While they don’t really look like it at first glance, mesmerists are well built to serve a support role in the party, with limited healing, the ability to remove nasty conditions, and all those tricks that are so focused on helping himself and his allies. But what if the mesmerist’s tricks were more harmful than helpful, and focused on fooling his foes rather than aiding his allies? Well, that would make him a hypnotist, this week’s Best in Class archetype for mesmerists. Enjoy!
Mesmerist Tricks (Su): A hypnotist can perform subtle psychic tricks similar to those performed by other mesmerists, but he focuses his tricks on confounding and befuddling his opponents, rather than aiding himself and his allies. To implant a trick, the hypnotist must take a swift action and designate a single creature within close range (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) as the target. The mesmerist can activate the trick as a free action when a triggering condition is met (as defined in the trick’s description), but only after 1d4 rounds have passed. A hypnotist cannot select the mesmerist tricks available to other mesmerists, and must instead choose from the list of tricks presented here. In all other ways, a hypnotist’s tricks function identically to the tricks of other mesmerists. The saving throw DC for a hypnotist’s mesmerist tricks is equal to 10 + 1/2 the hypnotist’s class level + the hypnotist’s Charisma modifier.
Countermaneuver: The hypnotist alters the subject’s perception, interfering with a combat maneuver and leaving the subject vulnerable to a counter. The hypnotist can trigger this trick when the subject initiates a combat maneuver check. The subject suffers a penalty on the combat maneuver check equal to the hypnotist’s Charisma modifier. Additionally, if the combat maneuver check fails, the target of the failed combat maneuver can immediately make a combat maneuver of her own against the subject as a free action (it does not need to be the same type of combat maneuver: for example, if the subject attempted to sunder a creature’s weapon and failed, that creature could initiate a grapple, or attempt to disarm the subject, if desired). Combat maneuvers initiated in this way never provoke attacks of opportunity, even if they otherwise would.
Distraction: The subject is temporarily distracted by a hypnotic compulsion. The hypnotist can trigger this trick when the subject makes an initiative check, when the subject makes a Perception check, or when the subject is the target of an attack roll. If triggered by an initiative check or Perception check, the subject suffers a penalty on the check equal to the hypnotist’s Charisma modifier. If triggered when the subject is the target of an attack roll, the target’s AC is reduced by 2 for the purposes of that attack roll. The hypnotist must declare that he is using this ability before any rolls are made as part of the triggering actions.
Familiar Faces: The subject perceives a number of creatures as something other than they really are. The hypnotist can trigger this trick whenever one or more creatures initially come into the subject’s view. The subject perceives these creatures as appearing differently from their actual appearance, as though each had been affected by disguise self, except that their appearance is altered only in the eyes of the subject, and the saving throw DC to disbelieve the effect is equal to the normal saving throw DC for the hypnotist’s tricks. The hypnotist can alter the subject’s perception of up to 1 creature per class level in this way, although none of the affected creatures can have been being observed by the subject when the trick is triggered. Each of the creatures whose appearance is altered in the subject’s perception can have their appearance altered in different ways, as determined by the hypnotist when the trick is triggered. This is an illusion (phantasm) effect.
Fickle Fate: What appears to be a bit of good luck suddenly turns sour. The hypnotist can trigger this trick when the subject rolls a natural 20 on any d20 roll. The roll is treated as though the result were a natural 1, instead.
Imaginary Action: The hypnotist causes the subject to believe that he has performed an action, when in fact he hasn’t. The hypnotist can trigger this trick when the subject performs any kind of move action, swift action, or free action. The subject believes that he has performed the action in question, but in fact he has not, and the action is wasted. Depending on the nature of the action, it is possible that the subject may immediately become aware of the fact that he did not perform the action (for example, if the action was to drink a potion, it would become clear that he had not done so once he noticed that he was still holding the full potion vial), but even in these cases, the action is still wasted. Purely mental actions (such as using a spell-like ability, communicating telepathically, and so on) cannot be interfered with in this way. The hypnotist must declare that he is using this ability before any rolls made as part of the triggering action are made, but he can wait until the nature of the action (i.e., drinking a potion, standing up from prone, moving, etc.) is known.
Skill Meddling: The hypnotist makes the subject suddenly forget everything he knows about a certain skill. The hypnotist can trigger this trick when the subject makes a skill check for a skill in which he has 1 or more ranks. The subject suffers a penalty on that roll equal to 1/2 the hypnotist’s class level, up to a maximum amount equal to the number of ranks the subject has in that skill. If the penalty is equal to the number of ranks the subject has in the skill, he is treated as being untrained in that skill for the purposes of that check, which may prevent him from succeeding regardless of the result of his roll.
Sleight of Speech: The hypnotist causes the subject to hear something very different from what was actually spoken. The hypnotist can trigger this trick whenever any creature speaks within earshot of the subject. Instead of whatever is actually said, the subject hears a message of the hypnotist’s choosing. The hypnotist’s message can have no more words than the actual message, and no more than 5 words per class level can be replaced in this way. The subject still hears the message in the voice of the actual speaker, but the tone and cadence of the speech changes to match the new message. The subject is not entitled to a Will save to resist this effect, but may be able to figure out on his own that the message he heard was not real, depending on the circumstances. This is an illusion (phantasm) effect.
Stumbling Step: An implanted suggestion causes the subject to make a misstep at exactly the wrong moment. The hypnotist can trigger this trick when the subject takes an action that would cause him to have moved an amount of distance greater than his base land speed during his turn. The subject must succeed on a Reflex save or fall prone in the square that he was in when he initiated the triggering action, losing the triggering action.
Undermine Spell: Hypnotic compulsion weakens the subject’s resolve and focus on spellcasting, lessening the effectiveness of the spell. The hypnotist can trigger this trick when the subject casts a spell that allows a saving throw not denoted as harmless. The spell’s saving throw DC is reduced by 1. At 11th level, the spell’s saving throw DC is reduced by 2, instead.
Wild Swings: The hypnotist causes the subject’s arms to take on a life of their own, causing him to swing much more wildly with his attacks. The hypnotist can trigger this trick when the subject makes a melee attack. The subject suffers a penalty on the attack roll equal to the hypnotist’s Charisma modifier, but gains an equal bonus on the damage roll, if the attack hits. The hypnotist must declare that he is using this ability before the attack roll is made. The bonuses and penalties imposed by this trick last until the beginning of the hypnotist’s next turn.
Masterful Tricks (Su): At 12th level, a hypnotist can choose a masterful trick in place of a mesmerist trick, just as any other mesmerist. However, instead of choosing from the masterful tricks available to other mesmerists, he must choose from the ones presented here. A hypnotist’s masterful tricks function identically to the masterful tricks of other mesmerists in all other ways.
Command: The hypnotist compels the subject to perform a specific action. When the hypnotist implants this trick, he must choose a specific condition that will allow him to trigger this trick, which can be anything he desires, as long as it is largely in line with the conditions required by other tricks (subject to GM discretion). When triggered, this functions as command, except that the saving throw DC is the normal DC for one of the hypnotist’s tricks, and the hypnotist has the option to command the subject to dance, instead of any of the spell’s normal commands. A creature commanded to dance does nothing on its turn but dance and caper in place, provoking attacks of opportunity.
Cruel Fate: This functions as the fickle fate trick, but the hypnotist can also trigger it if the subject rolls a 19 or 18 on a d20 roll. If triggered on a 19, the roll is treated as a 2, and if triggered on an 18, the roll is treated as a 3.
Forget Spell: The hypnotist distracts the subject just as he is about to cast a spell, possibly causing the spell to flee from the target’s mind. The hypnotist can trigger this trick when the subject casts a spell or uses a spell-like ability. The subject must make a concentration check (DC 15 + twice the spell’s level), or lose the spell.
Friendly Fire: The subject mistakes a friend for a foe, directing his attack at the wrong target. The hypnotist can trigger this trick when the subject makes an attack against one of the hypnotist’s allies, which could potentially target one of the subject’s allies, instead. The subject must succeed on a Will save or direct the attack against his ally, instead of his intended target. If the triggering attack is part of a full-attack action, only one of the attacks made as part of that action is affected (the one that the hypnotist chooses to affect). The hypnotist must declare that he is using this ability before the attack roll for the triggering attack is made.
Greater Imaginary Action: This functions as the imaginary action trick, but can be used on standard actions, as well.
Misdirect: The hypnotist alters the subject’s perception of incoming attacks, causing him to zig when he should have zagged. The hypnotist can trigger this trick when the subject is attacked or becomes the target of a spell that requires an attack roll. The subject is denied his Dexterity bonus to AC for the purposes of the triggering attack, and instead applies his Dexterity modifier as a penalty to AC for that attack. If the triggering attack is part of a full-attack action, this applies only to a single attack made as part of that action (the one the hypnotist specifies). The hypnotist must declare that he is using this ability before the triggering attack roll is made.
Switcheroo: The hypnotist and the subject physically exchange places. The hypnotist can trigger this trick when an enemy moves adjacent to or attacks him, or when the subject moves adjacent to or attacks one of the hypnotist’s allies, provided the subject and the mesmerist are within 100 feet of one another. The subject and the mesmerist then swap positions. The subject is entitled to a Will save to negate the effect. If the trick was triggered by an attack, the swap happens before checking to see whether the attack hits. This is a conjuration (teleportation) effect.