Silksworn Occultist Legality Reconsideration Thread Petition Thing


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Lord almighty, savage technologist barbarian. :D Don't forget that it gives you all martial weapons, too - for an elf or half-elf, that's your curve blade and branched spear right there.

Also another advantage of the base occultist dip, as it happens. ^_^

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

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Like, it can be a decent dip option, potentially the one you'd want to choose for some builds. That's as it should be. It's just not the clear winner dip that anyone who thinks of dipping occultist would be dumb to not choose.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Reasons why silksworn dip works for the Unchained Rogue where base doesn't:

5 focus points with a reasonable stat array (8/17/13/14/12/14) -- and dex immediately goes to 19.
Several good choices for third and fourth schools, once you end up getting that +4 belt (I lean divination and enchantment)
Opens up Arcane Strike
Opens up Arcane Trickster (though that's probably a trap)
Magical Knack opens up Arcane Armor Training, which with a mithril chain shirt negates ASF. If you use the spells enough to care.

I have a long specialization vs generalization rant, which I will spare you. But in general, specialization is rewarded in predictable and routine situations and generalization is rewarded in unpredictable and punishing situations. PFS is pretty predictable...but the times it goes sideways you really need the flexibility.

With medium the problem is that it isn't really a generalist -- it gives you a daily choice of which subpar specialist you want to be. An actual generalist has access to all of their options all of the time. Seven focus points (which takes some doing) is where silksworn starts to be a strictly better dip than base Occultist. The question (which others can answer better than I can) is how much do you have to give up to get there, and can you manage to do that without trading out anything you care about.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Does the Silksworn Occultist lose access to Panopolies?

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

Pirate Rob wrote:
Does the Silkworn Occultist lose access to Panopolies?

yes


Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Pirate Rob wrote:
Does the Silkworn Occultist lose access to Panopolies?
yes

That's not a small loss.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Thank you.

(I'm still forming thoughts and haven't come to an opinion yet)

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

pH unbalanced wrote:

Reasons why silksworn dip works for the Unchained Rogue where base doesn't:

5 focus points with a reasonable stat array (8/17/13/14/12/14) -- and dex immediately goes to 19.
Several good choices for third and fourth schools, once you end up getting that +4 belt (I lean divination and enchantment)
Opens up Arcane Strike
Opens up Arcane Trickster (though that's probably a trap)
Magical Knack opens up Arcane Armor Training, which with a mithril chain shirt negates ASF. If you use the spells enough to care.

So being a silksworn over base has gotten you:

the ability to spend a feat to spend your swift for +1 damage.
the ability to spend a feat to spend your swift to cast a weak spell in armor if you use a trait for it.
2 more spells known.
2 mental focus, which having 5 instead of 3 lets you gain your choice of +1 percpetion or +1 to cha skills or temporary +1 cloak.
What you don't get:
martial weapon proficiency,
free casting in armor,
2 mental focus,
No bypassing trait for mithral breastplate.

So sure, something IS better than nothing, and for this rogue the silksworn would probably be the better dip choice.

NOW, if you can show me that it is the superior dip choice for ALL dips then we have an issue. OR if you can show how this silksworn dip has broken the game compared to a normal dip.

pH unbalanced wrote:
Seven focus points (which takes some doing) is where silksworn starts to be a strictly better dip than base Occultist. The question (which others can answer better than I can) is how much do you have to give up to get there, and can you manage to do that without trading out anything you care about.

getting 7 focus would require a stat array of 7/16/13/16/7/16 to pull off. You've tanked str a bit more, and your will save loss from stats isn't even made up from the good will save of occultist.

Also a normal occultist could be 8/17/13/16/12/10 and only be down 1 mental focus and with these stats the silksword wouldn't get any bonus mental focus, and a base occultist allows for 8/17/14/16/12/8 for a more hardy rogue with 4 points while taking silksworn here actually loses mental focus.

but even with all the mental focus, which bonuses are worth the dip besides transmutation? Is getting +1 to perception AND cha skill along with the stat boost somehow game breaking compared to just the stat boost and better armor and weapons?

So yes, some builds would prefer silksworn over base for their dip, if there weren't it'd be a bad archetype. But if you only look at how it's a slightly better archetype for (random say 10%) of build and don't care that it's a worse dip for (random say 40%) of build, and just an equal trade for the remaining 50% of builds then I don't think it's fair. Like the scaled monk should be banned cause it's tons better dip for the wis dumped, CHA pumped builds than a normal monk dip. Both archetypes don't invalidate their alternatives in any majority sense.


pH unbalanced wrote:

Reasons why silksworn dip works for the Unchained Rogue where base doesn't:

5 focus points with a reasonable stat array (8/17/13/14/12/14) -- and dex immediately goes to 19.

They've got the ability score problem more or less figured out, I admit.

pH unbalanced wrote:
Several good choices for third and fourth schools, once you end up getting that +4 belt (I lean divination and enchantment)

+1 Perception and +1 on certain rolls as an immediate action isn't terribly worrisome to me. Dazing 1-HD creatures isn't very impressive, but the +1 on all Charisma-based skills isn't bad. I'm still not convinced that adding these options to this character's portfolio are particularly problematic.

pH unbalanced wrote:
Opens up Arcane Strike

I'm definitely not concerned about spending a feat to spend a swift action to gain +1 to damage.

pH unbalanced wrote:
Opens up Arcane Trickster (though that's probably a trap)

I already considered various prestige classes and determined that none were impressive enough to mention.

pH unbalanced wrote:
Magical Knack opens up Arcane Armor Training, which with a mithril chain shirt negates ASF. If you use the spells enough to care.

A valid point. Spending a feat and a trait, plus a swift action to activate, gets you back to where the base occultist was. Seems like a reasonable price for the greater versatility of spells known to me.

pH unbalanced wrote:
I have a long specialization vs generalization rant, which I will spare you. But in general, specialization is rewarded in predictable and routine situations and generalization is rewarded in unpredictable and punishing situations. PFS is pretty predictable...but the times it goes sideways you really need the flexibility.

Assuming that those two additional spells known and base focus powers are what the unexpected situation calls for. (That said, I definitely agree that overspecialization can be an issue, and that well-balanced characters have a lot of advantages.)

pH unbalanced wrote:
With medium the problem is that it isn't really a generalist -- it gives you a daily choice of which subpar specialist you want to be. An actual generalist has access to all of their options all of the time. Seven focus points (which takes some doing) is where silksworn starts to be a strictly better dip than base Occultist. The question (which others can answer better than I can) is how much do you have to give up to get there, and can you manage to do that without trading out anything you care about.

I don't know if I'd go as far as "strictly better" - to me, that implies increased benefit as zero cost, which is only likely for characters with no interest in armor, no spellcasting advancement, and relatively compatible ability scores. I'd agree to "relatively advantageous", perhaps. ^_^

As for hitting that seven-point threshold: while I haven't fully worked out why that's the magic number, for the rogue mentioned above, the Irrepressible trait might let you steal a few points out of Wisdom. Between that and an advantageous race (such as elf), you might be able to get there.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

You missed the part where what I really wanted was the 5% concealment miss chance from the illusion focus, to allow me to stealth without cover. If that trick works, it is huge.

Yeah, this build probably doesn't get to 7 fp without spending a feat (or cherry-picking a race) which probably isn't worth it. Other classes which get more out of ain't and Cha probably could.The actual reason to get to seven isn't for the static bonuses, it's to open up more base powers at reasonable cost. Let's call it divination, so that I now have 3 legacy weapons a day, 2 illusions, and 2 +1 insight bonuses. Gamebreaking? No. Undervalued? I think so.

Like I said earlier, I think I could make a Kensai, a Psychic, a Bard, and an Oracle that really leveraged a silksworn dip. I don't think I could break the game with those, but I don't build those kinds of characters. If someone else wants to try, that's where I'd look.

Edit: Sorry on my iPad so direct replies are tough. This was mostly directed at Thomas Hutchins points.

On why seven focus points is the difference maker, that's because that's the point where it is advantageous to invest in more than two implements. Before that, silksworn gives you some versatility, but not enough for it to matter much.


pH unbalanced wrote:
You missed the part where what I really wanted was the 5% concealment miss chance from the illusion focus, to allow me to stealth without cover. If that trick works, it is huge.

I didn't think I missed it? I'm pretty sure I mentioned it up there, at least. In any case, that's equally available to the base occultist.

pH unbalanced wrote:
Yeah, this build probably doesn't get to 7 fp without spending a feat (or cherry-picking a race) which probably isn't worth it. Other classes which get more out of ain't and Cha probably could.The actual reason to get to seven isn't for the static bonuses, it's to open up more base powers at reasonable cost. Let's call it divination, so that I now have 3 legacy weapons a day, 2 illusions, and 2 +1 insight bonuses. Gamebreaking? No. Undervalued? I think so.

It may very well be undervalued. For my purposes in this thread, though, there are only really two results: "bad enough to ban the archetype over" and "not bad enough to justify the ban". I believe it falls into the latter category.

pH unbalanced wrote:
Like I said earlier, I think I could make a Kensai, a Psychic, a Bard, and an Oracle that really leveraged a silksworn dip. I don't think I could break the game with those, but I don't build those kinds of characters. If someone else wants to try, that's where I'd look.

I'm not really equipped for this either, I'm afraid.


pH unbalanced wrote:
Edit: Sorry on my iPad so direct replies are tough. This was mostly directed at Thomas Hutchins points.

Fair enough; carry on. ^_^

pH unbalanced wrote:
On why seven focus points is the difference maker, that's because that's the point where it is advantageous to invest in more than two implements. Before that, silksworn gives you some versatility, but not enough for it to matter much.

I see. Still, if you have to divert significant resources to accomplish that end, then I don't think it's too catastrophic.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

pH unbalanced wrote:
You missed the part where what I really wanted was the 5% concealment miss chance from the illusion focus, to allow me to stealth without cover. If that trick works, it is huge.

You are aware that even if it works, the concealment only lasts until you attack, and takes a standard action to activate it. So if that's the trick you're looking for you're better getting a ki pool and vanishing, or going sorcerer with the magical knack trait and vanish for total invisibility when you try to pull the trick off. You'll only be able to do it 4 times a day instead of 5 though.

Well I just realized that I guess out of combat is probably what you're referring to. Which for sure makes me say no it can't work since it's in no way supposed to be better than invisibility.

pH unbalanced wrote:
Yeah, this build probably doesn't get to 7 fp without spending a feat (or cherry-picking a race) which probably isn't worth it. Other classes which get more out of Int and Cha probably could.The actual reason to get to seven isn't for the static bonuses, it's to open up more base powers at reasonable cost. Let's call it divination, so that I now have 3 legacy weapons a day, 2 illusions, and 2 +1 insight bonuses. Gamebreaking? No. Undervalued? I think so.

I'm guessing you mean

Sudden Insight, for the +1 insights. I'm not sure which illusions you see as being worth considering valuable.
legacy weapon takes a standard action to use, yes bane is good, but you still give up a standard for it, and 3-4 of them is every fight.
spending a swift action to get +1 to an attack, skill or ability check doesn't seem like a great deal twice a day and by doing so removing your perception bonus. Like is that really a big enough perk that it at all is some tipping point of having the silksworn be to OP for some perfectly stat aligned builds? Plus it's conflicting with other swift actions that you could leverage.

pH unbalanced wrote:
Like I said earlier, I think I could make a Kensai, a Psychic, a Bard, and an Oracle that really leveraged a silksworn dip. I don't think I could break the game with those, but I don't build those kinds of characters. If someone else wants to try, that's where I'd look.

Kensai has no reason to want CHA, So he'd be looking at only having 4-5 and not being able to dump CHA to get standard action bane and not get another arcane pool point, and delayed features, and delayed potential AC. Yeah, really not seeing how a kensai would prefer a dip to silksworn.

Bard, a bard dip is delaying getting heroism, more heroisms, and good hope/haste. Also delaying bardic performance bonus and stopping you from naturally getting the final +1 at lv11 in standard PFS play. Also it's lowered your Bab, and brought in ASF to consider. You've gained, what? getting a small bonus to some skills while you wait for your circlet?
So spending a swift to get the +1 insight to attack rolls is just helping overcome the penalty to attack rolls you gave yourself. A bard would probably prefer this just to be sure to get the 3 mental focus needed for the transmutation resonance, but it's not seeming to be a much better dip for any reason.

oracle, oh look the CHA abusing class, yes, anything that can leverage CHA is a better choice for this class than ones that can't. Just like scaled fist is clearly the better choice for an occultist, so too is the silksworn. You're still not really gaining anything over a normal dip for others are giving.

Like, what non-scaling base or focus power, other than transmutation, is really worth having the extra focus to an extent that it's invalidated all other dip choices for most everyone to validate this archetype being banned.

*This is WHY I wish we had some direction onto why something is banned. We could spend many pages talking about how feature X or Z isn't an issue when leadership decided that B was the no go feature.
Like if I understand right the only reason they don't IS TO not allow people the ability to question the ruling and petition for it's allowance, yet that's what we're supposed to do if there's something we want legalized that was banned? But now getting to go on about how it's fine with no ability to address any of the concerns that brought about it's exile. Thus making them less helpful to leadership in taking a second look since it might be PAGES between useful talk on the real issue.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
No bypassing trait for mithral breastplate.

That's about the easiest thing TO do. I've a number of characters in Mithril (including breastplates) with no medium OR light armor proficiency.

I think we get it, your position is "you guys were idiots for not letting this one in." If that's not your position, you might want to consider your writing tone. It should also be clear by this point that everything you're going to come, those of us that do see the power creep with this AT are going to be able to counter.


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Well, we were doing good for a while there. :(

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

MisterSlanky wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
No bypassing trait for mithral breastplate.
That's about the easiest thing TO do. I've a number of characters in Mithril (including breastplates) with no medium OR light armor proficiency.

Right, isn't the way to do that without any penalties by taking the trait? Like yes traits aren't super amazing, but it's still a drawback if it's something a class is likely to consider.

MisterSlanky wrote:
I think we get it, your position is "you guys were idiots for not letting this one in." If that's not your position, you might want to consider your writing tone. It should also be clear by this point that everything you're going to come, those of us that do see the power creep with this AT are going to be able to counter.

Why does it come across that I am calling anyone idiots for banning this? Is not the point of this thread to examine all the angles and see if we can "prove" that there's no reason for it to be banned and thus get it to be legalized? Or to "prove" that it is clearly superior and thus deserving of a ban? If we just accept my view that it's okay, or the view saying it's clearly OP, good thing it's banned without questioning and without providing evidence and reasoning as to why we've come to that view then we're not actually taking a serious look at the archetype and if the illegality was an oversight.

Also, if it's clear to some why this is clearly power creep why do they not share that explanation? In lots of my posts responding to views I state, "correct me if I'm wrong", "unless I'm missing something", or "my best guess for your build would be X". If you say it's clear power creep because it has a cool name for an archetype I'll be questioning you on that to see why you feel that way and to look into it to see if there's really any reason to feel that way.

MisterSlanky wrote:
It should also be clear by this point that everything you're going to come, those of us that do see the power creep with this AT are going to be able to counter.

Now, I do want to make clear that I'm not exactly certain what you were meaning with this part. Did you start one sentence/thought and change to another midway? The only thing I think you could be saying is that it should be clear to me that ones that think it's power creep can counter any claim that it's not OP.

Is that right? If so, PLEASE do so. So far I feel no ones seriously discussed to a point of understanding why one would think so. I see no strong evidence to support any appreciable difference in player trends reacting to this archetype as most other well made archetypes. No mass abandonment of base occultist or other archetypes of occultist, no flocking to all play an occultist cause this is just too much clearly a good option. I can agree to disagree. If the view is that having 2 more spells known in a dip is the reason one would call creep I don't feel a need to convert them. I will question them to try to understand and to expound on the issue for the reexamination of legality.

I'll say that it kinda seems like you might purposefully be reading in some negative intent or goal in my posts. I personally am not affected by this being legal or not, I had already decided that I wasn't interested in playing one enough to play it over the dozens of other builds I want to play. But I enjoy analyzing things and having intelligent discussions. Personally I currently don't see anything here that causes the entire kit to be too OP warranting a ban, and the few things, like the hidden casting, being a plausible reason for the ban, but that issue can just be solved by giving the hide casting feat instead. I don't believe I've attacked anyone for their view, nor belittled them for having their view. Just questioning them as to why they have that view to see if I should change, or to give all the info to the person who may read this thread to reconsider the silksworn.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
You missed the part where what I really wanted was the 5% concealment miss chance from the illusion focus, to allow me to stealth without cover. If that trick works, it is huge.

You are aware that even if it works, the concealment only lasts until you attack, and takes a standard action to activate it. So if that's the trick you're looking for you're better getting a ki pool and vanishing, or going sorcerer with the magical knack trait and vanish for total invisibility when you try to pull the trick off. You'll only be able to do it 4 times a day instead of 5 though.

Vanishing trick is better, but uses a ki pool. The standard action concealment does not expend a focus point (it's the resonant power, not the base power) so you can do it all day long. Which makes it very similar to Feinting, but utilizing stealth.

I've played a *lot* of Arcane Rogue types -- they're solidly in my wheelhouse. Silksworn brings several powerful new things to that table. Which, honestly I'd love to play -- I hope you are successful getting this legalized.

2/5

As much as I was looking forward to a Silksworn (and adding Panoply Savant & Trappings of the Warrior to my Reliquarian...) I think the real key is the versatility and total spells per day compared to a Sorcerer over 1-4

A sorcerer knows 2-4 lvl 1 spells over that period and can cast 3-6 per day (+ Stat bonus). On top of this they have 1 or 2 bloodline powers.
Probably a limited use level one spell equivalent (say 7-10 uses a day with good stats) and a small universal buff

A Silksworn has 4-5 lvl 1 spells and can cast 1-3 a day (+ Stat bonus).
So twice as many to choose from, though on average half as many per day.
However for focus your looking at around 8-18 over those levels with a decent stat array
With an easy average of 3 per implement, this would give 4-5 small universal buffs, but even the base focus power can be on par or better than a level 1 spell. So 10-15 extra level one spell equivalents.

At 4th second levels come on line, and the tradeoff begins again (1 spell with 3 uses versus 5 spells with 1 use), though past that the quicker access to high level spells favors the sorcerer.

Over the lower levels (which seems to be most Society play) it just favors the Occultist.
3 Focus in Conjuration at level one alone wipes out the spells per day difference with a combat useful spell. Standard action Summons for 1 minute? Yes please!

Ah well on the bright-side i don't need to buy Inner Sea Races now, and I think I'll start waiting till the Society update hits before I buy new books.
Between the cut content in Psychic Anthology, Heroes of the High Court and Path of the Righteous it just isn't worth buying blind for Society play and hoping it gets legalized

2/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Three points:

1. This discussion has been fantastically civil, and I really appreciate the good faith efforts on both sides to make their points politely.

2. I've never played an Occultist nor a PFS game, so I don't have a view or personal investment either way.

3. I imagine this conversation puts the PFS leadership in somewhat of an awkward position: on the one hand, they've prohibited something that the writer is strongly and quite publicly in favor of including. On the other hand, it's already been prohibited and if they change the ruling it might appear they've done so more out of professional courtesy than because they've been persuaded otherwise.

So this might be the sort of thing to just let simmer for a while, because without knowing exactly why it has been banned, discussions about the archetype in the abstract may miss the mark as often as they hit.

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

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I'd like to return to a point I made earlier: I've seen a lot of player excitement for this option from a "I want to play the clothes-obsessed fancy boi" side of things. I know several people who have ideas percolating for characters because it's immediately draws up character concepts. While I want to play my overly bejeweled halfling, I also want to play a hipster half-orc silksworn occultist. This is because 1) occultists are my favorite class and 2) the silksworn is such an evocative archetype. I've made a tome eater for similar reasons.

One thing I've worried a bit in this conversation is that occultists are a complicated and confusing class. It makes having this conversation more difficult, as well as having the conversation about what the occultist archetypes' power levels should be. Mental focus powers are especially complicated, as they balance powerful secondary spell options (like flight, dispel magic, etc) by balancing them with strict limitations (shortened duration, limited number of targets, standard action activation, required cost of focus points).

I have great respect for people that disagree with my personal assessment that this archetype is balanced; we all value different parts of the game. I think that the trade off of martial capabilities for casting abilities is appropriate. I understand it's possible to get the martial abilities back, but in ways that have costs that balance out getting those abilities back (the loss of casting progression, spending a big chunk of gold on a magic item, focusing on other ability scores, spending feats). I also do not think that this is going to become an overly dominant archetype, much like how the battlehost occultist didn't become overly dominant.

However, I also understand that people have legitimate concerns, particularly around the 12th level concealed casting ability, the increase in the number of available spell schools/spells, and the increase in mental focus. For me, I see these as balanced by limitations that do come up in play. That doesn't mean that those points are illegitimate; I just believe that when looked at the archetype as a whole, they are balanced out in other ways.

When I consider how I would decisions around inclusion in PFS to work is: "Is this more helpful to the campaign or more harmful?". Inclusion of most rules I would say defaults to helpful; excitement about new options and the ability to use most rules is a big part of PFS. When it comes to this archetype, I can't dismiss the excitement that people I know and I have over the possibility of playing a silksworn because of its situation within the game world. It ties in particularly well with the way that Taldan nobility is portrayed, and I feel like it could also find a home in a number of other regions (imagine a Kalistrocrat Silksworn! Or a Five Kings envoy silksworn! Or an exiled Galt noble silksworn!). This, for me, places it in the "more helpful than harmful" category.

Jhaeman wrote:
3. I imagine this conversation puts the PFS leadership in somewhat of an awkward position: on the one hand, they've prohibited something that the writer is strongly and quite publicly in favor of including. On the other hand, it's already been prohibited and if they change the ruling it might appear they've done so more out of professional courtesy than because they've been persuaded otherwise.

Reversal of bannings isn't uncommon, and I feel like author inclusion can be illuminating. Isabelle didn't call for the request, to be honest. Maybe leadership feels like it's been put in a weird spot, maybe it hasn't. The power is still firmly in their hands to decide what is or isn't happening.

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

Thomas Hutchins wrote:

NOW, if you can show me that it is the superior dip choice for ALL dips then we have an issue. OR if you can show how this silksworn dip has broken the game compared to a normal dip.

I gave you the reason. Then you huffed and puffed and said its not that impressive. The Occultist is the walking golf ball bag of martial combat users. Hence the reason why its a pretty impressive 1 level dip more so for support characters.

3/5

Thaine Hepler wrote:


However for focus your looking at around 8-18 over those levels with a decent stat array

with a decent stat array?? if you are getting to 18 by level 4, you are dumping everything for int/cha max, or stacking signifigant stat investment with fcb/feat for extra

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

It's that the writer thinks it's balanced, thus they wrote it, and so they are a great source to show why they thought it was balanced. I don't feel like Isabelle is championing or pushing to get this legalized. Just that, as the creator, she can answer questions about intended power and explain reasoning as to why it's not OP.
Like you can notice that a lot of her's and my posts ninja each other saying the same things to someone's claim of OP. It's cause both of us are explaining the view of why it not OP in response to the claim of OP. If she wasn't posting at all, the thread would still be the same, so I'm pretty sure that PFS leadership wouldn't factor her participating in the thread to mean anything.

A similar situation happened with the Desna feat that gave CHA for attack and damage with starknives. The creator was pretty active in that "Is it OP" thread explaining why he thought it wasn't. And, I had the stance that it wasn't for that too interestingly enough.

My view is kinda like this.
If you have a job that offers you X money and Y benefits and a job offer that offers money and benefits and you live in a certain place. Increasing the job offer doesn't do enough to alter your position since you still prefer your current job. It's only once the offer is better than current that you've really changed your position. If your location changes but your job didn't, then I don't see that as a problem either.

So using silksworn and the base occultist. The base occultist is the current job. The silksworn is the offer. The offer isn't good enough that most people will swap, but it's good enough that some will want to swap. That sounds like just the place we want archetypes. Is it bad that a casting focused archetype can still be built to handle combat okay? I don't think so, we don't need to nuke combat to buff spells some.

And cha with starknives I viewed as maybe changing the location of some builds (battle focused oracles or bards) without changing what they are doing, and as increasing the job offer you're not accepting for caster focused builds (sorcerers and oracles). Though I do admit that this feat seemed more potentially game altering than this silksworn archetype.

2/5

My planned build was a kindred raised half elf. 7/10/11/19/10/18 at first. With extra mental focus starting at 11.5 and gaining 1.5 per level. Though even a less focused b8 can power 3 implements easily


Thaine Hepler wrote:
My planned build was a kindred raised half elf. 7/10/11/19/10/18 at first. With extra mental focus starting at 11.5 and gaining 1.5 per level. Though even a less focused b8 can power 3 implements easily

I assume that you're leaning heavily on the abjuration implement for saving throws. Even with that, those are some risky-looking statistics. And your hit points can't be looking too good, even with the transmutation implement buffing Con. This ability array looks like a major glass cannon to me, although without the rest of your build, I can't be certain.

It hearkens back to the discussion we didn't have about generalization vs. specialization. You can get a lot of mental focus out of the silksworn, it's true. But I'm not sure that it's worth the price you're paying. ^_^

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

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MadScientistWorking wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:

NOW, if you can show me that it is the superior dip choice for ALL dips then we have an issue. OR if you can show how this silksworn dip has broken the game compared to a normal dip.

I gave you the reason. Then you huffed and puffed and said its not that impressive. The Occultist is the walking golf ball bag of martial combat users. Hence the reason why its a pretty impressive 1 level dip more so for support characters.

Please don't do this. You can be dismissive or helpful. Reiterate you main point, as I don't recall off-hand what the reason you gave was.

And please don't view me questioning or not automatically accepting whatever you said as "huffed and puffed", it was likely me trying to explain WHY I don't see it as that impressive. If you feel some of my reasoning is off that's where you're supposed to respond back on some of the points to try and explain WHY I might have overlooked something, or why it's better than I'm giving it credit for. That's how you have a discussion, with a few rounds of back and forth as we are able to understand.

Yes, the occultist is a strong dip for many classes, IS the silksworn making it that much better is the question. A base occultist gets to had out bane off of 1 level dip. The silksworn does that and gets +1 to perception or CHA skills cause of the extra mental focus, is that small bonus really so much of a boon to out way all the things it's not giving to the main class?

And yes, the silksworn should for sure 100% be the better choice for some builds, otherwise it's a bad archetype. So if it's good for a few builds, but still isn't the best choice for a lot of builds then it's probably in a good place.

MadScientistWorking wrote:
The Occultist is the walking golf ball bag of martial combat users. Hence the reason why its a pretty impressive 1 level dip more so for support characters.

So I'm not exactly sure what you're saying here.

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

Thomas Hutchins wrote:


And please don't view me questioning or not automatically accepting whatever you said as "huffed and puffed", it was likely me trying to explain WHY I don't see it as that impressive.

I apologize about my statement. Most of this just seems to be a massive disagreement over play styles which makes this whole discussion weird and I was acerbic.

You just said that bypassing one of the worst forms of damage reduction is not impressive. To me its one of the most painfully annoying things about playing a martial character. And mind you the most dangerous monsters also have the worst forms of it too. I do think you are right about it being not as bad of a one level dip for Martials but for support characters especially Bards would be amazing. Of course my bard is really odd so...

2/5

The Silksworn is too strong. Try building an Arcanist, the very epitome of arcane flexibility and also built on an Int/Cha synergy, where you can't build an equally powerful or more powerful Silksworn. They might exist, but you'd have to look to find it in a PFS career. The Arcanist might start to pull ahead with access to higher level spells above level 10, but probably not much before.

The Silksworn has better health, BAB, Saves, and skills than a comparable level Arcanist and will have more spells known at any specific time in their career. They will be able to cast only slightly fewer spells per day, and this is offset by early access to higher level staple utility spells via focus powers before an Arcanist could get them (Invisibility, Dispel Magic, Fly, Haste, Neutralize Poison, Telekinesis, Solid Fog, Summon Monster V). The Silksworn will have more options in terms of magical hacks via focus powers than an Arcanist will have exploits and a bigger pool of energy with which to fuel them. They will also end up knowing substantially more spells at any one time -- for an Arcanist to compete with that level of versatility, they'd have to dedicate an exploit and points from their smaller pool.

Blaster Arcanist:

  • Blood Arcanist archetype (-3 exploits) to pick up Draconic Bloodline Arcana (+1 damage per dice)
  • School Understanding Exploit for Admixture to switch damage types

Silksworn answer: Evocation implement resonant power and energy blast focus power.

Summoner Arcanist:

  • Occultist Arcanist archetype to summon as a standard, takes spell level in pool points
  • Dimensional slide exploit to move around

Silksworn answer: Conjuration implement base focus power and one focus power

Buffer Arcanist:

  • Brown-Fur Transmuter archetype to boost physical stats and use abilities on allies otherwise unable to be shared(-2 exploits)

Silksworn answer: Transmutation implement's resonant power and base focus power, and several other powers to buff teammates in ways otherwise difficult to accomplish (e.g. enlarge person as a standard action, granting bane to a friends weapon)

I can keep going, but the fact remains that an Arcanist will have to specialize to do some of these tricks. A level 1 Silksworn will be able to do all of them eventually with a base set of implements picked up and get an extra one to boot. And another one at level 2. It's incredibly strong for an arcane caster. The Silksworn may not have the full wizard/sorcerer spell list, but it's got enough + bonus extras to be very strong. An Arcanist will probably be better at straight save or suck spells, but will never come close to the versatility of a Silksworn, and that's saying a lot.

3/5

have to disagree in the extreme on arcanist

arcanist is light years ahead on versatility with scribing any spell on list and switching in a round

also the energy blast and conj summon focus powers are good when you get them, but instantly scale poorer and poorer

I've never seen an arcanist specialize, I've always seen them played as the ultimate toolbox

a very narrow set of predetermined tricks and lower level top spell level is never going to compete


plaidwandering wrote:
have to disagree in the extreme on arcanist

Yeah, arcanist is definitely Tier 1, with wizards and razmiran priest sorcerers.

Silksworn are at best low Tier 2, though I would probably put them in Tier 3.

Teir 1:
Tier 1: Capable of doing absolutely everything, often better than classes that specialize in that thing. Often capable of solving encounters with a single mechanical ability and little thought from the player. Has world changing powers at high levels. These guys, if played with skill, can easily break a campaign and can be very hard to challenge without extreme DM fiat or plenty of house rules, especially if Tier 3s and below are in the party.

Teir 2:
Tier 2: Has as much raw power as the Tier 1 classes, but can't pull off nearly as many tricks, and while the class itself is capable of anything, no one build can actually do nearly as much as the Tier 1 classes. Still potentially campaign smashers by using the right abilities, but at the same time are more predictable and can't always have the right tool for the job. If the Tier 1 classes are countries with 10,000 nuclear weapons in their arsenal, these guys are countries with 10 nukes. Still dangerous and easily world shattering, but not in quite so many ways. Note that the Tier 2 classes are often less flexible than Tier 3 classes... it's just that their incredible potential power overwhelms their lack in flexibility.

Tier 3:
Tier 3: Capable of doing one thing quite well, while still being useful when that one thing is inappropriate, or capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area. Occasionally has a mechanical ability that can solve an encounter, but this is relatively rare and easy to deal with. Can be game breaking only with specific intent to do so. Challenging such a character takes some thought from the DM, but isn't too difficult. Will outshine any Tier 5s in the party much of the time.

link

2/5

plaidwandering wrote:

have to disagree in the extreme on arcanist

arcanist is light years ahead on versatility with scribing any spell on list and switching in a round

also the energy blast and conj summon focus powers are good when you get them, but instantly scale poorer and poorer

I've never seen an arcanist specialize, I've always seen them played as the ultimate toolbox

a very narrow set of predetermined tricks and lower level top spell level is never going to compete

Yes, and that versatility in practice comes at the cost of the majority of the points an Arcanist has at their disposal. They also can't really get all their exploits. They also can't scribe in PFS, which is where this archetype has been blocked. And they aren't quite as good at UMD as the Silksworn.

Energy Blast is a single focus power bundled in an implement which if you're focusing acts as a fireball, a bloodline arcana, an an arcanist exploit. It may not be ludicrous, but in the realm of PFS 1-12, it's more than sufficient to answer a lot of situations.

The Conjuration implement scales exactly as fast as an Occultist Arcanist until 6 for 1 level and again at 8 for one level when the Silksworn starts using Illusion to SM V via Shadow Beasts. It'll be 10 before the Arcanist can pull of SM V. The Arcanist also has to pay an increasing cost for their summon, whereas the Silksworn is always a single point. Are they identical? No. But they are most certainly comparable. One's a signature feature of an archetype (Arcanist); one is a bonus power the Silksworn probably picked up on accident and could play with if they felt like it.

On any single point by point comparison, we can probably make a stronger Arcanist -- but when you look at the whole package, the Silksworn is almost certainly stronger and more versatile in a wider range of situations.

The Tier distinction is mostly lost when we're dealing with PFS play. The Arcanist 1-12 will never go beyond level 5 spells. The Occultist will not get beyond 4th, but many of those level 4 spells are only coming online at level 5 for the Arcanist. Whether one is Tier 1 or Tier 2 is largely meaningless when you consider the percent of time both would be played. The Silksworn almost certainly will fall behind after 12; but should we really base our argument around that?

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

MadScientistWorking wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:


And please don't view me questioning or not automatically accepting whatever you said as "huffed and puffed", it was likely me trying to explain WHY I don't see it as that impressive.

I apologize about my statement. Most of this just seems to be a massive disagreement over play styles which makes this whole discussion weird and I was acerbic.

You just said that bypassing one of the worst forms of damage reduction is not impressive. To me its one of the most painfully annoying things about playing a martial character. And mind you the most dangerous monsters also have the worst forms of it too. I do think you are right about it being not as bad of a one level dip for Martials but for support characters especially Bards would be amazing. Of course my bard is really odd so...

So Adamantine DR. for the occultist to bypass adamantine you've either picked up the focus power to do so or are more likely using the +1 and bane to bypass it, so I'll assume the later since it make the most sense.

To me, DR adamantine hasn't shown up all that often. It on Golems and stoneskin and earth kineticists and I'm not sure what else reliably has DR adamntine. So yes you'll bypass it and I wont, but this comes into play maybe once in a character's career? And the bard can just buy an adamantine weapon (for some reason it's super popular in my local lodge cause a few people love adamantine and so even shardra like shamans have adamantine weapons)

at lv5 bard is attacking for 1d8+14, at lv6 it's 1d8+17, and lv7 it's probably 1d8+19. DR 5 isn't really stopping us since we do a big hit, reducing from 1/3 to 1/4 of the damage. dr10 goes from a lot to just half our damage. I don't expect dr15 this early. But that's also just our personal damage at lv5 we do bonus damage off of everyone else that hits and at lv7 that bonus damage is "doubled"

So this is why I value less that it bypasses adamantine DR. If you have more evidence to common enemies or frequency then this might get revised.

Also yes, the silksworn is more enticing for a dip with a bard than original, but how much more is it really getting? Like once you've taken away the baseline dip of having at least 3 mental focus and transmutation school what little perks of the silksworn are left to say that this is clearly broken? Cause if it's not broken, then being slightly better for bard and worse for the cha dumped investigator while the base is reversed looks to be the correct spot to be in.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

I'm planning on taking a look at the arcanist comparison later tonight if someone doesn't do a deep one before then, but I need to leave now.

Shadow Lodge

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Thomas Hutchins wrote:
I'm planning on taking a look at the arcanist comparison later tonight if someone doesn't do a deep one before then, but I need to leave now.

There's no point. The writer of that post has forgotten that Arcanists:

1. Are full casters, and therefore gain spells far faster than Silksworn

2. Are prepared casters, and can swap their spells with a standard action, making them far more versatile than Silksworn

3. Have a far better spell list than Skilsworn

4. Have exploits which are far more powerful than almost any Focus Power, and powered by points that are under much less stringent requirements than a Silksworn.

I'd hazard a guess that the poster has never played either an Occultist or Arcanist, or seen one played.

The Exchange

No point in comparing it to much besides the base class.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The first thing to realize is that the base occultist already knows more spells than any other spontaneous caster, due to their unique spells known device.
So the silksworn is only giving them 2 more spells known, which is a big deal for sure, but they of only the schools that they have chosen.
So while the arcanist can know 4 transmutation lv1 spells, 3 evocation lv2 spells, and 2 necromancy for level 3 if they wanted, the silksworn is stuck to their schools. And the arcanist has it even better, if he wants to suddenly know only enchantment spells for a day, he can do that.

So SS more versatility in a day, Arcanist more versatility preparing for a day and don't need to plan their spell levels by school.

spells per day, at lv4 the arcanist has 6 and the occultist has 4.
at lv7 the arcanist has 11 occultist 8. lv8 arcanist has 14, occultist has 13. But if we include spells for high int of 18, the arcanist gains 4 spells per day, while the occultist is gaining only 3, cause the arcanist is a spell level ahead of the occultist here. at lv10 arcanist has 18 base and 24 with int of 20, occultist has 17 base and 22 with int 20.

So the arcanist always has more spells per day, and better spell levels, but the silksworn with it's cool bonus spells per day ability is letting him play with the big boys. This I feel is a huge release of a casting 6th class because you really have enough spells to play with your spells and not need something to really supplement them.

a casting focused SS will likely have 2 or 3 mental focus over the base class. This is enough to power an extra implement at low levels. Now as you progress the question is, how much better are the implements of the SS serving them than the base. Since the powers are unmodified the only benefit the SS is giving is the extra mental focus to use them more per day. But each power is the same strength. I don't feel like really going into this and analyzing all the possible combo stuff, but the thing to remember is we're only caring about what you do with your final 3 points. Cause if you have 6 in transmutation regardless of archetype then we can ignore those points and powers. So if we have say we have 15 points cause we're level 6 with an int of 22 and cha of 16. if 6 are in transmutation and 6 are in evocation regardless of archetype then the bonus three points that SS gave us go to illusion and that's the only thing we gained from this archetype. it resonance and the ability to use it's stuff up to 3 times. Personally I feel we're getting into the rogue skill point problem, you only care about X amount of skills, so the skill points after X are into skills that you don't really care about but are putting points into cause they have to go somewhere.

Now I could totally be wrong, I've not really looked into a casting version and how broken the combos of the powers might be for a caster. But here's my thoughts on the OP ones mentioned.

the energy blast starts off on par with an unspecialized fireball +3. Unlike fireball it scales off 1 per 2 levels rather than per level. So even though each time you get a new d6 you can also have another +1 to damage, the increased die beat it. Now this is supplemental to your spells, but it also uses your focus faster than most abilities.

servitor is just SM at the spell level one would have as a 6th level caster. So sure, extra bodies are nice, it's not a very good one, and you can't even choose from a lower list to get more to just take up space.

And again, this is possible with the base occultist. If you have these it's likely that you'd have had them with a base occultist.
Also, things take actions, and in combat you usually want to use your best actions. So even if you have more uses of an ability per day, if it's your actions for turn 15 and 16 of the day and you never get that far then they didn't help that day.

So the only thing this does it help the occultist go a little bit longer in the day, which doesn't really matter in PFS since you're usually not fighting a ton in one day. (4 fights and only 2 rounds of needing to use good stuff is just 8 turns worth of actions needed)

So yes, the base occultist has some neat tricks that other full caster's can't do, but that's the base so it does carry to SS, but using them 1 or 2 more times, or using a different power that you'd normally not have, don't seem to me as being that much of a game changer. Lasting longer isn't that useful in PFS.

so yeah, all the complaints seem to just be against base occultists and not to SS directly. Is there something I'm overlooking that causes the SS to be more special than I'm giving credit for?

5/5

Disk Elemental wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
I'm planning on taking a look at the arcanist comparison later tonight if someone doesn't do a deep one before then, but I need to leave now.

There's no point. The writer of that post has forgotten that Arcanists:

1. Are full casters, and therefore gain spells far faster than Silksworn

2. Are prepared casters, and can swap their spells with a standard action, making them far more versatile than Silksworn

3. Have a far better spell list than Skilsworn

4. Have exploits which are far more powerful than almost any Focus Power, and powered by points that are under much less stringent requirements than a Silksworn.

I'd hazard a guess that the poster has never played either an Occultist or Arcanist, or seen one played.

Pretty much this. The idea that the occultist will bring more versatility to the party than any 9th level caster class is a truly bizarre notion.

5/5

cavernshark wrote:
The Silksworn is too strong. Try building an Arcanist, the very epitome of arcane flexibility and also built on an Int/Cha synergy

Pretty much every arcanist exploit based on charisma is terrible. Arcanists can dump charisma just as easily as any other Int based class. You don't start to see any payoff for extra uses of consume spells until charisma 14 making it a very expensive build choice.

My PFS arcanist is currently level 11 and I have yet to have a problem with having enough arcane pool points for a scenario and she uses them liberally for dimensional slide, potent spell and quick study.

2/5

andreww wrote:
Disk Elemental wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
I'm planning on taking a look at the arcanist comparison later tonight if someone doesn't do a deep one before then, but I need to leave now.

There's no point. The writer of that post has forgotten that Arcanists:

1. Are full casters, and therefore gain spells far faster than Silksworn

2. Are prepared casters, and can swap their spells with a standard action, making them far more versatile than Silksworn

3. Have a far better spell list than Skilsworn

4. Have exploits which are far more powerful than almost any Focus Power, and powered by points that are under much less stringent requirements than a Silksworn.

I'd hazard a guess that the poster has never played either an Occultist or Arcanist, or seen one played.

Pretty much this. The idea that the occultist will bring more versatility to the party than any 9th level caster class is a truly bizarre notion.

You guys are cute, pretending like just because an Arcanist can eventually cast 9th level spells that it's somehow a magical hacker in PFS level play. You're letting your obvious bias for this archetype get in the way with my argument: an arcanist can do any one thing better than a comparable level Silksworn, but it's unlikely to be able to address the sheer variety of situations a Silksworn can in a single build. But since you're just going to try to attack me rather than actually address my argument, let's play:

Baseline:

  • The Arcanist is a d6 HD, Low Fort/Ref, High Will, 1/2 BAB class with 2+ int skill ranks per level.
  • The Silksworn Occultist is a d8 HD, Low Ref, High Fort/Will, 3/4 BAB class with 4 + int skill ranks per level.
  • For the sake of argument, both could mostly ignore Cha, but let's just use 19 Int/10 Cha to mimic your Arcanist
  • I'm going to ignore Extra Reseviour/Extra Focus Points/Extra Exploit/Extra Focus power for simplicity

Already, we're talking about Silksworn having the equivalent of the Toughness Feat, 2 x Greater Fortitude feats (assuming you could stack them), the 2 x Cunning Feat (assuming you could stack them), 50% more BAB enabling them to qualify for a wider range of feats and prestige classes sooner and having a general easier time using weapons. This advantage exists at ANY LEVEL. If the Silksworn is able to come even close to parity with the Arcanist on casting ability / versatility, we already have a problem.

At level 1:

Spoiler:

The Arcanist:
  • Has 1 exploit. Let's take Quick Study to make us more versatile
  • Has a pool of 3 points at the start of the day
  • Can consume spells once to gain 1 additional point at the cost of 1 1st level spell
  • Knows 2 1st level spells
  • Cast 3 1st level spells a day
  • Can use his points to: Boost DC or CL of a spell by 1; Spend a minute and point to swap a spell known

The Silksworn:

  • Has 4 implements. Let's pick Evocation, Transmutation, Abjuration, and Divination
  • Has 5 focus powers, the base from each implement + the one at 1st level. Let's pick Sudden Speed from Transmutation.
  • Has a pool of 5 points to devote
  • Assigns 2 points to Evocation (+1 to all damage spells/abilites) and 3 to Transmutation(+2 to a physical stat)
  • Knows 4 1st level spells
  • Can cast 2 1st level spells a day
  • Can use his points to: Cast the equivalent of Expeditious Retreat as a swift action, Fire an energy ray of variable damage types, Turn allies weapons magic or give magic weapons different properties
  • Can, on a day to day basis, reallocate focus to garner entirely different sets of powers to use

Verdict: The Arcanist has 1 more spell per day, but knows half as many unless he dips into his pool and has way fewer options generally. And as we established, and has a worse chassis: with 2 less skill points, 2 less hit points, and 2 less fortitude than an equal level Silksworn at level 1. But this is just level 1 right?

At level 4:

Spoiler:

Both of these two gain 2nd level spells and put their attribute point into Int bring us to 20. This nets both an additional 1st level spell per day.

The Arcanist:

  • Has 2 exploits. Let's take Potent Magic
  • Has a pool of 5 points at the start of the day
  • Can consume spells once to gain 2 additional point at the cost of 1 2nd level spell
  • Knows 3 x 1st * & 1 x 2nd level spells
  • Cast 6 x 1st level & 3 x 2nd level spells per day
  • Can use his points to: Boost DC or CL of a spell by 2; Spend a minute and point to swap a spell known

The Silksworn:

  • Has 5 implements. Let's add Illusion to our list
  • Has 7 focus powers, we picked up one at 3rd and one from our implement at 2. Let's pick Sudden Size from Transmutation.
  • Has a pool of 9 points to devote
  • Assigns 6 points to Evocation (+3 to all damage spells/abilites) and 3 to Transmutation(+2 to a physical stat)
  • Knows 5 1st level spells and 5 x 2nd level spells
  • Can cast 5 x 1st & 2 x 2nd level spells a day
  • Can use his points to: Cast the equivalent of Expeditious Retreat as a swift action, Fire an energy ray of variable damage types, Turn allies weapons magic or give magic weapons different properties, enlarge allies as a standard action
  • Can, on a day to day basis, reallocate focus to garner entirely different sets of powers to use
  • Is also gaining a scaling bonus to Use Magic Device, effective +2 over the Arcanist

Verdict: The Arcanist has 2 more spells slots per day, 1 at each spell level but still knows way fewer without dipping into the pool. Dipping into the pool will also result in fewer opportunities to use Potent Magic, can't be done in response to situations on the fly as a spell known can, and eventually requires consuming a spell slot to keep pace. As we established, and the Arcanist is on a worse chassis: with 8 less skill points, 5 less hit points, and 3 less fortitude than an equal level Silksworn at level 4. The Arcanist can do exactly 2 things with his arcane reseviour, whereas the Silksworn can literally reconfigure those powers and resonant powers daily, just as an Arcanist can swap spells known daily.

At level 6:

Spoiler:

Here is the first moment where the Arcanist pulls ahead a bit, gaining access to 3rd level spells. That looks cool on paper, but during a session it's far more limited than it first seems.

The Arcanist:

  • Has 3 exploits. Let's take School Understand: Evocation - Admixture
  • Has a pool of 6 points at the start of the day
  • Can consume spells once to gain 3 additional point at the cost of 1 3rd level spell
  • Knows 4 x 1st & 2 x 2nd & 1 x 3rd level spells
  • Cast 6 x 1st level & 5 x 2nd level & 3 x 3rd level spells per day
  • Can use his points to: Boost DC or CL of a spell by 2; Spend a minute and point to swap a spell known
  • Can convert an elemental spell type 8 / day

The Silksworn:

  • Has 6 implements. Let's add Conjuration to our list
  • Has 7 focus powers, we picked up one at 5th and one from our implement at 6. Let's pick Energy Blast from Evocation.
  • Has a pool of 11 points to devote
  • Assigns 8 points to Evocation (+4 to all damage spells/abilites) and 3 to Transmutation(+2 to a physical stat)
  • Knows 6 x 1st level & 6 x 2nd level spells
  • Can cast 6 x 1st & 4 x 2nd level spells a day
  • Can use his points to: Cast the equivalent of Expeditious Retreat as a swift action, Fire an energy ray of variable damage types, Fire an only slightly less powerful Fireball with variable damage types (a level earlier than the Arcanist), turn allies weapons magic or give magic weapons different properties, enlarge allies as a standard action
  • Can, on a day to day basis, reallocate focus to garner entirely different sets of powers to use
  • Is also gaining a scaling bonus to Use Magic Device, effective +3 over the Arcanist

Verdict: The Arcanist can cast 1 additional 1st and 2nd level spells per day, and also has 3 3rd level spells. The Arcanist only knows a single 3rd level spell though, so if he wants to buff it's damage he needs to use points. To use the other spells he knows, he's got to use Quick Study, also draining the reseviour. And if his lower level spells need to be used, he's maybe going to buff and then swap them out, further draining the pool. The Silksworn can use Energy Blast 3-4 times a day (a comparable answer to the Arcanist's Admixture Fireball -- easily the equivalent of a 3rd level spell slot) and still has his other implements. The Silksworn can also abandon Evocation and Transmutation entirely on a day to day basis. Maybe one day calls for Abjuration + Conjuration to be fully charged, so the Silksworn does a mix of Transmutation/Conjuration/Abjuration. An Arcanist will not be able to respond as easily because in that roll his School Understanding and Potent Magic exploits are dead weight.

So really, we're on par here. Either one of these is a respectable full caster at this point and I'd argue with a good edge toward versatility to the Silksworn. But let's not forget the Arcanist has 12 less skill points, 7 less hit points, and 3 less fortitude and 1 less BAB than an equal level Silksworn at level 6.

At level 8:

Spoiler:

Surely, here, where the Arcanist gains level 4 spells we'll see some differentiation right? And to be fair, there's some. But it's not as pronounced as you might think.

The Arcanist:

  • Has 4 exploits. Let's take Dimensional Slide
  • Has a pool of 7 points at the start of the day
  • Can consume spells once to gain 4 additional point at the cost of 1 4th level spell
  • Knows 5 x 1st & 3 x 2nd & 2 x 3rd & 1 x 4th level spells
  • Cast 6 x 1st level & 5 x 2nd level & 5 x 3rd & 3 x 4th level spells per day
  • Can use his points to: Boost DC or CL of a spell by 2; Spend a minute and point to swap a spell known; teleport some distance as a move action
  • Can convert an elemental spell type 8 / day

The Silksworn:

  • Has 6 implements still.
  • Has 8 focus powers, we picked up one at 7th. Let's pick Side Step
  • Has a pool of 13 points to devote
  • Assigns 8 points to Evocation (+4 to all damage spells/abilites) and 3 to Transmutation(+2 to a physical stat), 2 to Conjuration (no appreciable passive)
  • Knows 6 x 1st level & 6 x 2nd level spells & 6 x 3rd level spells
  • Can cast 7 x 1st & 6 x 2nd & 4 x 3rd level spells a day thanks to Devoted Mystic
  • Can use his points to: Cast the equivalent of Expeditious Retreat as a swift action, Fire an energy ray of variable damage types, Fire an only slightly less powerful Fireball with variable damage types, turn allies weapons magic or give magic weapons different properties, enlarge allies as a standard action, cast summon monster 3 as a standard action, or teleport some distance as a move action
  • Can, on a day to day basis, reallocate focus to garner entirely different sets of powers to use
  • Is also gaining a scaling bonus to Use Magic Device, effective +4 over the Arcanist
  • Is probably now getting +3-5 bonus to Bluff and Diplomacy over the Arcanist

Verdict: The Arcanist has one advantage here: they can cast 4th level spells. But they'll know 1 on a given day unless we're allocating flexibility via Quick Study. They don't even have an edge on spells per day below that. The Silksworn still knows substantially more 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level spells and can cast an additional 1st and 2nd level spell. They get one less 3rd, but as we established at 6th, they can use their pool to cast pseudo-fireballs. The Arcanist would have to keep Fireball as one of it's 2 3rd level spells known to compete. The Silksworn instead gets to devote his 3rd level spell slots to other bonuses without ever touching his pool. We both picked up an ability to teleport too. Meanwhile, the Silksworn is now killing it on skill bonuses and has an additional 16 skill points, 9 more HP, and 4 more fortitude and 2 more BAB than an equal level Arcanist at level 8. Fun note: The Silksworn could conceivably go into Arcane Archer next level; the Arcanist would need to wait until 12. It's also qualifying for some neat combat feats if we decided to use the better chassis (ignoring proficiency and armor issues).

At level 10:

Spoiler:

So the Arcanist took a bit of a lead with a single 4th level spell slot at 8... of course the addition of 5th level spells would break this comparison, right?! Not as much as you'd think thanks to Occultist early access and some nice focus powers.

The Arcanist:

  • Has 5 exploits. Let's take Metamagic Knowledge to pick up a metamagic feat
  • Has a pool of 8 points at the start of the day
  • Can consume spells once to gain 5 additional point at the cost of 1 5th level spell
  • Knows 5 x 1st & 4 x 2nd & 3 x 3rd & 2 x 4th & 1 x 5th level spell spells
  • Cast 6 x 1st level & 5 x 2nd level & 5 x 3rd & 5 x 4th & 3 x 5th level spells per day
  • Can use his points to: Boost DC or CL of a spell by 2; Spend a minute and point to swap a spell known; teleport some distance as a move action
  • Can convert an elemental spell type 8 / day
  • Gained a bonus metamagic feat which can be applied spontaneously to spells known

The Silksworn:

  • Has 7 implements now. Let's pick up Necromancy for fun
  • Has 10 focus powers, we picked up one at 9th and one from the new implement at 10. Let's pick Shadow Beasts
  • Has a pool of 15 points to devote
  • Assigns 8 points to Evocation (+4 to all damage spells/abilites) and 3 to Transmutation(+2 to a physical stat), 4 to Illusion (20% constant miss chance until - with caveats)
  • Knows 7 x 1st level & 7 x 2nd level spells & 7 x 3rd level spells & 7 x 4th level spells
  • Can cast 8 x 1st & 6 x 2nd & 5 x 3rd & 3 x 4th level spells a day thanks to Devoted Mystic
  • Can use his points to: Cast the equivalent of Expeditious Retreat as a swift action, Fire an energy ray of variable damage types, Fire an only slightly less powerful Fireball with variable damage types, cast a shadow conjuration effect to cast SMV, turn allies weapons magic or give magic weapons different properties, enlarge allies as a standard action
  • Can, on a day to day basis, reallocate focus to garner entirely different sets of powers to use
  • Is also gaining a scaling bonus to Use Magic Device, effective +5 over the Arcanist
  • Is probably now getting +4-6 bonus to Bluff and Diplomacy over the Arcanist

Verdict: The Arcanist now has a new edge - a single 5th level spell known at any given time. But the Silksworn answers that handily with the ability to, a level earlier, cast Summon Monster V (albeit in shadow conjuration form) multiple times per day. And that's baked with a near constant blur effect. The Silksworn is also cheating with early access to some good 5th level Arcanist spells easily snagged with the staggering number of spells known. Here are just a few:

  • Break Enchantment
  • Dismissal
  • Etheric Shards*
  • Life Bubble
  • Possession
  • Parchment Swarm

The Silksworn now knows a staggering 28 spells at any given time, compared to the Arcanist's 14 known, so it's pretty easy to mix a few 5th level equivalents in when the Silksworn gets 4th and still cover a lot of bases. For an Arcanist to use Quick Study, some of that much more limited pool has to be devoted to swapping out spells, even if only to buff before the day. Admittedly, the Arcanist can spend that time and pool energy to have an even deeper bench -- but at some point we have to acknowledge the Silksworn probably doesn't need much more than that.

Meanwhile, the Silksworn is now killing it on skill bonuses and can literally reconfigure his entire roll day to day with different resonant bonuses and focusing on different focus powers we haven't even touched on. It also now has an additional 20 skill points, 11 more HP, and 4 more fortitude and 2 more BAB than an equal level Arcanist at level 10.

TLDR: A class is more than the sum of it's spells per day. It's disingenuous to look at these two in the realm of most PFS play (levels 1 to 12) and say that the Silksworn doesn't have some extreme advantages over the Arcanist. The Arcanist will be stronger post 10 or so, exponentially due to the nature of 9th level casting... but below that it isn't as black and white as you want to hand wave it. I concede that you can make an Arcanist do any one thing better, but when it comes to dealing with the range of things you might encounter in a scenario, the Silksworn is just too damn versatile.

The argument that anything wrong with a Silksworn is wrong with the base Occultist is also wrong. The reason is that the base Occultist won't even get four implements until 6 and ends PFS play with 5. That means the base Occultist has no where near the flexibility in spells known for most of the career or the ability to swap focus powers around. The Silksworn ends with 7 implements. It provides a level of flexibility that the Battle Host does not. For the Silksworn to have been balanced, it would have had to limit the number of implements available; otherwise it is an improvement over the base Occulitst in almost all cases except those where the Battle Host might have been stronger.

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

Thomas Hutchins wrote:


To me, DR adamantine hasn't shown up all that often. It on Golems and stoneskin and earth kineticists and I'm not sure what else reliably has DR adamntine. So yes you'll bypass it and I wont, but this comes into play maybe once in a character's career? And the bard can just buy an adamantine weapon (for some reason it's super popular in my local lodge cause a few people love adamantine and so even shardra like shamans have adamantine weapons)

Wait the season where Damage Reduction comes up every other scenario and in 1-5's is when you want to make that claim?

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Don't have time to post a build right now, but I make a lot of characters that go into prestige classes, and I think that a silksworn makes a superior chassis for an arcane casting prestige class, especially the ones that require 7 base class levels.

7th level silksworn compared to a 7th level sorceror has more spells known at all levels, better BAB, better saves, and 7th level is a particularly attractive level for focus power effects, making them superior to bloodline powers. (It's where always on darkvision and see invisible kicks in, for instance.) You'd have enough focus points to get one maxed implement, and one or two solid lower level ones. And you have six implements to choose from, which gives you a lot of day to day flexibility. You have fewer spells per day, but you probably have enough for PFS play. Many prestige classes will have you give up a level of spellcasting, but ironically, because the silksworn gets less from each caster level, missing one is less of a drawback.

I have a Sorceror 7/Mystery Cultist 4 in PFS play, and there's no doubt in my mind tha, swapping INT and CHA and replacing the Sorceror levels with silksworn levels would be an upgrade. (Especially on an aasimar, which this character is. Boon only race, so it's worth keeping in mind, but probably not worth worrying about overmuch.)

Now...best chassis for 7th level entry prestige classes isn't really a niche worth bragging about, and I'm not claiming that it's overpowered, but I do think it's a niche where they're a solid step up from what's there now.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

cavernshark wrote:
stuff I'll address in a bit

can you share the order of picking implements for an example please. And be sure to list which of the first 4 are the bonus ones .

EDIT: JK see now you already did most of this in the spoilers. I would appreciate still knowing which of the starting 4 are your bonus ones, and I'm going to assume that if you didn't get those 2 at lv1 that's those would be the first to pick up.

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

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Some thoughts:

Silksworn Occulstist are a strong choice for Occultists.

Being mutually exclusive with both Panoplies and Battle Hosts makes them not an automatic pick.

They seem nice and flavorful and I don't think they are problematically overpowered...

Until you get to their level 12 power.

That is seriously busted and problematic for higher level play.

Once upon a time PFS banned material rather than make changes.

More recently, especially with campagin clarifications PFS has taken unclear material and made to suitable for PFS via that document.

Is that the right thing to do here? The 12th level ability isn't unclear, it's just too game changing.

Basically: is this something we should be doing?

5/5

Pirate Rob wrote:
Being mutually exclusive with both Panoplies and Battle Hosts makes them not an automatic pick.

Silksworn can take panoplies as far as I can tell (they are not an archetype), it's just that the two useful, effective ones were banned. Mage was arguably ridiculously strong as anything which negates metamagic cost tends to be.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
andreww wrote:
Pirate Rob wrote:
Being mutually exclusive with both Panoplies and Battle Hosts makes them not an automatic pick.
Silksworn can take panoplies as far as I can tell (they are not an archetype), it's just that the two useful, effective ones were banned. Mage was arguably ridiculously strong as anything which negates metamagic cost tends to be.

Silksworn don't get panoplies because panoplies require specific physical implements, and ilksworn don't get those specific implements, they only get access to clothing slots that function as generic implements.


andreww wrote:
Pirate Rob wrote:
Being mutually exclusive with both Panoplies and Battle Hosts makes them not an automatic pick.
Silksworn can take panoplies as far as I can tell (they are not an archetype), it's just that the two useful, effective ones were banned. Mage was arguably ridiculously strong as anything which negates metamagic cost tends to be.

As I explained in another thread, silksworn can't select panoplies because they don't use normal implements (such as weapons or crystal balls), nor do they select specific objects to serve as implements.

This also tangentially relates to yet another disadvantage to the silksworn, compared to other occultists. Because a silksworn doesn't imbue specific objects with power (instead simply checking whether their item slots are occupied), they can't give their implements to others to benefit from. Minor, perhaps, but still noteworthy.


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Pirate Rob wrote:

Some thoughts:

Silksworn Occulstist are a strong choice for Occultists.

Being mutually exclusive with both Panoplies and Battle Hosts makes them not an automatic pick.

They seem nice and flavorful and I don't think they are problematically overpowered...

Until you get to their level 12 power.

That is seriously busted and problematic for higher level play.

Once upon a time PFS banned material rather than make changes.

More recently, especially with campagin clarifications PFS has taken unclear material and made to suitable for PFS via that document.

Is that the right thing to do here? The 12th level ability isn't unclear, it's just too game changing.

Basically: is this something we should be doing?

Just for the record, I strongly support this solution.

2/5

Thomas Hutchins wrote:
cavernshark wrote:
stuff I'll address in a bit

can you share the order of picking implements for an example please. And be sure to list which of the first 4 are the bonus ones .i

EDIT: JK see now you already did most of this in the spoilers. I would appreciate still knowing which of the starting 4 are your bonus ones, and I'm going to assume that if you didn't get those 2 at lv1 that's those would be the first to pick up.

That's the thing. I didn't have to give much thought about it. Given the way I built I guess Evocation and Transmutation would have been my first implements for a caster Occultist, but Divination and Abjuration wouldn't necessarily have been the next two I picked. While those both have useful situational spell choices, I really wanted the focus powers from illusion and conjuration for the 7th and 9th focus powers. I didn't have to worry about that though so I get the best of both worlds. If not for the Silksworn bonus I would have actually had to make choices (ex. maybe skip Divination entirely and wear a Cloak of the Hedge mage to get detect magic and use a fully charged Abjuration implement to cover the lost cloak of resistance.. but that would require charging Abjuration and thus also committing to some focus powers).

Focus powers tend to replicate the spells an implement school gives. This let's me completely avoid the conflict of doubling up. I can grab implements to add spells known to cover my tool chest and invest in other implements just for my focus powers.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

So here's what the SS has over the base occultist in your example build. This is to show that most of the power of the SS and the fear of it being OP would reside in the base class. I'm going to remove the entries that end up being the same on both versions lists.

Baseline:


  • The base is a psychic caster with martial and medium armor proficiency.
  • SS is an arcane caster with simple weapon and no armor proficiency.
  • both are focusing on casting and have int 19 and cha of 10.

Already, we're talking about base having the equivalent of the light and medium armor feats, and arcane armor mastery with no actions. This advantage exists at ANY LEVEL. If the base is able to come even close to parity with the SS on casting ability / versatility, we already have a problem.

At level 1:

Spoiler:

The Silksworn:

  • Has 4 implements. Let's pick Evocation, Transmutation, Abjuration, and Divination
  • Has 5 focus powers, the base from each implement + the one at 1st level. Let's pick Sudden Speed from Transmutation.
  • Knows 4 1st level spells
  • Can, on a day to day basis, reallocate focus to garner entirely different sets of powers to use

The Base:


  • Has 2 implements. Let's pick Evocation and Transmutation
  • Has 3 focus powers, the base from each implement + the one at 1st level. Let's pick Sudden Speed from Transmutation.
  • Knows 2 1st level spells
  • Can use chain shirt and heavy shield for +6 AC

Verdict, the base is missing out on the resistance and detect magic 0 level spells, but detect magic is often covered by someone in PFS and isn't needed to determine items starting next level, So in PFS I'm not seeing the loss of either as mattering. Losing out on the 2 level 1 spells known does decrease our versatility somewhat, but we still have 2 good spells to use. Also, our AC is 6 higher, meaning if something does come to hit us we don't need to worry as much. Also base can't mix it up on a day yet. On a normal day the extra implements don't have focus to use any of their abilities, and so they are only granting us 2 spells known.

At level 4:

Spoiler:

The Silksworn:

  • Has 5 implements. Let's add Illusion to our list
  • Has 7 focus powers, we picked up one at 3rd and one from our implement at 2. Let's pick Sudden Size from Transmutation.
  • Knows 5 1st level spells and 5 x 2nd level spells
  • Can, on a day to day basis, reallocate focus to garner entirely different sets of powers to use

The Base:


  • Has 3 implements. Let's add Divination to our list
  • Has 5 focus powers, we picked up one at 3rd and one from our implement at 2. Let's pick Sudden Size from Transmutation.
  • Knows 3 1st level spells and 3 x 2nd level spells
  • Can, on a day to day basis, partially reallocate focus to garner some different sets of powers to use
  • Can use breastplate +1 and heavy shield+1 for +10 AC

Verdict, The focus powers usable on a normal day are still the same. SS does know 2 more spells to choose from, but the base's lists are still good. Also the base has available +10 AC over the SS, meaning we're keeping our AC on line with a front liner, no need to stress about positioning or getting caught out.

At level 6:

Spoiler:

The Silksworn:

  • Has 6 implements. Let's add Conjuration to our list
  • Has 9 focus powers, we picked up one at 5th and one from our implement at 6. Let's pick Energy Blast from Evocation.
  • Knows 6 x 1st level & 6 x 2nd level spells

The Base:


  • Has 4 implements. Let's add conjuration to our list
  • Has 7 focus powers, we picked up one at 5th and one from our implement at 6. Let's pick Energy Blast from Evocation.
  • Knows 3 1st level spells and 3 x 2nd level spells
  • Can use breastplate +2 and heavy shield+2 for +12 AC

Verdict, The focus powers usable on a normal day are still the same. SS does know 2 more spells to choose from, but the base's lists are still good. Also the base has available +12 AC over the SS, meaning we're keeping our AC on line with a front liner, no need to stress about positioning or getting caught out. Only advantage of SS is some spells know and greater versatility on a mix it up day. Base is having far more AC.

At level 8:

Spoiler:

The Silksworn:

  • Has 6 implements still.
  • Has 10 focus powers, we picked up one at 7th. Let's pick Side Step
  • Knows 6 x 1st level & 6 x 2nd level spells & 6 x 3rd level spells
  • Can cast 7 x 1st & 6 x 2nd & 4 x 3rd level spells a day thanks to Devoted Mystic
  • Is probably now getting +3-5 bonus to Bluff and Diplomacy over the base

The Base:


  • Has 4 implements. still
  • Has 8 focus powers, we picked up one at 7th. Let's pick Side Step
  • Knows 4 x 1st level & 4 x 2nd level spells & 4 x 3rd level spells
  • Can cast 6 x 1st & 5 x 2nd & 3 x 3rd level spells a day
  • Can use breastplate +2 and heavy shield+2 for +12 AC

Verdict, finally the SS pulls ahead on something getting 1 more spell per level per day and the bonus to skills. But the base still has enough spells and focus power spells to last all the fights that PFS will throw in a day. We're going to be nice and say the AC didn't increase this tier. The base is taking a hit cause it has useless abilities for PFS that the SS were able to trade for something useful.

At level 10:

Spoiler:

The Silksworn:

  • Has 7 implements now. Let's pick up Necromancy for fun
  • Has 12 focus powers, we picked up one at 9th and one from the new implement at 10. Let's pick Shadow Beasts
  • Knows 7 x 1st level & 7 x 2nd level spells & 7 x 3rd level spells & 7 x 4th level spells
  • Can cast 8 x 1st & 6 x 2nd & 5 x 3rd & 3 x 4th level spells a day thanks to Devoted Mystic
  • Is probably now getting +4-6 bonus to Bluff and Diplomacy over the base

The Base:


  • Has 5 implements now. Let's pick up illusion
  • Has 10 focus powers, we picked up one at 9th and one from the new implement at 10. Let's pick Shadow Beasts
  • Knows 5 x 1st level & 5 x 2nd level spells & 5 x 3rd level spells & 5 x 4th level spells
  • Can cast 7 x 1st & 5 x 2nd & 4 x 3rd & 2 x 4th level spells a day
  • Can use breastplate +3 and heavy shield+3 for +14 AC

Verdict, well not much has changed, still only 1 spell per level per day extra, but base still has plenty of spells per day given focus powers that mimic spells and PFS workdays. The bases AC increased

TLDR: A class is more than the sum of it's spells per day. It's disingenuous to look at these two in the realm of most PFS play (levels 1 to 12) and say that the Silksworn has some extreme advantages over the base. The SS will be stronger post 8, as a caster having more spell slots and more versatile via some more spells known... but below that it isn't as black and white as you want to hand wave it. I concede that the SS is a bit more versatile, but when it comes to dealing with the range of things you might encounter in a scenario the base has sufficient options available, plus the base is able to far more survivable, getting a much higher AC.

TLDR the TLDR: SS is a better caster than the base, no duh, but the difference isn't huge, the base still has lots of good spells and powers to do, and can still change up his role a good amount via his unused implements. The issue is that if it wasn't a better spellcaster then it wouldn't be a useful archetype, but most of the bonus the SS has over the arcanist the base has as well. The base is still getting lots more of it's highest level spells known than the arcanist.

So the only conclusion for SS being banned cause it's a better caster is that the base occultist is such a good caster as to be pushing the legality limits, thus any increase in that category must be banned.

Also, when comparing to an arcanist, having the freedom of picking 2 or more spells of the same school for your day is something that the occultist cannot due via this example, and there are complete schools that we can't access with the arcanist can pick up one of those schools spells no problem. Personally I don't think the HP or bab difference of the classes is that big a deal, they both are going to be in the back and hope to not be hit, nor are they making all that many attacks. The SS has a +1 to +3 on accuracy, with +3 only being the last level. So touch attacks that both are slinging are both very comparable to be hitting.

Now the good fort save and more skill points and eventual bonus to skills are definitely a plus for SS over arcanist.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

MadScientistWorking wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:


To me, DR adamantine hasn't shown up all that often. It on Golems and stoneskin and earth kineticists and I'm not sure what else reliably has DR adamntine. So yes you'll bypass it and I wont, but this comes into play maybe once in a character's career? And the bard can just buy an adamantine weapon (for some reason it's super popular in my local lodge cause a few people love adamantine and so even shardra like shamans have adamantine weapons)

Wait the season where Damage Reduction comes up every other scenario and in 1-5's is when you want to make that claim?

I don't know which season you're talking about that has lots of DR adamantine showing up. and level's 1-5 the occultist isn't bypassing that yet either anyways. It's possible that I just haven't hit the right scenarios, but my experience has been as I've said. infrequent DR adamantine and no huge DR values early

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