General Discussion: Mesmerist


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I read it and really liked it. The class does lots of things and the whole mind buffing your party angle is really neat.
Liked the ability to affect mindless/immune creatures and the fact that they still are 50% immune, makes this ability balanced but still allows you to contribute.
The class seemed a bit weak on my initial reading but all the features seem to really add up.
My only suggestions would be a semi scalling mental potency (+1 every 3-4 extra levels seems good) and maybe a range increase of hypnotic stare (+10 at level 10 and every 5 levels there after).

Ofcourse I haven't playtested the class so many details may have elluded me.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey, I noticed that the Mesmerist doesn't happen to have sending or demand on their spell list. It seems a bit weird to me that they don't have these on their spell list.

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A few other spells not on their list that would be very appropriate are antipathy and sympathy.


I am pretty sure all the spell lists will be revised before coming to print.


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so i'm just going to comment because it was pointed out in the kineticist thread that post volume is an indicator of popularity. so, while i'm not thrilled with the entirety of the current implementation (though honestly it looks like all the new classes are erring on the side of caution), i really like a lot of the ideas in this class and am excited about where it sounds like it's headed.


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Hmm, I was thinking, a common thread with hypnotism is having someone do something they didn't know they could do, so, what about having the mesmerist be able to either grant a scaling bonus on skill checks, or being able to implant a combat feat temporarily? I'm thinking something like the brawler's martial versatility, but probably a bit more limited, since he'd be capable of giving one to an ally. Might be a bit much, but thought it was worth suggesting...


Luthorne wrote:
Hmm, I was thinking, a common thread with hypnotism is having someone do something they didn't know they could do, so, what about having the mesmerist be able to either grant a scaling bonus on skill checks, or being able to implant a combat feat temporarily? I'm thinking something like the brawler's martial versatility, but probably a bit more limited, since he'd be capable of giving one to an ally. Might be a bit much, but thought it was worth suggesting...

I think the tricks could be changed to something like that. It makes sense, and we could even use the idea of the hypnotic stare on allies to implant those tricks.

I am just tossing some random ideas here.


Not sure the Kineticist is most popular, or if it is simply the first one listed in the book and, thus, the first read/tried out/commented on. Not to mention it bears a strong resemblance to a former 3.5 class called the Warlock, which was always a controversial class.

Then there is the "Burn" mechanic, which is causing a lot of discussion. Kind of like the question of Tricks causes in this thread.


My thought on the Mesmerist so far:

I played this class only in one adventure thus far, but I have the following observations:

1. It is unclear to me whether you can initially implant more than one trick at one time into your allies. Meaning, can you implant your friend Bobby and your friend Joe at the same time. By my reading, you cannot. "you may have no more than one trick active at a time", and the level 5 increase to 2 concurrent tricks seems to suggest that this is the way to play it currently.

2. Because of the above, although I had 5 uses per day of tricks, I only ever used it one trick... since the frontliner character that I selected kept not being attacked (I took the mirror image trick). Basically, I think that since you are restricted on the number of uses of your trick, you should be able to spread those uses amongst the party.

3. I think that overall the tricks aren't comparable to the Bard's extras in terms of how good they are. Bards seem like the class to compare Mesmerists to, since they have good skills and 1-6 spellcasting on the same casting stats.

4. What's with that random +1 HD of affect on spells? Make it scale in some way or cut it out... OMG, I am totally going to be able to use Color Spray for forever now that it affects more HD! Or I'll now take Deep Sleep! Just kidding. It doesn't generally matter.

5. You can get extra tricks, but you have to sort of know which one you want to implant before it happens. For instance, you implant the Fog Cloud trick into some guy... but then the other guy who has Mirror Image gets shot instead. Well, you'd really like to Fog Cloud, but instead you have to Mirror Image. Same thing for some of the other tricks. They're pretty narrow, but you have to guess which ones you want to use.

6. Nowhere did it confirm what I suspect - that Psychic spells do not have arcane spell failure chance. If they do have spell failure chance, then they need some way to ignore it, since mesmers use light armor. If it does not, then they can pick up heavier armor feats and cast in plate, which seems silly.

Suggested changes:
1. Clarify whether you can have multiple tricks implanted at a time. I think there should be no limit on this - you're limited by the number of tricks per day already.

2. I think tricks should be generic OR you should get more uses of tricks per day to compensate for how narrow the tricks are. My suggestion would be either Level + CHR = tricks per day OR make implanting a trick into a person enable the mesmer to be able to trigger any of his tricks from that person.

3. I was knocked unconscious and my Hypnotic Stare still applied, since the stare ends when the enemy moves more than 30 feet away, or some other stuff. It was pretty funny, but should probably be fixed.

Conclusion:
I think that this class needs some distinguishing features to set it apart from Bard and Sorcerers in terms of class functions, and the tricks thing seems like the best way to go about that.

A sorcerer is going to be able to out-spell this class, but the Mesmerist class gets some good skills and tricks have the potential to set the class apart.

In general, the Mesmerist is going to have a tough time comparing to a Sorcerer, even with some spells moved down in level. He just doesn't have as many spell slots. And he can't choose Haste or Fly why the Bard can. The class needs its defining features to be a little more compelling.


Got a chance to play a mesmerist last night. My general opinion : D+ : Inferior to a bard in all respects including playability and fun-ness. My character was about as useful as a rubber hacksaw or a water-soluble lifeboat.

We did one of the classic level one PFS modules, and I literally had no opportunities to cast spells.

Spoiler:
Two monsters were immune to mind-affecting, one had too many hit dice to be affected by enchantment spells, and the last was a friendly.
The weapon selection makes an ineffective melee combatant, and while the ability to wear medium armor is nice, it doesn't help if I'm hitting the bad guy with a cardboard tube. The 'tricks' are far too limited (single target only, lasts for minutes) compared to bardic performance.

In general, this seems to be an issue with most of the OA classes. They play just like a core class (in this case, bard) but are much more limited without any counterbalancing strengths.

Basically, I need a reason to play this class. I need to be able to say "oh, I really want to <something>," and as written, there seems to be nothing at which the Mesmerist is even effective, let alone outstanding.

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@Orfamay: I totally agree that at 1st level the Mesmerist is going to be really difficult to play. However, once you get to 3rd level you can choose the ability that lets your mind-affecting spells affect creatures that would normally be immune to mind-affecting effects, and that to me is totally worth the wait. I expect that I'll probably be using GM credit to build a 3rd-level Mesmerist from the get-go, and flavoring him/her as someone with an incredibly strange personality that allows him/her to interact with normally mindless creatures. Should be fun.


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cartmanbeck wrote:
@Orfamay: I totally agree that at 1st level the Mesmerist is going to be really difficult to play. However, once you get to 3rd level you can choose the ability that lets your mind-affecting spells affect creatures that would normally be immune to mind-affecting effects, and that to me is totally worth the wait.

Meh. As far as I can tell, that just means that at level 3+, a mesmerist goes from "unplayable" to "playable but largely ineffective."

But that's the reason for playtesting, to uncover issues and gather opinions. My opinion remains D+: Play a bard instead. Beckman put it well. "The class needs its defining features to be a little more compelling." I'd suggest that giving it any defining features would help, too. As written, it's a bard that can't cast spells, can't fight, and can't buff.

Oh, and the bard is a better skill monkey, too.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
@Orfamay: I totally agree that at 1st level the Mesmerist is going to be really difficult to play. However, once you get to 3rd level you can choose the ability that lets your mind-affecting spells affect creatures that would normally be immune to mind-affecting effects, and that to me is totally worth the wait.

Meh. As far as I can tell, that just means that at level 3+, a mesmerist goes from "unplayable" to "playable but largely ineffective."

But that's the reason for playtesting, to uncover issues and gather opinions. My opinion remains D+: Play a bard instead. Beckman put it well. "The class needs its defining features to be a little more compelling." I'd suggest that giving it any defining features would help, too. As written, it's a bard that can't cast spells, can't fight, and can't buff.

Oh, and the bard is a better skill monkey, too.

I agree. A bard has a less restrictive spell list and more general applicability through party wide buffs that are always relevant. (Fly, Haste, Fireball)

In my game, I fought an elemental, an animate object, and some humanoids in the first adventure. I was pretty useless. +1 to hit and damage would have been massively more useful in all cases.

I think another possible point of improvement would be to make the stare power scale better to make it more equivalent to Evil Eye for a Witch.

At level 9, the base save DC for Dominate for a Witch is 5 (spell level) + 4 (evil eye) + casting stat

Mesmerists get it at level 10, and it's: 4 (spell level) + 1 (stare) with a possible additional +1 from Bold Stare.

This is quite the gap. There's even a swift hex rod you can take in print...

Even accounting for Evil Eye being a standard action and a move action every turn, your stare isn't doing much except make up for the difference in spell levels a lot of the time.

Making the stare numerically better is one option that could help it.. Alternately, you could give us a few more upgrade options on the stare and more slots to take them in. You only get 3 selections in PFS play... You pretty much get 'taxed' for the one that lets you affect immune creatures. I might consider giving the power to affect immune creatures at level 3 as a separate ability from a Bold Stare power, which would increase make the choices seem more impactful. As it stands, you have to take an ability to use your abilities and make your Bold Stare first selection at level 7.

Last, the clease-like ability that Mesmerists get is both very powerful and seems out of place. I both don't want to play the class to go around healing people and I don't think people are showing up to play this class to play team condition-cleanser. This is an area where the Mesmerist could be toned back... since let's be real, people want to play the Mesmer to trick people, hypnotize them and take their gold. Or get into shinnanigans.

Even the 'good' tricks are not as powerful as spells, by and large. The Mirror Image trick is like a reactive 1st level spell. I am concerned that even larger numbers of these tricks will not result in the class being useful.

List of suggestions:
1. No restrictions of number of tricks implanted in different subjects (other than uses per day) - each subject can only have 1 trick until level 5.

2. Implanting a trick allows any trick you know to be used from that person. Maybe also increase the number of tricks available and look at their strength.

3. Increase Hypnotic Stare ar level 7 to -2, -3 at level 11, -4 at level 15. Over levels 7-17 the Mesmer loses 3 spell levels to a full spellcasting class. 3 of this penalty is just to keep parity. Give the Disorientation Bold Stare power a save. If this change is implemented, I would suggest making this penalty explicitly not stack with Evil Eye. Perhaps rename the ability 'evil eye'.

4. Clarify when you can trigger tricks with regard to the start of combat - before combat, you have no immediate actions.

Summary:
Let's make the Mesmer better at the neat things that it can do. Bold stare is interesting. The Tricks are interesting. The spell list largely has interesting spells. But without being able to force failed saves or good options to use for Tricks and the ability to implant them in multiple people.. the class doesn't have legs to stand on.


Beckman wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
@Orfamay: I totally agree that at 1st level the Mesmerist is going to be really difficult to play. However, once you get to 3rd level you can choose the ability that lets your mind-affecting spells affect creatures that would normally be immune to mind-affecting effects, and that to me is totally worth the wait.

Meh. As far as I can tell, that just means that at level 3+, a mesmerist goes from "unplayable" to "playable but largely ineffective."

But that's the reason for playtesting, to uncover issues and gather opinions. My opinion remains D+: Play a bard instead. Beckman put it well. "The class needs its defining features to be a little more compelling." I'd suggest that giving it any defining features would help, too. As written, it's a bard that can't cast spells, can't fight, and can't buff.

Oh, and the bard is a better skill monkey, too.

I agree. A bard has a less restrictive spell list and more general applicability through party wide buffs that are always relevant. (Fly, Haste, Fireball).

[...]
Summary:
Let's make the Mesmer better at the neat things that it can do. Bold stare is interesting. The Tricks are interesting. The spell list largely has interesting spells. But without being able to force failed saves or good options to use for Tricks and the ability to implant them in multiple people.. the class doesn't have legs to stand on.

Agreed. Interesting concept, good flavor, but the execution is weak -- to the point where I would argue unplayable.


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.

Maybe we are interpreting mesmers always being prepared differently here. When I think of Mesmer I think of almost a bard that's has a contingency for even the worst scenario. To me that means the Mesmer is always prepared to use a trick because they don't have to prepare the tricks. Immediate action activation of tricks that you are already limited in selection would be no more complicated than rogue tricks, swift actions spells, or the oversized bardic performance list. Honestly keeping the tricks as is but with 0 prep work would make for a much stronger class and wouldn't even be pushing the boundaries of difficulty that the other 5 classes or even some core classes have set.

Is like to see what you have in mind but the easiest and most appealing option would be to remove the preparation entirely. I just don't see how keeping track of a class ability that you have to choose yourself could be anymore difficult to track than a spell casters spells or a rogues talents or a skirmishes tricks.

Also there needs to be a bigger incentive to use a weapon with 3/4ths BAB other than getting the first feat in the whip chain (proficiency) for free.


Captain Netz wrote:
Also there needs to be a bigger incentive to use a weapon with 3/4ths BAB other than getting the first feat in the whip chain (proficiency) for free.

It would be interesting if they had a feat or rule that let them have full BAB in mesmer class levels for a selected weapon.

With a whip it would make for some interesting options with reposition and/or KD strategies.

Paizo Employee Developer

xevious573 wrote:
Hey, I noticed that the Mesmerist doesn't happen to have sending or demand on their spell list. It seems a bit weird to me that they don't have these on their spell list.
JoelF847 wrote:
A few other spells not on their list that would be very appropriate are antipathy and sympathy.

Thanks! As AlanDG2 mentioned, the spell list will get a thorough pass, but any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Paizo Employee Developer

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Got a chance to play a mesmerist last night. My general opinion : D+ : Inferior to a bard in all respects including playability and fun-ness.

Well, at least it was a D PLUS.


Beckman wrote:
Captain Netz wrote:
Also there needs to be a bigger incentive to use a weapon with 3/4ths BAB other than getting the first feat in the whip chain (proficiency) for free.

It would be interesting if they had a feat or rule that let them have full BAB in mesmer class levels for a selected weapon.

With a whip it would make for some interesting options with reposition and/or KD strategies.

That would be interesting, but I see some serious issues with it.

If it's only with a specific weapon, we have the cookie-cutter dervish dance magus problem -- all mesmerists have to use whips because everything else is terrible. If it's with all simple weapons, that's slightly better, but it seems odd that a Mesmerist would be better with a dagger or crossbow than a Bard is, but worse with a shortsword or shortbow. And if it's with any one selected weapon -- well, I want to "select" a greatsword....

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Beckman wrote:
1. It is unclear to me whether you can initially implant more than one trick at one time into your allies. Meaning, can you implant your friend Bobby and your friend Joe at the same time. By my reading, you cannot. "you may have no more than one trick active at a time", and the level 5 increase to 2 concurrent tricks seems to suggest that this is the way to play it currently.

Currently, you start out being able to have one trick on one person at 1st level. I'm looking at removing that restriction (but keeping the one trick per person limit).

Beckman wrote:
6. Nowhere did it confirm what I suspect - that Psychic spells do not have arcane spell failure chance. If they do have spell failure chance, then they need some way to ignore it, since mesmers use light armor. If it does not, then they can pick up...

Psychic spells don't have arcane spell failure, since they're not arcane spells. :)


Logan Bonner wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Got a chance to play a mesmerist last night. My general opinion : D+ : Inferior to a bard in all respects including playability and fun-ness.
Well, at least it was a D PLUS.

Yup. It's got some serious potential and I think it could turn into a great class, but it was literally indistinguishable from a commoner on one of the standard PFS introductory scenarios.

ETA: I'm sorry, that was unfair. It had two more hit points than a commoner, four more skill points, and was wearing armor.

Paizo Employee Developer

Quick note for everybody: I'll be on vacation the rest of this week, so I'll pop back in to look at questions Monday. (Or later today, time permitting.)


Logan Bonner wrote:
Beckman wrote:
1. It is unclear to me whether you can initially implant more than one trick at one time into your allies. Meaning, can you implant your friend Bobby and your friend Joe at the same time. By my reading, you cannot. "you may have no more than one trick active at a time", and the level 5 increase to 2 concurrent tricks seems to suggest that this is the way to play it currently.
Currently, you start out being able to have one trick on one person at 1st level. I'm looking at removing that restriction (but keeping the one trick per person limit).

I'd also suggest either making tricks multiple use, or giving them a longer duration. If I could spend a swift action -- or even a move action -- to give my fighter a cool ability whenever I wanted, that would be helpful. Alternatively, I could at least twink out everyone with a useful trick at the beginning of the day so it's available if needed.

As is, I need to know beforehand which specific combat it will be necessary to give the fighter this ability, or else spend a standard action right next to the fighter to give him that ability that he can use effectively the round after.


Now the "tricks" are, essentially magical post-hypnotic suggestions, right?
The Mesmerist implants an idea in the head of his target, triggered by set events?
(so there could be a "Cluck like a Chicken" Trick if the mesmerist wanted to be a complete jerk to their buddies... :D)

I'd suggest the limit they can place on people be subject to available time, not to their level (i.e. can only implant one Trick per subject per day but can implant that same trick on every subject they have enough time for, perhaps one full minute per subject; when they get the ability to implant more Tricks they can change from one to another as they move between potential subjects).

I think the Trick becomes active whenever the set trigger condition is met, right? It shouldn't be tied to the Mesmerist at all (except duration and "raw power" if those are tied to level) - once he implants it, whenever the condition is correct, the Trick can "go off."

Would it be unbalancing to have the first triggering be automatic - but if later trigger events happen before either the Mesmerist or the Subject sleeps (or the subject gets knocked out - or has a different trick implanted), there's a (steadily decreasing) chance the Trick "fires off" again - say a DC of 15+ 2x(number of times activated since being implanted) or some such to have it work again?


I also just want to reiterate... What is the use of having multiple tricks if you have to guess which ones you will need ahead of time?

You're level 5 with CHR20, so you have 7 tricks. Let's assume that you've removed the restriction on implanting multiple people at a time...

So you implant 4 people with Mirror Image and the mage of your party with the ability to move reactively.

You know 3 tricks at you level, but have only implanted two... because they're the most widely applicable tricks.

If your tricks get triggered, you have 3 more uses to burn in order to replace the tricks that get used.

You don't have additional uses to implant super-specific tricks that might or might not come up during play.

If I only have 7 uses, I don't have the uses to waste on really specific triggers on specific people.

For example, I put an escape artist trick on the Rogue, but the Mage gets grappled. How many daily uses do I want to spend on situations that don't come up?

For this reason, I think the tricks should be generic*.
(*EDIT: When I say generic, what I mean is that whenever you implant a trick, you should be able to pick which trick you want to trigger when the situation arises. You might put the escape artist trick on some guy, and then the other 4 members of the party are grappled by the grapple monster.)

If you were to simply hand out more trick uses it won't accomplish the goal of achieving trick diversity. It just means that the more 'generic' tricks with the trigger 'You've been attacked!' are more plentifully available. Then you would still want to do the same things, only more of them. Whereas the goal is for people to have a reason to use ALL their abilities as opposed to feeling that even if a relevant situation were to come up, you can't use the abilities that you gained.

Pick a great ability, like 'Freedom of Movement'. I would not generally implant that trick with the way that tricks currently work, since you have no idea who will need it. I MIGHT implant it on a wizard. Or myself. But it's a stretch - even if I put it all over the party, who knows when it will pop up? Even if tricks were changed to work the way that I want - multi-user - if I implant that trick 4 times, that's 4 uses of my ability AND it may never come up. That's a horrible deal.

Making the mesmer have to know what's going to happen ahead of time makes them even more into a bad mage. Because if a mage knows what's coming ahead of time... he can bypass or trivialize it.


Hmm - how would this affect the class: allow the Mesmerist to implant all known tricks, but only one (until he's higher level, then two, or three, or whatever) can be TRIGGERED per day, so the other implanted Tricks are "lost" the moment one goes off...


CEBrown wrote:
Hmm - how would this affect the class: allow the Mesmerist to implant all known tricks, but only one (until he's higher level, then two, or three, or whatever) can be TRIGGERED per day, so the other implanted Tricks are "lost" the moment one goes off...

I think that would be a bookkeeping nightmare. At that point, you might as well simply handwave the implantation aspect and make it a use-at-will ability (and simply assume that you were mesmerizing everyone in the party down to the wizard's familiar while they were handwaving the eating of breakfast, shaving, studying spellbooks, and sharpening swords).

That still doesn't solve the minutes-per-level problem, either. So we'll need to stop every minute to let the mesmerist rehypnotize everyone.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
CEBrown wrote:
Hmm - how would this affect the class: allow the Mesmerist to implant all known tricks, but only one (until he's higher level, then two, or three, or whatever) can be TRIGGERED per day, so the other implanted Tricks are "lost" the moment one goes off...

I think that would be a bookkeeping nightmare. At that point, you might as well simply handwave the implantation aspect and make it a use-at-will ability (and simply assume that you were mesmerizing everyone in the party down to the wizard's familiar while they were handwaving the eating of breakfast, shaving, studying spellbooks, and sharpening swords).

That still doesn't solve the minutes-per-level problem, either. So we'll need to stop every minute to let the mesmerist rehypnotize everyone.

Oh, good points - completely missed the minutes-per-level thing. it does seem to cripple the class a bit.

Sovereign Court

Orfamay Quest wrote:
CEBrown wrote:
Hmm - how would this affect the class: allow the Mesmerist to implant all known tricks, but only one (until he's higher level, then two, or three, or whatever) can be TRIGGERED per day, so the other implanted Tricks are "lost" the moment one goes off...

I think that would be a bookkeeping nightmare. At that point, you might as well simply handwave the implantation aspect and make it a use-at-will ability (and simply assume that you were mesmerizing everyone in the party down to the wizard's familiar while they were handwaving the eating of breakfast, shaving, studying spellbooks, and sharpening swords).

That still doesn't solve the minutes-per-level problem, either. So we'll need to stop every minute to let the mesmerist rehypnotize everyone.

Thankfully, the min/level problem is for sure being fixed, according to the dev. I personally hope for tricks lasting until spell are regained, but hour/level would also be an acceptable length.


Logan Bonner wrote:
Quick note for everybody: I'll be on vacation the rest of this week, so I'll pop back in to look at questions Monday. (Or later today, time permitting.)

Have a nice vacation

I just wanted to say that I think people are putting too much focus on buffing allies with this class. We don't really need a contingency bard and there are other classes in the occult book alone that make better supports. I think the focus should be shifted more to controlling the fight, as I've said previously. Keep the tricks, but rework them a bit to add status effects to enemies. That way you're as effective protecting yourself in combat as you are with a team. Maybe they require touch attacks or close range, which give the class a reason to be up close with their 3/4 BAB (as they currently have little reason to be anywhere but the back lines) I think the most effective way of supporting the team is stopping the enemies hurting them to begin with, by trying to lock down monsters rather than increase defenses. I'd at least like an archetype (if the main class can't do this) to let the Mesmerist get through combat and other situations purely through mental control and a little bit of swordplay (both solo play and with a team)


If the intent is a post-hypnotic suggestion type deal, the only logical way for them to thematically impose penalties to enemies would be with an addition to the Hypnotic Stare ability - perhaps they can forgo the imposed penalty to "grant" a "negative" or reversed Trick instead?

Possibly this could be a bonus granted around level 3 or 4?


Duraxis wrote:


I just wanted to say that I think people are putting too much focus on buffing allies with this class. We don't really need a contingency bard and there are other classes in the occult book alone that make better supports. I think the focus should be shifted more to controlling the fight, as I've said previously.

I agree.

Quote:
Keep the tricks, but rework them a bit to add status effects to enemies.

That could work.

In particular, an at-will status effect with a touch attack, the specific effect scaling with level, would provide a reason for staying in the front lines. If it's a touch attack, then the 3/4 BAB is probably good enough, and you don't need a good weapon to be an effective melee combatant.

You can still use your cardboard tube at low levels until you get whatever trick that was that lets you affect mind-affecting things, and it de-emphasizes spells (appropriate for a 6th level caster with such a limited list). And it would play like something we don't really have -- maybe like a modified monk, but I think it would be pretty interesting and novel.

There would still be the issue of MAD caster using save or suck effects. If I need to get past someone's Will save, I need a high Charisma, but if I need to stand in the front line and hit things, I need high Strength and Constitution. Sor/Wiz gets around that by not being in the front line, Bard gets around it by not using Save or Suck, and Magus gets around it by not using spells with saves. We'd still need a way for the Mesmerist to be able to have effective DCs (especially since their spells are all at fairly low levels.)


CEBrown wrote:


Possibly this could be a bonus granted around level 3 or 4?

Given that Mesmerists are useless at level 1, I see no reason to make them wait to be a playable class.

As written, they might as well have the following class feature:

Quote:


Dead: You begin play with the 'dead' status. You can take no actions. At level 3, you are automatically raised as per the raise dead spell.


Orfamay Quest wrote:


There would still be the issue of MAD caster using save or suck effects.

It wouldn't be too big a problem. All oof their big spells are enchantments or illusions, so you take spell focus and greater spell focus on one of the two, and your stare should do the rest. It's a lot easier to pick a school to specialise in when you only really get 2 choices


Orfamay Quest wrote:
CEBrown wrote:


Possibly this could be a bonus granted around level 3 or 4?

Given that Mesmerists are useless at level 1, I see no reason to make them wait to be a playable class.

As written, they might as well have the following class feature:

Quote:


Dead: You begin play with the 'dead' status. You can take no actions. At level 3, you are automatically raised as per the raise dead spell.

Honestly how many classes is this NOT true of though...

Of course I'm used to systems with characters starting even "weaker" than this (HackMaster, some other games with Zero Level rules, or point-based characters designed as "support characters" who basically enable others instead of doing anything themself) so don't see it being as big an issue as many others do. So I PERSONALLY would have no problem playing this "dead" character (as long as the GM wasn't strict about the "take no actions" thing... :D).

I guess the bottom line is they DO need something to appear more "useful" to the majority of players at the lowest levels?

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Hey Logan, hope you had a good time on vacation as you won't be reading this until you return.

So, here's the scoop: I haven't played the mesmerist myself; working on getting a few more XP on my PFS swashbuckler at the moment. That said, my last PFS scenario was played with a mesmerist at the table, so I thought I'd list some of my observations in the hopes that its helpful to you to know how this class is perceived by someone else at the table. If this isn't helpful, hey! Free carte blanche to skip me. Here it goes.

We played at Level 2; apparently there was a Con in the area that I missed last week and this guy leveled up his mesmerist fast. We played Shadow's Last Stand part 1. Overall, it was a pretty scary scenario for the mesmerist because there wasn't a lot that he could use his mind-affecting powers on.

1) The mesmerist tricks weren't tested much/ I don't remember all of the tricks that our mesmerist player took, but the only one that actually saw any use was the one that made a cloud of obscuring mist appear around one of our party members. What ended up happening rather frequently is that our player would pick a party member to implant a trick on, but the triggering condition would never happen to that player. He had obscuring mist implanted for a combat or two before he got to trigger it because enemies would constantly attack from behind when the trick was on the lead fighter. What seemed frustrating to me was that the mesmerist couldn't switch out a trick and place it on someone else without losing his previous use. Another player at the table described it as playing "Whack-a-Mole" with his class features.

2) The mesmerist's spells were very offensive. I don't know if this is a hallmark of the class or not, but the mesmerist couldn't compare with, say, the bard in terms of utility with his spellcasting. All of his spells were offensive ones like charm person; things that you cast on other players. This might be a build bungle with our player, but it seems like a bit of a problem with a class that is constantly compared to the bard. Maybe adding few more enchantment buffs would help this class out a bit? That said, this is a bad scenario for a Level 2 mesmerist; we fought a lot of stuff like constructs and undead that are immune to mind-affecting spells and he wasn't high enough level for the ability that allows the mesmerist to pierces immunity to mind-affecting effects.

3) Hypnotic Stare was really cool. I might have been the only person who thought so, but I thought the flavor behind the hypnotic stare class feature was great. At our level, it was only a small penalty to Will saves, but the idea that the character's presence alone causes those penalties was really cool.

4) The mesmerist was pretty terrible without his tricks and spells. Typically, Medium base attack classes have something that make them at least passable in combat, such as an inquisitor's judgment, a bard's morale bonus on attack rolls, or whatever class feature you're designing for the rogue so she can hit higher AC foes more readily. What was weird about the mesmerist is that he didn't have anything like that. He was a Medium base attack bonus class with nothing to actually make him decent at using that Medium base attack bonus. The only other class that I can think of that has a Medium base attack bonus that it can't really use is the summoner, but the summoner as an eidolon to make up for it.

Suggestions:
Without having seen what many others in this thread have said, here are some thoughts I had after seeing this class in action.

— This class doesn't have a signature class feature. Bards have performances. Rogues have sneak attack. Inquisitors have judgment. Personally, I think that hypnotic stare should be the focus of this class, as the crazy swirly eyes are the most iconic part of being a hypnotist. I would also update the stare so it had a limited number of targets at once (I would use 3 + Cha, similar to the bellflower tiller's bellflower crop class feature) and have the stare grant a benefit to selected allies and penalty to enemies.

— Tricks are far too limited. They have limited range, limited uses, and limited conditions in which they are useful. No other class in the game that possesses a talent mechanic uses those talents as the class's centerpiece, and I think the mesmerist is showing us why that is. Rage powers supplement rage, Ninja tricks / rogue talents supplement skills, sneak attack, ki pool, or grant bonus feats, wild talents supplement the elemental blast, and so on.

After making hypnotic stare the centerpiece, I would change mesmerist tricks so they are activated as an immediate action when a trigger occurs. If the mesmerist is aware and isn't flat-footed, he can use a trick to affect one of the targets of his hypnotic stare at a range of up to 60 feet. For example, if the party fighter is one of the mesmerist's hypnotic stare targets, if the mesmerist sees a group of enemies attack said fighter, he can use the mirror image mesmerist trick on him as an immediate action at a range of up to 60 feet.

In this manner, the mesmerist keeps its "Whack-a-Mole" gameplay, but it isn't as punishing as it currently is.

3) Bolster the HD Mechanic. I never got to see this in action, but the idea of a class that can use color spray, sleep, and similar spells more effectively is cool. This should play a larger role in the mesmerist class, but that's just my opinion. Maybe something like canny defense, but with Charisma and affecting the HD maximum of his mind-affecting spells?

Hope this feedback helps!


CEBrown wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
CEBrown wrote:


Possibly this could be a bonus granted around level 3 or 4?

Given that Mesmerists are useless at level 1, I see no reason to make them wait to be a playable class.

As written, they might as well have the following class feature:

Quote:


Dead: You begin play with the 'dead' status. You can take no actions. At level 3, you are automatically raised as per the raise dead spell.

Honestly how many classes is this NOT true of though...

Of course I'm used to systems with characters starting even "weaker" than this (HackMaster, some other games with Zero Level rules, or point-based characters designed as "support characters" who basically enable others instead of doing anything themself) so don't see it being as big an issue as many others do. So I PERSONALLY would have no problem playing this "dead" character (as long as the GM wasn't strict about the "take no actions" thing... :D).

I guess the bottom line is they DO need something to appear more "useful" to the majority of players at the lowest levels?

If we look to our good friend The Bard, you can see that he gets a solid number of rounds of bardic performance at level 1. At this level, it is a consistent self-buff that catches the bard up with the fighter in terms of martial accuracy with the added benefit of aiding every martial ally in the party.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mesmer gets tricks and a stare. Stare is only helpful if people have abilities that target will saves (of which there will be precious few at level 1) and tricks are never useful. I don't think it is fine as it is. It may be alright when tricks are rejiggered, though.


A big problem I found with the class were the tricks, in that planting a trick is only realy viable to set up before combat, but you only get 1 use per party member during the combat, making their usefulness very limiting, especially on campaigns where you may only have 1 combat a day or at lower levels where you can only implant 1 or 2 tricks per party at a time.

1 way I thought would be better is that the implanted tricks don't go away after a single use. Each time its used would still take away from the number of tricks per day (1/2 level + Cha) but if a person had say "False Flanker" trick implanted on them, they could (at the mesmurist's discretion) take advantage of it multiple times in a combat, and each use would take away from that daily allotment.


My impression of Mersmerist is that it's not sure whether it should be a dedicated spell casting class, or a gish-like scoundrel.

The BAB/HD in particular follows the typically format of d8, 3/4, 6th level spells. It's conservative, at the cost of potential, which when developing a new magic system, doesn't set the classes up to attract attention.

The class also packs rogue-like weapons, but has no real incentive to use them.
This makes me think that, perhaps it needs Sneak Attack.

With the Rogue-like weapons, and several abilities like Vanish spells, and False Flanker, and Compel Alacrity, a slow progression of sneak attack could really tie the class together, and give it some aggression, while hopefully not overshadowing other sneak attack based classes.

My alternate suggestion is to cave in, and make the Mesmerist a d6/0.5 BAB/9th level spells, removing it's rogue-like PHYSICAL elements out, as they're just atrophy at this point.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm very curious what archetype the Mesmerist will pack with. I can see them being very good (Bard archetypes) or all pretty boring (Barbarian).

I'd like to see more play around implanting tricks and using them to your benefit/offensively. Letting you cast through an ally with an implanted trick or giving precision damage when a tricked ally threatens a foe. Stuff like that.

The Mesmerist feels less capable on her own than a Bard. Even with trick changes, the Mesmerist is an underwhelming chassis. I'd either up their spells per day (weird for a 6th level caster), consider more tricks that help you add to combat without casting and for more than 1 attack, or give them some sort of illusory companion that wears your gear, allowing you to get hits in while you stay safe.

Sneak Attack and more greed seems fitting for an archetype, but I'd like the Mesmerist to be a bit more utility and not Beguiler 2.0. It was a cool class, but the concept is doable as is and I want Paizo to pull out something quite juicy and fresh, which they are close to here.

Edit: I remember something precision related brought up earlier (and commented on by Logan), but phone browsing is making it hard to find. Apologize if I have a duplicate suggestion.


Like how several others stated, I wish I could see more offensive synergy between the Mesmerist's 3/4ths BAB and his class abilities.

For example, Touch Treatment comes on at 3rd level, but all it does is remove conditions through physical touch. This doesn't impress me because it functions on reactive tactics, not proactive offense. And we know reactive strategies don't work well in this game unless you break action economy. I really wished this ability, or any other class ability, actually, could add negative enchantment-related conditions through physical contact, providing at least some incentive to use physical attacks in a vein similar to the Magus' Spellstrike and Spell Combat.

Dark Archive

Issac Daneil wrote:

The BAB/HD in particular follows the typically format of d8, 3/4, 6th level spells. It's conservative, at the cost of potential, which when developing a new magic system, doesn't set the classes up to attract attention.

The class also packs rogue-like weapons, but has no real incentive to use them.
This makes me think that, perhaps it needs Sneak Attack.

With the Rogue-like weapons, and several abilities like Vanish spells, and False Flanker, and Compel Alacrity, a slow progression of sneak attack could really tie the class together, and give it some aggression, while hopefully not overshadowing other sneak attack based classes.

Dear god, make the Mesmerist the Arcane Trickster Gotham deserves.

Liberty's Edge

Creevy wrote:
Issac Daneil wrote:

The BAB/HD in particular follows the typically format of d8, 3/4, 6th level spells. It's conservative, at the cost of potential, which when developing a new magic system, doesn't set the classes up to attract attention.

The class also packs rogue-like weapons, but has no real incentive to use them.
This makes me think that, perhaps it needs Sneak Attack.

With the Rogue-like weapons, and several abilities like Vanish spells, and False Flanker, and Compel Alacrity, a slow progression of sneak attack could really tie the class together, and give it some aggression, while hopefully not overshadowing other sneak attack based classes.

Dear god, make the Mesmerist the Arcane Trickster Gotham deserves.

Well, Logan did say something about the possibility of adding precision damage against the target of the Mesmerist's gaze. That's not precisely Sneak Attack, but it's close enough for government work. I really hope that gets added. That plus some serious improvements on Tricks, and at least one accuracy enhancer of some sort (having the gaze reduce AC would work well) would make the Mesmerist a lot closer to parity with the Bard and generally much more fun.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
— This class doesn't have a signature class feature. Bards have performances. Rogues have sneak attack. Inquisitors have judgment. Personally, I think that hypnotic stare should be the focus of this class, as the crazy swirly eyes are the most iconic part of being a hypnotist. I would also update the stare so it had a limited number of targets at once (I would use 3 + Cha, similar to the bellflower tiller's bellflower crop class feature) and have the stare grant a benefit to selected allies and penalty to enemies.

I have to agree with this. Single target debuff is too tough to make effective unless you're pulling off boss encounters. Plus, if you could implant tricks via the stare, it's so much more useful and gives a real hypnotism feel.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Creevy wrote:
Issac Daneil wrote:

The BAB/HD in particular follows the typically format of d8, 3/4, 6th level spells. It's conservative, at the cost of potential, which when developing a new magic system, doesn't set the classes up to attract attention.

The class also packs rogue-like weapons, but has no real incentive to use them.
This makes me think that, perhaps it needs Sneak Attack.

With the Rogue-like weapons, and several abilities like Vanish spells, and False Flanker, and Compel Alacrity, a slow progression of sneak attack could really tie the class together, and give it some aggression, while hopefully not overshadowing other sneak attack based classes.

Dear god, make the Mesmerist the Arcane Trickster Gotham deserves.

I was just thinking this class could use a little bit more Ranged legerdemain.


xevious573 wrote:
Creevy wrote:
Issac Daneil wrote:

The BAB/HD in particular follows the typically format of d8, 3/4, 6th level spells. It's conservative, at the cost of potential, which when developing a new magic system, doesn't set the classes up to attract attention.

The class also packs rogue-like weapons, but has no real incentive to use them.
This makes me think that, perhaps it needs Sneak Attack.

With the Rogue-like weapons, and several abilities like Vanish spells, and False Flanker, and Compel Alacrity, a slow progression of sneak attack could really tie the class together, and give it some aggression, while hopefully not overshadowing other sneak attack based classes.

Dear god, make the Mesmerist the Arcane Trickster Gotham deserves.
I was just thinking this class could use a little bit more Ranged legerdemain.

That just sounds to me like we're moving it into the Witch's space. Single-target debuffs at (close) range? Those are called 'hexes.' I'm not sure that turning the Mesmerist from a second-rate Bard into a second-rate Witch is that much of an improvement.

I still think it needs something cool that it can do better than anyone else. Making it more rogue-like, more bard-like, or more witch-like isn't going to do it, especially if it ends up being 2/3 of a bard and 2/3 of a witch.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Um... you sure you quoting the right people?


Pretty sure. Isaac said it needs to be more Rogue-like, Creevy said he wants it to be more Arcane Trickster-like, and you said you wanted it to be Witch-like.

I want it to be Mesmerist-like instead.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ranged Legerdmain is an Arcane Trickster ability that allows a character to perform sleight of hand and disable device checks at 30ft with a 5lbs limit... I, in fact, am all for keeping the Tricks and having the mesmerist have it's party buffing aspects as well. I actually want the class to be fully focused on enemy enchantment (including easier access to the Threnodic spell feat) but also auto-hypnosis and ally hypnosis. I said nothing about hexes. I do think that the sneak attack is kinda a needed feature. but that's just me.

EDIT: With the Tricks getting duration buffs as well.


xevious573 wrote:

Ranged Legerdmain is an Arcane Trickster ability that allows a character to perform sleight of hand and disable device checks at 30ft with a 5lbs limit... I, in fact, am all for keeping the Tricks and having the mesmerist have it's party buffing aspects as well. I actually want the class to be fully focused on enemy enchantment (including easier access to the Threnodic spell feat) but also auto-hypnosis and ally hypnosis. I said nothing about hexes. I do think that the sneak attack is kinda a needed feature. but that's just me.

EDIT: With the Tricks getting duration buffs as well.

I think it merits an Archetype that grants Sneak Attack, or access to that as a Feat but it shouldn't be an ability for all Mesmerists - just doesn't fit the feel of the class as written.

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