[Dreamscarred Press] Psionics Augmented: Psychic Warrior Playtest Thread!


Product Discussion


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Hello and welcome everyone to the opening of the Psionics Augmented Playtest thread!

Forrestfire and myself (I swear guys, I'm not dead and/or fired, despite rumors) are going to be running and administrating this effort.

Here's a breakdown of the playtest document which can be found - HERE

Chapter 1 details four new archetypes available for the psychic warrior:


  • The Halo Knight—This psychic warrior has found his psychic essence bound up with the unstable forces of animus, allowing him to use its fluctuating flows to aid in battle.
  • The Pain Sculptor—A warrior whose body is in constant overdrive, healing her back from the brink of death.
  • The Reaver—A stealthy, deadly warrior who has learned how to hone his killing instinct to destroy the pattern of a chosen individual.
  • The Silhouette—A warrior who, in his quest for martial perfection, created the perfect sparring partner: himself.

Additionally, three new psychic warrior paths are found in this section: the psychic scar of the Hungering path, the unpredictable Anomalous path which deals with the unstable force of animus, and the Outrider path, a mounted combatant riding their psionic power into battle.

Chapter 2 delves into new feats for your psychic warrior, giving new options for animus use for psychic characters as well as new tricks using previously established feats as a base.

Chapter 3 details several new items and powers available to psychic warriors and detail their usage.

Please check it out and leave us feedback, questions, comments, concerns, emotional outbursts, and/or funny noises.

Playtest document will remain open until the playtest has concluded and the product has been released - as always, thank you very much for your time and support!

Wayfinders

Looks great, although I'd advise attempting to correct the thread title...


You dropped part of the title there :P


Stupid copy pasta. Thanks guys :D

-X


will we be getting advanced path feats for the new paths (thus keeping the Pathmaster archetype compatible with these new paths).


another question: the Silhouette has this side bar talking about what happens if you have soulknife levels or take levels in prestige classes. I suggest one for how aegis levels interact.
does the shadow get you full astral suit of choice as though it were a part of equipment? all the bells and whistles too (your customization layout and DR, and whatnot)?


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I'm on my phone so I can't go into full on editing mode but a few things that I saw when scanning the Halo archetype:
1) Wording for the wisdom bonus is "off" it feels like. Might want to get it more in line with what is already published. Something like "gets a shield bonus equal to your Wis mod (max class level)" to make it more uniform.
2) There are too many 'this lets you break the archetype rules' clauses. I understand why you are doing it, to shoe horn your concept into something that is established. But it also makes it even more "I'm a special snowflake" beyond the 3pp "special rules". I've not been keeping up with Pathfinder as of late due to real life "stuff" so I'm not sure if the rules creep has precedent or not. If so ignore that, if not maybe try to find away to make it so it doesn't break the rules every other class and archetype has to follow? We are talking about a psionic class so obviously it is geared at a little more accepting crowd, but things like that are also what make some of the more conservative player base roll their eyes and disallow content.
3)One of the abilities allows you to use animus(?) instead of power points for augmentation. You should clarify that you are unable to mix them with power points as well if it is following the general rules. Drawing from two sources is typically not allowed in the core psionic rules and even the PoW Zealot/Sleeping Goddess stuff makes mention/reinforces that if I remember correctly.


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While I don't have any comments on points 1 or 3 at this moment (that's ErrantX's work), the big thing about point number 2 is that that sort of wording is actually required in archetypes, after this FAQ by Paizo came to light.

Because the archetypes alter what you can take as a bonus feat (by giving you a list of stuff you can take instead of it), that makes them incompatible with any archetype that alters, replaces, or otherwise even glances at the bonus feat list. That's not intended behavior here. It's implied to not be intended behavior for 1pp archetypes, either, given the suggestion of houseruling this rule away both in the FAQ itself, and here.

It's not about them being "special snowflake" or shoehorning them into a specific setup, but about the archetype stacking rules being fundamentally nonfunctional. There's no reason for "this expands the bonus feat list" to remove compatibility with "this swaps out the bonus feats at Xth and Yth level," but thanks to that FAQ from last year, that's how the rules work. Another odd example of these rules work is that the Vivisectionist Alchemist's Bleeding Attack ability existing means that that archetype is incompatible with every other alchemist archetype that swaps a discovery, alters a discovery, or adds a unique discovery.

This sort of wording exists in every DSP product since Psionics Augmented: Soulknives, including Psionics Augmented: Occult and Path of War: Expanded, and is necessary for archetypes in the game to function at all, unless they're intended to not stack with anything. The alternative (not having such wording) creates a very unintuitive rules situation, where archetypes seem like they should work with each other, but don't because of a small change or an addition to the archetype combined with this obscure rule that breaks a lot of potential combinations.


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As far as Halo Knight goes -

1- The wisdom bonus to AC thing is lifted directly from canny defense on the Duelist with modifications from Int and Dodge to Wis and Shield. I'll agree it's strange wording, but it fits a precedent with Kensai magus as well which references canny defense from duelist too.

3- I'll clarify that you cannot mix and match for base power points spent to manifest the power, only the metapsionic augmentation.

-X


@1 Odd, I wonder if the wording I'm used to seeing is from Ult psi or PrCs or PoW. As the one I'm thinking of is definitely more "clear/concise", oh well.

@2 The other side of that is, at some point you should probably accept that an archetype is making so many and so broad of changes it shouldn't be stacking with other archetypes. When you have so many changes to so many things that you need several (3+?) clauses to cover it should work... that should be a clear indication to "check your work" as the whole reason for it NOT to work is to prevent power creep. Sometimes you make choices that lock you out of other choices, this isn't a "bad thing" despite people complaining about it. It is a fundamental truth to the game, no reason to shy away from it. The archetype is busy, it does a LOT and doesn't have many drawbacks for what it changes. That makes it better than the majority of archetypes (which truthfully usually toss a small buff to a specific aspect of the class and add overall drawbacks).

As a designer why exactly are you making a "good" archetype even better is the question you need to ask yourself. For me if the answer is "so it plays nice with everything else" or "just because", it's the wrong answer and decision. There should be a more driving reason to do it when all the others don't. I'm not a fan of introducing power creep in anything I wrote up.

But whatever, I know I have different design expectations and and try to follow the core rules more closely than others from previous Discussion about matters like these. It is just my two cents so to speak.

@3 That was actually the question, it reads like you can use it for augmentation which in and of itself means it is unable to be used to manifest it. There are other things out there like that (I forget if it was Zealot or Sleeping Goddess). Does it let you use your PP and Animus at the same time for augmentation? Or do you have to choose to use one or the other (which is typically the situation)? The whole "it doesn't tell me I can't" argument.


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We will be updating the playtest doc today with some changes to both Reaver and Halo Knight. Skylancer - I've addressed the thing about animus and PP being spent on the same power to basically say you augment with PP but if you're using metapsionics, you can spend animus on just the feat alone. That way it allows you to augment fully to your ML but still being able to swing the metapsionics with the animus expense.

-X


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Playtest document has been updated.

Halo Knight- Changes to several of the anima skills, tweaks with psychic halo and subsequent class features in regards to uses per day.

Reaver - Big changes, skill points increased, Reaver Insights added, stealth training folded in as a Reaver insight

These two are Forrest's babies so I'm only going to mark roughly what I know changed.

Pain Scultpor - Multiple rules fixes with regards to wording on pain sculpting, healing from such.

Silhouette - Some alterations to shadow attacks, wording fixes.

Advanced Path feats, a new psionic power (Mental Semblance).

Check it out!

-X


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Any chance of a path or archetype that utilizes the Chimeric Soul discipline from the LotW playtest? That would be early Christmas, IMO. ;-)


Redblade8 wrote:
Any chance of a path or archetype that utilizes the Chimeric Soul discipline from the LotW playtest? That would be early Christmas, IMO. ;-)

agreed. the disciplines found in the 'Lords of' series need more love.


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Skylancer4 wrote:
@2 The other side of that is, at some point you should probably accept that an archetype is making so many and so broad of changes it shouldn't be stacking with other archetypes. When you have so many changes to so many things that you need several (3+?) clauses to cover it should work... that should be a clear indication to "check your work" as the whole reason for it NOT to work is to prevent power creep. Sometimes you make choices that lock you out of other choices, this isn't a "bad thing" despite people complaining about it. It is a fundamental truth to the game, no reason to shy away from it. The archetype is busy, it does a LOT and doesn't have many drawbacks for what it changes. That makes it better than the majority of archetypes (which truthfully usually toss a small buff to a specific aspect of the class and add overall drawbacks).

Up until that FAQ last year, it was commonly understood and accepted that something could add options to a bonus feat list, and not remove compatibility with things that replace some of your bonus feats. By the rules up until the FAQ, that's just how that sort of stuff worked.

It makes little sense (by the original rules) for it to lock you out of literally every other archetype for adding something, when the archetype rules are concerned with things removing stuff that you need on hand to swap out. It's not so much power creep as it is things being written to work as intended, rather than in a nonfunctional and completely unintuitive manner predicated on an obscure FAQ.

Skylancer4 wrote:
As a designer why exactly are you making a "good" archetype even better is the question you need to ask yourself. For me if the answer is "so it plays nice with everything else" or "just because", it's the wrong answer and decision. There should be a more driving reason to do it when all the others don't. I'm not a fan of introducing power creep in anything I wrote up.

Archetypes as a concept should play nice with both the class and other archetypes that fit with it. Some archetypes change enough that there's nothing that can be done to make them work with others, but what it comes down to is that the name of the game in this system is customization. Design in this game often reflects that, and in my opinion, a good designer should be writing with this fact in mind. They should also keep the power that archetype compatibility brings to the table in mind when writing it. It's not "just because" or "so it plays nice with everything else," but more of "the alternative is creating a system where people can only take a single archetype, and that's bad for the game."

Archetypes are Pathfinder's version of multiclassing (as the game's writers have taken steps to make multiclassing as unattractive as possible), and the main form of character customization. The 'power' added from this potential customization is something we have accounted for in the design of the archetypes that are written. The driving reason is that the game is healthier when archetypes can stack.

The fact that the FAQ on archetype stacking broke so many archetypes' compatibility with each other is a tragedy, and not one that we at DSP are inclined to repeat.

Skylancer4 wrote:
But whatever, I know I have different design expectations and and try to follow the core rules more closely than others from previous Discussion about matters like these. It is just my two cents so to speak.

The wording in these (and other) archetypes exists because we can't ignore the rules and have to follow them closely, even if they're problematic for the health of the game.

Overall, I think we do have very different design expectations. I believe that archetypes should be worth taking and that the archetype system (and customization from it) is the main reason that this game is worth playing. As such, the archetypes that I write are written with the fact that taking multiple archetypes is a thing you can do, as well as the existence of other archetypes providing a different opportunity cost in the game than just the abilities in question.

For example, if archetype A removes abilities that make it incompatible with archetype B, that means that the fact that you can't take archetype B has to be accounted for in the costs and power of archetype A. If archetype B is a particularly strong archetype, that means archetype A needs to be comparably strong, relative to what it gives up. Archetypes do not exist in a vacuum.


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A few small wording tweaks with some things in Halo Knight, chiefly that the Psychic Halo is now deflection bonus to AC instead of Shield, Palisade Wall is clarified more and Empower Halo is clarified more.

Added in a new feat, Advanced Gladiator Path (yes, finally!).

Please let us know what you think!

-X


Stealth Combat Training, can probably clean/cut word count a bit. "+1 to skills, increases every other class level" or actually "bonus is equal to half your class level" Isn't dependent on when you take it and no need to have a clause about retroactive bonuses. Probably just due to you moving it into the insights.

Trapbreaker, the "shatter the object" is a bit fuzzy I guess? Might want to call out lock/trap as it could be seen as "shatter the chest/wall/door/etc" or odd things like that due to how traps and locks are placed and used.

Corrupt Pattern, is there a reason for the free action re-up? Might as well just make it persistent and ended with a free action/cleanse no? It doesn't seem like you are limited to how many times you can do it (as you can have multiple killer's targets, so if you spend the action your targets would all be refreshed) or is it supposed to be one single target once per day? It is a little ambiguous when used in conjunction with mass murder insight.


If Psychic Halo is now a shield bonus instead of deflection, can the Halo Knight regain shield proficiency?


Erm, other way around on my question, it's now deflection. :-)


On the Reaver's Pattern Dislocation insight, most things that use a DC of (10+1/2 class level) also add in the ability modifier (which I would assume is Wis in this case). Was this an oversight or intentional?


Good to see some free psychic warrior play-testing love. ;)


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Redblade8 wrote:
If Psychic Halo is now a shield bonus instead of deflection, can the Halo Knight regain shield proficiency?

Fixing that, yeah.

Redblade8 wrote:
On the Reaver's Pattern Dislocation insight, most things that use a DC of (10+1/2 class level) also add in the ability modifier (which I would assume is Wis in this case). Was this an oversight or intentional?

Unintentional. Good catch!

-X


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Made some updates to Halo Knight
-They now get psychic warrior standard weapon and armor proficiency.
-fixed some wording mistakes.
-Psychic Halo is a force effect.
-removed the reliance on metapsionics to focus more on the fighting in this class, combat feats are restored to bonus feat list.
-Updated all of the halo skills.
--Anima Flare is clarified a bit more on how it works.
--Animus Empowerment adds a ghost touch effect
--Empowered halation does a 20 point increase on energy resistance with a level req of 9th.
-Animus manifestation reflects change in focus, you may now mix and match animus with power points but you treat animus as power points to determine your manifester limits per round.
-Improved Halo now does 20 energy resist to your active energy type.
-Animus overchannel died.
-Blazing Halation starts at 12th now 1/day, getting additional uses at 15 and 18. Clarified damage type.

Made some updates to Reaver

-Fixed wording on Reaver Insights
--Psionic Scent is now Psionic Senses, improved its function. It works when you have a Killer's Target. Considering stealing some wording from Harbi Claiming to make this work better on the Killer's Target front. Feedback on that would be appreciated!
--Fixed wording on Pattern Dislocate for saving throw.
--Cleared up wording on Trapbreaker and on Stealth Training.

Hope that helps! Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming!

-X


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Cross posting from GitP because it was a great piece of feedback I'd love more opinions on.

ATalsen wrote:

I can totally get behind the idea of consolidating and/or re-using ‘pool types’ instead of just inventing more like Paizo does; I think that’s a great idea.

BUT… I think maybe Animus has an inherent design that makes it less suitable for general use: its only available in combat. And I don’t *think* DSP will be opening it up for non-combat availability.

So the issue I see is linked to why I like Animus in PoW: Animus boosts Electable Flux attacks, which are pretty much an ‘only useful in combat’ set of maneuvers. And since the maneuvers are only needed in combat, and Animus is only available in combat, there is agreement. But it looks like DSP is heading down the path of expanding to things that would be useful *outside* of combat, but not *available* outside combat (such as spending Animus in place of power points). Since combat being treated differently than ‘non-combat’ is an obviously-artificial game creation where the borders between combat and non-combat encounters are ill-defined and flexible, and the temptation becomes wanting to ‘enter combat’ in order to gain access to those combat abilities for use in otherwise non-combat scenes.

I’ve played video games where you can voluntarily enter combat mode, and I kind of see things that way here; as long as there is no temptation to enter combat mode when there’s no opponents, the system works fine, but when you get some sort of bonus in combat mode that you don’t normally and that bonus is useful outside combat, why would you not enter combat, if you can? And that seems like a headache for the DM to either allow OR disallow.

If DSP does find some way to allow Animus use outside combat, then I’d be happier about it, but I’m thinking that probably not the direction that its intended to go.

Thank you so much for the feedback on animus use, ATalsen. I see where you're coming from, so in response to that - what this is partly in experiment as well while we have it in playtesting. If we can get some people testing it out to see how it pans out against a normal psiwarrior then we can see if it's too strong, too weak, or just too unwieldy or cumbersome for the class.

If it turns out that you're right, we will absolutely change our stance on the matter and reformat away from that direction. Animus was designed for use with the maneuver-chassis, and it works very well in that medium. I want to see if we can do more with that system and see if it can be used in other mediums successfully. Your feedback is well thought out and very helpful to that process!

The only point I would argue is that animus does clearly state when it activates, in the initiative cycle, so unless you're rolling initiative, you won't have animus to back you up without other abilities allowing it outside of combat. Right now that's intentionally limited because the intent is that this is a combat resource, but there are ways around that. Unlike a video game, a DM can simply say, "No." when the combat mode, as it were, is not available because combat isn't actually happening. Some DMs may be more lenient than others and be like, whatever man, you can generate animus while brushing your teeth as you attack the gum disease GINGIVITIS but I don't make the rules at those tables :smallbiggrin:

Again, just looking for playtesters to provide some feedback on that data. Sadly, I'm not in a game of my own at this time and I haven't had the ability to do some sims on it yet. I think getting sims done by outside parties and feedback from the actual players is more important than the fishbowl of my own game group and my own sims though.

Again, really thankful for the great feedback. Please keep it coming!

-X


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suddenly I want stats for Dire GINGIVITIS!!!


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ErrantX wrote:
The only point I would argue is that animus does clearly state when it activates, in the initiative cycle, so unless you're rolling initiative, you won't have animus to back you up without other abilities allowing it outside of combat. Right now that's intentionally limited because the intent is that this is a combat resource, but there are ways around that. Unlike a video game, a DM can simply say, "No." when the combat mode, as it were, is not available because combat isn't actually happening. Some DMs may be more lenient than others and be like, whatever man, you can generate animus while brushing your teeth as you attack the gum disease GINGIVITIS but I don't make the rules at those tables :smallbiggrin:

Haven't played with this yet, but it's my strong suspicion that your point in this paragraph is on target. It's just like the bag of rats, in that it's incumbent on the GM to put his foot down and let it be known that s*** won't fly at his table.


Is it possible to include text allowing a silhoute who takes levels of shadowdancer to continue his shadows progression? Thematically it fits well. Perhaps you could replace the shadowdancer Summon Shadow class feature with the ability to gain a shadow talent instead?

I am really liking the shadow by the way.


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One of my thursday night players is taking a level of psychic warrior (silhouette). So next week, unless he changes his mind before then, we will have some use-based feedback.


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Air0r wrote:
One of my thursday night players is taking a level of psychic warrior (silhouette). So next week, unless he changes his mind before then, we will have some use-based feedback.

I look forward to seeing it!

Also...

Made some updates based on feedback to the Halo Knight and to the Reaver.

Halo Knight -
Made some alterations to some of the Anima Skills, adjusted a few things and added a new one to aid in buffing one's self.

Reaver -
Some more significant changes to its mechanics. Killer's Target is now Killer's Claim and uses the Claim mechanics introduced by the Harbinger (also works with Claim feats!). Changed several of the insights as well. Clarified some data on the capstone and killer's instinct.

-X


ErrantX wrote:
Air0r wrote:
One of my thursday night players is taking a level of psychic warrior (silhouette). So next week, unless he changes his mind before then, we will have some use-based feedback.

I look forward to seeing it!

-X

So, some background on the character: Gnome Unchained Rogue 3/ Psychic Warrior (Silhouette) 1. so far his feats are stealthy and point blank shot, and next level he may be picking up either precise shot or two weapon fighting (he hasn't decided).

anyway, so far the only questions that have arisen had to do with whether the shadow gained his class features such as sneak attack or evasion. I went with no at the time, so that I could ask you.
His shadow died once so far, but he doesn't yet have enough PP to bring it back in combat, which is fine.


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Bumping the thread to see if anyone else has any input on the archetypes, etc within this document.

-X


I've been meaning to write up my initial thoughts on these for ... weeks. First off: I Like what you have done. My thoughts have been from the perspective of a DM for two active long term games where I have a Psychic Warrior (in each) who is about to hit 9 and pick a 2ndary path. I HAVE shown this to the player (Plays both in two games), and offered them as options. (Yes, I like Class as a whole, and own the hard copies of the 3 books that comprise Ult Psi, and am not opposed to letting them into my games)

From that perspective I spent most of my time looking at the new paths. So, my views on them are below.

Anomalous: I have not yet had a chance to dive into the new Path of War. Without that background, I find the Trance strong, useful, and something I'd be willing to allow. The Maneuver? Clunky. In order to USE the Maneuver, you need to have at least one feat to have something to SPEND the new pool on. I DO appreciate, that it's only a Move Action to generate the pool, and that the couple feats listed make the Maneuver something that's worth doing, it just feels... like a lot of work to get there and be useful.

Hungering: I Highly recommend a wording change for the trance. First, I DID go through, and look at the PsiWar power list, the bulk of the options are no save, but there are a few good options that do have saves for half, and this buff would help significantly, as I expect most PsiWars, in play, do not have the Wisdom to pump their saves.

The wording change I suggest is:

Quote:
take a –2 penalty on saving throws against the user's psychic warrior's abilities.

This change, while minor has a drastic impact in future proofing for the corner cases. The interactions of products written by differing companies can cause unforeseen side effects. Limiting the +4 DC to JUST PsiWar effects could head off a world of strange results.

Maneuver? Seems mildly useful, but low powered UNLESS, you are fighting someone who HAS the Power Point/Phrenic Pool features. Even then, against a Wilder/Psion, the loss of a few power points seems ... low. Even returning 1~5 PP for a standard action seems .. low. I for one, would almost never use this, unless the combat round was about over anyway.

Outrider: Seems cool, but perhaps not as strong as the options present in the Core ... but I think the Maneuver options make up a LOT of ground. Well worth it for any Psi-War that wants to do mounted combat.


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Glad you're liking the new material and got the time to write back to us!

Anomalous Path benefits the Halo Knight directly and can benefit the Pathwalker psychic warrior as well, without use of feats, based on class features or maneuvers from Elemental Flux. Animus requires more bean counting for sure, but I think it adds some versatility for powers as well.

I like your suggestions to Hunger Path and I beefed it up a bit.

----

As another note, the Pain Sculptor is getting pulled back for further design work by Forrest to be released at a later time, but all the rest is going to stick around. We'll be sending this one to the printers, so to speak in the PDF world, pretty soon so consider this the 11th hour for any additional feedback!

-X


I appreciate the update you have done to the Maneuver! This change was so subtle that I had to reread it several times to actually catch the change, and then it made me smile.

I've also been going through Halo Knight in more depth (Sparked by your comment above), and I think the Anima Skills section could use clarification on wording. I'm specifically not clear on the portions pertaining to Combat Feats. It seems to directly contradict itself by both allowing and disallowing Combat Feats. (Italics and Bold for Emphasis)

Quote:


Anima Skills: A halo knight can choose combat feats or psionic feats with his psychic warrior bonus feats, but cannot gain combat feats with this ability. In addition, whenever a halo knight gains a psychic warrior bonus feat, he can choose to take an anima skill he qualifies for instead. Unless otherwise noted, an anima skill can only be taken once. Saving throws are Wisdom-based. This ability alters bonus feats, but does not cause the halo knight archetype to be incompatible with other archetypes that alter the bonus feats class feature.

That said, some of the Anima Skills options are very cool, and make me want to play one. (I don't get to be on the player side of the table all THAT often, so I might just have to make an NPC with the archetype ... sooner or later.)

Suggestion, based on my read of it, this is the intent of the ability. Palisade Wall, ..."he does not physically wield it", leaving all hands free for other items and/or weapons... (Or something to that effect.)


any new news?

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