Occult Adventures Playtest Review – Day 3
We hope you are enjoying the reviews and helping you decide which of these classes are for you. The third class we dig into is the Mesmerist:
Mesmerist Description: “Experts at charm and deceit, mesmerists compel others to look into their eyes and heed their words. Psychic powers, primarily those of enchantment and illusion, give them the tools they need to manipulate others – usually for their own personal gain. They very gaze of a mesmerist can hypnotize someone into following the mesmerist’s whims. Mesmerists frequently form cults of personality around themselves, and develop skills and contingency plans for when their ploys get discovered. Mesmerists draw their magic from the Astral Plane, and many consider their minds conduits to enigmatic spaces others can’t comprehend.” – Occult Adventures Playtest
First Glance: You know that creepy guy at the carnival that keeps staring at you when you pass by. Yeah, this is that guy.
Delving Deeper: This class has a smattering of everything that seems to gel really well together. As a spontaneous caster with a spell list consisting primarily of enchantment and illusion spells, the mesmerist can inflict or cure any affliction of the mind. The (no-concentration) Hypnotic Stare is useful to make opponents more susceptible to your mind-affecting spells, and then add some effects from the Bold Stare feature for a more potent combination.
By implanting psychic tricks into his allies (or himself), the mesmerist will be able to provide support according to what is needed for the situation. Tricks like false flank will definitely be helpful to a rogue or psychosomatic surge for fighters. Tricks like vanish arrow could help deal with ranged combatants; it all just depends on what type of campaign you are playing in. One of the drawbacks with the Mesmerist Tricks is that they are very situational, the need to touch the recipient and the duration of how long the trick is active before expiring. With all of these abilities at a mesmerist’s disposal, they will definitely test a player’s ability to manage their resources.
Honestly, the main problem the mesmerist has is the ability to affect creatures that are not affected by mind-affecting abilities. But that can be easily solved with feats or tricks (Psychic Inception trick) or whatever. Once that is overcome, the mesmerist is the king of enchantment and illusion.
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Character Suggestions: This class has me stumped. You could make the creepy carnival guy or you could make a creepy gnome guy or a creepy little halfling guy. But seriously, since mesmerists are known for their large egos and powerful personalities, a tiefling could easily be the founder of its own cult or a benevolent, supportive dwarven captain known to have almost absolute loyalty of his command.
4 out of 5 Rating: This class has a good variety of everything. Spell progression, BAB and class features seem to be rounded out nicely. And after trying to brain-storm ideas for characters, a drawback may be the lack of character options that will differentiate between characters. By having more options for tricks and stares in later releases, customization could be better mitigated.
And check out the other playtest reviews: