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Psionics Coming Soon To D&D?

WotC's Mike Mearls has hinted that we may be able to expect some psionics content soon, possibly in the Unearthed Arcana column. He was asked by Ethan Clow on the Twitterweb "any chance we might see a Psionic class for 5e soon? Perhaps in unearthed arcana?" to which he replied "wouldn't be surprised. I *might* have had a couple prior edition psionics books on my desk last week..." (Thanks to Wolf Hunter for the scoop).
 
Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

I too am thinking a Sorcerer subclass that defaults to using spell points. Main feature is no components for casting. Psychic Warrior is obviously a fighter subclass.
 

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CapnZapp

Legend
Psion needs to be its own class. Moreover, it needs to NOT use spells, otherwise you may as well not even bother. Its the lazy boring route, not mechanically diverse enough to really warrant the time it takes to refluff the sorceror. Hopefully they learned from the lukewarm reception the artificer got that 3 little subclass features isnt enough room to cram a class into.

Go back to how they ran in 2nd edition, with disciplines, devotions and sciences to create a tight thematic character that should ultimately play like a superhero. If you're going to model it on an existing class, the warlock chassis is a start, with short rest use of sciences, at will minor devotions and attack/defense modes and instead of invocations let them pick abilities that modify their devotions in wider capacities.
I agree on spells, and not using them.

Only problem is, that's never gonna happen... :-(
 


steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
XP to @Yaarel for the significant and thorough write up, though I do not agree with all of the mechanical suggestions (i.e.I do not want a psionic subclass on every class). A lot of it I heartily endorse and hope for.

I think "the most" are best served by a feat and a class with discipline-based subclasses: A Psionic Talent Feat (for the old school random talents feel) and a "Psion" class [which I would much prefer be called a Psychic] with Telepath,, Clairvoyant, Kineticist options.

OR a feat and limited (like 2 or 3) subclasses: Psionic Talent Feat, "Psion" Sorcerer (which does seem highly possible), Psychic Warrior Fighter...and that's pretty much it. Then, distinctions of discipline (a telepath vs. a telekinetic, a Jedi vs. a Psylocke) becomes a simple matter of personal "spell" choice, i.e. IF you want to play a telekinetic/telepath/seer, then [limit yourselves!] take spells/powers that you can justify with that flavor, somehow. Maybe with some guideline offered (like Telepaths should take Enchantment schools magic spells, maybe illusions, etc...). Obviously a few "psionics only" spells will be needed (like the classes now follow), but not actual separate spell/power lists and different [for the sake of being different]/new/psionicky names.

Then if you want to have ACTUAL "Psi-onics" to go with the random optional "modern" and/or sci-fi stuff in the DMG, add in a few "implants" or "genetic enhancements" [probably in a background/] to give "bionically enhanced pychics"...somethings?? Extra Skills? Ability Boosts? Point cost slashing [assuming the default system will rely on something resembling the "Sorcery Point" mechanic]? Something for a sci-fi psychic flavor/feel.
 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
I want to see a 1e version of psionics. That way, you won't have everyone and their grandma's dog wanting to play one, but only those hardcore players who REALLY want to deal with it. :)

Then again, I've never really liked the class in a D&D world. And no, I don't play Dark Sun. I know, I'm weird like that.
 

SkidAce

Hero
Supporter
I really don't want a re-flavored/purposed sorcerer. I already use the sorcerer chassis for mystics, healer temples, pyromancers etc.
 

ehren37

Explorer
I want to see a 1e version of psionics. That way, you won't have everyone and their grandma's dog wanting to play one, but only those hardcore players who REALLY want to deal with it. :)

Then again, I've never really liked the class in a D&D world. And no, I don't play Dark Sun. I know, I'm weird like that.

Not to pick on you, but I've been seeing this attitude a lot, and I disagree. I'm of the opinion that those who dont want to use the material to begin with, shouldn't really have much of a say in its design. Otherwise get get garbage content like Savage Species, the rulebook presumably created for those who want to play monster characters, but deliberately balanced to make those characters terrible because the designers didn't want people playing monsters.

Refluffing spells takes no effort, and is the laziest possible way to simply check off a box and pretend you actually gave psionic support. It wont be good for anyone but those who DONT want psionics in the first place. Its boring mechanically to the point where its an insult to the fans. Go big or go home.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
We are, of course, all presuming that there will be a psionics "System" as opposed to what we have in the Monster Manual already, listing as "Psionic Magic" and giving the "psionic" monsters already existing psychic-flavored spells. It is simple and, in its simplicity, elegant. But will not be enough for the "psionic/psychics" fans who want their Jean Greys and Prof. X's, other [phsyical based/psyschometabolic] "X-men"/Superhero types, and Jedi [the last I would submit is already easily doable with an Eldritch Knight, though no idea if that was an intention of the design].

For example, those calling/hoping for a feat for those random [1e style] psychic powers anyone can take...when the Magic Initiate already exists and can give you a random "Psionic Talent" now, as is. Just flavor your spell choices and "casting" accordingly. Do we really need a separate "Psychic Talent/Mental Power" feat? Do we need a different/separate mechanic to make that character? In all objectivity...no. We really don't. Those of us who love the psychic archetypes WANT one...presumably to add to the flavor distinction that psionics is not "just another magic." But we don't really NEED one. As someone said upthread, and is correct, the distinction from "magic/powers" from Arcane to Psionic is really no more necessary of distinction than Arcane to Divine...and so, obviously also, Divine to Psionic.

The distinction of "inner/mental/self power" versus something that comes from an external power source, which I grant is a huge difference for the "meta-game" conception of psychic powers...but is, really, just a matter of flavor/fluff, a story/narrative distinction [though I hesitate to use that word for fear of those jumping on the RPG "narrative v. gamist v. whatever that is play" nonsense].

Do we need a separate system that somehow conveys "inner/personal power"? Again, not really. We already have one. They, rather short-sightedly, called it "Sorcery Points." [and my 2 cents for that would be that it was so-called for some added distinction for the sorcerer from the wizard] But it's there already. Bardic Inspiration could, likewise, be used as the mechanic for their powers...somehow. Or ANY existing mechanic with things restoring after short and/or long rests.

I want psionics. I love my X-Men/psychic character concepts. I would like -as I've said- a separate class with discipline based subclasses, and a feat for anyone...But I don't really want or need another separate mechanical system/layer of complexity to add...with little more than different names justifying mechanics we already have.

What was my point here?...I feel like I got all tangential...Who's using their psychic powers on me?
 

graves3141

First Post
I just can't get too excited by the possibility of a future UA article on psionics that might eventually happen at some point.

We won't see anything in print, if we see anything at all, until they're ready to publish an AP tied to psionics anyway. So, maybe Spring or Fall 2016? Mearls is just teasing us again.
 


spinozajack

First Post
Bite your tongue! Bring 4e powers into 5e...Are you MAD, man?!

4e "powers" make perfect sense for psionics or some kind of weird magic. Both in terms of mechanics and flavor. Calling them powers, too, when that's exactly what it is. Perfect.

As opposed to a power that grants a non-magic-using, 3 foot-tall-PC sliding or proning that terrasque over there at-will without even an opposed strength check.

Proning another biped of similar stature is not a "power", it's something any kid can do in the playground. Calling them powers was part of the problem, but the fact that they weren't grounded in anything but gamey balance and without an inkling in sight as to how it's supposed to work so reliably or perfectly against any foe, without regard to the stage in which they're "activated", is what was wrong with them.
 

spinozajack

First Post
Sign me up for a psionicist with two subclasses, one for psychic warrior, and another for the traditional version with lots of options between the two.

At-will powers with augments would be decent too, although you have to be really careful there not to make the warlock look over with envy. Their abilities should therefore be more limited in raw power than a similar spell, but can do things no spell can do, and used in neat ways. I expect the concentration mechanic will be used extensively in this class.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Given the Modus Operandi of 5E, I think the mechanics will end up being a 2E/3E hybrid. They might use spells from the same list as other classes, but use the DMG spell point rules, which are balanced against the slots (stealth SPs, really). Some new class exclusive spells taken from older editions.

I see a Psion class, an Aberration/Far Realmsian Sorcerer, a Rogue Archetype and a Fighter one. Cleric and Wizard kinda already do (Knowledge Domain and Enchantment/Diviner Traditions). Maybe a Knowledge Domain inspired Paladin, the "Weird Knight"?
 





Siphersh

First Post
Sounds promising, but....I hope our standards haven't been lowered so much to become excitement about an impending article. "Ooh, I can't wait for that new 1,000-word piece coming out sometime in the next few months!"

I am very excited about the possibility of an UA article on psionics, because it would add a new dimension to the coordinate system of all possible homebrew 5E psionics: one defined by the ideas that WotC put forward.

I don't even understand how that excitement could be measured in terms of "standards". There was never any reason to expect​ a complete psionics system this year.
 
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