Unearthed Arcana New Unearthed Arcana: Psionics!

There’s a new Unearthed Arcana article out, and it’s all about psionics! "Their minds bristling with power, three new subclasses arrive in today’s Unearthed Arcana: the Psychic Warrior for the fighter, the Soulknife for the rogue, and the tradition of Psionics for the wizard."

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In this 9-page PDF, there are also some new psionics-themed spells (including versions of classic psionic powers like id insinuation and ego whip) and two new feats.
 
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My first though was use catapult instead.

I thought that, but you could actually achieve the same thing by having a Psionic Adept feat - same as Magic Adept but you pick your spells from the psionic spell list (which includes catapult and mage hand).

Another thing you could do is combine "Psionic Spells" with the "alternative class features" of the pervious UA

Psionics: Replaces spellcasting (Bard, Arcane Trickster, Sorcerer, Eldritch Knight, Ranger) You can cast spells from the Psionic Spell list. This replaces the usual spell list for your class.
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
LOL its pointing out that D&D often has done this very thing of using shared mechanics. All the way from the beginning you are making it too specifically about the Ranger/skills instead of being about a design paradigm represented its not a new thing is the point. That of popping magic mechanics in for any "you can do awesome. "

Okay, so you agree that it is the most likely design paradigm they will use. That's what I was saying to begin with, but you made it about how Rangers should have had a skill system instead of magic back when they were first designed. That has nothing to do with now and Psionics.

Mine don't and my game is D&D no less than yours. So have fun in your so-called big tent with all the others who want to call mine not D&D.

Umm.. I never said you weren't playing DnD, or that your game was less DnD than mine, or that my game was better than yours.

In fact, I'll take a step. Your games are far more fun than mine, your players leave every session excitedly chatting about that awesome thing that happened, and how clever it was.

But, you aren't using the DnD official Ranger. You are using the "Garthanos Ranger" which is perfectly fine, glad you made it, glad you love it, glad you have fun with it.

But, if you pull up any official WoTC Ranger for Dungeons and Dragons 5e... it uses magic. Sorry, it does, inescapable truth.

So, enjoy your DnD game within the tent. I'm glad the extras you've crafted are as fun as the non-DnD monsters, feats, items, and classes I've made are.

I have no clue why you think this has anything at all related to what I said.

Because you seemed focused on skills and how if they made a better skill system they would need less magic? How else am I supposed to interpret that in a discussion about Psionics other than you want to use skills for Psionics?

I am pointing out ongoing design paradigms.

Snip

Okay, so was I. We agree. This is what DnD tends to do. I never made a value judgement on that, I was just pointing it out, and showing why it might make sense for them to keep doing it.

I assumed you understood actually but thought it didnt hurt to elaborate on it. And I am in the same "not making a judgement" boat to be honest.

I may judge when a distinct subsystem is badly done or amounts to DM fiat though

Awesome, I think there was some confusion in our discussion, which led to me thinking you were talking about something else. I don't disagree with any of this though.

I also end up judging poorly made systems and how much fiat might need to be involved. We are agreeing very loudly :p
 

My whole point before, about the mistake of making a spell called Telekinesis, applies to many more.
They made Wizards step on the toes of Psionics many times.
To be fair, psionics is just a set of more scientific-sounding terms applied to the same sorts of supernatural powers people had been claiming as 'magic' or 'miracles' or whatever forever. Reading minds, viewing remote locations, predicting the future, levitating, vanishing from sight, conjuring things from nothing, etc.

In the decades between that trend and the actual coining of the term 'psionic,' and the further decades before D&D came out, and the decades since, though, Psionics has taken on a life of its own. It's not just magic with the serial numbers filed off for use in science-fiction that was embarrassed about ripping off fantasy/legend - but it's still going to overlap with magic, and, at the same time, the modernized/scientific-jargon-sounding terms that started being used back in the 19th century have, some of them, become generic, to the point they're readily applied to magic, superpowers, psionics, etc...

Something like "mage hand" to move an object around at a distance sounds magical, while "telekinesis" intentionally sounds psionic, but is also arguably generic at this point. Same with 'teleportation.'

Not helpful, I know...

...and...

I am pointing out ongoing design paradigms. The parallel describes how psionics using spells is just like skillful awesome being added using spells (or what some insist are spell like mechanics in 4e) something which has some very distinctive advantages. (a number of 3e active feats were put in 4e as powers perhaps for a similar reason).
Consolidating mechanics is a legit way to simplify a game. If a martial arts move, a spell, and a psionic discipline all send enemies sprawling, you can just have one mechanic to model that, and use if for all three. While 5e gets mad props for being 'simpler' or 'rules lite,' that expedient was openly repudiated in the playtest, thanks to the edition war talking points about 'fighters casting spells' (the power format & use of keywords for PC class abilities from spells to prayers to martial 'exploits' to psionic disciplines, even though no actual 'power' was re-used, unmodified, by two classes until the Essentials Druid(Sentinel) with given the Cleric(Warpriest)'s Healing Word.) And, while openly repudiated, that didn't stop it from being used: rather than make spells, prayers, primal nature-magic, monk ki powers, totem barbarian rituals, mechanically distinct, they all just recycled spells.

That's problematic when trying to add a Psion, because the concept-first, don't-make-the-classes-"samey"-like-wrongbadfun-4e, rationalizations for having 5e, at all, demand it be mechanically distinct, while the simplicity mandate demands it just re-cycle spells like everyone else.
 
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Now I have got a doubt. Disney's princess Elsa (Frozen): is she a sorcerer or a psionic? She doesn't use somatic, verbal nor material components.

Psions can wear heavy (and metallic) armours and they don't need "tools". And you can't counterspell against psionic powers with the classic way. Psions are like champions of martial arts, but fighting with their "astral bodies". They aren't like the "normal" spellcasters in the same way X-Men (f.e. Xavier, Jean Gray or Emma Frost) aren't like doctor Strange.

The manga "Domu: a child's dream" can show us how dreadful psychic powers can be.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
I thought that, but you could actually achieve the same thing by having a Psionic Adept feat - same as Magic Adept but you pick your spells from the psionic spell list (which includes catapult and mage hand).

There is also the Telekinetic feat that they posted in the newest UA that does some/most of what you want I think, though with no damage a la catapult. And the hand is no components and invisible. Very psionic.

• Increase your Intelligence score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
• You learn the mage hand cantrip. You can cast it without verbal or somatic components, and you can make the spectral hand invisible.
• As a bonus action, you can try to shove one creature you can see within 5 feet of the spectral hand created by your mage hand spell. When you do so, the target must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier) or be pushed 5 feet away from you

But, you aren't using the DnD official Ranger

Is @Garthanos playing 5e Rangers spell-less or another edition like 4e or the 3.x ACF without spells?

All 5e official Rangers (and 3.x, 2e, 1e) all use magic though, yup!
 

Now I have got a doubt. Disney's princess Elsa (Frozen): is she a sorcerer or a psionic? She doesn't use somatic, verbal nor material components.
Does she explicitly use magic, that's inherited through her bloodline? Then, she's a concept that the D&D Sorcerer is meant to model - and fails to, because of all the built-in/traditional assumptions/mechanics of D&D spellcasting. Get used to it, D&D fails at modeling virtually everything, to the implied standard, that way.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Is @Garthanos playing 5e Rangers spell-less or another edition like 4e or the 3.x ACF without spells?
I DMd 4e one of my players had a ranger he re-flavored his damage boosting class ability as LOL an innate talent that catalyzes a poison on his weapon so actually, that players ranger had mutant style in born psionics (because that was what fit with the character story). I have only played and watched 5e I am trying to figure out really if I can/should DM 5e and so trying to make 5e fit me.
 

Ashrym

Hero
Now I have got a doubt. Disney's princess Elsa (Frozen): is she a sorcerer or a psionic? She doesn't use somatic, verbal nor material components.

Not all spells use VSM either. Elsa does use hand gestures all the time, however. She can be loosely defined as a sorcerer using S spells, but it's a minor point given she's not a D&D character. D&D characters can emulate and be inspired by media but an exact duplication is unlikely.
 

Not all spells use VSM either.
Virtually all use V. Traditionally, the very few that didn't were counters to Silence, itself a counter to casting, in the old rock-paper-scissors paradigm.
Elsa does use hand gestures all the time, however.
Particularly mystical gestures? Or just like what you'd expect from any ice-powers mutant or other superhero?
 

Ashrym

Hero
Particularly mystical gestures? Or just like what you'd expect from any ice-powers mutant or other superhero?

They look like mystical gestures to me, yes. It was literally called out as sorcery in the movie as well, so if it's actually psionics that supports the "sorcerer and psionics are the same thing" argument as far as Disneyverse is concerned. ;)
 

They look like mystical gestures to me, yes.
The only time I've seen screen representations of something as complex as I'd expect from D&D S components is that Narnia-rip-off TV show, The Magicians. They even cast Magic Missile, and lampshaded it.
It was literally called out as sorcery in the movie as well
That'd actually be kinda awesome if something as mainstream as Disney had adopted D&D's incorrect usage of the word.

(English definitions of 'sorcerer' or 'sorcery' include just "someone who claims or is believed to have magical powers" - synonymous with witch, wizard, etc... and "power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits especially for divining." The distinction of the sorcerer as having inborn magic-in-the-blood is a D&Dism. Maybe, if it spreads from D&D to MMOs to Disney to the mainstream, it'll become a legit definition, too.)
 
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Arnwolf666

Adventurer
My whole point before, about the mistake of making a spell called Telekinesis, applies to many more.

They made Wizards step on the toes of Psionics many times.

Now, I still do believe you can make Telekinesis different for Psionics (obvious example: it could be free or cost you depending on the weight you move, and be scalable in that, but I would envision the same system also to do perform different actions with the target object or creature) but my point is the first mistake was giving such obviously psionic abilities to arcane spells. Now of course people are going to say we have a spell for that. Well we shouldn't have had.

That said, to reply shortly to @Chaosmancer , of course if you view psionics in such a different way, nothing much to discuss.

maybe that is because default d&d does not have psionics. And psionics kind of has the same effects as magic. Its the same thing entirely to most people.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I DMd 4e one of my players had a ranger he re-flavored his damage boosting class ability as LOL an innate talent that catalyzes a poison on his weapon so actually, that players ranger had mutant style in born psionics (because that was what fit with the character story). I have only played and watched 5e I am trying to figure out really if I can/should DM 5e and so trying to make 5e fit me.

You definitely can (I subscribe to the theory that anyone can DM) and I would say that you should definetly give it a shot. I find 5e to be incredibly fun and more people running it means more likely I'll get to play instead of run ;)
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
That'd actually be kinda awesome if something as mainstream as Disney had adopted D&D's incorrect usage of the word.
Hmmm not thinking the word is necessarily well/tightly enough defined in mythology or variations in how the supernatural supposedly accomplishes anything locked down well enough to call it incorrect If we are going latin fate manipulator.... but there is an irish one asarlaíocht one I think that though it looks a lot different (has more in common with druids )
Okay, so you agree that it is the most likely design paradigm they will use.
Responses may be evidence of me being picky... like making note that sometimes that paradigm is going to work well others it may introduce flavors that people do not like.
That's what I was saying to begin with, but you made it about how Rangers should have had a skill system instead of magic back when they were first designed. That has nothing to do with now and Psionics.
Analogies do not change what it is about they point out parallels and divergences. The earlier case had parallels and was actually more a problem because they didnt actually follow through with making those elements close enough to magic to be useful but on the other side it did have some of the same problems people mention now for psionics someone whose awesome was arguably X analogous to magic just getting magic instead.
Because you seemed focused on skills and how if they made a better skill system they would need less magic? How else am I supposed to interpret that in a discussion about Psionics other than you want to use skills for Psionics?
By context and me saying things like
"It relates directly as to whether you need a separate distinct mechanic ie subsystems. Psionics or Skills or Spells same fishes in that barrel."

Now admittedly I didnt say that immediately and jumped into pointing out things I thought of as noteable parallels and how they created problems on either side (not developing the subsystem or pasting the spell system someplace it didnt necessarily belong flavor wise) without preamble so shrug like all errors in communication more than one is involved.

Awesome, I think there was some confusion in our discussion, which led to me thinking you were talking about something else. I don't disagree with any of this though.

I also end up judging poorly made systems and how much fiat might need to be involved. We are agreeing very loudly :p
Yeh all is good.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
That's problematic when trying to add a Psion, because the concept-first, don't-make-the-classes-"samey"-like-wrongbadfun-4e, rationalizations for having 5e, at all, demand it be mechanically distinct, while the simplicity mandate demands it just re-cycle spells like everyone else.
There are definitely conflicting goals.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
In Dune the Bene Gesserit have genetic memories of all their female ancestors, with their special creation the Kwisatz Haderach having the ability to access all of their genetic memories. But would they necessarily be Wizards in D&D terms, that's probably not what I think they would be, even if there's a lot of study and ritual using spice involved. The fact that they are invested into bloodlines might mean they could be Sorcerers, and they happen to be very much into social skills too.

But such a concept like the Bene Gesserit very much could be a class such as a Psion, or maybe they're Bards.
They’re absolutely Psionic Bards, IMO. With immunity to fear and the ability to end effects on themselves by spending inspiration dice.
 


Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
There standard behavior is definitely social manipulators...

I'd almost call them College of Whispers Bards since that is basically all already psychic damage and fits with what they do!

Though I've only ever read Dune, none of the follow on series, so my vision of the Bene Gesserit is limited.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I'd almost call them College of Whispers Bards since that is basically all already psychic damage and fits with what they do!

Though I've only ever read Dune, none of the follow on series, so my vision of the Bene Gesserit is limited.
They over lap a lot with seers and are martial artists(monks) too. I am building them as a race for 4e currently actually a derivation off of the Deva race. Giving them a super dollop of poison and necro resistance for their mind over body stunts, plus a feat for seer style predictive intelligence they can use in martial arts. (using Intelligence instead of reactions for initiative and martial arts). There is also something called Mentat Training which is like use your brain like a computer which other than iedic memory not sure how to represent.
 
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Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
They over lap a lot with seers and are martial artists(monks) too. I am building them as a race for 4e currently actually a derivation off of the Deva race. Giving them a super dollop of poison and necro resistance for their mind over body stunts, plus a feat for seer style predictive intelligence they can use in martial arts. (using Intelligence instead of reactions for initiative and martial arts). There is also something called Mentat Training which is like use your brain like a computer which other than iedic memory not sure how to represent.

You could model them like the Eberron dragonmarked races possibly. Where the dragonmarked races get +1d4 to a couple of skill checks, you could give this race the same to initiative instead. Also give them a racial AC of 10+Dex+Int. Racial bonuses of +1 Dex +1 Int perhaps.

Instead of spells from the dragonmark, they could get the poison/necro resistance.
 

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