DMs Guild Review – The Psion Class

A new mind-warrior character class with five subclasses and over 190 spells.

Dms guild review

A review copy of “The Psion Class” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Stratos Fotakis

The Psion Class tackles a popular character class option, the mind-based Psion, who has access to an entire unique list of nearly 200 new spells, though ultimately falls into the same trap of re-theming the Wizard and Warlock classes.

Psions use the power of their mind rather than arcane knowledge or divine gifts, and thus are immune to the effects of Dispel Magic, Counterspell, etc, though alternative rules allow for disadvantage/advantage for balance purposes.

It’s no shocker that INT is the main stat for the Psion. They’re a full caster, with access to 3rd level spells at 5th level and a d6 hit die for hit points.

At first level Psions need to choose which of five Order subclasses they want to specialize in: Nomad, Shaper, Seer, Solipsism, or Telepath. Most of them aren’t much different than a re-themed arcane spellcaster, however.

All Psions gain some limited forms of telepathy and extra psychic damage. The Nomad gains increased movement speed and teleporting, the Seer has extra damage and wizard spells, while the Telepath expands their telepathy abilities into disruption and domination.

The Shaper is the most interesting subclass, capable of generating an Astral Construct right at first level. It can be enhanced at third level with multiple augmentations, turning the squishy caster into a decent pet class with unique abilities.

dms guild

There are two primary aspects that are supposed to set the Psion apart: Pisonic Forms and Psionic Spells.

Psionic Forms are organized by subclass, with each Order granting several Forms to choose from. Functionally they’re similar to Warlock Invocations, although a lot less interesting, such as gaining advantage on skill checks, or +1 to Armor Class. Furthermore, Psionic Forms lack level prerequisites, so you’ll never unlock more interesting or powerful Forms to choose from.

Impressively, The Psion Class offers a completely rebuilt spell list of nearly 200 spells specific to the Psion. On the one hand it’s awesome to see the work of re-theming spells already done for us. Hellish Rebuke becomes Psychic Backlash, Restore Vitality is the new Lesser Restoration. It’s not all one-to-one conversions, and there are a few unique spells in there, but it’s difficult designing that many spells without overlapping existing content.

The spells highlight the problem with this version of the Psion: it’s just a re-themed Wizard. And worse, the huge variety of spells step on the toes of the Wizard’s versatility. Psion, regardless of their chosen Order, have access to spells of freezing rain, lightning bolts, and acid sprays, in addition to the obvious mind controlling and telekinesis spells.

I want my Psion to be its own unique class, not replace an existing one. The problem is relying on traditional spellcasting. No matter how you theme it, a Psion is always going to come off like a Warlock, Sorcerer, or Wizard. I prefer mental warriors that use their own system of abilities, like the Cipher from Pillars of Eternity, who generates Focus from attacking, and spends Focus to activate their abilities.

The Psion Class is well-produced and well-written, with some fun artwork and detailed information on Psions and each of the five subclasses. But trying to create a Psion by climbing on the shoulders of arcane spellcasters is rolling with Disadvantage, and it’s probably going to miss.

Pros:

  • Shaper is a unique Psion subclass with an augmentable Arcane Construct.
  • Each subclass has multiple Psionic Forms to swap for new abilities.
  • A ridiculously huge list of over 190 new Psion Spells.

Cons:

  • Most of the Psion subclasses feel too much like a re-themed Wizard-Warlock multiclass and lack a strong class identity.
  • Huge variety of spells makes the Psion a Do-It-All class, threatening to outshine the Wizard.

The Verdict: The Psion Class is basically a re-themed Wizard-Warlock, but features five subclasses and nearly 200 new spells to create your desired specialized spellcaster, er, psion.

A review copy of “The Psion Class” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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