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Mesmerist

Experts at charm and deceit, mesmerists compel others to heed their words and bend to their will. Illusions 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.

The mesmerist is an archetype of the illusionist class.

Class Skills

A mesmerist adds Intimidate to his list of class skills and removes Linguistics from his list of class skills.

Consummate Liar

A mesmerist adds half his illusionist 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.

This ability replaces veil pool.

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 and changes to –4 at 15th 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 an illusion 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. This is a mind-affecting effect.

This ability replaces blinding ray.

Painful Stare (Su)

At 3rd level, as an immediate action, 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 illusionist’s level.

If the mesmerist uses this ability to increase his own damage, the additional damage increases by 1d6 points for every 3 illusionist 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.

This ability replaces haze.

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 half his illusionist 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 + half the illusionist’s level + his Charisma modifier.

The mesmerist knows one trick at 3rd level, and learns another trick at 6th level and every 3 levels thereafter (to a maximum of 6 tricks at 18th 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. A mesmerist may take Extra Veil Powers feat to gain additional mesmerist tricks.

Astounding Avoidance (Su): The subject can avoid damage from magical and unusual attacks. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject attempts a saving throw against an attack or spell that normally deals half damage on a successful save, before the subject rolls the save. If the subject succeeds at her save, she takes no damage. If the mesmerist is 12th level or higher, the subject takes only half damage if she fails her save. The benefits of this trick don’t stack with those of the evasion or stalwart class features.

Compel Alacrity (Su): A dash of mental speed lets the subject push past her physical limits to avoid an enemy. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject begins her turn within an enemy’s reach. The subject can move 10 feet as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity. The distance the subject can move increases by 5 feet for every 5 levels the mesmerist possesses, to a maximum of 30 feet at 20th level. The subject can’t move farther than her speed in this way. The movement from this trick doesn’t count against the subject’s movement speed for that round.

Chain of Eyes (Su): The subject can share her senses with the mesmerist. The mesmerist triggers chain of eyes by closing his eyes and concentrating on the implanted subject, allowing the mesmerist to see and hear everything the target experiences with her own senses of sight and hearing (including any special senses or magical effects). Once triggered, chain of eyes lasts for 1 minute per illusionist level or until the mesmerist shifts his field of vision back to himself as a free action. While viewing events from the target’s perspective, the mesmerist is flat-footed, even if he can see himself from another perspective.

False Flanker (Su): A duplicate of the mesmerist appears momentarily, as though he were fighting in tandem with the subject. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject moves into or begins her turn in a square where she threatens an enemy. An illusory duplicate of the mesmerist appears in any unoccupied space adjacent to that enemy. This duplicate counts as threatening the enemy for the purposes of determining flanking, but can’t actually make attacks. The duplicate disappears at the end of the turn during which the trick is triggered. This is an illusion effect, and a creature that interacts with the false flanker can attempt a saving throw to disbelieve the effect.

Fearsome Guise (Su): A veil of illusion makes the subject appear to be someone else and then transform into a hideous monster at an opportune time. While this trick is implanted, the subject’s appearance is altered, as disguise self. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject attacks a creature. The illusory appearance briefly makes the subject appear monstrous, then ends. The mesmerist attempts an Intimidate check to demoralize the target of the triggering attack. The restrictions on attempts to demoralize a target (the target being within 30 feet and able to see and hear the creature attempting the Intimidate check) apply to the subject of the trick. This is an illusion effect.

Fleet in Shadows (Su): The mesmerist can trigger this trick whenever the target enters an area with dim or darker light. The subject can move double its normal speed (up to an additional 30 feet) for 1 round, but only while moving through areas of dim or darker light. Additionally, the subject can move at its normal speed and use the bonus speed from this trick in areas of total darkness, even if it cannot see.

Gift of Will (Su): A small portion of the mesmerist’s vast mental power buttresses his ally’s mind. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject attempts a Will saving throw or a Sense Motive check, or is targeted by an Intimidate check to demoralize her. For a saving throw, the subject uses the mesmerist’s Will saving throw bonus instead of her own. For a Sense Motive check or Intimidate check, she adds the mesmerist’s Charisma bonus as a morale bonus on the check or to the DC. The mesmerist can’t implant this trick on himself.

Linked Reaction (Su): A hive mind allows the mesmerist and an ally to share one another’s reaction times. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when either the subject or the mesmerist is surprised and the other isn’t (even if the mesmerist would normally be unable to take actions because of being surprised). Both the mesmerist and the subject can act in this surprise round. The mesmerist can’t implant this trick on himself.

Meek Facade (Su): The subject magically seems like a weak target, goading an enemy into attacking her. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject misses a creature with an attack (even if it’s part of a full attack in which she hits that creature with another attack). The enemy must attack no one other than the subject, and the subject gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC against the triggering enemy’s attacks. Both of these effects last for 1 round. The bonus to AC increases by 1 for every 5 levels the mesmerist possesses. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Mesmeric Mirror (Su): An illusory image appears near the subject to throw off attackers. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject is attacked or becomes the target of a spell that requires an attack roll. One duplicate of the subject appears, and the attacker must determine randomly which it hits (as mirror image). For every 5 class levels the mesmerist possesses, one additional image appears, to a maximum of five images at 20th level. Each image lasts for 1 minute per illusionist level or until destroyed. This is an illusion effect.

Mesmeric Pantomime (Su): By orchestrating the movement of his ally’s body, the mesmerist imparts to that ally his own skill at a physical task. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject attempts a Strength– or Dexterity-based skill check. The subject either uses the mesmerist’s bonus on the skill check in place of her own or gains a morale bonus on the check equal to the mesmerist’s Charisma bonus, Whichever results in a higher modifier. The mesmerist can’t implant this trick on himself.

Misdirection (Su): An enemy’s perception of an attack by the subject shifts, making the foe unprepared to defend against the attack. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject makes an attack or uses a spell that requires an attack roll. The mesmerist attempts a Bluff check to feint against a single target of the subject’s attack. Unlike a normal feint, this ability can be used on non-melee attacks. If the feint succeeds, the target of the attack is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC against the triggering attack. The target doesn’t suffer any additional effects that the mesmerist or the subject would cause on a normal feint or Bluff check. This is an illusion effect.

Psychosomatic Surge (Su): Psychic magic soothes the subject, alleviating her wounds temporarily. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject takes damage. The subject gains a number of temporary hit points equal to 1d8 + half the illusionist’s level. If the damage from the triggering attack would have reduced the subject to 0 hit points or fewer, this trick grants an additional 1d8 temporary hit points. These temporary hit points last for 1 hour or until discharged.

Reflect Fear (Su): The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject is affected by a fear effect or is the target of an Intimidate check to demoralize it. When the trick is triggered, the subject suppresses the fear effect that triggered the trick for 1d4 rounds, and any creature that caused this effect must succeed at a Will save or become shaken for 1 round. The rounds during which the subject ignores the triggering fear effect still count against the effect’s duration. If the duration of the reflect fear trick is longer than the fear effect lasts, the subject isn’t affected by the fear effect at all.

Reflection of Weakness (Su): Psychic feedback causes an enemy to suffer from the same weakening effect it imposes on the subject. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when an attack or spell used by an enemy causes the subject to take ability damage, ability drain, bleed damage, or a minor or moderate condition listed under the touch treatment class feature. If the trick is triggered by ability damage, ability drain, or bleed damage, the amount of damage or drain the subject takes is reduced by 2 points (to a minimum of 0 points), and the creature that made the attack or cast the spell takes 2 points of ability damage to an ability score of the mesmerist’s choice. The monster can attempt a Will save to negate the ability damage. This ability can be used if the attacker inflicts a curse, disease, or poison that deals ability damage or drain, but only if it deals that damage immediately, with no onset time. If the trick is triggered by the subject gaining a condition, the subject is still affected by the condition, but the attacker takes a condition of the mesmerist’s choice for 1 round. This condition must come from the minor condition or moderate condition lists of the touch treatment class feature. The enemy can attempt a Will save to avoid gaining the condition. The mesmerist doesn’t need to have touch treatment to select or use this trick.

See in Darkness (Su): The subject gains darkvision with a range of 60 feet for 1 minute. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject moves into an area of darkness.

Shadow Splinter (Su): The mesmerist protects the subject against an attack and redirects the harm to someone else. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject takes damage from an attack. The damage the subject takes is reduced by an amount equal to 3 + the mesmerist’s Charisma modifier (to a maximum of the total amount of damage the attack deals). Another creature within range of the original attack, other than the attacker, is affected by a shadow illusion that makes it appear as if the attacker is attacking that creature instead of the attacker’s actual target. This second creature takes an amount of damage equal to the amount by which the attack’s damage was reduced. This shadow doesn’t require a roll to hit and ignores cover and concealment, but the target can attempt a Will save to disbelieve the effect. If it succeeds at this save, it neither takes the damage nor believes the attacker targeted it. This trick can’t be triggered if there’s no eligible second creature within range to take the redirected damage. This is an illusion effect.

Slip Bonds (Su): While implanted with this trick, the subject gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Escape Artist checks. If the subject becomes grappled, pinned, shackled, or otherwise personally restrained, the mesmerist can trigger the trick and cause the subject to become incorporeal just long enough to slip her bonds (unless they can otherwise restrain an incorporeal creature). This effect doesn’t last long enough for the subject to move through walls or other barriers. If the mesmerist is 12th level, the subject remains incorporeal until the beginning of the mesmerist’s next turn.

Umbral Shield (Su): The subject ignores any harmful effects of bright light or sunlight for 1 minute. The mesmerist can trigger this trick whenever the subject would be exposed to harmful bright light (such as sunlight is to a vampire). The subject is immune to the dazzled condition while this trick is in effect.

Unwitting Messenger (Su): The mesmerist describes a recipient to the subject while implanting this trick, then recites a verbal message no longer than five words per illusionist level. The subject of unwitting messenger has no memory of the message or the target recipient. When the subject encounters the specified recipient, she repeats the message verbatim, but does not recall speaking the message or its contents. The message remains buried in the subject’s subconscious for 24 hours, after which time it disappears if not delivered. The subject of unwitting messenger can be fooled by mundane disguises or illusions, causing her to deliver the message to the wrong recipient.

These abilities replace veil powers.

Bold Stare (Su)

At 4th 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.

  • Allure: The hypnotic stare penalty also applies on initiative checks and Perception checks.
  • Disorientation: The hypnotic stare penalty also applies on attack rolls.
  • Disquiet: The target of the hypnotic stare is shaken while in areas of total darkness.
  • Infiltration: The hypnotic stare penalty also applies to the target’s Perception checks and CMD.
  • Lethality: The hypnotic stare penalty also applies to the target’s Fortitude saves versus poison and diseases.
  • Nightblindness: The darkvision range of the hypnotic stare’s target decreases by 10 feet.
  • Nightmare: The target of the hypnotic stare rolls twice on all Will saves versus fear, taking the lower result.
  • Oscillation: The target of the hypnotic stare treats all enemies beyond 30 feet (except the mesmerist) as having concealment (20% miss chance).
  • Psychic Inception: The hypnotic stare and its penalty can affect creatures that are mindless or immune to mind-affecting effects (such as an undead or vermin). The mesmerist can also partially affect such a creature with his mind-affecting spells and abilities if it’s under the effect of his hypnotic stare; it gains a +2 bonus on its saving throw (if any), and if affected, it still has a 50% chance each round of ignoring the effect. Ignoring the effect doesn’t end the effect, but does allow the creature to act normally for that round.
  • Restriction: The target of the hypnotic stare treats all areas of dim light or darker as difficult terrain.
  • Sabotage: The hypnotic stare penalty also applies to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks.
  • Sapped Magic: The hypnotic stare penalty also applies to the DCs of spells and spell-like abilities used by the target, and to the target’s spell resistance (if any).
  • Sluggishness: The target of the hypnotic stare has all of its speeds reduced by 5 feet (to a minimum of 5 feet), and the hypnotic stare penalty also applies to the target’s Reflex saving throws.
  • Susceptibility: The hypnotic stare penalty also applies to the target’s Sense Motive checks to oppose Bluff checks, and to the DCs of Diplomacy and Intimidate checks made against the target.
  • Timidity: The hypnotic stare penalty also applies to damage rolls.

This ability replaces clear vision.

Manifold Tricks (Su)

At 7th level, the mesmerist can have two tricks implanted at a time. The number of concurrent tricks increases by one for every 4 illusionist 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).

This ability replaces quick veil.

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.

Allay Pain (Su): The subject of this trick gains DR 15/— against one attack that deals nonlethal damage. The mesmerist can trigger this trick whenever the subject is hit with an attack that deals nonlethal damage.

Cursed Sanction (Su): A ward curses an enemy who attacks the subject. While this trick is implanted, a visible, circular symbol appears on the subject’s forehead. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject is attacked or becomes the target of a spell that requires an attack roll. The attacker takes a –4 penalty on Attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks for 1 minute per illusionist level (Will negates). This penalty applies to the triggering attack roll. This is a curse effect.

Faked Death (Su): The subject appears to die, but actually can stealthily move about. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject is damaged by an attack. The subject seems to fall down dead (as programmed image), but actually turns invisible (as vanish) for a number of rounds equal to the illusionist’s level or until she attacks. Once the subject becomes visible again, the illusory dead body disappears. These are illusion effects, and a creature that interacts with the false body can attempt a saving throw to disbelieve the effect.

Free in Body (Su: When constrained, the subject can easily slip loose. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject begins its turn grappled or under an effect that impedes its movement (including paralysis, slow, and web). The subject gains the benefits of freedom of movement for 1 minute.

Mental Fallback (Su): Mental commands placed deep in the subject’s mind trigger when she would fall under mind control, allowing the mesmerist to control her instead. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject is affected by a charm effect created by an enemy. The subject acts as though the mesmerist had cast the spell instead of the enemy. For instance, if the subject were affected by charm cast by an enemy, that enemy can’t try to give her orders, but the mesmerist could. If the charm causes penalties or conditions (such as those imposed by confusion or hold), the subject can ignore any of those penalties or conditions the mesmerist chooses. This trick overrides the charm for a number of rounds equal to the mesmerist’s level or until the duration of the triggering effect elapses, whichever comes first. The mesmerist can’t implant this trick on himself.

Shadow Blend (Su): The mesmerist can trigger this trick whenever the subject attempts a Stealth check while in an area of dim or darker light. The subject gains total concealment from all enemies (50% miss chance) as long as it remains within areas of dim or darker light. Against creatures with darkvision, the subject gains concealment (20% miss chance) rather than total concealment. Once triggered, this effect lasts for 1 round per illusionist level or until the subject enters an area of normal or brighter light.

Spatial Switch (Su): The mesmerist allows himself and an ally to physically swap places. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when an enemy moves adjacent to or attacks either the subject or the mesmerist, provided the subject and the mesmerist are within 100 feet of one another. The subject and the mesmerist then swap positions. If this trick was triggered by an attack, the swap happens before checking to see whether the attack hits. The mesmerist can’t implant this trick on himself.

Vision of Blood (Su): When an enemy is struck by the subject, it believes its wound is far more severe, and the shock overwhelms it. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject hits with an attack using a weapon, a natural weapon, or an unarmed strike. The attack’s target must succeed at a Will saving throw or be stunned for 1 round. If the triggering attack was a critical hit, the target doesn’t get a saving throw.

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 illusion 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 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.

This ability replaces bend reality.