D&D 5e Psionics

Okay, so after working with Star Frontiers using D&D 5th edition rules,  I just realized that I needed to figure out Psionics. This will probably be in the DMG, but I don’t wanna wait (it wasn’t!!!).

So where do I begin, I have so many books on the topic, but they’re not specifically for 5th edition. And I like the old school way of doing it. So I am going to pull together some old AD&D books that I have, and stay away from the d20 stuff that has already been written. There are creatures with psionic abilities like  mindflayers and psyhic gray oozes in the Monster Manual, so I might just steal some stuff from there too. Ummm not steal, use as an inspirational resource. 🙂 This will be a first run, and after play testing I will update and expand this.

Psionics

To start, determine which players can receive Psionic powers.  I think they should be rare, and how do you determine rarity?

Should it be totally random, or simply based on the character build.  I’ll combine those two thoughts, and make it based on build and a random roll. Plus, every time you level-up, then maybe you’re mind gets awakened.

An increase in ability scores (intelligence,wisdom, or charisma) would also help to improve that likely hood of being psionically awakened. So if you have an magic item that improves those abilities make a psionic ability check.  If you happen to lose the magic item, or have a drop in one of the 3 abilities scores, then you lose all psionic abilities until the condition is negated or the magic item is returned.

Also, if you already have Psionic Powers, then you get to roll again to see if you awaken another type of power.

  1. Take Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma ability score modifiers and add them together
  2. Add your character’s level to that modifier
  3. This total is your Psionic Potential
  4. Now I’m going old school. Take 100, and subtract the modifier you just created.
    Roll d100 and if you roll at or above the number then the character has awakened their psionic ability
  5. So you rolled well, and your character has Psionic powers, now let’s figure out power and abilities
    • Choose 1 of the 5 Attack Modes: Psionic Blast, Mind Thurst, Ego Whip, Id Insinuation, Psychic Crush
    • Psychic defenses: You will also receive one power in the following order: 1.Mind Blank, 2.Thought Shield, 3.Mental Barrier, 4. Intellect Fortress, & 5. Tower of Iron Will
    • You also receive these spells in order: 1. detect thoughts, 2. levitate, 3. dominate monster, 4. plane shift
  6. When you level up, check again

As an example: A non-psionic Level 2 character(+2) with 16 Intelligence(+3), 12 Wisdom(+1) and 10 Charisma(+0) would have a total of +6 Psionic Potential. Not bad.
So 100-6=94.  Roll two d10s (percentile dice roll), and if you roll a 94,95, 96, 97, 98, 99 or 00, then your Player Character has Psionic Powers. [If you roll a 93 or below. Try again next time.]
You roll a 95, and then you would choose 1 of the 5 attacks, receive Mind Blank Defense, and Detect Thoughts Spell.

Psionic Powers

You will continue to add attack, defense and spell powers as you awaken more Psionic Powers. Here is a description of all the powers:

Attack Mode Powers

Psionic Blast
Psionic Blast is a wave of psychic brain force, that will also affect non-psionic creatures. Can be done once per day. Uses an Attack Action and movement, and causes psionic damage in a 30 foot cone to all creatures within the cone. DC15 intelligence saving throw, on  a failed save 2d8 psychic damage+proficiency+intelligence modifier and stunned for 1 minute. Defenders do not receive the benefit of cover.

Mind Thurst
Mind Thrust attacks a single psionic creature within a 300 foot radius. DC 15 intelligence saving throw, and causes 4d8 + proficiency + intelligence modifier psychic damage to psionic creatures and they fall prone.

Ego Whip
Ego Whip attacks a single psionic creature within a 300 foot radius, DC 15 wisdom saving throw, and causes 4d8 + proficiency + intelligence modifier psychic damage to psionic creature, and is incapacitated till the end of your next turn.

Id Insinuation
Id Insinuation attacks a single creature within a 300 foot radius. Can be used once per day. Uses an Attack Action, and attacks any creature you can see.  They must make a DC15 charisma saving throw, on a failed save causes 4d8 + proficiency + intelligence modifier psychic damage

Psychic Crush
Psychic Crush attacks a single psionic creature within a 300 foot radius. Can be used once per day. Uses an Attack action, and they must make a DC15 intelligence saving throw, and Psionic creatures become vulnerable to psychic damage.

Defense Mode Powers

These powers are chosen in order each time you awaken Psionic powers:

  1. Mind Blank. Reaction.  Once per day, damage reduction from psychic damage, and won’t be stunned. (damage halved)
  2. Thought Shield. Reaction.  Once per turn, damage reduction from psychic damage, and won’t be stunned. (damage halved)
  3. Mental Barrier. Reaction.  Once per turn, damage reduction from psychic damage, and won’t be stunned. Attacking creature takes other half of damage on a failed DC 10 intelligence save.
  4. Intellect Fortress. Reaction.  Once per turn, damage reduction from psychic damage, and won’t be stunned. Attacking creature takes other half of damage on a failed DC 15 intelligence save.
  5. Tower of Iron Will. Reaction.  Once per day, as a reaction to a psionic attack, damage is reduced to 0.  The attacking creature takes all psychic damage on a failed DC 20 intelligence save.

Psionic Spells

These spells are chosen in this order each time you awaken Psionic powers. Use these even though you may not have a spell casting ability.  They require no verbal, somatic or material components to cast. These spells do not use spells slots.

  1. Detect thoughts – use at will
  2. Levitate – use at will
  3. Dominate monster – Requires a short rest to be used again.
  4. Plane shift (self only) – Requires a long rest to be used again.
  5. Invisibility – Requires a short rest to be used again.

Please let me know what you think.

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