Last November, Wizards of the Coast opened up Psionics and Psychic rules for playtesting. Yesterday, they issued different playtest rules, having gone back to the drawing board. The changes these optional playtest rules make go back further than the 2019 test.
You can access the new rules from the latest Unearthed Arcana.
So, how far back do these changes go? Well, Wizards point out that psionic creatures and abilities have been in D&D 5e since its launch in 2014. In particular, though, an unofficial character class from 2017 is getting the chop;
In 2017, we experimented with an unofficial character class—the mystic—focused on psionic powers. Through its features and subclasses, the mystic allowed you to create a character who echoed the abilities of other classes in the game but with a psionic twist. As much as many playtesters enjoyed the psionic themes in the mystic, feedback was also clear that the class encroached on other classes’ territory and that it was often too complex, too powerful, or both. Following that feedback, we’ve decided to say farewell to the mystic and explore other ways of giving players psi-themed powers, as we did with the features of the Great Old One warlock in the Player’s Handbook.
Now, the playtest focuses on three sub-classes, three spells which a psionic theme and five feats that can grant psi powers to any character.
The sub-classes are;
- Psi Knight
- Psionic Soul
A core feature of the new rules if the Psionic Talent Die. This starts at a d6, and every few levels becomes a larger dice (d8, d10 and then d12). Rolling the dice, as appropriate, confers a boost. There’s a catch though, roll the maximum value on that dice, and it will temporarily shrink a size before a character’s psi energy is drained for the day. If you roll a 1, however, then your dice size temporarily increases.
These fighters leap around, throw up protective forcefields and use telekinetic powers in combat.
If this feels rather sci-fi to you then, I think, that’s precisely the sort of vibe WotC want for their psionic powers as a way to differentiate them from magic.
In fact, the level 15 feature for the Psi Knight is Bulwark of Force which allows these characters to defend themselves and allies.
These rogues summon deadly blades from the power of their mind. You could see them as deadly assassins, never really unharmed and at high levels able to become invisible.
These sorcerers were born with strange powers that let them touch other minds. In Eberron, kalashtar dream of discovering the origins of this bloodline.
These characters learn the mastery of the mind. In fact, at level 14th they unlock Mind Over Body which equips one of the following benefits for each sorcery point spent;
- You can see any invisible creature within 60 feet of you, provided it isn’t behind total cover.
- You gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed, and you can hover.
- You gain a swimming speed equal to twice your walking speed, and you can breathe underwater.
- Your body, along with any equipment you are wearing or carrying, becomes pliable. You can move through any space as narrow as 1 inch without squeezing, and you can spend 5 feet of movement to escape from nonmagical restraints or being grappled.
You can get the latest Psi rules from Wizards.com.
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