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I really like the idea of the Medium occult class and I want it to work so badly, but its just bad. What are some of the changes people have made to it that work well?
Some ideas that I think would go well, in no particular order:
1. Change the Influence "cap" to 3+Charisma modifier. Let's say you're level 1 and have a 16 Charisma. With your +3 Cha modifier, your new Influence cap is 6, not 5. Makes Charisma matter more to the class. Spirit Surge is one of your main class features, I find it ridiculous that you can only use it 4 times a day at most before you lose control of your character. Imagine if Wizards could only cast 4 spells a day before losing control of their character!
2. Get bonus spells based on which Spirit you're channeling. Maybe you have to gain a point of Influence when you use them or something? This would give you some spells for levels 1-3 and would probably bump you up to the bard/mesmerist/inquisitor tier. Maybe there are a pool of Spirit Spells for each level, like the Champion gives you Enlarge Person, True Strike, Jump, or Gravity Bow for levels 1-4, then Bull Strength, Force Sword, Stone Throwing, or Tremor Blast for levels 5-9. The playtest Medium had something like this, if I recall.
3. Steal some of the Occult oracle mystery's revelations, like Automatic Writing, Project Psyche, Shroud of Retribution, and Spirit Walk.
4. Around level 10 and 15, let the Medium switch the spirit they're channeling and shorten the seance time to 30 min. and then 10 min. Being stuck with the Archmage all day when you really need the Marshall feels unnecessarily debilitating.
5. Favored locations are not required, but they do bump up the Influence cap by 1.
Mesmerist is one of the occult classes that appeals to me the most, but I'm not really sure what a high-level one looks like. I know it can be built several different ways of course, but let's just go with the archetype of the cunning manipulator who's decent at melee combat and excellent at debuffing enemies. Would it be comparable to a high-level bard of a similar build? I feel like it would be very close.
This, plus a bunch of Metamagic feats should do the trick. Maybe specialize in abjuration, transmutation, and evocation?
Yes! I meant to include something like that, thank you for the reminder. How about this:
At level 7, you can decrease the amount of time it takes to hold a seance and channel a spirit from 1 hour to 10 minutes.
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
More/better spirits is definitely a good idea, though I think the mythic path spirits are supposed to be generic enough for the player to define more thoroughly.
Going back to the Harrow spirits is definitely not a bad idea, as long as the player has a good understanding of the spirits they'll use each session.
For the class abilities, are you referring to the stuff like Haunt Channeler and Ask the Spirits? I don't think those are bad and they certainly fit the flavor of the Medium. What do you suggest for new abilities? Something like the Occult, Ancestor, Bones, and Juju mystery revelations?
Here's what I've got for the Medium in my house rules. I really like the flavor of this class and I think it can be good, but it needs some work. Thoughts?
Spell casting progression like the bard/mesmerist/spiritualist. Use spiritualist spell list for lvl 5 and 6. If a spell shows up on both the Medium and the spiritualist spell list at different levels, you get it at the earlier level.
If the Medium's other abilities were comparable to the bard's spell progression their spell progression would be okay, but they simply don't.
The dice size increases to 1d8 at lvl 5, 1d10 at level 10, 2d6 at level 15, and 2d8 at level 20.
An extra 1d6 doesn't cut it when you get to mid-levels and above. The escalation of the dice matches the Warpriest's sacred weapon damage dice.
Favored locations are not required to channel the spirit you want. However, if you do channel a spirit in their Favored Location, the Spirit Bonus increases by 1.
I like the idea of favored locations, but not the requirement for them. Sure, most DM's will be loose with this requirement, but that's not really a solution to the problem.
Spell Focus of your choice for free while channeling the Archmage. The type of Spell Focus you have can be different every time you channel the Archmage. At level 10, you also get Greater Spell Focus in the same school of magic.
Also, for each level of spell you can now cast (including level 0), each time you channel an archmage spirit, select a single spell of that level from the sorcerer/wizard spell list to add to your medium spell list and spells known until you lose contact with the archmage. When you cast these spells, they count as arcane (though not for the purpose of fulfilling prerequisites), and thus you must provide verbal and somatic components instead of thought and emotion components.
Changed this, since the Medium now has the bard's spell progression.
You can touch yourself or an ally as a move action to relieve the following conditions: fatigued, shaken, or sickened. At level 5 you can also relieve dazed, diseased, or staggered. At level 10 you can relieve cursed, exhausted, frightened, nauseated, or poisoned. At level 15 you can relieve blindness, deafness, paralysis, or stunned. You can do this an amount of times per day equal to your Charisma modifier.
Also, for each level of spell you can now cast (including level 0), each time you channel a hierophant spirit, select a single spell of that level from the cleric/oracle spell list to add to your medium spell list and spells known until you lose contact with the archmage. When you cast these spells, they count as divine (though not for the purpose of fulfilling prerequisites), and thus you need a divine focus if the spell requires one.
The first part is similar to the paladin's mercies. I feel like being in a position to relieve these conditions is uncommon enough to be on par with a well chosen Spell Focus, though I'm not 100% sure.
Mark Seifter wrote:
I like spirit dancer because it comes closer to my original vision of the medium, before even the playtest version, which involved having a set of those 54 spirits "ready" and swapping between them as a full-round action (which improved to better actions over levels). That one was determined to be way too complex in the way it comboed with itself and recalculated abilities, but it was very shiny. When I wrote spirit dancer, I figured I could get much of that back without too much protest since it was an optional archetype, rather than the base class, and it still isn't quite as frenetic as the original could be.
Maybe make switching spirit take an hour or 10 minutes or something? That way you could change throughout the day, but not easily during combat.
Chess Pwn wrote:
Crap, forgot about the simple weapon proficiency. Well maybe not archer then, unless you're an elf, half elf, or willing to feat.
Jack of Dust wrote:
Combat Reflexes and a reach weapon may not be a bad way to go. Races with racial proficiencies like Elf, Half Orc and Tengu could be pretty good too when you're not channeling a Champion spirit.
Yeah, that'd probably be the build I'd go for.
I remember in the playtest that the different spirits granted bonus spells. I think including those would be a good way to the class. Thoughts?
Chess Pwn wrote:
What you say makes sense, but if you're going to focus on the Marshal AND the Champion you can only pick one per day, so for each day half of your focus is wasted. That's the problem with it compared to the other do it all classes. The other ones could focus on support and archery and do it both at the same time. The medium is either good at combat or good at supporting but not both for each day. How would you decide each normal day which spirit to channel?
I don't know, couldn't you be a good archer while channeling the Marshal? And vice-versa for the main two areas you focus on?
Choosing which spirit to use that day would either be a coin flip, use what the party's plan that day as guide (raiding a crypt? Channel the Hierophant), or take some simple divination (Augury would do the trick). Not idea, of course, but I don't think its too bad.
Of course, but because you'll have ~3 party members helping you out in the average game, you won't have to worry about covering ALL the bases yourself. You'll probably only need to cover 1-2 areas, which will lead you to usually channeling the spirit appropriate for that area.
Example: your party consists of a melee-fighter, wizard, and melee cleric. As a medium, you can build to focus on support and archery (selecting appropriate feats, assigning your ability scores appropriately, getting the right gear, etc.). At the start of the average day, you won't know exactly what's the best spirit to channel, but channeling towards the strengths you already have (supporting your friends and archery) is going to be a safe bet. So you'll end up channeling the
But wait! The party has to infiltrate an evil cult to learn their secrets! Everyone else dumped Charisma, so its up to you to be the party face. Even though you may not have worked on your social skills, you can channel the Trickster that day to gain the additional skill ranks you need to increase your Diplomacy, Sense Motive, Disguise, and Bluff for the day.
Does that make sense? I'm not sure I explained this terribly well.
My usual build theory for the "jack of all trades" classes (bards/inquisitors primarily) is to pick 2 or 2.5 areas to be good at and letting the rest drop. Heavy-melee/face skills, archery/knowledges, skirmish-melee/outdoorsy skills, archery/support, whatever combination you like best, but some kind of combat is usually good to have in there.
I think this build theory would work well for the Medium, but I'd like to hear what you folks think. For the medium, this would also involve picking ~2 spirits to focus your build on, like Champion/Marshall, Archmage/Guardian, or Trickster/Hierophant. What do you think?
Step 1: Make sure your DM either doesn't enforce the Favored Location requirement, is very loose with what qualifies as an FL, or has a good house rule (like not requiring FL's to channel the spirit you want, but if you do channel in an FL that spirit gives you more power).
Step 2: pick 2 areas/spirits you'll use most of the time. This could be melee/skill monkey, spells/range, melee/social, spells/skill monkey, etc.
Step 3: Beg your DM to let you have the bard/mesmerist/spiritualist spells known/per day, instead of the normal medium's spell progression. Its just terrible, as is. For 5th and 6th level spells, I use the spiritualist spell list. Archmage's spirit bonus will need to be changed, but that's fine.
My dice are ready! For real, I can't wait to play this adventure. The deities of Hell all have so much potential that goes untapped in most games (even as a DM) and PC's who aren't terribly devout will be a blast. I'm thinking of playing:
-A cleric of Baalzebul (Air/Devil domains) who is petty, envious, and seeks glory for himself (because he's so insecure). Probably would take levels in diabolist, but I'm not sure.
-A crossbowman fighter in the Chelish military who believes the hierarchy of society is required for civilization to exist (possibly Order of the Chain hellknight?). Kinda like Gran Moff Tarquin.
-NE half-orc bloodrager or sorcerer with the black dragon bloodline. Wants to get into Thrune's good graces and rule.
-Bard/cleric of Asmodeus (fire/devil domains) that is part of the Hellfire Celebrants, worshipers of Asmodeus who often form the choir in temples and glorify the burning flames of the Pit.
-Summoner who follows Mephistopheles. Both the summoner and his devilish eidolon are talented barristers and contract creators/enforcers.
So the mesmerist class looks pretty simple, in terms of how it works and what optimal ways to build it are. It works EXTREMELY well with rogue, since you can pick up Improve Feint without needing Combat Expertise, so I'm sure there will be plenty of multi-classing there.
For pure mesmerists though, it looks like you'll have many of the same builds as a bard. Prioritizing Charisma, Con, and Dex are always going to be good for you, so its just a matter of deciding how much melee/ranged combat you'll be doing. Doesn't look like the class gives you many ranged options, but an elf or half-elf could start out with a longbow from level 1.
I dunno, I'm just spit-balling as I fall asleep. What do you think? I kinda want to make a NG mesmerist who works with the mentally insane to help understand and heal their fractured minds.
Sweet, I can't wait to play one! This is the psychic class I've been the most excited about since I learned about it. I want to play a mesmerist who is trying REALLY hard to be a good person, but knows that he's very skilled at undermining people's free will and the temptation to abuse his power is strong.
Wait, so we can't use the stare on multiple foes? Nerts. Is there a feat that will let us do it?
I certainly hope so. Wouldn't be surprised if they made it into a Mesmerist Trick that's only available once you're mid-high level. Other than that, I like the changes they've made. :)
Woohoo! I'm so ready for this adventure. I think I'll name my revolutionary group "Children of Kintargo", just to spite the haters. :P
For real though, I'm super-excited. May as well get the "What are you playing?" ball rolling.
-LG Cleric of Olheon, empyreal lord of deservedness, nobility, rulership, who wants to redeem House Thrune
-Crossbowman fighter and deserter from the Chelish military, left after realizing the Chelish people have become "the enemy"
-Witch who worships Winlas (empyreal lord of religious ceremony, ritual, and service) and has the Wisdom patron, wants to establish religious equality to Cheliax
-CN Sorcerer/merchant who wants more economic freedom than is currently allowed
-NG Mastermind investigator and revolutionary who feels conflicted about manipulating people
-Monk and/or Sacred Fist warpriest of Irori who was arrested and learned his class in prison from an older Iroran who was put to death after teaching him for trying to teach people that they can improve themselves and their lot in life.
-I think I'll go for Irori, actually. Self-improvement is his main schtick and Asmodeus/House Thrune are 100% not okay with that. You're born into your life and don't you dare hope for anything better. I can see Irorans having a big problem with that. I know there's an order of Iroran archivists who try to preserve Chelish history from Thrune's editing/falsifying.
-A Calistria that starts working against the empire could say "Why the Hell not?" and play it off like they're just in the rebellion for kicks, but at heart is a passionate believer in freedom. Could work for Gorum or Cayden Cailean as well.
-Mystery cultist of Olheon (Good/Nobility domains) who wants to redeem Abrogail. "I know that you're better than they think you are. I know you're better than *you* think you are. Let's show them, together."
Some of the more LN worshippers of ZK may only share pain with wiling follower. I could see this Kuthite saying "They must accept that pain is the truth of this world, or they will not understand our ways." In non-Nidal regions they may adopt a similar mentality, so they don't get in trouble with the local governments, similar to the churches of Asmodeus and Urgathoa.
I always call it "Children of Westcrown." Its thematic and your players will think its (only) about their rebel alliance/neighborhood watch.
I am 100% ok with this. We got some great new devils in Council of Thieves and the Cabal devils are my favorite. The red skinned assassin devils are great too.
If you want a good look at what its like to be alive in North Korea, check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SllAhbkMCiY
A lot of your effectiveness as a PoR (in an RP sense) depends on your DM and players not metagaming. Most people don't know that Razmiran isn't a real god. Why would they? When you think of how uncommon even level 1 spellcasters are, divine or arcane, why would your average commoner, expert, or adept have any reason to doubt that this masked guy who healed their broken leg doesn't worship a true deity?
1. Clerics can't take inquisitions, those are for inquisitors only.
2. If you want more fire spells, take the Fire domain and prepare multiple Burning Hands.
3. If you want to be a blaster/summoner you'll want to crank up your Wisdom and Charisma pretty high. Wisdom will help with your spell DC's and Charisma will help when you're doing more powerful summons later on. Spell Focus: Conjuration and Augment summoning are highly recommended as well.
4. Consider going for the Diabolist prestige class, as the themes of that class and your character concept coincide quite nicely. Link: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/prestige-classes/other-paizo/c-d/diabolist
5. Use metamagic feats to increase the versatility of your blast spells.
-A friendly, loyal, and helpful bard who is absolutely ruthless in his pursuit of treasure. Possible Aspis Consortium member, he'll have a very well trained dog as a pet that comes adventuring.
-Summoner who is part of snake cult of some kind. Starts out in poverty because his cult recently got killed by adventurers, not because they were evil, just because they had loot and the adventurers were dicks.
-A young falconer who serves the current pharaoh. He's very young, pretty shy, but is pure of heart and adores his king. (Could also work for Carrion Crown)
-Arcanist who's parents own an antiquities store. He spent most of his youth working with magical items and old relics, so when his magical talents started to manifest he thought it was just the wondrous items activating.
I can see that happening with numbers, but I think the versatility will pay off in the end. How often as a fighter do you have to say "Woops, I didn't make an archer and I can't fly, guess I'll just watch the ranger and sorcerer fight the harpy."? Or "Man, I really wish I could get past this dragon's DR, but I'm a two-weapon fighter, that's not my build."?
I see the regular fighter as a true weapon master, who can excel with any type of armament in any situation. Will I be as good as a dedicated archer? Nope, but I can hold my own at range and still go into the front lines. Will I get as many hits in as a pure reach build or a two weapon fighting build? No, probably not, but I can still get some huge hits in with my two-handed weapon (lucerne hammer right now).
If I need to boost my attack scores, I can always get Weapon Focus with any toys I've come to like. I think I'll be holding onto that lucerne hammer and the chakram at least, so they're the top contenders right now.
Sean O'Brien 794 wrote:
There is the -1 to melee attacks with the chakram and the possibility of damaging yourself, but I personally think that gauntlets should prevent that from ever happening (which Kellan's scale mail provides). I'll talk to my DM about it, he might let this change happen.
In an upcoming Rise of the Runelords adventure I'm going to be playing a human fighter named Kellan. Kellan is going to be a member of the Sandpoint militia and an avid combatant with a variety of weapons, to the point where he's essentially a Swiss Army Fighter.
The idea is to create a fighter who is good with a variety of weapons, so he always has what's needed in a fight. I got the inspiration for his build from Treantmonk's guide to the ranger, where he suggests a switch-hitter build that uses both archery and a two-handed weapon for the main weapons, using Quick Draw to change weapons on the fly depending on what the situation needed. I decided to take it one step further: why just archery and two-handed? Why not archery, reach, and a little sword/board?
Many of you will say that this fighter is going to lack focus and come up short, which is definitely a possibility. However, I think that the fighter has the best chance of making this idea work, since he has the most feats of any class.
Right now I've got Quick Draw, Point Blank Shot, and Power Attack feats. Kellan fights with a lucerne hammer (reach), flail/heavy shield (for defense), longbow (dedicated range) and has three chakram to use for when he needs range on the fly. Threw in a sap as well, since he is a town guard and the people prefer non-lethal damage.
For range Kellan will get Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, and Deadly Aim. For melee he will get Improved Sunder, Combat Reflexes, Step Up, Cleave (trade out later), Disruptive, Shield Focus, and probably Toughness (to make up for Con 12).
What do you think? Is this crazy? Crazy enough to work? Any feat recommendations?
I've made sure to apply it to the enemies as well, so its not really an issue of balance so much as it is an issue of my player getting screwed because she decided to go archery (which is normally a perfectly acceptable build).
I think I'll roll for a d4 for hours of snow every 4 hours in the Border Wood and in Irrisen (winter portal and blizzard on the other side not withstanding, of course).