5E I Miss Tangents...

Samloyal23

Adventurer
I have yet to see a psionics system for any edition of D&D that I like better than the ones in 2E. I don't like psionic spells, I don't think psionics should be magic. So how much of the system in the Psionics Handbook and The Will & The Way can be translated into 5E? I want to see tangents, harbingers, and disciplines, not 9 levels of watered down magic...
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
Do you miss them in play, or do you miss reading the rules? :)
Yes. Psionic combat in 2E, especially in the Dark Sun setting with TW&TW, was like an exciting tactical game within a game. The powers had an air of mysticism combined with a sci-fi flare. The wide difference between psionics and magic made them more mysterious and exotic, and made psionic monsters seem more perilous. Most of that went out the window in 3E and has yet to return.
 

Krachek

Adventurer
Yes. Psionic combat in 2E, especially in the Dark Sun setting with TW&TW, was like an exciting tactical game within a game. The powers had an air of mysticism combined with a sci-fi flare. The wide difference between psionics and magic made them more mysterious and exotic, and made psionic monsters seem more perilous. Most of that went out the window in 3E and has yet to return.
Such system is beyond the scope of actual DnD who aim large and casual audience.
 

Undrave

Hero
Yes. Psionic combat in 2E, especially in the Dark Sun setting with TW&TW, was like an exciting tactical game within a game. The powers had an air of mysticism combined with a sci-fi flare. The wide difference between psionics and magic made them more mysterious and exotic, and made psionic monsters seem more perilous. Most of that went out the window in 3E and has yet to return.
Such system is beyond the scope of actual DnD who aim large and casual audience.
A lot of people don't like when a player character plays a completely different game from everybody else. Look at hacking mechanic in most cyberpunk games for exemple.
 

Krachek

Adventurer
A lot of people don't like when a player character plays a completely different game from everybody else. Look at hacking mechanic in most cyberpunk games for exemple.
But some people just dream of being so special from all other characters.
it was the case in ADnD , where you have a very little chance to have psionic on top of your character classe. That’s what I suspect some dream about when they want psionic.
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
Such system is beyond the scope of actual DnD who aim large and casual audience.
Casual players need not be a psionicist. Also, it depends on the setting. If you are playing in Dark Sun, psionics is everywhere, almost every character at least has a wild talent. In other settings, psionics is rare, I can see a gamer group just deciding to pass on it.
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
But some people just dream of being so special from all other characters.
it was the case in ADnD , where you have a very little chance to have psionic on top of your character classe. That’s what I suspect some dream about when they want psionic.
Sure, and part of it is just to do something different from magic. You want a change of pace and want to do things a different way.
 

Undrave

Hero
Sure, and part of it is just to do something different from magic. You want a change of pace and want to do things a different way.
Different from Magic? DnD’s brand of magic is SO nebulous and it’s scope so absurdly large that anything beyond ‘I whack it with a sharpened stick’ can be labelled ‘Magic’. Especially so in 5e where ‘Magic is Vancian’ is no longer a valid method of classification.
 

Asisreo

Explorer
Sure, and part of it is just to do something different from magic. You want a change of pace and want to do things a different way.
I would much rather have Psionics be a type of magic than have these whole new rules that need to be set up. The problem with psionics in general is that everyone is vulnerable to it in 5e. Counterspell doesn't work even if it's a spell since psionics aren't supposed to be "perceptable," magic resistance kinda works but only if it counts as spellcasting or has the asterisk saying it counts as "magical," Plus I'm having a hard time picturing an acceptable mechanic to justify their inclusion without it being broken
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
Different from Magic? DnD’s brand of magic is SO nebulous and it’s scope so absurdly large that anything beyond ‘I whack it with a sharpened stick’ can be labelled ‘Magic’. Especially so in 5e where ‘Magic is Vancian’ is no longer a valid method of classification.
Most magic is still spell-based. Psionics in 2E was not. Powers were more like skills and feats.
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
I would much rather have Psionics be a type of magic than have these whole new rules that need to be set up. The problem with psionics in general is that everyone is vulnerable to it in 5e. Counterspell doesn't work even if it's a spell since psionics aren't supposed to be "perceptable," magic resistance kinda works but only if it counts as spellcasting or has the asterisk saying it counts as "magical," Plus I'm having a hard time picturing an acceptable mechanic to justify their inclusion without it being broken
Magic powers that affect or detect psionics simply need to be researched for that specific end. A wizard who knows what psionics is and that it must be countered will develop spells like Detect Psionics, Protection from Psionics, et cetera. Likewise, a Psionicist worth his crystals will develop powers that allow magic to be countered.
 

grimslade

Adventurer
We aren't going to see a separate system for psionics in 5E. There is no desire from the devs to do this. Every iteration of UA and Happy Fun hour has used existing systems to fill the psionic niche. The least palatable being the wizard tradition. I do not see WotC shaking anything up for psionics in this edition, even though I believe the rules system is robust enough to expand beyond its current form.

Ideally, Dark Sun could be a PHB replacement. It would rip out arcane classes and replace them with the Defiler and Preserver classes. It could limit divine classes to Elemental shamans and introduce a robust psionic system. Having a robust psionic system and a robust magic system is pointless. There is too much overlap. Since psionics are also a big part of Eberron as well, I don't see this approach being taken.
 

Asisreo

Explorer
Magic powers that affect or detect psionics simply need to be researched for that specific end. A wizard who knows what psionics is and that it must be countered will develop spells like Detect Psionics, Protection from Psionics, et cetera. Likewise, a Psionicist worth his crystals will develop powers that allow magic to be countered.
See, but with that, why isn't there any creature with that ability? Surely a mind flayer would have some form of counter for psionics but they don't. Now what? Do they make an errata saying mind flayers have this-that-and so-and-so traits? Do the Gith get those as well? What about mages, named ones from the adventurers already published? What about liches? And beholders?

I also think they'd need to upgrade the mind flayer's capacity for psionics too. Does it really make sense that giths, masters of psionics, have access to around 5 psionic abilities that basically perfectly mimic a spell while a player gets 15 or 20 of them each with their unique spice?

I think psionics would've been fine in 5e but now it's too late and there's too much to account for. I'd just hold out for 5.5e or 6e to have player-available psionics.
 

Sabathius42

Adventurer
See, but with that, why isn't there any creature with that ability? Surely a mind flayer would have some form of counter for psionics but they don't. Now what? Do they make an errata saying mind flayers have this-that-and so-and-so traits? Do the Gith get those as well? What about mages, named ones from the adventurers already published? What about liches? And beholders?

I also think they'd need to upgrade the mind flayer's capacity for psionics too. Does it really make sense that giths, masters of psionics, have access to around 5 psionic abilities that basically perfectly mimic a spell while a player gets 15 or 20 of them each with their unique spice?

I think psionics would've been fine in 5e but now it's too late and there's too much to account for. I'd just hold out for 5.5e or 6e to have player-available psionics.
They could, you know, just pick the 20 most iconic psionic creatures and rewrite proper psionic variants of them included in whatever book has the rules for psionics.

I know they won't do that, but they could.
 
I have a system I've been designing just for my own games. I went back to OD&D's Eldritch Wizardry and 2e's Complete Psionics, and focused on the core idea that any character could develop a psionic wild talent under the right circumstances. Here's a snapshot of how I'm handling it...

PSIONICS (QUICKLEAF'S VERSION)
Psionics are mysterious powers from the untapped regions of the mind. Whereas magic draws on an external source – the Weave, accessed by studying words of power, praying to deities, consorting with patrons, or through magical bloodlines – sages conjecture that psionics may be a form of mutation. Adventurers who come into contact with powerful aberrations (e.g. aboleths, beholders, mind flayers), who venture into certain regions of the Underdark or the Astral Plane, who undergo psychic surgery, or who suffer extreme trauma may awaken their latent psionic potential. Events during the campaign, such as exposure to specific substances/energies may also trigger a roll on the Psionic Powers table.

A few powers refer to your psionic attack or save DC. Calculate them as follows:
Psionic attack = your proficiency bonus + Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier (choose one).
Psionic save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence/Wisdom/or Charisma modifier.

Wild Talent (feat)
You gain a randomly determined psionic power; roll on the Psionic Powers table. If you roll a ‘1’ indicating psionic madness, record that roll and apply it to to your character, but also roll again. You may take this feat multiple times.

PSIONIC POWERS
d20DisciplineDescription
1Psionic Madness (d10)You’ve touched the deep recesses of your mind… and something touched back.
2-6Clairsentience (d20)Clairsentience enables you to learn secrets long forgotten, glimpse the immediate future and predict the far future, find hidden objects, and know the unknowable.
7-9Psychokinesis (d20)Psychokinesis manipulates energy to move objects, melt or transform matter, and blast targets with raw energy.
10-12Psychometabolism (d20)Psychometabolism changes the physical properties of a creature, thing, or condition, allowing you to accomplish extraordinary physical feats.
13-15Psychoportation (d20)Psychoportation moves you, an object, or another creature through space and time.
16-19Telepathy (d20)Telepathy allows you to spy on and contact the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior.
20Roll twice, or pick one

PSIONIC MADNESS
d10MadnessDescription
1Aberration LinkA lasting connection was formed between you and an aberration (e.g. aboleth or mind flayer), allowing you to telepathically communicate with one another regardless of distance.
2HallucinationsYou experience distracting hallucinations which are hard to distinguish from reality. Though they may interfere with concentration, they are only fleeting.
3HypersensitivityToo much stimulus (e.g. crowds, loud noises, bright lights) overwhelms you, and your saving throws against such effects suffer disadvantage.
4Hypnotic SuggestionYou are induced with a subconscious hypnotic trigger by some unfathomably horrific entity that will trigger at a future time.
5Permeable AuraAfter spending significant time around another person, you take on one of their roleplaying traits for a few hours. Magic and Insight checks detect that trait as if it were your own.
6Psionic InterferenceYou experience bizarre dreams and you fail any attempts to communicate telepathically or understand telepathic communication. Telepathic communication used within 30 feet of you, or on someone within 30 feet of you, fails.
7Psychic CloneWhenever you can see your reflection, it acts as a twisted clone of yourself, its values a dark mirror of your own. This twisted clone yearns to assume physical form.
8Psychic VulnerabilityYou suffer vulnerability to psychic damage and develop a phobia of anything psionic in nature, such as aberrations, githyanki, wild talents, etc.
9Split PersonalityYour mind splits into two separate personalities, though you only have limited control when you switch between them. You and your DM can work together to determine your alternate personality’s nature.
10Unreliable PremonitionsYou have premonitions that may or may not come true, but at the time you are convinced they are inevitable.

CLAIRSENTIENCE
d20PowerDescription
1All-Around VisionYou can see in a 360-degree circle around yourself, though this requires concentration to maintain. Creatures sneaking up on you from behind suffer disadvantage.
2Aura SightYou can feel the mood of a creature by concentrating intently on it for 1 minute, perceiving an outline of colors. Gain proficiency in the Insight skill if you don’t already have it.
3ClairvoyanceAs a bonus action choose a space within 60 feet that you can see; you project your vision and hearing as if you were standing there until the start of your next turn (or 6 seconds).
4Danger SenseBy concentrating on your turn, you cannot be surprised and you know the general direction hostile creatures are coming from a few seconds in advance.
5Detect PsionicsYou can detect if a creature or object within 60 feet has psionic power by concentrating intently on it for 1 round. You also gain a sense for how strong its psionic power is.
6Detect SpellcastersYou can detect if a creature or object within 60 feet can cast spells by concentrating intently on it for 1 round. You also gain a sense for how powerful a spellcaster it is.
7HypercognitionYou can spend Inspiration to gain a clue from the DM that reflects your ability to perceive patterns and make deductions. If your Intelligence isn’t already 13, increase it to 13.
8Incarnation AwarenessBy concentrating intently on a dead creature within 5 feet for 1 minute, you determine how many times it has died and the general nature of its past life/lives.
9InfravisionBy concentrating on your turn, you can perceive heat signatures within 60 feet, allowing you to see any warm-blooded creatures or heat sources, even through walls. However, stone and metal (and anything else that conducts heat) blocks your infravision.
10Know DirectionYou always know true north and are immune to maze magic and effects.
11Object ReadingWhen touching an object and meditating with it during a short rest, you gain a glimpse of its creation, its destruction (if destroyed), and the last creature interact with it.
12Perceive LightBy concentrating on your turn, you can perceive light through tactile or auditory sensation, circumventing the blinded condition (provided there is ambient light).
13Perceive SoundBy concentrating on your turn, you can perceive sound thru tactile or visual sensation, circumventing the deafened condition (provided there is ambient sound).
14PrecognitionYou can spend Inspiration to learn about a future event or threat from the DM, though the DM determines the extent of the information you receive. If your Wisdom isn’t already 13, increase it to 13.
15Radial NavigationBy concentrating on your turn, you know the direction and distance to the last fixed point that you meditated at during a short or long rest.
16Remote ViewingOnce per long rest you can produce a psionic effect similar to the scrying spell.
17RetrospectionDuring a long rest you can meditate with another creature and help it (or yourself) to regain lost memories or review old memories. The DM may call for a check.
18Sense AberrationsBy concentrating on your turn, you become aware of the presence of any aberrations within 60 feet of you.
19Sense SpiritsBy concentrating on your turn, you become aware of the presence of any restless spirits (e.g. ghosts, haunts, specters, wraiths) within 60 feet of you.
20Sensitivity to Psychic ImpressionsBy meditating in an area during a short rest, you gain a vague sense of the emotional history of the place you’re currently in (e.g. tragedy, war, madness, elation, reunion, birth).
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
I have a system I've been designing just for my own games. I went back to OD&D's Eldritch Wizardry and 2e's Complete Psionics, and focused on the core idea that any character could develop a psionic wild talent under the right circumstances. Here's a snapshot of how I'm handling it...

PSIONICS (QUICKLEAF'S VERSION)
Psionics are mysterious powers from the untapped regions of the mind. Whereas magic draws on an external source – the Weave, accessed by studying words of power, praying to deities, consorting with patrons, or through magical bloodlines – sages conjecture that psionics may be a form of mutation. Adventurers who come into contact with powerful aberrations (e.g. aboleths, beholders, mind flayers), who venture into certain regions of the Underdark or the Astral Plane, who undergo psychic surgery, or who suffer extreme trauma may awaken their latent psionic potential. Events during the campaign, such as exposure to specific substances/energies may also trigger a roll on the Psionic Powers table.

A few powers refer to your psionic attack or save DC. Calculate them as follows:
Psionic attack = your proficiency bonus + Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier (choose one).
Psionic save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence/Wisdom/or Charisma modifier.

Wild Talent (feat)
You gain a randomly determined psionic power; roll on the Psionic Powers table. If you roll a ‘1’ indicating psionic madness, record that roll and apply it to to your character, but also roll again. You may take this feat multiple times.

PSIONIC POWERS
d20DisciplineDescription
1Psionic Madness (d10)You’ve touched the deep recesses of your mind… and something touched back.
2-6Clairsentience (d20)Clairsentience enables you to learn secrets long forgotten, glimpse the immediate future and predict the far future, find hidden objects, and know the unknowable.
7-9Psychokinesis (d20)Psychokinesis manipulates energy to move objects, melt or transform matter, and blast targets with raw energy.
10-12Psychometabolism (d20)Psychometabolism changes the physical properties of a creature, thing, or condition, allowing you to accomplish extraordinary physical feats.
13-15Psychoportation (d20)Psychoportation moves you, an object, or another creature through space and time.
16-19Telepathy (d20)Telepathy allows you to spy on and contact the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior.
20Roll twice, or pick one

PSIONIC MADNESS
d10MadnessDescription
1Aberration LinkA lasting connection was formed between you and an aberration (e.g. aboleth or mind flayer), allowing you to telepathically communicate with one another regardless of distance.
2HallucinationsYou experience distracting hallucinations which are hard to distinguish from reality. Though they may interfere with concentration, they are only fleeting.
3HypersensitivityToo much stimulus (e.g. crowds, loud noises, bright lights) overwhelms you, and your saving throws against such effects suffer disadvantage.
4Hypnotic SuggestionYou are induced with a subconscious hypnotic trigger by some unfathomably horrific entity that will trigger at a future time.
5Permeable AuraAfter spending significant time around another person, you take on one of their roleplaying traits for a few hours. Magic and Insight checks detect that trait as if it were your own.
6Psionic InterferenceYou experience bizarre dreams and you fail any attempts to communicate telepathically or understand telepathic communication. Telepathic communication used within 30 feet of you, or on someone within 30 feet of you, fails.
7Psychic CloneWhenever you can see your reflection, it acts as a twisted clone of yourself, its values a dark mirror of your own. This twisted clone yearns to assume physical form.
8Psychic VulnerabilityYou suffer vulnerability to psychic damage and develop a phobia of anything psionic in nature, such as aberrations, githyanki, wild talents, etc.
9Split PersonalityYour mind splits into two separate personalities, though you only have limited control when you switch between them. You and your DM can work together to determine your alternate personality’s nature.
10Unreliable PremonitionsYou have premonitions that may or may not come true, but at the time you are convinced they are inevitable.

CLAIRSENTIENCE
d20PowerDescription
1All-Around VisionYou can see in a 360-degree circle around yourself, though this requires concentration to maintain. Creatures sneaking up on you from behind suffer disadvantage.
2Aura SightYou can feel the mood of a creature by concentrating intently on it for 1 minute, perceiving an outline of colors. Gain proficiency in the Insight skill if you don’t already have it.
3ClairvoyanceAs a bonus action choose a space within 60 feet that you can see; you project your vision and hearing as if you were standing there until the start of your next turn (or 6 seconds).
4Danger SenseBy concentrating on your turn, you cannot be surprised and you know the general direction hostile creatures are coming from a few seconds in advance.
5Detect PsionicsYou can detect if a creature or object within 60 feet has psionic power by concentrating intently on it for 1 round. You also gain a sense for how strong its psionic power is.
6Detect SpellcastersYou can detect if a creature or object within 60 feet can cast spells by concentrating intently on it for 1 round. You also gain a sense for how powerful a spellcaster it is.
7HypercognitionYou can spend Inspiration to gain a clue from the DM that reflects your ability to perceive patterns and make deductions. If your Intelligence isn’t already 13, increase it to 13.
8Incarnation AwarenessBy concentrating intently on a dead creature within 5 feet for 1 minute, you determine how many times it has died and the general nature of its past life/lives.
9InfravisionBy concentrating on your turn, you can perceive heat signatures within 60 feet, allowing you to see any warm-blooded creatures or heat sources, even through walls. However, stone and metal (and anything else that conducts heat) blocks your infravision.
10Know DirectionYou always know true north and are immune to maze magic and effects.
11Object ReadingWhen touching an object and meditating with it during a short rest, you gain a glimpse of its creation, its destruction (if destroyed), and the last creature interact with it.
12Perceive LightBy concentrating on your turn, you can perceive light through tactile or auditory sensation, circumventing the blinded condition (provided there is ambient light).
13Perceive SoundBy concentrating on your turn, you can perceive sound thru tactile or visual sensation, circumventing the deafened condition (provided there is ambient sound).
14PrecognitionYou can spend Inspiration to learn about a future event or threat from the DM, though the DM determines the extent of the information you receive. If your Wisdom isn’t already 13, increase it to 13.
15Radial NavigationBy concentrating on your turn, you know the direction and distance to the last fixed point that you meditated at during a short or long rest.
16Remote ViewingOnce per long rest you can produce a psionic effect similar to the scrying spell.
17RetrospectionDuring a long rest you can meditate with another creature and help it (or yourself) to regain lost memories or review old memories. The DM may call for a check.
18Sense AberrationsBy concentrating on your turn, you become aware of the presence of any aberrations within 60 feet of you.
19Sense SpiritsBy concentrating on your turn, you become aware of the presence of any restless spirits (e.g. ghosts, haunts, specters, wraiths) within 60 feet of you.
20Sensitivity to Psychic ImpressionsBy meditating in an area during a short rest, you gain a vague sense of the emotional history of the place you’re currently in (e.g. tragedy, war, madness, elation, reunion, birth).
Very interesting, especially the madness option...
 

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