5E Build a Better Psion (Poll)

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


  • Total voters
    59

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
In my previous thread, I proposed we use the Wizard as a template for our Psion class. Since that first post, several contributors have suggested using other core classes as a template, and have cited different (and compelling) reasons for each. But we can't do all of them at once; at some point we are going to have to pick one. In order to help us focus our creative energy and avoid spinning our wheels, we need to pick one before we move forward. And that's what this poll is for!

Which Core Class should we use for our Psion template? Choose only your favorite, and feel free to change your mind as often as you like. (That's what this is all about, folks! We don't want hard opinions, we want collaboration!) Discussion is encouraged, but let's try to keep the design-related stuff over in the other thread--I'd like to keep all of our ideas in one place.
You need a "none of the above" option IMO.

If you are creating a new class, I would want something new. Otherwise, you might as well just make it a subclass of whatever template you want to build it on.
 

Inchoroi

Explorer
In my previous thread, I proposed we use the Wizard as a template for our Psion class. Since that first post, several contributors have suggested using other core classes as a template, and have cited different (and compelling) reasons for each. But we can't do all of them at once; at some point we are going to have to pick one. In order to help us focus our creative energy and avoid spinning our wheels, we need to pick one before we move forward. And that's what this poll is for!

Which Core Class should we use for our Psion template? Choose only your favorite, and feel free to change your mind as often as you like. (That's what this is all about, folks! We don't want hard opinions, we want collaboration!) Discussion is encouraged, but let's try to keep the design-related stuff over in the other thread--I'd like to keep all of our ideas in one place.
If I had to pick one, I'd say sorcerer, because that's the closest general idea.

I've actually got a homebrew psion that I've been toying with and just started playing the other week (first time I've been a player in 5 years!). Its very similar to sorcerer, that is, a pseudo-full caster (although I think it needs a way to regain psi points outside of long rests, but sacrificing HP for it is really punishing), and is built in a few themes:

The general theme of psion is "mind over...". There are four subclasses: Awakened, or "mind over mind;" Egoist, or "mind over body;" Shaper, or "mind over energy;" and Nomad, or "mind over reality."

I disassociated the idea of a psionic focus from the individual disciplines (which I've renamed sciences for lack of a better term, and each subclass is called an "esoteric discipline") and made a list of them, paring them down to about 8 right now; I'd like more, but they need to be more general. You also get more psionic focus "slots" as you level up (1, 7, 12, and 17). Each subclass also has a psionic focus benefit built into it (and there are some magic items that have a psionic focus benefit or require a psionic focus benefit).

I've pared down/going to pare down the number of sciences (formerly disciplines) to where each, save for the egoist right now, has 7 sciences assigned to their subclass; this is because your subclass gives you bonus sciences as you level up, which have to be from your list to incentivize you sticking with your chosen theme (I'm a big fan of carrot rather than stick in 5e design).

I'm not done tweaking the class, and probably won't be done for a while, but awakened discipline and the base class is in a 95% playable form. Nomad is the least polished and finished, because its hard and I suck as names, mostly.

EDIT: I should also mention that each science is separated into "spell manifestations," which I stole from Arcanis (so glad I backed that...), and contain a series of spells that are appropriate and lists each psi point cost. Each additional power is built almost exactly like a spell, save I have to include a "Cost:" entry rather than just referencing a spell level as a subtitle.

For components, the introduction to the Psionics section references everything else: most important, though, is components. Psionics ignore both Verbal and Somatic components by default (I didn't like how Arcanis did components and couldn't come up with a replacement, so I just said "ignore it"), but they do not ignore Material components. Instead, whenever there's a spell or power that would normally have a Material component with a gp cost that you use, you exert a psychic pressure that can be felt out to a distance of 10 x the psi point cost in feet. Other creatures in this area know a potent power was used and the direction of the user, but not the exact location. So, for example, if I use invulnerability creatures in 130 feet know I did something bonkers and they should probably be afraid.
 
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Undrave

Adventurer
Sorcerer and Warlock could both work. I voted fighter because that would be a hell of a creative exercise. Go big or go home! 😆
Two words: Psychic maneuvers.

Hmm... actually it might not be that crazy... Give them a few cantrips that are appropriate and have 'Psionic Discipline' that works for when you use those cantrips that works the same way maneuvers do toward melee attacks?

And then the usual array of spells and spell slots using the Bard or Sorcerer as a template for amount of spells and slots.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
From the poll, it seems most ENWorlders who care about psions would prefer to see something resembling a Sorcerer/Warlock hybrid class. It's an interesting path to follow, for sure.
 
From the poll, it seems most ENWorlders who care about psions would prefer to see something resembling a Sorcerer/Warlock hybrid class. It's an interesting path to follow, for sure.
The poll can't actually be restricted to those who want a Psion full class, so "care about" is a good way of putting it.
And, there's no 'other'/make-something-new option.
 

Giltonio_Santos

Adventurer
Hmm... actually it might not be that crazy...
Well, I decided to do it as a proof of concept. It took me a few more hours than I intended to spend but I think it's playable, even if the initial intention was mainly humorous. It was enjoyable as an exercise on how to make good use of the homebrewery, so I don't feel so bad for the time spent on the endeavor.

I tried to remain as close as possible to the PHB fighter but, somewhere along the way, I decided that changing some stuff to make it look more like a genuine mystic was worth the additional tinkering.

Some lessons learned: (1) Creating a class that mixes the flavor of spellcasting with the simple gameplay of the fighter is totally feasible using the 5e rules. (2) This is something I already believed, but now I'm pretty sure that the various tropes associated with psionics build up quickly and are worthy of being presented as a distinct class. (3) Last but not least: just because you can, it didn't mean you should... :ROFLMAO:

Link to the Mystic with a Fighter Chassis.
 

Undrave

Adventurer
Well, I decided to do it as a proof of concept. It took me a few more hours than I intended to spend but I think it's playable, even if the initial intention was mainly humorous. It was enjoyable as an exercise on how to make good use of the homebrewery, so I don't feel so bad for the time spent on the endeavor.

I tried to remain as close as possible to the PHB fighter but, somewhere along the way, I decided that changing some stuff to make it look more like a genuine mystic was worth the additional tinkering.

Some lessons learned: (1) Creating a class that mixes the flavor of spellcasting with the simple gameplay of the fighter is totally feasible using the 5e rules. (2) This is something I already believed, but now I'm pretty sure that the various tropes associated with psionics build up quickly and are worthy of being presented as a distinct class. (3) Last but not least: just because you can, it didn't mean you should... :ROFLMAO:

Link to the Mystic with a Fighter Chassis.
Brilliant! :D It's mostly all the same stuff but it described pretty well and it's the sort of thing that would, for sure, make a Mystic class feel different!

Nice work!
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Maybe we should split this off as a separate discussion thread focused on your build? Dunno. OP can decide if he wants that.

Great leg work and I like what I'm seeing so far. I'm going to "livestream" record my thoughts below

Notes
  • The beyondness property is weird to me. Why not just make them ranged attacks and save on complexity level?
  • Psionic Combat Style: Soulseeker
    • Because you're requiring the 'Cunning' property, only Ego Whip qualifies. Was that intended?
  • Psychic Master
    • great adaptation of Battlemaster!
  • Soul Knives
    • great adaptation of Champion.
    • I don't know that I'd call it "Soul Knives" given that you don't manifest any "mind blades" people will riot :p
  • Mind Witches
    • I'm unclear on the example under Power Points. can you only upcast if you have spells of that level on the main chart or it is tied only to power points available? I.e. can a 3rd level Mind Witch use 3 power points to cast healing word as a 2nd level spell?
      • I think it should work like an Eldritch Knight who don't have 2nd level slots, but the transition to Power Points makes the wording a bit confusing there and could use clarification.
    • Power Point Cost: you've a typo with "3rdth" ;)
    • I note you contain all spells to the Mind Witch list. Smart!
    • I like the Inertial Armor over the Weapon Bond. Nice!
    • Spell list - I haven't gone through this with a fine toothed comb, but these are my first thoughts
      • No Chromatic Orb for the Psychokineticists out there?
        • I get that it has a 50 gp focus and that would run afoul of your Exhaustion mechanic for expensive material components.
        • Chromatic Orb seems like a quintessential Psychokinesis spell concept because you can change the energy type each time you cast it. That is core psionics right there vs. the traditionally more rigid spellcasting where you had to prepare specific element/energy types (historically)
        • I would allow them to upgrade their psicrystal to a more expensive crystal to account for spells where the material component ISN'T consumed. Like Chromatic Orb, then only use the exhaustion mechanic for spells where the component is consumed
      • Similarly, no firebolt or acid splash for them as cantrips to go with ray of frost and shocking grasp?
      • No Enhance Ability for the Psychometabolists out there?
        • This seems like a quintessential psychometabolism power to me.
      • Other spells I'd like to see/think have precedent
        • Polymorph - this is the big brother to Alter Self and it comes at 19th level? It should be on there.
        • Disguise Self - if you're Psionicist is capable of bending light to become invisible, they should be able to bend light to create a disguise on themselves.
        • Barkskin - Psychometabolism baseline here
        • Psychoportation missing spells
          • Misty Step
          • Dimension Door
        • Warding Bond - a "healing spell" very reminiscent of the old Empathic Transfer versions of psionic healing.
      • Spells that don't make much sense to me
        • Alarm seems odd as it is such an external and enduring thing. Doesn't fit the flavor of psionics to me?
        • Magic Weapon - why? They do everything with their Psionic combat, this seems odd to place here.
All in all, I really like this approach and concept.

I love how you basically just replaced "weapon" with "psionic combat" in each ability. It makes the adaptation flow really smoothly and nicely.

I'm with @Undrave here, nicely done!
 

Giltonio_Santos

Adventurer
The beyondness property is weird to me. Why not just make them ranged attacks and save on complexity level?
Yeah, I agree it's weird. My intention was to emulate the "thrown" property, so wisdom-based mystics would have a ranged option. It could be easily replaced by a property that just allows a ranged combat mode to be used with wisdom, no questions asked.

Psionic Combat Style: Soulseeker
Because you're requiring the 'Cunning' property, only Ego Whip qualifies. Was that intended?
Ego Whip is the rapier of psionic combat modes! :D

At a given point I thought about trying to cover as many properties as possible in as many damage types, dices, and ranges, but I don't know if that would be worth the effort.

I don't know that I'd call it "Soul Knives" given that you don't manifest any "mind blades" people will riot :p
I like to imagine that a readied psionic combat mode manifests with a visual display that could be a mind blade, especially for modes usable only in melee. The Soul Knife would draw his psicrystal and the ego whip would appear to sprout out of it. Our budget for visual effects couldn't afford it, though... xD

I'm unclear on the example under Power Points. can you only upcast if you have spells of that level on the main chart or it is tied only to power points available? I.e. can a 3rd level Mind Witch use 3 power points to cast healing word as a 2nd level spell?
I actually like the idea of mystics being able to upcast, but that's not the original intention. I'll try to word it in a way that you can only create a slot up to your max spell level.

Spell list - I haven't gone through this with a fine toothed comb, but these are my first thoughts (...)
I decided to make the list about protection and support, instead of including every spell that was fit for the theme. For example, ray of frost and shocking grasp made the cut because of their ability to slow/detain enemies, while firebolt should be worse than using an attack mode in most situations. I did leave behind some great options, like warding bond and enhance ability. I'll include them, for sure!

I'm with @Undrave here, nicely done!
Thanks! And thanks for taking the time to review it. I guess it's worth to keep working on the concept, after all. :)
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
I can’t get into warlock as a template for psion because I think eldritch blast even reskinned ruins their role in a group and just makes them another dpr class.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Well, I decided to do it as a proof of concept. It took me a few more hours than I intended to spend but I think it's playable, even if the initial intention was mainly humorous. It was enjoyable as an exercise on how to make good use of the homebrewery, so I don't feel so bad for the time spent on the endeavor.

I tried to remain as close as possible to the PHB fighter but, somewhere along the way, I decided that changing some stuff to make it look more like a genuine mystic was worth the additional tinkering.

Some lessons learned: (1) Creating a class that mixes the flavor of spellcasting with the simple gameplay of the fighter is totally feasible using the 5e rules. (2) This is something I already believed, but now I'm pretty sure that the various tropes associated with psionics build up quickly and are worthy of being presented as a distinct class. (3) Last but not least: just because you can, it didn't mean you should... :ROFLMAO:

Link to the Mystic with a Fighter Chassis.
Great work with Homebrewery! I love the site and use it for all my work.

Quick question though, what are your Mystics attacking? Do they use the crystals to make physical manifestations of their mental attacks?

I've been working on my own version and running into the problem of attacking. AC scales but for resisting a mental attack, AC doesn't work. Saves work, but most creatures and PCs saves are worse than AC, making Psions/Mystics/etc. too goo.

The only thing I can think of is to use saves but decrease the damage done to balance things out.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
I think you should have included the option of NONE OF THE ABOVE. Make it it's own unique class with it's own mechanics and techniques.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Well, I decided to do it as a proof of concept. It took me a few more hours than I intended to spend but I think it's playable, even if the initial intention was mainly humorous. It was enjoyable as an exercise on how to make good use of the homebrewery, so I don't feel so bad for the time spent on the endeavor.

I tried to remain as close as possible to the PHB fighter but, somewhere along the way, I decided that changing some stuff to make it look more like a genuine mystic was worth the additional tinkering.

Some lessons learned: (1) Creating a class that mixes the flavor of spellcasting with the simple gameplay of the fighter is totally feasible using the 5e rules. (2) This is something I already believed, but now I'm pretty sure that the various tropes associated with psionics build up quickly and are worthy of being presented as a distinct class. (3) Last but not least: just because you can, it didn't mean you should... :ROFLMAO:

Link to the Mystic with a Fighter Chassis.
This is strangely elegant as a solution! I would probably streamline a little the different ''weapon'' are their properties, but I love it.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
That's not what we mean. We mean a short rest caster with modular components like Eldritch Invocation and Pact Magic. It would have a different loadout of spells.
To be fair, we could just take Invocations and slap them on any chassis, like how they became Infusions for the Artificer (who uses the Half-caster chassis, plus cantrips).
 

Ashrym

Hero
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?
4e's system gave extra at-will powers and augmented them with power points. That would work well in 5e.

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.
It was still AEDU. They had more at-will and hardly any encounter but there were powers in each category.
 

NaturalZero

Explorer
It was still AEDU. They had more at-will and hardly any encounter but there were powers in each category.
Sure, but the whole thing that set them apart from everything else in pre-essentials 4e was that their core attack powers weren't encounter powers at all. That's really why they're being looking at in this context with power points in the first place.
 

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