log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Psionic Arcane Tradition

cbwjm

Hero
So, seemingly unlike every other player of DnD on the planet, I actually liked the wizard psionic tradition and now that we have the Psi die I'm wondering how that would affect the tradition if the designers had kept it. I'd make the following changes (which might be too powerful but I'm not really worried about balance at the moment).

Psionic Devotion (level 2)
This would be renamed Psionic Talent and explain their basic psionic abilities gained at level 2 including the paragraphs on changing the psi die size and psi replenishment. According to the 3 current subclasses, all of the abilities gained here should reference the psionic talent die. I would grant all 3 cantrips to the wizard requiring them to roll the psionic talent die each time they are used rather giving them the actual cantrips, that is, they can activate any of the 3 abilities listed only through Psionic Talent unless they choose the spells normally as one of their class cantrips. I'd change the spells to be something similar to:
  • Friends. When the spell ends the target doesn't become hostile to you for a number of minutes equal to the roll on the Psi Die.
  • Mage Hand. In addition to the hand being invisible and only requiring a bonus action to control, the range is extended by 5 feet x the Psi Die roll (optionally, the amount it can lift is increased by 5 pounds x the Psi Die roll)
  • Message. Honestly, I'd probably just steal the sorcerer telepathic ability.
Thought Form (level 6) & Thought Travel (level 14)
Thought Travel is just an upgrade to Thought Form. Thought Form itself would require the wizard to reduce their Psi Die by one size each time it is used rather than having a number of uses per day equal to their Intelligence modifier.

Mental Discipline (level 10)
Add dominate person, scrying, and telekinesis to your spellbook. You can reduce your Psi Die by one size to cast either of these spells without preparation, components, and without expending a spell slot.

Empowered Psionics (level 10)
This allows the wizard to add their intelligence modifier to wizard spells which deal force or psychic damage. Although tempted to leave this as is, I want the tradition to be constantly able to interact with the Psi Die so I'd probably change it to something similar to the sorcerer's Psychic Strike level 6 ability. Rather than being able to add the psychic damage to any spell as the sorcerer does, it still only enhances wizard spells that deal psychic or force damage.

As an aside, I'd also turn the suggested spells for the psionic wizard into a psionic school of magic (a school of effect in 2e parlance).

Let me know what you think and, if you liked the original arcane tradition, what possible changes you would make to it.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
I honestly don't remember what the original looked like, so I don't 100% understand it, but in general it looks/sounds pretty good. Cantrip choices make sense.

I'm looking forward to see psi-die based homebrew subclasses for all the ones that weren't in UA....
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
I'm looking forward to see psi-die based homebrew subclasses for all the ones that weren't in UA....
The psi-die is life. That is the Way. I rolled a psi-die to decide what to make for dinner, and another one to see if my after dinner poop was brewed up enough to bother sitting down yet. :oops:

Jesting aside, there are a lot of psionic threads just now. This one at least is about the new mechanic and not about older editions.
 

cbwjm

Hero
The psi-die is life. That is the Way. I rolled a psi-die to decide what to make for dinner, and another one to see if my after dinner poop was brewed up enough to bother sitting down yet. :oops:

Jesting aside, there are a lot of psionic threads just now. This one at least is about the new mechanic and not about older editions.
I was going to post this in one of the older threads but figured it would get lost in the constant arguing. I'd rather talk about the new mechanics and how it gets adapted to other subclasses. Far more interesting I think.

I honestly don't remember what the original looked like, so I don't 100% understand it, but in general it looks/sounds pretty good. Cantrip choices make sense.

I'm looking forward to see psi-die based homebrew subclasses for all the ones that weren't in UA....
Once people start rolling out the homebrew we should hopefully see some interesting subclasses. We already have/had fighter, rogue, sorcerer, and wizard. I'm interested in what they may do for monk since I think ki and psionics fit together quite well. Maybe we'll see a psychic domain for clerics of gods related to psionics or various "kinetic" subclasses like a pyrokinetic. we'll probably see more on reddit than here though.
 

What I would work on is not the mechanics but the background fluff that justifies it's existence.

In pretty much all examples of psionics in books/comics/TV/movies it is an inherent ability, whilst wizard magic is learned through study*.

So, how and why are your wizards leaning psionics through study? Come up with a good backstory and you have a good (sub)class.


* I can think of one example of psionics learned through study, a non-Vulcan learns the Vulcan Mind Meld in Star Trek: Picard.
 
Last edited:

Horwath

Hero
Ah, the Psi die size mechanic.

The one that will be ignored/forgotten by 90% of the players.

Just one extra thing to write down with trivial impact.

Leave it at d6 or d4 fixed and be done with.
 

cbwjm

Hero
Ah, the Psi die size mechanic.

The one that will be ignored/forgotten by 90% of the players.

Just one extra thing to write down with trivial impact.

Leave it at d6 or d4 fixed and be done with.
It's easy enough to remember, particularly with physical dice. Have a d8 and roll an 8? swap it out for a d6. I don't think it will be as ignored/forgotten about as you think, assuming this is what the DnD team go with.
 

It's easy enough to remember, particularly with physical dice. Have a d8 and roll an 8? swap it out for a d6. I don't think it will be as ignored/forgotten about as you think, assuming this is what the DnD team go with.
The thing people don't seem to take into account is what happens if they don't "go with" it. They have clearly put a lot of work into these subclasses since the previous iteration. If they are rejected like the Mystic then the same thing will happen - another three years with no psionics.
 

cbwjm

Hero
The thing people don't seem to take into account is what happens if they don't "go with" it. They have clearly put a lot of work into these subclasses since the previous iteration. If they are rejected like the Mystic then the same thing will happen - another three years with no psionics.
Good point. Hopefully they will take this set of psionic mechanics (which I think is actually quite good, the psi die is like a cantrip although currently the subclasses have it levelling via class level not character level like the feat) and run with it, I want to see what else they come up with using this.
 

Good point. Hopefully they will take this set of psionic mechanics (which I think is actually quite good, the psi die is like a cantrip although currently the subclasses have it levelling via class level not character level like the feat) and run with it, I want to see what else they come up with using this.
I agree, the psi die is a good mechanic, and I would like to see more of it.

For example the currently overpowered Mind Sliver cantrip could use you psi die for damage instead of d6. Even with zero damage disadvantage on next save is a good cantrip.
 

Fenris447

Explorer
It looks pretty good, and pretty close to what I'd want if there was any place for this kind of character in my homebrew world.


Jesting aside, there are a lot of psionic threads just now. This one at least is about the new mechanic and not about older editions.

Couldn't agree more. I'm noodling a full psion class in my head right now, and it's very much focused on using the new psi die mechanic. I would think a full class would not only include and enhance it, but be the best at it. It's pretty obvious this is the direction WOTC is heading, so it should be expanded on if you want your homebrew psionic classes/subclasses to fit with what will soon be established.
 

cbwjm

Hero
I've been looking at old 2e kits, 3e prestige classes, and 4e paragon paths for more ideas on subclasses. Some won't work or are already covered like the prestige class combining arcane magic and psionics would essentially be any arcane caster class with a psi subclass. Otherwise there are a lot of past ideas that I think could be mined for ideas. Other media has some ideas as well, the mesmer from guild wars 2 that uses illusions and misdirection could be another fighter subclass or perhaps a bard or rogue... I wouldn't be surprised if different people build it differently and assign it to different classes.
 

cbwjm

Hero
It looks pretty good, and pretty close to what I'd want if there was any place for this kind of character in my homebrew world.




Couldn't agree more. I'm noodling a full psion class in my head right now, and it's very much focused on using the new psi die mechanic. I would think a full class would not only include and enhance it, but be the best at it. It's pretty obvious this is the direction WOTC is heading, so it should be expanded on if you want your homebrew psionic classes/subclasses to fit with what will soon be established.
What kind of ideas do you have for a full Psion class? If they are the master of psionics then they might have an additional ability to increase their psi die by 1 (up to the starting size) whenever they have a short rest. Since they will be relying upon the psi die more than other classes, I think they'd need more ways to maintain it. That or psi replenishment is able to be used more often throughout the day.
 

Fenris447

Explorer
Overall, I'm leaning toward a psi (spell) points system for casting. They would cast spells, but only in terms of gameplay, not actual class fantasy.* They would ignore all spell components, which means the spell list would have to be curated to not have normally costly spells available for free. So instead of making a duplicate of Mage Hand as a psionic power, they can just... take Mage Hand without components. For higher level spells that normally have restrictive component costs, you could build a system like the Warlocks' Mystic Arcanum to allow these powers without components, at the cost of psi dice or something.

The psi dice would interact with the psi points. I don't have hard numbers, as this is all in my head. But in theory there would be ways to spend one to bolster the other. They also should get multiple psi die as they level, potentially 1 extra per tier of play. Again, I haven't done the math. But I'm thinking they could lower one die to raise another, sort of a "mental balance" kinda thing.

And then of course the dice would be used to bolster their existing powers. I'd look to the existing uses of psi dice from this UA, plus metamagics, lock invocations, and even superiority die for inspiration here.


* I'm a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel. I think the spell-based implementation of the Artificer in 5e was beautiful. I have built an entire Artificer character whose every 'spell' comes out of a BFG he's built, and it works perfectly fine RAW. It's just a matter of allowing yourself to see 5e spellcasting as a game system that can be described as any number of effects manifesting. A lightning bolt can be summoned by a Wizard's spell, a Druid's communion with nature, an Artificer's device, or a Psion's mind. Same spell, same effect, just described differently. And that difference in description is meaningful to me.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top