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Dungeons & Dragons 5e Adds Psionics

Tabletop article by Giaco Furino on Monday, November 25, 2019 - 16:30
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New playtest material brings back mental powers

Whether you want to slice down your foes with psychically augmented physical strikes, slice them with invisible force weapons, or cast spells bristling with telekinetic power, there are now options for you in Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition.

Wizards of the Coast just released a new Unearthed Arcana (their monthly research and development workshop where they playtest new ideas) focusing on a long-loved set of abilities: Psionics. The psychically-charged new content includes sub-classes for the fighter and rogue, and a new spell tradition for wizards, along with new feats for characters.

 

First up, for the Fighter there's the new subclass Psychic Warrior. The Psychic Warrior augments their powerful martial prowess with incredible new powers like Psychic Armament, which allows a fighter to shrug off some damage with the power of their mind alone. They also now have access to some telekinetic powers, and as they level up can become a Psychic Dreadnaught. Terrifying!

For the Rogue, we see a new subclass called the Soulknife, which (along with being an incredibly hard and badass name) gives players boons like an invisible psychic weapon, allows them to speak telepathically, and at level 17 allows them to slice their psychic knife through an enemies mind.

 

Finally, Psionics is now an arcane tradition for mages, offering them a bevy of new spells with tantalizing names like Ego Whip, Id Insinuation, and Psychic Crush. These spells all aim to deal damage and manipulate your foes through pushing, pulling, and stunning.

Added feats in the Psionic tradition include telekinesis and telepathy, which any class can access as they level up. All in all, this is a splashy Unearthed Arcana update, and answers the request that many fans have had for psychic powers since the release of the 5th Edition Player's Handbook.

 

Keep in mind all of this exciting new material is in playtest form, and isn't officially legal to play in D&D Adventurer's League, but it's good to go for home campaigns. After WOTC receives feedback from the player base about the class, they'll make some tweaks and adjustments, and it will likely work its way into an official D&D guide shortly thereafter.

Check out the latest Unearthed Arcana today to add a bit of mental power to your home D&D game.

What do you think of Psionic powers in RPGs? Are they a boon and add depth to your games, or do they bug you and break the immersion in your sword and sorcery adventures? Let us know in the comments below.

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Giaco Furino

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Giaco Furino is a screenwriter, writer, and editor living and working in Brooklyn, NY.