General Discussion: Mesmerist


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The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The class as written has a Magician/Hypnotist feeling to me. Both of these things go pretty hand-in-hand as far as archetypical concepts go. The ability to perform Ranged Legerdemain is already partially written into the class itself, specifically with the vanish arrow trick.

As to the sneak attack. The actual idea I presented was for Hypnotic Stare, what I and others feel is the central ability of this class, to boost Attack Rolls (via penalizing the target's AC thus maintaining a teamwork aspect to the ability) and to boost Damage Rolls (simply making the target take more damage from weapon-like attacks, once again maintaining teamwork aspects). The fluff? The mesmerist has hypnotized the target to ineffectually dodge into the attacks as opposed to away from.

While Logan hasn't commented on my idea of decreasing the target's AC via Hypnotic Stare, he has said that he was looking into making it so the Hypnotic Stare would potentially give precision damage to allies who attacked the target of Hypnotic Stare.

Now, why the need for this stuff? This class has Medium BAB but has no real incentive to use it beyond simply "Oh, all my abilities are mind affecting! Whatever will I do against this undead/construct/ooze/plant?!?!". And as written, the Mesmerist has no reason to WANT to use the Med BAB of his. He has less then the Rogue who atleast has sneak attack. Unlike almost every other Med BAB/6th Spell Level class, the Mesmerist has no real ability to increase his to-hit. He doesn't have bardic performance, no judgements, no melee buff spells (though I think there is a good argument for Good Hope and Heroism/Greater Heroism what with them being enchantment spells), no arcana pool and so on.

Now, I don't want the Mesmerist to really FOCUS on combat, whether ranged or melee, but the class should have options that allow him/her to engage in weapon combat from Level 1... when mindless undead are incredibly prominent.


Perhaps a Trick-like thing making the next attack against a target of the Hypnotic Stare (regardless of the source) a Sneak Attack (based on the Mesmerist's Level for extra damage)?

Perhaps the target (if it survives) then becomes immune to the Hypnotic Stare for the remainder of the encounter?

In other words, the Mesmerist doesn't get to be the "combat monster" but he enables others to fill that role while impeding the enemy...


Orfamay Quest wrote:
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.

For my part, I would like this class to become more bard-like in its support role and more witch-like in its offensive role and just drop all this martial stuff entirely. Specifically, I have a vision of giving this class sufficiently useful and diverse class powers that it can drop to 1/2 BAB and still not need full casting for its power source.

That would make this class unique and different.


Excaliburproxy wrote:

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.

For my part, I would like this class to become more bard-like in its support role and more witch-like in its offensive role and just drop all this martial stuff entirely. Specifically, I have a vision of giving this class sufficiently useful and diverse class powers that it can drop to 1/2 BAB and still not need full casting for its power source.

That would make this class unique and different.

That might work, although there would need to be something clearly different between the Witch's hexes and the Mesmerist's whatever-it-becomes. I think there's a big enough difference already between the specific tactical tricks (e.g. sudden burst of speed, sudden mirror image, sudden imaginary flanker) and the generic +2 to die rolls to make a Mesmerist not-a-Bard, but it still needs to be not-a-Witch.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't like the idea of it dropping to LOW BAB and not getting 9th Level spells.

I can like the idea of it getting Low BAB and 9th Level Spells

OR

I can like the ability of this class gaining abilities that let it use its Med BAB and keeping it at 6th Level spells.

I absolutely love it being a support role but almost all support classes have some way of making sure they themselves are effective. Right now, the Mesmerist is missing this option.


xevious573 wrote:
I don't like the idea of it dropping to LOW BAB and not getting 9th Level spells.

Why not? There's nothing special about 9th level spells that makes them the only way to be magically effective. A sufficiently powerful set of SLAs or supernatural abilities could also make it effectively a 9th level caster with a 6 level spell list tacked onto the side.

I'm thinking here particularly about the Sumnoner, which is a 6 level caster, but many of the Summoner's 6th level spells are 9th level spells for a wizard, and the Summoner's signature SLA is a summon monster spell that improves at the same rate as a wizard.

Once could easily make a (more) effective mesmerist by giving them dominate person as an SLA, useful at 9th level (when a wizard gets the spell), or even 8th level (a level earlier), and likewise for other signature spells.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Summoner has Medium BAB, the ability to evolve himself, and summons which is one quite a different playing field with a lot more options and ability to by pass restrictions then Dominate Person BEFORE we take into account his build-a-monster.


xevious573 wrote:
The Summoner has Medium BAB, the ability to evolve himself, and summons which is one quite a different playing field with a lot more options and ability to by pass restrictions then Dominate Person BEFORE we take into account his build-a-monster.

Which simply proves my point that there are lots of ways to make an effective character concept that don't involve BAB or 9th level spells.

Goodness, I could make a very effective character simply by taking a Charisma-based spontaneous caster, and giving them the spells known and spells per day of an Inquisitor, a Magus, and a Bard combined. That's a character that would never see a 9th level spell, but would also never fail to have a useful spell available for any and every circumstance.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
xevious573 wrote:
The Summoner has Medium BAB, the ability to evolve himself, and summons which is one quite a different playing field with a lot more options and ability to by pass restrictions then Dominate Person BEFORE we take into account his build-a-monster.

I said I don't like the idea of making the Mesmerist have 1/2 BAB and no 9th levels. The summoner ISN'T an example of what your are talking about. The summoner has buff spells (bull's strength, heroism, haste) and the ability to evolve himself. Once again BEFORE we take into account that the summoner can build himself synergy with his Eidolon. The summoner can be built to mix it up in combat if he desires.

If you take away his Med BAB, I want to ability to apply metamagic to my spells, higher DCs for my spells in general, reason to focus my feats in the direction of spell casting.

If you keep Med BAB, then I want options to make me effective with a weapon. Not on the fighter level necessarily but atleast something. Tricks help with the flanking tricks. I think the Stare could be useful in that regard too.

Not letting me have 9th level spells if you take my BAB means that I have very few directions to focus my feats beyond extra trick and extra bold stare. Metamagics become harder to pull off without resorting to Rods which isn't what I want to be forced into.


xevious573 wrote:
xevious573 wrote:
The Summoner has Medium BAB, the ability to evolve himself, and summons which is one quite a different playing field with a lot more options and ability to by pass restrictions then Dominate Person BEFORE we take into account his build-a-monster.
I said I don't like the idea of making the Mesmerist have 1/2 BAB and no 9th levels.

Yes, and I asked "Why not?", because that seems an ill-thought-out prejudice instead of a reasoned opinion on your part.


Keep the medium BAB. Another 9-level caster is boring - do something interesting and make the Mesmerist combat-capable. A combat hypnotist is far more interesting and unique.

The most important thing is to improve the action economy of the tricks. If you're wasting a standard action on one, you're screwing up their ability to fight. Swift and immediate actions are awesome - I'd happily sacrifice full BAB to get some neat combat tricks which don't get in the way of my sword-cane swinging.

Perhaps if the Mesmerist can implant a trick as a swift action when he's doing it to himself, and trigger tricks by expending attacks of opportunity (much like a swashbuckler).

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

6th level spellcasting:

Has a harder time using metamagics.
Has lower DCs and thus are resisted easier
Has less resources per day
Has less versatility

1/2 BAB:

Gains very little from combat focus feats and items
has lower hit points
pushes me away from combat

Hexes or Hex like things:

Have a very limited feats focused on this ability.
Have very limited spells that interact on this ability.
Will be limited Solely to the books that have Mesmerist options (and thus very little interaction with past books).

This means that feats-wise I will be mainly limited to the feats in this book because I won't be abler to use metamagic feats very easily thus taking a huge chunk of those options off the board and since you want me to have 1/2 BAB I will not want to get in the middle of things so most things combat related aren't available.

You literally making the main source of customization be archetypes or new tricks. You are making the other options (spells and feats) far less effectual customization options by making the Mesmerist want Extra Trick, Extra Bold Stare, Split Trick or whatever be the ONLY feats a Mesmerist wants.

Since the Witch was released, 12 feats and 5 spells have been released that interact with Hexes (atleast from Paizo). There ARE MORE ARCHETYPES for the witch then spells and feats combined that focus on Hexes.

But thing about Witches is that they atleast have 9 levels of spells that they can use feats to augment. They have a lot of potential customization with the spell's in their familiar. They can use standard wizard customization such as metamagic and item crafting. IF you keep the Mesmerist at with 6th level while lowering its BAB, you are not improving its ability to use powerful magic while reducing its ability to customize towards fighting if the player wanted that.

You are making it a worse enchanter then just being a fricking wizard with the enchantment school. Atleast with a Med BAB it isn't ONLY an enchanter.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


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.

For my part, I would like this class to become more bard-like in its support role and more witch-like in its offensive role and just drop all this martial stuff entirely. Specifically, I have a vision of giving this class sufficiently useful and diverse class powers that it can drop to 1/2 BAB and still not need full casting for its power source.

That would make this class unique and different.

That might work, although there would need to be something clearly different between the Witch's hexes and the Mesmerist's whatever-it-becomes. I think there's a big enough difference already between the specific tactical tricks (e.g. sudden burst of speed, sudden mirror image, sudden imaginary flanker) and the generic +2 to die rolls to make a Mesmerist not-a-Bard, but it still needs to be not-a-Witch.

I think that is essentially true.

xevious573 wrote:
The Summoner has Medium BAB, the ability to evolve himself, and summons which is one quite a different playing field with a lot more options and ability to by pass restrictions then Dominate Person BEFORE we take into account his build-a-monster.

Diverting evolution points from your super monster is for chumps. Those points are worth more to the hulking super monster than they are worth to you since you. The monster is probably going to be able to build all strength and have synergy between that strength and its potential to make many attacks. Whereas you the summoner are going to want to have some minimum charisma and constitution requirements before going into a strength or dexterity builds. Moreover, the Summoner has more competition for its standard actions. You will likely want to cast haste for the party every fight and the class has the advanced summoning spell progression. As such, the summoner can happily spend most of its combat turns not hitting things with a stick like a base and common martial character.

If you dropped the summoner to 1/2 BAB, its effectiveness would fall a very small amount.

xevious573 wrote:

But thing about Witches is that they atleast have 9 levels of spells that they can use feats to augment. They have a lot of potential customization with the spell's in their familiar. They can use standard wizard customization such as metamagic and item crafting. IF you keep the Mesmerist at with 6th level while lowering its BAB, you are not improving its ability to use powerful magic while reducing its ability to customize towards fighting if the player wanted that.

You are making it a worse enchanter then just being a fricking wizard with the enchantment school. Atleast with a Med BAB it isn't ONLY an enchanter.

I dunno, man. I think you lack a certain level of vision in this. If you gave this class 9 levels of casting then you would pretty much just have another witch.

Can you REALLY not imagine a suite of class abilities that would justify dropping the class to 1/2 BAB?

Maybe the hypnotic stare can include a certain number of limited-use compulsions: like it could target an enemy with dominate monster for a number of rounds per day equal to the class's caster level with the difficulty of the save leveling up with the mesmerist.

Maybe these autohypnosis buffs could impart allies with small passive bonuses to damage or armor class until you "burst" them for a big effect. Maybe you could spend one round not staring at enemies to stare at friends and implant new suggestions as a free action once a round.

Maybe you could stare at allies to give them bonuses against mind effecting abilities and you could use a round of the dominate person ability to give them a new saving throw against an ongoing mind-effecting ability (essentially making this class the best combat healer of the mind).

Maybe we could get a "lazy lord" class that uses its own actions to give allies additional actions. (this can already be done with heroic fortune and heroic finally)

I can probably make up abilities all day and you would still tell me that this class would need 9 levels of casting with a 1/2 BAB?


Keep HD/BA the same
-Give him some kind of sneak attack mechanic.
-Give him some hex like abilities particular the sleep and evil eye hex.
-Give him a boost to his DC for compulsion effects.
-Give him the ability to grant allies bonuses on saves vs charm, fear, compulsion, illusion, and/or emotion effects.
-Give him bonuses against and with illusions effects.
-Make his hypnotic stare stronger.
-Give him an ability that makes him resistant and/or immune to gaze attacks/effects.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Huh, I find the last part of this discussion very confusing.
Expanding the Hypnotic Stare and Tricks class features and introducing new options that allow for combat-focused builds (I agree that the mesmerist is lacking in this department) does not require Changing HD/BAB/Spellcasting progression. Personally, I tend to find the generalist classes (alchemist, bard, inquisitor, magus) most interesting because of their versatility. It should be possible to create a class that is about equal in power and still has some unique features to set it apart (thematically) from the existing classes.


Dunno why everyone wants sneak attack, its really the worst damage buff in the game. Not necessarily because of all its limitations (which are numerous) but because it occupies enormous amounts of design space on the class, which pushes things of actual value off that lovely special ability section.

Liberty's Edge

Trogdar wrote:
Dunno why everyone wants sneak attack, its really the worst damage buff in the game. Not necessarily because of all its limitations (which are numerous) but because it occupies enormous amounts of design space on the class, which pushes things of actual value off that lovely special ability section.

Which is why I suspect we will instead get some bonus precision damage vs targets of the Mesmerist's gaze ability.


Amanuensis wrote:

Huh, I find the last part of this discussion very confusing.

Expanding the Hypnotic Stare and Tricks class features and introducing new options that allow for combat-focused builds (I agree that the mesmerist is lacking in this department) does not require Changing HD/BAB/Spellcasting progression.

No, you're right, it doesn't. Having said that, I think that the 3/4BAB-d8-6level space is rather crowded and a lot more could be done elsewhere.

3/4BAB-d8-6level should be a reasoned design decision, not simply a tastes-like-chicken default setting. That's particularly clear in this case, because as written, there's no reason for the 3/4 BAB or the d8 (they don't do the character a lick of good, and the other class abilities provide no reason to enter combat). So an obvious possibility is to leave the combat capacity low, leave it with 6 levels of casting, but boost the other class abilities to the point where they, and not the spells, are the main reason to take the class.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sorry but no thanks. I want to be able to have a martial-ish Mesmerist. I don't care if you can think of a suite of abilities to make up for the loss of BAB. After all, those suite of abilities could very simply just be spells. You take away more options then keep if you lower the BAB while not increasing the spell progressing.

As to the Summoner, Taking away it's Med BAB does mean you are taking away the viability of melee Summoners. I have seen Summoners that went out of their way to wield Heavy Two-Handed Weapons. I don't think they would be lacking in options thanks to their many varied options for being melee focused. I also don't mind that some summoners want to be full casty types. Thankfully, the summoner supports going down either path.

When it comes to the mesmerist, I like the idea of it wielding its sword cane, not simply as a prop but a possible true option should the Mesmerist decide to go that route. You taking away its BAB basically is telling me "No, you can't be like Lord Blackwood of the Sherlock Holmes movie and have a Sword Cane you can fight with."

My own personal Character is going to be a Vishkanya Mesmerist and I greatly welcome the Med BAB and the weapon proficiencies though I am bound to be using my racial proficiencies. I want my Vishkanya to be a sorta Snakebite fighter who mesmerizes people with her gaze before striking them down. Like a cobra snake staring and dancing. I have no doubt that I will likely use an archetype for this character (I am hoping for a snake charmer/medusa gaze archetype) and I plenty welcome the various spells and how they fit into the equation. But I want my character to be viable with the Mesmerist. The fact that their may be a a precision damage associated with the Hypnotic Stare is right where I want to be. Taking the BAB away does not allow that.

I don't mind that you guys want to go full caster and it having Med BAB and 6th Level Spell Progression still allows that plenty. The class will have plenty of support options. There are some issues they have with those options but the designer has already stated that there will be more Bold Stares and the Tricks will have longer stay times.

Now some separate ideas
-------------------------
What if the class got Slippery Mind. Just an idea but it seems like something the Mesmerist would have. Yes i know it has Towering Ego but I think Slippery Mind really fits the idea.

Also apparently there is the Veneficus Witch archetype from People of the River that can poison people it hexes. It would be kinda cool if the Mesmerist got a potential Bold Stare that allowed them to try to inflict a poison the Mesmerist had on their person through the Hypnotic Stare. Another potential option is an upgrade to the Spectral Cloud that makes it act in a poisonous way such as Cloudkill as a possible Master Trick.


Well, I think making think making this Pathfinder's 7th (or whatever) Gish class is profoundly boring.

Though I will note that I don't think any of the 2/3 casting classes in this book are terribly viable martial classes (though a lot of people don't seem to realize this), I think the Mesmerist could definitely stand to be something new. It feels like the gish classes should be the Occultist (analogous to the magus and warpriest) and the Spiritualist (a class analogous to a bardy-er Hunter).

Why does this hypnotist need a sword?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What's stopping you from building a casty focused Bard or Mesmerist? I've built casting focused bard builds before. You two have already noted that the Summoner does fine if they don't go Gish right? So that means the Summoner can either go Gish or just go straight caster?

I want the same option for the Mesmerist. To either be allowed to use a weapon or to focus my abilities towards spell casting.

But ultimately we're not going to agree. So I'm going to drop this argument. It wasn't one I needed to particularly be in anyway.


xevious573 wrote:

What's stopping you from building a casty focused Bard or Mesmerist? I've built casting focused bard builds before. You two have already noted that the Summoner does fine if they don't go Gish right? So that means the Summoner can either go Gish or just go straight caster?

I want the same option for the Mesmerist. To either be allowed to use a weapon or to focus my abilities towards spell casting.

But ultimately we're not going to agree. So I'm going to drop this argument. It wasn't one I needed to particularly be in anyway.

I am saying that I don't think the Summoner fairs very well as a Gish over 20 levels while the bard fairs a bit better but not great. This is because they would both really rather be casting, using class abilities, or using special actions from feats (like dazzling display or feints) than making comically subpar ranged and melee attacks that also take up all of your attribute real estate. They play well at low levels but so does everything.

I think that I would not mind seeing a "bard" that has additional supernatural abilities rather than the dangling that tired martial carrot again. The investigator is as good of a rogue/caster gish as anyone could ever ask for already. I know that this one would focus on offensive spells more but offensive spells need a high casting stat and gishes can't do that thing.

This should go full supernatural and key everything off the same casting stat rather than trying to cram this into the the Gish box.

Otherwise, you will have a hypnotist with martial options that he does not want to use or a gish with tons and tons of offensive spells that he does not want to use.


xevious573 wrote:
What's stopping you from building a casty focused Bard or Mesmerist?

The fact that a Mesmerist as written sucks as a caster. 6th level spells and a focus on save-or-suck in the spell list means that everything will make its saves.

Liberty's Edge

Orfamay Quest wrote:
xevious573 wrote:
What's stopping you from building a casty focused Bard or Mesmerist?
The fact that a Mesmerist as written sucks as a caster. 6th level spells and a focus on save-or-suck in the spell list means that everything will make its saves.

Actually...his stare compensates for this entirely, making for a -3 penalty eventually.

The issue is that, as a 6-level Caster, a Mesmerist lacks the sheer number of spells to perform as a full caster does, casting a spell per round. He'll run out of effective ones relative to his level and then have nothing to do.

Sovereign Court

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
xevious573 wrote:
What's stopping you from building a casty focused Bard or Mesmerist?
The fact that a Mesmerist as written sucks as a caster. 6th level spells and a focus on save-or-suck in the spell list means that everything will make its saves.

Actually...his stare compensates for this entirely, making for a -3 penalty eventually.

The issue is that, as a 6-level Caster, a Mesmerist lacks the sheer number of spells to perform as a full caster does, casting a spell per round. He'll run out of effective ones relative to his level and then have nothing to do.

I also actually think the DC problem is not entirely fixed by Stare, mostly because the Mesmerist is hilariously MAD atm, so his casting stat isn't getting as boosted as much as an optimized Wizard.

In addition, running into things with high Will saves (or to a lesser extent, Fort) pretty much negates a large chunk of his spell list, something most full casters don't have to worry about as much.

Liberty's Edge

Lukas Stariha wrote:
I also actually think the DC problem is not entirely fixed by Stare, mostly because the Mesmerist is hilariously MAD atm, so his casting stat isn't getting as boosted as much as an optimized Wizard.

Huh? This is pretty much the most flatly Charisma based class I've ever seen. A combat stat is needed...but only because of the 'running out of spells' problem I mentioned earlier. Every Class Feature is Charisma based.

Lukas Stariha wrote:
In addition, running into things with high Will saves (or to a lesser extent, Fort) pretty much negates a large chunk of his spell list, something most full casters don't have to worry about as much.

This is certainly true, and why I'm not advocating getting rid of its combat capabilities...but it doesn't change the fact that its Save Dcs are up to par.


Lukas Stariha wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
xevious573 wrote:
What's stopping you from building a casty focused Bard or Mesmerist?
The fact that a Mesmerist as written sucks as a caster. 6th level spells and a focus on save-or-suck in the spell list means that everything will make its saves.

Actually...his stare compensates for this entirely, making for a -3 penalty eventually.

The issue is that, as a 6-level Caster, a Mesmerist lacks the sheer number of spells to perform as a full caster does, casting a spell per round. He'll run out of effective ones relative to his level and then have nothing to do.

I also actually think the DC problem is not entirely fixed by Stare, mostly because the Mesmerist is hilariously MAD atm, so his casting stat isn't getting as boosted as much as an optimized Wizard.

In addition, running into things with high Will saves (or to a lesser extent, Fort) pretty much negates a large chunk of his spell list, something most full casters don't have to worry about as much.

That is precisely my argument with Xevious. If you want a class to be able to take advantage of offensive spells, you need to let them spec for their casting stat.

Deadmanwalking wrote:


Lukas Stariha wrote:
In addition, running into things with high Will saves (or to a lesser extent, Fort) pretty much negates a large chunk of his spell list, something most full casters don't have to worry about as much.
This is certainly true, and why I'm not advocating getting rid of its combat capabilities...but it doesn't change the fact that its Save Dcs are up to par.

But it falls even farther behind in accuracy and damage and that is still diverting points from charisma and health/defense. I think this class's options outside of spells should be supernatural abilities rather than swinging swords at chumps.

Sovereign Court

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Lukas Stariha wrote:
I also actually think the DC problem is not entirely fixed by Stare, mostly because the Mesmerist is hilariously MAD atm, so his casting stat isn't getting as boosted as much as an optimized Wizard.
Huh? This is pretty much the most flatly Charisma based class I've ever seen. A combat stat is needed...but only because of the 'running out of spells' problem I mentioned earlier. Every Class Feature is Charisma based.

Having built a Mesmerist for PFS play, I highly disagree. You want every single one of your stats if you wish to be useful in combat and maximize your effectiveness outside of it. Dexterity for AC/Finesse, Str for damage/carrying capacity, Con for Hp, Int for Skills (which you have many useful ones as class) and Cha for your main abilities. Yes, Cha is your most important score, but you also can't neglect any of your others unless you want to completely negate any chance of attacking (a moderately necessary action in many situations given their spell list.)

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Lukas Stariha wrote:
In addition, running into things with high Will saves (or to a lesser extent, Fort) pretty much negates a large chunk of his spell list, something most full casters don't have to worry about as much.
This is certainly true, and why I'm not advocating getting rid of its combat capabilities...but it doesn't change the fact that its Save Dcs are up to par.

This wasn't an argument about DC's directly, but rather how they aren't as effective as full casters or even the Bard/Summoner/Magus in a casting-focused role. Their spell list is too narrow in range to be the main focus of the character.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I haven't playtested a Mesmerist, but one of the things that put me off was the limited duration of the implanted tricks. At minutes/level, that means the Mesmerist is running around hypnotizing people in the middle of battle, trying to throw up super-situational buffs on the fly. I think it would play a lot smoother if they lasted for 10 minutes or hours/level instead, so they could last through multiple combats and be more likely to be triggered.


RainyDayNinja wrote:
I haven't playtested a Mesmerist, but one of the things that put me off was the limited duration of the implanted tricks. At minutes/level, that means the Mesmerist is running around hypnotizing people in the middle of battle, trying to throw up super-situational buffs on the fly. I think it would play a lot smoother if they lasted for 10 minutes or hours/level instead, so they could last through multiple combats and be more likely to be triggered.

Especially since the minutes-per-level seems an unreasonably short time by the standards of the real world. In the real world, hypnosis is often used as a smoking or weight-loss treatment, and the suggestions are expected to last from one session to the next. (And in Pathfinder, those treatments might even work!)

It would be a pretty useless kind of therapy if I had to go in every twenty minutes to be (re)hypnotized not to smoke.


I think 10 minutes per level is too short even. Hours per level may be adequate but I would want them to last 24 hours perhaps with as situational as those buffs are.


Lukas Stariha wrote:


Having built a Mesmerist for PFS play, I highly disagree. You want every single one of your stats if you wish to be useful in combat and maximize your effectiveness outside of it. Dexterity for AC/Finesse, Str for damage/carrying capacity, Con for Hp, Int for Skills (which you have many useful ones as class) and Cha for your main abilities. Yes, Cha is your most important score, but you also can't neglect any of your others unless you want to completely negate any chance of attacking (a moderately necessary action in many situations given their spell list.)

Yeah, I agree. The Mesmerist is MAD as hell. Compare it to the bard (to which is is clearly inferior, for these reasons.)

With a 3/4 BAB, you can't be expected to hit reliably without some sort of attack bonus, so you need strength. (Or you can't be expected to enter combat at all, so why the actual hell do you need 3/4/ BAB?) The bard at least gets its various bardic performances for attack bonuses.

It's supposed to be a skill monkey, so it needs intelligence to max out skills. The bard avoids this with versatile performance and bonuses to knowledge skills, so it can get by with lower intelligence.

Medium vs. light armor gives a slight edge to the Mesmerist, but it's still not tough enough to stand in the front lines. Therefore, it needs both dexterity (for ranged attacks/saves) and constitution (for hit points/saves) to give it survivability. The bard is similar.

As a caster, the Mesmerist needs Wisdom for will saves --- the bard gets bonuses against a lot of those via its performances and via well-versed; the Mesmerist does not.

And finally, Charisma. The bard has a large number of buff spells that do not require saving throws and can affect a wide variety of saving throws if needed. Almost all of the Mesmerist's spells are Will-save-or-suck, which means a) you'll need to overcome their saving throw all the time, and b) half the time, you'll need to overcome their good saving throw, so the DC needs to be that much higher. Again, the bard comes out clearly superior.

It's absolutely counterfactual to consider the Mesmerist to be "flatly Charisma-based." That's an error along the lines of saying "the monk is flatly Wisdom-based."

Dark Archive

I have a playtest gnome mesmer running for PFS and I went ahead and abandoned attacking outright and it has worked out okay and let me be CHA Dependent (at level 5 now). DC 20 Loathsome Veil as a level 2 breaks any large mook based battle. I have bailed out our tank with my +12 will save (note: you get CHA to will) and made a hunter pretty terrifying with the flank trick. Glitterdust and silent walls let you carve up the battlefield pretty well. Important things to remember is that if you get another controller wizard (or anyone that preys on will saves) you are essentially giving spell focus to him for free with that stare.

Only a couple of issues so far: If I compare tricks to say hexes in terms of power level then they could use some love. I would love a misfortune trick.

Level 3 is the first spell list that doesn't have more illusions than I want for offensive casting. I would love to see a couple of the Lvl 4 Wizard illusions added to the Level 3 list.

Also if I wasn't going for the boon I would have dipped into Oracle for Awesome Display and burning hands to really balance out.


I was just thinking, a Mesmerist, as currently designed, seems intended to be used just before entering a fray, with some knowledge of what to expect. It seems to me that a Mesmerist really needs to team up with a Spiritualist. The Phantom scouts the area, then the Mesmerist sets he party up just before entering the new room.


I was unsure about the concept until I read through the details but I think it works well and fills in a nice niche in the game. The abilities could so easily have been unbalanced and overpowered but I think they are just about right to create a true "buff/debuff" character.

One are I am less happy with is the Level 20 power. The class up to that point seems balanced and primarily working along the buff/debuff route quite nicely. Then *bang* you get to level 20 and all of a sudden you get to create a permanent thrall?? Aside from seeming like quite a power jump for the class, it doesn't quite fit the theme of the rest of the class abilities and it is also very powerful with regards to other Level 20 powers.

Ok, there's a mechanic regarding saving throws that may limit its effect but as a player, I would be seeking to build the character to absolutely make those saves as difficult as possible. It means the Mesmerist would stand a good chance of taking out the high level enemy fighter in one shot and bringing them onto his/her own side creating an instant rapid imbalance on the battlefield.


you realize a wizard/sorc can do the same thing (to humanoids) with a spell 10-11 levels sooner, right? and can do the same thing better (no reduced dc for non-humanoids) by level 18...

they're probably just better at it all around when you consider that their dcs are probably higher too.


cuatroespada wrote:

you realize a wizard/sorc can do the same thing (to humanoids) with a spell 10-11 levels sooner, right? and can do the same thing better (no reduced dc for non-humanoids) by level 18...

they're probably just better at it all around when you consider that their dcs are probably higher too.

And let us not forget our new friend the Psychic that can spend points from their phrenic pool to improve their will DCs.


brad2411 wrote:
RogueMortal wrote:
I gotta say, I'm disappointed with the Mesmerist. Was looking forward to a crowd controller, and while their gaze ability is neat, they feel far more focused on using those Tricks to set up situational buffs around the party. They don't even get Dominate Monster on the spell list, only as a capstone ability, usable on a single creature at a time, with a DC based on their expended spells and with a likely 5 point DC reduction, that the target gets immunity to if they make the save.
I do like the mesmerist but agree with you about the dominate monster spell. It really does feel like it should be in his spell list. Also a little surprised that suggestion and a few other abilities, like extra bluff intimidate or diplomacy, are not linked to his gaze

I agree. I would like to see the Mesmerist receive more mind-control/charm/enchantment - like abilities tied to his/her hypnotic gaze.Based on the concept, this really should be "the class" for someone who wants to play puppetmaster and turn enemies into entranced cannon fodder. When I first heard about the class I was excited as I've always wanted to play a class similar to the original Everquest MMO enchanter class. I'd also really like to see Dominate Monster added to the mesmerist spell list. The fact that a Summoner gets it but the Mesmerist doesn't seems strange and disappointing to me.

Paizo Employee Developer

Duraxis wrote:
Have a nice vacation

Thanks!

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. 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)

We're working on some methods to increase the existing debuff abilities of the mesmerist. The tricks will probably remain more like buffs because once we do that putting even more debuffs in would be overkill and unbalance the class. :)


Welcome back!


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I see the Mesmerist as a buffer for sure (I think I can, I think I can...)
What would be neat in my mind is to see an ability (archetype?) that can really get into someone's head and take things out of it like spells, feats, abilities, etc. Maybe that's too much crossover with the Sandman Bard archetype but it feels like it could be fitting.

A martial Mesmerist could take fighting feats / styles and use them against him. Maybe even copy his own parties abilities if one has something that is really working against an opponent.

Anway, sounds fun to me--a bit of a copycat. Boom! There goes your archetype right there. ;)


Onyewu wrote:

I see the Mesmerist as a buffer for sure (I think I can, I think I can...)

What would be neat in my mind is to see an ability (archetype?) that can really get into someone's head and take things out of it like spells, feats, abilities, etc. Maybe that's too much crossover with the Sandman Bard archetype but it feels like it could be fitting.

A martial Mesmerist could take fighting feats / styles and use them against him. Maybe even copy his own parties abilities if one has something that is really working against an opponent.

Anway, sounds fun to me--a bit of a copycat. Boom! There goes your archetype right there. ;)

I have been working on a class called "synergist" off and on for like 2 years. They essentially have a pool of points that they allocate to borrow the feats, skills, spells, and (to some small extent) class abilities of allies. Then I eventually give them the ability to lend out those abilities to allies (like giving the cleric a spell from the party wizard or catching the bard up with the fighter in terms of accuracy).

The only problem is that my synergist writeup is like 8 pages long and getting longer with every new class.

I know that what you are saying is not exactly the same but there ends up being a lot of variables to adjust for when you mimic stuff.


Excaliburproxy wrote:

I have been working on a class called "synergist" off and on for like 2 years. They essentially have a pool of points that they allocate to borrow the feats, skills, spells, and (to some small extent) class abilities of allies. Then I eventually give them the ability to lend out those abilities to allies (like giving the cleric a spell from the party wizard or catching the bard up with the fighter in terms of accuracy).

The only problem is that my synergist writeup is like 8 pages long and getting longer with every new class.

I know that what you are saying is not exactly the same but there ends up being a lot of variables to adjust for when you mimic stuff.

What you've worked on is how I envision it--taking and giving abilities to fit any role.

The pool point idea sounds good...but probably wouldn't work for this guy since he doesn't have anything like it. Maybe it could work like an Inquisitor's Judgment ability--limited uses but different ways to improve and ultimately multiple uses at the same time.

Another option could be 1 use (+Cha)/level, but the more abilities taken on at one time could have drawbacks. Doing it this way makes me think Rogue of X-Men. She could grab lots of powers, but too many minds in one head could mess her up a bit.


I really like this class, but I looked at the front page and didn't see any sorta "offical changes" like on the kinetcist. Is there any?

also for the note. I was really hoping to make a whip ish using one haha. (the other idea is a few levels in kinetcist I guess though).

It really reminds me of old guildwars 1 mesmer and some of gw2 mesmers. Which I rather like.
Though I don't think I have the system knowledge to pull of a Mesmerist quite yet.. It uses a branch of spells I really like but generally never played.

I'm really not sure how to build one yet..but it just looks and sounds so fun.


I might have missed it thus feel kinda dumb asking but.

Is there a way to plant several tricks onto one person? as near as I can tell it's always one trick per person even once you can have several tricks on..
nor do I see a way to apply a trick at range.
these and that they last 1min per level, means they're suppose to be applied in combat, in close range right?

Or did I miss something? It seems pretty hard to put tricks on anyone unless your given prep time for the fight (in which case it's pretty awesome-though one trick on one person is a bit sad)

Sovereign Court

Zwordsman wrote:

I might have missed it thus feel kinda dumb asking but.

Is there a way to plant several tricks onto one person? as near as I can tell it's always one trick per person even once you can have several tricks on..
nor do I see a way to apply a trick at range.
these and that they last 1min per level, means they're suppose to be applied in combat, in close range right?

Or did I miss something? It seems pretty hard to put tricks on anyone unless your given prep time for the fight (in which case it's pretty awesome-though one trick on one person is a bit sad)

There's no way to implant more than one trick per person. Until level 5, you can only even have 1 total trick implanted at once.

And yeah, tricks are kind of painfully difficult to pull off at the moment.


Lukas Stariha wrote:
Zwordsman wrote:

I might have missed it thus feel kinda dumb asking but.

Is there a way to plant several tricks onto one person? as near as I can tell it's always one trick per person even once you can have several tricks on..
nor do I see a way to apply a trick at range.
these and that they last 1min per level, means they're suppose to be applied in combat, in close range right?

Or did I miss something? It seems pretty hard to put tricks on anyone unless your given prep time for the fight (in which case it's pretty awesome-though one trick on one person is a bit sad)

There's no way to implant more than one trick per person. Until level 5, you can only even have 1 total trick implanted at once.

And yeah, tricks are kind of painfully difficult to pull off at the moment.

Thankies.

and cool beans then.

They're really cool and I love the stare and the spell list. Just not sure how often I'll get the chance ot use the tricks outside of self buff stuffs.
Though if i'm up in melee with people i could plop the flanking one on the rogue for joy.
or if i'm far back give the spellcasters some buffs.
So usuable just not super often I think...

but this is and kinetcist are totally builds I've tried hodge podgecreating before so I'm so happy


I would seriously seriously like a way in class to maintain illusions other than a standard action..
like in class way to spend a move or swift action or use a trick usage to run a illusion for CHA modifier rounds

the issue of concentration is one reason I'ven ever managed to pull of characters I like..

The concetration for spells (control, and illusion stuff) and somehow being able to layer tricks onto one person would be awesome..

I would love if I could layer a few tricks on myself at least, so i could have some defenses in place since it looks like i might end up somewhat close in combat. Even if it took up more than one trick usage to do so I would love that..

Either baked into the class for both the above, or feats available to them.. cause I would love to do that...

Idea 2
It'd be grand if the target of your stare doesn't notice you casting spells or could be made to forget those as well as the tstare. That way I could use the stare on a gate guard and cast some sorta helpful spell and they wouldn't remember..

since as it stands I've never managed to use helpful spells cause when I walk up to someone and start casting without still and silent spell...it's pretty obvious i'm doing something and they just don't want that


Might be good to create a sticky with all the official corrections for this sorta like how Kinetcist did
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Poison arrow spell might be highly amusing. or the other shadow conjuration/evocation spells. Very "now you see me now you don't"
Though I htink you can use shadow conjuration for poison arrow? Can't remember... but I would love to pull out my hand cross bow, smile and tell a foe about how utterly delightful this poison will be. how painful it is, but not lethal oh no never lethal, you need to savor it. After all its' rather expensive.. Need to get my golds worth out of it no?

Something like that would be awesome..

You could actually make them offensive tricks no? Make a few offensive tricks, that cause status effects on enemies your using stares on. Either through stare or something..

Poison (peither replicating one or just using the spell), stagger, etc lots of effects you could use on it.. Something you could put on your weapon so when you attack it applies to them agianst your DC. sorta like Psychic toxins.

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Tricks might be better as a whole day buff. Either activate as many times per day as you have tricks left. Or have to be reapplied after one usage. I also think it wouldn't be a horrible idea if you applied a generic trick, that turned into a trick you knew when one of the situations come up.. That would make it a lot more usuable and useful.. and create a cool little mental connection as opposed to a hypnotic reaction.. That would work with the "within a certain range" aspect of it.
making tricks usualbe on touch, or within 30ft and visual/audio contact would go a long way to making it more usuable. (I would vote 30ft without requiring any visual/audio stuff.. since the stare doesn't and prooves this is more psychic than parlor trick!)
It'd be great if you could put more than one on a person- even if you rquired only having one "in active use" at once
If you make it ranged application then you could tie it to your "stare" i.e. at lv 9 you can apply two tricks to two entities (or 2 tricks onto one) with one action. Either standard or possibly faster. (but you don't have to use your stare action or break your current stare to do it of course)

invisiblity self trick might be neat
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It might be good to make the higher level gaze apply to any checks vs your actions. So any spell you use on them, or any check, or skill check. Make their AC lower versus your attack (this would allow a close combat guy) possibly even more damage-since they can't seem to focus due to your stare, they flop on defense, and your attack can sink deeper than normal.
I think possibly it would be good to increase the debuff amount maybe like 1 every 5 levels.. This would be highly highly strong of course. .but this is a main mechanic that makes everything in the class usuable. It'd sych up the issues with most of their DCs, and would allow them to hit easier(if they have the AC debuff as well). It would open up just a ton of choice builds

Both of those combined[better scaling debuff amount, affects will saves, and AC (possibly allowing for a damage mechanic) makes the class good at casting, and good at combat, and if it applies to checks too good at utility rolls with npcs. In theory you could even tie offensie tricks to stares.

Could balance it by having it only apply to actions via the mesmerist.. or just the AC/combat portion work for the mesmerist only
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Some of the tricks confuse me.. in partiuclar some of the ones that provide flatfooted etc.
False Flanker: It activates when someone moves into position to flank. i.e. after taking a 5ft or move action. It fades at the end of tha turn.
That means unless they are taking a 5ft step, they only get one attack? Couldn't it last until the end of their next turn or allow activation whenever in position for a flank? That way it would allow a rogue or something to full attack with it much easier.

still voting for all day lasting targets for defensive tricks, they're generic and you have a stock of tricks you can activate if a condition comes up so you dn't end up having pointless trick usages and can actually use them in surprise conditions
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I'd prefer to keep the bab and spells.. but I enjoy durable casters more often than not. If it went lower hd and bab it might be nice if they gained offensive damage stairs of some kind.. Since only certain spells on their list involve damage self contained to the mesmer's ability. The others are great debuffs but something needs to finish up (which you can do if you had decent bab and the stare provided some ability to combat like ac/damage stuff)
So yeah I hope they go down the path of heavy debuff.. skald and bards already do buffing way better.
I do like the trick's buffs if they were more easily usable but I still want to lean more towards debuffs of various kinds.

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On mental potency: It might be cool to tie it into the stare.. flavor it as gazing at all the targets and add the amount your stare does to it.
So lv 12, and will breaker is a -3 penalty for the stare (whichI wish was higher). So you could apply 1+3 higher HD for those spells as listed. Not super broken or anything but feels better than a class ability that only adds 1 to the hd, and i guess targets by enchanment spells (according to a note via Logan a few pages back) I don't think it'd be broken in either case and make the ability feel way way more tied into the actual class

This might not be good if you give the scaling Stare (1 per 5 levels sorta thing) since then it might be a bit strong... ? The Dev mentioned he didn't want to end up with the Heavens oracle sleep/cone shenangans.

Alternatively you could give the ability to have free concentration for spells/etc (enchantment, illusion, etc.) up to Cha mod rounds without needing to maintain with a concentration check. This would allow you to really weave some awesome combos together. Though i'm not actually sure how many spells they have on their list require it. for for illusion at least it would be awesome.. but it would also be nice for some control stuff
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I love touch treatment though it might be nice if it had some sorta small healing amount to suppliment the fake life you can give.. since it sucks for someone to die after it runes out cause you all didn't have anything. Even if it was super tiny amount of healing. but I also feel like there should be some sorta healing ability for a class like this I guess. At worst wands~
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I'd love sending sorta spells, possibly some of the other spells with 'stare' in them like burning gaze/burning disarm sorta spells.
*I am so going to cast almost all my spells by posing ala super sentai eye beam style*

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I love if this was solidly debuff rather than buffing like Bards. I suppose maybe witchs are debuffs? I havne't played one..
but I hope this class dives headlong into the debuff zone more so than the trick buffs zone.. It would be pretty awesome if there were enough of a variety of tricks, posisbly usable withine 30ft. you could snag defensive ones that go on you/allies or grab ones to use on enemies.

Debuffy, sorta like arcane trickstery would be cool.

I might want to dip Kinetcist just for a "laser eye" beam, or aether for ranged legierman/tk stuff

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