Starfinder: Mystic Preview

  • Posted by
  • at

Paizo’s got a sneak preview of the Mystic, one of the two upcoming “magic” classes in Starfinder.

BY now we’ve been through two of the Starfinder classes, the Envoy and the Operative. This week it’s time to add a little magic to your world–and today we’re looking at two of the big ‘caster classes’ in the game. Which, interestingly, they only get access to spells up to 6th level (more on that in a moment). As far as caster types go, while the old Arcane and Divine kind of distinctions seem to be gone, I’d say these are the most divine of the caster types. Whether that’s reflected in their spell list or not, these guys are Wisdom based (which I could see being a good psychic stat as well if they go that route), and Mystics have a focus called Connection which is all about the bonds that tie the universe together. Take a look:

You understand that what most people call magic is simply an expression of the innate connection between all things, and you intuitively tap into this unseen power to create strange effects. You may conceptualize the source of your magic as divine grace, a manipulation of fundamental energy, or an unlocking of psychic potential, but always with the knowledge that you are a conduit channeling forces greater than yourself. Though you may study, you understand that spellcasting—like all existence—is messy and intuitive, and you specialize in biology and mental systems too complex to be perfectly understood by science. You sense the intangible and exploit your bonds with others, whether to bolster them or bend them to your will.

In Starfinder, it’s well accepted that there are forces beyond the understanding of pure science which, whether you want to refer to them as arcane, divine, or psychic, are best thought of as just “magic.” There are options for players who want to add just a little magic to their character (ranging from the Connection Inkling and Psychic Power feats to the phrenic adept archetype, which can be accessed by any class), but significant magical ability is primarily in the hands of the mystic and technomancer classes.

This is one of the things that I like about Starfinder–the various character archetypes seem to allow for some cross-pollination with the other class. Mind you, I’m sure the multi-class options will be bananas, but it’s nice to know that you don’t *have* to multiclass to get your crazy gish on. Mystics also get a 3/4 base attack bonus (presumably) as well as proficiency with the most basic weapons. So that’s one difference between them and Clerics–more skills but fewer combat options.

While a great deal of a mystic’s focus is on more esoteric truths that are represented by class features, they are still scholarly enough to gain 6 skill points per level and have 12 class skills. Since their abilities may require attack rolls in combat, they have the same average base attack bonus as the envoy and operative, but only gain proficiency (and eventually specialization) with light armor, small arms, and basic melee weapons. Their focus on comprehending the secrets of existence give them a good Will save progression, and makes Wisdom their key ability score.

Jedi-esque might not be that far off a descriptor, though I’d cast them more as Jedi Consular than Guardians. After all they’re all about being in tune with the fundamental forces that bind the universe together. And their spells aren’t quite the showy explosion/quantum singularity type spells we’ve heard about from the Solarion. Even the Technomancers are said to have “physics and technology-oriented spells,” which presumably means lots of weird nanomagic things. Though it sounds like Mystics are the ones who would know the fourteen words to make you fall in love, the seven to send you away without pain. How to say goodbye to a friend who is dying. How to be poor, how to be rich. How to rediscover dreams when the world has stolen them from you.

Mystics’ studies also grant them access to mystic spells, ranging from 0-level to 6th level, which represent a significant part of their power. Mystic spells are more likely to focus on philosophy, natural systems, mental endeavors, and living things than the more physics- and technology-oriented technomancer spells. This gives them access to numerous charm and emotion spells, spells focusing on telepathy and thought, and spells that cure or restore balance to living things. However, they also have some powers drawn from natural forces such as radiation and some force-based telekinetic powers. How a mystic operates can be strongly influenced by their choice of spells known—fear, force blast, and hold person are all useful 2nd-level offensive mystic spells, but each comes with its own advantages and limitations.

Much of the focus of a mystic comes from their choice of a connection: a link to some force that the mystic sees as the source of their power, and which helps shape their approach to their abilities. Many mystics serve as clergy and see their gods as the source of their powers (though the priest theme is available to a character of any class), but a connection can also be to a philosophy, a mysterious patron, or nearly anything else a player chooses. Regardless of what power fuels the mystic’s connection, each connection has a specific focus that grants the mystic a set of powers and bonus spells known. The mystic selects from the akashic, empath, healer, mindbreaker, overlord, or star shaman connection, which grant powers ranging from access to the Akashic Record to the power to explode heads.

Backlash (SU)

Whenever a foe succeeds at a Will save against one of your spells and completely negates the effect, that foe takes 1 nonlethal damage for each mystic level you have. This is a mind-affecting pain effect.

I have to say, these sound pretty cool. I am curious to see how their “connection” powers differentiate and how these powers fit into the overall tree of the class. But as GenCon draws closer I’m hoping we’ll get a look at one (or more) of the specializations from these classes to see just how much customization will be available.

As always, stay tuned for more information. Next up is the Soldier class–so hopefully we’ll get a look at what to expect from combat in the game as well!

I just want to use an invocation of crystal or laser.

  • Rob brown

    My question is can it do a reasonable job of approximating psykers for a Dark Heresy game setting using Starfinder rules.

  • CthulhuDawg

    Space Psions. I dig it.