The Psychic and Spiritual Handbook is update after completing internal Tier 1 testing to my satisfaction.
EDIT: Minor update posted 1 June – changes marked (1.June) below.
While there were more changes in regards to tier 1 than I expected, a number of the changes were expected, but I wanted to see some hard data on how they interacted in play and to make sure adjustments kept the fun and feel.
New this update. The date of the latest revision is now printed on the Credits page. If your version of the Psychic and Spiritual Handbook doesn’t list 1 June, 2022 as the last update, you need to download a new copy.
The PDF version uses a white background (I use this for printing test copies). If you want your PDF to have the color background, use GMBinder to generate one from the document, or just pester me to disable the code.
There are some blank areas on some pages. These spaces aren’t increasing the page count, just spacing the empty areas better. If I get licensed art that fits the book’s theme, I’ll drop it in these space (note, that I will support an image-less version to save on printing costs for users. Some of this extra spacing might help non-Chrome browsers with viewing the document, but I recommend using the PDF version since that will retain formatting.
Power point reserves for characters level 6th through 17th were reduced, with largest impact in tier 3. The numbers got a bit higher than originally modeled (no doubt to create a certain curve). Power points were always intended to follow a model on what could be done in contrast to warlocks and wizards (it uses a warlock model from 1st to 5th and resyncs with warlocks at 20th level, with more cleric/wizard numbers from 6th to 17th level).
In the long run, what this can mean is that class features and power tuning can be adjusted keep projections and feel intact, as well as smooth out the outliers (plus I’ll feel a lot more comfortable with dual buff transcendents again since tier 3 is where they start bending the seams).
Augmentation with Random Die Roll
Class features that allow manifesting a power with random power points have been changed (affects Shaper channeler and Psychic Archer ranger) so players can better plan their augmentations rather than have to figure out a different power point allotment on the fly due to a good or bad die roll. Mechanic now uses 1 + PB power points which roughly fits 1/3 manifester power level curve (slightly stronger before 7th level).
(1.June) Multiple Selected Augmentations
When you can take an augmentation or empowerment multiple times with a cap, the description now says how many times with a bold parenthetical for how many total power points that is.
- Updated condition style to be consistent with the PHB.
- Grappled condition received an update for interaction with telekinetic pushes.
Player Options Changes
- Psi Forger
- Conduit Crystal attack is now always a bonus action. Whirling Conduit no longer enables this in a specific circumstance. I couldn’t get the crystal damage to remain competitive with the fire bolt cantrip and wanted psi forgers to use the crystals in combat without a loss in efficacy.
- Path of the Ghost
- Spirit of Hatred moved back to 6th level. While most barbarians get utility at 10th level, the class flows better with this sooner than later. Ghost Presence moved to 10th level.
- Burning Fury moved to 3rd-level powers. Part of the reason for the above change. While barbarians generally get the defensive feature at 6th level, this power ties into Spirit of Hatred to make for a more consistent defensive feature, better marrying the barbarian subclass progress with the Psionic Energy Die power progression.
- Soul Cleave is now a 14th-level class feature.
- Ghost Sight functions reworked into Ghostly Presence powers.
- Ghost Step changed to Ghost Steps. I think it sounds better plural.
- College of Forgotten Echoes
- Lay to Rest changed to reduce damage instead. Old version was too liberal in cheating death.
- Metaform trait activation on using a Psychic Burst die changed. You can use the Psychic Burst die as any channeler would, gaining the bonus power points, and get to activate all possible metaform traits – no additional action required. You can still burn a PBD to enter your metaform again if you run out of normal uses between rests.
- Duality Domain
- You can use a druidic focus as a spellcasting focus to support the fantasy of using a ceremonial staff for spellcasting.
- Universal Comprehension renamed Sacred Invocation.
- Circle of Communion
- Buffer option for Spiritual Aid feature now just grants temporary hit points.
- Psychic Archer
- This subclass received a more extensive revision than others, but this was expected. It began life most like a Battle Master fighter, with a dice pool to fuel offensive maneuvers. The movement and defensive ones came later. Some time after working with TCoE’s Psionic Energy Dice (PED) and updating Path of the Ghost to use the PED system, I adapted this subclass, creating an amalgamation of mechanics. Ultimately, I’ve decided to move the Psychic Archer to a PED system like the Psi Warrior fighter. This allows me to revisit the special shots and maneuvers and better align the archetype features with ranger design.
- Unfortunately, I had to nerf tier 1 and 2 Psychic Archers. They had the potential to outperformed other rangers enough to notice, especially with the Sharpshooter feat (I usually don’t balance class features around feats, but this one was too pronounced, and made Ricochet too strong a pick and the go to spam power). While it was a fun experience using mystic bolts with a shield and delivering +10 damage ricochet hits, this subclass would end up on the optimizer’s watch out list (and I don’t want to think about CBE and SS combined). It’s still a fantastic ranger subclass with the changes.
- Mystic bolts are now considered ranged mystic weapons. Earlier language prohibited them from benefiting from Archery Fighting Style (unintended) and the Sharpshooter feat (intended). This change enables both. I toyed with language making it only count for class features and powers, but that starts getting convoluted.
- You can imbue your ranged weapon with the mystic arms power without spending power points, but now you have to wait until 7th level to augment your power.
- Focused Archer is now Focused State and allows you to augment powers and grants you remote sight (replaced Heavenly Sight maneuver) and puppetry (chameleon removed from class since puppetry expands your options better while chameleon overlaps with ranger spells).
- Maneuvers changed to powers ala Psi Warrior/Soulknife/Path of the Ghost. Ricochet was performing far too well at low level (and paired with Sharpshooter feat made the feat more broken).
- Burst of Speed is granted at 3rd level.
- Blast Back and Detonation have been merged (called Blast Back) with a similar effect in spirit (it’s about pushing a target and exploding) and is granted at 3rd level.
- Fate Chain no longer grants a save to avoid being cursed and is granted at 3rd level.
- Ricochet is granted at 11th level.
- Psychic Minefield is granted at 11th level and allows you to spend multiple PEDs for bigger booms.
- Phase Arrow is now a power at 11th level.
- Psionic Leap is the 15th level defensive feature.
- Echo of Souls removed (is now a spell).
- Zen Archery removed (is now a feat).
- Order of Essence
- Made it much easier to generate extra Hit Dice through Psi Blast.
- Physical Resolve die increased to d8. You also get a bonus to hit points equal to your class level. This is aimed to address being a melee combatant in early levels if you want to use your fun powers and Psi Blast feature.
- Now get fighting styles (2nd level). Transcendents will get access to Defense, Dueling, Great Weapon Fighting, and Two-Weapon Fighting styles in the PSHB, and Blindfighting, Sworn Weapon, and Versatile styles in AtoE. They also get a unique one that lets you pick any power from the channeler list, expanding options or just giving you an extra power earlier.
- Martial Focus bonus damage is now contingent on expending power points and only triggers once each round (twice with Second Mind). 0-cost maintenance is no longer free damage.
- Second Mind change reverted; transcendents can choose to be selfish. Can now manifest up to 2 powers you know from this class, one of which must only target you or have a range of self. Once again transcendents can manifest accelerated healing and living weapon at the same time and achieve their Wolverine cosplay dream.
- Second Mind moved to 11th level, Ecclectic Attunement feature moved to 10th.
- Ghost Hunter
- Marking targets through Ghost Touch has a limit per activation and can only be used on your turn.
- Transient Blade
- Reworked how die increase works from Mind Blade feature. A single one-handed mystic weapon gets bumped up to a d8, but if fighting with two weapons, the “offhand” remains a d6. You still retain the light and finesse properties, so you can function without a feat.
- Psychic Strike damage reduced to a d6. Also occurs after damage, so you can’t crit with it.
- Added Zen Archery as a new feat. It requires psionic focused condition.
- Added Energy Control for energy power users that want an energy type (or a second one).
Psionic Power and Spell Changes
- Many powers that had augmentations to increase the size you can target have had their size restrictions removed or have a better baseline or static target size.
- “Summoning” augmentations had their numbers adjusted and now round up bonuses from power points. They retain their uniqueness compared to spell peers, but lost a number of traits to be more consistent with spell statblocks.
- Manifestation Time changed to Manifesting Time.
- No longer grants recovery or immunity to petrified to better separate this from the body control power.
- Adjusted amalgam damage.
- Reaction augmentation also grants temporary hit points.
- Damage reduction replaced with resistance.
- Poison resistance augmentation folded into revised resistance empowerment.
- Never needing Con save to concentrate and disease immunity added to automatic augmentation.
- Reach moved to a 2 point augmentation that also increases the size of the tendril.
- Grapple augmentation now simply hits a creature one size larger or less than the tendril.
- Blood siphon is now an empowerment for blood siphon to help it scale properly and cost overall less, but no longer grants temporary hit points.
- Stun cost reduced and adds some damage to the tendril so that it keeps pace with grapple augmentation.
- 1 point augmentation folded into the core effect.
- Immune to frightened augmentation reduced to 1 point to be more on par with the heroism spell.
- 5 point augmentation has additional effects to be better worth the expenditure.
- Added new augmentation to allow you to diminish certain damage types as a reaction on taking damage.
- Core effect changed to using your manifesting ability modifier instead of Dexterity with 9 or less treated as 10 when you remain still.
- 1 pp augmentation grants you advantage on ability checks to remain unseen.
- Using an action to become invisible again empowerment cost reduced.
- Perfect camouflage now costs 7 pp, but no longer requires an action to activate.
- Maintenance reduced.
- Damage augmentation reworked to be like ice storm in scaling.
- Always deals poison damage, necrotic choice has been removed.
- Damage no longer adds manifesting ability.
- Interaction between noxious cloud and spread augmentations removed.
- Bounce damage is now full damage (up from half).
- Empowerment to make more than one attack through a portal is now the augmentation’s base effect.
- Dimension door effect now has empowerment to open the portal as a bonus action.
- 2 pp jump augmentation added for easier scaling and flavor.
- Slam now take an action.
- Extra attack empowerment now requires a bonus action, but can be further empowered to allow two strikes in tier 4 to prevent power from downscaling.
- Now properly grants unarmed strike damage.
- Slam attack damage reduced.
- Scaling issue with cone and spheres corrected.
- Adjusted cantrip damage scaling to be clear push damage isn’t increased.
- Bonus elemental damage automatically scales after taking the augmentation.
- Lash damage no longer contingent on a miss or failure.
- Adding scaling empowerment to storm to mirror the storm sphere spell, however, a successful save now eliminates all damage.
- Cold damage is now half on successful save instead of no damage.
- Fixed wording on base effect to clarify flames act as normal hazard, and the d8 damage reference has been removed – relevant aspects moved to damage-related augmentations.
- Damage augmentation’s cost reduced.
- Amalgam’s base damage increased while scaling reduced. When creating two amalagam’s the damage is reduced by one die in order to keep the damage scale within bounds without making levels 11-14 weaker than spell peers.
- Flame Skate and some traits were removed to simplify the block (these were legacy from when the amalgam was a monster block instead of a template).
- Dex save augmentation is now disadvantage instead of auto failure.
- Extra usage cost increased to 4.
- Swapped cantrip and 1 pp effects.
- Deafened effect rolled into high pitched damage augmentation.
- Second sphere augmentation now priced as an additive effect.
- Hydro amalgam damage adjusted and changed to create multiple by default (2 at 9pp, 3 at 11pp, 4 at 15pp) to better match spell peer while keeping flavor. Hydro amalgams are now small to better fit its niche
- Maintenance reduced to 10 minutes
- Disembowel damage increased to four rolls.
- Single target scaling reduced. Multi target damage increased.
- Extra missiles are automatically increased as you spend more power points when you take the augmentation so it best fits the AoE models.
- Burst damage reduced to compensate the above change. Auto bursting empowerment is now automatic.
- Damage always ends this power, unless you take the 6 pp augmentation which allows a new saving throw. Psychic damage from this power doesn’t end this power as an exception.
- Rewrote “mystic shield” conditions so it can more appropriately interact with certain class features and feats that use a bonus action consistent with its design intent.
- Cantrip scaling removed. I weighed trying to tie in a “green-flame blade” style function instead, but didn’t like the result. Savant users perform fine with the Blast option and can get creative with the Dancing augmentation.
- AoE damage has been improved, but no longer autoscales.
- Critical range cost reduced and now grants bonus critical damage.
- In the event that 1/2 manifesters are doing poorly (say compared to living weapon users), I will improve the core weapon (but it is assumed that non-Transient Blade users opt to imbue a magical weapon).
- Added two-handed weapon option.
- Damage augment cost increased (scaling is the same), but deals more damage.
- AoE is now always a cone. When paired with damage, damage die decreased, but gets a bonus die to fit expected damage curve.
- Range augmentation cost reduced.
- New Daze effect serves as the 1 pp augmentation slot with automatic hp threshold scaling (incapacitated condition, similar to sleep).
- Status effects cost reduced by 1, and now grant bonus damage based on cost.
- Scaling changed to every 2 power points, and augmented damage is halved if you take a status augmentation.
- Added cantrip damage scaling to ram, slam, and crush damage.
- Puppet object HP reduced to better fit flavor and balance higher damage with larger objects than animate object.
(1.June) Shatter Psyche
- Permanent insanity now requires 3 consecutive hours (up from 2).
- Touch range is automatic augmentation so that 3 pp augment is usable.
(1. June) Spirit Ward
- Protection from evil and good effect no longer can target more than one creature through empowerment.
- Cantrip effect can only target a willing creature or an object. Unwilling creatures can be targeted by spending 1 power point.
- A creature held aloft can use its action to repeat the Dex save, falling on a success.
- When a creature falls from making a save (or falls 10 feet or less) it is never knocked prone, but if you drop a target deliberately, it falls per normal falling rules.
- Size you can suspend increased one step (e.g. Large is the default, up from medium). If you’re looking for the power to catch a massive falling object, this is the one, so now it can actually do that at high enough level.
- Mainfesting time changed to a bonus action.
- Star shower changed to take an action to be consistent with bouncing light effect and to mesh with new manifesting time.
(1.June) Telekinetic Flight
- Cantrip effect now requires you to descend.
- All movement standardized to 30 feet to better interact with 4 pp augmentation.
- Ripping the ground expanded to a 15-foot radius sphere (up from 10-foot radius).
- Targets of any size can be targeted.
- Fear suppression empowerment cost reduced. Felt this shouldn’t cost more than lesser restoration (no, they don’t cover the same conditions, but each is limited to a flavored scope).
- Changed cost of 9, 11, and 15 pp expressions.
- The extra trigger mechanic is one I’m looking at: it may become a static number of saves per round to stop favoring larger parties, fighters, magic missile spam as much. Flattening its damage potential would also help in determining balance. This is sort of the psychic version of hex, but operates cooperatively and not selfishly.
- Knockdown damage increased.
- Explosion damage and scaling reduced, but is always AoE.
- Cylinder size restriction added for use when indoors.
- Hail storm component damage reduced.
- Lightning storm component now requires you be within 60 feet and can see the space.
- Dream line of spells (evocation, conjuration, transmutation) no longer have penalties to attack rolls and save DC based on your current plane of existence. Bonus for being within the Dreamscape remains.