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322 posts. Alias of scottswank.


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UnarcaneElection has pointed out the Hinterlander prestige class as a solid option for a cleric archer. There are two approaches, one with more spells, the other with more archery:

Cleric 5/Hinterlander 10/Cleric 5
Ranger 2/Cleric 3/Hinterlander 10/Cleric 5

He lays out the 2nd approach in this post.

Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Derklord wrote:
Northern Spotted Owl wrote:
Is anyone aware of a ruling/faq/errata that clears this up?

Nope, UW never recieved a second printing (which is the only time paizo releases errata), and the question isn't answered in the book's FAQs. And those are the only two sources of changes to the RAW. Nothing in the PFS clarifications either.

Of course, RAW isn't actually problematic - bonus means bonus, not replacement. And as written, the archetype is incompatible with anything that alters or removes the 1st level hex, something I actually like for balance. And I totally agree, the archetype is far from overpowered even with a bonus hex.

I have a law degree and used to be a solicitor, therefore am the perfect rules lawyer. And Derklord is dead right in reasoning and conclusion imho.

Yup, that’s how it’s described in the guide, as a bonus hex.

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Joynt Jezebel wrote:
The existing guides are OK but they are all rather dated and none of them go into how to play the class correctly. So I tend to go on as I did in my last post at any opportunity.


Joynt Jezebel wrote:

Northern Spotted Owl-

I have looked at your guide and spreadsheet. There is little if anything I would say is wrong, but some things I think that could be added.

Thanks for looking and taking the time. It is appreciated.

Joynt Jezebel wrote:


Oracles can be completely different depending on the mystery selected.

The Ju-ju Oracle, the one that gets the Spirit Vessels revelation, is one of the best necromancers in the game by dint of that mystery alone and gets some other good stuff as well.

The 3rd party Snakes Mystery gets to be a powerful summoner by taking one
revelation Snake Summoner. The other revelations are good too making this a fine choice if allowed.

That's kind of tough. The original Juju (if I understand this right) was meant as an NPC for some AP or scenario of some sort. I'm not sure most DMs allow it as a PC class, because it is rather over-powered. So I'm hesitant to rate the Oracle class based on it, or honestly on a 3rd party mystery.

Joynt Jezebel wrote:


I think the Saurian Shaman archetype deserves to be called out as powerful and flexible.

The totemic summons gives great power and flexibility to your SNA. You can add feats to make SNA better still and get hold of a Rod of Giant Summoning asap.

A sly trick is to take the Destruction domain and when eventually you can summon Cylopes you have a deadly combination that costs not a lot to set up.

Finally, the bonus feats you eventually get while wild shaped promise added combat power. Your wild shape lacks the flexibility of many other druids but you can't have everything.

I just updated "Lion Shaman" to "Lion Shaman & Saurian Shaman" -- those are in fact the best choices. And totemic summons is already specifically called out.

Joynt Jezebel wrote:


The Ashiftah archetype is wondrous.

Witches excell where due to a small or strangely constituted party the caster/s are overworked. If you take the extreme example, if the party has only one caster the best choice imho is a witch.

Firstly, just because witches have more healing magic on their list than other arcane casters does not mean you don't need a divine caster. You do. But if you have a witch with a wand of CLW you go a fair way to covering for the lack.

Secondly, the fact hexes don't run out gives witches a lot of stamina. You solve problems with hexes when you can and preserve your spells for the problems you can't. And if you are out of spells, it isn't the disaster it would be for, say, a wizard as you still...

Of the categories we rated, I think the "Class Feature Score" best matches what you're talking about with hexes. And the druid & witch rate a 10.

I do like the Ashiftah witch quite a bit. Do you think any of our ratings should be adjusted in light of her?

I looked at Shade of the Uskwood and I see:

Prerequisites: Neutral evil, patron deity Zon-Kuthon.

That sounds like a complication I wouldn't throw at a first-time GM.

The Purity of Violence wrote:

CockroachTeaParty's Psychic guide didn't include anything from Psychic Anthology. Debilitating Pain and it's mass version are near broken, having played an abomination psychic from level 4 to level 20. I felt dirty the few times I cast Glimpse of the Akashic. Reflective Barrier proved useful at high levels.

It also doesn't include the Magaambyan Telepath archetype which lets you mind control plants and replaces your discipline spells with a Druidic spell per spell level.

Debilitating Pain is on the Debuff tab of the spreadsheet for that reason. In fact, the fact that you call out that & Glimpse of the Akashic reinforces my (current) understanding of the Psychic as a strong debuff & utility class.

Melkiador wrote:

I mean, I have personal experience with all of the other full casters, and I've played beside most of them too. But I think psychic magic is just really unpopular. And the psychic's spell list just feels very blah, while not having strong class features to make up for it. Like, the witch spell list is pretty blah too, but you have those amazing hexes, so it doesn't really matter.

It doesn't help that psychic seems to be more based on binary save or suck spells while the class wants you to be reliant on a non casting stat of wisdom or charisma. The whole thing just feels really bad to me. And judging by the lack of representation, it must feel bad to a lot of people.

Unless/until someone jumps in to disagree I suppose the ratings we have for the Psychic will be sufficient.

And thank you Iluzry for that!

And I generally agree with your assessment. The abilities you get from those disciplines & amplifications just aren't enough to pull me in. Except maybe for the Psychic Marauder and her Aura of Insanity.

UnArcaneElection wrote:

Wow, looks like Psychcs end up really hurting on stuff other than Debuff/Control. But now I should go look for Iluzry's Psychic guide . . . .

My thoughts on the psychic are:

You're decidedly weak on control & blasting (until laser blast comes online at 11th level: spontaneous blasting which ignores SR). You have decent spells for buffing & allies, but no additional abilities around them. But after you accept those weak spots, you're pretty golden.

The Faith discipline is amazing. Spontaneous cure spells like a cleric, and you replenish your pool by casting these cure spells. Your discipline spell list is a solid off-list selection from the cleric's, ending with miracle. However, you don't have condition removal spells, except remove fear.

Relentless Casting gives the psychic a real advantage over other casters once SR becomes an issue.

The Psychic Marauder's aura will just win encounters over & over.

The Rebirth discipline gives you 1 spell known from any spell list, changeable daily. And the Esoteric Starseeker has varying discipline spells from 12 or so "constellations". Between those (or the Faith discipline) you have a decent number of off-list spells you can pull in.

Melkiador wrote:
I doubt there would ever be 100% agreement on such a list, but you've clearly put a lot of work into it and it looks good.

Thanks Melkiador.

This is when I wish we had a few long-time psychic players to jump in and advocate for the virtues of some combination of disciplines, amplifications and archetypes. "Now that's how you build a psychic blaster..."

Here's the guide I used:

The Guide

So my insights are largely limited to theirs.

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Oh look. Iluzry added ratings for the Psychic. I read through the class & archetypes, and then added a few notes.

How does this look?

The document

The spreadsheet

That's a thoroughly helpful overview. Thanks all around.

Here's the scenario: a wizard (or whoever) casts Suggestion on an NPC. If the NPC successfully saves vs that spell then they realize that the wizard just tried to enchant (with spellcraft they can perhaps tell which spell) them.

Now you likely have an at least moderately antagonistic NPC.

I think that's all pretty broadly agreed upon. So, given that, how do you even use compulsion spells like Suggestion, or Sow Thoughts, or what have you?

I mean sure, if you're invisible and have a rod of silent spell then you're set. (Or some other combination of silent & still). But apart from those precautions, how does this work in your campaign?

Side note: This is motivated by the fact that the feat Spell Hex generally isn't very good. This is because (particularly past lower levels) it's not worth investing a feat to be able to cast a specific 1st level spell 3/day as a spell-like ability, even if it's with your hex DC.

Except perhaps for Sow Thoughts. Spell Hex (Sow Thoughts) could be rather nice, and Split Hex of course applies to it.

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Andostre wrote:
Northern Spotted Owl wrote:

I would like to submit the group effort Casters Compared, where the various 9th level spell casters are compared on roughly equal footing.

The document

A summary spreadsheet

And the lengthy discussion thread.

Okay, for real?! I stopped following that thread... [checks] ... 251 posts ago, assuming that it was going to devolve into insanely specific math discussions and/or pedantic bickering. But instead, it evolved into an actual guide? A collaborative guide? Amazing! Well done!

Well. There was bickering. But a handful of us dragged it across the finish line. :)

I would like to submit the group effort Casters Compared, where the various 9th level spell casters are compared on roughly equal footing.

The document

A summary spreadsheet

And the lengthy discussion thread.

Melkiador wrote:
Did we cover how good the heavens Oracle is at control? You have to grab the metamagics for all the things that are immune to mind effecting, but what field of focus doesn’t eat up a lot of feats.

Per our group's earlier discussion of control vs debuffing, I categorized this under debuffing since it affects targets when cast rather than as an ongoing effect (e.g. grease, silence, pits, walls, sleet storm).

I did add it to the Oracle write-up there, and bumped her upper range from 7 to 8 accordingly.

Thanks again.

Melkiador wrote:
Did we cover how good the heavens Oracle is at control? You have to grab the metamagics for all the things that are immune to mind effecting, but what field of focus doesn’t eat up a lot of feats.

I had missed that. Looking through the revelations, I'm guessing you mean:

Each creature affected by your illusion (pattern) spells is treated as if its total number of Hit Dice were equal to its number of Hit Dice minus your Charisma modifier (if positive).

Where an 18 or even 18 charisma leaves Color Spray relevant through 8-9 HD opponents. And then boosts Hypnotic Pattern, Rainbow Pattern, and Prismatic Spray as well.

Do you think that pushes the Heavens Oracle up to:

9: wizard or sorcerer -- pits, walls, enchantments, the whole kitchen sink

10: arcanist -- the above, along with the counterspell exploit


Looking at where we landed, and in particular which classes merit one or more 10's, does this look right? Acknowledging that the 10's are often mutually incompatible, where a build that justifies a 10 in one category might preclude a 10 in another category.

Arcanist: buff (brown fur), control (counter-spell), utility (quick study)
Cleric: none (???)
Druid: combat, allies
Oracle: healing
Shaman: healing, utility
Sorcerer: blasting
Witch: debuff
Wizard: utility

And then looking at who merits a 9 or better we have:

Arcanist: same
Cleric: heal, buff, allies
Druid: same
Oracle: same
Shaman: same
Sorcerer: buff, control, allies, blaster
Witch: same
Wizard: buff, debuff, control, allies, blaster, utility

That is, the cleric, sorcerer & wizard are very capable (with the right build) in quite a few areas.

Alrighty folks.

I'll call this version of the spreadsheet & document provisionally complete, excepting the psychic of course.

Casters Compared spreadsheet

Casters Compared write-up

No comparison, certainly not this one, is definitive. Too much subjectivity goes into all of these rating and comparisons. But I think this is a solid baseline that most reasonable folks can reference. I hope it's of use to folks.

My last task is the note of thanks I'm adding now.

However ... if you see something I've missed or botched please let me know.

Boundless thanks,

I fixed “right off the bad”.

And, just to be clear, are you advocating for a utility 10 for the arcanist’s upper range?

Thanks again

Well folks, I'm off work today so I went back through all our comments and integrated them into a final-ish compendium.

The spreadsheet gives a good overview. Please look here, across the rows & columns. Does this generally seem cohesive, and rate the classes well with respect to one another?

The document goes into more detail. Some of the text is out of synch with adjustments that we've made across the classes. But I don't want to go into those edits until I have broad consensus on our result.

I really want to thank you each for what you've added and given.

As always, what did I miss?


Since it’s a 7th level spell, the caster is at least 13th level. Hence you have 13*3 = 39 cubes. With 8-9’ ceilings, that’s 3900 sq ft.

You should be able to fit in hallways, stairs, and such.

I would try to create more tactically sound enemies. A wizard or pair of archers up on a ledge, a group of warriors creating a tight defensive line to protect the cleric who is buffing them, that sort of thing.

Not every single encounter of course, but if you ask: how could this group of opponents best array themselves to suit their offensive or defensive goals, then I suspect that opportunities for stunts will present themselves.

Then the reward is shutting down that wizard, or what have you.

On another tack, stunts can sometimes be parallel to stealth. E.g. if you can get up to that 2nd story window, or across that ravine then opportunities open up.

I’d enjoy seeing the build if you think it comes together well.

If you haven’t seen it, I pulled this together with a fair bit of help and suggestions from this forum.

Witch Guide


Melkiador wrote:

Utility will depend on how deep we want to dive into archetypes.

*The Spirit Guide Oracle is surprisingly versatile, able to change its spirit daily as a shaman does, and the archetype is compatible with most styles of oracle play.
*The Exploiter Wizard gets access to Quick Study.
*The arcanist occultist can access many spells through its wide list of summonable monsters. For instance, rather than casting haste, I'd summon an aximoite and tell it to cast haste, getting both the spell and an extra monster on the field. Or if I need healing, I'd summon a vulpinal and have it lay on hands.

Most of those wouldn't change the rating much though. Not much more than one rank anyway.

I had missed the Spirit Guide Oracle. Thanks.

Moving along, trying to make up for the time I was away due to work.

Does this rough ranking sound reasonable for Utility:

Shaman (10): wandering spirit, wandering hex, human FCB

Arcanist (9): Quick Study exploit

Wizard (7-8): great spell list, a couple archetypes add limited divine or witch patron spells

Cleric (7): Entire spell list available, hence can leave open slots to fill with anything

Druid (5-8): a good spell list, varied class features, and Druidic Herbalism adds potions (at the cost of an animal companion)

Witch (6): A wide choice of hexes, a familiar, high int means lots of skills

Oracle (6): Perhaps the widest range of builds, though any one build doesn't have a ton of flexibility, and spontaneous caster so fewer spells known

Sorcerer (6): Roughy the same as the Oracle, but with a somewhat smaller range of builds but a better spell list

That is, no full caster is truly bad at utility. But some class abilities really boost utility/flexibility.

Lelomenia wrote:

Arcanist Occultist was the Critters 10 for me. It’s not just standard action summoning which is huge, and it’s not just minutes/level, also a big deal as you can frequently enter combat with a summon on hand,

It uses Arcane Reservoir, which can be refilled at need by Consume Spells, so Occultist can reliably work from highest-level Summon all day every day (often higher than allowed by spontaneous caster progression) where other classes are limited to a 1-2 highest level casts/day.

Melkiador wrote:
Arcanist also has very easy access to familiar. I suspect most Arcanists have one by mid level, because there are only a handful of better options for arcanist exploits.

Both great points. And that certainly puts the Arcanist/Occultist in the running. So what's our 10/10? One or more of the following?

Druid/Dinosaur Shaman: spontaneous summoning, standard action summoning, buffed summons, animal companion

Cleric/Herald Caller with Animal domain: spontaneous summoning, standard action summoning, communication w/summons, animal companion (level-3)

Arcanist/Occultist: standard action summoning, minutes/level, from the arcane reservoir (refilled via Consume Spells, and in addition to spells)

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Melkiador wrote:
Duration is also important. Minutes per level matter a lot until fairly high level and even in later levels, the increased duration can allow a single summon to go multiple combats. This is one of the things that makes the Summon Guardian Spirit feat good, just combine it with a good scaling option like aether elemental.

Agreed. This applies roughly equally to all classes, right?

Melkiador wrote:
Not one of your metrics, but Herald Caller has the unique ability to communicate with its summons. You can summon an eagle and tell it to cut the red wire and it will automatically know what you want it to do.

Yup, I tried to just sketch the features. But this can be a significant one.

Melkiador wrote:
There is also the Acadamae Graduate feat for standard action summoning.

I'm not sure how widely the older 3.5 material is used by DMs. But worth including regardless.

Melkiador wrote:

A lot of people sleep on Dark Tapestry Spirit.

Do you have any idea how durable an advanced crit immune summon is

That's a great catch. How would you adjust the Shaman allies rating, taking that into account?

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Allies (previously Critters)

Looking at summoning/animal companion/undead, there are a few factors that drive the ratings:

- summon monster is generally better than nature's ally
- spontaneous summoning means you always have these spells
- standard action summoning is a massive advantage, since most encounters are decided in the first 3-ish rounds

animal companion
- what's the opportunity cost of an animal companion for your class? i.e. what did you have to give up to get it?
- do you need to expend additional feats to bring it up to your class level? i.e. are there additional costs?

undead (this rating will be marked with an asterisk because most campaigns can't accommodate an evil character)
- how many hd can you control
- additional class abilities

So where does that leave us? Reading through everyones' entries and comments thus far, is this ranking roughly right?

Druid 10
- nature's ally, with spontaneous summoning
- several archetypes (notably dinosaur shaman & lion shaman) have standard action summoning, with temp hp buffs
- your animal companion is a default choice (almost always preferable to a cleric domain) and needs no additional investment

Cleric (7-10)
- summon monster
- Herald Caller archetype: spontaneous summons
- sacred summons (and summon good monster) feat allows standard action summoning

Wizard (6-9)
- familiar
- Pact Wizard's aura for sacred summons for standard-action summoning
- * Undead Master for ... undead

Sorcerer (5-9)
- summon monster
- sylvan bloodline: animal companion at level-3

Arcanist (5-8)
- summon monster
- the Occultist archetype with "Conjurer's Focus" allows standard action summoning at the cost of 1 arcane pool point/spell level.

Oracle (5-8)
- Lunar mystery
- Primal Companion: animal companion at your class level
- Shadow mystery
- Army of Darkness: shadow template for your summons

Witch (5-7, 10*)
- summon monsters
- * gravewalker archetype, and likely the agent of the grave prestige class

Shaman (4-7)
- familiar
- summon nature's ally
- spontaneous spirit spells, which Flame Spirit's summon monster v (fire elemental only)

Ryze Kuja wrote:

With a Witch and Spiritualist in the group, having a dedicated healer on top of this is overkill on the healing presence. You can get by with out-of-combat healing using a wand of CLW and perform in-combat heals if poop actually hits the proverbial fan with the Witch/Spiritualist. I'd talk your Cleric into picking a more offensive domain (like Destruction Domain for an Auto-confirm Crit Aura) and going with a Keen Fauchard and Combat Reflexes so he can back up the melees with Reach+AoO's, or choosing a different class altogether, maybe an Oracle of Battle if he really wants to stay as a 9th level divine caster. Tbh, I would personally recommend talking your Cleric into choosing an archery-focused Ranger or Slayer, or even better: a Gunslinger. Your group could do well with a 4/4 BAB ranged damage specialist, especially since you have a Bard.

Your Bloodrager is going to be your dominant melee presence, backed up by the Bard and Investigator, so your melee presence is pretty strong. Inspire Courage is really going to do some work in a group like this, especially if you talk your Cleric into rolling a Ranger, Slayer, or Gunslinger, or switching his domain to an offensive domain and throwing some feats down for a Reach/AoO Build. You have Witch and Bard spells, so that's good crowd control, buffing, and debuffing.

All in all though, your group is pretty solid even if the Cleric wants to play a healbot.

Best of both worlds, your cleric goes for archery via cleric 5/hinterlander 10/cleric 5.

hat tip/unarcane

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Melkiador wrote:
Witches have the fey form spells. Smaller sizes and a dex buff.

Right. Along with Vermin Shape I & II at 3rd & 4th spell levels respectively.

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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

Do you use your Immediate actions for anything? Consider the spells Stone Shield and Wave Shield. Both are L1 spells; Stone Shield gives you a 1" thick stone wall that pops up/out of earth or stone and grants you Cover for a round while Wave Shield hands you DR/- to a single physical or Fire attack, where the DR = 1/2 your CL.

Cover is a +4 AC bonus, and DR 5/- isn't too bad. Still, I've gotta concur with Lelomenia upthread: the best defense is to make sure your foes can't hit you. Mirror Image, Vanish, Silent Image and so on. All the casters I ever make have scrolls of Obscuring Mist on them all the time. Even if I can't see through the fog to attack, chances are my foes can't either so it's a great way to cast a spell, retreat 20' to 30' to Cover, and make a new plan of attack.

Most of those aren't witch spells, but wave shield is a great option since a witch has so few swift actions to compete with it.

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If you break your AC down into categories then your options are clearer:

armor: corset 4
shield: someone else already suggested mithril buckler +2
deflection: ring of prot +2
size: reduce person + permanency would cost 2500
natural armor: ice plant for +2 (already suggested)
natural armor bonus: amulet +3
dexterity: a dex/con belt is a good balance
dodge: costs you a feat for another +1 here

Then you can cast False Life each morning.


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Under Sun variant channeling, did you mean “mild” defenses?

So then, looking at Control spells we have these tiers:

Shaman & Witch (roughly tied)

There are far fewer class abilities that grant control. e.g. the arcanist's Counterspell, or the witch's hex Swamp's Grasp. The metamagic feats Persistent Spell & Extend Spell are relevant, but apply equally to each class (accounting of course for their varying spell lists).

Should we include turn/command or otherwise control undead here? For a necromancer those abilities are better categorized under the woefully named "Critters", but for a good-aligned cleric, oracle and perhaps others this seems like the right category.

From there (and reading what others have written) I think the scores should run something like:

Arcanist (8-10): best spells + counterspell
Sorcerer & Wizard (7-9): best spells
Druid (6-8): great spells
Shaman & Witch (5-7): good spells + swamp's grasp
Cleric & Oracle (3-5, 8*): some spells + turn undead

As always, what am I missing?

The line between Debuffing and Control isn't a concrete one, as several folks have noted.

I think the best distinction suggested is between spells/abilities that cause an ongoing effect and those that only affect targets when the spell is cast. Hence we have this sort of a breakdown.

Control: darkness, silence, black tentacles

Debuff: glitterdust, slow, confusion

That's perhaps imperfect, but a better delineation than anything else I can come up with.

Lelomenia wrote:

(4) If dazing spell is counted as debuff, it’s one of the strongest debuff effects. And shaman are one of the beat classes to abuse it, based on having good spells to carry it and good class features to, again, make it stick.

Tell me more about the shaman's "spells to carry it" and making it stick. By the latter do you mean misfortune or evil eye? Those are great, but hard to justify in the action economy by the time you're casting 4th and higher level spells.

And for spells, do you mean thorny entanglement? Maybe fireball (thanks Arcane Enlightenment) or others from the wizard/sorc list?

IluzryMage wrote:

As far as spells, there are a lot of powerful debuffs that may not look like debuffs on the surface! Like moonstruck that dazes and confuses enemies and forces them into melee, or sirocco which looks like an awful blast spell (because it is) but anyone who takes damage from it is fatigued and then EXHAUSTED which really can hurt.

Or calcific touch which is really annoying if you keep getting tagged with it- or euphoric tranquility, one of the best debuffs in the game because it basically just takes someone out of the fight!

Confusion and its dervivatives in song of discord! Mental block because WOOO even just disabling active SLAs and SUs is insane


I've really only looked at lower level spells, up through 4th or 5th level. Partially that's because I'm lazy, but more so because a class really ought to demonstrate its strengths & weaknesses by then. So I have missed most of these higher level spells, but again I'm not sure that's the right way to rate a class (apart of course for campaigns that start at mid-to-higher levels).

It would help to link to this list of deities & domains.

Which deities have longbow as their favored weapon? Which ones have the luck domain, and what other domains do they have? Just ctrl-f and you're set.

These are also handy (thanks google)

IluzryMage wrote:

So I'ma be upfront here, I usually don't post because these threads can get icky real quick. That said, this was an important guide to me and I need as much help as I can get to make it better!

Blessed Be The Faithful (reddit post)

Blessed Be The Faithful: Iluzry's Guide To The Cleric

As always, be constructive, not cruel.

Your guides are a brilliant addition, in terms of covering up-to-date material, having good breadth, and frankly being fun to read.

Cruel comment folks can f'right off.

IluzryMage wrote:
Also posted the cleric guide. TLDR, they are really good at most stuff besides blasting imo.

Posted it where...

IluzryMage wrote:

I mean sure someones going to be bad, but I I'm not suer if the shaman is it. NOW as far as listing all of the debuff spells, do I think there are more? ABSOLUTELY! Dozens likely

Am I going to add a single one? PROBABLY NOT! Not because I don't care or don't think its worth doing mind you but I literally don't have the mental bandwith to do so!!

Honestly the only reason I replied is that someone asked for my thoughts! Yall do what you think is right! Ima just keep working on this cleric guide in the background.

The best debuff hexes are slumber, misfortune and ice tomb. A shaman doesn’t have access to the witch’s major hexes (ice tomb), but adds silk string snare — which is vs reflex saves. So that’s really pretty solid, in that the witch in only better past 10th level when she gets access to major hexes.

I then tried to list out key debuff spells, but I could well have missed stuff. Please call that out. From what I pulled together, it looks like this is a weaker area for the shaman.

And I asked, because this is a team effort. I’ve never even been in a campaign with a shaman (nor psychic). I have blind spots

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UnArcaneElection wrote:

Any inclination for comparing 6/9 casters (in a separate thread) after finishing 9/9?

I had that in the back of my head, but it certainly seems more daunting. There's such a huge shift from pure spell lists to class abilities.

But it's certainly an interesting idea. Again, one I would need a fair bit of support to do justice to.

And thank you to everyone who has provided that throughout the 9/9 caster effort. We're nearing the home stretch.

Hisoka777 wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:

For your Teamwork Feats, I'd recommend going Shake it Off for your level 3 feat and get a nice bonus on all saves, and then Outflank for your level 6 feat. And then talk your party members into going for Crit-fishing weapons.

You're taking Weapon Focus in Scimitar, but later you said you'll be using a keen rapier. I'm going to assume you meant Scimitar for the 15-20 crit? If your allies also have keen 15-20 crit weapons, you guys will become a blender. Combat Reflexes is highly encouraged for both you and your allies as well, because this can occur several times a round.

What is your party composition btw?

Current Party composition is Human Ranger/Bard for Ranged damage, Synthesist Summoner/Paladin Flying Reach weapon BSF, and a Shaman/something for our control caster healer.

For the shaman, the hexes Protective Luck, Soothsayer & Chant are an amazing buff, at the cost of the shaman's move action. Note that Protective Luck does not have the 1/day restriction that's found on most hexes.

If your party has 2+ members with high crit ranges, e.g. 18-20 scimitar with improved crit for 15-20, then the hex combo Fortune & Chant is flatly broken. Rolling twice to get a 15-20 means getting a crit just over half of your attacks (odds of not getting a crit is 70% * 70% = 49%, hence you get a crit 51% of the time), and then you roll twice to confirm.


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Hugo Rune wrote:

@Taja - respect for your research

I was starting to look at it from a tensile strength perspective. Finding a table on Wikipedia revealed wood's tensile strength is 40MPa and Steel can withstand 400+MPa depending on the variant and up into the thousands for things like carbon nanotubes.

It soon becones apparent that being able to apply a force sufficient to lift 8000 lbs isn't enough.

For simplicity lets equate 8000 lbs to 4000 Kgs and G to 10 m2, so that equates to 40KN of force that the Telekinetic haul can apply as pressure.

1 Pa = 1N/m2

Lets say the average door is 2m2.

So a Wooden door needs 40MPa of pressure applied to fail and 40KN over 2m2 = 20MPa.

Conclusion, the Telekinetic haul should never have been allowed to work, the kineticist will need to be level 16 to force a wooden door and level 160 to contemplate a steel door and perhaps level 1600 for Adamantine.

Mostly an entire door won't have to be shattered. The weak point will be the hinges, or how they attach to the door, or to the frame. Break the hinges and you get the rest of the door for free. :)

Though a blast door is likely set is a frame in such a way that you do in fact need to break the door itself. So there's that.

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Kurald Galain wrote:
Druid: 3-8. The druid actually has a large amount of debuff spells, but most of them are not particularly good, for instance because they're poison-based (which is too slow-acting to use in combat). I frankly don't see how this can rate so high; I'd call it 1-4. Druids do a lot of things but debuffing isn't really one of them.

There's a huge gap between 3-8 and 1-4. The druid has limited debuffing spells. Adding in Feyspeaker's enchantments, still misses most of the good debuffing spells, and the ones you get are at a level higher -- e.g. hideous laughter as a 3rd level spell.

Being perhaps generous to account for situations where poison can be used out of combat, that's still perhaps a 1-5.

Iluzry -- I'd like to hear what you think here.

Looking at the witch, there aren't any build decisions she needs to take to max out her debuffing. Any patron, any archetype (except white-haired witch I suppose) let's her take slumber & ice tomb. As you point out, from there her biggest problem is over-using those hexes.

You're right about the shaman's upper end though, since missing out on ice tomb restricts her to mind-affecting hexes, loses the variety of targeting will or fort saves.

I'm hesitant though to lower those class' rating based no some folks playing them poorly. I'm not sure that's what this guide should reflect. However, I just re-worded my comments on the witch to reflect that misfortune & evil eye are occasional support hexes.

Kurald Galain wrote:
I've made some suggestions for the list last week; I note that you've added my suggestions for level 1/2, but not those for 3/4/5. It's fine if you disagree with my ideas but for the sake of discussion, maybe you could tell us why?

Work has been very busy.

Kurald Galain wrote:
I'm assuming that by "control" in these documents we mean "battlefield control" (BFC), as in putting clouds, walls, pits, and other obstacles on the battlefield. There is some overlap between control and debuff. Since most BFC spells are long-lasting area effects (and an obstacle regardless of saving throws), it's often more effective for casters to focus on BFC instead of debuffs.

Note that I added a couple mass-control spells in italics, since I'm unconvinced they belong here. Maybe confusion & fear? I'll check later.

Kurald Galain wrote:

Arcanist: 6-8. Seems fair, but the description suggests that the arcanist really needs the void school's Reveal Weakness ability. But that ability requires a swift action AND a pool point AND a decent charisma score, so it's just not an option for most arcanists. So I'd remove that remark, and since his spells are excellent, I'd rate arcanist 6-8 based on spell choice alone.

Wizard: 7-8. Similar enough to arcanist, but can probably go up to 9 with certain school abilities (such as Void, which he can use much better than an arcanist can). Frankly, if you specialize in casting Slow (and you're the only class that gets Slow at level 5, and it's not on the cleric or...

Thanks again. I'll get to this when time permits. It is all appreciated.

Kurald Galain wrote:
It's not so much about evil, but the question is whether ratings should account for highly specific (or highly campaign-dependent) builds. Just because I can make a wizard that's effective in melee (and I have) doesn't mean that I disagree with its rating of 1 for melee in general.

I'm fine with a specific build, but of course these class ratings should reflect what features the class brings to that build.

E.g. a wizard could have good scores in int & dex, could invest all of their feats into crossbow archery, and thereby could be a thoroughly competent archer who also had a bunch of spells. But none of that archery is reflective of the wizard class itself.

What I'm trying to get at you term "highly campaign-dependent builds". And that sounds right to me. That includes evil characters, as well as perhaps and oracle or cleric that's built to fight undead. Those are all valid builds, but only good builds within the context of those campaigns.

Again, assuming the witch has a 6-7 critters score for her familiar & summon monster spell series, and further that the gravewalker merits a 9 or 10, is it useful to denote that as:

Witch: 6-7 (9-10*)

* An asterisk indicates a build that is highly campaign-dependent, commonly an evil character

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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Well, where else would you put them? Given that both Animal Companions/Familiars and Summons go under Critters, Undead seems like it would also fit there as a subcategory.

It's absolutely the right category. The question is more whether an evil-only ability is the right way to rate a class, since that's not an option in most campaigns.

Let's say the witch comes in with a 6 for the summon monster spells, but nothing else of note. Is it helpful to then advertise her as optimized up to a 10 because of the gravewalker archetype even though that's only suitable for a sliver of actual campaigns?

Setting aside whether those ratings are final/accurate, just using them for example's sake, I feel like we have two options:

1. ignore undead
Witch critters: 6-7

2. include undead with an asterisk
Witch critters: 6-7 (10*)

Equivalently, do you rate the Oracle in light of the Juju Oracle?

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Kurald Galain wrote:
Northern Spotted Owl wrote:
I have a general question on the "critters" category: How do we want to handle undead? On the one hand, controlling undead is clearly a powerful effect, but on the other hand most campaigns don't work with evil characters.
For the sake of this list, I would leave them out. Controlling undead is a highly specific build that just doesn't apply to most campaigns.

That sounds right to me. Does anyone actively want to consider controlling undead under "critters"?

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