Occult Adventures Playtest Review – Day 6
We have made it to the final day of reviews. We really hope that you have enjoyed and gained insight as to what these classes are and hopefully what is needed to take them to the next level.
Well here it is, Day 6’s review of the playtest Spiritualist!
Spiritualist Description: “Becoming a spiritualist is not a calling; it’s a phenomenon. When a creature dies, its spirit flees the body and begins the next stage of its existence. Debilitating emotional attachment during life and other psychic corruption causes some spirits to drift into the Ethereal Plane and descend toward the Negative Energy Plance. Some of these spirits are able to escape the pull of undeath and make their way back to the Material Plane, seeking refuge in a psychically attuned mind. Such a fusing of consciousnesses creates a spiritualist – the master of a single powerful spirit whom the spiritualist can manifest upon the world to do her bidding.” – Occult Adventures Playtest
First Glance: Oh great, another summoner. Will this one be overpowered and then get stripped down later?
Delving Deeper: When I first saw this class I was hoping that it was not just a summoner archetype and I will not compare them to this class. This has to be treated seperately.
If you did compare them to each other and had played a summoner before, you really need to note the differences between what happens when your phantom dies and then the range of abilities between the two. There are a lot of differences, thats why I would not compare them directly.
Another difference is that you have to choose an emotion, such as anger or jealousy, for your phantom. This represents its driving force and represents how it is able to stay in the physical world. Each emotion also provides bonuses and a sort of flavor for when you interact with your phantom.
The phantom basically has three settings; shared consciousness, incorporeal manifestation and ectoplasmic manifestation. Shared consciousness involves having the phantom in the spiritualist’s psyche and that is where it feels safest. There are several benefits to having two consciousnesses in one body (improved saves) and the phantom gives a couple of skill bonuses according to your phantom’s emotion. Manifesting your phantom incorporeally is basically having a personal ghost to do your bidding and has the benefit of being incorporeal. Ectoplasmic manifestation is the last ‘setting’ for a phantom. This is a full physical manifestation not unlike Slimer from Ghostbusters (even down to the ectoplasmic slime trail) and allows it to fight as a summoned creature directly with the physical world.
A player really has to pay attention as to how the spiritualist and phantom interact with spells such as dispel magic and others that dismiss summoned creatures. You have to pay attention as to how your phantom’s chosen emotion interacts with the three different settings of manifestation. Some work in a certain manifestation and not in others while others are all inclusive.
Here’s the Playtest Messageboard on Paizo’s website. It can give you even more insight as to what others are thinking about this class.
I will say that I have GM’d a game that had a spiritualist player so I have seen what a phantom is capable of. The phantom with three manifestations seemed to be the main flavor of the class while the spiritualist was less so. I was hoping to see more of an even (50/50) display of abilities. Well, maybe the shared consciousness ability is more for the spiritualist than the phantom itself, but still. It is a truly interesting class that will yield some fun characters for people to play.
Character Suggestions: A dwarven spiritualist who is bonded to his great-great-great grandfather phantom that fought in the great goblin-orc was and holds an extreme hatred towards them. Another concept is a spiritualist whose lover was tragically killed in a fit of jealousy and now has returned as a phantom with the jealous emotion tied to it.
4 out of 5 Rating: The spiritualist has a good mixture of abilities. Possessing a multitude of capabilities and spells that gels well with an interesting ghostly companion, the only real drawback to the spiritualist is the spiritualist itself; it may just be the weakest link. I want to give it a 5, but this is the barebones playtest and we need more character choices like feats and emotions to really get that rating.
If you enjoyed this review, please check out the other playtest class reviews here: