My feedback : Make it all simpler !


Occult Adventures Playtest General Discussion

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Orthos wrote:

I'm with Joey. I love the Medium mostly as is - it's a bit rough around the edges, sure, but that's what playtesting is for. I don't want it changed, and I definitely do not want the suggested changes.

The one thing I do agree with is to take a note from the Binder and scrap the "Primary/Secondary/Tertiary" thing and just plain say "you bond with this Spirit, this is what you get, no ifs ands or buts". And I slightly agree that the Influence thing as-is is clunky and troublesome, and agree - again - that handling it like the Binder with purely roleplay-effecting personality or behavior tweaks would be a more efficient method of handling it.

But everything else... no, thank you.

I agree with this mostly. The primary/secondary/tertiary thing strikes me as the most confusing part of the playtest. Anything to simplify this element of the rules would help the class.

Not so sure I completely agree with the criticisms of the influence consequences. I think it would be good to just add a caveat in the text along the lines of "GMs may also choose to let the PCs roleplay their influence" or something along those lines. Some groups love roleplay, but other players will just ignore any roleplay elements and render the whole possession thing moot.

Also...I know one major comment that has cropped up as criticism is the need for 54 spirits. Something to consider here is that further support for OA classes outside of some sort of "occult origins" book may be pretty slight (See Mythic Adventures). This make me thing they really are trying to throw as many things as possible into this book, so that the classes are as fully fleshed out as classes that have had 5 hardcovers of support plus innumerable companions. In that case, I am glad we are getting 54, because we probably won't get any more.


Chiming in about the primary, secondary, tertiary etc. part of the Medium. What purpose is it serving from a design standpoint? Is it to make each spirit interconnected with each other somehow? Something else? Perhaps if the designer would fill the community in on what the intent is, better suggestions can be offered up to assist with refining the class.

Silver Crusade

I think I understand most classes from the occult playtest, even if it took me quite long to read the pdf, but honestly I can't really judge the Medium properly. It is very very complicated, especially considering the interactions, once you have several spirits.

I appreciate the fact, that a level 1 Medium player has quite some time to learn, but this makes the class quite unappealing to new players, and I worry about GMs when a level 14 Medium suddenly pops up in an adventure.

The Occultist is far less complicated, but the fact, that his spell list is far from reliable, makes me question why and how he is a spellcaster.


Gorbacz wrote:
How's that all different from having to learn most of a spell list in order to play a full caster efficiently?

When you create a level 1 CRB wizard, you chose something like 8 spells out of a list of ~30 level 1 spells; there is even a list of the level 1 spells with a summary of the effects. Then you have to chose the prepared spells, but it's a list of 3 out of your 8 known spells.

By the time you have to chose some level 2 spells, you have a good knowledge of the level 1 spell. And so on.

Note that the kineticist would be far simpler with a list of power by element and level, like the wizard spell list.

For the medium, at level 1 you immediately have access to all spirit, at any time of the day with the transe... A level 20 medium may be simpler that a level 20 full caster, I don't know, but the whole complexity of the class is frontloaded at level 1; there is no simple entry point for the class.

Oh, and the complexity allows you to easily create some corner cases that aren't covered by the rules, like having contradictory compulsions or using the influence system to bind more spirits than you are allowed to or ignore the sprits compatibility rules...

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GâtFromKI wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
How's that all different from having to learn most of a spell list in order to play a full caster efficiently?

When you create a level 1 CRB wizard, you chose something like 8 spells out of a list of ~30 level 1 spells; there is even a list of the level 1 spells with a summary of the effects. Then you have to chose the prepared spells, but it's a list of 3 out of your 8 known spells.

By the time you have to chose some level 2 spells, you have a good knowledge of the level 1 spell. And so on.

Note that the kineticist would be far simpler with a list of power by element and level, like the wizard spell list.

For the medium, at level 1 you immediately have access to all spirit, at any time of the day with the transe... A level 20 medium may be simpler that a level 20 full caster, I don't know, but the whole complexity of the class is frontloaded at level 1; there is no simple entry point for the class.

Oh, and the complexity allows you to easily create some corner cases that aren't covered by the rules, like having contradictory compulsions or using the influence system to bind more spirits than you are allowed to or ignore the sprits compatibility rules...

It's circa 40 spells at 1st level if you're playing core-only, but if you throw in APG, ACG, UM and UC (note: no softcovers!) you're at 120 1st level spells or so. Which actually is a front-load as well, because the higher the level, the less spells.

I don't think having a single front-loaded class is bad, I'd just treat it as something for those people who really love absorbing lots of data to play their class right. A Wizard player in one my campaign is pretty much memorizing (as a person) every spell that there is, and he lately told me he's halfway there.

Dark Archive

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GâtFromKI wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
How's that all different from having to learn most of a spell list in order to play a full caster efficiently?

When you create a level 1 CRB wizard, you chose something like 8 spells out of a list of ~30 level 1 spells; there is even a list of the level 1 spells with a summary of the effects. Then you have to chose the prepared spells, but it's a list of 3 out of your 8 known spells.

By the time you have to chose some level 2 spells, you have a good knowledge of the level 1 spell. And so on.

Note that the kineticist would be far simpler with a list of power by element and level, like the wizard spell list.

For the medium, at level 1 you immediately have access to all spirit, at any time of the day with the transe... A level 20 medium may be simpler that a level 20 full caster, I don't know, but the whole complexity of the class is frontloaded at level 1; there is no simple entry point for the class.

Oh, and the complexity allows you to easily create some corner cases that aren't covered by the rules, like having contradictory compulsions or using the influence system to bind more spirits than you are allowed to or ignore the sprits compatibility rules...

At first level, you know a number of spirits equal to your Charisma mod. This means roughly 1-5 Spirits. But once you choose that first spirit, it pares down the options you actually can use by quite a bit. Either Ability Score or Alignment has to match, which means that the first Spirit you ever choose pretty much simplifies your options a lot.

As you get higher level and have more Spirits known, it becomes a little more difficult, but by that point you should have a pretty good idea of what you're doing.

And as Gorbacz said, spellcasters have a HUGE number of choices they can make in spells alone, not mentioning archetypes and other kinds of class features. Medium doesn't really strike me as that much more difficult (especially since someone will likely make a Guide to Spirits for the Medium, same way there are a bunch of guides about spells for Sorcerers and Wizards).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The occult playtest classes are by their nature introducing something new. The whole point is that in the campaign setting, psychic magic exists as something distinct and different from the arcane and divine magic. The fundamentals are the same, but it has to be in some way different. That means a new foundation

Tack on the spell section, and the magic section of the core rulebook to the wizard, druid, cleric, and sorceror and then tell me those are simple classes.

How about adding all of the animals, plants and elementals a druid can turn into as well as its spells to its page count. What does that put it at? 200 pages? Now compare that to the medium. Can the medium be made clearer and better? Sure, thats what playtesting is for. But if you are honestly trying to say its less complex then a druid. You are flat out wrong. You might have started playing pathfinder far more familiar with a druid then you are with the medium because of the legacy of 3.5, but it is factually wrong to call the medium or any of the playtest classes anywhere close to as complex as teh druid, wizard, or cleric. Especially when you consider all the added options that exist for all those classes.

How about we look at a wizard. Sure its description is fairly short. But how about its spells? Gigantically complex. Heck, lets pair that down. Lets just take a page count of all the rules required to run the summon monster spell chain. That is, the pages of wizard, the page describing these spells and the table of creatures to be summoned, and then all the pages in the bestiary those monsters take up. Now tell me the medium's page count is too high. Its new, its different, but more complex? That is flat out wrong.

Heck. How many pages is the fighter plus all the feats that the fighter could take with its bonus feats? Please tell me that all the combinations of combat feats released in the core rules, APG, ultimate combat, ultimate magic, and the advanced class guide is less complex then the kineticist...

The playtest document doesnt come with the luxary of a seperate section for wild talents, or of all the kinds of 'spirits' having appeared in the ghost bestiary, everything you need to run the character has to be in it. So its longer then the descriptions of the classes that have their complexity scattered around several different sections in multiple rulebooks.


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I think the term "overwhelming" may fit much better than "overly complex"...


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

After roleplaying for nearly 20 years and specializing in Pathfinder builds for as long as it's been around, I'm afraid I must largely agree with the OP.

After going over these classes multiple times, I find that I may have to sit this playtest out just because I can't seem to wrap my head around them well enough to be able to make a character, much less test it properly. I find that to be most unfortunate as I'm sure I'd have a lot to offer otherwise.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CEBrown wrote:
I think the term "overwhelming" may fit much better than "overly complex"...

Again, how is it any more overwhelming then the druid or wizard is if you didnt already know how those things work?


Seranov wrote:
At first level, you know a number of spirits equal to your Charisma mod. This means roughly 1-5 Spirits.

Huh, I didn' see the "known sprit" limit.

Yes, maybe a level 1 medium is not that much more complex than a level 1 CRB wizard.

Paizo Employee Designer

GâtFromKI wrote:
Seranov wrote:
At first level, you know a number of spirits equal to your Charisma mod. This means roughly 1-5 Spirits.

Huh, I didn' see the "known sprit" limit.

Yes, maybe a level 1 medium is not that much more complex than a level 1 CRB wizard.

Yeah, that would be not-good if you had the choice to trance into any of 54 spirits at level 1.


Kolokotroni wrote:
CEBrown wrote:
I think the term "overwhelming" may fit much better than "overly complex"...
Again, how is it any more overwhelming then the druid or wizard is if you didnt already know how those things work?

I've been playing wizard-types on and off since 1981, so have a basic understanding there. The only Pathfinder character I've actually played was really a hybrid 3.5/Rokugan/PF character (the GM borrowed from all three for Feats and such) Barbarian/Archer type.

I've never really wrapped my head around the Druid in ANY version of the game... :D

Though I also was just talking in general - no one element of this playtest is overwhelming, but taking it all in at once that does look very daunting, very much so.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CEBrown wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
CEBrown wrote:
I think the term "overwhelming" may fit much better than "overly complex"...
Again, how is it any more overwhelming then the druid or wizard is if you didnt already know how those things work?

I've been playing wizard-types on and off since 1981, so have a basic understanding there. The only Pathfinder character I've actually played was really a hybrid 3.5/Rokugan/PF character (the GM borrowed from all three for Feats and such) Barbarian/Archer type.

I've never really wrapped my head around the Druid in ANY version of the game... :D

Though I also was just talking in general - no one element of this playtest is overwhelming, but taking it all in at once that does look very daunting, very much so.

Very true, but the implication of the op was that this was somehow different or more daunting then the core classes. This is objectively false. I have seen new players try to take in the druid or the wizard. Its friggan hard. Alternatively, I am quite certain new players will have an easy time absorbing the kineticist. Its probably the fighter/rogue (easy to grasp and play characters) of the occult classes.


The Kinetecist is also the most "traditional comic-book" feel of all the classes to me (and thus the one I like the least in the context of this offering) - I haven't quite finished reading the Spiritualist but I think it, the Medium (though there seems a lot of thematic overlap between these two) and Psychic are my favorites and the ones I'd be most likely to play (though the Occultist has some definite appeal as well; heck I played a character whose abilities worked very much like that in a superhero game once).

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