General Discussion: Medium


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I completely agree! The liar was what made me fall in love with this class, I'm going to be playing a medium in PFS and (attempting) to build it to fill whatever role is needed, I may have to dump some stats (probably con and dex). Having the versatility of this character is incredibly exciting but I would agree with QuidEst that more skill points would help to do that.

Thematically it makes a lot of sense that someone communing with various spirits from presumably different regions and even eras would learn quite a bit from them.

Paizo Employee Designer

Morgoon wrote:

I completely agree! The liar was what made me fall in love with this class, I'm going to be playing a medium in PFS and (attempting) to build it to fill whatever role is needed, I may have to dump some stats (probably con and dex). Having the versatility of this character is incredibly exciting but I would agree with QuidEst that more skill points would help to do that.

Thematically it makes a lot of sense that someone communing with various spirits from presumably different regions and even eras would learn quite a bit from them.

I would be happy to give the class more skill points if that's what people were feeling (I love having more skill points!) but at the moment, it seems most people actually don't agree and feel that 4+ is the right number for medium.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
I would be happy to give the class more skill points if that's what people were feeling (I love having more skill points!) but at the moment, it seems most people actually don't agree and feel that 4+ is the right number for medium.

So no dice on having our first 10 skill points/level class? Aw. ;(

Dark Archive

I think 6+Int skill points would honestly be a pretty big boon for the Medium. It's got a nice skill list, and the Int spirits let it focus on pumping those skills a good amount, but that makes it less likely for the Medium to want to worry about getting a decent Int score. It's already pretty significantly MAD (3/4 BAB d8 HD means it needs Str, Dex, and Con for damage/defenses/HP/etc., and it needs at least Cha for its spellcasting, Spirits and Beseeech, on top of that!) so it's already spread pretty thin.

Paizo Employee Designer

Seranov wrote:
I think 6+Int skill points would honestly be a pretty big boon for the Medium. It's got a nice skill list, and the Int spirits let it focus on pumping those skills a good amount, but that makes it less likely for the Medium to want to worry about getting a decent Int score. It's already pretty significantly MAD (3/4 BAB d8 HD means it needs Str, Dex, and Con for damage/defenses/HP/etc., and it needs at least Cha for its spellcasting, Spirits and Beseeech, on top of that!) so it's already spread pretty thin.

I won't say I'm in disagreement, but the survey suggests that many do not feel that way.

Dark Archive

The majority are dirty hippies, then.

I may be biased. I don't think ANY class should have fewer than 4+Int.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think that every class should have more skill points, but I don't see it as an exclusive need for the Medium. There have been plenty of times in my playtests where I've felt deficient, but none of those situations really came down to "If only I had more skill points!"


One of my consistent house rules is all classes are 2 higher than listed...So if there's every any debate on any class ever to have more classes count my vote as yes.


QuidEst wrote:

I thought The Liar was pretty nice, actually. It lets you act like a full caster for charm and compulsion. DCs are boosted, and Charm Person becomes a shorter Dominate Person, but with a much higher Sense Motive DC to spot it. True Lies is a bit lackluster for most campaigns, sure, but Sunder Heart is awesome. And remember, Helpful is just a minute of conversation and an Intimidate check away. Half-Elves and Half-Orcs both count as three races for the infatuation ability, Kitsune can take a variety of forms, giving them access to four races if they have a feat (kitsune, human, half-elf, and half-orc) and both genders, and humans have an alternate racial trait that lets them diplomance attitudes by three steps instead of two, moving somebody from unfriendly to helpful if they max out diplomacy. (Plus, in the overwhelming majority of campaigns, "human" is the default.) If you're playing, say, a kobold or a goblin in a typical human-centric campaign, yeah, you're only there for the boosts to DCs.

I think Liar works just fine on its own. Your only investment is in social skills, which you want anyways. (Brief plug for more skill points for this class.) You don't have to take the spirit before you get spells if you don't want to.

Liar is fantastic flavour wise but mechanically it goes in the "you have to abuse it or it is completely useless" camp. I mean, it gives you a 4th level spell that's only usable against people that love you... At 19th level. How is that useful for a normal character? To use it to any extent to where it'd be useful you would have to diplomance nearly everyone you meet, and it's DC of 14 + Cha Mod isn't exactly fantastic, let alone giving the person two saves.


Milo v3 wrote:
Liar is fantastic flavour wise but mechanically it goes in the "you have to abuse it or it is completely useless" camp. I mean, it gives you a 4th level spell that's only usable against people that love you... At 19th level. How is that useful for a normal character? To use it to any extent to where it'd be useful you would have to diplomance nearly everyone you meet, and it's DC of 14 + Cha Mod isn't exactly fantastic, let alone giving the person two saves.

Don't forget- its DC is at level 19 is actually at least 18 + Cha Mod thanks to your lesser spirit ability. I'd consider that pretty good. With respect to the two saves, making the second one is pretty meaningless when it's an immediate action to try again next round. As for how it's useful for a normal character, probably not as much. So they just stick Liar in a secondary or tertiary slot. But boy, do I ever want to use that trick in a Way of the Wicked campaign. I don't know of anything else that lets you care so little about somebody that you can't even be bothered to wait until your turn to kill them. It makes for a pretty sneaky assassin, or something to threaten somebody with (along with Charm Person). But The Liar is a self-serving Chaotic Evil spirit of treachery and deceit. If you didn't want to force people to love you only to crush their spirit and watch them die of a broken heart when it's not even your turn, you're channeling the wrong end of the alignment pool.

(Although, again, the lower level abilities are still quite useful for somebody who wants to play nicely. Need a charming, sweet, innocent character who people can't help but like? First two abilities are perfect.)

For my part, The Liar seems like a really fun spirit to keep on hand for social days. Grab The Rabbit Prince for combat, and The Liar will be giving you your choice of Beseech abilities.


I admit, I am a skill monkey, I think a character should have as many skills as possible. That said, I think 4+Int is the right level for the character...for normal skills.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Marie1's playtest report unlocked the fifth spirit, and she chose The Brass Dwarf.

First, some points to note:

1) Obviously this isn't legal in PFS
2) This is in a rough format, so it's missing sections of flavor and the wording is very preliminary. Virtually no one has read this except me (and now you guys). It also might not look anything like the final spirit for that reason. Extra note: Uprising is going to have some spells from OA, so its spell list has some ?. Feel free to suggest interim spells to fill those ? in this thread though!
3) In the final version of the book, as mentioned in the sidebar "Alignments in the Playtest", you will be looking for exact alignment matches. That means that if you add any of these new unlocked spirits, you may want to consider removing another spirit from your playtest as well (in this case, the Teamster).

So behold, in its unformatted glory!

The Brass Dwarf:
The Brass Dwarf (Lawful Neutral Constitution)
Spirit Bonus (Constitution): Spirit bonus to Fortitude saves and 3 times spirit bonus to hit points.
Spells: 1st—paladin’s sacrifice, ?; 2nd—shield other, ?; 3rd—?; 4th—stoneskin, ?
Séance Boon: +2 to saving throws against pain and concentration checks caused by damage
Compulsion: Martyr
Spirit Powers:
1st: Delay Harm—Gain DR/— equal to twice the Brass Dwarf’s spirit bonus. Keep track of how much damage this prevents. As a standard action, you can choose to take that damage all at once, resetting the pool to 0. When you lose contact with the Brass Dwarf, or after 24 hours if you remain in contact, you take the remaining damage all at once.
7th:Adaptive Resistance—Whenever you take energy damage, you gain resistance equal to 5 times the Brass Dwarf’s to that energy type until you take a different type of energy damage
13th:Delay the Inevitable—You may choose to delay the results to you of any attack against you for 1 round. You may not delay the results of an attack if you already have one pending. Once 1 round passes, you suffer the full effects as normal.
19th: The Needs of the Many—As an immediate action, you die and all remnants of your body vanish (this is a death effect). All allies within 30 ft. of you receive a resurrection if they died within the last round per level and a mass heal.

Run more medium playtests for more chances to reveal preliminary notes on another spirit!


Any relation to Konrath's Brass Clown?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That is some amazing tanky goodness. WOW.


Mark Seifter wrote:

Spirit Powers:

1st: Delay Harm—Gain DR/— equal to twice the Brass Dwarf’s spirit bonus. Keep track of how much damage this prevents. As a standard action, you can choose to take that damage all at once, resetting the pool to 0. When you lose contact with the Brass Dwarf, or after 24 hours if you remain in contact, you take the remaining damage all at once.
7th:Adaptive Resistance—Whenever you take energy damage, you gain resistance equal to 5 times the Brass Dwarf’s to that energy type until you take a different type of energy damage
13th:Delay the Inevitable—You may choose to delay the results to you of any attack against you for 1 round. You may not delay the results of an attack if you already have one pending. Once 1 round passes, you suffer the full effects as normal.
19th: The Needs of the Many—As an immediate action, you die and all remnants of your body vanish (this is a death effect). All allies within 30 ft. of you receive a resurrection if they died within the last round per level and a mass heal.

I absolutely love the flavor a medium can bring to the game, but I have some concerns.

I don't envision a medium as a combat character, yet every spirit wants you to be wading into melee. I feel I don't understand what you intended with the class originally. What fictional characters are you drawing inspiration from? What abilities do they have that you're trying to recreate in this class?

Also, the spirits powers seem to hold some reluctance to them. Using the brass dwarf powers above as an example I see it grants DR, but you still take the damage, just at a later point, and it could outright kill you if you're not careful. Why not just grant DR? Heck, why not have it work like adaptive resistance? That's a great power and almost worth going into a trance.

Delay the inevitable exist in a game where the proper combination of feats let's me outright ignore one attack a round. What if you could make a save against the damage to ignore the attack once per round instead?

Again, this seems like you're holding back from making the spirit powers stronger. I'd rather not see the class become a full base attack class, that just seems off from how I've been picturing mediums. Maybe if they held some sway over haunts. Something like trapfinding (hauntfinding) or command undead. Maybe the medium could release a spirit influencing them to manifest it like a haunt. What if a medium could draw a haunt into his/herself and gain some sort of power from that? This could be very unique.

Thanks for all your hard work thus far.

Paizo Employee Designer

I think you may be underestimating what counts as an attack for Delay the Inevitable. Not even just a weapon attack. Any attack at all will do. And if you're 13+ and you know what you're delaying is gonna kill you, you can trance into needs of the many without regrets.

As to so many of the revealed spirits putting you into the thick of things, I'm afraid that's a side effect of revealing 3 new Str spirits and 1 new Con out of 5 revealed. So you're starting to see more and more of the more combat-y options but not so much the others.


Mark Seifter wrote:

I think you may be underestimating what counts as an attack for Delay the Inevitable. Not even just a weapon attack. Any attack at all will do. And if you're 13+ and you know what you're delaying is gonna kill you, you can trance into needs of the many without regrets.

As to so many of the revealed spirits putting you into the thick of things, I'm afraid that's a side effect of revealing 3 new Str spirits and 1 new Con out of 5 revealed. So you're starting to see more and more of the more combat-y options but not so much the others.

Then could we maybe get some of the non-combat options ?

I am rebuilding from the ground for our last round of playtest...and really everything seems intent on pushing me into a melee role.

Problem is, my attraction to this class has nothing to do with a melee role....that's not what I'm looking for out of it....yet I'm stuck playing a melee character.


Wow, Brass Dwarf looks cool! One question, though… how does Stoneskin (which the Brass Dwarf gets as a spell) interact with Delay Harm?

Paizo Employee Designer

QuidEst wrote:
Wow, Brass Dwarf looks cool! One question, though… how does Stoneskin (which the Brass Dwarf gets as a spell) interact with Delay Harm?

Right now, it would basically mean you aren't forced to add damage to your Brass Dwarf damage pool if it doesn't penetrate adamantine. That may change later, since these are rough versions.


Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Wow, Brass Dwarf looks cool! One question, though… how does Stoneskin (which the Brass Dwarf gets as a spell) interact with Delay Harm?
Right now, it would basically mean you aren't forced to add damage to your Brass Dwarf damage pool if it doesn't penetrate adamantine. That may change later, since these are rough versions.

All right. I figured it'd be something along those lines. And if you've got 12 DR/-, it's 2 DR/- for the spillover? … I guess that's only level 20, though.

Paizo Employee Designer

QuidEst wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Wow, Brass Dwarf looks cool! One question, though… how does Stoneskin (which the Brass Dwarf gets as a spell) interact with Delay Harm?
Right now, it would basically mean you aren't forced to add damage to your Brass Dwarf damage pool if it doesn't penetrate adamantine. That may change later, since these are rough versions.
All right. I figured it'd be something along those lines. And if you've got 12 DR/-, it's 2 DR/- for the spillover? … I guess that's only level 20, though.

Or 16 with specialization. Honestly, specialization Con + Brass Dwarf is very powerful at 1st level, when many foes can't do more than 4 very often (granted, you still take damage later, but you can negate ghoul attacks and ignore paralysis, etc). I would probably chosen BD over teamster as the Con spirit to reveal if not for spell list, same as Wanderer.

Sovereign Court

Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Wow, Brass Dwarf looks cool! One question, though… how does Stoneskin (which the Brass Dwarf gets as a spell) interact with Delay Harm?
Right now, it would basically mean you aren't forced to add damage to your Brass Dwarf damage pool if it doesn't penetrate adamantine. That may change later, since these are rough versions.
All right. I figured it'd be something along those lines. And if you've got 12 DR/-, it's 2 DR/- for the spillover? … I guess that's only level 20, though.
Or 16 with specialization. Honestly, specialization Con + Brass Dwarf is very powerful at 1st level, when many foes can't do more than 4 very often (granted, you still take damage later, but you can negate ghoul attacks and ignore paralysis, etc). I would probably chosen BD over teamster as the Con spirit to reveal if not for spell list, same as Wanderer.

16? I thought Spirit Specialization could only make spirit bonus a max of +7 (DR 14)?

Paizo Employee Designer

Lukas Stariha wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Wow, Brass Dwarf looks cool! One question, though… how does Stoneskin (which the Brass Dwarf gets as a spell) interact with Delay Harm?
Right now, it would basically mean you aren't forced to add damage to your Brass Dwarf damage pool if it doesn't penetrate adamantine. That may change later, since these are rough versions.
All right. I figured it'd be something along those lines. And if you've got 12 DR/-, it's 2 DR/- for the spillover? … I guess that's only level 20, though.
Or 16 with specialization. Honestly, specialization Con + Brass Dwarf is very powerful at 1st level, when many foes can't do more than 4 very often (granted, you still take damage later, but you can negate ghoul attacks and ignore paralysis, etc). I would probably chosen BD over teamster as the Con spirit to reveal if not for spell list, same as Wanderer.
16? I thought Spirit Specialization could only make spirit bonus a max of +7 (DR 14)?

That 16 was meant to be "level 16". Like it could become a thing at level 16.


Oh right- I forgot that spirit bonus goes up to +6 at level 20, not +5. But yeah, I agree- Brass Dwarf makes a great iconic "this is what Con spirits do". All in all, though, I'm glad that we've got some cool, iconic spirits stashed away. I think it'll be hard to beat The Rabbit Prince for my go-to spirit, though. Getting the AC from Dex and the attack/damage from Str is mighty nice. At later levels, a pick starts looking like a very tempting weapon…


Mark Seifter wrote:

I think you may be underestimating what counts as an attack for Delay the Inevitable. Not even just a weapon attack. Any attack at all will do. And if you're 13+ and you know what you're delaying is gonna kill you, you can trance into needs of the many without regrets.

As to so many of the revealed spirits putting you into the thick of things, I'm afraid that's a side effect of revealing 3 new Str spirits and 1 new Con out of 5 revealed. So you're starting to see more and more of the more combat-y options but not so much the others.

"sigh"

I was hoping to pick your brain on what the folks on your end have as an expectation of the medium class. It doesn't seem like it syncs up with what I and other people expect. So that's kind of frustrating.

Eva Green's character in the Showtime show Penny Dreadful is a medium. Her abilities in the show sometimes comes off as mesmerist-like what with her unsettling stare, but she does commune with spirits and use tarot cards. This is how I envision mediums working. They know things, more than they should. The spirits talk to them, but it has a cost. I guess I'm looking for a creepy bard vibe. I don't want to seem like I'm pigeonholing the medium, but it also doesn't look like I could make the medium I want to make. If that makes any sense.

Though it does strike me that a medium cannot take levels in the Harrower prestige class. That feels like a miss to me.


To be perfectly honest, it seems like the medium and the spiritualist should change their names given the number of people who feel that the medium title ties too closely to actual spirits of the dead rather than abstract beings of unclear origin. I'm neutral on the matter, but it might merit some thought, especially since many of the newer players I have introduced to the game just jumps onto a class based on expectations from name alone.


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Shane LeRose wrote:


I feel I don't understand what you intended with the class originally. What fictional characters are you drawing inspiration from? What abilities do they have that you're trying to recreate in this class.

I would like to see this question answered. The title Medium implies a class that can communicate with spirits and ghosts, but this class doesn't seem to actually do any of that.


The class does more or less everything I picture a medium doing. Hold a seance in a circle to contact a spirit? Check. Have that spirit speak and act through it? Check. Mess up and wind up with the spirit in control? Check. Obtain knowledge from beyond the grave? Thanks to Int spirits, check. It doesn't interact with ghosts and undead willy-nilly, it's true. We have Shaman who does that pretty well with various archetypes, and it seems like a likely archetype for this class, along with some sort of divination focus.


QuidEst wrote:
The class does more or less everything I picture a medium doing. Hold a seance in a circle to contact a spirit? Check. Have that spirit speak and act through it? Check. Mess up and wind up with the spirit in control? Check. Obtain knowledge from beyond the grave? Thanks to Int spirits, check. It doesn't interact with ghosts and undead willy-nilly, it's true. We have Shaman who does that pretty well with various archetypes, and it seems like a likely archetype for this class, along with some sort of divination focus.

Emphasis, mine. That is the real problem, the spirits the medium does communicate with only exist as part of the class, they do not exist as part of the setting. The classic archetype of the medium as defined by our culture and numerous movies is a person that can call on ghosts, demons and ethereal spirits that try to torment and communicate with the world not just the medium. Also not just generic spirits, but specific ones. If the Pathfinder Medium wants to fill that archetype then it needs the ability to actually interact with the dead, undead, ghosts, elementals, demons, haunts and other creatures from the bestiary, not just its own generic-spirits-that-only-exist-for-the-medium spirits.

For example, say a haunt takes up residence in a Lord's manor and begins tormenting his children. Can this Medium come in and hold a seance to communicate with the haunt and find out what to do to save the Lord's children. Unless I'm missing something, it can't. It has no ability to actually communicate with ghosts, spirits or undead as defined by the game, just those as defined by the class.


QuidEst wrote:
The class does more or less everything I picture a medium doing. Hold a seance in a circle to contact a spirit? Check. Have that spirit speak and act through it? Check. Mess up and wind up with the spirit in control? Check. Obtain knowledge from beyond the grave? Thanks to Int spirits, check. It doesn't interact with ghosts and undead willy-nilly, it's true. We have Shaman who does that pretty well with various archetypes, and it seems like a likely archetype for this class, along with some sort of divination focus.

I see no autowriting, no vomitting ectoplasm, no speaking in tongues, no ghost whisperer-esque communication with the dead, no complete possession and having ghosts or otherworldly beings speaking through you...

How does a Medium not get a free Ghost Touch ability attached to its weapons at a certain level? And then the ability to score Critical Hits with those weapons against incorporeals at a higher level?

How does a Medium not get Command/Turn Undead as a Bonus Feat and the ability to activate it an appropriate number of times a day? Or even the ability to Channel, but only to attack/heal Undead, not to affect living creatures.

How does it not get Speak with Dead as an SLA for a number of minutes per day equal to its level?

How does it not have Detect Undead as a Cantrip?

How does it not get somethings like Hauntsense and Hauntfinding - Trapsense, but for Haunts, and an ability to destroy Haunts the same way a Rogue can disable traps?

Why does it not get the ability to Summon Monsters, but ONLY with the Ectoplasmic template, 'just for giggles (this isn't tremendously indicative of a Medium, but eh)?

In short, why doesn't it do anything that a Medium probably should? All it does is perform a Seance, and that's just to contact a few Spirits, and allows for very-minor possession. So it basically gets 1/5(?) aspects of what a Medium SHOULD be right.

---

The Medium as-is is basically a mish-mosh mash-up of Pokemon and Shaman King - you have ethereal 'mons, and you rotate and junction them in odd combinations daily.


Once Again, TVTropes to the rescue

And Again

Aaand once more for good measure

Actually, the very first entry into the Anime/Manga section from Magnetic Medium gives us Ginko of Mushishi.

Ginko is very much more on the Occultist side of things, similar to characters like John Constantine, but does interact with Mushi on a regular basis, and has some Medium-esque qualities.

More typical examples are Whoopi Goldberg's character from Ghost, the kid from Sixth Sense, JLH's character in Ghost Whisperer, and the tiny lady from Poltergeist.

---

I think the problem with pinning down a single source of inspiration is that there doesn't seem to BE any defining "medium" character.

Occultists, as stated before, have characters like Harry Dresden, John Constantine, and Ginko, who all basically have similar shticks and methods to them, even vaguely similar personalities.

Kineticists have several characters to draw on, too - Benders from the Avatar world, characters like Terra from DC, Pyro and Magneto from Marvel, the Jedi, etc.

Psychics can look to characters like Charles Xavier or just general "super-psychic" characters like Tetsuo and the creepy kids from Akira.

Spiritualists are basically directly porting the Summoner class into an Shaman King inspired casing.

Mesmerists bend minds like The Shadow, or Psi-Mon, Psycho-Pirate, or Max Lord from DC comics.

There IS no defining "medium" character, however - not for action films.

A Medium is just very ingrained into the imagination, like Zombies. We all understand the basic design, basic function, even basic methods. But there is no clear "ur-example" of a Medium, or even a "prime" example that can be singled out. We just have lots and lots of generalities.

Still, even with the generalities, SOMETHING could be made from it - if the entire IDEA of a medium is so well-defined even without a single character on which to base it, then there shouldn't be a problem making a medium that ACTS exactly like people assume a medium should.


On the other hand, you could very well use the class as is and just say that you're channeling spirits who fall into archetypal roles, perhaps even having hunted them down for this exact purpose, finding the spectral resonances of unquiet departed and using them for your own ends. Though not actually featuring channeling, the movie Thir13en Ghosts is quite evocative in this regard, with "spirits" like the Jackal and the Pilgrimess.


chbgraphicarts wrote:

I think the problem with pinning down a single source of inspiration is that there doesn't seem to BE any defining "medium" character.

Well, there is the manga Shaman King and the webcomic Vibe where characters channel spirits (or Loa in the case of Vibe) in order to gain powers based on those spirit's abilities.

And I will also note that the actual playtest document does give good advice on what kind of people these spirits may have been in life. They are archetypes for entities that are easy to add to a setting.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just because it doesn't get used in pop culture doesn't mean it doesn't have a consistent definition. :) Mediums have pretty consistently been seen as people who can communicate with the spirits of the dead for some time--although you'd mostly see this in history or fiction dealing with early-20th-century occultism, or daytime TV, and less so contemporary media. The medium class actually covers the territory pretty well--it just cannot converse with the spirits or interact with spirits you don't know. If you'd like a medium who's followed around by a particular set of spirits it's a great flavor class.

The problem is easy to solve if you're the GM and you've got the latitude to do so:

Quote:

"Sure, you can burn a use of channel spirit to channel the haunt. You are filled with the emotions of betrayal and frustration--and also confusion. Why are you still here? You were supposed to be somewhere else!

"You see faint, flickering glimpses of a face--a woman's face, you think she's a loved one perhaps--a glimpse of a broken spatula--an image of a colander filled with grated cheese.

"All of a sudden you experience a sense of doomed horror, and then a moment of panic--your throat tightens up. Are you being strangled? No--there are no hands around your throat. A poison, perhaps? You're not sure. You gasp for breath but are unable to breathe. After a few seconds, your throat relaxes, and your head and thoughts are your own again. You have a strong craving for a salad. Is this perhaps important to the spirit lingering in this kitchen?

"For the next five rounds you retain the ghostly afterimages of the haunt's memories and experience. You are considered to be proficient with a cheese grater as a weapon when attacking a grappled opponent. You also gain a +4 spirit bonus to attack rolls when using a condiment to make a ranged touch attack against a target you would normally consider to be edible food."

The challenge of the class is that, of course, a PC isn't going to be able to or allowed to make these kinds of adjustments if the GM doesn't want to, which is more likely if the class doesn't incorporate it in the rules. And of course, you can't make adjustments this way in PFS.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
Well, there is the manga Shaman King and the webcomic Vibe where characters channel spirits (or Loa in the case of Vibe) in order to gain powers based on those spirit's abilities.

As I said, Shaman King is a bit better represented by the Spiritualist Class, oddly enough.

The way that Shamans in SK use and merge with their spirits is more like the Spirituaist's not-Eidolon.

The Medium here probably should be more akin to mediums in things like gothic horror stories, the Poltergeist film, etc., where they communicate with the dead and may even be exorcists, able to control and purge undead spirits.

Quote:
And I will also note that the actual playtest document does give good advice on what kind of people these spirits may have been in life. They are archetypes for entities that are easy to add to a setting.

Again, it kinda doesn't. The names alone mean they're better representative of nature spirits or ethereal beings. Having a very-generalized name like "the hunter," "the healer," etc. give very general archetypes that would allow for more personalization of Spirits; instead, they're things like "the Sun," "the Bear" etc.

Terminalmancer wrote:
Just because it doesn't get used in pop culture doesn't mean it doesn't have a consistent definition. :) Mediums have pretty consistently been seen as people who can communicate with the spirits of the dead for some time--although you'd mostly see this in history or fiction dealing with early-20th-century occultism, or daytime TV, and less so contemporary media. The medium class actually covers the territory pretty well--it just cannot converse with the spirits or interact with spirits you don't know. If you'd like a medium who's followed around by a particular set of spirits it's a great flavor class.

Which is EXACTLY what I said:

We don't have a distinct "source" like Harry Dresden for Occultist or The Shadow for the Mesmerist, but everyone knows what Mediums do, how they act, etc.

There is more than enough lore to create an archetypical Medium character, who speaks with the dead, exorcises them, who barfs out ectoplasm, who autowrites, etc., etc.

And yet this class does nothing besides the "gets possessed by" thing.

There are a plethora of other notable qualities of what Mediums do, and yet none of them are touched on at all.

I'd RATHER have a Medium who is in contact with a half-dozen spirits or so from lv1, and no more later, who does lots of other things that mediums are supposed to do, especially in dealing with the dead like fixing Haunts, communing with dead bodies several times a day, etc.

THAT would be a better representation of an archetypical "medium" character.

Instead, this is an overly-complex Pokemon Trainer using ghosts.


Terminalmancer wrote:
The medium class actually covers the territory pretty well--it just cannot converse with the spirits or interact with spirits you don't know. If you'd like a medium who's followed around by a particular set of spirits it's a great flavor class.

Except that no one else can see, interact or detect these spirits that the Medium says he gets his powers from, so are they actually spirits or are they just delusions of the medium's mind. :)

Sovereign Court

Jeremy757 wrote:
Terminalmancer wrote:
The medium class actually covers the territory pretty well--it just cannot converse with the spirits or interact with spirits you don't know. If you'd like a medium who's followed around by a particular set of spirits it's a great flavor class.
Except that no one else can see, interact or detect these spirits that the Medium says he gets his powers from, so are they actually spirits or are they just delusions of the medium's mind. :)

Shared Seance disagrees.


chbgraphicarts wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Well, there is the manga Shaman King and the webcomic Vibe where characters channel spirits (or Loa in the case of Vibe) in order to gain powers based on those spirit's abilities.

As I said, Shaman King is a bit better represented by the Spiritualist Class, oddly enough.

The way that Shamans in SK use and merge with their spirits is more like the Spirituaist's not-Eidolon.

The Medium here probably should be more akin to mediums in things like gothic horror stories, the Poltergeist film, etc., where they communicate with the dead and may even be exorcists, able to control and purge undead spirits.

Eh. I think that it works well enough for shaman king. Most of the real fightanz happen fused rather than just having a ghost hang around. Moreover, I have not read it in a while but wasn't there a guy who would bind multiple spirits at one? Plus: the spiritualist's spirit fusion thingy is piss poor.

chbgraphicarts wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
And I will also note that the actual playtest document does give good advice on what kind of people these spirits may have been in life. They are archetypes for entities that are easy to add to a setting.
Again, it kinda doesn't. The names alone mean they're better representative of nature spirits or ethereal beings. Having a very-generalized name like "the hunter," "the healer," etc. give very general archetypes that would allow for more personalization of Spirits; instead, they're things like "the Sun," "the Bear" etc.

I think you are just plain wrong here.

"The Big Sky could represent a revolutionary, liberator, or reformer."

"The Beating might represent a cruel slave master who breaks the wills of others through pain, or a fallen hero who cracked under pressure coming from all sides."

"The Demon’s Lantern might represent a conniving stage magician or a con artist who specializes in rigged street games."

etc. etc.

Really solid ghost fluff suggestions.

Dark Archive

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Maybe it's because the only real knowledge I have about "real" mediums is that Houdini hated their faces, but I don't see the deal.

I am also the type who can read "Barbarian" in the class field and then call the character a "warrior" or "fighter" and not really see what the problem is, so that might be why all this quipping over the name is kind of going over my head.

I think changing its name might be a good idea, because I really like how the class is designed, and don't really see the need to start gutting abilities simply because "that's not what a medium does."


Lukas Stariha wrote:
Jeremy757 wrote:
Terminalmancer wrote:
The medium class actually covers the territory pretty well--it just cannot converse with the spirits or interact with spirits you don't know. If you'd like a medium who's followed around by a particular set of spirits it's a great flavor class.
Except that no one else can see, interact or detect these spirits that the Medium says he gets his powers from, so are they actually spirits or are they just delusions of the medium's mind. :)
Shared Seance disagrees.

Nope. There is nothing about Shared Seance that allows me to see, interact with or detect the spirit that the medium says is giving him power. The medium holds a ceremony and if I participate I gain a boon from it. That does not confer the existence of the spirit. At least with a cleric, I can actually communicate or find the being giving him his power if I have the right resources and power. The "spirits" giving the medium his power are completely internal to the medium. They exist nowhere else but in the medium's mind.

I know I am purposely being obtuse, but my point is: for this class to be an actual medium as defined by our culture and tropes, it needs to be able to interact with actual spirits, ghosts and undead as defined by the rules and the setting of pathfinder. The class can't actually do that, it has a thin veneer that simulates that in a very narrow window, but from a rules stand point it is not an actual medium.

The Wizard is a better medium than the Medium. The wizard can actually find, communicate, command and destroy ghosts.


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Houdini didn't like "real" mediums because they were parlor illusionists using shoddy techniques to trick people out of money by thinking they were contacting the dead.

Houdini never made any claims that he was using "real" magic - he billed himself as an escape artist and illusionist, and purely for entertainment. So when other people made claims of having "real" magic/psychic powers, and were getting people to pay them for "contacting the dead", he was kind of enraged, since he knew how they were bilking people out of their money and thought it wasn't right.

---

Then again, "real" Druids are nothing like RPG Druids, Templar Knights more than likely DIDN'T have the ability to Lay on Hands, Alchemists never created Philosopher's Stones, and even real-life Berserkers PROBABLY didn't spontaneously burst into flame or be covered by electricity just because they entered a rage (and they probably also were hopped up on Berserker Mushrooms instead of entering a rage-state just 'cause).

So, really, making a Medium based on the LORE of mediums rather than their actual facts is kind of requisite for fantasy media.


Seranov wrote:
Maybe it's because the only real knowledge I have about "real" mediums is that Houdini hated their faces, but I don't see the deal.

We are not talking about real mediums, but mediums as defined by cultural tropes and legend.

Seranov wrote:
I think changing its name might be a good idea, because I really like how the class is designed, and don't really see the need to start gutting abilities simply because "that's not what a medium does."

They don't have to gut anything, the spirit and trance abilities can stay the same. They just need to make it a 6 level caster with an emphasis placed on spells that deal with ghost, spirits, undead and the ethereal. Maybe even give it some spell-like abilities to detect, communicate and command dead/undead.

Paizo Employee Designer

Quote:
a 6 level caster with an emphasis placed on spells that deal with ghost, spirits, undead and the ethereal.

We have one of those elsewhere in the playtest—the spiritualist. The medium and the spiritualist each explore different spaces (the medium is Astral, not Ethereal, for one).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, the complexity problem combined with the flavor problem gives Mediums a muddled identity.

My image of Mediums involve a lot of commanding and controlling incorporeal dead to do crazy stuff lift a table, or exhaling ectoplasm into the shape of a ghost. The spiritualist and medium might actually do better switching names.

Paizo Employee Designer

Those with differing views on the word "medium" could consider calling it something else in their games. For instance, it works fairly similarly to bokors in vodun.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Quote:
a 6 level caster with an emphasis placed on spells that deal with ghost, spirits, undead and the ethereal.
We have one of those elsewhere in the playtest—the spiritualist. The medium and the spiritualist each explore different spaces (the medium is Astral, not Ethereal, for one).

Part of the confusion is the aforementioned identity crisis - there isn't a clear idea of WHAT the Medium is really supposed to BE at its core.

If the Medium is meant to invoke the Astral Plane (non-dead/nature spirits), vs. the Spiritualist which invokes the Ethereal Plane (the dead/undead) then the focus should be more clearly focused on Outsider and Extraplanar creatures like Demons, Devils, Angels, etc.

Right now, because "Mediums" in real life are primarily focused on the dead and only incidentally involve things like demons, the name invokes a sense of communication with the dead.

This is like if the Wizard were casting with Divine spells - the name gives a sense of one thing, and the mechanics do something else entirely. It's a small matter, but it's causing confusion the same way naming the Paladin "the Berserker" would.

---

Then, of course, you also have the problem of 2 classes trying to do things similarly, but not, and involving 2 aspects which are already murkily-separated at best. Even very-experienced players can confuse what is Astral and what is Ethereal, and it's not uncommon for people to just end up combining the two.

It's like the difference between "jelly" and "jam" - they are two VASTLY different things when you get down to the specifics, but on the surface, most people aren't going to be able to tell the difference and use the terms interchangeably.

Paranormality/parapsychology comes down to a few overarching tropes, especially when psychic abilities are the focus:

Telekinesis (manipulation of matter) is covered by the Kineticist

Psychometry/Psychoscopy (gaining information from touch) is covered by the Occultist

Telepathy (reading & manipulation of emotions) is covered by the Mesmerist

Bilocation/Precognition/Remote Viewing/Clairvoyance/Astral Projection (general psychic abilities which don't interact or manipulate other beings); the Psychic is the general "catch-all" for psychic abilities. It gets a little telekinesis, divination, etc. It's your "generic psychic" character who just does stuff with their mind.

Mediumship (contact with spirits, especially the dead) is covered by both the Medium and by the Spiritualist, and the question is sort of "why?"

We see directly how the Spiritualist deals with communication and channeling of the dead. It even creates its own poltergeist.

We don't really see how the Medium is different or unique. Obviously there is a mechanical difference in the Spirits, but the nature/reason for being different isn't coming through.

It's sort of like how the Wizard and Sorcerer didn't make a ton of sense being separate classes in 3.5, but now with Bloodlines there's more substance there to define the two classes as completely different entities, rather than "spellcaster A" and "spellcaster B"

If the Medium is SUPPOSED to be interacting with the Astral Plane more, then we need stuff BESIDES the spirits and Word Of God to show that. And that means class abilities wholly independent of Trancing and myriad spirits: things like Commune or Contact Other Plane, abilities that reference and focus on the Astral Plane, etc.

---

Right now all that's given is channeling spirits, abilities which affect those spirits, bonuses you get FROM spirits, how spirits interact, etc., etc. Spirits, spirits, spirits.

We know the Medium uses spirits. But that's all the information we're given from the class. Besides "THIS USES SPIRITS" that's it - no flavor intuited from the mechanics, nothing.

We KNOW the Ranger is an outdoors warrior/hunter from its name and from abilities like Animal Companion, Wild Empathy, Track, Favored Enemy, Favored Terrain, etc.

We KNOW the Barbarian is a Berserker warrior because it Rages, it gets Uncanny Dodge, it gains rage powers, etc.

We KNOW the Rogue is a dungeon crawler, because it gets Trapfinding and Trap Sense, and we KNOW it's a scrapper and opportunist because it gets Sneak Attack.

We KNOW the Bard is an entertainer, world-traveler, and teamster because it gets Bardic Performance, Bardic Knowledge, etc.

We KNOW the Monk is a martial artist because it gets Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike and increased damage, a Ki Pool, monk-like flavorful abilities like never aging, poison immunity, etc.

We KNOW a Paladin is a holy warrior because it gain Lay on Hands, Aura of Good, Aura of Law, Aura of Justice, Smite Evil, etc.

We KNOW a Fighter is a man-at-arms because he gets TONS of Combat Bonus Feats and bonuses to both armor and weapons.

We KNOW a Sorcerer is a mage that draws their power from their heritage because of their Bloodlines; we KNOW a Wizard is a mage that gains their power from learning and artifacts because of their Bond, their Spellbooks, and their Crafting or Metamagic feats; we know the Cleric is a mage & healer that draws power from their God because of Domains, channel, spontaneous heal spells, etc.; and we know the Druid is a mage that draws its power from Nature because of Wild Shape, Animal Companion, its focus on weather, it's inability to wield metal, etc.

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We don't KNOW what the Medium is. All we KNOW is that it channels Spirits and gets abilities from them, and the abilities are all OVER the place, rather than being focused on one particular theme.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Those with differing views on the word "medium" could consider calling it something else in their games. For instance, it works fairly similarly to bokors in vodun.

Except that part of designing something - be it a class, a feat, whatever - is giving it a name which is indicative of what it is.

We have an idea of what the Witch entails before even reading it - curses, hexes, black magic, familiars, the whole shebang.

Alchemists do the same - you make potions, alchemical stuffs, etc.

Gunslingers are just the most blatant name ever.

Inquisitors give you an idea of anti-heroic, almost-badguys who hunt down stuff and punish them (it's basically a monster hunter)

Wizard & Sorcerer are interchangeable to English speakers, but they both give the idea of a "mage" and then people find out how they're different - and, as I said, Pathfinder did a SPECTACULAR job of defining how they are COMPLETELY different than one another in theme, not just one being spontaneous and the other prepared.

---

Calling something a "Medium" gives English-speakers a fairly definitive idea of what that entails, and the current Medium does not really do that very well (as several people have pointed out). So either the name would need to stay and the class would have to change to befit the name & demonstrate how it's totally different than the Spiritualist, or the name would need to change for something more befitting that doesn't conflate the meaning with the Spiritualist.

Perhaps "Channeler," "Joiner," "Trancer," or "Binder," - though Binder runs into some maybe-copyright problems, since it's more specific than something like the Cavalier.

Bokor isn't a great name, because Bokors are very much NOT a Medium - they're more akin to Necromancers, Shamans, or Witches, especially with their ability to create zombies.


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I am still going to say that the point is pretty pedantic.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Yeah, I think arguing the name is not going to be productive at this point... they've already chosen the name and put it in their public playtest... it's probably pretty well set.


Is the purpose of this class to have characters design themselves to use one or two specific spirits, or to be a generic character who can change his role?

Also, I agree with chbgraphicarts.

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