Occult Adventures Playtest Review – Day 4
We are up to Day 4 with probably my favorite class of the playtest, the Occultist. Remember, if you haven’t already; pick up your free Playtest Packet from Paizo before November 25th!
Occultist Description: “The occultist focuses on the world around him. While gifted psychics use their power to explore the mind and gaze at what lies beyond, the occultist is grounded in the powers that flow throughout his environment. He uses his power to study the magic that infuses everyday items to the powerful incantations that fuel the mightiest spells.”
“The occultist channels his psychic might through implements – items that allow him to focus his power and produce specific effects. While some of these implements might be magic items in their own right, most of them have a personal or historical significance to the occultist. For him, implements are much more than simple tools. They are a reservoir of history and a tie to the events of the past. He uses these implements to influence and change the present, adding his legend to theirs.” – Occult Adventures Playtest
First Glance: Don’t we already have magic items? Now normal items are magic, too? Even this pencil? Sweet!
Delving Deeper: This class is very, very interesting. You can focus your mind to draw out ancient, psychic energy from objects to use magically. There are so many possibilities for characters with this class! But first, let’s look at the nuts and bolts.
You have a certain amount of implements that you can draw power from and each implement, whether it be a weapon or crystal ball or what-have-you, has powers automatically ‘turned-on’ when empowered as well as a selection of ‘extra’ powers. You can expend your focus points to power the implements of leave some energy in them so that latent powers activate. Each implement also has a corresponding school of magic. These schools of magic determine the spells you can cast.
After reading the class carefully you can see that you need more mental focus and spells to choose from. Without a full BAB (or the option for a full BAB), those elements need to be increased. Having the choice of 1 spell for each implement (2 spells total at first level) is somewhat lackluster. And since the implements’ special powers are either dependent on stored energy or spent energy, burning that focus will go fast.
These issues seem to have been raised in the Playtest Messageboard.
Character Suggestions: Two concepts come to mind right away. The first is a dwarven occultist that uses his father’s and grandfathers’ and great-grandfathers’ weapons, armor and equipment, drawing out the power of his ancestors for use in battle. The second concept is a human occultist that uses a Harrow Deck and a Wayfinder for divination and conjuration purposes. This character would combine the characteristics of both implements to complement the use of the other with other abilities (feats: Harrowed, Harrowed Summoning). One of these concepts will be my character for the playtest; I like the dwarf, but I really want to use my fancy Harrow Deck.
4 out of 5 Rating: The largest issue that keeps them from getting a 5 from me is the spells. The spell progression and spell list needs work. It either needs to be bumped up to get higher level spells earlier or more spells available for use at each level