Since the mystic disciplines do not need to use gestures, vocals, or components, could a druid/mystic multiclass use disciplines while in wildshape?


The argument for "No"

Wildshape specifically bans spells (PHB 67):

You can’t cast spells, and your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form.

Thus, even if a spell theoretically doesn't have any verbal or somatic components, you can't cast it in your wild shape.

Are mystic disciplines spells? The UA says "kind of" (UA:Mystic 9):

Psionic disciplines are magical and function similarly to spells.

Based on that argument, one could say that you can't use psionic disciplines, because they are like spells and you can't cast spells while wildshaped.

The argument for "Yes"

Wildshape states (PHB 67),

Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. ...

You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so.

Because psionic disciplines depend only on your mental abilities, and you retain your mental abilities while whileshaped, you should retain the benefit of your class feature.

We can compare this situation to a Warlock's eldritch invocations. While most of them are spells, some of them, like Gaze of Two Minds or One With Shadows, give you magical abilities that are not spells. Because you retain your non-spellcasting class features, you should be able to use those abilities while wildshaped.

Conclusion: Unclear, probably yes

I'd probably rule "yes" at my table, because I find the argument for yes more compelling. However, the evidence can arguably go both ways. It's important to remember that the mystic class is still playtest material. Jeremy Crawford, who makes official statements on rules, has stated that UA material isn't tuned for multiclassing at all. I expect that if/when the class is officially published, interactions like this will have been taken into account.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for giving me such a detailed answer! I am largely just looking through the material and probably wouldn't do this. But I like to power-game in my head even if I don't like to do so at the table. E.g. It is fun to think about trying out new combinations that might be OP and ruin the game at the table--or just be silly. \$\endgroup\$ – Popinjay Jul 29 '17 at 4:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ "like spells" does not mean "are spells". Psionic powers are not "cast". They can't be dispelled, they can't be counterspelled. They can't be put in Rings of Spell Storing. See entry: Components on page 9 \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Jul 30 '17 at 18:29

UA classes are not balanced for multi-classing

Wizards of the Coast has, via Jeremy Crawford on Sage Advice, stated repeatedly that

Unearthed Arcana material isn't tuned for multiclassing.

Rule as you and your DM seem fit and fair - but be prepared to scale it back if it seems overpowered. However, the intent does seem to suggest that you shouldn't.

And you probably shouldn't

Wildshape states (PHB, 67)

You can’t cast spells, and your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form.

Not all spellcasting require all three components (verbal, somatic, material), but all spellcasting has been removed during wildshape. The intent with this suggests that while class abilities are permitted, the control of the weave is not. You can concentrate on something you started, but you can't start something new.

It seems like the intent of Wild Shape is to give you a boost of HP and physical attack options in exchange for your magical abilities. If you read it as such, then the Mystic Class would also not likely be able to utilize those abilities while Wild Shaped to maintain the balance.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1: If it applies to spells and ki, it should apply to mystic disciplines just as a rule of thumb. Even if RAW allows it when/if mystic is published, I wouldn't allow it at my table. \$\endgroup\$ – wz-billings Jul 29 '17 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jeanquilt Wild Shape doesn't prevent using ki. Class features that use ki aren't even magical by default, unless the particular feature says otherwise. \$\endgroup\$ – Doval Jul 31 '17 at 17:19

tl;dr Yes, you can, but you (or the DM) shouldn't allow multiclassing with UA classes.

A druid cannot cast spells in wild shape:

You can’t cast spells, and your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form.

but... Disciplines are not spells.

Disciplines follow some of the rules found in PHB ch.10 spellcasting, because they have effects and the rules to define effects' areas and other mechanics are there.

But nonetheless, they are magical effects, not spells.

  1. Disciplines do not have levels. Spells have levels. Were disciplines spells, they would need a level to interact with Dispel Magic and/or Counterspell.
  2. Disciplines do not use spell slots. They use psi an entire new mechanic.
  3. Mystic do not have the spellcasting trait. How could they use spells if they do not have spellcasting or any other trait (like pact magic) that allows spellcasting? Their effects cannot be spells, or they wouldn't be able to use them. They have the psionics trait. Their powers are psionics.

So, by all the evidence presented above, Mystic/Druid can use their psionic powers while in wild shape.

But the DM should not allow such multiclass into the game, before evaluating the possible ramifications.

Unearthed Arcana material isn't tuned for multiclassing. #DnD - JeremyECrawford on Twitter.


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