D&D 5E Playtest: Psion

Image result for dnd psion

Here I am taking a shot at the bane of D&D class design from the very beginning – a psionic class. I feel like, deep down, everyone kind of wants one, but psionic classes have consistently been the most problematic in each iteration of D&D. So of course I wanted to take a stab at it.

Design goals: I wanted the psion to be a pure caster class, and to be most similar to the warlock in terms of how it functions. I liked using the warlock’s flexible spell slots rather than the fixed ones that a sorcerer or wizard gets. I also decided ahead of time that psionics would just be another kind of magic – so counterspell and dispel magic and similar effects will all affect psionics. Psionics differ, though, in that they do not have verbal, material, or somatic components. This is a big advantage, and so I balanced that out by requiring most psionic abilities to use concentration – so ideally the psion should have fewer requirements, but will probably always be concentrating on an effect. Overall, I wanted the psion to be more limited than in many past iterations – to be more like what you see in movies or Anime, focusing on the ‘big four’ of telekinesis, telepathy, pyro/cryokinesis, and biokinesis or the physical adept. I also wanted another Intelligence-based pure caster to join the wizard.


Powerful Minds

Psions are driven by iron discipline and self-mastery. A psion will spend as much time researching her inner life seeking out secrets as a wizard would spend researching new spells and secrets of the outer world in libraries. Through mastery of her inner world, a psion has the ability to mater the outer world as well.

Some psions are trained when they show a talent for one of the disciplines – others manifest innate abilities and are self-trained. In a world like Athas, or Eberron, psions might be members of particular schools where they are taught a particular mental regimen. In other worlds, they might be loners, drawing on inner reserves to accomplish amazing feats.

Creating a Psion

Quick Build

First, make Intelligence your highest ability score, followed by Constitution.

Psion Table

Psion Level Features Cantrips Known Psionic Spells Known Psi Points Slot Level
1 Psionic Discipline, Discipline Ability 2 2 1 1
2 Discipline Ability, Telepathy 2 3 2 1
3 Discipline Ability 2 4 2 2
4 Ability Score Improvement 3 5 2 2
5 Strength of Mind  3 6 2 3
6 Discipline Ability 3 7 2 3
7 3 8 3 4
8 Ability Score Improvement 3 9 3 4
9 3 10 3 5
10 Consumptive Power 4 10 4
11 Potent Psionics 4 11 4
12 Ability Score Improvement 4 11 4
13 4 12 5
14 Discipline Ability 4 12 5
15 4 13 5
16 Ability Score Improvement 4 13 6
17 4 14 6
18 Mind Over Matter 4 14 6
19 Ability Score Improvement 4 15 7
20 Psionic Mastery 4 15 7

Class Features

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d6 per psion level

Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constitution modifier

Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 4) + your Constitution modifier per level after 1st


Armor: Light armor

Weapons: Simple weapons

Tools: None

Saving Throws: Constitution and Intelligence

Skills: Choose two skills from Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics,  History, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Religion


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a scholar’s pack or (b) an adventurer’s pack
  • Leather armor, any simple weapon, a dagger

Psionic Discipline

At 1st level, you are trained in a psionic discipline and have developed basic psionic abilities. Your psionic discipline grants you special abilities at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 10th and 14th levels.

Psionic Discipline Table

In order to maintain your psionic abilities, you must discipline yourself. Roll randomly, or choose one of the disciplines below (or come up with one with your DM):

  1. You must maintain a strict vegan diet.
  2. You cannot kill (though you need not be a pacifist, and don’t have to prevent others from killing)
  3. You use pain to focus your concentration
  4. You must remain fastidiously clean at all times
  5. You cannot wash in anything but running, natural water
  6. All of your food must incorporate an incredibly hot pepper that no one else can even tolerate
  7. You must deny yourself sleep each night, only taking perhaps 3 hours (requiring Con saves to avoid levels of exhaustion)
  8. You must deny yourself normal comforts
  9. For 3 days you fast, and then for 3 days you are allowed to eat. You can only drink water
  10. You must meditate entirely alone for an hour each day – no one can be within 100’ of you, and it must be quiet
  11. You must abstain from any sexual activity, and can never have a family or children
  12. You can never own more possessions than you can carry on your person

Psionic Abilities

Psionic Spellcasting

Psionics is a spellcasting discipline. Psions are arcane spellcasters who access spells and spell-like abilities through inner strength and discipline more than by studying ancient lore or drawing on hereditary power.


You know two cantrips of your choice from the list associated with your discipline. You learn new cantrips as defined by the Psion Table. When you learn a new cantrip, you can also switch one known cantrip for a new one.

Spell Slots

To case one of the psionic spells that you know, expend one psi point. The cost is always one psi point, regardless of spell level, and the spell is always considered to be cast at the highest level possible based on the psion table.

Spells Known of 1st Level or Higher

Spellcasting Ability

Your spellcasting ability is Intelligence.

Spell Save DC = 8 + your Intelligence modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Spell Attack Modifier = your Intelligence modifier + your proficiency bonus


At 2nd level, with a bonus action a psion is able to establish a telepathic connection with a willing creature within 30′. This connection does not require concentration to maintain. If the psion and the creature to whom she is connected don’t share a language, they can still share images and impressions enough to communicate basic ideas. This ability automatically fails with any creature with an Intelligence lower than 3.

Ability Score Improvement

The psion can increase one ability score by 2 at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, up to a maximum of 20.

Strength of  Mind

At 5th level, the psion’s discipline has given her resistance to psychic damage. She also has advantage on saving throws against abilities that inflict the frightened or stunned condition.

Consumptive Power

At 10th level, when a psion has no more psi points, she can draw on her physical reserves instead. As a bonus action, she can spend 5 hit points in order to generate 1 psi point.

Potent Psionics

When the psion reaches 11th level, she is able to augment her attacks with psychic energy. When she hits with a melee or missile weapon attack, she can deal extra psychic damage. For each psi point she spends, she deals 1d8 bonus psychic damage.

Mind Over Matter

At 18th level, a psion’s life of discipline begins to change her body and mind in new ways. She no longer needs to sleep, and can benefit from a long rest simply by sitting quietly and meditating for 6 or so hours. She also no longer needs to eat more than once a week, and can live for much longer without water as well. Finally, as a bonus action she can spend a psi point to enable her to roll hit dice in order to recover hit points even when not taking a short rest.

Psionic Mastery

I need ideas here too.


Spell List

Cantrips blade ward, eldritch blast (?), mage hand, shape water
1st level feather fall, mage armor, shield, tenser’s floating disk, unseen servant
2nd level arcane lock, hold person, knock, levitate, shatter, silence
3rd level conjure barrage (?), erupting earth, fly, melf’s minute meteors
4th level control water (?), fabricate, otiluke’s resilient sphere, staggering smite (?)
5th level animate objects, bigby’s hand, hold monster, telekinesis, wall of force

Telekinetic Abilities

As a bonus activation, a telekinetic psion can activate her telekinesis. As an action, she can then attempt to lift or throw an object or, at higher levels, a creature.

1st level At 1st level, a telekinetic psion is able to lift up to 10lbs by concentrating. She can throw objects up to 30’. Her attack roll uses her spell attack modifier and deals 1d4 damage, modified by Intelligence.
2nd level At 2nd level, she can now lift up to 25lbs, and her attack deals 1d6 damage.
3rd level She can now lift up to 100lbs, and her attack deals 1d8 damage. She can also attempt to move up to Medium-sized creatures. They resist with a Strength save against her spellcasting DC. If your target fails, you can lift them 10’ with an action, or push them 30’.
6th level 500lbs, and her attack deals 2d8 damage. She can attempt to move Large sized creatures, though they have advantage on their Strength save.
10th level Similar to the telekinesis spell: 1000lbs. Thrown objects still deal 2d8 damage. She can also attempt to lift a Huge creature, though a creature larger than the psion receives advantage on their Strength save.
14th level At 14th level, a telekinetic psion can attempt to lift 10,000lbs, and can also attempt to lift a Gargantuan creature. Throw objects now deal 3d8 damage.


Spell List

Cantrips friends, message, minor illusion, vicious mockery
1st level cause fear, charm person, command, compelled duel, comprehend languages (spoken only), dissonant whispers, silent image, sleep
2nd level calm emotions, detect thoughts, enthrall, see invisibility, suggestion, zone of truth
3rd level clairvoyance (?), fear, hypnotic pattern, major image, nondetection, sending, tongues
4th level charm monster, compulsion, confusion, hallucinatory terrain (?), phantasmal killer
5th level dominate person, dream, hold monster, mislead, modify memory, rary’s telepathic bond, synaptic static (?)

Telepathic Abilities

As a bonus action, a telepathic psion can initiate a mind link with a willing creature. Even if she and the creature don’t share a language, they can exchange images and impressions well enough to communicate on a basic level. This ability automatically fails if used on a creature with Intelligence lower than 3.

1st level Establish a mind link, as the kalashtar can do in Races of Eberron. If you are a kalashtar, the range on your mind link extends to 90’.
2nd level Your mind link now has a range of 120’
3rd level You can establish a group mind link with up to 6 intelligent creatures at a time within 30’ of you.
6th level Group mind link 60’
10th level Group mind link 120’
14th level You can establish a group mind link with up to 6 intelligent creatures anywhere in the Material Plane


Spell List

Cantrips chill touch, create bonfire, frostbite, produce flame, ray of frost
1st level burning hands, chromatic orb (cold or fire), ice knife, searing smite
2nd level continual flame, flame blade, flaming sphere, heat metal, pyrotechnics, scorching ray
3rd level elemental weapon (fire or frost), fireball, flame arrows, protection from energy (fire or frost)
4th level fire shield, ice storm, wall of fire
5th level cone of cold, flame strike, immolation

Pyrokinetic Abilities

At will, a pyrokinetic psion can ignite flammable material or freeze about a square inch of liquid with an action.

1st level A pyrokinetic psion is able to heat metal as the spell, but it only deals 2d4 damage to begin. She can also generate a 10’ aura of comfortable temperature – cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. This temperate aura does not require concentration, but the psion must be awake.
2nd level Heat metal, as the spell but 2d6 damage. Temperate aura 20’
3rd level Heat metal, as the spell. Temperate aura 30’
6th level Heat metal, 2d10 damage (metal loses shape). Temperate aura 60’
10th level Heat metal, 2d12 damage (metal begins to melt). Temperate aura 90’
14th level Heat metal, 3d12 damage (metal turns to slag). Temperate aura 120’

Physical Adept

Spell List

Cantrips blade ward (?), primal savagery, resistance, true strike
1st level expeditious retreat, jump, longstrider, mage armor, thunderous smite
2nd level alter self, barkskin, blur, enhance ability, enlarge/reduce (?), misty step (?), pass without trace (self), spider climb
3rd level aura of vitality (?), blinding smite, gaseous form, haste (self), thunder step, water breathing, water walk
4th level aura of life, freedom of movement, polymorph (self), staggering smite, stoneskin
5th level far step (?), passwall, skill empowerment, swift quiver

Physical Adept Abilities

Actually I need some ideas here.

1st level
2nd level You become proficient in Acrobatics, Athletics, or Stealth if you are not already
3rd level
6th level Additional ability score improvement (Str, Dex, or Con)
10th level
14th level Additional ability score improvement (Str, Dex, or Con)


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