VampByDay's Psychic Class Guide


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Scarab Sages

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Hey everyone, I'm in the process of making a class guide for the psychic. Took a break from the Thaumaturge guide for a bit but still had the bug to write up some more class guides, so I've got the preliminaries done for my Psychic Guide. No class feats or extra bells and whistles yet, but it has all the basics and six build options, so that's something. Let me know what you think?


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Great Guide, some general tips for spell selection and item choices would be nice. Maybe a closer rating of the specific cantrips and amps all the subclasses get.

Maybe a rating of class feats and recommended archetypes.

I think you are undervaluing Gathered Lore. A general Aid action you can use for anything an ally might do in reach that is just focused to one skill is pretty great. You can just prep it and save it for the maguses big spellstrike or use it when an ally makes an important save against a nasty spell. Since you don't have to declare what you aid in until you do you can take your pick. Special shout out to human in here for Cooperative nature.

I'd also go into detail about CHA vs INT.

I am currently very undecided for the distant grasp psychic I will play in PFS. CHA has better skill feats, intimidation and bon mot are great for debuffing your enemies. Bon Mot can make them susceptible for Will saves, which as an occult caster you likely have. The healing from emotional acceptence is pretty nice.

INT gives more skills. With gathered lore I would focus on occultism, but skill feats are generally a bit less impressive with INT skills. I personally really like the gathered lore psychic action.


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I think you're underrating Infinite Eye.

Guidance amped is fantastic: a +1/+2 status bonus that can optionally be used as a reaction? That can turn a decent chunk of failures into successes. Glimpse weakness is lowish damage, but it's lowish damage on a single action, that enhances your ally's attack, and is multiplied on their crit. It's comparable to other single action damage class features, and IMO comes out ahead due to the likelihood of a crit. Don't bother amping it, it's fantastic all its own.

Omnidirectional scan is like some sort of weird version of inspire courage: amped, it provides a +1 circumstance bonus to everyone around you, and a +2-4 bonus to one target you choose to use your reaction on. And it also stacks with inspire courage. What's not to love?

Foresee the path is weird. The perception check issue exists, but you're also not required to succeed at the save if you amp it: the spell has the same effect on a failure as it does a success. I'm not quite sure how to evaluate it, because the effect is so different depending on how many of your team has opportunity attacks or not.

And best of all, these are all one action spellcasts. You have so many options for how to build your turn. All you really need to do is pick up a damaging cantrip from "parallel breakthrough".


The following is incorrect:

Goblin (Intelligence/Charisma) I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again, Goblins have some of the best feats and heritages around. Of particular note here is the Goblin feat ‘Burn It!’ when combined with the Oscillating Wave Conscious mind can make your Produce Flame deal an extra 2.5x the spell’s level damage when your psyche is unleashed (that’s an extra 10 damage at level 8, and 15 damage at level 12!)

Both Burn It! and Unleash psyche are status bonuses, and so they do not stack.

Still, Burn It! is somewhat useful for when your psyche is not unleashed. To unleash your psyche, you need to cast a spell first anyway. Cast ranged 'Produce Flame' or other fire spell with a bonus for Burn It!. Then on the next round, unleash your psyche, and cast a ray of frost or other cold spell (as per the requirements for oscillating wave, and benefit from the unleash psyche status bonus.

Scarab Sages

S. J. Digriz wrote:

The following is incorrect:

Goblin (Intelligence/Charisma) I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again, Goblins have some of the best feats and heritages around. Of particular note here is the Goblin feat ‘Burn It!’ when combined with the Oscillating Wave Conscious mind can make your Produce Flame deal an extra 2.5x the spell’s level damage when your psyche is unleashed (that’s an extra 10 damage at level 8, and 15 damage at level 12!)

Both Burn It! and Unleash psyche are status bonuses, and so they do not stack.

Still, Burn It! is somewhat useful for when your psyche is not unleashed. To unleash your psyche, you need to cast a spell first anyway. Cast ranged 'Produce Flame' or other fire spell with a bonus for Burn It!. Then on the next round, unleash your psyche, and cast a ray of frost or other cold spell (as per the requirements for oscillating wave, and benefit from the unleash psyche status bonus.

Thanks for the fact check, I'll fix it.

Quote:
Foresee the path is weird. The perception check issue exists, but you're also not required to succeed at the save if you amp it: the spell has the same effect on a failure as it does a success. I'm not quite sure how to evaluate it, because the effect is so different depending on how many of your team has opportunity attacks or not.

I sort of cover this when I say that the abilities become 'useable' if amped. The issue I have with Infinite Eye are that most abilities are just bad if not amped. Guidance still has the 10 minute cooldown if not amped, I just think it is the worst of the choices. Notice how I didn't put it as red however. Worst among the choices does not mean 'Unusable.' I'll make that more clear.

Quote:

Great Guide, some general tips for spell selection and item choices would be nice. Maybe a closer rating of the specific cantrips and amps all the subclasses get.

Maybe a rating of class feats and recommended archetypes.

I think you are undervaluing Gathered Lore. A general Aid action you can use for anything an ally might do in reach that is just focused to one skill is pretty great. You can just prep it and save it for the maguses big spellstrike or use it when an ally makes an important save against a nasty spell. Since you don't have to declare what you aid in until you do you can take your pick. Special shout out to human in here for Cooperative nature.

I'd also go into detail about CHA vs INT.

I am currently very undecided for the distant grasp psychic I will play in PFS. CHA has better skill feats, intimidation and bon mot are great for debuffing your enemies. Bon Mot can make them susceptible for Will saves, which as an occult caster you likely have. The healing from emotional acceptence is pretty nice.

INT gives more skills. With gathered lore I would focus on occultism, but skill feats are generally a bit less impressive with INT skills. I personally really like the gathered lore psychic action.

Thanks for the feedback. I will get to the class feats (notice I said 'coming soon' in the table of contents). In section 3.0 I discuss int vs. charisma psychics. And I will put down a 'spells to look out for' in the upcoming 'odds and ends' section, though each build does have a section of spells to look out for.

As for rating each and every conscious mind cantrip . . . that was just too much. The conscious mind section is already giant and bloated and I just decided to take it as it is and rate the whole kit n' caboodle together.

Some Standout archetypes will also be mentioned in Odds and Ends (note this is an alpha build) though I do mention Sentinel Dedication and Champion Dedication already as a cheap and easy way to get armor.

Thanks for the feedback, I'll continue to improve upon it.


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S. J. Digriz wrote:

The following is incorrect:

Goblin (Intelligence/Charisma) I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again, Goblins have some of the best feats and heritages around. Of particular note here is the Goblin feat ‘Burn It!’ when combined with the Oscillating Wave Conscious mind can make your Produce Flame deal an extra 2.5x the spell’s level damage when your psyche is unleashed (that’s an extra 10 damage at level 8, and 15 damage at level 12!)

Both Burn It! and Unleash psyche are status bonuses, and so they do not stack.

Still, Burn It! is somewhat useful for when your psyche is not unleashed. To unleash your psyche, you need to cast a spell first anyway. Cast ranged 'Produce Flame' or other fire spell with a bonus for Burn It!. Then on the next round, unleash your psyche, and cast a ray of frost or other cold spell (as per the requirements for oscillating wave, and benefit from the unleash psyche status bonus.

Burn it is still extremely useful for the Oscillating Wave build, because it applies to Entropic Wheel, while Unleash Psyche does not (since wheel has a duration). Additionally, the fastest way to stack entropic wheel motes is to put persistent damage on enemies, and Burn It! works there as well. The more I think about the Oscillating Wave, the more I think it's more about building around Entropic Wheel, rather than the adding or removing energy.

VampByDay wrote:


I sort of cover this when I say that the abilities become 'useable' if amped. The issue I have with Infinite Eye are that most abilities are just bad if not amped. Guidance still has the 10 minute cooldown if not amped, I just think it is the worst of the choices. Notice how I didn't put it as red however. Worst among the choices does not mean 'Unusable.' I'll make that more clear.

I think you're still underselling it. Omnidirectional Scan, Guidance, and Glimpse Weakness are all fantastic spells unamped.

Omnidirectional Scan: Do you think the Aid action is worth taking? What if I told you that you could take it, get a free enhanced seek action on top of it, and guarantee that you can use your best proficiency to do the Aid reaction. Also, you can't critically fail the check.

That's what Omnidirectional scan is, unamped. If you amp it, it becomes bardic inspiration, plus an even better aid reaction. It goes from good (enhanced aid action) to great (super aid action.

Guidance is guidance. It's worth casting sometimes. But the fact that the amp is a reaction is itself a huge bonus to it: you have much better information on when you get to cast it, which makes the focus points you use on this far more efficient.

And like I said, glimpse weakness deals comparable damage to other single action spells, with the possibility of a crit since it runs off your ally's attack bonus.


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I want to add my vote on the Infinite Eye being amazing. When going over the minds, I actually found it to be the best. In my opinion, of course.

Amped Guidance is one of the most powerful and flexible focus spells in the game. It's what the witch's Nudge Fate wants to be. Having an emergency reaction to help an ally to succeed on an important attack roll or skill check is already amazing, but it also affects saves and can turn a crit failure into a regular failure. And it can provide a bit of a meta knowledge since the GM would need to tell you when the trigger applies so you can get a grasp on the target AC or DC.

Amped Glimpse Weakness scales up to 5d6 damage. Well, 5d4+5 actually, but that's the same average and it's easier to compare d6s. Considering that an Investigator spends one action to get the same bonus damage every single turn, Glimpse Weakness is pretty good in comparison. And it applies to your barbarian's greataxe as easily as your sniper's high crit attacks to be doubled. Even unamped it scales up to roughly 3d6 damage which is still half the bonus damage a max level swashbuckler gets from a finisher. And unlike the swashy, you don't need to succeed on a skill check to get it going and using it doesn't prevent anyone from attacking again.

Can't really add anything to Omnidirectional Scan that hasn't been said already. Except maybe point out that it's amped bonus isn't far from what a bard does with Inspire Heroics. It affects only one attack, but at mid to high levels it's much easier to crit succeed on a DC20 Aid check than on a very hard DC Performance check.


Good to have some free psychic guide stuff out there for PF2e, VampByDay. ;)


My 2 cents:

You lack information about the interaction between Electric Arc and the Psychic. Electric Arc is the bread and butter spell for the Psychic, it deals roughly 70-80% of the damage of amped cantrips on 2 targets (without consuming a Focus Point as it's not amped). It makes Human the best Ancestry for a Psychic because of Adapted Cantrip.
Electric Arc is a staple to absolutely every caster, but in the case of the Psychic it becomes even more important as Unleashed Psyche really shines with damaging cantrips. In my opinion, playing a Psychic without Electric Arc is like playing a Giant Barbarian without Giant Stature.

I also disagree with you on the Subconscious Minds. In my opinion, Emotional Acceptance is the best because of its ability to heal. Precise Discipline and Wandering Reverie are mostly useless as you already have equivalent one action defensive abilities with Shield or an actual Steel Shield that don't ask you to have your psyche unleashed.

Amped Guidance is equivalent to Lingering Song + Inspire Courage for a reaction (+ 1 to attack (except criticals) and saves to all your teammates at 120ft.). It becomes even better once you get to level 11, even if it now starts to suck your Focus Points fast. With it, a Psychic can replace a Bard in a party. I think your guide doesn't give justice to this cantrip which is certainly the best available to the Psychic and one of the best reactions of the game (an automatic hit for a reaction, that beats everything save from Champion's reactions).

Scarab Sages

SuperBidi wrote:

My 2 cents:

You lack information about the interaction between Electric Arc and the Psychic. Electric Arc is the bread and butter spell for the Psychic, it deals roughly 70-80% of the damage of amped cantrips on 2 targets (without consuming a Focus Point as it's not amped). It makes Human the best Ancestry for a Psychic because of Adapted Cantrip.
Electric Arc is a staple to absolutely every caster, but in the case of the Psychic it becomes even more important as Unleashed Psyche really shines with damaging cantrips. In my opinion, playing a Psychic without Electric Arc is like playing a Giant Barbarian without Giant Stature.

I also disagree with you on the Subconscious Minds. In my opinion, Emotional Acceptance is the best because of its ability to heal. Precise Discipline and Wandering Reverie are mostly useless as you already have equivalent one action defensive abilities with Shield or an actual Steel Shield that don't ask you to have your psyche unleashed.

Amped Guidance is equivalent to Lingering Song + Inspire Courage for a reaction (+ 1 to attack (except criticals) and saves to all your teammates at 120ft.). It becomes even better once you get to level 11, even if it now starts to suck your Focus Points fast. With it, a Psychic can replace a Bard in a party. I think your guide doesn't give justice to this cantrip which is certainly the best available to the Psychic and one of the best reactions of the game (an automatic hit for a reaction, that beats everything save from Champion's reactions).

Y'know, I wrote up a whole angry rant about electric arc and 'white void room calculations' and all that jazz, but in the end of the day, I think I'll just leave you with this.

You sir, fundamentally misunderstand my approach to making a guide. I am here to look at what the PSYCHIC has, and poke around, look at connections it has, and see where things line up for the PSYCHIC. Since no psychic gets electric arc base, I didn't pay it much mind, becasue that is not a PSYCHIC thing. Is electric arc in the guide? Yes, I mention it with the Master of All Elements build. Am I going to put a little note in the odds and ends section about how to get it if you want? Sure. I can do that. But I am not going to say "Your psychic has to be a human with adopted cantrip->Electric Arc or else you are teh suck." I'm not here to tell you what character you have to be. I'm here to help you make informed decisions about how to make YOUR psychic. I think you may have missed this quote from my guide:

the guide wrote:

A NOTE ON THIS GUIDE

I’m not here to tell you how to play your character, but I have some recommendations

And, as an FYI, no, electric arc isn't the most damaging cantrip. Using optimal conditions electric arc at level 1 does 16 damage (8 to two people), whereas haunting hymn does 28 (4 to seven people). At level 5 it is 32 to 56. What's that? You aren't always in optimal conditions for haunting hymn? Well news flash, you aren't always in optimal conditions for electric arc. Sometimes enemies are more than 30 feet away, or there is only one and TK projectile does more damage, or the enemies have a stupid high reflex save. Is electric arc good? Yes, undoubtably. Should you limit the psychic to one ancestry and one ancestry feat in order to get it? Absolutely not.

Scarab Sages

To the rest of you: I eased up on my overall thoughts on the infinite eye section of the guide, though I still think it is the weakest of the options. I can see how a one action activity to almost always add some damage to a fight is good, even if the damage boost is rather weak. And my complaint has always been that ‘you need to amp them for most of them to be good.’ So saying they are good when you amp them is like beating a dead horse. I’m already there. I’m just saying that if you need to conserve your focus points, there are better conscious minds in my opinion. Please, prove me wrong and make a insane infinite eye psychic and show me how good they are, I’ll listen.


VampByDay wrote:
You sir, fundamentally misunderstand my approach to making a guide.

No I don't. If you don't want to tell people what they should play then remove the colors in your guide.

It looks like your tastes impact your guide and I just hit directly where it hurts.
Electric Arc has a big place in a Psychic guide. Amped Guidance should be put at its right position. But you dislike both these options and don't want to speak about them. Fine. But don't explain me nonsense about white room calculations. Electric Arc is the best damaging cantrip, that's not white room calculations, that's the experience of a whole lot of players. If you dislike it, I can't do anything about it. But please don't go on a rant just because I point at the elephant in the room.


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SuperBidi wrote:


I also disagree with you on the Subconscious Minds. In my opinion, Emotional Acceptance is the best because of its ability to heal. Precise Discipline and Wandering Reverie are mostly useless as you already have equivalent one action defensive abilities with Shield or an actual Steel Shield that don't ask you to have your psyche unleashed.

I have a hard time loving precise discipline or wandering reverie, but I do see a place for them in a weird defensive build where you combine whichever type of defense you're getting (concealment or +2 circumstance to AC) from your subsconscious mind with the other one from another option (Shield, a shield, or concealment from one of the many spell or alchemical options).

But I'd still rather use one actions in pscyhe on movement, one action cantrips, psi blast, or the other two subconscious mind abilties when they're relevant.


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You mention in Gathered Lore that you can give a +1, sometimes a +2 but I think this is underselling it a bit. At level 7 with Master in Occultism you will have a +18 and on a 2-11 you give a +1 and on 12+ you give a +3. As a human this turns into a +3 bonus on 8+.

When you get legendary occultism you will 95% of the time give someone a +4 bonus which is really strong in my opinion.


Xenocrat wrote:

I have a hard time loving precise discipline or wandering reverie, but I do see a place for them in a weird defensive build where you combine whichever type of defense you're getting (concealment or +2 circumstance to AC) from your subsconscious mind with the other one from another option (Shield, a shield, or concealment from one of the many spell or alchemical options).

But I'd still rather use one actions in pscyhe on movement, one action cantrips, psi blast, or the other two subconscious mind abilties when they're relevant.

In that case you'd choose Wandering Reverie as a Shield with Shield Block would give you nearly better defenses than what Precise Discipline gives you. And it's not like if the Psychic was constrained when it comes to hands setup.

I still question your "weird defensive build". I hardly see what would be the point as you'll never really reach a high defense considering your low AC and hit point pool.

Scarab Sages

SuperBidi wrote:
VampByDay wrote:
You sir, fundamentally misunderstand my approach to making a guide.

No I don't. If you don't want to tell people what they should play then remove the colors in your guide.

It looks like your tastes impact your guide and I just hit directly where it hurts.
Electric Arc has a big place in a Psychic guide. Amped Guidance should be put at its right position. But you dislike both these options and don't want to speak about them. Fine. But don't explain me nonsense about white room calculations. Electric Arc is the best damaging cantrip, that's not white room calculations, that's the experience of a whole lot of players. If you dislike it, I can't do anything about it. But please don't go on a rant just because I point at the elephant in the room.

So wait, my tastes impact my guide . . . yes? I'm human? We all have biases? YOUR bias seems to be electric arc and your argument is . . . mine isn't? And I don't dislike amped guidance. I JUST said I like the infinite eye amped stuff. I just find a lot of infinite eye's stuff lackluster when unamed compared to the rest of the conscious minds. That knocks it down a peg for me.

I mean, I could sit here and argue antectdotes all day. I play a lot of PFS and see few people I see use electric arc. THe fact that you see a lot of its use and I don't doesn't prove anything.

And I added a color guide as a way of saying "Playing this may be harder," or "you may not have considered the upsides or downsides of that." Not "You have to play this or you are doing it wrong." If someone wants to play a charisma centric dwarf psychic, I am okay with that, I just want to let them know what they are getting into. I am not there to poo-poo anyone's 'suboptimal build.' And I won't say that all psychics have to take any one option.

I AM NOT SAYING YOU CAN'T PLAY INFINITE EYE. I'm saying, from my experience in gaming, it might be a little lackluster compared to some of these other builds. If you want to do it, go for it. Write a guide for it. I'd love to be proven wrong. I'm just using all the expertise I have gleaned playing this game to try and muse on how some of these characters would work. That's all this guide is, and all it is meant to be.

Sovereign Court

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Interesting guide. I rather like the heavy flavor focus you put in.

Some points:

- wellspring gnomes could also take divine cantrips like divine lance, not just primal ones.

- with both the Infinite Eye and Gathered Lore being serious about Aid Another, human ancestry should mention Cooperative Nature.

- Halflings can use cultural adaptability to easily nab ancestry feats from other ancestries, and psychic plays very nicely with that. The wisdom and perception bonuses are also good for Omnidirectional Scan.

- I'm not sure why you made tengu gray?

- dancing blade: you can sustain it multiple times per round to make multiple attacks; it doesn't have any "the first time you sustain this spell each round" caveat.

- distant grasp/telekinetic projectile: expanding the range to 60ft makes quite a difference, that takes you from uncomfortably close to melee to being able to cover most battlefields without having to move, without needing stuff like Reach metamagic or its action cost

- infinite eye guidance: it's written so that the amp only triggers if it would actually be useful. That's pretty good. And it can be used on almost anything.

- glimpse weakness: a no-save, no-MAP one action damaging effect is pretty good actually.

- omnidirectional scan being 1-action and basically giving you an auto-success on the Recall Knowledge question most casters want to ask, regardless of creature level; it's a really good opening move in combat and you still have enough actions left to follow up with another spell the same round.

- I'm not convinced that mindshifted Psi Burst was supposed to ignore your oscillated state. I think the intent is that you treat it just like a spell.

- what's with the really bright aggressive yellow highlighting? Could you maybe switch to something a bit more... pastel?


VampByDay wrote:
...

I reacted negatively because you reacted negatively to my first post. I don't think I was stating anything insulting in it.

Yes, I'm biased as we all are. I'm actually biased against Electric Arc, as I'm sick of seeing it being used over and over again (and using it over and over again). It's the best damaging cantrip after all (and that's not a bia, it's common wisdom, which is not perfect but still valuable) and I was sad to realize that it is also the best cantrip for the Psychic. After all, 70-80% of the damage of an amped cantrip against 2 targets without using a Focus Point is not slightly better. It's clearly better, even if other cantrips have their use in some situations.

VampByDay wrote:
I mean, I could sit here and argue antectdotes all day.

That's kind of the point of this discussion, isn't it? Unless you consider that your guide should be taken as is. But that'd be sad to dismiss the valuable input that the community on these boards can bring. After all, I'm not criticizing your guide, far from it (I even defended your Thaumaturge one). I'm just trying to help, you and everyone (as the goal of a guide is to help everyone after all).

Scarab Sages

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Ascalaphus wrote:

Interesting guide. I rather like the heavy flavor focus you put in.

Some points:

- wellspring gnomes could also take divine cantrips like divine lance, not just primal ones.

- with both the Infinite Eye and Gathered Lore being serious about Aid Another, human ancestry should mention Cooperative Nature.

- Halflings can use cultural adaptability to easily nab ancestry feats from other ancestries, and psychic plays very nicely with that. The wisdom and perception bonuses are also good for Omnidirectional Scan.

- I'm not sure why you made tengu gray?

- dancing blade: you can sustain it multiple times per round to make multiple attacks; it doesn't have any "the first time you sustain this spell each round" caveat.

- distant grasp/telekinetic projectile: expanding the range to 60ft makes quite a difference, that takes you from uncomfortably close to melee to being able to cover most battlefields without having to move, without needing stuff like Reach metamagic or its action cost

- infinite eye guidance: it's written so that the amp only triggers if it would actually be useful. That's pretty good. And it can be used on almost anything.

- glimpse weakness: a no-save, no-MAP one action damaging effect is pretty good actually.

- omnidirectional scan being 1-action and basically giving you an auto-success on the Recall Knowledge question most casters want to ask, regardless of creature level; it's a really good opening move in combat and you still have enough actions left to follow up with another spell the same round.

- I'm not convinced that mindshifted Psi Burst was supposed to ignore your oscillated state. I think the intent is that you treat it just like a spell.

- what's with the really bright aggressive yellow highlighting? Could you maybe switch to something a bit more... pastel?

-Wellspring Gnome: True, I can’t just hit every culture feat of every ancestry, we’d be here all day.

-I’ll add cultural adaptability and cooperative nature to the ancestry section

-Tengu is grey because there is a specific build with them that I talk about, it is in the master of elements section, I’ll make that more clear.

-I have recently rewritten infinite eye to be kinder to it, and made my issues with it more plain.

-Lol, I originally had psi burst saying it saying it would flip the switch and someone corrected me, and now to correct me back! I can’t win for losing. I’ll just put in a note saying it needs errata!

-I mean the yellow is supposed to be attention grabbing, saying ‘hey, this is a bit that you might want to pay attention to.’ Heh, I’m see if I can find something easier on the eyes.

Scarab Sages

Updated with some suggestions of how to play psychics in adventure paths, and I’m working on the next part, odds and ends.

Sovereign Court

I'm hoping for your take on class feats. I have strong opinions of my own, but there may be sleeper ones that I haven't properly seen the value of.


VampByDay wrote:
And, as an FYI, no, electric arc isn't the most damaging cantrip. Using optimal conditions electric arc at level 1 does 16 damage (8 to two people), whereas haunting hymn does 28 (4 to seven people). At level 5 it is 32 to 56. What's that? You aren't always in optimal conditions for haunting hymn? Well news flash, you aren't always in optimal conditions for electric arc. Sometimes enemies are more than 30 feet away, or there is only one and TK projectile does more damage, or the enemies have a stupid high reflex save.

Why would you be using optimal conditions instead of average conditions or something like the middle 50%-75% of conditions? What do you think is more likely, that you have 7 people arranged perfectly in an orthagonal cone shape, or two or more enemies within a 30ft radius of you?


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A thing with glimpse weakness, that I've seen from experience but neither I, nor the guides, seem to evaluate, is the 1 minute duration.

As a throwaway 1 action, in multienemy encounters, I found it quite useful that I could "tag" various enemies around for when the strikers got to then.

Scarab Sages

egindar wrote:
VampByDay wrote:
And, as an FYI, no, electric arc isn't the most damaging cantrip. Using optimal conditions electric arc at level 1 does 16 damage (8 to two people), whereas haunting hymn does 28 (4 to seven people). At level 5 it is 32 to 56. What's that? You aren't always in optimal conditions for haunting hymn? Well news flash, you aren't always in optimal conditions for electric arc. Sometimes enemies are more than 30 feet away, or there is only one and TK projectile does more damage, or the enemies have a stupid high reflex save.
Why would you be using optimal conditions instead of average conditions or something like the middle 50%-75% of conditions? What do you think is more likely, that you have 7 people arranged perfectly in an orthagonal cone shape, or two or more enemies within a 30ft radius of you?

I was trying to make a point that 'empty white room' calculations have flaws, and if you assume optimal conditions for electric arc, you also have to assume optimal conditions for all other cantrips. There was a reason I juxtaposed that with the myriad of situations where electric arc was suboptimal (enemy farther away than 30 feet, only one enemy, enemy resists electricity but not sonic, etc.)

I was trying to say basically "Under best conditions, electric arc isn't best. Under suboptimal conditions, it isn't best either." It's still a REALLY good cantrip, don't get me wrong. I was just trying to say the cantrip isn't so good that the only valid build for a psychic (or any caster that doesn't get electric arc) isn't "Twist your character into knots to get electric arc." There are other builds out there. If you DO want to find a way to get electric arc on your psychic, that is great, more power to you. But that is not 'the only way to build a psychic.'


Another archetype that might be worth looking into for the Psychic is the Spell Trickster, which can modify several spells they can cast (depending on your Conscious Mind) without needing an action.

Of course, there is also the question of how a spell mod feat would interact with an improved Psi Cantrip, even before it gets amped.

Scarab Sages

Ventnor wrote:

Another archetype that might be worth looking into for the Psychic is the Spell Trickster, which can modify several spells they can cast (depending on your Conscious Mind) without needing an action.

Of course, there is also the question of how a spell mod feat would interact with an improved Psi Cantrip, even before it gets amped.

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that amps don't work with metamagic feats as both are worded "If the next action is to cast a spell." Because the next action would be to do a free action metamagic feat, I don't think they stack, but I most certainly could be wrong. I'm far, far from 100% on that. I'll look it up and get back to you.


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VampByDay wrote:
Ventnor wrote:

Another archetype that might be worth looking into for the Psychic is the Spell Trickster, which can modify several spells they can cast (depending on your Conscious Mind) without needing an action.

Of course, there is also the question of how a spell mod feat would interact with an improved Psi Cantrip, even before it gets amped.

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that amps don't work with metamagic feats as both are worded "If the next action is to cast a spell." Because the next action would be to do a free action metamagic feat, I don't think they stack, but I most certainly could be wrong. I'm far, far from 100% on that. I'll look it up and get back to you.

That’s the thing. Spell Trickster spell modification feats are not metamagic. They change the way a spell works without using any additional actions.


And amps don't work with metamagic because the amp quality just straight out says "no metamagic." Trigger issues don't come into it, it's a direct bar.

Scarab Sages

Ventnor wrote:
VampByDay wrote:
Ventnor wrote:

Another archetype that might be worth looking into for the Psychic is the Spell Trickster, which can modify several spells they can cast (depending on your Conscious Mind) without needing an action.

Of course, there is also the question of how a spell mod feat would interact with an improved Psi Cantrip, even before it gets amped.

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that amps don't work with metamagic feats as both are worded "If the next action is to cast a spell." Because the next action would be to do a free action metamagic feat, I don't think they stack, but I most certainly could be wrong. I'm far, far from 100% on that. I'll look it up and get back to you.
That’s the thing. Spell Trickster spell modification feats are not metamagic. They change the way a spell works without using any additional actions.

I'm leaning no for two reasons. One is that a lot of Dark Archive treats !amped cantrips and unamped cantrips as two different spells. For example, !amped guidance just overides the cooldown on plain ol' guidance.

Secondly, and I admit this is tenous as well, Spell Trickster specifically says that if you modify a spell, it can't be modified again. Now, I know the intent was that you can't trickester-modify it, but, well, amps are a form of a modification to a spell.

I mean, there is no clear ruling, that's just the way I'd lean as a GM.

Also, first 2 levels of feats are up for the psychic.


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VampByDay wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
VampByDay wrote:
Ventnor wrote:

Another archetype that might be worth looking into for the Psychic is the Spell Trickster, which can modify several spells they can cast (depending on your Conscious Mind) without needing an action.

Of course, there is also the question of how a spell mod feat would interact with an improved Psi Cantrip, even before it gets amped.

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that amps don't work with metamagic feats as both are worded "If the next action is to cast a spell." Because the next action would be to do a free action metamagic feat, I don't think they stack, but I most certainly could be wrong. I'm far, far from 100% on that. I'll look it up and get back to you.
That’s the thing. Spell Trickster spell modification feats are not metamagic. They change the way a spell works without using any additional actions.

I'm leaning no for two reasons. One is that a lot of Dark Archive treats !amped cantrips and unamped cantrips as two different spells. For example, !amped guidance just overides the cooldown on plain ol' guidance.

Secondly, and I admit this is tenous as well, Spell Trickster specifically says that if you modify a spell, it can't be modified again. Now, I know the intent was that you can't trickester-modify it, but, well, amps are a form of a modification to a spell.

I mean, there is no clear ruling, that's just the way I'd lean as a GM.

Also, first 2 levels of feats are up for the psychic.

I'd still say that Spell Trickster would be a good pick up for an Oscillating Wave Psychic since several Spell Trickster feats can add some targeting and control options to Fireball, a key spell that they get access too. Plus, since they won't be getting the Psi version of Mage Hand or Shield, they should get some more utility with their non-blasting cantrips from this archetype.

Sovereign Court

* Thank you for making the yellow highlight a milder tone. It's a lot easier on the eyes.

* Mental Balm: why would it be unclear what the DC to counteract yourself would be? That should just be your spellcasting DC just like if you'd cast a spell that someone was trying to counteract.

* Warp Space: it can also be used to project cones like Shatter Mind from unexpected angles. Normally cones are not ideal because to catch enemies in them you'd have to be close to the front line, and enemies aren't lined up nicely. But if you can start from any point within 30ft the chance of catching a lot of enemies in goes up. Sadly there aren't a ton of cone-shaped psi cantrips.


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Ascalaphus wrote:


* Mental Balm: why would it be unclear what the DC to counteract yourself would be? That should just be your spellcasting DC just like if you'd cast a spell that someone was trying to counteract.

There's 0 justification for it to be spellcasting DC.

It's not a spell.

It's just average DC by level exactly like the rules say it is for any effect coming from a creature/character when it doesn't list a specific DC.


Ascalaphus wrote:
I'm hoping for your take on class feats. I have strong opinions of my own, but there may be sleeper ones that I haven't properly seen the value of.

I'm struggling to see what the point of the most of the Psychic class feats are. Parallel BreakThrough is clearly almost mandatory. The level 10 feats are good but you only get one. The extra slots from Conscious Spell Specialization are good, but you have much higher level slots then so its just good. ShatterSpace works. The rest of the class feats? I'm just not seeing the point. The flavour is fine but mechanically they are forgetable. I'll be going into archetypes a lot with the Psychic.

What have I missed?

Scarab Sages

shroudb wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:


* Mental Balm: why would it be unclear what the DC to counteract yourself would be? That should just be your spellcasting DC just like if you'd cast a spell that someone was trying to counteract.

There's 0 justification for it to be spellcasting DC.

It's not a spell.

It's just average DC by level exactly like the rules say it is for any effect coming from a creature/character when it doesn't list a specific DC.

Interestingly enough, I posed that question elsewhere and it caused a giant argument with some saying since there was no DC it was impossible to counteract. Thus . . . I decided the way to go was just to put it grey and wait for the errata.

In case it isn't clear, yes, you use the spellcasting modifier to counteract the condition (as the amp is attached to the spell, I think that is reasonable) The question is determining the DC to counteract Unleashed Psyche's stupefied condition. The three (hotly debated) answers seem to be:

1) Psychic's class DC which, since they are untrained, is stupid low.
2) Psychic's spellcasting DC, which seems to be the best guess.
3) The counteract rules say that if there is no DC given, the GM can infer a DC "based on the level of the effect" which seems to imply the average DC by level attached to your PCs level.


I think level DC is most plausible for counteract DC, not spell DC.

Higher level makes the consequences of your unleash go up, not spell proficiency or attribute.

Scarab Sages

Gortle wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
I'm hoping for your take on class feats. I have strong opinions of my own, but there may be sleeper ones that I haven't properly seen the value of.

I'm struggling to see what the point of the most of the Psychic class feats are. Parallel BreakThrough is clearly almost mandatory. The level 10 feats are good but you only get one. The extra slots from Conscious Spell Specialization are good, but you have much higher level slots then so its just good. ShatterSpace works. The rest of the class feats? I'm just not seeing the point. The flavour is fine but mechanically they are forgetable. I'll be going into archetypes a lot with the Psychic.

What have I missed?

A few of them are situational. Homing Beacon is pretty great if you are infinite eye, as you can ignore miss chance, hit someone, then the party ignores miss chance. Psi Strikes is fantastic for Oscillating Wave IFF it 'flips your switch.' Ancestral mind (again, depending on errata) could give you a boatload of more cantrips at your disposal (see my "Master of the Elements" build in the guide.)


Psi Strikes is just like Bespell Weapon. It is OK if you are going spell + weapon round after round as a primary tactic. Its not terrible. It is plus 3.5 damage per hit. It is a solid tactic for low to mid levels.

It could flip the wheel for Oscillating Wave's Entropic Wheel, if you read that it triggers the second sentence of Conservation of Energy. It doesn't trigger the third. A typical PF2 rules contradition. But why would that matter? The Conservation of Energy ability is not a positive though. It is a mild negative as you don't get to choose your energy damage type, you have to alternate.

It doesn't add anything more to Entropic Wheel at that is limited to 1 per round. Which I consider to be too small a damage bonus. Even if you advance it at 1 per round. It is only good in a rare very long encounter. You should be getting much better value than that out of your reaction. I find Entropic Wheel to be a poorly defined power and I expect many people will play it differently.

I read Ancestral Mind as any and all. I don't find it unclear. Yes you can use it to get a few extra spells known. But Occult is a good list, and Psychic don't have that many spell slots. What do you want? Electric Arc is nice but its not that good and you have equivalent cantrips even before amping.

Scarab Sages

Gortle wrote:

Psi Strikes is just like Bespell Weapon. It is OK if you are going spell + weapon round after round as a primary tactic. Its not terrible. It is plus 3.5 damage per hit. It is a solid tactic for low to mid levels.

It could flip the wheel for Oscillating Wave's Entropic Wheel, if you read that it triggers the second sentence of Conservation of Energy. It doesn't trigger the third. A typical PF2 rules contradition. But why would that matter? The Conservation of Energy ability is not a positive though. It is a mild negative as you don't get to choose your energy damage type, you have to alternate.

It doesn't add anything more to Entropic Wheel at that is limited to 1 per round. Which I consider to be too small a damage bonus. Even if you advance it at 1 per round. It is only good in a rare very long encounter. You should be getting much better value than that out of your reaction. I find Entropic Wheel to be a poorly defined power and I expect many people will play it differently.

I read Ancestral Mind as any and all. I don't find it unclear. Yes you can use it to get a few extra spells known. But Occult is a good list, and Psychic don't have that many spell slots. What do you want? Electric Arc is nice but its not that good and you have equivalent cantrips even before amping.

The problem with Oscillating wave, which I mention in my guide, is if you run into a flesh golem/wood golem/ clay golem/stone golem, which are nasty enemies and immune to most spells except the ones they take damage for, so wasting turns turning on/off fire/cold damage is just straight up worse than being a primal sorcerer with those cantrips. Also, things that need consistent fire damage like hydras or trolls.

Also, if you had read my guide, you would see the “master of elements” build that gets three spells from heritage feats/heritages. Designed to be able to deal as many types of damage as possible.


VampByDay wrote:


The problem with Oscillating wave, which I mention in my guide, is if you run into a flesh golem/wood golem/ clay golem/stone golem, which are nasty enemies and immune to most spells except the ones they take damage for, so wasting turns turning on/off fire/cold damage is just straight up worse than being a primal sorcerer with those cantrips. Also, things that need consistent fire damage like hydras or trolls.

Also, if you had read my guide, you would see the “master of elements” build that gets three spells from heritage feats/heritages. Designed to be able to deal as many types of damage as possible.

That is true it can. But normal cantrips are not strong. They are just Ok as base line actions. Its always nice to have a range of them because of resistance / weaknesses. But typically speaking you should be investing in stronger powers. Master of Elements is a concept build.


VampByDay wrote:


I mean, there is no clear ruling, that's just the way I'd lean as a GM.

There's no clear ruling against the features stacking, and it doesn't result in a combination of features being "too good to be true". There's no reason to rule against it, and a GM would do well to err on the side of the player in this case.

Scarab Sages

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Up to level 10 feats are posted.

Sovereign Court

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Parallel Breakthrough: I personally couldn't rate this less than blue, because I think every build could get something very good out of it. Especially the utility spells are amazing;

- Infinite Eye Guidance as a reaction when it would help
- Glimpse Weakness (one action no MAP damage boost)
- Silent Whisper Message (one action give someone else a sudden extra action)
- Unbound Step Warp Step (one more level and you can amp to teleport twice your speed as a single action)

Dark Persona's Presence I'd rate yellow at best, because hurting allies is bad. It's one of my big peeves around the class that it has so many friendly-fire emanations. That might make sense for a high concept NPC but we don't have to build NPCs with PC rules so why is so much word count for PC options spent on these? One or two might be cute but we have so many.

Thougthsense: I'm not impressed - using a level 1 ancestry option to get Scent would do all of this better. Remember that even a baseline human already has vague scent so it's only thinking, hidden enemies that specifically masked their scent that you can eventually detect that you couldn't previously. Imprecise sense while your psyche is unleashed is just annoying too because you'd typically want to use that to correctly place a glitterdust or faerie fire, but that's a bit of a waste of the damage bonus that unleashing your psyche gives. So that's a bit feelbad. Compare it also to Soulsight which is just better.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

Parallel Breakthrough: I personally couldn't rate this less than blue, because I think every build could get something very good out of it. Especially the utility spells are amazing;

- Infinite Eye Guidance as a reaction when it would help
- Glimpse Weakness (one action no MAP damage boost)
- Silent Whisper Message (one action give someone else a sudden extra action)
- Unbound Step Warp Step (one more level and you can amp to teleport twice your speed as a single action)

It's also practically mandatory if you go infinite eye and want to use any of the fun amp feats like remove presence. None of their cantrips require an attack roll or saving throw. (Omnidirectional scan might, depending on whether you qualify the aid reaction it gives as an attack roll. But the question then becomes how do those fun amp feats work with a delayed attack roll?)

Scarab Sages

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For me, all blue feats are either feats that blew me away, or are mandatory. Notice I rated Paralell breakthrough as one less than all blue. It's good, it's really good, but is it "ranged thaumaturge picking up thaumaturge amunition" good? I think we are arguing the same thing here, that it is really good, just our threshold for all blue is different.

Dark Persona's Presence, I dunno, I like it. Maybe I've just played with more players that can mitigate fear (like champions with the fear aura, or thaumaturges with regalia, or just fighters), so I devalue frightened on PCs more than frightened on enemies. Plus, if your friends know you have a tendency to do this, they can set up for it.

Thaughtsense, I agree, not great, but depending on GM interpretation, it can go through doors, and there's not a lot of 'thoughts' to distract you in a dungeon (unlike smells.) Plus it can detect things like ghosts and thinking undead that might not have a scent. That's why I gave it a bit of a bump, I'll make that more clear.


I'd mention staff of divination when you talk about staves specifically for distant grasp, or other psychics that use a lot of attack rolls.
This staff bascially gives you some niche utility spells, but most of all can be used to gain a s+*&load of True Strikes. That should probably be enough to be able to use True Strike for most of your amped TPs each day.
As opposed to arcane casters that get Ring of Wizardry and Endless Grimoir to gain some extra low level spells, occult casters dont really have items like that.

Honestly that staff is the main reason i do not rate Emotional Acceptences feat AS highly because by that level you really do have True Strikes for days with this item. Sure at high level truestrike scrolls also come cheap, but you are probably wielding your staff and your wand by then, so dont have a free hand for scrolls.


One correction: in the guide you state that all mindshift actions are psyche actions. Psy Strikes is not a psyche action. It's also worth consideration for oscillating wave as a free action way to add or remove energy as necessary. For example, you can cold fireball (remove energy), free action psy strikes with fire to add energy back, and then have a cold fireball ready for your next turn.

It would probably be an annoying amount of work, but I think the Star rating system is better than colors: it's a lot easier to read. At least for me, the colors tend to make the text unreadable. Green makes it unreadable when I'm using night mode on google drive, and yellow makes it unreadable in normal mode. In contrast, attaching a star rating to every feature (example: Gnome Ancestry (*****), or Parallel Breakthrough (****)) is much clearer. You couldn't maintain the current template where you rate the individual ability scores in each ancestry, but I'm not sure that's needed anyways).

One thing I noticed recently about Dancing Blade, which potentially makes it quite good, is that it is the only psi cantrip (including modified standard cantrips) which can make more than one spell attack roll against a target without amping it. This allows it to have an interesting combo with the feat "remove presence".

Remove presence states: Choose one target of the spell or one creature in its area. If that enemy fails its save or the spell hits it, you become undetected by that creature, disappearing from its senses for 1 minute or until you use a hostile action. This is similar to being invisible, but effects like see invisibility don't reveal you—you're affecting the target's mind, not its vision. True seeing can still see through this illusion if the counteract check succeeds.

This allows for you to trigger the effect multiple times. You conjure the weapon, hit them, you go invisible (from their perspective). Next turn, you take the hostile action, briefly appear, and if you successfully hit them, disappear yet again.

Alternatively, you can give the buff to your astral tether target, although that would be less useful because they're going to take hostile actions on their turn, presumably.

I think the Spell Trickster has a lot of potential with this class, particularly as more versions of spell trickster feats are released on pathfinder infinite. In the official feats, there's "wild lights" which removes the sustained requirement of dancing lights. Combined with the amp, you could have a field that attempts to dazzle everything around it (although, unfortunately, the feat also causes dancing lights to start on top of your head, which subjects you to the field).

You can specialize in mage hand, getting the benefits of the passive bulk increases. Spell Trickster also gives you a non-amp way to shove with your mage hand, which would stack with the forced movement Amp. Obviously fireball has it's feats that are amazing for an Oscillating Mind psychic.

Scarab Sages

Up to level 16 feats up.

@Atlas Hugged: I'll look into fixing those, but some of them I do outright mention in the notes (like Mindshift actions allowing Oscillating Wave maybe allowing you to 'flip your switch.' It is hotly debated if it does or not)


For Shatter Space, it might be useful to note that the emanation radius is variable and is decided by the caster. It makes it less awkward to use than when I thought it was fixed at 20ft.

Scarab Sages

@Batlimpact: Done.

Also, all feats are up, finally.


The "Class Feats" hyperlink in your TOC is linking out to your Thaum guide.

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