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    Default [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Version 1 of the Occultist Handbook is complete. I'm trying out Google Docs as a handbook mechanism because it makes changing the formatting so much easier than working with forum tags.

    Anyway, feel free to check it out here and PEACH:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1..._w1KN0D9HA/pub

    Stuff that's done:

    - Contents page (with hyperlinks)
    - Constellations
    - Spirits
    - The Occultist class (Pact Augmentations etc.)
    - Occult Feats
    - Binder Secrets

    Still left to do:

    - Builds
    - Races (tied to the above)
    - Items
    - Non-Occult Feats
    - PMU vol. 2 material (tons of new stuff.)
    Last edited by Psyren; 2013-12-25 at 05:18 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Reserved 1 of 1 - you may post away. (One more advantage to Docs guides I suppose...)


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Mind if I add it to the compendium?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTrees View Post
    Knowledge (local) being trained only, and not a class skill for many classes, means that your average human may well not be able to identify other humans! This may explain the exceptional quantity of half-human hybrids.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Novawurmson View Post
    Mind if I add it to the compendium?
    I would be honored, sirrah.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Consider it done! Also, really liking the guide. I've got a couple of the 3.5 books by the same publisher, and they were good material. Hopefully, this will help more people get into a (slightly) lesser known source.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTrees View Post
    Knowledge (local) being trained only, and not a class skill for many classes, means that your average human may well not be able to identify other humans! This may explain the exceptional quantity of half-human hybrids.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Thanks

    My thought was that anyone interested in porting the Binder to PF (or heck, just an OGL Binder) would want to check this class out. That's certainly what got me interested. But man, volume 2 stepped everything up. The new spirits are creepy, the legends are cool, and there are even more options for Occultists at all levels.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    I have to admit, this is a pretty fun read. It's actually making me want to use these as enemies in the next game I run since they can be so varied (which is my prerequisite for enemies)

    Kudos on the guide, can't wait to see more of it.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    I adored reading this guide, Psyren. Its clear that you have as much of a passion for Pact Magic as I do!

    Here are some comments based on what I read:

    —Fiend Constellation: I felt bad because this Constellation's Aspects suffer *heavily* from the space limitations that Dario and I had in Pact Magic Unbound, Vol 1. This was the primary reason that I made sure that Forash, the 1st Level Fiend Spirit, was printed in Vol 2, so hopefully when you update the guide for the next book these aspects will improve a little bit.

    —I nearly spat out my tea laughing when I read your comment about how Cave Mother allows you to "violate child labor laws!"

    —Gulguthriana is a Noble spirit because she is/was queen of the otyughs before she was brutally murdered for raising humanoids (specifically elves) like cattle. Gulguthriana was fun to write because of the crazy number of alliterations I was able to pull off in her description.

    —Hexus's favored ally (oozes) is a throw-back to Dario's original book. In it, 'living spell' is an ooze-type creature, which is why Hexus likes them.

    —For Hexus's VC, I would say that like all other granted abilities, the VC shares rebuke undead with its master, meaning they both share the same "undead command pool." However, that's not written there at all, so GMs should feel free to do as they feel is best.

    —Allow me to help out your examination of Jayna Warlock's Void Qualities:

    When thinking of the void, think of cold, desolate space. The blank spots between the stars. A "pinch of void" is likely going to be something from outer space. Stardust or the like. Your skin would have a scintillating, galactic appearance (pretend someone is projecting a planetarium all across your body) and it would feel cold and lifeless, as if you were undead. A "nimbus of void" would look like the swirling tendrils of a black hole, except you're not in danger of pulling reality into your face.

    —Portenta's Awakened Animal Companion is the exception to the rule. Its awakened, but its still a companion because its very essence is literally bound to your soul. Its not like a typical awakened animal that can hop, skip, and jump away if you call it fat or ugly.

    —For Young Kiros's VC (and any vestigal companion, really) you can assume that the creature just vanishes in a puff of smoke and leaves any gear you give it pooled where it once stood. In other words, it strips itself for you before it goes!

    —Kiros's TWF is carry over from Secrets of Pact Magic. Its not for the character who wants the Driz'zt DuOrden fighting style, its for the Elan who wakes up one morning and decides, "Hey, I would very much like to stab people with my rapier AND my dagger today!" Plus no-provoke is pretty darn good as-is.

    Very well-written guide; an excellent resource for me to use while I'm scheming Mythic Pact Magic. >: )

    — Alexander "Alex" Augunas

    Oh, and Merry Christmas!
    Last edited by Golden-Esque; 2013-12-24 at 10:43 PM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Compliments from the designer himself! I'm humbled And yes, as a matter of fact I do plan to revise the aspect ratings once I begin incorporating PMU2 content. Thanks for your kind words, and indeed, this guide was a lot of fun to write.

    While I have you on the horn, I did have another two rounds of questions for you on the PMU1 product page. You've answered some of them in your post above but I did have just a few more. Please feel free to respond there or here (whichever is easier for you.) I'm glad you liked my guide, and happy holidays to you and yours as well.

    Also, you may be pleased to hear that I've already gotten comments from people planning to buy the book now that there is a handbook out there to help them build an Occultist You deserve every additional sale, so enjoy!
    Last edited by Psyren; 2013-12-25 at 04:55 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Awesome work Psyren. Like I had said in my previous thread, I was looking for just this information. I didn't realize you were so close to releasing it!

    I was a little unsure how the constellations worked, but this cleared it up for me.

    I did catch a spelling error though.
    "Because of th3se, I will say that the Occultist is capable of T2 if it’s allowed to go all-out"

    and

    "Binder Secrets____ "

    Other than that, it looks fantastic. You have clearly spent a lot of your time on this, and it is most definitely appreciated!

    Also, must be awesome to get noticed by the very guy who crafted it. Good on you, man.
    Sorry, I simply HAD to steal these..

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Woo! It's up! I've been waiting since, well, you know when. Thanks for all the hard work, Psyren!

    Also, Golden-esque, thanks for bringing one of the most fun and flavourful classes from 3.5 forward. Looks like you nailed it.
    Last edited by Vortenger; 2013-12-25 at 11:03 PM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Vortenger View Post
    Woo! It's up! I've been waiting since, well, you know when. Thanks for all the hard work, Psyren!
    Glad to be of service!

    Quote Originally Posted by N. Jolly View Post
    I have to admit, this is a pretty fun read. It's actually making me want to use these as enemies in the next game I run since they can be so varied (which is my prerequisite for enemies)

    Kudos on the guide, can't wait to see more of it.
    Thanks a ton Jolly, and your Alchemist guide is great too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjollnir075 View Post
    Awesome work Psyren. Like I had said in my previous thread, I was looking for just this information. I didn't realize you were so close to releasing it!

    I was a little unsure how the constellations worked, but this cleared it up for me.

    I did catch a spelling error though.
    "Because of th3se, I will say that the Occultist is capable of T2 if it’s allowed to go all-out"

    and

    "Binder Secrets____ "

    Other than that, it looks fantastic. You have clearly spent a lot of your time on this, and it is most definitely appreciated!
    Thanks, and those should be fixed now. Please let me know if you spot any other typos. (And I was right - Docs is much easier to work with when it comes to making edits )

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjollnir075 View Post
    Also, must be awesome to get noticed by the very guy who crafted it. Good on you, man.
    That was definitely the highlight of my week!


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    A Christmas present that I wasn't expecting... this is fantastic.
    This guide is absolutely great and now that it is up I can stop bugging you about posting it.

    I plan on picking up Volume 2 and if you are looking for help writing any additional updates I am more than willing to help.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    I generally prefer 3.5 over PF but this guide is making me itching to play an occultist. Dang it Psyren I already have FAR too many characters that I want to play!

    Nevertheless, thanks for making this guide. Even if I never actually use the info in here in a game, it's fun to read it just by itself. The little comments about the vestiges especially .
    Please, call me Count

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorfnod View Post
    A Christmas present that I wasn't expecting... this is fantastic.
    This guide is absolutely great and now that it is up I can stop bugging you about posting it.

    I plan on picking up Volume 2 and if you are looking for help writing any additional updates I am more than willing to help.
    I actually picked up Volume 2 because of this guide :P
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTrees View Post
    Knowledge (local) being trained only, and not a class skill for many classes, means that your average human may well not be able to identify other humans! This may explain the exceptional quantity of half-human hybrids.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    A moderately interesting combo is the usage of the Simulacra ability of the Muse to make a fairly strong animal simulacra, then Magic Jarring in, then Beast Shaping into something even stronger. Pre-canned somewhat weak gish, but can do in a pinch.
    If you see me talking about Shaper Psions, assume that anything not poison immune within 100 feet will be dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    I was going to PM you about it because I wanted to know, but then you posted it later. Elegant solution. Watch out for Necropolitans.
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorfnod View Post
    A Christmas present that I wasn't expecting... this is fantastic.
    This guide is absolutely great and now that it is up I can stop bugging you about posting it.

    I plan on picking up Volume 2 and if you are looking for help writing any additional updates I am more than willing to help.
    Thank you very much!

    I need help with the same thing I've always needed help with - builds and combos! There are tons of possibilities with this class (far more than even the Binder had, especially given the compression/acceleration of its spirit acquisition) and definitely more than a few interactions I haven't yet considered just in this book, never mind all the additional goodies added in volume 2.

    For example...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    A moderately interesting combo is the usage of the Simulacra ability of the Muse to make a fairly strong animal simulacra, then Magic Jarring in, then Beast Shaping into something even stronger. Pre-canned somewhat weak gish, but can do in a pinch.
    ...this right here is the sort of combo I would have overlooked on my own. Muse Istago to paint disposable animals, and Hexus to possess them - this easy combo works on multiple levels. It keeps Hexus' animal possession relevant even at levels (or settings) where you're no longer facing animal opponents; drawing your own animal gives you options that even the vestigial companion choices don't (e.g. aquatic animals), the animal simulacrum is under your absolute command (to prevent any DM screw from transferring an animal spirit into your comatose body or ending the possession early), you get all the massive survivability of acting by proxy (a proxy of your design no less), and best of all this gives even a frail caster occultist a decent melee option because you start with the physical stats of the animal (and, as Mithril noted above, you can enhance these even further with Fey Baraddu.) This almost gets you back to 3.5 Wildshape, yet it's an involved enough process that it's still relatively balanced. This is the kind of combo I like - strong and useful, but far from the most broken thing you could be doing with Simulacrum and so it's likely to be allowed at a table.

    Quote Originally Posted by 123456789blaaa View Post
    I generally prefer 3.5 over PF but this guide is making me itching to play an occultist. Dang it Psyren I already have FAR too many characters that I want to play!

    Nevertheless, thanks for making this guide. Even if I never actually use the info in here in a game, it's fun to read it just by itself. The little comments about the vestiges especially .
    Glad you liked. Tone-wise, I drew heavy inspiration from the (sadly incomplete) "Let's Make a Deal" Binder handbook by Sobolev over on MMB. I loved that author's snide little comments about the weird things the vestiges made you do and tried to mimic that style when it came to analyzing the spirits.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2013-12-28 at 03:32 AM.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Just picked up Volume 2 because of this thread. Nice social marketing job Psyren!
    Incidentally, it's highly cheesy but the void elemental casting lets you make any item because it's an (Su) ability and Fabricate has it's consumed item as a material component. I will be filing a nerf request in the product thread, so enjoy it for the two remaining minutes while it lasts.

    EDIT: Started reading through it, Fiend is already up a tier as far as spirits go. Forash is nearly Pathfinder Zyceryll.

    EDIT2: OH GOD JÖRMUNGANDR!
    Last edited by Mithril Leaf; 2013-12-28 at 05:48 AM.
    If you see me talking about Shaper Psions, assume that anything not poison immune within 100 feet will be dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    I was going to PM you about it because I wanted to know, but then you posted it later. Elegant solution. Watch out for Necropolitans.
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    Just picked up Volume 2 because of this thread. Nice social marketing job Psyren!
    Incidentally, it's highly cheesy but the void elemental casting lets you make any item because it's an (Su) ability and Fabricate has it's consumed item as a material component. I will be filing a nerf request in the product thread, so enjoy it for the two remaining minutes while it lasts.
    Not necessarily - supernatural abilities can have components in PF, e.g. an Alchemist's bombs have both material and somatic components, while several Witch hexes have verbal and somatic. Basically it's left up to DM discretion, and while most still don't by default, it'd be pretty hard to argue that Su Fabricate does not given the spell text.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    EDIT: Started reading through it, Fiend is already up a tier as far as spirits go. Forash is nearly Pathfinder Zyceryll.

    EDIT2: OH GOD JÖRMUNGANDR!
    That was my first thought! He's a great choice for casters.

    But the one summon at a time limitation helps keeps him in check. And making the summons fiendish can get you dirty looks from the town guard/paladin even if you're saving the burning orphanage.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Not necessarily - supernatural abilities can have components in PF, e.g. an Alchemist's bombs have both material and somatic components, while several Witch hexes have verbal and somatic. Basically it's left up to DM discretion, and while most still don't by default, it'd be pretty hard to argue that Su Fabricate does not given the spell text.



    That was my first thought! He's a great choice for casters.

    But the one summon at a time limitation helps keeps him in check. And making the summons fiendish can get you dirty looks from the town guard/paladin even if you're saving the burning orphanage.
    Fair enough, I still feel it warrants some sort of mention somewhere as not being the case as by default most (Su) abilities do not have material components. But yeah Forash is a clearly excellent bind. Marat is also good once again, pairing well with the Phantom Knight to give you truly insane AC. It could even be argued to work when you're in Beast Shape, which would make you a very scary tank.

    The Worglord is one of the few 9th level spirits that actually gives you a major ability relevant at such levels. Rerolling everything as a natural 20 is very solid.
    If you see me talking about Shaper Psions, assume that anything not poison immune within 100 feet will be dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    I was going to PM you about it because I wanted to know, but then you posted it later. Elegant solution. Watch out for Necropolitans.
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Vortenger View Post
    Also, Golden-esque, thanks for bringing one of the most fun and flavourful classes from 3.5 forward. Looks like you nailed it.
    Thanks!

    Incidentally, it's highly cheesy but the void elemental casting lets you make any item because it's an (Su) ability and Fabricate has it's consumed item as a material component. I will be filing a nerf request in the product thread, so enjoy it for the two remaining minutes while it lasts.
    Incidentally, someone just pointed that out to Dario in an e-mail (was it you?)

    Currently we're thinking about making a rather large change to the occultist by adding a new core binding rule that any granted abilities that mimic spells with expensive material components also require those components unless noted otherwise. I know this'll have a huge impact on many spirits (for example, Muse Istago's ability to paint simulacrums), so I haven't 100% committed to this change yet. That said, most of the comments we've gotten involving balance make it seem like such a change would really help even out the system.

    Since we have a bunch of people in this thread, what do you think about such a change? Making it a universal rule instead of making changes on a case-by-case basis would save us a lot of space and possibly clean up some several broken combos. However, the idea of painting your own menagerie is one that I also enjoy. Greatly. If we do go through with this new ruling, there will likely be a Mythic Path ability that'll cut down the cost significantly, however.

    I'd love to hear what everyone thinks about this; if you post your thoughts here, I'll see'em.

    EDIT2: OH GOD JÖRMUNGANDR!
    I wanted to make sure the Tree constellation was a strong choice come Volume 2. You're basically binding a god with Jormungandr, so yeah. Fun times! My favorite ability of his is the auto-rez, personally, but I worked really hard to give him the coolest sounding names possible. ;-)

    That was my first thought! [Forash is] a great choice for casters.
    One of the critiques we got from Volume 1 was that it was very difficult to play an occultist who focused on "casting." Forash is one of several options for this type of occultist, the other strong one being Circe's Runes. I also count Cornelius Button, personally.
    Last edited by Golden-Esque; 2014-01-01 at 10:45 AM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    Currently we're thinking about making a rather large change to the occultist by adding a new core binding rule that any granted abilities that mimic spells with expensive material components also require those components unless noted otherwise. I know this'll have a huge impact on many spirits (for example, Muse Istago's ability to paint simulacrums), so I haven't 100% committed to this change yet. That said, most of the comments we've gotten involving balance make it seem like such a change would really help even out the system.

    Since we have a bunch of people in this thread, what do you think about such a change? Making it a universal rule instead of making changes on a case-by-case basis would save us a lot of space and possibly clean up some several broken combos. However, the idea of painting your own menagerie is one that I also enjoy. Greatly. If we do go through with this new ruling, there will likely be a Mythic Path ability that'll cut down the cost significantly, however.

    I'd love to hear what everyone thinks about this; if you post your thoughts here, I'll see'em.
    As I said to Mithril, I don't think that change is needed since Pathfinder really does leave it up to the DM whether components are required for a given Su ability (i.e. supernatural abilities are not specifically component-free in PF like they were in 3.5.) Instead, you have to default to the text to determine whether a given Su ability needs components or not, and Fabricate's text makes it clear that it specifically does. And the 3.5 Binder worked fine without a general rule like this - indeed, one of the cool things about it was the ability to not generally have to muck about with components (this was even called out specifically as a strength of binding in Tome of Magic.)

    Component-free Simulacrum for Muse Istago is not a problem due to both the inherent limitations of the spell itself, being limited to one at a time, and the cooldown to prevent you from throwing out lots of paintings during combat.

    If you do make this change, I would personally like an exemption for Istago but it's ultimately up to you. Just my 2 copper

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    One of the critiques we got from Volume 1 was that it was very difficult to play an occultist who focused on "casting." Forash is one of several options for this type of occultist, the other strong one being Circe's Runes. I also count Cornelius Button, personally.
    While we're on the subject of Circe, I didn't like that her runes are SLAs. This makes them subject to SR, provoke AoO, and also makes it unclear whether their saving throw DC is calculated with their spell level or scaling with the binder like other granted abilities. Which should it be?
    Last edited by Psyren; 2014-01-01 at 12:07 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    As I said to Mithril, I don't think that change is needed since Pathfinder really does leave it up to the DM whether components are required for a given Su ability (i.e. supernatural abilities are not specifically component-free in PF like they were in 3.5.) Instead, you have to default to the text to determine whether a given Su ability needs components or not, and Fabricate's text makes it clear that it specifically does. And the 3.5 Binder worked fine without a general rule like this - indeed, one of the cool things about it was the ability to not generally have to muck about with components (this was even called out specifically as a strength of binding in Tome of Magic.)

    Component-free Simulacrum for Muse Istago is not a problem due to both the inherent limitations of the spell itself, being limited to one at a time, and the cooldown to prevent you from throwing out lots of paintings during combat.

    If you do make this change, I would personally like an exemption for Istago but it's ultimately up to you. Just my 2 copper
    I'll think about it. As I mentioned, my primary goal is to make sure that the rules address the fabricate loophole. I could try to add a line that functions like this:

    Granted Abilities and Material Components: When a granted ability duplicates a spell, the binder does not usually require the spell's material components unless the ability states otherwise. As an exception, granted abilities that replicate item-creating spells such as minor creation, major creation, or fabricate always require the mateiral components noted by those effects. As an optional rule, a GM may decide that all granted abilities require all material components of the spells they replicate.

    ... let's see if I can make that fit into the book! If I can't, it'll end up as an FAQ and nothing more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    While we're on the subject of Circe, I didn't like that her runes are SLAs. This makes them subject to SR, provoke AoO, and also makes it unclear whether their saving throw DC is calculated with their spell level or scaling with the binder like other granted abilities. Which should it be?
    Her Minor Granted Abilities follow all of the usual rules associated with spell-like abilities unless noted otherwise. Therefore, they use the standard saving throw DCs unless noted otherwise.

    The reason she uses spell-like abilities instead of supernatural abilities is threefold: 1) Her legend strongly supports it. 2) Its unique; no other spirit grants spell-like abilities (and its unlikely any other one ever will). 3) She has more diversity in the spells she can offer than any other spirit in the game (and its unlikely any will ever be permitted to surpass her). She has an entire page dedicated to her spell-like abilities, after all!
    Last edited by Golden-Esque; 2014-01-01 at 01:38 PM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    I'll think about it. As I mentioned, my primary goal is to make sure that the rules address the fabricate loophole. I could try to add a line that functions like this:

    Granted Abilities and Material Components: When a granted ability duplicates a spell, the binder does not usually require the spell's material components unless the ability states otherwise. As an exception, granted abilities that replicate item-creating spells such as minor creation, major creation, or fabricate always require the mateiral components noted by those effects. As an optional rule, a GM may decide that all granted abilities require all material components of the spells they replicate.

    ... let's see if I can make that fit into the book! If I can't, it'll end up as an FAQ and nothing more.
    That's fantastic - I'd go with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    Her Minor Granted Abilities follow all of the usual rules associated with spell-like abilities unless noted otherwise. Therefore, they use the standard saving throw DCs unless noted otherwise.

    The reason she uses spell-like abilities instead of supernatural abilities is threefold: 1) Her legend strongly supports it. 2) Its unique; no other spirit grants spell-like abilities (and its unlikely any other one ever will). 3) She has more diversity in the spells she can offer than any other spirit in the game (and its unlikely any will ever be permitted to surpass her). She has an entire page dedicated to her spell-like abilities, after all!
    Fair enough. She's still quite good, it's just a bit jarring is all (an Occultist binding her has to worry about things that he hasn't had to worry about before, such as being threatened or SR/immunity.) However I do concede she's still highly useful for a caster.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    The favored faith trait (p99 PMU2) surprised me when I read it, I couldn't believe my eyes, but I found that it wasn't the only one, there are several ways to increase your binder level beyond the normal cap in the new book, opening the door to a whole new world of shenanigans.

    The favored trait boosts the occultist's binder level by 2 for the purposes of binding a higher level spirit, chosen at each level, much like the feat Improved Binding did back in 3.5 for the original binder class, except that there are no prerequisites, it's a trait rather than a feat, and even grants a bonus to binding checks, albeit only to one spirit at a time.

    The main problem is that it throws off the natural progression as compared to the spellcasters- it appears that with this trait only and no further power gaming an occultist could use a hold person hex (Foxglove) every round, unlimited alter self (Jarah), vital strike as if a level 6 fighting type (Cromwell) or summon a phantom steed or elemental (Ohbai), all at a level when everyone else is worrying about kobolds and single shot magic missiles. You could use Ability Share to lend your powers out to the other players, but I still feel that I'd have books thrown at me if I tried any one of these.

    The same trait would allow an occultist to use Istago at level 3, with all his scrying/buffing/illusion goodness, Baraddu at level 5, Dark Blood at level 7, and so on. And with the trait Heir to the Occult and the feat Commanding Facade, it's not just possible to keep your binder level up to the task of binding these spirits, it even appears possible to have your very own balor simulacrum at level 8, for free, for 24hrs a day. The best a specialist conjuror could do at the same level would be an augmented hound archon for a couple of minutes, and comparing even a half-strength balor to this guy just doesn't seem fair. There's none of the cost of simulacrum to compensate for this either- as normally you have to at least met the creature, to get the sample, and the pay the 100-500gp/hit die and time cost.

    I can keep going with examples- Marat, with Heir of the Occult and Commanding Facade, you can have a suit of +1 light fortification full plate that you move full speed in as well as a constant shield, that's a +13 ac right there. With max dex, you'd have an ac of 24, possibly more with size and other bonuses, and that's at level one. Enjoy hitting that with a +1 bab.

    The value of this trick lessens at mid-levels, but still progresses every 4 levels, and can give you abilities that other classes wouldn't get with twice the character level.

    To summarize- I think these two traits and one feat need a nerf, and either way should definitely be included in the next edition of this guide.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    I knew I was going to have to answer for the Favored trait sooner or later. :-P

    Quote Originally Posted by katarl View Post
    The favored trait boosts the occultist's binder level by 2 for the purposes of binding a higher level spirit, chosen at each level,
    The trait isn't perfectly clear, but all of its benefits applies to a single spirit at once. For example, you could treat yourself as being two levels higher for the purpose of binding Al'kra. The trait exists to try and prevent the "Fiend Constellation effect" that Volume 1 suffered from, i.e. it was pointless for archetypes to align with the Fiend constellation because the first fiend you could bind to was at level 9.

    much like the feat Improved Binding did back in 3.5 for the original binder class, except that there are no prerequisites, it's a trait rather than a feat, and even grants a bonus to binding checks, albeit only to one spirit at a time.
    Being a trait has its own restrictions. You can only have one faith trait at once (and there are some very good numeric ones).

    The main problem is that it throws off the natural progression as compared to the spellcasters- it appears that with this trait only and no further power gaming an occultist could use a hold person hex (Foxglove) every round, unlimited alter self (Jarah), vital strike as if a level 6 fighting type (Cromwell) or summon a phantom steed or elemental (Ohbai), all at a level when everyone else is worrying about kobolds and single shot magic missiles.
    This is true. However, remember that while the occultist is a jack-of-all trades, he isn't very versatile. You get one spirit at 1st level (two if you're using the Reserve Spirit feat) and that spirit's abilities have to last you all day. Also remember that unlike a 3rd-level cleric's hold person, the occultist's granted ability scales with his binder level. That means your hold person is operating at 10 + 1/2 your occultist level (rounded down to 0 at 1st level) + your Charisma modifier. You're likely going to be at -2 DC as a result, which is huge at 1st level.

    Some granted abilities might not even function if your binder level isn't high enough! The trait's power is really on a spirit-by-spirit basis.

    You could use Ability Share to lend your powers out to the other players, but I still feel that I'd have books thrown at me if I tried any one of these.
    Considering its a teamwork feat, Ability Share as fairly niche uses.

    And with the trait Heir to the Occult and the feat Commanding Facade, it's not just possible to keep your binder level up to the task of binding these spirits, it even appears possible to have your very own balor simulacrum at level 8, for free, for 24hrs a day.
    How are you getting enough Hit Dice to make a balor simulacrum at level 8? Even with Heir to the Occult, that's not enough. Simulacrum has a Hit Dice limit based on its caster's Hit Dice.

    Your theory also assumes that your binding check will be high enough to earn Muse Istago's capstone empowerment at 5th level; you need to hit a DC 29 binding check. If you have Capstone Binder, the DC lowers to 24. If you take Flexible Pactmaking, you can gain up to a +10 bonus to your check, and assuming you have a 16 Charisma (fairly reasonable), a 3rd level binder would have a DC of 8 (half his binder level is +1, the trait is another +2). This means you still have 40% chance to not get Muse Istago's capstone empowerment as well as a 15% chance to make a poor pact with him. Its certainly good odds, but not at all guaranteed and the combo uses both of your feats and traits, meaning you have no other tricks up your sleeve. This is the epitome of a one-trick pony.

    I can keep going with examples- Marat, with Heir of the Occult and Commanding Facade, you can have a suit of +1 light fortification full plate that you move full speed in as well as a constant shield, that's a +13 ac right there. With max dex, you'd have an ac of 24, possibly more with size and other bonuses, and that's at level one. Enjoy hitting that with a +1 bab.
    Shocking Grasp. Magic Missiles. Just about any spell can still severely harm you, really.

    To summarize- I think these two traits and one feat need a nerf, and either way should definitely be included in the next edition of this guide.
    All this said, I think Heir to the Occult is a bit of a headache. Consider it applicable only to Major Granted Abilities.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    I knew I was going to have to answer for the Favored trait sooner or later. :-P


    Being a trait has its own restrictions. You can only have one faith trait at once (and there are some very good numeric ones).
    That's true, I can think of a few very good faith traits. I won't ever be taking anything else though, Favored is just too good for any occultist to pass up (unless you're level 17 I suppose).

    This is true. However, remember that while the occultist is a jack-of-all trades, he isn't very versatile. You get one spirit at 1st level (two if you're using the Reserve Spirit feat) and that spirit's abilities have to last you all day. Also remember that unlike a 3rd-level cleric's hold person, the occultist's granted ability scales with his binder level. That means your hold person is operating at 10 + 1/2 your occultist level (rounded down to 0 at 1st level) + your Charisma modifier. You're likely going to be at -2 DC as a result, which is huge at 1st level.

    Some granted abilities might not even function if your binder level isn't high enough! The trait's power is really on a spirit-by-spirit basis.
    This was my original thought after reading Favored- Aha! those clever designers, I thought, they give us the abilities in name, but not the binder levels to power them!

    Then I realized that with Flexible Pactmaking and Commanding Facade, we did have the Binder Levels to power the trait, if we could manage to get a good pact going, and the beginnings of an occultist build was born.

    Reserve Spirit won't work, it requires 6 levels, feat prereqs are the only level restriction I can't break

    Considering its a teamwork feat, Ability Share as fairly niche uses.
    It's the 1 minute duration that prevents me from recreating my favourite class from the previous edition, the Occult Priest. It's perfect for a Cavalier though.

    How are you getting enough Hit Dice to make a balor simulacrum at level 8? Even with Heir to the Occult, that's not enough. Simulacrum has a Hit Dice limit based on its caster's Hit Dice.
    That worried me for a sec, but fortunately on the caster's end it's all based on caster level, not hit die: You can't create a simulacrum of a creature whose HD or levels exceed twice your caster level

    Level 8 occultist, heir to the occult +2, commanding facade +3 (+1 level 1, 4, 8), making 13, just enough.

    Your theory also assumes that your binding check will be high enough to earn Muse Istago's capstone empowerment at 5th level; you need to hit a DC 29 binding check. If you have Capstone Binder, the DC lowers to 24. If you take Flexible Pactmaking, you can gain up to a +10 bonus to your check, and assuming you have a 16 Charisma (fairly reasonable), a 3rd level binder would have a DC of 8 (half his binder level is +1, the trait is another +2). This means you still have 40% chance to not get Muse Istago's capstone empowerment as well as a 15% chance to make a poor pact with him. Its certainly good odds, but not at all guaranteed and the combo uses both of your feats and traits, meaning you have no other tricks up your sleeve. This is the epitome of a one-trick pony.
    That's definitely true, and you'd be stuck with it for a week if you failed. If it were me, I'd tilt the odds in my favour a little bit more, all the totems isn't possible at level 3, but a rank in craft, and an hour sleep or non-nobility is definitely doable for a +3 (the rank makes you a favored ally), with some endless chalk for another +1. I'd probably do a bit more than that, because this is a power-gaming exercise, not something I'd actually try, but you get the idea.

    Shocking Grasp. Magic Missiles. Just about any spell can still severely harm you, really.
    Well, not magic missiles, you gave us shield remember?

    All this said, I think Heir to the Occult is a bit of a headache. Consider it applicable only to Major Granted Abilities.
    That definitely does help. No magical sword (Hessant)/armour (Marat)at level 1 for me.
    Last edited by katarl; 2014-01-01 at 06:54 PM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    I see your point; I'm going to have to add a limiter for Muse Istago's simulacrum in the errata. 13 HD Balors at 1st level is sort of game breaking.
    Last edited by Golden-Esque; 2014-01-01 at 07:08 PM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    if anything i would errata the concerned abilities..

    Muse's Simulacrum and fabricate... just errata in things for that.

    on a case by case basis

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    Default Re: [PF] Pacting in Pathfinder: The Occultist Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Golden-Esque View Post
    I see your point; I'm going to have to add a limiter for Muse Istago's simulacrum in the errata. 13 HD Balors at 1st level is sort of game breaking.
    Didn't he say he did it at 8th level? It's not so bad then. EBL 13 at 1st level doesn't seem possible to me.

    Having said that, even if Paint Reality limited you to same-level simulacra it would still be useful.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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