Level 15 One-Shot Playtest

Dark Archive Playtest General Discussion

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On Saturday I ran an adventure for the purpose of playtesting the Psychic and Thaumaturge. The other two characters were a dragon Summoner and a Rogue. The adventure in question was home-brewed. The party were PFS members exploring an Ancient Osiriani tomb.

There were four encounters.

Low Threat: 4 Elite Stone Golems

Lots of fun. The Rogue took out one of the golems in a single round. The Summoners dragon proved very defective as a combatant. The Thaumaturge was great in this fight, especially having two attacks of opportunity each round and being able to create a custom weakness. The Psychic suffered the normal problems of spellcaster in a fight with a golem. Telekinetic projectile wasn't as effective as desired, and he ended up using his pistol (because guns and gear just came out and why not have a Psychic with a pistol?), even though it didn't end up beating the golem's resistance 10 to physical damage.

Moderate Threat: 2 Nemhaiths

Again, not much of a problem for the Rogue or the Summoner. The Thaumaturge had invested in a Ghost Touch weapon rune, so it was basically a normal fight for him and went fine. The Psychic managed to do a good amount of force damage with a spell that I can't remember the name of. Again though, dealing with damage resistance was a problem for the Psychic.

Moderate Threat: 4 Hamatulas & 1 CR15 Quintessivore Bone Oracle

The Rogue and Thaumaturge stream rolled the quintessivore. It was just no match in melee against the combo of Trip (provided by the Rogue's dog companion), Attack of Opportunity from the Thaumaturge, and Opportune Backstab. It's just as well that no one's soul got eaten. I *am* friends with these people after all. The Summoner mostly stayed behind his dragon. The Psychic managed a few good hits with Telekinetic Projectile, including one hit that pushed a Hamatula back the length of the battlefield.

Severe Threat: 1 CR 17 Mummy Pharaoh & 1 CR 15 Cynosphinx (converted from 1e and scaled up)

This fight could have been much more devastating than it was, if the mummy had taken advantage of the PCs' paralysis to hurt them instead of trying to convince them he was a god and get them to bow to him voluntarily. Two of them still had to pay tribute because of an Overwhelming Presence spell, but the Thaumaturge and Psychic both got critical successes. Again, the Rogue and Summoner were effective - specifically against the sphinx. The Psychic was actually able to use Unleash Psyche during this encounter and used it to some effect. The Thaumaturge did great amounts of damage to the mummy by taking advantage of his weakness 17 to Fire. It was a tough fight, and the Thaumaturge got reduced to 0 hit points once. The dragon/Summoner nearly got there as well.


The Thaumaturge performed really well, and the player was happy.

After the adventure, the Psychic's player revealed that he was having resource management issues as early as the golem encounter. The number of spell slots was not sufficient and the amped cantrips didn't make up for that. Unleash Psyche was lackluster. Despite being 15th level, he had very few class feats from the Psychic list. Most of them were from an archetype because player didn't like most of them. I think that's a scathing indictment.

I do apologize, but perhaps I misread the rules.

How did a Thaumaturge have 2 attacks of opportunity a round?

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Esoteric Reflexes - level 14. Gives an additional implement reaction.

Out of interest how did a Rogue down the elite stone golem in 1 round with it's resistance 10 physical? I appreciate that isn't the point of this thread I am just intrigued

Mostly, critical hits. Now that I think back on it, that may have been two rounds. Memory isn't my strong suit right now.

Liberty's Edge

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I played the psychic in this playtest. He was a human with emotional acceptance and distant mind. I archetyped him into Blessed One because I didn't have enough psychic feats I cared about and I wanted to see if I could make a healer solid enough to carry the party. Turns out, not really; didn't have the spell slots.

That's gonna be a theme here.

Tokageko wrote:

Moderate Threat: 2 Nemhaiths

Again, not much of a problem for the Rogue or the Summoner. The Thaumaturge had invested in a Ghost Touch weapon rune, so it was basically a normal fight for him and went fine. The Psychic managed to do a good amount of force damage with a spell that I can't remember the name of. Again though, dealing with damage resistance was a problem for the Psychic.

It was spirit song and my only 8th level slot. And the issues with damage resistance in this fight were kind of misleading, because I had several more things I could have done to them - if I'd been willing to spend more than one spell slot on an encounter that wasn't the boss fight. My problem with the reduction was just another symptom of the resources problem, of not having enough spell slots.

If I wasn't healing, I was casting an amped telekinetic rend, with only a couple of exceptions. I did knock a hamatula back forty feet with a crit on an amped telekinetic projectile that I was in fact using in hopes of getting the crit and clearing some space around me, but it's hard to get really excited about being effective against a level -4 bad guy.

During the fight against the final boss I did wind up spending two comparatively high-level spell slots, on a 7th level haste and a 6th level heroism, but it's also worth noting that, by the end of those four encounters, I had exactly one 4th and two 2nd level spell slots left. That was it. I was out of Focus Points, staff charges, the scrolls I had bought, the heal spell out of my prayer beads, everything. For a 15th level character to be that entirely drained after just four encounters is, frankly, absurd. My home group is 15th level in Age of Ashes right now, so I know what they're capable of.

My takeaway was this: amped telekinetic rend is solid. I never used Inertial Barrier or Strain Mind, the former because I needed the damage output more and the latter because it was completely obsoleted by Unleash Psyche - by the time I was out of Focus Points I could Unleash, so the only way I could have used it was if I somehow didn't have the action to spend Unleashing or if I needed to cast an amped arrest trajectory on the same turn I'd already cast an amped telekinetic rend, and I'm not even sure that the RAW would allow me to combine Strain Mind and an amp that triggers after casting anyway.

Oh, and speaking of arrest trajectory, it's awfully niche for a high-level, you-don't-get-to-pick-from-options "bloodline" spell. I'm not even sure I would take it if it were an ordinary cantrip unless I had way more cantrip slots than normal, but I definitely felt like I wasted the feat on that one.

Right. The feats. As Tokageko noted, I wasn't impressed. I had nine class feat slots (I took Natural Ambition) and used four of them on actual psychic class feats, and only one of those ever had any impact on the encounters. I got to use Counter Thought in one encounter, though again, it was against the hamatulas, so yay for beating up mooks better I guess? And with so freaking few spell slots, giving up one for the counter almost felt like a trap. It's worth noting that I had those four feats after going back and doing some revision to better playtest the actual class - my first draft, I had two.

In sum: probably the most frustrating play experience I've had in PF2 thus far. This class needs a straight upgrade. Give it more spell slots and don't make it trade out anything for them. Just put it on the same footing as the bard and call it done.

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