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Unearthed Arcana Psionics Hits Unearthed Arcana

If you've been waiting anxiously for psionics to arrive in the D&D Unearthed Arcana column, your wait is over! The Awakened Mystic is a psionic class by Mike Mearls which - currently - has access to three psionic disciplines, with more to come later. Following on from Mike Mearls' question, Should Psionic Flavour Be Altered? (a discussion which promoted 750+ comments here on EN World, and is still ongoing), it sounds like he has answered the question with a resounding "yes". Rather than pseudo-scientific sounding terms like telepathy, clairovoyance, and the like, we have the disciplines Conquering Mind, Intellect Fortress (a callback to earlier editions), and Third Eye.

UPDATE - IMPORTANT NOTE FROM MIKE MEARLS: "For folks looking at the psionics material in today's UA, looks like there was a minor error. Not all the material is there." Keep an eye on it; I expect it'll be fixed soon.

UPDATE 2 - fixed! Updated document includes another three disciplines (Celerity, Iron Durability, and Psionic Weapon) and the basic rules to the class.

Find it here!
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I miss id insinuation


Anyway:

Awakened Mystic: 5 6d8 mind blasts and 1 2d8 mind blasts per long rest.
Immortal Mystic: 4 5d10 lethal strikes with a +3 augmented psionic weapon per long rest.
Evoker Wizard: 3 fireballs and 3 melf's acid arrows per long rest.
Dragon Sorcerer: 3 fireballs and 3 melf's acid arrows per long rest.

Umm.. mind blast needs to progress like cantrips, man.
 

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I find myself wondering if Monk Ki and Awakend Mystic Psionic Points are on the same scale... if so, then multiclass monk/mystics are going to be a thing for some.

Hmm, so a Fighter 15/Immortal 5 can use action surge AND surge of action in the same round for 9 attacks?

Just with Immortal 5 you can grant yourself a +3 weapon and then Ethereal Weapon+Lethal Strike on EVERY attack. I'm not sure how that compares to a Paladin but it seems pretty damn good. Or maybe not, since I'm not sure that using Ethereal Weapon counts as a "hit".

It does note that a failed save does take half damage but no other effects from the hit. So... adding a Battlemaster's superiority effects could be quite amusing...

The mechanics look interesting and fun, cannot wait to test them out.

I do not like the flavor, not one bit. Mysticism and the occult as a concept is magical; "mystics" were often spiritual people trying to get closer to their deity through things like asceticism and meditation. A not small portion of where we get the pop culture ideas for wizards is from medieval and renaissance mystics like alchemists and kabbalists.

I thought the reason people liked psionics in the old editions was because of it's sci-fi flavor. It was incredibly unique and brought to mind pulp "sword and planet" fantasy and sci-fi of the era. I mean, come on! Dark Sun is THE psionic setting and that's got a Sword and Planet streak many miles across.

I tend to agree. I hope that enough of us scream about the Far Realms link to get it culled.

Am I the only one who actually liked the 2e psionist? In fact, every other edition has had zero appeal to me.

Not at all... I liked it just fine... in AD&D 2E.

I'd like something comparable in overall breadth eventually...
 


Yaarel

Adventurer
Notice how the psi points are exactly the same thing as spell slots.

‘S1’ stands for ‘Slot 1’ or ‘Spell Slot of Spell Level 1’. And so on. Convert as follows.



Level Max Psi Spell Slot Level Total PsiTotal Spell Slots
1Max 2= S1 4= 2x S1
2

6= 3x S1
3Max 3= S214= 4x S1, 2x S2
4

17= 4x S1, 3x S2
5Max 5= S327= 4x S1, 3x S2, 2x S3


And so on. See the spell table of the Wizard and other full casters to determine the rest of the spell slots or psi.
 
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shadow

First Post
I'll wait until I see the full class to make a judgment, but I really didn't care for bringing the Cthulhu-esque "Far Realm" into psionics.
 


Wait . . . we DON'T have to use fluff as written? Well golly, thanks for the insight, I've been doing it wrong for ages now!

Sorry for the snark, but "no duh" we don't have to use fluff as written. Doesn't mean we can't discuss what we like and what we don't about the fluff, or that it isn't an important part of D&D. Changing the fluff and leaving behind classic D&D setting elements is what happened with 4E, and that left a lot of fans alienated. I'm hoping that the final psionic rules for 5E don't make the same mistake.

No prob. The poster I was responding to said, "Unhappy with psionics requiring Far Realms flavor..." That's different from saying, "Unhappy about the Far Realms flavor with psionics."
 


Psikerlord#

Explorer
My kneejerk reaction is... broken.

Being able to spend your points all in one round etc is a major, major advantage - and they ought to get less "slots" per day because of it. In older editions, like 2e, the ability to nova burst was outright busted, and I suspect repeats itself here.

I like the far realms fluff. I like most of the telepathic stuff and the switchable saving throw. I don't like the crazy burst the psi-warrior is going to do with double actions, extra d10s on a hit, etc. Also his concentration cannot be broken, another bad plan imo...

I also really don't like that dispel magic/counterspell etc simply don't work for psionics. This means we're going to need a dispel psionics etc spells in the game. Bluurghgh. No thanks.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Notice how the psi points are exactly the same thing as spell slots.

One better: its the same as the spell point variant in the DMG (at least for the levels we have so far)

1st.........4
2nd........6
3rd.......14
4th.......17
5th.......27
6th.......32
7th.......38
8th.......44
9th.......57
10th.....64
11th.....73
12th.....73
13th.....83
14th.....83
15th.....94
16th.....94
17th...107
18th...114
19th...123
20th...133
 


AntlerDruid

Explorer
Finally psionics!

I don't like the Mystic name at all as it screams magic....if all of the psionic classes are to come from this class, then they should just call it a "Psychic"

Not liking the Far Realm connection either...should be just one of the options....not the default

So far I really like the class .....especially the telepathy at will at 1st level ......& I want to playtest it
 

Am I the only one who actually liked the 2e psionist? In fact, every other edition has had zero appeal to me.

I really liked the 2E psionicist post-Will and the Way. The ability to research and improve specific psionic powers was what really sold me. I had a dwarf who improved Deflection to the point where it was reflexive (like Absorb Energy) so he got a chance to deflect every single attack that hit him--that felt awesome and very different from wizards. Also, some of the TWATW powers were just unbearably cool, like the one that collapsed a bladed weapon to two-dimensionality, and the other that wrapped a Dimension Door around yourself. Good times.

My reaction to the new material is that it's just begging for an Immortal/Fighter or Immortal/Barbarian multiclass. Regeneration at 3rd level is unbearably sweet.

A couple other notes:

* If you start out as a fighter, Strength of the Mind will let you have three saving throw proficiencies at a time. Str/Con/Dex for example goes very well with barbarian Danger Sense.

* Barbarian rage is incompatible with spellcasting but not with psionics.

* Action surged Lethal Strike novas are nasty. I'm not really a nova guy but 47 points of damage per hit with up to six attacks is impressive. And unlike paladin smites it works at range. So does Sharpshooter Ethereal Weapon, I think.

I miss psychometabolism. It was always my favorite discipline, not because turning your hands into weapons and your skin into armor was powerful (it wasn't, not even on metal-poor Athas) but because it was so cool.
 

Con's: I don't like the flavor of tying it to the Far Realms, and would rather have that removed from the final article (...but I can ignore that, if I have to). I'm worried about the multi-class synergies. Especially, the discipline that gives another action for 5 psi points - I have an immediate concern about how that's going to play with a warlock splash for hex and eldritch blast.

5 psi points and your bonus action. Warlocks' bonus action is already busy with Hex (and Sorlocks are even busier due to Quickened Spell). It has more of an impact on martial classes due to Extra Attack scaling with number of actions but not bonus actions.
 

The Conquering Mind abilities say, "On a successful save, the target is unaffected and you cannot use this ability on that creature again until you finish a long rest."

I'd flip that around: you cannot use the ability on the creature again after a failed save. What's more, if after a successful save you maintain concentration, you can "hold the charge" as it were: on subsequent rounds you can keep trying to use the effect on the same target without spending any more power points (or perhaps spending a token amount). The idea being that it's the still the same instance of psychic manifestation, and you're just spending more than one round pushing at the target's mind.

Naturally, the effects themselves would have to be rebalanced. But I like this "try try again" play pattern much more than its reverse. It feels more like a classic psychic battle of wills from film or TV to me: the psion, with his fingers to his temples, bearing down ever harder and harder on his victim's brain. The victim can resist, but only for so long - the only permanent way to thwart the psion is by breaking his concentration. It just doesn't seem right if the psion tries only for six seconds, and then gives up if the victim can resist that first assault. Also, in general, when playing casters I hate that feeling of "He saved, so you just wasted your spell and your turn." If a successful save only means my cool power is deferred rather than lost, effects like this are a lot more satisfying.
 


Saeviomagy

Adventurer
The concentration effects are much too powerful - they should be the equivalent of cantrips, but they're obviously much better than that.

In general, balance is all over the place.

Mechanically this is about the level of polish that I'd expect from the average home-brew class on a forum somewhere, not anything official from wizards, even for an early cut.
 


Is it me, or does Mind Thrust seem kind of powerful? All you have to do is perceive them...you do not have to have line of effect. If they are with 120 feet of you, and you are scrying on them (for example), you can dump all of you psi points into a mind thrust and potentially do a boatload of damage to someone. Oh, and their Intelligence = AC in this case...just target the big dumb fighter, and all will be well...
Agree, horrible idea, if it is supposed to bypass armor, make it a save.
 

The concentration effects are much too powerful - they should be the equivalent of cantrips, but they're obviously much better than that.

In general, balance is all over the place.

Mechanically this is about the level of polish that I'd expect from the average home-brew class on a forum somewhere, not anything official from wizards, even for an early cut.
When hasn't psionics been broken out the gate?
 

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