Advanced Class Guide Preview: Arcanist

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The arcanist was one of the more difficult classes to design in the Advanced Class Guide. When the idea first came together, it was based almost entirely upon mechanics. As an arcane caster that can prepare spells like a wizard, but cast them like a sorcerer, the idea was an interesting one, but when we presented it in the first round of the playtest the deficiency became clear. What is an arcanist?

As the playtest rolled on, this problem became more and more clear. The class had an interesting basic mechanic, but it needed a story hook and mechanics to support that idea. It was clear that we needed to go back to the drawing board. Looking at the wizard as the arcane caster that learns through study and the sorcerer who masters magic by drawing upon the power in his blood, the arcanist needed to fall somewhere between the two.


Illustration by Subroto Bhaumik

Ultimately, we decided on making the arcanist about tinkering with the underlying forces of arcane magic, using a combination of study and innate talent to break magic down and shape it to fit her needs. Combining that concept with an arcane reservoir, a pool of power that the arcanist can use to fuel exploits that break the rules of magic, the class really started to come together. In the second draft of the playtest, we knew we were on the right track. Most playtesters were concerned about power balance, but the overall consensus was that the changes we made gave the class a place in the game all its own.

While the final version of the class is very close to the second playtest version, the big changes came to the arcane exploits (like all of the exploits that dealt energy damage got a boost). These abilities are what make the arcanist unique and in the final version we added a large number of them to the class, giving you a wider variety of character types you can build with the class. Take a look!

Energy Shield (Su): The arcanist can protect herself from energy damage as a standard action by expending 1 point from her arcane reservoir. She must pick one energy type and gains resistance 10 against that energy type for 1 minute per arcanist level. This protection increases by 5 for every 5 levels the arcanist possesses (up to a maximum of 30 at 20th level).

Quick Study (Ex): The arcanist can prepare a spell in place of an existing spell by expending 1 point from her arcane reservoir. Using this ability is a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity. The arcanist must be able to reference her spellbook when using this ability. The spell prepared must be of the same level as the spell being replaced.

In addition, we added a number of greater exploits to the class as well, adding powerful tool to the high level arcanist.

Suffering Knowledge (Su): The arcanist can learn to cast a spell by suffering from its effects. When the arcanist fails a saving throw against a spell cast by an enemy, as an immediate action she can expend 1 point from her arcane reservoir to temporarily acquire the spell. She can cast the spell using her spell slots as if it was a spell she had prepared that day. The spell must be on the sorcerer/wizard spell list and must be of a level that she can cast. The ability to cast this spell remains for a number of rounds equal to the arcanist’s Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

Of course, the Advanced Class Guide also features a number of fun new archetypes to use with the arcanist. There is the blade adept, who gains a sentient sword and select a limited number of magus arcana instead of arcane exploits. You can also play a brown-fur transmuter, whose reservoir can be used to bolster the power of her transmutation spells. The eldritch font gains more spell slots, but can prepare fewer spells per day. An elemental master focuses her power on just one element, but to much greater effect. While there are a number of other archetypes for the arcanist, there is one more that needs to be called out. The white mage can expend points from her arcane reservoir to allow her to cast cure spells with her spell slots, but at higher levels she can even cast breath of life.

Well that about wraps up the preview for this week. Check back in next week for songs of bravery and rage!

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

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Arknight wrote:
K177Y C47 wrote:

Oh.. that Elemental master... it is gonna get scary...

I can just see thing:

Crosblooded Sorcerer (Dragonic/Orc) 1
Elemental master Arcanist X
Bloodline Development (Elemental or one of the Genies)

You thought the Sorc 1/Wizard X blaster got scary...

Add in that Arcanists can crank up DCs/CLs AND are some of the best at abusing meta-magic... things are gonna get scary in the blaster world....

Here's the thing to remember though.... The Arcanist (or any of the other classes in the ACG playtest) CAN'T multiclass with a class that makes up it's core. In the case of the Arcanist, there can be no Sorcerer/Arcanist or Wizard/Arcanist characters without house ruling it.....

Just a thought. :)

Nope, not anymore. They removed the restriction, allowing Sorcerer/Arcanist multi-classes...

Paizo Employee Senior Designer

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TerminalArtiste wrote:
Those archetypes sound very interesting! The arcanist just got a bump for me.

White Mage and Elemental Master are both archetypes I'm very curious about. I just hope the Elemental Master isn't so focused that he gets hosed when confronted with a being of his chosen element.


I feel this thread is only a few steps above the Warpriest one in "quality" of responses. Here's me trying to be positive!

I really like the Arcanist. I feel it functions mechanically how I always thought Wizards should, but has its own flavour and limitations compared to how the Wizard class operates. I think there is plenty of room flavour-wise for the Arcanist without stepping on the toes of Wizards and Sorcerers.

The way I sees it, a Wizard is interested in learning and mastering the rules of magic. A Sorcerer is interested in learning and using their own unique power. An Arcanist is interested in understanding magic itself and why the rules are what they are. And these distinctions give all three classes a right to exist.

And I do like what Kalvit said about the learning curve. I do so wish Arcanist was an option when my group started, it's been a headache teaching a totally new to RPGs player to be a Wizard :P

Also, an arcane healer archetype? I am pretty sure I have seen at least 20+ threads this year bemoaning the Wizard's lack of healing, so this is awesome news!


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I think some folks here might be reading a bit much into a relatively short preview. The class is good, but its not quite as powerful as some are making it out to be.

Lets just take the rhetoric down a notch.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Could you elaborate a little bit on why exactly you think that the class is not as powerful as some are making it out to be?


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master_marshmallow wrote:
I think people think they have an unlimited amount of Arcane Reservoir to do these crazy things with.

Has consume spells or items been removed? If it hasn't, then it's only going to be a couple of levels until the Arcanist will be able to simply throw away a spell (or leech of a wand a couple of times a day), in order to do this whenever. The Arcane Reservoir simply isn't that hard to keep full.

For Reference: Consume Spell Text:

Quote:
Consume Spells (Su): The arcanist can spend a standard action to expend an available arcanist spell slot, making it unavailable for the rest of the day just as if she had used it to cast a spell. In doing so, she adds a number of points to her arcane reservoir equal to the level of the slot consumed. She cannot consume cantrips (0 level spells) in this way. Points added to the arcane reservoir in excess of the limit (see arcane reservoir) are lost.

master_marshmallow wrote:
It might get used in a combat where the arcanist gets two free turns to swap a spell out, but if you are giving him two free turns he's pretty much won already.

Well, the arcanist could always just make sure to have his spellbook out, or he could use a spell to give himself 2 rounds of actions. Even at relatively early levels it's a pretty easy thing to put up wall and give youself some time. Obviously at super high levels, time stop becomes available, but I think it's not too hard to imagine a world where a caster can simply give himself the two rounds he needs.

Though I will admit, I like the cinematic battle implications of this. The party is in a fight with a big bad enemy, and the arcanist, caught with his pants down, can leaf through his spell book and find the spell the party needs to win the encounter.

So yeah, the Arcanist is probably more powerful than a wizard or sorcerer, at least from what we know now. Whatever. Oracles with Paragon Surge can still probably laugh at this pitifuls class's attempts at versatility. "Oh, you can pull any one spell from your spellbook? I can instantly know any spell a wizard or cleric could ever hope to learn"

Balance at this point is almost meaningless.


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Shisumo wrote:

Man, at this rate, we're going to be lucky if Paizo ever bothers to write another preview post ever again.

Arachnofiend wrote:
It doesn't really do Paizo much good to interact with the community if they're not open to criticism, y'know...

They take criticism all the time, and yet in the vast majority of those threads Jason Bulmahn doesn't feel it necessary to come in and ask people to tone the vitriol down.

Frankly, if you think "criticism" is the right word for the bile being spewed in this thread and the warpriest one, I think the internet has badly skewed your definition of the term.

So criticism it's only valid when it's positive? Are we only allowed to praise Paizo's work, no matter what?

As with any other product, there is good and bad stuff in the ACG. I'll praise Paizo for what I think is well done, such as Bloodragers, Investigator and Slayer, and I'll criticize them for what I think was poorly done, such as Arcanist and Hunter.

I'm not criticizing these classes for entertainment, I'm doing it because I honestly believe they have major flaws on their design. I'm not a "Paizo hater", but I'm not a blind fanboy either.

Like it or not, negative criticism is just as valuable as positive. People are too quick to mindlessly defend everything Paizo does, but that doesn't help the company to improve. Quite the contrary, in fact. If every poor decision Paizo makes is met with praise, what reason do they have to try and improve things next time?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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The more I think about this. The less I'm concerned with Quick Study. In fact, the more I think it might be necessary for an arcanist to actually fulfill his role.

Out of combat, it serves the same purpose as a wizard leaving slots available, but costs resources (reservoir points to swap, and Quick Study in place of an Exploit that actually does something on its own.) This might actually cost TWO reservoir points, because if you swap scorching ray for knock to open a door, you probably want to put scorching ray back before combat.

In combat, it costs a whole turn if you actually have your spellbook in hand. A turn and a move action if your spellbook is in a handy haversack. Two turns if your spellbook is in a bag of holding or a regular backpack. You're only going to do that to get a life-saving silver bullet or if NONE of your spells are the right thing to use against what you're fighting.

Let's do a side-by-side comparison. (Assuming the spell progression from the playtest holds.)

A level 5 arcanist has 4 first level spells and 3 second level spells per day. That's more likely 5 and 4, with bonus spells for Intelligence. But he only has 4 prepared first level spells and 2 second level spells.

In comparison, the level 5 wizard has 3 first level spells, 2 second level spells, and a third level spell. With Intelligence, that's really 4, 3, and 2. That's the same total number of spells per day as the arcanist, but those can each be different spells. And more of them are higher level. (If this comparison were on an even level, the wizard would have fewer spells per day, but still more access to different spells.)

A level 5 Sorcerer, instead, (accounting for Charisma) 7 first level spells and 5 second level spells. He looks like he has the same spells known as the arcanist has prepared, but thanks to bloodline spells, he actually has 5 first level and 3 second level spells on tap.

The wizard is clearly not threatened here: he gets spells a level sooner and has more versatility than the arcanist.

The sorcerer has more spells per day and more spells known at any given time than the arcanist, but the arcanist can use exploits to challenge both of those: either using Quick Study to change spells mid-day, or by using exploits in place of spells. Additionally, the arcanist can change spells on a day-to-day basis, even without Quick Study, while the Sorcerer is stuck with their choices forever. On the other hand, bloodlines are cool. I think a sorcerer is better for certain character concepts, or if your group likes to push on until utterly exhausted. An arcanist is better if you're willing to take breaks when the spellcasters are tapped out, and it doesn't bother you that he gets tapped out sooner.


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Scavion wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I really dont see anyone use quick study in the middle of combat, so it is mostly a nonfactor.

Casters are directly proportional to their ability to scout the enemy and how quickly and effectively they can utilize that knowledge. A Wizard requires an entire minute burning buff time and must have an unslotted spell. An Arcanist is 10 times faster and simply swaps out one of his set spells Known.

Would it be used in combat? Unlikely. Used when your party scout peeks around the corner and tells you theres three [insert creature that is absolutely devastated by having a specific spell on hand]? Absolutely.

With good scouting, the Arcanist has a silver bullet for each encounter rather quickly through Quick Study.

1 round versus 1 minute is not much of a difference outside of combat, and yes I am aware that the 1 minute is not the standard time, and I am sure you know where the 1 minute comes from, so like I said this is a nonfactor.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Morning Folks,

Couple of points that are worth mentioning about this particular class.

1. It still needs Charisma. All of the DCs of its exploits are based off it (spell casting still goes off Int). There are some pretty cool exploits that you are going to want a decent DC on them to use properly.

2. The class still gets it higher level spells a level later, like a sorcerer but has fewer spell slots to cast those spells compared to a sorcerer.

3. We did tinker with the formula for your arcane reservoir, slightly increasing your starting pool, but greatly reducing the overall cap to limit the burn cycle.

I think that a lot of folks are claiming this class is overpowered without having seen it in play. Is it good? Yes. Is it significantly better than a sorcerer or a wizard? No. It burns through its slots faster than a sorcerer and has a narrower focus than a wizard, which is exactly what it was designed to do.

Play nice folks. I've got to go prep for paizocon and have only limited time to monitor this thread.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

brad2411 wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Screw castard/martialfail disparity, this means you can have a party with a White Mage, a Blue Mage, a Red Mage and a Dragoon.
Red Mage?
Red Mages are from Final Fantasy and the are essentially Mystic Thuerges that do not get the highest level spells.

I know what a Red Mage is. I was just wondering what class/build the Bag considers to be a red mage: White mage is an arcanist archetype, blue mage is an arcanist with Suffering Knowledge, Dragoon is a fighter or Cavalie archetype, I forget which. Red Mage could be a mystic theurge or a bard, but I'm curious what he had in mind.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Red Mage = Inquisitor/Magus maybe?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Ross Byers wrote:

The more I think about this. The less I'm concerned with Quick Study. In fact, the more I think it might be necessary for an arcanist to actually fulfill his role.

Out of combat, it serves the same purpose as a wizard leaving slots available, but costs resources (reservoir points to swap, and Quick Study in place of an Exploit that actually does something on its own.) This might actually cost TWO reservoir points, because if you swap scorching ray for knock to open a door, you probably want to put scorching ray back before combat.

In combat, it costs a whole turn if you actually have your spellbook in hand. A turn and a move action if your spellbook is in a handy haversack. Two turns if your spellbook is in a bag of holding or a regular backpack. You're only going to do that to get a life-saving silver bullet or if NONE of your spells are the right thing to use against what you're fighting.

Let's do a side-by-side comparison. (Assuming the spell progression from the playtest holds.)

A level 5 arcanist has 4 first level spells and 3 second level spells per day. That's more likely 5 and 4, with bonus spells for Intelligence. But he only has 4 prepared first level spells and 2 second level spells.

In comparison, the level 5 wizard has 3 first level spells, 2 second level spells, and a third level spell. With Intelligence, that's really 4, 3, and 2. That's the same total number of spells per day as the arcanist, but those can each be different spells. And more of them are higher level. (If this comparison were on an even level, the wizard would have fewer spells per day, but still more access to different spells.)

A level 5 Sorcerer, instead, (accounting for Charisma) 7 first level spells and 5 second level spells. He looks like he has the same spells known as the arcanist has prepared, but thanks to bloodline spells, he actually has 5 first level and 3 second level spells on tap.

The wizard is clearly not threatened here: he gets spells a level sooner and...

Ross makes excellent points here. This is a very well-reasoned argument why the Arcanist isn't NECESSARILY more powerful than either the Wizard or Sorcerer. We still won't see the final class until August, so why can't we all just get along until then? Please? Huh?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ross Byers wrote:
brad2411 wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Screw castard/martialfail disparity, this means you can have a party with a White Mage, a Blue Mage, a Red Mage and a Dragoon.
Red Mage?
Red Mages are from Final Fantasy and the are essentially Mystic Thuerges that do not get the highest level spells.
I know what a Red Mage is. I was just wondering what class/build the Bag considers to be a red mage: White mage is an arcanist archetype, blue mage is an arcanist with Suffering Knowledge, Dragoon is a fighter or Cavalie archetype, I forget which. Red Mage could be a mystic theurge or a bard, but I'm curious what he had in mind.

That would be Bard or Eldritch Knight.


You know I, as always, wonder how many people have actually played a class like the arcanist before decrying how "broken" or "OP" it is. having played one from 7th through almost 10th, I can say that they have some tricks that the other casters don't have (which is good, for sure), but they're hardly better than a wizard who knows how to prep spells correctly (which as someone who's played 20 or more wizards, I've understood the angst attached with prepping spells, but I digress).

I've gone several days in game without having any of my highest level spells because I've needed arcane reservoir to power abilities (one combat where I was paralyzed fighting xill comes to mind; I needed to be combat effective, so I was spending my 4ths as a standard action to get back reservoir points, so I could use my force missile to keep attacking xill.)


wraithstrike wrote:
Scavion wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I really dont see anyone use quick study in the middle of combat, so it is mostly a nonfactor.

Casters are directly proportional to their ability to scout the enemy and how quickly and effectively they can utilize that knowledge. A Wizard requires an entire minute burning buff time and must have an unslotted spell. An Arcanist is 10 times faster and simply swaps out one of his set spells Known.

Would it be used in combat? Unlikely. Used when your party scout peeks around the corner and tells you theres three [insert creature that is absolutely devastated by having a specific spell on hand]? Absolutely.

With good scouting, the Arcanist has a silver bullet for each encounter rather quickly through Quick Study.

1 round versus 1 minute is not much of a difference outside of combat, and yes I am aware that the 1 minute is not the standard time, and I am sure you know where the 1 minute comes from, so like I said this is a nonfactor.

How is it a nonfactor? It's significantly more effective in any scenario dependent on time that, believe it or not are more varied than simply combat scenarios.

Chasing a fleeing objective or any time sensitive mission is incredibly impacted by that difference in preparation time.

Also I noticed you didn't comment on the fact that the Wizard's method demands he not use resources(thus has less total ability available beforehand) whereas the Arcanist can reallocate his.

I'd be more than willing to say that having the right spell easily trumps having more powerful spells.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

I'm wondering why the suffering knowledge exploit requires that an enemy cast the spell on you. Since you have to fail your save and suffer the effects of the spell, I don't think it would be broken to have anyone cast the spell on you and fail the save (even voluntarily) to use the exploit.

Silver Crusade

IxionZero wrote:
I have not seen anyone mention that Quick Study is an Exploit you have to choose when you level, not a deed that every Arcanist automatically gets as long as they have a point in their pool. It is quite good, but I don't know if we'll be seeing it on every Arcanist from now until the end of time given how cool I expect other new exploits to be.

I'm not sure that pointing out that there may be still MORE powerful options is a good way to counter the argument that arcanists are too powerful :-).

Personally, I worry that the really overpowered character will be the archetype who gets more spells (the only real weakness with the arcanist right now) or possibly some crossclassed monster. I'm willing to wait and see what we get but I am feeling pessimistic right now. It certainly "feels" that the Arcanist is going to be at least as powerful as the 2 most powerful classes in the game.

Silver Crusade

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You know, I seem to remember people complaining that the Magus was overpowered when it first came out.


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pauljathome wrote:
IxionZero wrote:
I have not seen anyone mention that Quick Study is an Exploit you have to choose when you level, not a deed that every Arcanist automatically gets as long as they have a point in their pool. It is quite good, but I don't know if we'll be seeing it on every Arcanist from now until the end of time given how cool I expect other new exploits to be.

I'm not sure that pointing out that there may be still MORE powerful options is a good way to counter the argument that arcanists are too powerful :-).

Personally, I worry that the really overpowered character will be the archetype who gets more spells (the only real weakness with the arcanist right now) or possibly some crossclassed monster. I'm willing to wait and see what we get but I am feeling pessimistic right now. It certainly "feels" that the Arcanist is going to be at least as powerful as the 2 most powerful classes in the game.

Honestly I am just wondering why everyone is so hung up on this one optional exploit which, while good, hardly breaks the game and is roughly equivalent to existing abilities of other classes.


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Why people just can't wait to see the whole class before going in to panic mode is beyond me.

Silver Crusade

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Is it good? Yes. Is it significantly better than a sorcerer or a wizard? No. It burns through its slots faster than a sorcerer and has a narrower focus than a wizard, which is exactly what it was designed to do.

This actually scares me. A lot.

The developers think it isn't "significantly" better than a wizard. Which implies, to me, that they think it is probably a little better.

A little better than what most people think is the most powerful class in the game.

So if they oops a little or miss some weird exploit it is likely to be very bad.

It is also balanced because the charisma exploits are so good that it will become a little MAD.

Unfortunately, there are lots of cases where the power gaming way to build a class is to ignore how Paizo thinks a class should be played. Best swashbuckler dumps cha and is STR based.

I'm not sure which scares me more. The exploits being so good that people WILL boost CHS, or the exploits being so meh that everybody just dumps CHA and thus removes what Paizo thought was a balancing factor.

I'm still reserving judgment but I am now quite pessimistic

Silver Crusade

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Vrog Skyreaver wrote:


I've gone several days in game without having any of my highest level spells because I've needed arcane reservoir to power abilities (one combat where I was paralyzed fighting xill comes to mind; I needed to be combat effective, so I was spending my 4ths as a standard action to get back reservoir points, so I could use my force missile to keep attacking xill.)

So you're saying that it is significantly better than a wizard? The exploits are so good that they're better than your highest level spells?


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Morning Folks,

Couple of points that are worth mentioning about this particular class.

1. It still needs Charisma. All of the DCs of its exploits are based off it (spell casting still goes off Int). There are some pretty cool exploits that you are going to want a decent DC on them to use properly.

I just want to chime in on this issue. The first and second draft versions of the elemental blast powers were pretty much the only things which ran off charisma and they were all universally awful. The updated versions were boosted a little but still none of them were ever conceivably worth taking given the other excellent options which exist.

In both playtest versions charisma did next to nothing to benefit the arcanist who did not take the damage dealing exploits. They have a very minor impact on school understanding and bloodline development but it is extremely marginal, only affecting the level 1 powers gained. The reality is that those options are more likely to be picked for always on benefits such as the damage boost bloodlines (orc, draconic), save boosts (infernal, fey) and the divination or teleportation sub school. The main ability of the divination school (never surprised) doesn't care about your level.

Unless the elemental blasts have been significantly improved or the new talents are as strong as the current ones AND heavily reliant on charisma then with what we know about the Arcanist then charisma is almost entirely unnecessary and there is no real penalty to dumping it to 7.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

Lets not take that out of context. The point of this class was to be close to the wizard and sorcerer and I think that we managed to pull that off. In some games, depending on your play styles, it may be a little better than one or other other, in other games it will be a little less good than one or other.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


Vrog Skyreaver wrote:

You know I, as always, wonder how many people have actually played a class like the arcanist before decrying how "broken" or "OP" it is. having played one from 7th through almost 10th, I can say that they have some tricks that the other casters don't have (which is good, for sure), but they're hardly better than a wizard who knows how to prep spells correctly (which as someone who's played 20 or more wizards, I've understood the angst attached with prepping spells, but I digress).

I've gone several days in game without having any of my highest level spells because I've needed arcane reservoir to power abilities (one combat where I was paralyzed fighting xill comes to mind; I needed to be combat effective, so I was spending my 4ths as a standard action to get back reservoir points, so I could use my force missile to keep attacking xill.)

The fact that you took the force missile ability in the first place rather strongly suggests that you don't actually understand the strengths of the class.

Spending level 4 spell slots to be able to shoot 1d4+7 damage suggests that your spell selection was exceptionally poor.

Shadow Lodge

When did they remove the hybrid limitation? I failed to see that anywhere, not saying it didn't happen, but that was part of the balancing factors for MANY of these classes, so I really hope that is not the case. That being said, as someone who played a Ultimate Magus during 3.5, I love this class (and that was an OP class, for sure), but I recognize it has a great number of limitations (I made and played one at several level incarnations during the playtests) and it has moments where it is better than the Sorcerer or the Wizard, but each of them have their own niche. If you want to play a true blaster, best play that Sorc, if you want to play a true Academic, then stick to your Wizard. If you want to float in the middle, then enjoy the Arcanist. There are ways for each class to boost their DCs to sick levels, if that is what they want to do. If your players are number crunchers that min-max everything, they will exploit any and all things. If they are people who wish to enjoy flavor in their game, then they will find something new in this class. If your argument is that they are a 9/9 caster and that all 9/9's are broken, then I think it's time to drop that argument, there have been 2 classes that are 9/9 for five years now and they aren't going anywhere, so having another doesn't ZOMG break the game.

Ultimately: Wait and see the class play out, further more, if you play home games, then ban it if you don't like it when it comes out. If you play PFS, then it will never reach the high end spells anyway, so it doesn't reach the fearful levels anyway.

Paizo: I trust you.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

pauljathome wrote:
I worry that the really overpowered character will be the archetype who gets more spells (the only real weakness with the arcanist right now)

It says it gets more spells but fewer prepared. My example fifth level arcanist would only have ONE 2nd level spell spell prepared at a time if it had any fewer spells prepared. At fifth level. That's pretty crippling, even with Quick Study. I don't know how that would work at fourth level: I don't know what happens if you have less than 1 spell prepared. If that archetype means you don't get spells prepared for a level until one level after the sorcerer, or two after the wizard, that's a huge drawback, too.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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andreww wrote:
Spending level 4 spell slots to be able to shoot 1d4+7 damage suggests that your spell selection was exceptionally poor.

It suggests he was paralyzed, and couldn't actually use his spells.


Ross Byers wrote:
andreww wrote:
Spending level 4 spell slots to be able to shoot 1d4+7 damage suggests that your spell selection was exceptionally poor.
It suggests he was paralyzed, and couldn't actually use his spells.

Exactly, he allowed himself to be paralysed as a caster which suggests a lack of defensive spells prepared. Not a good idea for a squishy caster type and really unnecessary at level 7.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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andreww wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
andreww wrote:
Spending level 4 spell slots to be able to shoot 1d4+7 damage suggests that your spell selection was exceptionally poor.
It suggests he was paralyzed, and couldn't actually use his spells.
Exactly, he allowed himself to be paralysed as a caster which suggests a lack of defensive spells prepared. Not a good idea for a squishy caster type and really unnecessary at level 7.

Dude, the vitriol really isn't necessary. Perhaps it was a terribly-rolled save? Give the guy a break, and don't assume that he's a bad player just because his character got paralyzed.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Not everything in this game is combat, y'know. Quick Study is powerful for its uses in every situation where you're not about to get your face smashed in.

While it is good, I believe the wizard is better at it with their free spell cast with their bonded magic item. Quick study however would be better if the spell they are quickly preparing would need to be cast multiple time.

Without that though, other classes can replicate that with scrolls and potions for those odd spells. While those cost gold to get, so does filling an arcanist's spellbook. If the arcanist is spending a few hundred gold pieces getting every potentially useful low level spell, I think it is fair to suggest that other classes might have a few scrolls to deal with the odd situation here and there.

Shadow Lodge

andreww wrote:
Exactly, he allowed himself to be paralysed as a caster which suggests a lack of defensive spells prepared. Not a good idea for a squishy caster type and really unnecessary at level 7.

He ALLOWED himself to be paralyzed? Ignoring the condescending attitude, there's all of ONE spell that could have helped him here, a little fourth-level ditty called freedom of movement. As we know that fourth level spells were his highest slot, that means he was either level eight or level nine, meaning he had either one or two fourth level slots with which to prepare for the entire day, which he could then cast two to four times.

Generally speaking, if you've got ONE spell slot to prep with, you're going to prep for your intended roll, which in this case appears to be blaster.

Yeah, he's such a horribly stupid player for not pick a spell that counters a specific threat he clearly did not expect ahead of time with his one, maybe two slots...


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Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
Why people just can't wait to see the whole class before going in to panic mode is beyond me.

Expressing Concerns =/= Panic mode

I prefer better balanced and designed classes like the Alchemist, Inquisitor and Bard. Simply put, adding more classes that can pop GM's games open like an egg on the fryer doesn't scream an improvement to Pathfinder.

Currently, I consider the Arcanist and the Shaman to be pushing the current power level of the game based on their iterations in the playtest. They seem too much like direct improvement on their counterparts. When the Shaman still had the cleric spell list, I couldn't see why you wouldn't play one over the Cleric since it actually has class features. Then! it got the Druid list, but with all the Cleric staple spells so it was all but assured.

The Arcanist is now Schrodinger's Wizard made manifest.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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andreww wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
andreww wrote:
Spending level 4 spell slots to be able to shoot 1d4+7 damage suggests that your spell selection was exceptionally poor.
It suggests he was paralyzed, and couldn't actually use his spells.
Exactly, he allowed himself to be paralysed as a caster which suggests a lack of defensive spells prepared. Not a good idea for a squishy caster type and really unnecessary at level 7.

I didn't know you had to 'allow' monsters to do anything.

I'm not going to claim to know exactly what went down at Vrog's table, but I'll point out that a Xill can appear right next to you in the surprise round, then hit you with a full attack while you're flat-footed if it wins initiative. It has a +8 Init. That's pretty good compared to characters that aren't explicitly investing in initiative.

Not a lot of time in there to deploy your mirror images and displacements.


Ross Byers wrote:
andreww wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
andreww wrote:
Spending level 4 spell slots to be able to shoot 1d4+7 damage suggests that your spell selection was exceptionally poor.
It suggests he was paralyzed, and couldn't actually use his spells.
Exactly, he allowed himself to be paralysed as a caster which suggests a lack of defensive spells prepared. Not a good idea for a squishy caster type and really unnecessary at level 7.

I didn't know you had to 'allow' monsters to do anything.

I'm not going to claim to know exactly what went down at Vrog's table, but I'll point out that a Xill can appear right next to you in the surprise round, then hit you with a full attack while you're flat-footed if it wins initiative. It has a +8 Init. That's pretty good compared to characters that aren't explicitly investing in initiative.

Not a lot of time in there to deploy your mirror images and displacements.

I'm curious why the Xill didn't coup de grace him. Especially if he was still contributing to the encounter while paralyzed.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Folks... lets not argue about one person's build and actions in a game that nobody here witnessed.

Jason

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Scavion wrote:
The Arcanist is now Schrodinger's Wizard made manifest.

The Schrodinger's wizard is the wizard who always has the right spell prepared. An arcanist with Quick Study always has the right spell prepared...a round and a half from now. (And if it's an odd numbered level, maybe not at all.)

I think that's a fairly substantial difference.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Blazej wrote:
Without that though, other classes can replicate that with scrolls and potions for those odd spells. While those cost gold to get, so does filling an arcanist's spellbook. If the arcanist is spending a few hundred gold pieces getting every potentially useful low level spell, I think it is fair to suggest that other classes might have a few scrolls to deal with the odd situation here and there.

This is a good point. Quick Study takes a full round, at a minimum (if your book is already in hand.)

Drawing a scroll from a handy haversack or other available spot is a move action. That means if I have a scroll of a silver-bullet spell, I can draw it and cast it this turn. That's better than relying on Quick Study.


Ross Byers wrote:
Scavion wrote:
The Arcanist is now Schrodinger's Wizard made manifest.

The Schrodinger's wizard is the wizard who always has the right spell prepared. An arcanist with Quick Study always has the right spell prepared...a round and a half from now.

I think that's a fairly substantial difference.

It actually takes 3 turns to cast that spell.

1 to waste the move action to get the book out.
1 to spend a full round preparing it.
And another one to actually be able to cast it, Quckened Shenanigans notwithstanding.

Schrodinger's Wizard is also someone who has access to all spells and not just the ones in his spellbook, which is a limitation that everyone criticizing this class seems to be forgetting.

Uhnlimited Arcane Reservoir by consuming magic items? You still have to buy those magic items.

The class is designed in a way that makes it feel like it's advanced. I hope to see a lot of power curves from this book since this is the first time paizo has had the chance to step out of the legacy phase of 3.5 class design and give us something other than the core classes from 3.5.

I am 100% okay with these classes being designed better than the core classes. Because this class is designed better, it does not necessarily mean it is overpowered.

Liberty's Edge

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I really feel like people need to chill the hell out.

It's not the people complaining that the class is broken I mind. I get that, but seriously folks, can we all just take a deep breath and calm down? I get this huge feeling of rather extreme anger and bitterness in both this and the Warpriest thread. That isn't helpful or useful in any way. Everyone just needs to calm down and be patient until the book comes out, and maybe a bit afterwards to see how things do in play.

I've been on these forums a while, on and off. I've seen people freak out about the Magus. And then the Gunslinger. It's mostly not been warranted, but it keeps happening. Now...it did also happen with the Summoner (though that was a bit before my time on the Forums), and that was more justified, but waiting until we actually see the class before actually getting upset seems like the reasonable thing to do.

Now, worrying is perhaps reasonable (and thus so are balance discussions)...but some people in these threads seem to go way beyond just worrying, instead assuming way too much and leaping to premature conclusions, then getting really upset. Please folks, can we cut that out?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Well said, Deadman.

So how about that weird snake the Occultist has? What's up with that?


isdestroyer wrote:
You know, I seem to remember people complaining that the Magus was overpowered when it first came out.

Yes and there are people who believe that the Brawler's ability to overcome DR is bad because he isn't a magical or supernatural classes.

The perceived invalidity of statements by one group of people (even the same group of people) about another class has nothing to do with the validity of statements by a group of people about the Arcanist.


Ross Byers wrote:
So how about that weird snake the Occultist has? What's up with that?

Good question! Maybe the Occultist is focused on summoning? That still doesn't explain the feathers or the ghost-ness, though.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

TerminalArtiste wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
So how about that weird snake the Occultist has? What's up with that?
Good question! Maybe the Occultist is focused on summoning? That still doesn't explain the feathers or the ghost-ness, though.

Yeah. It struck me as kind of eidolon-y, but more Couatl than Balazar's cockatrice-thing. But I don't see how that fits with the name.

Maybe it's a celestial animal (Constrictor snake)? Than could work for a summoning-focused archetype.


Or maybe it's a spiritual bond type thing, similar to an arcane or divine bond?


AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!

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