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Are Pathfinder classes balanced? Close enough.


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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A lot of the threads here focus on class balance. There's a lively one underway right now about barbarians at higher levels.

I've DM'ed a Pathfinder game for the better part of a year now, with characters rising from 8th to 11th level, and here's my assessment:

Good enough.

I'm sure the number crunchers and statisticians will always find slight advantages and disadvantages.

But in the "noise" of an actual game, I find that these power game issues fall away almost completely.

I have yet to see one of my players (with 8-10 players each week in my group we've used very base class) sitting on the sidelines saying, "I just can't be a factor here."

I've yet to see one of my players saying, "I'm out of options."

There have, of course, been situations where one or another character has advantages, but those tend to be in-game "moments to shine."

The players need a tank and one guy gets to step forward. The players need a mobility striker, and that guy gets his shot.

Again, I know the rules aren't flawless.

The question, really, is whether they bring the classes close enough in relative power that the flaws essentially disappear against the muddle of the actual story being gamed.

Are they cool, fun, balanced and effective options for players?

I think the answer is Yes.

--Marsh


While I'm not one of those that claim the classes are horribly unbalanced and some classes are catastrophy, you are playing in the most balanced levels. The classes are the most balanced, in my experience, between levels maybe 7 and 12. 13 and upwards the spellcasters seem to get an unproportional power boost, and below level 7 there is another (albeit slighter) balance issue in the other direction - fighter types being slightly stronger than caster types.

But that's just my personal experience.


The 3.x system that PF uses has a some issues that make complete balance impossible to obtain but I think PF has done a good job to balance the classes out as much as they possibly can be. It was much worse in 3.0 and 3.5 though. I don't think I've ever seen anyone play Barbarian for more than a few levels and Sorcerers were almost nonexistant in our games with the exeption of the occasional gish that dipped in it for a few levels. Clerics and Druids were way overpowered as everyone knows and the Bard...well, didn't see many of those either. Paladins kind of sucked too. We tended to have more people play Warlocks, Scouts, Duskblades and Swashbucklers than many of the base classes.

PF at least made all of the base classes appear to be interesting enough to try out.


The benefit of building your system based on a ten year old system is that you get to fix most of the problems. That being said the real balance issues come out in solo comparisons because it is a party game, look at a god wiz vs. a blaster wiz blaster wiz looks great solo but a god blows him out of the water in a party setting. The only real problem is that the barb needs better rage powers otherwise any party is viable so long as they play to the strengths of the characters in the party. Most of the x class is weak comes from bad play/builds or one on one comparisons.


BlueAria wrote:
The benefit of building your system based on a ten year old system is that you get to fix most of the problems. That being said the real balance issues come out in solo comparisons because it is a party game, look at a god wiz vs. a blaster wiz blaster wiz looks great solo but a god blows him out of the water in a party setting. The only real problem is that the barb needs better rage powers otherwise any party is viable so long as they play to the strengths of the characters in the party. Most of the x class is weak comes from bad play/builds or one on one comparisons.

+1. It's a team effort. Smart casters do things that benefit the whole party, not just themselves. Buff the fighters and weaken their foes.


Completely agree. Gamers can talk about balance and issues like the thing is real life. There is not question in my mind that game balance is a well done thing, inside of reasonable assumptions.

Paizo +1


The question isn't so much balance as it is whether or not the classes have something fun to contribute to most situations across most levels. For me, that tends to be the case between maybe levels 3 and 10.

Some will claim the sweet spot is slightly different, but generally levels 1 and 2 can be iffy - it's real easy for some classes to run out of abilities and be left with nothing productive to do, and HP are so low that a lucky critical can easily spell doom for a PC. On the other hand, past level 10 or 12 things start skewing too far. Utility spells can do too much, and standard adventures either assume access to them or are completely negated by them. Likewise, combats are full of giant flying monsters with buckets of hit points and DR too much/you-won't-pass-this that frequently shrug off the best efforts of melee classes.

Not that it can't work, but it does become more finicky and things have to be much more tailored to the individual group, ime.

Other then that, there are some general balance issues - the druid still tends to do too much, with offensive magic, healing magic, an animal companion that is almost as good as a full melee class at low levels, and the ability to turn into stealty, tough, or flying creatures while still casting spells. Honestly, you could have given them bard casting and they'd still be competitive.

As long as your players aren't too competitive with each other, that can still be worked around.


Just because a game or system is good, does not mean that it can't be better. In almost every one of those threads discussing game balance I see certain people come in and post some version or another of "It's close enough so just shut up, ok?" or "If you houserule it this way, it works in my game" or the ever popular "Game balance doesn't matter, all that matters is the RP".

Yes, Pathfinder is a step up from 3.5 in terms of balance, but it could be better, and the discussions of the issues are good. The best part about these forums and Paizo in general is that quite often in these discussions a Paizo staff member will pop up, so you know that the conversations are being heard.

So by all means, if you see a thread on a balance issue, poke your head in and voice your opinion on the matter. Replies like the examples I gave above serve no purpose however, and I have been seeing a disturbing trend of people trying to actively discourage discussion of balance issues, or even just shout down those with opinions who differ from their own.

Disclaimer: I'm not sure if the reasoning behind this thread was to actively discourage chatter about game balance or not, and I am not insinuating that at all.

Grand Lodge

Well marsh, 8-11 is the sweet spot. Even in 3.x 8-11 was pretty well balanced. Run a game from 1-20 and you will see the balance issue.


It's not that balance should not be talked about it that people get tired of hearing class x sucks. We all crack jokes at the bard now and then but 30+ posts of "the class is worthless no one should ever play it and fixing it would require a full rewrite so why bother" that starts the "shut up it's fine" mind set. The boards here seem to be great about not going overboard about trashing classes but keep in mind many of us have been hearing the same stupid attacks on classes that we like for 5-10 years. Personally I detest monks, both mechanically and thematically, Do they need some work, probably, can they be played well by a smart player, most defiantly, so we can talk about monks and how to play them and how to make them better, but it gets to a point where one or two people join the discussion and respond to every post and every idea and every build with a simple, "class x does that better" I think this thread is here because so many people are talking about fixes the people need to know that the system works well without them. All things can be improved that is a fact, all things, but some things are good enough to go on without the fixes, not that then can't get better, simply that the are great as they are not the best there ever will be, not perfect, simply great as they are.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Fun is a subjective term. The only time it should come into play is in actual play. 'Is this rule contributing to the fun of the game?' Sometimes you can tell just by reading the rule, sometimes you need to actually see it in play. 3.5 Grapple is an example.

Balance is perfection, and inherently unattainable. I recall a book from my childhood pointing out that 'perfect' people are boring. They don't do anything but be perfect.

Perfect balance is Rock Paper Scissors. And it gets old fast. Because it means none of your choices are meaningful.

I argue- ahem, discuss the rules for the pleasure of determining how they work and how they can be made better. I'm totally with Moro that while things can be good, they can always be better. And you don't get better by not listening to criticism.

The main point of analyzing the rules is to make sure they do what they say they do. See 3.5 Monk. If the rules do not actually reflect the intended result, they need a-changin'.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There are various arguments back and forth about balance between classes, and they seem to come down to some similar arguments:

Class X is better than Class Y because it can beat them in a fight.
This is perhaps the worst kind of comparison, because how many times does Class X and Class Y actually prepare an 'arena' fight with each other? Outside of some specialised games, never. What happens if one of them is unprepared, and taken by surprise?

Class X is better than Class Y because it can do more.
It is true that a spell-caster can do most things. The question is, in the party itself, do they eclipse the other party members? Does your cleric cast find traps when there is a rogue to do it? Does your wizard summon monsters guard him if he has a fighter as his tank? It's a waste of resources to do this, so if it's happening it's because of the player, not the class.

I find that parties of all levels can have any mix of characters without problems, as long as they all have a role to fulfil within the group and feel like they are contributing.

Are the Pathfinder classes balanced? No, they don't all have equal power at equal levels. However, the changes introduced mean that they should all be able to contribute and be useful party members at all levels, and to me that is what is important.


To clarify, I have now run Pathfinder games from 1-11th levels. I found the lower levels really fun and functional.

Obviously, there were real limitations on certain classes, but that added a level of tension that I sort of miss even at these middling levels.

The point of my post wasn't to shut anyone up.

This was/is just me checking in with my personal sense of how the game functions after a legitimate, in-game, campaign-style playtest.

(Actually, "playtest" is the wrong word. We've just been "playing." I think there's a big difference.)

I've played D&D since the late 1970s and this iteration moves closer into true balance than any I've played before.

It'll be interesting to see if I find my game hitting serious road blocks or dysfunction as we push into higher levels.

--Marsh

Dark Archive

I agree with the OP. It's balanced ENOUGH.

Any further and we start to muddy the waters into a bland melange of ... blandness.

It is RIGHT AND PROPER in my opinion that characters have the ability to specialize and shine in their own unique way. If that weren't the case, we wouldn't have classes, we'd have "Heroes" who could either do anything or nothing.

In closing, allow me to thank Paizo for a balanced enough product that allows for diversity and wonderful amounts of enjoyment.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013

I know it is not a very popular idea, but in my opinion, they have really dropped the Cleric too far.

The little that the 3X class did shine, have been changed to not apply.

It lost it's meleeness becasue it was suppossed to be more of a full Caster type, but it doesn't stand with Wizard or Sorcerer when it comes to cool class casting options.

It is the only class that essentually has 18 dead levels, and unlike Wizard Schools or bloodlines, one cleric is still extremely similar to most others (of the same energy).

Aside from that, I think they have done a good job with everything else. Paladin is fairly strong.


Beckett wrote:

I know it is not a very popular idea, but in my opinion, they have really dropped the Cleric too far.

The little that the 3X class did shine, have been changed to not apply.

It lost it's meleeness becasue it was suppossed to be more of a full Caster type, but it doesn't stand with Wizard or Sorcerer when it comes to cool class casting options.

It is the only class that essentually has 18 dead levels, and unlike Wizard Schools or bloodlines, one cleric is still extremely similar to most others (of the same energy).

Aside from that, I think they have done a good job with everything else. Paladin is fairly strong.

I have to disagree with this. Clerics are extremely diverse. Clerics are just like fighters now really, where the choice of the feats is really going to be the difference maker.

Yes they are weaker now, but clerics were beyond strong in 3.0/3.5, the pathfinder clerics is about right in my opinion.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I agree there. They may not have the spell-power of the wizard, but they still have domain powers and spells, better armour and weapons, better BAB and hit dice than the wizard, even a larger spell selection, as the wizard is limited by his spell-book!

They have and always had plenty of flavour and variety. As for dead levels, a level where you gain spells is not dead.

The only real problem the cleric had was being typecast as the 'healer' and having to convert all their spells to healing spells, and Paizo fixed that with the energy channelling ...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I honestly can only think of one thing PF did to bring down clerics, and that was the loss of heavy armor proficiency. So yeah, I don't see the cleric as weaker.

Liberty's Edge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
I honestly can only think of one thing PF did to bring down clerics, and that was the loss of heavy armor proficiency. So yeah, I don't see the cleric as weaker.

They lost a number of low level spells too, but that was more than made up for with the Channel Positive Energy change.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

True, but you can import spells from 3.5 if you want to - backward compatible and all that ...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I thought he meant spell slots. I know they nerfed some core spells, but as you say 3.5 spells are still available. Spell Compendium ftw and all. And really, I think spells are still decent in PF, what little I've read of them.


Are Pathfinder classes balanced?
No.
Close enough.
Yes.

I think trying to achieve total balance is impossible without abandoning 30+ years of the game. D&D started as a horribly balanced game by today's standards. I think there was some idea that some classes should start weak, then become strong (magic-user, monk) while others were the opposite. I'm glad that the dues-paying-levels idea of balance has been dropped from the game.

On the other hand, I think some tweaks still need to be made. Not huge re-writes, but mostly minor stuff like spells and feats. Also, some campaigns or adventures are not balanced for all classes or party combinations.

I would like to see more things written into the rules to help GM's troubleshoot problems and suggestions for improving play. I also think things like character wealth, magic item availability, encounters per day, summoned creatures and cohorts, HP progression, etc. have a huge influence on the game. Newer GMs and players should not have to figure these things out the hard way.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I honestly can only think of one thing PF did to bring down clerics, and that was the loss of heavy armor proficiency. So yeah, I don't see the cleric as weaker.

Which costs exactly one feat to get back, so yeah, I feel the same.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Which costs exactly one feat to get back, so yeah, I feel the same.

I prefer a level of Fighter for a free feat rather than wasting one myself. :)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Which costs exactly one feat to get back, so yeah, I feel the same.
I prefer a level of Fighter for a free feat rather than wasting one myself. :)

or just be human and save a CL .


I personally think it is better than the 3.5 dnd as for balance. But some classes still need work, some are not going to get them.

A barbarian has no real niche. They are out done in every way by all other melee classes, excerpt for a few things here an there.

The eldrich knight, while maybe balanced, seems like a joke capstone ability.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013

Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:

I personally think it is better than the 3.5 dnd as for balance. But some classes still need work, some are not going to get them.

A barbarian has no real niche. They are out done in every way by all other melee classes, excerpt for a few things here an there.

The eldrich knight, while maybe balanced, seems like a joke capstone ability.

Least they get one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
stringburka wrote:

While I'm not one of those that claim the classes are horribly unbalanced and some classes are catastrophy, you are playing in the most balanced levels. The classes are the most balanced, in my experience, between levels maybe 7 and 12. 13 and upwards the spellcasters seem to get an unproportional power boost, and below level 7 there is another (albeit slighter) balance issue in the other direction - fighter types being slightly stronger than caster types.

But that's just my personal experience.

I haven't found a balance issue. Clerics and Wizards do get a lot more powerful but game balance wise the non casters still have just as much to if not more. That's my experience anyways.

What I find not balance is when you decide to play level 15 and everyone makes up characters who are casters. So you end up with 2 clerics, 2 wizards, and sorcerer. That's not balanced. It's not who gets to shine though, it's how they just beat the encounters that are level appropriate but if you exceed that you end up with a TPK.


christopher myco wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Which costs exactly one feat to get back, so yeah, I feel the same.
I prefer a level of Fighter for a free feat rather than wasting one myself. :)
or just be human and save a CL .

Good point. There may be some clerics who see dexterity as a moderately desirable thing to have. It helps your speed and AC, as well as your reflex saves, which are generally pi$$-poor for the full-plate cleric. You be slow. You be heavy. You be slow and heavy.

Not all clerics think that's just fine. Fighters can overcome the armor penalties with armor training. Clerics can't.

The armor change isn't nearly as awful as some of you say it is. If you insist, it's a feat away, leaving you with 2 more feats than 3.5, and way more chances to cast something other than cure spells. The cleric is fixed, IMHO, and gained much more than it lost in the bargain.


We're playing in A level eight game right now, and truthfully how good a player is at avoiding build traps and building their character has more to do with their power level than the class itself. We also play in a first edition (hackmaster) game which has very little character building involved. It's eaiser to not worry about this there because there are a lot fewer traps in playing a class. Another thing we've noticed are the similarities between the two, the most retro first, and the most modern third are still both dungeons & dragons. High level games appear to be about spell selection and rocket tag.

I think it has less to do with balance and more to do with the game situation in the game we're playing. I will note that the actual game situation has a lot more to do with spotlight time than the class. In first they've been fighting a lot of beholders which leads to spellcasters declaring a lot of spells and then losing their turn.

Perhaps what this disscussion is really about is how to run high level games, or changing the game we're playing so that it isn't about casters and rocket tag at high level.

Grand Lodge

I do admit that PF did make level 1 suck less...but I still don´t like level 1. Not even an issue of balance between classes, but there is a game balance issue against the players...which sling shots the other way at level 20. Level 5-13 has always been the ¨good¨ levels.

As for perfect class balance...well that leads to 4th ed...no thanks.

The Exchange

I think an important point to remember about these types of arguments is what play style people prefer.

Casters are difficult to play effectively at high levels. You need to have an almost encylopedic knowledge of spells to prepare the correct assortment for any situation (at least for druids, clerics and wizards with access to lots of spells). They can be powerful, but take a dedicated gamer to play well. Someone who is willing to invest a deal of time into their character outside of game time. In other words, not veryone, sicne this is a game after all.

Many of the other character archetypes are not as complex. By far the simplest to build and play as far as my group is concerned is the humble barbarian. My brother rarely gets to play. He has functional understanding of the rules at best, and when he plays we give him a barbarian becasue it's simple to use, brutal in combat and can take a huge pounding which helps compensate for his lack of tactical finesse. In other words its the perfect character type for players like my brother.

Paladins would be the next easiest, but only if your DM isn't overly specific about their code. They get spells which make them a little more difficult, but other than that they're pretty much a straight forward type of character to play (in our experience at least).

Fighters are more difficult to build becasue of the sheer number of cmbinations fo feats and gear you can select for them. However in play they're still less complicated than a magic user.

This is good, since some PEOPLE want less complication in their game.

As an academic enterprise, building optimised characters is all fine and dandy, but in the end, you must cater to everyone's taste in what they want a character to do.

It's difficult to create a game that "balances" between classes perfectly. It's even more difficult to do this and still cater to the vast amount of playing styles that people want.

Just my thoughts
Cheers


I think it's vaguely important to point out that most of the balancing done to clerics and wizards were done to their spells, not to the classes themselves. Cleric the class lost heavy armor proficiency. Divine Spells themselves lost a lot more.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
I think it's vaguely important to point out that most of the balancing done to clerics and wizards were done to their spells, not to the classes themselves. Cleric the class lost heavy armor proficiency. Divine Spells themselves lost a lot more.

Huh? The PF cleric lost heavy armor. That's easy to fix with a single feat. The cleric's channel energy (heaiing surge) more than makes up for the lost spell roster. Instead of burning all his spells to heal his comrades, (which he can still do, if necessary), he might actually be able to cast spells that help the party. The cleric lost nothing, especially if you compare him to the 3.x cleric.


i still find that the cleric, hasnt been buffed nearly as much as the other classes, in the conversion from 3.5. That is why i think they are more balanced in PF, and ultimately one of the reasons why i really like PF.

It has always been possible for PCs, to tweek their chars in just the right way to unbalance the game completely at high levels, The psychic monk being one example of that in 3.5. But tbo i cant really see why you would want to go to such extremes in any campaign. As a PC, yes its fun to be powerfull, its not fun to own every encounter alone. That just ruins the fun for your mates, wich hopefully is not what you want.

But to sum up, i think PF is very balanced, and only if you pull in specific things from 3.5 is it really possible to ruin the game. If you dont, then every class has something to bring to the encounters. Wich is exactly what makes PF such a good game.


Cold Napalm wrote:

I do admit that PF did make level 1 suck less...but I still don´t like level 1. Not even an issue of balance between classes, but there is a game balance issue against the players...which sling shots the other way at level 20. Level 5-13 has always been the ¨good¨ levels.

As for perfect class balance...well that leads to 4th ed...no thanks.

Actually, 4th edition has balance issues as well, albeit they did implement one mechanic change that is significant in comparison to 3.5, that seems to be the breaking point for alot of people. They basically used the same mechanic to implement spells and melee powers. I personally have no problem accepting this change, but I understand other peoples preferences in playing 3.5

But spells (or psionics) will always be the problem in most systems because you start getting into powers or effects that are broad and all encompasing, while melee tends to be relegated to the mundane, or personal in scope.

Even in GURPS (classless system), where everything is bought on a point system, you tend to be more powerful as a psionic or spell based character.


I agree the balance is close, and probably close enough. Spells have always been crap shoots, with wierd effects and counters used all over, and so can't really be "balanced" without a massive overhaul.

There are still some thing that could use a tweak, though.

First, the whole reason save or die/suck tactics are so popular is hp inflation. I remember 1st Ed where a 10d6 fireball was death to half the opponents we would face, even if they did save. Hitting something with a sword for 1d8+8 damage was doing some real damage. Making characters and monsters frail again would help rebalance some of the higher-level play issues.

Of course, that also makes the PC's frail, which is never popular. Ultimately, it's a fundamental issue of vision. 3.X sought to make characters more durable, and so created a shift in the balance. The modern game is the result.

I have never really felt the need to give ANY class bonuses/nerfs in order to make the challenges appropriate. I also don't need to look over peoples character sheets to plan my encounters. I call that "balanced enough".


Benicio Del Espada wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
I think it's vaguely important to point out that most of the balancing done to clerics and wizards were done to their spells, not to the classes themselves. Cleric the class lost heavy armor proficiency. Divine Spells themselves lost a lot more.
Huh? The PF cleric lost heavy armor. That's easy to fix with a single feat. The cleric's channel energy (heaiing surge) more than makes up for the lost spell roster. Instead of burning all his spells to heal his comrades, (which he can still do, if necessary), he might actually be able to cast spells that help the party. The cleric lost nothing, especially if you compare him to the 3.x cleric.

...Did you read my post, like, at all? Go back. Read it again. Read it for perhaps the first time.


Beckett wrote:
Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:

I personally think it is better than the 3.5 dnd as for balance. But some classes still need work, some are not going to get them.

A barbarian has no real niche. They are out done in every way by all other melee classes, excerpt for a few things here an there.

The eldrich knight, while maybe balanced, seems like a joke capstone ability.

Least they get one.

With the feats you get already, and end up using every action, that already take up your swift action, you might as well NOT have a capstone.

-Arcane Strike and Arcane Armor Training

Shadow Lodge

Call me wacky, but I actually like that the dedicated spellcasters start out fairly week, but eventually far eclips the martially-inclined classes. With a few exceptions, that's how it seems to work in classic fantasy literature, so why whould a fantasy RPG mess with that?

And frankly, it's not as bad as some people make it out to be. If you're fighting another high-level party, all the casters tend to cancel each other out by counterspelling the hell out of each other, leaving the actual job of winning the battle to the fighters, barbarians, rogues, etc.

Dark Archive

Kthulhu wrote:

Call me wacky, but I actually like that the dedicated spellcasters start out fairly week, but eventually far eclips the martially-inclined classes. With a few exceptions, that's how it seems to work in classic fantasy literature, so why whould a fantasy RPG mess with that?

Agreed. Though with PFRPG, even the martial classes get a good coat of polish at high levels. True, they can't cast Wish or Miracle but they still rock.


I like the balance PF has struck - particularly when you play core only. The reduced spell lists effectively nerf arcane casters enough that others don't feel too overwhelmed. And when you compare it to 3.5 with all the splatbook "spells o' doom", when casters were juggernauts and Demi-Gods had to change shorts when facing a Wizard PC... I think PF is a dramatic improvement.

Is it a perfect balance - no. But frankly I never expected nor wanted that. The game systems that I've played that seemed to strive to achieve absolute parity seemed to hit a point of homogeneity to me. All the choices seemed relatively 'bland' and undifferentiated. But I grew up with AD&D and when Tolkien is your model, parity was never part of the equation. Aragorn v. Gandalf? Gandalf wins. :)

What 'balance' PF lacks, my group gets around pretty well by building out our characters as a unified team so that everyone has places to shine, areas of sole expertise, and some areas of necessary skill overlap. If anyone feels their character won't stand out enough - we re-tool the team, that's our rule. Combine that with a DM that designs adventures around the strength, weaknesses, and interests of the party members - and balance just isn't much of an issue. I know that isn't a 'systemic' solution but I would hate to see the core of D&D/PF get gutted in the interests of trying to ensure parity between every single class.

Now... enough talking, let's PLAY.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Stormraven, you have pretty much summed it up for me too.

Not everybody plays this way ... some players have to be Gandalf, because Gandalf was the strongest, and don't understand why anyone that want's to be Sam <shrugs>.

To my mind, as long as everyone has something to do, everyone is happy.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Dabbler wrote:
Not everybody plays this way ... some players have to be Gandalf, because Gandalf was the strongest, and don't understand why anyone that want's to be Sam <shrugs>.

He was? All I saw was a manipulative old man. :P


ProfessorCirno wrote:
Benicio Del Espada wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
I think it's vaguely important to point out that most of the balancing done to clerics and wizards were done to their spells, not to the classes themselves. Cleric the class lost heavy armor proficiency. Divine Spells themselves lost a lot more.
Huh? The PF cleric lost heavy armor. That's easy to fix with a single feat. The cleric's channel energy (heaiing surge) more than makes up for the lost spell roster. Instead of burning all his spells to heal his comrades, (which he can still do, if necessary), he might actually be able to cast spells that help the party. The cleric lost nothing, especially if you compare him to the 3.x cleric.
...Did you read my post, like, at all? Go back. Read it again. Read it for perhaps the first time.

I hit the wrong reply thing. Oopsy!

Grand Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Not everybody plays this way ... some players have to be Gandalf, because Gandalf was the strongest, and don't understand why anyone that want's to be Sam <shrugs>.
He was? All I saw was a manipulative old man. :P

...hence why he was the strongest.


Cold Napalm wrote:
He was? All I saw was a manipulative old man. :P
...hence why he was the strongest.

Youth and strength is no match for old age and treachery. DAMHIK. ;)


Dabbler wrote:

Stormraven, you have pretty much summed it up for me too.

Not everybody plays this way ... some players have to be Gandalf, because Gandalf was the strongest, and don't understand why anyone that want's to be Sam <shrugs>.

To my mind, as long as everyone has something to do, everyone is happy.

Hey Dabbler, glad to know I'm not the only one. :)


Yes, it is certainly balanced enough. In fact, for Runelords, we did a specific experiment. Everyone played a base clase (5 - cleric, generalist wizard, rogue, barbarian, druid), with one person playing one of the most overpowered classes from 3.5 - the Duskblade. The Duskblade had his moments, but no more than anyone else. In fact, until they got high enough level where the duskblade was getting 10 first and 10 second level spells, the generalist wizard outdid him consistently - not just at spellcasting, but in melee, with his granted power - using his 20 int to get +5 to hit and damage with a dagger at 1st level. (this was beta rules, since changed to only int bonus to hit, str to damage, which I have to agree with).

And there is NO chance that someone can build a PC that dominates every encounter. I'm sorry, that's just too much of a challenge for the DM. Maybe he can dominate some or even a lot of the encounters - the party above - if it was pure hack and slash - did have a tendency to push the barbarian into the room and slam the door until the noise died down, but there's always something that can hit a PCs weak points, that other PCs can take up the slack for.


Major__Tom wrote:

Yes, it is certainly balanced enough. In fact, for Runelords, we did a specific experiment. Everyone played a base clase (5 - cleric, generalist wizard, rogue, barbarian, druid), with one person playing one of the most overpowered classes from 3.5 - the Duskblade. The Duskblade had his moments, but no more than anyone else. In fact, until they got high enough level where the duskblade was getting 10 first and 10 second level spells, the generalist wizard outdid him consistently - not just at spellcasting, but in melee, with his granted power - using his 20 int to get +5 to hit and damage with a dagger at 1st level. (this was beta rules, since changed to only int bonus to hit, str to damage, which I have to agree with).

And there is NO chance that someone can build a PC that dominates every encounter. I'm sorry, that's just too much of a challenge for the DM. Maybe he can dominate some or even a lot of the encounters - the party above - if it was pure hack and slash - did have a tendency to push the barbarian into the room and slam the door until the noise died down, but there's always something that can hit a PCs weak points, that other PCs can take up the slack for.

The Duskblade was hardly "one of the most overpowered classes in 3.5". It was one of the few classes with casting capability that WotC printed that could be considered (somewhat) balanced, due to their very limited spell selection.

Try a repeat of that experiment with your next AP, only swap in a Monk for one of the base classes, and for your choice of "gish"-like overpowered 3.5 class try to work in an Abjurant Champion build of some type. That said, the straight Wizard will probably dominate the higher levels no matter what you choose.

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