Play Your Next 5E D&D Game as a Mind Killer
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted focus their mental energies to a razor’s edge and dissect the concept of a mind killer for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The Soulknife Roguish Archetype in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything put a splinter in their mind and they take mix and match some 5E D&D class features to come up with a mind killer character build guide focused on stabbing enemies in the brain with Psychic Blades. So let’s get into it.
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Behind the CBG — Mind Killer
Every CBG we create considers the journey as much as the final outcome. We aim to present a guide suitable for any level of 5E D&D play whether you’re pursuing an epic campaign from start to finish, starting beyond 1st level or choosing a character for a one shot. Then we take those concepts and develop an NPC or creature version of the character build for DMs to incorporate into their games. All of this gets packaged up and laid out in a PDF you can find over at Dungeon Master’s Guild. We’ve got dozens of pay what you want products at DMG, many of them best sellers so if you want to check those out start with the Mind Killer here.
All about the character story
Each CBG starts with a character concept sticking to a particular schtick, from the Mind Breaker’s psyche crushing smites to the Mind Killer’s supreme mental focus. Sometimes puns and pop culture references instigate the creation of a CBG too. This one came about simply through curiosity about the Soulknife’s Psychic Blades feature and how it might mesh with some other class features. The goal was creating a character who leans heavily into one particular feature and folds additional utility into their journey from 1st to 20th level. Multiclass combinations arise from this by default but there’s a little extra multiclass dive to mitigate one of the character’s drawbacks. As DM’s Guild Brand Manager and longtime Nerdarchy friend Lysa Penrose puts it they’re each like their own unique class for 5E D&D.
The Mind Killer finds common ground with the College of Whispers bard, which has a class feature with the same name. Their Psychic Blades stack on extra damage and incorporating Way of the Shadow monk transforms this rogue into a versatile adventurer with a variety of sneaky mind tricks. As always we find a narrative thread to follow through the level progression and the mind killer takes shape around its roots as a changeling in our imaginations. This character very quickly develops a skill set focused on deception and infiltration and these aspects grow more powerful and defined as they gain levels.
Mind Killer NPC for 5E D&D
Full disclosure — the NPCs and creatures we make in CBGs are some of my favorite bits of 5E D&D content to create. We step back and look at the character build to find the standout features that feel like signature abilities. The juice! From there we consider what sort of person or people would possess or gain these abilities and build a stat block around them. More often than not the section of a CBG For Dungeon Masters presents a generic creature. A Mind Killer took shape as a shapeshifting infiltrator with mysterious motivations. Do they offer their services to anyone with enough coin? Are their activities restricted to a larger organizations goals? We leave this for DMs to decide but as an adversary a Mind Killer makes a rather implacable foe!
Covert Psion. Mind killers can be anyone and anywhere, blending into populations to carry out whatever esoteric goals they pursue. Supreme discipline and focus allows mind killers to assume the persona of any other humanoids and manifest deadly weapons of psychic energy. Mind killers make incredibly effective assassins and spies and there are whispers they are agents of a mysterious organization but its goals and if it even exists at all remain uncertain.
“Ego Edge. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 60 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (4d6 + 6) psychic damage and the target must succeed on a DC 17 Intelligence saving throw or suffer disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws, and it can’t cast spells until the start of the mind killer’s next turn.”
If your next 5E D&D game needs a character with with supreme mental discipline and deadly psychic power — whether you’re the DM or a player — check out the Mind Killer here.