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New Base Class: The Protector (now a properly working thread)


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


Hello everyone,

please critique to your heart's content.

If you feel it is broken, let me know why. I have powered down this class dramatically from its inception, but its hard to judge your own work, so please give me examples of problems and what you are comparing them to.

I pretty much had to teach myself html to format this right, pain in the butt, which is why I appreciate and thank you all so much for reading, and even more for commenting =)

The Protector


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Well, first, you've given them the ability to cast Shield on your barbarian or two-handed fighter. There's a reason spells have a range of personal.

By the time the character is 10th level, you've got free flies and extra standard actions coming from different pools, plus anything that can abuse extra immediate actions. Not to mention the full spell casting, bonus abilities from your specialization, and the combat link stuff. If you're gonna give them this many options, they should draw them from the same pool, like a barbarian's rage powers or monk ki points.


martryn:
martryn wrote:

Well, first, you've given them the ability to cast Shield on your barbarian or two-handed fighter. There's a reason spells have a range of personal.

By the time the character is 10th level, you've got free flies and extra standard actions coming from different pools, plus anything that can abuse extra immediate actions. Not to mention the full spell casting, bonus abilities from your specialization, and the combat link stuff. If you're gonna give them this many options, they should draw them from the same pool, like a barbarian's rage powers or monk ki points.

From a design point, taking into account the tier system to judge classes, one of the biggest complaints is how powerful casters are, because of their spells, many of them personal.

So I took this caster's ability to be the monster and gave it back to the classes that many argue are inferior from lack of casting. Yes, I gave the barbarian shield, if that barbarian is not between me and whatever we are fighting, I have problems. Why not make him more durable by extending those spells unto him?

A wizard or sorcerer can share his spells with their familiars. As far as the protector is concerned, his teammates are his familiars. He shares the unsharable with them, grants them new abilities to use, and he eventually links minds with them, the better to work together.

Unlike the sorcerer or wizard, he cannot be god onto himself, in fact he cannot ever really be god. He is a buffbot. And he is MAD, needing both intelligence and wisdom. And he is expected to be within 30 ft. of melee regularly, which means he probably wants Con and with the crappy armor, probably Dex as well, or has to spend his first few feats working on increasing his armor.

He depends on his teammates to get the job done. He is the most party friendly guy you would want around.

By the time you are 10th level any full caster with a couple of feats could permanently have them airborne with some magic items, assuming the group is chipping in gold as well. Hell, probably just needs wondrous items feat.

Most classes actually use more than one pool to draw powers from. All together, the class is designed to pretty much force you to use your group as tools, they do the job, you just make them better at it. He has none-to-little blasting, crowd control, or battlefield shaping.

Every full caster (as well as the bard, mostly amongst humanoids) becomes exponentially more powerful with each level and don't forget the Dm has access to all of this as well =)

I do not discredit your opinions, and will take it into consideration as I edit forward. How would you bring it all under one umbrella?


ill admit is was thinking of Tony Jaa when i clicked on this link. though i must say this looks quite interesting as a class and i look forward to a definitive finished product.

Shadow Lodge

One thing I noticed right off of the bat is this: they have a ton of class skills, but extremely few skill points per level. This is unbalanced.

As to what Martyn was saying about the different pools, it is more book keeping for a player. While some players are fine with this, many struggle keeping up with their spells, hp, skills, items, charges, etc. Keeping it to one skill pool simplifies matters for them and the DM.

One last thing, and this is completely opinion, drop the Fort save. It really doesn't fit the character as much as a good Will and Ref. And personally, I think it overpowers them just a tad.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well it's a bit more streamlined now, that's for sure! :)

I have to agree being able to cast shield on your barbarian/melee buddies is kinda OP, and I'm still no fan of the fly schtick. I don't really have that much new inthe way of critiques to add to this version - I like the progressing battlefield specializations and the combatlink is a cool power.

I dunno - it seems like there are a few ideas here battling for primacy - I get that his role is a controller/buffer in that he's kinda supporting/controlling his allies. But what are his roots? Where does this control ability come from and how do you see this class operating solo?

I'm still a big fan of the concept, if you take some of the other posters critiques on board and refine the "one-stop-mega-mart" approach this could be really great. As it is it's just great! ;) Hope that helps!!!


I agree with dropping fort. As far as skills are concerned, the class calls for INT as part of its build, so skill points should not be a huge deal. It does not have tons of skills, no class, including the rogue, is designed to allow you to take every single skill you have access to without forcing you to make the whole build around it, at least a large chunk of it.

However, In order to unify the abilities under one banner, I would most likely convert everything to Charisma based effects, including casting. This reduces the MAD (multiple ability dependency) of the class, and also eliminates the need for wisdom, leaving only CHA and physical ability scores as necessary.

Which means that skill points do become an issue. So now I would increase skills back to base 4.

The class gives up the ability to cast a significant portion of its spells on itself (or restricts how it uses them) in order to cast personal spells on others. Without it, it can't use more than half its spell list. And it does not have the capacity to change the battlefield, crowd control, or direct damage, save a few choices based on specialization (which 6 out of the 7 specializations place a penalty on the class).


So I changed a couple of skills, brought the skill points back up to a base of 4, and lowered fortitude.

I am trying to figure out how to unify it all. The best I can see is some type of "buff pool" that would include the movement buffs + all the combatlink stuff. But I don't see a way to add in the battlefield specializations. Any suggestions?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I mentioned the concept of the class to my gaming group, and the immediate consensus was that someone needed to take Leadership and pick a Protector up. This alone makes the class unbalanced. Sure, you can justify that it can't do a lot of offense on it's own, but this class makes for the ideal cohort, especially for your power attacking fighters and barbarians. I might look at it some more a bit later. And a cohort like this would probably ruin a campaign. Which means it's broken.

It is an interesting idea, but the class is less about protecting than it is about buffing and healing, so the entire concept is a bit off kilter. I think you need to tone back most of the abilities, especially the ones that don't directly involve the class protecting someone else from harm. Also, tell us more about the concept and role the class is supposed to play, the training involved in becoming a protector, etc.

One suggestion, instead of being able to target other players with spells with a range of personal, maybe allow other players to gain the benefit of your personal spells if they're adjacent to you. You cast them on yourself, and they have to stay close. Maybe at level 5 and every 5 levels after that, the range increases by 5 feet, so that at level 20 you can have allies 30 feet away from you gaining the benefit of your personal spells.

Again, might take a closer look at it later for more specific critiques.


The same can be said about any full caster. A wizard, sorcerer, cleric, or druid that you get through leadership is adding an extra character that will do anything you want (and bend all of reality's rules with magic). Using leadership as your example (a feat that is consistently used by theorycrafters to break everything and make combos and/or huge numbers, regardless of class) doesn't prove it broken. If anything, it proves leadership is broken. One feat that grants you an extra character is so much more powerful than any other feat, and that is just the cohort.

Your logic of ruining a campaign automatically applies to all full casters, and just like you can build this class to suck, you can build it to rock, like all full casters.

Other names I toyed with included (some of these are well bad): Defender, Legionnaire, Coterie Caster, Pacesetter, Ringleader, Shepherd. Maybe one of those fits the theme better; I rather change the name than change everything because it does not fit the name.

The Idea behind the protector started with a character who always thought the safest place to be is directly behind his friends. And that place becomes much safer because he makes them better. He is tactical, and the best way he can make sure tactics work is by him being in the center directing it. He already has a weapon, its called the barbarian. He already has a shield, its called the fighter. He considers himself the heart and brain of the group. This is why he requires both wisdom and intelligence, because that is what he is trying to be for the whole party.

The way a protector thinks, the best way to ensure they always make it out of the bloody pits of hell, is if they stand around him and follow his directions (commands). The only way he can make sure they all make it is if he can make sure they can move like he dictates (enhance movement).

Battleground Specializations are supposed to give each protector the chance of being different, not so cookie cutter.

I think I am starting to come together with something. Make everything options and give some pool based on charisma, but they get the lowest version of each ability (probably enhance movement, combatlink, and commands) at the correct levels. Your suggestion fits well with what I am thinking, just not so constrained. But since it is based on charisma, the flavor of the class changes. He is no longer an almost military tactician who uses magic because he sees is as a tool, but more like a charismatic leader. And he loses his MAD which is part of his balancing.

But I am not changing the Battleground Specializations. It is what allows each protector to have his or her own flavor. It also penalizes them, both for flavor and for balance.

I am thinking of two other options.
1. These are the only changes: remove his spellcasting all together. He gets the spells from battlefield specialization as once per day spell like abilities. remove the negatives from battlefield specialization.
2. Or another option is to change the way he casts. Turn his casting like a bard, only giving him one spell slot of 7th, 8th, and 9th which he can use from his battlefield specialization at appropriate levels, remove all 7th, 8th, and 9th spells from his spell list otherwise.

opinions?

Shadow Lodge

Dotting. Will look over when I get home from work.

Shadow Lodge

Okay, a bit later than expected, but here's the initial view.

First off, your hit die/BAB alignment is off. Is it supposed to be mage-like (d6 and 1/2 BAB) or cleric-like (d8 and 3/4 BAB)? I lean toward the latter, mostly for reasons in point two. Also: in proficiencies, you did NOT note that the Protector is not proficient with tower shields. I presume this was an oversight, rather than you intending him to be able to use them.

Secondly, I agree that this really seems more the kind of caster you want on the 6-level Bard/Magus/Summoner progression. I think slowing its spell progression and reducing the high-end spells available would do well to balance it. If you really want to keep the 7th-9th level spells on the Battlefield lists, I'd say make them spell-like abilities that require a point or so from the Battlefield pool to cast, and make them require higher levels to take. (This class also needs an Extra Battlefield Ability feat, on par with Extra Hex/Extra Arcana/etc. I've assumed so and used it in my playtesting.)

Thirdly. The split casting stat. It needs to die. No seriously, it needs to be all WIS based or all INT. Not both. I hated that in 3.5's Favored Soul (which was similarly split between WIS and CHA) and it's confusing and distracting here to constantly have to backtrack and double-check which class abilities and which DCs are based off which stat. I'd go with INT, personally - the character's based on tactics and planning and forethought, and learns its spells like a Wizard, so it makes more sense than WIS to me. (3.5's Archivist, a similar 'divine caster who learns spells like a wizard and uses a spellbook', was also INT-based, so it's not without precedent.)

I'll have to get back to you on individual abilities at a later time after more testing. I've rolled up one of these guys as an antagonist NPC in my Kingmaker game, and I'll be playing him against my party to see how he does. For what it's worth, I'll be comparing this against an Abjurer Wizard, as that seems the closest in-game analogue.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Orthos wrote:
. I've rolled up one of these guys as an antagonist NPC in my Kingmaker game, and I'll be playing him against my party to see how he does. For what it's worth, I'll be comparing this against an Abjurer Wizard, as that seems the closest in-game analogue.

Nice one Orthos! Thus the theorycrafting will give way to the test of battle! Let us know how it goes, and any tweaks you made and why. I like this concept - it appears unwieldy, but may not be.

I agree on a bard spell progression, or even paladin. The combat link and battlefield specializations may be enough, with some useful buff spells thrown in...


By the nature of the background, it made sense to lower his bab. I didn't think the hd/bab ratio really mattered that much. In fact it was a balance factor (since he got all good saves at one point).

I can also argue (mostly to myself) that lowering his spell casting capacity and his fort (which I did already), coupled with the thought that since he is so tactical, he would probably have bothered to learn how to swing a club occasionally, would bring it up to a 3/4 bab.

In fact, I will go change it and switch everything to intelligence, and cap at 6th level spells, specify no tower shields. I am also removing the higher level spells from the specializations. It seems like too much of a headache for a couple of higher level spells, and it would not be right if I didn't painstakingly cherrypicked each and every spell even more than I have.

Tell me what you think.

Shadow Lodge

That makes it cleaner, most certainly. I'll revise my test NPC when I get home and get back to you then =D

Sorry for the delayed response, November's been pretty hectic.


Don't worry about it, I have not been around, I was dealing with surgery. I am post op now, so the better I feel over the next few weeks, I will try to spend a bit more time here.

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