The majority of these changes will be flatly ignored at my table.
Half part because some of the changes are just wholly unnecessary, and the other half because in their attempt to break something, they break other things all together that had nothing to do with what they were trying to prevent. What a headache.
Five levels for startling appearance then all vivisectionist. I'd probably do stalker though.
This is a response to Logan's recent post where he said that Warlock Talents were being made weaker to compensate for the fact that they have spells.
I wanted to make a post to illustrate how this is the exact opposite of what should be done.
To do so, I will be using the example of a Magus as if he were picking talents like a Warlock would.
So the Magus sits down to plan his character and pick his talents. He can choose up to 9th level spells if he invests all his talents if he wants to into it, and pick up a few bonus feats along the way. (Wizard)
However, the Magus notices that by giving up his 9th level spells he can get Spellstrike and Spell Combat, and he reasons, hey that's pretty good, I'd still have 8th level spells and be able to cast them through my sword, that's boss.
BUT then he sees Arcana and he's like, hey hang on, if I sacrifice my 8th level spells I get all these extra abilities that I can activate and I get then throughout the leveling process? Well id only have 8th level spells for a short while anyways, let's get that too.
Then he sees oh cool, I can cast in light armor at first level and get martial weapon proficiency? Then it scales up to casting in heavy armor and all I give up is 7th level spells? Let's do it!
The result is the Magus gives up power to get different but also powerful tools at his disposal.
Now. Let's look at the Warlock. He is automatically giving up that access to 9th level spells too. Also to 6th level at a minimum. Then, on top of that, Logan wants us to be able to make a weird caster if we want to as well, maybe only 3rd or 4th level spells and then flavor in with other abilities to make our own creation.
The problem arrives is that the available talents already aren't in the same power level for the Magus who gave up 3 spell levels to be awesome. But then it's asked of us to want to give up even more then that. If that is the case, then the talents need to be extraordinarily strong to incentivize us to do so. The weaker the talents are the more spell levels don't feel like a choice, and like mandatory selections. But also without the massive compensation bonus that classes like the Bard, Magus, and Inquisitor get in return for making that sacrifice.
Let's also mention too as much as we all want Mystic Bolts to be awesome, it alone isn't going to contribute to meaningful spell caster talent sacrifices, you may *delay* your spellcasting options, but you're not going to abandon them for Mystic Bolts because it and all other talents just aren't strong enough by comparison.
Mystic Bolts needs to be good. But so too do the other Warlock talents, or the class will just be a 6 level spell caster with Mystic Bolts and Arcane Striker and that's it. Which if that's what's desired, then so be it, I will probably play one at some point.
But if the goal was to make this in-between caster who could sacrifice spell levels and have meaningful choice available to him, then we're a long ways off.
As I mentioned in another thread a multitude of classes can go four levels of Warlock for Mystic Bolts and then be a better Warlock from that point on then an actual Warlock.
That's you're problem there Logan, I want to be a noncastery Warlock? No problem, go four levels into it and grab Tattoo and Mystic Bolts, and Inquisitor here I come. Or Rogue. Or Warpriest. Or Paladin.
The Warlock does not reward you for investing into the class, and since so few talents are actually good besides the spellcasting ones, then you have very little reason to use the class as anything but for dipping for the two talents you want.
I think I agree with Thrawn, if spellcasting is limiting the power of the talents, then spellcasting becomes a tax, because it is far an away the best option.
The more desirable the talents the more options the Warlock will have because then you can choose to run a 4 spell level build etc.
If you're consigned to making spellcasting the best, then just give it to them.
If you want make strong choices that can actually challenge for talent slots then you need to make the other talents stronger, not weaker by comparison.
chad gilbreath wrote:
Or a cardboard box, the stalker hideout of choice.
nicholas storm wrote:
They've already said they're not budging on this, and that prior extra X feats were mistakes and they're not going to repeat them. A statement I believe that is flatly ridiculous, but that's what they're going with.
4th level casting for free would be acceptable, I could swallow the tax for the other two levels. But the cynic in me says the tax will stay to save developers the effort of brainstorming talents to replace those taxes. As so far what would you take on the Warlock if you didn't have to pay for spellcasting? You'd run out of interesting choices by level 10.
You almost have to go atleast 4th level spells regardless because there just isn't anything else left to take.
chad gilbreath wrote:
May I present to you the most iconic fey ever, the Pixie?
It's for sure better than the Avenger, who is absolutely terrible and I think beyond salvaging given their lack of effort on the class from v1 to v2 when even at that time it needed arguably the most work, possibly only next to the Zealot.
But even the prior Badquisitor iteration was still mechanically stronger than the Avenger.
Spellcasting is almost always stronger than being Martial. Everyone knows that Stalker has the most work put into and the coolest talents by far.
But it's not stronger than the Warlock. It's not because the Warlock is very good, it isn't.
But being a so-so martial isn't better than being a bad caster.
And everyone else doesn't believe that because we've all seen the damage a single sneak attack can do.
My level 20 rogue moves up and hits the BBEG for 11d6=>4,3,1,1,6,2,4,2,6,3,1=33 damage. Which also for some reason hits everything around it for minimum damage, but they take nothing because they all have dr10.
I'm not saying id complain about 200 or even 250 damage a round, or whatever number.
I'm saying than 140 damage a round, is ok. It's not great, a barbarian can do that in a single crit, or two attacks.
But it's decent. It's a cool enough gimmick that I'd play the class. Keep in mind the first version of the ability also only did 140 damage as well. The issue isn't damage per se, it's just bypassing resistances.
I wouldn't complain if they did that via a raw damage increase, or just using force damage. That's what I'm saying.
I think the idea presented of the scaling is fine. But I think anyway that makes the ability better able to bypass energy resistance is a win.
How it does it is a nonfactor, just so long as it does so.
Even in its current incarnation a full load of Mystic bolts would do about 140 damage on average at lvl 20.
NNot earth shattering, but it's solid damage, I think it's good enough.
The problem is when that damage becomes 70 or worse, 0.
If a rogue stole a Barbarians weapon he would just literally beat the Rogue to death with his bare hands. I've seen that exact scenario play out, it was a very sad affair.
Let's also be clear here too, I think versatility is a great thing to have, it's one of the reasons why the Judgement class feature is so strong. It can be offensive, or defensive, and somewhere in between.
Being versatile is a valid excuse as to why you shouldn't be as strong somewhere as someone else who is less versatile.
The issue arrives when the discrepancy is so great, as it was with the original ACG Investigator Vs Alchemist.
Or Warpriest v1 in the ACG Vs fighter/cleric which then they fixed in v2, then inexplicably reverted in the final version. That one is still a head scratcher.
And the Warlock Vs Magus.
Edit:The bombs don't scale statically with int and that's the damage of the bombs that matter as that's what gets spread around to secondary targets.
Let's use another example.
Remember the ACG playtest? I do.
I remember looking at the Blood Rager and I thought, like many others, hey this class is good. Then there was much high fiving and cheering, some small suggestions were made and Paizo listened, my God what a time to be alive.
IIn the Investigator thread however, it was a much darker time. There were those of us who identified that the class was possibly not even better than base rogue, whilst others argued that the class should be allowed to stay bad because it had X that didn't justify the class being bad but that they liked.
Today, the Investigator is a great class, and it wasn't from the contributions of the latter group.
Well if they did do the Mystic Theurge gish in a box with the class, they'd have to normalize how their spells operate as they're currently two different systems.
Also, while I think the idea is interesting, I'm really not sure about how it would operate. I've seen Thuerge attempts swing very wildly in play from game-breaking, to pre-unchained rogue.
Also wouldn't the new spell training just become the new mandatory talent selection?
There isn't a doubt the two classes could be merged and be immediately viable. But what about just letting the class pick from any talents at all?
If we can do Theurge in a box, why not Arcane Trickster?
Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
If I saw a player who wanted to join my game. As a Warlock, right now. Without Mystic Bolts. I'd advise them to put ranks into Disguise and kindly direct them to this page, you may be unfamiliar with it.
I'd say your and my own definition on what makes a build are two worlds apart.
Let's do a fun thought experiment. Let's list all the classes that could use Mystic Bolts better than a 20th Warlock shall we? Should be fun.
Warlock - 1d6+10+(2d6(Evil?))
Samurai / Cavalier - 1d6+1+16 - Static Damage beats dice rolls. Higher to-hit too. Winner.
Magus - 1d6+1+Touch Spellstrike (No arcana anymore to do this?) Winner.
Rogue, Ninja, Vivisectionist - TWF Sneak Attacks against Touch? Winner.
Paladin - 1d6+1+16 - Smiting Touch attacks? From Range? Winner.
Ranger - 1d6+10+1+Quarry - FE against Touch and Quarry? Auto hit? Winner.
Slayer - 1d6+5+1+Quarry+Sneak Attack - Winner
Fighter - 1d6+1+(Weaponmaster(Weapon Training)(Since it can pick anything))+Greater Weapon Spec+Dueling Gloves? Winner.
Can I keep going? I could.
Warpriest - 2d6+1+Weapon Specialization+Sacred Weapon+Divine Spell buffing? Winner.
Inquisitor - 1d6+1+GREATER BANE+Divine Spells+Judgment - WINNER.
You know what's really good about Warlock? That after I take 4 levels of it, I can then go 16 levels of Magus, and be everything the Warlock would have gotten from lvls 4 and higher, for free, and THEN way more.
16 Magus / Warlock 4 is a BETTER WARLOCK than a 20th level Warlock. Do you see the problem?
So you're saying your Plan B, is to be a terrible Magus?
Fun is not a measurement of the worth of a class. I can have just as much fun playing an expert as playing a barbarian, that doesn't make the expert a good class, nor does it make my expert liked by my party just because I personally enjoy him.
Objectivity is what matters. Objectively the Barbarian is better than a commoner, regardless of which is more fun to play.
The whole point of the class is it's coming out in a book on social intrigue. It's introducing new systems for social combat... Of course it's based on it's advantages in social campaigns. If you don't care about the social aspects of the game, and your group is all about combat without social interaction, then of course the class isn't going to fit your needs. There are 30+ other classes out there.
That's neat. So uhhhh....Where are all these abilities the Vigilante gets to out Socialize the aforementioned Inquisitor, Investigator, Bard, Sorcerer, Rogue?
Oh?...It doesn't have any?...I see...
I can go look at any creature above CR 10 and an overwhelming majority of them will have at least 1 resistance, or worse, flat out immunity to at least 1 elemental type.
This is exceedingly common.
Success is measured in how often you are able to be effective.
You know how terrible rogues are when they can't apply sneak attack? And how awful they feel? Now make that occur 25x more often.
There is only two factors to combat, DPR and Utility.
If you were a rogue not bringing DPR, you definitely didn't have utility in the fight, so sorry to say, while you might have had fun, you were just sandbagging your group.
If your group and you are fine with that, more power to you. I'm not and when I DM I don't accommodate for it.
Graystone has it right.
Imagine you're fighting an Ooze as a rogue with a weapon finesse short sword with no Dex to damage and it has dr10/-.
Let's say you're level 20 even for maximum damage.
You do 3d6+10 (For some reason this Ooze is evil). An average of 20 damage, or 10 after DR. So your 7 attacks even if all hit did a total of 70 damage.
About what a Barbarian does at this level in a single attack.
1) The Slayer is better than the Avenger could ever hope to be in its current form, in any combat style. This isn't even remotely debatable.
Suggesting otherwise at best shows a lack of system mastery, and at worst is deliberate disingenuity.
2) In order for the terrible lack of power to be made up by the social aspect they'd need be practically walking social Dues Ex Machinas, and as it is other classes who don't give up power to be social are better than them at it. Bards, Rogues, Sorcerers, Investigators, Inquisitors can all be as good, and usually BETTER in social interactions.
3) Disguise, Disguise Self and Alter Self can all do what the Vigilante can do pretty much to a Tee. And the one thing they do get, Immunity to scrying isn't even useful. I'll demonstrate for you.
I am a powerful and vengeful lich. I want to find that blasted vigilante.
Hmm I can't find him for some reason? What about his other three friends? Oh there they are! They have some random guy with them too. No biggie, I'll kill him too, that should draw out the other guy from hiding.
Let's assume this is the case.
I pay five taxes for spells. I pay for Mystic Bolts and casting in armor. And then arcane striker since it's required to make mystic bolts even do damage. And then take finally, another rank of mystic bolts to try to avoid typing.
So at level 18 I'm finally a Magus without arcane pool or spell combat or spellstrike. THEN at level 20 I can take my first non mandatory talent. #Worth.
I hate to keep harping on my own thread but I really can't see mythic bolts being worth it unless they at least do something in the same vein as this. link
I'm not saying it has to be that at all. But the taxes going on is this class is crazy. You can't tax for spells, then also say, oh also pay this tax for Mystic Bolts because elemental resistances, oh but also pay this tax so you can cast in armor. You're basically just PAYING to be a bad Magus. What?
That's the issue right. You're better off just using a bow at this point and arcane striking it since atleast you can clustered shots it.
And it that point, why aren't you just playing a Magus who is way better?
Mystic Bolts is literally the ONLY thing that Warlock has going for it. It needs to be worth the whole rest of the class falling flat.
The reality is if you go Warlock you're doing it for Mystic Bolts. It's the only reason the class even exists right now. No one is going to opt into a terrible spells tax for any other reason. If I cared that much about dual identity id play a Magus 11/Vigilante 1.
And let's be clear too, I'd never do that because dual identity will never be worth it for me as a PC.
It still will be, just saying not because of spell resistance.
Take a look at my Warlock Mystic Bolt and Spell Progression thread.