2nd Level Playtest, but Also Not


Psychic Class


I got to play a second level Psychic over 3 sessions, might have been four, of something my GM called "Hanged Man's Noose" I think it was a 3rd party 1e conversion or something. Y'all might know. I don't really want to report this playtest on raw data, but how it felt to play the psychic specifically. In this game I switched out my witch for a psychic and so I chose Silent Whisper and the intelligence version of the class.

Immediately I want to talk about psi-cantrips and amps because nudge intent is awful. At first it looked great that it had the ability to work as the fear spell or force an opponent to lose an action, like slow or stunned. The trade off being the enemy can choose which penalty to take which weakens the effect significantly. What I didn't account for is that anything you tell the enemy to do is beneficial and not a problem for them whatsoever. Casting a spell is always good, attacking is always good, skill action was the one I had hopes for except that it just got people grappled or something similar. Perhaps I'm not the most knowledgeable or strategic when it comes to stuff, but this spell just does nothing. 1/10 wasted action. What I would like to see this cantrip do is work the exact same except instead of taking of these specific casters the target must waste as action doing a useless ritual. This spell reminds me of my own minor OCD symptoms which operate on magical thinking where my irrational side of my brain is utterly convinced if I don't do something there will be bad outcomes. It's why in severe cases you see people doing things like opening a door seven times before entering a room. A ritual must take place or else a vague imaginary bad thing will happen. This fits the theme of the spell so well both in the need to do something and the fear component of you don't do that thing, and I feel the ability for the enemy to choose reigns in the power a bit

Message was a real all star. Unlike what another person this forum has said where message could always be used, I found I only could to use an amped message once or twice a combat. Meaning it did not force me to use it constantly. What it helped improve above all was the action economy of my teammates at the start of combat, especially the magus. This amp is fine as it is and needs no changes. Daze is daze, it's bad moving on.

The spell list of silent whisper... I need to preface this with the fact I like prepared casters and I've never played a spontaneous casters in this game or in 1e. Perhaps it's just mean but the spells known is so tiny, it feels like a straight jacket. 3 spells known of a given level just feels terrible. It felt to me that a psychic has spell slots for rare occasions, and highly situational circumstances, as well as to be a "big gun" you can pull out in dire circumstances. With spells known this tiny, and one of them being taken up for the mediocre spell list of Silent Whisper... Is this how spontaneous casters always feel?

Unleash Psyche, I thought it was okay that it didn't boost cantrips tow shake things up, but no it was a useless feature particularly the nudge intent psyche specifically. If I wasn't so thematic I would suggest getting rid of this feature entirely

To sum up I had effectively two different spells I could cast with two spell slots, bad cantrips and a completely useless additional class feature which really just felt like a ribbon feature

Now in less casual language a big thing I want to emphasize about how I feel playing this class and looking at spell casters in this game is it seems to me they live or die on their additional class features. In 1e we had several layers of differentiation. Class specific spell lists, half, 3/4 and full casting and so on which helped make a caster feel unique with the added few benefits on top. 2e standardized all casting into full casting levels and casting from one of four universal spell lists. While in some ways I like this thematically it really highlights that the reason to play one magic user over another cannot be defined by their spellcaster alone and must come with unique ways they cast and interact with spells to make them worth existing. People are interested in the concepts presented because they are different from other casters giving the psychic potential for a unique play style and feel that truly sets them apart, but unfortunately these features in my personal limited experience just plain sucked

To me the psychic is unique in being connected to the of ideas. I think of esoteric occult beliefs and German Idealism(Hegel). I think of tarot cards, psychic readings and mediums speaking to ghosts. To me psychic power comes from the soul, which in western traditions is synonymous with the mind. I want this tapped into. I want to see a class that opens it's inner eye and sees a different world. See the world of ideas in a more direct way that other occult casters don't quite get to experience

Thank you for reading my post


AestheticDialectic wrote:
What I didn't account for is that anything you tell the enemy to do is beneficial and not a problem for them whatsoever. Casting a spell is always good, attacking is always good, skill action was the one I had hopes for except that it just got people grappled or something similar.

Nudge intent is not excellent and its amp is awful (because it never works when foes just do actions not making saving throw which is always). But for actions you actually can think up something if not very useful for you but at least a bit funny. I just compiled skill actions and selected from them more or less randomly or depending on situation. You could suggest a foe to:

- Recall Knowledge about something 'terribly important'. An universal option, unlikely to backfire.
- Immediately Climb something just because! I think needs something close and at least a bit appropriate.
- Request something from someone around? From their allies probably because Request requires 'friendly'.
- Perform unless something bad happens! The most funny I guess. Sing, dance, pray, declaim and so on. Nobody said options have to be sensible.
- Immediately Hide. The most logical I guess? Though GMs might object? Don't know. Could backfire if foe actually succeeded.
- Steal or Palm an object. A bout of kleptomania? Could work, I think.
So I think there could be options. That's not a problem of the spell. Is losing an action for your two for a cantrip without a save a powerful enough effect? Probably yes, I don't know. The second part of the spell just doesn't work if GM doesn't want to make saves.
Ah, and the most important thing: the cantrip is of one-time use, it has a CD of a minute if I remember correctly. So can't spam it on one enemy.


Errenor wrote:
AestheticDialectic wrote:
What I didn't account for is that anything you tell the enemy to do is beneficial and not a problem for them whatsoever. Casting a spell is always good, attacking is always good, skill action was the one I had hopes for except that it just got people grappled or something similar.

Nudge intent is not excellent and its amp is awful (because it never works when foes just do actions not making saving throw which is always). But for actions you actually can think up something if not very useful for you but at least a bit funny. I just compiled skill actions and selected from them more or less randomly or depending on situation. You could suggest a foe to:

I, and my GM, see the wording as stating to have then use a skill action, but not a specific one.

Quote:
Choose either “Strike,” “Cast a Spell,” or “Use a skill action.” If the target can’t pursue the option, they’re automatically unaffected. For instance, a creature without spells would be unaffected by “Cast a Spell.” Otherwise, at the beginning of their next turn, the target must either choose to do their best to perform your chosen action that turn or attempt a Will save. Regardless of the outcome, the target is then temporarily immune for 1 minute.

The use of quotation marks implies very heavily, at least to me, that you chose those three specific key phrases, and not which attack, skill action or spell


AestheticDialectic wrote:


I, and my GM, see the wording as stating to have then use a skill action, but not a specific one.

Wow, that's bad. The cantrip then becomes an utter trash.

My GM had no objections at all to my reading.
AestheticDialectic wrote:


Quote:
Choose either “Strike,” “Cast a Spell,” or “Use a skill action.” If the target can’t pursue the option, they’re automatically unaffected. For instance, a creature without spells would be unaffected by “Cast a Spell.” Otherwise, at the beginning of their next turn, the target must either choose to do their best to perform your chosen action that turn or attempt a Will save. Regardless of the outcome, the target is then temporarily immune for 1 minute.
The use of quotation marks implies very heavily, at least to me, that you chose those three specific key phrases, and not which attack, skill action or spell

I agree in the attack and spell case, but 'skill action' is so broad it just can't be the whole instruction. Well, just another unclear passage. I hope in the final version it would be better.


Skill action is the same wording as Oracle, I expect most GMs will be reading it as a broad set of options for the target unless there is further clarification.


RyMarq wrote:
Skill action is the same wording as Oracle, I expect most GMs will be reading it as a broad set of options for the target unless there is further clarification.

I haven't found anywhere in Oracle features 'make basically any action' as a negative effect. What do you mean? Bonuses and penalties to groups of actions are not even remotely close.

Anyway, I can only restate that the cantrip in this form would be disgustingly useless and its amp will never work because not only a foe can use any action but the order is chosen by GM. I can't understand how anyone would believe this a useful effect.


Oracle Ancestor curse restricts you to 'Attacks, Spells, or Perception and Skill actions'

The wording to me is very similar and evokes strong feelings that the intended restriction, I expect the intention that it mechanically work in the same way.


RyMarq wrote:

Oracle Ancestor curse restricts you to 'Attacks, Spells, or Perception and Skill actions'

The wording to me is very similar and evokes strong feelings that the intended restriction, I expect the intention that it mechanically work in the same way.

Ok, I see. Yes, it looks similar. Flat check vs Will save against frightened. Still changes nothing. :) Won't write the same thing third time.

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