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RPG Superstar 2015

The Best Designed Class


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Now I know a lot of you will look at that title and go "there is no best class, everyone is good at something". This thread is not for that sort of discussion, at least not directly.

What I want to know is this: what class do people think is the most fun, well designed, and balanced in the context of a average pathfinder game? More importantly, why?

Neither overpowered or underpowered, simply well tailored to play like a character is supposed to in a pathfinder game. I understand that the answer to this question may vary between players and contexts, but I am asking this question as if, perhaps, you could envision a game with minimal contextual influence. That is, what you think the average game should be, or probably includes, regardless of each playing group's differences. I understand that this may be a very difficult task, as the group is nearly inseparable from the game, but I ask that you try your best.

I want opinions on the answer to this question because I have been attempting to tweak the character classes with my own set of house rules. Unfortunately, there isn't an obvious baseline class to balance all of the others against. One could say, bring everything up to the level of the most powerful class, but I don't want to necessarily do that. The bestiaries and adventure paths are built assuming average characters, and I want to figure out what classes are best for accomplishing characters which are well balanced against the rest of the game. I'm running off the mindset that minimalism is a good approach, and I would rather use mostly existing content.

For this end, I ask when people post their opinions, that they include how the class does at multiple levels, and exactly which class features they think accomplish what could be called "good design".

PS: I know this topic has a house rule sort of tint to it, but I believe this is a much more general question that doesn't have to relate to house rules.


I would say a class like Ranger. It has a lot of abilities that makes it easier and more fun to play as you level. It has access to some magic, but not the most powerful spells that can turn the game on its head. It's got decent survivability and fighting ability. You're not relegated to a specific niche. Under certain circumstances you get the chance to shine and feel that you're in the forefront of the party. And you get a puppy, too.

Though, I have to say I disagree with your basic premise. My philosophy:

Spoiler:
I never understood the point of striving for perfect balance in an RPG. The last game I tried that aimed for that was awful as it completely removed the flavor and sense of wonder in the game. Everyone can do everything and everything is the same.

It's a game with other human beings, people should not seek to break it and if they do, they should recognize it and stop. We can't have nice things if all we do is ram them into the wall to see who makes the biggest mess.

"Fun" and "balanced" are two completely different concepts, too. Fun isn't directly tied to balance. It can be fun to play an underpowered class, it can feel dull to play a class that never has any absolute strength or weakness, and it can of course be very boring to play an overpowered class.

Balancing a game is important to a point, but it should not be done at the expense of having a living world with some wonder in it. Flavor is almost as important as balance, but neither can be absent. I think rock-paper-scissors makes for a richer RPG experience than tic-tac-toe, but that might just be me.

Grand Lodge

I think we have to be more precise in our criteria for "best."

Fun -- well, that is 100% biased. Many of us consider the Gun-Dork in the UC so not fun we won't sit at the same table as a Player who loves the Gun-Dork with all two of his brain cells. All any one gamer can say is what's most fun for him or her personally.

Balanced -- in order for us to do this we'd have to find (and agree upon) the most broken Class and the weakest and then find the Class that's in the middle. Even here we have a problem: Different Classes are more or less effective in different situations.
Bards always and forever are the weakest Class -- unless there's a bunch of other PCs that benefit from the lame-ass bumps. So, depending on the size of the group....
Wizards are stronger at higher levels than Sorcerers; Sorcerers are stronger at lower levels.
DMs influence it too: in my games Barbarians and Wizards and other Classes that have a more limited utility (few Rages, few spells) are stronger in my games than the Classes that don't have to worry about running out of their utility (Fighters, Witches' Hexes, Sorcerers' spells).

So, what Criteria can we agree upon as for what would make the "best" Class?

.... For example,
See, I HATE the Ranger because of Combat Style and Favored Enemy.

One HAS to be either a two-weapon sissy-punk-wanna-be-Drizzt-IDIOT or an Archer -- that, by the way, is WAAAAAAAY weaker than a Fighter, Archer.

And

Favored Enemy for Ranger only. Are you Fugging kiding me?!!! What idiot (Andy Collins) came up with that shi+?! So, a dwarf battle cleric of Moradin can't have orcs as a Favored Enemy. Great job moron designers!

. . . .

Also, I argue that Ranger is badly designed.

It is a full BAB Class with TWO strong Saves. This is a mistake. Designed better the Ranger would be a strong REF Save ONLY; Pally would be strong WILL ONLY (Ftr & Bbn, Fort).

Grand Lodge

For your Homebrew purpose, the standard design baseline is
Fighter
Wizard
Cleric
Rogue

Whatever Class you're designing -- or tweaking, those are the four baselines.

Dark Archive

personally i like magus, alchemist, and inquisitor.

Grand Lodge

Inquisitor

Magus

Barbarian


1 person marked this as a favorite.
W E Ray wrote:


Fun -- well, that is 100% biased. Many of us consider the Gun-Dork in the UC so not fun we won't sit at the same table as a Player who loves the Gun-Dork with all two of his brain cells. All any one gamer can say is what's most for for himor her personally.

nice jab at people who find the gunslinger fun, that's mature.

Anywho he does have a point in alot of personal bias is involved, personally i find ranger and if not for the alignment restriction i would have to say Paladin as well. They just have alot of inherent versatility that lets them be useful in almost any group (caveat being an evil group for the paladin obviously)

Grand Lodge

That's me, biased and immature.

Never said otherwise.

. . . . Honestly, my vitriol against the Gunslinger here is as much to illustrate my point about "best Class" being hard to judge based on fun as it is to reveal my immaturity. There are lots of gamers, myself included, who just won't play with Gunslingers.


Quote:
One HAS to be either a two-weapon sissy-punk-wanna-be-Drizzt-IDIOT or an Archer -- that, by the way, is WAAAAAAAY weaker than a Fighter, Archer.

I'd like to take this opportonity before your post gets deleted, which I'm sure it will, to point out that there actually ARE more combat styles than archery and dual-wielding.

I won't even dignify the implication that anyone wielding two weapons is a wannabe drizzt with an answer.

Dedicated Voter 2015

To me the best classes are those that can always do something helpful. A one dimensional fighter whose only option is "smash it" can be tons of fun but only in certain situations.

If I had to choose my top three would be:
1. Wizard- I have a spell for that
2. Monk- I can probably get by with my pure awesomeness.
3. Inquisitor- Because I said so.

Grand Lodge

You're right, looking at my posts I'm realizing my bad day has affected my posts.

Sorry.

And I was wondering when the Archetypes in th APG were gonna be brought up to slap down my argument. "but the APG isn't Core," I weakly say, pointing out that one shouldn't have to have anything other than Core to play.

But I'm still wrong.

Hopefully my offensive posts will be read and considered for what they really are and folks that like Gunslingers and dual wielding PCs won't let my inappropriateness bother them.

I stand by the point of my posts, though -- we need a criteria of "best" before we can really get into legitimate discourse about which Classes are.

(But my 3 choices, posted earlier, are still my 3 choices ;)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
W E Ray wrote:

That's me, biased and immature.

Never said otherwise.

. . . . Honestly, my vitriol against the Gunslinger here is as much to illustrate my point about "best Class" being hard to judge based on fun as it is to reveal my immaturity. There are lots of gamers, myself included, who just won't play with Gunslingers.

dont get me wrong, disliking it is perfectly valid, it doesnt rock your boat thats perfectly fine, insinuating anyone who actually finds the class fun is mentally inferior is uncalled for and snobbish

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Alchemist gets my vote. When a class is either extremely weak or extremely powerful depending on who you ask, it's probably well designed. Why? Because it's strength and weaknesses are subtle.

Ranger is well done too.

Gunslinger is in my top three though. Never played it, and probably won't because of people who have a fanatic belief bordering on irrational zealotry that fantasy means only European medieval period with magic, rather than... you know, the fantastical. It's an extremely well designed class, IMO. The grit mechanic is awesome and brings a fair amount of dynamism to combat, as well as actively encourages doing Cool Stuff. My only complaint with it is Targeting, which is overpowered on account of the lack of saving throws. Treerazer can be tripped by a level 7 gunslinger.

Expanding this to non-paizo stuff, SGGs Shadow Assassin is excellent. Rogue-like character with really cool options.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What classes do I think are the most fun/balanced? Hm...

Longer Rambling than I intended:

To get a better idea of this, I'd like to ponder aloud the nature of "Balance".

When I think of Balance, I think of a system that works within its confines, but that ever-so-slightly allows one to push the boundaries. This is something that, I think, Pathfinder, and the 3.5 system as a whole, does quite poorly. The game is constantly breaking its own boundaries, jumping to new ridiculousness every several levels. What once was respectable damage is, 3 levels later, completely laughable, and what was one a decent utility spell because a wasted spell slot in a few levels after that.

But, there are several classes that pull of the idea of Balance rather well, I think. These are:

The Bard
The Rogue
and The Alchemist

Why these classes? Well, for one, you'll notice that I picked classes that are all "jack-of-all-trades" type classes, but don't believe that I'm mistaking versatility for balance. Far from it. These classes all follow a very steady, reasonable progression as they level, with predictable increases in power. This is an excellent way of working within the confines of the system as presented in order to give clear mechanical development. However, each class also has the ability to push the confines of its class archetypes. For example, the Alchemist can put out suprisingly effective melee damage if the player desires to do so, though it isn't amazingly high, just very good. Likewise, a player who decides to play a melee-focused Bard or combat-oriented Rogue will find that these classes can surpass ones expectations, and once again put out very respectable damage, or conversely, have quite respectable defenses, etc.

This, in my mind, is what a well balanced class SHOULD do. I think anyone who has played a fighter has looked forward to levels 4 and 5, because those two levels provide the biggest damage bonus for a fighter for the next several levels to come (increased power attack & weapon training). Don't get me wrong though. I understand that a fighter is supposed to be the best melee combatant at the expense of other attributes. However, even assuming APL+1 encounters, shaving off large chunks of hit points, if not downright instantly slaying an equivalent level monster, is simply not a balanced philosophy. I feel that a combat focused class like a fighter should be the leading group combatant, but not to the domination of the encounter. The group should not be waiting to see what the (insert domineering class here) is going to do, then resume their far less impressive actions afterwards.

If future designers are looking for ways to balance out the 3.5 system, and especially if the Paizo developers are looking to release a sequel system, they would be wise to look at the classes with the clearest, most linear progression to use as a baseline for determining balance.

And that's why I think that a party comprised of a Bard, Rogue, and an Alchemist (and maybe a Channel-focused Cleric) would have more fun than most other groups. No one outshines the others. They are all equally awesome.

Shadow Lodge

W E Ray wrote:
Hopefully my offensive posts will be read and considered for what they really are and folks that like Gunslingers and dual wielding PCs won't let my inappropriateness bother them.
W E Ray wrote:
we won't sit at the same table as a Player who loves the Gun-Dork with all two of his brain cells.

As you said, in another post, you wouldn't play a gunslinger, that's cool, no one said you had, implying that some one who plays a gunslinger is stupid and refusing to sit at a table with them? that's just a whole new level of being an arse. personally if i ever saw some one pull that i wouldn't let them sit at my table when i GM

back on topic, personally i like the witch, mainly due to the fact that they don't stop being useful once they're out of spells

The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Fun, well-designed, and balanced? This is gonna be an Opinion Tempest.

I'll put in a good word for the Oracle. The concept is clear and its mechanics support it: I like the concept of a price paid for the character to gain supernatural powers: and it's relatively straightforward (spontaneous casters reduce the sheer number of spells you, as the player, have to have a good handle on.) Also, of course, as a healer, the Oracle is pretty likely to be well-received as part of the team. Poor feat/spell choice can cripple the character, of course, but offhand I'd say that's true of every class.


Name Violation wrote:
personally i like magus, alchemist, and inquisitor.

+1 ranger and bards too there a little of everything class. I have never thought the niche class (ie, fighter , wizards and cleric ) was every balanced , there to "one way" like chopping your arms off to run faster.


Lincoln Hills wrote:

Fun, well-designed, and balanced? This is gonna be an Opinion Tempest.

I'll put in a good word for the Oracle. The concept is clear and its mechanics support it: I like the concept of a price paid for the character to gain supernatural powers: and it's relatively straightforward (spontaneous casters reduce the sheer number of spells you, as the player, have to have a good handle on.) Also, of course, as a healer, the Oracle is pretty likely to be well-received as part of the team. Poor feat/spell choice can cripple the character, of course, but offhand I'd say that's true of every class.

When I look at the oracle, I just see min-maxer bait. The class is begging you to find a curse that doesn't really hinder you. Did we need a spontaneous divine caster? The revelations are pretty meh, the exact same thing as discoveries.

It just looks like a class they mashed together with a bunch of existing mechanics, because they could. Maybe one day I'll see someone make an interesting character out of it, but right now I'm not impressed at all.

Grand Lodge

The new Base classes (incl the UC and UM) all get my vote - they are more specialised than the above 4 core classes but offer a lot.

Inquisitor and Magi are great - they can do combat well, casting not bad at all and in the cast of the Inquisitor, make damn fine skill monkeys. Alchemists are an acquired taste but I see the appeal. Summoners can be just brutal and still allow the character a lot of flexibility.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

The best designed class for me is the Alchemist.

It offers just so much and captures it's fluff perfectly in the rules. I could imagine playing a gothic steampunk campain with only Alchemists as PCs and have all bases covered roles wise.

At a close second comes the Oracle.

But really, apart from Rogue I don't think there is a class which design isn't good.

Shadow Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Cleric.

Flexible enough to be built many different ways, and support hundreds of different concepts. Changeable enough to allow a new player to adjust previous mistakes. Powerful enough for an experienced player to knock peoples socks off.

W E Ray wrote:

Also, I argue that Ranger is badly designed.

It is a full BAB Class with TWO strong Saves. This is a mistake. Designed better the Ranger would be a strong REF Save ONLY; Pally would be strong WILL ONLY (Ftr & Bbn, Fort).

I threw up a little in my mouth.

Which is probably fair, my post will probably have the same effect on others.


CasMat wrote:

Now I know a lot of you will look at that title and go "there is no best class, everyone is good at something". This thread is not for that sort of discussion, at least not directly.

What I want to know is this: what class do people think is the most fun, well designed, and balanced in the context of a average pathfinder game? More importantly, why?

Neither overpowered or underpowered, simply well tailored to play like a character is supposed to in a pathfinder game. I understand that the answer to this question may vary between players and contexts, but I am asking this question as if, perhaps, you could envision a game with minimal contextual influence. That is, what you think the average game should be, or probably includes, regardless of each playing group's differences. I understand that this may be a very difficult task, as the group is nearly inseparable from the game, but I ask that you try your best.

I want opinions on the answer to this question because I have been attempting to tweak the character classes with my own set of house rules. Unfortunately, there isn't an obvious baseline class to balance all of the others against. One could say, bring everything up to the level of the most powerful class, but I don't want to necessarily do that. The bestiaries and adventure paths are built assuming average characters, and I want to figure out what classes are best for accomplishing characters which are well balanced against the rest of the game. I'm running off the mindset that minimalism is a good approach, and I would rather use mostly existing content.

For this end, I ask when people post their opinions, that they include how the class does at multiple levels, and exactly which class features they think accomplish what could be called "good design".

PS: I know this topic has a house rule sort of tint to it, but I believe this is a much more general question that doesn't have to relate to house rules.

Tweaking classes wont matter because the ability of the player to build something is the most important factor. A player that can take wizard and give you a headache can probably build a fighter and do the same thing. All the tweaking in the world won't matter if you have a really good player at the same table as a not so good player, and the good player is pulling out all the stops.

PS:I am not saying that fighters are weak.


I will also add people's answers to this will be determined by style of play. My suggestion is to play the game, and make changes for your game because what might work in one person's game might destroy another person's game.


Trikk wrote:
When I look at the oracle, I just see min-maxer bait. The class is begging you to find a curse that doesn't really hinder you. Did we need a spontaneous divine caster? The revelations are pretty meh, the exact same thing as discoveries.

Yes we did! For everyone who wants to play a cleric or druid without having to bother with prepared spells.

You can make them into warrior priests, monastic scolars, or shamans with just one class. Oracles are what sold me to PF instead of having to come up with my own 3.5e classes.

Shadow Lodge

I find the Spontaneous Divine Caster variant to be the best option for people who want such characters. It helps tone down CoDzilla a bit as well.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

1. Alchemist
2. Inquisitor
3. Witch

Yeah, APG is a good book.

Shadow Lodge

It looks very good on my shelf. :)


W E Ray wrote:

Also, I argue that Ranger is badly designed.

It is a full BAB Class with TWO strong Saves. This is a mistake. Designed better the Ranger would be a strong REF Save ONLY; Pally would be strong WILL ONLY (Ftr & Bbn, Fort).

The hell man? Since when does BAB mean you have to struggle against TWO weak saves for trying to survive magic?

If you want to look at a class that doesn't deserve two good saves, look at the Cleric. Paladin, Ranger (and arguably Fighter which probably should have them) all deserve 2 good saves.

Marathon Voter 2013

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
W E Ray wrote:

Also, I argue that Ranger is badly designed.

It is a full BAB Class with TWO strong Saves. This is a mistake. Designed better the Ranger would be a strong REF Save ONLY; Pally would be strong WILL ONLY (Ftr & Bbn, Fort).

The hell man? Since when does BAB mean you have to struggle against TWO weak saves for trying to survive magic?

If you want to look at a class that doesn't deserve two good saves, look at the Cleric. Paladin, Ranger (and arguably Fighter which probably should have them) all deserve 2 good saves.

Dude, he refuses to even sit down at a table with a player who has a gunslinger.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Trikk wrote:
Lincoln Hills wrote:

Fun, well-designed, and balanced? This is gonna be an Opinion Tempest.

I'll put in a good word for the Oracle. The concept is clear and its mechanics support it: I like the concept of a price paid for the character to gain supernatural powers: and it's relatively straightforward (spontaneous casters reduce the sheer number of spells you, as the player, have to have a good handle on.) Also, of course, as a healer, the Oracle is pretty likely to be well-received as part of the team. Poor feat/spell choice can cripple the character, of course, but offhand I'd say that's true of every class.

When I look at the oracle, I just see min-maxer bait. The class is begging you to find a curse that doesn't really hinder you. Did we need a spontaneous divine caster? The revelations are pretty meh, the exact same thing as discoveries.

It just looks like a class they mashed together with a bunch of existing mechanics, because they could. Maybe one day I'll see someone make an interesting character out of it, but right now I'm not impressed at all.

The Oracle’s design is one of my favorites. Pick a mystery, then your powers. Lots of freedom of choice!


For melee classes, Barbarian, IMO,
not very complex, yet providing options, fun, more or less balanced at all levels, has got a few abilities with limited uses and others that force you to rest for at least some rounds or minutes so you can have sort of *actual* fatigue rules in the game, decent ammount of skills and some flavor.

The Fighter doesn't have any ability with limited uses, that's so extreme that makes the game worse IMO. The lack of actual options to raise your Will Save enough if you want to, is also a design problem imo.

For spellcasting focused classes, I'm not sure. Maybe the sorcerer. But imo spellcasting classes are not the best designed for some reason or another (some end up being too complex, or unbalanced, i.e.)

Sovereign Court

Going with the OPs definition of "Best" I'd go with Alchemist. You get this wide range of options and subsystems to play with that funnels into ranged combat, melee combat, or party buffing. The discoveries have a lot of meat on them. They make the Rogue talents look laughable even though they are similar in the scope of their designs. Being able to hand out extracts to party members (with the right discovery) is a flavorful and organic method of delivering buffs, similar to the potions at the end of Big Trouble in Little China.

In terms of power they are strong, but not as dominating as Clerics, Druids, Wizards or Witches.

The flaws I see with them are that for the purposes of play expedience, the alchemical mixtures are hand waved to being inert until a free action mixes them in the round. I can see why this was done, in order to keep up with other classes you can't have a "realistic" portrayal of all that mixing and vulnerability, but it does push the game deeper into video game territory. If you look past that though they are a lot of fun to play.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Magus.
Sure it's a little complicated and easily used by a new player but i think that it's the best (so far) attempt to create a gish class.


For best designed class I think I will throw my lot in with:
1. Magus (though would like a light armor archtype)
2. Monk (though would still like 1/1 bab)
3. Sorcerer (bloodlines were a nice touch)
Nothings perfect


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Being a fan of customization, I think Fighter is one of the better balanced classes that is fun to play.

I think feats are one of the most interesting feats to come out of DnD. THey let you take a character into many different directions, to specialize, and to separate yourself from the cookie cutter.

The problem is I don't think your average class gets access to enough feats. By the time you have all the feats you want for your character, the campaign's over.

Except the fighter, who actually gets enough feats to do any style of combat you might want.

Casters offer a lot of niche specialization, but I feel they suffer from too much power creep, and could be better designed.

That all being said, I think archetypes did a great job of adding variety to a lot of otherwise bland classes.

But if I had to pick one, Fighter.


Alchemist

the witch would have made it if she had the mad monkey spell, for shame.

gunslinger gets the price for best improvement since playtesting


Inquisitor, oracle, monk, witch, alchemist, paladin. With archetype, some warriors. Didn't try gunslinger, but my inquisitor with guns is awesome :)

Sovereign Court

I'm voting Alchemist. With all the archtypes and different ways you can build one I'm finding it hard not to just make it the main class I play all the time.


TBDC (acronym for the title) is Cleric.
There are many parameters for measuring a class validity, summed up as Satisfaction or, better, Fulfillment. My rule of thumb is that Fulfillment is inversely proportional to the number of tweaks a player makes for his character, with 'Tweaks' meaning everything that does not come directly with the class (archetypes, variants, PrCs, templates, splatbooks material, traits that specifically aids the class, etc). I dropped the Druid, despite being mechanically a possible 'TBDC', because flavouristically isn't really a Druid, but a mix of Shamanism, Druidism and Animism. The cleric is what comes really close to perfect design because of balance, fun, flavour, optimization possibilities and neatness.

TL;DR: The less archetypes you wish for a class (either to play or to 'fix' it), The Better Designed Class it is. Cleric is my answer.


The answer to this and many other questionas about classes is Wizard. ;-)

Shadow Lodge

45ur4 wrote:
Cleric is my answer.

*brofist*


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Depends on how you want to view "best designed." Some classes, mostly spell casting, can take advantage of new products rather quickly and easily without having to redo your character. The only other class that can do that is the fighter, and it can only be done 5 times.

I think the best designed classes are the ones that encourage team play rather than solo play. While it's fun to build the uber-wizard or cleric, I hate playing one or playing with one. I think any class that can replace several other classes is actually poorly designed (the 3.5 druid). A group can probably get by with 4 clerics or 4 wizards much easier than it can with 4 rogues or 4 barbarians.

One thing that makes it hard to judge is that you need to keep in mind the campaign and play styles. Some classes are better for certain campaigns than others. With all the options out there, I don't think that we can definitively say which classes are the best designed.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think overall, cleric is the most well designed class.

A cleric has so much power and versatility that it is difficult to screw up building the character, and most builds are still fun and rewarding.

Prepared caster with a full spell list is always good.
Good Fort and Will saves, the most important ones.
Only WIS needs to be good to contribute. Other scores are helpful. 15 point buy is definitely enough for a good build.
Not feat starved and is able to go into many different builds.
A servant of the divine usually opens up good role-playing opportunities.
Solid armor and weapon selections.
Just the right amount of class abilities and spells so it is not too confusing or overwhelming.

There's only 2 real weaknesses.

1: lack of skill points
2: heal-bot misconception

Point 2 is more of a player issue than a design issue. Point 1 is the only thing that can't really be bypassed, although humans with extra skills help.


Gorbacz wrote:

1. Alchemist

2. Inquisitor
3. Witch

Yeah, APG is a good book.

I will +1 my fellow toothy bag brother

but i have to admit cleric (which i have avoided like the plague since ending 2ed) does belong on the list for a lot of the reasons TOZ mentions.

I am thinking about the suggestion someone made on the boards earlier this week or end of last week about making the domain spells ditch a prepared spell and spontaneous cast rather than cure/cause spells but I am nutty like that, for my homebrew.


TOZ wrote:
45ur4 wrote:
Cleric is my answer.
*brofist*

*brofist ensues*

BYC wrote:
I think overall, cleric is the most well designed class.

Go cleric Team! Citation needed.

Dark Archive

1. Ranger. Good skill monkey, good fighter, lots of great archetypes. Powerful, but not on the "off the charts" scale of summoners, Druids, and witches.
2. Cleric. Upper level of power, but nice variety of archetypes and styles. A shame the combat cleric is pretty bad at this point, but a lot of great ways to offer support.
3. Baseline fighter. I've never seen quite so many varied builds. The styles are endless, and they are fun to play and build.

I consider the Summmoner, Druid, Witch vastly overpowered.
While wiz/sorc should be varied, I rarely see anything but the same control-buff conjurer over and over. I may enjoy them more if I saw more variety
Bards and pallies are honorable mention here; though I know from building these can be varied, everyone I've seen play them seem to play the same (suboptimal) versions.
Most of the rest I consider not on the right power level; though the 20th level potion exploit I recently learned may put the alch "up there".


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W E Ray wrote:

That's me, biased and immature.

Never said otherwise.

. . . . Honestly, my vitriol against the Gunslinger here is as much to illustrate my point about "best Class" being hard to judge based on fun as it is to reveal my immaturity. There are lots of gamers, myself included, who just won't play with Gunslingers.

Which is YOUR choice, many of my friends have included guns in our game world since 2E and like your so called "GUN-DORK" I personally enjoy the Gunslinger class and how it was done. It is not overpowered and is just under the fighter in combat effectiveness in our campaign.

There is also a lot of unjust hate for the Alchemist which is a very good class.

There are also a lot of gamers that think the Gunslinger is just fine and play with Gunslingers in their campaign.

@Thalin I find the Summoner not to be overpowered, every single instance I have seen where the Summoner looked OP was when the player playing the Summoner did not build his Eidolon correctly, ignored certain things like maximum number of attacks. If built correctly the Summoner is no more overpowered than any one else.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I want to list a few other classes to show that complexity and power is not the sole reasons for a class to be well designed. A good way of thinking about it is how a well designed class is "idiot-proof". This is very important. Even experienced and good players can make a mistake in character design, and depending on that mistake, can destroy the playability.

Take wizard. A wizard is extremely powerful, but the player NEEDS to be fully on the ball and know how the game works, which spells are good, what types of monsters have good/weak saves, what situation one is likely to be for the day, etc. Only 1 good save, plus lower HP, and lack of direct actions like attacking and/or weak DPS without a lot of thought, makes the class difficult to play, but rewarding when it works. But all of those traps and circumstances make it a mediocre class from design standpoint.

Take witch. A witch has lots of cool and interesting powers, but lots of hexes and spells are extremely specific. That's poor design. A player might pick Blight thinking it will be useful, cool, and flavorful. And then they run into issues like it's not good against NPCs, it's slow, it's limited to plants (obviously, but still...). What the result is that it's very limited, and the player might feel like it's a total waste of a hex. And since the witch has many of these hexes (smell children, scar even post-errata, vision, and a few others I'm forgetting) combined with a limited spell list, makes a bad selection really stick with no way to change it (unless the DM allows a mulligan). It's a very feast or famine class as many of it's powers depend on things with minds (slumber, charm, lots of spells). It also has very limited buffs for others and limited blasting as well.

Take fighter. Great at fighting, but DPS is still the most reliable. Combat maneuvers often still fail against big tough monsters later on. Low skills means non-combat situations are often unavailable to them. And the mundane stuff like climbing a mountain and swimming accross a raging river is often bypassed by spells by level 5 and up.

A magus is very good, but it has a way smaller spell list than a cleric. Magus are almost always relying an 1H melee slashing weapon (generally a scimitar), and they are heavily dependent on DPS for a general play style. A magus often has MAD issues as INT, CON, DEX, and STR is needed (unless the build is dervish dance).

I don't know that much about alchemists, so I can't really comment on that class.

The point is that a cleric has tons of builds, and most of them are still effective. It has a lot of options, due to lack of necessary feats and huge and effective spell list. It has a built-in RP with a representative of a divine being. They aren't all powerful like they were in 3.5, but a good buff spell at start of combat or right before still makes them very strong.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Realmwalker wrote:
W E Ray wrote:

That's me, biased and immature.

Never said otherwise.

. . . . Honestly, my vitriol against the Gunslinger here is as much to illustrate my point about "best Class" being hard to judge based on fun as it is to reveal my immaturity. There are lots of gamers, myself included, who just won't play with Gunslingers.

Which is YOUR choice, many of my friends have included guns in our game world since 2E and like your so called "GUN-DORK" I personally enjoy the Gunslinger class and how it was done. It is not overpowered and is just under the fighter in combat effectiveness in our campaign.

There is also a lot of unjust hate for the Alchemist which is a very good class.

There are also a lot of gamers that think the Gunslinger is just fine and play with Gunslingers in their campaign.

@Thalin I find the Summoner not to be overpowered, every single instance I have seen where the Summoner looked OP was when the player playing the Summoner did not build his Eidolon correctly, ignored certain things like maximum number of attacks. If built correctly the Summoner is no more overpowered than any one else.

It is not vitally important for a class to be overpowered from a design standpoint. Being vastly overpowered does, but overpowered itself is fine.

The real problem with summoner is that it is a limited spell list combined with spontaneous, low skill points for out of combat, and most importantly, EXTREMELY unintuitive on an overwhelming level. It breaks tons of rules of the game, which means a complete newbie is probably better at understanding the class since the base rules of the game are often ignored by this class.

Share magic item slots, check.
Eidolon does not naturally heal, check.
Building your own companion, check (very cool, but makes it a design nightmare as we found out from beta playtest versions).
Eidolon does not follow standard animal companion rules, check.
Cannot have eidolon and a Summoner Monster SLA activate at the same time, check.

Dark Archive

All of that isn't the issue; large 30 strength eidilons with 4 attacks with AC in the 32 range post-Mage armor is the issue (10th level, with plenty of options left). I've built and had verified my eidilons; I know the rules. If you want a level I can probably list off stats. In the event he goes down (his hp and saves aren't amazing), you get to do what is arguably the most powerful effect in the game (summon) as a standard actionS. Then you can bring him back, augments, thanks to the Summon Eidilon spell.

And that's on top of a buffer spell list that puts a bard to shame (mostly thanks to inexplicable low-level access to some of the most powerful spells in the game). I play one in PFS, by all rules listed. The synths are a line to themselves; they are 60-point build combat monkeys (best in game), mega-buffers, and diplomats if properly built (this does assume the min-max "7 Str 7 Dex 20 Cha" builds of course).

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