Yesterday I played two PFS scenarios with a group of friends, where everyone agreed to play an Occult class.
The first scenario we did was actually a module. We played Emerald Spire Part 1. Ironically our group had no way to automatically succeed on using a wand of cure light wounds. We had two Earth Kinetisists. One of them chose barrier and the other decided to go melee with kinetic blade. We had a medium who was channeling the bear. We had a Psychic, and we had a mesmerizer.
BEWARE anything below this line may contain spoilers.
BEWARE anything below this line may contain spoilers.
One of the challanges we had was overcoming the darkness of the first floor of the spire, but our Medium who had dark vision was able to guide us around so that we could fight with out little pools of light. Also the medium wrecked everything. The kinetisits did a good job holding there own, but once the medium got to attack everything just died.
Fights literally went like this. Monsters go damaging melee kinetisist in the door. He shrugs it off because his hp is so high. PCs go and stumble forward to find and kill monsters. Monsters go and shoot PCs letting later PCs in the order know where they are. Medium goes and walks forward decimating an enemy, or if the goblins decided to charge the medium would rip apart of the Goblins with bite claw claw. Kinetists who haven't gone yet wipe out remaining goblin.
Unfortunately do to the darkness our Mesmerist and Phsycic were not able to do much the entire scenario. Although at the end the Psychic did drop a DC 19 color spray which was pretty amazing for a level 1 character.
The biggest thing that made this scenario go smoothly for us was probably the medium's ability to just wreck the goblins.
My thoughts on how the classes performed is that the Kinetisits really seems prone to stat dumping, not sure if this is a problem. I certainly don't want to see the class become MAD, but both of the kinetisits in the group dump two mental stats to seven. One of them even dumped all but his two primary stats. Again, I'm not sure this is exactly a problem with the class.
Our Medium was amazing, there wasn't a goblin in the game that stood a chance. We just had to be careful that he wasn't swarmed before he could make mincemeat of the Goblins. The offensive capabilities of this class are pretty legit.
The Psychic player looked like he was really pressed for options. Some of that is the unfortunate situation of playing a low level caster, but he spent most the scenario readying an action in case an opportunity to daze came up. This seems pretty problematic to me. I think the class needs some more options for dealing damage, as the mid thrust just doesn't seem to cut it. The combination of being mind effecting and allowing a save for partial damage is just to little.
The Mesmerist got to do some more things, and his stare is pretty sick. I'm not sure if this class really has problems other than being very helpless when fighting things without minds.
The next scenario we played was the new one Halls of the Flesh Eaters. Our group was mostly the same, but we picked up a witch, and the person playing a psychic switched out for a Kinetisit because he was tired of not being able to do anything. We also added a spiritualist to the group and it almost ruined the entire scenario.
The big challange of the first section of this scenario is the fog which keeps from seeing things. Rather than risking ourselves wandering the fog trying to find things our spiritualist would just send his spirit out to scout and come back to report. We literally sat 50' from the first ambush and were like "So there are people with glowing red eyes tattoos and sharp teeth?" "Yes" "Well I guess we wont be able to negotiate with them, lets go fight them" And then the Medium destroyed half of them. The kinetisits destroyed the other half.
Unfortunately because these creatures were immune to mindeffecting, and everything else in the scenario was undead the Mesmorist suffered greatly. The class really needs a few good options that can work on mindless things. Witches have misfortune and Mesmorist needs something too.
After we had killed the cultists and gotten what information we could we finished exploring the top area by scoping it out with the spirit and got ready to move into the lower area.
But wait, we didn't want to just go into the lower area blind. We had an incorporeal creature at our beck and call at level 1 (the spiritualist was still level 1 since he did not play in the previous scenario). Normally you can't get incorporeal creatures to scout for you until MUCH higher level. We sent spirit 30' down to where the level of the dungeon we were investigating was and just walked around on the service as the spirit literally mapped and told us about every single monster and potential hazard in the dungeon.
Knowing about what was next we then prepared for each room accordingly, and things that should have been big surprises, such as the hag trap, or the creature in the well, were just oh, ho hum better do something to counter this.
We even knew the ideal time to cast our big buffs to maximize their usage, so instead of only having them for a single fight we got a two minute buff to stretch over two fights and then sum.
The ONLY thing that made the scenario still have a challange at all was the author of the scenario deciding that unless the PLAYERS did certain actions instead of saying their CHARACTERS did it we would not earn the second prestige. We had to figure out what these were without even knowing they were actions that we as players had to perform.
The spirit very nearly ruined any challange of the scenario. Having free scouting, with no risk, and perfect reporting capabilities at level 1 is absurd. We were not surprised. We knew where everything was. Had we had teleportation capabilities we may have even been able to figure out a way to bypass the entire scenario.
Normally spell casters think really carefully about when to cast their powerful buffs, because they don't know when the really scary fight will happen. It is a constant struggle to manage casting resources so that the party has the tool they need when they need it.
But the spirit took away that entire problem. We knew where threats were, and were able to estimate how great they were. We knew how to time encounters to maximize resources. The impact the spirit had on our resource management, and removal of character risk in exploration is so great that I think that as is EVERY group should have a spiritualist just to scout with the spirit.
This afternoon I played Among the Living with my level 2 Kinetisist at tier 3-4. I have to say I was very pleased with how I performed. Admittedly 0-7 is not known for its deadlyness but I think I ended up incapacitating more enemies than anyone else in the party.
In the final encounter I managed to get the ire of the big bad monster over the level 4's in the group and got myself smashed, and was still conscious after 16 damage, but then a channel for 10 knocked me down the rest of the way.
The flexibility of the earth blast was particularly appreciated in this scenario because I was the only one who could deal full damage to all of the enemies.
At this point my biggest wishes are more skill points and more feats feat support.
I get the sense that the kinetisist wants to be mobile and be more than a stationary firing platform. With only two skill points per level and not being int based I don't have the skills available to invest in the mobility skills. I also pity air kinetisists who wont have the ranks in fly to be able to use their special movement type. I think 4 would be a fair amount of skills per level. It would allow a character to pick up arcobatics and climb or swim and still have a couple of points left over to do something else fun with their character concept.
For feat support I would really just like to see feats built for the kinetisist. Also instead of getting meta kinesis as a defaulted to what it is, why not open those to metamagic feats for players to pick what meta they want on their blast? Couldn't there be a list of available metamagics at certain levels that could be applied to blasts?
I love the simplicity of the class but right now it almost feels like it is building itself now that I have made my first two choices.