Archives of Nethys

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Mesmerist Class Details | Stares | Tricks | Archetypes


Source Occult Adventures pg. 38 (Amazon)
Experts at charm and deceit, mesmerists compel others to heed their words and bend to their will. Psychic powers, primarily those of enchantment and illusion, give mesmerists the tools they need to manipulate others—usually for their own personal gain. The very gaze of a mesmerist can hypnotize someone into following his whims. Mesmerists frequently form cults of personality around themselves, and they develop skills and contingency plans in case their ploys are discovered. They draw their magic from the Astral Plane, and many consider their minds to be conduits to enigmatic spaces others can’t comprehend.

Role: Mesmerists wield power over lesser minds, suppressing foes’ wills to weaken them. Priding themselves on their trickery and inventiveness, they also support their allies—and often themselves—with magical tricks, most of which offer protection. Their limited healing ability primarily provides temporary hit points, so mesmerists aren’t the strongest primary healers, but they can easily remove conditions that typically affect the mind.

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d8.
Starting Wealth: 3d6 x 10 gp (average 105 gp).

Class Skills

The Mesmerist's class skills are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Class Features

 Spells Per Day
LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial1st2nd3rd4th5th6th
1st+0+0+2+2Consummate liar, hypnotic stare, knacks, mesmerist trick, painful stare1-----
2nd+1+0+3+3Mesmerist trick, towering ego2-----
3rd+2+1+3+3Bold stare, touch treatment (minor)3-----
4th+3+1+4+4Mesmerist trick31----
5th+3+1+4+4Manifold tricks (2), mental potency42----
6th+4+2+5+5Mesmerist trick, touch treatment (moderate)43----
7th+5+2+5+5Bold stare431---
8th+6/+1+2+6+6Hypnotic stare (-3), mesmerist trick442---
9th+6/+1+3+6+6Manifold tricks (3)543---
10th+7/+2+3+7+7Mesmerist trick, touch treatment (greater)5431--
11th+8/+3+3+7+7Bold stare, glib lie5442--
12th+9/+4+4+8+8Masterful tricks, mesmerist trick5543--
13th+9/+4+4+8+8Manifold tricks (4)55431-
14th+10/+5+4+9+9Mesmerist trick, touch treatment (break enchantment)55442-
15th+11/+6/+1+5+9+9Bold stare55543-
16th+12/+7/+2+5+10+10Mesmerist trick555431
17th+12/+7/+2+5+10+10Manifold tricks (5)555442
18th+13/+8/+3+6+11+11Mesmerist trick555543
19th+14/+9/+4+6+11+11Bold stare555554
20th+15/+10/+5+6+12+12Mesmerist trick, rule minds555555

Spells Known


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A mesmerist is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, sap, sword caneUE, and whip. He is proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

Spells: A mesmerist casts psychic spells drawn from the mesmerist spell list (see page 44). He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a mesmerist must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell’s level. The saving throw DC against a mesmerist’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the mesmerist’s Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a mesmerist can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table 1–4: Mesmerist on page 39. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score (see Table 1–3 on page 17 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook).

The mesmerist’s selection of spells is limited. A mesmerist begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the mesmerist’s choice. At each new mesmerist level, he learns one or more new spells, as indicated on Table 1–5: Mesmerist Spells Known. Unlike a mesmerist’s spells per day, the number of spells a mesmerist knows isn’t affected by his Charisma score; the numbers on Table 1–5 are fixed.

At 5th level and every 3 levels thereafter, a mesmerist can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the mesmerist loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least 1 level lower than the highest-level mesmerist spell the mesmerist can cast. A mesmerist can swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.

A mesmerist need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any mesmerist spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.

Consummate Liar: A mesmerist adds 1/2 his mesmerist level (minimum 1) as a bonus on all Bluff checks. In addition, the mesmerist qualifies for the Improved Feint and Greater Feint feats, even if he doesn’t have Combat Expertise or an Intelligence score of at least 13. He can also ignore Combat Expertise and an Intelligence score of 13 as prerequisites for other feats that require Improved Feint or Greater Feint.

Hypnotic Stare (Su): A mesmerist can focus his stare on one creature within 30 feet as a swift action. That creature takes a –2 penalty on Will saving throws. This penalty changes to –3 at 8th level. A mesmerist can maintain his stare against only one opponent at a time; it remains in effect until the mesmerist stares at a new target, the opponent dies, the opponent moves farther than 30 feet away, or the mesmerist falls unconscious or dies. The mesmerist can remove the memory of his stare from the target’s mind; the creature doesn’t remember that it was affected (nor does it realize that it is currently being affected) unless the mesmerist allows it. The hypnotic stare is a psychic effect, and relies more on the mesmerist’s focus than the target’s perception of his stare. It can’t be avoided in the same ways a gaze attack can. The mesmerist can use this ability even while blinded, but must succeed at a DC 20 concentration check to do so. Staring at a creature requires the mesmerist’s focus, so if he uses a gaze attack or similar ability, he must target the subject of his hypnotic stare or voluntarily end the stare. The penalties from multiple mesmerists’ stares don’t stack, nor do they stack with penalties from witches’ evil eye hexes. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Knacks: Mesmerists learn a number of knacks, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table 1–5. These spells are cast like any other spells, but they do not consume any slots and can be used again. Knacks cast using other spell slots, due to metamagic feats, for example, consume spell slots as normal.

Mesmerist Tricks (Su): A mesmerist can create hypnotic bonds with his allies, implanting magical suggestions in their minds that he can later activate. Each day, he can implant a number of these tricks equal to 1/2 his mesmerist level (minimum 1) plus his Charisma bonus (if any). He can have only one trick implanted at a given time, and implanting a new trick ends the previous one (the mesmerist still loses the use of this ability he spent on the previous trick).

To implant a trick, the mesmerist must take a standard action and either touch a willing creature or implant the trick in himself. A creature can be the subject of only one mesmerist trick at a time. The mesmerist can activate the trick as a free action when a triggering condition is met (as defined in the trick’s description), even if it isn’t his turn. The subject must be within medium range (100 feet + 10 feet per level) for the mesmerist to trigger the trick. The mesmerist monitors for the trick’s triggering condition through a subtle telepathic connection, so he doesn’t need line of sight to trigger it—but anything that blocks telepathic contact prevents him from triggering tricks. An implanted trick lasts until the next time the mesmerist regains his spells.

Once triggered, a trick is no longer implanted, and can’t be triggered again until the mesmerist implants the trick again. The duration of the effect caused by triggering a trick is either instantaneous or appears in the trick’s entry. The DC for any mesmerist trick or masterful trick that requires a saving throw or skill check is 10 + 1/2 the mesmerist’s level + the mesmerist’s Charisma modifier.

The mesmerist knows one trick at 1st level, and learns another trick at 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter (to a maximum of 11 tricks at 20th level). Each daily use of mesmerist tricks can be used to implant any trick the mesmerist knows. Unless specifically noted in the mesmerist trick’s description, a mesmerist can’t choose a particular trick more than once.

Note from Nethys: The full list of mesmerist tricks is available here.

Painful Stare (Su): When an attack that deals damage hits the target of a mesmerist’s hypnotic stare, the mesmerist can cause the target to take an amount of additional damage equal to 1/2 the mesmerist’s class level (minimum 1). The mesmerist can use this ability as a free action, and can use it even if it isn’t his turn. If the mesmerist uses this ability to increase his own damage, the additional damage increases by 1d6 points for every 3 class levels the mesmerist possesses. This damage is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit. A mesmerist can trigger this ability only once per round, but a single creature can take damage from multiple mesmerists’ painful stares in a round.

Towering Ego (Su): At 2nd level, a mesmerist gains a bonus equal to his Charisma bonus (minimum 0) on Will saving throws. If the mesmerist is under any effect that would prevent him from providing the emotional component of psychic spells (see page 144), he loses this bonus on saving throws.

Bold Stare (Su): At 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, a mesmerist’s hypnotic stare imposes a further effect upon its target. The mesmerist chooses one option each time he gains a new bold stare improvement, and the choice can’t be changed later. The mesmerist can’t choose the same bold stare improvement more than once unless otherwise noted. All of the mesmerist’s bold stare improvements affect the target as long as it is affected by the mesmerist’s hypnotic stare.

Note from Nethys: The full list of mesmerist stares is available here.

Touch Treatment (Su): At 3rd level, the mesmerist can help allies shake off harmful conditions—especially those that affect their minds—by channeling psychic energy through his healing hands. He can use touch treatment a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier. Using the ability is a standard action (or a swift action if the mesmerist uses it on himself ), and the mesmerist must be able to touch his target. He can remove one condition from one target each time he uses this ability. At 3rd level, he can remove any condition on the minor conditions list. At 6th level, he can remove any condition on the minor or moderate conditions list, and at 10th level, he can remove any condition on the minor, moderate, or greater conditions list.

Minor Conditions: Fascinated, shaken.
Moderate Conditions: Confused, dazed, frightened, sickened.
Greater Conditions: Cowering, nauseated, panicked, stunned.

A 14th level, the mesmerist can instead expend one use of touch treatment to replicate the effects of break enchantment. This targets only one creature the mesmerist is touching and follows all other restrictions of touch treatment.

Manifold Tricks (Su): At 5th level, the mesmerist can have two tricks implanted at a time. The number of concurrent tricks increases by one for every 4 mesmerist levels he possesses beyond 5th. Each creature can still be the subject of only one trick at a time. If the mesmerist implants a new trick while he already has his maximum number of concurrent tricks implanted, he must choose one implanted trick to dismiss without triggering (the dismissed trick still expends a daily use of the mesmerist’s tricks).

Mental Potency (Ex): At 5th level, the mesmerist can affect more powerful creatures or a greater number of creatures than normal with his mental effects. Both the HD limit and the total number of HD affected with each enchantment or illusion spell he casts increase by 1. For enchantment and illusion spells he casts that target a number of creatures greater than one, the number of creatures affected also increases by one (so a spell that targets one creature per level would be affected, but a spell that targets only one creature would not be). For example, a 5thlevel mesmerist could affect 5 HD worth of creatures with sleep, affect 2d4+1 HD worth of creatures with hypnotism, and change the categories for color spray to “3 HD or fewer,” “4 or 5 HD,” and “6 or more HD.” The number of additional HD or creatures increases by an additional 1 for every 5 levels beyond 5th, to a maximum increase of 4 at 20th level.

Glib Lie (Su): At 11th level, a mesmerist can deceive truthdetecting magic. A creature using this sort of magic against the mesmerist must succeed at a caster level check against a DC of 15 + the mesmerist’s class level to succeed (as if the mesmerist were under the effect of a glibness spell); failure means the magic doesn’t detect the mesmerist’s lies or force him to speak only the truth. This ability does not give the mesmerist the glibness spell’s bonus on Bluff checks.

Masterful Tricks (Su): At 12th level, a mesmerist can choose one of the following masterful tricks in place of a mesmerist trick. He gains an additional masterful trick every 2 levels thereafter. Using a masterful trick consumes two uses of the mesmerist trick class feature instead of one.

Note from Nethys: The full list of mesmerist tricks is available here.

Rule Minds (Su): At 20th level, a mesmerist can permanently mentally enslave a creature. When the mesmerist successfully affects the target of his hypnotic stare with an enchantment spell that requires a saving throw, he can force that creature to attempt a second Will saving throw with a DC equal to the spell’s DC. The DC is reduced by 5 if the monster isn’t a humanoid. If the creature fails, it becomes a permanent thrall to the mesmerist (as dominate monster) until the mesmerist dies. If it succeeds, it can’t be affected by rule minds again for 24 hours. A mesmerist can have only one creature enthralled at a time. If he enthralls a new creature, the previous one is set free but is unaware that it was enthralled by the mesmerist.

Favored Class Options

Dwarf (Occult Adventures pg. 84 (Amazon)): Increase painful stare’s damage by 1/4 point.
Elf (Occult Adventures pg. 84 (Amazon)): Gain a +1/2 bonus on Acrobatics checks to move through a threatened area and a +1/2 bonus on Bluff checks to feint.
Elf (Horror Adventures pg. 39): Add a +1/4 bonus on grapple and trip combat maneuver checks.
Gathlain (Legacy of the First World pg. 9): Increase the number of mesmerist tricks the mesmerist can use per day by one-third.
Gnome (Occult Adventures pg. 85 (Amazon)): Increase the number of mesmerist tricks the mesmerist can use per day by 1/3.
Half-Elf (Occult Adventures pg. 85 (Amazon)): When casting mesmerist enchantment spells, add 1/2 to the effective caster level of the spell, but only to determine the spell’s duration.
Halfling (Occult Adventures pg. 85 (Amazon)): Increase the number of mesmerist tricks the mesmerist can use per day by 1/3.
Half-Orc (Occult Adventures pg. 85 (Amazon)): Increase the mesmerist’s bonus damage from painful stare by 1/2 point.
Human (Occult Adventures pg. 85 (Amazon)): Increase the mesmerist’s towering ego bonus by 1/3 point (to a maximum increase of +2).
Kitsune (Blood of the Beast pg. 12): Increase the number of mesmerist tricks the mesmerist can use per day by 1/3.
Nagaji (Blood of the Beast pg. 16): Add 1/5 to the Hit-Die limit and the total number of Hit Die affected with each enchantment or illusion spell the mesmerist casts. This bonus stacks with the mesmerist’s mental potency class feature and is applicable under the same conditions as that ability.
Ratfolk (Blood of the Beast pg. 20): Gain a +1 bonus on concentration checks to maintain the mesmerist’s hypnotic stare.
Tengu (Blood of the Beast pg. 24): Add 1/4 to the AC bonus provided by the meek facade mesmerist trick.
Wyvaran (Legacy of Dragons pg. 18): Add 1/4 to the mesmerist’s level for the purpose of determining the effect of mesmerist tricks.