The Poet (or why I think Psychic resembles pf1 class design instead of pf2)


Psychic Class


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It seems to me that the class *can* be designed around min-maxing way more than any other class atm. In fact, it seems to have abilities that stack merely for the purpose of stacking, and thus leading to builds that seem.. questionable.

Let's see this particular example:

A human, emotional acceptance, silent whiseprs psychic:

As a human we start with our level 1 class feat, which obviously is Unleash Self defence because the default Unleash is terrible for us.

Little fact about this particular Unleash, read with me:

Quote:

Requirements: You’ve cast two beneficial spells on yourself

or an ally this encounter, each on a different round.

So, if you cast on 1st round, and then you cast on the second round, you can actually use this action on the second round, since by then you have used 2 beneficial effects on 2 different rounds.

So, we can enter our "stance" at round 2 with 1 action. After we used another 1 action first... hmm... that leaves 1 action left doesnt it?

BUT WAIT!

Quote:

While your psyche is unleashed, in addition to its other

effects, you’re constantly surrounded by the manifestation
of your psychic magic. This allows you to amp one psi
cantrip each round without spending the Focus Point cost
to do so.

AHA!

So that basically means we can go with something like :
round 1: spell+1action amped cantrip
round 2: amped cantrip, unleash, "free" amped cantrip

Now, let's continue to minmax a bit:

I don't like that "spell" word in round 1. we only have so few of them, i prefer to keep them for when really needed!

But we can always pick up Mental Rapport on level 2, we are already Cha based, so getting "circumstance" bonuses on Intimidation sounds fun!

We pick up Strain mind on 4, since we do have the ability to basically power through our focus points in literally 1 round if we want, so that's always helpful for double the fun on round 2 as well!

Level 6 we poach Mental scan with Parallel breakthrough

Level 8 we pick up 5 round Unleashes since we enter our own at round 2 and we want to fight longer than round 4.

Level 9-10 we get Inspire courage because we love 1 action party wide buffs that stack with our 1 action party wide buffs!

level 12 probably something like Inertia barrier
level 14 is meh, probably something like mesmerising gaze, just because this way we start Stacking things that arent cantrips as well
Level 16 we fly
level 18 more amps
level 20 even more amps.

---

obviously, if we skip the +1 to intimidate we can get inspire at level 8 instead of 10, and get the 5 round unleash at 10 instead of 8 then.

we lose a bit of "early" game but gain inspire shenanigans earlier

----

recap:

level 1: self-defence
level 2: rapport/bard dedication
level 4: strain mind
level 6: Parallel breakthrough: mental scan
level 8: lingering psyche/ inspire courage
(level 9 bard dedication)/ -
level 10: inspire courage/ lingering psyche
level 12: Inertia barrier
Level 14: Gaze? (really anything you want, maybe pick up level 1-3 spells from bard and etc)
Level 16: Fly
Level 18: 3 focus points
level 20: double amps

----

end effect:

we can start our unleash AND get a free amp from as early as round 2.
we can give party wide +2/+2 on attack and damage from level 8-10 and onwards, for the whole combat, and even give one member +3/+3 instead.
For 2 actions. That's like Spamming Inspire heroics each round for the whole combat but with a free seek on top!.
And since the above leaves us 1 free action that we can use to intimidate the enemy at +1 bonus to make the "effective" group wide buff vs this enemy +3.

Alternatively, we can use this 1 action to move one of our allies in range, or to allow one of our allies to trip the enemy so as to also provide "flat-footed" to the enemy.

Alternatively we can boost the damage mitigration of our tank, and since all the above are pretty much at-will powers, in the case we need to spend resources and not sit on our bottoms, we do have some of the highest DCs for our enchantments due to the +1 on the DC (or the enemy loses their reaction) AND the +1 on the intimidate before the actual spell.

---

To me, being able to constantly provide all allies a +2/+2, an ally a +3/+3, and keeping the enemy prone or intimidated, while getting passive bonuses to your skills and spell DCs seem kinda.... Pathfinder 1e instead of Pathfinder 2e.

I would love if all those amps/unleashes/etc were actual mechanics (like the extra action on message or the damage reduction) rather than pure math-fixers like "give allies +1/+1 but it's a different kind of +1/+1" "get +1 to your intimidate" "get +1 to your DC" "get +1 to your damage" "get +1 to your AC" and etc.

Grand Archive

Don't forget that it is an occult caster. Thus, at some point you could synesthesia debuff. This can lead to a 5-6 point swing against the enemy's AC.


You don't even have to burn focus spells that badly. As of lvl 10...

- turn 1: Inspire Courage, move, Mental Scan(amp)
- Turn 2: Inspire Courage, unleash, Mental Scan(free amp)

...since Inspire Courage absolutely counts as a buff spell cast on your allies.

On the flip side, Mental Scan isn't nearly as effective if you're not fighting a solo, or your group is relatively small. Giving +2/+2 to two allies (and an extra +1/+1 to a single attack of one of them) might not be worth spending basically your entire turn on. I mean, in ideal circumstances (say, a lvl 18 flurry ranger who starts in base-to-base contact with the BBEG and uses impossible flurry) it's potentially quite potent, but in a lot of ways the real workhorse here is "and then I poach Inspire Courage from the bard" and then you send much of the rest of the build doing whatever you can to stack from the psychic side the kind of bonus that the bard gets at lvl 1 for free.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Sanityfaerie wrote:

You don't even have to burn focus spells that badly. As of lvl 10...

- turn 1: Inspire Courage, move, Mental Scan(amp)
- Turn 2: Inspire Courage, unleash, Mental Scan(free amp)

...since Inspire Courage absolutely counts as a buff spell cast on your allies.

On the flip side, Mental Scan isn't nearly as effective if you're not fighting a solo, or your group is relatively small. Giving +2/+2 to two allies (and an extra +1/+1 to a single attack of one of them) might not be worth spending basically your entire turn on. I mean, in ideal circumstances (say, a lvl 18 flurry ranger who starts in base-to-base contact with the BBEG and uses impossible flurry) it's potentially quite potent, but in a lot of ways the real workhorse here is "and then I poach Inspire Courage from the bard" and then you send much of the rest of the build doing whatever you can to stack from the psychic side the kind of bonus that the bard gets at lvl 1 for free.

Pretty sure that Inspire Courage is a Composition Cantrip, meaning it is a FOCUS type spell, meaning you don't get to learn it unless you get a feat that grants it, you don't just get to pick it out of the cantrip spell list, because you have cantrips.

doesn't mean it couldn't come up, but it also brings up the question if casting a spell, is intended to only count Psychic spells from your class or class related abilities, or if it can include innate magic spells that are non-psychic? Might be a good thing for them to clarify. (if an ancestry got a Psychic Innate spell (if such a thing were added) could it count?


Loreguard wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:

You don't even have to burn focus spells that badly. As of lvl 10...

- turn 1: Inspire Courage, move, Mental Scan(amp)
- Turn 2: Inspire Courage, unleash, Mental Scan(free amp)

...since Inspire Courage absolutely counts as a buff spell cast on your allies.

On the flip side, Mental Scan isn't nearly as effective if you're not fighting a solo, or your group is relatively small. Giving +2/+2 to two allies (and an extra +1/+1 to a single attack of one of them) might not be worth spending basically your entire turn on. I mean, in ideal circumstances (say, a lvl 18 flurry ranger who starts in base-to-base contact with the BBEG and uses impossible flurry) it's potentially quite potent, but in a lot of ways the real workhorse here is "and then I poach Inspire Courage from the bard" and then you send much of the rest of the build doing whatever you can to stack from the psychic side the kind of bonus that the bard gets at lvl 1 for free.

Pretty sure that Inspire Courage is a Composition Cantrip, meaning it is a FOCUS type spell, meaning you don't get to learn it unless you get a feat that grants it, you don't just get to pick it out of the cantrip spell list, because you have cantrips.

doesn't mean it couldn't come up, but it also brings up the question if casting a spell, is intended to only count Psychic spells from your class or class related abilities, or if it can include innate magic spells that are non-psychic? Might be a good thing for them to clarify. (if an ancestry got a Psychic Innate spell (if such a thing were added) could it count?

err that's the whole purpose of the bard dedication.

you can get Inspire at 8 through the dedication.

Sanityfaerie wrote:

You don't even have to burn focus spells that badly. As of lvl 10...

- turn 1: Inspire Courage, move, Mental Scan(amp)
- Turn 2: Inspire Courage, unleash, Mental Scan(free amp)

...since Inspire Courage absolutely counts as a buff spell cast on your allies.

On the flip side, Mental Scan isn't nearly as effective if you're not fighting a solo, or your group is relatively small. Giving +2/+2 to two allies (and an extra +1/+1 to a single attack of one of them) might not be worth spending basically your entire turn on. I mean, in ideal circumstances (say, a lvl 18 flurry ranger who starts in base-to-base contact with the BBEG and uses impossible flurry) it's potentially quite potent, but in a lot of ways the real workhorse here is "and then I poach Inspire Courage from the bard" and then you send much of the rest of the build doing whatever you can to stack from the psychic side the kind of bonus that the bard gets at lvl 1 for free.

yeah i know, i was contemplating posting "rotations" but i figured that there was no need.

exactly due to the flexibility of most of your stuff being 1 action, you can easily fit in movements or mix and match depending on rounds. As an example, i think that giving a free trip (flat footed) or a free move on round 1 can probably be better than giving the extra +1/+1 on that turn and etc.

mental scan is nice, but it's not the only amp you have. Extra actions through message, DR, and others, can all help vs different situations and they still all advance your game plan.

Or, god forbit, you actually use a control type of spell like the occult caster you actually are when you actually bother to!

as for which is the real powerhouse, it's not the poaching the Inspire from bard. It's making all of Psychic things stackable, one of which is Inspire. Poaching Inspire can be done since crb, there's a reason you dont see every character having it, by itself, it's good, but not gamebreaking. When you can basically double it for free, then things start to get silly.

Inspire heroics is giving the same bonus at the cost of a focus point and it's already considered a top tier bard feat. Psychic can do that, at the same level, for free.


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shroudb wrote:
Inspire heroics is giving the same bonus at the cost of a focus point and it's already considered a top tier bard feat. Psychic can do that, at the same level, for free.

That's simply not true, though.

- Inspire Heroics is a lvl 4 feat. In order for psychic to pull off this combo, they need to be at least level 8, and spend two feats (three if you want the psyche that actually makes this work)
- It's not "for free". The psychic is still spending focus points, and the psyche doesn't last forever. Now, if you juggle things (possibly spending yet another feat to increase the duration of your psyche) you can generally get through a fight without running out, and most DMs will let you have your ten minutes most of the time, but that's really not the same as "for free".
- It's bonuses from two different types. Getting +1 each from status and condition means you're a lot harder to stack with than if you'd gotten +2 from one or the other.
- Inspire Heroics is a free action, which means that bard is only spending a single action on the super-buff... which means that they can do throw around something like Lightning Arc on top of that. The "poet" combo requires spending two singleton actions, which means that you're effectively shutting yourself out of any meaningful damage dealing spells.
- Again, targeting. Giving every ally within 30' a bonus against that one guy over there is significantly weaker than giving every ally within 30' a bonus against whoever they decide they want to attack.

Grand Archive

Yes but inspire heroics uses a focus point and requires passing a very hard (likely) at level DC. That is a serious gamble.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Inspire heroics is giving the same bonus at the cost of a focus point and it's already considered a top tier bard feat. Psychic can do that, at the same level, for free.

That's simply not true, though.

- Inspire Heroics is a lvl 4 feat. In order for psychic to pull off this combo, they need to be at least level 8, and spend two feats (three if you want the psyche that actually makes this work)
- It's not "for free". The psychic is still spending focus points, and the psyche doesn't last forever. Now, if you juggle things (possibly spending yet another feat to increase the duration of your psyche) you can generally get through a fight without running out, and most DMs will let you have your ten minutes most of the time, but that's really not the same as "for free".
- It's bonuses from two different types. Getting +1 each from status and condition means you're a lot harder to stack with than if you'd gotten +2 from one or the other.
- Inspire Heroics is a free action, which means that bard is only spending a single action on the super-buff... which means that they can do throw around something like Lightning Arc on top of that. The "poet" combo requires spending two singleton actions, which means that you're effectively shutting yourself out of any meaningful damage dealing spells.
- Again, targeting. Giving every ally within 30' a bonus against that one guy over there is significantly weaker than giving every ally within 30' a bonus against whoever they decide they want to attack.

you are not spending focus points from the second round and onwards for that to happen.

Heroics spends 1 focus per round.

that's some very serious discrepancy in resources there, namely, one is for 2 rounds, and the other is for the whole combat.

also, you arent giving "your 1 ally" the bonus, you are giving it to ALL allies that target 1 target, the one ally even has bigger bonuses.

and since you can at-will change targets each round, that means that effectively you can focus fire (which is already what you want to do anyways) with the same efficiency as Heroics.

Also it works 100% of the time, unlike heroics that has a very serious chance to whiff until late game.

---

as for "not spending anything" i was referencing resources, not build requirements, and hence is my problem:
this kind of build design is the very epitome of PF1 and not at all PF2: instead of feats giving "options" they give stackable numeric buffs to the exact same thing.

If we continue down this trend, we will be seing diplomancers with +5 above other diploacy users once more back in the game.

Grand Archive

And note, currently, if you spend a focus point on not-an-amp you get less back when you refocus. So, the focus point cost of anything other than an amp is higher in the long term.

As an aside, I'm pretty okay with that design. The extra focus point and extra focus point on refocus fits as it is intended to work with class features.


Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
Yes but inspire heroics uses a focus point and requires passing a very hard (likely) at level DC. That is a serious gamble.

Not as much of a gamble as you might think. If you fail the check, it doesn't eat the point.

shroudb wrote:

- Again, targeting. Giving every ally within 30' a bonus against that one guy over there is significantly weaker than giving every ally within 30' a bonus against whoever they decide they want to attack.

you are not spending focus points from the second round and onwards for that to happen.

Heroics spends 1 focus per round.

that's some very serious discrepancy in resources there, namely, one is for 2 rounds, and the other is for the whole combat.

also, you arent giving "your 1 ally" the bonus, you are giving it to ALL allies that target 1 target, the one ally even has bigger bonuses.

and since you can at-will change targets each round, that means that effectively you can focus fire (which is already what you want to do anyways) with the same efficiency as Heroics.

Also it works 100% of the time, unlike heroics that has a very serious chance to whiff until late game.

---

as for "not spending anything" i was referencing resources, not build requirements, and hence is my problem:
this kind of build design is the very epitome of PF1 and not at all PF2: instead of feats giving "options" they give stackable numeric buffs to the exact same thing.

If we continue down this trend, we will be seing diplomancers with +5 above other diploacy users once more back in the game.

For the second round and onward (for the next 3-5 rounds) you're not spending focus points, but you are spending a focus-point-equivalent resource. It's just that the psychic is designed to get more access to this resource than most. It's basically what they get in return for only having 2 spells per level... and at the moment it's overcosted. Heroics sends 1 focus per round (assuming you succeed). Psychic augments spend a currency that's (at least by intent) broadly equivalent to 1 focus point per round.

"for the whole combat" assumes that the combat is over within 5 rounds, or 7 if you spent the extra feat. Also, look again. I never said anything about only buffing one ally. It's about only targeting against one enemy. If you have five allies, and the second one takes that guy down, then that round's worth of buffing is done, and your other three allies get nothing. If you can't see how that might reduce the efficiency of even perfect focus firing as an overall party strategy, I'm not sure how I can help you... and there are many, many kinds of fights where for one reason or another perfect focus firing is not available as an option. Sometimes, you just don't want to provoke an opportunity attack.

As for +5 diplomacy... there you're flat wrong. We have two different kinds of buffs, out of a very small number of kinds of buffs, and you're stacking +1 in each of them. That's nowhere even close to "+5 in diplomacy".

However, that all leaves behind the bigger issue here... because it's not about comparing with Inspire Heroics. It's about comparing with Inspire Courage... and Mental Scan with aug is still notably weaker than Inspire Courage. "Only works on a single target, stops working when the target goes down" is a significant limitation here. The only reason it even starts to look good is that you poached the better of the two from the Bard (just like literally anyone else could) and then tried to compare the combo (which takes two actions per turn, rather than one, and is harder to stack with) to the feat that lets the bard do it more and harder.

If anything, what you're saying here is that the bard and inspire courage is OP, or perhaps that allowing multiple kinds of buff to stack at all is OP. The issue you have here is not about the psychic.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
Yes but inspire heroics uses a focus point and requires passing a very hard (likely) at level DC. That is a serious gamble.

Not as much of a gamble as you might think. If you fail the check, it doesn't eat the point.

shroudb wrote:

- Again, targeting. Giving every ally within 30' a bonus against that one guy over there is significantly weaker than giving every ally within 30' a bonus against whoever they decide they want to attack.

you are not spending focus points from the second round and onwards for that to happen.

Heroics spends 1 focus per round.

that's some very serious discrepancy in resources there, namely, one is for 2 rounds, and the other is for the whole combat.

also, you arent giving "your 1 ally" the bonus, you are giving it to ALL allies that target 1 target, the one ally even has bigger bonuses.

and since you can at-will change targets each round, that means that effectively you can focus fire (which is already what you want to do anyways) with the same efficiency as Heroics.

Also it works 100% of the time, unlike heroics that has a very serious chance to whiff until late game.

---

as for "not spending anything" i was referencing resources, not build requirements, and hence is my problem:
this kind of build design is the very epitome of PF1 and not at all PF2: instead of feats giving "options" they give stackable numeric buffs to the exact same thing.

If we continue down this trend, we will be seing diplomancers with +5 above other diploacy users once more back in the game.

For the second round and onward (for the next 3-5 rounds) you're not spending focus points, but you are spending a focus-point-equivalent resource. It's just that the psychic is designed to get more access to this resource than most. It's basically what they get in return for only having 2 spells per level... and at the moment it's overcosted. Heroics sends 1 focus per round (assuming you succeed). Psychic augments spend a...

i disagree with the majority of that assesment, at this point i think we are just talking to circles with one another.

you have your opinion, i have mine.

most of the things you find trivial i think from my own experience are quite important, and most of the things you find important i think they are not that severe to begin with.

my own experience is that battles are indeed over by round 4-5, only vs very specific bbeg do you reach 7th+ round. Losing a round "not doing" heroics because of a quite substantial chance to simply fail is very punishing because, while you do not spend the point, you still get 1 turn behind a very short battle clock. While you wont have perfect focus fire, i agree on that, you will have for where it matters. It doesnt really matter if vs a mook the party has +1 instead of +2. But it does matter a ton if vs the more challenging foes the party has +2 instead of +1.

and etcetcetc

as for comparing with insire courage, you forget the whole list of limitations of that, like locking you out of any other composition, offering lower bonus vs single target, and etc.
You also forget all the other bonuses of the cantrip, like free seek and bypassing invisibility.

the amp cantrip is much more flexible imo. it gives better bonuses vs the targets that matter than inspire without locking you out of other stuff.

I'm not saying that it's better, but for sure i see it as at least equal in power level.

And they stack. That's the main issue imo.

Speaking of stacking, i still remember the people crying that mutagens are fine as being terrible subpar stuff because "they stack with status bonuses so they are fine as weak stuff" but how come then the cantrips of a full caster stacking with status bonuses are not a problem then?

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as i said in the beginning, i'm pretty sure that i am not going to change your mind, and you arent going to change mine. But that wasn't the reason why i made the thread to begin with.

the reason i made it was to give my feedback to the developers that creating classes based on stacking numeric bonuses is a slippery slope that should NEVER make it into PF2.

aka: change all the bonuses from circumstance to status and give them interesting sideeffects instead.


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shroudb wrote:

To me, being able to constantly provide all allies a +2/+2, an ally a +3/+3, and keeping the enemy prone or intimidated, while getting passive bonuses to your skills and spell DCs seem kinda.... Pathfinder 1e instead of Pathfinder 2e.

I would love if all those amps/unleashes/etc were actual mechanics (like the extra action on message or the damage reduction) rather than pure math-fixers like "give allies +1/+1 but it's a different kind of +1/+1" "get +1 to your intimidate" "get +1 to your DC" "get +1 to your damage" "get +1 to your AC" and etc.

I strongly agree with this sentiment. I like support characters and the Infinite Eye Conscious Mind, but I feel like Message from Silent Whispers is a better buff than Mental Scan. Not stronger, but more active and interesting than a plain number boost. Mental Scan just runs in the background making everyone stronger, Message lets you play with the action economy giving the party more ability to reposition or attack.

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