General Discussion: Mesmerist


Rules Discussion

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Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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This thread is for general discussion of the Mesmerist base class, found in the Occult Adventures Playtest document. This thread should be used for general impressions and overall concerns and ideas. Feedback on a specific concept or rule should have its own thread created by you.

As a reminder, please be polite and courteous to your fellow posters. We are all here to endeavor to create a better play experience with these rules and excessive arguing and insults are inappropriate.

Thank you again for participating in the Occult Adventures Playtest

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Official Changes
The following are the official changes to the mesmerist’s abilities and spells.
Consummate Liar: Add this new class feature at 1st level. The mesmerist adds 1/2 his mesmerist level (minimum 1) on all Bluff skill checks.
Hypnotic Stare: The initial penalty from hypnotic stare is –2 instead of –1, and increases to –3 at 8th level. (It no longer increases at 12th level.) The stare no longer affects two creatures at 9th level. This class feature should also state that the stare ends if the mesmerist dies or is rendered unconscious.
Mesmerist Tricks: Triggering a mesmerist trick is a free action the mesmerist can use when it isn't his turn. Instead of lasting for 1 minute per mesmerist level, a trick remains set up until the mesmerist regains his spells. If the mesmerist sets up a new trick when he is already at his maximum number of concurrent tricks, he must choose one existing trick to dismiss without effect.
False Flanker: This trick can also trigger when the subject begins its turn adjacent to an enemy.
Mesmeric Mirror: The images last for 1 minute per mesmerist level or until destroyed.
Misdirection: In the third sentence, delete “, using the mesmerist’s combat maneuver bonus (including any bonuses specific to feinting)”.
Spectral Smoke: The cloud lasts for 1 minute per mesmerist level.
Painful Stare: Add this new class feature at 1st level. Once per round when it’s hit by an attack that deals damage, the target of a mesmerist’s stare takes additional damage equal to 1/2 the mesmerist’s class level (minimum 1). The mesmerist can use this ability as a free action, and can use it even if it isn't his turn. If the mesmerist uses this to increase his own damage, increase the damage by 1d6 for every 3 mesmerist levels. This damage is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit.
Bold Stare: Alter the following bold stare improvements.
Disorientation: The penalty applies on attack rolls, but not damage rolls.
Timid Strike: The hypnotic stare penalty also applies on damage rolls.
Will Breaker: Remove this ability.
Mental Potency: This ability also increases the number of creatures affected by an enchantment spell or illusion spell that affects a number of creatures greater than one. This doesn’t increase the number of targets for a spell that targets one creature, but does increase the number if the spell targets one creature per level. The HD limit, number of HD affected, or number of creatures affected increases by 1 at 5th level (as the playtest document says), any by another 1 for every 4 levels the mesmerist possesses after 5th, to a maximum of +4 at 17th level.
Expedient Tricks: Remove this class feature. It's now redundant.

Spells
Change bestow curse to a 3rd-level spell and major curse to a 4th-level spell. Change phantasmal killer and telepathic bond to 4th-level spells. Add battlemind link to the 4th-level spell list.

The Exchange

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Grippli Hypno-Toad coming right up.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Question:

Occult Playtest pg 30 wrote:
Bold Stare (Su): At 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, a mesmerist’s hypnotic stare imposes a further effect upon its target. The mesmerist chooses one additional effect each time, and can’t choose the same improvement more than once unless otherwise noted. All of the mesmerist’s bold stare improvements affect the target (or targets, if the mesmerist can affect multiple creatures) as long as it’s under the mesmerist’s hypnotic stare.

Does it mean I choose an additional effect at level 3 and every 4 levels there after that would go into affect each time I use hypnotic stare or do I choose the additional effect when I use hypnotic stare, so I can switch between effects?


This one looks interesting


There is one crippling immunity that renders this class powerless against those who have that trait, immunity to mind affecting abilities. Since most of their abilities are based in mind affecting they should have some way to deal with them if caught alone, this is about the only flaw I see with the class as their seemingly as both my friend and I see it the most underpowered class in the book.

What if any ways can there be to get around this besides allies, physical abilities, or other non mind affecting abilities can they possibly get to circumvent this?

Quote:

Psychic Inception: The hypnotic stare and its penalty can

affect creatures that are mindless or immune to mindaffecting
effects (such as an undead or vermin). The
mesmerist can also partially affect such a creature with his
mind-affecting spells and abilities if it’s under his hypnotic
stare; it gains a +2 bonus on its saving throw (if any), and if
affected it still has a 50% chance each round of ignoring the
effect. Ignoring the effect doesn’t end the effect, but allows
the creature to act normally for that round.

This is the only way around it, however it is still very risky and chancy to even succeed, so overall I feel this class can be improved because of that flaw which is partially addressed.


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I love this class. It's like a beguiler-meets-bard. Illusions, Enchantments, and support, what more does a guy need.

Dark Archive

RLH49er wrote:


This is the only way around it, however it is still very risky and chancy to even succeed, so overall I feel this class can be improved because of that flaw which is partially addressed.

Don't forget that Glamers, figments, and shadow illusions are not mind affecting plus it gets a few spells that are not enchantment or illusion. But yes it is a hinderance to the class.


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Very interested in playing this class, perhaps with a whip build.


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This is the exact class I have tried to create multiple times as wizard, cleric, oracle, shaman, etc.


brad2411 wrote:
RLH49er wrote:


This is the only way around it, however it is still very risky and chancy to even succeed, so overall I feel this class can be improved because of that flaw which is partially addressed.
Don't forget that Glamers, figments, and shadow illusions are not mind affecting plus it gets a few spells that are not enchantment or illusion. But yes it is a hinderance to the class.

This is more of a party based class, and a balanced party. It's also what seems more of a control/support class, so I do like the idea even if it has a huge downside to all of the nifty abilities it has, definitely I'd multiclass it with some other class that has some abilities that can balance that downside.


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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.

Dark Archive

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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 like the class, especially that ability that allows them to cure several ailments.

Dark Archive

The Misdirection Mesmerist Trick states: "... The
mesmerist attempts a Bluff check to feint against a single
target of that attack, using the mesmerist’s combat maneuver
bonus (including any bonuses specific to feinting). ..."

A normal Feint does not use the combat maneuver bonus in any way; it is just a Bluff check vs. target's Sense Motive or 10+HD+Wis Mod.

Is this an error or, how is CMB to be used?

Dark Archive

Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:

Question:

Occult Playtest pg 30 wrote:
Bold Stare (Su): At 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, a mesmerist’s hypnotic stare imposes a further effect upon its target. The mesmerist chooses one additional effect each time, and can’t choose the same improvement more than once unless otherwise noted. All of the mesmerist’s bold stare improvements affect the target (or targets, if the mesmerist can affect multiple creatures) as long as it’s under the mesmerist’s hypnotic stare.
Does it mean I choose an additional effect at level 3 and every 4 levels there after that would go into affect each time I use hypnotic stare or do I choose the additional effect when I use hypnotic stare, so I can switch between effects?

I take it that you can pick a new bold stare ability at the levels, so at third you choose allure and at 7th you choose psychic inception. The next time you use hypnotic stare it has the affects of both psychic inception and allure. Each time you get a new Bold Stare it stacks with the ones you already got.


So, uh... Where's the dev lead on this?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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So, this is the psychic trickster.

Surprisingly, the mesmerist can not cause creatures to become fascinated with his hypnotic stare. I would like this class feature to be expanded to something similar to a gaze attack.

I like that tricks can be set up before combat and triggered as an immediate action. The mechanics for tricks are somewhat restrictive at the beginning. You only get 1/2 level + Cha per day, they only last for 1 minute, only one can be active at the same time and it takes an immediate action to trigger them. I see no harm in allowing the mesmerist to set up one trick per person at the same time (since there is still a restriction for triggering them action-economy-wise, until you get expedient tricks at 7th level). I would change this to allow more tricks being set up (which opens up tactical options) and add the option to trigger more than one of them as the mesmerist advances.
I wonder if expedient tricks works as intended (free actions can only be taken on your turn).
I like the tricks that rely on the use of skills, like vanish arrow - this is a design space that deserves to be explored further.

The spell list has a lot of enchantment spells that do similar things. That is not a feature of the mesmerist per se, but for a spontaneous caster with a limited amount of spells known, this becomes a problem. Most players would choose suggestion over reckless infatuation most of the time, because it is a lot more versatile. Divination spells, which are also prominent on the spell list, have the same problem - they are very situational in their applicability.
To address this, I suggest giving the mesmerist a class feature similar to the magus' knowledge pool (since the spell list is rather focused, that shouldn't be a problem, despite the mesmerist being a spontaneous caster).

Overall, the mesmerist seems to be less versatile than the bard (by which it will be measured), but it doesn't have enough focus to set it apart - yet.

A gish archetype would be nice.

Scarab Sages

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Is Mental Potency intended to scale? It seems like it's intended to otherwise I don't really see the point of it being a class ability.


Rule Minds is by far the most powerful and GM-annoying (in a high number of ways) capstone ability I've seen...
With no HD limit or some other rule to contain it, a Mesmerist can have any uber-powerful (both mechanically and in fluff) creature permanently enslaved, as long as it isn't immune to mind-affecting effects.
While the DC may be low for high-tier creatures, natural 1s are still a threat.
How is that different from Dominate Monster-spamming casters? Well, apart from the permanency and the fact that, as long as you don't have a powerful thrall you want to keep, you can spam it on lower creatures, it isn't different, but is a further unnecessary way to perpetrate potential game-breaking to which legitimateness is given.


Why not call this one 'hypnotist'? I think it's easier to understand the general concept than the term 'mesmerist.'


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Why not call this one 'hypnotist'? I think it's easier to understand the general concept than the term 'mesmerist.'

Eh, really? Hypnotists hypnotize, mesmerists mesmerize, about the same, isn't it? Of course, hypnotism, as I recall grew out of an attempt to make mesmerism more scientific, which could be a reason. Plus, I think mesmerism was more tied to faith healing, which could make some sense given the ability mesmerists have to aid allies. I think mesmerist sounds snappier, myself.

I think it's an interesting class, I like the combination of messing around with enemies with your mesmerizing stare and assisting your allies with a few handy dandy mental triggers and other mentalist assistance, though I think I'd like to see some more offensive abilities where you could implant suggestions and the like to be triggered later on. Though perhaps that would be better suited for an archetype that trades out the Mesmerist Tricks for a more offensive set of tricks.

I think it could definitely stand to have more debuffs beyond his Hypnotic Stare, too; while you can get up to a -3 penalty on Will saves, you have a lot of mind-affecting spells and only get up to 6th level spells in the long run. Perhaps using a form of Touch Treatment to inflict conditions rather than remove them? I do definitely like that they get a number of spells that help with removing conditions, letting them pull off something of the faith healer thing, though sadly lacking the ability to actually heal...I suspect that might change with an archetype or two, though.


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Could use some more seduction like powers

Paizo Employee Developer

Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:
Does it mean I choose an additional effect at level 3 and every 4 levels there after that would go into affect each time I use hypnotic stare or do I choose the additional effect when I use hypnotic stare, so I can switch between effects?

You choose which effects your stare has once. You don't get to change it each time you use the ability.

Paizo Employee Developer

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DrParty06 wrote:

A normal Feint does not use the combat maneuver bonus in any way; it is just a Bluff check vs. target's Sense Motive or 10+HD+Wis Mod.

Is this an error or, how is CMB to be used?

Ignore the part about CMB. That's an error.


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Thematically, I think the Mesmerist is really cool class, but mechanically it still feels a little clunky. It definitely takes a while to come into its own, being weak in the early levels when it can only toss out one trick at a time. I wouldn't mind them being able to implant maybe a couple more at these early levels, since Tricks appear to be their bread and butter and you have to predict for the conditions that will trigger them.

Additionally, I wouldn't mind some Tricks being more offensive in nature (especially since others have already expressed a desire for more CC build options) and allowing you to implant them in an enemy, which I think fits the concept fine (implanting subconscious debuffs in your foes seems pretty hypnotist-like). Heck, Vanish Arrow seems like a good example of that; I think it would make more sense to implant it on an enemy rather than a specific ally.

That said, I think the Tricks themselves look nice, being decently powerful. The Mesmerist just needs a bit more general applicability, I feel.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Amanuensis wrote:
I wonder if expedient tricks works as intended (free actions can only be taken on your turn).

It should say you can trigger tricks as a free action, even when it isn't your turn.

Amaneunsis wrote:
The spell list has a lot of enchantment spells that do similar things.

Some of these options will be worse than others or almost redundant, but are included so that appropriately themed spells appear on the mesmerist's spell list for activating spell trigger items and the like.

Paizo Employee Developer

minoritarian wrote:
Is Mental Potency intended to scale? It seems like it's intended to otherwise I don't really see the point of it being a class ability.

It's not intended to scale. This feature lets you use a spell like sleep for a slightly longer time, but isn't intended to let a 10th-level mesmerist put 10 HD worth of creatures to sleep by casting a single 1st-level spell.


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Luthorne wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Why not call this one 'hypnotist'? I think it's easier to understand the general concept than the term 'mesmerist.'
Eh, really? Hypnotists hypnotize, mesmerists mesmerize, about the same, isn't it?

Not quite. I've not heard of mesmerists before (and apparently neither has the spell checker here), but hypnotists, yes.

So while it's easy to understand what each one does, one is a well-known term that conjures ideas for most people while the other one is more obscure that might make people ask 'what's that exactly?' instead.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Why not call this one 'hypnotist'? I think it's easier to understand the general concept than the term 'mesmerist.'
Eh, really? Hypnotists hypnotize, mesmerists mesmerize, about the same, isn't it?

Not quite. I've not heard of mesmerists before (and apparently neither has the spell checker here), but hypnotists, yes.

So while it's easy to understand what each one does, one is a well-known term that conjures ideas for most people while the other one is more obscure that might make people ask 'what's that exactly?' instead.

Hmm, really? I've seen people referred to as mesmerists in fiction far more often than I've seen people referred to as hypnotists...in fact, I found myself compelled to check to see if it was a real word or not before making my previous post. I mean, I've seen hypnotism itself used as a term in lots of fiction quite often, but I don't see its practitioners referred to as hypnotists, usually they're psychologists, magicians, some guy who took a few courses, or, on rare occasions, I've seen the term hypnotherapist for settings where hypnosis is accepted and practiced officially. Ah, well, probably a difference in reading material. That, or I'm getting old.


Luthorne wrote:
I mean, I've seen hypnotism itself used as a term in lots of fiction quite often, but I don't see its practitioners referred to as hypnotists.

You've not been to Vegas then? :)


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dustin Ashe wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
I mean, I've seen hypnotism itself used as a term in lots of fiction quite often, but I don't see its practitioners referred to as hypnotists.
You've not been to Vegas then? :)

Nope! :)

Dark Archive

As Mesmerist actually means Hypnotist it is not that big of a deal. I have heard of people referred to as mesmerists but it was from long time ago. You can look at Frank Mesmer for more info but that was in the 1800's. It is now known more as hypnosis but it was originally mesmerism. As they are trying to be more "occult" I think mesmerist is better for the name as it is more obscure and old fashioned.

Grand Lodge

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If you do your research on Vegas, you will find Mesmerists. To be honest, I really like mesmerists because their history is supposed to be mysterious, hypnotism is supposed to be scientific.

It's like comparing wizards to scientists. The both do research, they are both smart, but they are really worlds apart.

Paizo Employee Developer

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What you call them in your home games is between you and your demon lord, but we're sticking with mesmerist for Occult Adventures. :)

The Exchange

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This response is based purely on reading through the class and does not include actual gameplay testing.

That being said, I find the Tricks mechanic to be extremely clunky and limiting. Even a high level Mesmerist will struggle to make good use of Tricks in my opinion. The fact that action economy in combat is terrible for reapplying tricks essentially means they need to be preloaded. However, the 1 min/lvl duration means that frequently the trick will go unused since they are very specific in nature and combats are rarely predictable without excessive scouting or divination. Combined with the limited uses per day makes the ability to successfully utilize Tricks very difficult.

In general, I do not like the placement of specific tricks on party members. I would prefer Mesmerists to have the ability to set up a trick which when activated can utilize any of the Mesmerist's known tricks. This allows them to preload tricks onto the party and use them in a more reactionary way rather than speculating that a specific engagement will occur that will make use of a specific trick.

Mesmerists seem to present the idea of strong control options through manipulation and mental prowess. Therefore, the mind-affecting immunity issues seems to come with the cost of playing the class (a similar issues for bards, witches, and any other enchantment focused class). I love that Stare provides at least a partial ability to impact mind-affecting immune creatures.

I think the Stare mechanic could benefit from being fleshed out. It currently feels like a very minor at-will ability that inflicts an equally minor debuff on the enemy. That does not sound like control and manipulation to me. It sounds like a parlor trick. I realize that at-will abilities need to be balanced in their power levels, but Stare in its current form feels very lack-luster. Perhaps fleshing out the additional effects that can be applied while a stare is active or having the debuff scale more effectively. The Evil Eye hex is -4 penalty on ALL saves at level 8 not -2 to will saves at level 12. Evil Eye allows a save, but that's a laughable (pun intended) excuse since Cackle allows you to maintain the debuff regardless of whether or not the save is made. Maybe allow it to only lower saves versus the Mesmerist's spells and abilities but cause it to scale more with level.

Mesmerists seem to be most closely comparable to bard or perhaps some hybrid of a bard/witch. In its current state, I would take a bard or witch over a mesmerist without argument in virtually any group. To be clear, I love the flavor and concept of the mesmerist. It actually fits a character concept I've been developing recently. I just struggle seeing the current iteration being viable to a group. Another comparison to bard and witch is that both classes have healing options while Mesmerists only have condition removal. Additionally, bard buffing and witch debuffing blow mesmerist contribution out the window in my opinion. Other than for sheer RP and flavor reasons, why would I choose to play this class over bard or witch or even an enchantment focused sorc/wiz?

TL;DR Mesmerists reek of flavor and concept, but they currently feel much weaker mechanically than their comparable counterparts in a similar role.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Folks, I'm Logan, and I'm the design lead for the mesmerist. Now you know who that guy was answering those questions earlier! I got a late start since I was out of the office for the start of the playtest.

I'll be following this thread the most closely of the design team.


On the one hand, I'd be quite happy to see the class lose their spells and act more like the Kineticist with a mend focus rather than blasting, use the Hypnotic Stare in place of the Blast... but I also understand that it's a bit late to go back and remake the class as something other than a Vancian caster.

As it stands, I'd stick with a Bard over Mesmerist. Easier to buff everyone, even if the Mesmer has some neat ones they have to be set up ahead of combat, last only a minute, and have situational triggers that still require action on part of the Mesmer. They do get improved DCs in effect, thanks to their Hypnotic Stare, but the range is very short and the middle of a fight isn't exactly where you want to be in this class.As I said before, the control options feel quite limited for a class with so much focus on Enchantment effects, and even having [Psychic] spells doesn't really help them with being more sneaky and mysterious thanks to a bit that Mark commented on with their lack of verbal and somatic components in the Spells and Magic thread:

Mark Seifter wrote:
There's a thread from Jason near the beginning of Pathfinder (so a whiles back) where people asked him this question about spell-like abilities and silent stilled spells. At the time, he said that they all have some obvious manifestation, thus allowing people to take their AoO or roll Spellcraft (both of which still work on SLAs and stilled silent spells).

Paizo Employee Developer

Dukai wrote:
I realize that at-will abilities need to be balanced in their power levels, but Stare in its current form feels very lack-luster.

Getting the power level right for this ability is really tough. I agree that it currently looks weak compared to evil eye (even as a swift action instead of a standard). Evil eye is exceptionally strong, though, and stacking penalties can make for really lopsided fights. The playtest version of the stare is pretty conservative, so we're going to watch how it works in play and bump it up in power level if we can.

The Exchange

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I also think that another option to both boost Stare and make Tricks less clunky would be to allow the Mesmerist to activate Tricks on allies that are targetted by a creature currently affected by Stare even if the Trick was not currently placed on the ally. By targetted, I mean that a creature affected by Stare can be used to trigger Trick requirements in allies even when they haven't been specifically targetted by a trick. Obviously, the Mesmerist has to spend a Trick as well as his immediate action (eventually free action) to activate the Trick. Additionally, this could end the Stare requiring the Mesmerist to reapply the Stare.

Then again, I'm on the bandwagon that preset Tricks are difficult to use in an effective manner. I also realize that I may be the only person on this bandwagon, so it's really just a wagon at the moment.

The Exchange

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On a more random rules note, Mesmerists also have a nice list of Illusion spells on their spell list. Many Illusion spells have concentration. Would the immediate action (and eventually free action) to activate a Trick on an ally interrupt concentration? If so, this causes a (in my opinion) frustrating choice between using one of your main class mechanics or using one of your main class-themed spell types.

Paizo Employee Developer

Dukai wrote:
Would the immediate action (and eventually free action) to activate a Trick on an ally interrupt concentration?

Triggering a trick doesn't count as casting a spell, so it doesn't interrupt your concentration.


So just my two sense love mesmerist rolling one for s&s right now. Had a thought about mental potency. I sort of feel like it's almost a non ability for the class really doing nothing at all. What if we attached it to hypnotic stare making its effect equal to the penalty caused by the stare to start and if need be go as far as double it for the effect. That way the disabling spells aren't super powered but the mesmerist can focus to take down key targets.

Also it's not stated in the ability but it is referenced in the examples for mental potency that is does it increase the number of creatures some spells effect?

If the above is true for mental potency I'd suggest that the above effects can effect the targets of your stare for free.

In all I don't think theses changes would overpower the mesmerist give him the ability to control more effectively.

OK so about 5 bucks of feedback


I've just read over the mesmerist and while I'm going to have to wait to be able to actually try it first hand, here's my current concern(s) (that may be changed once I finally get to try it again).

I feel like a mesmerist only having one trick up at a time until 5th level is a touch on the weak side, but what really kind of puts me back is the 1 minute time limit (per level) for a trick that is up. I think the 1 minute time limit might be ok if one didn't have to stand right next to the ally that one is intending to buff or debuff. I'm imagining a mesmerist running around playing tag with his allies, tricking them out and while the image is amusing, the thought of playing it as such seems tedious (again before being able to try it).

Otherwise, I like the tricks, like the capstone ability even though I never get to play 20 lv. games, and I like the flavor most of all. Reminds me of a mentalist actually, which is probably how I'll play him / her when I can.

Interesting stuff.

Edit: Also just curious, will we be seeing a trick meant more for ranged allies (archers, gunslingers, etc...) in the future?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yeah I like the idea of the Mesmerist, but I hate the timer on tricks. It really means you either have to know what you'll need or just never take cool niche tricks. You'll want something you know you can trigger in a combat or you'll save it to hopefully Apply then Trigger mid combat which just doesn't feel right. Mid combat I implant a hypnotic trick to turn around and trigger all within 6 seconds? Just feels out of sorts for me. Would it terribly unbalance it to remove the minutes/level duration of an Implanted but untriggered trick?

I feel it would be more thematic. You're doing your daily prep and Mesmo the Mesmerist is taking party members aside and being all "Let's have a chat ::hypnotoad:: cool see you in a bit" or "I'm just gonna tamper with your mind a little bit, no really don't be alarmed it'll just let your reflexes kick faster in certain events subconsciously" and implanting triggers during their conversation.

Self tricking in combat doesn't feel as weird to me as it's almost like they're refreshing a self hypnotism, kinda refocusing their center or just re aligning their perceptions to what they were when they tricked themselves the first time.


I like the theme of this character a lot. I like the manipulators who can control battles from the shadows without needing obvious magic or big AOE spells.

I think in practice it's kinda boring however. They sacrifice level 7+ spells in exchange for a medium base attack that they don't really have any ability to use. If they had mental feint attacks, it would be useful, or at least a reason to be anywhere near combat.

I'll have to play one of course, but from first glance, it seems their abilities are very situational in comparison to just playing a pure psychic who specialises in enchantment or something.

They just don't really have anything that makes me go "wow, that's unique and cool" as most of their tricks have analogs in wizard/sorcerer schools/bloodlines or rogue talents.


One thing I noticed while reading over the class was something I found mildly confusing, or at least in need to be worded better in the final printing.

In the initial description of the tricks, it says the mesmerist can implant tricks and activate them later. This reads (to me at least) as implanted tricks are not active. This leads a following sentence, the one saying that a mesmerist can only have one trick active at a time, to imply that they can have more than one trick implanted in people, but only have one 'turned on' at a time.

Now once you get down to the level 5 ability Manifold Tricks it says a second trick can be implanted, implying that only one could be implanted before. The wording on the initial description of tricks could be better to prevent confusion.

Or the wording on Manifold Tricks could be changed to says a second trick can be ACTIVE, which would mean the mesmerists could implant as many tricks as they wanted and then have TWO active at the same time, buffing the tricks ability somewhat. :)


What is the purpose of the 3/4ths BAB? It's possible that I'm failing to see it here, but I can't seem to determine any class features that benefit this progression.

Furthermore, all but one of the tricks used are essentially beneficial buffs requiring the presence of an ally. Unless Sani's interpretation is correct, only one or two tricks can be active at a time. This makes the benefits so situational, and so reliant on an ideal convergence of several factors as to make any strategic setup extremely inefficient. Much of what these tricks accomplish can already be done by several other classes.

Personally, I think the class was a great concept, but also that it grew bogged down by the BAB and ally buff mechanics. I wish that the BAB could be reduced, the offensive capacities of the mesmerist's hypnotic stare increased and the utility of mesmerist tricks extended beyond doing nice things for allies. I think what most of us expected was more new enchantment/illusion mechanics and less of the bard.

Finally, I also wish there was an advanced way the Mesmerist could see through his Spectral Smoke trick, at least temporarily. It seems particularly situational at the moment.


Okay had another possible idea to improve the whole trick timming issue.

What if you have two options with tricks.

1) you can implant a preplanned trick as a standard action. This trick is chosen at the time you implant and triggers AUTOMATICALLY when the conditions are next met. This only last for 1 minute per mesmerist lvl or until triggered.

2) you can in a minute implant a physic link in a person this action cost 1 use of your trick per day. you can only have one of these active at a time until you get the manifold tricks ability. At anytime you can tirgger this ability as immediate action to activate a tick you know that conditions have been met by the creature this link is to. You must be in medium range to trigger the link. Once triggered the link is gone till reestablished. When you would rest to regain tricks all active links are lost.

so basically preplanned tricks have limited lifespan but can be done quickly and require no activation. Open tricks require no planning but are limited in number giving the class versatility to plan strategy or just be prepared to randomly trigger tricks as needed.


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Does the "Hypnotic Stare" ability require some kind of action to maintain?

Also, if the Stare requires focusing on an enemy (or two), wouldn't that result in a penalty in combat or require a concentration check like normal spells would?

Finally, this is one is probably obvious since a save equation is listed, but just to be on the safe side, since a good portion of the Mesmerist's tricks are figment or glamer effects, does that mean they can be disbelieved like illusion spells?


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When I read this class I couldn't help but imagine James Earl Jones as the mesmerist.

At what level does the mesmerist get a cult with harem? ;)

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