General Discussion: Spiritualist


Rules Discussion

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Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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This thread is for general discussion of the Spiritualist 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

Updates: Here are the official changes to the class:

Class Features
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The spiritualist is proficient in all simple weapons not light weapons.
First Level Spells Per Day: At first level ignore the 1/day in the 1st level slot, the spiritualist has a base of 1 1st-level spell per day at 1st level, and no 2nd-level spells at that level.
Bonded Manifestation: The first sentence in the 3rd paragraph should begin "At 8th level, and every 5 levels thereafter..."

Spells
Haste and slow should be on the the 3rd-level spiritualist spell list, not the 2nd-level list.
Tongues is on both the 3rd- and 4th-level spiritualist spell list, it should only be on the 3rd-level list.

Phantoms
Armor Bonus: The first sentence should read, "The number noted here is the increase to the phantom's natural armor bonus when manifested as an ectoplasmic creature, and its deflection bonus when manifested as an incorporeal creature."
Phantom Starting Statistics: Add, "Type: Outsider (phantom)" to the beginning of the stat block and change AC to, "AC +2 dodge (in incorporeal form) or +2 natural armor (in ectoplasmic form)"

Designer

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Howdy everyone,

I'm Stephen, and I will be the design lead looking over your comments and playtest notes on this class.


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Well, this class did something for me right off the bat that I did not think would happen again, after the release of the Advanced Class Guide; it encompassed a character concept that I could not otherwise mechanically make to my satisfaction with another class choice.

So...great job, all. Very cool.

That being said, as a first impression, I was a little struck that there was no separate "Vengeance" emotional focus, at least out on its own. While there seems to be themes of revenge in the Jealousy focus, it just made me think that one of the primary motivations for the phantom that a lot of players will bring to the class is one of vengeance and/or retribution. This idea might be worth exploring in its own focus, rather that wrapping it up with the more covetous/possessive elements of the Jealousy focus.

Just a general impression from my first pass, thanks.

Designer

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Awesome. I'm glad you like it.

As far as the list of emotional foci, this is a short list made for the playtest. As the playtest goes on, I'll probably post other emotional foci to try out (though these will not be PFS legal). The published class will have a more complete list of emotional foci.

So no worries. Vengeance is on my short list of emotional foci.


Might I suggest despair/sorrow? It fits a lot of lore pertaining to lost or otherworldly souls unable to pass to their next life.

/this is the most interestingest class in the playtest doc IMO : D

Designer

I am very open to suggestions on what kind of emotional foci folks want to see. I can't guarantee it will get in the final, but suggestions are hugely helpful. Thank you.

I'm really glad you find it interestingest. :)


One idea I've always liked but found lacking in the summoner class is methods for having the summoner themselves be an effective melee combatant...well, beyond the non-PFS-legal Synthesist and the non-PFS-legal Blood God Disciple.

The Blood God Disciple is more along the lines of what I'm referring to than the Synthesist, in that I'm envisioning a tandem combat team, rather than an augmented single character.

I see a bit more synergy and combat utility in the Spiritualist, especially for fighting in tandem with their phantom or using Bonded Manifestation to become a mini-Synthesist themselves.

Are there any plans for an archetype/feats/gear to enhance or expand the melee utility of the class, if a player wants to go a more melee-centric route, possibly say at the expense of spell utility and/or spell progression?

Designer

We have a number of ideas on alternate builds of this class using archetype and feat selection, but I have nothing specific to share at this time.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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I am thoroughly enjoying the design of this class so far, and look forward to playtesting it.

That being said, I'm curious if a phantom can wear armor, wield weapons, or otherwise manipulate physical objects when in ectoplasmic form? There does not appear to be anything written that suggests otherwise, although I may have missed something.

Does a Phantom's fury with other summoned companions extend to shadow dancer's summoned shadows? I'm imagining that it would.

I'd also like to second the desire for an emotional focus for despair. It might also be fun to see something centered on Shame, although I'm not certain how that could be implemented.


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I like this one, the only thing that comes to mind is there "see invisible" spell power should be usable 1 minute per level used in 1 minute increments.

I would also like to see a 12th+ level ability that lets them get ghost touch on there armor.

Contributor

I felt this class was the least risky of the six, which may or may not have been a good thing.

As Dragon78 said, the see invisibility power being limited to once per day for 1 minute seems pointless. It isn't enough to really do anything with, and I'm hoping that this turns into almost like a discern lies ability, where you have it for minutes per day.

Designer

Awesome, Angry Wiggles. I look forward to your playtest notes.

The answers to your questions about armor and other itemization can be found on page 54 of the document, in the Phantoms sections with the relevant information being in the Armor subsection and the link ability.

I would say that yes, the shadow dancers summoned shadow would also prevent a phantom from manifesting or cause it to retreat back into the summoner's consciousness, and I will make a note to add that later drafts.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

Awesome, Angry Wiggles. I look forward to your playtest notes.

The answers to your questions about armor and other itemization can be found on page 54 of the document, in the Phantoms sections with the relevant information being in the Armor subsection and the link ability.

I would say that yes, the shadow dancers summoned shadow would also prevent a phantom from manifesting or cause it to retreat back into the summoner's consciousness, and I will make a note to add that later drafts.

Splendid. I knew there was something I had to have missed. Thank'ye kindly for the quick reply.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Personally, I absolutely love the flavor of this class. There are a few questions I had...such as, do the phantoms have any weapon proficiencies? ...actually, I had others, but that's the major one.

My only other suggestion for a 'foci' is harder to quantify. I kind of like the idea of a spirit who isn't willing to go on because they want to protect their king/family/nation/ideals...and Zeal just doesn't feel the same to me. Maybe it isn't the right fit here, but that's the one I'm most curious about.

Designer

Great, Cydeth. I'm glad you like it. It was a lot of fun to design.

The phantom does not have weapon proficiencies.

One of the foci we are looking at adding is called "devotion." I think that might be the one you want.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Awesome, that's all I was curious about! I'm curious to see if any of my gaming group takes a look at these guys...this looks like fun.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As strange as it sounds perhaps some positive emotion foci are possible, like love. some spirits may be stuck due to that.

Designer

We are looking into that possibility as well.


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I would love to have love as well and hope, courage, joy, etc.

Grand Lodge

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Phantom concepts:

Basic Emotions: anger, fear, surprise, disgust(hatred is a good fit for this), joy and sadness

Higher Emotions: pride, guilt, embarrassment and shame.

Bold indicates concepts already created.


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Boy this test document is rather large.

Have to say, the Spiritualist is the most interesting concept for me to read about. Finished skimming through the text and I'm a little overwhelmed by all the character concepts that popped into my head.

#1 idea right now is playing a father whose haunted by the fear phantom of his dead daughter. #2 is a Zealous phantom guard who defends his charge even in death.

So kudos on a well executed class concept. An incorporeal companion may be a bit too awesome for dungeon delving, will investigate.

Dark Archive

What does the phantom, when manifested, look like? Is it up to the player such as my anger focus phantom manifest as a ball of angry red light or as a skeleton, etc, etc.

Designer

Phantoms are humanoid-shaped creatures that tend to look like they did during life, though their turmoil has warped them in some way. This is detailed on page 55 of the playtest document, under the Phantom Statistics section.

The particulars are up to you and your GM.


Wow. Loving this. Summoner is one of my favorite classes, and I like the spin this puts on it without feeling like it's merely a summoner archetype.
My curiosity is about damage for the phantom. I see that it has a slam attack, but I didn't see anything about the damage it does with said attack and how/if that damage scales up as levels increase (though I may have just missed something in my perusal of the class, and if so, I apologize for my oversight).
Definite agreement on wanting to see more emotions, but I think it's rather smart to keep the playtest to a more limited scope.
Also, I'm curious as to the thinking on/reasoning behind the selection of weapon proficiencies for the spiritualist, if you'd be willing to indulge my curiosity, that is.
Thanks!

EDIT: Just saw where the slam damage is listed, but still curious if it would scale up with levels. Also, can the phantom use feats to gain weapon proficiencies and can they wear magical items (rings, necklaces, etc.) like an eidolon and would it occupy the same slot on the spiritualist? Furthermore, since they retreat into the spiritualist's mind, would said items simply drop to the ground when the phantom was dismissed and would the spiritualist need to carry the items for said phantom?


As has been said above....this is a concept I have tried with existing classes and never been able to pull of to my satisfaction....LOVING THIS!

When considering emotional focus for Phantoms...can we get something like manipulative...as in a phantom that is manipulating it's "master" too it's own ends ?


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nighttree wrote:

As has been said above....this is a concept I have tried with existing classes and never been able to pull of to my satisfaction....LOVING THIS!

When considering emotional focus for Phantoms...can we get something like manipulative...as in a phantom that is manipulating it's "master" too it's own ends ?

Oooo, manipulative spirit could be an interesting archetype idea.

Silver Crusade

This is the class that intrigues me the most.

The idea of a gentle soft spoken person filled with a phantom of hatred sounds just peachy to me....

I'll put together a test the old fashion way... on a piece of paper (gasp LWD may not have a playtest patch for this until after the playtest) and give it a try this week.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

Awesome, Angry Wiggles. I look forward to your playtest notes.

The answers to your questions about armor and other itemization can be found on page 54 of the document, in the Phantoms sections with the relevant information being in the Armor subsection and the link ability.

I would say that yes, the shadow dancers summoned shadow would also prevent a phantom from manifesting or cause it to retreat back into the summoner's consciousness, and I will make a note to add that later drafts.

While the subject is still fresh: The summoner's summon monster class ability draws from the same power as their eidolon, preventing the use of both simultaneously. Would the summon monster class ability also prevent a phantom from manifesting?

Sovereign Court

Under the proficiency section, "all light weapons, kukris, saps and scythes" are listed as their weapon proficiencies. Should "light weapons" be changed to "simple weapons"?


See Invisibility seems too limited... 1 minute once per day will only affect 1 combat. Why not allow it to work as the spell and last 10min per day? Aasimar get that as an SLA at 1st level.

If that's too long, how about allowing it to be usable a number of minutes per day equal to the Spiritualist's Wis modifier, allowing it to be used in one minute increments, but not necessarily consecutive minutes.

BTW, there is a typo in the description Call Spirit. it says "(...) to use call spirits* as once per day as spell-like ability.". I suppose it was meant to say as an "(...) to use call spirits* as a spell-like ability once per day"

Designer

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Lukas Stariha wrote:
Under the proficiency section, "all light weapons, kukris, saps and scythes" are listed as their weapon proficiencies. Should "light weapons" be changed to "simple weapons"?

That should be simple weapons.


Does an ectoplasmic Phantom have feet? Does it care about gravity and difficult terrain?

Great job on the spell list, btw.

Light weapons was wrong? Dang, I was already building one with an Aklys.


blahpers wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

Awesome, Angry Wiggles. I look forward to your playtest notes.

The answers to your questions about armor and other itemization can be found on page 54 of the document, in the Phantoms sections with the relevant information being in the Armor subsection and the link ability.

I would say that yes, the shadow dancers summoned shadow would also prevent a phantom from manifesting or cause it to retreat back into the summoner's consciousness, and I will make a note to add that later drafts.

While the subject is still fresh: The summoner's summon monster class ability draws from the same power as their eidolon, preventing the use of both simultaneously. Would the summon monster class ability also prevent a phantom from manifesting?

I think this deserves a clarification. "if it is manifested

when such a creature is summoned, it immediately retreats
into its spiritualist’s consciousness" says to that any summon spell chases the Phantom away. When it comes to creatures that have already been summoned when the Spiritualist is trying to manifest the Phantom, only the Eidolon is named. Probably it applies to any summoned critter.

Note that the "Call Spirit" spell is conjuration, but the subschool is "Calling", which I don't recall having seen before. So even though this is a kind of summoning, it shouldn't chase your Phantom away.

Dark Archive

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
I would say that yes, the shadow dancers summoned shadow would also prevent a phantom from manifesting or cause it to retreat back into the summoner's consciousness, and I will make a note to add that later drafts.

Just a note on this before you commit, but shadowdancers' shadows aren't dismissable in the same way summoners' eidolons are. Dismissing them risks a negative level and leaves them gone for at least 30 days, so they're effectively an "always on" class feature. Adding them into this text means that three levels in a particular prestige class will effectively shut off the main ability of this base class. That doesn't seem ideal. You could honestly delete that entire paragraph from the class if you just made the spiritualist an alternate class of summoner instead of a base class (which is what it feels like anyway).

Grand Lodge

I really like the flavor of this class. Seems a good balance of interesting mechanics and strong flavor.

With the potential to manifest an incorporeal companion that cannot be heard, and then the ability to cast invisibility, I am concerned that the companion represents the ultimate scout. He can move through walls, cant be heard because of incorporeal, he cant be seen for 40 minutes at a time from level 4, and the ability to walk through walls, and the ability to share sight with his creator, the phantom seems capable of scouting out entire areas with almost no chance to be spotted. Seems strong.

other points:

Typo? At 8th level, and every 3 levels thereafter (13th and 18th
level)

As to the spirit wielding weapons, I cant see anything about weapon proficiency on page 54. Can the spirit wield weapons, or use magic times? It mentions Armour, but that's all i can see (I may be blind).


Only had the time earlier to give this a brief look over, but I really loved the theme and idea here. Very cool! Also totally works for a character I was having trouble executing before.

If you're taking archetype suggestions, could I mention something that allows for a small construct 'doll' or something similar instead of the usual phantom? Think it would be thematically fitting while doing something pretty cool.

Thanks!


There are still a lot of real-life spiritualists and spiritists around today, especially in South America. I don't know if it warrants changing the name of the class, but I just wanted to let you know that it's not just a outdated belief but a vibrant faith.

Some spiritualists might be thrilled or not at all mind to find out their beliefs are represented in the RPG hobby. Others, maybe not.


Zedorland wrote:

As to the spirit wielding weapons, I cant see anything about weapon proficiency on page 54. Can the spirit wield weapons, or use magic times? It mentions Armour, but that's all i can see (I may be blind).

Under the Phantom ability "Link" it mentions the same magic item restrictions that Eidolons have, that the phantom and the master share magic item slots. as for weapons, I guess there's nothing in the rules currently stopping you from giving a phantom a weapon proficiency feat and one of those weapons.

Designer

joeyfixit wrote:
Does an ectoplasmic Phantom have feet? Does it care about gravity and difficult terrain?

Well it is humanoid in shape...so...yes...if you want. Regardless to whether or not your ectoplasmic phantom has feet, it does care about gravity and difficult terrain.

Designer

joeyfixit wrote:

I think this deserves a clarification. "if it is manifested

when such a creature is summoned, it immediately retreats
into its spiritualist’s consciousness" says to that any summon spell chases the Phantom away. When it comes to creatures that have already been summoned when the Spiritualist is trying to manifest the Phantom, only the Eidolon is named. Probably it applies to any summoned critter.

Note that the "Call Spirit" spell is conjuration, but the subschool is "Calling", which I don't recall having seen before. So even though this is a kind of summoning, it shouldn't chase your Phantom away.

This is specifically talking about eidolons and similar kinds of creatures (maybe the shadowdancer's shadow, maybe not...still musing on that one). Creatures summoned by spells and magic items are not an issue.

Designer

Zedorland wrote:

Typo? At 8th level, and every 3 levels thereafter (13th and 18th

level)

As to the spirit wielding weapons, I cant see anything about weapon proficiency on page 54. Can the spirit wield weapons, or use magic times? It mentions Armour, but that's all i can see (I may be blind).

Yes. That's a typo. Should be every 5 levels thereafter.

A phantom has no weapon proficiencies, but being roughly humanoid, they do (in theory) have hands. Keep in mind that if you equip it with a weapon, it can only use that weapon in ectoplasmic form.

Designer

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Dustin Ashe wrote:

There are still a lot of real-life spiritualists and spiritists around today, especially in South America. I don't know if it warrants changing the name of the class, but I just wanted to let you know that it's not just a outdated belief but a vibrant faith.

Some spiritualists might be thrilled or not at all mind to find out their beliefs are represented in the RPG hobby. Others, maybe not.

Yes, because many of these ideas are fantasy takes on real-world occult belief this is actually something we discussed, and took the approach that we always do. These are fantasy versions of of characters made for a game, and are not meant as a statement on real world belief.

In other words, this is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

We just like making cool things that people grok and love to play.


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Well, except for the Mesmerist and Mr. Franz Mesmer :)


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
joeyfixit wrote:
Does an ectoplasmic Phantom have feet? Does it care about gravity and difficult terrain?
Well it is humanoid in shape...so...yes...if you want. Regardless to whether or not your ectoplasmic phantom has feet, it does care about gravity and difficult terrain.

My confusion stems from the fact that the Phantom's state (while Ectoplasmic) doesn't seem to be incorporeal or corporeal, and while some qualities of the Ectoplasmic template are present (the Phase Lurch, the DR), others aren't. Constant air walk, specifically.

Also, "Humanoid shape" is open to interpretation. "Humanoid" critters in PF have arms and legs, but the Phantom isn't a humanoid. One could argue that the Library Ghost has a humanoid shape, but she certainly doesn't have feet and I can't imagine that she'd have much trouble floating over quicksand.

'Course, one could also argue that, as pictured, she's in an incorporeal state, and our heroes are powerless to fight her without their wands of magic missile/ghost touch lassoes. Certainly she's left a lot of ectoplasmic residue around, though.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'm not sure if I missed this, but I don't see anything listing exactly how the Phantom flows from Total Manifestation to staying within the Spiritualist and vice-versa. Looking at Greater Master's Call, which specifically allows the Phantom to withdraw into the spiritualist as part of the action, I assume that the phantom cannot just withdraw into the spiritualist as a free action. Again, I probably just missed it, but I do not see it at all.

Designer

joeyfixit wrote:
My confusion stems from the fact that the Phantom's state (while Ectoplasmic) doesn't seem to be incorporeal or corporeal, and while some qualities of the Ectoplasmic template are present (the Phase Lurch, the DR), others aren't. Constant air walk, specifically.

It is corporeal.


Why isn't Spiritual Ally on the Spiritualist's spell list?

Designer

Gilbin wrote:
Why isn't Spiritual Ally on the Spiritualist's spell list?

Short Answer: Because I didn't put it on there.

Long Answer: I'm still on the fence with that one, it seems like it might be a little to "divine caster," so I put spiritual weapon on the list and see how that works out. It has some similar issues, but is the common lower-level version of the spell, so I'm testing out the concept with that.

Grand Lodge

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Lukas Stariha wrote:
Under the proficiency section, "all light weapons, kukris, saps and scythes" are listed as their weapon proficiencies. Should "light weapons" be changed to "simple weapons"?
That should be simple weapons.

Ahh. This was the answer I was looking for. There goes my knuckle-axe wielding spiritualist idea.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

I am very open to suggestions on what kind of emotional foci folks want to see. I can't guarantee it will get in the final, but suggestions are hugely helpful. Thank you.

Not sure if you want flavour type suggestions but I would like to see a phantom with a less aggressive emotion. Sorrow/Grief/Loss something along those lines would really round out the options.

Obviously it would also be nice to cover all seven of the deadly sins for Golarion campaigns..........

Other than that, the class has some really interesting concepts, I'll give it a go at the weekend and give some feedback on how it played.

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