A new UA to take our mind off of things. ANd its about the mind, interestingly enough.

Background

This UA packet starts with some history and assumptions about psionics. which is an interesting take. I don’t remember that from last time.

They also make note that they cut the psionic wizard and a few spells from their document. IIRC and w/o looking things up, the spells cut are the ones that dealt in mental combat. And the psionic wizard was the weakest of the set as it could randomly turn into a ball of psionic light?

As part of their argument for what they’ve done, they list every instance of how psionics have been used in 5e, which is an interesting sign.

Also, getting rid of the mystic. Which is sad, but expected

Looking at these, I’m probably going to have to actually get out the old psionics UA to make useful comparisons. Le sigh. Apparently, though, they’re going to try divorcing psionics from the class level and make them more accessible by all. Noble move.

Fighter: Psi Knight

3rd level: Psionic Talent- This ability is very different from its previous incarnation. First of all, it’s flexible. The earlier version had you pick offense and Defense once a day This new version has you choose as your use it, which is better.

Also, they have an interesting mechanic for tracking the psionic power. I’ve heard of this mechanic before in other games, but I don’t think I’ve seen it before. The more useful the ability is, the less you get to use it, which is a cool balance.

The defensive ability is very similar in wording, but it used to be a flat d10, and now it is a d6+Int to start. So if you have a +2 Int, the average value is comparable. Rewarding intelligence feels right for Psionics.

The offensive ability is stronger than the old version, but it does drain your psionic power. Probably fair.

There is a new ability, one for movement. And it’s interesting. The actual power is okay, netting you an additional 2 x (Int+ psychic die roll), but the crazy line is at the end “This extra distance costs you only 1 foot of movement.”

Thanks to Chaotica, I’ve studied how jumping works in D&D. It’s capped by your movement speed. This uncaps it. I don’t know what shenanigans this enables, but the jank is there.

I would say Jump or Boots of Striding and Springing do not increase this psychic boost.

7th Level: Telekinetic Adept – Starting to get jedi up in here. Stacking control onto damage is great. I love the weasel word of pushing people “horizontally” which means “You can’t toss people 10 feet up to do a die of fall damage.” This ability is going to be so fun.

The second add on, of force lifting, needs some weasel words indicating what damage it deals when things collide.  This power is too pricey to be using constantly, but I can think of many many puzzles where this is the ace in the hole.

10th level: Psi-Enhanced Metabolism Damage resistances are nothing to sneeze at, and for an intrigue heavy campaign, these are the good ones.

15th level: Bulwark of Force- this used to be the level 10 feature. They’ve tweaked it slightly, most notably that it’s not aura anymore.

18th level: Telekinetic Master- decrement your psionics die to cast telekinesis. Straightforward.

I think that this class looks like a lot of fun to play. I think there needs to be some clarification, such as if a player can use their recovery when their die has been expended, and a few other bits and bobs.

Looking ahead, the Psionic die is part of all of these classes, so there may be some synergy with those. We’ll see. But I’m excited to play this class.

Rogue: Soulknife

This was a super OP class in the old UA, a rouge designed soley to deal damage. we’ll see what’s changed.

3rd Level: Psionic Talent- No damage this time, which is a fascinating reversal. Knack gives a chance to fix a failed skill check, which is going to play merry hell with how some DMs interact with checks, I guarantee.

the second ability is for communication. I’m not sure what I think about that. It could be very useful, but it’s just a ribbon. 3rd level is a weird place to put a ribbon.

3rd level Psychic Blades- Ah, this is why they can put ribbon into the previous ability. It’s not the only one they get at 3rd level. Ah, psi-knives. So tasty. I think to get around dual wielding rules, they gave it its own attack, which I think adds ability damage instead of using the off hand attack rules.

9th Level Soul Blades- 2 add-ons to the psychic blades (although one is just a flavored new power).

Rogues that can increase the number of their attack rolls after they’ve missed remind me of Alisha. And they scare me. Also like Alisha :p

Also Teleportation, the best superpower. There’s a lot of places a rogue can get with this power. Inspired by Critical Role? Maybe!

13th Level: Psionic Veil- 10 minutes of Invisibility gets the job tone. The only change between this and the last version is tying it to the Psionic Die.

17th Level: Rend Mind- Speaking of scary things. I think it’s interesting that this save DC is based off of Dexterity instead of Intelligence. I feel that might be a typo.

I like this rogue better than the previous version. I still don’t see myself playing one, but I think it’s better.

Sorcerer: Psionic Soul

1st level: Psionic Talent

Psionic Discovery. Okay, so with this, you can spend 10 minutes and pick up See Invisibility, or Comprehend Languages, two super useful spells that would suck to spend a spell training as a sorc, but to be able to get on tap? Amazing.

Psychic Sorcery. First, this means you can 100% cast a spell under water. Let’s get that mentioned straight away. As for the rest, there is no better spell to cast absolutely invisibly than catapult. Other than that, it depends on your DM and how they deal with components. Basically, this ability says “Don’t take that one metamagic, you’ve basically got that already”

Telepathic Speech- This is exactly the same as the rogue’s. Wait, no. This is 1 creature for X hours within X miles, not X creatures for 1 hours within 1 mile. So… still a ribbon.

6th Level: Psychic Strike- Psionic die of damage. Eh… There’s an argument that every bit helps, I guess. This feels underwhelming.

14th Level: Mind Over Body- Eh… this seems weak, until you realize that for 1 sorc point, you’re getting a concentration-less fly for 1-10 hours as a bonus action. Plus, here’s 3 other solutions to your problems that might be worth using to fix issues. So that’s neat.

18th Level: Psychic Aura- Meh.

This okay. Doesn’t excite me. I don’t know if I like it more or less than the Aberrant Soul. I didn’t like a lot of the feel of that, but I know other people did. idk.

Spells

No clue on these spells, although I think Mindsliver may have increased a die size.

Feats

Let’s start with the last one first. Wild Talent gives people a Psionic Die. AFAICT, this feat makes the Psionic die scale outside of class, but the ones from the classes are limited by that classes levels.

I think the replenishment only ever happens once, but they need some weasel words.

2 new Psion abilities. first, you get to stack you psionic die onto an ability check. I’ll have to run the numbers again, but I think that brings a stupid build of mine up to an average roll of 66 for an Arcana check.

The second lets you replace a damage die from an attack. I don’t know how often I would use it, but it’s there I guess.

This is the first 5e feat that counts as a pre-req for other feats. I think that’s noteworthy. Also, you can up any ability with it, so it’s always in the budget.

On to other feats.

Metabolic Control

Okay, 2 things here. First, you can decrease a die to not have to eat for the day. That is huge in certain styles of gameplay. The consuming water is also nifty, because the drier it gets, the harder it is to find water and the more you have to drink.

The second ability lets you get a short rest in 10 minutes, which is powerful. Out of the classes with innate psionics, Fighters would like this a lot to get action surge and second wind back, but there is nothing super game breaking ATM, until the warlock gets psionics. Monk would also be OP.

Also this feat increases any physical stat

Telekinetic

This feat is much improved from it’s previous version. Before, you got mage hand, now, if you could cast mage hand, it becomes super mage hand. Also, you can do some battlefield control that’s based (probably) on your spellcasting modifier.

Also this feat increase any mental stat

Telepathic

An extra effect from the old version, you get the telepathic communication, but you can also decrement your die to cast detect thoughts. So if you’re into that….
Also this feat increase any mental stat

Tower of Iron Will

Can boost a failed save to success. I don’t know If I would ever take this, but it could be useful, I guess. The weakest out of these feats.

Also this feat increases any physical stat

Skraz

I think the Wizard was cut because the archetypes are designed, you can’t make a 100% psionic wizard, because they have that first level before they pick a school.

All in all, I think these are good changes, and are strong additions to the game. I think there are some places these rules need polish, but they get a mark of approval from me, if that counts for anything.

It’d be interesting to run a modern game, where Psionics were the only magics allowed, and people could hide as civilians in the modern world. idk, just a thought.

 

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