Grippli Amnesiac Psychedelic Psychic!


Advice


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I got a grippli DM boon in PFS, and am working on putting together an amnesiac psychic with the psychedelia discipline, because the flavor seems insanely fun and goofy. I'm imagining a sort of poison-dart frog looking guy, who licks himself to get at the psychotropic compounds in his skin and can't remember what happened three minutes ago - and who messes with enemies' minds by projecting into them the crazy stuff going on in his own head.

This will be my first foray into an occult class, and I'd love any advice: on feats, flavor, spells, traits, interesting applications of Phrenic Amplifications, whatever. I've got the two psychic class guides and have started to read through them, but I'm looking for fun ideas other have employed as well. I'm also curious how the amnesiac has worked out mechanically for others - it's got lots of flavor for roleplay, wondering if it helps or hurts in game play.

I recognize that the grippli's stat array (+2 Wis/+2 Dex/-2 Str) is not entirely optimal for an Int-based caster, but I generally find PFS doesn't require complete min-maxing for a character to do pretty well and be able to contribute, and fun characters are fun.


I am not an expert and maybe the book says you can but, you may want to check and see if you can "Lick Yourself" to gain psychedelic bonuses and abilities. I can imagine some GM's saying no to this right away.

MDC

Grand Lodge

In that case, he should look into taking "Craft (Poison/drugs)" and Poison Use to get the "lick myself" high.

I like the idea of possibly taking a lot of "Summon Monsters" spells and using "Conjure Armor" PA as if your hallucinations have come to life.


Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

I am not an expert and maybe the book says you can but, you may want to check and see if you can "Lick Yourself" to gain psychedelic bonuses and abilities. I can imagine some GM's saying no to this right away.

MDC

This is purely flavor - the psychedelia discipline gives you the various abilities, the bit about licking toxins off my skin to activate them is just descriptive and has no mechanical effect.

Sovereign Court

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I like the flavor!

Do you have some spells picked out yet?


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Khelreddin wrote:

I got a grippli DM boon in PFS, and am working on putting together an amnesiac psychic with the psychedelia discipline, because the flavor seems insanely fun and goofy. I'm imagining a sort of poison-dart frog looking guy, who licks himself to get at the psychotropic compounds in his skin and can't remember what happened three minutes ago - and who messes with enemies' minds by projecting into them the crazy stuff going on in his own head.

This will be my first foray into an occult class, and I'd love any advice: on feats, flavor, spells, traits, interesting applications of Phrenic Amplifications, whatever. I've got the two psychic class guides and have started to read through them, but I'm looking for fun ideas other have employed as well. I'm also curious how the amnesiac has worked out mechanically for others - it's got lots of flavor for roleplay, wondering if it helps or hurts in game play.

I recognize that the grippli's stat array (+2 Wis/+2 Dex/-2 Str) is not entirely optimal for an Int-based caster, but I generally find PFS doesn't require complete min-maxing for a character to do pretty well and be able to contribute, and fun characters are fun.

I have a gnome amnesiac psychic with the rebirth discipline in PFS who is currently level 7. I play him as an eccentric book collector who is constantly overwhelmed by past lives from the First World that cause him to forget things as older memories come forward.

Here are a few mechanical observations / tips:
- You will fail to recall spells; regularly. Luck is a bit against me on this point, but I'd say I've failed to recall spells more often than not. Have a back up plan for when this happens to keep play moving (e.g. I'm going to try to recall X, but if X fails, I'll cast my known spell Y instead). Don't get me wrong, when it works, this ability is amazing but just don't be surprised when it doesn't.

- Recall early and often in a scenario; the hour timer on recall means that in some cases you'll only get one chance to recall a spell when it's appropriate to do so since you have to cast while you do it. If that fails, you might not get another chance which means your signature class power amounted to very little.

- Make sure you cycle your learned spells appropriately as you approach new spell levels. You want to make sure you know the level 1 spells you want as you roll into level 3 spells and level 1's lock in.

- Keep the psychic spell list handy so you can peruse them. One trick I've done is make a sheet for each spell level. I put the rules for recalling a spell via amnesiac on it and then have a few categories and notes for situations when I may want it. Then in play, I can use it as a quick reference (e.g. Level 2 - Offensive/AoE/Swarms - Sonic Scream).

- Remember you know less spells than most spontaneous full casters. Like you, gnomes don't get bonus spells from Favored Class Bonus, and your amnesiac slots eat up others. If you fail to recall a spell in a scenario, it means you're working on a smaller spell list. Invest in scrolls early and mnemonic vestments as soon as you can. This is your backup plan for when you need to recall a spell and it fails. You can use the mnemonic vestments to cast without consuming the scroll and then again with the scroll if you really need it.

- At the end of each scenario, right down what spells you recall and which you choose to retain going into the next scenario. This helps bookkeeping and you can have your GM sign it. It also helps you keep track of what you've used in the past when you're about to decide what spells to keep as you level up.

- Make sure when researching spells to recall that you also glance a bit at the spell level ahead of your current max. It doesn't happen often, but when you roll high enough you do get to cast a higher level spell which is really fun. Don't let the dice catch you by surprise and then have to go look up what you learn instead.

So far, this guy is one of my favorites to play and I've been told by others that he's fun to play with as well. I just wanted to share what I'd learned to help you avoid some early pains around recalling your spells.


cavernshark wrote:
- Make sure you cycle your learned spells appropriately as you approach new spell levels. You want to make sure you know the level 1 spells you want as you roll into level 3 spells and level 1's lock in.

You don't have to do this, the rules specify that you pick whatever you want (whether you ever knew them or not) whenever you level enough to lock in a level of spells, it doesn't matter what you had the day before.


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Some additional notes for you -- less about Amnesiac and more about psychic in general.

I play my psychic a bit like a spell casting bard in that I'm trying to avoid most direct enchantment / illusion control spells and instead focusing on buff spells and supplementing that with heavy use of Mind Thrust to do damage. I'm taking my gnome to Psychic 7 and then into Loremaster for the remainder of my career.

Your mileage is going to vary, but I cannot emphasize enough how useful Relentless Casting and Will of the Dead are. I took Will of the Dead as my first phrenic amplification (PA) and it's been incredibly useful. I took Relentless Casting at 7. When you need either one of those, you need it. I did a scenario once where virtually every opponent had SR -- it would have been a lot harder to contribute without these. My PA at 3 was Undercasting Surge. Undercast spells and metamagic to me made for a really interesting combination, so when I don't need my phrenic pool for Will of the Dead or Relentless casting, I dump it into Undercasting Surge to do some funky things with effective spell levels on Mind Thrust II and a few metamagics (which I needed to qualify for Loremaster anyway). I won't pick up any other PA's because I'm going into my prestige class.

I bought a wand of remove fear to handle emotion effects that stop spell casting but haven't had to use it. In retrospect, I probably would have had an easier time just packing a few potions. I know one other psychic at my lodge that uses Logical Spell -- I just haven't seen the need yet. It's something to consider though.

This list of spell recommendations below is not comprehensive (e.g. standard Mirror Image, Fly, Haste not included), but is just a few personal call outs of things you might want to at least try before you buy on your spells known or recall temporarily:
1st:
* Burst of Insight and Burst of Adrenaline: both offer some really useful utility both for offsetting your saves and for just general "making a check" situations. Note you won't be able to recall them and cast in the same round since recalling is a swift and these are an immediate, so they are good candidates for spells known.
* Faerie Fire: very useful for removing concealment
* Ill-Omen: signature witch spell that you can use to immediately help an ally land a spell by readying to cast this before them or just to help your own spells
* Deja Vu: Weird spell, easy to land, can be situationally crippling for enemies -- I don't use it, but know others who do to good effect

2nd:
* Placebo effect: Super handy temporary condition remover to get yourself or allies back into combat. It doesn't work forever, but it can get you over the hurdle so you can deal with it after and it works on a lot of things. Also sort of thematic for your concept.
* Sonic Scream: Your only spell answer to swarms until 3rd level spells even if it isn't the greatest.
* Heat / Chill Metal: Pretty useful to hit a lot of opponents with it if they're wearing metal. One casting can do a lot of damage if you're not going to drop everyone in the first round.
* Force Sword: You may not have an easy answers for constructs depending on your spells known, but making this and handing it to the melee is worth having a scroll for.
* Silence: You can cast in it, most opponents can't. Just be careful not to place allies under it who need it.

3rd:
* Contagious Zeal: Maybe not as enhancing as haste but in some groups it's just as good or better. A good fallback -- it was my first 3rd level known and I use it regularly when I can't affect enemies directly for whatever reason.
* Rain of Frogs: I've not used it, but let's be honest... you should have it with your character concept.
* Feather Step, Mass: When difficult terrain is a problem this can quickly enable your melee to outmaneuver opponents and get to threats faster.

I'm just about to get level 4s, so I only have personal ideas and speculations going forward outside the standard recommendations.


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
cavernshark wrote:
- Make sure you cycle your learned spells appropriately as you approach new spell levels. You want to make sure you know the level 1 spells you want as you roll into level 3 spells and level 1's lock in.
You don't have to do this, the rules specify that you pick whatever you want (whether you ever knew them or not) whenever you level enough to lock in a level of spells, it doesn't matter what you had the day before.

Ah you are correct; please disregard that one. I've only had to lock in 1st level spells so far and was about to do 2nd. Guess it was easier than I've been making it. :)


Selvaxri wrote:

In that case, he should look into taking "Craft (Poison/drugs)" and Poison Use to get the "lick myself" high.

I like the idea of possibly taking a lot of "Summon Monsters" spells and using "Conjure Armor" PA as if your hallucinations have come to life.

Gripplis have an alternate racial trait called Toxic Skin which I could take if I really wanted to have a mechanical link to this idea, though it would be more practically useful for a melee character.

I love the idea of summoning hallucinations, I was thinking along those lines too!


KingOfAnything wrote:
I like the flavor! Do you have some spells picked out yet?

Glad you like it! I don't yet have spells picked, though I like the mind thrust spells. Still considering options, would love any input.


cavernshark wrote:

...tons of useful info!...

- Keep the psychic spell list handy so you can peruse them. One trick I've done is make a sheet for each spell level. I put the rules for recalling a spell via amnesiac on it and then have a few categories and notes for situations when I may want it. Then in play, I can use it as a quick reference (e.g. Level 2 - Offensive/AoE/Swarms - Sonic Scream).

Wow, thanks so much for taking the time to provide all that good advice! There's a lot of stuff I hadn't considered in there, especially related to the spell recollection and its timing in a scenario.

Would you mind sharing the spell sheet you mentioned? That would be super handy, and it's just the sort of thing I like to have on hand so I don't have to dig through rulebooks in the middle of a game.


Just because you have toxic skin does not mean you are immune to it.

I agree "licking yourself" is/could be great fluff but I know a few GM's that would not allow it.
MDC


Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

Just because you have toxic skin does not mean you are immune to it.

I agree "licking yourself" is/could be great fluff but I know a few GM's that would not allow it.

MDC

In fact, the description says "The grippli is immune to its own poison. "

And I can't really fathom why a GM would not allow it, any more than they'd disallow someone saying "I snap my fingers to cast invisibility" or "I point at the bad guy and a magic missile shoots from my finger!"

That aside, anyone else have interesting thoughts on gripplis, psychics or amnesiacs!


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Keep in mind your management of emotion effects when Shaken, I like to have some spells that don't require emotion components on my spells known list so I can potentially ignore it.


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Keep in mind your management of emotion effects when Shaken, I like to have some spells that don't require emotion components on my spells known list so I can potentially ignore it.

That's a very useful list, great idea!

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