|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
Mark Sweetman wrote:
I did list some things in the Occultist thread, such as:
-Let the Psychic Weapon focus power scale up, similar to the magus's Arcane Pool, or paladin's Divine Bond.
-Give the Occultist access to bonus feats, probably through resonant powers. For example, a weapon as a divination implement could give Weapon Focus with 3 MF, Weapon Specialization at level 4 with 3 more MF, Improved Critical at 8, and so on.
-Add a couple more buff spells to his list, such as heroism, good hope, or even better, a new psychic-specific buff spell.
-Loosen up the Mental Focus, either by scaling it faster or allowing implements to keep their resonant powers after the MF is spent. As it stands now, starting at level 4 the Occultist doesn't have enough MF to use all the implements he has access to; at level 6 and above, new implements are good for nothing but expanding his spell list.
So if we compare the Occultist to other 3/4 BAB classes that are meant to be versatile...
Cleric, Oracle, and Druid are 9-level spellcasters, so they can easily focus primarily on spellcasting, and they have a good number of combat buff spells on their list. In addition, Oracles can choose the right revelations to become melee powerhouses, Druids have animal companions AND wild shape, while Clerics can pick and choose weapon proficiencies and domain abilities to further boost their melee power.
Bards get no bonus combat feats, but Inspire Courage boosts themselves AND their teammates, they get enough great buff spells like 2nd-level heroism, good hope, haste, and so on to let them match full BAB classes, and they have massive skill-boosting abilities like bardic knowledge, versatile performance, and lore master.
Rogues get sneak attack to boost damage, plus rogue talents every two levels, many of which can be used to pick up bonus combat feats or otherwise boost combat. Ninjas do the same, but even better with a ki pool.
Alchemists get bombs for group damage that target touch AC, plus a mutagen and discoveries that can make them into melee powerhouses, and a metric buttload of buff extracts (enlarge person, heroism, barkskin, false life, etc.)
Summoners... are summoners.
Meanwhile, the Occultist (whose proficiencies suggest he's meant to be at least capable of a martial role) can pick up a free weapon enhancement (at best, an extra 1d6 damage, or 2d6 against the right enemies), and can boost his enhancement bonus on his weapon by 1 (but that 1 never scales up). Or he can use Physical Enhancement on a belt, but it scales more slowly than a stat belt normally would, so it's either going to a secondary stat, or you're lagging behind in your main combat stat in order to save cash. And if you want to use two of those? Well, you've just used up all your mental focus, so you don't get to play with any of your other implements.
He gets a few buff spells on his list (haste, enlarge person, greater magic weapon, and... uh... pretty much nothing else). A couple of focus powers can give a one-time boost, but at a steep price, since you'll slowly be stripping away any static bonuses you got by spending the mental focus that was fueling your other stuff.
Phew, glad I got that off my chest.
I had the same sort of thing happen to me once. You still get a chronicle (although since you didn't play 3 encounters, you get no XP for it), and you can't replay it.
But you may want to check back with the other players. If they had enough between them, they might have been able to pool their cash for a raise dead for you.
I think the 3 main issues for the Medium are:
1) The proficiencies, spirit bonus, and spirit abilities are not enough to make him a competent martial class on par with any full-BAB class. And with 4 skill points and 4-level spellcasting, he's even worse at other roles.
2) The selection of spirits, especially when their abilities interact with each other, is too complicated.
3) A class feature that gives the GM control of your character for the rest of the day will only end in tears.
Rejiggering my stats, plus bumping.
Aris - CG Humanoid (kitsune, shapechanger)
Init: +6, Perception: +6 Senses: (Darkvision 60), low-light vision
Speed 30 ft.
Spells (CL 6; Concentration +10):
Languages Common, Sylvan, Draconic, Aklo, Celestial, Infernal, Abyssal, Elven, Goblin, Orc, Varisian
After more theorycrafting, here's what I would like to see to make a viable martial Occultist build:
-Make the Psychic Weapon focus power scale up, similar to the paladin's Divine Bond or magus's Arcane Pool, so it stays relevant at higher levels.
-Add another path for martial goodies besides Transmutation. I suggest a Divination resonant power that would grant bonus feats for a weapon. For instance, 3 MF gets you Weapon Focus at first level, then 3 more at 4th level gets Weapon Specialization, and 3 more at 8th gets you Improved Critical, etc.
-Let the Physical Enhancement resonant power scale slightly faster (every 4 levels instead of 5). That would make it more viable as a replacement for a standard belt, because a 3/4 BAB class is going to be hurting waiting until level 10 for that +4 to their main stat.
-Some higher-level focus powers (Evocation?) for boosting attack and damage.
I think the only way you can keep a martial build viable is to abuse Legacy Weapon and go straight for holy at level 4 (then maybe to speed at 8 and brilliant energy at 12). But that leaves you with precious mental focus left for activated abilities or other resonant powers. So most of your implements will lie fallow, useful for nothing but being able to cast their linked spells. That kind of kills some of the flavor for me (maybe they need more mental focus than they have now).
What would be really helpful for martial builds (or any build, really) is if you could get bonus feats as resonant powers for some implements. That would be a really flavorful way to incorporate bonus feats into the class without just handing them out.
Well, arguably Kineticist can do it but the burn mechanic may be a doozy for it in that regard. I keep telling myself that there are probably fighter, monk or brawler archetypes with some of the psychic abilities so you may get a surprise. I know I was ecstatic when all of a sudden there was a bloodline magus in ACG. Same for the cleric/monk archetype and the hunter archetype with eidolon evolutions on it's animal companion. So maybe these new classes don't need many combat abilities.
I was ignoring the Kineticist, because they're doing their own completely unique thing. The point is that none of these classes could make a good archer, or a good 2HPA melee guy, or a good TWF melee, etc.
So far, it looks like the best use for the Occultist is to hand out his implements to the rest of the party at the start of the day, then stay at camp to craft while they go out and do the adventuring.
I've been looking over these new classes, and I'm not seeing any good options for making martial characters that can keep up with existing full-BAB classes. None of the new classes have full BAB, and if I'm not mistaken, the only bonus combat feat in the whole playtest document is Weapon Finesse for one of the Medium spirits (and since it can be swapped out on a day-to-day basis, it can't be used as a prerequisite).
The classes as they are seem to focus too heavily on utility. They're loaded up with situational abilities that are nice to have, but at the expense of bread-and-butter boosts to combat or spellcasting that can make them excel at any role.
Or am I missing something?
I've been poring over the Occultist, looking to see if I can make a decent archer out of it (because I promised my wife that our next PFS characters would be a pair of Kitsune archers), but there simply isn't much that boosts combat ability. Even with two transmutation implements to get Legacy Weapon and Physical Enhancement, he lags severely behind a full-BAB class with bonus feats.
Looking over it, I think he suffers from a Jack-of-all-trades problem. He has a few boosts to combat ability, but not enough to make up for medium BAB and no bonus feats. And he has a few boosts to different spellcasting styles, but not enough to make up for being a 6-level spellcasting class. And most of the abilities cost mental focus for instantaneous or 1-round effects, with very few long-term boosts (with some nice exceptions, like an all-day see invisibility, and Legacy Weapon and Aegis).
So I'm just left wondering: What is the Occultist supposed to be good at?
It's been clarified in an FAQ that an SLA counts as a spell for the purpose of prerequisites.
I noticed that some of the spirit powers give bonus feats (such as Weapon Finesse for the Rabbit Prince). But since you can change the spirit you channel each day, they're not permanent, so it seems you couldn't use those feats as prerequisites. Is that correct? Because that would be kind of a bummer if you had to take a feat that you were getting as a bonus feat most of the time anyway.
OK, here's a kitsune Occultist archer. I may start something like this in PFS before too long, so I thought I'd try a higher-level version to see how it plays.
Aris - CG Humanoid (kitsune, shapechanger)
Init: +6, Perception: +6 (Darkvision 60, low-light vision)
AC 19 (+5 armor, +4 Dex)
Speed 30 ft.
Spells (CL 6; Concentration +9):
Languages Common, Sylvan, Draconic, Aklo, Celestial, Infernal, Abyssal, Elven, Goblin, Orc, Varisian
I noticed that as well. It looks like option 2 to me, since there is no minimum stated.
Mark Sweetman wrote:
On top of that, the Legacy Weapon resonant power specifies that the weapon ability only remains as long as it contains enough mental focus. That suggests the others keep their powers afterward.
I have a question about this Transmutation ability (and the similar one for Abjuration):
Unlike, say, the magus's Arcane Pool, this does not require a +1 enhancement before adding bonuses. It seems to mean that I could put 3 points of mental focus into a weapon to get a (+0) agile weapon at level 1. Is this intended?
The bonus from Timely Inspiration doesn't stack with Inspire Courage, so I doubt it would be useful very often.
Glitterdust is definitely in, but I'm not sure about my third 2nd-level spell.
Minor Correction: my last 1st-level spell is Vanish, not Charm Person. Also, since I haven't played at level 4, my 2nd-level spells are still up in the air.
So I'm thinking I'll take Battle Cry for my level 5 feat, and then use my level 5 spell swap to switch Vanish for Saving Finale. For 2nd-level spells, I'm looking at Heroism, Glitterdust, and... Sound Burst? Investigative Mind? Whip of Spiders? I'm not quite sure yet. Whip of Spiders would be ballin' if I could use my regular spell DC as the DC of the poison and distraction of the swarm, but I doubt it.
Seekers of Secrets has the Student of War prestige class, which gets some Int-based features and lots of skill points. You might also consider the Lore Warden fighter archetype, which gets extra skill points and all Int-based skills as class skills. It also gives Combat Expertise for free, which helps qualify for Student of War.
Michael Brock wrote:
One of the things to keep in mind is that, if we are going to help cut the time back to a manageable four hour slot, most of the "unique" systems we've put in (mass combat, dog sled race in #16, etc...) are likely going to be done away with. When a GM has to teach the players about the mechanics of a unique system for that scenario only, that leans towards adding an extra 15+ minutes to the slot.
With the exception of the dog sled chase, I think I'd be OK with that. But many of those special mechanics seem overly complicated. For example, the dog sled chase had all kinds of stuff about speed ratings and whatnot that nobody understood when I played, when it could have been reduced to "Here are your sleds. You can make a Handle Animal check as a full-round action to move up to 3 squares in any direction."
@Rory: I'm not keen on the summoning route, because I want to let my wife shine, and that means not jockeying for melee attention. Flagbearer is an interesting feat, although the bonus wouldn't stack with Heroism. I'll consider it.
@Malag: Saving Finale does look good. I'll consider swapping that in. Also, I didn't see any bardic masterpieces that piqued my interest (at least, not that I could use Oratory or Dance for). Which ones do you recommend?
@Fourshadow: Of course, I'd have to take Additional Traits to make that work (and I have a magic trait, so it would have to be Wayang Spellhunter instead). I'd probably just go with a rod, although that means I can't combine it with Empowered Spell. Also, Inspire Courage is a competence bonus, so it does stack with Heroism. What masterpieces do you think are intriguing?
@Brad McDowell: I may take Saving Finale, but the bonus from Timely Inspiration doesn't stack with Inspire Courage (and scales more slowly), so it seems useless to me.
I'm leveling up a PFS bard to level 5, but I'm not quite sure where to take him. I play him exclusively alongside my wife's Fighter (Elf with Weapon Finesse/Power Attack on an Elven Curve Blade), and right now he looks like this:
Emberkin Aasimar Bard 4
1: Lingering Performance
Until now, I've been spending my turns in combat juggling a Lingering Inspire Courage and taking pot shots with a crossbow, but now I'm looking to kick it up a notch. I need a new feat (and now that I have more rounds of performance, I'm open to retraining Lingering Performance), and another 2nd-level spell (and I get a free spell swap on top of that), but I don't know what to take. Some ideas I've considered are:
1) Retrain Lingering Performance to Skill Focus, then take Eldritch Heritage to pick up a familiar.
2) Retrain Lingering Performance to Spell Focus (evocation), pick up Spell Specialization with Ear-Piercing Scream, and add a little blasting to my toolbox (Thundering Drums looks like fun when I get to level 7).
3) Pick up a more broadly useful Spell Focus, such as Enchantment.
Any other ideas on where I can take this? I'm not terribly interested in using a whip or focusing on Intimidate (I don't have any ranks in it yet) for Dazzling Display or anything like that, but I'm open to suggestions.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Well, I want him to be something like these guys.
That sounds like a switch-hitter ranger to me.
Another interesting option for half-orcs is the Savage Technologist barbarian archetype from the Technology Guide (you could refluff it to ignore the technology-based stuff if you want). They get a Str/Dex rage instead of Str/Con, and you can combine that with the Reckless Abandon rage power for great accuracy and damage.
Can you go into more detail about his backstory? What else does he do besides shoot a bow? From his location, a Ranger with a favored enemy of humanoid (orc) seems appropriate, but a fighter could also be good. Since archery is so feat-heavy, and you don't get that human bonus feat, I'd recommend something that gives a good number of bonus feats.
If you want to know if something is legal or not:
1) Identify that book it's from. (In this case, Champions of Balance)
2) Go to the Additional Resources page.
3) Find the entry from that book. (Ctrl+F is useful for this)
4) See what it says is legal.
Playing at a Con will get you chances to win boons, but it takes some luck to get a race boon. GMing any games at a Con historically got you a race boon automatically, but I hear that the boon will be something else for the Con I'm at this weekend, so maybe race boons are being phased out there.
Also, if you have other boons (or spare books, etc.), check out the Boon Trading Thread in the PFS forum, and someone might be willing to trade.
Of course, there are currently 4 non-core races allowed without a boon, so you can probably find something you'd enjoy.
So I hear a lot about diversity in race, gender, and sexuality, but is there much going on in terms of religious diversity in comics? Are there any noticeably Mormon superheroes, for instance? Or Muslim, or Hindu, or Evangelical, etc.? I don't really know comics, but in the recent movies, I can only think of the church scene in Man of Steel, and the throwaway line about God in The Avengers.
Now for some general advice:
-Remember that casting spells as a swift action doesn't provoke AoOs, so you don't need Combat Casting for your Dimensional Dervish.
I think the Horizon Walker PrC gets Dimensional chain a little later. I think the EK gets more hp, full bab, and advances my spell progression albeit at -1. Seems like the EK is just a better choice overall compared to whatever class I'd take and then going into Horizon Walker.
The Horizon Walker gets his DDoor SLA at level 3 (after 6 levels of prereqs), which means he gets it at level 9, the same time as the EK version. But he gets to do it 3+Wis times per day, so probably at least 5/day by that level (compared to 1 or 2 per day for the EK, depending on whether you've shelled out for the +4 headband). The Slayer/Horizon Walker version would also have a few more hp (d10 hit die, and no need for a dip into a d6 class), full BAB (which means he can pick up Dimensional Savant at level 9), more skills, +2d6 sneak attack, 3 slayer talents (good for picking up bonus feats), +2 favored target, tracking bonus, and 2 favored terrains (but one of these has to be the Astral Plane). On the other hand, the EK version gets wizard spellcasting 2 levels behind, a couple of bonus feats, and doesn't need the Endurance prereq.
The EK is of course going to have more versatility, but will be somewhat worse at the DDoor schtick.
I'd go with the bonded item for the arcane bond, so you'll have one extra use of dimension door per day with it.
Another option for Dimensional Dervish is the Horizon Walker PrC, which can get DDoor as an SLA (and you'll have more uses per day than you will as a wizard). If you take your 6 levels in Slayer before that, you can get a little sneak attack to take advantage of Dimensional Savant, as well.
Remember that the Headband of Inspired Wisdom and Phylactery of Positive Channeling use the same slot, so you need to pick one. If you go with the Phylactery, or get Wis and Cha on your headband, your spell DCs will suffer. For my cleric, I focused on spell DCs and got a Wis Headband, along with a buckler as my shield so I still have that hand open to hold a metamagic rod, and the other hand for somatic components.
If you want to focus on casting offensive spells, I recommend a Lesser Rod of Bouncing Spell. It's only 3000, and a great way to make sure spells like Murderous Command, Hold Person, or Blindness/Deafness go off.
If you want a familiar, check out Eldritch Heritage. If you use that to get the Arcane bloodline ability, you can get a familiar without dipping, for the cost of two feats (Eldritch Heritage and Skill Focus (any Knowledge) as a prerequisite). Depending on how you plan on playing your bard, you may not have an urgent need for feats anyway.
I'd try stats of 16/14/12/17/10/7. Normally I'd avoid a d8 melee class with less than 14 Con, but starting at level 4, you can use False Life for added hp protection. If you want the heavier armor, you could either take the Armor Expert trait and a mithril breastplate (no ACP means no penalty for non-proficiency), save up for Elven Chain, or take a 1-level dip into Fighter. I think spending two feats on armor is overkill, especially when you'll have extracts like Shield and Barkskin, and the mutagen boost to NA.
It's not PFS legal.
Another option is to go pure Gunslinger with decent Int, then go into the Shieldmarshal prestige class, which gives some investigation-type abilities.