Are you ready to awaken the psionic power within and become a Psi Warrior Fighter in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deep into the Psi Warrior Fighter subclass, exploring its abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and the best ways to optimize your character for maximum impact. Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to the game, this guide will help you harness the full potential of the Psi Warrior in your D&D adventures.
Introduction to the Psi Warrior Fighter
The Psi Warrior is a unique Fighter subclass that combines physical prowess with the power of the mind. These warriors augment their combat abilities with psi-infused weapon strikes, telekinetic powers, and mental force barriers. Some of the most disciplined high elves and githyanki train to become Psi Warriors, and in the world of Eberron, young kalashtar aspire to join their ranks.
Source: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
The Psi Warrior subclass is introduced in the sourcebook “Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything,” providing players with an exciting and versatile way to experience the world of D&D.
At 3rd level, you unlock the wellspring of psionic energy within yourself. This energy is represented by your Psionic Energy dice, each of which is a d6. The number of Psionic Energy dice you have is equal to twice your proficiency bonus. These dice power various psionic abilities you possess.
Some of these powers consume Psionic Energy dice, as indicated in the power’s description. You regain all expended Psionic Energy dice after a long rest, and you can also regain one expended Psionic Energy die as a bonus action. However, you can only use this bonus action once before needing another short or long rest.
As you progress in levels, the size of your Psionic Energy dice increases, granting you more potent abilities:
- 5th level: d8
- 11th level: d10
- 17th level: d12
The following are the powers that utilize your Psionic Energy dice:
- When you or a creature you can see within 30 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to expend one Psionic Energy die. Roll the die and reduce the damage taken by the rolled number plus your Intelligence modifier (with a minimum reduction of 1). This creates a momentary shield of telekinetic force.
- You can infuse your weapons with psionic force. After hitting a target within 30 feet of you with an attack and dealing damage with a weapon, you can expend one Psionic Energy die to roll it and deal additional force damage to the target equal to the number rolled plus your Intelligence modifier.
- You can move objects or willing creatures with your mind. As an action, you can target a Large or smaller loose object or a willing creature (excluding yourself) within 30 feet of you. You can move it up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. If the object is Tiny, you can move it to or from your hand. You can move the target horizontally, vertically, or both. After using this action, you must finish a short or long rest to use it again unless you expend a Psionic Energy die to repeat the action.
When you reach 7th level, you gain mastery over new telekinetic abilities, including:
- As a bonus action, you can use your mind to propel your body, gaining a flying speed equal to twice your walking speed until the end of the current turn. You can only use this bonus action once before a short or long rest, unless you expend a Psionic Energy die.
- When you deal damage to a target with your Psionic Strike, you can force the target to make a Strength saving throw against a DC of 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier. If the save fails, you can either knock the target prone or move it up to 10 feet in any horizontal direction.
Starting at 10th level, the psionic energy flowing within you bolsters your mental defenses. You gain resistance to psychic damage, which can be crucial in resisting mind-affecting abilities. Furthermore, if you begin your turn charmed or frightened, you can expend a Psionic Energy die to end any effects subjecting you to those conditions.
Bulwark of Force
Upon reaching 15th level, you gain the ability to shield yourself and others with telekinetic force. As a bonus action, you can choose creatures, including yourself, that are within 30 feet and up to a number of creatures equal to your Intelligence modifier (with a minimum of one creature). Each selected creature benefits from half cover for 1 minute or until you become incapacitated. This ability can be reactivated only after a long rest, or by expending a Psionic Energy die.
When you attain the 18th level, your telekinetic powers reach their pinnacle. You gain the ability to cast the Telekinesis spell without requiring components, and your spellcasting ability for this spell is Intelligence. While concentrating on the Telekinesis spell, you can make one attack with a weapon as a bonus action on each of your turns.
The versatility and potential of this feature are remarkable, offering you a unique advantage in controlling the battlefield and dealing damage simultaneously. The ability to cast Telekinesis multiple times per day can greatly enhance your strategic options.
Psi Warrior vs. Battle Master
Fighters, in general, are skilled in weapon combat and are distinguished by their chosen subclass. The Psi Warrior Fighter stands out as the only fighter subclass that benefits significantly from a high Intelligence score. It shares some similarities with the Battle Master subclass, as both utilize limited-use features powered by a pool of dice. However, they differ in terms of progression and specialization.
- Gradually gains power as they level up, with increasingly larger Psionic Energy dice.
- Offers a unique blend of combat and telekinetic abilities.
- High versatility and adaptability over time.
- Ideal for those seeking to protect allies and control the battlefield.
- Front-loaded with more immediate power.
- Offers a broader range of maneuvers, each with its unique effects.
- Specializes in tactical combat from the outset.
- Well-suited for players who prefer an immediate impact in battle.
It’s important to note that, despite the unique features of the Psi Warrior, you’ll still engage in typical fighter activities, such as making weapon attacks, protecting allies, and using abilities like Action Surge when necessary.
Rating the Psi Warrior Fighter
To assess the Psi Warrior Fighter, we can consider the following ratings:
- Epic: The Psi Warrior offers unique and powerful abilities, making it an excellent choice for high-level campaigns. The versatility and multiple uses of the Telekinesis spell set it apart.
- Good: This subclass provides a solid combination of combat and telekinetic powers, making it suitable for various scenarios. Its abilities can significantly contribute to the party’s success.
- Meh: While the Psi Warrior has its strengths, it may not be the optimal choice for low-level campaigns due to its slower start. However, it becomes more potent as it progresses.
- Bad: The Psi Warrior is a well-designed subclass, and there are no inherent drawbacks that would classify it as “bad.”
Best Race Options
When choosing a race for your Psi Warrior Fighter, consider options that complement your character’s abilities and align with the subclass’s theme. Githyanki and Githzerai are excellent choices, as they are thematically connected to Psi Warriors. Both races offer unique features that enhance your psionic prowess.
- Githyanki: Known for their psionic abilities, Githyanki offer complementary racial traits and access to spells like Misty Step.
- Githzerai: With a natural affinity for psionics, Githzerai provide abilities like Detect Thoughts, aligning well with the Psi Warrior’s theme.
If you’re playing in a high-level campaign, consider multi-classing with Wizard levels to further enhance your spellcasting capabilities and utility on the battlefield.
Choosing the Right Skills
While typical fighter skills like Athletics, Acrobatics, and Perception are valuable, the Psi Warrior has the unique opportunity to excel in intelligence-based skills. You can specialize in knowledge skills, including Arcana, Nature, Religion, and History, depending on the campaign’s focus and your role within the party.
The choice between Investigation and Perception can vary based on your Dungeon Master’s style, so consider which skill is more relevant to your campaign.
Selecting feats that complement your Psi Warrior’s abilities is crucial. Here are some feat options to consider:
- Telepathic: This thematic feat grants telepathic speech and boosts your Intelligence, allowing you to read minds and participate in espionage or intrigue.
- Sentinel: If you’re a melee Psi Warrior, Sentinel can enhance your protective abilities, preventing enemies from moving and locking them down effectively. It pairs well with abilities like Telekinetic Thrust.
- Great Weapon Master: This feat is excellent when combined with Telekinetic Thrust. Knocking an enemy prone with your first attack and then unleashing a series of attacks with advantage and increased damage can be devastating.
Your choice of feats should align with your preferred playstyle and the role you want to fulfill within your party.
The choice of a background can enhance your role-playing experience and provide useful in-game benefits. Consider the following backgrounds for your Psi Warrior:
- Soldier: A classic choice for fighters, the Soldier background reflects your past combat experience and may earn you respect and authority. You can also showcase your psionic abilities to your military friends in the game.
- Pirate: If you want to embrace the persona of a psychic pirate, the Pirate background offers an exciting narrative element and the “Bad Reputation” feature adds depth to your character.
- Far Traveller: For Gith characters, the Far Traveller background allows you to originate from a Gith settlement, enhancing your connection to the Psi Warrior theme.
Multi-classing can provide unique advantages and expand your character’s capabilities. Here are a couple of multi-classing options to consider:
- Wizard: With your decent Intelligence score, taking Wizard levels can grant you access to the Shield spell and more spell slots. You can also explore various Wizard subclasses to enhance your magical versatility. Divination, in particular, offers powerful portent dice.
- Barbarian: Combining Psi Warrior with Barbarian levels can be surprisingly effective. You can use your psionic abilities while raging, making you a formidable force on the battlefield. The Ancestral Guardian Barbarian subclass provides additional protection for your allies.
The Psi Warrior Fighter is a compelling subclass that offers a unique blend of physical prowess and psionic abilities. Whether you prefer tactical combat, protective support, or telekinetic mayhem, the Psi Warrior has something to offer. It gradually grows in power, making it an excellent choice for high-level campaigns where its versatility truly shines.
Overall, the Psi Warrior Fighter is a well-designed and versatile subclass that can provide a fulfilling and engaging D&D 5e gaming experience. Whether you’re protecting your allies, controlling the battlefield, or unleashing the power of your mind, the Psi Warrior is a formidable choice for any adventurer. So, awaken your psionic potential and embark on your journey as a Psi Warrior in the world of Dungeons & Dragons!
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