Psychic and Spiritual Handbook

Written and designed by Therin a’Ghaleon
for use with 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons ®

Also available at GM Binder and as a PDF.

This is a complete set of rules for DMs looking to incorporate psionic and psychic mechanics into 5th Edition D&D. You will need the core rules to play these rules as this sourcebook is an addition to the existing D&D rules. It is also recommended that you use these rules alongside Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, as these books are referenced, but worry not, the appendices include replacement options in these cases with content from the Player’s Handbook.

I’m going to get this out of the way upfront. If you are a player wanting to use these rules, consult your DM first. Psychic abilities need to be woven into a campaign properly and not tacked on, and as such, may not be suitable for all games. The DM is the final arbiter on what materials to include in any given game of D&D.

Integrating Psionics

Psychic abilities aren’t something to haphazardly toss in a campaign. For the best experience, you want psionics to feel like a natural part of your world (well, as natural as dragons, magic spells, and reanimated corpse anyhow). Tying psionics to spirits and related phenomena is a common tactic. Also, the ki of the monk class is functionally an avenue of psionic ability. Psionics easily exist alongside abominations from the Far Realm, and many classic monsters already leverage psionics to some degree, such as the mind flayer.

When you build your campaign’s world, you may also want to think about how the people leverage and react to psionics. You could have rivalries between spellcasters and power manifesters, each vying for supremacy over the other discipline. Your world can also have psionics living harmoniously with the rest of the magical world: kingdoms employ psychic guards and assassins, the town healer using psionic powers to transfer ailments from one patient to another. You may even consider having psionics start as an intrusion into your world, maybe spearheaded by an invasion from the Underdark or Far Realm, where PCs have to learn to overcome these new powers until they learn to tap these powers as well.

As the DM, you will need to answer the question of where do psionics fit into the campaign. From there, build the network of interrelated factions, peoples, and history. You also need to answer one other important question: are psionics functionally magical, or are they a separate power? The answer may have implication on other classes, such as the monk. While this book is written under the concept that psionics are different than magic, you will find rules for merging the two in Chapter 2.

Remember, when in doubt, use your own judgment. As a DM, you will sometimes have to make a call when the specifics of a scenario are outside the box of the rules. Trust your instincts to make a call to keep the game moving, and you can always revise the ruling if you determine a better one later.

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