General Discussion: Occultist


Rules Discussion

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Scarab Sages

I'm sorry if this has already been asked, but is it possible to combine implements? For example, a quarterstaff could be a valid implement for Evocation and Transmutation. If you invest focus into the quarterstaff and have both staff and weapon implements learned, would you be able to gain both the Intense Focus and Legacy Weapon resonant powers? Would you be able to spend invested points to power focus powers of either evocation or transmutation?

If the staff was made out of bone could you then also use it as a necromancy implement as well?


...and now for something completely different.

Having actually invested the time and energy into making and playtesting an Occultist, I'd like to ask for clarification on a ruling that actually came up in play. In one of the scenarios I tested the Occultist, the GM ruled that the transmutation base power, psychic weapon, did not stack with the enhancement bonus to hit of a masterwork weapon. The entry does specifically state that it stacks with any other enhancement bonus and I felt that it should be used as written, but the concensus was that it was just like enchanting a masterwork weapon to a +1 weapon; the enhancement bonuses do not stack. If a designer could weigh in on this, it would be most appreciated.


Doghion Abyndon Harbourne, Esq. wrote:

...and now for something completely different.

Having actually invested the time and energy into making and playtesting an Occultist, I'd like to ask for clarification on a ruling that actually came up in play. In one of the scenarios I tested the Occultist, the GM ruled that the transmutation base power, psychic weapon, did not stack with the enhancement bonus to hit of a masterwork weapon. The entry does specifically state that it stacks with any other enhancement bonus and I felt that it should be used as written, but the concensus was that it was just like enchanting a masterwork weapon to a +1 weapon; the enhancement bonuses do not stack. If a designer could weigh in on this, it would be most appreciated.

I know there was the same argument about the magus arcane pool (that has almost identical wording) and I never remember anything conclusive about that either...


The Distortion power says:

Quote:

As a standard action, the wearer can gain a concealment miss

chance equal to 5% for every point of mental focus invested in
the implement (to a maximum of 5% + 5% for every 2 occultist
levels you posses) until the next time the wearer makes an
attack. If this miss chance reaches 50%, it does not increase
further, but the wearer gains all the benefits of invisibility.

So.. does the invisibility thing only kick in at level 18, or does the miss chance stack with itself (to a 50% max) by an increment of 5% + 5% per 2 levels for each standard action used?


Doghion Abyndon Harbourne, Esq. wrote:

...and now for something completely different.

Having actually invested the time and energy into making and playtesting an Occultist, I'd like to ask for clarification on a ruling that actually came up in play. In one of the scenarios I tested the Occultist, the GM ruled that the transmutation base power, psychic weapon, did not stack with the enhancement bonus to hit of a masterwork weapon. The entry does specifically state that it stacks with any other enhancement bonus and I felt that it should be used as written, but the concensus was that it was just like enchanting a masterwork weapon to a +1 weapon; the enhancement bonuses do not stack. If a designer could weigh in on this, it would be most appreciated.

The entire point of that passage is to allow the enhancement bonus to stack with other enhancement bonuses. I don't see why the "partial" enhancement bonus of a masterwork weapon would be any different.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

The more I read this thread the more confused I am.

I'd really like the "one item as three implements at once" question posed by AlanDG2 upthread answered. I'd also like clarification on the +1 ability or enhancement question.

I'm uninterested in builds with items. I'm not assuming any WBL - I just want to understand how the class works.

The Occultist still feels really cool, I'm also not interested in roles or comparing it to bards or magus or investigators or 9th level casting etc. I merely want to understand how to make one at 1st level, and run it.

Currently it feels way too complicated to make let alone run. As far as design goes, that is a terrible thing for me. I get that it seems perfectly clear to other posters. But really, I get all other classes, so this is either a personal difficulty or the class is unclear.

I'm starting a play-by-post playtest of one right now, and honestly I don't find it that overly complicated (not like the medium, which is INSANELY complicated). My 1st-level Occultist has 3 focus items right now, 2 of them are Transmutation (a weapon and a belt) and one is Evocation (a wand). I plan to keep points invested in the weapon and the belt as of now, until I get a bigger pool of points, such that she has Agile on her rapier and a +2 Dexterity enhancement on her belt. With no points invested in her wand, she only uses it as a focus for Evocation spells, and it doesn't give her any other special abilities.

I actually really like that the spells you cast are dependent on the schools you choose, and plan to focus mostly on Transmutations with her, buffing her up to a crazy awesome melee fighter.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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blahpers wrote:
Doghion Abyndon Harbourne, Esq. wrote:

...and now for something completely different.

Having actually invested the time and energy into making and playtesting an Occultist, I'd like to ask for clarification on a ruling that actually came up in play. In one of the scenarios I tested the Occultist, the GM ruled that the transmutation base power, psychic weapon, did not stack with the enhancement bonus to hit of a masterwork weapon. The entry does specifically state that it stacks with any other enhancement bonus and I felt that it should be used as written, but the concensus was that it was just like enchanting a masterwork weapon to a +1 weapon; the enhancement bonuses do not stack. If a designer could weigh in on this, it would be most appreciated.

The entire point of that passage is to allow the enhancement bonus to stack with other enhancement bonuses. I don't see why the "partial" enhancement bonus of a masterwork weapon would be any different.

I would have also ruled in favor of the GM here... if giving a weapon a +1 bonus by enchanting it doesn't increase the attack bonus of a masterwork weapon (which it doesn't, only the damage), neither should the Psychic Weapon's bonus.


cartmanbeck wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

The more I read this thread the more confused I am.

I'd really like the "one item as three implements at once" question posed by AlanDG2 upthread answered. I'd also like clarification on the +1 ability or enhancement question.

I'm uninterested in builds with items. I'm not assuming any WBL - I just want to understand how the class works.

The Occultist still feels really cool, I'm also not interested in roles or comparing it to bards or magus or investigators or 9th level casting etc. I merely want to understand how to make one at 1st level, and run it.

Currently it feels way too complicated to make let alone run. As far as design goes, that is a terrible thing for me. I get that it seems perfectly clear to other posters. But really, I get all other classes, so this is either a personal difficulty or the class is unclear.

I'm starting a play-by-post playtest of one right now, and honestly I don't find it that overly complicated (not like the medium, which is INSANELY complicated). My 1st-level Occultist has 3 focus items right now, 2 of them are Transmutation (a weapon and a belt) and one is Evocation (a wand). I plan to keep points invested in the weapon and the belt as of now, until I get a bigger pool of points, such that she has Agile on her rapier and a +2 Dexterity enhancement on her belt. With no points invested in her wand, she only uses it as a focus for Evocation spells, and it doesn't give her any other special abilities.

I actually really like that the spells you cast are dependent on the schools you choose, and plan to focus mostly on Transmutations with her, buffing her up to a crazy awesome melee fighter.

Was there an "extra implement" feat placed in this thread to get you to 3? Also, Jason's said that you can't get the +2 until level 5. I mean, clearly people can house rule as they wish (and if that was the intent that's fine), but thought this should be pointed out if the point was to playtest the class as proposed.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I didn't notice the +2 requiring level 5 (any chance I can get a link to that post?), I'll have to edit my PFS character with that one. EDIT: I've gone through all the posts in this thread, and I can't find one by Jason stating that you can't get the +2 Enhancement bonus to a physical stat from the resonant power until 5th level. (The text of the Physical Enhancement resonant power also doesn't mention a level restriction at all).

As for the three implements, two of them are of the same group (Transmutation) and I didn't see any restriction on having more than one implement from a group... you learn two implement groups at first level, and you can only choose one implement from each group to grant you spells from that school, but from my reading, there doesn't seem to be a restriction on putting mental focus into multiple implements from the same group. Am I missing something there?

ANOTHER EDIT: I found a post from Jason that suggests that you can have multiple resonant powers from the same implement group. Here's the link: Jason's post and here's the quoted text as well:

Jason wrote:


williamoak wrote:


Resonant powers: can we have multiple ones active, assuming we have multiple implements (I would definitly take transmutation (belt) and (weapon))?
"General mental focus stored inside body" is fairly confusing to me. How does it differentiate from regular mental focus? How is it generated?
Note: Considering how valuable mental focus is, I would LOVE a method through which you can sacrifice spell slots to regain mental focus, kinda like the arcanist's pool.

You can have multiple resonant powers, just not from the same implement.

When you place your mental focus, you can choose to either keep it in you or store it in your implements. In other words, your mental focus is either in you or in your implements. Your choice.

As for swapping spells back into focus, that is something I will give some thought to, but I want to see how the class plays out a bit first.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


cartmanbeck wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Doghion Abyndon Harbourne, Esq. wrote:

...and now for something completely different.

Having actually invested the time and energy into making and playtesting an Occultist, I'd like to ask for clarification on a ruling that actually came up in play. In one of the scenarios I tested the Occultist, the GM ruled that the transmutation base power, psychic weapon, did not stack with the enhancement bonus to hit of a masterwork weapon. The entry does specifically state that it stacks with any other enhancement bonus and I felt that it should be used as written, but the concensus was that it was just like enchanting a masterwork weapon to a +1 weapon; the enhancement bonuses do not stack. If a designer could weigh in on this, it would be most appreciated.

The entire point of that passage is to allow the enhancement bonus to stack with other enhancement bonuses. I don't see why the "partial" enhancement bonus of a masterwork weapon would be any different.
I would have also ruled in favor of the GM here... if giving a weapon a +1 bonus by enchanting it doesn't increase the attack bonus of a masterwork weapon (which it doesn't, only the damage), neither should the Psychic Weapon's bonus.

The normal +1 bonus doesn't stack with the masterwork enhancement because enhancement bonuses normally do not stack. The psychic weapon ability specifically overrides that general rule.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

blahpers wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Doghion Abyndon Harbourne, Esq. wrote:

...and now for something completely different.

Having actually invested the time and energy into making and playtesting an Occultist, I'd like to ask for clarification on a ruling that actually came up in play. In one of the scenarios I tested the Occultist, the GM ruled that the transmutation base power, psychic weapon, did not stack with the enhancement bonus to hit of a masterwork weapon. The entry does specifically state that it stacks with any other enhancement bonus and I felt that it should be used as written, but the concensus was that it was just like enchanting a masterwork weapon to a +1 weapon; the enhancement bonuses do not stack. If a designer could weigh in on this, it would be most appreciated.

The entire point of that passage is to allow the enhancement bonus to stack with other enhancement bonuses. I don't see why the "partial" enhancement bonus of a masterwork weapon would be any different.
I would have also ruled in favor of the GM here... if giving a weapon a +1 bonus by enchanting it doesn't increase the attack bonus of a masterwork weapon (which it doesn't, only the damage), neither should the Psychic Weapon's bonus.
The normal +1 bonus doesn't stack with the masterwork enhancement because enhancement bonuses normally do not stack. The psychic weapon ability specifically overrides that general rule.

Hmm... yeah the way it's worded, it would stack. Doesn't matter once you get the weapon past MW into having its own enhancement bonus, but that's an interesting way of getting an extra +1 to hit.


cartmanbeck wrote:


As for the three implements, two of them are of the same group (Transmutation) and I didn't see any restriction on having more than one implement from a group... you learn two implement groups at first level, and you can only choose one implement from each group to grant you spells from that school, but from my reading, there doesn't seem to be a restriction on putting mental focus into multiple implements from the same group. Am I missing something there?

It seems to me that the intention is that you would need to select the Implement group more then once in order to select multiple items within the same group, but you're right, the text does not clearly state you can't. It does state that you select "an" item from that list, which I believe indicates a single item (as opposed to "any").

Other than the missing spells/abilities (No summoning spells/no Vest power) I think that's one of the better catch's I have seen, good job.

If that is in fact the case. It Seem's like they should add a line stating "You may invest focus in one Implement from each of you're chosen groups. If you have selected a group more then once, you may invest focus into one additional Implement for each additional selection." I'm sure there is a less wordy way of stating that, but you catch my drift.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Dexion1619 wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:


As for the three implements, two of them are of the same group (Transmutation) and I didn't see any restriction on having more than one implement from a group... you learn two implement groups at first level, and you can only choose one implement from each group to grant you spells from that school, but from my reading, there doesn't seem to be a restriction on putting mental focus into multiple implements from the same group. Am I missing something there?

It seems to me that the intention is that you would need to select the Implement group more then once in order to select multiple items within the same group, but you're right, the text does not clearly state you can't. It does state that you select "an" item from that list, which I believe indicates a single item (as opposed to "any").

Other than the missing spells/abilities (No summoning spells/no Vest power) I think that's one of the better catch's I have seen, good job.

If that is in fact the case. It Seem's like they should add a line stating "You may invest focus in one Implement from each of you're chosen groups. If you have selected a group more then once, you may invest focus into one additional Implement for each additional selection." I'm sure there is a less wordy way of stating that, but you catch my drift.

See I'm pretty sure having multiple implements of a type is actually intended, based on that post from Jason that I linked above. Note that I am only getting one set of spells from the Transmutation implement.... if I invest another implement "known" into Transmutation, I would gain more spells known, according to the text, but I don't see anything precluding me from having multiple implements with focus in them, and only one "active" one that is granting me spells known.

I'll wait for him to weigh in before I make changes to my PFS character though... the multiple transmutation implements are powerful, but not broken in my opinion. I'll make sure to post an update once we see how my new character does in combat (the first combat in the Confirmation JUST started, exciting!)

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Lots of great feedback here folks. Keep it up. Ill be posting up some ideas and questions for the crowd later this week to get some specific feedback.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


Doghion Abyndon Harbourne, Esq. wrote:

...and now for something completely different.

Having actually invested the time and energy into making and playtesting an Occultist, I'd like to ask for clarification on a ruling that actually came up in play. In one of the scenarios I tested the Occultist, the GM ruled that the transmutation base power, psychic weapon, did not stack with the enhancement bonus to hit of a masterwork weapon. The entry does specifically state that it stacks with any other enhancement bonus and I felt that it should be used as written, but the concensus was that it was just like enchanting a masterwork weapon to a +1 weapon; the enhancement bonuses do not stack. If a designer could weigh in on this, it would be most appreciated.

Masterwork isn't an enhancement bonus. It's a to-hit bonus that gets absorbed into enhancement once enhancement is added. If you enchanted a MW weapon with the spell Magic Weapon it wouldn't gain a +2 to hit.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

joeyfixit wrote:
Doghion Abyndon Harbourne, Esq. wrote:

...and now for something completely different.

Having actually invested the time and energy into making and playtesting an Occultist, I'd like to ask for clarification on a ruling that actually came up in play. In one of the scenarios I tested the Occultist, the GM ruled that the transmutation base power, psychic weapon, did not stack with the enhancement bonus to hit of a masterwork weapon. The entry does specifically state that it stacks with any other enhancement bonus and I felt that it should be used as written, but the concensus was that it was just like enchanting a masterwork weapon to a +1 weapon; the enhancement bonuses do not stack. If a designer could weigh in on this, it would be most appreciated.

Masterwork isn't an enhancement bonus. It's a to-hit bonus that gets absorbed into enhancement once enhancement is added. If you enchanted a MW weapon with the spell Magic Weapon it wouldn't gain a +2 to hit.

Actually, if you look at the PRD, it DOES say it's an Enhancement bonus.

PRD wrote:


Masterwork Weapons
A masterwork weapon is a finely crafted version of a normal weapon. Wielding it provides a +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls.


I playtested this class over the weekend, post is here.

After reading the rest of this thread it appears I constructed the character wrong in assuming I had all resonant powers from an implement group and all implements available. I read this class a few times but I suppose I never picked up that when I select an implement, it's the specific item receiving the focus itself, not the implement group. I had though selecting an implement was selecting the implement group like selecting a spell school in that you get all benefits from that spellschool upon selection. I'm not sure how I feel knowing that I have a more narrow range of choices than I originally thought. Thankfully for PFS integrity, I didn't really make any use out of any of the necromancy implements other than a familiar for RP.

I may personally refer to implements as "implement foci" from now on to keep this straight in my head.

I did have some questions in that playtest that may be best answered here, as follows:

Unresolved Questions
Necromancy Group:
Is the Occultist's ability to animate the dead considered an evil act? It's not per the Animate Dead spell and it doesn't contain the evil descriptor. The playtest had them as PFS legal so it would suggest not, but it may be there for testing purposes.

If you destroy an enemy skeleton or zombie, can you animate it yourself under your command? As written, the ability refers to the bestiary entries, but what if the enemy skeleton has a template or use of other weapons? Can I give the animated skeletons a spare weapon or armor? A long spear would allow it to threaten 5' (claw natural weapon) and 10' (spear). A bow may also be very useful. This may have been solved in discussions regarding the Animate Dead spell which I am unaware.

Do I need to have 1 point in Necromantic Focus to be able to animate dead? If so I would not be able to ever spend that 1 point contained in that implement to animate dead. Example: I would be draining the excess focus from the implement, but eventually be left with one last point that I could only then use on the fear effect. If I spend it to animate dead I no longer gain the resonant power to control undead, potentially animating an aggressive NPC!

If the Soulbound Puppet dies, can you still draw focus from it?

If I got hit and the the Spirit Shroud temporary HP's is consumed, does the focus stay in the shroud to be drawn out to fuel a power at a later time? Can I re-imbue the stored focus into the shroud to regain the resonant power (temporary HP) at will or is it limited to only once, the hour to initially prepare the implement?

Transmutation Group:
Does Psychic Weapon stack with the Magic Weapon spell, to allow a minute-long enhancement bonus (shocking, flaming, etc)?


Fooma wrote:
Do I need to have 1 point in Necromantic Focus to be able to animate dead? If so I would not be able to ever spend that 1 point contained in that implement to animate dead.

I think it's a safe assumption that the ability to control undead based off of HD is either tied to the spells Create/Command Undead, or it's just a given for any spellcaster with access to those spells. I always interpreted Necromantic Focus as an ability that expands upon your pool of Animate Dead HD.

Sczarni

I was wondering why the conjure servant power is not as good as the summoners ability and he has a better spell selection


kingtutiba wrote:
I was wondering why the conjure servant power is not as good as the summoners ability and he has a better spell selection

I will note that is is also worse than the similar Battle Companion abilities of the Warpriest (who ALSO has a better spell selection than the Occultist).

Honestly, I think it is only so weak to keep it equal to the other weak abilities granted for free by the other implements. However, the ability is completely amazing at level 1. It is just unfortunate that the resonant powers of the conjuration group are all so situational as to be nearly worthless (especially if someone built a character specializing in survival and the occultist did not).

Grand Lodge

cartmanbeck wrote:
As for the three implements, two of them are of the same group (Transmutation) and I didn't see any restriction on having more than one implement from a group... you learn two implement groups at first level, and you can only choose one implement from each group to grant you spells from that school, but from my reading, there doesn't seem to be a restriction on putting mental focus into multiple implements from the same group. Am I missing something there?

"Each implement group is represented by a small list of objects. Each day, the occultist selects an item from that list to be his implement for the day." That's from the top of the left column on page 42 in the playtest document.

I would interpret that as meaning if you've chosen Transmutation and Evocation then you get ONE implement from Transmutation and ONE from Evocation that you can empower for the day, but you can own multiple items that are capable of functioning as implements.

Scarab Sages

BennActive wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
As for the three implements, two of them are of the same group (Transmutation) and I didn't see any restriction on having more than one implement from a group... you learn two implement groups at first level, and you can only choose one implement from each group to grant you spells from that school, but from my reading, there doesn't seem to be a restriction on putting mental focus into multiple implements from the same group. Am I missing something there?

"Each implement group is represented by a small list of objects. Each day, the occultist selects an item from that list to be his implement for the day." That's from the top of the left column on page 42 in the playtest document.

I would interpret that as meaning if you've chosen Transmutation and Evocation then you get ONE implement from Transmutation and ONE from Evocation that you can empower for the day, but you can own multiple items that are capable of functioning as implements.

You need to keep reading, immediately after your quoted text is the exception:

Playtest Doc Pg 34 wrote:

Each implement group is represented by a small list of

objects. Each day, the occultist selects an item from that list
to be his implement for the day. The occultist needs only
one such item to cast a spell of the corresponding school,
unless he selected that implement group multiple times, in
which case he needs one item for each set of spells gained
from that group.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Imbicatus wrote:
Playtest Doc Pg 34 wrote:
Each implement group is represented by a small list of objects. Each day, the occultist selects an item from that list to be his implement for the day. The occultist needs only one such item to cast a spell of the corresponding school, unless he selected that implement group multiple times, in which case he needs one item for each set of spells gained from that group.

Then let's say that a 1st-level occultist selected the evocation implement group twice, so as to learn both burning hands and shocking grasp. Does that mean he would need one rod, wand, or staff to cast his burning hands and yet another rod, wand or staff to cast his shocking grasp?

If so...ugh.

Silver Crusade

This is a very interesting class, but even after reading it twice, it seems hard for me to gauge its power level. Transmutation seems to be the obvious choice for undecided.

Making resonant powers available throughout the day (and in turn reducing the total amount of mental focus) would be a welcome change.

The spell list, is at this point pretty small and some more exotic additions would be welcome.

EDIT: Also, I would like the ability to kill people with a spoon^^

Scarab Sages

Yeah, it looks like you need an implement for each implement group selection you make. If you select evocation twice, you would need two wands/staves/rods to cast each spell. On the plus side, it would allow you to have both the lightbringer and intense focus resonant powers.

On the minus, you have to juggle a lot more implements. It seems like quick draw may be mandatory for this class.

Either way, it looks like the answer to my previous question was no, you can't use the same item as an implement for multiple schools at once.


Mikael Sebag wrote:

Then let's say that a 1st-level occultist selected the evocation implement group twice, so as to learn both burning hands and shocking grasp. Does that mean he would need one rod, wand, or staff to cast his burning hands and yet another rod, wand or staff to cast his shocking grasp?

If so...ugh.

To be fair, the rules only require you to "present the implement to the target or towards the area of effect" and "have the corresponding implement in his possession". You don't have to be holding it- otherwise it would be impossible to use worn implements. You can easily just tie all of your implements to your arm or hang them from straps on your clothes or something.

Liberty's Edge

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

The psychic magic gish. The occultist a limited spellcaster that can cast up to 6th-level spells, wear medium armour, and use martial weapons. But it learns spells unlike other spellcasters.

At first glance the concept for this class seems odd. The occultist uses items that are magical but not actually magic items, which are used to gains spells of a certain school. They’re specialists who gain more schools at higher levels. The idea strikes me as drawing from the idea of psychic/occult detectives. They’re most akin to spellcasters like Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder, Hellboy, John Constantine, the Winchesters, or even Harry Dresden. Adventuring types who kinda sorta know spells but rely on relics and “magical trinkets”. The occultist doesn’t just cast burning hands but breaks out their blasting rod, and doesn’t overtly cast mage armour but presents the fingerbone of St. Gerome to ward off harm. I rather like the idea but since the class comes alive when the relics are emphasised, it really needs a sidebar of example items.

I like that the class can also do fun things like reading reading and creating magic circles. Small abilities that really hammer home the tone of the class. I really wish the mesmerist and medium had flavourful little powers like that.

Honestly, the armour and weapons of the class actually detract from the flavour for me. It feels like the need to fill the “gish” slot on the psychic magic Bingo card, and means the occultist loses some extra occultisty flavour. I don’t see scale mail and greatswords being overly necessary. As the psychic version of the investigator/rogue, they should be limited to light armours.


Jester David - the psychic rogue is just one way to play it though.

You could equally build it to be a dwarven soldier who inscribes his armor with the runes of the dwarvish pantheon and the gladdringgar of his ancestors.

Upon his axe - Angradd, the Forge Fire; upon his helm - Bolka, the Golden Gift, etc.


Plus, take it from Dresden--magic is great, but sometimes there's just no substitute for your friends Smith & Wesson.

Liberty's Edge

Mark Sweetman wrote:

Jester David - the psychic rogue is just one way to play it though.

You could equally build it to be a dwarven soldier who inscribes his armor with the runes of the dwarvish pantheon and the gladdringgar of his ancestors.

Upon his axe - Angradd, the Forge Fire; upon his helm - Bolka, the Golden Gift, etc.

I think there's room for an archetype like that, but they're making it the base class. All occultists rock medium armour and heavy weaponry. As you only need a 16 Int by level 17 they're easily a Str/Dex primary class. They're the psychic magic magus.


blahpers wrote:
Plus, take it from Dresden--magic is great, but sometimes there's just no substitute for your friends Smith & Wesson.

Are you Implying that I need to cram both Amateur Investigator and Amateur Gunslinger into my build? Because if so I like the way you think.

Also... I make Dresden's new "Piece"... and it is Sweet.

Shadow Lodge

Alister Fontaine Lv1 Occultist:

Lv1 Human Occultist
Stats:
Stg:8
Dex:14+2=16 (Human)
Con:14
Int:15
Wis:12
Cha:12

Feats:
Weapon Finesse
Toughness

IMPLEMENTS +spells
Transmutation: Using a Swordcane as the implement getting Agile on it every day
0lv: Mage Hand
1lv: feather fall

Divination: using glasses to get low light vision,
0lv: Detect MAgic
1lv: detect secret doors

focus Power:
Sudden speed


lol well this is just a general view of my characters build, but i am loving the occultist lol. i hope we get more focus powers/ base powers in the final but for now it seems pretty good, got the skills to pay the bills, he's not a focused caster but an help out greatly in combat, and super helpful out of ombat at least in my opinion ^^ cant wait to see what comes next


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Has anyone playtested this class at middle (7+) or higher (12+) levels?

From what I've read (IMHO) this class seems a bit front loaded.
For example at 1st level choose two of:

power list:

+1 weapon ability
+2 enhancement to a physical stat (though J. Bulman has stated he'd prefer that at 5th+)
wizard familiar
+1 shield/armor ability
+5 movement speed
low-light vision
+2 survival checks (to avoid being lost)
+1 round summoning duration
scrying bonus
+1 DC enchantment
+1 Charisma based skill checks
+1 damage evocation
light spell
Disguise Self
Increased HD cap for illusion/pattern.
Daze (HD cap = occultist level)
Increased HD cap for undead control
Ghost Sound, Minor Image
Fear
Summon Monster 1
and so forth.
PLUS based on your implement selection you also get two of:
Sleep
Energy Ray (like Kineticist Blast, Touch AC, but acid, cold, electricity, or fire on the fly energy substitution)
Selective Spell (evocation)
Temporary HP
Animate Dead (lesser)
+30 move (as a swift, 1 round)
Command
Arcane Eye
Sentry (kind of like Faithful Hound)
etc...

You get more powers as you level up...but the scaling seems to be all over the place.
For example the 5th level Evocation Power is a 5d6 acid/cold/electrical/fireball. But the damage scaling is 1d6 every 2 levels. This seems to apply for most spell-like powers.
Fortunately actual spells scale at full caster level.
And if you are a combat focused character you don't get bonus feats to make up the 3/4 BAB so your to-hit suffers. Though if you went Transmutation the effective free enchantments and psychic weapon may help offset that a bit.

So has anyone tried this at the higher levels? How did they hold up?

Scarab Sages

Ray of Frost really needs to be be on the Evocation spell list. Ray of Frost could be a decent all day attack spell with Intense Focus, and an easy way to be relevant as a low-level blaster without spending first level spells or Focus powers.

The scaling on intense focus means it will still be useless at mid level anyway.


I created this alias for a playtest as a level 13 kitsune Occultist archer (along with a level 6 version for another playtest). Here are my refined opinions after that in-depth theorycrafting:

-I still have too little Mental Focus to play with, compared to my number of implements. I have to pick and choose between locking in resonant powers and spending MF on focus powers, while some of my implements are good for nothing but spellcasting. That's frustrating. Scaling at 1.5 x level feels about right to me.

-The martial ability is ahead of where I expected it to be, but still not quite there. Adding heroism (hopefully as a second-level spell, like a bard) to his spell list would probably be enough. And as an enchantment spell, it would force hard choices on the martial Occultist regarding implement school choice.


Jester David wrote:
Mark Sweetman wrote:

Jester David - the psychic rogue is just one way to play it though.

You could equally build it to be a dwarven soldier who inscribes his armor with the runes of the dwarvish pantheon and the gladdringgar of his ancestors.

Upon his axe - Angradd, the Forge Fire; upon his helm - Bolka, the Golden Gift, etc.

I think there's room for an archetype like that, but they're making it the base class. All occultists rock medium armour and heavy weaponry. As you only need a 16 Int by level 17 they're easily a Str/Dex primary class. They're the psychic magic magus.

Read my points on martial builds earlier. This class ends up pretty ugly if you actually end up playing it as a gish rather than a caster. By 12 or 13, you are behind the magus and the warpriest by a fairly large margin as you slowly lose the ability to buff your accuracy and you have very few powers that directly interact with your martial attacks.

Also note that is really only the transmuters that get any kind of offensive combat buffs at all.


Jester David wrote:
All occultists rock medium armour and heavy weaponry.

I think this is okay, thematically. You're an item specialist, and both armors and weapons can be implements for you. If you find a greatsword and study it for a minute, you're learning everything about it and who has touched it in the past. Why would you not know how to swing it effectively?

Hellboy was one of your examples of an occultist, and he's been known to carry a big weapon or two. :)

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Another point that kind of annoys me about the Occultist is that many of the resonant and focus powers are redundant with the spell list. For instance, he can invest 2 MF into a divination implement to get darkvision... or just take the darkvision spell with a transmutation implement. He can invest 4 MF in that divination implement to get a constant see invisibility... or just pick it as his divination spell. It's the same story with haste, fly, telekinesis, and so on. Because MF is such a scarce resource, it's almost always a better idea to take the spell, which leaves him with fewer useful focus powers to choose from.

Scarab Sages

RainyDayNinja wrote:
Another point that kind of annoys me about the Occultist is that many of the resonant and focus powers are redundant with the spell list. For instance, he can invest 2 MF into a divination implement to get darkvision... or just take the darkvision spell with a transmutation implement. He can invest 4 MF in that divination implement to get a constant see invisibility... or just pick it as his divination spell. It's the same story with haste, fly, telekinesis, and so on. Because MF is such a scarce resource, it's almost always a better idea to take the spell, which leaves him with fewer useful focus powers to choose from.

For the most part I agree with you, but there is a solid benefit to have the divination focus powers be always on. For example, See Invisibility only has a duration of 10 mins per level. Not bad for exploration, but you would only want to cast it if you knew you were about to encounter something invisible. There is at least three pfs scenarios that I know of that had invisible foes that did not immediately attack and reveal themselves that would be discovered with an always on see invisibility, but were not because it would have required casting the spell and there was no apparent reason to cast it.


I didnt know if this was covered in the pdf but can you switch implements around? I have a chain shirt as an implement, eventually I will find better armor. So can you attune yourself to this better armor so that it can be used as an implement for spells? Otherwise ill be lugging around 25 lbs of uselessness that I have to pull out and flap in front of me like an idiot when I cast a spell at later levels. Although that seems hilarious very detrimental also.
EDIT- found my answer each day occultist selects an item from implement group. So I can select range weapon one day and melee the next. Jus have semi cool backstory as to why item is an implement. Use object readingvon new set of armor find out a hero once wore it to fight dragon and sacrifice self to slay it ect.


RainyDayNinja wrote:
Another point that kind of annoys me about the Occultist is that many of the resonant and focus powers are redundant with the spell list. For instance, he can invest 2 MF into a divination implement to get darkvision... or just take the darkvision spell with a transmutation implement. He can invest 4 MF in that divination implement to get a constant see invisibility... or just pick it as his divination spell. It's the same story with haste, fly, telekinesis, and so on. Because MF is such a scarce resource, it's almost always a better idea to take the spell, which leaves him with fewer useful focus powers to choose from.

The focus powers should be better than / more useful / role defining, than the spells. If the class ends up relying on spells because they are better than the class features (more useful to save the MF than spend on focus powers), why be an occultist?

Someone also brought up the lack of accuracy. That's something I noticed when I was looking at its spell list. I can't see how the Occultist can maintain a decent hit ratio without a spell to buff up it's accuracy. Either Heroism / Divine Power(Favor). For the most part, I like the spells on the spell list. I think the designer nailed the flavor of the class.

If this class may, or may not be, based on Harry Dresden - where is the "power in a pinch" that he displays? Dresden gets out of some hairy situations by digging deep into his emotions and unloading a Forzare, or surviving against crazy odds. A feature to emulate that may be interesting.

Burning MP to power weak magical attacks. I can't say I'm onboard with the expense to throw out a blast. It starts out expensive, but alright. Though it ends up lackluster. At 5th level you have say, 14 MP. It costs you 2 MP to use a 5d6 blast. 12d6 as a capstone attack? I can't imagine actually using this very much. I think this should be more akin to a Paladins Smite. Something awesome, to use in a pinch or vs. bosses and appropriately awesome.

Items mimicing enhancement bonuses. This is just a pet peeve of mine, class features mirroring enhancement bonuses. Or, as someone in the thread showed, WBL expense relief. I would prefer that the class features don't just supplement WBL expenses. It's boring to me to have another class be able to add +# as an enhancement bonus to stats as an example. I think people can do better, and come up with unique, thematically awesome powers that don't just mirror published spells/magical items.

edit - An example of what I consider an awesome ability that is unique to the class. Binding Circle. "If a living creature of the corresponding alignment steps inside it, the trap triggers
and binds the creature inside the circle." So, you can set traps for humans, drow, monstrous critters etc., and catch them in your circle. So many awesome uses for this now that circles are useful against non-planar entities. Kudos for thinking of this.

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If I'm using Legacy Weapon or its equivalent armor power, can I change the choice of ability if/when I use Shift Focus?


Cubic Prism wrote:
RainyDayNinja wrote:
Another point that kind of annoys me about the Occultist is that many of the resonant and focus powers are redundant with the spell list. For instance, he can invest 2 MF into a divination implement to get darkvision... or just take the darkvision spell with a transmutation implement. He can invest 4 MF in that divination implement to get a constant see invisibility... or just pick it as his divination spell. It's the same story with haste, fly, telekinesis, and so on. Because MF is such a scarce resource, it's almost always a better idea to take the spell, which leaves him with fewer useful focus powers to choose from.

The focus powers should be better than / more useful / role defining, than the spells. If the class ends up relying on spells because they are better than the class features (more useful to save the MF than spend on focus powers), why be an occultist?

Someone also brought up the lack of accuracy. That's something I noticed when I was looking at its spell list. I can't see how the Occultist can maintain a decent hit ratio without a spell to buff up it's accuracy. Either Heroism / Divine Power(Favor). For the most part, I like the spells on the spell list. I think the designer nailed the flavor of the class.

If you are going to rely on the spell list to buff the class then you are only going to end up with a weaker oracle who is going to get those spells earlier and have more powerful spells otherwise.

Either way, I don't like playing casters that turn themselves into fighters because the action economy ends up not being worth it. I would rather use that first round and first spell to take an enemy out of the fight or have some effect that changes the battle immediately rather than wait for all my enemies to take another action while I do nothing.


So, better Focus powers seem to be the answer then?

Scarab Sages

Excaliburproxy wrote:


Either way, I don't like playing casters that turn themselves into fighters because the action economy ends up not being worth it. I would rather use that first round and first spell to take an enemy out of the fight or have some effect that changes the battle immediately rather than wait for all my enemies to take another action while I do nothing.

This is a good point, and the reason why I like warpriests, even after BABgate. Warpriests are viable as a 3/4 melee class because Fervor allows them to break action economy on self buffs.

If Occultists are able to effectively self buff from always-on resonant powers on weapon implements, then they work because they don't need to spen action economy to buff.


Imbicatus wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:


Either way, I don't like playing casters that turn themselves into fighters because the action economy ends up not being worth it. I would rather use that first round and first spell to take an enemy out of the fight or have some effect that changes the battle immediately rather than wait for all my enemies to take another action while I do nothing.

This is a good point, and the reason why I like warpriests, even after BABgate. Warpriests are viable as a 3/4 melee class because Fervor allows them to break action economy on self buffs.

If Occultists are able to effectively self buff from always-on resonant powers on weapon implements, then they work because they don't need to spen action economy to buff.

That would certainly make them work as a gish class. And that is what they are very able to do at level 1 through 6 or 7 with a magic sword (or a belt at lower levels).

However, if the goal is a 20 level Gish class then this combat class feature needs to be in the core class abilities rather than locked behind the transmutation combat school. Even more importantly, that class feature needs to stay relevant over all 20 levels. Neither are there so I have kind of been considering this a pure caster class.

Staring at the class harder, you can MAYBE make the class work in martial combat by building around standard action attacks and gaming your divination powers, but then you would only be viable for like 4 or 5 rounds a day and that build is going to take up almost all your focus points.

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The occultist in my playtest used a +2 agile sword cane and a +3 mithral armored coat (APL 9, 46k gp WBL). Under these (considerably ideal) circumstances, he hit more often than the kineticist and had the evocation implement group to back up the party with ranged energy damage as needed. That being said, there were no full BAB characters in the group. You can read the playtest details HERE.

Upon reviewing his character sheet, however, I couldn't help but feel like the number of spells known were just too few. It seemed odd that a bard (who is thematically even more of a dilettante) should know more spells.

Anybody else feel as though the number of spells known per implement group should somehow be increased? Two per implement group per level seems like too many, but one seems like too few.

Thoughts?


Cubic Prism wrote:
So, better Focus powers seem to be the answer then?

Yes indeed. The Occultist especially needs a way to contribute meaningfully to a fight - stronger damage-dealing focus powers would make me want to play this class a lot more. As it is, their best damage option is to pick up Legacy Weapon, but even that drops of by the mid levels.


Mikael Sebag wrote:

The occultist in my playtest used a +2 agile sword cane and a +3 mithral armored coat (APL 9, 46k gp WBL). Under these (considerably ideal) circumstances, he hit more often than the kineticist and had the evocation implement group to back up the party with ranged energy damage as needed. That being said, there were no full BAB characters in the group. You can read the playtest details HERE.

Upon reviewing his character sheet, however, I couldn't help but feel like the number of spells known were just too few. It seemed odd that a bard (who is thematically even more of a dilettante) should know more spells.

Anybody else feel as though the number of spells known per implement group should somehow be increased? Two per implement group per level seems like too many, but one seems like too few.

Thoughts?

I am not sure if I agree with you regarding spell progression, necessarily. This class's spell progression is actually full of neat little quirks, imo. Though the class knows fewer low level spells, by level 7, you are going to have far more of your higher level spells known (when you have 4 spells known to the bard's 2). Then at level 10, you will have 5 4th level spells to the bard's 2. The difference kind of careens from there.

Maybe that is why the melee combat falls off so hard? Because the class gets so much better at spell casting versatility?

I am not sure if I would buy that balance argument, though. I feel like the bard's spell list is pretty strong (especially with all those buffs) and the occultist spell selection is a little weird and uneven.


I just created an Occultist for a PBP game. Such games are pretty slow though, I will not have it very well tested before the playtest gets done.

I will say the skills are good and the focus abilities will make the character pretty handy to the party at the first level.

I did wonder though, why no Concentration skill?

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