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I have played Rolemaster before and I enjoyed being a Mentalist.

My friends decided to start a D&D 5e game. I am very disappointed that there is no Mentalist among the available classes.

I can't say that I have read all the classes but I read almost all the casters. I found Bard and Warlock as the closest class to Mentalist in Rolemaster. Can you please guide me how to enjoy being mysterious and yet effective on people's minds? I found many similarities between Bard and Warlock spells, that's why I can't decide... but I still don't know which one has the most influence on people's minds, so I can read their thoughts and speak words that only my target can hear inside his head, manipulate their minds or persuade them to do as I say.

I don't play evil though I play chaotic! I have no clue if even Warlock is an evil class, 'cause I know Necromancer has some spells which are considered acts of evil.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Would homebrew options that need to be worked on be acceptable for your need? \$\endgroup\$ – Eldebryn Oct 14 '15 at 16:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ For those not in the know the Mentalist in Rolemaster is a pure spellcaster whose spells focus almost entirely on mind control; D&D 3.5 would probably have them as an enchantment focused spellcaster, but I don't know 5.0. Their primary spell lists (RMC) are Mind Control (Calm, Confusion, Fear, Control Monster) Sense Control (Sensory overload spells) Mind Attack (Paralyse, Shock, Stun spells) Presence (Detection, Location, Mind Reading) Mind Speech (Telepathy, Tongues) Mind Merge (Mind Reading, Mind Probe) \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Oct 15 '15 at 15:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rob, then not forgetting Evil Mentalists... \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Oct 16 '15 at 11:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ For Completeness; Evil Mentalist (Although most players think Mentalists are evil as it is!) These Pure Spellcasters have the following spell lists Mind Subversion (Making people Lie, Cheat and murder), Mind Death (Blanking peoples minds), Mind Domination (Subjugation, demonic possession and mind enslavement), Mind Disease (Giving people mental illnesses), Mind Erosion (Destroying mental stats) \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Oct 16 '15 at 13:47
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I'm not familiar with Rolemaster, but based on what you've given us, I can say that a Warlock with the Otherworldly Patron of The Great Old One is what you are looking for.

Some benefits of this choice:

  • Charisma is your primary spell-casting ability, so you'll need lots of it to be an effective warlock, which allows you better rolls for Intimidation, Persuasion, and the like.
  • Being a follower of a Great Old One permits you, at level 1, to speak into the minds of anyone you can see within 30 feet. As long as they know any language, they understand you.
  • Being a follower of a Great Old One expands your spell list to include spells like detect thoughts, dominate person, telekinesis, dissonant whispers, and other similarly "horrifying" spells (page 110 in the PHB)
  • At 10th level, your thoughts cant be read unless you allow it.
  • At 14th level, you can charm a single humanoid, making them your Thrall. You can communicate telepathically with them as long as you're on the same plane of existence, which allows you to mess with his mind no matter what, if you desire.
  • As a Warlock you have access to powerful Invocations that will help you be a master of deception and mind-affecting spells, such as Beguiling Influence, Mask of Many Faces, Whispers of the Grave
  • The Warlock spell list has many mind-affecting spells, such as Charm Person, Crown of Madness, Fear, Hold Person, and others.

Some drawbacks:

  • You have, until level 8, 2 spell slots to cast with. Your spell slots are powerful, but limited. You will need to use cantrips for most of the fights you're in. This also means that role-playing spells like Contact Other Plane don't get the benefit of being casted at a higher level and has limited casts. You get your slots back on a short rest (other classes require long rests)
  • You aren't as good as bard at inspiring your party via your mind powers.
  • Your spells known is also limited. You can get 3 additional cantrips to cast by picking the Pact of the Tome feature, and you can use the Book of Ancient Secrets invocation to get two 1st-level ritual spells, as well as the ability to inscribe more ritual spells into the book. Your limited number of spells known is probably your biggest drawback and you may be conflicted about it. Do you grab combat heavy spells to be a powerhouse in damage or control, or do you grab the RP heavy spells to be a master in between fights? (see the last header about you and your DM). Fortunately, Witch Bolt, Hex, and Eldritch Blast will do you just right for single target damage, and Hunger of Hadar and Mire of the Mind (invocation that grants Slow) can let you control large groups of enemies for your party, leaving your remaining spells known to be used for other purposes.
  • You only get 1 spell known of 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th level spells, and the selection is rather small. These act as their own slots though, so they won't particularly interfere with your ability to cast other spells between short rests. This is unique to the warlock. Some of these spells will allow you to be a necromancer type, but without the ability to cast any of them at higher levels. For example, Create Undead will always be cast at level 6.

Aren't Warlocks evil?

DnD 5e doesn't have alignment restrictions for classes. So you can be a lawful good Warlock if you can justify it. However, most Great Old One's are neutral or evil. But you can still follow an evil god without being evil. In fact, the PHB even states that

The Great Old One might be unaware of your existence or entirely indifferent to you... (pg 109)

So if you have an aversion to being evil, fear not! However, depending on your DM or your campaign, Necromancy can be seen as particularly evil. This is really only true when you're disturbing dead bodies, and not when you cast pure necromancy spells such as False Life. Spells are not inherently evil, but the circumstances around them can be. Strictly speaking, almost everyone in the DnD world (and real life) see disturbing the dead as evil, straight up. However, you might be able to justify it to your DM. Good luck doing that in a party with a Lawful Good Paladin.

Also, there is no Necromancer class either. You can be a Wizard of the School of Necromancy, but that's another question and answer altogether.

How can I enjoy being a Mentalist?

That's a pretty bold question, one that I don't think I can answer objectively. Suffice it to say that a Warlock of a Great Old One is built around mind-manipulation and madness. One of the suggested gods you follow is even Cthulhu, straight from H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, which is the epitome of "Mind-F***". This warlock has all the tools, it is up to you and your DM to make it enjoyable. If you're playing a heavy combat campaign, you might not find as many opportunities to use Detect Thoughts or Contact Other Plane as a more role-play heavy campaign. Either way, however, I can say from personal experience that being able to relay information to the party with one-way telepathy and Devil's Sight is very handy in a combat heavy campaign.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eldebryn That actually might make a decent answer in and of itself, if you feel it is a better mentalist. \$\endgroup\$ – Premier Bromanov Oct 14 '15 at 15:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eldebryn That would probably be best as it's own answer, yes, as it doesn't really fit into this answer as a minor addendum and would need to be explained in some detail to be a good answer. @ others, the comments aren't for chatting about whether psionics is broken or not. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 14 '15 at 17:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tom Sterkenburg Thank u so much for your comprehensive answer. I talked with my DM, he said my family may abandon me if I go too far intro warlock path. My mother is the Queen of Moon Elves and my father is the King of Sun Elves and I am the Prince. But since Great Old One expanded list is very similar to Bard's list I decided to have 1 level of Warlock for Awakened Mind only, then continue with songs and musics. My stats are 18,16,12,12,5 at level 1. Pretty good for a Barlock I presume. \$\endgroup\$ – Ash Oct 14 '15 at 17:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @hamed A 2nd in Warlock level will allow you to grab Agonizing Blast to make effective use of Eldritch Blast adding your charisma modifier, you can be an offensive Bard. If you want to discuss it further though, we can take it to chat :) \$\endgroup\$ – Premier Bromanov Oct 14 '15 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tom Sterkenburg Yes I do, since 9 hours ago I was looking for a way to start a chat with you but I failed :S Can u initiate it please? \$\endgroup\$ – Ash Oct 15 '15 at 3:24
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Great question, I've played many Mentalists through the years, and they make great villains/antiheroes too, with their power to influence people around them.

Although Bard and Warlock might have similar sets of proficiencies as a Mentalist, neither feels like a Mentalist at all.

Fortunately, WOTC has the answer for you. Last summer they introduced the Mystic class in their Unearthed Arcana area.

https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/awakened-mystic

http://media.wizards.com/2016/downloads/Psionics_and_Mystic_V2.pdf

The mystic class brings psionics to D&D 5E, and has a lot the same feel of the Mentalist: proficiency with simple weapons and medium armor, class features that target the mind, plus a little bit of healing ability largely absent from the wizard class (of either game).

(If you're not familiar with psionics, they are the original extra-normal mind powers introduced in AD&D 1E.)

Your DM may have something to say about it, but since this is semi-official WOTC stuff, you may have an easier time of it pitching your character concept, than if it were "just" home-brew.

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