Akashic Mysteries: Vizier (PFRPG) PDF

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Bind energy to your chakras with the secrets held in Akashic Mysteries!

In Akashic Mysteries, the veilweaving system of magic is introduced, where akashic energy is wielded by new classes like the vizier, daevic, and guru, who form this energy into veils that they bind to different chakras on the body. Inspired by Arabian and Indian myths, the mystical veils woven by these new classes imbue the veilweaver or the equipment they carry. Each release in the series will contain different parts of the veilweaving system.

In this 31-page release is the vizier class, the undisputed master of veilweaving. In addition, included in this release are dozens of new feats for using veilweaving, the rules for veilweaving, and all of the veils a vizier can use.

If you want to get the entire book, be sure to instead pick up the on-going product that includes all individual releases like this release, as well as the final PDF combining all the parts of veilweaving into a single book!

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An intriguing new way to weave magic

****( )

First, I have to disclose that I received this product as a review copy.

Now to start off, I like this class a lot. There are many good details and interesting concepts here, and everything is presented with relative crispness and clearness.

Though reading the book is a must towards understanding the variant magical system, but in a nutshell the vizier can bind magical effects to various magical item slots on his body, such as hands and wrist slots. You then use points to create and maintain various effects around your body. For those of you wondering, these veils do not interfere with or replace normal magical items; both can be used simultaneously.

I did run into a few places where there was some strange wording on certain abilities, such as the Path of the Ruler Aura of Subjugation. It's a minor quibble, but it did take a few read throughs to understand what the ability did.

That having been said, I did thoroughly enjoy the variations of the vizier through paths, similar to archetypes in Pathfinder. As another nitpick, I wondered about the Path of Seer movement ability, and if it would apply past the range. Again, it seems somewhat unclear.

However, I am very keen on the Path of the Seer and its sharing of teamwork feats. I am always in favor of a class feature that uses teamwork feats without much fuss, as the teamwork feat concept is great, but had a poor initial implementation. The path of the Seer seems like a strange bard type.

I love the feats, and they mostly seemed well balanced, though ones like Essence of the Immortal seemed overpowered, providing far more hit points than the Toughness feat to which it compares itself.

Many of the feats lend the flavor of the Akashic to base classes, give generalized bonuses, or bolster the vizier further. Despite this, they work just as well for non-akashics by providing 1 point of essence per feat. There were a number of feats such as "Access Low Chakra Slot" that allowed for chakra binding (or in other words, higher powers bound to that slot) depending on the character level and not the vizier level. I instantly saw that as a hearty encouragement to multiclass, which is generally not seen in other class builds.

Somewhere between the feats and veils, I started to note that the term allies was thrown around a lot, and it seemed somewhat loose, but I might need to bone up on my pathfinder terminology to see how sturdy the term holds up to scrutiny.

Veils are well thought out, and very interesting. I do worry that the effects, while potent and interesting, have save DC's that are too low, due to the spellcasting nature of the viziers. An average vizier at level 10 might have a save DC of 16 for any of his effects, while a wizard of that level is likely to have a save DC of 19 for at least his most potent effects. This isn't generally a worry, but might become exacerbated at higher levels.

The veils themselves are interesting and varied, giving a wide range of effects while leaving room for other more interesting veils to be provided in the future. The binding feature that escalates the power of each veil was well thought out, and gives an interesting gradient of power that blends well with the class.

With that all having been said, I thoroughly enjoyed the vizier class, and am interested to see more. As I understand, this class may soon receive further updates, and I am looking forward to that product. Until then, I am giving this book 4 stars in anticipation for what I am sure is a 5 star product in progress.


Build your own class, Incarnum style

*****

This is the first release of the Akashic Mysteries series. For those just tuning in, Akashic Mysteries is a Dreamscarred press product that is basically a reimagining and fine-tuning of Magic of Incarnum. It uses 3 new classes instead of porting the old ones over. Veils in this system do not take up your magic item slots (unlike soulmelds), and in some cases enhance the magic item in the slot.

There are many ways to describe the Vizier because this class can take on all sorts of different roles. Basically, depending on your feat and veil choice, Viziers can act wildly different from each other. Despite the d6 hit die, they can be durable melee combatants, deadly "archers", or take on more standard "caster" roles such as area blasting, debuffing, and buffing.

There is not much to say after Endzeitgeist's review, though I do have my piece to say about the Vizier's veils, and the feats presented in the document.

The Vizier's veils have a variety of uses. Basically, there is a veil for most situations. Because of this (in conjunction with Veilshifting, which allows the Vizier to change out which veils he has) you are going to want to know what most of your veils do. I personally recommend keeping notecards labeled with different kinds of adventuring days like "downtime," "high probability of undead," or "definitely humans today" that contain different veil layouts, for when you know how the adventuring day will go. While there are many veils that are good no matter what, some excel when you are prepared.

I do wish there were more alignment veils, but that is a small complaint on my end. It is more important to have functional and fun veils before worrying about alignment.

The feats are excellent. There are many strong options for multiclassing and gestalt in the feats presented here. I personally wanted to see a few feats tailored to the Vizier, but the "standard" Akashic feats are still very powerful. In particular, Extra Essence is very strong and increases your versatility. This is rare for an “extra class feature” feat. There are feats to grant minor veilweaving to any interested class, feats to improve veilweaving for anyone, and feats that count as essence receptacles, granting bonuses as essence is invested into them. For instance, such as Will of the Daeva, which grants a bonus to will saves equal to the essence invested in this feat.

If you are looking for a balanced, interesting release you should look no further. Fans of Incarnum, or people who want a customizable magic system that mostly lacks daily limits, should definitely check this release out too.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

****( )

This first installment of the Akashic Mysteries-series clocks in at 31 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement and 1 page SRD, leaving us with 27 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

First of all, in case you don't know - this is the PFRPG-version of "Magic of Incarnum", updated, refined and refluffed. But it's more than that. Let me elaborate - back in teh day, i liked the basic concept of Incarnum; its balancing may not always have been perfect, but it was an interesting system, one I wished had come out sooner and wish better cost/benefit ratios. I didn't enjoy the fluff, but that could be changed easily. Still, the system didn't seem to gel well with my group, until we went gestalt - in that playstyle, it excelled.

Fast-forward to this series - has it inherited the weaknesses of its parent-system? What about the flavor? We'll see!

The class introduced herein would be the vizier, who receives d6, 2+Int skills per level, proficiency with light armor, bucklers and simple weapons. The class has 1/2 BAB-progression and, uncommon for a full caster, but not unheard of, good fort and will-saves. The main schtick of the class, though, would be veilweaving, which is grouped into two categories, namely veils and essences. A 1st level vizier begins play with 2 veils and 1 essence and increases that to a total of 11 veils and 30 essences at 20th level.

Viziers receive instant access to all veils on the vizier's list, apart from those of an alignment opposing that of the vizier. When required, a veil's save DC is 10 + number of essence points invested + vizier's Intelligence modifier. A vizier may invest up to his character level in essence into a given veil or given receptacle. Here, the wording is slightly non-standard - not to a point where I'd complain about this or detract from the verdict, but still, making this one slightly more linear in its wording would help. At 3rd level, 11th and 19th, the vizier increases the maximum capacity of a receptacle by +1. DCs also increase by +1 on these levels. Re-allocating essence into veils can be done as a swift action each round. Veils are prepared much like spells each day after rest etc.

You may have noticed that the vizier, in spite of what the base frame of the class might look like, is NOT a spellcaster - however, they do treat vizier-levels as arcane caster levels for purposes of qualifying for feats and abilities. Now I mentioned that essence can be freely re-distributed between veils - well the same does *NOT* hold true regarding the investiture of essence into magic items with charges: Wands, staves and wondrous items can be infused with essence, gaining additional charges that last for 24 hours before dissipating. These cannot be reassigned and remain essentially locked in the item. Here, there's issue, though - (warning: nitpickery!) balance is a bit opaque, since the basic veilweaving does not specify when the essence-pool refreshes, instead stating "A vizier must have at least 8 hours rest or meditation to achieve a clear and focused state, and must meditate for one hour to shape his veils for the day." One could argue that you could theoretically invest essence twice into an item in a given 24 hour-period. Would that be smart? In most of the cases, it wouldn't be. I'd hence suggest to include a sentence that clearly states that essence invested in items does not regenerate before 24 hours have elapsed. Also, since the duration and essence capacity maximum (see waaaay down in the section on veilweaving) could cause confusion here, I'd strongly suggest rewiring the rest/essence-regain-wording.

There is another issue - an item that has essence invested in it not only gains the temporary charges, it also does never prompt UMD checks to use. While the ability can only be used to activate spells of 8th level or lower, it can still lead to problems.

What do I mean by this? Surprisingly, I'm not complaining about items with few charges being left as treasure to have some "smart bombs" here; What I'm not sold on is simply the flat-out "no UMD"-section AND the non-scaling nature of this ability. What if the players find a wand with precious few charges or a unique staff and can just flat-out use it? I am aware that these are fringe-cases, but it would theoretically allow the vizier to utilize charge-based items beyond his level's capacity (if the DM foolishly drops them into the treasure...) - and there is a pretty easy solution that prevents the issue: Just make the highest spell level of the item the governing factor for whether or not you have to UMD and make it scale with class level progression, by e.g. tying it to twice essence capacity. Now, yes, the base ability isn't broken, but I maintain that such a solution would be much more elegant and prevent fringe-case abuse.

Now there also are so-called chakra-binds - these are gained at 2nd level in a linear manner, +1 at every 2nd level, in a fixed progression from Hands, feet, head, wrist, shoulders, headband, neck, belt chest and finally, at 20th level, body. At 9th level, the vizier can bind veils in the ring slot and at 15th level, you can bind them into both ring slots. On a nitpicky-side, I don't get why the ring-slots are not wrapped in the chakra-ability, but that is purely a cosmetic gripe.

At 3rd level, viziers may reshape a veil 1/day (+1/day for every 4 levels thereafter) as a standard action that provokes AoOs into a new veil. Additionally, each time the daily uses increase, you may also shift one additional veil per ability use. The capstone allows for at-will veilshaping - and whenever the class uses the veilshaping ability, he regains 3+Int temporary essence.

Viziers also receive a kind of bloodline-ish linear ability chosen at first level - a total of 3 are provided and I hope we'll see more of those. The Path of the Crafter, Path of the Seer and Path of the Ruler.

The Path of the Crafter gain a bonus equal to 1/2 class level (rounded up or down?) on all skill-checks made as part of the crafting process. That is *pretty* powerful. Allies within 30 ft. that activate a magic item, treat caster level and DC of the activated item as +1. That is nasty, but will also make the vizier rather popular with his adventuring companions. Okay, where things get rather unique would be in one particular ability - transfer essence. This allows you to meditate on items and exchange their bonuses and special abilities. - Found a cool weapon, but don't have the proficiency for it? just exchange the enchantment with those on your trusty sword. I applaud the fact that you can't cherry-pick abilities. Now, on the other hand, wand/staff charges can also be exchanged if the items have the same highest spell level - a fitting restriction, but one I'd suggest to be supplemented with an analogue caster level (or lower) restriction to prevent spells that increase their potency with caster level having their charges cheaply upped by using charges from items that do not scale with CL. Once again, not a bad glitch, but rather one that can easily be fixed.

The path also grants item creation feats and a decreased craft-price at higher levels. Oh, and kudos for the intelligent item/cursed item/artifact caveat!

The path of the ruler is all about granting a will-save/sense motive debuff aura, with selective exclusion of allies. Enforcing a reroll at high levels is nice, but when compare to the Crafter's benefits, the path of the ruler feels pretty meek. The poor guy could use an upgrade for his aura.

The path of the seer increases movement of all allies within 60 ft. by +5 ft, +5 more at 9th and 17th level - neat. Now the interesting part comes next - the seer learns teamwork feats and for each point invested, the class may share ALL teamwork feats granted by this ability (1 is gained at 1st, 5th, 9th and 13th level) with an ally; additionally, veils tied to hand or feat may be shared alongside with allies. High-level seer-viziers may freely retrain the teamwork feats. See, that one is a competent, powerful commander-style path and once again, mops the floor with the relatively uninspired ruler-path.

Next up would be an array of new feats, 37 if I'm not mistaken. There are some feats for non-akashic classes to wilder in the system. Feats with the new [Akashic]-descriptor increase the essence pool by +1. The feats very much do support one aspect I loved about the original incarnum - gestalting and multiclassing. Investing essence into one school to have the school's spells at CL+1? Can see that. On the downside, these feats constitute neither veils, nor charge-bearing items, so not sure whether one can freely re-allocate essence invested via feats of this formula. Free reallocation would amount to pretty much free CL+1 for all spells of that school. While not too bad in this example, when one takes a look at the power point-reducing feat in the same line (reduce PP-cost by essence invested, thankfully with power-level based additional restrictions), it becomes apparent that free reallocation is something that needs to be addressed, otherwise, you could decrease the cost of ALL powers subsequently. This is especially puzzling since the feat that allows you to invest essence in favor of getting power points *does* specify the 24 hours-no-reassignment cap. This also becomes also apparent when taking a look at the otherwise interesting veilbound metamagic, which once again uses a 1/day formula.

The pdf ought to specify whether it uses the 24-hour bind-and-locked wording or whether it imposes a cap on how many times per day essence can be invested in a feat - utilizing both models quickly becomes confusing. After multiple extensive playtesting sessions, I'd suggest the former, i.e. going analogue to charge-investment, for what it's worth.

Conversely, not all feats suffer from this specific issue -akashic charge allows you to 1/day invest essence in the feat, granting a bonus to atk and damage when charging equal to the essence invested. Its missing no-reassignment clause has been addressed in the errata and I'm willing to believe that this component will feature in the next update. This type of complaint, however, can be fielded against a whole feat-class herein - I assume that to be oversights in layout/editing, since some feats clearly sport this caveat. There are *a lot* of feats interacting and enhancing existing feats here and math-wizards *will* have a field day here. I just hope that all those cool feats receive the "no reassignment for 24 hours"-caveat in the next update - as provided here, the feats that lack it can be broken pretty easily.

Essentially, the point boils down to the following scenario:

Does the feat grant a significant bonus based on essence-investment? If yes, it should have the essence bound analogue to charge items.

Does the feat instead grant a highly situational or very restricted bonus? Then essence should remain flexible to justify the feat investment.

In any case, adding the 1/day restrictions feels a bit tacked on; with just a bit of minor streamlining, this whole section can be rid of its minor issues and made more smooth.

Beyond these, I also noticed that "Essence of the Immortals" has the [Akashic]-descriptor, but has neither an essence pool as a prerequisite, nor does it grant +1 essence -the same holds true for some other feats, but I have not yet determined whether that's intentional or an oversight.

This may all have sounded terribly negative - it's not my intent to do so. It's just that this one glitch in how the whole feat-class works makes it very hard to judge whether these work as intended or not. The plus-side here is that the math underlying the feats can be considered powerful, but NOT overpowered - at least once the 24-hour lock-caveat has been implemented. To close my discussion on the feats with something positive - the massive gestalting potential of incarnum is not only maintained, it is surpassed - the feats here have something for just about everyone to utilize, which is downright awesome.

All right, so let's get to veilweaving, shall we? Every veil is associated with a chakra and *can* be bound to the chakra if the akashic class is powerful enough to do so, gaining more benefits. Each chakra corresponds to an equipment slot and some veils can occupy one or two or even more different slots. It is very important to note that veils bound to chakras do *NOT* interfere with items worn in the same slot - the biggest suckage-factor of incarnum is GONE.

Upon manifesting the veil, you can choose which slot the veil is applied to. If you remember the above discussion of the class, you'll realize that new chakras become unlocked at a fixed progression. Veils interact with spells and spell-like abilities as if they were spells. Veils, unless they modify/grant natural attacks or weapons, are subject to SR. Veils can be targeted and even sundered to temporarily suppress them. identifying veils works via Knowledge (arcana), which may seem a bit odd, seeing the usual adherence to Spellcraft for such a task...but I actually really like this decision. it adds a "different" flavor to the magic-class. Now before you all start screaming regarding how huge, highly circumstantial bonuses can be stacked up - there *is* a pretty conservative essence capacity limit based on character level - no more than this fixed amount can be invested in any one veil, feat, etc.

Now the veils...ooohhh, if you like customizable classes, you'll have a field day here! Fascination-auras with customizable aura size may be nice...but what if a target is freed from the effect and you have bound the veil to your wrist? Well, then you can deliver what my group called the "akashic pimp slap" with a free action ranged touch attack. Eyes of fiery death? Yup. Veils that improve starting attitude (and this one ACTUALLY manages to achieve the "disarming smile/diplomancer-trope *so much* better than comparable options, it's really cool) can be found herein alongside those helping with elemental affinities. Want a veil that allows you to spontaneously create zombies (or cairn wights in ring-slot-bound-form?) from the deceased? Channel-like effects of veils have thankfully daily limits imposed upon them to prevent abuse - that's how it's done.

On a nitpicky side that will not influence the final verdict, the veil that grants a draconic breath weapon could have used a short list of what dragon-colors net lines and which cones - while *I* know them by hard, many players will have to look that one up. As mentioned, nitpicking here and not gonna penalize the pdf for one page-skip required. Pretty awesome - by binding the aforementioned veil to the neck, you can further increase your draconic breath's power; alternatively, you can grow wings with increasing maneuverability. Now the hand cannons combined with target of Opportunity are a pretty nasty combo -especially when combined with a sniper as deadly as the one I have in my group - but come on. Hand cannons. I actually made a hand cannon in an archetype once. I'm a berserk fanboy. I can't hate on magical hand cannons. (Plus, while powerful, they're not broken.)

Want whips of light? Yup. What about binding it to make trip attempts against every enemy in range whenever the veil is triggered? Yep, that's crazy awesome to not be flooded by groups of moderately competent mooks. And yes, in playtest, a defense scenario against floods of foes actually saw the vizier shine pretty nicely.

Conclusion of my review in the product discussion.


All day magic

*****

I don't normally post to this forum, but I was over checking things out on another product I was interested in and thought I'd come weigh in on the vizier. I love the Dreamscarred Press stuff and I think our group probably uses something from them in every game we play. I've played the dread and the soulknife from their psionic books, and the stalker from Path of War.
The vizier uses life energy called essence to power up magic devices called veils. The veils range from cloaks that let you breathe fire and fly like a dragon, to rings that let you summon and control undead. He also gets abilities called paths that let him craft items, share teamwork feats, or gain an oppressive aura that lowers enemies saves.
I'm generally not a big fan of casting classes, but I liked that the vizier felt almost more like a superhero, where I picked my powers for the day and just kept doing those things. It made it a lot easier to play a character who acted as the party wizard but where I didn't have to keep track of spell slots, durations, and all the small fiddly bits that distract from just getting in and playing the game.


A new look at Incarnum

***( )( )

My opinion of this product is fairly average. While I believe the class is relatively balanced, the veils seem to lacks something and the essence cap in it's current form makes some of the veils abilities fluctuate.

First off you can't shape a veil that opposes your alignment (fine same with divine spells), then you find 4 evil veils, 0 chaos, 0 good and 0 law...

Second there is no interaction between the alignments:
-No way to get past aligned DR
-No ability to target certain alignments
-No down side to be neutral at higher levels (not a major concern, but high level effects for pathfinder tend to a little less forgiving against those who sit on the fence then "previous systems")

The scaling for the Vizier' veils essence cap is:
1-2 1
3-5 2
6-10 3
11 4
12-17 5
18 6
19+ 7
Given that a lot of the damage this class can deal is not based on a per day limit, it might surprise some GM's that over the course of 2 levels the damaged can potentially jump up 6d6 after lagging behind for a while.

There are no magic items.

There are no guides or rules to make your own veils, I'm only surprised because it was mentioned in a couple veil descriptions.

Since I have MoI I should be able to port over a couple aligned melds to fill this out a little more, but even then it is still a solid class.

I look forward to archetypes, and am glad the "smite feat" was left in the dust.


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Will these eventually get printed in an actual book?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Will these eventually get printed in an actual book?

I can't speak with certainty, but it's my understanding this is planned to be much like the Path of War release, so probably yes.


Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Will these eventually get printed in an actual book?

Yes. (if you meant compiled version, see below for print).

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Will these eventually get printed in an actual book?

If the subscription and .pdf sales justify it, than yes. Like Anguish mentioned, we'll probably do this just like Path of War, where we'll do the .pdf subscription with the run of our three main classes and supplemental materials, and then, assuming there's enough interest, we'll do a print release with the subscribers getting a discounted deal on the physical copy.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Will these eventually get printed in an actual book?

Yes. The size and scope will be based on how popular the book is and how much Michael wants to develop based on popularity, but there will be at the very least a softcover, B&W book.


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

Few minor things looking through the Veils section:

Spoiler:
In the List of Veils table, Hand Cannons are not listed under the Wrists section.

The entry for Bralani's Brooch says "Slot: Neck", but lists binds for both the Shoulders and the Neck slots, and is correctly listed as such in the table.

The entry for Coward's Boots says "Slot: Vizier:, which is listed correctly as being in the Feet slot in the table.

And for two extremely minor nitpicks:

In the List of Veils table under the Body section, Robe of the Forgotten Deity should be listed before Stone Giant's Girdle for proper alphabetical order.

When you have multiple classes sharing the same veil, you're a little inconsistent about whether or not they're all capitalized.

Not capitalized after first class listed: Bangles of the Jealous Seductress, Circlet of Brass, Collar of Skilled Instruction, Cuirass of Confidence, Dreamcatcher, Eyes of the Hawkguard, Hand Cannon, Hands of the Bard, Sentinel's Helm, Snakehandler's Gauntlets, Spiked Pauldrons, Stalker's Tabi, Stone Giant's Girdle, Tauric Brace, Thurston's Bladewards, and Waistband of the Wealthy.

Capitalized after first class listed: Bloody Shroud, Gorget of the Wyrm, Horns of the Minotaur, Horselord's Greaves, and Lavawalker's Boots.

And a quick question in regards to akashic feats:

Spoiler:
It says that a vizier can reallocate his essence investments as a swift action every round as part of his Veilweaving class feature, but several of the feats in the feat section also require someone to invest essence in them, while not requiring the character taking the feat to be a vizier or even having an essence pool as a class feature, gaining one as part of taking the feat. I presume, but would like confirmation, that it is also a swift action for non-Viziers to invest essence into a feat? And if not, what kind of action is it? I looked over the veilweaving section, but didn't see anything addressing it there.

Akashic Charge, unlike Body-Bound Mind, Essence of Recovery, and Veilbound Resilience, lacks the wording specifying that once the amount of essence invested is chosen, you cannot alter it and it remains invested for 24 hours. Does this mean you can take essence out from it after the one time a day you invest essence into it, but not put essence back into it? Or is this an oversight, and it was either not supposed to be once per day, or was supposed to also include that wording? I'll admit, I was curious about why it was once a day when things like Chakra Power and Chakra Targeting weren't.

I have to say I think the vizier looks really fun to play, I hope I can get a chance to try one eventually. If the Akashic Mysteries line does well enough, I hope to see some expansions later with more veils to play with, and perhaps more options when it comes to paths of mystic attunement to pick from.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Found a typo I don't see under Luthorne's post, I think,

Spoiler:
Under "CUIRASS OF CONFIDENCE", it says, "Essence: For each point of essence invested in this ability you gain a +1 insight bonus to Diplomacy checks against any creature that has". I think part of the sentence was cut.

-Kcinlive

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Kcinlive wrote:

Found a typo I don't see under Luthorne's post, I think,

** spoiler omitted **

-Kcinlive

That's odd, seems like there might be a layout error. I know Jeremy caught (and I believe, fixed) that error once before, and it never appeared in the original document. I'll follow up with him and see if he or one of our guys who has more experience in layout than myself can figure out why that's happening.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

blargh.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Luthorne wrote:

Few minor things looking through the Veils section:

** spoiler omitted **

And a quick question in regards to akashic feats:

** spoiler omitted **
I have to say I think the vizier looks really fun to play, I hope I can get a chance to try one eventually. If the Akashic Mysteries line does well enough, I hope to see some expansions later with more veils to play with, and perhaps more options when it comes to paths of mystic attunement to pick from.

Thanks for the notes! I'll get those over to the layout team so we can see about getting them corrected and an update put out.

I also hope Akashic Mysteries does well, as I do have several additional options I'd love to explore. Amongst other things, I'd like to do more multi-class specific veils (you'll probably notice the vizier has a few, and the guru has some very obvious ones), more environmentally focused veils, and a few other things. We're already working on a hybrid class, the Pharaoh, which combines the subsystems from Path of War and Akashic Mysteries and which will also feature a few new veils for the vizier list.

To your questions:

"Is it also a swift action for non-Viziers to invest essence into a feat?"
Yes, the default action for essence allocation into any receptacle is a swift action. If any essence receptacle requires a different action, it should be noted in that entry.

"Akashic Charge, unlike Body-Bound Mind, Essence of Recovery, and Veilbound Resilience, lacks the wording specifying that once the amount of essence invested is chosen, you cannot alter it and it remains invested for 24 hours. Does this mean you can take essence out from it after the one time a day you invest essence into it, but not put essence back into it? Or is this an oversight, and it was either not supposed to be once per day, or was supposed to also include that wording?"

I'm not sure when the 1/day tag ended up in there, this should be an ability that you can freely move essence in and out of. We'll get that fixed.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Ssalarn wrote:
Kcinlive wrote:

Found a typo I don't see under Luthorne's post, I think,

** spoiler omitted **

-Kcinlive

That's odd, seems like there might be a layout error. I know Jeremy caught (and I believe, fixed) that error once before, and it never appeared in the original document. I'll follow up with him and see if he or one of our guys who has more experience in layout than myself can figure out why that's happening.

Actually, it looks like it was a dropbox syncing error...

I'll fix it and update.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Jeremy Smith wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Kcinlive wrote:

Found a typo I don't see under Luthorne's post, I think,

** spoiler omitted **

-Kcinlive

That's odd, seems like there might be a layout error. I know Jeremy caught (and I believe, fixed) that error once before, and it never appeared in the original document. I'll follow up with him and see if he or one of our guys who has more experience in layout than myself can figure out why that's happening.

Actually, it looks like it was a dropbox syncing error...

I'll fix it and update.

You're the man!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm really liking this. The couple minor errors don't bug me. Especially because it's a pdf and can be updated.

Really like the picture on page 15. Probably my favorite. What veil would that be?

Hopefully I'll be able to play a Vizer sometime. :[

-Kcinlive


I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would. I'm not familiar with Incarnum, but after a quick google search I found that I love the changes made to the terms and flavor.

Infinite magic is always scary but I think this product pulled it off without being too good or too weak. I was also not around during the playtesting so I'm curious as to whether or not there will be a future class with full or 3/4 BAB and few Veils. For some reason I want to make a guy with Arm Cannon as his only veil and that's almost all he does in combat.

Shadow Lodge

The Daevic, I believe, will be your full-BAB combatant with a limited array of Veil tricks.


The 3/4th BAB class is called the Guru and it reminds me of Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures.

Full BAB is the Daevic and I don't know how to describe it.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Orthos wrote:
The Daevic, I believe, will be your full-BAB combatant with a limited array of Veil tricks.

The Daevic is our full BAB veilweaver, and she's a little bit barbarian, a little bit paladin, and a lot of charm. She's got somewhat weaker veilweaving than the other classes but makes up for it by being a bit of a beast on the battlefield.

The Guru is our 3/4 BAB class and I like to think of him as... Have you ever read The Highwayman by R.A. Salvatore? He's like what the Stork becomes after getting his hands on the sacred gemstones and combining their use with his mother's Jhesta Tu training.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Malwing wrote:
*** I was also not around during the playtesting so I'm curious as to whether or not there will be a future class with full or 3/4 BAB and few Veils. For some reason I want to make a guy with Arm Cannon as his only veil and that's almost all he does in combat.

Sorry for the double post, just realized I had another really good suggestion for this: Our Akashic Warrior archetype will be a Fighter archetype that doesn't get any veils but uses the essence system for all of his abilities and can select akashic feats as bonus feats. This would be a great chassis to make your "Mega Man" character who runs around with the Hand Cannon as his primary schtick.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Malwing wrote:
*** I was also not around during the playtesting so I'm curious as to whether or not there will be a future class with full or 3/4 BAB and few Veils. For some reason I want to make a guy with Arm Cannon as his only veil and that's almost all he does in combat.
Sorry for the double post, just realized I had another really good suggestion for this: Our Akashic Warrior archetype will be a Fighter archetype that doesn't get any veils but uses the essence system for all of his abilities and can select akashic feats as bonus feats. This would be a great chassis to make your "Mega Man" character who runs around with the Hand Cannon as his primary schtick.

Oh cool. One trope that is really hard to build within Pathfinder is having one kind of magic and running with it. You can't be a 'ice mage' because ice spells are few and far between and do very few things. You're also obligated to use more traditional spells for solving problems. I'd love the chance to be the 'Rock Lee' of the magic world of having one magic to excel with at the exclusion of other magic.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Malwing wrote:


Oh cool. One trope that is really hard to build within Pathfinder is having one kind of magic and running with it. You can't be a 'ice mage' because ice spells are few and far between and do very few things. You're also obligated to use more traditional spells for solving problems. I'd love the chance to be the 'Rock Lee' of the magic world of having one magic to excel with at the exclusion of other magic.

The Akashic Warrior would probably be a really good fit for that, since you could our a lot of your resources towards boosting your Hand Cannon. You've got the essence you could invest into the veil itself, which also lets you customize it's enhancement and elemental damage bonuses, the Akashic Warrior's version of Weapon Training could be invested to benefit the Hand Cannon, and there's a few good feats you could use to further buff it, in addition to the normal feats. Going all out would eat a lot of your essence and leave you as a little bit of a glass cannon, but there's ways to deal with that.

I believe that Psybomb talks a bit about ways to use the Hand Cannons effectively in his guide, which I've only gotten to glance at, but seems pretty comprehensive. He was one of our most vocal playtesters and has a good grasp of the system, so I've got no problem pointing to his guides as a resource for ideas on how to play with the new materials.

**EDIT**
Since it's relevant to this - the playtest version of the Akashic Warrior is currently available here, and he will be part of the 4th and final individual release in the subscription series before everything is consolidated into one .pdf.

Sczarni

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Ssalarn wrote:
Orthos wrote:
The Daevic, I believe, will be your full-BAB combatant with a limited array of Veil tricks.

The Daevic is our full BAB veilweaver, and she's a little bit barbarian, a little bit paladin, and a lot of charm. She's got somewhat weaker veilweaving than the other classes but makes up for it by being a bit of a beast on the battlefield.

The Guru is our 3/4 BAB class and I like to think of him as... Have you ever read The Highwayman by R.A. Salvatore? He's like what the Stork becomes after getting his hands on the sacred gemstones and combining their use with his mother's Jhesta Tu training.

Now I MUST check out this system. Love the Highwayman and have wanted to play a character like the stork for the longest time.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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It's been brought to my attention that in an attempt to be concise, I may have obscured what I was actually trying to convey.
Eldritch Insight has a line that states: "The Vizier’s class levels count as arcane spell-caster levels for the purposes of qualifying for feats and abilities". It should read: "The Vizier’s class levels count as arcane caster levels for the purposes of qualifying for feats, and for other caster level based abilities, such as determining your caster level when using a stave". This change will be added to the .pdf once we've heard more feedback from our customers and have noted any other clarifications that may need to be made.
Thank you to everyone who has purchased this so far, and thank you to everyone who has taken the time to give thoughtful and constructive feedback to make sure that we can give you the highest quality products.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Hey everyone, here's the complete errata log for the Vizier. These changes will all be added to the .pdf before compilation or print:

pg. 4 - Eldritch Insight says "The Vizier’s class levels count as arcane spell-caster levels for the purposes of qualifying for feats and abilities"; it should read: "The Vizier’s class levels count as arcane caster levels for the purposes of qualifying for feats, and for other caster level based abilities, such as determining your caster level when using a stave".

pg. 5 - Path of the Crafter should read "The vizier gains a bonus equal to 1/2 his class level on all skill checks made as part of the crafting process, and can bypass the normal restrictions for spell prerequisites on spell trigger and spell activation items by adding 3 + spell level to the crafting DC".

pg. 13 paragraph 3 - Add the line "Unless otherwise noted, investing or reallocating essence to or from a valid receptacle is a swift action.

pg.18 - Coward's Boots should read "Class: Guru, Vizier Slot: Feet

pg. 18 - Cuirass of Confidence cuts off in the middle of the Essence description. It should read "For each point of Essence invested in this ability you gain a +1 insight bonus to Diplomacy checks against any creature that has been affected by this Veil’s primary ability within the past 24 hours."

pg. 18 - Dark Lord's Ring of Essence-Binding should direct you to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary, not the Core Rulebook. Add the following after the entry for the plague zombie template "The zombie rot inflicted by this creature dissipates after 24 hours, or when you reshape this veil. Any plague zombies created as a result of being infected also die as the force animating them dissipates." Add the following line to the bind entry "Because the dark energies animating this creature are magical simulations, this Wight cannot create spawn."

pg. 20-21 - Hand Cannons description entry should read as follows "Massive cylinders of whirling energy surround the arms of anyone wielding this potent Veil. While the Hand Cannons are manifested you gain the ability to make a special ranged weapon attack targeting touch AC with a range increment of 20 feet that deals 2d6 points of bludgeoning and piercing damage. You can attack with this ability as many times in a round as your base attack bonus allows, and this ability can be modified by feats and effects which normally affect ranged weapon attacks, like Deadly Aim, Point Blank Shot, and Rapid Shot. You must have at least one free hand to attack with this veil, and you cannot attack with this veil in the same round you attack with any other weapon. The wearer may choose to use their veilweaver level in place of their base attack bonus to determine their to-hit and other abilities of this veil."

pg. 26 - Remove the word "melee" from the Storm Gauntlets wrist bind entry.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Nix on the Hand Cannons targeting touch AC. I've retracted that elsewhere, but unfortunately Paizo's window has closed. Apparently that was one Jeremy had pulled from the correct log and it was I who was confused. The important (and remaining) piece that is being errata'd is that Hand Cannons should work with feats and effects that normally affect ranged weapon attacks.


Will there be magic items you can invest essence into? Being able to take a suit of armor or weapon and change its enhancement bonus would be neat.

Have you thought about maybe doing legacy items with an essence component, kind of like the Dark Tempest's lightsaber thing in Ultimate Psionics, but with extra bonuses you can add by investing?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Yes, the Supplemental release (the 4th and final entry in the series) will include magic items. I hadn't really thought about legacy items yet, but that could definitely be interesting...

I will consider that a request to look into akashic legacy items then :)


Ssalarn wrote:

Yes, the Supplemental release (the 4th and final entry in the series) will include magic items. I hadn't really thought about legacy items yet, but that could definitely be interesting...

I will consider that a request to look into akashic legacy items then :)

Maybe a quarterstaff that works as a stave and is specifically intended to mix with Eldritch Insight? Or call me a nerd but Jafar's staff could be neat as a legacy weapon.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Desha wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

Yes, the Supplemental release (the 4th and final entry in the series) will include magic items. I hadn't really thought about legacy items yet, but that could definitely be interesting...

I will consider that a request to look into akashic legacy items then :)

Maybe a quarterstaff that works as a stave and is specifically intended to mix with Eldritch Insight? Or call me a nerd but Jafar's staff could be neat as a legacy weapon.

I think there's probably a middleground where those ideas all come together. And as Jafar was actually an influence in the development of the Vizier, something along those lines is certainly within the realm of possibility.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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I wanted to thank Endzeitgeist for his awesome review of the Vizier. It's that kind of thorough feedback that helps designers keep raising the bar, and I really appreciate it :)


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Came in to give a congratz for the Endz review! you deserve it.

Also soon Jeremy will get the Guru PDF out! The class that excites me most about Incarnum!


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Conclusion of my review:

Editing and formatting are good, but not perfect - here and there, the wording's flow could be improved, especially among the feats, which feel like 2 versions of rules-language collide for a section that is more confusing than it ought to be. Layout adheres to Dreamscarred Press' two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes bookmarked, though not extensively so. The pdf does come in two versions, with the second being more printer-friendly.

Okay, after reading this review, I'd really love to know what you think follows next. Admittedly, the vizier, to me, has a very much WiP-feel - the wording of essence-regaining/veil-redistribution could be clearer, feats feel a bit over the place regarding the system they utilize and one of the 3 paths is not only much more boring than the other two, it is also significantly weaker. So that would be the downsides.

On the plus-side - this MOPS THE FLOOR with Magic of Incarnum! The vizier is so much cooler than the incarnate, it's not even funny anymore. Seriously, it's so much better, it's not even funny! The fluff is better. The execution is better. The math is more elegant and if the wording issues are ironed out and there's no ambiguity left (especially re item interaction), this will be a total and utter blast. I honestly did not expect to like this due to several factors:

1) Fluff. Done. Not only is the new fluff cooler, the writing actually dares to be funny once in a while in an unobtrusive manner. Take this one: "Binding this wicked veil to your Shoulders chakra makes you slightly less cuddly than a rabid dire porcupine." Win.

2) Item-slot issue. Resolved.

3) Massive combo-potential requires plenty of foresight and solid math to prevent ridiculous abuse.

Number 3...oh, how I dreaded you. I had never before read a book by author Michael Sayre. Know what? This man knows his math. The vizier turned out to be a strong class, yes, but it is not overpowered - it requires continuous resource-management, is highly customizable and manages to maintain the gestalting capacities of the original system. Bonus-types are applied consistently. Options are cool, unique and fun. I did not expect to like this pdf to this extent.

The good news here is: Michael, you are talented indeed and I'm stoked for future installments of the series, though they are a colossal pain to review. The issues this pdf has can easily and quickly be fixed and boil down to wording, flow and making mechanics more explicit by establishing a slightly more concise terminology. For example, 24-hour-essence-storage = binding essence to; otherwise: investing essence into x. Simple, easy and once established and explained, prevents a lot of confusion and allows for easy streamlining of feats etc. and may actually save space regarding word count!

So yes, this pdf has some WiP-level rough patches. But its potential is GLORIOUS and exceedingly fun. The flexibility provided is glorious (and on par with PFRPG's versatility - no two viziers need to be alike!) and the veils are fitting and unique. Combo-potential galore rules. Were it not for the glitches and rough patches I complained about, this would be a no-brainer 5 star+ seal of approval file. The glitches would usually make me harp on this harder than I did here, probably for something around the 3.5 star-area. BUT: They can easily be fixed, mostly boil down to requiring slightly more precise wording and do not reflect badly on the system provided here. After using this and analyzing it, I can't, not for the life of me, bash this as something even remotely mediocre. It's not. This pdf is fun and I am stoked for future Akashic Mysteries and a cleaning of the glitches that still haunt this. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars, with an explicit recommendation for everyone who likes complex, customizable classes (and, of course, fans of incarnum!) to check this out.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

I officially want more of this system and consider it a potential system to become a permanent fixture in my home-game once the rough patches have been ironed out. Impressive freshman offering, Michael!

Cheers,
Endzeitgeist out.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

So... he doesn't like it much, then?

<Grin>

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

For anyone who liked the Vizier, our next class, the Guru, is now available!


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I love DSP's products and use them in my games. I'm not trying to start a flame fight or anything, but I'm just not seeing what makes the Vizier a class that can stand alongside others on a equal or near equal footing. Offensively it doesn't seem that great, so what am I missing?


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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Ok, I'm not trying to start a flame fight or anything, but I'm just not seeing what makes the Vizier a class that can stand alongside others on a equal or near equal footing. Offensively it doesn't seem that great, so what am I missing?

Hand Cannons are quite impressive damage for a class not focused on damage.

Though if offense is your thing, Path of the Seer works amazingly. Not only can you spam Hand Cannon, you can have a neck-bound Gorget of the Wyrm, and have a good gaze attack with Stare of the Ghaele.

Vizier damage is quite strong. Its no pouncing barbarian, but most classes are not. Vizier will bring the pain, but it will bring more than pain. It has good out of combat utility, buffing, and other goodies.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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This guide may help a bit. Other than that:

The Vizier has a wide variety of options for dishing out damage. One of the more notable options is slapping an assload of stacking damage on Hand Cannons. Twin Veil Storm Gauntlets onto your wrist slot, choose Flaming (or Flaming Burst) for one of the Hand Cannon enhancements, then stack up more damage with Circlet of Brass. Spend any leftover essence on Chakra Targeting and sharing Target of Opportunity via Collar of Skilled Instruction or Path of the Seer and you'll be a serious blaster dropping lots of big damage. I call it the Mega Man build. Expand your essence pool with feats, you can also give yourself a cairn wight minion and an aura that adds bleed to your and the wight's damage.

There are a lot of different ways to set up the Vizier for big damage, but there's also cool control, buffing, and defensive options available.


Thanks, guys! One more question, if a veil is woven, does it last until "unwoven", or is there a time per level for its duration? I just took a look at the guide, Ssalarn, and it was very helpful. Even has the Guru guide up and running. They were really instrumental in changing my views of the classes from "eh" to "Hey! These are pretty groovy!"

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Thanks, guys!

Of course! There's other good builds you can pull off with the vizier too; my number one suggestion is to think of your veils as "sets" and see which combinations come together for you. There's the "martial in disguise", the necromancer, the earth magus, the dragon, the sniper... And those are just the builds I've played with! (Though to be fair, "martial in disguise" wasn't my name for the build.)


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I liked Incarnum, but it never made it into any of my games. My players had no interest in it, and to be honest it seemed kind of clunky and a problem to use. The Akashic Mysteries take on it really appeal to me, and that's why I asked the question I did. I definitely plan to include the new material in my games.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Thanks, guys! One more question, if a veil is woven, does it last until "unwoven", or is there a time per level for its duration? I just took a look at the guide, Ssalarn, and it was very helpful. Even has the Guru guide up and running. They were really instrumental in changing my views of the classes from "eh" to "Hey! These are pretty groovy!"

Veils last until the next time you shape veils for the day (or use an ability like veilshifting). They're basically all day, customizable class options.

Yeah, Psybomb gets major props from me for creating the guides (even if I value a few things differently than he did). These are all classes with lots of moving parts, and those can sometimes be a little hard to Lego together until you get comfortable with the system. Psybomb's guide helps get you in and gets you comfortable so you can really start exploring new ways to bring it all together.


Ok...more questions. I was looking at the Vizier on the d20pfsrd site and the link to the feat Stone Throwing takes me to a spell from the Giant Hunter's Handbook. Am I correct in understanding that this feat emulates the spell? Also, can the feat Extra Essence be taken more than once?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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That's a mis-link. It should be the Rock Throwing monster ability giants have (assuming this is linked under Stone Giant's Girdle).

Extra Essence can only be taken once; otherwise it'd be the go-to option for basically every second feat in a build. One of the main balancing factors to the Akashic classes is the need to manage the fairly limited resource of essence.


Thanks again, Ssarlarn. Also, the Siphon Might feat leads to a spell. I don't know if that's a mis-link or not. And the Troll Render feat takes to a monster of the same name.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Weird. There's some links there that shouldn't be there at all:
Marksman's Malady, Siphon Might, Stone Throwing, Troll Elder Matron, and Troll Render all appear to have been incorrectly routed into that list by the site.


Ah, you found that one before I could post about it. Never mind, then.. lol


D20pfsrd uses automatic text parser. If veils are listed like maneuvers, on a single text page not in a table or sidebar, I can see this happening.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Nyaa wrote:
D20pfsrd uses automatic text parser. If veils are listed like maneuvers, on a single text page not in a table or sidebar, I can see this happening.

Well, at least there's a logical explanation. I'll look into who we need to talk to to see if we can get the site to correct that.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Anyone interested in taking their Vizier .pdf for a test drive, feel free to playtest some of these Akashic Races while you're at it! Once these have been playtested and vetted they'll be included in the supplemental release of the subscription, as well as appearing in the final compiled version of Akashic Mysteries.

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