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Thread: Unearthed Arcana: The Mystic

  1. #1
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    Default Unearthed Arcana: The Mystic

    So they've updated the mystic class to cover levels 1-20. I'm thinking that with just a little tooling around (and maybe a slight change in how we think of DL mystics) it covers almost all of the mechanical needs of our beloved DL Mystic. The only thing I see as lacking is an ability that mimicks the Spiritualism and Necromancy sphere powers

    http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/unea...a/mystic-class

    What do you guys think? Can it be played as is, right out of the box, or is there work yet to be done?

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    Default Initial Thoughts

    So, here's my initial thoughts on the 5e mystic.

    The first thing I notice is that the class has managed to blend several class ideas together (psion, psychic warrior, soulknife, wu jen). WotC has gotten pretty good at this, in fact. By combining concepts together, they came up with the 4e and 5e warlock. Truth be told, I was kind of surprised to see the wu jen, though it fits in certain thematic ways. I always thought the wu jen would be a wizard subclass. I was glad to see the mystic's quirks, which are very much based on the wu jen's taboos.

    The psionics feel a little more like 2e psionics, not having a level.

    The big question I asked myself is whether this mystic could be the DL mystic. Many of the themes of the Spheres of Mysticism are there. You can even heal, though it isn't the same as how clerics heal. It's definitely inner power.

    But does it stand up to the smell test? Boy, this is where I'm uncertain. The 5e mystic is the power of the mind, not the power of the heart. Abilities are based on Int rather than Wis.

    The problem is, it's hard to say whether this feels like a DL mystic or not as the DL mystic didn't have much to differentiate it from other classes. So it's hard to say.

    As a fan of psionics from the 2e and 3e era, I have to say that I miss the pseudo-science feel. I know that's a turn-off for many folks, ergo why WotC went this route.

    I've said for a while that the mystic felt like it should be psionic to me. Yet here we are with a psionic mystic, and I just don't know if it fits the bill.

    What does everyone else think?
    Trampas Whiteman
    ---DragonHelm--->



    Long Live the Lance!

    "Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Dragonlance Nexus!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhelm View Post
    So, here's my initial thoughts on the 5e mystic.

    As a fan of psionics from the 2e and 3e era, I have to say that I miss the pseudo-science feel. I know that's a turn-off for many folks, ergo why WotC went this route.

    I've said for a while that the mystic felt like it should be psionic to me. Yet here we are with a psionic mystic, and I just don't know if it fits the bill.

    What does everyone else think?
    I wasn't a big fan of the 2e/3e Psionics, personally. However, they are what we had, and we made due. They weren't bad, just felt, I don't know, clunky? Hmm.

    Anyway, I took a quick look over the Mystic last night, and at the outset, it looks pretty interesting. I'm another one who was pleasantly surprised at the Wu Jen aspect of it, and thought that would be a fun element for players.

    I must admit, I am enjoying the Unearthed Arcana articles.

    T

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    If we could make a Mystic path that dealt with undead in some way, I think that's all that's missing. The rest is just window dressing. It wouldn't be hard to switch the psionic ability to Wisdom and call it the Power of the Heart. I dunno. It's closer than anything we've had before. And I like the fact that it's not just a cleric under a different name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aelfwyn View Post
    If we could make a Mystic path that dealt with undead in some way, I think that's all that's missing.
    An Order of the Nightstalker, maybe?

    The rest is just window dressing. It wouldn't be hard to switch the psionic ability to Wisdom and call it the Power of the Heart. I dunno. It's closer than anything we've had before. And I like the fact that it's not just a cleric under a different name.
    Or a divine sorcerer.

    Really, if we wanted a 5e version of the 3e mystic, I'd look at the favored soul. I'm not sure I want that, though.
    Trampas Whiteman
    ---DragonHelm--->



    Long Live the Lance!

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    If you were going to drop this class into Dragonlance, you'd be best served forgetting everything you remember about how the older mystic class or the mystic roles worked in 3.5 or Fifth Age Saga, and just using this instead. In its entirety. Goldmoon becomes a psionic character, basically. All the other mystics are psionic characters. You don't worry about switching out classes from what they were (clerics for the most part) because nobody's really going to play through that period with an established cleric, they'll just make a new character or they'll re-write their old one.

    I'm mostly frustrated that they've used the mystic name, and that they seem to ignore how HUGE the fantasy market is for psionics-as-magic in fiction. In part I think it's because most of those stories are written by women - Anne McCaffrey (Pern, Crystal Singer), Katherine Kurtz (Deryni), Mercedes Lackey (Valdemar), Marion Zimmer Bradley (Darkover) - and D&D style fantasy continues to be a gigantic boy's club that doesn't much care to incorporate a lot of that into it. Which, obviously, is ironic given how much of Dragonlance is written by women.

    So, that's where I am on it. If they're going to create a mystic and make it psionic, go all in and make this a part of the setting. Bend continuity to fit it in, as it's only game mechanics. You don't have to alter the storyline or narrative hardly at all.

    Cheers,
    Cam
    Moderator | Member - Whitestone Council
    Visit Atlas Games for information about Gloom, Once Upon a Time, Ars Magica, Over the Edge, Feng Shui, and many other card games & RPGs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhelm View Post
    The 5e mystic is the power of the mind, not the power of the heart. Abilities are based on Int rather than Wis.
    I remember when 5E first came out and we discussed updating Mystic to 5E, I suggested using Con as the ability since it is more closely related to heart. I always wonder why that didn't catch on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cam Banks View Post
    If you were going to drop this class into Dragonlance, you'd be best served forgetting everything you remember about how the older mystic class or the mystic roles worked in 3.5 or Fifth Age Saga, and just using this instead. In its entirety. Goldmoon becomes a psionic character, basically. All the other mystics are psionic characters. You don't worry about switching out classes from what they were (clerics for the most part) because nobody's really going to play through that period with an established cleric, they'll just make a new character or they'll re-write their old one.
    I think I actually prefer it this way. I want there to be a line separating the way cleric and mystic mechanics function in DL.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cam Banks View Post
    I'm mostly frustrated that they've used the mystic name, and that they seem to ignore how HUGE the fantasy market is for psionics-as-magic in fiction. In part I think it's because most of those stories are written by women - Anne McCaffrey (Pern, Crystal Singer), Katherine Kurtz (Deryni), Mercedes Lackey (Valdemar), Marion Zimmer Bradley (Darkover) - and D&D style fantasy continues to be a gigantic boy's club that doesn't much care to incorporate a lot of that into it. Which, obviously, is ironic given how much of Dragonlance is written by women.
    I was unaware of this connection. Probably not purposeful on WotC's part, though that doesn't excuse anything. However, isn't psionics-as-magic exactly what the new name of the class infers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aelfwyn View Post
    So they've updated the mystic class to cover levels 1-20. I'm thinking that with just a little tooling around (and maybe a slight change in how we think of DL mystics) it covers almost all of the mechanical needs of our beloved DL Mystic. The only thing I see as lacking is an ability that mimicks the Spiritualism and Necromancy sphere powers

    http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/unea...a/mystic-class

    What do you guys think? Can it be played as is, right out of the box, or is there work yet to be done?

    In my mind there's still some work to be done, if I wanted it to work closer to the SAGA-like ambient magic. But it matters little to me because of how I had things set up in my games. So, to recap what I explained before, all Dragonlance stuff are meta-rules on top of 5e accessed by factions. So, being a WoHS faction earns the character moon magic features on top of the class. that way there can be all sorts of magic casters of different abilities, even sorcerors who I deem as early magic users before the evolution of wizards on the early days of the Conclave.

    The HOotS factions likewise gives any divine magic caster a personal connection with a god. That god grants a DM-defined spell slot that will be useful in the adventure, as a god given. I.e Takhisis providing a dark cleric a "Daylight spell" the subdues a vampire antagonist of the party. that spell goes beyond any domain that I would specify for Takhisis.

    To me the SAGA mystic (and SAGA sorcerer) is like very much and anti-HOots, anti-WoHS faction which grants an ambient caster, an "power of the heart" faction with SAGA spell-modifying features.

    So, both a cleric of mishakal like Goldmoon and a 5e mystic(avatar) can both fit in the DL SAGA ambient faction with a sub-faction of the Sphere of Healing. She became a chosen of Mishakal (i.e. HOotS faction) , then lost her connection to Mishakal in Second Cataclysm (i.e. gained the "power of the heart" faction) then regained the HOotS faction right before her death.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cam Banks View Post
    I'm mostly frustrated that they've used the mystic name, and that they seem to ignore how HUGE the fantasy market is for psionics-as-magic in fiction. In part I think it's because most of those stories are written by women - Anne McCaffrey (Pern, Crystal Singer), Katherine Kurtz (Deryni), Mercedes Lackey (Valdemar), Marion Zimmer Bradley (Darkover) - and D&D style fantasy continues to be a gigantic boy's club that doesn't much care to incorporate a lot of that into it. Which, obviously, is ironic given how much of Dragonlance is written by women.

    So, that's where I am on it. If they're going to create a mystic and make it psionic, go all in and make this a part of the setting. Bend continuity to fit it in, as it's only game mechanics. You don't have to alter the storyline or narrative hardly at all.
    That's an interesting take. Do you think Mike Mearls intentionally or unintentionally doing this because of a misogynistic view of women? Do you think it could be due to not having read such fiction by those authors?
    Last edited by Weldon Chen; 03-14-2017 at 04:37 PM.
    Fanwank
    Formerly from Wikipedia, circa 2006-7,
    A fanwank is [...] an attempt by fans of a work of fiction to explain or justify plot holes or continuity errors, often through convoluted contrivances...

  10. #10
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    I don't think any of it is intentional or personal. I think it's systemic - it's built into the culture, often invisible to those engaged in it. I think D&D comes loaded with a bunch of tropes and baggage that's hard to untangle from the rest of it. Mike is a great guy and the 5e team made an effort to make 5e feel accessible to anyone, but it's still present regardless.

    Cheers,
    Cam
    Moderator | Member - Whitestone Council
    Visit Atlas Games for information about Gloom, Once Upon a Time, Ars Magica, Over the Edge, Feng Shui, and many other card games & RPGs!

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