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Why do people hate / dislike Occult adventure?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Recently I have been trying to join a new pathfinder game online. One common theme I have found for each game, no matter the style, is that the Occult classes are all banned. Can some one explain why this is? Are the classes really all that broken?


it's the same problem as with psionics in 3.e (in PF they have the additional problem of being 3.pp) : they are a complex, some might say clunky set of additional rules that the DM just doesn't want to have to cope with.


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They do? I love that book! WTF people!

To warn you btw D4 pretty much everyone on the internet hates everything always and at all points in time.

1 or 2 of them I have heard are actually kind of weak. the Psychic is the strongest from the grapevine and people can't decide if the kinetcist is Over powered or weak sauce. Which makes me suspect it falls somewhere in the middle. I don't think they have yet to make a class more powerful then the core wizard so I don't think I would consider them OP.


Klorox wrote:
it's the same problem as with psionics in 3.e (in PF they have the additional problem of being 3.pp) : they are a complex, some might say clunky set of additional rules that the DM just doesn't want to have to cope with.

I think your thinking of the third party product dream scarred press'es Ultimate psionics. The occult adventures class work similar to a sorcerer for the most part. With the occultist being fairly confusing and the kinetcist being its own thing probably closet to the 3.5 warlock.


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I think it's fair to say that the occult classes generally skew complex, though how complex depends on the class - Psychic is fairly straightforward, Mesmerist and Spiritualist a bit trickier, Occultist and Medium fairly complicated, and Kineticist is the only class I've seen that has a guide for GMs to understand it.


Dreikaiserbund wrote:
I think it's fair to say that the occult classes generally skew complex, though how complex depends on the class - Psychic is fairly straightforward, Mesmerist and Spiritualist a bit trickier, Occultist and Medium fairly complicated, and Kineticist is the only class I've seen that has a guide for GMs to understand it.

I can agree with that. I personally don't like the mesmerist I just don't like the flavor of the character. I admit I had to read over the occultist several times to figure it out and the kineticist i still have a little trouble with some of their abilities.


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The other source of complexity is that psychic casting is generally unprecedented in the rules before. Like, a magus and an inquisitor may have their own rules, but their spells still generally work like wizard or cleric spells (they have some unique spells but really not many).

Meanwhile, psychic casting has a much higher portion of new spells, and has some new mechanics (undercasting, thought/emotion components).

Is this enough to justify 'hate'? Eeeeeh... but I can see a GM not wanting to deal with it (honestly, given that Pathfinder has something like 40 base classes by now, I can totally see a GM just saying 'sticking to Corebook + APG classes for the sake of my sanity'). Gods Above know I've been tempted to do that.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Why do people dislike anything? Some people like the occult rules, some don't. Some people like mythic rules, some don't. Some people like psionics, some don't. Some people like third party material, some don't. Some even like Path of War material, and some don't.

People have different tastes, preferences and play styles. That's just the way it is..


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Klorox wrote:
it's the same problem as with psionics in 3.e (in PF they have the additional problem of being 3.pp) : they are a complex, some might say clunky set of additional rules that the DM just doesn't want to have to cope with.
I think your thinking of the third party product dream scarred press'es Ultimate psionics. The occult adventures class work similar to a sorcerer for the most part. With the occultist being fairly confusing and the kinetcist being its own thing probably closet to the 3.5 warlock.

Yes, I'am thinking of the Dreamscarred Press PF update on psionics... I don't have the Occult Adventures book, but, given I love the old 3.5 warlock, studied the kineticist on the SRD and did find it quite clunky and weird, I did assume that the rest of occult characters would use similarly convoluted and difficult to learn mechanics.


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Kineticist isn't so bad once you play it. basically you can pew pew when you want. then if you want to do a special pew pew you have to spend your level in hp that requires rest to heal but ideally you'll have a lot of hp to spend. Then late ryou get ways of useing special pew pews without having to spend hp and instead charge up. also you gain at will spell like abilities.


Looks interesting, I should get the book and study it...


If you need help figuring it out their is quite a few good guides and of course you can always ask the forums. Just choose an element really and shot beams of X at will. That is what you'll be doing most of the time.


I've never understood the complaints over the psychic classes. They're generally more balanced than previous bulk class releases and step on other classes toes much less.

The only rule that's complex are kineticist, occultists and psychic duels(which admittedly are a little convoluted)


I could see medium which is basically like swapping out your class from time to time.
Psychic pretty much plays like an arcanist.
Spiritualist is basically a summoner with some different stuff.

Yeah occulist I can see being confusing I've made one and played one and am still not sure If i'm doing it right.

Edit: Alright I guess I could see some DM's have some problems with it especially if they don't want to have to thoroughly read it. I think learning the new stuff is half the fun myself.


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It seems to mostly be DMs that don't want to learn new rules. And who don't trust new people to tell them how those rules work.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I always thought Mesmerist was kind of... Not cool, I guess.

Then my wife made one that was a "life coach" that only tried to help people be a better them, and when she uses her touch treatment she slaps them across the face telling them to get their s&&@ together.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

It isn't just DMs not wanting to read it thoroughly but having to deal with the players not doing it. Turns the meeting into a teaching lesson.

Dark Archive

Overall I like them thematically, but they are distinct enough mechanically that it is almost like another game. If you are trying to run more of a horror or Occult game I think they are great. On the other hand if you play all the options and flavor lite the distinctiveness mechanically is a lot of extra work.


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I don’t hate them, but I don’t have time to learn new rules nor try and understand a class that needs 15 pages to explain it, so I just arbitrarily ban anything released after ACG. If a player were to talk me into letting them play occult, I would just treat it like regular magic (I have no idea if it’s different or not) so as not to deal with any “nun uh it’s psionics not magic” talk.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It is? Honestly the only hardcover I have seen heavy hate for is the Advanced Class Guide and Mythic Adventures. I know people don't like elements of some of the new classes, and they are definitely more complex than most other classes, but I haven't seen as much hate there as for other products.


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I honestly love that book. It's what got me back into Pathfinder after the crushing disappointment I felt having bought the dead tree version of the Advanced Class Guide (which was largely rendered useless via ~600 pages of errata).

There's some mechanical quibbles to have with the book; Some of the classes new to it are more or less just versions of existing classes- the Psychic is a slightly different Sorcerer and the Spiritualist is just a slightly different Summoner, but TBH I like the psychic versions better. The Occultist, Kineticist, and Medium are definitely victims of the 3.x/PF problem of "needlessly complicated" but that's mostly annoying to people who haven't already bought in.

But I've played every class in that book, and have had fun with all of them (even though the medium kind of doesn't work well and the mesmerist is hard to build.)


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Can't say that I've ever heard of anyone disliking that book. It's one of my favorite books.


So I got a response from my GM. He thinks the Occult classes are to powerful. Not sure what to make of that.


Well we don't know what his standards for powerful are but they're weaker than comparable core and base classes. So unless he thinks everything is too powerful he is misguided.

Witch/Wizard/Arcanist > Psychic
Bard > Mesmerist
Summoner > Spiritualist

Kineticists and Mediums don't have such easy comparisons but they're not really good enough at anything to brake things (especially in the case of the medium)

The only class that really competes well with its competitors is the Occultist which I generally compare with investigators, alchemists, war priests Inquisitors and Magus'.


Some of the hate is undeserved as well.
How many arguments have you heard that there is just no way you can tell that a psychic type Is casting their spells. The undetectable caster is a dream of a number of players/GMs. Occult stuff, being relatively new and unknown at a lot of tables, the crooked lawyer types push just as hard as they can. I know otherwise decent GMs and players that just don't want to deal with it. I also know more than enough of the crooked lawyers. This isn't a problem with the classes themselves.

Liberty's Edge

Occult Classes are generally 'weaker' on average than the other classes - and by that, I mean they're built more carefully and less exploitable. Powergamers may find them disappointing. Overall they're just as good as the other classes, and have a few very niche abilities for intrigue situations. Personally, I don't buy the whole 'changing how the setting works' argument. Someone will have to explain to me which of these don't function in a typical fantasy setting.

On the other hand, they tend to also have a higher power 'floor' than most other classes, so among beginner groups and low-optimisation groups, they may seem pretty strong.

The spiritualist is a pet class, the kineticist has a straight-forward, set damage progression, and the mesmerist has hypnotic stare, giving it very hard to resist spells from the get-go.

The occultist is very well rounded and not notably crazy at anything unless you use the Trappings of the Warrior Panoply.

The medium suffers from the Shaman's 'rewrite your character sheet each day' problem, but can just be played a straightforward melee fighter that can actually do things on days off.

The psychic is a 9-th level spontaneous caster. Which, admittedly, is the class chassis I care the least about. I can't speak much for it, though it's imo more versatile than the sorcerer with how the disciplines work.


The psychic is one of the better examples of higher floor.

Depending on your pick a sorcerer bloodline can be next to useless or push you into playing a class that's absolutely top tier for what you're doing.

On the other hands most Disciplines and Phrenic amps are nice but don't tend to brake anything in the same way certain things one does with a sorc might.

Dark Archive

eakratz wrote:
I don’t hate them, but I don’t have time to learn new rules nor try and understand a class that needs 15 pages to explain it, so I just arbitrarily ban anything released after ACG. If a player were to talk me into letting them play occult, I would just treat it like regular magic (I have no idea if it’s different or not) so as not to deal with any “nun uh it’s psionics not magic” talk.

Psychic casting uses Thought/Emotion components instead of Verbal/Somatic, that is the only difference. Thought means that they have an extra +10 on the difficulty to make concentration checks (unless they take a move action to center their thoughts), and Emotion means that they need to stay in a right state of mind to cast (so if under the effect of a harmful mind-affecting effect, they cannot provide said component, so demoralize = no casting). Since there are clearly no visible/audible components left, people thought they could cast without anyone noticing. Fortunately, Paizo quickly established a rule versus that form of thought by making a Faq:

FAQ wrote:

What exactly do I identify when I’m using Spellcraft to identify a spell? Is it the components, since spell-like abilities, for instance, don’t have any? If I can only identify components, would that mean that I can’t take an attack of opportunity against someone using a spell-like ability (or spell with no verbal, somatic, or material components) or ready an action to shoot an arrow to disrupt a spell-like ability? If there’s something else, how do I know what it is?

Although this isn’t directly stated in the Core Rulebook, many elements of the game system work assuming that all spells have their own manifestations, regardless of whether or not they also produce an obvious visual effect, like fireball. You can see some examples to give you ideas of how to describe a spell’s manifestation in various pieces of art from Pathfinder products, but ultimately, the choice is up to your group, or perhaps even to the aesthetics of an individual spellcaster, to decide the exact details. Whatever the case, these manifestations are obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated; this prevents spellcasters that use spell-like abilities, psychic magic, and the like from running completely amok against non-spellcasters in a non-combat situation. Special abilities exist (and more are likely to appear in Ultimate Intrigue) that specifically facilitate a spellcaster using chicanery to misdirect people from those manifestations and allow them to go unnoticed, but they will always provide an onlooker some sort of chance to detect the ruse.

So although Psychic Magic uses Thought/Emotion components instead of Verbal/Somatic, it is still very much detectable (due to unidentified magical scenery from casting). So there will be no build-in sneaky casting for the occult classes.

Shadow Lodge

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A reason I had for disliking psychic stuff in fantasy settings was because I thought of psychic powers as a more "urban fantasy equivalent of high fantasy magic". Why be psychic when you can already be a sorcerer or something?

Then I read about how, since psychic powers don't work anyway, magic makes it work, which makes sense; also, because Golarion's in a sort of an early Rennaisance-type era, it'd be fun to have a seance, or brainwash people into feeling better about themselves, or just throw balls of elemental goop at people without even needing to know how spells work.

Though in-setting, I have a wizard who thinks mind magic is a waste and probably doesn't even exist, and plans for a mesmerist who is glad he isn't a wizard or a sorcerer, since that's the most destructive kind of magic whereas he just wants to help people.


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Echoing many of the sentiments on this thread already, some folks are predisposed to dislike new things. Pathfinder is pretty complex game, and learning new rulesets (even if they're well written and balanced) can be a formidable task. I think that Paizo did a fantastic job reimagining the psionics rules of 3.5 without reinventing the wheel. That said, the occult adventures flavor doesn't always fit every setting and every table.

Personally I don't have the time to learn a whole new ruleset, which is why as a GM I generally don't allow it. But unlike a lot of dreamscarred material, occult adventures doesn't require significant rebalancing of encounters and party power level.

Which is not to say any of these are bad rulesets or that they're not fun to play. 3rd Party material is more likely to be unbalanced but optimizers can disrupt game balance even with the core ruleset. Bad players often use unfamiliar rulesets to take advantage of a table, but that's a player problem.

In short, I love occult adventures. But as a GM I basically don't allow it.

Addendum: Power level comparisons are generally less important than the level of optimization. I wouldn't worry about occult classes overpowering the table, but it might be a headache for the GM to be constantly looking up rules.

Dark Archive

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As for the classes themselves, I do not really mind them, although aren't pulled to them either. I do agree with the rules bloat, though. It also certainly isn't helped that the classes are introduced with the Kineticist first, which has a great amount of new rules with no similar mechanics to lay besides it. I know when I got that book, I needed some serious time to digest those rules. Afterwards, I was mentally fatigued and then only casually glanced the other classes. I quickly saw that the Spiritualist was some sort of Summoner, and the Psychic some sort of Sorcerer. I had seen a playtest Mesmerist on a regular basis, so I skipped that section. And the Occultist and Medium had yet again a lot of rules which confused me (at that point in time), so I decided to just stop there for that moment. It helped that a fellow player fell in love with the Occultist and regularly played one, so I could learn by watching. In the end, it isn't such a difficult class, it just has a lot of options (it's a Rubix-Cube-class).

With that said, this is how I see the occult classes:

  1. Kineticist" has a steady power-curve, so steady that it is difficult to lower/raise. Some people will find them too powerful for their steady output, others will find them weak for not being able to deliver more. It is however an All-or-Nothing class most of the time, having a single blast per round (unless you make a melee Kineticist), and the mechanics are something one really needs to get used to.
  2. Medium is a class I just don't get. I have read it a couple of times, but the light bulb just doesn't light up. The fact that no one around me is playing one means I also do not get the chance to see it in action, so I cannot say much about it.
  3. Mesmerist is a class I have the least affinity with. I don't know, I think it is the entire "I bend everyone to my will" theme it kinda represents. This image could just be me, but I just don't like it.
  4. Occultist is one of those classes that has a lot of management. The Mental Focus pool is used for a lot of things, and although the resonant powers sometimes are amazing, you can't have them all. So choices must be made in this class, and there are a lot of choices.
  5. Psychic is in my eyes the most simple class among them. It is simply the 9th level spontaneous caster of the lot, with its own "bloodlines" so to speak. Not much to say about it, the chassis is kinda bland like that.
  6. Spiritualist was the one class I really liked (due to the flavor and playing way too much of the SMT:Persona series). The rules also immediately clicked for me, as it is just a Pet-Class. The only thing was that the chassis was more support based than offensive beast, but one can work around that.

So all in all, they aren't bad, some of them are just a bit more difficult to wrap your head around.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

"The too powerful thing" could very well come from either not being familiar enough with the rules to get a sense at the power level, or misreading the rules to that effect, or the GM simply getting burned on letting folks play complicated classes, which as some referenced above, can allow some sneaky sorts to interpret rules in such as way as giving they way too much power, if a GM isn't familiar enough to argue back.

Liberty's Edge

Quote:
So all in all, they aren't bad, some of them are just a bit more difficult to wrap your head around.

Yep, one thing I noticed about the Occult classes is that the rule wording for them is nauseating, but most of them actually play very smoothly and intuitively once you understand how they work.


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Actually, I think they have a point about the power levels and difficulty of play, especially in non-optimization cases.
In practice, a Kineticist tends to approximate the damage of a fighter doing full attacks, except he does it in close or at range, and has several utility abilities. This effect is magnified by not spending a ton of his money on magic weapons - rather, he can spend on things like a ring of invisibility...
Psychics are generally stronger versions of sorcerers ( without optimization). They get to use armor for defense and have a very good spell list.
Mesmerists are strong in play because they make the other spellcaster(s) in the party so much stronger with their continuous ability to debuff everyone they encounter.
I have yet to see a non- Trappings of the warrior panoply occultist. With it they are full bab combatants with a bunch of spellcasting tagged on.
I will admit mediums and spiritualists are rare at tables I have frequented.


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I feel like "this class from a later published book is too powerful" is disingenuous when the Wizard was in the core rulebook. "Some classes are better, easier to play, etc." was baked into the game from the onset.


A well-built archery fighter should crush the damage of a well built kineticist.


pad300 wrote:
Actually, I think they have a point about the power levels and difficulty of play, especially in non-optimization cases.

I'd like to examine this if you don't mind. I'm not attacking your personally I'm just trying to dispel this opinion as I think its unfounded.

Quote:


In practice, a Kineticist tends to approximate the damage of a fighter doing full attacks, except he does it in close or at range, and has several utility abilities. This effect is magnified by not spending a ton of his money on magic weapons - rather, he can spend on things like a ring of invisibility...

I'm going to use level 7 as a comparison for this because Fighters got their iterative one level ago and Kineticist just got their composite.

We're gonna use water because it can have a physical composite, which is as much damage as one can easily squeeze out of the class.

Assume the fighter has an 18 in Str a +1 Greatsword and a belt of strength +2.
The Kineticist starts with 18 in Dex and a 16 in Con (hitting is more important especially for physical blast users) with a +2 belt of Con. We're gonna say for the benefit of the doubt that the Kineticist has 3 burn already for Elemental overflow meaning +2 to hit +4 to damage and +2 Dex and Con.

As I see it Kineticist has three potential full round actions (ignoring just cold because its damage is too low for these purposes)

0 burn, gather power Empowered physical blast
1 burn, gather power Composite blast
2 burn, gather power Empowered composite

There to hit is always the same

Bab5 + Dex6 + Overflow2 Point Blank Shot1 = 14 to hit at level 7, strong but not earth shattering.

Damage
For 0 burn

4D6+4+5(con)+4(Overflow)+1PBS = 4D6+14 x 1.5 = 42.

For 1 burn
8D6+8+5+4+1 = 8D6+18 = 46 (arguably not worth the burn)

For 2 burn

8D6+8+5+4+1 = 8D6+18 x 1.5 = 69

Now compare with the fighter, lets say he has Power attack, Weapon Specialization, Weapon Focus and Furious Focus. I don't know how to build a fighter.

To hit

Bab7 + Str5 + WF1 + Weapon Training1 + 1 Enhancement -2 PA (not counter on first attack for Furious Focus)

15/8

Damage
2D6 + Str7 + PA6 + Weapon Spec2 + Weapon Training1 + Enhancement1

so there full attack is

15/8 (2D6+17/19-20) = 48 (24 if one attack hits)excluding crit damage)

So conclusion time.

In a very favorable encounter for the kineticist (within 30ft so it doesn't need to use extended range) the Kineticist does less damage than the (I suspect poorly built) fighter does on a full attack, unless they take 2 burn, and they already have 3 on them, it can only take 8 total.

Now sure if the fighter misses its iterative it does less, but if the kineticist misses it does nothing and in reality they are going to be wanting to do the 0 burn attack so they're doing a considerably smaller chunk than a full attacking fighter.

Of course a Kineticist doesn't have to be up close to do this, but then thats true of any archer and this isn't world shattering damage for an archer. I figure we all know this.

Then there is one more thing to consider, at this level a fighter can reasonably expect to best hasted

in which case

16/14/9 (2D6+17/19-20) 72

there might also be buffed by things like inspire courage, and they have twice the critical threat, couple that with 2-3 attack rolls and you're looking at 4-6 times more likely to crit than the kineticist.

In short Kineticist looks like it does more damage in a vacuum if it Nova's in reality they're almost certainly not going to Nova that much and any other conventional means of combat (none one hit builds) is going to be much more easily buffed.

I would say the Kineticist does enough damage, but not as much as dedicated martials do.

Bare in mind this is not an expertly built fighter, nore is fighter the top end of the damage scale.

Quote:


Psychics are generally stronger versions of sorcerers ( without optimization). They get to use armor for defense and have a very good spell list.

I'd say this depends on the bloodline but yes I agree the Psychic has a higher floor.

However certain bloodlines change the tables, for example the Fey bloodline. Or if one takes the Orc Bloodline + the Blood Havoc (a fairly intuitive and simple decision) makes for a potentially much stronger build than psychics produce.

Quote:


Mesmerists are strong in play because they make the other spellcaster(s) in the party so much stronger with their continuous ability to debuff everyone they encounter.

Firstly this is basically what a Bard does for a Damage based characters and everyone loves those.

Secondly I'd argue a Witch does this better than a Mesmerist does and with more options (Evil Eye, misfortune, slumber) and as its a full caster making it a stronger caster generally than a Mesmerist.

Quote:


I have yet to see a non- Trappings of the warrior panoply occultist. With it they are full bab combatants with a bunch of spellcasting tagged on.

To me the Occultist is closest to other classes filling the same gap from other books.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't hate them, but they're so far from traditional fantasy that I think they put some people off at first. They almost seem like they belong to a different world than Golarion, for example.


I've never understood that feeling?

They don't wave their arms around and speak in tongues but other than that whats the big difference?

The spiritualist especially fits nicely if you ask me. With the Kineticist being possibly the furthest from the genre?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
eakratz wrote:
I don’t hate them, but I don’t have time to learn new rules nor try and understand a class that needs 15 pages to explain it, so I just arbitrarily ban anything released after ACG. If a player were to talk me into letting them play occult, I would just treat it like regular magic (I have no idea if it’s different or not) so as not to deal with any “nun uh it’s psionics not magic” talk.

It is treated as regular magic in the book.

The only difference is instead of Verbal, Somatic, and expensive Material components you have Emotional, Thought and meaningful components.

Otherwise Psychic Magic works the same as Arcane/Divine magic. Heck, it's less rules to learn than Alchemist casting.

PRD wrote:


Emotion Components: Emotion components represent a particular emotional state required to cast the spell. A psychic spellcaster marshals her desire in order to focus and release the spell's energy. It is impossible to cast a spell with an emotion component while the spellcaster is under the influence of a non-harmless effect with the emotion or fear descriptors. Even if the effect's emotion matches the necessary emotion to cast the psychic spell, the spellcaster is not in control of her own desires and animal impulses, which is a necessary part of providing an emotion component.

Thought Components: Thought components represent mental constructs necessary for the spell's function, such as picturing a wolf in vivid detail—down to the saliva dripping from its jaws—in order to cast beast shape to transform into a wolf. Thought components are so mentally demanding that they make interruptions and distractions extremely challenging. The DC for any concentration check for a spell with a thought component increases by 10. A psychic spellcaster casting a spell with a thought component can take a move action before beginning to cast the spell to center herself; she can then use the normal DC instead of the increased DC.

The most complicated class is probably the Kineticist, but mostly it functions using Supernatural and Spell-Like Abilities, which are rules that are already used in the game.

Most importantly, as a GM, I actually don't know how the rules of every class works at any given time. When I'm running a game I only need to know how the classes my players are playing work. It doesn't matter if one is using a CRB Ranger, another an Unchained Rogue, a third an ACG Warpriest, and the fourth an OA Kineticist. It's only four classes that I need to know, six if I'm running a big table.

Please understand I'm not specifically calling you out on this, but there is nowhere in Occult Adventures that Psychic Magic is called out as different/interacts different with Arcane/Divine/Alchemical magic.


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I'm going to pipe up here as That One Guy Who Loves The Mesmerist. They're like bards, but cooler! You don't need a silly musical instrument -- you just stroke your goatee and then bring your foes to their knees by sheer force of will.

Seriously, the Mesmerist is a very balanced class that fills several different roles -- controller, buffer, backup melee fighter -- while being a lot of fun to play. I think it is slightly more demanding than a bard because you have to stare at the options for a little while, but that's all up to the player.

And holy socks can you build some fun NPC villains with this class.

Doug M.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Most importantly, as a GM, I actually don't know how the rules of every class works at any given time. When I'm running a game I only need to know how the classes my players are playing work. It doesn't matter if one is using a CRB Ranger, another an Unchained Rogue, a third an ACG Warpriest, and the fourth an OA Kineticist. It's only four classes that I need to know, six if I'm running a big table.

exactly this is why I don't understand people blanket banning content from games.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

I'm going to pipe up here as That One Guy Who Loves The Mesmerist. They're like bards, but cooler! You don't need a silly musical instrument -- you just stroke your goatee and then bring your foes to their knees by sheer force of will.

Seriously, the Mesmerist is a very balanced class that fills several different roles -- controller, buffer, backup melee fighter -- while being a lot of fun to play. I think it is slightly more demanding than a bard because you have to stare at the options for a little while, but that's all up to the player.

And holy socks can you build some fun NPC villains with this class.

Doug M.

I too love Mesmerists there are three of them in my folder of 25ish characters, the second most frequently occurring class after the Oracle.


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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
The spiritualist especially fits nicely if you ask me. With the Kineticist being possibly the furthest from the genre?

Agreed. The Spiritualist is a neat fit for Golarion (or, really, most high fantasy settings). I think you could argue with a straight face that the Spiritualist is what the Summoner should have been.

Doug M.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
a comparison of kineticist and fighter damage

You've missed infusion specialist for an extra 1 pt reduction in burn and your short a big step in Kineticist damage at 8th, with infusion specialist for 2 burn,

For example, Air-Fire at 8th, 0 burn
gather power -1, infusion specialist -2, composite blast +2, empower +1, Air's reach 0, Fire's Fury

[8d6 +3 (con/2) + 4 (overflow) + 2 (fire's fury)]*1.5 (empower )= 55

This is a touch attack with a 60' range...every round, no burn.


Infusion Specialization doesn't effect burn from composite or metakinesis.
It only effects burn from infusions, which they are not. So no you're taking 2 burn.

Classic example of one of the problems this classes' reputation faces, its often proclaimed too powerful by people who're miss understanding the mechanics.

Fire's fury is a little bit more damage but then I suspect the fighter could be doing more damage with certain archetypes and the fighter could be a Barbarian or a Cavalier or a Mutagenic Mauler Brawler.

By which I its really not catching up with other martials by you eking out an extra two damage from fire's fury.

EDIT: Also it may be touch but it's subjected to resistances, immunities and SR. I'd rather just target AC.

EDIT:EDIT: Just remembered that the fighter could be a Two-Handed Fighter

15/8 (2D6+20/19-20) = 54. Or 81 with haste.

EDIT:EDIT:EDIT: if you raise it to level 8 the fighter gets greater weapon focus and a bigger PA bonus

So it becomes
16/11 (2D6+23/19-20) = 60. 90 with haste.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

A lot of people have a completely irrational hatred of the occult classes. My good friend (and local Venture-Captain) completed Eyes of the Ten with a beta Mesmerist and somehow people thought it was completely overpowered. He had zero spells from Occult Adventures and this could have been replicated on other classes quite easily. He had fewer class features than the release version, too. Nothing he did was particularly over the top. I'm intimately familiar with the character because I adventured with it and GM'd for it from 13-20. It wasn't out of line for a caster.

I played a Psychic to 20. I had to ask a legitimate question about my level 13 ability (the Psychedelia discipline's always-on Confusion aura) and the response from several GMs was "that ability doesn't exist at my table." This was in PFS. To my knowledge, the ability has never been clarified as suppressible, so it has created a few...issues. My primary tactics involved spells that had either obvious counters or have been available since the APG. I was, for all intents and purposes, a sorcerer with a slightly different spell list. Sometimes that was really cool. Other times, it made me SUPER USELESS. I couldn't deal with constructs until level 12, most incorporeals until about 14 (other than magic missile)... generally, I had to spend my spells known to plug holes in the gameplay.

I have a level 8 occultist archer. Now that the rules for arrows and virtual DR bypass via enhancement have changed, he's basically a bad inquisitor archer. The occultist has the lowest skill floor of any occult class and it's dreadfully easy to make a bad one. The ceiling is nowhere near that of a wizard. It's complicated, but it's really not significantly above the average power level of 6 level casters.

A lot of people seem to misunderstand how phantoms work, so Spiritualists get a bad rap in that regard. The spell list is very support-ish, so I'm not particularly sympathetic to concerns about them overpowering scenarios. The biggest concerns come from making the incorporeal phantom do scouting detail, but I've never seen that as a particular problem.

Kineticists haven't particularly bothered me and they've drawn a lot of discussion. They all have discernible weaknesses. I think the organization of the book made them difficult for people to understand, so there's a bit of haterade about that, but once you take the time to parse it they're fine.

Mediums are, unfortunately, not a sufficiently developed class to make me dislike them. The beta Medium was significantly more interesting as a standalone class. My experience so far is that everyone seems to take Relic Channeler for 1 level to get the persistent bonus to damage.


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I've never really understood why people don't understand the Occultist (I'm the player Mr. Bonkers up above mentioned), I honestly had more problems understanding how his spell selection worked than his class abilities.

- You get a pool of points, like most classes get (Grit, Panache, Inspiration, and so on).
- You get access to two (at the start) schools of magic.
- You spread your points out over these two schools.
- You get a passive and an active power from each school. Depending on how many points you put in each school, you get a scaling reward (the passive). This reward stays with you until you completely deplete the amount of points you put in it. The active power usually costs a standard action (and one point from the pool) to activate, though some use swifts or immediates.
- Every even level you get to choose a new active power, and every four levels you get another school of magic. It's a fairly big list, but it's easy to comprehend what they do.

The main problem is seeing how each choice interacts with your other choices. The Occultist is very adaptable within its chosen schools, but you really need to know what you're doing. It's probably the fiddliest class I've played, but not the most complicated. He just does so much. A few wrong choices can really mess up your character, while in most other classes you can at least still be a decent fighter.

I've always compared the Occultist to a highly specialised Wizard. A Wizard's power lies in its versatility, but I think the Occultist's power lies in its specialisation. A Wizard chooses one school and has some neat tricks, but an Occultist has an almost laser-focus in being the best in that g%+~&$n school. Want to be a tank? Choose Abjuration and you're near-indestructible. Minion master? Necromancy or Conjuration. Want to make all your saves and/or checks? Divination. Controller? Enchantment/Illusion. Blaster? Evocation. Melee monstrosity? Transmutation. The Wizard has the advantage of being prepared and having a much more forgiving spell acquisition process (as well as being 9th-caster), but I think an Occultist can be about equal, if not better, than a Wizard in most schools of magic. And besides that, he's generally a Swiss army knife of tricks. You just really have to know your strengths and weaknesses.

I made an Occultist and he was a beast. I sorta lucked into the build, as I didn't really know what I was doing, but I made the right choices anyway. If you give him time to buff, he's a monster. He's not as efficient as a Magus in applying buffs, but once he gets going, it's hard to stop him.


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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Most importantly, as a GM, I actually don't know how the rules of every class works at any given time. When I'm running a game I only need to know how the classes my players are playing work. It doesn't matter if one is using a CRB Ranger, another an Unchained Rogue, a third an ACG Warpriest, and the fourth an OA Kineticist. It's only four classes that I need to know, six if I'm running a big table.
exactly this is why I don't understand people blanket banning content from games..

Since this is referring to a response to my post, let me help you. I already know how all of the classes up to a certain point operate. I don’t need to do spend extra time for those classes. I DO need to spend extra time to learn new rules or deal with complicated classes. Time that I don’t have, so anything that looks like it adds rules is out. I imagine that it is the same way for a lot of others.

And thank you Dudemeister and Mr Bonkers for the summary. That actually helps a lot because I have browsed the classes and they look cool. I may be able to take time in a couple months to check the, out further.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Infusion Specialization doesn't effect burn from composite or metakinesis.

This is 100% the most common error I see people making with kineticists. I guess they probably should have made it explicit in OA that Infusion Specialization only affects infusion costs, not costs from metakinesis or composite blasts.

You're not supposed to be using composite blasts every round until 11th level, and you're not supposed to be using empowered composite blasts every round until 16th level; though Gathlains can do both earlier.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I guess they probably should have made it explicit in OA that Infusion Specialization only affects infusion costs, not costs from metakinesis or composite blasts.

That would be redundant...

" she reduces the combined burn cost of the infusions by 1" = it reduces the combined burn cost of the infusions by 1.

Is metakinesis a type of infusion? No. So it obviously doesn't apply.
Is a composite blast a type of infusion? No. So it obviously doesn't apply.

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