Well first of all, I think big stupid fighters can be alot of fun. But if you want to play someone on the smarter side, you can always turn to 3rd party material. In particular the Battle Scion by kobold press, and the archon by super genius games are both capable frontliners with magical abilities mixed in for a bit of spice. Or you could just you know, play a paladin (personally I dont like playing paladins but thats just me not liking all the bagage they carry around)
However if you really want to stick it to those who think they know best about the game, I would like to introduce you to the summoner and the druid. Both have bruising pets that can serve as frontline fighters (remember animal companions can take armor feats and use barding). On top of that they have lots of interesting other abilities including considerable spellcasting.
Overall I am quite happy with pathfinder. It has seen a resurgence in my group in terms of gaming. We are playing more now then pretty much any time since high school. I think a big part of that is the high quality adventures paizo puts out, which 2 of the 3 games currently going use.
Though there are issues and things I dont like in the ruleset, 3rd party material and house rules have given me more then enough ways around them. In my experience no system is perfect, but pathfinder at the moment is closest to what I want. Thankfully I dont participate in organized play and instead play with a group of my friends, so when we do encounter a problem, it is more or less resolved.
Jack Vance created an interesting and unique form of spellcasting based on the idea that you could only cram a handfull of spells into your mind, and once you 'used' them they are gone.
While this works in and of itself, I dont think its great as the foundation of magic. The flavor of non-wizard spellcasters really need a different kind of casting. I am fine leaving wizards and wizard like casters (magi for instance) as vancian, but sorcerors and oracles should probably be spell point based, and possibly even moving away the existing spell structure entirely, maybe into something like the super genius games class the riven mage, where you only have a few basic spells and you change the effects by pouring more or less energy into it. That is probably my prefered style of magic.
I am playing in a pathfinder E6 game right now and we are just about to hit the cap. As others have said, many classes have natural cap stones at 8th level. If you really like e6 then create 2 'epic' feats that allow players to gain 7th and then 8th level class abilities (9th level for sorcerors) but none of the numerical advancements. My dm also let us use this to get 4th level spell slots but not 4th level spells known, we could just use those 4th level slots for metamagic, which I thought was pretty cool.
I think it can be a case of how doctors make the worst patients. If you are usually gm, you get used to the control, and to your own stlye of game. Often another dm wont do things 'your way' they have their own style and preferences. And if you are too used to your preferences it can be difficult to control your impulse to 'correct' the other dm. People who are usually players dont normally have this issue.
Part of it ofcourse is that usually you run the game in the way you would want to play in, so you want somehow to make it so that someone else gives you the opportunity to play in such a game. That ofcourse is pretty close to impossible, but if you recognize the behavior you can usually curtail it.
Yeah, I kind of get that's the theory, I just can't see how it works. At least without some metagame assumption that you won't use random encounters if they keep pushing on long enough to make you happy.
Except the whole 15 minute work day is already a metagame concept. No one in any story ever has walked through the woods for 10 minutes, got into a fight with a bear and then some wolves, and then said Oh...well...time to rest... Yes you are countering metagame with metagame but it works, so long as you know, you talk to your players.
Keep in mind when i say random, i dont mean actually rolling for them, i just mean non-plot relavent encounters. It is reasonable to make clear to your players that you will maintain appropriate encounter pacing whether they try to rest or not. And if they clear two rooms and retreat from a dungeon, something new might be in those rooms the next day.
That said, I dont see players suddenly going into super hoard mode just because they are uncertain. When facing an impossible encounter they'll expend resources, they just will think twice about blowing their whole wad in any one fight.
Random encounters dont have to just happen in the night. They could for instance be waiting for you in the next room that you already fought in yesterday. But again, the thought process is 'yea if we stop after 2 hours of adventuring our dm may very well drop another owl bear on our heads. Maybe we should keep going and see what we can get done today.'
Well I am have gone 1-4 with a witch character, and I can say you certainly can rely mostly on your hexes to contribute in combat. Particularly with the extra hex feat early on. My witch only occassionally uses his spells, and mostly just uses slumber, evil eye and the healing hex. It certainly helps with the resource management of casters thats for sure.
I personally like gamming paper. Its basically sheets of wrapping paper with a grid on it (now comes in different colors and effects, like cobblestone). My girlfriend in particular likes it as she neatly draws maps ahead of time, then rolls it back up for easy storage.
Also for dugneons and indoor settings I have just recently got ahold of some of the terra clips products. They are customizable 3d terrain that are great for buildings, dungeons, sewers etc. They are fairly complex though they are highly customizable, so if you are willing to take the time, you can do ALOT with a couple sets of those products.
They are a bit pricey (you can get a deal on amazon at time though)
Please note that their estimates for how many connecter sets you need seems low to me. I used most of 4 sets to assemple just the peices from the streets of malifaux and the builsings of malifaux
500 10th level wizards vs completely mundane warriors of any kind? It would actually be rather amusing. Since I am pretty sure ALL of those wizards would be flying and have greater invisibility up. I imagine all sorts of creative death flinging around from unknown sources in the sky and behind veils or lines of summoned creatures. Big gaping spiked pits oppening up in front of charging cavalry lines, lines of 'wizards' fading into non-existance like the illusions they are when the enemy actually manages to close with them, only to find themselves encircled by sets of writhing horrible black tentacles. basically it would be rediculous, varied as the styles of the wizards themselves, and totally fruitless and hopless for the army.
That is the point, the party should be forced to concerve resources. Too often encounters are 'too easy' because characters will expend large amounts of resources on a single encounter, then retreat to rest. They are SUPPOSED to need to concerve their resources for unexpected encounters and not be able to dictate the pace of the adventure. That's the dms job.
If you are saying that the party will stop even earlier because they now feel they have to concerve more, the point of random enocunters is to shock them out of the behavior. After they have been forced to deal with a couple encounters past their 'comfort zone' they will realize that they can better manage their resources (hopefully) and go longer over the course of the day without having to rest every 15 minutes.
While I dont know if they actually need to be 'random' I think non set peice encounters are an important part of the game. First and foremost not every encounter can be something dms spend hours planning. That just isnt a rational use of a dm's time. Sometimes you just need to pop a few monsters in a clearing and let the party go at it. Its important in fact to do this given the expections of 3-4 encounters a day. If the party starts retreating after 2 encounters every day to rest, its time to park a few 'random' encounters their way to keep their resources appropriately taxed for the day.
If you dont think the monk goes there, then probably not a need for a 6th tier. If monks dont go there I dont know who does (based on the tier descriptions). Ofcourse certain archetypes or builds change this (zen archer probably move the monk to tier 4, and so do some of the really obnoxious 'style' builds)
Yes because of the control that can be applied to bombs, depending on their build, they can be extremely skillfull (good skill list, fair number of skills and int based), a melee monster (mutegen or mutation focused discoveries/archetypes), control the battlefield (various kinds of bombs), do a ton of ranged damage (mad bomber) and regardless of which of those they choose, they have a solid list of utility spells from their extracts. That seems to me to neatly fit your definition of Tier 2 to me.
Well i am sure my impression is coloured by the fact that most of my experience with the magus is in a kingmaker game (lots of 15 minute days). But I personally would put the utility and flexibility of the magus spell list just bellow that of the cleric/oracle, and given they can do a heck of alot more damage then most anyone else when they are blowing resources that put them in tier 2 and not 3. But I agree that its a border case.
A monk that isnt heavily optimized isnt good at fighting by mid levels. Particularly in games that dont customize equipment (and rely on random treasure tables) because weapons he can use or amulets of mighty fists are far less likely to show up. The character class that seemingly should be the least gear reliant is among the most gear reliant. Their focus is all over the place and I think that is the monks downfall. They arent good at any one thing because their various class abilities contradict eachother, where as every other class' abilities work together, or at least dont get in eachothers way.
Pathfinder (and 3.x) are far more gear dependant then previous editions, mostly because there is alot more codified, and its not as easy to improvise things, a fighter with a table leg is not going to be very effective at all.
First of all, is this the start of their adventure? Or are they an existing party that will be somehow stripped of their gear? If they are just starting out, tell the players about the lack of gear. Maybe the witch plays a normal witch with a familair, maybe the wizard at least gets eschew materials. Otherwise these characters can literally do nothing untill they get some very specific gear (spell component pouches, spell books, bonded items etc).
Other characters would also have trouble. A full plate fighter for isntance would be without almost all of his AC, and at 8th level thats a real problem. If you are going to lower CRs it shouldnt be too bad, but its still an issue.
One help for the casters would be staves. They are still a little low level for most staves but they would allow the players to do something with thier spell slots that is genuinely effective (saves and caster level are as the user, and not the minimum like wands and scrolls). There is also a new 3rd party product Apeiron Staves by super genius games which again could be dropped into the adventure early to give the casters something cool to do untill they get their casting equipment back.
The reason it is really common for magi and not for everyone else, si Magi MUST fight with one hand free for spells. Since they want to have a hand free and use light armor (at least until mid levels) making dex a primary stat and using dervish dance is very advantageous.
In every other case, fighting one handed is the least effective way to fight. 2handed weapons, 2 weapon fighting, archery and even sword and board are all far more effective.
Just to be clear the issue with paragon surge is it gives you a feat and that feat can be expanded arcana right? Thus being able to spontaneously cast any spell?
Seriously people, sure this could descend into a flame war, but it can also descend into a conversation on the capabilities of various classes.If you dont like the idea of tiers, dont participate in the thread. Its not that hard, just hit the back button on your browser.
I agree here, having an idea of what a class is capable of will allow people to be better prepared for it in game. If you dont know that wizards can have a spell to handle most situations, a dm, or even a player might be frustrated or annoyed when it comes up. If you didnt know that monks take ALOT of optimization to be able to do the thing they out to be able to do based on the basics of the class. It new and experienced players both make informed descisions. And sure we probably wont agree on every detail. But if it gets people thinking about it, it means that those people's tables will be better informed. Information isnt a bad thing, its just what you do with it.
Artanthos, that's actually an interesting perspective.
Resoning:1. Druids and Summoners top my list. Even more so then wizards. Wizards at least have issues at low levels, and if you get past or exhaust their magic are relatively puny beings. If you get past a druids spells you are facing a badass wildshaped bear who happens to have a t-rex buddy, and they are eating your face. At low levels when spellcasting is relatively weak, they have badass pets that are about as capable at combat as anyone else.
Honestly I almost put wizards at tier 2 instead of tier one. It was the wording of 'build' that makes it iffy. Setting aside the paragon surge spell, wizards have to have foresight, or lots of scrolls to have an answer to everything. Summoners especially with the insane flexibility of the eidolon, and spells like transmogriphy, and evolution surge dont need that much forsight. Druids also, wild shape is really really versatile, and the ability to spondaneously summon (for both druid and summoner) makes for a really robust toolset they always have available with no forsight.
2. Cleric is in tier 2 mostly because codzilla doesnt work as well. Alot of the best cleric buffs were powered down in pathfinder, and you dont have divine metamagic nonsense. They are still good, and still versatile, but their spell list isnt as flexible as the sorc/wizard list, and they dont have the pure combat power they did in 3.5.
Sorcs-excluding paragon surge, they can theoretically do anything a wizard can, plus they have some cool bloodline powers. But, they cant do it all with the same character the way a wizard can. Sorcerors are awesome, and i love the bloodlines, but even with getting extra spells particularly in early levels (1-6) they arent going to be overwhelmingly flexible, and thus tier two is where they sit for me.
The reason I have magus, alchemist, and witch in tier two is the line about trivializing encounters. Each of them can potentially do that.
Magi can do truckloads of damage in spikes, my magus in a kingmaker game has showed that if you have 15 minute days, they are special kinds of encounter smashers.
Alchemists, have a really robust toolset with their bombs, mutegens and extracts. I think they can have alot more answers then people give them credit for because most people play them as mad bombers or mutegen focused bruisers. But think carefully about the variety of things you can do with bombs, the variety of options available as extracts, and all how much you can get from mutegens. Combat power, utility, good skills, battlefield control. A well prepared alchemist bellow like level 12 can be nearly as flexible as a wizard. And if focused they can be real combat monsters in their wheelhouse.
Witch, hexes are pretty sweet. They alone mean that baring some specific immunities, witches can always contribute, and do it well. We all know how the slumber hex can trivialize encounters with anything that it will work on, and that is just the start of a witch's toolbox. They are a very flexible class, and though they cant do everything a wizard can do, they can do lots of things a wizard cant with their mixed spell list. So hexes + witch spells in my mind are nearly as powerful as wizard's spells, just not as flexible.
3. This is the suite spot. These are the classes that I think are the best designed. They do what they are supposed to do and are good at it, while still having very versatile toolsets, and a robust set of options in the form of archetypes.
4. Fighter is damn good at killing this with weapons. That line of Tier 4 seems tailor made for the fighter. SO thats where it sits. The ninja I think belongs here because with the vanishing trick, it is in fact the best sneaky character. The inclusiong of supernatural abilities form the ki based tricks makes a big difference here, just not enough to put it into tier 3. I think it probably could do with a resource akin to spells as opposed to the more limited ki pool, but that would have totally neutralized the rogue which i know was part of the problem.
5 Rogue, Cavalier and samurai are in fact good at the thing they are supposed to do, just not as good as some other people. And the cavalaier/samurai have hte problem of being tied to the not always usable mounts. The rogue, well we all know about the rogue. Though I am leaning towards just replacing the rogue with the super genius games talented rogue, which would bump it upt to tier 4.
6. Monk - the monk is too scattered a class, it cant really fight all that well, its AC bottoms out fast without an abundance of magic items, and its mobility is counter to the way the game is organized. If it could do more with standard actions then it can, it might have been a good class, but as it is, too much of what it gets takes away from its primary combat mechanism (flurry).
If he just wants to bash things with a sword, what about dungeon crawling board games? Something like the Castle Ravenloft board game to start him off, then maybe move into more complex games like descent or talisman. With the wizards of the coast dungeon crawlers you can even play with him (its against the game, not a 'dm'). Might be better then trying to do 1on1 gameplay with a child who just wants to hack and slash.
The Artaxerxes wrote:
It is a replacement character. Our old blaster left the party, so I'm supposed to be the new one. Secondly, I didn't even know about the create pit spells, and they look good! This should help a lot. Last thing, I don't know what feats to take. I was thinking combat casting (ill be casting in combat), arcane strike (with the four claws I have, it could be good), and weapon focus (claws), I'm a little sceptic all about arcane strike, but I'm not sure. Tips would be appreciated!
Use the quadraped eidolon base form, then explain to your dm that your claw attacks + pounce is your blasting, and that your spells wont do damage, they will just buff and controll the battlefield. If he is worried about a magical character being able to do damage, you have that covered as a synthesist (eidolons are among the best damage dealers in the game), but your spells wont be doing it, the magically summoned outsider you where like a mech does the damage.
I find the tier descriptions interesting enough, so I'll give my rankings based on that
1. Druid, Summoner, Wizard
Why would we assume that? If you are an alchemist why WOULDNT you have clothes with lots of different pockets? I would.
For extracts, as far as rules go they are potions, so its a move action to draw them anyway.For catalyst vials for bombs, the rules specifically state that drawing them is part of the standard action, it doesnt matter where they are stored.
Correct, that would be his alchemist lab. For extracts he has to creat them ahead of time, for bombs, he needs access to the lab as he is mixing and throwing the bomb. If you sunder that (and disable it) he cannot throw bombs any more then a wizard can cast spells if you sunder his spell component pouch.
For extracts this is true, you mix them ahead of time, pull them from somewhere (whereever you could store a potion) and drink ithem. For bombs you are mistaken. You pull the materials form the alchemy kit and mix them with the catalyst vial as part of the standard action to create and throw a bomb. Catalyst vials are not bombs, they are a component of a bomb that has no cost and no listed weight. You could have as many of those as you want (barring rational limits of containers carrying 1 ounce of liquid, but I can carry 64 ounces of liquid in a thermus pretty easily, 64 1 ounce containers if managed the right way would not be a serious burden).
Quite, and it sucks for the alchemist, but its similar for a wizard and his spell component pouch. Though only extracts need be in the bandolier.
Up to the dm I guess.
Or the Alchemist can actually plan out which one is which, and your enemy says i am attacking the pouch on his chest, which is either full of bombs, bombs and extracts, or marbles. Again it depends on how you and the player want to handle this, but If the player actually makes preparations, I dont think its ok to roll what he loses, just possibly roll randomly for which one he targets and have the player prerecord what is where.
An item stored inside a coat cant be targeted by a sunder (total concealment). Both rules wise and rationally. At that point you are just attacking the person. We dont deal with equipement damage on normal attacks for a reason even though for instance, a successful melee attack should probably damage your armor.
But I don't want to do that.
He doesnt prepare bombs, just catalyst vials which are a non-costly material component that he can literally have any number of. The only time a use of bombs per day is expended is when he takes the standard action to throw it. You could destroy all his catalyst vials, and if he has some opportunity later that day to replenish his alchemy kit, he still has all his bombs for the day.
He can if he wants to be a jerk. See above comment about armor. There is a reason why attended equipement has to be specifically targeted to be damaged. Its a hastle, and its not fun to have to worry about your stuff getting ruined because the game abstracts what getting 'hit' means. People normally dont survive getting stabbed 8 times, so getting nitpicky with equipement breaking in the same system that lest a 15th level fighter walk across lava is being arbitrary, and being unreasonable.
Thats fine, but again, it applies to etracts, but does not rationally apply to bombs.
To the Original Poster (often abbreviated as OP) this is the best advice you can get. The begginer box is designed to teach people the game. Take that and the free player pack download Here and you have 5 ready made characters that your players can use laid out in a straight forward and visual way.
After running that for a bit you can start over with rise of the runelords. Remember an Adventure Path is a huge commitment, you will be playing the characters and running that story for a long time if you finish it (sometimes years of real time depending on how frequently the group meets). Let you and your players get a feel for the game before you dive into that.
Yes, I've used one as an npc, and I've also had a player play one briefly.
My experience is its an interesting take on the classic necromancer. Using modified leadership rules for an undead hoard instead of controlling them via create undead made for an interesting encounter. I find that and it's companion the death knight to be interesting to play from both the mechanical and a flavor perspective.
My player enjoyed it well enough in the one shot he used it in, but decided he liked the flexibility of wizards better then the specialization present in the death mage.
If he was spending evolution points on out scouting the rogue, he wouldnt be able to still outfight the fighter.
Just to be clear, you know that if you sunder a catalyst vial you have not actually eliminated one of the alchemists bombs for the day right? The use of a bomb is expended when a catalyst vial is turned into a bomb. And the undefined vial a catalyst comes in has no listed cost or weight. There is no rules wise limitation (short of perhaps some upper limit of common sense) as to how many of the costless catalyst vials an alchemist can be carrying at a given time.
Extracts and mutegens could be sundered (presumably at random) but there isnt any reason they have to be visible, they could be stored inside of clothing (in pockets) or in a backpack, and not be visible on their person.
Right, the problem with the summoner is not any individual thing it can do, or even how much 'umph' it gets. Its that the player is overwhelmingly free to choose it all. And thus they can put it all into smashing things, or being impossible to hit, or what ever take their fancy, thus making the eidolon better at this then most classes can acheive without some hyper optimization. If summoners had to take things like scent, and darvision for their eidolon in addition to combat or magical prowess, the class wouldn't be a problem.
I dont think we are going to see this in the forseable future. There were questions about extended support for just the begginner box ruleset, which is alot closer to pathfinder then you are suggesting, and the response has been pretty overwhelmingly 'not going to happen' from paizo staff. The same has been said of things like a 'scifi space opera' game system which is something that Lisa, the CEO would probably really like on a personal level to take a crack at.
Basically it has to do with paizo's business model. They dont release rulebooks and call it done. Their primary products in fact are not the rulebook line, but the adventure paths, setting books and supporting products.
So if they were to follow this model for a different game system they would have to essentially double the number of products they put out, to have campaign supplements, adventures, and things like the chase cards or condition cards for the simplified ruleset. This would pretty much double the staff required for paizo to put out these products in particular adventures and adventure paths would be an issue because those are already so time sensitive.
To top that off, not only are they nearly doubling costs, but this would split their fanbase. Some pathfinder fans would play one system and some would play the other. And while some completists would buy both, most would only buy one or the other. And while it might bring in SOME new buyers, it probably wont offset the reduced sales of both systems.
Basically, it would increase their costs dramatically, and reduce sales on existing products. As much as I wouldnt mind seeing a lighter version of pathfinder to take a look at, I dont want to paizo end up business wise the way tsr did and overreach and end up falling apart.
I think imbalance is more about group then anything else. In my group there are a couple categories of players. The players that have the best system mastery usually have the strongest characters, regardless of whether or not they are playing an 'overpowered' class.
The only class I think is imbalanced on the strong side is the summoner, and that is more because it doesnt have enough restrictions on what you can take. It is too modular, and thus more easily optimized then say a barbarian, who cant ditch fast movement for something that lets him hit harder.
I wish there were animal companion like templates for the summoner's eidolon, with just a handful of evolution points to modify them. Then I dont think it would have been an issue with it in the first place.
On the low side, monk and rogue. They are just too divided in their focus and they dont have enough extra stuff to make up for the split. The bard, inquisitor and alchemist probably get as much 'stuff' from class abilities as the rogue and monk, but they get spell casting to boot. I think the monk and rogue probably need a lot more, and maybe even should just be full BAB D10 classes.
Other then that, I think the classes sit in a pretty neat range in the middle somewhere depending on play style and levels of optimization.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I am curious since you have mentioned this before, what are the usual objections you've faced to a classless system, and how does kirthfinder address these concerns while being more modular?
I've told you about my concerns about really modular rules, but then I see things like the new Super genius games talented rogue and fighter, and think maybe there is hope. I am wondering what your actual experience with other players is on the matter.
Are you permitted 3rd party material? the Battle Scion is a heavy armor 4 level caster with a blast ability built in to the class. You wouldnt be able to cast scorching ray untill 7th level (when you get second level spells) but if you take the force blaster archetype you can blast away rather effectively with the force blast ability.
Show your dm the super genius games Godling Its available on D20pfsrd as well. In particular if he's looking for a way to re-theme magic users as being tied to the gods, why not have them be descendants (mystic godlings). The godling classes are a great way to play out things ancient greek heroes of all sorts.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I am personally very glad to see this shift. I think that filling niches with mutliclassing is ultimately a flawed approach when dealing with a class based system. You end up with all sorts of balance problems the more you allow people to mix and match abilities. With single classes, developers have a reasonable scope of potential class abilities to consider when creating a given ability. If every class ability that is developed can be effectively combined with EVERY OTHER class ability, you either have to make every ability luke warm and similar to prevent broken combinations, or you end up with the mess that was 3.5 options, where playing a single classed martial character was almost always beneficial over playing a single class.
It also makes a DM's job MUCH harder when creating npcs. The more customizable the system, the longer it takes to make high level npcs, at least with single class focused systems, you have some guidance on what to take. I want a roguey cleric, i'll create an inquisitor, look at that I only have to choose a domain and a few spells. If I have to do it by combining two very flexible rogue and cleric classes thats alot more work. Which is less problematic for PCs who are the singular focus of a player usually put together over time, and is a HUGE problem for DMs putting together several per session.
Its why I stopped playing saga edition, the talent/feat system for everything is too modular in my opinion, and makes system mastery an absolute must, and drives up the time and effort required to create characters. And for me, anything that makes a dm's life harder, is simply bad for the game.
My Opininons, I like them, I like them alot. I think that the is simply untrue that they represent power creep. I think if you take their average and the average of the core rules classes, you end up somewhere around the same place.
Cavalier: I am kind of neutral on the cavalier. It's pretty cool, and I think it needs to be in the game. I just dont think its a good player class most of the time (mounts and dungeons dont mix). But it is great for npcs and even pcs in wilderness campaigns like kingmaker.
Inquisitor: Probalby my favorite class to be produced by paizo. A nice mix of warrior, divine, and skilled. Its a very flexible class that is great for small parties, or for the player that ends up filling multiple roles because his party members want to play a barbarian, a fighter, and a monk.
Magus: Best execution I have seen for a fighter mage. It works, and it is a balanced class (so long as you dont allow the 15 minute work day). Yes they can do alot of spike damage, but they also have to watch their resources, because without them, they are just 3/4bab lower strength/dex warrior.
Oracle: I prefer spontaneous to prepared casting, and I like the flavor of the curses and revalations. I havent played one yet but its been at my table and I like it.
Summoner: I like the idea behind the class. I like summoning, I like conjuration magic, and i like the idea of having a big bruising pet do your fighting for you as a caster. And despite reports, it is just about even with the druid IF the druid optimizes heavily. The problem is that paizo tried to make it too free. Where as most classes get some abilities they may or may not want (like a fighters bravery, a rogues uncanny dodge, or a druids wild empathy) where the ability isnt neccessarily bad, but just probably doesnt add to whatever the character tries to do most of the time in combat, the summoner is more or less completely modular. It can select just about every piece of the class from a big list. And all those evolutions could add up to an overpowered eidolon. If paizo has created some kind of restriction on how many evolutions could add to combat prowest, and required instead some things like blind sense, or the skilled evolution, to be mixed in with MOAR CLAW ATTACKS!
I think it probably would have been a better idea if the summoners eidolon was based on templates around various kinds of outsiders like druid animal companions. But on the plus side, the synthesist, though problematic on its own, has given me some great ideas for a steam punk stlye mecha suit class.
Witch: I really like this class. I dont know what to say beside this. It is again a great class for the player in the group that ends up filling in missing roles. A mix of cleric and wizard, with its own little flair. I very much like the mechanic of hexes and find they are great for limiting the 15 minute work day that pathfinder has worked hard to make more sensible.
Its not about having divine in their name, its about giving up substantial abilities for the unmitigated smite power. Either that or heavily nerf smite itself. Basically smite evil is worth X, smite everything is worth X+Y, you now need to remove Y worth of stuff from the paladin to keep it even. Exactly what could constitute Y is very tricky and probably involves a redesign of the class.
For paladins, yes, balance is heavily dependent on what you fight. There isnt a chart, its a rational conclusion that comes from their abiltiies. And in terms of the spread, the best example is the paizo adventure paths. Look at variations there. There are ALWAYS neutral enemies in them, because it isnt just smite that is alignment dependent. If everything is evil you are making a good number of options better then they are supposed to be.
Short answer, thats an abnormal campaign and not what the game expects. The game expects you to have to deal with a variety of enemies including neutrals like, humanoids (humans, elves, dwarves) that are not evil, animals, elementals, constructs, oozes, a number of magical beasts (hydras for instance) these are very common creature types in most adventures. If you are just facing evil yess the paladin is going to shine more then normal.
And yes, the paladin's wheel house is taking down single big bad evil guys. Thats what they are best at. They are not as good at fighting non-evil things. This is intentional to the design of the class.
It would be easier to just play a cavalier at that point, messing with the balance of the paladin in that fashion is going to be really really messy.Of the top of my head, I would probably remove divine grace and divine bond. Maybe something else, but I am honestly not sure. I'd have to do alot of playtesting to give you a reasonable result, and there isnt a point. We have a class that is sort of like a paladin but not evil specific, its the cavalier.
Weapon Training does not eliminate the need for proficiency, it just gives you a bonus. If you dont have profficiency with elven curveblades, you still take the -4 regardless of weapon training.
Also no, you dont gain a penalty to other weapons, you just dont gain the bonus. And in fact from weapon training 2 on, you increase more then one weapon group.
Well if you are ok with 3rd party options take a look at the Kobold Press Battle Scion. In particular the force blaster archetype. It is a full armor, full bab 4 level arcane casting class with a 'blast' ability, that the force blaster turns into a mix of bullrush and trip. I think that is like 90% of the way to what you are looking for.
Edit: And amusingly enough, the author has publish a sort of cousin to this class called the vanguard under a different third party publisher, but that is a 3/4 BAB 6 level casting class.
Yeah I have a bunch of big uns in my order, so I will be near the back of the line. Funny thing is I wish I ordered more. Kthulu especially was a crazy deal compared to the current retail. I wish I had order like 10 each of the 3 big 'minis' and could not ebay the extras to cover all of my rpg expenses for the next 2 years. Oh well, live and learn.
According to their communication this has been a significant boon for them. They've paid for their molds, and apparently bones are selling better then ever despite the kickstarter. They also have hit an overall bump in sales both in supporting products (people buying hobby supplies in advance of getting their vamp boxes and such) and the attention the kick starter has gotten them.
Heres hoping they do a second one some time and we can cash in on another crazy deal and the bones line expands even more.
The problem is Niche protection. The wizard can already do a whole heck of alot of things. If you let him expand his spell list, you run a very strong risk of letting them do EVERYTHING. I personally dont allow research of spells that are similar to divine spells. For the most part research is to add spells from sourcebooks not currently in use in the standard spell list at my table.
Otherwise you might was well just have one spell list, MAGE, and let the wizard pick from all of it. If it just takes research to add cleric spells to wizard lists, then presumably wizards in the past have already done it. Its kind of why I like the magister, a single unified caster class, that can fill any of the caster niches (besides maybe druid or summoner).
No, the riven mage has a VERY limited set of things they can do with their spells. Which is kind of the point. Vancian (standard) magic hs gotten kind of rediculous since the game started. I think there are probably too many spells at this point, and the list could use some heavy pairing down.
Robert Brookes wrote:
I am fine with either a combination of singular per day abilities in place of a 'pool' depending on how it is implemented. But I am now heavily leaning on a gunslinger chasis using something like grit based off charisma instead of wisdom. All I was saying was that I think all or most classes should have something like this, to allow the 'peak' abilities that make for awesome moments instead of a collection of +1s