General Discussion: Mesmerist


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First off, I love the class. Someday I want to play a Nagaji mesmerist with the Hypnotic Gaze trait (it totally wouldn't be obvious that I was mind controlling anyone).

I agree that implanted tricks need to have a greater duration. As is I can't see myself using them much- they don't usually have enough utility to keep spending a standard action on in combat, and most combat (For my group at least) isn't just a bunch of mooks in the next room waiting to be attacked. 1 hour/level at least, preferably just until the mesmerist next refreshes spells.

Undead and other things immune to mind stuff are definitely a problem. It'd be nice for the mesmerist to not be completely useless for, say, carrion crown or something. Maybe package the current Psychic Inception into base Hypnotic Stare and change Psychic Inception to 100% effectiveness each round? Or at least let you take it twice, second time making them fully effective?

I'd also love to see an archetype that makes it a prepared caster (I'd do it prepared/spontaneous like arcanist, have them know all spells inherently like divine casters, and dock 2 spells known and 1 spell per day) but that's nothing wrong with the class, I just love day to day versatility.


xevious573 wrote:

That's kinda a weird way to play considering there are many reactive abilities that trigger off an attack roll being made at someone. Plus it doesn't make sense that a player wouldn't know they are being targeted by an attack or spell (unless of course the attacker is unseen).

It's your game but I'm pretty sure the system assumes that players know when an attack roll is being made in their direction.

And I'm saying that every time an ability has to be activated in between the decision to attack and the attack roll itself, it slows the game down.

When I'm DMing and attacking with 5 or more bad guys, I do not have time to type out, "Goblin 1 is attacking you." *Roll* "Goblin 1 misses you. Goblin 2 is attacking you." Etc. I don't know if I would have time to say it, if I gamed around the table. My old DM never did, he simply informed us of the combat description, which included the misses and hits.


Kain Darkwind wrote:

And I'm saying that every time an ability has to be activated in between the decision to attack and the attack roll itself, it slows the game down.

When I'm DMing and attacking with 5 or more bad guys, I do not have time to type out, "Goblin 1 is attacking you." *Roll* "Goblin 1 misses you. Goblin 2 is attacking you." Etc. I don't know if I would have time to say it, if I gamed around the table. My old DM never did, he simply informed us of the combat description, which included the misses and hits.

Admittedly, especially on play by post gaming, this might slow things down. In such cases, you probably should present the attack roll and let the person activate any powers after...simply do not apply the damage until after the power has been determined.


One idea:
What if the target of the Mesmerist's Stare forget about being target of mind-affecting spells cast by the Mesmerist during the stare? This could make some interesting RP.


Heladriell wrote:

One idea:

What if the target of the Mesmerist's Stare forget about being target of mind-affecting spells cast by the Mesmerist during the stare? This could make some interesting RP.

I think that was an option, I would have to look to be sure.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

I am just finishing up a Kitsune Mesmerist (4th level) for our group's Wednesday game (with rotating DMs).

I love the concept of the class. I think that the two features that make it unique are the mesmerist's stare/bold stare abilities, and the tricks. The idea of the tricks is the most interesting, and potentially the neatest class feature. I have to say that I have always wanted to run some kind of spell caster that could trigger multiple, contingent magics. However, given the current mechanics for tricks, I will be surprised if I can get them to be very useful.

This current character will get to have 1 person have 1 trick before combat. So, they themselves might get have a momentary mirror image (1 image), or a cloud of illusory smoke, or he might help the ninja get in a sneak attack once.

If you compare these abilities to a bard's, whose spell list is more diverse (having numerous spells that are not mind affecting, like summon monster)

It would be more fun to play if the power were beefed up a bit, perhaps as follows:

1. Tricks remain implanted until the mesmerist regains their spells. This makes situational tricks more useful because they will be active across more diverse circumstances. Vanish arrow, delay misery, gift of will, slip free, reflection of weakness are all highly circumstantial and would be useful only if you could keep them in place across multiple allies during an entire adventuring day.

2. The mesmerist can maintain 1 implanted trick on any one given subject at 1st level, but is not limited in the total number of subjects that they can give their tricks to at once. Later levels allow more tricks per subject to be implanted, instead of more total tricks. Note that at low levels, because the tricks require the mesmerist's immediate action, only 1 trick could be triggered in a round. Also, note that the mesmerist is still limited to Charisma Modifier + 1/2 level tricks.

3. Vanish arrows should work more like snatch arrow -- the arrow just vanishes and appears in the mesmerist's hand after the to hit roll is made and the hit is announced. If the mesmerist succeeds a slight of hand vs. perception, then the attacker doesn't notice their arrow disappearing. Note that guessing who is going to get shot at with an arrow makes this trick hard enough to set up. Adding in having to guess whether the arrow hits makes it relatively useless.

4.Psychic surge (more of just a power boost than a streamlining): Make it 1d6 + level temporary hit points. That is more inline with other powers and spells used by other classes and it will keep this trick useful at higher levels, when characters take large amounts of damage in a round.

5. Delay misery should work against any condition that the mesmerists touch treatment works on. That keeps the trick useful at higher levels, and saves the mesmerist having to take a major trick to do the same thing. It also makes more room in the book for other, more interesting major tricks.

6. For a major trick, there should be one that acts as polymorph/baleful polymorph. Mesmerists in cartoons are always making people act like dogs and the like.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

My 4th level mesmerist's tricks: spectral smoke, mesmic mirror, false flanker. Spectral smoke allows for a quick escape when attacked, but can be disruptive to other party members. Mesmic mirror can foil an entire attack, including any poison, life draining, grabbing, etc. effects and is not as disruptive as spectral smoke. Its almost always better than psychosomatic surge, whose temporary hit points will likely only provide a tiny buffer against an attacks damage. False flanker lets the ninja get sneak attack with 2 weapon fighting, and might help the magus land a spell.

Note on false flanker: a careful reading of the trick says that it must be triggered when the subject moves adjacent to an enemy, so technically, if the subject just began its turn adjacent to the enemy, the trick could not be triggered. The subject would have to 5 foot step into another adjacent square or the like. The trick should probably be re-worded so that it can be triggered when the subject moves adjacent to or begins its turn adjacent to an enemy.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Note that mesmic mirror does not list a duration for how long the images persist.

Also, note that since it is unlikely one could activate this after the subject was hit, if the trick only has a 1 round duration, it will become one of those situational, guesswork tricks that ends up not being really useful.

It might worth thinking about modeling tricks after contingent spells of 1st - 3rd level, and masterful tricks after contingent spells of 4th - 6th level. (One could, in fact, create a contigent spell trick/masterful trick that allowed the mesmerist to setup a contigent spell in the subject.)


AlanDG2 wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:

And I'm saying that every time an ability has to be activated in between the decision to attack and the attack roll itself, it slows the game down.

When I'm DMing and attacking with 5 or more bad guys, I do not have time to type out, "Goblin 1 is attacking you." *Roll* "Goblin 1 misses you. Goblin 2 is attacking you." Etc. I don't know if I would have time to say it, if I gamed around the table. My old DM never did, he simply informed us of the combat description, which included the misses and hits.

Admittedly, especially on play by post gaming, this might slow things down. In such cases, you probably should present the attack roll and let the person activate any powers after...simply do not apply the damage until after the power has been determined.

True, and that is typically how I run most of those abilities. I suspect play by post would be even more slowed by adding more checks and interrupts than my real time online game.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I see. Well that does explain your play style. As I prominently play around the table and not online, myself and the other GMs do, for the most part, point at either the miniature or token or player to indicate who's being attacked. We then roll the dice and sometimes our players will interrupt to say they want to activate an ability. It doesn't slow down the game much unless the player doesn't know how their ability works.

With that in mind - the game is predominately designed with tabletop in mind. I do not think that shouldn't still be the case. This does mean that online players (chat/IRC/PBP/VoIP) will need to make adjustments to how abilities work. The main problem with the Tricks is duration. For the most part, I actually think they are easy enough to trigger (but that's me merely looking at them) but the question is whether or not it would be easy for the Mesmerist player (or the target of the trick) to remember to call out to the DM that a trick is triggered. I can't say for sure. I don't know when I will get the chance to playtest any of these classes if I even get that chance.

So while I do not mean to imply you are playing the game wrong, you are playing the game a different way then the designers design around. I don't think they should change the design based solely on that. That's not to say that maybe the Tricks shouldn't be changed. But I am just commenting on the expectations of the game.


I agree that the standard assumption is around the table, though I do not recall what you describe being the case when I did play around the table. (Back in the military, Korea 2002) It may be my memory that is faulty.

For some reason though, I have gotten the impression that there are the following 'times' for an interrupt ability.

1. After targeted, but before dice is rolled.
2. After dice is rolled, but before hit or miss is revealed.
3. After hit is revealed, but before damage is rolled.
4. After damage is revealed, but before it is applied.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe there aren't that many. But that's too much, regardless of whether you are tabletopping or mIRCing. It isn't streamlined, and it is fiddly little stuff like the difference between after targetted but before a roll is revealed/rolled/picked up and blown on that sends people to the rulebooks to check it out. I don't think the difference should be a balancing factor, and if all the interrupt abilities were placed at one point (I prefer point 4.), it would make things run quicker. At all tables.

That said, we agree about the trick durations, I said as much in my original post. I'd prefer they don't expire until either triggered or the next day when they are reset.

But man I love this class.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh yeah, I'm fairly certain there has been threads discussing this very topic as well. It is absolutely true that there is table variance in this matter. My own group tends combine number 1 and 2 for ease of play. It's true that that the game should probably stick to one standard for the "interrupts" if only for sake of play and utility and it's true #4 would probably be the best.

I also love this class. I hope it gets a lot of good lovin' because I don't want it to be considered a poor addition to a table.


Re-asking due to part of the play test game I am running.

Does a mesmerist's hypnotic gaze interact with the gaze abilities of those who possess them through racial or other means?

This also includes lens items and other such things.


Considering the target doesnt have to have eye contact and the Mesmerist can actually be blind folded and still use the Stare, i'd assume it doesnt interact with any other gaze abilities or things that affect gazes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Currently playing a mesmer up through Emerald Spire under PFS rules, (I started with Undying Flame run, then did level 1 of Emerald Spire, level 2 will be tomorrow.) So my Mesmerist is currently Level 3. And I'm running into a few problems

1: Action Economy. My standard action goes to Tricks, Attacks, UMD, Healing Touch, and all of those look like a good idea at the same time on many rounds.

2: Combat Placement. I want to be next to my allies, and by that I mean each and every one of them at all times. It's going to get worse once I'm able to hand out multiple tricks at the same time and clear some of the more debilitating status effects as Healing Touch scales. I'm starting to seriously look at Dodge/Mobility/Blurred Movement just to make sure I can get around without getting pasted!

3: Combat Functionality. I happen to be picking up a pistol just because the mini I picked up for my Mesmerist has one on him, but I'm not sure what I would do with my feats or weapon selection for attacking enemies if I wasn't using the pistol. Of course I could go the much cheaper option and play an Elf or pick up bow proficiency but that puts me much farther from my allies than I normally want to be for handing out tricks/healing touch/debuffing the enemy.

4: Super MAD.
I want Strength to carry weapons & armor.
I want Dexterity to shore up the low AC's offered by light armor and to help with ranged attacks since I'm probably going to be in the second rank.
I want Constitution because I'm going to be close to the action and baiting AoE attacks since I have to refresh tricks at touch range. If I want to get full utility out of spells I want a decent Charisma for spells but since I only go up to 6 level spells I have to either pump it extra high or really focus my Bold Stare on boosting DC and lowering saves.
Wisdom can stay fairly low since I can stack Charisma but I don't want to dump Wisdom too much since it is also tied to Will.
I want Intelligence to stay decent since I'm a skill monkey on top of my other things so I don't want to lose out on skill ranks per level.

Spell Feedback:
Lots of will saves, as expected. Right now the low number per day hurts abit, but I'm more worried about the low DC's at the upper/mid level bracket when Hypnotic Gaze won't cover the gap, even if I pick up the extra +1 option on Bold Stare. I don't have the stat points available to stack Charisma like a sorcerer, nor will I get the spell levels or uses per day that would afford me the ability to spam a spell until it lands. I do like that if I decide to go spell heavy that I can get a Bold Stare option to land it on mindless things, that is VERY important, although with the draw backs I would really prefer that it be something that is worked into Hypnotic Gaze at some point in the leveling process. Mental Potency is also odd in that it's a one time thing, is there a reason that this doesn't continue to scale? It would be a nice add-on to the mesmerist spells allowing a spell focused mesmerist to stretch the lower levels spells to a point that stopping at 6 isn't a breaking point.

Edit: Also the emotion spell component has caused a few problems but I think that'll go down now that I can swift clear shaken from myself. Ran into Skitters the goblin and got locked out of casting because I kept getting hit with Cause Fear. Even with a successful save I was shaken for one round per casting. Healing Touch will fix that for me but it'll be interesting to see how it affects the Fire Bender in my group in lower levels if there are any fear auras, intimidating monsters or the like that we run into. Thankfully I can use my standard action to run over and allow him to use his standard action...ugh. Action Economy again! >.<

Tricks Feedback:
These are HORRIBLY difficult to use. I have a triple blind in that I have to pick the right tricks to know, the right person to put it on, AND the right time to place it on that person. On top of all that if I want to put another trick, or move where my tricks are I have to touch the person as a standard action in the middle of combat, or some other point in the action.

So current restrictions on tricks:
1/2 level + Cha mod per day.
Must Touch Target.
Min per level duration.
One Trick Per Target.
Must Spend Immediate Action (later moves to free which is good)
Must Guess Which Tricks will be most useful AND which character they should go on...In Advance.
Have specific triggers.
Some tricks require skill checks to succeed even after the Mesmerist guesses which ally to buff and which buff to use on said ally.
Some tricks have a saving throw that can negate all of the above work.
Must be in a set range. (Granted 110+ feet is a pretty good distance!)
Must be able to telepathically communicate.

All of those restrictions are there for Tricks that mimic buffs that most other casters can hand out in potions, scrolls, from a distance (mid combat), and require no further action or monitoring on the part of the caster. That's all assuming a single target buff that isn't Mass <Name> that can hit the whole group.

Silver Crusade

Yeah, this class seems to be based on tricks, and frankly they have loads of problems. Frankly I think action economy is partly to blame here, the Mesmerist always has something to do, but most of his class abilities don't seem to be very desirable.
Touch treatment seems nice to have when you need it, but since it takes a standard action and a touch to activate on others, most of the time you will have better things to do in combat (maybe enable this as a swift action on players with an implanted trick).

In the current version, this class seems to need some obvious options, as written a witch could fill pretty much the same slot.

Silver Crusade

Actually, this class could use some sneak attack dice, that only work after a successful bluff.


Still rolling up characters for testing but a few things comes to mind repeatedly.

1. Non-damaging ray spells - some way of channeling them through hypnotic gaze would be awesome.

2. Given the eye-power, I'd like to think that this would be the perfect class to give more oblique gaze-based abilities to, especially if we want to reference a certain spherical floating entity, laden with means of beholding things. Perhaps a Skeptic archetype whose gaze makes magical and/or supernatural powers fail.

3. Since there's lots of bard comparisons, I keep think that the role similarity isn't entirely a bad thing - if the bard is the siren/harpy counter, then the mesmer should be the means to counter any eyes-based abilities.


Without the ability to maintain multiple tricks at a time, and have them be unlimited duration (they kind of have to be - no way in the nine hells am I going to waste a standard action hypnotizing an ally for a small bonus that may or may not even GET triggered at all, wasting the daily use...) the Mesmerist's tricks aren't ever gonna be useful enough.

I am trying to build an effective Dhampir Mesmerist who fights in melee with a sword cane and amateur swashbuckler, but it is really hard to make them effective.

It's my favorite class in the playtest by concept, but the tricks need to be boosted.

I also love the idea that the mesmerist's stare would be able to overpower gaze attacks. Imagine the badass moment of a mesmerist locking eyes with a basilisk and staring it down.

Also, I don't have the book in front of me but if Lock Gaze isn't a mesmerist spell, I will riot. RIOT, I tell you!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

It would be kind of cool if enemies had to avert their eyes from the Mesmer, lest his gaze penalties are doubled or something like that.

Sovereign Court

A few issues I have with the Mesmerist spell list that may or may not be mistakes:

-Major Curse is a 3rd level spell and Bestow Curse is a 4th. Besides the obvious weirdness of the more powerful spell being a level lower than the weaker one, I don't think it should get Bestow Curse at a later level (Witch/Cleric get it at 3, Sorc/Wizard at 4) not the least because it is already a 3/4 caster.

-No Dominate Monster. Come on now, we don't get the iconic Mind Control spell on the Mind Controller? There's definitely room between getting the spell at 6th level and the capstone at 20, especially since the capstone comes with separate limitations and benefits (requires two saves and only on stare targets, but gets coupled to another spell. hugely improving action economy)

-Some weird spell choices that don't fit the theme. Namely, Poison. I understand some other Necromancy spells with Fort saves on the list like Ray of Exhaustion/Sickening, but why is the Mesmerist concerned with poisoning the target?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Lukas Stariha wrote:
-Some weird spell choices that don't fit the theme. Namely, Poison. I understand some other Necromancy spells with Fort saves on the list like Ray of Exhaustion/Sickening, but why is the Mesmerist concerned with poisoning the target?

No reason, and hey, I made Kool-Aid!


Game Master wrote:

Without the ability to maintain multiple tricks at a time, and have them be unlimited duration (they kind of have to be - no way in the nine hells am I going to waste a standard action hypnotizing an ally for a small bonus that may or may not even GET triggered at all, wasting the daily use...) the Mesmerist's tricks aren't ever gonna be useful enough.

I am trying to build an effective Dhampir Mesmerist who fights in melee with a sword cane and amateur swashbuckler, but it is really hard to make them effective.

It's my favorite class in the playtest by concept, but the tricks need to be boosted.

I also love the idea that the mesmerist's stare would be able to overpower gaze attacks. Imagine the badass moment of a mesmerist locking eyes with a basilisk and staring it down.

Also, I don't have the book in front of me but if Lock Gaze isn't a mesmerist spell, I will riot. RIOT, I tell you!

I mentioned this in a feedback post but the mesmerist i saw in play only carried a sword cane for show, as far as i can tell the Class should never actually be in melee. Play them like a witch and dance right behind the frontline. Your spells are limited and lower level so if you dont pump everything you can into your casting stat to boost save DC and bonus spells than you will run dry early and fail too many of your castings. Without spells the class brings little to nothing to a group. Maybe you'll get lucky and land an intimidate + stare on a mook to give them a -4 Will save for another caster to take advantage of but even then you will want high Charisma to land the intimidate. Pumping STR/DEX/CON to wade into Melee with will kill you fast. The You could implant a trick on your self to add +2 for a single attack or make an oponent flat footed against a single attack but now all your doing is getting a shot at landing a miniscule damage hit. What would a 1D4+2 sword cane hit do compared to landing a Command to drop prone or Blindness on them?

To summarize, i'd advise ignoring damage with the class. Stare and intimidate if you dont have any spells to use but otherwise ignore the BAB entirely and pretend you are a 9th level caster.

Paizo Employee Developer

Captain Netz wrote:
Upon misinterpreting how tricks work I have to ask. Why do you have to preset tricks and then activate then? Why not just trigger them and then they manifest? There are way too many restrictions to a class feature that should be reactive rather than a part of preparation.

The class feature is meant to primarily be part of preparation! I'm going to look at easing the restrictiveness of the triggering conditions and making the effects more powerful. They aren't triggered when they manifest because then the player has to be on the looking for a large number of triggering conditions at a time. These should feel more like contingencies.


Logan Bonner wrote:
Captain Netz wrote:
Upon misinterpreting how tricks work I have to ask. Why do you have to preset tricks and then activate then? Why not just trigger them and then they manifest? There are way too many restrictions to a class feature that should be reactive rather than a part of preparation.
The class feature is meant to primarily be part of preparation! I'm going to look at easing the restrictiveness of the triggering conditions and making the effects more powerful. They aren't triggered when they manifest because then the player has to be on the looking for a large number of triggering conditions at a time. These should feel more like contingencies.

There's not usually buff time before a lot of fights - no mesmerist is going to want to waste combat rounds setting up most tricks. They should be unlimited duration - a between-combat setup, or a daily preparation sort of buff.

And they definitely should be able to be on multiple allies simultaneously.

Paizo Employee Developer

Cranky Bastard wrote:

Re-asking due to part of the play test game I am running.

Does a mesmerist's hypnotic gaze interact with the gaze abilities of those who possess them through racial or other means?

This also includes lens items and other such things.

The basic effect of the gaze and the hypnotic stare have their full effects independently of one another. We should have a common sense rule that goes with the gaze attack's "actively gaze" paragraph of the gaze description. If you're actively gazing at someone, it needs to be the target (or one of the targets) of your hypnotic stare.


The will save penalty from the Hypnotic Stare should apply to all saves vs. your gaze attack(s), even fort save ones.

Paizo Employee Developer

Mabtik wrote:
Currently playing a mesmer up through Emerald Spire under PFS rules, (I started with Undying Flame run, then did level 1 of Emerald Spire, level 2 will be tomorrow.) So my Mesmerist is currently Level 3. And I'm running into a few problems

That's all very useful. Thank you!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Logan Bonner wrote:
Captain Netz wrote:
Upon misinterpreting how tricks work I have to ask. Why do you have to preset tricks and then activate then? Why not just trigger them and then they manifest? There are way too many restrictions to a class feature that should be reactive rather than a part of preparation.
The class feature is meant to primarily be part of preparation! I'm going to look at easing the restrictiveness of the triggering conditions and making the effects more powerful. They aren't triggered when they manifest because then the player has to be on the looking for a large number of triggering conditions at a time. These should feel more like contingencies.

The biggest problem I'm finding with tricks as a prep time activity is the number of conditions you have to wrestle into line to make them an effective use of time. Right now it is better for me to stock up on buff/support scrolls and wands while pumping UMD than it is for me to use tricks. This is because I have a limited number of tricks that I can learn, I have a limited number of tricks that I can implant at the same time, and I have to guess which ally to grant a trick to.

It's significantly easier to buy a wand of bless and use my first action in combat to grant my entire party +1 to attack (including myself) than guess which person should be the target of Vanish Arrow. Now in the case of False Flanker I just stick it on a handy rogue (if there is one) and call it a day...but it's still almost a better bet to trigger the wand of bless.

I'll have additional feed back tonight after my PFS group meets. Thanks for taking the time to read my posts, hopefully they'll help the Mesmerist class work out some of the kinks.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I have some thoughts on the Mesmerist. Specifically it's medium BAB and the implications of that and its weapon proficiencies.

Unlike most classes in its chasis (3/4 BAB, 2/3 Casting) it doesn't have things that make it want to use martial combat options.

The Mesmerist really needs something the helps him in martial combat. One option I had thought of was making it so his Stare could potentially decrease the targets AC and increase the damage the target takes from weapon attacks (perhaps the penalty/extra damage taken is equal to the Hypnotic Stare's Will penalty). It would be a targeted version of the Bard's inspire courage and could be flavored as the Mesmerist's hypnotism making the target dodge INTO the attacks coming his way.

About the False Flanker trick. It would be cool if this, the Spatial Switch trick, and the Outflank/Precise Strike feat could interact. Perhaps if both the Target of the False Flanker trick and the Mesmerist had the Outflank feat, the Target (or the Mesmerist if he targets himself with the false flanker trick) could gain the accuracy boost from Outflank. Perhaps if the Mesmerist also had the Spatial Switch trick, he could actually just teleport to where the false flanker would appear (whether the false flanker trick was on an ally or on himself, allowing him to move up to an enemy, teleport to the other side) and thus potentially be there for the Outflank/Precise Strike feat.

Finally about Teamwork feats themselves. If a Mesmerist was to have a teamwork feat, it would be cool if the hypnotize an ally/multiple allies to share those teamwork feats.

That's all for now.

Paizo Employee Developer

xevious573 wrote:
One option I had thought of was making it so his Stare could potentially decrease the targets AC and increase the damage the target takes from weapon attacks (perhaps the penalty/extra damage taken is equal to the Hypnotic Stare's Will penalty). It would be a targeted version of the Bard's inspire courage and could be flavored as the Mesmerist's hypnotism making the target dodge INTO the attacks coming his way.

I think increasing the damage the target of a stare takes is a really interesting idea. Gonna see what I need to rejigger to make that work.


Honestly, why not drop the mesmerist down to d6 and 1/2 BaB? Use the extra design space to buff up those tricks.

Designing fiddly little abilities like what tricks are right now is counter-intuitive, both to the class and the game.

I would personally try to angle for something like

1. The mesmerist can affect X people at a time. X is level based, but not necessarily level.

2. When an affected person is subjected to a situation that corresponds to a mesmerist's trick, the effect activates with an immediate action by the mesmerist. It is then 'expended'.

3. With a minute long prep session, the mesmerist can reprep the expended tricks.

So if my mesmerist only knew vanishing arrow and the shadow flanker trick, and he could affect three allies, if any of the three allies were targeted by a ranged attack, he could use vanish arrow. And then if any of the three allies made a melee attack, he could use shadow flanker. Then, after combat, he could reprep them.

Otherwise, you're looking at the fiddly ability of fiddly abilities. The triple blind is just too harsh for super situational bonuses.


Logan Bonner wrote:
Cranky Bastard wrote:

Re-asking due to part of the play test game I am running.

Does a mesmerist's hypnotic gaze interact with the gaze abilities of those who possess them through racial or other means?

This also includes lens items and other such things.

The basic effect of the gaze and the hypnotic stare have their full effects independently of one another. We should have a common sense rule that goes with the gaze attack's "actively gaze" paragraph of the gaze description. If you're actively gazing at someone, it needs to be the target (or one of the targets) of your hypnotic stare.

Perfectly cromulent, though I will admit I would want, as others have suggested, to maybe reduce the BAB and give more of the pew pew gaze power that would fit with the powers of mind-clouding and hypnogazing. Also, there's an appeal to having a class that makes gaze-users even more dangerous; perhaps it doesn't happen as fast, but being able to petrify someone who isn't making eye contact will result in less 'startled' looking statuary, and perhaps not giving the same immediately assumptive expectations.

I know some people don't like advancing monsters by character class, but I find it to be both advantageous and fun.


The triple blind really is the problem with the tricks. It's the issue with all spell casters, but it's not like a wizard is going to put all their slots into Feather Fall.

I can see why the mesmerist has 3/4 BAB and d8 HD, but our hypnotist friend doesn't have the power of a rogue to back him up, i.e. sneak attacking. It's nice to see that these tricks can help set up SA's, but otherwise they're pretty underwhelming. I feel like the idea of this class is a hard support role, maybe even harder than your average bard or skald. But bards, skalds, and their archetypes are able to affect multiple people. Giving my entire party a buff that can be used for one round doesn't exactly feel like a high level ability, but Manifold Tricks' scaling makes it so. The at-will nature of stare is nice, but until you get some decent Bold Stare abilities (which could also be beefed up a bit), it's only good for a stare-color spray combo.

Now thematically, I can see that the class was designed for single target buffs and debuffs. Mechanically, this hurts it, but we've already got a panoply of reasons why, so let's go on theme. A hypnotist takes over a single person's mind and makes the behave differently or do his bidding. Okay then, so why does it take them so long to pull off the concept? I'd expect more Bold Stare options along the lines of recreating at least Suggestion. Why can a wizard pull off the capstone of mesmerist a whole three levels earlier, and ties the limit to their spell slots instead of a hard cap of one?

Dark Archive

Logan, is there anything you could share with us about whether you are leaning towards making the mesmerist a caster/martial hybrid like bards, or trying to make it a full caster? I'm interested to hear what this class is supposed to be.

Liberty's Edge

From my larger review at http://www.5mwd.com/archives/2204

So the mesmerism touches someone to implant a spell-like ability that can be triggered later. I.e. the mesmerist snaps their fingers as the rogue sees a phantom flanker or the fighter shrugs off an enchantment. Which is interesting and fairly tactical: you need to choose the target ahead of time and hope they need to use the buff. There’s some educated guessing going on. And the mesmerist is also skilled at removing conditions from allies, which can be handy.

Unlike the bard, the mesmerist doesn’t seem to have any ability to accelerate combat by providing a damage or accuracy buff. Their buffs are much more situation and far less universal than “making an attack roll”. The bard is already a class that can be a little boring to play, not having a lot to do on their turn after the first or second round (until a minimal level of spells are gained). The mesmerist seems like it has the same problem, only with the player waiting and hoping for the opportunity to trigger their special power. As triggering is an immediate action, the mesmerist still lacks actions to take on its turn. It’s a passive class.

Amping up the mesmerist’s hypnotic stare is likely a solid fix. It’s such a minor penalty and could easily be buffed. Adding far more options to the Bold Stare feature and giving them more often would be nice. Some utility powers could just be provided, so the mesmerist doesn’t need to choose between combat and social effectiveness.

The mesmerist also lacks the bards out-of-combat versatility, not being able to buff allies’ skills, fascinate creatures, or offering bardic knowledge. There’s a few potential fixes for this. As a Houdini-style character, the mesmerist could have Disable Device on its skill list. They could also have the ability to aid people’s skill checks even if they’re not trained. Perhaps they could induce rerolls of failed skill checks, even checks that might not normally be attemptable a second time (by focusing the person’s memory to aid their recall of knowledge).


xevious573 wrote:


One option I had thought of was making it so his Stare could potentially decrease the targets AC and increase the damage the target takes from weapon attacks (perhaps the penalty/extra damage taken is equal to the Hypnotic Stare's Will penalty). It would be a targeted version of the Bard's inspire courage and could be flavored as the Mesmerist's hypnotism making the target dodge INTO the attacks coming his way.

I really like this kind of concept. I would look forward to playing this kind of buffer/debuffer class. Using stare to grant a weak sneak attack damage bonus, or flanking makes more sense to me then the tricks which I understand the theme of, but the execution seems clumsy at the moment.


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Kain Darkwind wrote:
Honestly, why not drop the mesmerist down to d6 and 1/2 BaB? Use the extra design space to buff up those tricks.

Screw that! I'm playing a melee mesmerist - don't touch my HP and BAB! There's plenty of boring back-line support classes who can let the real adventurers do the fighting - the mesmerist is able to handle the front lines if built for it with the right feats and abilities (he has no need to be a primary melee, that's what his spells and powers are for).


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Game Master wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
Honestly, why not drop the mesmerist down to d6 and 1/2 BaB? Use the extra design space to buff up those tricks.
Screw that! I'm playing a melee mesmerist - don't touch my HP and BAB! There's plenty of boring back-line support classes who can let the real adventurers do the fighting - the mesmerist is able to handle the front lines if built for it with the right feats and abilities (he has no need to be a primary melee, that's what his spells and powers are for).

I'd love t see your build, when I looked at the class the best I could do for melee was a finesse fighter who could land a hit a round (most of the time) but the hits were too small to be noticed.


after speaking with Mrs. Torbyne who ran the level 6 Mesmerist, her input for the class is:

1) The class is risky, AC isnt high enough to avoid primary attacks so you need Mirror Image up at all times due to being close to the front line to land stare/short range spells/tricks (i flat out advise not to try implanting tricks after combat starts)

2) switch to a full caster for the chassis. (not sure how that would work with there already being a 9th level psychic caster)

3) Touch treatment is nice but both of us forgot she had it, that didnt impact play though since at moderate touch treatment, those conditions rarely come up. When status conditions do pop around they are usually from off that list or only from the greater list (nauseated, panicked, stunned, looking at you.)

4) There is a lot of love for the swift action, saveless stare but it never felt like it was doing much (in fairness though, she wasnt targeting will saves too much and had invested in will breaker)

5) Mental Potency was mostly ignored, even with the 1HD boost most enemies fought by level 6 were immune again or otherwise back to the least effect category.

6) Tricks for flanking and flat footing should last for a full round.

This is from my thoughts on the class: Tricks in general should activate without action on the Mesmerist's part and would be nice if they lasted rounds/level or round per 2 levels once triggered to make them feel like a core aspect of the class.

... Thinking about it more, a trick could be implanted and count against your total tricks per day until it is activated. Have it last day/level before an implanted trick fades and once activated last for multiple rounds. It seems fitting thematically for all the fiction with someone carrying around mental triggers that they dont even know about until the condition comes up and no one even knows there was a mesmerist at work. and balance wise its still not as universal as the bard who grants everyone useful every round static buffs. This would make the Mesmerist the best friend of every sneak attack class in the game and all those barbarians who would rather have mesmeric image than an AC boost. Ooh, that makes Mesmerists great mustache twirling evil villains who employ cutthroats to the greatest effect :)

That gives Mesmerists a great buffing role but once combat starts stare should be where its at, could there be a small set of options for stare?

option 1: -1 to all saves

Option 2: -1 to AC and +1 extra damage from physical sources

Option 3: inflict a miss chance equal to 5% per penalty point of stare on an enemy (such that a level 12 Mesmerist can inflict a 10% chance of all attacks missing, or with will breaker a 15% chance.)

And then let is scale up with greater penalties and wider capacity as you level?

Paizo Employee Developer

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Creevy wrote:
Logan, is there anything you could share with us about whether you are leaning towards making the mesmerist a caster/martial hybrid like bards, or trying to make it a full caster? I'm interested to hear what this class is supposed to be.

It's more likely to be a caster/martial hybrid, but typically does its fighting either more like a rogue or by having its enemies attack on its behalf. Currently looking at adding a form of precision damage against its stare target.


Logan Bonner wrote:
Creevy wrote:
Logan, is there anything you could share with us about whether you are leaning towards making the mesmerist a caster/martial hybrid like bards, or trying to make it a full caster? I'm interested to hear what this class is supposed to be.
It's more likely to be a caster/martial hybrid, but typically does its fighting either more like a rogue or by having its enemies attack on its behalf. Currently looking at adding a form of precision damage against its stare target.

I have to say that I am a little disappointed in that direction. I really wanted to see a 1/2 bab class feature based class (rather than a full caster).

However, that is a solution. Maybe you could just give this class a slow sneak attack progression and have the mesmerist's gaze just have the target automatically qualify for SA? Maybe you could have the target take extra precision damage too? Perhaps you like increase precision damage by 50% or something so this class can play extra nice with the swashbuckler and investigator as well.

If you went that route, then it would have to be part of the bold stare suite (since it would not be great for every party build).


Even with full sneak attack progression the class cant land its hits. Making it a martial class who needs STR, CON and CHA is MAD. Paladins get around this by powering a *lot* from their Charisma. You'd probably want some DEX in there too. Actually Weapon Finesse would be a mandatory feat tax and you'd burn through all of your tricks per day to flank or flat foot individual attacks to land hits at all... at level 10 a single sneak attack hit would add ~35 damage onto a a 1d4+ (say 5 from str, 3 enhancement bonus from weapon?) so burn limited resources to bring a low AC, low HP character into the front line to land a 46 damage hit? Even then you hit bonus with tricks will trail behind any class meant to land a blow and you wont have as many chances (burn implanted tricks before attack is resolved and not be able to implant again to try for a second swing in the same round?) If the class stays as a 3/4 BAB chassis then i'd really like to see a major overhaul of most every class ability to support this.

Mrs. Torbyne is moving on to the Psychic in preparation of a change like this to the Mesmerist.

I realize that comparing a 2/3 caster to a martial isnt normally appropriate but how about comparing a sneak attack based Mesmerist to a two handed Bloodrager? Both can get some of the best defensive spells in the game (hello miss chance) but the level 10 Mesmerist would just barely be competing with the damage of a level 4 Bloodrager. (our groups Bloodrager uses a plain old Nodachi for 1d10+15 per swing, massive hit bonus, can add extra D6s from bloodline and huge crit chance. Comparing a level 10 Bloodrager to a level 10 melee Mesmerist would be... unkind.)


Torbyne wrote:

Even with full sneak attack progression the class cant land its hits. Making it a martial class who needs STR, CON and CHA is MAD. Paladins get around this by powering a *lot* from their Charisma. You'd probably want some DEX in there too. Actually Weapon Finesse would be a mandatory feat tax and you'd burn through all of your tricks per day to flank or flat foot individual attacks to land hits at all... at level 10 a single sneak attack hit would add ~35 damage onto a a 1d4+ (say 5 from str, 3 enhancement bonus from weapon?) so burn limited resources to bring a low AC, low HP character into the front line to land a 46 damage hit? Even then you hit bonus with tricks will trail behind any class meant to land a blow and you wont have as many chances (burn implanted tricks before attack is resolved and not be able to implant again to try for a second swing in the same round?) If the class stays as a 3/4 BAB chassis then i'd really like to see a major overhaul of most every class ability to support this.

Mrs. Torbyne is moving on to the Psychic in preparation of a change like this to the Mesmerist.

I realize that comparing a 2/3 caster to a martial isnt normally appropriate but how about comparing a sneak attack based Mesmerist to a two handed Bloodrager? Both can get some of the best defensive spells in the game (hello miss chance) but the level 10 Mesmerist would just barely be competing with the damage of a level 4 Bloodrager. (our groups Bloodrager uses a plain old Nodachi for 1d10+15 per swing, massive hit bonus, can add extra D6s from bloodline and huge crit chance. Comparing a level 10 Bloodrager to a level 10 melee Mesmerist would be... unkind.)

To be fair, the Mesmerist will have its stare debuff going and has better options for battlefield control through spells. I think some sneak attack die and/or a class feature like the one I suggested might catch the class up to the bard for overall effectiveness--who can debuff many enemies via dirge of doom and also buff himself and allies with another song (with exquisite accompaniment or shadow bard) or even another spell like good hope, tactical acumen, or haste. After all the Bard's own buff rounds, he can go into the fight himself and essentially be very nearly as well off as the fighter was before the buffs (and his friend the fighter is much much better off than he was before the buff rounds too).

This class is like a worse version of the Bard and Skald right now.


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I see a powerful design avenue in teamwork feat exploitation, similar to the Inquisitor. The ability to get benefits from allies as though they shared the Mesmerist's teamwork feats would be a very logical power to gain. You could also replace this with far stronger tricks - I would love to have a different trick on each party member, even at low levels, and have them last indefinitely until triggered. I would feel like a tactical master - mentally linked to my allies, able to dominate the battlefield not with massive, world-shaking magic, but with delicate but devastating mental tricks and illusions.

I get a tiny taste of that already, but it's incomplete. There's no reason to shackle the Mesmerist to only one trick at a time, with such an insanely low duration. It can use a big boost to both the number of tricks that can be used and their utility, and to the power of the stare. The tricks themselves have excellent usefulness - they're only impeded by the difficulty of getting them triggered without wasting valuable actions in combat for an ability which might not even happen.


I'd love to have a martial-psychic combination, as my favorite OC was basically a psychic rogue. But there's definitely more that can be done along these lines if you want to have the mesmerist function more like a rogue. The precision damage is a really good step in the right direction for making it melee ready.


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I played a long one-shot session with a level 7 Gathlain Mesmerist and just wanted to say that I had loads of fun. I think I only dealt direct damage once the entire session (Blistering Invective), but I found the tricks and offensive non-damage spells more than enough to make a super effective character, especially when combined with other classes that utilize abilities with Will saves. I'm not really opposed to the idea of doing something like adding precision damage with a stare, but I really enjoy being able to sit back and play puppeteer and commander and let my allies and enemies do the damage. Maybe an option to allow allies to trigger that extra precision damage or something would fit along those lines if you went that direction. Or maybe an archetype that didn't have that extra damage and got something else instead.

Absolutely great class by the way! Already it's easily in the running for favorite class ever. I had so much fun and I look forward to playing the mesmerist more!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Feed back from running "The Cellars" out of Emerald Spire last night.

General Thoughts:

For a skill based class that doesn't have much to actively do in combat I really felt the lack of disable device and/or trap finding. Also, in such a low combat environment that was mainly centered around safely navigating the traps and puzzles I felt like I was on autopilot for most of the run. On top of that the long lag time between encounters meant that on several occasions I ended up blowing a trick use for nothing because it took more than three minutes of in game time to get from one encounter to another. I REALLY felt the bite of an almost entirely will save and mind affecting spell/ability list on this floor, and since that's what almost all of my in-combat abilities are I was pretty much reduced to a once a round shot from my pistol. The low saves were a big deal breaker too.

Specific Feedback:

Tricks:
I had Vanish Arrow and False Flanker for this floor, neither of which were terribly useful, although the rogue did get an amazing sneak attack on a spider with False Flanker. However after the first couple of traps my group was feeling pretty paranoid -enough that we eventually skipped opening a treasure chest sitting in the middle of the room- so I had two occasions where my trick's duration expired before use, and that's with a three minute timer on it. Not knowing what's coming up is a huge problem for trick selection particularly at low levels.
Suggestion:
Perhaps adding in an ability like the Inquisitor's Solo Tactics ability that would allow the Mesmerist to change out their most recent trick as a standard action would help? That way you have to commit to list but you have the option of flexing out one trick for another if you REALLY need to.

Skills:
The Mesmerist gets a pretty good number of skills (6+Int) per level, but they have a dizzying array of choices and the class feel and abilities push you hard towards keeping your face skills up but you're also often looked at for the knowledge and utility (UMD/Spellcraft/Perception) skills on your list. This on top of several tricks requiring skill usage. It'll be interesting to see if Mesmerists keep the entire skill list.
Suggestions:
Adding something to the Mesmerist that mimics the bard in that Skills can be substituted and/or have class bonuses. The bard balances out the long list of knowledge skills with bardic knowledge and still gets to double dip off the perform skills allowing them to invest in a smaller number of skills than their final totals would suggest. Right now the stare allows a Mesmerist to focus on a one or two social skills, however they have nothing evening things up on the knowledge of skill substitution areas and if you use Bold Stare abilities to buff your social skills you're going to have trouble landing spells or affecting the mindless.

Spells:
The Mesmerist spell list is highly offensive, while only have six spell levels and a MAD stat array. This causes some fairly noticeable problems when facing anything that has even an average will save much less an enemy or two with good will saves as the Mesmerist doesn't have too many other options to switch to when they run into something that is will high.

Suggestion:
A few more buff spells in the level 1 bracket and perhaps some early entry into the "Mass X" line of spells would help by allowing Mesmerists who don't go full into spell casting get some use out of their spell casting class feature.

Combat:
The Simple weapons restriction with a few niche exotics leaves the Mesmerist feeling starved for combat functionality in my playing. I picked up a pistol mainly on a lark, and because the model I picked for my Mesmerist happened to have one. Even without that I'm lacking a solid ranged option for regular use as the X-bow isn't a very mobile weapon, and melee is not where I want to get stuck. I spend most my time in a 20' band around the scrum, trying to hand out tricks, provide flanking, pick off ranged mooks and otherwise make myself useful.
Suggestion:
Consider adding in a short bow proficiency or slightly expanding the melee weapons so that if a mesmer elects to get into melee a Morning Star isn't their best bet.

That's it for now, I'll add some more feed back after my next game.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Selsenay wrote:
Maybe an option to allow allies to trigger that extra precision damage or something would fit along those lines if you went that direction. Or maybe an archetype that didn't have that extra damage and got something else instead.

Yes, the direction I'm thinking would let allies do precision damage. There would be feat or class feature options if you want to do more with it yourself.

Selsenay wrote:
Absolutely great class by the way! Already it's easily in the running for favorite class ever. I had so much fun and I look forward to playing the mesmerist more!

Thanks!

Paizo Employee Developer

Mabtik wrote:

Feed back from running "The Cellars" out of Emerald Spire last night.

Thanks, Mabtik! Some good feedback here. That part of Emerald Spire is definitely a tricky situation for a mesmerist.

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