Uncover the Truth: Occult Adventures Playtest!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The world is full of mysteries. Truths hidden in plain sight, obscured to further secret goals and nefarious agendas. Some dare to uncover these secrets, venturing into the shadow to learn about these strange forces, and now you can be one of them.

Welcome to the playtest of Occult Adventures, a book filled with mysteries and secrets due out in summer 2015. This hardcover Pathfinder RPG rulebook will contain a mountain of new material for your game, from mysterious orders to strange powers, not to mention new archetypes, feats, spells, and magic items. As with our previous playtests, we want to make sure this book is the best it can be, and that's where you come in. Occult Adventures includes 6 new base classes to add to your game, each one focusing on one aspect of psychic magic. Similar in some ways to arcane and divine magic, psychic magic ventures into new territory, utilizing the power of the mind, body, and soul. Each of the classes in this playtest uses psychic magic in different ways, from the raw power of the kineticist to the subtle manipulations of the mesmerist.

You can download the Occult Adventures Playtest document now! The PDF contains a brief discussion on the nature of the occult in Pathfinder, all 6 of the new classes, and a selection of psychic spells. Give these classes a read, build a character, and most importantly, use them in your games. Once you've had a chance to give them a try, go to our messageboards and post up your thoughts and feedback. We are eager to hear what you think works with these new rules and what still needs work. This playtest will remain open until November 25th (although we will keep it open for an additional round of playtesting if feedback warrants any significant revisions).

In addition, starting next week, there will be a survey for each one of the classes, allowing us to gain some basic insight on your opinions about these classes. These will be available on Tuesday, November 4th, and remain open until the end of the playtest. Please share your input before then!

You can even play these classes in Pathfinder Society. For this playtest, we have added a special boon for those who make a character and play them during the playtest. We're excited to see how these classes work in PFS!

Finally, I want to take a moment to talk about the playtest process itself. Although we find all feedback useful, thoughts and comments based on actual play experience is by far the most valuable. Please try to fit these classes into your game, or even just run a few mock encounters. When posting to the playtest forums, look for existing threads on your topic before starting a new one—this will help us to better absorb and respond to feedback. While discussions can become heated, remember that every game is different and every poster is trying to make the game better for everyone. Be polite and respectful of the ideas others' posts.

Well, that about wraps it up for now. Grab the PDF and uncover the occult secrets that lie within. We will be waiting for you on the boards, looking for your feedback and ideas. Thank you for participating and helping us playtest Occult Adventures.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

P.S.: Our regularly scheduled Adventure Card Game blog will return next week!

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Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Playtest
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Okay, I am confused. Occultists with the Conjuration Implement can choose Summoning Focus. This implement allows the Occultist to add the implement as an additional focus to any conjuration [summoning] spell he casts that has a duration measured in rounds per level. To Occultist does not have any summoning spells measured in rounds per level on their spell list. How are they supposed to use this Implement Focus? What am I missing?


Pathfinder Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
GeneticDrift wrote:

The spiritualist spells per day seems odd. Did i miss something? at 1st level he has 1/day first level spells and 1 2nd level spell...

Yeah, it looks like a 1/day snuck in there somehow. Disregard that. You gain one 1st-level spell and no 2nd-level spells.

Looks like something in the 'special' box on the chart was supposed to have 1/day (from the wording, I imagine an earlier version had that indicator for Shared Consciousness) and it got pushed into the spells per day and pushed everything over. The '-' that's supposed to go under the 6th level spells has been bumped to the next line.


Can anyone think of examples of all of these classes as written in fiction or movies or TV?

Mediums, psychics and kineticists are kinda obvious. But I'm having a hard time coming up with the others.


Great, actual psychic powers from Paizo!

No more mutters and wiggling for supernatural goodies!

Now I'm thrilled immensely!


Erik Mona wrote:
You won't have to wait on the Dimension of Dreams and Astral Planes. I'm thrilled to say that I am writing little bits on BOTH of those places in this book. I'm honestly so excited (and humbled) to be writing these bits that they are the last part I will finish in my turnover, as I need to make sure everything else is perfect before I finalize them!

That is really exciting news! With some more fleshing out of the Dimension of Dreams, Occult Adventures, the information on Leng from Shattered Star, and things like the Nightmare Creature template in Bestiary 4, can a Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath AP be far behind? :D

(Okay, maybe from Paizo, but something similar will be much more easily achieved as a homebrew with all of this info!)


Doghion Abyndon Harbourne, Esq. wrote:
Okay, I am confused. Occultists with the Conjuration Implement can choose Summoning Focus. This implement allows the Occultist to add the implement as an additional focus to any conjuration [summoning] spell he casts that has a duration measured in rounds per level. To Occultist does not have any summoning spells measured in rounds per level on their spell list. How are they supposed to use this Implement Focus? What am I missing?

Whoops! Maybe it was supposed to work with servitor, or maybe the occultist had summon monster on its list in a prior version? I guess it'd work for an occultist dip....

Lantern Lodge

DrakeRoberts wrote:
Yay!

So we need to play one of the new classes between now and November 25th in order to continue playing one up through July 2015? That seems like a really short window of opportunity - why this restriction?

SRC

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The main point of the cut off is to limit the long term effects of the new classes on organized play. After the cut off, there will be no new OA characters showing up until the updated release. That allows the campaign staff time to evaluate the effects of the play test characters on the campaign with a defined sample. It prevents a steady stream of new characters from muddying the waters.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Well, you at least need to download (or at least add to your downloads) the playtest material for the first time before November 25th if you want to have access to them afterwards. I can access every playtest except for the one for the Advanced Player's Guide for that reason.

Liberty's Edge

Does playing a module count for 3 lines on the Occult Adventures PFS boon chronicle?

Shadow Lodge

Cronge wrote:
Does playing a module count for 3 lines on the Occult Adventures PFS boon chronicle?

I don't believe so, but it would take considerably less time for a brand new level 1 character to reach level 7 off modules then scenarios.


minoritarian wrote:
Spiritualist has the weirdest proficiencies ever though. All light weapons (so, simple martial and exotic) and then specifically kukri sap and scythe. Why those three weapons? And why all light weapons?

I didn't see this question addressed (other than the light weapons part, which Stephen corrected in the spiritualist thread).

I am assuming that the reason kukri and scythe are included is because of their association with death, though the sap is kind of an odd man out.

You might want to check in the Spiritualist thread, though, for the designer's thoughts.


So First impressions:

Kineticist is cool and seems to fill the empty all day blaster niche that people have really wanted to see fill. Flavor is good and it seems to be one of the simpler classes to play in the book. Surprised it doesn't gain some sort of resistance to its chosen element as it levels. Also, the "Feel the Burn" terminology makes me think of Richard Simmons more than Carrie.

Spiritualist is pretty cool. It's a pet class that gives characters a cool spirit companion, something I don't think you can do currently in Pathfinder. I like it, and would rank it as one of my favorite classes

I adore Occultist. It's my favorite new class, even if the Kineticist is getting most of the attention. The mechanics are flavorful and definitely feel more consistent with how magic is portrayed in fiction and real world lore. I would be tempted to just make this the "new wizard" and retire Core wizards completely.

Medium seems like it also fills a solid niche: a possession focused caster. I could see dozens of concepts getting pulled off on this chassis. It's also perhaps the single most complicated class in the book, and for that reason I doubt I would ever really want to play one. I see a lot of confusion coming from the interaction of spirits for players, and "possessed" GM controlled PCs is a topic that I feel will probably join Paladin alignment threads in being a source of constant internet arguments. If there was some way to streamline the presentation or mechanics, I would like this a lot more. Also, while I love the Golarion tie-in with the Harrow cards, I hope we get a table in the GM section that provides alternative reflavorings (Taro, Zodiac, outsider, planar, mystic system, etc). As is, this class has a bit more work than most to fit into homebrew settings, and I am not sure more casual players are going to easily "get" what the different spirits are suppose to do.

Mesmerist: I would rank this class as okay, but I admit its mostly from my own hang-ups, including the fact I was hoping to see something like a seer or telepath, which we didn't get. Seems like an interesting support class, which is not the first direction I would have imagined for this idea, but it works. I still feel the gaze element should be stronger...my first mental image for mesmerist is Bela Lugosi's stare, but it seems like that is less important for the class. Seem like a great class for charismatic cult leaders, and right now something I would be more interested in using as an NPC foil than as a PC.

Psychic Magic. Part of this class seems incomplete, more so than the others. It feels like we really do need more disciplines to evaluate the class as a whole. Also, Lore and Abomination get pretty beefy sections, while the other two disciplines don't. Which seems sort of weird, and makes me wonder why the former need to be so complex. I do like that the different disciplines seem to be going after different flavorings for real world psychic/magic beliefs and ideas, but somehow it seems a bit...generic? My initial impression was that this class exists so we can have a 9th level Psychic caster, not necessarily because there is a strong flavor niche for it to occupy. Overall I find this the most boring class, but will also acknowledge that this class probably will be more interesting in a complete book with all the options presented.

....

To cut to the point, I really like the Occultist, Spiritualist, and Kineticist, who are dripping with awesome. The Medium is cool, but too complicated for my tastes, and I feel for various reasons its going to cause the most headaches. Mesmerist is an interesting take on a classic concept, but not something I would play. And Psychic just seems generic and boring.

Grand Lodge

I know it says that these classes can be used in PFS but I cannot find Occult Adventures Playtest in Additional Resources. These classes are not yet legal until it is added, right?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

As linked in the blog, there is an Occult Adventures Playtest Boon you can attach to your character.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Q&A on the Playtest here.

Grand Lodge

Just played my pyrokineticist tonight for the first time. All I can say is wow, did I play the wrong type. At every step of the way all I could think of during the PFS scenario was "if I was a water or air kineticist, I'd be so much more useful." It got really sad, actually. Even my bard and sorcerer characters would have been more useful. I know that not all scenarios are the same, but the fire guy pretty much took a backseat to the majority of it. Even the combat aspect didn't pan out. I know fire is pretty high on the resistance table, probably why it's only a touch attack, but at level 1 I didn't figure it'd be that immediate. I'm hoping he'll be able to do more next time. That being said, I'd have been even worse off if I'd taken earth.


Dustin Ashe wrote:

Can anyone think of examples of all of these classes as written in fiction or movies or TV?

Mediums, psychics and kineticists are kinda obvious. But I'm having a hard time coming up with the others.

The occultist is pretty much constantine and the spiritualist gives me a fate/stay night vibe.


Father_Wolf wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:

Can anyone think of examples of all of these classes as written in fiction or movies or TV?

Mediums, psychics and kineticists are kinda obvious. But I'm having a hard time coming up with the others.

The occultist is pretty much constantine and the spiritualist gives me a fate/stay night vibe.

I want to play a spiritualist and go on some bizarre adventures with my phantom.


ORA ORA ORA?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kryzbyn wrote:
ORA ORA ORA?

MUDA :)


Odraude wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
ORA ORA ORA?
MUDA :)

WRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY


If I have a character with only 1st level and GM credit, would the boon let me build them as an OcA class?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You can build him right now, but if he doesn't have at least one play credit you will not be able to play him after the playtest. You will not be able to build him after the playtest ends. Once the book is released next year, you will be able to build/update him to the final rules.

Excellent choice of avatar by the way!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Gazebo wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
ORA ORA ORA?
MUDA :)
WRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Yara Yara Daze.


So what does everyone think is it viable to have a full party based on these classes?

What would you use to fill specific roles?

I'm curious about the designer's intent on this.


you could actually build an entire party of kineticists and they would do just fine.

Dark Archive

Lemartes wrote:

So what does everyone think is it viable to have a full party based on these classes?

What would you use to fill specific roles?

I'm curious about the designer's intent on this.

I am building a group consisting of a Mesmerist, Kineticist, Occultist, and a Psychic.

Mesmerist for some RP, control, and support in combat.
Occultist can take a more front line fighting style and healer role.
Kineticist I have not decided for melee or ranged one.
Psychic for some magic and control.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

I did a playtest last weekend (still need to report on it) that featured an all-occult party tackling Emerald Spire. Mesmerist, Kineticist, Medium, and Spiritualist. I ran the upper level at 1st, a middle level at 7th, and a higher level at 15th.

They did fine as a party, though the kineticist (aether) struggled a lot at low levels and had some problems with how the low level blast resolved (he purchased adamantine ammunition hoping to use it against constructs and was sour when it didn't work the way he'd hoped.)

All in all really cool. I'll have a full report this weekend.

Sovereign Court

I can't Download it, The page is completely devoid of a link, button, or text about the playtest.


Lanayru Ivyshroud wrote:

I can't Download it, The page is completely devoid of a link, button, or text about the playtest.

The playtest ended half a year ago.

The playtest document was still able to be downloaded for a significant time afterwards. However the final Occult Adventures book is out this month so you simply missed that boat. You'll just have to wait 2 weeks til the 29th if you don't have a subscription and purchase it.

Sovereign Court

okeedoke, i'm only just now hearing about this so i thought it was recent.


Check out the product page discussion. Page 16 is when folks with subscription got pdf early and giving out extra previews.

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