The Dragonlance Nexus

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Psionics as Mysticism

D&D 4e Rules

by Trampas Whiteman

With no mystic class in 4th edition, we must look towards other sources as a possible replacement. Using psionics as mysticism makes perfect sense, as psionic characters are using an inner power, which is the very definition of psionic power. Using psionics is a way to incorporate psionics into the world of Dragonlance, as well as give a mechanical difference to mystic characters.

Origins of Mysticism

Long ago, during the Age of Starbirth, a gateway lay hidden on the furthest edge of the Abyss, where it borders alongside the great Beyond. The gate was a Living Gate, one that slept through the Ages of Krynn. The Living Gate was guarded by a fiery aspect of Chaos, a being thought to be part god and part primordial.

The god Majere discovered the Living Gate. He saw what lied on the other side, a realm of alien creatures and madness. He dare not face the aspect of Chaos, who would have brought his full power against the god. Majere had no choice but to wait.

So it was that the guardian of the Living Gate was trapped by the god Reorx in the Graygem after being tricked by Hiddukel. Creatures from the Far Realm invaded the world of Krynn. Majere, in his wisdom, guarded the Living Gate, preventing the incursion of the Far Realm...for now. He created a group of monks, trained in the art of discipline, in preparation for the day they would be needed to face what lied beyond the Living Gate.

It was during the Chaos War that the Father of All and of Nothing emerged to the world once more. His emergence from the Graygem at the hands of the irda awoke the Living Gate for the first time since the Age of Starbirth. The primordial-god unleashed his fury on the world. As the battle came to a close, the aspect was trapped once more in the Graygem, which exploded, unleashing Chaos' power into the world. The Living Gate was torn apart, and the portal to the Far Realm lay open once more.

Most sages attribute the origins of mysticism to the power of Chaos. Perhaps there is some truth to this, but another theory, proposed by Cassandra Renay of the Citadel of Light, states that mysticism emerged as the world's defense against Chaos. Some sages take this theory a step further, speculating that mysticism is a gift from the High God.

Psionic Classes

Mystics are represented in Dragonlance by one of four classes: the ardent, the Battlemind, the monk, and the psion. They are each different ways of approaching mysticism.

During the early Age of Mortals, mystics at the Citadel of Light discovered they could augment their psionic powers through an art they called "meditation." In reality, this practice was psionic augmentation, the ability to boost psionic powers. Monks do not use augmentation as their traditions predate the Age of Mortals.


The Power of the Heart gains its name from the ardent, who tap into psionic power through their emotions. The ardent is the classic mystic, and is sometimes referred to as a "sensitive."


Battleminds are oftentimes referred to as "channelers" as they channel psionic energy to increase their speed or alter their bodies. As beings that are both physically and mentally advanced, they oftentimes are very arrogant.


Monks hail from traditions that date back prior to the Age of Mortals, which is why they don't practice the art of augmentation.


Psions in the world of Krynn are often called "mentalists." They use their inner power to influence minds and move objects.


Mystics do not, by nature, look towards the gods. They are introspective, often meditating and looking within for life's answers. It is in this comfort that mystics find power.

Some mystics from the Citadel of Light revere Mishakal, whose faith serves as the foundation for mystic training at the Citadel. The Platinum Mystics revere the ways of Paladine, teaching others about finding the nobility of their own spirit.

The monk often includes spirituality with his discipline. Chief among the deities worshipped by monks is Majere, whose tenets form the foundation for monastic traditions. Takhisis is worshipped by a group of monks working with the Dark Knights known as the Heart of the Dragon. Sargonnas is worshipped by other evil monks, who employ a brutal form of discipline.

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