Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Occult Adventures (OGL)
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There is an unseen world all around you. On the streets and in the halls of power, in your dreams and across the bizarre planes of the multiverse, there are those who walk among us like giants among ants, twisting reality to their wills in their search for ancient knowledge. Now pull back the curtain of the mundane world and learn the secrets of these occult masters—if you dare!

Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures is an indispensable companion to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon over 15 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures includes:

  • Six new occult base classes—the energy-shaping kineticist, the spirit-calling medium, the deceptive mesmerist, the mind-bending psychic, the uncanny occultist, and the phantom-binding spiritualist.
  • Archetypes for all of the new classes, as well as a broad selection of strange and mysterious archetypes and class options for existing characters.
  • New feats to flesh out your occult character, plus a whole new way to use existing skills to become a master of faith healing, hypnotism, psychometry, and more!
  • More than 100 spells using the all-new psychic magic system, plus rituals that grant even non-spellcasting characters occult power! Explore worlds beyond imagining with dream voyage, or defend yourself from mental threats with tower of iron will!
  • Rules and advice to help you steep your game in the occult, from chakras and deadly mindscapes to possession, psychic duels, and the Esoteric Planes.
  • A wide variety of new magic items, such as the eerie spirit mirror and the peculiar tin cap, plus new cursed items and powerful artifacts.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-762-8

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This massive hardcover clocks in at a whopping 271 pages, though 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC and 1/3rd of a page decrease that down to 267 2/3 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Well, before we do, let me deal with the confusion for a second that this review undoubtedly will cause. Yes, I usually only do 3pp material. This has several reasons: For one, I want to showcase the fringe of gaming, the evocative books that push the envelope. Secondly, I'm not particularly affluent, to say the least and want to reward the publishers that do send me their books. Well, I obviously *HAVE* to get the Paizo books anyways, but for the most part nowadays, that means pdf or waiting until they're open sourced - I just can't afford them all. Then again, I do have a policy of covering all books I receive...and I got this book on gencon.

That would be the justification I provide from an intellectual point of view. There is another reason. I *WANT* to write this review and, since I have the hardcover now, have absolutely no reason not to.

Now usually, I provide the respective breakdowns of classes and crunch, but frankly, there are whole guides devoted to that out there, which is why I have elected to pursue a different path this time around. (Different path...that'll be a leitmotif, as you'll see...) In order to properly be able to contextualize my take on this book, I will have to embark on a little recap of Paizo's hardcovers and my history with them, so if you're not interested in that, please skip ahead.

When I got my hands on the core rules hardcover for Pathfinder, I was generally positively surprised - it represents a tightening of 3.X's engine and some sensible, smart tweaks to the mechanics. Still, it didn't manage to elicit cheers or particular excitement at my table - that only came with the APG. The Advanced Player's Guide, in spite of its minor flaws, would represent, at least to me, the truly identity-constituting moment of Pathfinder. It is here, with the alchemist, witch, oracle, etc. that the game set out to truly distinguish itself from its roots and transcend basically anything 3.X ever offered. To this day, the APG classes rank among the favorites at my table, which only bespeaks their staying power and coolness. Next up were Ultimate Magic and Combat and with them, alas, came the power creep.

While, much like many out there, I did enjoy the magus, not much else from Ultimate Magic sees regular use in my games and I went through the book with a fine-toothed comb and ban-hammered/restricted material. Ultimate Combat is a more complex story - on one hand, I did like the new classes and e.g. the emphasis on the narrative aspect the gunslinger entailed; alas, for said class, player agenda suffered and mathematically, it would have been served better with a slightly different chassis. So while I like what it represents and quite a few pieces of UC's options, many aren't used in my games. Mythic Adventures is peculiar - I like mythic gameplay, but only when supported by the ton of Legendary Games material I own - I tried running vanilla WotR and it was PCs curbstomping through everything. Still, I do like this book - just not as a stand-alone. I adore Ultimate Campaign. Its downtime and kingdom building make sense to me, are used a lot at my table and story feats are a good idea as well - there's nothing I don't like about that book and what it has brought to my table.

Well, and the less I say about the ARG and ACG, the better. My stance on both books is well known. (Hint: To say I don't like them would be a gross understatement.)

Fast forward to Occult Adventures. For one, this book's class design represents an organic development that benefits the game. An easy way to look at a class would be to examine it regarding player agenda and character agenda. Character agenda, in this instance, would pertain the ability to contribute meaningfully to various situations. It's why I think that skill unlocks are a good idea and 2 + Int skills for all but Int-based casters, generally, is not a good idea. It's just not as fun to play a fighter who can only kill things and excels at one non-combat thing...unless, of course, that's how you roll, but in general, I have observed players gravitate to classes that provide more skill-use and versatility. Player agenda would be just as important: Can the player make meaningful choices that alter the playstyle? The higher the player agenda is, the more rules-knowledge is required; true. But at the same time, it does help immensely in the long run to generate a unique being from a mechanics point of view - if you don't get to choose, you'll sooner, rather than later, run into a character on distinguished from you by his skills, equipment and feats. Pathfinder, as a system, has covered the base classes for a while; it has advanced players that demand unique concepts. As such and at this point in the system's life, the occult classes with their plethora of meaningful choices are very much appreciated - and if you need some proof of players loving choices, look no further than the modularity of the "Talented" classes invented by Owen K.C. Stephens.

Speaking of classes - let us talk a bit about them and begin with the least "occult" class herein and the most popular one. That would, obviously, be the kineticist...and while I kinda like Avatar, I'm not a rabid fan of this franchise, though I get its appeal. This does not change the fact that the class, as presented, is very niche in focus. Then again, thankfully the 3pp-circuit has since expanded the kineticist's appeal far beyond its thematic confines. (A cheers to N. Jolly for that, even if I don't always agree with all balancing...) So, flavor-wise and regarding base-options, I am not the biggest fan of this class...but at the same time, I absolutely ADORE it. Why? Because it is an engine that would be daring for a small publisher, much more so for Paizo as the industry leader. The rules-engine employed by the kineticist is inspiring and complex and its success is well warranted. Were I to nitpick this class, then my complaints would pertain the fact that its power-curve could be a little better distributed; 17th level plus in particular can be an issue...but that extends to more than just this class and is, to an extent, system-inherent. That being said, I still love this class, though for completely different reasons than probably 99% of its fans and players. It remains a great addition to the class roster and I'm glad it exists.

Now, let us talk a bit about the classes that are designated as occult not only by inclusion in the book, but also by their themes...but for that, we need to talk a bit about genre conventions. It is a general truism that Pathfinder, as a game, is indebted by proxy of D&D to Tolkienesque fantasy and a society structured very much akin to the Early Modern period in history due to the advances of magic. Kobold Press' Midgard is closer to the beginning of the Early Modern period and features a more feudal, medieval flair. Golarion and Pathfinder's default, due to the influences of the weird that made me enjoy the setting in the first place, can be roughly situated at the end of the Early Modern period, with overlaps with the Edwardian and Victorian age - once China Miéville (one of my favorite authors - read the Bas-Lag books!!!)-like aesthetics come into play, you're definitely looking at a society that is bordering a magical industrial revolution. This suits me well, for I come from a Ravenloft background (don't ever get me started on 4th and 5th edition Ravenloft and what I think of those...for all of our sakes...) as such, have always been in love with the fantastic aesthetics of Penny Dreadfuls, early weird fiction, Sword & Sorcery, Sword & Planet...you get the idea. I enjoy these somewhat less standardized, less covered aspects that have been an organic part of the old school aesthetic back in the day, but fell by the wayside somewhere along the lines. Anyways, the classes herein very much support this slightly advanced aesthetic; they resonate well with both the ancient and the more modern themes evoked in their resurgence in aforementioned timeframes. The more subtle magic psychic magic represents and the emotional component inherent in the variant spell system works well in the context of more magic-hostile environments as well as in less fantastic settings with more subdued themes than all out fireball-slinging. The marriage of the aesthetics associated with occultism and their relevant mechanical representations are what makes the classes interesting for me.

Take the medium - while I prefer spirits with names and unique identities, the need to offer the general mechanical framework for the defining spirits of the medium is obvious for such a book and in this context, employing the nomenclature of the mythic paths does make sense and can generate some pretty fun tricks. Had a mythic campaign? Use the PC-names when acting as a vessel for the respective spirit - it's simple, but incredibly rewarding. The general notion of taboos and the influence mechanic similarly can make for some great roleplaying. The mesmerist class tends to be called unfocused by some reviews I've read...and frankly, I have no idea why. The mesmerist, from the cool concept to the execution, makes for a very rewarding playing experience and has some serious optimization potential to boot -the implanting of tricks, the skill-array...both from the perspective of the stories you can tell with this class and the options available for the enterprising player, this class is absolutely amazing and allows for some neat, diverse characters. The stare-mechanic is also something that can be employed to rather great effect. The occultist is a similarly evocative concept - the focus on implements and fact that each can make for an unique item on its own is a lot of roleplaying potential and the respective focus powers provide a similarly interesting playing experience. The psychic, as the full caster, ranks as one of the more intriguing full casters in my book, with magical amplification and disciplines providing a nice array of diverse builds. The spiritualist, finally, would basically be a balanced take on the summoner with a fluff that I consider amazing.

This would bring me to what sets the classes apart more so than their mechanical validity - the fact that, to me, they represent, universally a great blending of providing player and character agenda, but this also means that they have things they can do beyond the confines of combat - there is a significant emphasis on the ROLEplaying aspect of the game we all know and love, with a wide variety of diverse tricks associated with actual roleplaying; the classes have means of depicting interesting characters; a player can really make each class its own: The implements, phantoms and all the components of the classes and their structure almost demand, organically, to be used by the player to make something that exceeds the totality of the mathematical components. In short, as far I'm concerned, these are the best player-focused options since the APG and as a whole, I consider the roster to be superior to even that gem of a book.

However, the customization options similarly provide some seriously cool tricks: Want to play Scarecrow from Batman? Yup. Cultist leader? Yep. Eat books and draw strength from it? Yeah. Amnesiac psychic? Yup. As a whole, covering archetypes and feats would obviously bloat the book beyond compare - but one crucial point as opposed to most books of this size lies in the big C-word - consistency. There are no overpowered options here...and neither are there options that you'd consider to be subpar traps sans value - there is some character concept, some specific thing that makes sense from a build and/or flavor perspective. (The options that I won't use will be the onmyoji, elemental annihilator, psychic duelist and kami medium - the Eastern-themed ones mainly since I prefer Interjection Games' take on the Onmyoji and its themes; the psychic duelist is a nice specialist, but doesn't blow me away. Finally, the annihilator...well, I have 3pp options that are more versatile.) - notice something? My criticism here pertains mostly taste.

Now this alone does make the book shine very much for me; at the same time, I wouldn't be me if I didn't have complaints, right? So there we go: The book contains various pieces of advice and alternate rules/subsystems of the material and one would by psychic duels...which are generally an awesome idea and provide for cool, creative minigames when handled right. Alas, the spell used to start them, instigate psychic duel, pretty much is a save-or-suck option, since the affected target has the save...and while the duel is in process, the target cannot move...which allows allies to stab the foe to bits. Oddly, the instigator of such a duel can end it via a Will-save as per the spell, when the psychic duel-rules do not mention such an option for the affected character - this is intended, undoubtedly, since those caught in a duel can be shaken out of it. At the same time, I think that pretty basic modifications could have prevented that little lockdown-aspect: For example, taking a penalty on MP to be capable of at least utilizing a fraction of the action array available...you know, moving slowly towards the instigator while battling him in the duel, maintaining at least defenses...the like. Granted, the system is optional and can be modified rather easily, but I'm still somewhat astonished that this very basic strategy was not used, particularly after the complaints the slumber hex etc. received. Still, this represents a relatively minor issue when seen in relation to the number of things that *do* work pretty perfectly...and the fact that psychic duels work infinitely better than 3.X's mindscapes and similar tricks.

Once again, the storytelling potential is what sells this on me. Beyond the copious GM-advice, the book contains some information on esoteric planes like the akashic record, the positive/negative energy plane and the like - which I generally enjoyed. At the same time, I did feel like the book could have done a little bit more with unique planar features for some of them, since not all receive this component in detail. Of course gear, both mundane and magical, can be found in this tome - from the phrenologist's kit (phrenology being the by now debunked belief that the size and shape of the skull influences personality etc. - and yes, there's a feat inspired by it here!) to the Dorian Gray-ish pictures, we notice one thing - the items, much like a ton of material herein, is steeped in a sense of the real, in the occult traditions and pseudo-science of days gone by.

What do I mean by this? Take alchemy, an established concept in our fantasy games. If you have the stamina to power through them, I'd sincerely suggest getting a copy of the writings of real world alchemists, sit down with the cool alchemy recipes and start - I guarantee you'll come up with new and evocative material. A similar observation can be made here - the tying into concepts and ideas established in our world generates basically the largest hand-out you could fathom and some research will almost assuredly provide a vast selection of truly evocative concepts to represent, while also teaching something new along the way. You do not have to be interested in masons, OTO, etc. to enjoy this book - but you can draw upon esoteric and occult knowledge to enrich the game tremendously. Heck, I'm pretty much a nihilistic atheist and my fascination with the subject matter stems from a purely intellectual point of view, but I still appreciate all the ideas and their impact on the genesis of our mode of thought. Similarly, the idea of locus spirits, of tapping into ley lines and similar high-concept tricks complement an implied world-building and -conception that goes beyond the surface, that extends into a level of depth beyond the superficial pushing of numbers.

Part II of my review can be found here!


Fun, but a bit esoteric

3/5

Don't take it the wrong way. You can have tons of fun with this book in other games. I played a mesmerist and it was hilarious, had a whole Doctor Orpheus thing going on. The Kineticist can be flavored a little and it basically becomes a bender from Avatar! How freaking cool is that?!
There are quite a few spells and special abilities that feel like they can only come in handy in very specific ways though. All the mindscape things would almost never come up in a regular game. This feels very much like a book that would be a lot more fun if all your players HAD to take a class from this book, which is a terrible premise for a core book.
On a personal note, almost none of these classes work with Mythic Adventures...


Solid Product

4/5

Really, nothing in this book is bad overall, and while there's a few mechanics that I would like to change, it's not enough to change my thoughts. The psychic casters are interesting with different mechanics that still feel familiar, and everything else works very well. I'd say it's worth picking up.


Finally psychic powers makes it's way to Pathfinder

5/5

I have been waiting for psychic related rules for Pathfinder for a long time and I am happy for what I see.
Kineticist- This one has become one of my favorite classes with it's all day blasting and at will/always active spell powers and supernatural abilities. I would love to see more classes that focuses on spell powers and supernatural abilities then just spellcasters, martials, and skill monkeys.
Medium- While I am not big on this one, it does have some interesting flavor and good story ideas. My only problem is it is one of the more complex classes.
Mesmerist- I like this one, it is a debuffer counter part to the bard and also makes a great villain. It is also a good spiritual successor for the Beguiler class.
Occultist- As with the Medium interesting flavor and good story value but complex mechanically. Not one my favorites but like all classes in this book, it fills a niche.
Psychic- Interesting class and fills the 9th caster for psychic magic but lacks in the flavor/story department compared to the other 5 classes. Still a solid class with some interesting abilities.
Spiritualist- One of my favorite classes has good flavor/story value and is not as complicated to use as the Medium and Occultist. A great class when dealing with incorporeal creatures especially undead.
These classes are just the tip of the iceberg, we get rules for auras, chakras, psychic duels, possession, occult rituals, occult skill unlocks, loci spirits, ley lines, mindscapes, and more. This one is as useful as the APG and the ARG.


A great addition to the game

5/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Occult Adventures is a great addition to the Pathfinder game. It does more than just introduce a bunch of new classes and create Pathfinder's version of psionics. It adds a whole new flavour and style of campaign with new rules options that back that flavour up. I eagerly look forward to trying out some of its ideas in a future campaign.


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3 people marked this as a favorite.

I do feel as if there there should be an Occult mythic path, if only for the sake of symmetry and so that psychic-spells using characters can do something in a mythic game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Maybe someday there will be a Occult Mythic Path.


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Here's something that's been bugging me for a while. Why in the world did they choose to use psionics in this book? You'd think, with so much talk of not using psionics they'd at least think up a new name for what's been a power in Psionics books for years(like Ego Whip).

It just doesn't make sense. Paizo should be able to do better than copy/edit/paste.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The talk was never about not using psionics. It was about not using the 3.5 interpretation of psionics, power points and all.


Considering most, if not all, the Paizo staff never liked the power point system for psionics, I am not surprised.


Azten wrote:

Here's something that's been bugging me for a while. Why in the world did they choose to use psionics in this book? You'd think, with so much talk of not using psionics they'd at least think up a new name for what's been a power in Psionics books for years(like Ego Whip).

It just doesn't make sense. Paizo should be able to do better than copy/edit/paste.

I think it is because these and the other undercastable spells have been a thing since 1ed. D&D namewise. Nostalgia is a powerful tool nowadays.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
the xiao wrote:
Azten wrote:

Here's something that's been bugging me for a while. Why in the world did they choose to use psionics in this book? You'd think, with so much talk of not using psionics they'd at least think up a new name for what's been a power in Psionics books for years(like Ego Whip).

It just doesn't make sense. Paizo should be able to do better than copy/edit/paste.

I think it is because these and the other undercastable spells have been a thing since 1ed. D&D namewise. Nostalgia is a powerful tool nowadays.

Yes. I know it was for me, when I was going through the playtest and read those I grinned. Psionics has always been a point based thing back to first edition - so they made it "vancian" and I'm OK with that, but having names that were classic helped the thing feel connected, emotionally.


Hopefully we will get our shipping soon emails in like a week.

Dark Archive

Dragon78 wrote:
Hopefully we will get our shipping soon emails in like a week.

Probably more like a week in a half


Oh these are really coming out July 29th and not during GenCon in August? Never seen that before.Cool

Designer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Geramies wrote:
Oh these are really coming out July 29th and not during GenCon in August? Never seen that before.Cool

Whichever of these is more fun we can decide is true (I like choice A better myself):

A) We are releasing it early especially for you!

B) Gencon is on the 29th of July this year.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Lord Mhoram wrote:
the xiao wrote:
Azten wrote:

Here's something that's been bugging me for a while. Why in the world did they choose to use psionics in this book? You'd think, with so much talk of not using psionics they'd at least think up a new name for what's been a power in Psionics books for years(like Ego Whip).

It just doesn't make sense. Paizo should be able to do better than copy/edit/paste.

I think it is because these and the other undercastable spells have been a thing since 1ed. D&D namewise. Nostalgia is a powerful tool nowadays.
Yes. I know it was for me, when I was going through the playtest and read those I grinned. Psionics has always been a point based thing back to first edition - so they made it "vancian" and I'm OK with that, but having names that were classic helped the thing feel connected, emotionally.

And for some of us who are point-based psionics fans, it's honestly a little... insulting, or irritating, or something. A negative feeling, whatever it manifests as. Dishonest, I guess.

I mean, I could accept "psionics is psionics, occult is occult, two totally different systems altogether", but this "none of the decision-makers like this mechanics system regardless of if it's the way it's always been done or not and we're using a new way of covering the same area in a totally different way mechanically" is, at least from a certain point of view, kind of the whole reason Pathfinder exists as its own game.

It just feels a bit dishonest or maybe a little bit hypocritical, not to any meaningful degree, but still, not something I'm entirely ok with. I'm not 100% on this book, or its approach.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I am 100% on this book and it's approach.


The thing is, Psionics long predates the original system in AD&D-- I dno't know when it appeared, but I know for a fact that you had mental powers being described *as* psionics in the late 1950s in Analog Magazine (or Astounding as it was back then). So if you name it something else you're making a dramatic break, not just with the gaming tradition, but in truth a theme that has been running through sci-fi for decades before there was a pathfinder game.

Silver Crusade Contributor

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gharlane wrote:

The thing is, Psionics long predates the original system in AD&D-- I dno't know when it appeared, but I know for a fact that you had mental powers being described *as* psionics in the late 1950s in Analog Magazine (or Astounding as it was back then). So if you name it something else you're making a dramatic break, not just with the gaming tradition, but in truth a theme that has been running through sci-fi for decades before there was a pathfinder game.

They've discussed "psionic vs. psychic" elsewhere. The psychic traditions they're trying to recall come from older sources - late 19th to early 20th century.

So in this case, psionics is the "break from tradition".

EDIT: I'll let the master explain. ^_^


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Speaking as someone who's run and created characters in both psionics and occult... I honestly don't feel that they're too similar. Psionics isn't just psions - it's soulknives, aegis, dread, and plenty of other classes. Occult magic, likewise, has many different manifestations - the Medium being the most prominent that immediately comes to mind as something I don't at all associate with psionics.

Also, I'm not really sure what Paizo could do with point-based psionics that Dreamscarred Press hasn't already done. o_O Besides, uh, make something that'd be PFS Legal, I suppose. Unless DSP embarked on an epic campaign to somehow get it approved for PFS...


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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
gharlane wrote:
The thing is, Psionics long predates the original system in AD&D-- I dno't know when it appeared, but I know for a fact that you had mental powers being described *as* psionics in the late 1950s in Analog Magazine (or Astounding as it was back then). So if you name it something else you're making a dramatic break, not just with the gaming tradition, but in truth a theme that has been running through sci-fi for decades before there was a pathfinder game.

...

'Psionic' was a new term invented by someone in 1952 to describe psychic phenomena, attempting to describe it using terminology that sounded somewhat more scientific (psychic + electronics). The term 'psychic' referencing these phenomena has existed in the English language since 1870 (and was unofficially invented prior to that), which in itself stems from the term 'psychikos', which hails all the way back to Ancient Greece. So, no, by your logic, 'psionics' is the one that made a break from 'psychic'.

Furthermore, psionics or psychic phenomena in science fiction has usually operated under the presumption that it is, in fact, magic, or that 'magic' was psychic phenomena that was not understood by its practitioners, who used various rituals and supernatural beliefs as crutches, not understanding what they were really doing, and that scientific research would uncover that most of these were unnecessary and that the true power originated from the human mind itself. In fairness, some science fiction instead had it as an outgrowth of human evolution, though this was sometimes tied into past superstition as above, with humanity simply growing strong and psychic abilities becoming powerful enough or common enough to properly be studied, while a few had a clean break. Sources that had magic and psychic phenomena as clearly separate are relatively rare and in fact primarily inhabit the realm of fantasy literature.

In short, when it comes to science fiction, there is far more support for psychic phenomena or psionics being an evolution of magical thinking rather than a completely different phenomena in a setting where magic exists. Leaving aside that D&D's form of point-based psionics is very little like psionics or psychic phenomena described in most forms of science fiction, though I suppose that is fair since D&D's form of magic is very little like magic described in most forms of fantasy. To say the least.

I am not saying, of course, that fans who like the way psionics has been presented in the past are wrong, people are free to like what they like, and I encourage them to adopt Dreamscarred Press' lauded adaptation of 3.5's psionic system. But psychic phenomena are far older, and if Paizo wishes to adopt it into their system with some inspiration taken from older versions of D&D's representation of psychic or psionic phenomena, I don't see how that is a problem. By such logic, people should be decrying them for daring to tackle chakras without utilizing 3.5's incarnum, or to utilize goetic demons as powerful outsiders without utilizing pact magic. Certainly, there is much to like about those subsystems, and you can certainly important them into Pathfinder or utilize Dreamscarred Press' akashic adaptation of incarnum or Radiance House's occult adaptation of pact magic.

I am saying, however, that few people should be surprised. Paizo was not wrong to choose the route they did, and several staff members have said before that they were not enamored of the way that D&D has handled psionics. At the same time, there is certainly a field of psychic phenomena that impacts strongly on fantasy settings, both being outgrowths of the same superstitions, and it would be leaving out a large body of fantasy tropes to completely abandon the field. Certainly, there have long been spells that touch on such fields, but many of them could certainly do with expansion or alterations...after all, far too many forms of 'possession' simply refer to magic jar, which is not always appropriate for some forms of possession, nor does detect magic and seek thoughts cover all mentalism. If they were going to cover it, they would have to choose a method, and this is the chosen method. I myself am rather interested in the various elements that look likely to be covered, such as chakras, possession, mindscapes, psychic duels, occult rituals, and much more.

Certainly, you are free to not like that method, preferring that which you are more familiar with and consider the norm in a D&D-like setting. I just think your argument was poorly chosen. And even if it was...D&D is not a science fiction setting. It is a fantasy setting. Perhaps even, at times, a science fantasy setting. But not a science fiction setting.

Silver Crusade Contributor

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Well, I decry them for not finding a way to bring back incarnum. ^_^

I liked the fluff better than the mechanics, though, so it wouldn't have happened properly anyway.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love Dreamscarred Psionics, so I would honestly be annoyed if Paizo just tried to rehash 3.5 psionics into a new pathfinder book. Occult doesn't step on anyone's toes (mostly), and creates new material that can stand alongside Dreamscarred Press's work on psionics.


Kalindlara wrote:
Well, I decry them for not finding a way to bring back incarnum. ^_^

I think the occultist was meant to have some resemblance to incarnum, with it's allocating energy into object mechanics. But for the flavour ... maybe a spiritualist/monk hybrid class or spiritualist/barbarian for totemist.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
MMCJawa wrote:
I love Dreamscarred Psionics, so I would honestly be annoyed if Paizo just tried to rehash 3.5 psionics into a new pathfinder book. Occult doesn't step on anyone's toes (mostly), and creates new material that can stand alongside Dreamscarred Press's work on psionics.

The reusing the attack and defense names is stepping on toes, at least from my POV. A very minor overstep, but still, a little bit of a sore point.

Liberty's Edge

Kvantum wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
I love Dreamscarred Psionics, so I would honestly be annoyed if Paizo just tried to rehash 3.5 psionics into a new pathfinder book. Occult doesn't step on anyone's toes (mostly), and creates new material that can stand alongside Dreamscarred Press's work on psionics.
The reusing the attack and defense names is stepping on toes, at least from my POV. A very minor overstep, but still, a little bit of a sore point.

Meanwhile there would be others who would be disappointed, possibly even pissed, if the attack and defense names had not been reused. So, they can't win for losing.


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Kalindlara wrote:

Well, I decry them for not finding a way to bring back incarnum. ^_^

I liked the fluff better than the mechanics, though, so it wouldn't have happened properly anyway.

Take a look at this from DSP.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

My wife is in the process of making a game where the focus is the apotheosis of one of the players becoming a new god of dreams in the campaign world. I noticed there's talk about the Dream Realm. Do we know if there is going to be anything like a Dream, Occult, or Psychic domain for clerics? Also, I found the occult mystery, is there going to be a dream mystery, or similar for both the oracle and shaman?

I have convinced my wife to hold off running the game, until the OA book comes out. I just can't wait for this book.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
gharlane wrote:

The thing is, Psionics long predates the original system in AD&D-- I dno't know when it appeared, but I know for a fact that you had mental powers being described *as* psionics in the late 1950s in Analog Magazine (or Astounding as it was back then). So if you name it something else you're making a dramatic break, not just with the gaming tradition, but in truth a theme that has been running through sci-fi for decades before there was a pathfinder game.

There was a time when "sci-fi" was a term vehemently rejected by serious fans of the field as being derogatory and insulting. I guess times change. :-)

The term "psionics" was coined, iirc correctly, to impart some "scientific" credibility to the concept. Personally, I prefer "psychic ability". I also prefer a system of magic based on the existence of such abilities. In other words, magic (whether arcane or divine) and "psionics" and "occult abilities" all derive from the same source. But Pathfinder isn't that.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
gharlane wrote:

The thing is, Psionics long predates the original system in AD&D-- I dno't know when it appeared, but I know for a fact that you had mental powers being described *as* psionics in the late 1950s in Analog Magazine (or Astounding as it was back then). So if you name it something else you're making a dramatic break, not just with the gaming tradition, but in truth a theme that has been running through sci-fi for decades before there was a pathfinder game.

There was a time when "sci-fi" was a term vehemently rejected by serious fans of the field as being derogatory and insulting. I guess times change. :-)

The term "psionics" was coined, iirc correctly, to impart some "scientific" credibility to the concept. Personally, I prefer "psychic ability". I also prefer a system of magic based on the existence of such abilities. In other words, magic (whether arcane or divine) and "psionics" and "occult abilities" all derive from the same source. But Pathfinder isn't that.

Nearly all magical power flows from the rulebooks, be it by RAW or RAI. It is said that those who research new spells endeavor to invoke the true source of this power directly: the GM.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Nearly all magical power flows from the rulebooks, be it by RAW or RAI. It is said that those who research new spells endeavor to invoke the true source of this power directly: the GM.

ROFL!


I'm so excited for this to come out. Can't wait to see the final versions for Spiritualist and Kineticist! I've already got some interesting characters in mind. This book is gonna be great.


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Pipefox wrote:
I'm so excited for this to come out. Can't wait to see the final versions for Spiritualist and Kineticist! I've already got some interesting characters in mind. This book is gonna be great.

I talk a lot about the Kineticist like its the only thing in this book I care about, but the Occultist is also pretty cool, and I ended up loving way more APG classes than I expected. And archetypes for classes old and new are always NICE.

Dark Archive

QuidEst wrote:
Nearly all magical power flows from the rulebooks, be it by RAW or RAI. It is said that those who research new spells endeavor to invoke the true source of this power directly: the GM.

So when I flip through books preparing a character for an adventure I'm just 'selecting my spell loadout for the session?'

Cool.


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I would also like to see a dream and psychic mysteries for oracles.

I hope there will be a psychic sorcerer bloodline.

Contributor

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ShepherdGunn wrote:

My wife is in the process of making a game where the focus is the apotheosis of one of the players becoming a new god of dreams in the campaign world. I noticed there's talk about the Dream Realm. Do we know if there is going to be anything like a Dream, Occult, or Psychic domain for clerics? Also, I found the occult mystery, is there going to be a dream mystery, or similar for both the oracle and shaman?

I have convinced my wife to hold off running the game, until the OA book comes out. I just can't wait for this book.

You might want to wait a little longer until House on Hook Street comes out, too!


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QuidEst wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
gharlane wrote:

The thing is, Psionics long predates the original system in AD&D-- I dno't know when it appeared, but I know for a fact that you had mental powers being described *as* psionics in the late 1950s in Analog Magazine (or Astounding as it was back then). So if you name it something else you're making a dramatic break, not just with the gaming tradition, but in truth a theme that has been running through sci-fi for decades before there was a pathfinder game.

There was a time when "sci-fi" was a term vehemently rejected by serious fans of the field as being derogatory and insulting. I guess times change. :-)

The term "psionics" was coined, iirc correctly, to impart some "scientific" credibility to the concept. Personally, I prefer "psychic ability". I also prefer a system of magic based on the existence of such abilities. In other words, magic (whether arcane or divine) and "psionics" and "occult abilities" all derive from the same source. But Pathfinder isn't that.

Nearly all magical power flows from the rulebooks, be it by RAW or RAI. It is said that those who research new spells endeavor to invoke the true source of this power directly: the GM.

Well, let's be honest, the big thing for psionics was that it let a sci-fi writer put "magic" in his setting and say: NO, IT'S NOT MAGIC! IT'S JUST A FORM OF SCIENCE WE DON'T UNDERSTAND! See, the hero vaporized the baddie with psychokenesis, not a fireball. totally different thing. And in truth, from a cold blooded marketing point of view, that could actually impact a book's success.

And that's a big part of what the original systems was-- you had points (which were more quantifiable and made more sense then vancian system, or rather gave you a science 'feel') and the arts were even described as disciplines and sciences. Lord, sometimes I miss 1st edition AD&D psionics. You could just create such broken char-ahem, in any case, personally, I intend to use both. At least from looking at the playtest, I'd say both DSP and this system are nicely compatible.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
gharlane wrote:
Well, let's be honest, the big thing for psionics was that it let a sci-fi writer put "magic" in his setting and say: NO, IT'S NOT MAGIC! IT'S JUST A FORM OF SCIENCE WE DON'T UNDERSTAND!

Clarke's Third Law.

gharlane wrote:
See, the hero vaporized the baddie with psychokenesis, not a fireball. totally different thing.

Such a thing would require heat control as well as psychokinesis.

"But probably the most popular gimmick for Scientistic writers is to use the magical Law of Words of Power (see Chapter 6) and to change the horribly unscientific sounding word “magic” to something else, such as “psychic,” or “paranormal,” or “psionic.” Yes, that last term sounds really scientific! This allows them to use the same old magical materials in respectable new arrangements, without ever having to admit what they have done." -- P.E.I. Bonewits, Authentic Thaumaturgy, Steve Jackson Games, 1998.

Silver Crusade Contributor

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Spiral_Ninja wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

Well, I decry them for not finding a way to bring back incarnum. ^_^

I liked the fluff better than the mechanics, though, so it wouldn't have happened properly anyway.

Take a look at this from DSP.

I had a look at it early on. But, this is what I meant by the second line of my post.

I liked the flavor of incarnum - all the specific details, like the sapphire heirarchs, the lost, and necrocarnum - better than the mechanics. Akashic magic seemed to bring more of the latter and less of the former (which is Product Identity anyway).

Does that make sense? ^_^

Dark Archive

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Kalindlara wrote:
I liked the flavor of incarnum - all the specific details, like the sapphire heirarchs, the lost, and necrocarnum - better than the mechanics.

I respected that they tried to actually do something with alignment mechanically, tying it to a class type and treating it like a 'real thing' in the setting, and not just a descriptor for how certain spells affect or detect you.

The Totemist was my favorite, conceptually, but the choice of Magical Beasts for the melds boggled me. A 'Totemist' based off of Animals, Dinosaurs, Vermin, Dragons, Elementals & Genies or Undead, for example, would be thematic as all heck.

Magical Beasts, on the other hand, were just a huge mish-mash of unrelated critters with nothing in common, some spellcasters, some with a few SLAs, some with a supernatural power, one or two extraplanar critters, and a few, like gray renders, griffons and sea cats, with no magical anything at all...

It's like the dumping ground creature type, for anything that didn't fit anywhere else, with the unifying theme of 'blue, mongoose, sock, thirteen!'

And so I kind of liked the Totemist as a guideline for how to make that sort of class, if not for what it specifically was.

(Same with the Summoner in PF, which makes a neat 'chassis' on which to make a Resurrectionist with a smaller list of specific necromantic spells, a permanent undead 'pet,' and some undead summoning spell-like abilities, or an Animator, with a smaller list of specific transmutation spells, a permanent construct 'pet,' and some animate object spell-like abilities, or a Thrallherd, with a smaller list of enchantment/charm spells, a permanent dominated thrall, and a smaller list of mind-affecting compulsion SLAs, or a Shadowsworn, doing the above with illusions and shadow conjurings, etc., etc.)

Dark Archive

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I think that had DSP not done Pathfinder compatible "traditional" psionics (with the pointsies and the sciences and whatnot), I would have definitely wanted Paizo to do it. (It? Them? I don't know, I'm tired) But because all of what DSP did does exist, and is really good, and is widely known and accepted, Occult magic is a good way to make something similar and not step on toes.

Also, who knows? Maybe someday we will get to see Arcane and Divine and Occult and Psionics as their own well defined mechanical subsystems of magic. *cough* Abilities, sorry.

Dark Archive

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"Blue Mongoose Sock Thirteen!" is painfully hysterical when you are half asleep.


Set, the dumping ground for creatures that don't fit anywhere else is aberration, not magical beast;)


Kalindlara wrote:
Spiral_Ninja wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

Well, I decry them for not finding a way to bring back incarnum. ^_^

I liked the fluff better than the mechanics, though, so it wouldn't have happened properly anyway.

Take a look at this from DSP.

I had a look at it early on. But, this is what I meant by the second line of my post.

I liked the flavor of incarnum - all the specific details, like the sapphire heirarchs, the lost, and necrocarnum - better than the mechanics. Akashic magic seemed to bring more of the latter and less of the former (which is Product Identity anyway).

Does that make sense? ^_^

Ah. I see. Yes, I enjoyed the flavor as well.


Never liked Incarnum and a lot of other things from 3.0/3.5.

Community Manager

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Removed a post. Please do not use the word "retard" in that fashion.

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