Pathfinder Player Companion: Occult Origins (PFRPG)

3.30/5 (based on 3 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Occult Origins (PFRPG)

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Walk the Unseen Path!

Sometimes things go bump in the night, hinting at mysteries that lie shrouded behind the veil of fear. In an old world steeped in magic, some questions can—or should—never be answered, and some investigators find truths so terrible they pray for sweet madness to wipe them away. Pathfinder Player Companion: Occult Origins provides new options for heroes who look beyond the convenient and sensible mask the world wears and plumb the dark secrets underneath. Expand your kineticist repertoire, bolster your phantom's mind, or tie your occult powers to a god. Learn psychic magic, unlock occult abilities for mundane classes, and examine the role of occult characters across Golarion. Occult Origins includes new abilities and tools for every Pathfinder RPG player. Inside this book, you'll find:

  • Incredible archetypes, class features, feats, and spells to broaden the scopes of all six of the new occult character classes introduced in Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures.
  • Uncanny archetypes such as the mind sword, the supernaturalist, the Harrowed Society student, and the primalist that bring occult powers to both core and hybrid classes.
  • Dozens of new mystic spells to augment the power of the mind for both occult classes and arcane and divine casters.
  • New occult feats such as Cranial Adjustment, Haruspicy, and Trepanation that provide esoteric flavor and psychic skill unlocks to any character.
  • Occult rituals from Golarion's lost civilizations, including the Jistkan art of genie-binding and Sarkorian god-summoning.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-785-7

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

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Good Setting Lore, Interesting Options

4/5

Alright, let's jump into Occult Origins! This 32-page, full-colour book in the Pathfinder Player Companion line was released around the time of the Occult Adventures hardcover book that introduced several new psychic-themed classes to the game. The goal of Occult Origins is to supplement that book, ground it in the campaign setting of Golarion, and add some more options for psychic PCs. Let's see if it achieves those ends. I should flag that the only occult class I've placed is the Psychic, so the ins and outs of the new options presented here are often beyond me.

First up, cool cover! The inside front-cover is a really useful summary of how the different planes connect to or fuel the various new occult classes. For example, it explains how kineticists are linked to the elemental planes, how spiritualist phantoms come from the ethereal plane, and how the spirits that mediums draw upon aren't actual souls or ghosts from remnants left on the astral plane. The inside back cover is just the front cover art sans text. I'll go ahead and mention here, before I forget, that the interior artwork is uniformly excellent.

The first couple pages of the book are a summary of what's inside for each of the six occult classes and an index to the new rules options. This is followed by a two-page introduction that's actually pretty important--it gives specific cultural links in Golarion for each of the six occult classes, turning what can be generic and abstract into a rich addition to the setting lore. The whole concept of the occult in Pathfinder is now much more appealing to me. And did you know that Erik Mona (Paizo publisher) has his own occult library? That's pretty cool.

Next up are sections devoted to each of the six new occult classes. Kineticists get four pages of material, while the other classes get two pages each. Why the discrepancy? I don't know!

* Kineticist: Most people in Golarion wouldn't recognise a kineticist if they saw one, apparently. This book introduces a couple of new elements. The first is Void, which I don't really get it--it seems to be some sort of weird mixture of negative energy and gravity powers. The second is Wood, which is really more of a general nature or even First World-themed power. It does contain a lot of useful utility powers for wilderness (forest) adventures.

* Medium: Some interesting setting lore here. I didn't expect just how unpopular mediums would be in places like Ustalav and Mendev. The book introduces a "Nexian Channeller" archetype which is very focussed on having a mystical third-eye. There's also a new modified archmagi spirit that draws on Nex! Very interesting and fits the setting well.

* Mesmerist: Mesmerists are apparently some of the most common occult practitioners in Golarion, as they skilfully use their powers to gain wealth and political influence. This book introduces several new mesmerist tricks. There's also a new Chelish-themed type of gaze, "Devilbane Gazes" which have extra effects against outsiders. There's also three new spells, with fool's teleport my favourite (it looks like you've teleported away, but really you've just become invisible).

* Occultist: Apparently Osirion is a place of particular strength for occultists, which makes sense. This book introduces a new archetype, the "Reliquarian"--it makes use of religious relics and essentially makes the occultist into a divine caster with one cleric domain. Several new sacred implements are also introduced, themed to particular Core20 deities.

* Psychic: It makes sense that Vudra would have a higher concentration of psychics, but I like the idea that Numeria has several as well due to the influence of strange alien technology there. This book introduces some new phrenic amplifications which look okay, and two new disciplines: enlightenment and rebirth. Both are good, and I actually chose rebirth a long time ago when I made my psychic-monk, Arrius Vext.

* Spiritualist: Spiritualists apparently have a very complicated reception on Golarion, with suspicion from the Church of Pharasma and fear (or disdain) from common folk. There's a new archetype, the Fated Guide, which involves a phantom that Pharasma has sent back to Material Plane with very little memory. I don't quite get it. There's also a new emotional focus, Remorse, that has a great story theme (though I don't understand how it works in practice, having never played a spiritualist).

Next up, the book has four pages of occult-themed archetypes for non-occult classes. There's a "Mind Sword" archetype for paladins (giving up lay on hands and channelling? I don't think so!), a "Serpent Fire" archetype for monks (all chakra-based), a weird "Supernaturalist" archetype for druids, a fairly-interesting "Harrowed Society Student" archetype for arcanists, an "Id Rager" archetype for bloodragers, and a "True Silvered Throne" archetype for shamans (it's themed to relate to the Esoteric Order of the Palantine Eye, but lacks any real flavour).

Feats are the subject of the next two pages. Many of the concepts are fantastic, but their effects are unfortunately bland (a minor numerical bonus to a save or a skill). Feats are more interesting when they allow you to do something you couldn't do before, not when they just provide a bump to a dice roll--there are enough of those in the game already. Still, I love the idea of something like the Cranial Implantation feat, where you walk around with needles inserted into your brain!

Two pages are spent on Occult Rituals, and there are some really nicely-flavoured ones tying into lore elements like the Jistka, the Peacock Spirit, and the Sarkoris God-Callers.

Last up are four pages on new spells. Some are available to traditional arcane or divine casters, while others are for psychic casters only. I think my favourite is jealous rage, which makes a character murderously angry if someone is the recipient of a beneficial spell and they're not. Other good spells include ectoplasmic hand and mind over matter, though I think subjective reality is overpowered with no saving throw.

And there we have it. To my mind the greatest value in the book is how it helps to incorporate occult themes into the Golarion campaign setting. The new rules elements will probably be more hit or miss depending on what you're looking for. Still, it's a book I could definitely imagine using.


Good promises, moderate delivery, bad effort

1/5

I don't think this is a terrible product, by any means. I just feel insulted.

It helps pull in some flavour in some circumstances, and tries to break it in others. The Serpent Fire monk archetype does what it says on the tin and is something that /really/ should have been in Occult Adventures as opposed to this book, as much as I want to like the Karmic monk. The divine spin on Occultist isn't executed great. But enough about all that lame-o pathfinder stuff, let's get down to the meaty avatar/D&D big draw, eh?

The biggest draw for you would probably be the kineticist elements, right? I know it was mine! But I'll say it now; the kineticists are half broken, half flavourless, and a big ol' heaping helping of unclear. Whouh. You think the Occultist was a slog to get through in the original OA? At least it had words. You'll be wishing for rule salad.

We'll start with Phytokineticist, the wood one. First thing you'll notice: The basic utility power is missing. They just forgot to even put it in the book. Ouch. Big ouch. It's not a huge deal, it's what you expect. Trims bushes, does nothing else. But that doesn't make it better; even if you're not missing much, that's still the ICONIC ABILITY of the entire class missing, and somehow that still doesn't take away much!

Phytokineticist. All I can say is "Why didn't you take earth kineticist?". It doesn't do much different from earth kineticist. It even gives you jagged flesh. The defensive power? It gives you some natural armor, which is worse than earth's DR and worse than water's armor/shield bonus. Depending on the campaign you're running, it's worse than searing flesh. The other abilities, things like being able to deal nonlethal damage easily, are all too demanding. You have to be fourth level to effectively deal nonlethal damage, and 9th level to get a VERY mild toxin (maybe sickened for one round? For 3 burn? You kidding me?). The rest almost entirely emulate geokineticist powers, but worse. 90% of the wild talents that are feasibly usable seem to be composite blasts and the rest require you to be ridiculously high level to get mild low level effects. You would do immensely better to just be a fey/verdant sorcerer.

The Void/Chaos/Negative energy/Gravity kineticist is...okay. You get either negative energy or gravity. Gravity is basically just air blasts so you can use the cool negative energy powers while not being useless while fighting undead. Negative energy is a energy blast, so it's pretty good, if you don't plan on running into undead often. If you do...All I can tell you is to take some levels in Life Oracle, play overwhelming, and hope your charisma bonus can give you enough channel uses to not be completely worthless.

Oh, yeah, you don't get a way to bypass the undead not being effected by your blasts. You know, how every other kineticist gets draining infusions, and how fire can sear away fire resistance? Yeah you don't get that here. Draining infusion? Rules as written, it doesn't work, Unless somehow you come across a negative energy elemental. Good luck finding that. You'll need it.

I, and others, tried to ask the developers several times, if draining infusion worked. Never answered, as far as I could tell. Maybe it was, somewhere in the dozens/hundreds of posts in the product discussion. If I cant find it in 20 seconds, though, it should count as completely broken. When you buy a book, it needs to work on it's own. I can understand a editing error or something where you need to put up a FAQ or some very obscure usage where you need to form surf, that's not great, but I can't hold it against you. But this is Kineticist. You get one job when you take this class. ONE JOB. You need to know how to do it. The book doesn't tell you, leaving you and your GM guessing. Spark of life as a phytokineticist, or void kineticist? Screw you.

Then we move on to it's other abilities. Basic utility talent is pretty sweet, on paper. You can create shadows that protect from bright light, increase carrying capacity, and even give small bonuses to acrobatics due to your gravity powers. Oh, and uh, for void kineticists you get gravity and negative energy powers regardless of the blast. Honestly this needed it, so I don't mind

"But wait!", you say, "Protect from bright light? What does this mean?"

You don't take penalties from bright light.

"What kind of penalties?"

Screw you. Stop thinking about it. This isn't a book for smart people. Shhhhhh. No, I took it upon myself to ask. Then I realized several people had asked before me. The devs never responded, so I heckled them until they did. They answered with

"If, and only if, you have some condition that causes bright light to give you penalties, this negates those penalties.
That's it. Full stop. Just like it says, with no other interactions."

So, what counts as that? Vampires protect from daylight, right? No, actually. It means the specific "Bright light" condition, and only that condition, you actually get the same amount of light, so daylight still hurts. Stealth penalties from the bright light condition, right? Those penalties are there specifically from the concept of "Bright Light" in the rulebooks, so it works, right? No, they told me, it doesn't protect from that, because it doesn't reduce the amount of light that hits and reflects off of you.

Yes.

You heard me right.

It creates a shadow that doesn't exist so you can ignore penalties that may or may not exist and some penalties that exist because of the concept of bright light still effect you anyways, except when it doesn't.

WHAT.

No. WHAT?!

The other aspects of Void kineticists, I could go on. There are some cool ones, like creating actual darkness, not having to breath anymore (Awesome), and using gravity mind waves to throw yourself. But really, this is all I'll say more on the matter of the Void kineticist.

They missed the basic point of kineticists. The point is to actually, PHYSICALLY, primally, control the elements. The geokineticist isn't supposed to have some weird bass-ackwards conditions. It's not supposed to have a dozen asterisks on the end of each ability that say "*only applicable in very situational circumstances wherein your caster level exceeds the base 12 strength of a stone crafted by no more than twelve peasant--" NO. You PICK UP 25 POUNDS OF ROCKS AND THROW THEM. No big slog. No intense planning required for every circumstance, no 20ft long list of rules. You are the rock man. You do rocks. That's what you do.

The Void Kineticist? It's just rules. It's just being a really bad sorcerer. That's all it does. It misses the fundamental basis of kineticists as a whole.

As for the other classes:
I hate the medium class on it's own, and the archetypes here don't change that. If you like the base medium, and you want to give this one a spin, I can't say much.

For the mesmerist, some of the tricks seem needlessly nerfed. In one, you can share senses for up to a minute per level, unless you ever open your eyes in which case it immediately ends it and wastes the trick. Why? Is it really game breaking? Couldn't it just be a swift action to delay/restart the trick, with time still wasting either way? Slip bonds is alright, but incredibly situational and I can't see an instance where you'd pick it over the better ones like psychosomatic surge. One of them allows you to make people carry messages without knowing they did it, but you have to volunteer to a mesmerist's tricks so I don't see the point. They add new mesmerist gazes, and some of them are pretty useful. Not worth the asking price of physical, not even really the 10 bucks of PDF.

The divine occultist archetype, Reliquarian. It's what you'd expect and doesn't break the mold at all. I was disappointed with it. It might be my ignorance in Occultist implements, but the book gives you a few suggestions as to what your holy relic is, and then immediately tells you to get stuffed because the necromancy implement is a coin instead of the fingerbone of a saint like it suggested.

I fell asleep reading the the new Psychic rules.

Spiritualist archetype referenced a feat from a book I don't have on me at the moment. It kind of seems like that's what it's hanging on, so if you don't have inner sea guide on you, it's a big window shopping experience that leads nowhere. The remorse emotional focus is ok.

The serpent fire adept, a monk archetype for opening the chakras, is a good archetype. It does it's job. Being a monk, especially one focused on the chakras, it's still as weak as Limbo's tax code.

At around this point the book lost all interest to me. It just couldn't keep me with it's mild successes and huge pitfalls.

Again, it's not a terrible book. I just feel disappointed.

The Good: I can't think of a moment when the book made me want to scream in anger.

The Bad: I was smouldering on a low "What the hell, man?" setting the entire time. It insults your intelligence and doesn't put forth half the effort it should.

The Ugly: You'll never get to be a cool wood-bender and you'll have to be stepping on eggshells with the rules every 5 seconds as a void kineticist. The rest of the book evokes no strong emotions. Just disappointment and very mild enjoyment.


Best of the Origins Books

5/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Occult Origins is definitely the best of the Origins books to date. Paizo has refined the series with each successive book. Occult Origins is a book of mostly “crunch” (i.e. mechanical rules options for characters), but it is the best kind of crunch—the kind that supports the flavour of the setting as well as giving characters fun new options. The material in this book is full of flavour that both expands the world of Golarion and expands our understanding of it. And this only serves to enhance the gaming experience.


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Liberty's Edge

Dragon78 wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

so A Dhamphir, fetchling or vampire chaokineticist could not only heal themselves with their own powers, they could also activate their emptyness effect to be better at avoiding rogue backstabs.

What Could a rogue be more afraid of than not only having their sneak attack whiff and then suddenly being on the receiving end of a massive negative energy counter attack which fries their hit points faster that they can say 'i'm going to die now!'

Liberty's Edge

QuidEst wrote:
Somebody asked about the Id Rager. Heads up, it's pretty awesome. Bloodrager archetype, but replace the bloodline with a phantom. Anything the phantom can do, you can do while raging. (Except being incorporeal. Sorry guys.) You're a psychic caster now (don't worry, you can still cast while raging). Your bonus feats get replaced with a great selection. Well, I don't know if it was great or not, but it included Extra Rage, so it can't be bad.

Nice bit of Psychology here with the flavor of the archetype. you lose the bloodline, but that's because you are actually tapping into your own psychic potential to bring your id(the more primal and aggressive aspect of the mind) into reality to aid in breaking your enemies heads.

Aside from the id, there is also the ego(the more balanced and analytical mind) and superego(the more creative, imaginative, and idealistic mind). These need to work together, but are prone to pulling in opposing directions(aside from the ego, which is constantly getting pulled to try and keep any potential harm to a minimum).

Liberty's Edge

QuidEst wrote:
Barachiel Shina wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
How exactly would Fool's Teleport ever work? The moment a PC identifies it with a Spellcrafts check, they are no longer fooled.
That's the fun part- it's a will save to misidentify the spell. So a good spellcraft roll is actually more convincing.

Most people would normally wonder how they managed to teleport away, the wizard who passed the spellcraft check might still misidentify the spell, and all the while, the caster is getting further and further away from the people who might actually find them.


Verzen wrote:

"There is a feat that basically lets you or other people become Pinhead."

What do you mean?

Cranial Implantation - You drive Nails or Needles into your or another creature's head to do a few little minor things. Great for Pain Tasters, who incidentally enough appeared in the very first Occult oriented book.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, technically they re-appeared in Occult Mysteries (they were first seen in the Second Darkness AP).


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Id Rager: Yo dawg I heard you liked rage, so we put anger in your rage so your rage is fueled by rage, so you can rage in a rage.


DM Sothal wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Sarkorian God summoning: only mentioned in a small paragraph.

** spoiler omitted **

Technically, it doesn't say you can do one of the three. It says you can shield someone from light, then goes on to say you can either increase carrying capacity or add to acrobatics. Which, taken as written means that you can shield someone from light as well as one of the other two as a side thing.

If one were to interpret it as such, of course.

Grand Lodge

I've had a chance to look over the product, and I certainly like what I see so far, but there seems to be one thing missing...occult traits.

Are there ever going to be Occult traits, particularly for use in PFS? And if so, where can I find those traits?

Silver Crusade Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was thinking that as well. Traits are one of my favorite parts of the game.

I was looking forward to getting some that cemented the occult flavor, both for the new classes and existing concepts - a trait for Palatine Eye-associated characters, for example.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

"Are there ever going to be Occult traits, particularly for use in PFS? And if so, where can I find those traits?"

http://paizo.com/products/btpy9e8e?Pathfinder-Campaign-Setting-Occult-Realm s

Most likely.

Silver Crusade Contributor

Hmm... the Campaign Setting softcovers have never had traits before. Odd time to start.

Liberty's Edge

Distant Shores has them and one in particular.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
Hmm... the Campaign Setting softcovers have never had traits before. Odd time to start.

Occult Mysteries did, off the top of my head.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Mark, I can't seem to find a wood/wood composite blast. What is a focused phytokineticist to do???

Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good eye, I was wondering who would spot that first. They intentionally don't have one; these two new elements are small due to space constraints and are thus better served mixing and matching for that reason (you can run into situations where you run out of selectable options if you don't diversify). It wasn't worth cutting other abilities to add it, as then it would have doubled down (both encouraging wood/wood/X more while also giving even fewer choices for a character who did so). If they ever appear in a longer format where they have enough options to go wood/wood/X or void/void/X, I would be sure to include a wood/wood composite as well (void has two blasts and so it required another composite). Wood/wood blast would likely be a damage increased version of the simple that uses the same infusions; if someone wanted to run with singleton of a new element in my game, I would use that composite and work with them to make some extra wood wild talents (perhaps from my list of other ones that wouldn't fit).


What would be the cost of combining the Gravity blast (or Telekinetic blast) with Aetheric Boost and the boost composite from void?

Also how would the damage be calculated?

Designer

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Gordrenn Higgler wrote:

What would be the cost of combining the Gravity blast (or Telekinetic blast) with Aetheric Boost and the boost composite from void?

Also how would the damage be calculated?

Gravity or telekinetic with both of those is an option at 15th, since they each work on composites. It would cost 3 burn and do 8d8+16. If you really wanted to run wild, though, you could put both of them on something that is already a composite (at 15th) like void blast (if you were void/aether/void), which would do 16d8+32. It costs 4 burn so is a significant commitment (even composite specialization, supercharged gather, and internal buffer would need to all come together to negate its cost, and that last one is a pretty limited resource), but it is the most damaging composite blast currently possible.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Gordrenn Higgler wrote:

What would be the cost of combining the Gravity blast (or Telekinetic blast) with Aetheric Boost and the boost composite from void?

Also how would the damage be calculated?

Gravity or telekinetic with both of those is an option at 15th, since they each work on composites. It would cost 3 burn and do 8d8+16. If you really wanted to run wild, though, you could put both of them on something that is already a composite (at 15th) like void blast (if you were void/aether/void), which would do 16d8+32. It costs 4 burn so is a significant commitment (even composite specialization, supercharged gather, and internal buffer would need to all come together to negate its cost, and that last one is a pretty limited resource), but it is the most damaging composite blast currently possible.

Thanks Mark :-)


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Gordrenn Higgler wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Gordrenn Higgler wrote:

What would be the cost of combining the Gravity blast (or Telekinetic blast) with Aetheric Boost and the boost composite from void?

Also how would the damage be calculated?

Gravity or telekinetic with both of those is an option at 15th, since they each work on composites. It would cost 3 burn and do 8d8+16. If you really wanted to run wild, though, you could put both of them on something that is already a composite (at 15th) like void blast (if you were void/aether/void), which would do 16d8+32. It costs 4 burn so is a significant commitment (even composite specialization, supercharged gather, and internal buffer would need to all come together to negate its cost, and that last one is a pretty limited resource), but it is the most damaging composite blast currently possible.

Thanks Mark :-)

Don't forget Metakinesis for Empower to bring on some more stopping power.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Are Toxic Infusion and Greater Toxic Infusion really supposed to BOTH be level 4?


Hmm.

What's the deal with Ustalav?:

Legends and Lore (Medium) wrote:
Citizens in superstitious nations like Ustalav publicly reject mediums, even accusing them of courting Tar- Baphon and the Whispering Way.

and yet

Bound to the Dead (Spiritualist) wrote:
A few regions around the Inner Sea enjoy unique relationships with spiritualists. Ustalav most notably embraces the practice—the nation’s tormented history and the legacy of the Whispering Tyrant compels the common people to welcome locals who can speak to and quell spirits.

Why the hate for mediums but welcome of spiritualists? Is their view of control over spirits so nuanced that being one type of vessel for a spirit is awesome but another is just the worst?


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The impale form infusion states that "Infused earth and metal blasts always deal piercing damage"--what damage does a wood-based impale attack deal?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I'm guessing different developers not talking to each other enough, maybe?


You're in trouble now Mark, Ravingdork has his copy of the book ;-)


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Garrett Guillotte wrote:

Hmm.

** spoiler omitted **

Spiritualist bosses spirits around, Medium is bossed around by spirits?

Which is to say, most ghost hosts are gross, but they toast those who boast to diagnose ghosts.

Designer

Ravingdork wrote:
Are Toxic Infusion and Greater Toxic Infusion really supposed to BOTH be level 4?

Nope, for once the chart is correct on that one (which means it costs the appropriate burn for its true level, 4). Taenia noticed that one first on another thread.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I just needed to stop in here real quick and say that the archetypes in this book are OFF THE HOOK and I'm super excited to test them out! Seriously, this is a really excellent addition to the Companion line! Bravo, guys!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
QuidEst wrote:
Garrett Guillotte wrote:

Hmm.

** spoiler omitted **

Spiritualist bosses spirits around, Medium is bossed around by spirits?

Which is to say, most ghost hosts are gross, but they toast those who boast to diagnose ghosts.

Rhyming and punditry aside, you do have a point

It's possible that a spiritualist is more of a calming presence to a ghost, and more likely to deal with the problem. After all, the spiritualist is effectivly immune to possession by hostile spirits and more built around keeping them under control. Also it's very hard to fake a genuine spiritualist.

A medium, on the other hand, could be a fraud who is trying to exploit money from the people, or a easy to access vessel for hostile spirits to manipulate and use to wreck havoc on the world of men. A medium also contacts local spirits for power, which in ustalav is more than often a bad thing(being a often neutral evil dominated country with already to many bad thing to be dealing with more).

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I find believability a bit stretched that all the Commoner 1s would know the difference or care about it. Does Joe Farmer really know that the spiritualist is immune to possession and built around keeping them under control?

Sczarni

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Samy. It's possible that people view mediums as having mental issues such as schizophrenia as opposed to being possessed by spirits. ;)


Well, mediums are possessed by legends rather than dead people so obviously the people of Ustalav are simply ignorant of the realities of medium-ness.

Contributor

Milo v3 wrote:
Well, mediums are possessed by legends rather than dead people so obviously the people of Ustalav are simply ignorant of the realities of medium-ness.

Well actually, when you read the Golarion flavor section for the medium class, that isn't ENTIRELY true ....

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The city-dwellers are less uptight when it comes that stuff in Ustalav, than the small towns. Also depends on where you go.


QuidEst wrote:
christos gurd wrote:
So about this serpent fire monk I keep hearing about...
Trade in a bunch of bonus feats and abilities to be less bad at opening/maintaining chakras. At 8th, opening one lets you use it for a round for free. At 16th, you get two rounds for each one you open.

mmmhm

mhmhmhmhmhmhhh

just tell me the unchained monk can take it


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Well actually, when you read the Golarion flavor section for the medium class, that isn't ENTIRELY true ....

Well that's annoying. Hope the RPG line ignores that.

Liberty's Edge

Milo v3 wrote:
Well, mediums are possessed by legends rather than dead people so obviously the people of Ustalav are simply ignorant of the realities of medium-ness.

Ehh... I don't think so. Mediums can actually self-possess from three different sources;

Spirits = "Astral echos of powerful souls"... of dead people
Haunts = Psychic/spiritual residue... of dead people
Dead friends = Actual dead people

I'd say there is a definite 'dead people' theme going on here.


CBDunkerson wrote:

Ehh... I don't think so. Mediums can actually self-possess from three different sources;

Spirits = "Astral echos of powerful souls"... of dead people
Haunts = Psychic/spiritual residue... of dead people
Dead friends = Actual dead people

I'd say there is a definite 'dead people' theme going on here.

Adding the "of dead people" to spirits isn't very accurate.They not only don't have to be dead people, they don't even had to have existed in the first place. They are beings made from thought.

The other two are very very very very minor abilities of the class.


Secret Wizard wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
christos gurd wrote:
So about this serpent fire monk I keep hearing about...
Trade in a bunch of bonus feats and abilities to be less bad at opening/maintaining chakras. At 8th, opening one lets you use it for a round for free. At 16th, you get two rounds for each one you open.

mmmhm

mhmhmhmhmhmhhh

just tell me the unchained monk can take it

Yep! At this point, I would assume that unless told otherwise.


Oh! I know why there's a difference to the commoner between Mediums and Spiritualists. Mediums perform an hour-long seance every day, and that is suspicious as heck.


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What I would have loved to have seen in the book..

PRC like the Mystic Theurge that allows one to combine Arcane with Psychic.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have been wanting to recreate Arbutus, from Disney's Aladdin, for over 20 years now. Paizo has finally made that possible for me. *cries*

Arbutus, Prince of Flowers - 18th-level ghoran phytokineticist


Darche Schneider wrote:

What I would have loved to have seen in the book..

PRC like the Mystic Theurge that allows one to combine Arcane with Psychic.

While they didn't have that, being able to pick a different Sorc/Wizard spell every day as a Psychic does go a long way towards it! (Plus, you don't have to worry about spell failure.)

Scarab Sages Developer

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QuidEst wrote:
Garrett Guillotte wrote:

Hmm.

** spoiler omitted **

Spiritualist bosses spirits around, Medium is bossed around by spirits?

Which is to say, most ghost hosts are gross, but they toast those who boast to diagnose ghosts.

From a commoner's point of view, a medium SAYS they are calling on forces to gain power, and LOOK like they are possessed. being under someone else's control is fairly well known outside Occult powers, and it's usually a bad thing. A commoner doesn't care if the medium is calling on a legend, spirit, or ancient Garundi archmage, the medium sounds closest to saying they get charmed by inhuman powers, and that sounds bad.

The spiritualist summons and controls things you can see. Summoning and controlling things you can see is fairly well known outside Occult powers, and if it's a human doing it it's often a good thing. A commoner doesn't care if a spiritualist is calling an outsider, an enslaved undead, or a magic construct that looks human. The spiritualist looks and sounds like a controller of monsters, and that's useful.

Commoners don't get into nuance, which is WHY they treat mediums and spiritualists differently. To commoners, the fact they are both occult classes with psychic spells is the nuance. What they look and sound like is what matters - get controlled by inhuman powers, or control inhuman powers. When your town history includes vampires charming guards, guards turning into wolves, and sleepless detectives driving off both, who is in charge in the mortal-to-supernatural relationship is crucial info.

Both of which are talking only about people who they have identified somehow. The book also discusses how easy it is for occult classes to seem to be something else. A medium who avoids looking possessed and tries to pass as a sorcerer has fewer problems.

Liberty's Edge

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Garrett Guillotte wrote:

From a commoner's point of view, a medium SAYS they are calling on forces to gain power, and LOOK like they are possessed. being under someone else's control is fairly well known outside Occult powers, and it's usually a bad thing. A commoner doesn't care if the medium is calling on a legend, spirit, or ancient Garundi archmage, the medium sounds closest to saying they get charmed by inhuman powers, and that sounds bad.

The spiritualist summons and controls things you can see. Summoning and controlling things you can see is fairly well known outside Occult powers, and if it's a human doing it it's often a good thing. A commoner doesn't care if a spiritualist is calling an outsider, an enslaved undead, or a magic construct that looks human. The spiritualist looks and sounds like a controller of monsters, and that's useful.

Commoners don't get into nuance, which is WHY they treat mediums and spiritualists differently. To commoners, the fact they are both occult classes with psychic spells is the nuance. What they look and sound like is what matters - get controlled by inhuman powers, or control inhuman powers. When your town history includes vampires charming guards, guards turning into wolves, and sleepless detectives driving off both, who is in charge in the mortal-to-supernatural relationship is crucial info.

Both of which are talking only about people who they have identified somehow. The book also discusses how easy it is for occult classes to seem to be something else. A medium who avoids looking possessed and tries to pass as a sorcerer has fewer problems.

Also mediums also contend with the charlatans that are false mediums, which can make their operations in superstitious and skeptical areas similar in terms of difficulty...except one gets cynical looks and threats of being thrown in jail as a fraud, and the other risks being chased away by an angry mob. While this is purely thematic and built on flavour, it highlight some important attitudes when it comes to certain groups of people and classes.


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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Garrett Guillotte wrote:

Hmm.

** spoiler omitted **

Spiritualist bosses spirits around, Medium is bossed around by spirits?

Which is to say, most ghost hosts are gross, but they toast those who boast to diagnose ghosts.

From a commoner's point of view, a medium SAYS they are calling on forces to gain power, and LOOK like they are possessed. being under someone else's control is fairly well known outside Occult powers, and it's usually a bad thing. A commoner doesn't care if the medium is calling on a legend, spirit, or ancient Garundi archmage, the medium sounds closest to saying they get charmed by inhuman powers, and that sounds bad.

The spiritualist summons and controls things you can see. Summoning and controlling things you can see is fairly well known outside Occult powers, and if it's a human doing it it's often a good thing. A commoner doesn't care if a spiritualist is calling an outsider, an enslaved undead, or a magic construct that looks human. The spiritualist looks and sounds like a controller of monsters, and that's useful.

Commoners don't get into nuance, which is WHY they treat mediums and spiritualists differently. To commoners, the fact they are both occult classes with psychic spells is the nuance. What they look and sound like is what matters - get controlled by inhuman powers, or control inhuman powers. When your town history includes vampires charming guards, guards turning into wolves, and sleepless detectives driving off both, who is in charge in the mortal-to-supernatural relationship is crucial info.

Both of which are talking only about people who they have identified somehow. The book also discusses how easy it is for occult classes to seem to be something else. A medium who avoids looking possessed and tries to pass as a sorcerer has fewer problems.

Any chance Owen we could get a blog that goes into how commoners view different aspects of the world, such as how they might view each character class (at low level and high level), certain abilities like that create different visual effects (such as how different spells change eye color or walking around while being on fire but not burning from it)

Most every commoner will know at least in general terms what a dragon is, but we could also get to see how they would view other critters and possibly different character races.

I think that your snippet from the mind of the commoner shows promise for something bigger that could be a great resource for GM's and player's a like.
Any chance of something more?

Liberty's Edge

Milo v3 wrote:
Adding the "of dead people" to spirits isn't very accurate.They not only don't have to be dead people, they don't even had to have existed in the first place. They are beings made from thought.

"Astral echoes of powerful souls" certainly sounds like they "had to have existed in the first place".

That said, the only specific examples we have so far are Savith (definitely dead) and Nex (status unknown). However, Nex is described as something of an exception in that he deliberately created his own 'Spirit'. So, while they apparently can be 'echoes of powerful still living souls', that does not appear to be the norm... and pure thought constructs without any progenitor soul doesn't seem supported by any text that I have seen.

In any case, even if Spirits had nothing to do with 'dead people', the fact that the other 'deliberate self possession by dead people' powers of the Medium are "minor" does not change the fact that they exist... so the Ustalavs have it right.


Maybe I missed it, but could someone give me the occult rituals mentioned in this book? I was curious to see if there was a way to summon Earthfall again...

Silver Crusade Contributor

Thomas Seitz wrote:
Maybe I missed it, but could someone give me the occult rituals mentioned in this book? I was curious to see if there was a way to summon Earthfall again...

Nothing nearly on that level, no.

I recommend checking out Pathfinder Adventure Path #18: Descent into Midnight, though. It has just what you're looking for. ^_^


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I'm aware of that, but I was hoping maybe it might show up here, Kalindlara.

In any case, could you list the rituals anyway?

Dark Archive

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List of occult rituals:

Hearthfire of Valenhall
Invoking the Hero-God
Peacock Spirit's Tranquil Roar
Seal of Dancing Dolls

Also Beseeching the Patron, which is an odd one out mechanically that requires a feat named Ritual Hex that gives it to you.

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