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Unearthed Arcana: The Mystic Class (5e)
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Unearthed Arcana: The Mystic Class (5e)

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Unearthed Arcana Update

Over the past few months, we’ve delivered a stream of new content via the Unearthed Arcana column. Some of that content will show up in future products. Other pieces, having been found lacking by the open playtest process, will drop from our development plans. A few things will follow a third path.

The subclasses we’ve created have fallen into two categories. Some have proven to have mechanics or story concepts that players have embraced. These subclasses have moved on to deeper design and editing passes and further playtesting. We’ll have news soon about where they might turn up next.

Other subclasses were not embraced. Some had mechanics that were dull or confusing. Others’ concepts were too niche, stepped on the toes of other classes, or just didn’t resonate. Our plan is to either redesign these subclasses from the ground up in a future design cycle or push them aside in favor of new concepts.

We have already rereleased a few subclasses for further comment. You’ll see a few more revised subclasses in the June installment of Unearthed Arcana.

We feel confident that the Unearthed Arcana process gives us the feedback needed to develop a subclass into something worthy of publication and official status. Complete new character classes are a different story.

We debuted two new classes via Unearthed Arcana, the mystic and the artificer. Both have received positive feedback, to the point that we are going to commit more time and energy to refining them for official publication. However, the process for completing a new class requires more resources than a subclass. Here is our plan for completing these classes.

Starting today, we are adding both the mystic and artificer to the DM’s Guild. They are both resources you can use to create your own material to share and sell on the Guild. We are also going to release additional surveys to delve deeper into the classes and identify headaches. Between watching the design work done on the DM’s Guild and monitoring feedback data, we’ll continue to revise these two classes.

Once the classes have robust sets of features and options that are hitting the approval levels we aim for, we will make those classes available for playtesting in the D&D Adventurers League. This step indicates that the new class is slated for official release as part of a D&D product. This step’s goal is to put the classes through the same rigorous testing and DM feedback that the core fifth edition classes received during their open playtests.

Once that step is complete, we’ll add these classes to a future D&D product. We can’t predict how long each step will take, so we don’t have dates to share. We remain committed to releasing material only when it is ready.

Thanks for taking part in the Unearthed Arcana playtests and helping us to make 5e the best game it can be. Your efforts have helped D&D reach heights of popularity and success it has not seen in decades. We’re committed to building on that success by including you in the game’s evolution. Thanks for coming along on this journey with us!

Unearthed Arcana: The Mystic Class

This version of the mystic character class was originally released as part of the Unearthed Arcana web series. This download is the latest version of the character class. The mystic is in playtest. It has been made available so that you can use it in your games and provide feedback on its design.

The mystic is the master of psionics, the power of the mind. This versatile character commands a wide variety of talents, such as a psychic blast to hammer enemies or the ability to teleport by twisting and bending space.

 
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Scott G December 04, 2018 5:49 pm UTC
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So I'm running a Adventure League game at our local game store (A shout out to Lookout Games in Spearfish SD here! Woo woo!) and I had a young kid play one of these last session, I have a soft spot in my head for kids and I know it's not kosher but we've only got two sessions left on Lost Mine so I rolled with it.

First impression, colored by the player being a kid, too damn complex and easy to misunderstand. I had another player with the Unearthed Arcana article open to the class page and he kept telling the kid he couldn't do what he was trying to do.

Second impression, not too overpowered, as long as you know the limitations to the class. The kid wanted to be up front and looking at everything first. Until the Ochre Jelly landed and gave him a hell of a slap. After that he realized he was more like a spell caster and hung out with the thief in the middle of the pack behind the two heavy armored dwarves.

Third impression, an interesting addition to the list and with...See more
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Corey F March 04, 2019 9:59 pm UTC
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Hey Scott, thanks for the games! :p (Half-Orc Bard guy that's sat at your table a few times here XD)
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Paul D August 14, 2018 3:49 pm UTC
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Update: We recently tried a new house rule that I mentioned in a previous post. The rule is, that I have to choose 4 disciplines to prepare at each short rest. I can ordinarily use only those 4 disciplines until I switch them out. HOWEVER, I can access the unprepared disciplines when I use Psionic Mastery.

We found that changing them out at a long rest takes away too much flexibility to adapt to circumstances, and that allowing access to unprepared disciplines via Psionic Mastery is a good pressure valve for ultra-tense situations where your poor selections have made you likely to perm.

We did a lot of adjusting the house rule on the fly and that's what we wound up with that worked best for our campaign. The result was an edge-of-our-seats encounter where the party really felt threatened and challenged by an enemy. We were so grouchy about it, after having spent the whole game feeling like we were invincible! Really made the difference we were looking for.
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Paul D June 26, 2018 6:31 pm UTC
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I've been playing a mystic since the original february 2017 update and I've been using the new rules since they came out. My game meets every week. I am level 12, so bear in mind I've not reached some of the end game stuff.

The first thing I'll say is that my new class is by far the most versatile I have ever played. It meshes very well with my changeling character. Playing it is a joy. There's good things and bad things about the versatility, though.

The good: I have a tool in my toolbelt for any situation. Nomadic Step has become our party's go-to escape plan for when we get in over our heads and is very useful when a GM wants to challenge their players but give them an out. Iron Durability is great if I need to be more tanky, and psionic weapon is fantastic for dealing damage. I can even use Nomadic Mind to get in on skill checks I ordinarily would be bad at. I love all the disciplines and I wish I could have more of them but I think the number I have is just enough to make me happy...See more
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Paul D June 26, 2018 6:40 pm UTC
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My GM's response to this: "We can try it out, I don't care either way if I want to kill you you'll die."
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William F June 13, 2018 1:20 am UTC
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Having played a Mystic for a few months now, I've found that they're very powerful early on, but drop quickly as time goes on.

Also, the 'card pack' style of Disciplines leaves a bad taste. Almost every Discipline has a couple abilities you want and a couple that are absolutely useless. It often leaves me sitting there, staring at my character's abilities and thinking "I basically have 1/2 the number of actually things to do"
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Georg M April 16, 2018 10:27 am UTC
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Simplify the class. I like that there are many disciplines, so that's not what I'm worried about. I think that the Psionic Talents should be rolled into the Disciplines, and the amount of Disciplines you gain (and have to juggle) should be reduced. It benefits balancing, and makes playing the character a bit less straining. I like the idea of a highly customizable character. Make Discipline choices matter, but reduce the amount of choices over all. Also probably it's best to reduce the amount of resources the class uses. You already have Psi-Points, then adding the Focus as something to be expended is probably tedious. Instead just have one Discipline be attuned, and switch the attunement during a short rest / long rest.
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Timothy F January 25, 2018 12:46 am UTC
I hope that this class gets fixed and they make it into a official class, it seems like it could become a great class
Customer avatar
Odes B December 22, 2017 6:36 pm UTC
It's hard for me to know what sort of feedback Wizards might want from this class as presented, given it's obvious balance issues. I've run it as an NPC party member in two games and as a villain in two combats and here are my observations (in no particular order):

1. The psion is just as squishy as a sorcerer: one of the npc party members (order of the awakened) in a game died rather horribly, so kudos to the class for having the same glass cannon problems as a wizard. The other psion NPC also died in a battle (rolled a poorly timed 1 on a death saving throw) but the party paid to have her raised. I can't say that having light armor proficiency was an advantage, though it does seem to make force armor less desirable.
2. The other NPC, who is in a level 5/6 party and run with them since level 1, would have outshined the rest of the party at every level were it not for her being an NPC. [I have had the observation from some of the players that she appears to be quite powerful, though as she is...See more
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Joel H December 22, 2017 8:24 pm UTC
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It just occurred to me that the extreme versatility of the mystic could be curbed by treating their discipline abilities more like spells and having them choose new ones at the same rate at which full casters do. Keep the discipline progression the same, but having a discipline doesn't give you access to all of it's powers for use whenever you please. Instead, having a discipline adds it's abilities do you "power list" (spell list, effectively). Each day you can undergo the mental exercises that make some number of powers from your power list available to you, similarly to how a wizard prepares spells. It still behooves you to prepare some a mixture of low-cost powers and more powerful high-cost powers, but the options available to you at any given time would be more similar to those of a wizard or sorcerer. Do you think something like that would be workable?

Also, I reread Incite Panic. Holy crap that is a party killer. For that effect it should probably cost 7 points.
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Odes B December 22, 2017 9:02 pm UTC
Given the number of people observing that the mystic already lacks enough distinction to separate it from the standard caster classes, making them prepare powers just like a wizard/cleric/paladin/druid prepares spells would probably further that issue.

Also, yes, if you ever want a low hp villain that can single-handedly take on your paladin-lacking party, I highly recommend Incite Panic.
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Joel H December 27, 2017 9:31 pm UTC
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That's a good point.

Whatever the final iteration of the mystic looks like, they're going to have to really thread the needle to achieve the the right balance of interesting abilities, a distinct feel to make them stand out from other magic-users, power, and versatility. Honestly, it makes me nervous.

The more I think about it, the more I suspect they should really release one more version via Unearthed Arcana for some final feedback and tweaks before publishing it in anything official.
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Zick Z November 27, 2017 6:41 pm UTC
I trully hope it s Awakened - Psion, Avatar - Ardent, Wu Jen - Four elements, Immortal - Battlemind, Soulknife, Nomad - ?
If it s one class, it s insane. Many of the disciplines are almost broken good and who wouldnt multiclass into this?
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André A November 19, 2017 1:47 pm UTC
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This class mechanic functions ok, but the power costs are a low to compatibility questions.
In this manner, the class is more powerfull than any other class; you can make a mystic substitute to all other classes, but more flexible tan any.

One solution to make a full functional material is to remade the orders to a more weak version
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Joel H November 15, 2017 7:17 pm UTC
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Psionic Weapon: Lethal Strike (bonus action) + Mastery of Wood and Earth: Animate Weapon (action) = Intelligence-based melee weapon attack with 30' range that deals weapon damage + int mod + up to 7d10 psychic and 7d10 force damage.

If you can get advantage on the attack roll or have hit them with Warp Armor on the previous turn, you can pretty much guarantee a hit.

Am I missing any reason this combination of powers wouldn't or shouldn't work together? Is this broken? Fine?
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Joel H November 17, 2017 4:14 pm UTC
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It just occurred to me that you could also stack Brute Force: Knockback onto this attack as well, since that can be activated as a reaction when you hit with a melee attack, which Animate Weapon is. Knockback isn't as efficient in terms of damage/psi point as the others, but you could add on a lot of forced movement and some additional "d6"s.
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Jeffrey Q December 05, 2017 11:17 pm UTC
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Not possible as Psionic Weapon and Mastery of Wood and Earth are from two different orders. You only get to choose one order which determines your available disciplines.
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Jeffrey Q December 05, 2017 11:53 pm UTC
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Scratch that. Technically you could do this, but you'd burn through psi points really fast. You could max your damage for 4 attacks per day and only when you were 9th level. And that's assuming you're not using any psi points for any other powers.
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Joel H December 06, 2017 8:24 pm UTC
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That's true enough. It may be suitable for a really big hit that's going to swing the fight for your party but pretty much all of the Mystic's single target damage options are terrible compared to the points/damage efficiency you can get form AoE powers if you can get in position to use them.
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Jeffrey Q December 06, 2017 10:14 pm UTC
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You could also assume that mystics follow the same rules as spellcasters, in that if they use a bonus action to use a discipline, they cannot use another discipline with their main action unless it costs 0 psi points (i.e. is roughly equivalent to a cantrip).
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Christopher Q November 13, 2017 6:26 am UTC
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Does anyone know why the update for the artificer class is no longer available? The links from WOTC lead here and the other one is dead...
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Joel H November 15, 2017 4:23 pm UTC
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I noticed that as well a week or two ago. I was curious what the discussion was like. Was it ever actually updated? There is still an Artificer pdf available on Wizards. (https://media.wizards.com/2016/dnd/downloads/1_UA_Artificer_20170109.pdf) I have no idea if that is an updated version or not.
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Kaze R November 09, 2017 11:59 pm UTC
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I've taken the liberty of writing up some suggestions to Balance this class, they are comprehensive and should resolve a lot of complaints I think. Here's a link for anyone who is interested either in or out of Wizards.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZNQRKKNwf9Kme73CnCzoMDS60BvNVE-cIoN2fSDbqAM/edit?usp=sharing
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Joel H November 15, 2017 5:24 pm UTC
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I'm currently playing a Wu Jen so mostly my comments will be about those disciplines I have experience with at the table.

Regarding stacking multiple Adaptive Body uses, why not? If you're using Psionic Mastery points and can concentrate on two uses of the power, why wouldn't you be able to stack two resistances onto a single target? What's the point of prohibiting that? Stacking Frozen Sanctuaries is already covered by how temporary hp works; when you have temp hp from a source and you get temp hp from a new source you either keep your old temp hp or take the new temp hp; they don't add together.

Immortal Durability is fine as-is, but I do think I like your suggestion of 13+Dex and +1 hp/level. I think that could make an Immortal less Con-dependent. Then again, making Immortals Multi-Attribute-Dependent may be an intentional balancing decision.

Psionic Reslience is VERY good, like you say, but your healing suggestion is even more powerful. Would you really want Goodberries...See more
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Pearce S October 27, 2017 7:29 pm UTC
I looked at this class as soon as it came out as an unearthed arcana document, now I can review it, and let me say... THIS CLASS IS BOTH OVERPOWERED AND ODD, okay whew, glad I got that out. The mystic class is very number crunchy, and extremely strong. If a mystic chooses Wu-jen or Immortal, they can outcast and outlast basically every other class. If a mystic chooses Soul knife they can magically summon a +4 weapon that outsmites the paladin, this class has amazing flavor but TOO amazing powers.
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Tanner I October 31, 2017 9:35 pm UTC
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From what I've experienced with this class, the DM really has to make sure the player isn't power gaming for the rest of the players to have fun at the table. That being said, I have a Avatar Mystic Awakened Corgi at my table (yes, you heard me right) and I must say that it is some of the most fun we've had in a long time. She isn't too overpowered because we made sure she couldn't do EVERYTHING better than the other classes; making her strictly support with some minor damage (she wasn't allowed to go Wu-Jen or Immortal and I made it so she had to stick with powers we agreed her character would have).

However, there shouldn't be that much tip toeing around the meat of the class to make this thing usable and there needs to be a lot more balancing... but the direction Wizards has taken this class is extremely exciting and I hope they don't gut it in the next iteration.
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Joel H November 01, 2017 2:01 pm UTC
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Tanner l, all of that sounds amazing. The mental image of an awakened corgi inspiring her allies with the various Mantle disciplines and healing them with licks to the face is just wonderful.

I have only one question: Does she have corgi barding?
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Neil C August 10, 2018 4:37 am UTC
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Soul knife does not out smite a paladin. If a paladin using a long sword uses a 1st level divine smite, they deal 3d8+str damage. They get divine smite fairly early(I dont remember exactly what level). Later they get improved divine smite so they basically get a free smite with every weapon hit and it deals more damage. Soul knife get a 1d8 weapon and can "smite" an additional 1d8 once per turn and at 14th level 2d8 per turn. Paladin also get extra attack and can spend higher level slots to increase smite damage. Soul knife only gets one attack per turn.
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Brian S September 30, 2017 7:34 pm UTC
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I haven't actually played as this class yet but I've read the whole document and made an npc or two with it, which has led me to believe that the Wu-Jen Order is overpowered, specifically the Arcane Dabbler feature. With an 18 in dexterity, which characters can feasibly start with, a level one Wu-Jen mystic can reach 21 AC (23 if they took a feat that lets them have a shield). The discipline Mastery of Wood and Earth grants +1 AC from its Psi Focus, Mastery of Force grants base 14 AC mage armor, and Bestial Transformation grants another +2 AC. At level 6, were I the nefarious type hell-bent on destroying all game balance forever, I would take Shield, Haste, and Counterspell as my three Wizard spells, granting me 25 AC (with a regular shield from the feat), plus an additional 5 AC from the Shield spell as a reaction if I ever need it. It costs 9 Psi (5 for the 3rd level slot for Haste, 2 for Bestial Transformation, and 2 for Inertial Armor) to "power up" to 25 AC, meaning it can be used three times per...See more
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Joel H September 30, 2017 9:37 pm UTC
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This may be a matter of taste, but I and my group haven't rolled for stats even once since we began using 5th edition. Point Buy is the way to go to ensure that all of the characters have an equal footing and scale appropriately with the difficulty of the challenges faced in the game. Using Point Buy, the highest stat a character could possibly begin with is 17 and they are sacrificing other scores to get there.

Dedicating so many resources to defense, I don't see how this theoretical mystic would be much of a threat in combat or provide much utility outside of it. You also seem to be describing situations in which the mystic is using 2 or more reactions in a round (Shield + All Around Sight). Also, "I'm hard to kill" isn't really a character concept and if a player came to me with this I would have a chat with them about what what I expect from the characters and players in my game.

That said, there has been a ton of discussion here, and I think some consensus, that the...See more
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Joel H September 30, 2017 9:41 pm UTC
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Also, I think Bestial Transformation is pretty busted in plethora of benefits it can grant without requiring concentration.
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Mickael , October 30, 2017 7:27 pm UTC
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Technically speaking, Bestial Form's Bestial Claws as written to this day requires no action. So you can attack any creature 5 feet of you a number of time equal to you psi points, with each hit dealing 1d10 damage. Technically, again, it may mean 71 attacks in level 18 or higher but, most importantly, 3 attacks right at 1st level.
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Joel H October 30, 2017 9:15 pm UTC
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Yikes. Nice catch. That needs to be fixed. My assumption would be it's supposed to be an action, similar to Corrosive Touch.
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Jeffrey Q December 05, 2017 11:29 pm UTC
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That build isn't possible. 18 DEX, possible but not easy, mastery of wood and earth ok, mastery of force ok (for 8 hours duration and 2 psi points) but wu jen cannot take bestial transformation as it's an immortal discipline. So you'd be left with a 19 AC and that's only if you rolled an 18 DEX. Basically what a fighter would have wearing full plate armor and taking the fighting style for +1 AC in armor.
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Jeffrey Q December 05, 2017 11:42 pm UTC
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Sorry, scratch that. This build would technically be possible, but again, a fighter with a shield and plate armor would have a similar AC, and would probably be better on offense as well.
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Matthew C September 30, 2017 6:58 am UTC
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Grains of Salt: I got no sleep, this may be terse. At no point should anything I write be interpreted as "there should be less", rather I think it needs redistributed.

The Mystic should not be a "one size fits all" for Psionics. For nearly the same word count they could turn it into the 1 class and a bunch of Class X-Archetypes as they should be. "Psychic Warrior" = Psi based Eldritch Knight, Mantle using Ardent = Cleric Domain, Wu Jen = Sorc Origin or Wizard Tradition, Soul Knife = Psi based Arcane Trickster. Note: I don't counsel reskins, just counterparts with "half manifester" and psychic features.

They should pare down what "The Mystic" does. Go back to a particular cluster of archetypes like Seer (ESP), Jean Grey (TK/Force masters), and Professor X (Telepaths). Make them prioritize by Archetype and able to dabble in the other 2.

I don't mind the existing discipline formats, but they are way too all encompassing....See more
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Joel H September 07, 2017 8:38 pm UTC
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Has there been any clarification as to how movement powers such as Wind Step and Mighty Leap interact with the total movement made in a round? It seems to me there are several possible interpretations as to what happens when you use these powers.

Say you are a human with a speed of 30' and you spend 1 psi point on Wind Step, so you can...
A) Walk 30' and fly 20' for a total of 50' of movement.
B) Walk 10' and fly 20' for a total of 30' of movement.
C) Fly 20' for a total of 20' of movement.

Which of these represents the maximum amount of movement allowed when using such powers?
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Dakota H September 10, 2017 12:53 am UTC
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I think it's A because the powers don't say they are adjusting your speed, only that they are magically moving you 20 feet per psi point spent on the power (but in both cases you have to take intervening space into account since you don't teleport).
B would only be in effect if Wind Step granted you a Fly speed of 20' per psi point spent.
C would only work if the powers replaced your other movement types/speeds with what the power grants you.
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Joel H September 13, 2017 3:55 pm UTC
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That seems reasonable.
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Jeffrey Q December 05, 2017 11:34 pm UTC
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I think the psi points spent grant you an extra 20 feet of flight or jumping distance. So you'd take your move action on your turn, which you could walk up to 30 feet. Then during that move, you decide to spend 1-7 psi points, each one granting you an extra 20 feet of flight or jumping.

So from you answers I would say it's A.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on May 31, 2014.