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Alternatively you could go for the Hail Mary and use Persistent Ghoul Touch - beating SR is a cinch with just Spell Penetration / being an elf and a Dweomer Essence, passing on a 5 or better - and if you pass the enemy is -paralyzed- in "Please Coup De Grace Me" position for 1d6+1 rounds.
Inevitables are all immune to paralysis, because of their constructed quality. They are tough, but I think the Zelekhut is only CR 9 tough.
Glitterdust blinds him if he fails a will save, but he has +10 to his will save, so the chances of him failing are going to be below 50% for an 8th level caster.
That's true but there is only one inevitable and 5 PCs, so if did fail that save even once, it would take a serious beating.
Other CR 9 monsters are just as tough. Look out for the Leukodaemon, especially if you are not ready to counteract disease. Just a few weeks ago I almost TPK'ed a party of five 14th level PCs with a small group of those things.
The constant true seeing is powerful against PCs, because it negates many defenses that the PCs might have, such as blur, displacement, mirror image, illusory wall, and improved invisibility, but I don't think the monster is overpowered. Heck, glitterdust could mess with it, and many PCs will have at least one dose of oil of align weapon. What you may be experiencing is that your particular group has not yet developed the techniques to effectively fight that particular monster. Players often need to learn to counter things like SR, flight, various form of DR, poison, and certain spells, that doesn't happen until they fight a monster that threatens them with those abilities.
There are certainly monsters that are too tough for their CR though. A death squad of four CR 7 sceaduinars (A 9th level encounter) would be much more dangerous, what with their anti-life shells protecting them while they blast the players with enervation before casting deeper darkness, and then using their life sense to attack players blinded in the midst of the deeper darkness with their harm and slay living spells.
There are already many pathfinder monsters that work in a high tech star-faring setting-- especially the Lovecraftian monsters, oozes and plants.
Monsters that can fight starships would be cool.
From classic trek, I'd like to see the extra-dimensional alien sorcerer space chickens from 'Cat's Paw'.
Inspired by Cordwainer Smith: wormhole dwelling phase dragons, and genetically modified human/animal creatures.
I expect that the krytons and the various creatures from the dominion of the black will be present.
Organic spaceships that have gone rogue, super sentient fungi that take over asteroids mining colonies and end up creating mossy mimicries of the humans and structures in the colony, undead planets, nebula oozes.
I have woken screaming from dreams wherein there is no adventure path after Strange Aeons, because the return of the Great Old Ones brings about the end of the multiverse. After Strange Aeons, there are only board games and one off modules set in pocket dimensions that have yet to devolve into madness-- pocket dimensions whose reality is only evanescent, and whose doom haunts their inhabitants' nightmares.
The spell is not ambiguous. It says:
"If a divination is attempted against the warded creature or item, the caster of the divination must succeed on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) against a DC of 11 + the caster level of the spellcaster who cast nondetection. If you cast nondetection on yourself or on an item currently in your possession, the DC is 15 + your caster level."
Is see invisibility a divination spell? Yes it is. So, a the caster must make a caster level check.
As a DM, if you do not like sneaky PCs with invisibility, have companion creature with blind sight/sense, or a spell caster with a non-divination invisibility spoiling spell such as echolocation, or use the old chalk-like substance (the powdered bones of previous would be thieves, for example) on the floor.
I would say that if a supernatural ability would be treated as a spell for the purposes of disrupting concentration.
"Spell: If you are affected by a spell while attempting to cast a spell of your own, you must make a concentration check or lose the spell you are casting. If the spell affecting you deals damage, the DC is 10 + the damage taken + the level of the spell you're casting.
If the spell interferes with you or distracts you in some other way, the DC is the spell's saving throw DC + the level of the spell you're casting. For a spell with no saving throw, it's the DC that the spell's saving throw would have if a save were allowed (10 + spell level + caster's ability score)."
So, for something like, say, a witch's agony hex, the DC would be the DC of the hex + spell level.
I would not say something like Evil Eye, Misfortune, or the like would interfere with concentration, but, say, a void dragon's alien presence aura would.
Here is the spell book that I used for Marrow:
1st: technomancy, cause fear, shield, charm person, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, detect undead, detect metal, decompose corpse, restore corpse, sculpt corpse
2nd: blindness/deafness, command undead, scorching ray, daze monster, ghoul touch, shatter
3rd: ray of exhaustion, lightning bolt, hold person, vampiric touch, call the void, preserve corpse
4th: bone shatter, enervation, animate dead
Note that when I ran this part, I made Marrow 7th level. Just remove the 4th level spells for a 6th level Marrow.
Yes, there are some deadly encounters.
In 'The Choking Tower', Furkus Xoud is a crazily powerful ghost. He can do con damage with irradiate, divide the party with wall of force, and fight them from within a cloudkill spell. He encountered in the basement, he may well have a 20 foot high ceiling to fly up to.
In 'The Valley of the Brain Collectors', the migo priest was quite dangerous, especially with his summoned monster, migo minions, and staff of the dark tapestry. But the encounters in the dominion hive make the migo lair look like a mushroom and herb quiche. Heck, a random encounter with 8 neh-thalgu almost took down a couple PCs.
I have not run 'The Divinity Drive' yet, but in looking through it I think my players will be well challenged even at, say, 17th level.
While faerie fire certainly does only affect the actual creatures and objects in its 5 foot radius burst, any visible effect that the caster of the mirror image is subject to is seemingly duplicated by the images. Otherwise, just making the caster of a mirror image spell bleed would negate the spell. So, glitterdust does not negate mirror image, nor does burning the caster of mirror image with a fireball, or hitting them with tanglefoot bag, or turning their nose blue with prestidigitation.
I think that if there is a weird rule quick here, its not that faerie fire does not negate mirror image, but that the rules make it sound like faerie fire creates more light when there are more objects in its area of effect, and I doubt that faerie fire is meant to produce more light the more objects there are in its area of effect. I believe that the intent of the wording is to mean that there a flickering candle strength glow coming from the 10 foot diameter circle that the faerie fire spell affect, and any number of faerie fire affected objects in a 5' area only generate 1 candles worth of light. Otherwise, you could put, say, 100,000 copper pieces in the spell's area of affect, and get 100,000 candle power worth of light. That would be weird.
Oh why, oh why must my beautiful box the glistening delightful minis be surrounded by diminutive, statically charged, demons of agonizing torment! Why do condemn your customers to the carpet soiling, choking doom of Styrofoam peanuts!?!?!?! Like vampiric albino leeches they cling to my flesh, and drain my life energy!
What exactly do you mean by 'fox form', do you mean fox-like humanoid, or the tiny animal fox?
In the former case, that creature speaks all of its languages (common and sylvan at the least), so there should be no communication problem.
In the latter case, while a tiny fox (an animal) can't speak without some kind of magic (unless the DM allows foxes to speak), it retains its intellect and personality and so can understand all of its languages (common and sylvan). I would think it could use the bluff skill to convey messages (perhaps requiring a sense motive skill check to be understood). It could also scratch written messages in the dirt.
I don't understand why it would be good for a swashbuckler to remain a fox all of the time. How would they use a sword?
While this monster was not my favorite, I think that personal tastes aside it may be the best monster of the bunch. Its story matter is excellent in that I could use it to create a whole 1 session adventure based on the monster, and it is poetic, sorrowful, and horrific. I immediately reminded me of the Harlan Ellison short story, 'The Whimper of Whipped Dogs'.
Then the mechanics present unique abilities that could well lead to some memorable and terrible battles.
With regards to Alanya's comment above, I think that people can see them, but they will have 20% concealment and you will be flat footed without true seeing. That's the way I read the naturally ignored power.
I also read the isolate power as allowing someone to attack a tatterghoul that is fighting an ally, but the they can't target the isolated ally with anything helpful (e.g. mass cure wounds, bardic performance, haste, aid another action), though the power is unclear on this issue.
Since one of my games is a piratey type campaign, I am always interested in monstrous shell fish, and as soon as I read the description of a giant oyster that wields a scimitar with its tongue, it got my vote.
However, scimitars are difficult to wield underwater. If I get the chance to use a scrapshell oyster might give it an ability that lets them use any one handed melee weapon underwater without penalty.
Also, it would be more fun if they were clannish, rather than solitary, and had a sort of undersea feudal culture with oyster knights, and squires and warlords. Then players could fight large numbers of them at once, which makes for a better battle.
I like this monster, and not just because I am a sucker for a weird sisters Shakespeare reference. I see it as similar to Brown Jenkin from H.P. Lovecraft's 'The Dreams in the Witch House', but with furry cat-like features (rather than the rat like features of Brown Jenkin), hands like a human, and a wicked, bearded human face.
As a cat person myself, I find it especially frightful that a Malkin might replace a family pet.
I believe that there is room in the monster collection for weird, evil fey, and perhaps because many people love cats, there really are not enough evil creatures with ties to the domestic house cat.
This kitten has got my vote!
This was one of my top 4. I don't believe I have ever before seen an undead creature that summons a guillotine to chop of someone's head. Also, it has a Disney's Haunted Mansion vibe, which is a great thing. I would like a miniature of this thing with the accompanying translucent guillotine.
My players also destroyed Binox fairly quickly.
Poor Binox. Its hard out there for a megalomaniacal A.I.
My players just finished the choking tower. Last game they traveled overland to the Scar of the Spider. During their journey, they fended off mutant two headed trolls (one with five arms), and a small flock of rift drakes.
Next week they enter the valley of the brain collectors. I am really looking forward to running this leg of the adventure path. It looks awesome.
How about an android investigator (empiricist) / swashbuckler (inspired blade). His name might be El. A level of inspired blade will give you a boost to melee combat with finesse, weapon focus, and inspiration. You will also have the prerequisites to take fencing grace. Empiricist fits well with a unemotional being like an android.
The new unchained rogue is both an excellent skill monkey, and a dangerous and effective combatant. You could take firearm proficiency as a rogue talent, if you want to use technological fire arms. The numerian archeologist trait would work well with such a character. You will want to also take a trait like mathematical aptitude (its called something like that), so that you can have knowledge engineering as a class skill-- it is the skill that is used to identify the many technological items you will find.
I agree with commenters that were troubled by the gaze attack. A quick fix for that would be to have it do wisdom damage:
Gaze (Su): 1d6 Wisdom damage, 30 feet, Will DC 19 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Thanks for all of the comments!
This is a monster got out of control, in that it got way over word count and I had to edit it down.
The original way over word count write up did allow the Occularictus to exercise some influence over eye possessed victims, and had notes about telepathy being limited to the same plane, and what sorts of healing is needed to remove the occularictus's eyes and return an eye possessed's sight.
The original background was approximately as follows:
Some occularicti are birthed from lakes of radiation steeped protoplasm that bubble in the deep realms of Sekamina. The protoplasm sprouts eyes that slowly crawl forth as grub like proto-occularicti that congregate in squirming mounds near their brithplace. Eventually their nervous systems develop to the point where they form a hive mind and can levitate, thus becoming an adult occularictus. Seeking new sights, they migrate upwards into the realms of Nar-Voth, where they hunt and reproduce, and where they can create eye possessed that allow them to vicariously explore the worlds beneath the sunlit sky.
Occularicti hunger for the blood and flesh of sighted creatures and are also driven by the desire to reproduce, which they accomplish by taking a creatures eyes without replacing them, and then injecting those eyes with an ichor that transforms them into occularictus eyes. When enough of these eyes have been created, a new occularictus is formed.
Note that casting legend lore will normally take 1d10 days, or 1d4x10 minutes if the subject is at hand. This item lets you cast it as a standard action. That can be very useful. That's why I limited it to once per week.
I made the mockery power kind of simple. In retrospect, if I were to re-write this item, I might have done a mockery power like this:
Mockery: Once per day, as a standard action, the wielder can cause the jester head to take on the likeness of an individual creature within 60 feet and then harangue that creature with magically honed mockery. All allies of the target within 60' are affected as per the spell hideous laughter (DC 18). For 1d6 rounds the target of the mockery is compelled to attack the nearest laughing creature. If there are no nearby laughing creatures that the target can perceive, they instead are dazed. The target may attempt a DC 18 Will save to negate this effect, and may re-attempt the saving throw at the end of each of their turns. This is a mind affecting enchantment (compulsion) effect.
Thanks for the comments and critiques, positive and negative! It is exciting to have made it into the top 32. Project runway is actually a favorite show of mine, so I feel like I should talk back to Nina Garcia, or something...
I love fools, partly because I am something of a Shakespeare fan and there are great fool characters in those plays, and partly because I remember some very fun role playing moments involving player character fools.
It has seemed odd to me that there are few magical fool's accoutrements-- no marottes, motley coats, or jester caps bedecked with cocks combs or donkey ears-- especially because these are so recognizable as interesting objects from a medieval/renaissance setting.
So, I had wanted to submit a marotte for a couple of years, but figured it was definitely more a rod than a wondrous item. Then the changed the first round up so that people could submit rods. Yea!
I have to say that I agree with some of the critisms, particularly regarding the wording of the item (I should have read it to my wife before submitting), the descriptors for the mockery power, and the spell requirements.
I went back and forth regarding the 2nd power being a mind affecting fear effect, being language dependent, etc.. Language dependent would have required that the marotte speak languages. If I had more words I might have made it language dependent and given the marotte a tongues power. But I didn't, so I figured that mockery was a fear effect because mocking people humiliates them, and that is sort of like fear, and mockery does make the target shaken. With regards to its being a compulsion effect, its true that hideous laughter is compulsion, but that actually makes you do something, and being dazed doesn't really do that. It should definitely be an emotion effect though. I had forgotten that that descriptor had been added.
I had some other powers in mind for it-- pratfall, fool's license, an area of effect hideous laughter. If I was to give the item out in one of my games, I would probably add a couple of those powers in, particularly fools license, which was kind of like a sanctuary that let you mock people. I also might change mockery so that you could do it more often, but its effects were not so devastating.
I have also finished my map! That was fun. I will sleep on it and see if I have any elder god inspired dreams that reveal dark and forgotten truths about this image before I send it in.
Sceaduinar from bestiary 2.
The only thing CR7 about these bad puppy cats is their AC.
They have life sense. They cast deeper darkness and silence, hide within an anti-life shell, throw enervation spells and dispel magics at the party, and then, finally, move up in the silent darkness to cast harm and slay living on some party member. Their normal attacks life drain and do +1d6 negative energy damage. You attack them with a 5' reach melee attack, and you take 1d6 negative energy.
Aboleths also seem tough for CR 7 because of their DC 22 dominate monster 3/day. Most DMs just have this used to have dominated minions, but they can easily dominate most of an adventuring party before the party has managed to see through the illusions that hide the aboleth.
Both of these monsters are way cool, but when DMing you need to be careful what you do with them in an encounter, because they can easily TPK a 7th level party of adventurers.
You can't take 20 on knowledge checks, because there is no retry. See the CRB, skills, knowledge.
You can take technically take 10, but if you don't have an idea of the DC of the check, that might not be a good idea.
I don't think there are other feats. A cracked Gold Nodule ioun stone grants a general +1 competence bonus on linguistics checks, and costs a cheap 150gp.
The social trait 'unintentional linguist' from ultimate campaign grants you a +1 trait bonus and an extra language. You would have to take the 'extra traits' feat to get it. There are several other traits that also grant that trait bonus.
If your investigator can use 2nd level extracts, or if you can afford a wand, you could use the spell investigative mind to roll twice and take the best result. That equates to about a +5 to the roll.
I just ran into an item that was basically a magical drone. Relative to its neighbor, I liked it.
Hobgoblin Shogun wrote:
What are the approximate numbers for each of the gangs? I gotta assume there are more Smilers and/or Steel Hawks than the ones explicitly placed in encounters. And then how many individuals are there in Scrap Wall that aren't part of any gang.
The module never says, but it does say that there are 'hundreds' of ratfolk and orcs in the lords of rust (add in some androids, humans, chokers, darkslayers, the odd ogre, maybe a wayward halfling).
When I ran the smiler's part of the module, I assumed that there were about 100 individuals affiliated with the smilers, with about a 3 dozen extra smiley smilers (who had modified their faces with soothe) ready for random encounters. I wrote up a couple of extra smiler leaders (a gunslinger, and a smiler orc barbarian with a bite attack) but never got a chance to use them. The one smiler random encounter I did was with a wanna be up and coming orc gang called the red hands. After Marrow had been killed, a few smilers tried to join this orc gang, and the gang leader decided to initiate them. The red hands surrounded the PCs, told them they were in red hand territory, and asked them to pick the weakest of them to fight the initiates. They picked Yule, the android gunslinger, who promptly shot all the initiates dead.
Once the excavator is completely restored and powered up, it must be able to house Hellion (that is part of Hellion's plan, after all) but it seems that currently the central processor room (S3) can not house him. So, if he needs to escape, he has to use the arachnid robot chassis. Hellion is still within the excavator during the action of the module, but he can't fully upload himself to it. I think of the excavator as a snazzy peripheral.
The arachnid robot can definitely hold Hellion's consciousness. It was built to do that. Its computational infrastructure was designed by a super genius semi-divine AI, and is no doubt a lot more sophisticated than the hobbled, damaged computational infrastructure of a piece of construction equipment.
Note that if you attack a confused creature, it will automatically attack you every turn (no roll required). So, once Hellion attacked one of the confused party members, that party member would attack Hellion, at least until some other confused party member in turn attacked them.
Thanks so much! In Austin, TX rain is sporadic and sometimes hard to predict, which is probably why this problem occurred. It has not happened with any of my previous orders.
One thing that you all might consider is to package items in some water resistant bag, at least during the winter months.
One of the things I am totally adverse to is an item that requires a number of strange arithmetic calculations to use, and then provides a trivial bonus or penalty (like +1 to hit or -1 to saving throws vs. fear). But that item is better than the boring, ill formatted item. But I hate the lots of mental energy for little gain trend (which even professional designers fall prey to) so much I would like to vote against this item even though it is technically the 'better' item. Such are the dilemmas of voting in RPG superstar.
UPS left the cardboard envelope containing 'The Palace of Fallenstarns' on my front porch, in the rain. It is basically a palace of soggy, limp, dripping stars that is ready to disintigrate. I don't know what your policy is on this kind of thing (its obviously more UPS's fault than yours), but could you send me a new copy of this module?
I am in the midst of DMing 'Lords of Rust', and would love some miniatures applicable to the upcoming adventure paths. Robots, androids, the various aliens, orcs with chainsaws, skeletal undead in space suits, clockwork soldiers, brain collectors, migo, four armed aliens, four armed alien skeletons, etc. I currently buy a few halfway relevant star wars minis.
A huge, semi-transparent shoggoth would be utterly awesome. Bonus points if it had a little button that made it repeat "Tekeli-li" endlessly, though I do personally find it fun to say 'Tekeli-li' over and over again.
A void dragon.
Jub jub birds and bandersnatches (bandersnatchi?). But in my piratey game, I am particularly fond of jub jub birds.
Back onto Scraponomics: since the theme for this book is Mad Max's biker gangs, Scrapwall is the descendant of Bartertown. As a result, money isn't used to purchase stuff there. If you want to find something, you need to make a Diplomacy check to track down someone that has it and is willing to give it up. For most magical items, it's a DC 20. (Medium and major items have already been looted from Scrapwall long ago.) Tech is harder - the DC is equal to the check to create/identify. They won't take cash though. If you want the item, you need to give them equipment equal to the GP cost. My hard and fast rule is it needs to be no more than 3000 gp, as that's half the cost of the most expensive item detailed by one of the gang members in the book.
I just ran a scrapwall trading game (they fought some wandering monsters, but this game was mostly trading stuff) last night. I wrote up a list of the people in scrapwall that could trade for some of the stuff acquired by the adventurers, and what those traders have to offer (about how much money, and what magic items they possess). I had an alchemist that sells potions, and has some 'trained' oozes, a smith that has a few master work weapons and some components for weapon enchantment, and a junk merchant that had a number of timeworn tech items and some ready cash to buy more of the same.
Also note that if the players ally with Divanya, she has the craft wondrous item and craft weapon feats. Provided with components and incentive, she can make items for adventurers who have allied with her.
You need to get the two weapon fighting feat and shield proficiency. Then, I suppose, at high enough level you could have a shield, and use two weapons, and have a free hand for deflect arrows and somatic components. If you can find a one handed reach weapon, that would also be good, as you could get reach attacks and attacks of opportunity while also fighting at 5' reach.
Since it takes two hands to load a pistol, and juggler/gunslinger (pistolero) is cool because you can have two weapon fighting and pistols and reload them both as a free action with rapid reload + alchemical cartridges. At higher level, you could throw in a shield if you somehow got proficiency.
It would be cool if there were a feat that let you extend two weapon fighting an additional weapon you were juggling.
Another adventure path I would like to see is one set entirely in Tian Xia with races and classes specific to that region (Vanara, Ratfolk, Tengu, Samurai, Ninja, etc.) that was some kind of epic battle against the Rakshasa or the like, inspired by the Ramayana and anime.
Chris Wallace 621 wrote:
The jinkin gremlin's melee attacks are only dangerous when they get that +1d6 sneak attack damage. Its best if they hide around corners and in nooks and crannies, taking a single sneak attack before running, or dimension dooring away. Sometimes one might win initiative, and try for an extra sneak attack (until a character's first turn in a combat, it is flat footed, so a lone gremlin that surprised a party might get 2 sneak attacks in).
A tough level 1 encounter occurs when two jinkin gremlins are hiding behind either corner of a cavern opening. Since I had 5 players making 20 point characters, I used a couple of dual jinkin encounters. They could be quite deadly, because as long as both jinkins are alive, they can both sneak attack and DR5/cold iron helps their survivability.
The skulks (or the jinkin gremlins) need can hide if they have cover (such as hiding inside the doorway to one of their huts and peering out) or concealment (such as dim light, or darkness. They make a stealth check with modifiers as per the section on the stealth skill. If they attack while hiding, the opponent is flatfooted, and its a sneak attack.
Also, if they flank with an ally, they get +2 to hit, and its a sneak attack, but the opponent is not flat footed.
If the skulks get a surprise round, all opponents surprised are flat footed, and its a sneak attack.
Finally, if they go before an opponent's first chance to act in the first round of combat, the opponent is flatfooted, and its a sneak attack.
You could ready an action to throw it just before your next turn. The trigger would have to be something like 'I finish counting to 6'.
"The ready action lets you prepare to take an action later, after your turn is over but before your next one has begun. Readying is a standard action. It does not provoke an attack of opportunity (though the action that you ready might do so)."
Just to give an advantage to high initiative people, I might say that lets you throw the grenade at the very end of the current round, allowing only those with a higher initiative than you to have a chance of moving the thrown grenade.
Marrow, the hobgoblin necromancer from 'Lords of Rust', probably should have done this with a gas grenade in last night's game. But it was cool the way it went down. She threw a gas grenade into the midst of the party as her zombies advanced and attacked, but Singe, the technologist rat folk rogue, kicked the grenade back into the midst of the zombies.
A person could certainly allow someone to hold a primed grenade indefinitely (keeping the 'begin timer button pressed', but if its a free action to activate a grenade, there is not reason to do this.
It would be interesting to allow grenades to have their timer set for any number of rounds (even millennia in the future-- I bet the Androffens had at least 1024 bit registers in their processors). Then you could set up a number of grenades that all detonate in, say, an hour. Big boom.
A couple more mesmerist archtypes:
the sonambulator: They replace tricks and touch treatment with the ability to implant a domination effect (save negates), and activate that as an immediate action, allowing the mesmerist to take a creature's standard action dominating the implanted humanoid (later, all actions, and eventually monsters as well as persons).
the psychic projectionist: instead of the normal tricks, the psychic projectionist would be able to use a subject to cast a spell as an immediate action, from the subjects location. They would also have the ability to see through a subjects eyes senses.
Note that mesmic mirror does not list a duration for how long the images persist.
Also, note that since it is unlikely one could activate this after the subject was hit, if the trick only has a 1 round duration, it will become one of those situational, guesswork tricks that ends up not being really useful.
It might worth thinking about modeling tricks after contingent spells of 1st - 3rd level, and masterful tricks after contingent spells of 4th - 6th level. (One could, in fact, create a contigent spell trick/masterful trick that allowed the mesmerist to setup a contigent spell in the subject.)
My 4th level mesmerist's tricks: spectral smoke, mesmic mirror, false flanker. Spectral smoke allows for a quick escape when attacked, but can be disruptive to other party members. Mesmic mirror can foil an entire attack, including any poison, life draining, grabbing, etc. effects and is not as disruptive as spectral smoke. Its almost always better than psychosomatic surge, whose temporary hit points will likely only provide a tiny buffer against an attacks damage. False flanker lets the ninja get sneak attack with 2 weapon fighting, and might help the magus land a spell.
Note on false flanker: a careful reading of the trick says that it must be triggered when the subject moves adjacent to an enemy, so technically, if the subject just began its turn adjacent to the enemy, the trick could not be triggered. The subject would have to 5 foot step into another adjacent square or the like. The trick should probably be re-worded so that it can be triggered when the subject moves adjacent to or begins its turn adjacent to an enemy.
I am just finishing up a Kitsune Mesmerist (4th level) for our group's Wednesday game (with rotating DMs).
I love the concept of the class. I think that the two features that make it unique are the mesmerist's stare/bold stare abilities, and the tricks. The idea of the tricks is the most interesting, and potentially the neatest class feature. I have to say that I have always wanted to run some kind of spell caster that could trigger multiple, contingent magics. However, given the current mechanics for tricks, I will be surprised if I can get them to be very useful.
This current character will get to have 1 person have 1 trick before combat. So, they themselves might get have a momentary mirror image (1 image), or a cloud of illusory smoke, or he might help the ninja get in a sneak attack once.
If you compare these abilities to a bard's, whose spell list is more diverse (having numerous spells that are not mind affecting, like summon monster)
It would be more fun to play if the power were beefed up a bit, perhaps as follows:
1. Tricks remain implanted until the mesmerist regains their spells. This makes situational tricks more useful because they will be active across more diverse circumstances. Vanish arrow, delay misery, gift of will, slip free, reflection of weakness are all highly circumstantial and would be useful only if you could keep them in place across multiple allies during an entire adventuring day.
2. The mesmerist can maintain 1 implanted trick on any one given subject at 1st level, but is not limited in the total number of subjects that they can give their tricks to at once. Later levels allow more tricks per subject to be implanted, instead of more total tricks. Note that at low levels, because the tricks require the mesmerist's immediate action, only 1 trick could be triggered in a round. Also, note that the mesmerist is still limited to Charisma Modifier + 1/2 level tricks.
3. Vanish arrows should work more like snatch arrow -- the arrow just vanishes and appears in the mesmerist's hand after the to hit roll is made and the hit is announced. If the mesmerist succeeds a slight of hand vs. perception, then the attacker doesn't notice their arrow disappearing. Note that guessing who is going to get shot at with an arrow makes this trick hard enough to set up. Adding in having to guess whether the arrow hits makes it relatively useless.
4.Psychic surge (more of just a power boost than a streamlining): Make it 1d6 + level temporary hit points. That is more inline with other powers and spells used by other classes and it will keep this trick useful at higher levels, when characters take large amounts of damage in a round.
5. Delay misery should work against any condition that the mesmerists touch treatment works on. That keeps the trick useful at higher levels, and saves the mesmerist having to take a major trick to do the same thing. It also makes more room in the book for other, more interesting major tricks.
6. For a major trick, there should be one that acts as polymorph/baleful polymorph. Mesmerists in cartoons are always making people act like dogs and the like.