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Pathfinder Classes: Full BAB = Tier 4?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
sunbeam wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
After all, if Wizard got full BaB wouldn't he have everything?

Problem is, would he actually use that full BAB? Be honest, how many times have you seen a wizard or sorcerer bust out Tenser's Transformation?

It's not something I've ever counted, but just thinking about it...

I dunno ten times maybe? Going back to 1983 or so. I took a fifteen or sixteen year break though, so it's not as many games as it seems.

That has more to do with the fact that 1. its a 6th level spell and most games don't go that high, and 2. you give up all your spellcasting abilities when you cast it. . . take out that line and it would be used a lot more.

Also, last two times I got high enough level to have cast it I was multi-classed anyways and had higher BaB than your average wizard (because no reason to stay straight wizard, but that's a different thread). There's really no reason for an Eldritch Knight to cast Transformation.

We would really have to see how this hypthetical character with everything was laid out to say whether the BaB mattered, but I suspect that it would.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Majuba wrote:

I'm curious.

1. What boon? As in, how would it change those games? Is it an agreed upon direction of change for the... um... non-storytime crowd?

2. Is it towards 'novelist DM', away, or on a different axis?

3. Is it towards homegeny of capability?

1. If the rules evened out the narrative capabilities of the various classes (either by nerfing casters into the ground -- which I do not support -- or, preferrably, making martials superheroic at high level; or possibly a judicious mix), then the DM's primary role is to play the NPCs according to their temperaments and abilities, and have them react appropriately to what the party does. As a secondary role, he or she mediates non-agreement on rules readings. He or she does not have to tell the PCs what they're "supposed" to do, and does not need to spend a lot of time and effort making people feel special, because they'll all have the capability to be special without his or her intervention in that regard.

2. It would therefore facilitate a move away from the DM-as-novelist, for those groups who prefer the DM to be more of a referee. Groups who prefer an all-powerful storyteller DM who ignores the rules could still have that, by invoking Rule 0, but there would be solid guidelines in place for people who don't want that, so everyone wins....

Thank you for explaining Kirth. I have to say I don't think those sort of changes would improve the game for me, nor would it "have no impact" on the game for me. But I see where you're coming from at least.


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137ben wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

The argument here is for the company we support to make something that works.

I use Tome of Battle in my home games, and it replaces the Fighter/Monk/Rogue.

You mean paladin? Dungeonscape is the one that replaces the rogue:)

Interesting bit of trivia-

The Factotem, the 3.5 class which made the Rogue and Bard look like rank amateurs, was written by our very own Jason Bulmahn and Rich Burlew (of Order of the Stick)

Which goes a long way toward explaining why that class was so ahead of it's time and chock full of awesome.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Nathanael Love wrote:


The PFS comment was in response to the suggestion that any 3rd party option that was created is insufficient because ti wouldn't be legal in PFS. I didn't bring it up.

And exactly what you say this thread isn't about is exactly what its about-- Wizards are op and fighters suck.

Go reread the OP. He asked a very serious question and you do him a disservice. You want this thread to be about "Wizards rule and Fighters suck" because you've got an opinion about that, but it's not what the OP asked and you do him a disservice with your drivel. You also clearly haven't read what was posted earlier; this started because someone (see- yours truly) was designing a class with full BAB and lots of versatility and utility. There were complaints that basically stated a class can't have full BAB and the same degree of versatility every full caster enjoys. It has nothing to do with power. It has to do with adaptability (which a fighter does not have), and whether there is something about a full BAB which must necessarily preclude high versatility / adaptibility. Is it really that strong?

The OP, and myself, asked important, legitimate questions. Instead of answering them, you keep tracking over to your agenda about belittling people who have issues with the Fighter.


OK, lets try the same question a slightly different way.

Lets say I have a base class called the Example.

The Example has full BAB, d10 hit die, light/med/heavy armor, shields, simple+martial weapons, 1 strong Save, 2 Skill points per level, and a small number of meh class Skills.

As a first level ability, once per day after some reasonable period of time the Example can choose one Thing from his class list of Things. As he gains levels, he can choose additional Things to use from his list, and he gets access to higher level Things.

Each Thing doesn't provide any sort of bonus (to damage, to-hit, Saves, Skills, AC, etc) or Feat, and studiously avoids any ability which is already provided by any other currently published full BAB class.

Instead, each Thing provides some sort of Blasty option (Standard Action, area of effect or ray + some have status effects + everything allows a Saving Throw to halve damage or negate) with a recharge mechanism (after using the Blasty Thing, you must wait 1d4 rounds) or sometimes helpful Utility option (interact with creatures in new ways, move in new ways, provide useful information, etc).

The author has thoroughly play tested the Example with multiple different groups, has balanced the number and progression of Things to the best of his ability. He is also willing to add or subtract Things, and/or change how they scale based on the feedback of the community, and earnestly cares about what players and the community think.

Is it ok if the Example keeps full BAB? Or does the presence of Blasty and Utility Things which he can change out each day mean that he should have 3/4 BAB or 1/2 BAB?


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There is an issue with the design of martial classes that I call the "pyramid effect."

At the beginning of the game, a martial character has a lot of options. They are pretty much just as good at one weapon as they are with any other. They face creatures who's CMDs are actually beatable. They have a pretty good AC and can afford to soak up an AoO (or just use a reach weapon), which lets them try out the occasional Combat Maneuver. It doesn't matter if they don't have the feats, it's still an option to them.

Then, as they level up, every martial starts to specialize. They have to. If they don't they fall behind the power curve really fast.

So in comes Weapon Specialization and Improved Critical and Greater Trip which are supposed to make a character more powerful, but really just nail them down to a specific trick.

Their options get smaller, but they aren't actually getting more powerful. They are remaining as powerful as they should be at their level, and having to sacrifice options to do it.

Sure, they could still use other weapons than the one they are best with, or try combat maneuvers, but choosing those options are both riskier and less effective than the one that has become their focus.

To a martial, the choices at high level are be mediocre at everything or be good at this thing, and suck at everything else.

Contrast this with a Caster. Their progression is like a pyramid standing on it's head.

They start out with a very limited options. As they level up, they get more options. They can focus on one kind of trick, but they don't lose effectiveness in their other tricks for doing it.

Unless they multiclassed and lost caster progression, their new options are always level appropriate and always applicable under a fairly broad array of circumstances. Oh, and their older options? They can swap them out for utility or niche abilities without sacrificing effectiveness.

That's why casters outstrip martials after about 5th level.

Martials stop being able to use the tricks they start with. Casters keep them, and get more.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ssalarn wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:


The PFS comment was in response to the suggestion that any 3rd party option that was created is insufficient because ti wouldn't be legal in PFS. I didn't bring it up.

And exactly what you say this thread isn't about is exactly what its about-- Wizards are op and fighters suck.

Go reread the OP. He asked a very serious question and you do him a disservice. You want this thread to be about "Wizards rule and Fighters suck" because you've got an opinion about that, but it's not what the OP asked and you do him a disservice with your drivel. You also clearly haven't read what was posted earlier; this started because someone (see- yours truly) was designing a class with full BAB and lots of versatility and utility. There were complaints that basically stated a class can't have full BAB and the same degree of versatility every full caster enjoys. It has nothing to do with power. It has to do with adaptability (which a fighter does not have), and whether there is something about a full BAB which must necessarily preclude high versatility / adaptibility. Is it really that strong?

The OP, and myself, asked important, legitimate questions. Instead of answering them, you keep tracking over to your agenda about belittling people who have issues with the Fighter.

Your question is why can't a class have all the power of spells plus get BaB?

Or have all the "versatility of spells" plus full BaB?

You don't think that its very simple to explain that you don't give any one class everything?

Sorry, but when the thread starts out going into the tired "tier" concept and blankly stating that all full BaB classes are "tier 4" then it is already about how fighters suck, that's not me off ramping the conversation.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nathanael Love wrote:


Your question is why can't a class have all the power of spells plus get BaB?

No that wasn't the question. The question is why does full BAB preclude most if not all versatility from a class.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scavion wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:


Your question is why can't a class have all the power of spells plus get BaB?

No that wasn't the question. The question is why does full BAB preclude most if not all versatility from a class.

Because they give classes with more versatility less BaB so that classes with less versatility have something. Its a simple answer.

Why does Wizard have the worst BaB? Because he has the most versatility.

Why does Cleric have the middle BaB? Because he has the middle versatility.

Why does fighter have the most BaB? Because he has the worst versatility.

That's the way the game was designed to work in 19beforeIwasborn and that's the way it has worked in every edition since then (to date.)

Dark Archive

Nathanael Love wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:


Your question is why can't a class have all the power of spells plus get BaB?

No that wasn't the question. The question is why does full BAB preclude most if not all versatility from a class.

Because they give classes with more versatility less BaB so that classes with less versatility have something. Its a simple answer.

Why does Wizard have the worst BaB? Because he has the most versatility.

Why does Cleric have the middle BaB? Because he has the middle versatility.

Why does fighter have the most BaB? Because he has the worst versatility.

That's the way the game was designed to work in 19beforeIwasborn and that's the way it has worked in every edition since then (to date.)

...Cleric has middle versatility?

You're stating the (depressing) fact, not the rationale behind it. I stand by my "People see all scenarios as combat, so high BAB is worth a lot since it's a combat game" not realizing how little it's really worth.

Person Man wrote:

OK, lets try the same question a slightly different way.

Lets say I have a base class called the Example.

The Example has full BAB, d10 hit die, light/med/heavy armor, shields, simple+martial weapons, 1 strong Save, 2 Skill points per level, and a small number of meh class Skills.

As a first level ability, once per day after some reasonable period of time the Example can choose one Thing from his class list of Things. As he gains levels, he can choose additional Things to use from his list, and he gets access to higher level Things.

Each Thing doesn't provide any sort of bonus (to damage, to-hit, Saves, Skills, AC, etc) or Feat, and studiously avoids any ability which is already provided by any other currently published full BAB class.

Instead, each Thing provides some sort of Blasty option (Standard Action, area of effect or ray + some have status effects + everything allows a Saving Throw to halve damage or negate) with a recharge mechanism (after using the Blasty Thing, you must wait 1d4 rounds) or sometimes helpful Utility option (interact with creatures in new ways, move in new ways, provide useful information, etc).

The author has thoroughly play tested the Example with multiple different groups, has balanced the number and progression of Things to the best of his ability. He is also willing to add or subtract Things, and/or change how they scale based on the feedback of the community, and earnestly cares about what players and the community think.

Is it ok if the Example keeps full BAB? Or does the presence of Blasty and Utility Things which he can change out each day mean that he should have 3/4 BAB or 1/2 BAB?

Sorry for the massive divergence, but the above quote relates into things. We have a group who have this hard wired notion of 'balance' that can't be subverted, and to do so goes against the history of the game. In that respect, it'd be 'unbalanced.'

In actual gameplay, you'd be fine setting that character loose, hell give them two good saves, make them fun to play (TOME OF BATTLE), and really have some fun with it. Not everyone's going to agree it's balanced, especially if they're using an archaic scenario of balance that was handed down to us through the editions, but for those who can look at the game objectively, it'd be fine to have full BAB if the character class needs that to function.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Nathanael Love wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:


Your question is why can't a class have all the power of spells plus get BaB?

No that wasn't the question. The question is why does full BAB preclude most if not all versatility from a class.

Because they give classes with more versatility less BaB so that classes with less versatility have something. Its a simple answer.

Why does Wizard have the worst BaB? Because he has the most versatility.

Why does Cleric have the middle BaB? Because he has the middle versatility.

Why does fighter have the most BaB? Because he has the worst versatility.

Which doesn't answer the initial question.

"Why does this need to be the case?"

Why does full BaB automatically assume "No versatility?"

What purpose does that serve? Why would someone think that is a well designed class? Your answer is essentially "Because it is" which is no answer at all.

Worse, you go on to say:

Nathanael Love wrote:
That's the way the game was designed to work in 19beforeIwasborn and that's the way it has worked in every edition since then (to date.)

"It is because it is because that's the way it's always been" is the worst possible answer to any given question.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Jolly, full BAB is actually WORTH a great deal.
That's probably why they put in so many options for casters to get it, or something close to it, too. If you took away those options, you'd start seeing the real value of a full BAB.

Alas, it's really hard to see around Divine Power and all the caster buffs to hit and speed and stuff.

==Aelryinth


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nathanael Love wrote:


Your question is why can't a class have all the power of spells plus get BaB?

Or have all the "versatility of spells" plus full BaB?

You don't think that its very simple to explain that you don't give any one class everything?

Sorry, but when the thread starts out going into the tired "tier" concept and blankly stating that all full BaB classes are "tier 4" then it is already about how fighters suck, that's not me off ramping the conversation.

Duskblade has spells and full BAB. And is considered only Tier 3 (low Tier 3, close to Tier 4, but still Tier 3).


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:


Your question is why can't a class have all the power of spells plus get BaB?

No that wasn't the question. The question is why does full BAB preclude most if not all versatility from a class.

Because they give classes with more versatility less BaB so that classes with less versatility have something. Its a simple answer.

Why does Wizard have the worst BaB? Because he has the most versatility.

Why does Cleric have the middle BaB? Because he has the middle versatility.

Why does fighter have the most BaB? Because he has the worst versatility.

Which doesn't answer the initial question.

"Why does this need to be the case?"

Why does full BaB automatically assume "No versatility?"

What purpose does that serve? Why would someone think that is a well designed class? Your answer is essentially "Because it is" which is no answer at all.

Worse, you go on to say:

Nathanael Love wrote:
That's the way the game was designed to work in 19beforeIwasborn and that's the way it has worked in every edition since then (to date.)
"It is because it is because that's the way it's always been" is the worst possible answer to any given question.

Because if I give one class full BaB and full versatility what is there to give to anyone else?

And yes, I think the fact that every person who has worked on this system for forever saw to keep it that way is a good enough reason for that. . . but like I mentioned earlier-- DnD next has ditched this paradigm (I make no judgment on how well they did since I did not read it that closely, I only know that at level 20 Wizard and Fighter both have +6 attack bonus).

4th edition also radically departed from this method of designing the game.

But we are on a Pathfinder message board, talking about Pathfinder, which distinguished itself by departing from 3.X editions less radically-- so there's another reason that this particular game sticks to the way it has always been, because they carved out their entire market share based (initially) on being less radically different from what came before than the other thing.

You may not LIKE those reasons, but those are the reasons, and Paizo is not going to publish a new edition of Pathfinder where they radically depart from that design paradigm.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

The duskblade's spell list is mostly blasty spells is why. He gets a nod for spells because he can make magic items, not because he has a great spell list.

==Aelryinth

Dark Archive

Aelryinth wrote:

Jolly, full BAB is actually WORTH a great deal.

That's probably why they put in so many options for casters to get it, or something close to it, too. If you took away those options, you'd start seeing the real value of a full BAB.

Alas, it's really hard to see around Divine Power and all the caster buffs to hit and speed and stuff.

==Aelryinth

The least effective thing a mage can do is enter melee. I should say an arcane mage, but I'm mainly talking about the 1/2 BAB crew. If a mage stepped into melee themselves, it'd be suicide even with a full BAB since they're so fragile (Edit: without loading themselves down with self buff spells such as Displacement/Mirror Image/Etc). A mage sends in undead/simulacrums/outsiders etc.

A full BAB is only useful in battle, a diverse and powerful spell list is useful in battle AND out of it.

Yeah, Clerics would be toned down, but a lot of their thing with their spell list is buffs, so unless they could only hand those out to others, they're still going to CODzilla, just to a lesser extent.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aelryinth wrote:

The duskblade's spell list is mostly blasty spells is why. He gets a nod for spells because he can make magic items, not because he has a great spell list.

==Aelryinth

Duskblade's spell list was awful and suffered (as all alternate classes in 3.5 did) from the "every book there is adds new wizard spells but only one book ever acknowledges Duskblades" issue. . .

All in all, he didn't get anything worth going for, especially since you could take one level of fighter to get Armored Mage, then spend a feat to increase it to medium and wear mithral full plate as medium armor with no spell failure, and give up only 1 caster level from a Wizard progression instead of going down to only 5 levels of spells.

Dedicated Voter 2014

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Nathanael Love wrote:
And yes, I think the fact that every person who has worked on this system for forever saw to keep it that way

Except, apparently, for the people who worked on this system and didn't keep it that way, such as the designers of the duskblade, warblade, crusader, aegis, warder, stalker, and warlord.

But go on, revisionist history is nice.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Nathanael Love wrote:
Because if I give one class full BaB and full versatility what is there to give to anyone else?

Full BaB and full versatility is not the same thing as Full BaB and SOME versatility.

Nathanael Love wrote:
And yes, I think the fact that every person who has worked on this system for forever saw to keep it that way is a good enough reason for that. . .

That's nice.

I don't agree. The fact that it hasn't been changed only means that it hasn't been changed. Not that it doesn't NEED to be changed.

Nathanael Love wrote:
But we are on a Pathfinder message board, talking about Pathfinder, which distinguished itself by departing from 3.X editions less radically-- so there's another reason that this particular game sticks to the way it has always been, because they carved out their entire market share based (initially) on being less radically different from what came before than the other thing.

I hold out hope that we'll eventually be able to talk some sense into Paizo's designers. They're an established company now, they can afford to make some changes to class design in the future.

Starting with "Being good at fighting doesn't mean that you should have f#!$ all impact everywhere else".


Rynjin wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
That's the way the game was designed to work in 19beforeIwasborn and that's the way it has worked in every edition since then (to date.)
"It is because it is because that's the way it's always been" is the worst possible answer to any given question.

Quite. It really boils down to "This is holy writ, and questioning it is heresy."


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
137ben wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
And yes, I think the fact that every person who has worked on this system for forever saw to keep it that way

Except, apparently, for the people who worked on this system and didn't keep it that way, such as the designers of the duskblade, warblade, crusader, aegis, warder, stalker, and warlord.

But go on, revisionist history is nice.

So, are you saying /thread because classes with full BaB that are higher than "tier 4" already exist and the OP was completely wrong and asking a question that has no need to be asked?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
That's the way the game was designed to work in 19beforeIwasborn and that's the way it has worked in every edition since then (to date.)
"It is because it is because that's the way it's always been" is the worst possible answer to any given question.
Quite. It really boils down to "This is holy writ, and questioning it is heresy."

*BLAM!* *Tips Commissar hat* "Vile heretics."


Nathanael Love wrote:
137ben wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
And yes, I think the fact that every person who has worked on this system for forever saw to keep it that way

Except, apparently, for the people who worked on this system and didn't keep it that way, such as the designers of the duskblade, warblade, crusader, aegis, warder, stalker, and warlord.

But go on, revisionist history is nice.

So, are you saying /thread because classes with full BaB that are higher than "tier 4" already exist and the OP was completely wrong and asking a question that has no need to be asked?

The context of the OP's question was in relation to a proposed class by a 3PP along the same lines as those that was being criticized because it was versatile and had full BaB.

It's been pointed out a few times now.

Dedicated Voter 2014

If you want more context as to what the thread is suppose to be about, look at the same topic the OP started on a different forum, which managed to go more than a page without being derailed by flamewars.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
137ben wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
And yes, I think the fact that every person who has worked on this system for forever saw to keep it that way

Except, apparently, for the people who worked on this system and didn't keep it that way, such as the designers of the duskblade, warblade, crusader, aegis, warder, stalker, and warlord.

But go on, revisionist history is nice.

So, are you saying /thread because classes with full BaB that are higher than "tier 4" already exist and the OP was completely wrong and asking a question that has no need to be asked?

The context of the OP's question was in relation to a proposed class by a 3PP along the same lines as those that was being criticized because it was versatile and had full BaB.

It's been pointed out a few times now.

And as I've said other places if not here already, anyone who wants this type of thing should write it and publish it . . . what's the worst case people don't like it?


"Do it yourself" is not a valid response to a request to fix inherent problems with a game system you have spent money on any more than "Make it yourself" is a valid response from a chef who has prepared your food improperly.


Nathanael Love wrote:
what's the worst case people don't like it?

Well yeah, that is the worst case. Since this question would seem to be framed by a content producer's viewpoint whether or not people like it is super important.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
"Do it yourself" is not a valid response to a request to fix inherent problems with a game system you have spent money on any more than "Make it yourself" is a valid response from a chef who has prepared your food improperly.

Your very last post was pointing out that this thread is in reference to someone considering publishing a class that got full BaB as a 3pp but worried about reaction to it.

Rynjin wrote:
The context of the OP's question was in relation to a proposed class by a 3PP along the same lines as those that was being criticized because it was versatile and had full BaB.

I don't see how my stating that whoever it is that has said proposed class schemed up should go ahead and publish it is stating that at all.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
WWWW wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
what's the worst case people don't like it?
Well yeah, that is the worst case. Since this question would seem to be framed by a content producer's viewpoint whether or not people like it is super important.

People have disliked other attempts in the past, but others have liked them. Any/every class only has so many people who are in the target audience for it, but based on these boards there is definitely at least a niche target audience for this kind of class. . .

I can't spend other people's money for them, and I realize there are art budgets, ect to consider, but it seems like it would be profitable even if a lot of people ignored it. . .

Being from a 3pp its incredibly unlikely to get the kind of negative/derision/mockery that was heaped in Tome of Battle when it came out because the people who want it will read the description and get it and the people who don't will just not buy it.


Nathanael Love wrote:

People have disliked other attempts in the past, but others have liked them. Any/every class only has so many people who are in the target audience for it, but based on these boards there is definitely at least a niche target audience for this kind of class. . .

I can't spend other people's money for them, and I realize there are art budgets, ect to consider, but it seems like it would be profitable even if a lot of people ignored it. . .

Being from a 3pp its incredibly unlikely to get the kind of negative/derision/mockery that was heaped in Tome of Battle when it came out because the people who want it will read the description and get it and the people who don't will just not buy it.

So I take it that you feel that such a class would only appeal to a niche market and may, in fact, turn people off the product through negative association with previous controversial supplements.


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Oh look, another tier thread with all the familiar faces. Color me surprised and put me in the 'tier is a bullcrap construct' camp.

You can also throw me in the 'narrative power is what you make of it' camp on both the caster and the martial PC side.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
WWWW wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

People have disliked other attempts in the past, but others have liked them. Any/every class only has so many people who are in the target audience for it, but based on these boards there is definitely at least a niche target audience for this kind of class. . .

I can't spend other people's money for them, and I realize there are art budgets, ect to consider, but it seems like it would be profitable even if a lot of people ignored it. . .

Being from a 3pp its incredibly unlikely to get the kind of negative/derision/mockery that was heaped in Tome of Battle when it came out because the people who want it will read the description and get it and the people who don't will just not buy it.

So I take it that you feel that such a class would only appeal to a niche market and may, in fact, turn people off the product through negative association with previous controversial supplements.

I think that any product from a smaller 3PP would only appeal to a niche market. I don't have the stats, but I think that the majority of PF players rarely purchase 3PP products at all, and the further majority of those who do purchase only 1. from known/established/trusted publishers or 2. at low price points.

People with strong negative reactions against previous attempts aren't going to buy it-- but those people are the ones who are by and large happy with Fighters as they are, and who gladly roll the fighter and ranger ect as written and don't care either way about "tier". (my fighter player doesn't like ToB because "it makes his fighter too much like a wizard" and "he doesn't want to deal with the options, just deal damage"). . .

But there's a history for polished 3pp products of alternate classes/systems/subsystems gaining a following (Dreamscarred Psionics, some of the Genuis games stuff) so if it really does solve the "problem" of martials/ full BaB characters being "tier 4" then it certainly has a chance of success.

But it all depends on exactly how many people you want/need to buy it to consider it a success.

Dedicated Voter 2014

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Could someone please explain to me what "niche market" means in the context of an obscure, marginalized hobby which is collectively less popular than many individual books, individual movies, individual plays, and individual videogames?
Or, more to the point, could you point out a Tabletop RPG product that isn't an extraordinarily "niche" product?


Peter Stewart wrote:

Oh look, another tier thread with all the familiar faces. Color me surprised and put me in the 'tier is a bullcrap construct' camp.

You can also throw me in the 'narrative power is what you make of it' camp on both the caster and the martial PC side.

So I take it then that you feel that having full BAB should not be a major restriction on other aspects of the character.

Nathanael Love wrote:

I think that any product from a smaller 3PP would only appeal to a niche market. I don't have the stats, but I think that the majority of PF players rarely purchase 3PP products at all, and the further majority of those who do purchase only 1. from known/established/trusted publishers or 2. at low price points.

People with strong negative reactions against previous attempts aren't going to buy it-- but those people are the ones who are by and large happy with Fighters as they are, and who gladly roll the fighter and ranger ect as written and don't care either way about "tier". (my fighter player doesn't like ToB because "it makes his fighter too much like a wizard" and "he doesn't want to deal with the options, just deal damage"). . .

But there's a history for polished 3pp products of alternate classes/systems/subsystems gaining a following (Dreamscarred Psionics, some of the Genuis games stuff) so if it really does solve the "problem" of martials/ full BaB characters being "tier 4" then it certainly has a chance of success.

But it all depends on exactly how many people you want/need to buy it to consider it a success.

So change niche market to a small segment of an already small niche market then.

137ben wrote:

Could someone please explain to me what "niche market" means in the context of an obscure, marginalized hobby which is collectively less popular than many individual books, individual movies, individual plays, and individual videogames?

Or, more to the point, could you point out a Tabletop RPG product that isn't an extraordinarily "niche" product?

I was assuming that people were just taking the current selection of people that consume tabletop RPGs to be all of the relevant people for the discussion. It saves the trouble of putting an extra niche market in front of everything.


WWWW wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:

Oh look, another tier thread with all the familiar faces. Color me surprised and put me in the 'tier is a bullcrap construct' camp.

You can also throw me in the 'narrative power is what you make of it' camp on both the caster and the martial PC side.

So I take it then that you feel that having full BAB should not be a major restriction on other aspects of the character.

Uh... sort of?

You can put me in the camp of people that align class balance strictly along a combat axis, and who toss all arguments about narrative power and 'campaign changing abilities' into the rubbish bin.

For all I care, from the perspective of balance, you could throw (for example) all major 'narrative power' spells on every single class in the game and not have it adjust my feeling about their balance a mite (though I'll point out that the majority of such powers, from scrying to teleport and beyond, are not nearly as powerful when run within the rules and world as some suggest).


Peter Stewart wrote:
WWWW wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:

Oh look, another tier thread with all the familiar faces. Color me surprised and put me in the 'tier is a bullcrap construct' camp.

You can also throw me in the 'narrative power is what you make of it' camp on both the caster and the martial PC side.

So I take it then that you feel that having full BAB should not be a major restriction on other aspects of the character.

Uh... sort of?

You can put me in the camp of people that align class balance strictly along a combat axis, and who toss all arguments about narrative power and 'campaign changing abilities' into the rubbish bin.

For all I care, from the perspective of balance, you could throw (for example) all major 'narrative power' spells on every single class in the game and not have it adjust my feeling about their balance a mite (though I'll point out that the majority of such powers, from scrying to teleport and beyond, are not nearly as powerful when run within the rules and world as some suggest).

Ah, all right. I think I understand what you were saying. Thanks for the clarification.


Peter Stewart wrote:

Oh look, another tier thread with all the familiar faces. Color me surprised and put me in the 'tier is a bullcrap construct' camp.

Hi! Why is it that pathfinder is different from every other asymmetrical game?


Rynjin wrote:
Raith Shadar wrote:
The continued push for anime/video game martials. I wonder if the game designers will ever cater to this segment of the customer base.

To paraphrase Kirth Girsen (I believe), we don't want martials to reflect the capabilities of video game/anime protagonists.

We want them to replicate the feats of Celtic Myth.

So you want every martial to be the son of a god or a mythic hero? I guess every wizard should be a half-fiend Merlin or a half-celestial Gandalf? Or a god-like Raistlin?

If you get to be the heroes of myth such as Hercules, do I get to make wizards like Gandalf who is an angel sent to earth to fight the son of the devil?

There are all types of mythic heroes. Even wizards as written are generic and nowhere near as powerful as many of their counterparts in myth. Even were you to somehow get your wish with powers from Celtic myth, will the caster players get the same? So they will have all the versatility and power you say the martials don't have along with incredible physical abilities that place them on god-like footing?

There are mythic casters as well. They are usually not physically feeble unless their magical power is so great that they can destroy armies with a wave of their hand. You want to start that type of power creep?


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Casters are already god like beings. I can easily replicate Zeus with a 13th level Druid. A 20th level Wizard is the sort of thing that there are threads comparing to actual deities. So... ya. Casters are pretty mythic already.


N. Jolly wrote:
Raith Shadar wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Worse, that first level spell is also the FIGHTER'S CAPSTONE.

But as we all know, "Caster/martial disparity is a myth propagated by people with agendas."

Martials do what martials are supposed to do.

They are classes people have fun playing.

There is most definitely an agenda by those seeking to turn martials into nothing more than wizards with different named abilities that would be nothing more than spell-like abilities having nothing to do with martial capabilities.

A: I don't see what's wrong with "anime" moves, we have robots and guns and everything else in Golarion. So why can't we have a Fighter who does more at level 20 than he could at level 1?

B: Having a Fighter being able to do more than attack would be pretty nice, ala Tome of Battle. That was a book that didn't just make them "martial wizards", it made them actually scale in level by something other than swing or shoot.

I don't really see an 'agenda', just people who see characters from myth and would like to recreate them. Hercules changed the flow of rivers, but a 20th level Fighter...auto confirms crits.

There are other games for that.

D&D has always walked the line of trying to make classes do what classes are supposed to do according to their models. Fighters in the stories Pathfinder/D&D are based on did not use anime-like powers. They were extraordinary warriors with weapons capable of felling hundreds of men in a fight, not casting huge energy blasts with their weapons.

There are a pile of classes that allow you to do alternative types of powers like a Magus or Alchemist. Why can't you play one of them? Is it because you want to play a fighter, but have it be more like a Magus? They give players a ton of options for being a pure caster, a mixed martial-caster, or a pure martial. Mix and match as needed. The power in all its form is there for nearly whatever you want to make. If you want something else, you find a game that does that. They are out there. Why do you feel they need to change Pathfinder to suit your personal tastes?

If I wasn't happy with the way the game was built, I'd find a new game.

Dark Archive

Peter Stewart wrote:

Oh look, another tier thread with all the familiar faces. Color me surprised and put me in the 'tier is a bullcrap construct' camp.

You can also throw me in the 'narrative power is what you make of it' camp on both the caster and the martial PC side.

If you're going to ignore balance, why bother to comment on it?

This is a thread discussing tiers, so saying "There are no tiers" isn't helpful.

Please just let the people who believe in tiers discuss things that are relevant to us instead of saying "Tier's aren't real, here's no discussion behind it, bye."


Rynjin wrote:

Well, depends.

I mean, Dante (Devil May Cry), Kratos (God of War), Asura (Asura's Wrath), Bayonetta, etc. all come pretty darn close or hit the mark of being mythical figures (though to be fair, two of the four examples ARE mythical figures, one being Ares' "replacement" and the other being a god).

Those are not the models for Pathfinder martials.

Dark Archive

Raith Shadar wrote:

There are other games for that.

D&D has always walked the line of trying to make classes do what classes are supposed to do according to their models. Fighters in the stories Pathfinder/D&D are based on did not use anime-like powers. They were extraordinary warriors with weapons capable of felling hundreds of men in a fight, not casting huge energy blasts with their weapons.

There are a pile of classes that allow you to do alternative types of powers like a Magus or Alchemist. Why can't you play one of them? Is it because you want to play a fighter, but have it be more like a Magus? They give players a ton of options for being a pure caster, a mixed martial-caster, or a pure martial. Mix and match as needed. The power in all its form is there for nearly whatever you want to make. If you want something else, you find a game...

Trust me, I play other classes because Fighters/Rogues/Monks can't do what it says on the tin, which is lamentable. Fighters aren't Lords of Battle, they're barely above Warriors.

PF Fighters CAN'T fell hundreds of warriors in a battle. At best, they can attack 8 at once after a crappy feat chain (Whirlwind Attack), which isn't impressive. I'll admit, they're not based off anime, that wasn't my point here. My point is that when a character can't do anything new after 20 levels of play, that kind of static experience shouldn't be the norm.

I do play other classes (Alchemist being a favorite, because it ironically enough has such mutable mechanics that allow it to do so many things at once), but I'd rather not have Fighters being a 1 trick pony that stopped being impressive after 6th level. It's why I liked the TOB and to a lesser extent the PF Barbarian, as those two had a sense of scale to them. Find me a Fighter Feat that scales, one that requires Fighter Levels to take. What I want is a scaling Fighter, not a Fighter that we have now. Same goes for Rogue Talents and...poor, poor monks.


CWheezy wrote:
HangarFlying wrote:
Since wizards are supposed to be tier 1, no-one-else-can-compete, then every AP with a wizard BBEG ends in a TPK, right? Oh, wait...never mind, that usually doesn't happen. I guess all this "tier" thing is is people trying to justify why they don't like particular classes. Lame.

Many parties will have a wizard / Sorc / Oracle / Cleric, so this argument doesn't really have any merit.

As a fun fact, Paizo casters are written terribly!
** spoiler omitted **

Do you run them that way? I don't. I always modify Paizo NPCs. They're written in a generic manner. They have to do. They can't possibly account for all the party combinations an enemy must deal with.

Your job as a DM is to make sure they are made to challenge the party you are running. Paizo's AP give you a base campaign. Good DMs put work into the campaign to tailor it to the PCs running through it.

Given these threads, I gather a bunch of DMs let casters run roughshod through the module while martials stand around holding their weapons looking impotent.

Dark Archive

Raith Shadar wrote:
Those are not the models for Pathfinder martials.

How about naming some models for Pathfinder martials (as well as explaining how playing them together with the models for casters would be fun)?


Anzyr wrote:
Casters are already god like beings. I can easily replicate Zeus with a 13th level Druid. A 20th level Wizard is the sort of thing that there are threads comparing to actual deities. So... ya. Casters are pretty mythic already.

No, you cannot. This kind of exaggeration is exactly why martial/caster concerns shouldn't be taken seriously.

Go fight a titan with a 13th lvl druid. Go toe to toe physically with an ancient dragon or devil lord. Zeus could do this.


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Honestly, at high level of play Casters running roughshod over the encounter and martials standing around being mostly useless is sort of the paradigm the game takes. If the opponents are casters things get even worse for the martials since they often have no way to circumvent the enemy casters magical protections. Many martials also have a terrible action economy that gets worse with levels instead of better. When the casters are moving and tossing two spells a round, the martial is never going to a full attack off. So unless they have some means of getting Pounce or an equivalent technique, they end up not being threats, while the 2 spells that could end the encounter a turn casters become the sole focus of a smart high level enemy's wrath. The martials are largely ignored and left to move - single attack and hope it doesn't fail due to one of the enemies defensive spells.


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Raith Shadar wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Well, depends.

I mean, Dante (Devil May Cry), Kratos (God of War), Asura (Asura's Wrath), Bayonetta, etc. all come pretty darn close or hit the mark of being mythical figures (though to be fair, two of the four examples ARE mythical figures, one being Ares' "replacement" and the other being a god).

Those are not the models for Pathfinder martials.

Which is exactly the problem.


I think there IS room for the guy who is just a really good swordsman that can compete with the rest of the cast when everyone in the cast is either oh... in possession of an artifact, a living artifact, immortal, blessed by a god, cursed by a god, a golem, a giant among men, a crazy magical ninja, an alchemist or been granted supernatural abilities by an artifact ect. but 1: It should NOT be the standard expectation or a limitation for a martial character. This is both thematically stupid (what's so magic about magic if anyone who swings a sword is just as good?) and diminishes the coolness of such characters (if everyone is "special" no one is) 2: It should be represented by something other than "I 5 foot step and full attack again".


Raith Shadar wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Casters are already god like beings. I can easily replicate Zeus with a 13th level Druid. A 20th level Wizard is the sort of thing that there are threads comparing to actual deities. So... ya. Casters are pretty mythic already.

No, you cannot. This kind of exaggeration is exactly why martial/caster concerns shouldn't be taken seriously.

Go fight a titan with a 13th lvl druid. Go toe to toe physically with an ancient dragon or devil lord. Zeus could do this.

I could. Easily. Have you not seen what a Vital Strike druid can do? And Zeus didn't exactly straight up fight any Titans, not even Cronus and was in fact quite scared of the Titans and fought Cronus and the rest of the Titans with the help of his siblings, cyclops and Hecatonchires. 13th Level Druid easy. (Also when did Zeus go toe to toe with a demon lord or ancient dragon I must have missed those stories.)

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