Review of Unearthed Arcana “The Mystic Class” accessed here
Part 4: Talents and Disciplines
The bread and butter of the mystic class are the actual “spells” that define their psionic abilities: talents and disciplines. Talents are similar to cantrips in that they are considered minor powers and they don’t cost any psi points nor are they linked to any specific subclass while disciplines are specific to mystic orders and require psi points to be activated. I will cherry pick a few from the large list in this article to showcase the range of these abilities.
- Beacon – radiate light in a 20ft radius, lasts for 1 hour
- Blade Meld – your weapon can’t be forced from your grip nor can you let it go.
- Energy Beam – 1d8 damage after a failed Dex save, damage type is player’s choice. Scales with level
- Light Step – Use a bonus action to increase movement speed by 10 and use no movement to stand up
- Mind Meld – communicate telepathically with one creature within 120 ft and gain access to one of the target’s memories
- Mystic Charm – choose one target within 120 ft, on a failed Cha save they are charmed until end of player’s next turn
- Psychic Hammer – grab a target within 120 with a telekinetic hand. Target must make Str save or take 1d6 force damage. If target takes damage then you can move them up to 10 feet in a straight line of your choice. Damage scales with level.
Most of these meet my expectations for something on the same level with cantrips. Some are for utility, like the light talent, and some deal damage to your enemies. They are all situational of course so it’s smart to choose a variety.
- Bestial Form
- Bestial Claws – manifest claws that deal 1d10 slashing damage per psi point spent
- Bestial Transformation – change your physical form and choose a new form: amphibious, climbing, flight, swimming, tough hide (+2 AC), keen senses, etc
- Rapid Step – increase walking speed by 10 feet
- Blur of Motion – turn invisible as an action
- Surge of Action – as a bonus action Dash or make one weapon attack
- Crown of Disgust
- Eye of Horror – target within 60ft must make Cha save or take 1d6 psychic damage per psi point spent and target cannot move towards you
- Wall of Repulsion – create an invisible wall of energy 30x10x1ft, any creatures moving through it must make Wis save they cannot pass through it.
- Visions of Disgust – choose one target and they must make a Wis save or take 5d6 psychic damage and an additional 1d6 per creature within 5 ft at the end of each of its turns. Target takes half on a successful save.
- Intellect Fortress
- Psychic Backlash – Use a reaction to impose disadvantage on an attack roll against you and if you still get hit attacker takes 2d10 psychic damage
- Psychic Parry – When you make a Wis, Int, or Cha save, use a reaction and expend a psi point to gain a +1 on the roll.
- Mantle of Fury
- Incite Fury – Give your allies a 1d4 bonus to weapon attack and damage rolls
- Mindless Charge – 3 allies can immediately use a reaction to move up to its speed in a straight line towards its nearest enemy
- Aura of Bloodletting – Give advantage on attack rolls to yourself and any creature within 60ft
- Psychic Phantoms
- Distracting Figment – Force an Int save on a target and if failed they take 1d10 psychic damage per psi point spent and perceive a threatening creature just out of sight. They also can’t use reactions and melee attacks against it have advantage.
- Phantom Foe – Exactly the same as above, except 1d8 damage at the start of each one of its turns. It gets a save each time.
I chose these pretty much at random, so it may not be the best representation of the entirety of the discipline list but I think I got a good sampling in there. I also did not choose to list every ability listed under these disciplines as it would make my article far too long, I strongly encourage you to browse the list for yourself. As with most spell lists there is a large variety of different tools given to the player to have an effect on a wide range of environments and situations. There isn’t too much I have a problem with here but combined with the psi point and psi limit system I think some of these abilities come a bit too soon in the level but without actually playtesting these in a lot of different scenarios it is tough to judge.
The mystic class is a complicated one and I feel very unbalanced. With all of the published WotC material I can usually envision in my mind’s eye the strengths and weaknesses of each class and subclass, but for a lot of the mystic’s abilities this is a lot harder to do. My reservations stem from the fact that this article has so many moving parts with the addition of a brand new ruleset separate from the spell slot system of the main 5e rules. Even with the published Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, a fantastic book, there were no real changes to the main rules, everything was an expansion to the already existing infrastructure. A true supplement. The mystic class tries to change too much and the final effect is a really strange class that just feels like it does not fit into DnD 5e.
Part 2: Class Options
Part 3: Subclasses