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5E D&D Gem Dragons Are Officially Back

So if you're (not) like me and you don't have the time or patience to watch Spoilers & Swag, you may have missed this awesome reveal... Gem Dragons are back! And I don't just mean back in a third-party book like Matt Colville's Strongholds and Followers (great book, check it out), I mean back officially for D&D 5e.

In case you don't know, Gem Dragons are the third-wheel of dragonkind... they are not Good (Metallic) or Evil (Chromatic), they are Neutral. This makes them easily overlooked in the struggle of good vs. evil, but they've popped up here and there in previous editions.

But it looks like Gem Dragons have returned, first to promote the sale of a very expensive sapphire dice set. This little paper fold-out is included (screenshots below), complete with lore for gem dragons and a statblock for the Adult Sapphire Dragon specifically.

Of course, if you don't want to buy a pricey set of dice for a statblock... you're in luck, as Nathan Stewart reveals that everybody else will get access to it "early in 2020, where we [WotC] will have some fun ways to get that out there." So it looks like some product will be released including the Neutral Dragons, a new adventure or maybe a new monster book!

Feel free to speculate, here's the images;

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Comments

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
If we get any new dragons, I actually hope it is closer to the Catastrophe Dragons. My own personal homebrew has been to make Dragon's almost elementals, so there are no "red" or "white" dragons, but Dragons who are like living volcanoes or glaciers.

So, seeing that concept actually acted it would be useful.
Shouldn't be too hard to port Catastrophic Dragons from 4e Draconomicons & Dragon Magazine, even if they never make them officially for 5e.
 

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Shouldn't be too hard to port Catastrophic Dragons from 4e Draconomicons & Dragon Magazine, even if they never make them officially for 5e.
Oh sure, and I've done a few things like give damage auras or other things from 4e to make the dragons feel a bit more threatening.

But, I'd be curious to see if they got new 5e mechanics that I could steal.
 

We'll, they seem to be aiming for a release every Quarter, and almost got there this year, except for the delay for Theros. I expect a Q1 release of something is probable, but if I were to bet on a new MM, it would be Q2 or Q4 (wildcard Q1, I'm going with a compilation like Saltmarsh or another licensed book).
I would think it unlikely that we would get two rules supplements in a row. I'm also inclined to think an Adventure Anthology would be a good fit for the first book of 2021. But I wouldn't be surprised by another surprise setting book. The latest UA, with it's "gothic" subclasses seems too late for Tasha's, so it could point to a Ravenloft or Innistrad book in the works.
 

Im guessing the gem dragons come out after psionics debut?
IF there's a Psionic debut. After 4 editions of being the sometimes forgotten step-child of D&D, WotC looks like they're taking the uncreative, lazy method of retconning (once again) their entire line by ignoring Psionics 99.99% this time as if it doesn't exist instead of just doing their job, which is designing, and making a fresh set of 5e psionic material.

Pretty sure by 6th Edition, you say Psionics and they'll reply "What's psionics......?" while glancing sideways.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
IF there's a Psionic debut. After 4 editions of being the sometimes forgotten step-child of D&D, WotC looks like they're taking the uncreative, lazy method of retconning (once again) their entire line by ignoring Psionics 99.99% this time as if it doesn't exist instead of just doing their job, which is designing, and making a fresh set of 5e psionic material.

Pretty sure by 6th Edition, you say Psionics and they'll reply "What's psionics......?" while glancing sideways.
Do the psionics need to be totally different from spells, like in 1e, or is just making the classes and what the powers do feel different enough to make it good?

I'm picturing something like PF1's Occult book:
Occult Classes <- rules to click on
Psychic Magic <- about psychic magic in general
Review – Occult Adventures (Pathfinder) <- descriptions of the classes in a review
 
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Parmandur

Legend
IF there's a Psionic debut. After 4 editions of being the sometimes forgotten step-child of D&D, WotC looks like they're taking the uncreative, lazy method of retconning (once again) their entire line by ignoring Psionics 99.99% this time as if it doesn't exist instead of just doing their job, which is designing, and making a fresh set of 5e psionic material.

Pretty sure by 6th Edition, you say Psionics and they'll reply "What's psionics......?" while glancing sideways.
I mean, they have Psionic spells and Subclasses coming this Fall. They spent years hashing out what people wanted, and here they come.
 

jmartkdr2

Adventurer
Do the psionics need to be totally different from spells, like in 1e, or is just making the classes and what the powers do feel different enough to make it good?

I'm picturing something like PF1's Occult book:
Occult Classes <- rules to click on
Psychic Magic <- about psychic magic in general
Review – Occult Adventures (Pathfinder) <- descriptions of the classes in a review
I think that for a lot of people, the appeal/core/whole point of psionics is that they're not spells. Even if they do the exact same things, psionics being something other than magic is the entire reason to include it.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I think that for a lot of people, the appeal/core/whole point of psionics is that they're not spells. Even if they do the exact same things, psionics being something other than magic is the entire reason to include it.
Is it the name "spells"? Or do you need to avoid the entire pseudo-Vancian set-up and what Warlocks have?

PF kept the name spells but the power source and components are different, and the lists are different.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I think that for a lot of people, the appeal/core/whole point of psionics is that they're not spells. Even if they do the exact same things, psionics being something other than magic is the entire reason to include it.
Yet WotC market playtesting found the opposite to be the case, hence why Psionics have complete transparency with magic in D&D now.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Yet WotC market playtesting found the opposite to be the case, hence why Psionics have complete transparency with magic in D&D now.
What market testing found is that there is no consensus. Psionics have taken a variety of forms in the game and none of them has universal love - thus people are of mixed reactions, with some hating the concept, others wishing for a 1E style experience, others looking for a 4E, and many just looking for something new that really captures the feel of comic book psionic powers.

For me, I'd make psionics:

a.) Everything at will. If you have a power, you can use it at any time. Many powers would have the concentration mechanic, though.
b.) You get power points to power up your powers to do more extreme things. Rather than spending points though, I'd have you roll dice to determine how many power points something is going to cost to enhance. This would give you those moments of struggle where you're not certain how long you can hold out.
c.) Psionics would be a different type of magic - dispel magic and counterspell would not work against them as easily.
 

Parmandur

Legend
What market testing found is that there is no consensus. Psionics have taken a variety of forms in the game and none of them has universal love - thus people are of mixed reactions, with some hating the concept, others wishing for a 1E style experience, others looking for a 4E, and many just looking for something new that really captures the feel of comic book psionic powers.

For me, I'd make psionics:

a.) Everything at will. If you have a power, you can use it at any time. Many powers would have the concentration mechanic, though.
b.) You get power points to power up your powers to do more extreme things. Rather than spending points though, I'd have you roll dice to determine how many power points something is going to cost to enhance. This would give you those moments of struggle where you're not certain how long you can hold out.
c.) Psionics would be a different type of magic - dispel magic and counterspell would not work against them as easily.
They didn't find a broad consensus...except that people didn't want a seperate mechanic from standard spellcasting.
 


Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I would think it unlikely that we would get two rules supplements in a row. I'm also inclined to think an Adventure Anthology would be a good fit for the first book of 2021. But I wouldn't be surprised by another surprise setting book. The latest UA, with it's "gothic" subclasses seems too late for Tasha's, so it could point to a Ravenloft or Innistrad book in the works.
I dunno. We got Xanathar's Guide to Everything in late 2017 and then Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes in early 2018 as the next release. I wouldn't be surprised if they pull something like that again, but this time with a few subclasses peppered into the second rule supplement book.
 

They didn't find a broad consensus...except that people didn't want a seperate mechanic from standard spellcasting.
Which is the conundrum. Psionics should be in the game, it should be something similar yet unique to the "spellcasting system", and it shouldn't be dictated by casual gamers. If they don't like it, they don't have to buy into it. It's extremely unfair to those of us that want it to return to maintain the legacy.

Then again, WotC never truly cared about legacies...
 

Parmandur

Legend
Which is the conundrum. Psionics should be in the game, it should be something similar yet unique to the "spellcasting system", and it shouldn't be dictated by casual gamers. If they don't like it, they don't have to buy into it. It's extremely unfair to those of us that want it to return to maintain the legacy.

Then again, WotC never truly cared about legacies...
WotC should make what their customers want: if folks want Psionics as spellcasting, that is what they should make. Who decides or cares what a "casual" player is, when what matters is pleasing paying customers and growing the hobby?
 

Vael

Adventurer
Oh well. The Mystic class exists, and it is perfect for my needs. I don't need anything else, and certainly not "psionics as spells"
I like the Mystic, and am currently playing one, but I don't think it's a perfect class. One, as the sole psionicist, telekinesis is very underdeveloped, there's only one discipline. Second ... I don't like the Psionic Mastery ability, it's poorly written and just underdeveloped. Obviously, there's some balance issues with a few disciplines.

I do think it's a shame that the Mystic was abandoned, but I'm not completely satisfied with the current iteration.
 
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Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I like the Mystic, and am currently playing one, but I don't think it's a perfect class. One, as the sole psionicist, telekinesis is very underdeveloped, there's only one discipline. Second ... I don't like the Psionic Mastery ability, it's poorly written and just underdeveloped. Obviously, there's some balance issues with a few disciplines.

I do think it's a shame that the Mystic was abandoned, but I'm not completely satisfied with the current iteration.
Honestly, I find the Mystic problematic as it was essentially a container vessel for a handful of independent classes related only by their power source and their d8 hit die.

I do want a full Psionics class, but it should be a paragon of what it means to be a Psionics user, without trying to capture ALL of psionics in a single class. That means, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Battlemind, Ardent, Lurk, these are concepts better left to other classes.

It COULD carry Telepath, Telekinetic, Avatar, Spirit Medium, Teleporter, etc subclasses while maintaining it's specific role as a psionics caster - think a more squishy, more cerebral, less martial version of the Monk.
 

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