WARNING! WARNING! Homebrew Disclaimer: While they may lift things without raising their hands and light things on fire with their mind these are Kineticists inspired by Dungeons & Dragons as well as my own input on what this discipline should be about. My goal for psionics and Psychic Warrior is combining the eloquence of second edition AD&D and the game balance of 3.5 D&D with the streamlined playability and feel of 5E D&D. I hope this all simplifies down to a playable class on par with the other 12 classes and that DMs and players won’t run into the woods screaming in terror when they read it.
Class features of the psionic Psychokineticist
As this is part 4 of a multipart series you may want to check these out first, Intro to Psionics and Psychic Warrior, Psychometabolist’s starting abilities and Class Features and Psychoportationist. For now let us move onward to Psychokineticist and get this fire started!
This discipline’s powers are all about physically moving things with the mind, from the smallest atom to the largest rock. Think Firestarter, Magneto (except psionics move everything) or Dark Phoenix telekinetically assembling and disassembling matter.
Think fire bolt, fabricate, ray of frost, Bigby’s forceful hand — you may be familiar with those abilities as 5E D&D spells and they work in a similar fashion. This discipline is like a mashup of exothermic, freezing and 3D printing. Please keep that in mind as I go through the class features.
General class feature of Psionics and Psychic Warrior
Psychic Well. Mechanics explained, finally. If you have read my other articles you may have seen my mention of psychic well. The psychic well is the mental location of the mind’s purposeful construction or the mind’s reaction to damage that lead to the psionicist’s manifestation of power. I am still working out the exact power levels of the psionics general powers and the amount of points per power but for the specific class features like Alter Form, Teleport, and Telekinesis I am using points — I call them drams for flavor.
Psionic characters will start with 5-6 drams (points) as a level 1 Psionicist. Altering one’s form to that of another race of the same size class may be 1 dram (point) while a more powerful Alter form may be 2-3 drams (points). Using a psionic power at level 1 will cost 1 dram. Using a power at a higher level will cost more
Refilling the Psychic Well. Every time the psionicist takes a short rest they gain back 1 dram per level + their Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). They completely refill the Psychic Well after a long rest.
Every psionicist and Psychic Warrior is different but they all require some amount of preparation each day to maintain their psychic well. It is usually some type of patterned activity like an exercise, meditative trance, staring at a fire or contemplating nature. Really whatever you want to say your character is doing to maintain their Psychic Well that fits with their background.
Gains Strength as a saving throw. Athletics is added to their skill selection list.
At 1st level the psionicist’s mage hand is stronger than the norm. They can use their tool sets and manipulate objects from a distance while using any of their skills that require hands like blacksmithing, lockpicking or painting. If a skill they know requires a tool set the character must still use the tool to gain their proficiency bonus.
At 3rd level the psionicist can break apart items or bring broken pieces back together. Unoccupied items get no saving throw. Items held by another person get a Wisdom saving throw. If the target is a weapon held by another creature a failed save reduces the damage die used for the weapon. Example: a sword that does 1d8 damage and then fails the saving throw would be reduced to 1d6 damage the first round. The second round Manipulate Matter is used the die is further reduced to the next lower die of damage (1d4), and so on until it drops below 1 damage and is broken beyond use. It can still be repaired by spells, skills or powers. Concentration is required.
At 6th level you can construct objects per the fabricate spell. Fine and delicate crafting still requires tools but very little time is required.
At 8th level the psionicist’s mind muscle has become stronger through training and they are now able to push and pull heavier objects than they were able to move before. Different levels of the power will require different dram amounts from the Psychic Well.
At 9th level you can make objects as per the fabricate spell but tools are no longer required. Also if you have previously used the Matter Manipulation power on an object then you do not need the specific tool proficiency to construct it but you do not get the proficiency bonus either.
At 13th level the psionicist has mastered the mental movement of objects. They can do tasks telekinetically which were impossible at earlier levels.
Keep in mind these powers are available to non psychokineticists but a kineticist can manifest these powers at a smaller cost. Similarly each class has powers they manifest at a reduced cost compared to the general psionics class. You may be asking where is the fire, where is the freezing, where is my detonate? Disintegration?
I gave the Firestarter path of abilities access to most of the fire spells in the Player’s Handbook, plus they can reverse them all to be cold damage instead. It is like being a fire cleric and evocation specialist without all of those other spells missing the words fire, flaming, burning, scorching, freezing, ice and so on. Their major psionic benefit is gaining access to these spells as powers since they are very similar to the spells found in the Players Handbook. Their class feature is access to these fire and ice spells as psionic powers.
Here are some examples of what I mean when I say they get access to fire spells. Note if a spell does fire damage it can be reversed.
Talents/cantrips: fire bolt, ray of frost
1st level power gained at 1st: burning hands, faerie fire
2nd level power gained at 3rd: flame blade, flaming sphere
3rd level power gained at 5th: fireball, elemental weapon (fire or ice — ice being a paraelemental)
4th level power gained at 7th: conjure minor elemental, fire shield
5th level power gained at 9th: cone of cold, conjure elemental (fire or ice)
6th level power gained at 11th: disintegrate, Otiluke’s freezing sphere
7th level power gained at 13th: firestorm, delayed blast fireball
8th level power gained at 15th: incendiary cloud, control weather
9th level power gained at 17th: meteor swarm (comets made of ice on fire), detonate (similar in concept of the 2E AD&D psionics power but can be used on living targets. It is like a mashup of power word kill and fireball, when they die they explode like a fireball, or it can blow up a 10 foot cube of space around them as per fireball).
These powers or spells are added to the Firestarter’s power list when ever they gain the appropriate level. I may change these out as I convert over more of the psionics powers but this is it for now.[NERDITOR’S NOTE: A new Unearthed Arcana dropped as I was freshening this post up April 14, 2020. Here’s a link!]