fit the AEDU like the other classes did, right? You have a base power, then you use power points to enhance effects. In a 5e version, the options you get for the effects could scale up across 20 levels and branch out into different things, giving you just as much power or versatility as any other caster. A simple telekinetic mage hand discipline could turn into a force field, a huge grappling hand, a force wave, a gravity well, or whatever, based on what sciences you choose and how many PP you expend. The idea is to take the 4e concept of base at-will + augments and develope evolving lines of powers that escalate the way spell levels do.
 

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