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D&D 5E Psionicist class ideas based on the Psi Die from Tasha's

Make a full Psionicist?


  • Total voters
    20

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
So the Mystic bit the dust. Honestly, I feel like that was kind of the right decision because they were trying SO HARD to make the class cover literally every role and option of every other character class to the point of it being an obnoxious mess. I thought the idea of Disciplines as "Spell Groupings" that you learned was a really cool concept, but WotC decided to throw the baby out with the bathwater and lean REALLY HARD on the Wild Talent angle.

I think that was a poor decision.

But moving forward they've flatly decided that the Psionic Die is the way to go. A scaling and shifting tool that determines how your psionic powers function. It's neat... but being tacked onto Fighter, Rogue, and Sorcerer it's also very limited in how much it can actually do without interfering with all the class features of those classes too heavily.

So I figured I'd poke at a few ideas... The first one I've had is: Multiple Psionic Dice.

What if a level 1 Psionicist started with a d6 (Like a 3rd level Soulknife or Psy-Knight, or a 1st level Psionic Sorcerer). But at 3rd level, instead of increasing the Psi Die, they gained a second dice at 1d4.

Could put in a stipulation that a given ability could only benefit from one Psionic die, but make it so they can use multiple psi die in a turn if they've got abilities that use Psionic Dice that have different action costs. Or they can use the d6 'til it breaks by rolling max value twice, and then start rolling that d4 to try and grow it into a d6 before it rolls a 4 and is also lost. Short Rest recovery and all...

How about at 5th level their main Psi Die increases to 1d8 but they still have that d4 until 7th level when it grows to 1d6. Then at 9th they get their third die at d4.

11 their first die grows to 1d10, 13 their second die grows to 1d8, and 15 their third die grows to 1d6.

At 17th, 18th, and 19th levels their dice grow again, maxing out at 1d12, 1d10, 1d8.

But How do they use them?

Talents. Cantrips that scale like normal, but also get a bonus whenever you use a Psi Dice with them.

Like a Psychic Blast Talent. Normally does 1d6 damage (2d6 at 5, 3d6 at 10, 4d6 at 15) on a failed Intelligence Save, half damage on a successful one to a single target within 30ft.
But if you use a d4 Psi Die to pump the power you make it a 5ft line and add that d4 to the damage for every d6 you roll. (So at level 1 you're rolling 1d6+1d4, and at level 5 you're doing 2d6+2d4)
Use a d6 Psi Die and it has the 5ft line and stuns the target until the start of your next turn, plus the d6 added to every normal damage die you'd roll. (Level 10 would do 3d6+3d6!)
Use a d8 Psi Die and it becomes a 30ft cone that stuns the target until the start of your next turn, plus the d8 for every dice rolled.
Use a d10 and it stuns everyone in that cone for 1 minute if they fail their save and they get to try again at the end of their turns, adds the d10 to each dice.
Use a d12 and it becomes a 60ft cone with all the previous benefits.

So once you're 17th level you can throw a 60ft cone Psionic Blast that deals 4d6+4d12 and stuns all targets for a minute... But if you roll a 12 on any of those damage dice, your Psi die shrinks to a d10 and you can only do a 30ft cone the next time you use the ability that deals 4d6+4d10. Unless you also roll a 1 on those 4d12, of course.

In addition to some Pumpable Talents, the class should get an Eldritch-Blast style equivalent baseline effect. Something that deals 1d10 and scales with level to hit multiple targets... So that while using a Talent with a Psi Dice is particularly valuable, they still get something nice for when they run out of Psi Dice.

Slap on an Invocation-Style mechanic, with invocations that affect the Eldritch Blast equivalent, add in psionic movement options and abilities that manipulate the psi dice or allow them to be used for something other than Talents, then maybe give the Base Class some Telepathic funtime stuff and defensive powers...

And make Shapers, Psionic Chirgeons, and Psychic Warriors into Archetypes/Subclasses.


My question to you, Dear Reader, is whether I should actually write this out into a full class, or just leave it on the vine to die.
 

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Stormonu

Legend
Psionicist SHOULD be its own class, not just tacked on existing classes. I wouldn't be against each major class (Fighter, Cleric, Rogue and Sorcerer) getting a single subclass or two with psionic abilities, but I won't accept psionics until there is a dedicated class with its own subclasses.

I've been working on my own version, it's very much a work-in-progress, and I haven't had a chance to begin playtesting it. I wanted a class that use a points system, so it's a hybrid warlock with spell points. Would like to see your version as well for comparison, and maybe replace some of the mechanics I've been considering.
 

Attachments

  • Psion - The Homebrewery.pdf
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Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
I actually did one years ago using the Mystic as a Basis. And then created a Psychic Warrior as well.



They worked pretty well. I played them a few times in the intervening years, and had players at my tables playing them, too.

But with the whole changeover to the Psionic Die I feel like there might be a way to create something New.
 

jgsugden

Legend
As they played a prominent role in prior editions, and people convert their campaigns from edition to edition, it is bit frustrating to not have a Psion / Psionicist and a Psychic Warrior class yet. I had to make my own conversions years ago, but I'd rather have official rules.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Looks a little complicated when presented like that, but from what I understand, it look like a great idea.

What I would like the most is a mix of the Disciplines system from the Mystic (with a stripped down list) that uses the increasing/decreasing psi-die from later UA.
 

AmerginLiath

Adventurer
It strikes me as sort of funny the logic that “psionics should be it’s own class because it was in previous editions,” when players from 1976-1991 were introduced to and used psionics as a system outside of its own class (in its Eldritch Wizardry/1st edition AD&D appendix form before the 2nd edition Complete Psionics Handbook). All the psionic characters I’ve played have been non-psionic classes; as described in that Your First Character thread, my first D&D character was a cleric who rolled well on Gary’s old psionics table!

Initially, the game differentiated Fighting Man and Magic User, but it quickly stopped siloing spellcasters into one single class (whether Spellcasting has permeated into too many classes is a whole ‘nother debate). Keeping psionic abilities corralled into one class — contrary to various literary depictions of the breadth of mental powers within other heroic skillsets — is one choice, but not necessarily the only or correct choice in the game’s history (indeed one which proves contrary to other decisions for similar issues in design over the past few decades).

The idea of spreading out psionics across classes but having a unified (simple to use) game mechanic to describe that system strikes me as elegant, similar to how different classes interact with a common Spellcasting system. The challenge is to not make it too complicated (where previous iterations of 5e psionics in UA have crashed and burned, as attempts to throw in extra math eliminated its elegance).
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
As they played a prominent role in prior editions, and people convert their campaigns from edition to edition, it is bit frustrating to not have a Psion / Psionicist and a Psychic Warrior class yet. I had to make my own conversions years ago, but I'd rather have official rules.
True words.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
It strikes me as sort of funny the logic that “psionics should be it’s own class because it was in previous editions,” when players from 1976-1991 were introduced to and used psionics as a system outside of its own class (in its Eldritch Wizardry/1st edition AD&D appendix form before the 2nd edition Complete Psionics Handbook). All the psionic characters I’ve played have been non-psionic classes; as described in that Your First Character thread, my first D&D character was a cleric who rolled well on Gary’s old psionics table!

Initially, the game differentiated Fighting Man and Magic User, but it quickly stopped siloing spellcasters into one single class (whether Spellcasting has permeated into too many classes is a whole ‘nother debate). Keeping psionic abilities corralled into one class — contrary to various literary depictions of the breadth of mental powers within other heroic skillsets — is one choice, but not necessarily the only or correct choice in the game’s history (indeed one which proves contrary to other decisions for similar issues in design over the past few decades).

The idea of spreading out psionics across classes but having a unified (simple to use) game mechanic to describe that system strikes me as elegant, similar to how different classes interact with a common Spellcasting system. The challenge is to not make it too complicated (where previous iterations of 5e psionics in UA have crashed and burned, as attempts to throw in extra math eliminated its elegance).
The intention isn't to corral all the psionic abilities in a single place so that no other character classes have access to them. It's to create a character class which exemplifies those abilities.

There will still be a psionic knight, a soulknife, and a sorcerer with psionic powers. There will still be psionic feats.

There will just also be a psionic class.

Sort of like a wizard is the core arcane spellcaster, but there are eldritch knights and arcane tricksters, and magic initiate feats.

The intention isn't to make it one way or the other, it's to just have both.

It should also be noted that 1971 to 1991 was 20 years! But 1991 to 2021 is 30 years! Second edition, third edition, and fourth edition have had full psionic classes for much longer than the time you used as an example. It's a common refrain but one I find deeply confusing...
 
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DeviousQuail

Explorer
I like the idea of a psionic die or dice as a way to differentiate psionics from how magic is handled. What I don't like is how the die changes in size based on the roll. It removes player agency and doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I'd much prefer the ability to choose to maximize the roll of a psionic die at the cost of reducing its size for subsequent rolls until you take a short or long rest.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
I like the idea of a psionic die or dice as a way to differentiate psionics from how magic is handled. What I don't like is how the die changes in size based on the roll. It removes player agency and doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I'd much prefer the ability to choose to maximize the roll of a psionic die at the cost of reducing its size for subsequent rolls until you take a short or long rest.
Currently one of my thoughts for "Psionic Quanta". Basically Eldritch Invocations for this Psionic class.

Direct manipulation of your Psionic Dice for situations where you feel you need it.

I think I'll call that "Expending" a Psionic Die. 'Cause you're intentionally exhausting it.
 


Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
ideas for subclasses?
Shaper: Metacreativity. Essentially a summoner
Psychic Chirgueon: Psionic Healing
Psychic Warrior: Melee Ability

Had the thought of making Intellect Fortress being a Warrior class feature that makes AC 10+Dex+Int when unarmored, then let them expend their Psi Die as a Reaction to increase their AC when they've been attacked by 2 if they use a d4, 3 if they use a d6, 4 if they use a d8, 5 if they use a d10, and 6 if they use a d12.
 

Shaper: Metacreativity. Essentially a summoner
Psychic Chirgueon: Psionic Healing
Psychic Warrior: Melee Ability

Had the thought of making Intellect Fortress being a Warrior class feature that makes AC 10+Dex+Int when unarmored, then let them expend their Psi Die as a Reaction to increase their AC when they've been attacked by 2 if they use a d4, 3 if they use a d6, 4 if they use a d8, 5 if they use a d10, and 6 if they use a d12.
if it is to similar to summoner then it just becomes an off brand one.
pure healing is bad needs things to bulk it up but it is certainly a thing a wizard can't do.

psychic warrior is like the paladin to the psions cleric, only with less identity why merge them?
 

Frozen_Heart

Explorer
I do think that using the psionic die feature from the psi warrior and soul knife would be a good start for a full psion class. It's a fun and interesting feature, and it would mechanically unify psionics in a similar manner to how spellcasting is unified between classes.
 

grimslade

Doddering Old Git
I would like psionics to really break the Vancian system rut we have been stuck in for almost 50 years. Psionics should be innate spellcasting, (so should sorcery but that ship has sailed for this edition.) As an innate spellcaster, magic should be more fluid. There should be base spells, like cantrips that can be modified and expanded with a combination of Warlock Invocation and Battle Master Maneuver, a full metamagic or in this case, metapsionic subsystem.
Take a power like Telekinesis. Base power would be Telekinetic Thrust 1d8 force damage. This cantrip can be modified by Invocations, like Eldritch Blast, i.e. add ability bonus to damage, push 10', pull 10', knock prone. It can also be modified by psionic die fueled metamagic, to increase damage, expand to an AoE, add a stun. A psionicist would also have a few cantrips to scale. I also imagine some invocations could be reskinned spells, 1 per day, 1 per short rest like Warlock. What you would have is a much more focused psionicist with complete mastery over his given focus.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
if it is to similar to summoner then it just becomes an off brand one.
pure healing is bad needs things to bulk it up but it is certainly a thing a wizard can't do.

psychic warrior is like the paladin to the psions cleric, only with less identity why merge them?
For the Metacreative my main thought is to summon battlefield control. Rather than doing the Necromancer thing where you've got a bunch of loosely controlled undead or the Beastmaster thing where you've got a single well controlled beast, the Metacreative will create Quasi-Real NPCs that largely function through Reactions.

I'll still probably give them the ability to pull a Psychopomp into our world like a classic summoner, but the rest of their abilities will be related to creating these psychic constructs that occupy a space and threaten an area, but only take Reactions. They'll be easy to destroy, of course, through I'll likely do something to protect them from all getting wiped out in one shot by an AoE. But think of their power as more of a Chessboard than an Army. One Queen, a whole buncha pawns.

And yeah. The Chiurgen won't be pure healing. I was just trying to answer very briefly. The intention is for the Chiurgeon to gain abilities that allow them to use psychic power to repair damage, encourage healing, and provide alterations to a character so they can fight better. This is, of course, separate from the -rest- of the class kit.

For the Psionic Warrior I'm aiming more toward Pact of the Blade or Monk than Paladin or Eldritch Knight. Lightly armored, or unarmored, slightly delayed extra attack (Looking at giving the Psionicist Subclass abilities at 1, 3, 6, 9, 13, and 15.)
I would like psionics to really break the Vancian system rut we have been stuck in for almost 50 years. Psionics should be innate spellcasting, (so should sorcery but that ship has sailed for this edition.) As an innate spellcaster, magic should be more fluid. There should be base spells, like cantrips that can be modified and expanded with a combination of Warlock Invocation and Battle Master Maneuver, a full metamagic or in this case, metapsionic subsystem.
Take a power like Telekinesis. Base power would be Telekinetic Thrust 1d8 force damage. This cantrip can be modified by Invocations, like Eldritch Blast, i.e. add ability bonus to damage, push 10', pull 10', knock prone. It can also be modified by psionic die fueled metamagic, to increase damage, expand to an AoE, add a stun. A psionicist would also have a few cantrips to scale. I also imagine some invocations could be reskinned spells, 1 per day, 1 per short rest like Warlock. What you would have is a much more focused psionicist with complete mastery over his given focus.
That's more or less what I'm planning to do, yes. Though rather than having Psionic Quanta (Invocations for this class) affect the Talents (Cantrips that scale and get modified by Psionic Dice), I plan to have them provide separate fun side-abilities to customize that you Expend your Psionic Dice to use.

Expending your Psionic Dice means that no matter what you roll, the size of the dice drops unless you roll a 1.

An example would be Psionic Leap.

Psionic Leap
Rather than using your Strength Score to determine your jumping distance you use your Intelligence Score. You may also expend a Psionic Dice to increase the distance you can jump by half the die expended. A d4, for example, would allow you to double your jumping distances. While a d10 would allow you to quintuple your jumping distance. Regardless of your movement speed, you always land from these jumps during your turn, though your jump may consume all of your movement for the round.

I particularly like the idea that regardless of your movement speed you land during your turn. Meaning these psionic leaps aren't just a big jump, but also hurling you through the air faster than you should be able to move. Possibly leaving a visible "Wake" of psionic disturbance as you're flung by the power of your mind to your landing area.

Like a human with an Intelligence of 20 uses Psionic Leap and expends a d12. Suddenly their jumping distance is 120ft, even though their movement is only 30ft. So they -hurl- themselves through the air with psychic power, catapulting themselves to their destination. Then they land and take their action (and any Bonus Actions) normally. It's like having a 120ft fly speed only you have to end your turn on solid ground and can't turn in mid air!
 
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Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Current Psionics Overview for the class entry:

Psionics​

Your studies and efforts have lead you to unlock the innate power trapped within a mortal mind, a rare feat, this grants you the ability to directly alter reality through manifesting psionic force rather than spellcraft.

Talents​

You know three Talents of your choice from the Psionic Talents list. You gain access to additional Talents as you gain Psionicist levels, as shown on the Psionicist table. Each talent has specific rules on how it interacts with your Psionic Dice. You may use a Talent as many times as you like between long rests, but may only empower them with a Psionic Die so long as you have one or more available.

Psionic Dice​

You gain a Psionic Die at level 1. At certain levels your Psionic Die will change size, and you will eventually gain access to multiple Psionic Dice, as shown on the Psionicist Table. You may only apply one Psionic Die to a given Talent or Psionic Quanta that requires their use.

Changing Psionic Dice​

Whenever a Psionic Quanta tells you to Expend a Psionic Die, reduce the chosen die's size by one step. A d8 becomes a d6 for example. Whenever you roll a Psionic Die as part of Manifesting a Talent, you reduce the size of the die if you roll the maximum value on the die (6 on a d6, for example). If you roll a 1 on the Psionic Die you instead increase it by one step, up to it's current maximum. If Manifesting a Talent causes you to roll both a 1 and the maximum size of your Psionic Die, you do not change the size of your die.

Losing Psionic Dice​

If your Psionic Dice is currently a d4 and you roll a 4, or Expend the dice to power a Psionic Quanta, you lose access to that Psionic Dice and cannot use it until you have recovered it through a long rest or other ability.

Recovering Psionic Dice​

Whenever you take a Long Rest your Psionic Dice return to their default values as shown on the Psionicist table.

Any suggestions on grammar/style/tone I should change?
 

For the Metacreative my main thought is to summon battlefield control. Rather than doing the Necromancer thing where you've got a bunch of loosely controlled undead or the Beastmaster thing where you've got a single well controlled beast, the Metacreative will create Quasi-Real NPCs that largely function through Reactions.

I'll still probably give them the ability to pull a Psychopomp into our world like a classic summoner, but the rest of their abilities will be related to creating these psychic constructs that occupy a space and threaten an area, but only take Reactions. They'll be easy to destroy, of course, through I'll likely do something to protect them from all getting wiped out in one shot by an AoE. But think of their power as more of a Chessboard than an Army. One Queen, a whole buncha pawns.

And yeah. The Chiurgen won't be pure healing. I was just trying to answer very briefly. The intention is for the Chiurgeon to gain abilities that allow them to use psychic power to repair damage, encourage healing, and provide alterations to a character so they can fight better. This is, of course, separate from the -rest- of the class kit.

For the Psionic Warrior I'm aiming more toward Pact of the Blade or Monk than Paladin or Eldritch Knight. Lightly armored, or unarmored, slightly delayed extra attack (Looking at giving the Psionicist Subclass abilities at 1, 3, 6, 9, 13, and 15.)
so flash forge battle tulpas? nice will need other options from armour, hazards and things like buildings.

so your Chiurgen is also got bits of the order of immortal bit from mystic if so I think I can see where you're coming from.

psionic warrior has a lot of competition for that role I would suggest instead a mind, emotion and telepathy based subclass first.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
so flash forge battle tulpas? nice will need other options from armour, hazards and things like buildings.

so your Chiurgen is also got bits of the order of immortal bit from mystic if so I think I can see where you're coming from.

psionic warrior has a lot of competition for that role I would suggest instead a mind, emotion and telepathy based subclass first.
Maybe some Order of the Immortal bit, yeah, but on OTHERS. So give the Rogue big cat claws or bind the Fighter's sword to his hand.

As to the Telepathy/Empathy/Emotion... That's going to be the Talents and the Quanta, rather than a separate subclass. These subclasses are meant to provide a Psionicist with stuff they can't do normally. Not improve what they already can do in different ways.

Also, here's what I've got for the class itself... The Psionicist Take 2 - The Homebrewery

The Psionicist Take 2 - The Homebrewery1024_1.jpg
The Psionicist Take 2 - The Homebrewery1024_2.jpg
The Psionicist Take 2 - The Homebrewery1024_3.jpg


Thoughts?
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
I've added Psychometry as a baseline function to the class itself at level 5, allowing the Psionicist to gain information about objects or people they touch a number of times per long rest equal to their Proficiency Bonus.

I also added Mental Shroud at level 7. This provides Resistance to Psionic Damage and immunity to Mind Reading, Fear, and Charm effects.

Working on the Chiurgeon, now. Gave them a special Talent that allows them to stabilize a target within 15 feet, or provide Int Mod healing if they use any Psionic dice (Int Mod x 2 at 5th, 3 at 10th, and 4 at 15th, of course). Using a d6 to empower the manifestation increases the healing to 1d6+Int mod (x2 at 5th, x3 at 10th, x4 at 15th). Using a d8 increases the healing to d8s and removes 1 Exhaustion, Poison, or Disease on the target.
 

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