Kryx RPGThemes

Psionicist

Psionicist

A human clad in simple robes walks along a forest path. A gang of goblins emerges from the brush, arrows trained on him, their smiles wide at their good fortune of finding such easy prey for the legion’s slave pens. Their smiles turn to shrieks of terror that freeze on their tongues as the traveler blasts their minds with psychic energy.

Silver hair shining, an elf laughs with exultation as weapons composed of light suddenly appear in her outstretched hands. Light flashes like her eyes as she enters a flurry of blades, swinging at a twisted giant, until at last her weapons overcome its hideous flesh.

Her fists a blur as they deflect an incoming hail of arrows, a hin springs over a barricade and throws herself into the massed ranks of hobgoblins on the other side. She whirls among them, knocking their blows aside and sending them reeling, until at last she stands alone.

Psionicists shun the world to turn their eyes inward, mastering the full potential of their minds and exploring their psyches before turning to face the world. They harness the power within themselves to create effects that exceed their bodies’ mental and physical capabilities.

Hermits and Outcasts

Psionicists are loners. Most discover the secrets of their power through vague references in tomes of lore or by ingratiating themselves to a master of the power.

In order to master their power, psionicists must first master themselves. They spend months and years in quiet contemplation, exploring their minds and leaving nothing uncovered. During this time, they shun society and typically live as hermits at the edge of society. A psionicist who studied under a master worked as a virtual slave, toiling away at mundane tasks in return for the occasional lesson or cryptic insight.

When psionicists finally master their power, they return to the world to broaden their horizons and practice their craft. Some psionicists prefer to remain isolated, but those who become adventurers aren’t content to remain on the fringe of the world.

Eccentric Minds

In order to maintain the strict discipline and intense self-knowledge needed to tap into their power, psionicists develop a variety of practices to keep their focus sharp.

These practices are reflected in taboos and quirks, strange little behaviors that govern a psionicist’s actions. These quirks are oaths or behavioral tics that help keep psionicists in the proper frame of mind while maintaining perfect control over their minds and bodies.

While these taboos are harmless, they help cast psionicists as outsiders. Few feel accepted by society, and fewer still care to become integrated with it. To psionicists, the life of the mind is where they feel most at home.

Quirks

Psionicist Quirks
d20Quirk
1You never cut your hair.
2You refuse to wear clothes of a specific color.
3You never say your name.
4You never wear footwear.
5You always wear a mask.
6You dye your hair bright blue or green.
7You pick a new name each day.
8You never immerse yourself in water.
9You sleep on bare earth.
10You never consume alcohol.
11You wear a veil to conceal your face.
12You always wear a specific piece of clothing.
13You refuse to light fires.
14You refuse to write things down, instead using pictograms.
15You never sit on a chair, preferring to stand or sit on the floor.
16You never answer to any name but your own.
17You write down the name of each creature you slay, and name ones that are unnamed.
18You consume only water and raw vegetables.
19You spend any money you earn within 1 week of gaining it.
20You often speak to an imaginary companion, and act only with its blessing.

To add some texture to your psionicist, consider the quirks your character has acquired. These behaviors have no game effect, but your character might become irritated or upset if forced to break them. They’re a great roleplaying tool to add character to the game. You can roll on or pick from the table below, or create your own quirks. Aim to create two quirks, to give them more of a chance to come into play. Finally, consider why your character chose these behaviors. What do they say about your character’s personality or background? Are they based on a specific incident or a belief?

Creating a Psionicist

When creating a psionicist, consider your character’s background. How did you become a psionicist? What first drew you to this practice? Are you self-taught, or did you have a master? If you had a master, what is that relationship like? Were you an orphan or a child left on a monastery’s threshold? Did your parents promise you to a master in gratitude for a service performed? Did you enter this secluded life to hide from a crime you committed? Or did you choose the life for yourself?

Consider also why you returned to the world from your hermitage. Did your master choose you for a particularly important mission? Perhaps you were cast out because of some violation of the community’s rules. Did you dread leaving, or were you happy to go? Is there something you hope to accomplish? Are you eager to return to your home?

Archetypes

Choose an archetype, which grants you features.

The powers of the mind are varied and limitless, and the psion learns how to unlock them. The psion learns to manifest psionics that alter themselves and the world around them. Each psion is unique in its capabilities, as its latent abilities are drawn out and shaped into the psionics that define the psion.

Health

Health Dice: 1d6 per level
Health: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution per level

Aptitudes

Armor: You are not capable with any armor.
Saving Throw: You are capable with Will saving throws and either Fortitude or Reflex saving throws.
Skills: You are capable with Psionics and five skills, one of which must be Weapons.

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a quarterstaff or (b) any simple weapon

  • (a) a scholar’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack

Psychic Orders

Psionics is a mysterious form of power within most worlds. Secretive orders study its origins and applications, while pushing the boundaries of what psionic power can achieve.

Each of these orders pursues a specific goal for psionic power. That goal shapes how the members of an order understand psionics.

Choose a Psychic Order

Choose a psychic order, which grants you features.

Avatars delve into the world of emotion, mastering their inner life to such an extent that they can manipulate and amplify the emotions of others with the same ease that an artist shapes clay. Known as Avatars, these psionicists vary from tyrants to inspiring leaders who are loved by their followers.

Avatars can bring out extreme emotions in the people around them. For their allies, they can lend hope, ferocity, and courage, transforming a fighting band into a deadly, unified force. For their enemies, they bring fear, disgust, and trepidation that can make even the most hardened veteran act like a shaky rookie.

The Psion

LevelAptitude BonusFeaturesCerebral DevelopmentsPsiDice LimitMana Limit
1st+1Psionic Power, Second Wind2311
2nd+1Feat (1), Psychic Focus, Strength of Mind4611
3rd+1Abilities Increase (1), Skilled (1)6911
4th+1Feat (2)81211
5th+2Skilled (2), Extra Action, Focused Concentration101522
6th+2Feat (3), Resilient121822
7th+2Abilities Increase (2), Skilled (3)142122
8th+2Feat (4)162422
9th+3Psychic Focus, Skilled (4)182733
10th+3Feat (5), Resilient203033
11th+3Abilities Increase (3), Skilled (5)223333
12th+3Feat (6)243633
13th+4Skilled (6), Timeless Body263944
14th+4Feat (7)284244
15th+4Abilities Increase (4), Skilled (7)304544
16th+4Feat (8)324844
17th+5Psychic Focus, Skilled (8), Psychic Disentanglement, Psychic Transcendence345155
18th+5Feat (9)365455
19th+5Abilities Increase (5), Skilled (9)385755
20th+5Feat (10)406055

Features

Psionic Power

As a you begin to unlock the potential of your mind you are able to tap into psychic energies, channeling them through your body and into the world. Psionics are able to grant you supernatural powers. Unlike normal spellcasting, which requires interaction with a weave or outside source of magic, psionics are powered by your own mind and body.

Power source

You can learn spells from themes you know in the Psionic power source.

Themes

You know one theme of your choice and the Charm or Courage theme.

Cerebral Developments

You gain two cerebral developments as shown on the Cerebral Developments column of the Psion table. A cerebral development grants one of the following options:

  • Learn a new maneuver from a theme you know. The maneuver must cost equal to, or less than, your dice limit. If the maneuvers costs 2 or more stamina dice, you must know a number of feats, fighting styles, maneuvers, or spells from the maneuver’s theme equal to the maneuver’s stamina dice cost minus 1.
  • Learn two cantrips from themes you know in your power source.
  • Learn a new spell from a theme you know in your power source. The spell must cost equal to, or less than, your mana limit. If the spell costs 2 or more mana, you must know a number of feats, fighting styles, maneuvers, or spells from the spell’s theme equal to the spell’s mana cost minus 1.
  • You can use two cerebral developments to learn a new theme. If it is from your power source, you learn a cantrip from it.

When you gain a level, you gain additional cerebral developments as shown on the Cerebral Developments column of the Psion table and you can

  • Choose a maneuver you know and replace it with another maneuver from a theme you know, following the restrictions above.
  • Choose a fighting style you know and replace it with another fighting style from a theme you know.
  • Choose a cantrip you know and replace it with another cantrip from a theme you know. You cannot replace a cantrip if you would then know zero cantrips from that theme.
  • Choose a spell that costs 1 or more mana and replace it with another spell that costs 1 or more mana from a theme you know, following the restrictions above.

Starting Maneuvers and Spells

You know three cantrips, two spells, and one spell or maneuver of your choice from the themes you know.

Psi

The Psion table shows how much psi you have to cast spells and use maneuvers. To cast a spell, you must expend 2 psi for each mana that the spell costs. To use a maneuver, you must expend a number of psi based on the maneuver’s dice cost. When using psi to use a maneuver, your stamina die are d8s.

You regain half your total psi when you finish a short rest and all expended psi when you finish a long rest.

Dice Limit and Mana Limit

There is a limit on the amount of psi you can spend to use a maneuver and the mana cost of a spell you cast. The limit is based on your level, as shown on the Dice Limit and Mana Limit columns of the Psion table.

High mana spells

Spells using 4 or 5 mana are particularly taxing to cast. Once you cast a spell using 4 mana, you can’t cast another spell using 4 mana until you finish a short or long rest and once you cast a spell using 5 mana, you can’t cast another spell using 5 mana until you finish a long rest.

Maneuver Ability

Strength is your maneuver ability for your maneuvers. You use your Strength whenever a maneuver refers to your maneuver ability. If your weapon is a finesse weapon, you can use your Dexterity instead of your Strength. The Weapons skill describes how to use a maneuver.

Spellcasting Ability

Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your spells, since you learn your spells through your connection to psychic energies and mastery of your own mind. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. The Psionics skill describes how to cast a spell.

Ritual Casting

You can cast a spell you know as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag.

Mental Spells

You cast spells with your mind. You do not need to make any gestures or speak any words when casting a spell. You still show visual signs of spellcasting such as:

  • Your body glows in a single color or in a spectrum of colors, as you choose.
  • The air sparkles in a multitude of colors around you.
  • Your eyes shine in a disturbing color (sickly green, brightly white, etc.) or absorb light, making it appear darker around you.
  • Your hands or head seems to burst into ghostly, white flames that shimmer.
  • Your shadow animates, growing larger or perhaps altering in shape and form.
  • You seem to fade from view for a split second, then reappear as if nothing happened.
  • All sources of light flicker and fade for a split second before the spell is complete.
  • A symbol of some sort (religious symbol, philosophical or even magical) appears over the caster, shining brightly. This symbol becomes larger and shines more the more mana a spell costs or the longer it takes to cast.
  • Shining motes of multicolored light stream from you in all directions, or towards the target or targets of the power, as you choose.
  • Energy seems to crackle off you, either in the form of lightning bolts, dropping flames, icicles or even sickly green drops of ectoplasm. The effect has no substance and causes no harm.
  • A host of spectral figures surround you for the duration of the spellcasting.
  • Roots shoot up from the ground and around you before disappearing.

Second Wind

You have a limited well of energy that you can draw on to protect yourself from harm. As an action, you can spend up to half your Health Dice (minimum 1). For each Health Die spent in this way, roll the die and add your Constitution. You can decide to spend an additional Health Die after each roll. You regain health equal to the total.

Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

A feat represents an area of expertise that gives a character special aptitudes. It embodies training, experience, and abilities beyond what a class provides.

You gain a feat of your choice from the general feats or from a theme you know.

You gain additional feats at 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, and 20th level.

When you gain a level, you can choose one of the feats you know and replace it with another feat that you could have learned when the replaced feat was chosen.

Psychic Focus

You can focus psionic energy on one of your themes to draw ongoing benefits from it. As an action, you can choose one of the themes you know and gain its psychic focus benefit. The benefit lasts until you are incapacitated or until you use another action to choose a different focus benefit.

You can only focus on one psychic focus at a time. Once you focus on a psychic focus, you can’t switch focuses for 10 minutes. Your focus ends if you are knocked unconscious. Using the psychic focus of one theme doesn’t limit your ability to use other themes.

  • Acid. You have resistance to acid damage.
  • Acid (Monk). You can shoot globs of acid as a ranged spell attack in place of an unarmed strike. The attack has a range of 5/20 meters. You add your Wisdom to its damage rolls. Its damage is acid, and its damage die is a d4. This die changes as you gain levels, as reflected in the Martial Arts feature of the monk.
  • Air. Your rate of descent while falling slows to 10 meters per round. If you land while focusing on this, you take no falling damage and can land on your feet.
  • Air. Your speed increases by 2 meters.
  • Air (Monk). You can shoot jets of wind as a ranged spell attack in place of an unarmed strike. The attack has a range of 5/20 meters. You add your Wisdom to its damage rolls. Its damage is bludgeoning, and its damage die is a d4. This die changes as you gain levels, as reflected in the Martial Arts feature of the monk.
  • Animal. You have advantage on Wilderness checks.
  • Antimagic. You have a +1 bonus to saving throws against magic.
  • Blood. You gain temporary health equal to your level until you lose this psychic focus.
  • Chaos. At the start of your turn you can move up to your speed in a random direction (roll a d8).
  • Charm. You have advantage on Persuasion checks.
  • Charm. Any enemy within 1 meter of you that makes a melee attack roll against creatures other than you does so with disadvantage.
  • Courage. You and allies within 2 meters of you who can see you have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
  • Courage. When you end your turn and didn’t move during it, you can use your reaction to allow one ally you can see within 5 meters of you to move up to half their speed, following a path of your choice. To move in this way, the ally mustn’t be incapacitated.
  • Forge. You know the trinket cantrip until you lose this psychic focus.
  • Death. You have resistance to necrotic damage.
  • Death. You gain temporary health equal to your level until you lose this psychic focus.
  • Death (Monk). You can shoot swirling necrotic energy as a ranged spell attack in place of an unarmed strike. The attack has a range of 5/20 meters. You add your Wisdom to its damage rolls. Its damage is necrotic, and its damage die is a d4. This die changes as you gain levels, as reflected in the Martial Arts feature of the monk.
  • Deceit. You have advantage on Deception checks.
  • Divination. You have advantage on Insight checks.
  • Divination. You have advantage on Perception checks.
  • Divination. You have darkvision with a range of 5 meters. If you already have darkvision, increase its range by 5 meters.
  • Divination. You understand the literal meaning of any spoken language that you hear and you understand any written language that you sees, but you must be touching the surface on which the words are written.
  • Earth. You gain a +1 bonus to Defense.
  • Earth. You gain tremorsense 3 meters and you have you advantage on saving throws and ability checks to avoid being pushed, pulled, or knocked prone.
  • Earth (Monk). You can hurl chunks of earth and stone as a ranged spell attack in place of an unarmed strike. The attack has a range of 5/20 meters. You add your Wisdom to its damage rolls. Its damage is bludgeoning, and its damage die is a d4. This die changes as you gain levels, as reflected in the Martial Arts feature of the monk.
  • Fate. You have advantage on initiative rolls.
  • Fate. Whenever you make a saving throw and fail, you can expend 2 psi to reroll the saving throw.
  • Fear. You have advantage on Intimidation checks.
  • Fear. The area in a 1-meter radius around you is difficult terrain for any enemy that isn’t immune to being frightened.
  • Fire. You have resistance to fire damage.
  • Fire (Monk). Tendrils of flame stretch out from your fists and feet. Your reach with your unarmed strikes increases by 1 meter and they deal fire damage instead of bludgeoning damage.
  • Fire (Monk). You can hurl fiery bolts of magic as a ranged spell attack in place of an unarmed strike. The attack has a range of 5/20 meters. You add your Wisdom to its damage rolls. Its damage is fire, and its damage die is a d4. This die changes as you gain levels, as reflected in the Martial Arts feature of the monk.
  • Fleshwarp. You have advantage on Athletics checks.
  • Fleshwarp. Your speed increases by 2 meters.
  • Fleshwarp. Your reach increases by 1 meter.
  • Fleshwarp. You have darkvision with a range of 5 meters. If you already have darkvision, increase its range by 5 meters.
  • Force. You gain a +1 bonus to Defense.
  • Force. You have resistance to force damage.
  • Fury. You have advantage on Strength checks.
  • Holy. You have advantage on Divinity checks.
  • Ice. You have resistance to cold damage.
  • Life. You have advantage on Medicine checks.
  • Life. You can use an action to touch a creature that has 0 health to stabilize it.
  • Light. You have resistance to radiant damage.
  • Light (Monk). You can shoot searing bolts of magical radiance as a ranged spell attack in place of an unarmed strike. The attack has a range of 5/20 meters. You add your Wisdom to its damage rolls. Its damage is radiant, and its damage die is a d4. This die changes as you gain levels, as reflected in the Martial Arts feature of the monk.
  • Luck. Whenever you make a saving throw and fail, you can expend 2 psi to reroll the saving throw.
  • Metabolism. You have advantage on Nimbleness checks.
  • Metabolism. You have advantage on Athletics checks.
  • Metabolism. Your speed increases by 2 meters.
  • Metabolism. You don’t require air, food, drink, or sleep, although you still requires rest to reduce being exhausted and still benefit from finishing short and long rests.
  • Mind. You have advantage on Psionics checks.
  • Mind. You have resistance to psychic damage.
  • Mind. You can telepathically speak in the mind of any creature that you can touch or see within 10 meters of you. If you already have telepathy, its range increases by 10 meters.
  • Mind. You can use an action to end one effect on yourself that is causing you to be charmed or frightened.
  • Planes. You have advantage on Arcana checks.
  • Plants. You have advantage on Wilderness checks.
  • Plants. You gain a +1 bonus to Defense.
  • Shadow. You have advantage on Stealth checks.
  • Poison. You have resistance to poison damage.
  • Shadow. You have darkvision with a range of 5 meters. If you already have darkvision, increase its range by 5 meters.
  • Shadow. You have resistance to cold or necrotic damage.
  • Shadow (Monk). You can shoot shadowy wisps of magical energy as a ranged spell attack in place of an unarmed strike. The attack has a range of 5/20 meters. You add your Wisdom to its damage rolls. Its damage is necrotic, and its damage die is a d4. This die changes as you gain levels, as reflected in the Martial Arts feature of the monk.
  • Spirit. You know the thaumaturgy cantrip until you lose this psychic focus.
  • Storm. You have resistance to concussion or lightning damage.
  • Storm (Monk). You can hurl bolts of lightning as a ranged spell attack in place of an unarmed strike. The attack has a range of 5/20 meters. You add your Wisdom to its damage rolls. Its damage is lightning, and its damage die is a d4. This die changes as you gain levels, as reflected in the Martial Arts feature of the monk.
  • Telekinesis. You gain a +1 bonus to Defense.
  • Teleportation. Your speed increases by 2 meters as you briefly teleport through space.
  • Time. You have advantage on initiative rolls.
  • Unholy. You have advantage on Divinity checks.
  • Water. You gain a swimming speed equal to half your walking speed.
  • Water (Monk). You can shoot jets of water as a ranged spell attack in place of an unarmed strike. The attack has a range of 5/20 meters. You add your Wisdom to its damage rolls. Its damage is bludgeoning, and its damage die is a d4. This die changes as you gain levels, as reflected in the Martial Arts feature of the monk.

At 9th level you can focus on two psychic focuses at a time. At 17th level you can focus on three psychic focuses at a time. However, you cannot activate two psychic focuses that have similar effects (such as two focuses that both give you a +1 bonus to Defense).

Overload

You can overload your psychic focus in a burst of energy. Your psychic focus, or one of them if you have multiple, immediately ends and you can choose one of the following effects:

  • When you cast a spell, you can impose disadvantage on a target’s saving throw against the spell.
  • You can cast a spell you know augmented to your mana limit (maximum 3 mana cost) without expending psi.
  • As a reaction, which you use when you take damage, you can halve that damage against you.

Once you overload your psychic focus, you can’t gain a psychic focus again until you finish a short or long rest. You can’t use this feature if you can’t use your psychic focus.

Strength of Mind

Even the simplest psionic technique requires a deep understanding of how psionic energy can augment mind and body. This understanding allows you to alter your defenses to better deal with threats.

Whenever you finish a short or long rest, choose a saving throw to become capable with, or proficient if you are already capable. You remain capable or proficient until you finish your next short or long rest.

Abilities Increase

Increase two abilities of your choice by 1 and one of your lowest two abilities by 1. If multiple abilities are tied for one of your lowest abilities, you can choose any of them. As normal, you can’t increase an ability above 5 using this feature.

Increase your abilities again at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level.

Choose a skill to become capable with, or proficient if you are already capable and are 5th level or higher.

At 5th level, you choose three skills to improve instead of one.

At 3rd, 5th, and 7th level, you also choose a Weapons skill to improve.

You cannot be capable with martial weapons and cannot be proficient with any weapon.

Extra Action

Reminder

There are some limits for what can be done with two actions. See Actions in combat section.

You can use two actions on your turn instead of one.

Focused Concentration

If you fail a saving throw to maintain your concentration on a spell, you can use your reaction to reroll the saving throw.

Once you use this feature, you must finish a long rest before you can use it again.

Resilient

Choose Fortitude, Reflex, or Will saving throws to become capable with, or proficient if you are already capable.

Choose another saving throw at 10th level.

Timeless Body

Your psionic energy sustains you so that you suffer none of the frailty of old age, and you can’t be aged magically. You can still die of old age, however.

Psychic Disentanglement

If you die while not on the ethereal plane, you discorporate instead of dying, leaving your possessions behind. You then appear as an incorporeal entity on the ethereal plane at the spot you died in the material plane at the start of your next turn. Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of a ghost, though you retain your personality, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. You retain the benefit of any feats and features from your class, species, or other source, but are unable to cast a spell that would allow you to traverse between planes. You retain your psi, though your maximum psi is a quarter of its normal amount and your dice limit and mana limit are half of their normal amount.

If you are able to return to the material plane, you can regrow your body after 2d6 days.

Psychic Transcendence

Your mastery of psionic power allows your mind to transcend your body. As an action, you can transcend your bodily limits. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:

  • You regain 1 psi at the start of your turn.
  • You gain resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
  • You automatically succeed on saving throws against spells and magical effects.
  • You have resistance to the damage of spells and magical effects.
  • You have a flying speed of 10 meters.
  • You emanate an aura of raw psychic energy in a 5-meter radius. Whenever an enemy creature starts its turn in the aura, the creature takes 10 psychic damage.

Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.