How come no Wisdom-based Unconscious Mind?


Psychic Class


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Mechanically, I can see why there'd be some caution. Wisdom is a stronger stat than either Charisma or Intelligence, but there's already a balance mechanism built into the Unconscious Mind feature: the drawbacks. Wisdom, due to being a stronger stat to key off of, could receive a harsher or more common drawback.

Thematically, I don't see a reason whatsoever to not allow wisdom-based Psychics. It's an excellent way to represent someone who has gained spiritual power through personal, mental enlightenment, not through reverence to a deity or nature. Rather than through force of emotion or precise study, the Wisdom-based Psychic could unlock the power of the mind through reflection and contemplation. It would form the strictly mystical counterpart to the more martial-focused Monk, who approaches enlightenment through perfection of the body as well as the mind.


Something I'd like to see as well! I think there are plenty of opportunities to find interesting drawbacks and perks for a wisdom based psychic--maybe their detachment causes them to be less effective at buffing allies and they retreat into a mental sanctuary during stressful times, or they're slow to react to danger (offsetting higher natural Perception) because searching for enlightenment requires them to block off certain reactionary aspects of their personality.


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I think the way to flavor a Wisdom-based Subconscious Mind feature would be empathy. Wisdom is about observation, and perception is the skill used to read people and determine if they're lying or not. It wouldn't be hard to extend that thought to a Wisdom psychic being someone who can see the connections between people and cast spells based on those connections.


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I would not like to see this, and think things are fine as they are.


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Xenocrat wrote:
I would not like to see this, and think things are fine as they are.

As long as it ends up properly balanced, it really shouldn't impact someone in any negative way.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
I would not like to see this, and think things are fine as they are.

Can you elaborate? Assuming they balance it appropriately, how would this damage the concept, mechanics, or flair of the psychic?


I don't think it adds enough to be worth the page space to try to balance it. I don't want to see some clunky justification to why its proficiencies change vs the other two.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is something that they can always add later -- and it might be better to do that if wisdom corresponds to a subconscious mental state balanced between emotion and logic.

Also, there are only a handful of feats that have either subconscious mind option as a prerequisite, so they wouldn't have to add too many such feats for the Wisdom based option.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

I like that they’re riffing on the Thought and Emotion components from 1e, and Int/Cha fits that really well.


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David knott 242 wrote:


This is something that they can always add later -- and it might be better to do that if wisdom corresponds to a subconscious mental state balanced between emotion and logic.

Also, there are only a handful of feats that have either subconscious mind option as a prerequisite, so they wouldn't have to add too many such feats for the Wisdom based option.

There's also not much of a reason to hold off on it, especially when it can fundamentally change how someone approaches the class mechanically and thematically. It'd be like if they only had Lawful Good and Chaotic Good Champions in the CRB. It just feels like something is missing that would be applicable to the average party (while Evil Champions are going to be less common by the fact that evil parties are less common).

And voicing these concerns now while they're most open to feedback is the best way to ensure this gets addressed.


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While I agree that seeing a Wisdom psychic would be great, I want to talk about this:

Golurkcanfly wrote:
...but there's already a balance mechanism built into the Unconscious Mind feature: the drawbacks. Wisdom, due to being a stronger stat to key off of, could receive a harsher or more common drawback.

This to me feels a bit like the min-max gameplay that PF1 had. I definitely think it can be handled well, but it's trickier. With Cha getting a spell-level reduction while affected by negative emotions and Int being flat-footed while casting... These are minimal problems to contend with and can likely be avoided 90% of the time. What could a Wisdom-based drawback get that wouldn't be looked at by every player saying, "I can mitigate this because having Wisdom as my key score is THAT much more powerful"? Even if the drawback was starting combat stunned 2, while debilitating, would make Wisdom a VERY attractive stat and much more powerful than INT or CHA.

It seems like a trickier balancing act than it appears to be at first glance.


Ruzza wrote:

While I agree that seeing a Wisdom psychic would be great, I want to talk about this:

Golurkcanfly wrote:
...but there's already a balance mechanism built into the Unconscious Mind feature: the drawbacks. Wisdom, due to being a stronger stat to key off of, could receive a harsher or more common drawback.

This to me feels a bit like the min-max gameplay that PF1 had. I definitely think it can be handled well, but it's trickier. With Cha getting a spell-level reduction while affected by negative emotions and Int being flat-footed while casting... These are minimal problems to contend with and can likely be avoided 90% of the time. What could a Wisdom-based drawback get that wouldn't be looked at by every player saying, "I can mitigate this because having Wisdom as my key score is THAT much more powerful"? Even if the drawback was starting combat stunned 2, while debilitating, would make Wisdom a VERY attractive stat and much more powerful than INT or CHA.

It seems like a trickier balancing act than it appears to be at first glance.

And even if the balance doesn't strike quite right, would having balance + fewer options be worth the loss of character ideas and fantasies that don't have a place in the current system?


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Here's an example Subconscious Mind I made for Wisdom:

Quote:

Key Ability Score: Wisdom

Your thought component is a Contemplation Component. It has the Concentrate trait. It represents your perception of both yourself, the world around you, and the connections between the two. However, changes to your awareness can more greatly disorient you as a result.

Whenever you Cast a Spell while under an effect which has rendered you temporarily blind, dazzled, deafened, or has otherwise impaired your senses (such as being in the area of a Silence spell), you become Sickened 1.

The clause about a temporary effect is there to not affect characters who have gotten used to those conditions, and also allows for other tropes like blind mystics to come into play.


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Golurkcanfly wrote:


And even if the balance doesn't strike quite right, would having balance + fewer options be worth the loss of character ideas and fantasies that don't have a place in the current system?

Yes.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:


And even if the balance doesn't strike quite right, would having balance + fewer options be worth the loss of character ideas and fantasies that don't have a place in the current system?
Yes.

Wack

So just because something might end up stronger, you'd rather not have it?

Guess we should get rid of Fighter since it out-DPS's the other martials....


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Golurkcanfly wrote:


Guess we should get rid of Fighter since it out-DPS's the other martials....

Yes.

And also for other reasons.


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I totally agree with the concept of choosing your ability score depending on the source of your power. I would add WIS and tie it to intuition just like INT is for calculation and CHA is for emotion, because in PF1 many psychics were fueled by reincarnation, enlightenment, or primitive instincts, and those are concepts usually related to Wisdom.

Also, I'd have no problem with making the WIS drawback slightly more punishing, but not too much more. It's true that it dictates Will saves and Perception, but INT dictates your languages and skill proficiencies, so I think that balances out at least a little bit.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Designing classes is not a game of checking boxes. We don't need an option for every stat. Int/cha is a nice split that makes a lot if sense. Wis makes less sense to me.


Ruzza wrote:

Even if the drawback was starting combat stunned 2, while debilitating, would make Wisdom a VERY attractive stat and much more powerful than INT or CHA.

It seems like a trickier balancing act than it appears to be at first glance.

You could debuff their saves while casting which is a huge drawback but not completely insurmountable.


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GGSigmar wrote:
Designing classes is not a game of checking boxes. We don't need an option for every stat. Int/cha is a nice split that makes a lot if sense. Wis makes less sense to me.

It's not about ticking boxes, but about how there are concepts that fit extremely well into Psychic that wouldn't make sense to use INT or CHA, there's an existing mechanism to allow it as a possibility, and it makes sense when you compare it to 1e where WIS was a key component of some of the class options.

Plus, we also don't have any option to represent a wise old sage who isn't explicitly bound to nature, a deity, or incidentally punches things really well. Furthermore, the opportunity cost is quite low. An Unconscious Mind takes up, what, a third of a page? That and they can be further condensed since half a paragraph is used to explain the same thing for each (verbal components are turned into an emotion component with the concentration trait).


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wisdom not being represented makes no sense to me, I think willpower and intuition {both hallmarks of wisdom in pathfidner} have been more of a hallmark of physic power than intelligence ever has.

Charisma I get, I have read of a ton of sci/fi and i'm hard press to think logical psions, most have been what i would called charisma or will/intuition based.

the logical physic is such an odd and bizarre concept to me.

Dark Archive

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ikarinokami wrote:

wisdom not being represented makes no sense to me, I think willpower and intuition {both hallmarks of wisdom in pathfidner} have been more of a hallmark of physic power than intelligence ever has.

Charisma I get, I have read of a ton of sci/fi and i'm hard press to think logical psions, most have been what i would called charisma or will/intuition based.

the logical physic is such an odd and bizarre concept to me.

I have watched enough anime to be very familiar with the Psychic Detective trope to be quite comfortable with the logical psychic.

Intuitive psychics are also very familiar to me. That said, what I would consider wise psychics are much less prevalent as I typically see impulsive, detached, or emotionally unstable qualities attached to psychic characters in books and anime.

Not discounting your experiences mind you, just comparing to my own.


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Invictus Fatum wrote:
That said, what I would consider wise psychics are much less prevalent as I typically see impulsive, detached, or emotionally unstable qualities attached to psychic characters in books and anime.

I'd say the meditative psychic: you know, the old hermit master, like Yoda, that looks old and frail until they drop a mountain on you. It's a fairly common trope. ;)

In terms on anime, or manga for it's print analog, you see this type in manhua/manhwa [chinese/korean comics] where you might meditate and train for years to advance to the next power level though there is a certain overlap with monk on the physical side where the mystical side can be full on mystical.


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Just wanted to throw out there that the fantasy of the psychic is mind over matter. As such, I think the choice of all 3 mental stats makes complete sense. And it is a check box in the same way sorcerer, witch, and summoner all started with options for each spell list. It's a major, character defining choice. It would be nice for players to get these options at release.


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It's extremely likely a wisdom psychic will be added as wisdom was a possible secondary score in 1e anyways. Though I want them to change "calculation" to "logic" personally. Might be my philosophy nerd side, but I would prefer the term be logic


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I think that having all 3 is a good representation for all types. You have Professor X/Jean Gray for Int (with the difference between them being the Conscious Mind pick), Force Users across the board and Raven from Teen Titans for Wisdom, with Legion[x-men] and El(even) for Cha. To see one of those 3 sets missing at the end would be sad, even if we don't get more Unconscious Mind options printer in the future, since the Conscious Mind is probably what's the easiest to invent more of in the future.


int gets more skills and languages, cha can be a face, and wis for better perception and a better save. I honestly think it's fair balance wise. Depending on the character id probably prefer being a face or having more skills anyway. If you wanna be more sad or be the sage master trope you can shoot for wis. I hope it makes it in. ALSO, I definitely wanna multiclass monk for ki blast. Lol, I'd probably spend an unadvised number of class feats on monk to make a psychic martial artist.


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Personally, I'd bet my hat that one of the survey questions is "Would you like to see the Psychic expanded to include Wisdom, focused in on Intelligence, or kept the same?". But we'll see when we get there!


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Alfa/Polaris wrote:
Personally, I'd bet my hat that one of the survey questions is "Would you like to see the Psychic expanded to include Wisdom, focused in on Intelligence, or kept the same?". But we'll see when we get there!

The surveys are open

Give me your hat.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

But their hat is their implement!


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WWHsmackdown wrote:
int gets more skills and languages, cha can be a face, and wis for better perception and a better save. I honestly think it's fair balance wise. Depending on the character id probably prefer being a face or having more skills anyway. If you wanna be more sad or be the sage master trope you can shoot for wis. I hope it makes it in. ALSO, I definitely wanna multiclass monk for ki blast. Lol, I'd probably spend an unadvised number of class feats on monk to make a psychic martial artist.

Wis is arguably the best stat in the game. Int is usually considered ultra dumpable and the weakest. I don't think it is a close comparison. Balancewise, it would have to have some quite significant drawbacks to be wis intead of int. Which isn't to say you couldn't have a wis option, just that there needs to be serious negatives.

(I don't want to get into a debate about why int is bad, lets just say it is ok at the start but doesn't scale well.)


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber

I don't think one stat being better in the meta is a good reason to exclude options; it just sounds like a complete lack of faith of Paizo to balance it. (While I get the need for PFS balance, the books does officially endorse moving Will to Charisma for home games which fits the actual descriptions of them better.)

The psychic guru (Wis) who's in tune with universe predates the psychic genius (Int) as an idea. The third eye is a deeply spiritual and religious concept.

Heck, most psychics (as in real world people claiming to be psychic) would be charisma-type, forcing the world to bend to their will and pushing ideas into or out of others (or lying convincingly enough to people to make them think that's what's happening).

There's plenty of room in the game to have the scifi Int, the guru Wis, and the spoon-bender Cha operating off the same chassis.


TheDoomBug wrote:

I don't think one stat being better in the meta is a good reason to exclude options; it just sounds like a complete lack of faith of Paizo to balance it. (While I get the need for PFS balance, the books does officially endorse moving Will to Charisma for home games which fits the actual descriptions of them better.)

The psychic guru (Wis) who's in tune with universe predates the psychic genius (Int) as an idea. The third eye is a deeply spiritual and religious concept.

Heck, most psychics (as in real world people claiming to be psychic) would be charisma-type, forcing the world to bend to their will and pushing ideas into or out of others (or lying convincingly enough to people to make them think that's what's happening).

There's plenty of room in the game to have the scifi Int, the guru Wis, and the spoon-bender Cha operating off the same chassis.

Many real-world Psychics are also using Charisma to pretend to be the Wisdom-based Psychic, if you want to be really tongue-in-cheek about it.

Grand Archive

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I don't think that wis is 'powerful' enough to be excluded as a key stat. I mean, the thief rogue is a thing. In that situation, Dex is far more influential than wis would be for a psychic.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If Wisdom is considered to be a stronger stat than Int or Cha for a Thaumaturge, one option to consider would be giving it the weaknesses of both the Int and Cha options. They could also provide no class feats with this subconscious mind option as a prerequisite.

But in any case, remember that this is a playtest, where they try out the parts of the class that they are not sure about. If the final versions of the Int and Cha options tell them exactly how an intermediate Wisdom option should work, it might not require a public playtest.

Then again -- While it is easy to imagine additional subclass options to be added in later books, has this ever actually been done? I do not recall ever seeing such options added in books after the book a given class was introduced in.


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David knott 242 wrote:


If Wisdom is considered to be a stronger stat than Int or Cha for a Thaumaturge, one option to consider would be giving it the weaknesses of both the Int and Cha options. They could also provide no class feats with this subconscious mind option as a prerequisite.

But in any case, remember that this is a playtest, where they try out the parts of the class that they are not sure about. If the final versions of the Int and Cha options tell them exactly how an intermediate Wisdom option should work, it might not require a public playtest.

Then again -- While it is easy to imagine additional subclass options to be added in later books, has this ever actually been done? I do not recall ever seeing such options added in books after the book a given class was introduced in.

For the APG we have
    Poisoner for Alchemist
  • Superstition instinct for Barbarian
  • Warrior muse for Bard
  • EVIL!!! Tenants for Champions
  • Eldritch Trickster and Mastermind rackets for Rogue
  • Genie, Nymph, Psychopomp, and Shadow bloodlines for Sorcerer
  • And lastly, Staff Nexus theory for Wizard
While I don't have my copy of SoM on me, I know the Druid got 3 new orders, and I think Bards got something too?
Granted, those are all CRB classes, the APGs didn't get anything new in SoM, we're also only 3 official books into the core publishing line, I imagine G&G might have something new for Swashbucklers, like a subclass that uses gunplay in a more fun/silly/flashy manner than the Gunslinger would. Jack Sparrow style


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
nick1wasd wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:


If Wisdom is considered to be a stronger stat than Int or Cha for a Thaumaturge, one option to consider would be giving it the weaknesses of both the Int and Cha options. They could also provide no class feats with this subconscious mind option as a prerequisite.

But in any case, remember that this is a playtest, where they try out the parts of the class that they are not sure about. If the final versions of the Int and Cha options tell them exactly how an intermediate Wisdom option should work, it might not require a public playtest.

Then again -- While it is easy to imagine additional subclass options to be added in later books, has this ever actually been done? I do not recall ever seeing such options added in books after the book a given class was introduced in.

For the APG we have
    Poisoner for Alchemist
  • Superstition instinct for Barbarian
  • Warrior muse for Bard
  • EVIL!!! Tenants for Champions
  • Eldritch Trickster and Mastermind rackets for Rogue
  • Genie, Nymph, Psychopomp, and Shadow bloodlines for Sorcerer
  • And lastly, Staff Nexus theory for Wizard
While I don't have my copy of SoM on me, I know the Druid got 3 new orders, and I think Bards got something too?
Granted, those are all CRB classes, the APGs didn't get anything new in SoM, we're also only 3 official books into the core publishing line, I imagine G&G might have something new for Swashbucklers, like a subclass that uses gunplay in a more fun/silly/flashy manner than the Gunslinger would. Jack Sparrow style

Baba Yaga patron in Legends too.

But yeah, plenty of times.


Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
I don't think that wis is 'powerful' enough to be excluded as a key stat. I mean, the thief rogue is a thing. In that situation, Dex is far more influential than wis would be for a psychic.

Even then, if it is, we have a rather elegant mechanism for balancing that out in the drawbacks.

Grand Lodge Contributor

I agree with all the "Wis too" comments. Int, Wis, and Cha all make sense in different ways. I think another Wis caster, especially one in Occult where it's absent, is good for diversifying options.

Grand Lodge

1+ Wisdom based psychic

The wise sage who can move things with their mind is a classic trope.

Prof X = Int/Logic
Yoda = Wis/Intuition
Firestarter = Cha/Emotion


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+1 for Wyschics. Why you would argue that sacrificially on-purpose negating options for narrative play on the altar of…”the balance not being quite right” I’m not sure. It’s not as if PF2 is a hermetic system, of perfected checks and balances where nothing is an outlier… Which is not anywhere near saying “Let’s have mindbogglingly overpowered Wisdom options for Psychics.” At all. Unless you want it to be. Have a boggled mind. Then turn to Wisdom to understand how to unboggle it.

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