DMs Guild Review – The Psion Class

The Psion Class is a supplement by Stratos Fotakis.

Psionics is part of D&D that hasn’t been officially implemented yet in 5th Edition. There have been various takes through the Unearthed Arcana articles, some of them being good. This supplement presents a full Psion class with 5 subclasses, each focusing on a different aspect of psionics.

Before the class is presented, there is a very interesting segment about how psionics is different from magic, which means magic effects can’t necessarily affect psionic ones. The segment touches some important mechanics such as dispelling and resistance, while also giving some alternatives in case you want to add some interaction between magic and psionics in your games. I like how this is handled and I consider it a very good idea to have a segment like this in the supplement.

Main Class

The core of the class is treated like a spellcaster when it comes to hit points and proficiencies. However, it provides features that improve both fighting with psionic spells as well as combat using weapons. This is because its five subclasses follow different styles of play.

Psionic Forms

Psionic Forms are minor effects you can activate as a bonus action. You can have a limited number of them and only one can be active at a time. Which ones you can choose depend on your subclass. Of course, some of them are better than others, but these ones are evenly spread over all five subclasses.

Forms may resemble the Psionic Disciplines, found in one of the various Mystic Variations. However, the effects of the Psionic Forms are not as major as the Disciplines and their design is much leaner, making them easier to use.

Subclasses

Order of the Nomad

This order focuses on psychoportation, which is the power to displace objects in space and time. This order does not have an equivalent school of magic. It is all about mobility and enhanced reflexes. You get a speed increase and non-magical terrain poses no disadvantage to you. You gain teleportation powers, as well as the ability to have a second reaction. The pinnacle of the features allows you to take a second turn. While it sounds a bit too much, the mechanics around this ability make it balanced.

Order of the Shaper

This order focuses on metacreativity, which is the power to manifest objects by drawing matter from the Astral Plane. It is equivalent to the conjuration school of magic. The main focus of this order is the Astral Construct you can summon.

Most of the features focus on enhancing its abilities, making it quite capable in combat. At level 1, the construct is probably stronger than the Psion that summons it. There are also some augmentation options for the construct, making it more versatile and capable of taking on various enemies. 

The order also gives you proficiency with light armor and one-handed martial weapons and shields. I’m not sure how much use a Shaper will get out of this because the Astral Construct can keep the enemies away from you while you attack it from a safe distance. 

Order of the Seer

This order focuses on psychokinesis, which is the power to control energy. It is equivalent to the evocation school of magic. The order of the Seer is the epitome of firepower when it comes to psionics. You get features that allow you to pick spells from the wizard spell list and features that empower your spells. You can ignore resistance and maximize the damage of your spells. You also can get momentary immunity to damage types you’re resistant to, increasing your survivability. 

While the idea behind this order is simple, it allows some interesting interactions with the spells Psions don’t normally get.

Order of Solipsism

This order focuses on psychometabolism, which is the power to augment and modify the physical form. It is equivalent to the transmutation school of magic. To be honest, this comparison feels a bit forced.

The Order of Solipsism turns the Psion into a close combat warrior. Its features focus on increasing survivability, by increasing the AC and HP as well as providing resistance and temporary hit points. It also makes the Psion better at dealing weapon damage by giving proficiency to some weapons and swapping Strength with Intelligence in attack and damage rolls.

This could be a reverse Eldritch Knight, in the idea that a caster class tackles melee combat. It probably is better than the Eldritch Knight because it can access 9th level spells.

Order of the Telepath

This order focuses on telepathy, which is the power to control creatures and form mental connections. It is equivalent to the enchantment school of magic. 

The Order of the Telepath includes a lot of telepathic utility features.You can sense intelligent creatures around you and communicate telepathically with them. There is also a feature that helps you succeed specific saving throws as well as one that enhances your social skills. 

A really good feature comes at level 14, which allows you to try and stun a creature when you hit it with a psionic spell. Of course you can’t use it indefinitely, but its mechanics allow you to use it a good amount of times. My issue lies with the 18th level feature, which allows you to cast the dominate beast a few times. It feels fairly specific. 

I feel this is the weakest of the subclasses. It has some good utility features that would make it excel in social situations. The level 14 feature is really good but maybe it comes a bit too late and the 18th level one feels underpowered.

Spells

The class comes with over 190 psionic spells. That’s quite a lot, to be honest. One of the first things I noticed is that some of the cantrips can be considered stronger than usual.

As for the rest of the spells, I can find similarities with non-psionic spells. Some are quite similar and others are upgrades of spells. But since the supplements separates magical and psionic effects and powers, it makes sense to recreate psionic versions of spells that are easily accessible to magic users.

Art

Apart from the cover art, you will find some full page art pieces that are as good as the cover, as well as smaller pieces spread around the supplement. A lot of them portray Mind Flayers, which I like because I’m fond of those tentacle friends.

Final words

Overall, The Psion Class is a very well made supplement. It is a good take on psionics, with lean mechanics that follow the design idea of 5th Edition, while still keeping the class interesting. The subclasses provide a lot of ways to play a Psion, which makes it more fun. If you’re looking for a good psionic class you should definitely check it out.

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