I don't have many ideas on this one, but it definitely still needs something. I would echo the sentiment that Precise Companion should be replaced with Precise Strike as a bonus feat and the ability to have your companion not provide cover to enemies you're attacking. On the other hand, this class gets a ton of bonus teamwork feats, but without at least one or two bonus ranger combat style feats it's never going to be able to shoot anyway, so maybe the ability's better off being replaced with something that might play to its strengths.
I'm still not sure what to think of this class. All of the changes seem like they're heading in the right direction, but this class is incredibly difficult to evaluate on paper. I'd love to actually playtest one, but I fear I won't have time before the playtest is over, and I just don't think anyone can really know what to expect with this class without actually playing it a few times.
I do think Scribe Scroll is a weird choice and that Silent Spell would make better sense, especially if it came with the caveat that it could be added without increasing spell level or casting time some number of times per day or more. Aren't skalds going to have a hard time manifesting verbal components while singing?
It only says I treat my BAB as my class level for "attacks made with that weapon". Doesn't help for feats or drawing a weapon.
I noticed this too. The bonus feats should probably have a caveat that allows you to treat your BAB as your warpriest level (plus BAB gained from other classes) for the purposes of qualifying for them.
Virgil Firecask wrote:
Right. I know what you were implying. And my answer is still valid. The FAQ you're reading that says you automatically get Improved Unarmed Strike if it's your deity's favoured weapon is not a FAQ about the core line. It's a Golarion-specific FAQ, in a Golarion-specific FAQ section, written by (unless I'm mistaken) James Jacobs, who isn't on the design team. I agree that it's silly that it's setting-specific, but it is. Given that GMs using only the setting-neutral core books aren't necessarily going by that setting-specific ruling, I think it was wise for the warpriest to include the caveat of allowing Improved Unarmed Strike as an alternative to Weapon Focus, especially since taking Weapon Focus (unarmed strike) is still an option with the current rules if you're playing a Golarion game and using the Golarion FAQ. It doesn't say you have to take Improved Unarmed Strike, only that it's an option.
Sorry for the confusion!
I'm cross-posting this from the shaman thread, because it ended up being more about the bloodrager anyway.
Benn Roe wrote:
I'm a big fan of the [shaman] spell list change. It's a great compromise that gets the flavour of the spell list right without sacrificing backward compatibility by giving it its own brand new list. In fact, I'd kind of like a similar approach on the bloodrager maybe. The brand new bloodrager spell list ended up being so similar to the magus spell list anyway, but because it's not the magus spell list a lot of the cool magus spells from books like Inner Sea Magic that actually would have felt useful on a bloodrager will never be available to them.
Bladed dash, especially, will never be a bloodrager spell if the bloodrager has its own spell list. It comes from a Golarion-specific product, which means it won't be referenced in a core product unless it gets reprinted in a core product (like Ultimate Spells, *hint hint*). This is why I was a little weary of "new spell list" as the solution, rather than "new mechanics to help fit an existing spell list". I didn't love the magus spell list with the existing bloodrager frame, but the new list doesn't work any better.
I really think bloodragers should either use an edited sorcerer or magus list (the way the shaman uses an edited druid list), or they should get a mechanic that helps incentivize them to cast more of the spells they have access to.
I'm a big fan of the spell list change. It's a great compromise that gets the flavour of the spell list right without sacrificing backward compatibility by giving it its own brand new list. In fact, I'd kind of like a similar approach on the bloodrager maybe. The brand new bloodrager spell list ended up being so similar to the magus spell list anyway, but because it's not the magus spell list a lot of the cool magus spells from books like Inner Sea Magic that actually would have felt useful on a bloodrager will never be available to them.
Anyway, big win on the spell list, even if I'd prefer the base list were witch rather than druid. The witch list is already an arcane/divine hybrid list (that pulls from the druid, no less), so it would be really interesting to see that list given to a divine caster too. It would certainly help quell cries that the witch is absent from the make-up of this class.
And on that note, I don't know that I agree that the witch is completely absent from the class. A few of the hexes feel kind of witchy, and it's a full prepared caster using a hybrid spell list, as well as communing with a familiar. Granted, it uses Wisdom as its casting stat (the native stat of the druid) and druids are also full prepared casters, but honestly a lot of the druidy aspects of the class are just a coincidence of the way the oracle and witch combine with one another. Other than the casting, the class doesn't feel the least bit druidy to me. I wouldn't complain with hexes that functioned more like witch hexes, though: functioning once per person per day.
I'm still not sure why this is a d8/three-quarter BAB class. I normally don't think of shamans as terribly well-built for battle and it would be nice to have a divine full caster that had an arcane caster's frame, especially since witches are more frail and so much of the shaman is pulled from the oracle. I'd rather see this reduced to d6/half BAB and see its spirits (especially hexes) ramped up a bit to accommodate. Especially if this keeps the druid spell list as its base, having an arcane caster's body with divine spells would allow the power to be pushed a little harder on its non-spell but equally mystical abilities.
Anyway, I still think this class is among the most solid, even if its spirits need serious cleaning up. The foundation is the most important part, and I think it's very close.
Now that I'm going back and reading this class more carefully, I noticed something else. Fervor takes a standard action to use on somebody else and requires a touch. Channel Energy is gained two levels later, heals in a 30-foot burst, also uses a standard action, and shares its usage pool with Fervor. I realize Fervor gives you the option of healing yourself as a swift action, but is the single-target standard-action touch version ever likely to see use after 3rd level? If you can spare the standard action, why aren't you channeling? I guess maybe because you don't have Selective Channeling, likely because you don't have the requisite 13 Charisma? (:
Actually, the Charisma prerequisite for Selective Channeling is a slight bummer for this class. Even if the designers axe the Charisma requirements of this class, warpriests will likely pretend they don't have Channel Energy in combat. It just fights their overall plan too much.
DM Beckett wrote:
Whenever the warpriest is wielding a sacred weapon, he treats his warpriest level as his base attack bonus for attacks made with that weapon, stacking with any base attack bonus from other classes or racial Hit Dice.
That's what I get for trying to read so many classes so quickly, I suppose. My bad!
DM Beckett wrote:
Normally it just keeps going until you turn an ability like this off (free action normally) or whatever caused it to activate is no longer doing so.
Yeah, I know, but it doesn't actually say that (unless I'm failing at speed-reading again).
This is sooooo much better than the first draft. I'm actually really excited about this version. A couple of issues, though:
1) How does Sacred Weapon work with multiclassing? If I take one level of warpriest and five levels of paladin, does my BAB really drop to +1 when using my deity's favoured weapon? Shouldn't this ability say something to the effect of "the warpriest replaces any BAB gained from levels in warpriest with his warpriest level."
2) I don't understand why you have to keep the same enhancement bonuses all day with Sacred Weapon. It makes the ability wayyy worse.
3) Sacred Weapon and Sacred Armour should specify whether or not they need to be reactivated after each increment of duration. Do I need to spend the swift action every minute for Sacred Armour? And every round for Sacred Weapon? I assume not, but it doesn't really say at the moment.
4) If they do need to be constantly reactivated, this class needs to make better use of 1/rd. free actions and/or move actions. Right now it's too focused on using swift actions.
5) I don't like Fervor and Channel being based on Charisma. This class basically wants all of its ability scores to be 14 or higher.
Anyway, I love Fervor and I think the changes to Sacred Weapon are great. I think this is a huge, huge improvement to the class, and I can't wait to see the final version.
The changes to the arcanist this time around were subtle, but I think most of them were good.
My current gripes are:
1) Consume Magic Items and Consume Spells still require a standard action. This feels wrong because it makes managing your resources on the fly much, much more difficult. I should note that most of the "good" exploits don't require a standard action to activate, meaning that consuming as a standard action matters less for a power-gamer, but for someone who actually wants to use the blasts, this is a big deal.
2) I still think Charisma should factor into your starting number of arcane reservoir points (Cha modifier + half level points), though this might be awkward at low levels given the new maximum of double your level rather than three times.
Otherwise, I feel like this class is awesome. I'm super stoked that Dimensional Slide was expanded to work with withdraw actions, I don't mind the nerfs to Counterspell (though I don't think they were necessary), I'm glad the blasts got buffed up at least a little bit, I love the addition of the school power and bloodline exploits, the nerfs to Spell Tinkerer make both halves feel a little weak now, but it was definitely too strong before, etc.
I'm more or less indifferent to the lowering of the maximum number of points. It sucks a little bit at 1st level, but after that it doesn't seem like it'll matter much. I'm definitely happy with the direction this is going, though I'd still love to see more variety of exploits.
I'm not sure what to think about the revision. I thought the original bloodrager was among the strongest of the first drafts, but it definitely wasn't perfect and it doesn't feel like enough changed in the port to this version. I like the additions to greater bloodrage and mighty bloodrage, and I think it was important to give bloodragers some way of melding casting with combat, but it feels a little late in their career and a little limited.
I personally think they borrow a little too much from the barbarian and should lose at least two of the following four abilities: fast movement, uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge, and damage reduction in favour of better spell melding at an earlier level. I really like the idea of them accruing points for doing martial things in combat that they can redeem later to quicken spells or add metamagic to spells without increasing the spell level. This lets them first and foremost be face-beaters, but gives them a way to channel that face-beating into relevant magic later on.
I'm glad they got their own spell list, but if the spell list resembles the one published in this PDF, it really, really needs to be accompanied by a mechanic like the aforementioned. There's just zero incentive to cast offensive spells with this class. It rarely (if ever) feels like the right decision, especially since most of those offensive spells are showing up way too late in their career to be relevant. If they get a way to add free metamagic (especially quicken), those spells become gravy on top of the face-beating plan, but right now they just feel wrong.
On the other hand, the list could easily lose those spells and focus more on early entry buffs and transmutation spells, in which case it wouldn't need the extra mechanic. This is trickier because this class really wants spells like Giant Form, Form of the Dragon, and Elemental Body, but they would need to be at much lower spell levels than they normally are, which opens up all sorts of scroll and wand-oriented cans of worms that probably shouldn't be opened. The better bet seems to me to keep the spell list more or less as it is and give it a mechanic that lets it benefit from such a spell list, which it currently can't.
I like Blood Sanctuary. It's a cool little level stuffer that doesn't impact much, but feels really cohesive. Kudos!
This is definitely on the right track, but I still think it feels too much like a barbarian with spells stapled to it, and I think it could be such a simple fix to replace Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge with a pool of points that begins each day empty but builds throughout the day and can be used in place of level increases when applying metamagic feats that the bloodrager knows to spells. It would also give bloodrager players an incentive to take metamagic feats as a replacement for the non-bloodrager-functional Extra Rage Power barbarian staple.
The other classes that get late-entry four-level spellcasting have text like "Through 3rd level, a paladin has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, her caster level is equal to her paladin level – 3." Is the bloodrager supposed to have equivalent text, and if not, do they have a caster level before level four?
One of the developers mentioned with the previous version that that text was intentionally ommitted, and bloodragers do get full caster level from 4th level on. Prior to 4th level, they don't have spells, so they wouldn't have a caster level, but when they hit 4th, they're immediately caster level 4.
Is this a weapon with an enhancement bonus (I'm assuming +1 based on your assertion that his bonus is +8)? Is he using Power Attack? Including smiting damage and Power Attack damage, this is pretty easy to do with a crit. Honestly, with both Smite and Power Attack, between a single crit and a regular hit, 125 is not inconceivable.
Even assuming the lower value there, at 31.5, multiplying that times four gives you 126 expected damage as the total combined damage of a crit and a regular hit. So, it sounds like he was right on par.
EDIT: A thousand times ninja'd.
They definitely make for an awesome recurring threat, and maybe if I can get the rules refined enough for this I'll use them as such in a campaign some time. I'm not the GM for this game, though, and these were designed specifically to cater to an idea my girlfriend had for her character.
The game we're playing in takes place on a mobile city that floats around the ocean, nearing just about every continent at one point or another. It's a homebrew world, but the city travels all over it, becoming a huge cultural melting pot. Thus, even the weirdest character concepts are at home in this city.
The GM already has a plot outline worked out, so whereas I agree this race would make for an awesome major campaign villain, that campaign is for another time. Meanwhile, my girlfriend still needs her character for this game. (: I will say that even as NPCs, I prefer these as a 0 hd race, because their ability to steal virtually any body meshes really well with their need to have class levels. It makes for a ton of flexibility in the ways they could be used.
Wow, so the perception you guys have is that this is likely underpowered? I've been putting in a lot of limitations because the ability to infiltrate many organizations using the actual body of a member of that organization, not to mention the ability to dramatically improve your hit points and physical stats by choosing the right body, seemed really, really strong to me. Not to mention, if social considerations are less important, being able to take over a monster's body, adding all of its monstrous abilities to your class abilities seems incredibly cool and flexible. I'm happy to take a look at your suggestions and see what I can do to improve the parasite if you really think it seems weak, but I seem to be valuing potential host bodies too highly.
As for the symbiote vs. parasite debate, these creatures give nothing in return and the host has no say in the matter. The parasite attaches itself to the host's brainstem, effectively allowing it to block any signals that would be sent from the host's brain to its body, and instead sends its own signals to completely control that body, all the while slowly and sustainably feeding off of it. It's a parasite, but it's sustainable. It has a vested interest in not feeding enough to do long-term damage to the host. It wants to keep that body for as long as possible.
Anyway, thanks for the suggestions, guys! I'll give them a think and post a new draft soon.
My girlfriend and I are going to be playing in a new home game soon, and she got the notion at some point that she'd like to try playing some sort of parasite race. She was inspired by the trill from Star Trek, but after thinking it over from a Pathfinder mechanics standpoint we settled on a concept closer to the parasites from the season one Next Generation episode "Conspiracy". I cleared the basics with the GM and put together a first draft of the racial traits, but I figured I'd bring this to the internet to see if anyone had any thoughts on its balance or could see any obvious exploitable loopholes. We haven't chosen a name for the race yet, so they're somewhat awkwardly just referred to as "parasites" in this write-up.
Player Race Parasite:
+2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma, -6 Strength, -6 Dexterity, -4 Constitution: Parasites are intuitive and aware, but have abrasive personalities and frail, clumsy bodies not intended for survival without a host.
Aberration: Parasites are aberrations.
Fine: Parasites are Fine creatures and gain a +8 size bonus to their AC, a +8 size bonus on attack rolls, a -8 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +16 bonus on Stealth checks.
Slow Speed: Parasites have a base speed of 20 feet.
Darkvision: Parasites can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Attach: Parasites are parasitic creatures that require a host body for sustenance, taking control of that host to manipulate it as they slowly feed. As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a parasite can attach itself to the brainstem of any living creature with the pinned condition. To do so, the parasite must know the location of the creature’s brain. This ability is ineffective against creatures with immunity to mind-affecting effects.
Once the parasite is attached, the host creature and parasite become indefinitely conjoined, functioning as a single creature with the personality, mental activity, alignment, number of hit dice, base saving throws, mental ability scores, base attack bonus, feats, traits, class skills, skill ranks, and class abilities of the parasite, but the race, size category, creature type, armour class, hit points, movement types, physical ability scores, and racial traits of the host creature. A creature who is aware of the parasite can choose to target the parasite instead of the conjoined whole. When targeted in this way, the parasite uses its own stats as unmodified by the host body, but it receives a circumstance bonus to Reflex and AC equal to the host creature’s Dexterity modifier (minimum 0) and a shield bonus to AC equal to the host creature’s base attack bonus. If the host creature takes hit point damage from a spell or ability with an area of effect, the parasite takes an equal amount of damage as though targeted separately.
When attached to a host, bonuses from equipment worn or wielded by the parasite only affect the conjoined whole if they apply to its mental ability scores, class abilities, or Will saves. However, equipment worn or wielded by the host creature always affects the conjoined whole.
A parasite can detach itself from a host creature as a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, dealing 1 point of bleed damage to the host and leaving it unconscious.
Host Dependent: A parasite feeds off the body of its host. Parasites can only survive without attaching to a living host for a number of hours equal to twice their Constitution score.
Languages: Parasites begin play speaking Common and Aboleth. Parasites with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
Design Decision Notes:
1) The physical ability score penalties are so the player has to at least think about those scores when assigning values. If they dump all their physical stats down to 7s, they end up with Str 1, Dex 1, and Con 3 (giving them 6 hours total between hosts). This means any time spent between hosts is a big, big deal (13 AC, -4 hp per hit dice, ability to carry virtually nothing, etc.). Without these penalties, a player could quite happily dump all physical stats to 7 and have 32 points to spend on mental stats in a 20 point game, which seemed too good.
2) It is intentionally difficult to attach. The host creature needs to be pinned. As a fine-sized creature with a -8 to CMB, it's very, very unlikely that the parasite is able to successfully grapple and then succesfully pin just about any worthwhile host on its own. This means the parasite either needs an ally who's willing to pin the prospective host, or the host needs to be unconscious or otherwise helpless to ensure the parasite's success at pinning it. This seems good for balance, because the party will generally need to best any potential host body before it can be utilized. And the better hosts are going to be better at resisting grappling and pinning in-combat too.
3) Right now, as written, hit points are derived from the host. This was a decision made to reduce the need for confusing calculations involving using the parasite's hit dice but the host's Constitution modifier. I realize there are already similarly confusing calculations inherent to this design in the form of skills, but I felt that was more or less unavoidable since the ranks have to come from somewhere, and the physical ability scores and mental ability scores were coming from different places regardless. I'm open to having my mind changed about this, though. It does have the consequence of meaning some bodies will have way above or below average hit points for whatever class(es) and level the player is.
4) At the moment the base attack bonus is completely derived from the parasite, but I keep wondering if the BAB should be derived from a combination of the host's racial hit dice and the parasite's class hit dice. That would probably be too good, right? And more unnecessary calculations? I feel like this race is already so much better served by attaching to weird monsters than it is humanoids (assuming there's no social reason not to do so) that this would probably be overkill.
5) The languages section of the write-up is just a placeholder until we figure out the fluff of the race and I have time to delve through all the languages to think about what's appropriate. I kind of hate that any race is limited to particular starting languages, though.
What do people think? Any obvious balance issues? How do people see this playing?
Mind you, I've seen this thread, but haven't read through it all yet. I searched for "parasite" in this forum after writing up my race, but decided I'd go ahead and post what I've got before delving too deeply into other people's work.
I don't mind made-up words or portmanteaux. I just think bloodrager sounds like something I would have thought was cool when I was 11 years old. It's not a name that feels mature in any way.
That said, a bad name isn't going to lessen my enjoyment of a class. I'd definitely prefer a good name, though.
Redcap's Corner is proud to present our first bi-annual Pathfinder Society Game Day, a full day of PFS this January 11th, 2014. Autumn's Unseelie Court and spring's Seelie Court are our bigger events, but each winter and summer we'll run these smaller game days to sate Philadelphia's convention needs. Check out our comprehensive (and growing) schedule here.
If Consume Magic Items as written were supposed to be an emergency ability, it wouldn't take a standard action to activate. At a standard action, it likely takes you two rounds to get proper usage out of your consumables, which lends itself to planning ahead.
On the other hand, consumables are meant to be consumed. Who says drinking a potion is a better value than consuming it for reservoir points? Some of the things you can do with arcane reservoir points are just as potent situational effects as those of many of the low level potions, scrolls, and wands people keep around anyway. Consumables are already a wasteful use of resources. Being able to expand the versatility of already wasteful items seems fine to me.
It's just a shame that versatility is being hampered by the unnecessarily restrictive action economy necessary to convert your resources. This and Consume Spells should both take swift actions.
Has anyone else noticed that some of the "changes" mentioned in the summaries of this podcast are things that already exist in the first playtest document?
Bloodragers' bloodrage already states that it counts as rage for qualifying for feats, etc.
Slayers already have a slayer talent that increases the range of sneak attack to 40' and already have another talent that allows them to sneak attack targets with concealment when making ranged attacks.
Frankly, I don't mind warpriest at all, or portmanteaux really. Bloodrager is just such an awful, awful name. There are plenty of other portmanteaux that could work as reasonable alternatives: rage-seer, ire-mage, war-augur, etc. I admit that none of those really works universally without its hyphen, however.
I also think primalist (mirroring arcanist a bit), warlock, tempest, invoker, reaver, etc. are all fine choices.
A huge part of fantasy game naming conventions is taking words from mythology with broad usages and choosing which specific concepts to apply them to. You can't really argue with it unless you want a ton of made up names or little to no expansion of material for your game. Elves, goblins, faeries, gnomes, etc. were all at one point more or less the same thing, just as the terms wizard, sorcerer, magus, warlock, witch, mage, evoker, conjurer, etc. are all more or less synonymous outside of fantasy gaming.
Next we will have the class get a rust monster as a familiar...
This!! Make this an option! The arcanist is secretly the magical fantasy land equivalent of a luddite, and has an unquenchable thirst for the destruction of magic items and weaponry. This is the real class niche that needs filling... under our noses the whole time too.
Saint Caleth wrote:
I don't think that staves are a problem because they are not viable purchases at the levels that PFS is limited to.
Staff of Minor Arcana is 8000gp and recharges 10 arcane points every PFS game session. Staff of Swarming Insects is 22,800gp and recharges 20. These are highly affordable PFS options. Who cares what the spells do? 20 points is a ton of utility for 22K.
Guys, in a normal home campaign Consume Magic Items might be bad, but there are campaigns in which it's quite good:
1) Games without unfettered access to magic item markets or crafting. In such games, Runestones won't necessarily be available and many scrolls, potions, or wands found will be awful and largely unsellable.
2) Pathfinder Society. In PFS, found treasure just disappears at the end of the scenario if you don't use it and doesn't really affect how much gold you earn normally, so burning it up beforehand doesn't really affect anything. Also, staves begin each session fully charged, meaning one good staff will translate into a teeming reservoir every single game.
As GMs and experienced players, we just have to make sure we warn newer players of its dangers when they're not involved in a game like either of the above.
Whew. Finally read all of that. There are a few things people keep saying that are either blowing my mind or just not computing.
First of all, not only is this absolutely still a hybrid class, it's suddenly a shining example of what a hybrid should look like. The main class feature of both the sorcerer and the wizard is casting, and this class uses their spell list but combines their methods of casting. That was always the hook for the class, but now they've taken the core concept and married it to more interesting flavour and unique mechanics. It's perfect. It combines important elements of its parent classes without seeming too much like either one of them. This is what I want from all of the ACG classes. It feels like it has a real reason to be.
This class also does a lot of conventional things in unconventional ways, which is a big part of its flavour. I wish people would keep an open mind to things being done in new ways. The few exploits available thus far feature a brand new way to teleport, a brand new way to counterspell, a brand new way to (temporarily) dispel, etc. Doing familiar things in new ways should be a welcome breath of fresh air. The nuances of these exploits may not have been fully balanced yet, but I wish people would give them a chance before decrying them. It's so rare Paizo reaches out of their normal comfort zone with regard to the way these sorts of things work, it'd be a shame to give them the impression we didn't want new types of abilities.
That all said, here are my class observations prior to playtesting (and I will be extensively playtesting):
1) This class gets so few arcane points at low levels and already has such a reduced number of spells per day, it's going to be incredibly difficult to manage well without feeling boring at low levels. Being able to sacrifice spell slots for points is great, but won't often be possible at low levels with its current resources. Likewise, magic items are much harder to come by at low levels. I don't think regaining points should be any easier, but arcanists should have a way to begin low levels with more points. Having their points based on Cha + 1/2 level (minimum 1 overall) seems more reasonable.
2) Consuming spells and magic items as a standard action is rough. Again, balancing resources is going to be tricky with this class. Forcing them to effectively waste a turn to regain points when so many of their exploits are situational and won't necessarily come up every day seems over the top. They should really be able to convert their resources as a swift action so they only have to do it when they know they're about to need those points. It would go a long way toward compensating for how few spells and points they have.
3) Counterspell is great to have, and I'm excited that this class is filling the niche of being the class that's good at doing all the quirky caster stuff it's hard to do well with other classes. This seems like a much needed stab at making counterspelling a little more realistic and, Paizo, I applaud your willingness to give it a shot.
4) I love teleportation, and dimensional slide is the alternative to dimension door I've always wanted. This ability is better in some ways and worse in others to the teleportation specialist wizard's first level power, but either way I couldn't be happier that this exists and again, Paizo, I applaud the fresh take. This power single-handedly made me fall in love with the arcanist.
5) I'd honestly like to see more of the exploits (especially at low levels) feature other exploits as prerequisites, so it felt like there were little exploit pathways you could follow if you wanted. For instance, spell tinkerer could be a way to suspend the duration of active spell effects (as it currently is) but the ability to strip buffs from enemies with a touch attack could be separated out into a different exploit that requires spell tinkerer as a prerequisite. Finally, if this were done perhaps disrupt spell (now a greater exploit) could be demoted to a regular exploit that requires both of the aforementioned as prerequisites, making it usually available at 5th level when dispel magic first becomes available to wizards. This way, it would feel like there were a number of specific directions the arcanist could focus on (counterspelling, dispelling/suppressing, metamagic, etc.).
Anyway, I can't wait to playtest!!
This new version looks awesome and I can't wait to try it. I'm crunched for time today, so I skipped over posts after the first page, but I want to ask people not to kneejerk too much on this class. It's very versatile but needs its resources managed very well to be effective. I don't think it'll end up being overpowered, but none of us knows for sure until we test drive it.
I agree that the shaman ends up with more abilities, and that some of them are quite strong, but I don't think it invalidates the cleric. Many cleric abilities are also quite strong and useful for different things, plus as mentioned the spontaneous cure and inflict spells are a big advantage the cleric has over the shaman for certain builds.
I will say that the shaman could probably stand to lose Medium armour proficiency. Witch is one of its base classes, which mechanically justifies the loss, and it's hard to visualize a shaman wandering around in a breastplate. This would also help to invalidate the notion that the shaman isn't trading enough power not to invalidate the cleric.
Thanks Jason and the rest of the design team!! The arcanist had previously been high on the list of classes that excited me, but after reading through the playtest document I was pretty unenthused by it. The new concept sounds exactly the way I'd like these hybrids to be: two parts blended in an interesting new way, reminiscent of both parent classes, but combined into something that plays differently from either.
This sounds completely awesome!
Note also that swashbucklers have it easy in PFS. You can take Weapon Finesse as your first level feat, play three scenarios, and then take advantage of free first level retraining to switch Weapon Finesse out for another feat before playing your first second level game. It's a little cheesy, but not nearly as cheesy as the players who always play a barbarian at first level for its survivability and then retrain to their real character for level two.
I could keep up and even exceed the fighter with the right buffs in place but was never able to get all those spell in place before the fight.
This is the big thing I found too. The bloodrager doesn't have the action economy to use the spells it has effectively. I really think this class would be close to perfect if it lost improved uncanny dodge and picked up a mechanic for increasing its action economy.
New spell lists need to be considered very carefully. I don't think the magus spell list is right for the bloodrager, but beyond that I still need to test more before I formulate opinions. New spell lists have a major disadvantage in the form of poor backwards compatibility with Golarion setting specific material. A bloodrager using the magus spell list can use magus spells from Inner Sea Magic, for instance. If the class gets its own brand new spell list, those spells will forever be off limits. That might be fine, but it needs to be tested and considered very carefully.
I will say that if it gets its own spell list, some sort of mechanic that allows it to add to that list from the wizard list would be a major boon.
I really hope so. Otherwise it seems like an awful waste. I'd hate to think multiclassing was being restricted without actually increasing the backward compatibility of these classes. If an ifrit elemental (fire) sorcerer counts as having 2 higher Charisma for bloodline abilities, an ifrit elemental (fire) bloodrager should too. Not that the elemental bloodrager bloodline seems to have any use for Charisma, mind you, but it's the principle more than the example. If not to more seamlessly slot these classes into the game's existing framework, why make them alternate classes at all?
I may just be seeing individual posts and not connecting them with other more productive posts from the same posters, but it just struck me that a ton of content on this board so far has been pointless whining about the base concept, which is not only making it more difficult to find the substantial posts, but likely also making it more difficult for the designers to maintain their open-mindedness toward such ideas.
I just finished reading through Jason's thread on the point of hybrids, and I have to say that I'm really disappointed with the way much of the community is handling this playtest. A few things about these classes are not going to change, most notably that they exist and that they are each going to be mechanically rooted in two existing classes. I know a lot of you don't like that (and frankly I'm not sold on hybrids without significant blending, myself), but there are only two productive ways to handle your frustration:
1) Sit this playtest out. If new classes aren't your thing, accept that this playtest isn't for you and plan not to purchase the book. If you find the concept of hybrids irredeemably repugnant, do likewise. They're happening, and all complaining serves to do is increase the volume of text the designers have to wade through to get the useful feedback. If you think these concepts are awful, it's childish to actively contribute to making them worse by gumming up the data. You've written them off. Let people who haven't have their shot at helping to improve them.
2) Playtest. Endure for the greater good, and provide feedback, suggestions, and data that will help improve each of these classes. I happen to quite like the concept of hybrids, but I believe many of the new classes as-written need some mechanical massaging to help their individual components more seamlessly integrate. I've picked my favourites and I'm diligently working to provide useful (not pointlessly critical) opinions, feedback, and suggestions to help make these classes the best they can be. It's the only sure road to meaningfully improve anything about these classes. I'll admit that I'm struggling to stay positive with the investigator, but I'm trying. Maybe for some of you who really aren't taken by these classes, working to improve your least favourites would be more productive? Just try to focus on improvement since "tearing down" isn't an option.
We know that the ACG is going to have archetypes for each of the new classes. List some suggestions you have for archetypes so Paizo knows what the people want!
Arcanist 1) a metamagic specialist, 2) a tinkerer
Bloodrager 1) a dedicated debuffer, 2) a shapeshifter that focuses on polymorphing to augment combat capabilities, 3) maybe a version that skews more toward sorcerer than barbarian and can use actual sorcerer bloodlines, so that some of the more martial and obscure bloodlines (Orc, I'm looking at you) can have their day in the sun
Shaman 1) a build focused much more heavily on augmenting and improving the familiar, maybe with early access to improved familiars or an alternate list of improved familiar options (I'd love to see a similar option for the witch for that matter), 2) a more druidy shaman with a few unique nature spirits and access to the druid spell list (or at least witch) instead of cleric, 3) for that matter, a creepier or more witch-doctor-like shaman
Skald 1) a debuffer, maybe who inspires rage in enemies instead of allies, maybe as some sort of modified Antagonize/tanking plan
Slayer 1) a sniper/gun-oriented slayer
Swashbuckler 1) obviously a gun swashbuckler (which they've already said is happening), 2) a more rogue-like/skillful swashbuckler
Warpriest 1) a debuffer (I know, I know, I like cursing, hexing, and debuffing way too much)
That's likely more about filling particular design space. We really were due for an arcane caster with a ranger's frame and the bloodrager makes for a more interesting take on that, I think. On the other hand, there's really no reason in the world for another 3/4 BAB secondary caster. I would much rather have had another full BAB class with no spellcasting, or even another 3/4 BAB class with no spellcasting.
The funniest thing about the swashbuckler is that it's not only already an archetype but also the name of a 3.5 class that worked totally differently than it does. Not to mention, there's a handful of 3rd party swashbucklers floating around out there...a thoroughly overused name, despite being arguably used at its best here in its alternate class form.
A number of the new classes have new names that strike me as not quite ideal for one reason or another, but bloodrager is the only one I completely hate. There may not be any real world analogue, but there has to be a better name.
Arcanist I'm honestly not sure what to think. I like the method of casting and the metamagic versatility, but this doesn't feel different enough from either of its parent classes for me. It occupies a confused middle ground.
Bloodrager This was by far the class I was most excited about, and is the type of class that best fits my play style. When I first read through it, my thoughts were that it felt too much like a barbarian with spellcasting stapled onto it, which likely made it a strict upgrade to barbarian. Having playtested it, I still agree with the former sentiment but not the latter. It does need its spells blended more seamlessly with its combat, but the class is currently a downgrade to the barbarian. Without better mechanical blending, the spells don't fit the class and barely see use, and certainly don't compensate for the lack of rage powers (and consequently rage-cycling). This is my pet class of the bunch, and I will fight like hell for improvements to it throughout the course of the playtest.
Brawler I wasn't at all interested in this class based on its description, but this comes across to me as among the most conceptually and mechanically well done of the bunch. It has a lot of interesting mechanics and really feels like a street fighter.
Hunter I like some of what's going on here, most notably the teamwork feats shared between hunter and companion, but there's not nearly enough new ground otherwise. This is struggling to find both mechanical and conceptual reasons to exist.
Investigator This class feels like such a conceptual mess to me. What about drinking liquid spells, or sneak attacking, or using poison feels like an investigator? Mechanically, this seems pretty strong, but it's a hodge podge of random abilities with seemingly no connection to its name or concept.
Shaman This class seems awesome, but is organized in such a needlessly confusing way. This is one of the bigger hits for me, but it needs some streamlining.
Skald I love the concept of inspiring rage. I don't like much else about this class, though. I'd be a lot happier with full BAB, the loss of spells, and a much bigger mechanical focus on being a competent combatant and party buffer. I'd ditch the knowledge and skill-focused aspects of this class, and try to find more interesting ways to borrow from the bard's cooperative nature and the barbarian's combat prowess.
Slayer This class seems really cool on first read. I need to absorb it a little better, but preliminarily I like what I see. If any class should ever get bonus ways to see in the dark or otherwise bypass concealment, though, it's this one. Wouldn't it be great to have a class that used sneak attack but had inherent ways to mitigate some of the massive problems with sneak attack?
Swashbuckler I had zero interest in this class, but I have to say it seems close to perfect. This is without a doubt one of the best first drafts.
Warpriest I'm not sure what's going on here. It feels like this class kind of wants to be the divine magus, but it's afraid to commit. I say ditch the channel and typical divine baggage and make that optional stuff through some sort of healing focused domain or something. Instead, focus on blending divine power with a warrior's might. I like the divine riffage on the magus's arcane pool, but otherwise this class is coming off as a weak cleric. It's a warpriest. It shouldn't be as versatile as a cleric, but it should be better equipped for war.
Something just occurred to me. Rather than rounds of rage being based on Charisma, as Kolokotroni suggested, what if spellcasting was based on Constitution? Your spell DCs would be good without exacerbating MAD problems, and they'd be even better while raging, which would make the choice between casting and hitting a guy while raging a lot more interesting.
I promise I don't mean this in a mean way, and I'm not just trying to be contrary, but I don't think I could disagree more. The magus was almost entirely brand new abilities (at least to Pathfinder) and one of the main reasons I like it so much is that it managed to capture the combined flavour of two other classes while rehashing very few of their abilities. My main gripe with most of the new classes is that many of them feel like two classes stapled together rather than blended into a coherent whole, the worst of which being the investigator. That class just doesn't make any conceptual sense to me yet.
I will say that I have mixed feelings about reusing things like bloodlines without keeping them in more or less their original form. On the one hand, I like that the changes open up design space, but on the other hand, they seem to inhibit backwards compatibility. I still have very mixed feelings on the entire alternate class nature of these classes, though, for similar reasons. Many mechanics did seem to get somewhat unnecessary renames, but the one thing I absolutely can't concede is that there are too many new mechanics. There seem to me to be precious few.