Sorry for taking so long, but Wizards are hard to build. I promised this: Adventurous Transmuter.
Do people agree
and 5, most importantly) That this showcases the Niche of the Wizard class.
Even with the school specialization, they're easily built as being more general. But, the Arcane list itself is the jack of all spells list.
Specialization is +1 spell slot, from 3 (from 2 at highest level if you just got it). Yeah, that's 25% of the spells you prepare outside cantrips. But it's still lots of room to be diverse.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Okay. Now can your Bard use Fireball, or your Druid use Phantasmal Killer (without multiclassing)?
What a Wizard is not is a specialist in a field. What a Wizard is is a specialist in being versatile. It sounds like your previously-mentioned party didn't need more physical magics, so the Bard was a good idea there.
Basically: What Bards are to the game at large (the jacks of all trades), Wizards are to magic specifically (and they get more of it, too). Except for healing, of course.
It has net +8 modifier to stats, which is what people have before their class bonus. It's also level 0, so it would have no class levels to start.
Going by bonuses, it appears to be Expert in melee, but Trained in thrown. Its saves indicate it gets Fort halfway between Trained and Expert, Ref at Expert, and Will between Untrained and Trained. Going by the other two orcs, it looks like Ancestry HP of 10 and the Brute gets 5 hp from level (and 0 from con b/c that's per level, and level is 0).
Those modifiers appear to be a nerfed Fighter (due to being 0th level instead of 1), penalizing a couple things. Possibly they have racial modifiers for the saves? I doubt that, though.
1) Paralyze, Daze (sorta, that one's weak but a cantrip), Heightened Sleep, Heightened Charm. On the defense, Blur, Invisibility, Mirror Image, False Life, ...
2) You know you can heighten the blasts, right? And you can place the fireball so the edge doesn't hit the PCs. Just ask your martials to try to not get surrounded, and that's easy enough. Resistances are down, and saves ... to put it bluntly, you can target any save, unlike other casters. Martials are stuck vs AC, while you get to pick one of three, and can hit many enemies at once. That makes a single blast, if done close to correctly, a very strong option.
3) Bards are buffers, too. I don't deny that. The Occult list is more focused on buffs and debuffs than wizards are.
4) I'll gladly take a Wizard in the party over a Bard, if it's one or the other. They get so many better options.
5) Well, at lower levels, that 21 damage ... look. Saves are to magic what AC is to martial attacks. But at that level, a martial with a +1 striking weapon will do maybe 2d12+4 = ~15 damage on a hit, 30 on a crit? You can spam Electric Arc for 3d4+4, or ~11.5 to two people each. Their crit fail is about the same as the martial's critical hit, but you do damage even if they save. More than the Martial can say.
The Wizard buffs the party for tough solo fights and blasts at the hordes and has social spells. Who else can do that?
Wizard = versatile. Just like in 1e.
As soon as my group starts playing in earnest (having some time issues), I will GLADLY stat up a wizard first-thing and play that.
I anticipate my contributions will be immense, more than any other caster could do.
That said, re the title question: yes, there was a nerf. But I think Wizard is still solidly a powerful class. Just not so plausible to play an all-wizard party with the nerfs to summoning.
Druids are the shapeshifters. That is their thing. Of course they'd get better stuff there.
If you don't buy the essence thing, that's your problem of expectation. Mental adaptation is no more than bleeding into mind from matter and life. Take a look at the spell lists; it's CLEARLY been set as a Life/Matter hybrid, skewed slightly towards Matter. Besides, it's not mental adaptation. It's reflex adaptation. Adjustment of nerves that aren't the brain is adjustment Life. Also the spells don't affect your mental stats.
As for tactics: said wizard also gets huge int and lots of int skills that other classes ignore. Your niches are intelligence and versatility. That high Str comes at the cost of a lot of survivability, too, since you could have put those points into Dex and Con.
In short, what you want would require Wizards to be better at being Druids than Druids are.
EDIT: if you want, say, Merlin from Sword in the Stone, then that shapeshifter fight would probably be two Primal Sorcerers, with Merlin taking the Wizard MCD and his opponent maybe taking a Witch MCD - assuming Witch is like what it was in PF1.
Responding to Nemo's response to my longpost
Regarding flight, Transmuter can learn the Fly spell in place of any one I noted. That said, if you want a Shapeshifter, then that's one of the Druid's niches (plural, yes, but they're smaller niches than what other casters have). Expect to be outdone. The design philosophy is that you can't beat someone at their niche at comparable level.
Glitterdust fails if you miss your target - they can move after turning invisible. See Invisibility does not miss.
I don't recall pointing to staffs as something big; I just took that for flavor and a bit more options. That said, they do get a wider selection of staves to use, presently. I just checked, too, and I merely mention some tactics with the staff, not touting it as something they can't do - the indented sections are things a Wizard does but Druid doesn't.
"Using spells for noncombat situations is very problematic because it is not reliable for RP reasons. Sure, you could Charm someone instead of talking, but is it really an option when everyone will see you do it? Or it will be obvious immediately?"
Anyway, if you're trying to use Physical Boost on yourself, you're bringing disappointment on yourself. That's not what it's for. You are the wizard. Use that buff on the Fighter or the Rogue. Sensory and defensive buffs are what you use on yourself. Physical Boost is neither.
Last complaint I'll address: Druid beating Transmuter Wizard at Transmutation. Fine, 11 more spells (35 to 46). Leaving aside that Druids have matter/life to wizard's matter/mind, and thus are skewed towards physical effects...
So, what do we take away from this list? Outside of shapeshifting - a Druid's niche - they don't get many useful Transmutions that wizards don't. I grant that Entangle, Wind Walk, and Stone to Flesh are wins for them. But they're the only true wins.
Why are they the best prepared caster? What makes them best? They literally have second smallest pool of spells to choose from. Sure, Arcane list may have (slightly!) more spells on it, but Wizards only get to use whats in their spellbooks. They prepare same as everyone else (yes, I know they have that one thesis, but you know what, not everyone wants to play that thesis).
Theses: Metamagic feat, trade lower-level spells for higher, swap spells, or get a familiar who can, I think, deliver spells for you. So, there's TWO theses that let them change things up a bit, and they're the only mage who can start with metamgic (outside Human, but then they're the only one who can start with TWO). True, they're limited by the spellbook, but they can add spells to it. A decent chunk of the lists are chaff, though, so they're missing out on a lot less than you're implying.
From the list of passable spells, they have the single GREATEST selection. How many good Reflex spells does a Bard get? How many good Will spells does a Druid get? Not many. The Wizard? Gets most of the good ones, from BOTH. The Wizard also gets a large number of other utility effects.
All they have is slightly more spells per day than most casters. And aside from that, they have NOTHING. Few more familiar powers maybe? Extra (useless) metamagic feats?
A 33% increase at odd levels and 50% on their top level at even levels is hardly "slightly". ANd metamagic is not useless. Reach Spell lets you be more safely behind your defenders and use, your Cantrips, such as Produce Flame, at a better range in wider environments. Widen Spell, I admit, would mostly see use for NPCs participating in war.
Their spell list has been reduced to be on par with others, which sounds good game balance until your realise Wizards don't have anything else besides their spell list. Even their Focus powers are very bland compared to many options other classes get.
Their spell list is not on par. They are the most powerful utility/attackers. Yes, Druids beat them in shapeshifting because of Wild Shape, better HP and saves, and some more buffs for their shapeshifted forms. But that is not a Wizard. A Wizard specializes in being the absolute most versatile.
No, the Wizard Niche is preparation. Adapting to anything. Illusion and blasting? No, it's a spell or two for EACH OF THE THREE SAVES, as opposed to ANY OTHER SPELL LIST which cannot reasonably do that. And then, they have the travel utility of a druid with their transmutations and the social and stealth utility of a bard with their enchantments and illusions...
You are grossly underselling utility and adaptability in this game. I've seen you complain specifically about the Transmuter before. I've built an Adventurous Transmuter who's DELIBERATELY taking a few sub-optimal options (Wayfinder Resonance Tinkerer, learning more spells for spellbook than they really will use, and more importantly magical crafting). I'm not seeing ANY of your complaints in the level 1, 4, 9, and 13 builds. I've not started the level 18 build, yet, but you know what?
Here's the build thus far. I'll add it to the Wizard Niche thread and my emporium when I've built the level 18 version.
Find me a Druid that has all this buffing potential. Find me a Bard that has nearly as much attacking power (especially fortitude).
So what if a Druid prepares more things that test Reflex, or Fortitude, or a Bard knows more things that test Will? Against a Cleric, that Bard's will save spells are next to useless. But the Wizard laughs and uses a wand to cast Cone of Cold. Or has some advance warning and prepares a couple fireballs instead. And that Druid will find themself unable to do much to the Rogue, who has better base combat abilities and can shrug off most things the Druid can cast at them. The Wizard just uses True Strike + Disintegrate or uses their good spell attack rolls to spam Produce Flame or something.
Other builds are less versatile because, well, fewer spell levels. But even they can do things. Level 1 can still do a can't-miss bust for heavy damage, can target reflex, can basically double a martial's damage output for two fights (hi, Drain Bonded Item), and can target AC with their crossbow. Level four, targets Will, Ref, and AC. Also buffs the party with Magic Weapon and Enlarge. Level 9 gets can't-miss, Reflex, AC, Will, and Fort, as attacks and/or debuffs. Also effects to buff the party.
Aside from very low levels, I doubt the wizard will run out of spells per day. At 4 round combats + 4 combats per day, ... I'm not doing the math for this. You have enough spells to target most things, and combats aren't supposed to last long enough to really drain you. Arcane Bond + extra buffs prepared + spammable cantrips = you can sustain your power if you conserve a little of it each fight.
THAT, Nemo, is the Wizard power. You don't get shut down. You do the shutting down. Other classes, they can get shut down or weakened before the fight begins. A Wizard, though? Be smart, and you can mitigate that on the rest of the party without ever getting personally countered.
This is wrong on two counts. One, Wizards get School/Universalist powers and Arcane Thesis like Sorcerers get Bloodline powers. Which is to say, they both have to invest feats in it. Two, no, Primal does NOT do everything Arcane does. Arcane gets lots better will save spells, lots better illusions and enchantments.
Spells can bleed over into another thing. Doesn't make them really of that Essence instead of the main essences. And shapeshifting is changing a physical, living thing, so it's clearly of those two. The mental landscape, is, AT BEST, bleeding over to a little of Mental.
Hey, the Divine list's changes don't usually have much that changes the basic form, other than bigger and maybe add wings! No mental change there, and it's not an Essence they get. Does Occult, which gets neither relevant Essence, even have much in the way of those shapeshifts?
Arcane, meanwhile, gets Material and Mental, and they get some of the shapeshifts, too. Indeed not as strong in a straight-up melee, though (lower hit points, lower physical saves...). But since when was a classic wizard supposed to be in melee, anyway?
Utility. Wield your spells like a knife, not a bludgeon. I've decided my next build for my emporium will be a Transmuter; I'll try and remember to post it here, too, when it's ready.
first, keeping things still on the topic: I just remembered that with overlap between the schools, multiclasses are even harder to decide on. That said, I've seen a general sentiment of blasts in the top and utility in the bottom. I can't fault that plan, aside from noting that I like to have three elemental damages, at least one of which can both be spammed (cantrip, usually) and shuts down some regeneration effects.
I'm not sure if this will get easier or harder with more books. More options to find something decent for any build, but more to sort out every time...
I highly disagree. This is one of the major causes of forever GMs and GM-player antagonism IMO.
Zeroth like Rule Zero: You're all on the same team, even though the GM's job is to provide opposition. That needs to be understood before all else. Lack of understanding THAT is what causes antagonism.
First: never said around EVERY combo. Some mild optimization keeps things difficult enough without causing problems.
Second: No, just modify a few encounters. Like, and I actually did this in pf1, making a character who has countermeasures to invisibility but NOT see invis or the like - Scent + Blind Fight. Didn't counter the Duergar martial's power, merely made the power less effective. But aside from being a brute with that power, it lost to another PC using their nova. Don't counter EVERYONE at once, just put some things in that make their really strong combos not walk over everything.
Balancing for more than one OP character is easier than just one: counter one player, and check a second, but the others can run wild. Then change from one fight to the next who's weaker. Everyone gets to shine! Just not any one person all the time.
If the party focuses on melee but has some ranged, then once in a while set them against a flier or two. Maybe give them a little warning once in a while.
If the party likes Fireball and Electric Arc, give some enemies a couple Resist Energy spells. But they don't have enough slots to guard at their most powerful, so they use lower-level slots and get some passable resistance to the attacks, but the effect isn't as destructive as it could be, either.
Which brings me back to spell selection: I like to skew towards utility and debuffs and buffs and just snag a couple damaging cantrips, and maybe a few attacks just in case. It's whiteboarding, though, until I get a chance to try them out. I'm a big fan of magic-as-utility, but we need more books for that not to be meaninfful instead of a hunt to find a diamond or two in the rough.
First, the topic: Yeah, it's hard. My multiclass sample builds had trouble selecting spells that don't care about heightening because I don't see Signature Spell on the list of things MC Bard/Sorc get. That said, my general method is: for signature spells, try and find something that works at as many levels as possible. Then for everyone, if a spell has a really good effect with heightening, consider it there without any riders on it.
Regardless, it's very difficult to figure out what works, for that. The heighten marks on Archives of Nethys don't really give an indication of what to avoid or go for if you want a certain type of heightening.
For all those groups where players feel entitled to take everything without asking, this is a HUGE boon for the beleaguered Games Master :-)
Better fix: a book for GMs reminding them how powerful they are, that they're in charge, and ways to counter OP strats. (Puffin Forest link: starts at 40s, important bit ends at 52s) "You are the GM. You are literally more powerful than gods." And reminding them that outside organized play, they're free to sometimes swap out something the OP strat counters and instead put something in that checks it.
PF 1 example: Give each powerful spell an opposed spell that makes it unreliable - teleport trap for teleport, a powerful illusion for scrying, etc.
PF 1 example 2: someone can turn invis as an SLA. You have a miniboss fight coming up, and the miniboss has a partial check to invis, so take the opportunity and swap a few things to give the miniboss an ability that lets him hit invis enemies - blind fight, back then.
I don't deny that some things needed reining in. My group never really used Blood Money, but I can see how deadly that would be. Some things need clamping down on.
HOWEVER, what this does is beleaguer many more GMs with players asking for access to something thematic, but not technically in the list. For example, for wizards, some schools (*cough*divination*cough*) have a distinct shortage of decent spells that aren't at least Uncommon.
The issue isn't in how much power the GM has. It's in how the GM perceives that power. The issue is that we need to raise awareness of that... and, yes, rein in a few of the worst abuses, like using a Unique spell as if it were so common..
So you can get 1d12+2, but that's about it. No point in multiclassing for deadly simplicity (also only crossbow deity released yet is Abadar, and he gives the regular one, not the heavy crossbow.)
1) For the minimal optimization (2 people investing in it), a third action aka the weakest part of their turn. If the enemy is too strong, that's ALL they use. If not, they have at least a 35% chance of winning in round one, probably more if the party has more buffs than that. Used: stuff you were going to use anyway, and one more attack. So, a third action and a first attack for a 35% MINIMUM of winning in one round, probably longer.2) Contingency: I don't deny that it's high-risk, but the reward is an instant win. In just two actions, you do what's expected to take 2-4 ROUNDS. I'm assuming the first part of it, using assurance, works here; if it doesn't, then you just don't keep trying. But, if you roll that badly... you likely weren't much better off using that as an attack roll, unless you JUST BARELY missed.
3) Any humanoid enemy - and some armed monsters - with a Reflex no higher than your level + max proficiency level. I admit, it's not a sure thing. I built a Fighter 5 - strength oriented - that needs a nat 20 (18-20 if someone else got the weaker version first) to disarm another of itself. But that's because Bulwark inflated its effective Dex. Dropping it to levels 3 and 4 (or scale it up to 7-9), a 17-20 does the full disarm without help or a 15-20 with. At 10-Apex and Apex-19 and 20, +5% more each. 20-30% there, so the Assurance strat doesn't work. But then, it's a Fighter. They're one of the three classes with the highest overall defense (alongside Champion and Cleric). It makes sense for them to resist that.
10% at 1-2, 20% at 3-4, 15% at 5-6 (Bulwark is -10% and starts around here, though, so I'll say the Fighter uses that), then 20% at 7-9, 25% at 10-17, get Apex immediately so 25% at 18-19, and 30% at 20.
Not as good as I hoped, but the sure bet option warns you not to try it in the first place, so you only use a third attack to learn that.
But, that's against someone with a good Reflex. You can use it to take a staff away from any Mage (except Bard) or a weapon away from a Champion (watch out for heavy armor, though) or a Barbarian. And then there's a couple bonuses you can stack with magic, to raise the odds to actually rather decent.
I don't purport it as an absolutely guaranteed win. Try fighting severely under-leveled enemies for that. I don't purport it anything other than a high-risk, high-reward option (that, *if successful* is a win) that's better against some enemies than others. It's more skewed towards victory or nothing than most spells are, now, but that appears to be the general design philosophy - the more powerful the option, the less likely it is to work. Attacks, likely to hit but only do HP damage. Disarm, ends fights but requires a crit, and doesn't do much if you don't get that.
Also, there are ways for everyone to target at least two different saves, and you can use Assurance with your third action to check if making the attempt in full is worth your time. If it isn't, then no big loss of action. If it is, you just gained really important information. And you don't lose much by making the investment of skill points, if you're a warrior or skill monkey. And the investment in disarming ALSO makes you able to target Fort, not just Ref.
So, how do I really see it being used? On Humanoids and similar enemies
Again, I acknowledge that some enemies are more resistant to this than others. But it's an option which shuts down a couple types of enemy and has powerful results if it works, and you can check if it's plausible to attempt for the low cost of an already-weak action.
Well, I contend it is useful as it is and MORE than ambitious enough. Let's take a classic team. Warrior, Skills, Arcane/Occult, Primal/Divine.
The two casters don't matter... actually, let's say they give a Heroism +1.
Warrior is anything that gets an option for +str at level 1. They take Athletics because that's their thing.
Skills attacks, then uses Assurance on two more maneuvers. Trip and then Disarm. If the Trip fails, they go for a Grapple instead. Let's assume it works, though. Disarm gets the exact same result, so it gives the +2 to disarm them in full.
If a 10 is just barely enough, then Warrior needs a nat 20 base to do it. But, Warrior has +4 str as opposed to the flat 10 the skill used from assurance and gets +2 effective from Skills doing a disarm. Also +1 Heroism. Instead of nat 20, they need only a 13 to do it. 40% to end the enemy's ability to fight, for 5 actions (disarm 1, heroism was 2, and warrior's disarm was another, then one more action to pick up their weapon so they can't use it). Trip could be a 6th, but that's just a diagnostic to check their defenses (and give them a different debuff).
So, 5 actions. 3 for future enemies. Utterly remove any target martial that uses weapons from the fight, or for just ONE action, realize it's not a good idea. If there's more, the Warrior can chuck the weapon away so a mage can pick it up and keep it away, and repeat with Skills.
Again, that's a battle-ender. It's an I-win button. Yes, it takes two people to do it well, but you CAN do it, and it's something you can build to spam, unlike Baleful Polymorph or Phantasmal Killer.
TL;DR: I posit they didn't make it more ambitious because it's already OP if you invest just a bit into it, with a skill that's not reasonable to invest in in the first place. Yes, it's high-risk that you wasted some of the actions, but it's spammable, and if the odds are bad, then you can just not do it after spending ONE action finding out.
Exacting Strike is a Press. Example 3 (EDIT: not 2, sorry. Miscounted) doesn't work, because you can't use it for the first attack, and it does nothing for the second. You need it for the third attack.
Also, with the bow example, you don't need to move, unless you're dealing with Volley, which shortbow doesn't have.
(EDIT 2: editing this in to say it looks like the first attack missed line in exacting strike has been edited out.)
I'd like to argue that a couple Backgrounds are better than they're given credit for.
The Bounty Hunter Background should be Orange, not Red. By taking Assurance, you negate most of the penalty for builds without very high Wisdom, which means, while it needs support, it could work.
Farmhand should also be rated as Orange instead of Red. Assurance in Athletics makes for a very OP third attack; with investment in it, you can regularly use a good maneuver that's likely to work (100% or 0%, but more enemies lose to it than not). Disarm and Trip, basically. Granted, it takes a level (for Rogues) or two (everyone else) to come online, and requires a focus.
Laborer: I've done a few builds, and Hefty Hauler is virtually a must for martials. It should be at least Green over Orange. Also, Athletics is a powerful option (see my argument for Farmhand)
Scholar: Assurance in the knowledge skills is situational, but it does allow, with skill investment, for 100% guaranteed lower-level rituals to succeed without mental stat investment. It also gives a good set of choices for a skill, and those skills are all useful. I'd argue for Orange.
Since 2e classes are so front-loaded, I feel like characters should not get any initial proficiencies from their second class other than class or spellcasting DC.
Two proficiency tracks. Use whichever is greater: the better class's track using JUST that class's track, or something which corresponds to the total level on the weaker class's track. Fine tuning could be with an X level penalty or bonus or something.
A few classes might have some issues, but that seems like a good starting point to me.
Replying to Fuzzy-Wuzzy and Captain Morgan:
action 1: as cleric, cast a 1-action divine spell (Heal? Shield?) Non-cantrips only if not Cleric.
You can use a 2-action spell for one of those if you're under a Haste effect. Such as, from wizard or arcane/occult/primal sorcerer. Also Bespell weapon is lower level than Divine weapon, so Cleric/other caster.
It's not at once, but it's still the same turn. It looks like both last until the turn's end, not just the next action.
First: THANK YOU!!!
Second: the Sorcerer's Will save is listed as never progressing beyond Expert. I believe there was dev commentary saying they should have gotten Resolve at the same level as the Wizard.
EDIT, Third: Maximum skill proficiency neglects the Rogue, which has no indication of being locked to Trained at level 2.
EDIT, Fourth: should we assume the "all others" for spell DCs and attack rolls ignores multiclassing?
Inspired by Ravingdork's 1st edition emporium, I present to you my work on characters. Inspiration, quick NPCs, and any other use you can think of, go ahead.
My opening four are:
The Stout Defender, a Dwarven soldier. Rather than make multiple builds for for different weapons, I included stats for each of these. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
The Thug, just a shady human of malign intentions. (1, 4, 7)
The Cleansing Flame Priest, a Half-Elf Cloistered Cleric of Sarenrae, who starts as a healer who can defend the temple, then grows into a powerful force, both on the battlefield and in politics. This build assumes it's Easy for them to activate a Staff of Fire - Sarenrae gives half the spells in the staff to her followers, and they DO have the Fire Domain, after all. (3, 8, 13)
I also welcome suggestions for better organization, both on the index and in individual characters. I will also consider requests for what to prioritize next.
(edited out a few things I'm not responding to)First, multiclassing to two casters means that is basically ALL you are going to do. You will lack the martial specialization of any other class. Second, the build I suggest is an arcane/primal Theurge. If you decide you have ENOUGH casting, then just ditch the later feats and requirements.
Okay, Kyrone posted a decent build there, but here:
Ancestry: Not Halfling or Gnome. I recommend Human, preferably Half-Elf but maybe Versatile.
At level-up 5, boost Str/Dex/Con/one mental stat. For non-goblins, boost the 12 mental stat first. Goblins, may want Wis first to patch their Will save.
Background: Anything that isn't +2 cha/+2 free. Since everything has a choice between two ability scores, you just need to shuttle your other free boosts to get these builds. If one of them looks CLOSE to what you want, you can easily shuttle some things around, like losing a little Dex for a better Str.
Bounty Hunter, Hunter, Guard, Scout, or Warrior would be in line with Ranger, I feel. Especially Bounty Hunter and Scout; their skill rank changes to Free.
Class: Ranger, obviously.
Skills: Make sure to have Nature and Arcana at Master before the Expert casting, and Legendary before the Master casting.
Feats at 12,14,16 can be moved around. Skill feats are all free.
Half-Elf works best because you have the second-best Con and can swipe better Movement from the Elf feats.
For the record, at this time I think having only ONE casting tradition would be better; Fighter or Champion would make better eldritch knight theurges, or a Cleric/Druid chassis for theurgy.
I also think maybe a Storm Druid chassis would be better for this build, then snag some arcane power later.
Also, yeah, this build doesn't do melee well until 5 at least. Elf and Dwarf, wait until 10 for decent damage. I recommend Finesse weapons at all times. Focus on the archery.
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
True, fullplate loses by +1 Reflex if you get 18 Dex, by +2 Reflex if you get 20. But you also pay 4 stats points worth elsewhere (up to 18) for that +1 Reflex/AC. Could get +2 Fortitude/or HP, or +2 Will/Perception, or +2 Skills/languages, or Cha to for social. In that regard, that +1 Reflex/AC is possibly more costly than 1-3 general feats, especially for a caster that might want his Casting Stat at 20 as well. That's 8 stat points worth at the very least. Str can settle on 18 for penalty negation, while unarmored must 20 to pass it in +AC by a whole +1AC if I recall. (5+4=9 vs 6+2=8)
Actually, you're spending most if not all of those increases on STR so that you can overcome the plate's Bulk and STR threshold.
All caster multiclasses get an X Breadth feat along with their basic/expert/master casting for character level 8 or up. Doubles spell slots except for the two highest. So you end up at 20 as
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
And yes, I stand by it. If you feel that Fullplate is and I quote what's been said here, dunno by whom though "obsolete" on account of being -1AC behind, then that sounds and feels powergamey.
The AC penalty is noticeable because the character would presumably also go out of the armor during downtime, and the penalty hinders survival. A character wanting to survive is not powergamey.
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Class feats can give proficiencies and spellcasting, but they want general feats to provide scaling to one and not the other.
Champion Dedication + Armor feat: 2 feats, get Trained -> Expert in 3 armor types, Expert comes online 1 later than the casters get unarmoredArmor Training: 1 feat, get Trained in ONE armor type. Making it worth 1/3 of the Champion Dedication. The change would only make it be worth 1/3 of two feats, or 2/3 of a feat, and only one level faster. Still not as powerful as a Class feat's bonuses, but more in line with stuff like Canny Acumen which is also a General Feat but gives ... a scaling increase! Or other feats that scale with proficiency of the associated skill.
I'm not aware of any general feats to boost casting, but there's five different multiclasses that give it in four different lists, and those feats scale it, too - to Master, no less! All we ask is a single scaling (or I suppose full scaling if a Medium Armor user takes it, like Ruffian Rogue, but they're more martial already)
Also I see we've deviated heavily from the player agency title question so: yeah, a big one in the form of heavily reduced access to options for building (EDIT: talking about the meta of "ask your GM" for building), and one of my main houserules will likely be to give a fair bit of that agency back.
Honestly, I'd probably rather go Divine Sorcerer than Cloistered Cleric. But here's the thing: Why not use the Cloistered Cleric as a chassis to multiclass into a Theurge of some sort, or a Champion if you're good? I don't actually see many feats that are a must for a Cloistered Cleric to be good, so you can spare them to branch out. That might solve some of your woes. If you go for double caster, then just stay in the back and hope no one attacks you... if you go for some martial power (Champion, though Neutral Clerics are out of luck), then you can forget Dex after all.
Since a few posts came up while I typed:
Oh, I don't deny that said increases are a part of the class. But they're not the CORE of it.
For your specific example: Well, skills are the rogue's thing. It's an important part, and I wouldn't contest calling that the Rogue's core. It's the classic skilled class. That's something really unique to them. Check out the dedication, and there's a feat for more skills.
What I contest is calling armor scaling TO THE CLASS THAT HAS IT as being a core of ANY class, or Expert proficiency in anything as being a core of a class - I can't think of a single class that doesn't end with everything at least Expert, save for some optional skill ranks. The Champion? One of their aspects - though NOT their core - is that said scaling goes up to Legendary. Their core includes their raw defense, which in turn includes the armor cap, but the armor cap would NOT be the core. Other Martials, Master. Non-martials only get expert. That's not a core to any class. That's a core to the proficiency system. The core of the fighter? Their class features and feats are geared towards immense skill at combat, far beyond what even a buffed Armor Proficiency could give.
"I think it's a core design of wizard/sorcerer to be weaker at armor usage."
"If heavy armor becomes useless at 13 because of proficiency bonus, wouldn't that make unarmed proficiency useless when other classes get master because that too lacks a proficiency bonus? It's the same situation after all."
The issue is, in-class proficiencies and spending resources - that other classes don't have to - to be able to use certain gear in the first place.
This went through a few revisions due to time-based fatigue; if something doesn't make sense, I'll try and clarify it later.
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
You are incorrectly reducing the situation.Wizard: Expert unarmored at 13, nothing else. CAPS THERE.
Fighter: Expert all armor at 11, then Master at 17.
Wanting Wizard to get armored abilities to match the level of feats taken for heavier armor is 1) not a core feature of the fighter class, the core is that they're style of attacking (accuracy and maneuvers). 2) not wanting to match the fighter; they're still 2 levels behind for expert and never get master, and 3) You also previously cited weaker casting, but that IS a core of the Wizard.
More likely:Player of Fighter: I Power Attack (or Stride then Strike), then cast Shield.
Player of Fighter: To help coordinate the ambush across a distance, I cast Message.
Player of Fighter: I cast Alarm to ward the area while we sleep.
Bless, Mending, Create Water, and Protection all have uses, too, though some are out of combat. And that's just the first level and cantrips.
I'm fine with the casters being refocused towards utility of their powers (and area blasts) rather than raw DPS. Raw DPS was supposed to be the martial's power anyway. I have no complaint about classes doing what they're supposed to.
I think the old use for Wands just got relegated to Staves. I'm not 100% on the new use for wands, but I think the overhaul for Wands made them something useful now. Aside from the Cure Light Wounds + Protection from Evil + Identify + a few other weak spells that you might need to spam option, that is. Staves can take that spot with my blessing, now that they're more accessible.
So color me tentatively hopeful.
How about: "The king has sufficient resources to have access to spells to mask his evil plans against detection powers. If the players know how to teleport and he is aware of this, he arranges for the following modifications to the ambush in the hopes of killing them before they can flee."
And the modifications are something simple like: +2 guards, +4 archers, and the Court Wizard and Court Priest join the fray?
EDIT: "If they manage to [DO ACTION X] instead of [ACTION Y], then this part of the plot diverges in this way until they kill him, in which case it the plot is restored by [ACTION Z].
It's certainly an issue when building characters in a vacuum, but if you have a GM you can contact in some way, can't you just say something like 'I'm interested in your game, but I really want to get magic aura for the character I have in mind, is that okay?'
You could, but it's a hassle for both parties. If you need an effect, then instead of simply taking it, you have to ask and get an answer which often has a time lag, especially if you're not building characters all at the table in a session 0. Then, as you level, it could repeat again and again depending on things.
Given how intricate some builds got for my group, I know most of us would have to ask the GM many times, and how can *that* be adjudicated fairly between requests?
I get that some things should be restricted. My group does not really use Blood Money, for example. That sort of spell, something ONE PERSON designed for personal use and never shared, or niche effects for uncommon problems are the sorts of things this system would go well with.
But the system is illogically geared towards not having to say that society is different because the spell exists. It removes agency from the people who need it (players) to give it to the one who doesn't (GM, the most powerful thing in the system) for the sake of not having to determine the logical consequences for society of said spell existing, and in so doing adds extra work for everyone.
If the spell would break the game by existing - then the GM needs to step up in providing challenges, or extrapolating how things change based on its existence. I know I've sometimes had to. Often, in one campaign. But that's not a reason for the spell to be gated behind a blanket "GM approval only" core rule. Removing stuff is for HOUSERULES.
As both GM and player, I'm against this paradigm:
As a GM:
Example, that actually happened: A PC sneaks into a mythic Archmage's house (with a little help from a Silver Dragon in disabling the wards) and slits his throat when he sleeps. The Archmage's buddies, also Archmages, promptly use Scry-and-Die to capture the PC. One powerful tactic against another.
As a player:
I understand a lot of people like it as-is, and others hate the idea. I'm in the middle, and I see both points. I think this was actually CLOSE to a useful middle-ground, but missed its mark by banning not things that have an in-universe reason to be uncommon or rare but things that would make the setting something more real.
I would be more impressed with the Rarity system if it
I mean, I get cultural limitations, like Dwarf items being common in dwarven lands, but uncommon outside. That *makes sense* and is a sensible rule to prevent "because it's more powerful" play that ignores the RP reasons. I like that part.
Some niche spells might be restricted. I suppose not many people need Nondetection, so I get restricting that to Uncommon - I'm guessing thieves' guilds and people who value secrecy or have items other covet will have or want that, but not many others. But I don't get putting spells that are very useful in that list, even though they change the setting. Those who know such powers and formulae would be in high demand as teachers... and the huge advantage their power GAVE THEM would nearly guarantee not only that the knowledge survives but that their students become the top of the field... and give said knowledge to their subordinates in turn. Jealously guarding knowledge doesn't do much past retirement, after all.
I'd like to note regarding alchemist resonance, they get +1/2 level, starting at 9, and Int instead of Cha starting at 1. So some classes who invest for high Cha and Int can snag that feat for +2.
Classes that can plausibly snag Alchemist:
Well, I suppose any of them COULD go for that option. But most of them will be hilariously underpowered. So, sure, they can get more Resonance than the Alchemist. But the Alchemist can turn around and, with just 12 Cha, snag Remarkable Resonance with a General Feat, and have all their Class Feats. (Yes, the other classes can, too, but then they're just a resonance build with not much to back them up.)
So, going back to Wizard/Sorcerer/Bard. Wizards are often associated with alchemy, though not as much as the Alchemist class itself. Sorcerers are also associated, depending on terminology. Also, Resonance is magic and they're primary casters.
Bards being able to get more Resonance for a time than an Alchemist is weird, I'll grant. (Other than Cha caster)
But all three of them get outpaced starting at level 9. Other classes could, with level advancements, get better Int. But then they'll have more resonance for a much shorter duration.
Workaround: The Arcanist gets neither bloodline nor school... or at least, no bonus spells from them (but some feats to choose the other powers)