D&D 5E MCDM The Talent available now. Psionics class for 5th edition D&D.


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jgsugden

Legend
I'd normally pass this up without a thought, but they used comic book trappings for psionics on their cover ... and I've long said the psionics work best when we emulate comic book characters with them. I may have to give it a look...
 


J-H

Hero
I have it and am reading through it.
Psionics works mostly like magic, but they recommend not having it be impacted by antimagic field, dispel, etc., or Identify. Trying to make it a bit more different than in 3.5.
Magic Resistance applying to saves is optional, same with DR/magic.
No changes to the action economy in how powers are manifested.

6 orders (levels) of powers. Based on when they come online by character level, I expect the following equivalencies:
1 - cantrip (you start with 4 and gain 2 more)
2 - 1st level
3 - 3rd level equivalent
4 - 5th
5 - 7th
6 - 9th

You can concentrate on multiple powers at a time. If you have to make a Concentration check, one check covers all of them, so all-or-nothing.

The Talent class:
There are 6 power types, and everyone can learn everything. Not sure there will be a psywar/self-enhancer type, not far enough along. There are 6 schools plus "maverick," so 7 subclass versions.
Sorcerer-type... d6 hd, light armor, sorcerer weapons, Con and Int save proficiencies.

Powers above first order require a manifestation test, which starts as a d4 and eventually goes to a d8. A 2nd order power requires a 3 or above to manifest normally; if you roll a 2, you gain 1 strain and manifest; if you roll a 1, you gain 2 strain (based on the Order/level of the power) and it manifests. If you're concentrating on other stuff, the DC increases by 1 per other thing concentrating on. So if you're concentrating on 3 powers and manifest a 5th level power, you need to roll an 8 to get only 1 strain...otherwise you get 5.

Strain has a variety of exhaustion-like effects that gradually wear down your movement, skills, body, etc. It starts at 5 and maxes out at 24, although there are a few tools at higher levels to mitigate it. If you exceed your strain maximum, you die.

Strain clears completely on a long rest, or you can expend hit die during short rest to clear it at a 1:1 ratio, so Talents are a mix of LR/SR based. I like this.

Talents can learn 1 new power every level, or swap one out for another known. As a reaction, if someone else manifests a power the Talent doesn't know but can learn (2nd-6th order, based on character level), a reaction + manifester die roll lets the Talent start learning the power. It takes 1hr per day (short rest time is OK) for a specified number of days to finish learning the power, capping out at 16 days of 1 hr/day practice for 6th Order powers. Only 1 power at a time can be learned. Unless a game has a lot of downtime, the Talent isn't going to pick up tons of powers from enemies, but will probably get a few.

There are some metapsionic options (exertion) you get for free. They cost strain to activate, but let you do thinks like bump the minimum rolled damage, shove when you affect a creature, double the AOE, hypnotize, restrain a target, etc. The automatic strain cost means you effectively cut your castings per day down to use this, so the player must make decisions! That's good.

More later.
 

J-H

Hero
Specialization is for insects, and spellcasters
When rolling to attempt to copy/learn a power within your specialization, you roll twice and keep the better result.
You get IntMod re-rolls on your manifestation tests for powers within your specialization.

Specialists get a number of powers as they level up.

Chronopath gets a limited Quicken ability, the ability to make objects/constructs age faster (destroying or damaging them; yes, you can age the locked door into dust), initiative modification stuff, and at higher levels, a version of 3.5's Time Hop that also deals damage.

Metamorph can give small amounts of max HP (at 20th level, 11) + advantage on death saves for an hour, a healing touch that costs strain, better senses, a slow raise dead and potentially a "raise self after 1 hour," and at higher levels anyone you've boosted gets disease/poison immunity, +10' speed, and your IntMod to damage 1/rd. I was hoping for more of a self-buffer, but this is the "emergency cleric" option.
Pyrokinetic gets cold powers. Just kidding. He gets an innate fire generation/throwing ability, then later can turn fire damage into force damage, let allies succeed on saves vs his powers, his fire gets better, and can cause enemies to catch on fire for 2*PB damage/round when they catch on fire.

Resopath is a "reshape reality" type caster. He can create movable difficult terrain, summon a CR 1-6 beast (scales w/ level), create objects from nothing, and make his difficult terrain attack enemies on it.

Telekinetic can use a reaction to boost an ally's AC a few times per day, boosts forced movement, can redirect misses caused by the AC boost to hit enemies, and can fly and move willing creatures around at higher levels.

Telepath does what you'd expect, plus gets bonuses on social checks, the ability to make enemies who fail saves against TP powers temporarily unable to attack the teep, spread lots of Help around to people within the telepathic bond, and to make telepathy powers either do more damage or force enemies to honestly answer a question.

Maverick does a bit more damage, can cut strain received a few times per day, can cause enemies to make a save or take damage when YOU accumulate strain, can Uncanny Dodge for strain, and can occasionally just maximize damage.

There are 23 pages of powers, a Gemstone dragonborn that gives some minor psionic powers depending on which stone you choose, and 5 feats. Two are equivalents of spellcaster feats from 5e, one lets you use "I gained strain" to get a bonus on a roll, another gives you more powers known, and the other rolls up a few minor psionic benefits.

There are a couple of pages of magic items...one staff per discipline, and some other items that you might generally expect, for power storing, consumables for strain reduction, a +x to attack roll/DC orb, etc. I like the light armor that gains 1 charge per strain you accumulate, and then can discharge them at a creature within 60' for 1d6 force damage per charge (Dex half).

There are some creatures and NPCs, but the other meat to look at is the powers, which I'll have to do later.
 

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