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Experience with Abjurant Champion


D&D 3.5/d20/OGL


Does anyone have experience with the ABjurant Champion? Is the PrC broken?

Thnaks for help.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Broken does not begin to describe it (speaking as a player of one)

It takes one feat, one that a lot of players take anyway, and an elf can qualify easily. You get good BAB, two good saves, decent skill set, d10 HD, and a number of class abilities. With a straight sorcerer/wizard, you can go Wiz 10/Abchamp 5/Archmage 5 and not lose a caster level. Battle Sorcerer you can get into it as early as level 7.

It needs to lose at least one caster level.


Ugh, Matthew Morris's post vanished. I'll find it...


Ah-ha!

Matthew Morris wrote:

Broken does not begin to describe it (speaking as a player of one)

It takes one feat, one that a lot of players take anyway, and an elf can qualify easily. You get good BAB, two good saves, decent skill set, d10 HD, and a number of class abilities. With a straight sorcerer/wizard, you can go Wiz 10/Abchamp 5/Archmage 5 and not lose a caster level. Battle Sorcerer you can get into it as early as level 7.

It needs to lose at least one caster level.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Abjurant Champion is one of the best Prc's out there for a fighter/mage (gish), but I wouldn't say its broken. As a DM, I actually like the class quite a bit.

What you have to consider is that a core-only multiclass fighter-mage is inherently weak -- the Abjurant Champion or Eldritch Knight are powerful in that they bring the multiclass warrior/caster more in line with a full-caster or full-warrior, but I don't think it overpowers either. On paper, it looks better, but in play other factors keep it from being abusive.

In Matt Morris's example look at the relative worth of what the character is getting: overall a +3 BAB (+12 total, vs. +10 for a straight Wiz20 or +9 for a Wiz15/Archmage 5), a few HP and some special abilities that let the character throw up a better shield spell, quicker. But at at 20th level, a +12 BAB is still lame. You've also given up a feat to qualify, a feat for Wiz15 and five levels of familiar abilities. That's not overpowering.

A better build, over-all, combines Abjurant Champion and Eldritch Knight so you end up with 18 caster levels and BAB +17 at 20th level. That's still not broken, however, because although the character has the spell-casting ability of an 18th level Wizard and the attack bonus of a 17th level warrior, it still has only one set of actions per round (and HP comparable to a monk or cleric). It's really only a benefit when you can use it.

I DM'd a character with that build in my last campaign, and she was competent but not overpowering. In actual play, she was a solid, second-tier melee combatant (with sufficient AC, thanks to Abjurant Champion) and capable wizard, but every round she was smacking ogres with her bastard sword was a round she wasn't casting fireball or slow. She was always contributing, but didn't overshadow the other characters -- the dedicated tank still ruled melee, the rogue did his sneak-attacking, and the cleric rained heals and spells on the battlefield. If anything, they suffered a bit from lack of spell-artillery while the Abjurant Champion was busy bashing stuff.

The most significant effect of the Abjurant Champion's heightened melee ability was that she didn't blow through her spells as quickly, so the party was able to last longer and take on more encounters between rests. IMHO, that's a good thing.


I get tired of seeing all the fighter/mage prestige classes that have been created that are only different from the eldritch knight in that they give more. The eldritch knight is core (DMG) and works fine, especially with the additional spells in the Spell Compendium. So duskblades, abjurant champions and a host of others are unnessary and violate the spirit of prestige classes, of providing flavor and options not available only with core classes.


Every player in the campaign has asked if they can retroactively change 5 levels over to Abjurant Champion for all characters with fighter/mage builds. In fact, every elven wizard, and most non-elven full spellcasters, want to trade in for 5 levels of AC. Being able to throw up extended defense spells or dispel magic as a swift action in the middle of combat is a BIG perk. The full BAB, full spellcasting ability, and absurdly easy prerequisites are icing.

An easy fix is to nix the first level of spellcasting progression. AC is still better than EldKt, then, but if you mix both you're ending up 3 caster levels behind that way.


The thing that got me about this class was that it just seemed like a wish list for Fighter/Mages and lost focus of its theme pretty quickly. The point is that its an abjurant champion.

From the description:

"The abjurant champion focuses his arcane abilities both to augment his personal defense and to hinder enemy spellcasters. Perfectly suited for martial stalwarts who dabble in magic, this class offers the ability to improve their combat skills in ways neither soldiers nor spellcasters can."

Bolding mine.

Right off the bat, its hard to call a full spellcasting progression over every level of the class "dabbling."

So now onto the class abilities:

Abjurant Armor: Okay, this makes sense for what the stated "theme" of the class is, although the reference to armor bonus seems to imply that mage armor is an abjuration.

Extend Abjuration: Um . . . I get that the class is about abjurations, but why does a guy that just dabbles in abjuration to help him in combat get to have his abjurations last longer than, say, a specialist? But at least it still had to do with abjuration . . .

Swift Abjuration: This one, I totally get. Casting a low level abjuration as a swift action so you can still fight seems to be what this class was designed for.

Arcane Boost: Moving out of logic territory here. Why does a guy that dabbles in abjuration to help him fight get to sacrifice spell levels to gain a boost to attack (more of a divination ability) or damage (more of an evocation ability)? In fact, for the low entry requirements, the Swift Abjuration really should be the heart of this class . . . even the "abjuration like" abilities of boosting your saves, AC, or energy resistance seem to be way overpowered, especially if you keep taking spellcasting levels as you go up (and lets face it, you might as well, since you got five levels at d10 to balance out any low hit dice you might have for a while).

Martial Arcanist: Now we have just hit the WTF point. Why would you, as a "dabbler" in abjuration magic to help you in combat, get the ability to consider your BAB you caster level? Because you dabbled in abjuration, you can now throw fireballs as well if not better than someone that was stupid enough to never multi class out of wizard.

Then we get to the full BAB, d10 for hit points, and full caster progression for the whole class. What do you have to give up to take this PrC? Only the respect and goodwill of the other people at the gaming table when they read your class abilities.

The class should have had a d8, medium BAB, CL advances at 1st, 3rd, and 5th, the abjurant shield ability at 1st, the swift abjuration at 2nd, and that ability should have been for 3/day, then gone unlimited at 5th level and allowed you to use up to 3rd level spells with the ability.

But that's just my take.

Oh, and it might be nice to actually have the character take a feat as a prerequisite that shows he knows something about abjuration, like maybe, Spell Focus (Abjuration).


Matthew Morris wrote:

Broken does not begin to describe it (speaking as a player of one)

It takes one feat, one that a lot of players take anyway, and an elf can qualify easily. You get good BAB, two good saves, decent skill set, d10 HD, and a number of class abilities. With a straight sorcerer/wizard, you can go Wiz 10/Abchamp 5/Archmage 5 and not lose a caster level. Battle Sorcerer you can get into it as early as level 7.

It needs to lose at least one caster level.

Not sure if it's broken, or just non-crippled. After giving up on the Shadowcaster as hopelessly f***** up, I came up with a Wiz/Rgr/AbjChamp/Argent Savant/Master Specialist build which the DM approved. I'm looking forward to seeing how it works out. Although the build will lose 9th-level spells, the caster level will ranger from lower 20s to high 20s depending on school etc, due to feats and class abilities. It's not optimized, and will be fairly powerful in a couple of areas (dispelling/countering) and imp/mage armor/shield combos.

It should be fun in a few more levels when the prestige classes start to kick in.

Cheliax

KnightErrantJR wrote:
Oh, and it might be nice to actually have the character take a feat as a prerequisite that shows he knows something about abjuration, like maybe, Spell Focus (Abjuration).

I suppose it would finally give someone a reason for taking that useless feat.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

amethal wrote:
KnightErrantJR wrote:
Oh, and it might be nice to actually have the character take a feat as a prerequisite that shows he knows something about abjuration, like maybe, Spell Focus (Abjuration).
I suppose it would finally give someone a reason for taking that useless feat.

Actually I took it for both the boost to my explosive runes saves (which I can now quick cast, thanks to ab-champ) and to qualify for arch mage.


Abjuration Champion is a joke. A very elaborate joke, based on the fundamental misconception that there are any serious number of abjuration spells which grant bonuses to AC.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As an aside; why are warrior/caster combos referred to as 'gish'?

Is this term used for all such characters, or is it a derogatory term, used only for those deemed over-powered?

I'm assuming I'm missing some l33tspe@k/MMORPG reference?


Actually, the etymology of "gish" comes from githyanki fighter/mages.

Spellchecker thinks it should come from antithyroid fighter/manges.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Burrito Al Pastor wrote:
Abjuration Champion is a joke. A very elaborate joke, based on the fundamental misconception that there are any serious number of abjuration spells which grant bonuses to AC.

It's not the AC bump that makes it unbalanced. Though +9 shield bonus is nothing to laugh at.

  • free quickened extended abjurations? Yes please. That I can slap protection from evil on my fighter buddy, and still pop an orb of force at the bad guy in a round? fire off a free dispel magic, then follow up with a shadow evocation? 12th level, I'll take my 4 hour shield spell, yes sir.

  • Hit point bump is relatively minor, but it's still 15 more HP on average for a d4 caster, a little less for a bard.

    [*} Base Attack bonus is nice. that +5 BAB over 5 levels will score you an extra attack, and anything that helps your touch spells is nice. For a battle sorcerer or bard, that's a 4th attack.

  • Burn spell slots for bonuses/resistances. This can burn through your slots faster, much faster. Rings of Wizardry are a must. That said, the ability to pull a bonus to hit, to damage, to AC or to saves out of thin air is convienent.

  • Osirion

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Burrito Al Pastor wrote:
    Actually, the etymology of "gish" comes from githyanki fighter/mages.

    It's not an acronym of 'God, I'm So Hard!', then?


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Snorter wrote:
    Burrito Al Pastor wrote:
    Actually, the etymology of "gish" comes from githyanki fighter/mages.
    It's not an acronym of 'God, I'm So Hard!', then?

    No. It always related to githyanki in previous editions of the game. With 3.x, it related to any multiclassed githyanki, but that's it.

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