My Initial Psychic Impressions


Psychic Class

Dataphiles

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Overall, both of these classes seem to be in a much better spot than the previous 8 playtest classes though they do both have some rough edges. Here is my initial thoughts on the psychic.

Aside from most of the class feats feeling incredibly mediocre, with many of the alternative amps and psyches just not doing enough, the base amps and psyche need to be a lot better. Currently, the only good one (IMO) is the message one, because reaction strikes are insanely good in this game, and getting one unconditionally on your martial every round for 5 rounds is pretty good.

So, my thoughts

- Unleash focused intent damage bonus should just apply to all spells.

- Telekinetic projectile should have some push on a regular success as well.

- Telekinetic Rend needs to do more damage (probably fine if Unleash Focused Intent gets buffed as above).

- Arrest Trajectory is kind of niche in only applying against physical ranged strikes... also should just give +2 baseline instead of needing to wait until 13th a +2.

- Infinite Eye in general just needs to be better, all of the options are very weak. At the least, Future Sight should amp to be 1a instead of giving a double stride.

- Daze should give higher mental weakness or do more damage baseline.

- Message one is fine as is.

- Shatter Mind needs to do more damage (probably fine if unleash focused intent gets buffed). For a class cantrip this is barely better than Haunting Hymn.


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I agree in general that many of the amps and psyches are too weak. Some make zero sense to invest in vs the default ones (which aren't amazing).

Regarding your bullets:

* Unleash Focused Intent - Applying bonus damage to all spells would make up for the lackluster cantrip damage problems, and speed up the cleanup portion of an encounter since it won't come into effect until round 3+, but it would be a pretty big balance shift towards the default psyche ability and away from the ones you have to spend feats on. But the drawback on this one is pretty awful, so. Maybe just give spell level (not twice) to the cantrips. That would make Unleash Dark Persona even more limited and relatively weak, though.

* Telekinetic Projectile does need something other than a minor damage boost and a rare crit rider effect. Landing attack spell crits is hard.

* Agree on Telekinetic Rend and that bonus damage from Unleash Focused Intent would solve this.

* Agree that Arrest Trajectory is relatively weak with the base effect and limit to physical projectiles, given that you have to spend a 4th level spell on it. But I think the real benefit is supposed to be the amp providing a "free" Telekinetic Projectile attack (any sort of miss will trigger it, not just one because of your bonus) in return for your reaction and one action next round. It's effectively a repeatable quicken on your TP that might also help an ally out.

*Yep, Infinite Eye is bad and Future Path is a terrible investment of actions for minimal gain. Casting the spell itself still triggers the AoO, of course.

* Daze is still bad, but I have a hard time seeing what to do. Boosting the weakness too much lets you exceed the benefits of something like Elemental Betrayal if you build a party around mental damage (isn't there an ACG bomb now?). Maybe make the amped crit fail stun 2 instead of 1? The write up makes it sounds like they're doing you a favor with stun 1 on a crit, rather than that being part of the basic spell already.

* Message is good and should be the baseline for what we want these to do. (Detect Magic and Guidance need help in this direction.)

* I wish Shatter Mind had less weird scaling, since as written this is the one damage cantrip that does let you add the regular and amped heightening, but they scale at different rates. Make it unified and simplified.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
* Agree that Arrest Trajectory is relatively weak with the base effect and limit to physical projectiles, given that you have to spend a 4th level spell on it.

Isn't Arrest Trajectory a cantrip? It's listed as 4th level because you have to be at least 8th level to gain it, but it's still an at-will cast.


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Right, I meant you have to spend an 8th level feat to get it. But after that it's spammable.


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Not sure if the bonus damage from unleash would solve Telekinetic Rend since you can only unleash on the third round of combat.

Unamped Telekinetic Rend is pretty terrible. It seems much worse than scattering scree, unless you somehow manage to hit 3 targets. But often enough it will be only 1, especially since it hits allies.

Even Amped the spell is barely better than Electric Arc, again unless you hit more than 2 targets, which you rarely will. Also since it scales +2 heightened it will be much worse for 2 levels every 2 levels. Compare casting it at level 3 to EA. Ooof. Honestly power whise you could just make the amped version the normal version and then buff up the amp.

Generally i like what i see but i think both the special cantrips and their amped version need to be buffed up a lot, same for the feats. Message is the only one thats good.

Dataphiles

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Candlejake wrote:

Not sure if the bonus damage from unleash would solve Telekinetic Rend since you can only unleash on the third round of combat.

Unamped Telekinetic Rend is pretty terrible. It seems much worse than scattering scree, unless you somehow manage to hit 3 targets. But often enough it will be only 1, especially since it hits allies.

Even Amped the spell is barely better than Electric Arc, again unless you hit more than 2 targets, which you rarely will. Also since it scales +2 heightened it will be much worse for 2 levels every 2 levels. Compare casting it at level 3 to EA. Ooof. Honestly power whise you could just make the amped version the normal version and then buff up the amp.

Generally i like what i see but i think both the special cantrips and their amped version need to be buffed up a lot, same for the feats. Message is the only one thats good.

My alternative would just be to make the base cantrips deal scaling 1d6/level damage, and focus point to double it.

Would be about equivalent to e.g. Whirling Flames I think.


Exocist wrote:
Candlejake wrote:

Not sure if the bonus damage from unleash would solve Telekinetic Rend since you can only unleash on the third round of combat.

Unamped Telekinetic Rend is pretty terrible. It seems much worse than scattering scree, unless you somehow manage to hit 3 targets. But often enough it will be only 1, especially since it hits allies.

Even Amped the spell is barely better than Electric Arc, again unless you hit more than 2 targets, which you rarely will. Also since it scales +2 heightened it will be much worse for 2 levels every 2 levels. Compare casting it at level 3 to EA. Ooof. Honestly power whise you could just make the amped version the normal version and then buff up the amp.

Generally i like what i see but i think both the special cantrips and their amped version need to be buffed up a lot, same for the feats. Message is the only one thats good.

My alternative would just be to make the base cantrips deal scaling 1d6/level damage, and focus point to double it.

Would be about equivalent to e.g. Whirling Flames I think.

That would be perfect i think. And whirling flames is an excellent point of reference.


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2d6 spell level becomes way too much, especially as they are spammable, but 2d4 + spellcasting modifier amped is more tame, and do what the flame Oracle focus spell (theirs scale +2 spell lvl) do but on a more linear scaling.


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Various thoughts of my own:

- Unleash: as far as I can tell, once you hit your first unleash unlock, you should pretty much always be unleashed.  So, for example, a 6th level psychic with Unleash Calculated Reasoning spends their first two rounds of a slotless fight spending focus points to amp attack spells, and then unleashes.  From that point on, there's very little reason to ever cast an un-amped version of an ampable spell.

- Well... we do have cantrips that are not psi cantrips.  Actually, I'd suggest that that one's a really obvious feat - something to make non-psi cantrips into psi cantrips so that you can cast them with your feat-based amps. Maybe just the occult ones? Admittedly, that would still let you get an ampable electric arc, but given that it would take a total of four feats (Ancestral Mind, one amp, whatever it woudl be to make that cantrip psi, and the initial ancestry feat to cast the spell in the first place) that would maybe be not so bad?

- Autonomic clairvoyance has some really funny interactions with Precise Discipline.  Might want to make clear that the protection against flat-footed only protects you from being made flat-footed by the effect, rather than, say, having you be paralyzed, but not flat-footed against someone because they're lower-level and hidden.

- I want... I admit it.  I want a lvl 20 feat that requires cranial detonation that lets me somehow cause further detonations if the first detonation took someone out. Alternately, maybe something involving a level 10 spell slot? Mostly, I want to see enemy brains exploding in a horrible cascade.

- It looks like the focus cost for Dual Amplification can't be paid by unleash, but it might be good to make that a bit clearer.


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My first impressions in general:

Pros:
- The feat are very cool, useful and flavorful! They are the best part of the class and expands well it.

Cons:
- But for other side the base class chassis is terrible the limit of 2 spell slot per spell level is too limited and compensation that's the amps + unleash aren't enough IMO specially in higher levels. This becomes very clear when comparing the class with others exponeous spellcasters like bard and sorcerer the class is far behind in it's chassis.

Suggestions:
- The perception needs a great boost. IMO for flavor questions the class could easily begin expert and grow to master in perception. This could represent the Phychic sense of others creatures minds or their psychics impressions they lack over the places.
- The class need at last another spell slot per level (without reducing the currently cantrips and amps powers) or needs a very good boost in the amps and unleashs. IMO I prefer the spellslots I'm traumatized with the witch that we ask to trade of spellslots for better hexes but in the end we received a class with less spellslots and poorly hexes in same way.
- The class could receive a WIS based Subconscious Mind too this will make it more interesting and more inclusive for more players tastes.
- The Psychic isn't a classic spellcaster that fully focus in his studies like wizards or in the immersions of theirs spellpower like sorcerers. They easily could have 8 hp per level and light armor training to be even more flavorful to a Psychic that adventure through the world.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sanityfaerie wrote:
- Unleash: as far as I can tell, once you hit your first unleash unlock, you should pretty much always be unleashed.  So, for example, a 6th level psychic with Unleash Calculated Reasoning spends their first two rounds of a slotless fight spending focus points to amp attack spells, and then unleashes.  From that point on, there's very little reason to ever cast an un-amped version of an ampable spell.

I feel like you may have missed that Unleash has a 3-round duration (or 5 with a feat).

You also can't then Unleash again until you Refocus.


YuriP wrote:

My first impressions in general:

Pros:
- The feat are very cool, useful and flavorful! They are the best part of the class and expands well it.

Cons:
- But for other side the base class chassis is terrible the limit of 2 spell slot per spell level is too limited and compensation that's the amps + unleash aren't enough IMO specially in higher levels. This becomes very clear when comparing the class with others exponeous spellcasters like bard and sorcerer the class is far behind in it's chassis.

Suggestions:
- The perception needs a great boost. IMO for flavor questions the class could easily begin expert and grow to master in perception. This could represent the Phychic sense of others creatures minds or their psychics impressions they lack over the places.
- The class need at last another spell slot per level (without reducing the currently cantrips and amps powers) or needs a very good boost in the amps and unleashs. IMO I prefer the spellslots I'm traumatized with the witch that we ask to trade of spellslots for better hexes but in the end we received a class with less spellslots and poorly hexes in same way.
- The class could receive a WIS based Subconscious Mind too this will make it more interesting and more inclusive for more players tastes.
- The Psychic isn't a classic spellcaster that fully focus in his studies like wizards or in the immersions of theirs spellpower like sorcerers. They easily could have 8 hp per level and light armor training to be even more flavorful to a Psychic that adventure through the world.

The slight issue is that adding more slots to the psychic will basically mean we might as well remove the witch from the game. There doesn’t seem like there would be a reason to pick on ever

Because the psychic will have better cantrips with the ability to power them up and the same number of spells (unless I have misremember the numbers).

They will also not be reliant on cantrips that need sustaining.

A better than standard familiar for free and being a prepared caster with a choice of lists not really make up for extras the psychic appears to get in my view

I assume the perception part of the chassis is a typo (but I guess it might not be)


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Lanathar wrote:

The slight issue is that adding more slots to the psychic will basically mean we might as well remove the witch from the game. There doesn’t seem like there would be a reason to pick on ever

(trying to practice self restraint)


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MaxAstro wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
- Unleash: as far as I can tell, once you hit your first unleash unlock, you should pretty much always be unleashed.  So, for example, a 6th level psychic with Unleash Calculated Reasoning spends their first two rounds of a slotless fight spending focus points to amp attack spells, and then unleashes.  From that point on, there's very little reason to ever cast an un-amped version of an ampable spell.

I feel like you may have missed that Unleash has a 3-round duration (or 5 with a feat).

You also can't then Unleash again until you Refocus.

Admittedly, I'd missed the second part of that.

Even so, there is another (8th level) feat that extends unleash for another two rounds. How often are you going to be in fights that last more than 7 rounds?

YuriP wrote:
- But for other side the base class chassis is terrible the limit of 2 spell slot per spell level is too limited and compensation that's the amps + unleash aren't enough IMO specially in higher levels. This becomes very clear when comparing the class with others exponeous spellcasters like bard and sorcerer the class is far behind in it's chassis.

I'm thinking that the main tradeoff for that is "your effectively free spells in combat are focus-equivalent, rather than cantrip-equivalent". I'm not going to assert that they got the balance perfect here (figuring that one out is kind of what a playtest is for) but it seems like it's at least a reasonable intent. I'd rather they lean into that side of things if it turns out that the psychic is, in fact, weak (crank up the available augs a bit, maybe improve the chassis in a few places here and there) and not just give them more spell slots. It's not like there aren't plenty of 3-slot casters to choose from.

Dataphiles

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Kyrone wrote:
2d6 spell level becomes way too much, especially as they are spammable, but 2d4 + spellcasting modifier amped is more tame, and do what the flame Oracle focus spell (theirs scale +2 spell lvl) do but on a more linear scaling.

Whirling Flames also adds more bursts where Telekinetic Rend does not. It is, admittedly, a higher level focus spell on a class that can’t use their focus spells as much but that class also has a better chassis and 3 slots a level.

I think 2d6/level is in line with whirling flame personally. If it was 2d4+mod I’d want more bursts.


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The oracle will get 2 uses per combat at level 11 and 3 at 17 so they aren't that far behind since they get 3 spells per level in addition to their focus spells. at level 17 that is 3 uses of 14d6 in 5 5ft bursts. Telekinetic Red would be 10d6 in 2 5ft bursts 2 times per fight, up to 3 extras if they unleash. I know which one i would prefer.

That said, playtests tend to be lower power then the release so hopefully this will be fixed.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
- Unleash: as far as I can tell, once you hit your first unleash unlock, you should pretty much always be unleashed.  So, for example, a 6th level psychic with Unleash Calculated Reasoning spends their first two rounds of a slotless fight spending focus points to amp attack spells, and then unleashes.  From that point on, there's very little reason to ever cast an un-amped version of an ampable spell.

I feel like you may have missed that Unleash has a 3-round duration (or 5 with a feat).

You also can't then Unleash again until you Refocus.

Admittedly, I'd missed the second part of that.

The second part is kind of the big part, IMO. Depends heavily on the GM and the adventure, but you can't always count on ten minute rests after every fight.

I suspect often Psychic players will have to try to gauge whether they want to Unleash, or if there will be another fight shortly after more deserving.


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Lanathar wrote:
The slight issue is that adding more slots to the psychic will basically mean we might as well remove the witch from the game. There doesn’t seem like there would be a reason to pick on ever

Kkkkkkkkk

I usually don't compare prepared spellcasters with spontaneus ones. But if we do so the bards and occult sorcerers already do this job! kkk

I only make reference to witch class in order to remember what's happened to a class from playtest to release in the last time we said in foruns/surveys "yes, put less spells slot in trade of stronger focus spells". That's the only why I currently prefer more spellslots instead than expect that we have a good increase in psi cantrips and their amps.


YuriP wrote:
Lanathar wrote:
The slight issue is that adding more slots to the psychic will basically mean we might as well remove the witch from the game. There doesn’t seem like there would be a reason to pick on ever

Kkkkkkkkk

I usually don't compare prepared spellcasters with spontaneus ones. But if we do so the bards and occult sorcerers already do this job! kkk

I only make reference to witch class in order to remember what's happened to a class from playtest to release in the last time we said in foruns/surveys "yes, put less spells slot in trade of stronger focus spells". That's the only why I currently prefer more spellslots instead than expect that we have a good increase in psi cantrips and their amps.

Ah, so I'm not alone in thinking most of the witch hexes are rather weak...

That said, i think I'd rather see the psychic with less spell slots, but perhaps the ability to add amps to all their spells? As it stands they act exactly like Metamagic anyways, just without the action cost replaced with focus/unleashed mechanic. If this is the direction they took, then a lot of the power issues of the class can be solved, and it would help them from feeling too one note.

Of course this would probably make them feel more like a regular caster and less unique so this probably isn't the way to go. But if the final design has the unique selling point of the amp cantrips still be too weak, then this class is dead on arrival, because as is it's definitely too weak

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