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D&D 5E In your Years of Gaming, How many Psionic Characters did you See played

When I play/run D&D in any edition, I see psionic characters

  • All the time. At least one per group.

    Votes: 3 1.2%
  • Pretty frequently. It wasn't rare in our games.

    Votes: 42 17.3%
  • Not much and certainly less common than PHB classes.

    Votes: 62 25.5%
  • Almost never.

    Votes: 91 37.4%
  • Nope. Didn't use psionics at all in my D&D.

    Votes: 39 16.0%
  • Lemony curry goodness.

    Votes: 6 2.5%

  • Total voters


Just thinking about the Jeremy Crawford quote that basically says the reason they didn't want to go with a new class for psions in 5e is because the previous versions, while they have their fans, just didn't get enough traction. And I can certainly see his point. 1e we saw quite a few psionic characters, but, that's because we cheated. :D Once psionics became a "class" in 2e and beyond, I almost never saw one played.

In fact, many of the DM's I played with flat out banned psionics for any number of reasons. So, I'm just tossing up a poll here to see how often people played in groups that had psionic characters. It's not meant to be exact, just a gut feeling.

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Victoria Rules
In 3e, never saw any as PCs. There was one adventuring NPC Psion that ran with us for a short while, and that was it.

In 1e, without too much cheating, we've had our share* of psyonic types over the years; but many of those were very weak. Maybe 20 (at most) were powerful enough to make you sit up and take notice, but that few out of nearly a thousand characters ain't too bad.

* - some got psyonics by the d% roll, a few gained them by device, and as of last Saturday one gained them - or so it seems - by a wild magic effect.


But your survey does not hit the topic from the right angle nor does Jeremies statement.

I seen 2 pure psionicist back in 2e with DS. BUT you need it as a class for DS anyway and I believe for Kalashtar in Eberon as well.
Plus every one of the DS group had a wild talent. and you got NPCs which also did require a sound ruleset.
Also some people want to use 5e for SF (not me) and for them it might be more essential of a class than cleric or wizard.
Even some FR fans like psionics within their FR campaign. For mind flayers they gave the non psionic and psionic version in 2e MM

Within the 2e menzoberranzan set there was one Matron who was Psionic / Cleric which gave her an edged on certain things. Gem Dragons might have had psi powers back then though I cannot look it up right now and might be wrong on this one.

And I did see less Bards than Psionicists in my overall RP career!


Mind Mage
My groups tend to have psionic classes or reflavor with psionics.

The flavor for the psionics is medievalesque, the power of mind and consciousness, and avoids technobabble.


Elder Thing
In 2e psionics were pretty common in our games (even non-Darksun), but the WotC-era "wizard by a different name" approach hasn't resonated.

We had some in 3.5, especially in an Eberron campaign, but not much else.

Obviously none in 5E, but they were common in 2E and 4E games I played and ran, and I saw several in 3E. I've seen way more Psionic types than, say, Druids or Barbarians, heck, even than single-class Rangers.

I agree that the wizards by another name approach is weaksauce. The non-wizard style Psionics users always got more play (including the original, Roguish Psionicist).
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Doors and Corners
Started Fall of 1981 when I cornered Jay who would become my best friend/DM and forced him to tell me that game he and some other kids were laughing about in the lunch room.

I've seen one (1) psi class D&D character since then.

Eric V

Obviously none in 5E, but they were common in 2E and 4E games I played and ran, and I saw several in 3E. I've seen way more Psionic types than, say, Druids or Barbarians, heck, even than single-class Rangers.

I agree that the wizards by another name approach is weaksauce. The non-wizard style Psionics users always got more play (including the original, Roguish Psionicist).

Same sort of experience. Psions were more popular than druids, sorcerers, bards...they saw a lot of traction at the table.

I'd say about a dozen or two over 30 years, mostly from 1E and 4E. In 1E we saw a few, but I suspect mostly because of cheating. As a class in 2E and 3E it wasn't particularly popular, and I found many DMs banned them. Our stint in 4E ended not too long after the PHB3 came out, but we still saw a few of them getting played (probably my largest experience). Overall I'd put them at about 1% or less of all characters played.


More than a few classes like Monks. Only have started seeing monks much in 5E. 2E once allowed I had a always Psion type player.

3.5 variant wizard say one twice. No Darksun and late in the edition for the 3.5 one limited though as we dumped 3E not to far after getting the book and switching to Pathfinder/3.5 hybrid.
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Enrico Poli1

Not much.
But they're necessary for Dark Sun.

Back in 2e, psionics was a good but unbalanced system, very different from magic.
Difficult to use in normal play. But with Dark Sun, It just worked wonders. So I love 2e psionics.
With 3rd edition, psionics become essentially a new magic system. Functional, but a lot less interesting then 2e. So when I play Dark Sun, I use the 2nd edition rules, mostly because of the Psionic system of 2e.

I hope that in 5e they are able to capture the spirit of the original system.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Had to vote Lemon Curry, because my answer is "depends on setting and edition".

Setting wise they were plentiful in Darksun (which I played in AD&D 2nd and 4e) - it seemed if you weren't a psionic character you still likely had a wild talent. Common in Eberron (which I've played in 3.x and 4e). FR and some other settings were rare unless it changed by edition.

Edition wise AD&D (2nd?) had rules for a random chance for a wild talent while gaining a level (perhaps if certain criteria was met), so they would show up. Actually, because it was a small chance each level, high level parties would have more than low level parties.

3.5 and especially 4e had published psionic classes, so we'd see them occasionally. More in 4e in my experience. But 5e hasn't had any officially published yet, so I haven't seen a single one.


Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I was pretty active in public gaming from Living City on and I don't remember a single psionicist. Maybe someone played one and it just didn't stand out as such (which probably would have been particularly true in 4E).

I had a DM at one point who liked to throw NPC psions at us now and then, but that was it.


I had a player who was always a psionicist in 2E. We liked psionics so much I came up with a setting based around conflict between psionics, divine and arcane magic with a totalitarian church using psionics inquisitors to hunt down other psionicists and mages. The players seemed to have fun as rebel magic users hunted by the state. But it only worked because psionics felt genuinely different, not just flavour text.

There was also a lot of fun around setting up traps or monsters resistant to one form of magic but vulnerable to others.


Rotten DM
Under 20 to include 2E. Less once I left high school because back then Professor X and Scanners were way cool. I hated running Psi combat because it took so long. The only COOL thing about psi, was if was on the psi list and you cast a the same spell a mind flayer may show up to eat your brain. I don't want them in 5E.

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