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The Metabolist, a Psionic custom class for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition | D&D 5e

The Metabolist is a Psionic custom class for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition of my own creation. It is the psionic custom class that had class features similar to the way I will describe them below. So it is only fitting that I show off the almost finished version of the psionic metabolist first.

But before we get in to that, my fellow Nerdarchists, I have gathered together previous articles for your convenience if your are interested in what I have said previously about Psionics. Intro to Psionics and Psychic Warrior, Psychometabolist’s starting abilities and Class Features.  Psychoportationist, Psychokineticist,  Telepath, Claircognizant, Psychic Circuitry, and the Psychic Well.

And here is a short video of Nerdarchy’s thoughts about the legitimacy of Psionics and Balance of Powers.

The Metabolist, a Psionic custom class for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition | D&D 5e

Now that all the background information is out of the way, on to the main concept of Metabolists.

Some of you may know it by other names but it can be summed up by one concept- Alter Form. This discipline is completely about affecting the outside world through the alteration of the interior self, physically speaking.

They are the shifters, flesh crafters, and biological alchemists of Psionics. Growing reinforced skin and dense bones, slashing with talon-like claws, spitting poison, or creating a biological agent that renders those around you unconscious.  All of these fall within the realm of the Psionic Metabolist.

I made my own Psionics for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition because I wanted to show others how they could develop their own custom class without writing an entire separate book. 98% of the spell powers for the Psionic class are right out of the 5th edition spell list (I have written up 3 cantrips and 3 other powers). Everything else that gives the psionic feel is built into the class features of each discipline.

The Metabolist happens to be developed off of a combination of the Druid, Circle of the Moon and Sorcerer classes. Why those two class combinations? It will become apparent soon.

Onto the class features: Note- 1st through 20th level is the same for the Psionic class as it is in the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition Player’s Handbook for the Druid class when considering the following: Proficiency Bonus and Cantrips Known. For the Optional Spell Point rules that are used to fuel psionic powers look here (Dungeon Master’s Guide, pg. 288). Now onto the dungeons and Dragons 5th edition custom class: The Metabolist

Class Features

As a Psionicist, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points: Hit Dice: 1d6 per Psionicist level

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

Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4)+ your Constitution Modifier per Psionicist Level after 1st

Proficiencies: Armor: none

Weapons: daggers, darts, sling, quarterstaffs, clubs, light crossbow

Tools: none

Saving throws: Wisdom

Skills: Choose any two: Arcana, History,Insight, Perception, and Religion

Starting equipment similar to sorcerer

1st level

  • Class Feature- Discipline: Metabolist, gain Strength as a saving throw, add Animal Handling to your list of skill choices.
  • Spellcasting:
    • As per Sorcerer except Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your Psionicist ‘s spells and use the DMG’s (pg 288) spell point system rather than the spell slots.
    • Number of Spells known as per Sorcerer.
    • Spell list as per Metabolist (see below)
  •  Alter Form: Flesh Armor
    • your AC can now be calculated as AC 10 + your Dexterity Modifier + your Constitution Modifier. You also gain 1 hp now and 1 hp each time you gain a new level in Psionicist. Flesh Armor is always active even if you use another way to calculate AC or take another form you still benefit from the non-AC features of Alter Form. It is your choice whether or not to use a shapes natural armor or your own fabricated armor rather than the Flesh Armor when calculating AC. Just like everything else in 5th edition, different ways to calculate AC do not stack.

2nd Level

  • The Metabolist, a Psionic custom for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition | D&D 5e shapeshifting dopplegangerHumanoid Shapeshifter: You can use your action to magically assume the shape of a humanoid you have seen before (or sufficiently studied as per DM option). similar to Druid’s Wildshape ability but only humanoids. You can use this feature twice per short or long rest. You can assume Humanoid Shapes of 1/2 CR or lower but you cannot use their swim or fly speeds.The formula for CR max is 1/4 your level in Metabolist.
  • Exceptions: You do not gain any spellcasting feature from your new form. You may still cast spells and speak as long as the humanoid form has a mouth and hands/claws.

3rd Level

  • Metamagic: You become better at twisting spells to suit your need: Select two metamagic abilities except distance spell. While the metabolist does not have “Font of Magic” they may still spend their spell points on metamagic abilities but it must come from their available spell pool and they may not spend more points on metamagic in one round than they have levels in Metabolist

4th Level

  • Ability Score Improvement
  • Just a note: Your Humanoid Shapeshift progresses: Now the limit is CR 1 humanoids or lower as but cannot use any flight abilities.

5th Level

6th Level

  • Alter Form: Superior Alter Self. You gain the Alter Self spell. If you already had it you select another spell. In addition, your Alter Self spell can be cast as a bonus action and no longer requires concentration.

7th Level

8th Level

  • Ability Score Improvement
  • Just a Note: Your Humanoid Shapeshift progresses: Now the limit is CR 2 humanoids but you cannot use any flight abilities. You may now turn into monster type Giant as well as a humanoid

9th Level

10th Level

  • Metamagic: You become better at twisting spells to suit your need: Select two more metamagic abilities except distance spell

11th Level

12th Level

  • Ability Score Improvement
  • Your Humanoid Shapeshift progresses: Now the limit is CR 3 humanoids or lower.

13th Level

14th Level

  • Alter Form: Tough as Stone- Once per long rest you may activate Stoneskin without paying it’s cost in spell points or having it as one of your known spells

15th Level

16th Level

  • The Metabolist, a Psionic custom for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition | D&D 5eAbility Score Improvement
  • Your Humanoid Shapeshift progresses: Now the limit is CR 4 humanoids or Giants. You may now shift as a bonus action.

17th

  • Metamagic: You become better at twisting spells to suit your need: Select two more metamagic abilities except distance spell

18th Level

19th Level

20th Level

  • Ability Score Improvement
  • Your Humanoid Shapeshift progresses: Now the limit is CR 5 humanoids or Giants

The Metabolist Spells, a Psionic custom class for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition | D&D 5e

Spells are a work in progress. I will list the current working of the Metabolist’s spell list. The final list may change by the time the other discipline’s are complete.

Cantrips: Acid Splash, Blade Ward, Contact, Fatigue, Light, Poison Spray, Shocking Grasp, Spare the Dying, True Strike,

1st Level Spells: Animal Friendship, Compel Duel, Cure Wounds, Expeditious Retreat, False Life, Grease, Heroism, Inflict Wounds, Jump, Long Stride, Purify food/ drink, Shield, Sleep

2nd Level Spells: Alter Self, Barkskin, Darkvision, Detect Poison/Disease, Enlarge/ Reduce, Enhance Ability, Gentle Repose, Lesser Restoration, Pass without Trace, Prayer of Healing, Protection from Poison, Spider Climb, Zone of Truth

3rd Level Spells: Blur, Fear, Feign Death, Fly, Haste, Protection from Energy, Revivify, Slow, Waterbreathing

4th Level Spells: Deathward, Freedom of Movement, Polymorph, Stoneskin

5th Level Spells: Contagion, Destructive Smite, Greater Restoration, Insect Plague

6th Level Spells: Contingency, Find the Path, Globe of Invulnerability, Harm

7th Level Spells: Regenerate, Anti-magic Field

8th Level Spells: Holy Aura, Glibness, Clone

9th Level Spells: Shapechange, Foresight, Astral Projection

This is how my vision of the Psionic Class is looking so far as my custom Discipline, the Metabolist is concerned. The rest will have to wait.

Let me know what you think and until next time, Stay Nerdy!

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Nathan Riggins

I would say my manner, skill sets, and subject knowledge are incongruous but they all seem to find a home under the umbrella term of nerd. I have a passion for studying science, religion, art, games, crafting, wine/beer-crafting, sustainable living, and green chemistry. I really enjoy gaming with friends and writing about my experiences as a nerd.

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