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Tier list


Advice

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Where would you rank these classes in terms of Tier 1 all the way to Tier 5.

Fighter
Barbarian
Cleric
Alchemist
Shaman
Witch
Wizard
Sorcerer
Melee Druid
Caster Druid
Unchained Monk
Paladin
Brawler

In terms of Power and overall utility.


In terms of power? Enjoyment of play? Fluff? Mechanics? Etc?


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In before a litany of responses claiming none of the classes are better than any other.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Don't forget about the arguing back and forth about the idea of tier itself.


Yes power and overall utility


Wizard
Witch
Cleric
Druid (I see no difference b/t caster v. melee)
Shaman
Witch
Sorcerer
Alchemist
Paladin
Barbarian
Fighter
Brawler
Unchained Monk

That's my ranking, if we're going to rank and assuming competent use. In terms tiers, I'd classify Wizard-Sorcerer as 1; Alchemist to Barbarian as 2; Fighter to Unchained Monk as 3.

It's more spectrum than tiers and depends on what you're going for (and the rest of the party, but in terms of the ability to handle any situation, there you are)


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You wrote witch twice

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey OP, what makes you think that this thread will end up in any different way than all tier threads before it?


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Gorbacz wrote:
Hey OP, what makes you think that this thread will end up in any different way than all tier threads before it?

I have not read any other tier threads I am new. I was just wondering where people put these particular classes on a tier list. I am only interested in these specific classes.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Atalius wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Hey OP, what makes you think that this thread will end up in any different way than all tier threads before it?
I have not read any other tier threads I am new. I was just wondering where people put these particular classes on a tier list. I am only interested in these specific classes.

Here's the latest tier thread, which is astonishingly not locked, as they usually devolve into flamewars quickly. It's a contentious topic, to say at least.


You could probably google a page that has every class put on the tier thing I know I've seen it on reddit. Its very contested as I'm sure you will find out.


Gorbacz wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Hey OP, what makes you think that this thread will end up in any different way than all tier threads before it?
I have not read any other tier threads I am new. I was just wondering where people put these particular classes on a tier list. I am only interested in these specific classes.
Here's the latest tier thread, which is astonishingly not locked, as they usually devolve into flamewars quickly. It's a contentious topic, to say at least.

Not really what Im looking for. It just seems to be a bunch of nerds arguing in this thread you sent me. I'm hoping someone who's experienced can put those classes in sort of order from most powerful to least.


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Full, 9-level casters have much the same potential power IMO. Prepared casters have more utility than spontaneous.

Next in line for power I'd put the paladin & alchemist. The alchemist will have more utility of the two, and possibly more than some of the full spellcasters.

The barbarian, fighter and unchained monk are at a similar power level. With all the latest stuff the fighter may just have the edge in power and be ~ equal for utility.

The brawler is the weakest class listed. It's probably just above the other 3 non-spellcasters for utility though if built for that.

Though, skill at using the characters is often a larger factor than either the character class or build in power and especially in non-combat utility.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Atalius wrote:
Not really what Im looking for. It just seems to be a bunch of nerds arguing in this thread you sent me.

That's really the only result you can get from this kind of question.

It's not like there's an objective measure of the relative value of 'good Fortitude save' versus 'ability to cast Teleport'.


like 90% of the time its going to depend on what your party comp is.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Atalius wrote:
Not really what Im looking for. It just seems to be a bunch of nerds arguing in this thread you sent me. I'm hoping someone who's experienced can put those classes in sort of order from most powerful to least.

The bunch of nerds are the experienced people you are looking for. I get your frustration because you simply want something straightforward, but please be polite.

Create Mr. Pitt's order is close to the common opinion here, so you could absolutely go with this one.


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avr wrote:

Full, 9-level casters have much the same potential power IMO. Prepared casters have more utility than spontaneous.

Next in line for power I'd put the paladin & alchemist. The alchemist will have more utility of the two, and possibly more than some of the full spellcasters.

The barbarian, fighter and unchained monk are at a similar power level. With all the latest stuff the fighter may just have the edge in power and be ~ equal for utility.

The brawler is the weakest class listed. It's probably just above the other 3 non-spellcasters for utility though if built for that.

Though, skill at using the characters is often a larger factor than either the character class or build in power and especially in non-combat utility.

The Barbarian is far and away superior to the Fighter because Rage Powers are still superior to Feats/Advanced Weapon Training.

More than that, the Barbarian now has access to the Beastkin Beserker Archetype, which grants him a limited Wildshape ability. That alone is miles better than the entire Fighter class, much less when it's combined with Rage.

Barbarian, Paladin and Ranger are on the same tier. Tier 4, where martials who can fight really well and have some utility (but not a lot) reside. Alchemist is on Tier 3 with the other hybrid casters.

Alchemist has an archetype that grants him access to Simulacrum, one of the most broken spells ever written. That spell alone could probably bump Alchemist up to Tier 2, where the spontaneous 9th level spellcasters are. Then there are the prepared 9th-level spellcasters, which are all Tier 1, because spells can literally do everything, and they have the most access to spells.

Brawler, I wouldn't necessarily call them weaker than an Unchained Monk or Advanced Training Fighter. Just different. Martial Flexibility is a great boon to it's versatility, afterall. Definitely all are on the same tier, though. Tier 5.


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I would say something like(L to R is better to worse on tier)

1 Wizard, Witch, Caster Druid, Cleric, Melee Druid
2 Sorcerer, Shaman
3 Alchemist
4 Paladin, Fighter, Barbarian, Brawler
5 UMonk

Caster druid and cleric were close. Fighter and barbarian are also close. Probably just my biased love of brawler that puts it at t4 for me

General Rules
1 Prepared Full Casters
2 Spontaneous Full Casters
3 6th level casters
4 Everyone else who works well
5 Classes with difficulty functioning on par with everyone else


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This makes me wonder if there's ever been a tier list for "Easy to play" "Medium difficulty to play" "really hard to play, new players please avoid."


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A few things worth considering. In pfs I have seen new players play wizards and cleric worse than fighters. I have seen eldritch guardian, mutation warrior, martial masters played way above their tier level.

There are shaman builds that have the best spell access in the game and hexes to conserves spells until they are absolutely necessary. Spell access gives them the ability to fill niches that few other caster can.

The tier list most people talk about is based on versatility. How many different types problems can you solves. In many games, including pfs, 80% of problems are combat. Melee character typically need a number of rounds to kill everybody in a fight. They will trade blows and take damage. Most casters can decide the fight with one action. Once even a single target has been taken out of the fight the cr drops pretty dramatically. The fight has been won the group is now in clean up mode.

Caster are stealth bombers and martials are infantry with guns. Most of the casters are comparable in combat effectiveness, which is to say very powerful, they differ in how well they can deal with other problems. A brawler will never plane shift you, or even be as good as convincing someone to as an investigator or bard.

If you want to start understanding a tier list yourself pick a set of problems like invisibility, scrying, flight, movement, curse removal, ability damage and so fourth. Then see which class solves the most problems.

For the most part the tier list is the inverse of what a difficulty list would be. With some exceptions. Wizards have a spell list that is so good that they, IMO, are a little easier to play than clerics, shamans, druids and witches because it is easier to follow a guide and be ready for most thing. Of course this is campaign and gm dependent. More decissions can often lead to more mistakes resulting in prepare caster having a higher ceiling but a lower floor.


SheepishEidolon wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Not really what Im looking for. It just seems to be a bunch of nerds arguing in this thread you sent me. I'm hoping someone who's experienced can put those classes in sort of order from most powerful to least.

The bunch of nerds are the experienced people you are looking for. I get your frustration because you simply want something straightforward, but please be polite.

Create Mr. Pitt's order is close to the common opinion here, so you could absolutely go with this one.

This!

Nerds arguing about this topic is exactly what happens every time it's brought up, they have experience but disagree with one another. It's unfortunate, but their is no objective ability to really compare two different classes because they can all do different things.

However, general speaking my rankings go something like this:
1) Prepared 9th level progression spell casters
2) Spontaneous 9th level progression spell casters
3) 6th level progression spell casters
4) Everyone else

Yes I lumped them all together and some are definitely better than other, but if you're simply looking for "Wat class iz b3st" then you only need one answer...Wizard.


Claxon wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Not really what Im looking for. It just seems to be a bunch of nerds arguing in this thread you sent me. I'm hoping someone who's experienced can put those classes in sort of order from most powerful to least.

The bunch of nerds are the experienced people you are looking for. I get your frustration because you simply want something straightforward, but please be polite.

Create Mr. Pitt's order is close to the common opinion here, so you could absolutely go with this one.

This!

Nerds arguing about this topic is exactly what happens every time it's brought up, they have experience but disagree with one another. It's unfortunate, but their is no objective ability to really compare two different classes because they can all do different things.

However, general speaking my rankings go something like this:
1) Prepared 9th level progression spell casters
2) Spontaneous 9th level progression spell casters
3) 6th level progression spell casters
4) Everyone else

Yes I lumped them all together and some are definitely better than other, but if you're simply looking for "Wat class iz b3st" then you only need one answer...Wizard.

This is the ranking system I always see, but IMO this is really simplistic and overlooks a lot of things. For instance, with a high UMD you can carry a library of scrolls that can emulate being a full caster rather well. If I carry dozens of unique scrolls of fairly high level on my paladin and can use them without a failure chance, then by definition of pure versatility that these lists seemingly go by that would make my paladin tier 1.

And just to repeat this, these tier lists aren't accurate representations of power, but only of potential versatility.


Trevor86 wrote:
Claxon wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Not really what Im looking for. It just seems to be a bunch of nerds arguing in this thread you sent me. I'm hoping someone who's experienced can put those classes in sort of order from most powerful to least.

The bunch of nerds are the experienced people you are looking for. I get your frustration because you simply want something straightforward, but please be polite.

Create Mr. Pitt's order is close to the common opinion here, so you could absolutely go with this one.

This!

Nerds arguing about this topic is exactly what happens every time it's brought up, they have experience but disagree with one another. It's unfortunate, but their is no objective ability to really compare two different classes because they can all do different things.

However, general speaking my rankings go something like this:
1) Prepared 9th level progression spell casters
2) Spontaneous 9th level progression spell casters
3) 6th level progression spell casters
4) Everyone else

Yes I lumped them all together and some are definitely better than other, but if you're simply looking for "Wat class iz b3st" then you only need one answer...Wizard.

This is the ranking system I always see, but IMO this is really simplistic and overlooks a lot of things. For instance, with a high UMD you can carry a library of scrolls that can emulate being a full caster rather well. If I carry dozens of unique scrolls of fairly high level on my paladin and can use them without a failure chance, then by definition of pure versatility that these lists seemingly go by that would make my paladin tier 1.

And just to repeat this, these tier lists aren't accurate representations of power, but only of potential versatility.

If the definition of versatility is the chance of successfully completing a wide variety of challenges, then that is basically synonymous with power.

Scrolls are helpful but high-level scrolls get expensive fast, and are often hobbled by their caster level.


Claxon wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Not really what Im looking for. It just seems to be a bunch of nerds arguing in this thread you sent me. I'm hoping someone who's experienced can put those classes in sort of order from most powerful to least.

The bunch of nerds are the experienced people you are looking for. I get your frustration because you simply want something straightforward, but please be polite.

Create Mr. Pitt's order is close to the common opinion here, so you could absolutely go with this one.

Yes I lumped them all together and some are definitely better than other, but if you're simply looking for "Wat class iz b3st" then you only need one answer...Wizard.

Vanilla Wizard has the fastest and easiest access to the best spells in the game but it's one of the worst when your caught with your pants down.

Although that won't happen if you are playing a divination specialist, bonus points if your allowed the updated pact archetype, walking god then.


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Plus we are weighing the class's ability to handle. Not what any class can buy to win fights. Strictly based on what the class has to bring to the table.


Louise Bishop wrote:
Plus we are weighing the class's ability to handle. Not what any class can buy to win fights. Strictly based on what the class has to bring to the table.

That too. It's a very good point that many people overlook.


Louise Bishop wrote:
Plus we are weighing the class's ability to handle. Not what any class can buy to win fights. Strictly based on what the class has to bring to the table.

Even if we did compare what can be bought, classes have unequal access to scrolls, and umd ability. A sorcerer razmiran priest with versatile spontaneity can scribe scrolls better than a paladin, will likely be better at UMD and and will require UMD rolls for far fewer spells.


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*wizard in room chanting incantations to create some sort of undead, core rogue sneaks in*
"I'll show him about tiers" Louis Rogue II whispers
*rogue sneaks up and backstabs the wizard*
"HAH! WHOS TIER ONE NOW!!!" our hero cries
*man steps out of shadows*
"That was merely a simulacrum" Leonid the Wizardly softly states "and now" *casts Phantasmal Killer, Louis fails both saves* "I'm the one laughing" *he lets out a smug scoff* "and to think I wasted a seventh level spell on you"
The Simulacrum walks over "he really did a number on my arm"
"That he did, that he did."


Trevor86 wrote:
Claxon wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Not really what Im looking for. It just seems to be a bunch of nerds arguing in this thread you sent me. I'm hoping someone who's experienced can put those classes in sort of order from most powerful to least.

The bunch of nerds are the experienced people you are looking for. I get your frustration because you simply want something straightforward, but please be polite.

Create Mr. Pitt's order is close to the common opinion here, so you could absolutely go with this one.

This!

Nerds arguing about this topic is exactly what happens every time it's brought up, they have experience but disagree with one another. It's unfortunate, but their is no objective ability to really compare two different classes because they can all do different things.

However, general speaking my rankings go something like this:
1) Prepared 9th level progression spell casters
2) Spontaneous 9th level progression spell casters
3) 6th level progression spell casters
4) Everyone else

Yes I lumped them all together and some are definitely better than other, but if you're simply looking for "Wat class iz b3st" then you only need one answer...Wizard.

This is the ranking system I always see, but IMO this is really simplistic and overlooks a lot of things. For instance, with a high UMD you can carry a library of scrolls that can emulate being a full caster rather well. If I carry dozens of unique scrolls of fairly high level on my paladin and can use them without a failure chance, then by definition of pure versatility that these lists seemingly go by that would make my paladin tier 1.

And just to repeat this, these tier lists aren't accurate representations of power, but only of potential versatility.

No offense, this is an incredibly bad and thorough misunderstanding of things.

You aren't making a comparison of class or class abilities whatsoever. You're simply saying people who invest a bunch of money can somewhat replicate the abilities of real spell casters.

Sorry, but you're argument is incredibly flawed.


Claxon wrote:
Trevor86 wrote:
Claxon wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Not really what Im looking for. It just seems to be a bunch of nerds arguing in this thread you sent me. I'm hoping someone who's experienced can put those classes in sort of order from most powerful to least.

The bunch of nerds are the experienced people you are looking for. I get your frustration because you simply want something straightforward, but please be polite.

Create Mr. Pitt's order is close to the common opinion here, so you could absolutely go with this one.

This!

Nerds arguing about this topic is exactly what happens every time it's brought up, they have experience but disagree with one another. It's unfortunate, but their is no objective ability to really compare two different classes because they can all do different things.

However, general speaking my rankings go something like this:
1) Prepared 9th level progression spell casters
2) Spontaneous 9th level progression spell casters
3) 6th level progression spell casters
4) Everyone else

Yes I lumped them all together and some are definitely better than other, but if you're simply looking for "Wat class iz b3st" then you only need one answer...Wizard.

This is the ranking system I always see, but IMO this is really simplistic and overlooks a lot of things. For instance, with a high UMD you can carry a library of scrolls that can emulate being a full caster rather well. If I carry dozens of unique scrolls of fairly high level on my paladin and can use them without a failure chance, then by definition of pure versatility that these lists seemingly go by that would make my paladin tier 1.

And just to repeat this, these tier lists aren't accurate representations of power, but only of potential versatility.

No offense, this is an incredibly bad and thorough misunderstanding of things.

You aren't making a comparison of class or class abilities whatsoever. You're simply saying people who invest a...

K, then how would you rate access to both any spellschools for a relatively small money investment, in addition to your normal class abilities? This can be done easier by classes that benefit from charisma since that's the skill umd goes off. Is it fair to just wave this away when these tierlists justify themselves by explicitely stating they are about utility only?


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OBLIGATORY STATEMENT ABOUT BARBARIAN BEING TIER 0 AM GOING HERE.

AM NOT LIKE WIZARDS AM EVER SO AWESOME THAT AM FORCING PIZAO NERF ENTIRE GAME UNIVERSE.


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@Trevor86

Look at it this way it's not just CHA that determines if UMD helps a class. It is also INT, with one trait, so now that's half of all classes that can get great benefits by your rationale. Paladin's don't have it as a class skill so for many levels lots of classes with even moderate CHA will do it better.

Most spell casters will still have dramatically better scroll, and spell access, as I said above. Especially when you consider they each have a whole spell list they don't need to UMD from and that they can scribe scrolls from. This means the "small money investment" will go much farther for these characters.

Next when comparing 2 things it is often simplest to ignore things that are more or less equal. For example a fighter can more easily afford skill focus UMD and Magical Aptitude, and could thus pull ahead of the paladin whose feats are far more valuable. I would then treat the feature as a wash. More casters get UMD as a class skill, many have reasons to not dump CHA or switch UMD to INT, and INT based casters are way more likely to have max ranks in UMD. It follows that they will actually be better not worst than the paladin at UMD so it does not help the Tier list problem.

The point is not that UMD is not good, and not worth investing in, it is that it's effect is more or less class agnostic.


Trevor86 wrote:
K, then how would you rate access to both any spellschools for a relatively small money investment, in addition to your normal class abilities? This can be done easier by classes that benefit from charisma since that's the skill umd goes off. Is it fair to just wave this away when these tierlists justify themselves by explicitely stating they are about utility only?

Again, you have a misunderstanding. You're looking at what you can do with money. Which is fine, but literally every other character can do this, and with the trait to key UMD off of INT the CHA based argument isn't even very strong.

And "access to any spells for relatively small investment" is excessively misleading. Scrolls and wands have almost 0 offensive utility. They are decent for pure utility stuff, but duration will often suffer compared to real spell casters.

The tier list is about what a class can do. Not what you can do with money. The fact that you're answer is "But I can do that what the spell casters can do by spending a bunch of money" is very telling about which class is actually better.

Sovereign Court

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My problem with class tiers is that it's got tunnel vision on solo versatility. It ignores efficiency in a single encounter, all-day performance and party synergy.

Sure, a powerful wizard with a good idea of the problem he's going to face and handle almost any problem. But if the problem is status removal, he's not going to do as well as the life oracle. The wizard could jump through some hoops summoning something that can lift the condition but it requires more overall power expenditure and more actions. Likewise, if the wizard's problem is a demon that's standing too close for comfort, he's not as efficient or reliable at it as the paladin.

Recently I played and ran a lot of group specials at high tier, so there was quite some material for comparison. The big conclusion was that having a mixed group was the best. The team with almost-all casters struggled to keep up with a 10-encounter adventuring day and the all-melee team had problems storming mountaintops with stone-throwing giants. The mixed team DimDoored in and slaughtered them before they could throw a single rock.

A wizard can "do anything someone else can", but he's not nearly as good as doing someone else's job all day long.


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Bard of Ages wrote:
This makes me wonder if there's ever been a tier list for "Easy to play" "Medium difficulty to play" "really hard to play, new players please avoid."

Generally -

easy to play: fighters and spontaneous casters with no other abilities (sorcerer and caster oracles, mainly)
Medium difficulty to play: gishes (melee Druid and oracle included), fighters with extra abilities and pools (ie rogues and monks) as well as 4th level casters
Harder to play: classes with buddies (caster Druid, summoner), casters with complicated mechanics (magi and kinetisists)
Really hard to play, new players avoid: prepared casters.
DON'T: wizards.


Claxon wrote:

You're looking at what you can do with money. Which is fine, but literally every other character can do this, and with the trait to key UMD off of INT the CHA based argument isn't even very strong.

And "access to any spells for relatively small investment" is excessively misleading. Scrolls and wands have almost 0 offensive utility. They are decent for pure utility stuff, but duration will often suffer compared to real spell casters.

A UMD-expert Paladin doesn't need to use spell items for offensive utility. A Paladin can attack physically. The scrolls and wands are to help you get to a place where you can make those attacks.

Claxon wrote:
The tier list is about what a class can do. Not what you can do with money.

All characters are expected to have money. It's a baseline assumption.

Claxon wrote:
The fact that you're answer is "But I can do that what the spell casters can do by spending a bunch of money" is very telling about which class is actually better.

An example of the sort of situation where caster-martial disparity comes into play: You meet the standard Bestiary vampire sorcerer, which has greater invisibility and flight and mind control and fireballs.

A Fighter walking into this is heavily dependent on his party to help. "I brought a bow so flight won't stop me! Now all I need is protection from mind control and someone to break invisibility and ideally a Resist Energy!"

The UMD-expert Paladin would be a lot more useful in that situation. A cheap scroll of Glitterdust or Protection From Evil can make all the difference between 'burden' and 'contributor'. So what if the Wizard got it directly from a class feature, if all that class feature did was save 25gp?

Obviously, high-level scrolls cost money, and you don't get unlimited magic that way. You can't substitute for everything a wizard and cleric could do.

But on the other hand, as a Paladin you can smite enemies to death, and that's useful too.

And there's major survivability-disparity in favour of the Paladin - something generally considered to be outside the remit of tier lists. The Paladin has more hit points, can wear ride around wearing full plate mail, heal himself as a swift action, and his saving throws are way better. The Sorcerer falls to a failed Fortitude save, but the Paladin keeps going.


Fighter 5-4
Barbarian 4-3
Cleric 1
Alchemist 3
Shaman 2
Witch 1
Wizard 1
Sorcerer 2-1
Melee Druid 2
Caster Druid 2
Good Druid (generalist with AC) 1
Unchained Monk 4
Paladin 3
Brawler 4
Slayer 4
Urogue 4
Gunslinger 3
Hunter 3
Bloodrager 3
Skald 3
Kineticist 4
Ranger 4
Occultist 3
Magus 3
Usummoner 3
Spiritualist 3
Medium 3
Psychic 2
Mesmerist 3

Grand Lodge

Tier classifications are too subjective to make any relevant lists out of it, comparing a light tank with a mammoth tank.

I can create anything out of any class, ease of build and ease of use are as important as their strength. The only glare I'll direct is towards players who try to make some classes make what they aren't designed to do, making them useless (common sense, not optimization)

What is most important is how easy/hard the class is to be built or played, strength, resistance and how it fits into a group. The last two parts are too often overlooked ... Wizards will never absolutely dominate melee combats because without them, they die, ranged will get physically through in the case spells do nothing. Trying to be versatile is not always a good thing. Specialists will often have better results unless the class is designed to be that versatile (clerics or others).


Random thought:

If not counting equipment in this, would not almost all prepared spellcasters fall to 0 on this? After all they no longer have their spellbooks or holy symbols...


Jason Wedel wrote:

Random thought:

If not counting equipment in this, would not almost all prepared spellcasters fall to 0 on this? After all they no longer have their spellbooks or holy symbols...

There is a spell for that :P


^ nobody said that they are saying if it is accessible to ever class it's not a relevent comparison.

Saying, "fighters get +1 weapons" is meaningless unless they are the only class that gets them.


Dastis wrote:
Jason Wedel wrote:

Random thought:

If not counting equipment in this, would not almost all prepared spellcasters fall to 0 on this? After all they no longer have their spellbooks or holy symbols...

There is a spell for that :P

That I can't cast, as it's in my spellbook...


Rhedyn wrote:

Fighter 5-4

Barbarian 4-3
Cleric 1
Alchemist 3
Shaman 2
Witch 1
Wizard 1
Sorcerer 2-1
Melee Druid 2
Caster Druid 2
Good Druid (generalist with AC) 1
Unchained Monk 4
Paladin 3
Brawler 4
Slayer 4
Urogue 4
Gunslinger 3
Hunter 3
Bloodrager 3
Skald 3
Kineticist 4
Ranger 4
Occultist 3
Magus 3
Usummoner 3
Spiritualist 3
Medium 3
Psychic 2
Mesmerist 3

You put the Druid on here 3 separate times but you left out the Oracle? Smh.


Jason Wedel wrote:

Random thought:

If not counting equipment in this, would not almost all prepared spellcasters fall to 0 on this? After all they no longer have their spellbooks or holy symbols...

A spellbook is free to start with.


Ascalaphus wrote:

My problem with class tiers is that it's got tunnel vision on solo versatility. It ignores efficiency in a single encounter, all-day performance and party synergy.

Sure, a powerful wizard with a good idea of the problem he's going to face and handle almost any problem. But if the problem is status removal, he's not going to do as well as the life oracle. The wizard could jump through some hoops summoning something that can lift the condition but it requires more overall power expenditure and more actions. Likewise, if the wizard's problem is a demon that's standing too close for comfort, he's not as efficient or reliable at it as the paladin.

A wizard(/sorcerer) who abuses Planar Binding can have an Efreeti give him 3 free Wishes. He can do this as a 6th level spell, the same level where Oracles get Heal, their go-to spell for condition removal. Suffice it to say, Wish >> Heal (hell, Wish can outright replicate Heal), much less getting three of them every day for the cost of one 6th level spell every week or two.

Against a demon, a Paladin could win a hard fought battle against it. A Wizard/sorcerer on the other hand, could cast Banishment on it, and send that Demon back to hell before it even gets a round to act. Or, they could use any other one of their numerous save-or-die spells for the occasion.

A wizard/sorcerer with a high enough DC can basically solo any enemy appropriate to their CR with a single spell.

Quote:

Recently I played and ran a lot of group specials at high tier, so there was quite some material for comparison. The big conclusion was that having a mixed group was the best. The team with almost-all casters struggled to keep up with a 10-encounter adventuring day and the all-melee team had problems storming mountaintops with stone-throwing giants. The mixed team DimDoored in and slaughtered them before they could throw a single rock.

A wizard can "do anything someone else can", but he's not nearly as good as doing someone else's job all day long.

Yeah, see, this just ties back into my previous point. If you optimize your caster enough, you only need a single spell to defeat an encounter. Against an army of demons, a boosted enough Cleric can cast Holy Word and that's an entire encounter finished right there. A Wizard could use a Dazing Ball Lightning on anything not immune to electricity and that generally finishes encounters.

So when you start to stack spellcasters with MORE spellcasters, you start to need a lot more than just 10 encounters to stop them. Rather than 1 spellcaster having 5 "encounter-ending" spells, you know have 4 spellcasters, which give you 20 "encounter-ending" spells.

This also doesn't take into account another thing I brought up above, i.e. minion-mancy. Summoned/Bound creatures are incredibly powerful assets that casters have access to, but martials don't. Often times, a good summoned creature is worth more than a fighter, since fighters are very inflexible by their nature.

Aerial combat? Get a flying creature, or an air elemental. Fighter better be good with a bow, or he's SOL. Underwater combat? Get a swimming creature, or a water elemental. Fighter is SOL regardless (underwater combat rules really suck for PCs). Enemy tries to sunder weapons/armor? The fighter is crying, the summoner doesn't care. Enemy tries to grapple? The fighter is crying, the summoner doesn't care.

No matter what, you can always have the perfect monster for the situation. And if anything goes wrong, the summoned creature can go down, and you can just summon another one at minimal cost to yourself. Plus, summoned monsters don't gain experience, nor do they take up loot. As long as summoned creatures/planar bound creatures exist, caster-martial disparity will also exist, as will the tiers between classes.

Grand Lodge

The point is moot when the spellcaster is placed in a position when its abilities are neutered, and that happens often, no matter how in theory the power might be. Teleport is impossible, the end boss is in a narrow way and the party has no choice but to enter unfavourable terrain ? Happens very often and it is when we see physical survive more than magic.

To take a military expression but distorting it for Pathfinder purposes, " The spellcaster will not always get through. "


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Philippe Lam wrote:

The point is moot when the spellcaster is placed in a position when its abilities are neutered, and that happens often, no matter how in theory the power might be. Teleport is impossible, the end boss is in a narrow way and the party has no choice but to enter unfavourable terrain ? Happens very often and it is when we see physical survive more than magic.

To take a military expression but distorting it for Pathfinder purposes, " The spellcaster will not always get through. "

Unless the encounter with the end boss takes place in an antimagic field, literally nothing here is stopping the spellcaster from...casting spells that would end the encounter. Dazing Ball Lightning means that the end boss has to make 4-5 consecutive saves against the spell, where failing a save just once makes him dazed for 4 rounds. If he fails a save during any of the subsequent rounds wherein Ball Lightning is active, the daze-lock will continue.

It doesn't have to be Dazing Ball Lightning either. There are numerous save or die spells that most spellcasters have access to. A Narrow hallway and unfavorable terrain don't do jack to stop this. Hell, a narrow hallway and unfavorable terrain are literally far more detrimental to martials, who don't have spells that can bypass unfavorable terrain (Overland Flight, anyone?). Wait a minute, spellcasters don't even need to cross said terrain to be effective. They can stand right where they are and attack with spells from dozens of feet away. The melee fighter on the other hand? SOL.

And if it's in an Antimagic Field (ignoring it's ludicrously small 10-feet range), then the fighter/martials are hurt just as bad if not worse, since they are far more gear reliant than the most spellcasters. The spellcaster still has access to Planar Bindings/Planar Allies that aren't gear dependent (they have higher stats naturally), so an Antimagic Field is basically a walk in the park to them.

It's almost impossible to create a scenario where a martial class is at less of a disadvantage than a halfway optimized spellcaster who knows what they're doing and isn't afraid of abusing minion-mancy.


Kaouse wrote:
Philippe Lam wrote:

The point is moot when the spellcaster is placed in a position when its abilities are neutered, and that happens often, no matter how in theory the power might be. Teleport is impossible, the end boss is in a narrow way and the party has no choice but to enter unfavourable terrain ? Happens very often and it is when we see physical survive more than magic.

To take a military expression but distorting it for Pathfinder purposes, " The spellcaster will not always get through. "

Unless the encounter with the end boss takes place in an antimagic field, literally nothing here is stopping the spellcaster from...casting spells that would end the encounter. Dazing Ball Lightning means that the end boss has to make 4-5 consecutive saves against the spell, where failing a save just once makes him dazed for 4 rounds. If he fails a save during any of the subsequent rounds wherein Ball Lightning is active, the daze-lock will continue.

It doesn't have to be Dazing Ball Lightning either. There are numerous save or die spells that most spellcasters have access to. A Narrow hallway and unfavorable terrain don't do jack to stop this. Hell, a narrow hallway and unfavorable terrain are literally far more detrimental to martials, who don't have spells that can bypass unfavorable terrain (Overland Flight, anyone?). Wait a minute, spellcasters don't even need to cross said terrain to be effective. They can stand right where they are and attack with spells from dozens of feet away. The melee fighter on the other hand? SOL.

And if it's in an Antimagic Field (ignoring it's ludicrously small 10-feet range), then the fighter/martials are hurt just as bad if not worse, since they are far more gear reliant than the most spellcasters. The spellcaster still has access to Planar Bindings/Planar Allies that aren't gear dependent (they have higher stats naturally), so an Antimagic Field is basically a walk in the park to them.

It's almost impossible to create a scenario where a martial class is...

Here


Philippe Lam wrote:

The point is moot when the spellcaster is placed in a position when its abilities are neutered, and that happens often, no matter how in theory the power might be. Teleport is impossible, the end boss is in a narrow way and the party has no choice but to enter unfavourable terrain ? Happens very often and it is when we see physical survive more than magic.

To take a military expression but distorting it for Pathfinder purposes, " The spellcaster will not always get through. "

Really?

I've never seen a spell caster completely "neutered", as it would require far too much GM fiat to actually pull off in most cases.

The only way to completely shut down a spell caster is antimagic field (and even that can be overcome with Spellbane).

Teleport is blocked? How? Forbiddance, it can be dispelled. Typically unless the GM is just making crap up, there is a way around it.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Claxon wrote:

You're looking at what you can do with money. Which is fine, but literally every other character can do this, and with the trait to key UMD off of INT the CHA based argument isn't even very strong.

And "access to any spells for relatively small investment" is excessively misleading. Scrolls and wands have almost 0 offensive utility. They are decent for pure utility stuff, but duration will often suffer compared to real spell casters.

A UMD-expert Paladin doesn't need to use spell items for offensive utility. A Paladin can attack physically. The scrolls and wands are to help you get to a place where you can make those attacks.

Claxon wrote:
The tier list is about what a class can do. Not what you can do with money.

All characters are expected to have money. It's a baseline assumption.

Claxon wrote:
The fact that you're answer is "But I can do that what the spell casters can do by spending a bunch of money" is very telling about which class is actually better.

An example of the sort of situation where caster-martial disparity comes into play: You meet the standard Bestiary vampire sorcerer, which has greater invisibility and flight and mind control and fireballs.

A Fighter walking into this is heavily dependent on his party to help. "I brought a bow so flight won't stop me! Now all I need is protection from mind control and someone to break invisibility and ideally a Resist Energy!"

The UMD-expert Paladin would be a lot more useful in that situation. A cheap scroll of Glitterdust or Protection From Evil can make all the difference between 'burden' and 'contributor'. So what if the Wizard got it directly from a class feature, if all that class feature did was save 25gp?

Obviously, high-level scrolls cost money, and you don't get unlimited magic that way. You can't substitute for everything a wizard and cleric could do.

But on the other hand, as a Paladin you can smite enemies to death, and that's useful too.

And there's major...

I'm not saying UMD is bad or not useful. It is, it's very nice for a character to be able to do some stuff itself that it otherwise couldn't do without the help of a friendly spell casters.

But my whole point is that being able to solve the problem with money means nothing for the strength of the class. Any one else can invest in UMD and achieve similar results. Anyone can buy scrolls and wands and achieve similar results. It just doesn't factor into class tier lists because it has no relevancy on what the class itself can do.

And I'm not saying other classes don't have usefulness. But many classes kind of only have 1 tool. They have a hammer, and so while they're very equipped to hammer in all the nails, they can't for instance saw through something.

The wizard can have a "hammer" to deal damage by summoning. The wizard can saw through the problem by casting teleport. Etc etc.

When it comes to UMD the only real differences are:
Is it a class skill?
Do you have a decent bonus from a relevant ability modifier (CHA or INT)?

Yes? Then UMD is a good investment to help cover your weaknesses.

I'm not saying that UMD isn't a good thing. My point is only that all classes have more of less the same capacity to use UMD, so it isn't really be something to help you choose between the capabilities of classes.

Edit: I want to touch on suitability because you brought it up. High level arcane spell casters are some of the most survivable classes you can have, GMs just hate it when you play them that way.

How? Lesser Astral Projection. It's really hard to die when you're not even there. At higher levels, Permanent demiplane + Astral Projection. Clone is another great option. Especially when it's in your other permanent demiplane.

How about an example with UMD? Contingency + Reincarnation/Raise Dead

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