This archetype is not meant to be balanced next to the vanilla rogue. The goal here was to make a class that was better at skills and combat than a slayer/investigator even multiclass character. I still want the slayer to be "better" at combat and the investigator to still be generally better at skills.
I could use some suggestions and feedback.
I had a thought about changing sneak attack dice to precision dice. Half the progression, but have the precision dice add d6s to both to-hit and damage rolls against "vulnerable" foes.
"Vulnerable" would be a condition defined as a foe that is hampered in anyway via movement reduction (even from armor), dex denied, flat footed, feinted, grappled, prone, ect.
I would also like for dex to be added to damage rolls as precision damage against vulnerable foes.
Lastly, I would want to offer the option that whenever you threaten a critical hit, you could forgo the conformation roll to instead as an AOO strike the foe again for just precision damage. (picture it as rending with the weapon or twisting the knife)
Obviously I wouldn't have the 30ft or concealment restrictions. There are already feats and items that get around that issue, you might as well bake into the class instead of having "mandatory options".
Don't get me wrong, I always put role playing ahead of optimizing. But I see literally no advantage gained by the first world summoner. I want it to be mechanically not a terrible choice, but the eidolon hit points and base attack are basically halved, it loses Darkvision for low-light vision, and you get SNA instead if summon monster. I see nothing gained other than flavor, and I think that's unfair for people who would want to play this for role playing reason (i.e. me).
Someone necro'd this thread pretty hard, but I've seen people like JJ and a straight reading of the archetypes says that you can have both your eidolon out AND any number of SLAs summons out.
So even though you are weaker in both aspects, being able to use both at once is pretty impressive.
Somehow I really do not feel like the level 10 wizard would be envious of the level 12 rogue, or even a level 11 bard/investigator/slayer/ranger/inquisitor would be envious of a level 12 rogue.
The idea is nice, but I only ever see a 1-3 level gap. Is that really enough?
You could try taking a gestalt multiclassing approach, where stacking class feature levels takes those levels xp instead of more. Then you could not let fullcasters do that, maybe create XP penalties for casters.
For example, a level 10 wizard could take 105,000 xp, while an level 8 fighter/rogue gestalt would take 102,000 xp. Then you could throw in your idea of different classes having different xp rates. So when you have level 10 wizards (160K xp), you could have lvl 10 fighter/rogue gestalts(142K xp).
I have to wonder, Marcus, do you know what Pathfinder is? It has a PRD, not an SRD. So it's possible you've never heard of the game.
Why yes Kthulhu I am well aware that PF has both a PRD and a pfsrd.
I thought I explained quite clearly that being able to google "D&D 5e X" and getting sent straight to the relevant rules is invaluable in any-sort of rules heavy TTRPG.
In 3.5 this would work. In PF the flour would also turn invisible just like any other object the target of the spell picks up.
Rogues: Good at skills and nothing else when plenty of classes have tons of skills, more damage/saves/ac, and spells
Cavalier: Idk, they probably do just fine.
Fighter: Lord of the DPR and nothing else. Suffers from being a mere mortal as levels go up and up. Recent archetypes can help it immensely (ACG)
Monk: An eclectic mess of class features, BUT this class has received the best archetype love in the game. With Qinggong alone, trading out slowfall for barkskin, and something for the double edge sword SR, you can do pretty well with Dragon Style. Human Wanderers get a nice to-hit boost too. Monk is one of the few martials where power attack can actually hurt their DPR.
We have a bad habit on these forums in assuming that acting in self-interest is a bad thing.
Pure sociopathy could be a facet of NE, or it could be TN. I feel that CE has too much moral capacity to be define by a disorder that represents a lack of moral capacity.
Now that I think about it, members of the Darkbrotherhood could be described as sane CE. They glorified in the void, in the comfort of their dark family. There worship did not have the overarching stratagems common with NE mortals or CE abyssal lords. Some were insane. Others did not even revel in the kill. They were simply content with the worship of Sithis. The society in Skyrim or Cyrodiil did not consider them crazy as a whole.
I find if you interpret wizards into the ground then the other classes will only get furthered pushed into the ground via the fairness of harsh interpretation.
If wizards cannot be creative with spells, then so much less for rogue skills and fighter strength.
CE is generally considered crazy regardless of the competence of the individual. Society has been trained to view such incarnations of ruin as "wrong". Such entities do not fit to our mental norms. Their desires seem self destructive. Certain agents of doom like Galactus, the Abyss, Death, Diablo (from the games), GW dragons, and Sithis are seen as forces of nature and less people. So their CE tendencies don't mark them for insane because they have a cosmic mandate for their values.
Those of us entwined in the mortal coil who lean CE do not have such a mandate. CE tendencies seem to run counter to what an appropriate human is suppose to strive for. We can understand LE(vice), LG(virtue), CN(personal freedom), CG(societal freedom/unlawful justice), and TN(apathy / balance), but CE has nothing going for it that any sane individual could want (NE may also fall into this category).
Ed Reppert wrote:
What is a "tier 3" class? For that matter, what is a tier 1 or tier 2 or tier 4 or higher class?
Tier one is prepared full casters, tier 2 are spontaneous full casters. The gap between those tiers is fairly narrow. Hence why tier 3 is all 6th level casters regardless of being prepared or spont. tier 4 comprises of 4th level casters and fully featured non-casters. Tier 5 is reserved for flawed classes. Tier 6 classes just should not be played.
The summoner goes into tier 1 or 2 because the class has condensed full casting and class features that more than make up for having less slots. The Master Summoner archetype can even be argued as the most dangerous class, but that is more a testament to the strength of summoning than to the strength of the archetype.
Certain other classes break the tier mold and certain archetype combos move where the class falls in the tiers.
I think the fighter could be really cool if I wanted 11 general feats and 11 combat feats at the level I would get them.
I don't though. The fighter is great for quickly getting high feat chain builds to come online quickly, but for that to be valuable feats themself have to valuable.
This is why I like spont feats so much. Far too many feats are only situationally good, spont feats allow you to build fighter that grabs the early feats in multiple feat chains so he came make use of them.
Things like critical focus by themselves are pretty meh, but when that feats allows you to spontaneously grab any crit effect feat, the worth of critical focus goes way up.
Even with that premise, I ran out of feats I actually wanted.
I actually think a martial master mutagen fighter does fairly well.
Flight + spont feats + not being tied to specific weapons = a character I could see playing.
Based on that here is my idea for a fighter-fix
Pathfinder has balance issues but there are subtle things that you as GM can do to give every character spot light.
For fighters, you just have to have enemies charge the party. If things are in fighter full attack range, the fighter is generally happy.
For rogues, just allow your monsters to get flanked (it is really easy to 5ft step out of flanking full attacks). You also need to have opportunity for those rogue skills to work. Actually allow the rogue to party scout reliably (it's really easy for enemies to have full vision through an area, making the stealth check irrelevant. Let them have blind spots).
For wizards, allow there magic to work. You will find it is very hard to let other classes shine if you are rules lawyering the wizard into the ground. It is also important to let them do their thing so that they don't decide to encroach on everyone else's niche.
Lastly, encourage the party to not have overlapping niches. If one player wants to play a slayer/trapper ranger/ect. and someone else wants to play a TWF rogue. Make sure both of those players understand that those classes fill the same niche and that there are a lot of bases to cover. If that doesn't work just come out and say that your campaign requires a balanced party (or ban the rogue class).
IMO Pathfinder does not work well as a roguelike. Even 3.5 was better for that play-style with the way experience was calculated and how XP loss was something that could actually happen.
Random stats and random health work just fine in roguelike games because you are expected to churn through characters regularly to keep the game fresh and interesting. PnP RPGs have long since evolved past depending on this crutch.
The two step shift limit.
Without that you can easily make everyone helpful towards you. That's not a mind-thrall, but you could make former mind-thrall(from spells) forgive you. In PF the highest you make hostile creatures is indifferent.
In the chronicles of Amber magic was crazy powerful, more so if you counted shadow walking. (In this story, powerful wielders of magic revered a one-armed swordsman)
In the Belgariad magic was far stronger than even what D&D wizards can do.
The Book of the New Sun had pretty epic "magic"
Mageborn magic was also very strong
So what I noticed is that martials basically just become more competent at what they do with level, while casters become more competent AND ascend up in tiers of power until they are fundamentally different.
Martials don't become fundamentally different. The problem I think with addressing that is A LOT of PF players prefer martials that way, and would rather casters switch to a more competency increase than for martials to tier up. On the flip side you have people who like what casters do and would want martials to level in a similar way. PF has a spectrum of players inbetween those extremes. This makes addressing the issue difficult. Paizo has their own answer, just keep printing classes. Tiering martials are the 3/4 casters, but they can also be considered more competency increasing casters. You don't need full casters to make a working party, nor do you need martials. I've come to the conclusion that PF/3.5's popularity stems from their mass appeal, but that is also responsible for the systemic balance problems.
I have a theory. A litmus test if you will about you(the reader) as a player and how much you enjoy PF.
The odd thing is, in PF there is no correct answer. If Aragon was 10 or higher, he could fall from the sky and be just fine. But he could also not be low level just from the experience of all the orcs he killed, even assuming the orcs were CR1. He was also able to hang with a guy who solo'd a CR 20 encounter. Really the PF perspective of level has contradicting factors that make any answer both right and incorrect.
I see PF as a tilted top. It's not perfectly balanced, but it is close enough that I could keep the game going with nudges.
As a player though, I am growing less and less tolerant of playing a mere mortal next to gods.
I'll just link 3 chars (26 point buy, because that is what the campaigns I play in are using):
Now the Magus is a real char, so not at WBL. The sorceress and the MMM Warrior are more comparable. The Fighter has 3 mythic tiers and WBL over the sorceress, but the sorceress is both a better ally and a worse foe to face. She drains no party resources (no need for gear), can poop monsters, and is the perfect scout. All that is just the beginning, but already puts her leagues above the fighter. If you don't think so, ask yourself who you would rather have as an ally, and who you would rather not have as an enemy.
RAW note on the sorceress:
. Shadow projection has some interesting RAW questions around it. Can shadows cast? Do you use your cha for HP? Can you use items like ghost? JJ weighed in on the matter, thinking shadows could talk, but his view of the spell is that the shadow projection only gains what the spell says it gains but only keeps what the spell says does not change. My friends/GMs looked over the spell with me and we couldn't pull that conclusion from the spell. We decided that shadows could cast, but don't have spell component pouches. We saw evidence that you couldn't use constant effect items, nor would your HP change to based off cha. RAI we thought if the reverse was true the spell would be far too strong for it's level (just compare it to overland flight).
That is just the issue. Not everyone would see that as a problem. Plenty of people are OK with levels being an increase in tier. While other prefer levels to be an increase in competency. Pathfinder caters to both and neither.
The issue with a tier based interpretation of levels is that there is no reason for an increase in tier to be expected. Outside of a shonen manga/anime, battle experience doesn't mean your power will increase in tier. In PF it does because levels also mean an increase in competency. Martials mask levels being tiers by not treating them as so. With how martials level it makes sense that they get stronger the more they fight. Because they don't become fundamentally different. They way martials work set the progression pace in PF. One of the reasons I think a lot of people see PF falling apart at high levels is because of how martials fall behind. Once martials are irrelevant, it suddenly makes a lot less sense to be fighting level appropriate foes or to even be in dungeons. Once martials fall to the way-side, the game has to scale in tier with the levels. Before that happens you can just increase the competency of foes and the scale quests. Once "hitting it with a sword" is a silly tactic, "combat" becomes something that begins far before initiative is ever rolled. Heroic struggles shift to dramatic chess matches between demi-gods.
The issue I see with addressing this is that you can't without losing a large section of your player-base. If you move PF more towards levels as competency by reining in the "out of control" magic, then you'll lose everyone who prefers levels as tiers. Like-wise, if you make martials treat levels as tiers, then suddenly the whole game is too "weaboo" for everyone who views levels as an increase in competence.
An interesting question to ask yourself is "What level was the fellowship of the ring?" and that will really tell you where your view of levels is. If the fellowship was 4-6, you see levels as tiers. If Aragorn was level 20 then you see levels as an increase in competency. The more you fall inbetween those two extremes, the more you view levels as both or neither.
PF ends up with mass appeal, because it is trying to please everyone. This causes problems, but there is really no way to fix it without the game losing what a lot of people like about it.
Love that combo: Build Pathlvl 12
Oddly the mythic version could kill Cthulhu, but could still die to ten-thousands of arrows from lvl 1 warriors. Meanwhile a level 8 sorcerer with shadow projection could eat that army alive, but do nothing to Cthulhu.
What if the fighter can't be fixed?
Like I recently tried to write system and I realized two things: 1) Such an endeaver is lots of work. 2) The high level martials I envisioned made sense as not magic and could compete with casters, but they stopped resembling the PF/D&D martial. They were more like Hercules or Gilgamesh or Goku.
I realized that no matter how perfect I made the system, I couldn't satisfy everyone's setting idea or everyone's idea of level.
Some see level as a competence increase, while PF treats level more like an increase in tier. High level characters are untouchable by lower levels and do not resemble them, except for martials... Martials look like they only increased in competence, while casters went from spraying colors to building castles on the sun.
The two are playing different games at the same table. This idea is contradictory and yet there is no way to fix it without fundamentally changing a game that people like.
A cleric can tangle with the wizard. I don't really know how, but I've been assured that they can (I could never get into their spell list, pass the druid please).
Without knowing the builds for the sorcerer and the oracle, I can't really assess what they are capable of. It's really easy to just grab lots of spells that do little and be stuck with them forever.
Wizard has two problems:1) Tendency to be a spreadsheet simulator with all the various resources you can have in play (our party wizard carries around 160+ magically crafted items at all times).
2) Wizards either do little or devastate the encounter. They can also devastate the encounter easily, but for Wizards who have party members that can't keep up, they'll scale themselves back. Either for fun's sake or because they fear GM ire. (I mainly see the latter, which is disgusting)
Also interesting to know that your successful important fighter is not playing with a wizard.
So I've seen you talk about the effectiveness of a Fighter in your high level groups in the fighter's realm of expertise.
Do you have similar stories for high level rogues?
Erick Wilson wrote:
PF has enough balance that it is manageable if you are GM willing to nudge the spinning top so it stays upright.You have to realize that yes casters > martials, that if you want CR appropriate fights you do need to make it rain gear (for the martials), and that you can only counter magic with magic.
The "balance" problem in PF is the same one as in 3.5, but what PF does better is that it is easier to obscure that problem.
5e will never be a consideration for me with WotCs business practices staying as they are. Unless they come out with God's gift to table-top gaming, they can keep their system that only seems balanced because it is new and has yet to be thoroughly combed through by the user-base.
If it hasn't been tossed in before, I'll add if you can pick up the feat Superior Summoning it can changes the math to what's best, generally or situation dependent.
As always, summonings most limiting factor is not in-game. It's turn speed. You won't be a summoner for long if your turns take forever. Superior Summoning is great, but unusable for the vast majority of players.
Erick Wilson wrote:
I think PF justifies itself just fine. The PRD alone is a big enough reason for me to stick with PF and buy paizo products. I'm not content with only having the "basic rules" when looking over a system.An SRD also makes looking up rule LOADS easier. WotC can keep their "better game".
Also from what I have seen of 5e, it seems like Swords and Wizardry fills the niche better.
I know our groups run 20-point buy and use PFS like HP (as an option for those who don't want to roll).
I suggest limiting material to the PRD. That's more restrictive than PFS, but not so restrictive as to be unrepresentative for most games. It also avoids a lot of RAW-grey areas that seems more prevalent in non-PRD material.
I also don't really feel like non-PRD books are rule books, even assuming they are, if casters can get things like blood money and sacred geometry, then you don't need to run a test. And no I really don't care that this would also block out Dervish dance and other non-PRD feat dependent builds.
NOTE: PFS is very different from normal pathfinder to the point it is basically a different game.
[Another ruling I make is to allow the bluff distraction to hide to be done as part of the move action to hide, but all hiding directly after attacking has to be done with snipping rules.]
As a GM I would just give these items to a low-mid level rogue and not count it against WBL(since they are 65,000 gold for what should be class features). Now the issue of saves and AC is harder to address. You could turn your rogue into a lich (thus giving a reason to pump cha).
Cars is a good example. You do this to compare designs not products. You can test products.
For Archers (assuming Fighter archers) count the DPR, AC, and Saves. Then weight those values. For an Archer DPR and Saves are worth more than AC. If the archer is at far enough range the value of saves goes down (since a lot of severe effects are close range), but not much lower. So if archer A had twice the DPR, but half the saves and AC than archer B, then Archer A is probably better (provided that the saves are above critical values).
Pure archers don't really have spell effects though. Which is the main comparison point.
EDIT: Something I inferred is that you asked "who is the better archer" instead of who is the better character. The weights to the metrics will fluctuate on role. The general weights make tiers. Specific weights evaluate roles. Not all parties have the same rolls. In truth there is always many many factors to consider when making comparisons. What's funny is I think Guild Wars 2 meta actually fits PF pretty well, since it is also an aggro-less game. If your campaign plays like PvE then DPS is king, because you need to kill the enemy before someone is unlucky. If it's more like PvP then suddenly the meta is a lot more complicated.
"If you really want a non-DPR metric, then you could weight classes next to each other by the amount and variety of spell-like effects they can produce. Certain Not-Spell things like DPR, AC, and Saves could be used to break ties or in great disparity even muddle the order a bit."
You can count the amount and variety of spell-like effects someone can produce. You can count DRP, AC and Saves.
What's left after that is applying weights to those values (factoring synergistic qualities) and you have an exact value determining strength.
Fuzzy logic following this calculation makes tiers. You can make weights, but chances are you'll tweak the weights to meet your own intuitions. Regardless that's how you compare "designs" in industry, so it should be good enough here.
As much as I think the game is playable and can be well balanced, in a vacuum without GM intervention: Spells > Not-Spells
If you really want a non-DPR metric, then you could weight classes next to each other by the amount and variety of spell-like effects they can produce. Certain Not-Spell things like DPR, AC, and Saves could be used to break ties or in great disparity even muddle the order a bit.
So with that in mind:
*Certain borked builds omitted
EDIT: If I had to tier it then: T1, T1.5, T2, T3, T4, T5