Pathfinder Player Companion: Psychic Anthology (PFRPG)

3.80/5 (based on 8 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Psychic Anthology (PFRPG)
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A Mind-Expanding Read

For curious readers who wish to hone their psychic skills, a plethora of occult tomes, lost scrolls, and even stranger items lie hidden throughout Golarion. From the kaleidoscopic Recursion Tablets to the never-ending Infinity Scroll, Pathfinder Player Companion: Psychic Anthology presents a diverse archive of texts elucidating esoteric ideas and techniques that can benefit any psychic spellcasting class, as well as other spellcasters. Alongside feats, magic items, and spells, this volume unlocks the hidden powers of the mind!

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • New archetypes for nearly every occult class, including the phantom blade spiritualist and the autohypnotist mesmerist.
  • Panoplies­—collections of occultist implements that harness the power resonating between the items—and numerous kineticist wild talents for all the elements.
  • A new corruption arising from raw psychic energy that, if left unchecked, could mutate one's form into an all-consuming horror of writhing flesh.

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: 978-1-60125-928-8

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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5/5

I'm not going to talk about the psychic or mesmerist much here. The psychic gets to be the magic and magic item section, and it's a mixed bag. Mesmerist just isn't a class I much care to play (outside of one archetype), so I haven't spent much time looking at it.

Spiritualists get a nice chunk of stuff, a fun new emotional focus (and rules for using it with older archetypes). Two new archetypes, one bringing in some black blade magus fun, and a phantom animal one. I have intentions of using the phantom blade, the totemist I might if an appropriate campaign comes up. My only real problem with either is they lose emotional focus (something I enjoy about the flavor of the class).

Medium gets a fun new archetype. It doesn't really address any issues with the class, might even make some of them worse (forcing taboo). It get's fun abilities and has cool flavor though. Look for a thematic campaign to use it in.

Kineticist gets a lot of expanded selections. The invocations are a cool idea, and possibly a good tool for the future, but the feat look for most characters is disappointing. More talents, especially for wood and void is nice. Wood's new simple blast is disappointing, and makes for a (mostly) true pacifist if taken as your first. Not practical but interesting choice. More blade abilities make the melee fan happy. Speaking of which the Kinetic Knight is everything I ever wanted for the Kineticist, not just supporting but encouraging a strength based build, nice defensive features. I've already started playing one and it's one of m favorite builds. The lack of form infusions can be limiting somewhat though.

Occultist is another nice package here. The panopolies are great. Between giving you a way to go deeper into your spell list with out giving up too much versatility and some nice new focus powers. the archetype to support them is a nice addition too.

Overall a great book that supported the four psychic classes I care about in fun ways, and inspiring at least 4 new characters I want to play.


A Fantastic Expansion of Occult Options (for the most part)

5/5

This is a fantastic companion book for those interested in playing one of the classes in Occult Adventures. And for the most part, it gives these classes a lot of love. In order of how much (and the quality of) the love they receive:

1. (A+): The Spiritualist was originally my least favorite class in Occult Adventures. A class with cool flavor but weak mechanics. This book changes that. It introduces not one, but two archetypes that turn the Spiritualist into a viable and interesting option. The first is essentially a psychic version of the Blackblade Magus, and the second gives you a phantom animal companion (or two!) that's a viable option in combat. And it introduces a new Kindness emotional focus that the Id Rager can take(!). This went from a class I couldn't imagine getting myself to play, to a class I have at least two character ideas for. Fantastic stuff.

2. (A+): The Mesmerist, on the other hand, was one of my favorite classes in Occult Adventures. It's a lot like the alchemist -- a 6th level caster with lots of skill points and a bag of abilities that, though neat, don't obviously fit together (in the case of the alchemist: bombs, mutagens, self-buffing extracts, poison-using abilities and alchemy/potion-oriented abilities, in the case of the mesmerist: stares, tricks, touch treatments and a bevy of mind-affecting spells). In the case of the Alchemist, this was fixed by a bunch of great archetypes and options that allow you to really focus on one of the themes of the Alchemist (e.g., bomb focused alchemists, mutagen + self-buffing alchemists, poison-focused alchemists, etc). But until now the Mesmerist didn't really have the options to do the same.

This book starts to change that. It introduces a trick-focused archetype and a bunch of feats that make the Mesmerist's tricks cool and effective enough to really build a character around. Likewise, there are some great Stare feats that make stares effective enough to build a character around. Add in a cool Possession-focused archetype and a "mind-over-matter"-style archetype which moves away from *just* mind-affecting spells, and there are now a number of interesting and distinct options on the table to focus your Mesmerist around. More great stuff.

3. (A+): The Occultist was originally in the middle of the pack for me -- lots of flavor, and reasonably effective mechanically, but with a couple awkward features that make it hard to develop all of the versions of the class one might like to try (such as the dramatic difference in the power of different schools -- from the virtually obligatory Transmutation to the painfully bad Necromancy and Evocation -- and the strong disincentive to choose a school more than once, essentially locking you into a single spell per school). This book (combined with the incredible Silksworn archetype from the Heroes of the High Court) do a fair bit to change that. By adding panoply options (and the corresponding panoply-focused archetype) you now have a cool and flavorful way of getting multiple spells from a given school, and of spreading out your spell picks a bit more. There's still a few awkward features of the class left over (it's still hard to imagine building an Occultist without Transmutation, or with Necromancy and Evocation), but the class is definitely more fun to play with than before.

4. (A): The Kineticist was a class I liked a lot, and it also gets a lot of love, in the form of the first good Kineticist archetype (a melee-focused armor-wearing kineticist tank) and a big batch of new wild talents which open up the variety of builds to pursue, especially if you want a Wood or Void-focused Kineticist. Granted, a lot of them are high-level abilities which only the DM is likely to get to play with, and it's hard to not to wish there were even more utility Wild Talents and Kinetic Invocation options. (More! More! More!) But this still opens up a lot of interesting options, making this book pretty much a "must-have" for anyone building a Kineticist.

5. (B): The Medium was one of my least favorite classes in Occult Adventures. It had great flavor, making it a class I very much wanted to play. But mechanically, the only really viable option seems to be building your character around the Champion spirit and making them a kind of psychic-flavored fighter, which didn't fit very well with most of the Medium-style character ideas I wanted to play with.

This book adds some more neat flavor options to the Medium (you can tie yourself to a kind of outsider), with an accompanying archetype, which someone building a Medium might consider. But none of these options make the class feel like it would play very differently, or open up the possibility of making a Medium which isn't basically a psychic fighter. Of course, these demerits of the Medium class aren't this book's fault, and it's a little unfair to expect it to resolve all of the problems facing the Medium. Still, given how much I like the idea behind this class, it would be great to someday see some options for making a viable character focused around one of the non-Champion spirits.

6. (B-): The Psychic was originally another class from Occult Adventures in the middle of the pack for me. The disciplines have lots of flavor, but, much like the sorcerer's bloodlines, most of them don't have enough mechanical "meat" to make them feel like they'd play that differently. The amplifications are kind of neat-ish, but most don't do interesting enough things to be memorable. And the overwhelming focus on mind-affecting spells makes the Psychic feel a bit fragile, usefulness-wise, for a 9th level caster.

This book does a bit to round out the Psychic's spell casting possibilities, and adds in some psychic analogs of arcane spell-related magic items. But the class feels much the same as before (in both good ways and bad) in light of these options, and there's little that seems specific to the Psychic that's on offer. Okay stuff.

All told, if you're mostly interested in the Medium or the Psychic, then while there are some new options in this book, there isn't anything that you really need in this book. But if you're interesting in playing around with Spiritualists, Mesmerists, Occultists or Kineticists, then this is definitely a book you'll want to have.


Lots of great stuff and a little bit of really, really bad

3/5

I would strongly recommend you buy this book, but I can't give it more than three stars because it has some really poorly conceived and edited options in here that should be mildly embarrassing to Paizo.

The mesmerist, spiritualist, and occultist options are generally great, a couple of bad archetypes and unclear rules ("holding" panoply occultist implements) aside. As far as I can tell the medium and kineticist stuff is of similar quality, but I don't care about those as much. If you want more options for these classes absolutely buy this book and you won't regret it.

Where the book falls down is the Psychic items and spells section. I can agree that this was arguably more necessary to grow the class than an archetype or more disciplines would have been, but the implementation is pretty poor. Most of the magic items are uninspired psychic retreads of (bad) arcane options that in some cases already worked fine for psychic casters. The spells have some decent options, and a couple of weak options, but the real problem is that there are two absurdly strong options. One allows you to daze lock a creature even on a successful save (at 3rd level!), the other is basically a Moment of Prescience god mode that applies to almost every roll you do for 1 full minute. I think you can easily solo higher threat CR creatures in melee with this spell and a few standard buffs. It's that ugly.

Publishing either of these spells would have been irresponsible, publishing both makes me doubt Paizo takes this line seriously anymore with respect to maintaining the integrity and balance of their game. PFS will ban the hell out of them, but having this sort of awful munchkiness out there as an idea that someone at Paizo thought was ok to publish is troublesome.

My final complaint is that there are a few more than the usual (already disappointing) level of poor editing and rules mistakes that we've come to expect in the Player Companion line. You have an unprecedented casting time of "1 full round action" on some spells (a big problem on Psychic classes that need their move action to add metamagic or center and avoid concentration penalties and not an innovation that should be dropped in without explanation), missing explanations of partial saving throws, and a couple of other minor signs that this needed a better development pass from a responsible adult.

That aside, you should reward Paizo for the good things with your money and put the good options to use responsibly. I just hope the bad things get more attention in future products and don't become a trend.


Good fluff, but wouldn't recommend...

2/5

The fluff and items range from good to alright, but everything else is sorta meh. The new spirits for the Medium are pretty cool, as well as some of the Stare feats/tricks for the Mesmerist, but other than that...

I'll be honest. I wanted more kineticist talents when I bought this book, and I was nothing but disappointed. Oh gee, more ways to melee as a kineticist - as though there weren't a half-dozen archetypes that did pretty much the same thing. Oh look, *more* blasts that expand the use of your kinetic blade! Oh look, *feats*! Like there aren't *enough* feats, and these simply add a few spells as kineticist talents.

It was alright overall, but frankly, I would've saved the 10 bucks.


uninspired

2/5

I pride myself on long detailed reviews, but there is very little to say about this. Uninspired, tending to overly dramatic and "uncontrolled!" type wackiness. Lack of content covered by larger than normal bad magic items section.


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Luthorne, are Sha'ir unable to take Panoplies or do you just think they are a bad choice for Sha'ir?


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gisher wrote:
Luthorne, are Sha'ir unable to take Panoplies or do you just think they are a bad choice for Sha'ir?

Mmm. I guess to some extent it depends on interpretation? They have very specific associated implements, like a mask for illusion and a musical instrument for enchantment as an example of one, so, if that's supposed to be a requirement, then obviously the sha'ir can't. It's also not a great option, since the sha'ir only gets to take three implement schools, and I don't think a panoply would grant anything from an elemental school, which would make it painful. At a minimum, you wouldn't be able to take it until the third, all of them have at least two schools as a prerequisite.


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So a Panoply isn't just a collection of Implement Schools, it is a collection of specific Implements from those Schools. I guess having Jin as your Implements would make that impossible. For non-Sha'ir Occultists that sounds really flavorful.


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gisher wrote:
So a Panoply isn't just a collection of Implement Schools, it is a collection of specific Implements from those Schools. I guess having Jin as your Implements would make that impossible. For non-Sha'ir Occultists that sounds really flavorful.

Pretty much, yes, though you might be able to work something out with your GM. Honestly, for a sha'ir, I'd be tempted to work out something completely different...something more elemental-based.


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Luthorne wrote:
Gisher wrote:
So a Panoply isn't just a collection of Implement Schools, it is a collection of specific Implements from those Schools. I guess having Jin as your Implements would make that impossible. For non-Sha'ir Occultists that sounds really flavorful.
Pretty much, yes, though you might be able to work something out with your GM. Honestly, for a sha'ir, I'd be tempted to work out something completely different...something more elemental-based.

Maybe have each Jinn bear one of the items associated with the panoply? Like having you Jinn associated with the illusion school wear the mask, etc.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ventnor wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Gisher wrote:
So a Panoply isn't just a collection of Implement Schools, it is a collection of specific Implements from those Schools. I guess having Jin as your Implements would make that impossible. For non-Sha'ir Occultists that sounds really flavorful.
Pretty much, yes, though you might be able to work something out with your GM. Honestly, for a sha'ir, I'd be tempted to work out something completely different...something more elemental-based.
Maybe have each Jinn bear one of the items associated with the panoply? Like having you Jinn associated with the illusion school wear the mask, etc.

Yeah, that's the quick and easy route, that or just having your jin qualify by nature of their essence...after all, jin and elementals are amorphous in form, so naturally having a part of them resemble that aspect from the beginning could be flavorful.


I'll be impressed if it was coordinated, but the way the panoplies are set up means they can't be used with the new Blingomancer archetype (not actual name) from Heroes of the High Court, which gets more implements, magic, and focus, but no longer uses regular implements. A nice balancing factor.

Both panoplies and the new Heroes of the High Court archetype are making me want to play an Occultist!

If the obstacle is house-ruled away for Sha'ir, they'd still need to wait until 14th level, and would have to pick from just the quicker-access panoplies.


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It wasn't directly coordinated, but I was aware of their existence by virtue of my presence on both projects. I wrote the silksworn occultist before I saw the final designs for panoplies.


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Isabelle Lee wrote:
It wasn't directly coordinated, but I was aware of their existence by virtue of my presence on both projects. I wrote the silksworn occultist before I saw the final designs for panoplies.

Cool! I really like how the two coming out at the same time give really good options for a magic-focused Occultist and a martial-focused Occultist. (Although it does leave me with a dilemma on which to play first.)

Sovereign Court

I am really liking some of the new spells and magic items for psychics

Dreamscarred Press

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Luthorne wrote:
Burst of force is kind of fun, though having it centered on you is a bit of a bummer. Debilitating pain is, uh, wow. Mind-affecting, but you're screwed even on a successful save for a round, so that's pretty damn potent. Reflexive barrier is pretty nice, I think, and I love the rend body line of spells...gruesome.

Glad you liked them!

Rend Body was a lot of fun to write. :)

And thanks to Owen and the Paizo team for allowing me to contribute to this book!

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Jeremy Smith wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Burst of force is kind of fun, though having it centered on you is a bit of a bummer. Debilitating pain is, uh, wow. Mind-affecting, but you're screwed even on a successful save for a round, so that's pretty damn potent. Reflexive barrier is pretty nice, I think, and I love the rend body line of spells...gruesome.

Glad you liked them!

Rend Body was a lot of fun to write. :)

And thanks to Owen and the Paizo team for allowing me to contribute to this book!

I love the flavor of Rend Body, it's a great concept :)

What's the deal with the save, though? It says Fort partial (see text), but nothing in the text mentions a save. Is it Fort for half damage, like Burst of Force?

Sczarni

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I wish rend body was available at lvl 1 lol


QuidEst wrote:
Isabelle Lee wrote:
It wasn't directly coordinated, but I was aware of their existence by virtue of my presence on both projects. I wrote the silksworn occultist before I saw the final designs for panoplies.
Cool! I really like how the two coming out at the same time give really good options for a magic-focused Occultist and a martial-focused Occultist. (Although it does leave me with a dilemma on which to play first.)

Play both at once? The Blingomancer from Heroes of the High Streets synergizes well with the Panoplies. You just need to get ways to boost your AC and all is set.


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technarken wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Isabelle Lee wrote:
It wasn't directly coordinated, but I was aware of their existence by virtue of my presence on both projects. I wrote the silksworn occultist before I saw the final designs for panoplies.
Cool! I really like how the two coming out at the same time give really good options for a magic-focused Occultist and a martial-focused Occultist. (Although it does leave me with a dilemma on which to play first.)
Play both at once? The Blingomancer from Heroes of the High Streets synergizes well with the Panoplies. You just need to get ways to boost your AC and all is set.

Nope, they aren't compatible. (That would be way too good. 6/9 caster with extra casting and more spells known than a Sorcerer getting full BAB and access to all the metamagic feats?) Panoplies require specific implements, and so they don't work with any archetypes that change what you can use as implements.


QuidEst wrote:
technarken wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Isabelle Lee wrote:
It wasn't directly coordinated, but I was aware of their existence by virtue of my presence on both projects. I wrote the silksworn occultist before I saw the final designs for panoplies.
Cool! I really like how the two coming out at the same time give really good options for a magic-focused Occultist and a martial-focused Occultist. (Although it does leave me with a dilemma on which to play first.)
Play both at once? The Blingomancer from Heroes of the High Streets synergizes well with the Panoplies. You just need to get ways to boost your AC and all is set.
Nope, they aren't compatible. (That would be way too good. 6/9 caster with extra casting and more spells known than a Sorcerer getting full BAB and access to all the metamagic feats?) Panoplies require specific implements, and so they don't work with any archetypes that change what you can use as implements.

They seem plenty compatible to me...The Blingomancer even has the overflow of implement schools to be able to take the panoplies easier.


The archetype replaces all your implements with fancy clothing and ostentatious jewelry in specific slots. You can't use a sword, shield, wand, crystal ball, etc. If you can't do that, no panoplies. (As I mentioned, though, that's probably good for balance.)


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
technarken wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
technarken wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Isabelle Lee wrote:
It wasn't directly coordinated, but I was aware of their existence by virtue of my presence on both projects. I wrote the silksworn occultist before I saw the final designs for panoplies.
Cool! I really like how the two coming out at the same time give really good options for a magic-focused Occultist and a martial-focused Occultist. (Although it does leave me with a dilemma on which to play first.)
Play both at once? The Blingomancer from Heroes of the High Streets synergizes well with the Panoplies. You just need to get ways to boost your AC and all is set.
Nope, they aren't compatible. (That would be way too good. 6/9 caster with extra casting and more spells known than a Sorcerer getting full BAB and access to all the metamagic feats?) Panoplies require specific implements, and so they don't work with any archetypes that change what you can use as implements.
They seem plenty compatible to me...The Blingomancer even has the overflow of implement schools to be able to take the panoplies easier.

But the silksworn's implements have to occupy specific slots: chest, eyes, feet, hands, head, neck, shoulders, or wrists, each associated with specific schools. Meanwhile, the panoplies require specific items to be your implements, which generally don't mesh, and trappings of the warrior specifically requires a weapon and shield as implements, which don't fit any of those slots.

Edit: And ninja-ed!

Dreamscarred Press

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Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

I love the flavor of Rend Body, it's a great concept :)

What's the deal with the save, though? It says Fort partial (see text), but nothing in the text mentions a save. Is it Fort for half damage, like Burst of Force?

So, uh... I wrote that a while back and looking at my notes... I believe I intended that the Fort save would block the limb from being removed, but you'd still suffer full damage... but I might have also intended it to reduce the damage, but not the limb removal. I'm PRETTY sure it was to block the limb from being removed, but I'm not 100% sure.

That's a mixup on my part for not putting that explanation in there, but I don't want to claim official ruling on that.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Fair enough! Thanks for the insight!

Contributor

Jeremy Smith wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

I love the flavor of Rend Body, it's a great concept :)

What's the deal with the save, though? It says Fort partial (see text), but nothing in the text mentions a save. Is it Fort for half damage, like Burst of Force?

So, uh... I wrote that a while back and looking at my notes... I believe I intended that the Fort save would block the limb from being removed, but you'd still suffer full damage... but I might have also intended it to reduce the damage, but not the limb removal. I'm PRETTY sure it was to block the limb from being removed, but I'm not 100% sure.

That's a mixup on my part for not putting that explanation in there, but I don't want to claim official ruling on that.

Don't worry, Jeremy! That's what campaign clarifications and developer comments are for!


Save on both seems necessary. Maximized at the d8/level point, it needs both to avoid being either guaranteed death (for d6 HD and most d8s) or guaranteed loss of limb (since saving for half on an insta-kill means losing a limb). Unlike most evocation spells, there aren't any protective spells, items, or abilities other than SR. It's not mind-affecting, so there's a lot more it can work on than the usual Psychic damaging spells.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So the Phantom Blade gets Spell Combat as a Magus, which includes this ability:

Magus wrote:
If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check.

Assuming the Phantom Blade is meant to get that part of spell combat, should they still base their maximum attack roll penalty on their Int? Or should they use Wis since it's their casting stat?


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HolyMolyILoveThisBook!


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Got my hands on it, and really loving it. The Occult classes are my favorite set of classes ^_^

The Bad... or nitpick (getting this out of the way)
- Basic Phytokinesis is nowhere to be found. I know it was omitted in Occult Origins, and I would have liked to see it here.

- Positive Blast seems to be a weaker blast... Void's Negative Blast (Occult Origins) deals negative energy damage without healing creatures that wouldn't be harmed by it. By comparison, Positive Blast doesn't heal creatures and only harms creatures that would be harmed by it. Yeah, the blast is kinda limited to a certain creature category here.

- One aspect of the Elemental Knight's Elemental Bastion only works with heavy armor; there is no scaling for light and medium armor. What if I find a good studded leather or a good breastplate? I feel like it would have been better if this ability would have scaled according to your armor type.

- The psychometabolic corruption seems to be missing some "entry requirements"... Could a completely Burned out Kineticist be corrupted and turned into a Combusted (Occult Bestiary)? How about an Occultist that empties his mental pool, or a Medium that breaks one too many taboos?

- No new Psychic archetype... I said "nitpick", so...

The Good:
- Everything else :D
* More support for Void and Wood
* Alternate spirits for the Medium
* Panoplies
* etc...

Very good booklet with very good materials ^_^

With all being said, I'd like some clarification here: How does the Phantom Blade's weapon... works??? Does it act as a dancing weapon when it's summoned? Does the phantom blade actually wield the weapon? Can the phantom blade wield a real weapon and attack in tandem with his phantom weapon? Does the phantom blade lose Improved Unarmed Strike if the weapon is summoned (I guess he does, but still)?

Yeah, kinda need enlightenment here :P


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

...I'm not sure why you would think otherwise, but the Phantom Blade wields their weapon normally unless they're 15th level and spend ectoplasmic points to grant it the dancing weapon special ability. It's pretty clear they only get Improved Unarmed Strike when the weapon is harbored in their consciousness.


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Kinetic Invocation can be used to pick up Etheric Shards? SOLD

Edit: Now, if only I could use VMC Vigilante for the best dual identity


Luthorne wrote:
...I'm not sure why you would think otherwise, but the Phantom Blade wields their weapon normally unless they're 15th level and spend ectoplasmic points to grant it the dancing weapon special ability. It's pretty clear they only get Improved Unarmed Strike when the weapon is harbored in their consciousness.

That's why I'm asking :P

A regular Phantom is a separate entity... which makes me believe that the Phantom Weapon is just a weapon-shaped phantom that attacks on its own, like instead of being a human-like spirit, it's a sword-shaped spirit, for instance.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
JiCi wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
...I'm not sure why you would think otherwise, but the Phantom Blade wields their weapon normally unless they're 15th level and spend ectoplasmic points to grant it the dancing weapon special ability. It's pretty clear they only get Improved Unarmed Strike when the weapon is harbored in their consciousness.

That's why I'm asking :P

A regular Phantom is a separate entity... which makes me believe that the Phantom Weapon is just a weapon-shaped phantom that attacks on its own, like instead of being a human-like spirit, it's a sword-shaped spirit, for instance.

Except it's not, and nothing in the Phantom Blade entry suggests that.

Grand Lodge

Can Kinetic Knights not use Focused Blast? (It seems like Kinetic Blade and Focused Blast are both form infusions)


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JiCi wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
...I'm not sure why you would think otherwise, but the Phantom Blade wields their weapon normally unless they're 15th level and spend ectoplasmic points to grant it the dancing weapon special ability. It's pretty clear they only get Improved Unarmed Strike when the weapon is harbored in their consciousness.

That's why I'm asking :P

A regular Phantom is a separate entity... which makes me believe that the Phantom Weapon is just a weapon-shaped phantom that attacks on its own, like instead of being a human-like spirit, it's a sword-shaped spirit, for instance.

That's...quite the leap in logic. As the entry says, it's an ectoplasmic sentient weapon, or, an intelligent magic item. We have rules for those, they can't attack on their own unless they have a particular ability that lets them. It completely replaces the phantom that a normal spiritualist would have.

Arloro wrote:
Can Kinetic Knights not use Focused Blast? (It seems like Kinetic Blade and Focused Blast are both form infusions)

As-written, they can't, yes, since that doesn't use kinetic blade as a prerequisite.


Arloro wrote:
Can Kinetic Knights not use Focused Blast? (It seems like Kinetic Blade and Focused Blast are both form infusions)

If it's a form infusion, then by RAW, no. That said... I'd probably allow you to use it as a substance infusion in a home game, as the point of the archetype is to lock out ranged attacks and AOEs, and kinetic knights can find themselves a bit short on infusions to choose from. ^_^

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Regarding the phantom blade: the art that goes with it probably doesn't help clear things up much. ^_^

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
Regarding the phantom blade: the art that goes with it probably doesn't help clear things up much. ^_^

True, but they can put dancing on it :3


Luthorne wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
...I'm not sure why you would think otherwise, but the Phantom Blade wields their weapon normally unless they're 15th level and spend ectoplasmic points to grant it the dancing weapon special ability. It's pretty clear they only get Improved Unarmed Strike when the weapon is harbored in their consciousness.

That's why I'm asking :P

A regular Phantom is a separate entity... which makes me believe that the Phantom Weapon is just a weapon-shaped phantom that attacks on its own, like instead of being a human-like spirit, it's a sword-shaped spirit, for instance.

That's...quite the leap in logic. As the entry says, it's an ectoplasmic sentient weapon, or, an intelligent magic item. We have rules for those, they can't attack on their own unless they have a particular ability that lets them. It completely replaces the phantom that a normal spiritualist would have.

Ah, I see, thanks for the info ^_^


I would like to congratulate the Mesmerist Autohypnotist archetype for winning the "worst Mesmerist archetype" title in a rout, and being an early favorite in the 2017 competition for Worst New Pathfinder Archetype. I do hope this new design space of marginal benefit against an enemy in return for a crippling penalty to your character continues, this is the time in our national zeitgeist where the self own is particularly appropriate. Honestly, I read that you were going to apply your stare penalty to yourself in return for a boost and assumed it would be doubled against enemies. +1? And the same against yourself? I can apply a -4 to the enemy and myself instead of just a -3 to the enemy? Burn swift actions to reduce my self penalty (on my second and subsequent rounds) but at a chance of also eliminating any effect on the enemy target? My poor dog jumped in fear at how loud I laughed. I guess it has its place for NPCs that you want to cripple and give your PCs an easy win without officially adjusting CR.

Mesmerist feats are excellent.

The Material Manipulator archetype is cool, but

Quote:
At 14th level, he can adjust the target’s type or subtype, as per polymorph. At 20th level, he can instead adjust the target’s type as per greater polymorph

Neither of these spells (or any other polymorph) changes a creature's type or subtype. I assume the actual effect is to give the abilities granted by the spell. Otherwise this would give you lots of immunities that you can't otherwise get.

Vexing Trickster and the Projectionist archetypes look solid.


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It's not a new design space! For all your national zeitgeist needs, Ragechemist slightly boosts their mutagen's strength bonus in exchange for long-lasting cascading will save penalties and falling unconscious for an hour plus during combat! This one is tame by comparison, but yeah, really bad. (Preferable to a good archetype with a boosted save penalty, I admit.) Everything I wanted from an archetype of that name is available as a feat, though, so I'm happy.

Huh. Missed that about Material Manipulator.

EDIT: Just realized you can multiclass Ragechemist, Autohypnotist, and Psychkineticist for some really terrible will saves.

Contributor

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Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
I would like to congratulate the Mesmerist Autohypnotist archetype for winning the "worst Mesmerist archetype" title in a rout, and being an early favorite in the 2017 competition for Worst New Pathfinder Archetype. I do hope this new design space of marginal benefit against an enemy in return for a crippling penalty to your character continues, this is the time in our national zeitgeist where the self own is particularly appropriate. Honestly, I read that you were going to apply your stare penalty to yourself in return for a boost and assumed it would be doubled against enemies. +1? And the same against yourself? I can apply a -4 to the enemy and myself instead of just a -3 to the enemy? Burn swift actions to reduce my self penalty (on my second and subsequent rounds) but at a chance of also eliminating any effect on the enemy target? My poor dog jumped in fear at how loud I laughed. I guess it has its place for NPCs that you want to cripple and give your PCs an easy win without officially adjusting CR.

It's worth noting that the autohypnosis loses NOTHING for its better Will save penalty and the ability to try and reduce the penalty for yourself. It only alters hypnotic stare, and mesmerist constantly have the best Will saves in the game, between having a good Will and towering ego. The penalty really only drops them to slightly-better-than-a-bard territory, and they also have a powerful AoE state option that you get for the low, low cost of the mental potency ability.

Quote:
The Material Manipulator archetype is cool, but
Quote:
At 14th level, he can adjust the target’s type or subtype, as per polymorph. At 20th level, he can instead adjust the target’s type as per greater polymorph

Neither of these spells (or any other polymorph) changes a creature's type or subtype. I assume the actual effect is to give the abilities granted by the spell. Otherwise this would give you lots of immunities that you can't otherwise get.

It's not trying to tell you that your type actually changed. It's trying to tell you how the ability works if you use it to assume a form with a different type than yours. Prior to that point, revision changes your current form's physical features, but can't let you assume forms of a different type.


I know this isn't the best place to ask, but the foxfire utility talent lists void healer or kinetic healer as a prerequisite. Being that the talent is fire based, is this a typo or is it meant to only be available to kineticists who have multiple elements? I'll also ask on Mark's thread in case no one can comment here. Thanks in advance.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
I would like to congratulate the Mesmerist Autohypnotist archetype for winning the "worst Mesmerist archetype" title in a rout, and being an early favorite in the 2017 competition for Worst New Pathfinder Archetype. I do hope this new design space of marginal benefit against an enemy in return for a crippling penalty to your character continues, this is the time in our national zeitgeist where the self own is particularly appropriate. Honestly, I read that you were going to apply your stare penalty to yourself in return for a boost and assumed it would be doubled against enemies. +1? And the same against yourself? I can apply a -4 to the enemy and myself instead of just a -3 to the enemy? Burn swift actions to reduce my self penalty (on my second and subsequent rounds) but at a chance of also eliminating any effect on the enemy target? My poor dog jumped in fear at how loud I laughed. I guess it has its place for NPCs that you want to cripple and give your PCs an easy win without officially adjusting CR.

It's worth noting that the autohypnosis loses NOTHING for its better Will save penalty and the ability to try and reduce the penalty for yourself. It only alters hypnotic stare, and mesmerist constantly have the best Will saves in the game, between having a good Will and towering ego. The penalty really only drops them to slightly-better-than-a-bard territory, and they also have a powerful AoE state option that you get for the low, low cost of the mental potency ability.

You take a 15 or 20% penalty in return for a 5% hit to your enemy. That's a bad trade unless your Will save is so high that you remain in auto save territory. Where this gets really punishing is that you also suffer your Bold Stare penalties. Goodbye, Sapped Magic. Better not take the ones that penalize Reflex saves or poison saves, either. Initiative? Yikes.

The AoE stare is reduced effectiveness and will hurt allies who engage in melee to take advantage of Painful Stare and relevant bold stare debuffs like to hit and damage reducers.

Hard pass.


So... kinetic knight. Like it.
Not in love with having to be wearing heavy armour and carrying a shield to use elemental defenses, but it's not a deal-breaker.

Is there any way to make it work with a telekineticist without really breaking flavour/some cheesy shenanigans?
Seems that telekinetic blade will still wreck whatever you're using as the base for the blast. You'll need quick-draw + a hefty supply of stuff to swing, and still might run out in a decent fight.

Or am I missing something basic with regards tk blast, kinetic blade, and object damage?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
I would like to congratulate the Mesmerist Autohypnotist archetype for winning the "worst Mesmerist archetype" title in a rout, and being an early favorite in the 2017 competition for Worst New Pathfinder Archetype. I do hope this new design space of marginal benefit against an enemy in return for a crippling penalty to your character continues, this is the time in our national zeitgeist where the self own is particularly appropriate. Honestly, I read that you were going to apply your stare penalty to yourself in return for a boost and assumed it would be doubled against enemies. +1? And the same against yourself? I can apply a -4 to the enemy and myself instead of just a -3 to the enemy? Burn swift actions to reduce my self penalty (on my second and subsequent rounds) but at a chance of also eliminating any effect on the enemy target? My poor dog jumped in fear at how loud I laughed. I guess it has its place for NPCs that you want to cripple and give your PCs an easy win without officially adjusting CR.

It's worth noting that the autohypnosis loses NOTHING for its better Will save penalty and the ability to try and reduce the penalty for yourself. It only alters hypnotic stare, and mesmerist constantly have the best Will saves in the game, between having a good Will and towering ego. The penalty really only drops them to slightly-better-than-a-bard territory, and they also have a powerful AoE state option that you get for the low, low cost of the mental potency ability.

You take a 15 or 20% penalty in return for a 5% hit to your enemy. That's a bad trade unless your Will save is so high that you remain in auto save territory. Where this gets really punishing is that you also suffer your Bold Stare penalties. Goodbye, Sapped Magic. Better not take the ones that penalize Reflex saves or poison saves, either. Initiative? Yikes.

The AoE stare is reduced effectiveness and will hurt allies who engage in melee to take advantage...

I think the danger is that - depending on what enemy you face - the saving throw penalty on yourself may be meaningless.

When you are applying a debuff, you are also supplying the attacks that might make use of it. With proper planning, you will make use of it.

When applying a debuff to yourself, your opponent has no control over what type of debuff that is. A lot of more basic opponents lack the ability to interact with Will Saves. They can't select a penalty that assists them in fighting you. If the situation is right, you should be able to select a Bold Stare debuff that helps your team without putting yourself at any disadvantage.

Plenty of tough fights will put you in a situation where you will have to either not boost and not apply the penalty to yourself or risk the boost with a self-penalty.

I don't want to dive too deep into how balanced the archetype is, but I can see some limiting factors that would prevent them from allowing you to double the debuff effectiveness.


I'm slightly disappointed by the psychic items in the Infinity Scroll section.

The Ring of Mysticism and Robe of the Overmind duplicate weak/overpriced arcane items that no one should be using anyway. The Shard of Psychic Power is just a reflavoring of Pages of Spell Knowledge and Spell Lattices which already work with psychic spell casting as written.

The Centering Jewel is good, although you'll want to combine with your stat boosting headband early in your career.

The Recondite Rod is fine if you use lots of undercastable spells.

The Ring of Phrenic Prowess is nice, I've wanted a phrenic pool battery. The no save stun touch attack is also a good ability, but I could do without the Spell Turning if I could trim the cost even slightly.


Some of the language for the Martyr's Benediction focus power on page 28 got garbled. What exactly is it supposed to do?


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:

I'm slightly disappointed by the psychic items in the Infinity Scroll section.

The Ring of Mysticism and Robe of the Overmind duplicate weak/overpriced arcane items that no one should be using anyway. The Shard of Psychic Power is just a reflavoring of Pages of Spell Knowledge and Spell Lattices which already work with psychic spell casting as written.

The Centering Jewel is good, although you'll want to combine with your stat boosting headband early in your career.

The Recondite Rod is fine if you use lots of undercastable spells.

The Ring of Phrenic Prowess is nice, I've wanted a phrenic pool battery. The no save stun touch attack is also a good ability, but I could do without the Spell Turning if I could trim the cost even slightly.

However, a shard of psychic power has no weight, while spell lattices each weigh a pound, which could be a consideration depending on your Strength score and whether or not items in a handy haversack count as being on you or not.

Contributor

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Plausible Pseudonym wrote:

I'm slightly disappointed by the psychic items in the Infinity Scroll section.

The Ring of Mysticism and Robe of the Overmind duplicate weak/overpriced arcane items that no one should be using anyway. The Shard of Psychic Power is just a reflavoring of Pages of Spell Knowledge and Spell Lattices which already work with psychic spell casting as written.

The Centering Jewel is good, although you'll want to combine with your stat boosting headband early in your career.

The Recondite Rod is fine if you use lots of undercastable spells.

The Ring of Phrenic Prowess is nice, I've wanted a phrenic pool battery. The no save stun touch attack is also a good ability, but I could do without the Spell Turning if I could trim the cost even slightly.

Counterpoint — Ring of Mysticism is strong for the psychic because of the phrenic amplification that allows you to spend phrenic points to "overcast" an undercast spell. I.e. you could take a Ring of Mysticism I and use all of those extra spell slots, in conjunction with a buttload of phrenic points, to cast higher-than-1st-level spells.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:

I'm slightly disappointed by the psychic items in the Infinity Scroll section.

The Ring of Mysticism and Robe of the Overmind duplicate weak/overpriced arcane items that no one should be using anyway. The Shard of Psychic Power is just a reflavoring of Pages of Spell Knowledge and Spell Lattices which already work with psychic spell casting as written.

The Centering Jewel is good, although you'll want to combine with your stat boosting headband early in your career.

The Recondite Rod is fine if you use lots of undercastable spells.

The Ring of Phrenic Prowess is nice, I've wanted a phrenic pool battery. The no save stun touch attack is also a good ability, but I could do without the Spell Turning if I could trim the cost even slightly.

Counterpoint — Ring of Mysticism is strong for the psychic because of the phrenic amplification that allows you to spend phrenic points to "overcast" an undercast spell. I.e. you could take a Ring of Mysticism I and use all of those extra spell slots, in conjunction with a buttload of phrenic points, to cast higher-than-1st-level spells.

Or you could buy 10 1st level Runestones of Power for the same cost. Until you have 10 first level spell slots that's going to be more efficient, you'll need 11 native slots to pull ahead with the Ring. Well before then you don't have the phrenic pool to afford boosting and have better spells to cast.

Rings of Mysticism/Wizardry are always beaten by Pearls and Runestones of power.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Counterpoint — Ring of Mysticism is strong for the psychic because of the phrenic amplification that allows you to spend phrenic points to "overcast" an undercast spell. I.e. you could take a Ring of Mysticism I and use all of those extra spell slots, in conjunction with a buttload of phrenic points, to cast higher-than-1st-level spells.

Let me just say that I really appreciate it when contributors like yourself share their thoughts on these matters.

I know it's a risky thing to do, given the potential backlash you're exposed to. But I find it really helpful to hear a bit about the thought process that went into some of these things. And it helps me see the why various options that I might gloss over at first glance are actually worthy of consideration, and helps me to improve the balance of things I come up with in my own games.

So to Isabelle Lee, Alexander Augunas, and other contributors who have chipped in on these topics: Thank you!


Am I missing something in the reading, or did the example for the Martial Skill panoply ability get a bit botched? (bolded the part that seemed funky to me)

Quote:
Martial Skill (Ex): When wielding the weapon used as the panoply’s associated implement, you treat your base attack bonus as though it were 1 point higher for every 4 points of total mental focus invested in all of the associated implements, to a maximum base attack bonus equal to your occultist level. This increase can grant you additional attacks when using the full attack action (for example, a 12th-level occultist with 12 points of mental focus invested among the associated implements would be treated as having a base attack bonus of +11, with iterative attacks at a base attack bonus of +6 and +1)."


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After first pass, really like this book. Finally have a good melee kineticist option that can viably be strength based. Like the phantom blade surprisingly. While I'm not jumping to play the totemist spiritualtist, there are several campaigns I can think of where I'd be happy to play it. Love panopolies, will be using trappins of the warrior at some point. Also like the Outter Channeler. Haven't looked at all the new spells and feats and what not yet.

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