Unearthed Arcana Why UA Psionics are never going to work in 5e.

Chaosmancer

Legend
Just because the latest UA had subclasses and no full class, does not mean they aren't working on one. A full class is much harder than just a few subclasses. You have to design the FULL class as well as 2-3 subclasses to go with it.

I think some of you are reading too much into the most recent UA which only said no Mystic and gave a few subclass ideas.

How do you build a new class with no new subsystems?

Crawford said it repeatedly. People like the themes, people like the thematics, but they don't want new mechanics. The Mindflayer has done perfectly fine being psionic with no psionic mechanics.

Taken together, with people just wanting a psionic theme, but no mechanics wanted or necessary, then that leaves me confused on how you could get a new class.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
How do you build a new class with no new subsystems?

New period or new to 5e? I think many like the PP subsystem, but had problems with the Mystic for other reasons.

Crawford said it repeatedly. People like the themes, people like the thematics, but they don't want new mechanics.

Power points aren't new, though.

The Mindflayer has done perfectly fine being psionic with no psionic mechanics.

Not really. It's pretty much just psionic because they put the word in there. It doesn't have to use components, but that's about it. The only thing it's been perfectly fine with is being a Mindflayer.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Now that the new subclasses have been rejected because people don't want psionics to use a unique mechanic, I have no idea. We could just get a new spellcasting class called a Psion again. But, it will just use spell slots.
Or spell points. Those aren't a new mechanic.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
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We know what Wizardry is.
Madalto!
 


G

Guest 6801328

Guest
In fairness, we are now:

More than eight years after 5e was publicly announced; and
almost six full years after the publication of the Player's Handbook; and
three years after the release of the Mystic class in UA; and
there have been four (I think?) attempts at psionics in UA already, with the most recent one rejected...

And it really seems like every attempt gets narrower. So far, the main feedback is that it can't be a new class and it can't have new mechanics. Which must be really annoying for the people who want differentiated psionics.

Yes, I expect psionics at some point as well, but I can understand why there is a wee bit of frustration for those who like psionics.

Maybe you've inadvertently nailed it. They know that once they come up with official psionics there will be nothing left to dangle in front of us, and they'll have to start talking about 6e.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Maybe you've inadvertently nailed it. They know that once they come up with official psionics there will be nothing left to dangle in front of us, and they'll have to start talking about 6e.

Or .... maybe they will wait and that will be the big 6e selling point! Maybe they'll call it "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" just to really give it retro feel.

"Hey buddy, I hear you like psionics. Well, let me tell you about a little system we're calling Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and it has psionics, and a Dark Sun campaign setting, and even a Warlord. C'mon, don't you want to upgrade all of your core books now? Don't you NEED to?"
 

You don't need a new sub-system to be honest; you just need new spells, spell points, and warlock-style class feature upgrades. I made such a Psionic class myself and my players loved it, and I think its easy to make spells work. THe only thing is, you can't say "just spells." You gotta give them some spice! Monk or Warlock style features designed like Mearls original "Cantrips+" are the key. Shame they refuse to test the Mearls idea yet though.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
New period or new to 5e? I think many like the PP subsystem, but had problems with the Mystic for other reasons.

Power points aren't new, though.

They are new to 5e. Nobody is using them officially. Is that going to fall under this same umbrella? Will they be too much of a "new system" that they would be rejected?


Not really. It's pretty much just psionic because they put the word in there. It doesn't have to use components, but that's about it. The only thing it's been perfectly fine with is being a Mindflayer.

I'm not talking about our opinions. I'm talking about what Crawford said. And he said that mindflayers were an example of psionics without creating a psionic system. And that that seems to be what people want. Just put the word there, have the theme, and let us get to playing. No new mechanics, no new systems, just keep it simple.



And sure, maybe that will be fine. Maybe we'd be happy with it, it is pretty much what people have put forth as a solution to the problem of Psionics. What I didn't expect was it would come to this because we are rejecting any new system. Which, I'm not sure I like that idea. I like the potential of having something new eventually.
 

You don't need a new sub-system to be honest; you just need new spells, spell points, and warlock-style class feature upgrades. I made such a Psionic class myself and my players loved it, and I think its easy to make spells work. THe only thing is, you can't say "just spells." You gotta give them some spice! Monk or Warlock style features designed like Mearls original "Cantrips+" are the key. Shame they refuse to test the Mearls idea yet though.
But it still has to go through the UA process, and I can't see many psionics fans rating something so basic "satisfactory" - I certainly wouldn't.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
They are new to 5e. Nobody is using them officially. Is that going to fall under this same umbrella? Will they be too much of a "new system" that they would be rejected?

Don't know. That was both my question and my point. ;)

I'm talking about what Crawford said. And he said that mindflayers were an example of psionics without creating a psionic system. And that that seems to be what people want. Just put the word there, have the theme, and let us get to playing. No new mechanics, no new systems, just keep it simple.

You're taking his statement a step farther than what his statement actually says. He said that people don't want unique systems, not that they were okay with slapping on a "psionic" tag and just giving it a theme. There's quite a bit of difference between those two things.

And sure, maybe that will be fine. Maybe we'd be happy with it, it is pretty much what people have put forth as a solution to the problem of Psionics. What I didn't expect was it would come to this because we are rejecting any new system. Which, I'm not sure I like that idea. I like the potential of having something new eventually.
I wouldn't be fine with such a weak solution. That's the same as not having psionics at all. I mean, a creature can have telepathy without psionics. Slapping a "psionic" tag on this creature's telepathy, but not that one over there isn't giving 5e psionics.
 

I watched the brief video, and there is more nuance in what he is saying.

1) A passionate minority really liked the Psi Die.
2) The majority did not.
3) The majority also don't like new mechanics that feel too different than their standard 5e play experience
4) Their difficult job is to try to find a way to give both sides what they want

If I had to venture a guess, that doesn't mean they won't make new mechanics--it means they will be have to be careful that those new mechanics are both interesting to those who are into the novelty, but don't feel too different from the standard 5e experience for those who aren't. So expect psionics will have something unique to it, but it isn't going to change how the game plays, such as by introducing a gambling component to resource expenditure.
 
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Hoffmand

Explorer
Because then we get into this topic's whole thing about people's different expectations. I for one would be the first to say "Why even bother with 2E psionics?" and push more at 3.5E or 4E psionics
I am fine with concerting 3.x Psionics. The only reason I would suggest 2E is if you really want it to feel different than the other magic systems
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
Ki says "hello", with special greetings from the Way of the Shadow and Way of the Four Elements.

Yep.

Ki aren't spell points though, there are differences. And the Four Elements monk sucks because it is trying to be a half-caster but aren't being given enough ki to act as a half caster

Look, I'm not saying "it is inconceivable that they could do this!" but listening to the video it sounds like they are going to focus on themes. The Abberrant Mind Sorcerer, the Goolock, ect. He stated they don't need new mechanics. So, it makes it harder to picture them doing a full caster class using a point system when no full caster using a point system exists in the game currently, and the closest we have is one of the most derided monk subclasses.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Yep.

Ki aren't spell points though, there are differences. And the Four Elements monk sucks because it is trying to be a half-caster but aren't being given enough ki to act as a half caster

Minor differences, which still falls under what people want. They said that people don't want ALL NEW mechanics, so partially new mechanics like one that is a variant of Ki points would qualify, and that they wanted something more like what already exists, which also allows for a Ki point variant.

The Psionic mechanic doesn't have to be identical to some existing mechanic. It only has to not be too different.
 

A difference between the ki points (and sorcery points) and the DMG spell points and the Mystic's psi points is that ki is linier. People might find it easier to manage [your level] points than (e.g.) 264 points.

The difficulty, as seen in the 4E monk, is it falls behind non-linier spellcasters at high level. A possible solution would be to provide a way to refresh points at higher level.

e.g.

Level 1 You have Psi points equal to your level, refreshing after a long rest.
Level 7 meditate for 10 minutes once per long rest to refresh all your psi points.
Level 14 can now meditate once per short rest.
Level 20 can meditate as often as you like.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Yep.

Ki aren't spell points though, there are differences. And the Four Elements monk sucks because it is trying to be a half-caster but aren't being given enough ki to act as a half caster
Ki basically are spell points though. They just also use their spell points for other non-/quasi-magical abilities. One of the reasons why the 4E Monk sucks is because of how its Ki points conflict with other class features and with the action economy. But it still basically operates as a 1/3 caster with spell points that recharge on a short rest (e.g., see Warlock).
 

I would like the ki as power source for the most of the martial maneuvers in a remake of the Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords.

I would rather new base classes with their own game mechanic, although I don't miss too much neither incarnum soulmelders nor the truenamers.

Each new class has to be as its own identity mark. Lots of players want to feel their PC is different, in the same way when some clothes becomes too popular then they are soon old-fashion.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
A difference between the ki points (and sorcery points) and the DMG spell points and the Mystic's psi points is that ki is linier. People might find it easier to manage [your level] points than (e.g.) 264 points.

I forgot about spell points already being a 5e optional rule in the DMG. So it wouldn't even be a different rule at all for psionics to have points. Thanks for the reminder.
 

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