I played a level 1 Spiritualist named Yellow Pete in Hall of the Flesh Eaters. Our party consisted of all Occult classes. 1 mesmerist, 1 medium, and 2 spiritualists, of which I was one.
STR 10 DEX 15 CON 13 INT 14 WIS 14 CHA 10
Point Blank Shot
Hatred Phantom: Captain Whistleteeth
Feats: Weapon Finesse, Power Attack
The overall shtick is that Yellow Pete was the only surviving member of a pirate crew that was lost at sea. He is now haunted by the captain of his ship, Captain Whistleteeth, who wants Pete to get their booty back. Unfortunately, the captain thinks Pete is a scaredy cat, hence the nickname.
The RP between the two characters was a lot of fun for me, much more so than any other pet class I have played. The fact that the phantom can talk and interact with his spiritualist host, as well as the other PCs, brought a lot of RP value.
Unfortunately, that's where the fun ended.
Yellow Pete was not very exciting as a caster. He didn't have much magical or psychic flavor. He had 2 spells at level 1: Mage Armor and Cure Light Wounds, and 3 spells per day. I cast mage armor on Pete and the phantom and that left Pete with one spell for the day. Because we were all fresh out of the box level ones, healing was a big issue for us, so I saved that spell for cure light. And boy did we need it.
I sent the phantom off to scout and triggered the first combat encounter. (I should say here that I got the idea to use the phantom as a scout from reading the forums. The idea would not have come to me naturally as there is no mention of scouting in the spiritualist's description or that this was the initial design decision for the phantom, but it seems to have become its default role). Fortunately, I had manifested the phantom in incorporeal form, so even though he triggered combat, he couldn't be hurt. But once combat was triggered I didn't know how to switch him to ectoplasmic so he could fight.
Turns out phantoms can't switch forms. Well, they can but it involves dismissing the phantom and then remanifesting it in a ritual that takes 1 minute. So, basically switching can't be done in combat. Luckily, Pete had a light crossbow and feats in ranged combat! The other spiritualist didn't even have his phantom manifested, and couldn't manifest it in time, so was basically out of combat that first encounter. His character hid.
The party would have TPKed in every encounter if it weren't for our kind GM. None of our classes were effective in combat and the mobs hit very hard.
In the middle of the first combat, the other spiritualist announced that he wanted to change classes. We talked him out of it, but maybe we shouldn't have because we barely survived the scenario. But the difficulty level may have had more to do with that particular scenario than the Occult classes being under-powered. Any brand new level ones would have had a hard time I think.
At one point we decided to sleep overnight in the dungeon so we could recover spells and heal a little. The next day I saved my spells for cure light wounds (cast out of combat between fights) and didn't cast mage armor, but again we almost TPKed in the final fight. Without mage armor the Captain only has an AC of 14. Pete was the last man standing, and, once again, thank goodness for point-blank shot and precise shot (and his light crossbow!). Pete took down the BBEG and lived to tell the tale with 3 hit points remaining.
This class needs some kinks worked out before it is ready for prime time. Phantoms need to be able to take advantage of the versatility of their forms and spiritualists need more ways to survive, especially at low levels. Perhaps touch spells can come at level 1 instead of 3. I don't see any reasons for phantoms to have incorporeal form at level 1 when they can't cast touch spells yet. Scouting can be done just as easily with ectoplasmic form and phase lurch (if that is going to be the phantom's real role). I had fun playing Pete and the Captain, but that had more to do with my character concepts than anything else.
For more info on this playtest from the mesmerist's POV, click here
Is it mechanically important that the Kitsune Star Gem glows like faerie fire? Is it casting faerie fire?
The complete description is this: This magical jewel glows like faerie fire, shedding light as a candle. It acts as a pearl of power, except it only allows a itsune to recover a spent use of a spell-like ability of the appropriate spell level.
I think it's odd that it glows like faerie fire and doesn't simply glow, if there's no mechanical purpose. For comparison, I haven't been able to find other items that glow like faerie fire.