Occult Adventures Class Preview: The Mesmerist

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Illustration by Ivan Troitsky

The mesmerist creeps into the minds of his enemies, bending their wills. Our initial concept for the mesmerist was a sort of anti-bard. The class would get a similar blend of spellcasting with moderate combat ability, but instead of buffing allies, it would penalize enemies and make them softer targets. Our mesmerist achieves this not only through a robust selection of debuff spells, but also through his intense stare. He can focus on a creature within 30 feet as a swift action, imposing a penalty on the target's Will saves. Bold stare options, which the mesmerist gains starting at 3rd level, allow him to apply that penalty to other types of rolls or weaken the subject of his stare in other ways. The best part? He can mentally remove the memory of his stare from the target's mind afterward, so they forget he was manipulating them all along.

Through the Occult Adventures playtest process, we saw that the mesmerist needed a leg up, particularly when it came to the combat side of things, so we added the painful stare ability. This comes in at level 1 and causes subjects of the mesmerist's stare to take more damage from attacks. We also increased the Will save penalty the stare gives (from -1 to -2) and made it increase automatically to -3 at 8th level. The stare lost the ability to target multiple creatures so that we could make the debuffs stronger.

The other hallmark ability of the mesmerist is his mesmerist tricks, abilities similar to contingencies that he can set up and trigger when a condition is met. By planning ahead and anticipating situations intelligently, the mesmerist can surprise his foes with nasty magic. The biggest change here was the duration. Instead of lasting for 1 minute per mesmerist level, a trick stays set up until the next time the mesmerist prepares his spells (or until it's triggered). The mesmerist also picked up a bunch of new tricks, like letting the subject turn into a bird and flee from an attack or reduce the damage from an attack and simultaneously create a shadow illusion in the attacker's form, attacking someone else.

More so than any other class, the mesmerist is built around casting spells that manipulate minds. This kind of class can be tricky to build, largely due to the number of creatures in the game that are immune to mind-affecting effects and the predominance of mental spells that get negated by a Will save. That led us down two avenues. The first is the bold stare option called psychic inception, which gives you a chance to affect such creatures. The second came in the form of new mind-affecting spells that do have a partial effect if the target saves.

Occult Adventures also includes four mesmerist archetypes. The cult master lets you control groups of cultists devoted to you, gaining special tricks and even being reborn in a follower's body. The spirit walker gains control over undead and adds undead-themed spells to his spell list. The toxitician uses injuections instead of a mesmerist stare, causing pain and delivering severe penalties. Finally, the vexing daredevil (pictured here) focuses on the combat side of the mesmerist class, gaining additional weapon prodiciency, bonus feats for feinting, and dazzling feint abilities she can use against creatures she fools with a feint.

May the mesmerist's eyes never meet yours!

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Tags: Ivan Troitsky Mesmerists Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Toxititian, making better minds... THROUGH SCIENCE!


The class is looking good!


Oh boy, save-and-suck mind-affecting spells. I really hope these are exclusive to the Mesmerist...


This is the greatest class ever and I think I have found my new favorite class to play. Toxictitian for when I want to be evil and inflict pain, Vexing Daredevil for Combat based greatness, and Base class for spellcasting/buffing.


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So, the Cult Master sound like Thulsa Doom. I can dig it. Steel is weak. Flesh is strong.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was sold on this class as soon as I realized I could play as a hybrid of Vex and the Shadow. This is still one of them that I'm most excited for.


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I like the description of the mesmerist as an "anti-bard", which was a theme I got from the playtest version -- and it's a nice little wink to Meligaster's origins.

I'm most glad to hear that mesmerist tricks are effectively 24-hour now. Setting up tricks properly could save your party from a night-ambush TPK. Awesome cooperation techniques to make the guy invading your mind your best friend.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Meh. The kineticist is next. It better not disappoint!


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Wait, so we can't use the stare on multiple foes? Nerts. Is there a feat that will let us do it?


Oooh sweeetttt.

Excited.. This sounds awesome

In the playtest I was hoping they'd become the debufff class.. sounds like they will awesome!

Since stare is still 30 feet, I might still be looking into rod of ice for attacking things with dr or high AC. With the damage bonus it's usually not the worst (iteratives are a no, but i'd rather have something for the situation) or those gloves.\


Derren Brown the class.


I originally didn't think I'd like this class, but this preview (and Vexing Daredevil in particular) make me think it might be worth a shot.


Nice. I can't recall seeing one, but I wonder if there's going to be a feat that extends the range of the intense stare. Either way, it seems this update has dealt with a great number of the concerns I had about the play test version when I read over it.


Sweet, I can't wait to play one! This is the psychic class I've been the most excited about since I learned about it. I want to play a mesmerist who is trying REALLY hard to be a good person, but knows that he's very skilled at undermining people's free will and the temptation to abuse his power is strong.

Berselius wrote:
Wait, so we can't use the stare on multiple foes? Nerts. Is there a feat that will let us do it?

I certainly hope so. Wouldn't be surprised if they made it into a Mesmerist Trick that's only available once you're mid-high level. Other than that, I like the changes they've made. :)


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Cult master sounds like it'll be really useful for GMs. Looking forward to the next cult I start ... er, create.


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Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Cult master sounds like it'll be really useful for GMs. Looking forward to the next cult I start ... er, create.

You could always start a cult thread in the OTF for the Jacobs/pseudofaeriedragons.

Scarab Sages

I'm kinda bummed that they removed the lazy eye as a class feature.

The Exchange

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At first I thought this class will be a stereotypical mind control mage, but it seems I was wrong. He's actually stareotypical.

And I shall now vanish before even the first volley of rotten tomatoes hits me.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:

At first I thought this class will be a stereotypical mind control mage, but it seems I was wrong. He's actually stareotypical.

And I shall now vanish before even the first volley of rotten tomatoes hits me.

Flagged/reported/etc.


I'm really curious about the vexing daredevil and mindblade archetypes. Can someone with the subscription tell us a bit more about them? 29th is soooo far away...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mindblade is a Magus archetype, not a Mesmerist.
See here

Paizo Employee Designer

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Third Mind wrote:
Nice. I can't recall seeing one, but I wonder if there's going to be a feat that extends the range of the intense stare. Either way, it seems this update has dealt with a great number of the concerns I had about the play test version when I read over it.

There is a feat to extend the range by 10 feet.

There's also a suite of stare feats that add additional effects to the painful stare ability, like causing bleed damage or making the target sickened.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Logan Bonner wrote:
Third Mind wrote:
Nice. I can't recall seeing one, but I wonder if there's going to be a feat that extends the range of the intense stare. Either way, it seems this update has dealt with a great number of the concerns I had about the play test version when I read over it.

There is a feat to extend the range by 10 feet.

There's also a suite of stare feats that add additional effects to the painful stare ability, like causing bleed damage or making the target sickened.

If looks could kill...


Diggin' it.


i want to play this...


With the base Alchemist class being inspired by the Witcher, I can't shake the feeling that the Guild Wars mesmer this strongly inspired take. I recall seeing a lot of similar abilities between the two, although perhaps that is just the shared thematic themes. Any truth to that?


i'm paying 10 dollars just to play/gm-for this class.


Ooh! I want! I can get so much mileage out of this class!


"My mind, to your mind. My thoughts, to your thoughts..." - Toronto's Greatest Superhero, a Vigilante/Mesmerist

Liberty's Edge

And now I have dreams of rebuilding my Halfling Jinx Sorceress as a Mesmerist. Well done, guys.


The classes look interesting. A lot of reading though. I just read through the Kinetist(sp?) and I'm still not sure I'm getting how burn works, seem to me it would kill you.


So, it looks like the Mesmerist (especially with the Vexing Daredevil archetype) can utilize the Rope Dart to full efficiency. Which is what I always wanted.


voska66 wrote:
The classes look interesting. A lot of reading though. I just read through the Kinetist(sp?) and I'm still not sure I'm getting how burn works, seem to me it would kill you.

Well, it's non-lethal damage so it killing you is unlikely.

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