Silksworn Occultist Legality Reconsideration Thread Petition Thing


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Thomas Hutchins wrote:

yes they are nice things, for a caster focused build, but I don't see how this has gotten better at combat or survivability.

My point being it didn't get any worse at combat in any meaningful way and is therefore better because it is indisputably a better caster.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

So lets compare it to it's close neighbors. the bard, mesmerist, and summoner. These are 6th level casters with 3/4 bab and are meant to focus on casting. The magus, hunter, inquisitor, skald, while also being 6th casters with 3/4 bab, have more of a combat vibe.

bard:
bard gets loads of free skill points and effective skill points via Getting bonuses to acknowledges and versatile performances. It also starts off with 2 more skill points base than the occultist. Now the occultist has more int focus, so it might end up with a few more skill points than the bard, but it doesn't get as many free effective skill points so probably a wash.

Bards get early access to certain spells, but lets say that the occultist has a better base list, as to balance out the early access. This can change some via legal archetypes for bard that can give it more spells from different lists, making this less balanced and slightly favoring bards.

The bard gets the ability to inspire courage in allies to contribute without using spells, this is an AoE ability with good range and auto-upgrades for free.
The occultist has focus powers as it's spell supplement ability, it has some good boosters, but those are all at a range of touch and are short duration, good for 1 fight, but not really something you can just pre-buff with. Also some use up multiple points to use the power relevant ability. And you don't have tons of uses of each power if you spread points for many options, or few options with a few more uses. (also re-mentioning, the base occultist can do this too effectively as well as the silksworn)

Then as we progress the bard can inspire and spell in the same round. If we compare to quicken rod of 35,000gp because it's "two spells in one turn" and effectively about 3 times use per day, once each fight gaining greater value if you need to start up a song mid fight for some fairly common reason. The silksworn gets 1 extra lv1, 2 and 3 spell. This is equivalent to 28,000gp on runestones of power. Even if you devalue the bard's ability some we can see that GP wise these abilities are close enough.

Now the bard has a feat for real easily hiding it's casting in it's performances. but it doesn't get this for free like the silksworn is. How much the silksworn wins here is affected by if you use the lv12 ability or trade that out for the free feat.

Now, assuming that the entire school is available for scrolls, we might give a slight advantage to silksworn for that.

Survivability wise the bard has light armor and shields that don't mess with it's arcane casting. The silksworn has no gear to help here without needing to deal with ASF. Both have 2 good saves and d8 hd.


All in all I'm not seeing silksworn have a clear (or any) advantage over bards via power and assuming that they build similarly into Int and Cha, High casting stat and secondary into the other stat. plus the bard via it's party buffs can easily be combat focused and still support amazingly. Bardsong and good hope gives itself +4 to attack and damage. Silksworn can't be a combat build nearly as easily.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Ragoz wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
yes they are nice things, for a caster focused build, but I don't see how this has gotten better at combat or survivability.
My point being it didn't get any worse at combat in any meaningful way and is therefore better because it is indisputably a better caster.

It for sure got worse at combat in a meaningful way. You lose out on martial weapons and armor and can't dump CHA.

That makes you either reliant on race for a good weapon or using simple.
And no armor makes you more squishy, even with mage armor, vs having armor.
Plus if you build for combat with stats, then you don't have the stats to leverage being a better caster.

Or are you telling me that you'd also say the Ecclesitheurge cleric didn't get meaningfully worse at combat than a normal cleric? If you're proposing this view I'd like you to explain why it's not worse because it sure seems like it is.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I suspect it's the focus more than anything. Occultists have already (in my experience at least) demonstrated themselves to be significantly superior to many of the "hybrid" classes, and quite capable as the group's caster. A lot of that comes from the flexibility of the focus powers with the available implements.

I'm with Ragoz. The AT didn't make the class any worse than a base occultist. Furthermore, since generally (especially at seeker tier), casters outpace melees by a pretty significant margin, bringing a class more into that realm does little to try to achieve balance.

Honestly, I'm not surprised by this choice. At least with my experiences thus far.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Or are you telling me that you'd also say the Ecclesitheurge cleric didn't get meaningfully worse at combat than a normal cleric? If you're proposing this view I'd like you to explain why it's not worse because it sure seems like it is.

You're comparing:

An AT that a) comes from a class without a meaningful way to get an armor or shield bonus since b) they cannot use armor and shields without losing basically all of their class abilities

to...

An AT that a) has access to an armor and shield bonus one of which is one of their most likely implement choices, and b) can defeat arcane spell failure chances via good equipment/feats.

I'd say there is at least a minor difference.

The Exchange

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Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Or are you telling me that you'd also say the Ecclesitheurge cleric didn't get meaningfully worse at combat than a normal cleric? If you're proposing this view I'd like you to explain why it's not worse because it sure seems like it is.

Well, the Ecclesitheurge says;

Quote:
An ecclesitheurge who wears armor or uses a shield is unable to use his blessing of the faithful ability, use cleric domain powers, or cast cleric spells.

If Silksworn said, "A silksworn who wears armor or uses a shield is unable to use his Silksworn Deception ability, use focus powers, or cast occultist spells," than I suppose it be similar. This is what a real drawback looks like.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

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So show me how the silksworn makes as good a fighter as the base occultist while still being a clearly superior caster then.
If it's obvious to you two it should be pretty easy to show that there's no meaningful loss in your capabilities.

Show me a build that use good equipment/feats to bypass ASF.

So far all I've seen are claims with no actual support to prove said claims. And since I don't see it, it's either something I'm unaware of that would be cool to learn, or it's not as easy as you think and making a build can show that.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Compare to summoner

unchained summoner:

The summoner has AN EIDOLON for free with it's casting.

The summoner has armor, shield bonus from eidolon, and barkskin to help it have good AC.

the summoner can summon in all sorts of useful stuff by returning his eidolon for a little bit.

Silksworn possibly has a better casting focused list than the summoner? and it will get the extra spells per day along with focus powers. But the summoner has it's SM SLA as extra spells per day that scales freely as you level, plus it has an eidolon.

Verdict, I'd say it's a better caster than the summoner going a casting route, but that's because so much of the summoner's budget is in it's amazing eidolon and SLA ability. Though the silksworn is not going to be a better melee than a melee summoner.

The Exchange

Thomas Hutchins wrote:
So show me how the silksworn makes as good a fighter as the base occultist while still being a clearly superior caster then.

Are you going to make a base occultist for me to compare to?

Either way this isn't really necessary. Everyone can read the abilities. The answer is going to be somewhere along the lines of:

1. Be an elf for dex and int and gaining longbow proficiency

2. Cast mage armor, gravity bow, flame arrow

3. Use legacy weapon and shred anything you fight

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Compared to mesmerist

mesmerist:

The mesmerist has tons of debuff spells, debuff abilities, and some useful support for allies.

The mesmerist has it's glare, making it more likely to land it's spells than the silksworn. The mesmerist can also debuff enemies while weakening the enemies combat ability can also lower their saves more.
Also all this debuffing helps any allies you have targeting that creature. Plus a pure casting mesmerist still does damage by triggering it's painful stare when an ally hits.

It's support is in it's tricks and touch treatment. The downside is that the tricks only works on 1 ally, slowly scaling to more allies. There are feats now that can help this somewhat. Also it's touch treatments are just the mercies of lay on hands, so they require an actual touch, but they can sub in for spells.

Also the mesmerist has great action economy, it gets good use from swift and free actions for lots of its stuff, leaving your standard open for spells or whatever.

It also gets the ability to ignore some of the downsides of it's casting by being able to target mindless still.

It gets a bonus to bluff kinda comparing to the bonuses to skills the silksworn gets. The mesmerist will likely have a much higher will save. Also no problems with armor or shields being a psychic caster.


So while the silksworn may have a few more spells per day eventually and broader options, the mesmerist's spells will stick better and can often compound making it even easier to land them.

So + to silksworn for versatility on casting, + to mesmerist at effectiveness of spells. And again + to mesmerist on combat prowess.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Thomas Hutchins wrote:

Show me a build that use good equipment/feats to bypass ASF.

So far all I've seen are claims with no actual support to prove said claims. And since I don't see it, it's either something I'm unaware of that would be cool to learn, or it's not as easy as you think and making a build can show that.

I can do so without the build (and frankly I don't have the time to pull it together), but as somebody that commonly likes to make fully armored wizards, it's absolutely doable.

Defeating Arcane Spell Failure (ASF)


  • A suit of darkleaf cloth leather armor comes with +2 AC and no ASF on armor.
  • Any shield can be used without worrying about ASF if it's mithril.
  • Access to mage armor at level 1 provides basically day-long +4 AC (and touch AC).
  • Access to shield spell at level 1 (and really the only level 1 protection implement option that also provides you a "free of charge" cloak of protection) gives you combat-long +4 AC.
  • Arcane Armor Training (trivial feat cost on a 2-hand build) will take you up to ignoring 10% more with Arcane Armor Training (which is likely the most painful of the options due to eating your swift action).

As for equipment proficiency


  • Dwarf: Weapon Familiarity, Favored Class Bonus
  • Elf: Weapon Proficiency, Spirit of the Waters
  • Grippli (With boon): Princely
  • Half-Orcs: Weapon Familiarity, Chain Fighter, City Raised
  • Tengu: Swordtrained, Natural Weapon, Exotic Weapon Training
  • Vishkanya (With boon): Weapon Familiarity
  • Traits: Arodenite Sword Training, Shoanti Tattoo, Varisian Tattoo, Heirloom Weapon, (I know there's an Andoran one that gives longbow proficiency, but I can't recall it's name)
  • Just use a longspear which is a perfectly cromulent melee weapon
  • Feat: Weapon Proficiency

As I said before in my previous post, my experience with occultists already puts them in the higher tier of classes. This AT was just icing on that cake for a pretty inexpensive cost (either spells you're likely to take anyway or some gold expenditure offset by the likely need not to buy belts/cloaks).

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Ragoz wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
So show me how the silksworn makes as good a fighter as the base occultist while still being a clearly superior caster then.

Are you going to make a base occultist for me to compare to?

Either way this isn't really necessary. Everyone can read the abilities. The answer is going to be somewhere along the lines of:

1. Be an elf for dex and int and gaining longbow proficiency

2. Cast mage armor, gravity bow, flame arrow

3. Use legacy weapon and shred anything you fight

So as long as you only use an elf and fight at ranged is supposed to equal fighting at ranged with any race and doing melee combat.

Forced to be ranged with no extra feats to help it come online, not even having the option to speed it up with human.
Hope that gravity bow is up.

Your stats are what? 12/16+2/12-2/14+2/10/11 Giving you no extra mental focus from CHA. A normal occultist can dump CHA for 12/16+2/14-2/14+2/12/11 to have a con bonus and will bonus or could swap the con for str for more damage per arrow.

And your AC is lower than the base occultist.

The spells and focus powers are no stronger than the base occultist, though you do have a few more options to you and eventually more spells per day.

So a few extra spell options, and eventually more spells, to have less AC, be race locked, ranged only and unable to take a race or archetype to help get the ranged feats faster.

To me this in no way meets the definition of doing combat just as well as the original while being clearly superior at casting.


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just as a side note, darkleaf leather armor still has an arcane spell failure of 5%, because darkleaf cloth can't reduce it past 5%.

A light mithral shield does have no arcane spell failure, but a mithral heavy shield still has 5%.

Also, mage armor does not boost your touch AC, though incorporeal creatures can't bypass it, but spells and other effects that target touch AC still ignore it.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

MisterSlanky wrote:

I can do so without the build (and frankly I don't have the time to pull it together), but as somebody that commonly likes to make fully armored wizards, it's absolutely doable.

Defeating Arcane Spell Failure (ASF)


  • A suit of darkleaf cloth leather armor comes with +2 AC and no ASF on armor.
  • Any shield can be used without worrying about ASF if it's mithril.
  • Access to mage armor at level 1 provides basically day-long +4 AC (and touch AC).
  • Access to shield spell at level 1 (and really the only level 1 protection implement option that also provides you a "free of charge" cloak of protection) gives you combat-long +4 AC.
  • Arcane Armor Training (trivial feat cost on a 2-hand build) will take you up to ignoring 10% more with Arcane Armor Training (which is likely the most painful of the options due to eating your swift action).

So the plan is having lower AC and/or spending feats is equivalent AC to the base class.

Mage armor is the same as chain shirt and can't be increased as a chainshirt can. Getting 0 ASF using Arcane Armor Training requires 2 feats and lets you wear a chainshirt. So closeish maybe to a mithral breastplate that the base can wear. 2 feats for -2 AC and no swift actions when you cast a spell. If you don't give up 2 feats and your swift then you're at -2 AC scaling up as the base buys magical armor or uses the aegis focus power.

MisterSlanky wrote:


As for equipment proficiency

  • Dwarf: Weapon Familiarity, Favored Class Bonus
  • Elf: Weapon Proficiency, Spirit of the Waters
  • Grippli (With boon): Princely
  • Half-Orcs: Weapon Familiarity, Chain Fighter, City Raised
  • Tengu: Swordtrained, Natural Weapon, Exotic Weapon Training
  • Vishkanya (With boon): Weapon Familiarity
  • Traits: Arodenite Sword Training, Shoanti Tattoo, Varisian Tattoo, Heirloom Weapon, (I know there's an Andoran one that gives longbow proficiency, but I can't recall it's name)
  • Just use a longspear which is a perfectly cromulent melee weapon
  • Feat: Weapon Proficiency

So for melee THW fighting. You're looking at a stat array of what? 16+2/12/14/13/10/10? Giving you no extra mental focus. Or maybe 14+2/13/14/14/10/12, trading +1 to hit and damage for +2 mental focus and the higher int. While the base, free to dump CHA can go 16+2/12/14/14/12/7, having the higher int with the higher str or 14+2/12/14/16/12/7 for the extra mental focus point and higher spell DCs and bonus spell. Both with higher wisdom too.

yeah, not seeing how they aren't losing out on combat effectiveness by going this archetype.
Sure they can do combat, But not as well as it's base, and for sure not as well as the combat archetypes.

The Exchange

Thomas Hutchins wrote:

Your stats are what? 12/16+2/12-2/14+2/10/11 Giving you no extra mental focus from CHA. A normal occultist can dump CHA for 12/16+2/14-2/14+2/12/11 to have a con bonus and will bonus or could swap the con for str for more damage per arrow.

And your AC is lower than the base occultist.

So a few extra spell options, and eventually more spells, to have less AC, be race locked, ranged only and unable to take a race or archetype to help get the ranged feats faster.

I think you pretty much described my point though. Even if I ignore chr on this build I maintain equal focus, I can cast mage armor and have my Physical Enhancement in dexterity bring me to +9 AC just like a breastplate but without speed reduction or ACP, and I received bonus spells and implements etc.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Isabelle Lee wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Didn't level and play my own occultist yet, but the class gets early access to certain spells, could that maybe have been a factor ?

Having looked over the occultist's spell list, I'm not sure which spells you're referring to. Everything I found on a quick skim is at the same spell level as the wizardly equivalent, meaning that occultists get it later.

Even the bard (one of the better comparisons to the silksworn occultist) gets a lot of enchantment spells early. Hideous laughter as a 1st-level spell seems very good. (Plus unnatural lust, the filthy deviants.)

Greater Dispel magic at level as a level 5 spell, forbiddance as a level 6 spell, animate dead at level 3 (level 4 for wizard).

That might not have been the reason, and its usually not like wizards don't get those spells at comparable levels, but having more low-level spell slots could have been a factor.

Of course, the argument made by others that the silksworn isn't all that much worse in combat might hold my some merit.

Personally, I am not invested in kepping it not PFS legal (though I am not a fan of the level 12 ability, and would prefer a change).

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Luthorne wrote:

Just as a side note, darkleaf leather armor still has an arcane spell failure of 5%, because darkleaf cloth can't reduce it past 5%.

A light mithral shield does have no arcane spell failure, but a mithral heavy shield still has 5%.

Also, mage armor does not boost your touch AC, though incorporeal creatures can't bypass it, but spells and other effects that target touch AC still ignore it.

These are accurate corrections/clarifications - thank you. I believe the point of access still stands.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Ragoz wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:

Your stats are what? 12/16+2/12-2/14+2/10/11 Giving you no extra mental focus from CHA. A normal occultist can dump CHA for 12/16+2/14-2/14+2/12/11 to have a con bonus and will bonus or could swap the con for str for more damage per arrow.

And your AC is lower than the base occultist.

So a few extra spell options, and eventually more spells, to have less AC, be race locked, ranged only and unable to take a race or archetype to help get the ranged feats faster.

I think you pretty much described my point though. Even if I ignore chr on this build I maintain equal focus, I can cast mage armor and have my Physical Enhancement in dexterity bring me to +9 AC just like a breastplate but without speed reduction or ACP, and I received bonus spells and implements etc.

I don't see how 4 + dex is somehow equal to 6+scaling+min(dex,5).

Also I don't see how being race and combat style locked equals the same combat viability as the base.
And I also don't see how not being able to dump cha for better stats is equal to having the better stats from dumping cha.

Like yes, you can build something that wont auto-die in combat and that can be useful in combat. But you're not going to be as good at that as the base version.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Isabelle, I have a question for you.

At 8th, 12th, and 16th levels, the silksworn increases the number of spells of each level he can cast each day by one.

At 8 I have 3rd level spells. at 10 I gain 4th.
Does the spell increase from lv8 apply to my 4th level spells at lv10 or does the increase of spells only happen to the spells you had at the level you gained the increase and not on future spell levels gained?

4/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As Thomas has been pointing out about stat arrays, you do sacrifice quite a bit to be combat competent. I could see a support build doing very well with this archetype by dropping physical stats, but dropping stats that directly play into archetype changes to be somewhat more combat capable seems painful.

Isabelle Lee wrote:
Serisan wrote:
The issue I have here is two-fold - (1) that my point is based on the absolute base value for a character of that class level and (2) that the Occultist has a must-pick race set (elf, half-elf) for non-spell bonuses (super-powerful Mental Focus points), which you get more of with the archetype, while the sorceror and bard aren't guaranteed to be human/half-elf/half-orc for bonus spells known.

A point of mental focus every other level seems less impressive than a new spell known at every level, to be honest. It hardly seems like an "absolute must-have" to me. If anything, based on my own testing, I'd rather be human for the extra focus power every six levels.

Interestingly, I don't think I've yet seen a single human or half-elf concept. Two ratfolk, two gnomes, and two changelings (counting my own).

Every occultist I've built and every one I've seen played at my tables has struggled with the limitation and fine balancing act that is Mental Focus. Each of them has taken Extra Mental Focus (which you can only take once). Even my archer elf occultist, who has 4 more points of Mental Focus due to the FCB, doesn't have enough to power all of the things I want and/or depend on.

We all want more spells, sure, but Mental Focus powers the differentiators, and those differentiators are both interesting and powerful.

Quote:
Serisan wrote:
Also, while it's perfectly reasonable to say that attribute bonuses are important, it's likely to benefit the 6 level casters more than the 9 level casters, with the sole exception of characters who pushed to 26 in their casting stat by level 8 for this example, where the sorceror gets 1 extra 4th level per day, but the bard and occultist haven't gotten 4th level spells yet.

I'm not entirely sure what point you're making here; could you help me understand?

The nine-level casters will still have higher-level spells, and more spells overall. And many of the other six-level casters gain spells early (such as the aforementioned bard), have other advantages to their spellcasting (such as the magus's spell combat), or have particularly vigorous combat advantages (such as the inquisitor's judgments and bane or the summoner's eidolon).

The point was purely on the "bonus spells per day from a high casting stat" perspective, as a rebuttal to the "you can't just ignore those things" post that preceded it. I think the point is immaterial, but the reason I brought it up is that the casting stat bonus spells have a greater impact on characters with fewer overall slots and in the 8th level stats that I had been referencing, the two characters who benefited the least (relatively) from the casting stat were the sorceror and the silksworn occultist.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Thomas Hutchins wrote:

All in all I'm not seeing silksworn have a clear (or any) advantage over bards via power and assuming that they build similarly into Int and Cha, High casting stat and secondary into the other stat. plus the bard via it's party buffs can easily be combat focused and still support amazingly. Bardsong and good hope gives itself +4 to attack and damage. Silksworn can't be a combat build nearly as easily.

Actually, by the level you can do that the Occultist can be doing +3 Attack and 2d6+3 damage. On top of that unlike the puny bard that will be bypassing DR Adamantine.
Serisan wrote:

As Thomas has been pointing out about stat arrays, you do sacrifice quite a bit to be combat competent. I could see a support build doing very well with this archetype by dropping physical stats, but dropping stats that directly play into archetype changes to be somewhat more combat capable seems painful.

I feel like he wants to min-max to a ridiculous degree though which isnt really helping his case.

5/5

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MadScientistWorking wrote:
I feel like he wants to min-max to a ridiculous degree though which isnt really helping his case.

I don't see that at all. I do see you largely ignoring the limitations and choices the archetype forces you to make.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

andreww wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
I feel like he wants to min-max to a ridiculous degree though which isnt really helping his case.
I don't see that at all. I do see you largely ignoring the limitations and choices the archetype forces you to make.

That's because I don't consider picking up martial weapon proficiency or mage armor a horrendously big deal. Otherwise I wouldn't be playing an Investigator or a Summoner. Also, I play a Reliquarian and that is a far more pain in the butt to build out because getting multiple mental stat increases is far more harder to get than the physical stats.

EDIT:
And weapon proficiency..... And armor..... All in all the Silksworn is a breeze.


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Thomas Hutchins wrote:

Isabelle, I have a question for you.

At 8th, 12th, and 16th levels, the silksworn increases the number of spells of each level he can cast each day by one.

At 8 I have 3rd level spells. at 10 I gain 4th.
Does the spell increase from lv8 apply to my 4th level spells at lv10 or does the increase of spells only happen to the spells you had at the level you gained the increase and not on future spell levels gained?

I... actually don't remember what I intended by that. Because of the bolded portion, though, I'm inclined to say that it only applies to the spell levels to which he currently has access.

I did go back and check my notes, though, which revealed the following note to my developer:

Me, in my starry-eyed youth, wrote:
The silksworn basically can’t fight, so they had to get more spell-cast-y. I don’t think it’ll be an issue. Thoughts?

So that worked out.


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Ragoz wrote:
If Silksworn said, "A silksworn who wears armor or uses a shield is unable to use his Silksworn Deception ability, use focus powers, or cast occultist spells," than I suppose it be similar. This is what a real drawback looks like.

In my dubious defense, it didn't occur to me that anyone would actually try to wear armor or use a shield. Starry-eyed youth, etc.

I'd consider this to be another good basis for a Campaign Clarification. ^_^


MadScientistWorking wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:

All in all I'm not seeing silksworn have a clear (or any) advantage over bards via power and assuming that they build similarly into Int and Cha, High casting stat and secondary into the other stat. plus the bard via it's party buffs can easily be combat focused and still support amazingly. Bardsong and good hope gives itself +4 to attack and damage. Silksworn can't be a combat build nearly as easily.

Actually, by the level you can do that the Occultist can be doing +3 Attack and 2d6+3 damage. On top of that unlike the puny bard that will be bypassing DR Adamantine.

It would be very helpful to the discussion if you could explain or illustrate how you're reaching these conclusions. Otherwise, it's simply a major allegation with no support or evidence. As the haste discussion above showed, it's very easy to imply something that supports your point when the truth is more complicated.

MadScientistWorking wrote:
Serisan wrote:

As Thomas has been pointing out about stat arrays, you do sacrifice quite a bit to be combat competent. I could see a support build doing very well with this archetype by dropping physical stats, but dropping stats that directly play into archetype changes to be somewhat more combat capable seems painful.

I feel like he wants to min-max to a ridiculous degree though which isnt really helping his case.

Actually, it's the most important thing to do under the circumstances. I suspect that Leadership is more concerned about the most broken and min-maxed builds than they are about average, middle-of-the-road designs.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Virginia—Richmond aka Slothsy

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MadScientistWorking wrote:
andreww wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
I feel like he wants to min-max to a ridiculous degree though which isnt really helping his case.
I don't see that at all. I do see you largely ignoring the limitations and choices the archetype forces you to make.

That's because I don't consider picking up martial weapon proficiency or mage armor a horrendously big deal. Otherwise I wouldn't be playing an Investigator or a Summoner. Also, I play a Reliquarian and that is a far more pain in the butt to build out because getting multiple mental stat increases is far more harder to get than the physical stats.

EDIT:
And weapon proficiency..... And armor..... All in all the Silksworn is a breeze.

Mage armor is a flat +4. Picking up martial weapon proficency either means you're limiting your race selection and you weapon option, spending feats, or paying 3,500 gp for an ioun stone. I don't see feats as a cheap resource, esp if you intend on going the DEX route. Limiting race and weapon options could be cheap, since elves would be good with this archetype (but that -2 con could be extra concerning for a fragile character in melee). The ioun stones price limits it to only being a viable option in the mid levels - you can't use the 1,500 version because that let's you treat a weapon as a martial weapon. Each of these are not inconsequential resources to spend to turn this archetype back into the base.

I'm assuming you're referring to legacy weapon. That's still a standard action to activate for a weapon touched. The bard song example, however, it is a plus 4 to you AND allies. There's some serious action economy questions going on AND you need to have the mental focus to power that. As someone who has played a base occultist through level 15 in PFS, I gotta say that those limitations are real limitations.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

MadScientistWorking wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:

All in all I'm not seeing silksworn have a clear (or any) advantage over bards via power and assuming that they build similarly into Int and Cha, High casting stat and secondary into the other stat. plus the bard via it's party buffs can easily be combat focused and still support amazingly. Bardsong and good hope gives itself +4 to attack and damage. Silksworn can't be a combat build nearly as easily.

Actually, by the level you can do that the Occultist can be doing +3 Attack and 2d6+3 damage. On top of that unlike the puny bard that will be bypassing DR Adamantine.

Eh, I don't feel like bypassing adamantine is that big of a deal. But I did skip something I was thinking when I said that. "Silksworn can't be a combat build nearly as easily, while providing as much support" cause if you were going full blown selfish DPR you'd be able to go dawnflower dervish getting +4 to attack and damage from performance at lv5 and now at lv7 adding good hope (still buffing party) and your inspire can be up to +6's for +8 to attack and damage. That's +5 accuracy and -2 average damage to your buff.

Serisan wrote:

As Thomas has been pointing out about stat arrays, you do sacrifice quite a bit to be combat competent. I could see a support build doing very well with this archetype by dropping physical stats, but dropping stats that directly play into archetype changes to be somewhat more combat capable seems painful.

I feel like he wants to min-max to a ridiculous degree though which isn't really helping his case.

Are you talking about my stat arrays?

yes stats:

1) do you have a different stat array? I gave my guess since stats weren't provided. And it's easy to say, "They can do everything just as good plus bonus focus because of CHA" and not realize that stats allocation makes things hard to pull everything off. But if you have ones that are a better example please share.
2) what is making it a ridiculous degree? And why is it hurting? I'm throwing out the stat array I'd be using to accomplish the goal put forth. The stats I shared are the stat's I've seen actual occultists use in my area and the stats I'd use if I was building a combat occultist using the base class. The base class has no reason for CHA, like a fighter. The closest is UMD, but you already get a good bonus for that, and you can make it INT based like all the cool casters if you really wanted it.

no something other than stats:
Please share what you're talking about since it's not clear.

4/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Re: my comment on pain, I mainly meant that taking the CHA dump stat, where most combat builds are going to drop to 7 and get 4 points back, and turning it into a stat that you need at least a 10 in means you have to do some significant shuffling. My archer occultist (base, no archetype) has both 7 CHA and 9 WIS to function the way I want - namely with 3 14s and a 16 for his remaining base stats. Rebuilding that into a silksworn occultist requires that I reclaim at least 4 points from elsewhere, preferably more. I'd more likely be looking at 4 14s 8 WIS 12 CHA. The base 16 had been DEX, so losing +1 to hit. I suppose that's not too painful, but it certainly alters a lot of other decisions.

Current version of my occultist archer,
no archetype

I would need to get Mage Armor in there somewhere, likely just replacing Unseen Servant. I had picked up my Conj implement at 6, but I could have all 4 of my selections at 1 with Silksworn. I would be able to use spells more liberally (current build rarely casts except for RP purposes, despite having decent combat spells). That more than likely makes up for the loss of DEX.

Maybe I didn't frame this right as I was evaluating. I'm starting to see the point about it being pretty competent in the gish role.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Competent gist != as combat capable as base class.
That's the only point I'm trying to make.
I'm not advocating that you can't make a combat viable version of the silksworn.
I've made or seen combat viable builds for most of the 6hd casters, so it's for sure possible for the silksworn.

4/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thomas Hutchins wrote:

Competent gist != as combat capable as base class.

That's the only point I'm trying to make.
I'm not advocating that you can't make a combat viable version of the silksworn.
I've made or seen combat viable builds for most of the 6hd casters, so it's for sure possible for the silksworn.

I understand that, but what I found while wandering through converting over to silksworn from base occultist on my own character is that it's probably stronger on the silksworn with only minor adjustments. I hadn't expected that result.

Shadow Lodge

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

My assumption was that the problem was that the four implements at first level made this archetype way too dippable. What would a single level of silksworn occultist look like on something like a Kensai Magus? Or an INT caster like a Wizard or Psychic?

5/5

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pH unbalanced wrote:
My assumption was that the problem was that the four implements at first level made this archetype way too dippable. What would a single level of silksworn occultist look like on something like a Kensai Magus? Or an INT caster like a Wizard or Psychic?

Largely I think it would look terrible as none of those classes benefit greatly from dipping.


pH unbalanced wrote:
My assumption was that the problem was that the four implements at first level made this archetype way too dippable. What would a single level of silksworn occultist look like on something like a Kensai Magus? Or an INT caster like a Wizard or Psychic?

Given that they're sacrificing the advancement of their primary class, pushing class feature and spell level access back a level, in exchange for a variety of non-scaling abilities that will remain at level-one effectiveness... I wasn't terribly worried about that possibility.

Kensai magi might not be comfortable having to prioritize Cha in addition to Dex, Int, and Con. Do they dump Strength, hurting their carrying capacity? Or do they dump Wisdom, hurting Perception and Will saves? They also slow their access to kensai class features, including their scaling AC bonus. And they lose a point of BAB to the dip, which seems like a painful loss to me.

While wizards and psychics are less constrained by point buy (and some psychics have Cha as a secondary requirement), they feel the loss of spell level access even more acutely. A psychic with this dip is a full spell level behind a single class wizard, in exchange for several CL1 spells (many of which they already can access) and a few focus powers that will not advance.

If they do insist on dipping, is this really their best choice? I would think that a psychic would rather dip something with armor access, since their other spells aren't hindered by it. A wizard... maybe, but in my experience, it takes something like draconic/orc sorcerer to get a wizard to step outside his tower. I don't know anything about why a magus would start dipping, but I would expect their first stop to be either inspired blade swashbuckler (a truly ridiculous dip for many Dex/Int classes) or possibly some sort of AC-boosting class (monk or faith-discipline psychic; the former grants better saves, unarmed options, and bonus feats, while the latter comes with some minor spellcasting benefits).

So, it's doable. It might even not be horrible. But I doubt that it will outshine a normal member of those classes.

All that said, thank you for your contribution! It's good to look at this from yet another perspective. ^_^

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
andreww wrote:
Largely I think it would look terrible as none of those classes benefit greatly from dipping.

You're just not being creative enough then. ;-) I agree with the dippable statement as well, and anybody that's suffered through a number of my characters will back that one up.

When you're capped at level 11 for "normal" play, you'd be surprised how little the loss of one caster level (or even three caster levels for that matter) really doesn't hurt on a melee that wants some backup abilities.


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MisterSlanky wrote:
andreww wrote:
Largely I think it would look terrible as none of those classes benefit greatly from dipping.

You're just not being creative enough then. ;=) I agree with the dippable statement as well, and anybody that's suffered through a number of my characters will back that one up.

When you're capped at level 11 for "normal" play, you'd be surprised how little the loss of one caster level (or even three caster levels for that matter) really doesn't hurt on a melee that wants some backup abilities.

I would still question whether the benefits to any of the listed classes are significant enough to warrant concern.

Dipping can be powerful! There's no question of that. I'm just not sure that this archetype is a significant offender, or that it should be punished for it.

If we have concerns about dipping, I would absolutely love to discuss restrictions on inspired blade swashbuckler, crossblooded sorcerer, and similar offenders. Maybe when this thread has run its course. ^_^

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Again it ties into what was taken away. Armor and weapon proficiency were taken away, which can be easily replaced by a single level in a melee class. I tend to think of it as "what would a melee do"? Many forget about Lore Wardens, which are really an INT based fighter, and the flexibility they allow. Plug a level or four of Silksworn on one of them, and you can have a melee powerhouse.

Without going into the details of what I could come up with in my head, the biggest take-away is that without something that really limits spellcasting, replacement is easy enough, and the rewards for a dip (free belt, free cloak, lead blades, shield) are really almost too powerful to ignore.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Isabelle Lee wrote:
If we have concerns about dipping, I would absolutely love to discuss restrictions on inspired blade swashbuckler, crossblooded sorcerer, and similar offenders. Maybe when this thread has run its course. ^_^

You don't have to preach to this crowd. I've walked away from tables because of these.


MisterSlanky wrote:

Again it ties into what was taken away. Armor and weapon proficiency were taken away, which can be easily replaced by a single level in a melee class. I tend to think of it as "what would a melee do"? Many forget about Lore Wardens, which are really an INT based fighter, and the flexibility they allow. Plug a level or four of Silksworn on one of them, and you can have a melee powerhouse.

Without going into the details of what I could come up with in my head, the biggest take-away is that without something that really limits spellcasting, replacement is easy enough, and the rewards for a dip (free belt, free cloak, lead blades, shield) are really almost too powerful to ignore.

Weapon Proficiency, maybe. Remember that silksworn are arcane spellcasters, so Armor Proficiency won't be enough - you have to deal with ASF as well. Given that many of your CL 1 spells will have expired by the time you get your armor on, you might be better off just spending 2k on a cracked purple ioun stone. ^_^

I'm very familiar with lore warden. They might be able to benefit from this dip. But is the final result powerful enough to justify banning this archetype?


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Follow up on lore warden - it seems like a regular occultist dip would actually be way better for them.

You get better armor (and can cast freely in it), and selecting the transmutation and abjuration schools seems to grant everything you were looking for - the ability score boosts, the resistance bonus, the aegis and legacy weapon focus powers, and the lead blades and shield spells.

Silksworn may get more mental focus, but only by investing in Charisma. That might be rough for this lore warden build's point buy, for reasons already discussed at length.

So... I'm not sure the silksworn archetype is the problem here.

That said, if I've missed something obvious in my precaffeinated morning state, please let me know. ^_^

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Also, I may have to build a lore warden/occultist now. ^_^

Shadow Lodge

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For a dip, you don't need to invest in Int AND Cha, you only need one or the other. The advantage is in the flexibility of having four implements you can invest your focus in, which you can change up from day to day depending on circumstances. The fact that you can also pick up a few spells you wouldn't otherwise have access to is just a bonus.

I suspect there are some really nice Bard and Oracle builds that could benefit from a dip as well.


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pH unbalanced wrote:
For a dip, you don't need to invest in Int AND Cha, you only need one or the other. The advantage is in the flexibility of having four implements you can invest your focus in, which you can change up from day to day depending on circumstances. The fact that you can also pick up a few spells you wouldn't otherwise have access to is just a bonus.

I won't deny that the archetype can be better for some things than others. This is true of all archetypes; we've been over many of them at length, and the silksworn is far from the worst offender in this regard. The scaled fist is better for Charisma-based races and classes, and is one of very few sources of Dex+Cha to AC. The inspired blade (yes, again) is better for Intelligence-based classes and hands you Fencing Grace on a silver platter, right from 1st level. It doesn't seem necessary to ban this archetype for being a situationally-better one-level dip when many others, many of them far more effective as dips, are allowed to flourish.

pH unbalanced wrote:
I suspect there are some really nice Bard and Oracle builds that could benefit from a dip as well.

That's not impossible. It seems to me, though, that they suffer the same drawbacks as the previously mentioned classes. You're slowing down your access to new spell levels, the effects of your performances and revelations, and your access to new class features. Are a few minor powers really enough to not just make up for all that, but create something dangerously overpowered by comparison?

In my experience, oracles tend to be very focused on things that let them leverage their single-stat dependency on Charisma. Just off the top of my head, any oracle with an armor-bonus revelation would be much better served with a dip in scaled fist. Dex+Cha to AC to go with their scaling mage armor, unarmed benefits, bonus feats, and a +2 to all saves. And that's to say nothing of the notorious combinations of oracle and paladin.

A bard with an interest in forcing Will saves, meanwhile, would probably be just fine with a taste of mesmerist. Free double-Spell Focus for all Will-based spells and effects, a mesmerist trick, a bunch of spells keyed to their primary casting stat (and which don't care about the bard's armor or shield), and easier access to feinting (for what that's worth). And that's before even looking at archetypes. I'm not sure what a melee-focused bard would want, but the most powerful variety, the Dawnflower dervish, probably doesn't want to slow down their access to their double-strength inspiration effects too much.

2/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Northern Colorado aka Cottontail

Tangential question: How does a low-level Silksworn fulfill the "ostentatious garment or magic item worth 10 gp" requirement? What slot would, say, a noble's outfit count as? Can you buy ostentatious but non-magical rings, necklaces, brooches, etc.?

4/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cottontail wrote:
Tangential question: How does a low-level Silksworn fulfill the "ostentatious garment or magic item worth 10 gp" requirement? What slot would, say, a noble's outfit count as? Can you buy ostentatious but non-magical rings, necklaces, brooches, etc.?

There's an Ostentatious Garment item in the same book as the archetype.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

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If you dip into silksworn your powers never increase. So you'll still likely want a belt of your primary physical stat since you'll be capped at +2, and you'll still want a cloak of resist since you'd be capped at +1. Not to mention you have no mental focus on a dip with none maxed stats. A build with 14 int and 10 cha for this dip is getting 3 mental focus, just enough to power 1 resonant power.

I think most would rather play a lore warden that was 18/14/14/12/12/7 in medium/light armor (and had int for diplomacy and/or UMD if desired skills) than 16/14/14/13/12/10 in mage armor and save on 4,000 to 8,000gp due to getting free +2 to a stat.

Your resonance powers, which you will have 1 of, are between. +1 cloak of resist, +1 to perception, +1 round to conjuration duration, +1 competence to CHA skills = a weak circlet of persuasion, +1 damage on damaging spells, standard action for 5% miss chance until you attack, control 2 extra HD of undead, +2 to a physical stat.
Clearly the +2 to a stats is the best option, with little reason to change it ever, like no reason ever.

Like the only thing that slightly saves this as a dip would be the 2-3 uses of legacy weapon for bane. Which is a decent standard action buff. But as mentioned by Isabelle, silksworn isn't giving you a better deal than the base class for that.

*Personally I feel the best dip is with the reliquary archetype, wis is positive for most people/martials since it's will save stat. And domain powers can scale well, +10 move-speed and ignoring difficult terrain or swift action enlarge are pretty good at all levels, while +1 to to saves quickly becomes redundant to a good cloak.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

First off I should say that I really like the silksworn and don't think it is overpowered, certainly not as a single class. But I hadn't seen dippability brought up as a reason it had been banned and that is absolutely something they consider.

I think that in general you are overvaluing one level of spell progression and undervaluing implements, At PFS levels, you'll barely miss the spell progression. And implements are a major class feature. One thing that they do very well is save money and free up equipment slots, both of which are very valuable in PFS.

There are two types of powerful dips -- ones that increase the math, and ones that increase your options. I don't build the first types of characters, I build the second type. What I look for are synergies that expand the choices I have, that combine abilities that don't usually go together, and that reduce my reliance on gear.

Four implements at 1st level just looks extraordinarily good on its face. You may be able to use math to prove that it's not overpowered (and I hope you can), but having four means an awful lot of flexibility. It means when you do buy an item that supersedes the focus power you have somewhere else to invest those points, instead of them being wasted.

BTW, the silksworn character I'm now interested in is a silksworn/Unchained Rogue -- assuming that the Illusion focus power is enough concealment to stealth and get off sneak attacks. That and a free +2 dex belt, not to mention the +2 to Will and Fort saves, and I'm feeling good.

2/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Northern Colorado aka Cottontail

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Serisan wrote:
Cottontail wrote:
Tangential question: How does a low-level Silksworn fulfill the "ostentatious garment or magic item worth 10 gp" requirement? What slot would, say, a noble's outfit count as? Can you buy ostentatious but non-magical rings, necklaces, brooches, etc.?
There's an Ostentatious Garment item in the same book as the archetype.

Thanks for that. Dang, how did I fail that Perception check?


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pH unbalanced wrote:
First off I should say that I really like the silksworn and don't think it is overpowered, certainly not as a single class. But I hadn't seen dippability brought up as a reason it had been banned and that is absolutely something they consider.

I had no doubt of that. I just didn't think, for the reasons above, that this archetype was particularly threatening for that reason.

Still, thank you for giving us another point to discuss. ^_^

pH unbalanced wrote:
I think that in general you are overvaluing one level of spell progression and undervaluing implements, At PFS levels, you'll barely miss the spell progression.

I hear "you won't miss the spell progression" a lot. Maybe it's just my own experience with characters like that, but it's far more painful in actual play than on a character sheet. When you're sitting there, reflecting that you can't yet cast glitterdust or haste because you spent a level on another class, it can hurt.

...not that lack of access to glitterdust has ever been a serious problem, of course.

pH unbalanced wrote:
And implements are a major class feature. One thing that they do very well is save money and free up equipment slots, both of which are very valuable in PFS.

That is possible. My experience is mostly with lower-level PFS characters, so I can't speak to that as effectively. We've already discussed the two most impressive schools in that regard, both of which are available to a standard occultist as well. And while the silksworn does gain the versatility to choose additional schools (at the cost of having their spellcasting restricted by armor), if you shift your focus to those implement schools for the day, now you don't have a belt-slot item or cloak of resistance at all. So there's still a price to pay for versatility.

pH unbalanced wrote:
There are two types of powerful dips -- ones that increase the math, and ones that increase your options. I don't build the first types of characters, I build the second type. What I look for are synergies that expand the choices I have, that combine abilities that don't usually go together, and that reduce my reliance on gear.

My experience with Pathfinder (and 3.5 before it) has led me to believe that while versatility is nice, specialization tends to win the day.

Consider the medium. By this logic, the medium should be one of the most advantageous classes to play. You have access to wizard and cleric magic, can master any skill, and can fight like a warrior. But it's often looked down upon for not doing any of those things as well as a member of the actual class.

The versatility of the silksworn dip, to me, falls into a similar category - you've gained options, yes, but are you actually becoming more powerful?

pH unbalanced wrote:
Four implements at 1st level just looks extraordinarily good on its face. You may be able to use math to prove that it's not overpowered (and I hope you can), but having four means an awful lot of flexibility.

I know it looks extraordinarily good. It's a scary-looking archetype. (I spent the better part of a month tweaking and adjusting things to try and get it right.) We're doing our best to show that it's not necessarily going to break things, especially as a dip.

pH unbalanced wrote:
It means when you do buy an item that supersedes the focus power you have somewhere else to invest those points, instead of them being wasted.

This is an interesting thought. Of course, at that point, the single-classed version of the character would also be able to afford such an item, and would have all the advantages of being fully advanced in their class. Are the first-level benefits of the non-buff-related implement schools going to be as useful?

pH unbalanced wrote:
BTW, the silksworn character I'm now interested in is a silksworn/Unchained Rogue -- assuming that the Illusion focus power is enough concealment to stealth and get off sneak attacks. That and a free +2 dex belt, not to mention the +2 to Will and Fort saves, and I'm feeling good.

Rogue (especially unchained) is probably one of the best-case scenarios. Their best class features - finesse training and debilitating injury - come online early and don't rely much on level-by-level advancement. The bonuses they receive from occultist (silksworn or not) are highly synergistic. However, most of these benefits are the same with the regular occultist - one level gets you transmutation and illusion, you can cast spells psychically (meaning no sound), you can do so with no armor worries, and the medium armor proficiency from occultist makes mithril armor a little easier to deal with (allowing you to spend your traits elsewhere).

To me, then, the question is: do they get enough from the silksworn archetype, specifically, to outweigh its drawbacks (no casting in armor) and result in an overpowered or overly-valuable combination?

(Also, I've looked over the Illusion implement school, the concealment section of the Combat chapter, and the Stealth skill, and I even dug around for the blog they did a while back. I'm not 100% convinced that it works, but there's a very good case for it. Don't forget to remain unobserved, though!)

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

pH unbalanced wrote:

Four implements at 1st level just looks extraordinarily good on its face. You may be able to use math to prove that it's not overpowered (and I hope you can), but having four means an awful lot of flexibility. It means when you do buy an item that supersedes the focus power you have somewhere else to invest those points, instead of them being wasted.

BTW, the silksworn character I'm now interested in is a silksworn/Unchained Rogue -- assuming that the Illusion focus power is enough concealment to stealth and get off sneak attacks. That and a free +2 dex belt, not to mention the +2 to Will and Fort saves, and I'm feeling good.

Not to mention you have no mental focus on a dip with none maxed stats. A build with 14 int and 10 cha for this dip is getting 3 mental focus, just enough to power 1 resonant power.

Your resonance powers, which you will have 1 of, are between. +1 cloak of resist, +1 to perception, +1 round to conjuration duration, +1 competence to CHA skills = a weak circlet of persuasion, +1 damage on damaging spells, standard action for 5% miss chance until you attack, control 2 extra HD of undead, +2 to a physical stat.
Clearly the +2 to a stats is the best option, with little reason to change it ever, like no reason ever.

So early access to belt for free, and then transitions to early free access to ioun stone. Sure it's nice, but it's also the equivalent of 1 item mastery feat and at most 8,000gp as it can never upgrade off of the dip. But this dip aspect doesn't change for the base occultist.

all this archetype does over the base is give you ASF and 2 more spells known. Then depending on the main class, maybe a bit more focus power, the same, or maybe a bit less, depending on your stats.

If you want a big cost effective dip go technologist barb, +4 str and +4 dex and +2 will saves when raging. that means you rage and can gain 2 accuracy, 3 damage, 2 ac, 2 reflex, 2 will. And opens up access to furious for your weapon and always having +10 move-speed and a d12 hd.

dipping occultist is good, this is maybe slightly better for CHA build to dip into like scaled fist is the better monk choice to dip into. But generally? I'm not seeing anything that would indicate having 4 implements with 2-4 focus points is meaningfully better than 2 implements with 2-3 focus points.

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