Fighters vs. Wizards -- Unbalanced = Broken?


General Discussion (Prerelease)

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Moff Rimmer wrote:
1) Where is "greater mirror image" found? The way you described it, it sounds like a mirror image that "regenerates" images.

PHB2. The only differences is the greater version takes an Immediate action instead of a Standard action, you regenerate 1 image a round as long as you have at least 1 image to a maximum of 8, and... that's it. If you run out of images, the spell ends.

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2) Do you and the druid always travel invisible? The whole encounter sounds odd to me. (It probably makes sense to you since you played it, but there still seem like there are some pretty big holes.) If you and the druid were invisible, then that would indicate that you were aware of the ambush. If the druids knew who they were ambushing, they should have known about you and the druid (regardless of the spellcasting). The fire elementals have a higher speed and should have been sent after you since you were the real threat against the druids in the first place. Then they should have been raining flame strikes down on you since it wouldn't affect the elementals at all (and is also not affected by miss chance or by illusions). Why are they even attacking the crusader who can't even touch them? It just seems to me that either you knew about the ambush (in which case the crusader should have had his shield) or you shouldn't have know about the ambush (in which case you shouldn't have been invisible).

Here's what happens in a nutshell: We're working for a guy. Some stuff happens that isn't relevant, then who we thought was the BBEG but in standard fantasy fare was just an agent thereof captured our employer, trashed up his house, killed his servants... We find our employer locked in a coffin alive, and some mercenaries guarding him (this was the third fight, if I recall correctly). Well we get him out, question the dead mercs, and learn our employer was bound to a blacksmith's shop in a village in Karrnath.

A teleport gets us to the village after a few long term buffs such as Barkskin were cast, and disguises make us less conspicious. We walk into the shop looking like peasants (and by we, I mean just one of us). The crusader (disguised) asks about horse shoes or something. NPCs run, we stop them without hurting them and find out there's some secret area under it. Go down there, my cohort falls down a bit, druid's summons get him out. We take a detour via tunneling. We find a torture chamber, lots of illusions, and what appears to be the psy warrior's sister being tortured. He tries to teleport in and disappears (since the barred walls were illusions, we didn't know he wasn't just behind there yet). We fight some sort of necromancer and some weak undead, and utterly destroy them. We also find our psy warrior inside an iron maiden dead. Some divinations reveal that that thing is a teleport trap basically. Try to teleport near it, and it redirects you inside instead. While we were pondering ways to destroy it, it got really quiet outside...

Since the divination was still active, the druid asked what was going on only to be informed that there were some druids outside and four legged creatures waiting for us, raising the walls, and preparing basically. It wasn't some misunderstanding (druids thinking we're the necros here), and they were willingly and willfully attempting to ambush and kill us. I specifically asked the druid to ask those questions. We were then informed that those druids were performing the same divination, but were not smart enough to ask questions like 'is the other group asking stuff of me (the earth) as well'. Yet. Then we heard a rumbling, which the earth told us was some elementals trying to collapse the place. We try to tunnel out with earth elemental help, their elementals collapse the chamber behind us and there was a general sense of urgency but we still had a few rounds to buff, as did the enemy druids. Part of that was the invisibility, since we knew about the wall situation.

With that said... Invisibility on me is a fairly standard practice (later enemies, aware of favored tactics could thwart it which is fine). I'm not sure if they were aware of my character or not (even if they were, I doubt they knew how the prior battle went... after all, she could have been already killed).

Regardless, they did not know where my character was until I attacked the first time, at which point they were in little position to defend themselves. By that point, they were in little position to fight back. If they knew at least the general area, they could have Flame Striked (at which point I'd probably save on a 2-4, and had fire resistance from equipment so I don't really care anyways... It's a 4th level spell, what do you expect?) or better yet Faerie Fired so that the minions could come bother me. FF does nothing to GMI though, so I'd survive 3 rounds (long enough for them to die anyways).

The Crusader did have a Shield spell (Aberrant Dragonmark). If that's a response to my 'forgot his animated shield' comment I meant that he did not possess one. He also could hurt them, just not fast enough. Animals and elementals are huge sacks of HP. This NPC apparently was the same, but also counterattacked every hit.

[quote3) How new to DMing is the DM? An EL 20 encounter is a bit high for 3 characters of your level. (Four if you count the skirmisher who doesn't seem to play his character right.) In addition, the EL probably should have been higher since the druids (for whatever reason) were prepared for you and had terrain advantage.

He isn't new. And EL 20 came up because someone asked him about the XP count and he said 'XP as a EL 20 encounter'. That doesn't mean it actually was an EL 20 encounter. That could already include ad hoc bonuses for the terrain and such. Using my system mastery as an estimate, very few of the enemies present had a double digit CR. I believe 1 out of 6 druids might have been CR 10 or 11, the crossbow guy might have been in the low teens, the dire wolf was something special (but never actually attacked a PC, due to the summons engaging it), and the counterattack guy was probably around CR 15-17 or so. Keep in mind though I knew none of this until after the fact (seeing how much damage it takes to kill stuff for example) and it would have been blatant metagaming in any case. Then of course dire tigers are CR 8, and Greater Fire elementals CR 9.

There was nothing wrong with that encounter in that it was over the top. Hard yes, but hard fights happen. The issue was he couldn't keep up due to simple things such as enemy at a higher elevation.

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The whole encounter (to me) felt more like the DM was trying to prove something rather than tell a story. It also feels like the DM isn't helping the skirmisher figure out his character -- and changing to a wizard won't help that.

No, he wasn't. Also, the skirmisher is not the wizard. The wizard is a completely different and new player. Both I and the DM made suggestions to the skirmisher player. He was not interested.

Lastly, I do not like the term 'tell a story' as it is most often used by railroading DMs under the guise of storytelling. I doubt you meant it that way, so I will respond to your likely intentions instead of your words. The DM doesn't have any problem handling story and roleplaying stuff. He has me in his game. If he couldn't handle both interesting combat and interesting non combat content, I would let him know because I require both from my games. Some of the other players have an issue with things like backgrounds despite both me and the DM commenting repeatedly. But I have a simple solution for that. I'm DMing for this group right now, and the previous DM is now a player. The group went their separate ways after that adventure arc, so the first part is going to be solo. I simply will not run the solo bits for those who do not have at least a decent background. In other words, they don't get to play until they show some interest in doing things other than killing things and taking their stuff.


Rob Godfrey wrote:


and ofc, the mage can teach the spells he DOES know, in exchange for those he doesn't, and this ofc doesn't include the BBEG's spell book, or his lt's spell book or the random book that appears as loot, or.. you get the idea :p

And this is a huge problem. If the most effective BBEG is a caster with mook blockers, then the DM must not make that caster a wizard because as soon as he does, the PC wizard gets tons and tons of spells and ups his power considerably. This has an impact on world-building and plot construction in negative ways as well.

Scarab Sages

Crusader of Logic wrote:
There was nothing wrong with that encounter in that it was over the top. Hard yes, but hard fights happen. The issue was he couldn't keep up due to simple things such as enemy at a higher elevation.

I don't know that higher ground is meant to be "simple". It's a tactical advantage and should be played as such. Most of the fights that I run, someone ends up feeling useless. But, at least with our group, that "someone" changes every fight -- including the spellcaster(s).

Sorry about the "telling a story" comment. You're right -- I didn't mean it like that.

The fire elementals -- in order to summon them, the druid(s) needed to be a minimum of 13th level. Since there were two elementals, either one druid of 15th level or 2 of 13th level.

It really felt (from reading it) that the entire encounter was really focused on the fighter(s). An EL 20 encounter that focuses the vast majority of their resources on the one (or two) 15th level fighter(s) is just bound to be a really bad day for them.

If it were me, I think that I would have been most frustrated playing the druid. Playing nursemaid is not my idea of a good time. I understand why they did it, but I would have been most frustrated with that character.

Also, kind of what you were talking about earlier, how would the encounter have been different had there been no fighter? (Mostly rhetorical -- I'm sure that someone has the perfect scenario with a party etirely of spellcasters would have had no problem.)


Moff Rimmer wrote:
I don't know that higher ground is meant to be "simple". It's a tactical advantage and should be played as such. Most of the fights that I run, someone ends up feeling useless. But, at least with our group, that "someone" changes every fight -- including the spellcaster(s).

It is simple, because being atop a wall is not a complex or rare situation. Walls can be climbed. Even at low levels. The difference is, if it came up at low levels the 1d8 + small number from a longbow would still be significant. Not as good as his meleeing, but still enough to let him help out. He gets left behind by a very basic scenario. Now imagine instead the scenario was... I dunno, an invisible flier, or something. Much more complex, right?

Quote:
The fire elementals -- in order to summon them, the druid(s) needed to be a minimum of 13th level. Since there were two elementals, either one druid of 15th level or 2 of 13th level.

Ok, there was a higher level one there. Still, after one round of attacks from me, they all either died, went on the defensive, or ran away.

Quote:
It really felt (from reading it) that the entire encounter was really focused on the fighter(s). An EL 20 encounter that focuses the vast majority of their resources on the one (or two) 15th level fighter(s) is just bound to be a really bad day for them.

Nah. Focused on screwing them would involve there being a lot more complex scenarios. This is just the DM does stuff, not setting out to screw the Crusader, but he does anyways because he cannot keep up like he should.

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If it were me, I think that I would have been most frustrated playing the druid. Playing nursemaid is not my idea of a good time. I understand why they did it, but I would have been most frustrated with that character.

Healbots suck, I agree. Heal is the only valid means of in combat healing though (everything else just means they die anyways, except you don't get to stop it, just slow it down).

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Also, kind of what you were talking about earlier, how would the encounter have been different had there been no fighter? (Mostly rhetorical -- I'm sure that someone has the perfect scenario with a party etirely of spellcasters would have had no problem.)

No need for a perfect scenario (if it were perfect, we'd have taken 2-3 rounds to buff, then teleported out into an advantageous position, or just skipped them entirely, teleportation wasn't possible though). Druid would have just taken the action or two he spent buffing the crusader on summoning some earth elementals instead and perhaps buffing them. Greater elementals roughly the same to hit and HP, while having DR 10/nothing bypasses it. Their damage is a bit lower, but that's not that big a deal (especially since SNA8 gets 1d3 of them). Also, the walls were made of earth. Elementals have Earth Glide. They could have attacked the druids as well.

In case it got forgotten, instead we spent 2-3 rounds buffing, and some time burrowing. Which means they had more time to prepare. I spent the time charging my laser, for the record.

Scarab Sages

The Authority wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:
If possible, I'm actually stridently trying to outshit s&#%ninja.
Wow. Just, wow.

Authority, I take your side in most of these debates, but it is getting to the point where you are blatantly misrepresenting or altering posters' words.

That last one was way out of line. I disagree with LogicNinja, but I wouldn't go around calling him what you did.

I don't like doing this, but psychic_robot received a warning for doing something similar, I think it is warranted here as well.

Vic? Gary?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

imho the caster/fighter balance is out of wack, not because fighters et all don't do enough melee damage, but that they don't have enough options, what I mean is, some nice tricks and tactics to increase mobility, reduce vulnerability to mind control/sleep, and generally break the 1 trick pony status that all weapon based combatants end up in.

A 'silencing blow' for instance, when you punch the bad guy in the throat for a silence affect, (fort save to negate).

a 'heroic leap' where you can make a running jump in combat as a charge.

Things like that, so that combat doesn't become, pull out 2h sword, PA mode on, full attack engaged. (I know there are some feats that attempt this, but they are not generally 'good' options.)

still leaves you vulnerable to being ignored, makes it more dangerous to do so.


Rob Godfrey wrote:

imho the caster/fighter balance is out of wack, not because fighters et all don't do enough melee damage, but that they don't have enough options, what I mean is, some nice tricks and tactics to increase mobility, reduce vulnerability to mind control/sleep, and generally break the 1 trick pony status that all weapon based combatants end up in.

A 'silencing blow' for instance, when you punch the bad guy in the throat for a silence affect, (fort save to negate).
a 'heroic leap' where you can make a running jump in combat as a charge.

You have many of those options if you build your fighter. I once played a minotaur with the leap attack feat that does exactly what you discribed as a "heroic leap". His jump could go up to +45 and he could do between 59 to 94 dmg with one blow (if it was a crit, the max.dmg was 282) And he could hit with a touch attack (3 times a day thanks to a magic item).

Oh, he was lvl 12 at that time.

*edit* i forgot: he could throw a rock as part of his charge, dealing additionally 16-30 dmg to up to two squares
(he in fact was no ordinary fighter, but a fighter type: brb 1/warhulk 3)


Rob is on the right track (and somehow my quote tags got messed up in my last post, but I can't edit). The thing I've found though is that every attempt to give them those options ends up 90% or better like Tome of Battle. Which raises the obvious question of why not just use ToB?

What'd go a long way is if less specialization were required to be considered competent. Then, instead of having to try to work in flight or whatever you can just have characters be 'good enough' at melee and ranged combat so that 'enemy on a wall' means they do somewhat less damage, not that they might as well not try. In other words, feats need to be better than cantrip level (with the good ones being roughly equal to second level spells... except you're mid or high level).

Looking at the feats section... all the feats just about are the same, or weaker. PA (one of the few melee tricks) is now either capped at BAB or Str, whichever is lower. Tripping (another one of the very short entries on that list) now gives half the bonus it did before. Meanwhile enemies aren't changed at all, so you still encounter exactly the same issues. They did add a few new things, but those are both weaker, and exacerbate the problem. For example, that one several other people have mentioned whose name I'm forgetting. Versus anything susceptible to precision damage, it works well enough... then you fight an immune, and can't do much. Precision damage is even more situational and thereby a less applicable trick than PA and tripping is. Besides, I think anyone who wants to have their entire binary effectiveness predicated on the presence of immunity to precision damage (or lack thereof) is quite satisfied with the Rogue.


Crusader of Logic wrote:
What'd go a long way is if less specialization were required to be considered competent.

Everyone suggesting to give fighters more options to specialize has my fully support.


Crusader of Logic wrote:
In other words, feats need to be better than cantrip level (with the good ones being roughly equal to second level spells... except you're mid or high level).

Right on.

But to drive this kind of statement, we need a better metric for what is "Cantrip" level and what is "Second level" in terms of power.


roguerouge wrote:
Daidai wrote:

to address the OP und summarize the intention of my posts:

1) yes, i (and i think all of us here) agree that fighters and
spellcasters are unbalanced. But i think the question if this leads to a "broken" situation lies mostly in the hands of the GM and depends on players preferences and game style.

If it requires special GM handling, isn't it automatically broken? You don't fix things that aren't broken, right? I think that logic, correct or not, is a foundational part of the split here.

i didn´t say that you have to fix the fighter with special GM handling. I said that a certain GM handling can lead to a "broken" encounter for the fighter or to a bad gaming experience. But you can just as easily create frustrating encounters for spellcasters (or thiefs).

So my opinion is that if the fighter has the feeling that he is of no use in a campaign compared to the spellcaster it is more likely a sign that the GM (or the group including the spellcasters) is doing something wrong than a sign for a broken system.

I can only rely on my own gaming experience where nobody in the group, including fighters, a scout, a healer and spellcasters feel useless or overpowered.


toyrobots wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:
In other words, feats need to be better than cantrip level (with the good ones being roughly equal to second level spells... except you're mid or high level).

Right on.

But to drive this kind of statement, we need a better metric for what is "Cantrip" level and what is "Second level" in terms of power.

Well, the Weapon Focus line (all of it) is a series of cantrips. +1 to hit with 1 weapon, +2 damage with one weapon. +1 to hit equates to +2 to damage. These are equal. Problem: You get 1 at level 1, 1 at level 4, 1 at level 8, 1 at level 12. Cantrip level is underpowered at level 1. How, exactly is it good practice to give something of the same power at levels 4, 8, and 12 when the bars are raised?

Now let's look at the better feats.

Combat Reflexes is better, though by itself it's near pointless. Combine it with EWP: Spiked Chain, Improved Trip (which requires wasting a feat on Combat Expertise) and now it's maybe equal to a second level spell... except it took 4 feats for that, only two of which actually do anything for you directly. The other two are either 'take this to take what you actually want' or 'you can't do this unless you blow a feat on it' for Combat Expertise and the proficiency feat respectively.

As a non core example, Power Attack + Leap Attack + Shock Trooper (which also requires Improved Bull Rush, however ST actually does something with bull rush so it's not wasted). 4 feats, and now you're a charger. Not a great charger, not even a very good charger as this is just the basics, and if you try only using these feats you'll probably get slaughtered. And of course, charging, like tripping is rather easily countered.

Take a step back and imagine a level 6 wizard who can only cast a second level spell. They can use it any time all of the conditions are met (fairly stringent) and as many times as they want, but it is a single second level spell. Even if that spell is something great like Glitterdust, guess what? He's going to feel pretty useless too.

The Warlock from Complete Arcane uses this principle, but gives them a lot more tricks. That is to say, instead of a small to medium number of incredible tricks they get a small number of mediocre tricks they can use whenever they want. The end result is slightly below average, but usable. So in essence, the current martial guys of the non adept variety are much weaker Warlocks.

Also Daidai, it is not like you are making it out to be. About the only way you can truly make the current fighter feel useful is if you use nothing but big dumb melee brute enemies that do nothing but run up to the closest target and attack them while ignoring everyone else, giving said fighter (note the lack of capitalization) a nice big HP punching bag to relieve tension on. I say HP punching bag because all the enemies that qualify have large amounts of HP, but low AC, low saves, etc.

In any situation but the monster bowling alley, they have a variable time keeping up. Variable meaning the smarter the enemies get, the less capable they are of keeping up. They can certainly have as high, or better Intelligence scores... that doesn't automatically give them the right tools for the job, in the same way that any peon with a gun could shoot Bruce Lee if he started at least twenty feet away (any closer, and Bruce would probably be fast enough to run in and kick the gunman's ass without getting shot). Bruce's superior close range skills mean nothing if he can't use them. Plans are meaningless if they cannot be enacted.

Thing is though, the monster bowling alley is super easy for everyone. Wizard makes use of those lovely crowd control spells and gets his XP even easier than usual. Cleric and/or Druid puts the divine smack down on the enemy. Rogue hides on the ceiling, and drops down for Cuisinart fun. Being good at scoring strikes doesn't mean much when the game is Rocket Launcher Tag, not ten pins.

So you either coddle the Fighter (and everyone else more so) play normally (Fighter can't keep up, stuff like Duskblades works fine, CoDzilla runs the show) or try to single out the casters which requires extremely arbitrary and contrived situations. For example, AMF means some high level caster just shut off their own casting ability. Most spells won't work on them, but then they also cannot do anything at all anymore, unless they can get within 10 feet and stay there. There are still ways the other caster wins by himself, but ultimately the point is AMF is not a valid countermeasure as it cannot be used properly.

Golems? Fogs still work. Certain illusions still work. Put an illusionary pit in front of them, they will just stand there and not cross it. Drop fog on them, leave the area, but leave a Silent Image behind or something. Since they have no reasoning skills, they will happily sit there attacking the minor illusion. Encounter overcome.

Dead Magic? Pure DM fiat.

This quote is very true:

Tier 1: Capable of doing absolutely everything, often better than classes that specialize in that thing. Often capable of solving encounters with a single mechanical ability and little thought from the player. Has world changing powers at high levels. These guys, if played well, can break a campaign and can be very hard to challenge without extreme DM fiat, especially if Tier 3s and below are in the party.

Examples: Wizard, Cleric, Druid, Archivist, Artificer.

And this one:

Tier 5: Capable of doing only one thing, and not necessarily all that well, or so unfocused that they have trouble mastering anything, and in many types of encounters the character cannot contribute. In some cases, can do one thing very well, but that one thing is very often not needed. Has trouble shining in any encounter. DMs may have to work to avoid the player feeling that their character is worthless unless the entire party is Tier 4 and below. Characters in this tier will often feel like one trick ponies if they do well, or just feel like they have no tricks at all if they build the class poorly.

Examples: Fighter, Monk, CA Ninja, Healer, Swashbuckler, Rokugan Ninja, Soulknife, Expert.


Crusader of Logic wrote:
Take a step back and imagine a level 6 wizard who can only cast a second level spell. They can use it any time all of the conditions are met (fairly stringent) and as many times as they want, but it is a single second level spell. Even if that spell is something great like Glitterdust, guess what?...

well except that your level 6 wizard has low HPs, low AC and maybe won´t even stand one round in melee.

My gaming experience is so different from yours a can´t tell (i don´t want to claim it would be better, of course).

And i don´t think that the only challenging encounter for a fighter is a brute with low AC and many hitpoints.
But i realize that the more power gaming you do, the more a fighter type may fall back.

But that can be done with almost every class (if including splat books).
Take a look at the minotaur i posted earlier. He made all other characters in the group useless because once a fight started, he charged into melee (with leap attack you can circumvent most charge blockers) and the most time he slaughtered the most dangerous bad guy in one round. I even saw a dragon fall with one hit (205 dmg). So our DM was frustrated because he either had to make the enemies stronger and by doing so put the whole group in more danger or adjust them to especially counter my fighter which could be unfair. And as another poster stated, if a DM has to adjust it, wouldn´t that mean the class is broken / too powerful ? So was my fighter type broken because too powerful ?


I didn't mention the brute as 'most challenging'. I said it as 'what he can deal with'. In other words, the less straightforward the enemy, the less effective he is. Everything can deal with the big melee brute (though the tougher ones will still probably one or two round the Fighter).

No 'power gaming' about it. In fact power gaming helps the melee guy keep up. You have to be actively coddling the melee guy for him to be useful. Like that dragon? Why was it on the ground again? By not playing the dragon to its intelligence, you are coddling that charger.

By the way, the Wizard example was to illustrate how one trick ponies fail at their designated task even if their one trick is very good. If you've seen my tier quotes, notice that the higher tier ones are higher tier because of versatility more than power, and power often isn't even a factor unless comparing two things of the same role where one is higher tier than the other. Bards are tier 3 which is about balanced. Why? Skill base, some useful class abilities, some spells of the disabling and support type. Dread Necromancers are also Tier 3 because of many of the same reasons. They can do something meaningful in a variety of situations, without it being over the top.

Sczarni

Squirrelloid wrote:


Deathward solves death spells and stops them cold. No mid-high level wizard is going to go walking around without it. (They'll take leadership with a cleric cohort if they need to, but usually the party cleric is happy to trade a spell cast on the wizard for something useful in return, and the wizard has lots of great spell choices to offer).

I could go on. A wizard duel between two well-prepared wizards is a series of testing the waters effects to see what their opponent is vulnerable to. The winner is usually the person who has the best magical protections. Edit: assuming no one is using degenerate tactics like satchel charges of explosive runes and a dispel magic spell.

Wizards...

Specious arguments carry no weight.

A FIGHTER could have a mid-level cleric/wizard cohort and pull the same tricks you just described. Adding something to the class has no bearing on whether that class, as written, is "balanced" or "powerful" or whatever catchphrase is appropriate now.

-t


psionichamster wrote:
Squirrelloid wrote:


Deathward solves death spells and stops them cold. No mid-high level wizard is going to go walking around without it. (They'll take leadership with a cleric cohort if they need to, but usually the party cleric is happy to trade a spell cast on the wizard for something useful in return, and the wizard has lots of great spell choices to offer).

I could go on. A wizard duel between two well-prepared wizards is a series of testing the waters effects to see what their opponent is vulnerable to. The winner is usually the person who has the best magical protections. Edit: assuming no one is using degenerate tactics like satchel charges of explosive runes and a dispel magic spell.

Wizards...

Specious arguments carry no weight.

A FIGHTER could have a mid-level cleric/wizard cohort and pull the same tricks you just described. Adding something to the class has no bearing on whether that class, as written, is "balanced" or "powerful" or whatever catchphrase is appropriate now.

-t

Yes, but death spells aren't a fighter weakness. He needs mindblank, and he's not getting a cohort capable of casting it until 17th level, at best. He'd also do better just playing his cohort at that point.

The wizard doesn't totally replace his character with his cohort when he nabs a cleric. That's a significant difference in impact. The fighter can also only grab one of cleric or wizard, meaning he can't have access to all the good defensive spells by himself.

Everyone can take a cohort. Its part of the game. Only primary casters can have 2 primary casters between them and their cohort.


Crusader of Logic wrote:
Bards are tier 3 which is about balanced. Why? Skill base, some useful class abilities, some spells of the disabling and support type. Dread Necromancers are also Tier 3 because of many of the same reasons. They can do something meaningful in a variety of situations, without it being over the top.

Where is this list of D&D 3.5 Tiers of which you speak?


Sueki Suezo wrote:
Where is this list of D&D 3.5 Tiers of which you speak?

Who cares? We're not talking about 3.5 here and what 3.5 classes are really good... or are we?


Sueki Suezo wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:
Bards are tier 3 which is about balanced. Why? Skill base, some useful class abilities, some spells of the disabling and support type. Dread Necromancers are also Tier 3 because of many of the same reasons. They can do something meaningful in a variety of situations, without it being over the top.
Where is this list of D&D 3.5 Tiers of which you speak?

Posted in several places by someone by the name of JaronK. It evaluates both where the 3.5 classes stand, and more to the point gives the defining characteristics of what makes tier x tier x so you can easily extend it to new, or revised classes such as the ones here. The rest speaks for itself.

Complete Tier System for Classes post by JaronK:

Spoiler:
The following is a repost of something I made over on the WotC forums. I'm not exactly sure which forum to put it on, as it's intended for a variety of purposes. It's here mostly because I'd like to get some feedback from knowledgeable minds, but it's also a useful tool, much like a handbook, and available for use.

My general philosophy is that the only balance that really matters in D&D is the interclass balance between the various PCs in a group. If the group as a whole is very powerful and flexible, the DM can simply up the challenge level and complexity of the encounters. If it's weak and inflexible, the DM can lower the challenge level and complexity. Serious issues arise when the party is composed of some members which are extremely powerful and others which are extremely weak, leading to a situation where the DM has two choices: either make the game too easy for the strong members, or too hard for the weak members. Neither is desireable. Thus, this system is created for the following purposes:

1) To provide a ranking system so that DMs know roughly the power of the PCs in their group

2) To provide players with knowledge of where their group stands, power wise, so that they can better build characters that fit with their group.

3) To help DMs who plan to use house rules to balance games by showing them where the classes stand before applying said house rules (how many times have we seen DMs pumping up Sorcerers or weakening Monks?).

4) To help DMs judge what should be allowed and what shouldn't in their games. It may sound cheesy when the Fighter player wants to be a Half Minotaur Water Orc, but if the rest of his party is Druid, Cloistered Cleric, Archivist, and Artificer, then maybe you should allow that to balance things out. However, if the player is asking to be allowed to be a Venerable White Dragonspawn Dragonwrought Kobold Sorcerer and the rest of the party is a Monk, a Fighter, and a Rogue, maybe you shouldn't let that fly.

5) To help homebrewers judge the power and balance of their new classes. Pick a Tier you think your class should be in, and when you've made your class compare it to the rest of the Tier. Generally, I like Tier 3 as a balance point, but I know many people prefer Tier 4. If it's stronger than Tier 1, you definitely blew it.

Psionic classes are mostly absent simply because I don't have enough experience with them. Other absent classes are generally missing because I don't know them well enough to comment, though if I've heard a lot about them they're listed in itallics. Note that "useless" here means "the class isn't particularly useful for dealing with situation X" not "it's totally impossible with enough splat books to make a build that involves that class deal with situation X." "Capable of doing one thing" means that any given build does one thing, not that the class itself is incapable of being built in different ways. Also, "encounters" here refers to appropriate encounters... obviously, anyone can solve an encounter with purely mechanical abilities if they're level 20 and it's CR 1.

Also note that with enough optimization, it's generally possible to go up a tier, and if played poorly you can easily drop a few tiers, but this is a general averaging, assuming that everyone in the party is playing with roughly the same skill and optimization level. As a rule, parties function best when everyone in the party is within 2 Tiers of each other (so a party that's all Tier 2-4 is generally fine, and so is a party that's all Tier 3-5, but a party that has Tier 1 and Tier 5s in it may have issues).

The Tier System

Tier 1: Capable of doing absolutely everything, often better than classes that specialize in that thing. Often capable of solving encounters with a single mechanical ability and little thought from the player. Has world changing powers at high levels. These guys, if played well, can break a campaign and can be very hard to challenge without extreme DM fiat, especially if Tier 3s and below are in the party.

Examples: Wizard, Cleric, Druid, Archivist, Artificer.

Tier 2: Has as much raw power as the Tier 1 classes, but can't pull off nearly as many tricks, and while the class itself is capable of anything, no one build can actually do nearly as much as the Tier 1 classes. Still potencially campaign smashers by using the right abilities, but at the same time are more predictable and can't always have the right tool for the job. If the Tier 1 classes are countries with 10,000 nuclear weapons in their arsenal, these guys are countries with 10 nukes. Still dangerous and world shattering, but not in quite so many ways.

Examples: Sorcerer, Favoured Soul, Psion, Binder (with access to online vestiges)

Tier 3: Capable of doing one thing quite well, while still being useful when that one thing is inappropriate, or capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area. Occasionally has a mechanical ability that can solve an encounter, but this is relatively rare and easy to deal with. Challenging such a character takes some thought from the DM, but isn't too difficult. Will outshine any Tier 5s in the party much of the time.

Examples: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, Crusader, Bard, Swordsage, Binder (without access to the summon monster vestige), Wildshape Varient Ranger, Duskblade, Factorum, Warblade

Tier 4: Capable of doing one thing quite well, but often useless when encounters require other areas of expertise, or capable of doing many things to a reasonable degree of competance without truly shining. Rarely has any abilities that can outright handle an encounter. DMs may sometimes need to work to make sure Tier 4s can contribue to an encounter, as their abilities may sometimes leave them useless. Won't outshine anyone except Tier 6s except in specific circumstances that play to their strengths. Cannot compete effectively with Tier 1s that are played well.

Examples: Rogue, Barbarian, Warlock, Warmage, Scout, Ranger, Hexblade, Adept, Spellthief, Marshal, Fighter (Dungeoncrasher Varient), Psionic Warrior

Tier 5: Capable of doing only one thing, and not necessarily all that well, or so unfocused that they have trouble mastering anything, and in many types of encounters the character cannot contribute. In some cases, can do one thing very well, but that one thing is very often not needed. Has trouble shining in any encounter. DMs may have to work to avoid the player feeling that their character is worthless unless the entire party is Tier 4 and below. Characters in this tier will often feel like one trick ponies if they do well, or just feel like they have no tricks at all if they build the class poorly.

Examples: Fighter, Monk, CA Ninja, Healer, Swashbuckler, Rokugan Ninja, Soulknife, Expert

Tier 6: Not even capable of shining in their own area of expertise. DMs will need to work hard to make encounters that this sort of character can contribute in with their mechanical abilities. Will often feel worthless unless the character is seriously powergamed beyond belief, and even then won't be terribly impressive. Needs to fight enemies of lower than normal CR. Class is often completely unsynergized or with almost no abilities of merit. Avoid allowing PCs to play these characters.

Examples: CW Samurai, Aristocrat, Warrior, Commoner

And then there's the Truenamer, which is just broken (as in, the class was improperly made and doesn't function appropriately).

Now, obviously these rankings only apply when mechanical abilities are being used... in a more social oriented game where talking is the main way of solving things (without using diplomacy checks), any character can shine. However, when the mechanical abilities of the classes in question are being used, it's a bad idea to have parties with more than two tiers of difference.

It is interesting to note the disparity between the core classes... one of the reasons core has so many problems. If two players want to play a nature oriented shapeshifter and a general sword weilder, you're stuck with two very different tiered guys in the party (Fighter and Druid). Outside of core, it's possible to do it while staying on close Tiers... Wild Shape Varient Ranger and Warblade, for example.

JaronK


Crusader of Logic wrote:
Posted in several places by someone by the name of JaronK. It evaluates both where the 3.5 classes stand, and more to the point gives the defining characteristics of what makes tier x tier x so you can easily extend it to new, or revised classes such as the ones here. The rest speaks for itself.

Thanks for the information!


This thread, and the other one with the inflating bonuses thing that I started about high-level play, makes me realize how gigantic an overhaul the 3.5 system needs in order to make it truly functional.

By the way, where does the paladin fit into the Tier system? Personally, I'd say that the 3.5 paladin is a Tier 4, and the Pathfinder paladin is Tier 5, since they really nerfed the paladin healing in PF without giving them much to compensate, especially during the 'sweet spot' levels. However, I may well be in error.

I'm not in favor of nerfing the casting classes too much, other than zapping a couple of the more abusable spells back to the stone age. However, I think the melee classes could use a serious buff -- and some kind of maneuver system to match the spell system seems like a logical way to go (a la Bo9S without the silly names).


Crusdaer of Logic: Your posts are great, very well-thought out and good information.

Everyone knows wizards simply have more awesome things they can do at upper levels than fighters.

The issue is how to really fix it. I am not sure if it needs fixed...D&D, much like real life, isn't necessarily fair. Some classes are just better, I think I don't mind it that way.

The Exchange

In the scneario posted earlier with the fighter getting hammered by elementals and dire lions and higher level casters. Why not a cloak of flying (or the wings in the Pathfinder items). Since you were all playing using splat books, magic item compendium has a 2000gp set of boots that lets you teleport up to 60 ft. Why doesn't your crusader use those? he couldve ported right on top of the wall.

People have spoken of the "weak build magic user" being no argument. Well, if your fighters are building weak as well, then this is no comparison. There are plenty of avialable items that make the combat guy more mobile, which is vital at high level play. Most of them are easily accessable as well.

I'm sure someone is going to say things like "but then they waste a slot on something that should make em hit harder" or similar arguments, but really, what's more effective than being able to fly or teleport right up the caster at the back and smack down on them.

Those teleport boots btw only have limited charges so means they run out eventually in a single day. However, like many of the pro wizard posters are saying, not every fight is going to have someone able to lock down your fighter.

Add in things like protection from <insert allignment> potions, and a few save boositing buffs from his magic using mates and the fighter is good to go. Hell, all the mages seem to be buffed to the nines in these scenarios, why can't the fighter get some of that loving. I'm thinking of mass conviction here (not core, but the battle mentioned above has tons of non core stuff as well). At that level his saves are much nicer thank you very much.

I agree that there is some tweaking to do, but the power imbalance doesn't seem to be as big as whole bunches of posters are making it out to be.


Carnivorous_Bean wrote:

This thread, and the other one with the inflating bonuses thing that I started about high-level play, makes me realize how gigantic an overhaul the 3.5 system needs in order to make it truly functional.

By the way, where does the paladin fit into the Tier system? Personally, I'd say that the 3.5 paladin is a Tier 4, and the Pathfinder paladin is Tier 5, since they really nerfed the paladin healing in PF without giving them much to compensate, especially during the 'sweet spot' levels. However, I may well be in error.

I'm not in favor of nerfing the casting classes too much, other than zapping a couple of the more abusable spells back to the stone age. However, I think the melee classes could use a serious buff -- and some kind of maneuver system to match the spell system seems like a logical way to go (a la Bo9S without the silly names).

I'd rank the 3.5 Paladin as Tier 5 (and it's bordering on 6).

Reasons:

1: First and foremost is the code. The way it is written, you have what is known as simple rules for a complex world. Just as a child like mentality works fine for cookies out of the cookie jar, but doesn't really do much in regard to actual crime, the paladin code is not workable within the real (to the characters) world. Therefore, he loses all class abilities becoming a Fighter sans bonus feats. It is not a question of if this will happen, but when.

2: Ignoring that and looking at the crunch... they get a small number of situational attacks that add small to medium bonuses to one attack a few times a day. If Smite Evil were per encounter, it'd be somewhat significant. Per day, no. What else do they get? Cha to saves (the big pull), a bit of healing from LoH which is Paladin level * Cha bonus and therefore is lucky to be worth a single Heal spell total at level 20 (and before that, it falls behind other level appropriate single healing magics). They get a mount, which sounds great except that mounts are very situational and mounted combat (which your mount is a living reminder that you 'must' specialize in) is even more so. They also get a few spells, but due to the half CL mechanic, and being based on a secondary stat on a very multiple attribute dependent character most of them end up useless by default for those reasons.

3: For these and other reasons if you want to play a holy warrior concept character you are better off using another class. Even if that class is Fighter, you're still better off. If it is Crusader or Cleric instead, even better.

Paladins would be Tier 4 if their code was workable, smite was per encounter, LoH was expanded in some way, and they got full CL (but still only max 4th level spells) so that they can make use of things like Dispel Magic, and not be so easily Dispelled in return. If PF nerfed the Paladin, it's probably Tier 6. I haven't looked at the PF paladin yet as I have had no reason to.

Wrath: He didn't have those things because he forgot them. The boots are a Standard action by the way. Right now he has 80k to get whatever he wants (Artificers for the win) but I can't get him to do anything with it so he's just holding up his own solo quest (the group went their separate ways for the downtime).

Also, no one had Mass Conviction. The new Cleric does though.

Lastly, casters aren't really buffed in my scenarios. At least, not more than anyone else. Well, me and the Druid were invisible in that fight. Greater Mirror Image is self only. He can't activate spell trigger items. Everything else we had, he had. And all the best buffs are self only. If something like Bite of the Werebear were touch range, I certainly would throw it on the Crusader, provided he did not have an objection to 'changing his form'. Bite of the Werebear makes you look different, but it's not a Polymorph effect.

The Exchange

Thanks for the replies Crusader. I'm actually enjoying this type of discourse on the boards. It's making me think about rules more than I have in the past. Plus, it's currently less of the insult throwing slugfest it has been in the past, which is nothing but good.

Let me know how that Crusader spending goes in game sometime. Would be interested to see if he goes more mobile or plays it for damage output.

Oh yeah, I realise the limitations of the boots as a standard action. But it would have put him on the wall and suddenly made those casters have to re maneuvre or get the smackdown. When your fighters are dictating the terms of combat becasue they can outmaneuvre the enemy, it makes it hard for enemies to coordinate a good combat/magic tactic.

I liked the concept of Artificer as a class, but none of my players have used it so I can't really comment on it.

Also, let me know if Conviction makes a difference in your games. When we first intriduced it into our campaign it made my life as GM somewhat more challenging as it broke down a number of my usual fighter lockdowns (they pass their saves a hell of a lot more now). It's probably one of the reasons I don't see the power imbalance the way others do. Might be a bit of flawed logic in there somewhere I'm sure.

I'm also thinking I'll have to chekc out the book of nine swords that everyone keeps talking about. If it has a number of mobile enabling things then we might use it. How much does it affect the rest of the game?

Cheers


Wrath wrote:

Thanks for the replies Crusader. I'm actually enjoying this type of discourse on the boards. It's making me think about rules more than I have in the past. Plus, it's currently less of the insult throwing slugfest it has been in the past, which is nothing but good.

Let me know how that Crusader spending goes in game sometime. Would be interested to see if he goes more mobile or plays it for damage output.

All indications thus far seem to be he's just going for basic +stat stuff. And this is with my Artificer crafting basically anything he wants, because the DM wisely house ruled XP costs can be paid by any truly willing creature. (that truly willing bit is to disqualify charm, dominate, etc) In other words, all he has to do is hand over the money, pay the XP cost for his shinies himself, and there he goes. Same as me. The alternative is the failure of logic that is my character becoming weaker to make his stronger, something that very few would be willing to do. In other words, it fixed the imbalance by not making me stupid for helping my allies. I recommended he go for Enlarge Person at will at the least (the DM will allow this sort of thing, case by case). Since he's kinda Lockdownish, being bigger means a lot. It'd also give him a 30 foot vertical reach and 20 foot horizontal so the wall tactic doesn't work so great anymore. Haste would also do him good due to the mobility issues I, he, and others observed.

Quote:
Oh yeah, I realise the limitations of the boots as a standard action. But it would have put him on the wall and suddenly made those casters have to re maneuvre or get the smackdown. When your fighters are dictating the terms of combat becasue they can outmaneuvre the enemy, it makes it hard for enemies to coordinate a good combat/magic tactic.

Well vs the skirmisher they just 5' stepped and didn't care. That wouldn't work against him though since 5' step = AoO anyways.

I liked the concept of Artificer as a class, but none of my players have used it so I can't really comment on it.

Quote:
Also, let me know if Conviction makes a difference in your games. When we first intriduced it into our campaign it made my life as GM somewhat more challenging as it broke down a number of my usual fighter lockdowns (they pass their saves a hell of a lot more now). It's probably one of the reasons I don't see the power imbalance the way others do. Might be a bit of flawed logic in there somewhere I'm sure.

Well, between already high saves and immunities I don't see a lot of failed saves. This would magnify that bit of course. Eberron also has APs, which are always nice.

Quote:

I'm also thinking I'll have to chekc out the book of nine swords that everyone keeps talking about. If it has a number of mobile enabling things then we might use it. How much does it affect the rest of the game?

Cheers

All three of the martial adepts are Tier 3. That is to say, The Big Five and their lesser cousins such as the Sorcerer, the Psion etc are still better, but they're good enough to work out of the box, contribute meaningfully in a variety of scenarios, and in general be useful without being overpowered. Also, they get to do real damage and still move more than 5' without being a Pouncer. That's always nice. There is actually very little broken in the book and what there is comes from incredibly poor wording. Even so, the number of critical failures there is at least ten times lower than in the core books, and those mistakes are easy to fix. I'm referring to the poor wording on Iron Heart Surge and White Raven Tactics here.


I'd have to say that my main problem with the Crusader is that it has no out-of-combat abilities. In other words, the Crusader can't heal someone even minorly out of combat -- there's no role-playing hook of the Crusader "laying on hands" on a dying peasant, say, and getting the gratitude of the village, which leads to get a crucial piece of information. This is just a random scenario, but it's something a paladin could do, and a Crusader couldn't.

The Crusader could only pull it off by dragging in an orc and whacking him on the head with sword. ;)

Although I suppose, if you wanted a slightly more versatile character, you could multiclass into cleric briefly in order to get a few low-level spells for out-of-combat situations.


He can just get into a mock battle and punch his friend. Or use Diplomacy (he gets it as a class skill).


Squirrelloid wrote:
Moff Rimmer wrote:
Squirrelloid wrote:
The problem is not that the wizard can "beat" the fighter. The problem is that the fighter isn't necessary.
Is this a problem with the mechanics or the scenarios? (Or DM for that matter?) As I have said, I have run encounters that have all but made the wizard useless (and I wasn't even trying to do so). Also I have run encounters that have made the fighter(s) all but useless. (Again, usually without intending to.)

WARNING: I tend to assume players make good decisions. Many players, especially many wizard players, seem to make bad decisions in actual play. (Focusing on direct damage = poor choice, of course such wizards don't seem to be overpowering).

Define 'Good Decisions.'


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Daidai wrote:

thinking about it, i wouldn´t want the fighter be as powerful as the wizard... after all: it´s the wizard !

it´s like complaining how Jedis are more powerful than stormtroopers or that Luke Skywalker can beat Han Solo in any encounter. Why must everyone be "balanced" ? After all, as others have mentioned, they play together, not against each other. And why not playing a fighter who ist impressed by the powers this mage next to him can wield ?

At some point you have to address the idea that one of your players feels pretty much useless. When we immerse ourselves in fantasy, everyone wants to be the Jedi and very few people want to be the faceless droid or the names rebel fighter.

If you have an entire class of players that are second hat all the time they are going to get frustrated and leave the game.

And a good DM can, in my experience, prevent players from feeling useless, while good players prevent them selves from feeling useless.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Daidai wrote:

thinking about it, i wouldn´t want the fighter be as powerful as the wizard... after all: it´s the wizard !

it´s like complaining how Jedis are more powerful than stormtroopers or that Luke Skywalker can beat Han Solo in any encounter. Why must everyone be "balanced" ? After all, as others have mentioned, they play together, not against each other. And why not playing a fighter who ist impressed by the powers this mage next to him can wield ?

At some point you have to address the idea that one of your players feels pretty much useless. When we immerse ourselves in fantasy, everyone wants to be the Jedi and very few people want to be the faceless droid or the names rebel fighter.

If you have an entire class of players that are second hat all the time they are going to get frustrated and leave the game.

And a good DM can, in my experience, prevent players from feeling useless, while good players prevent them selves from feeling useless.

So the class should remain sub par? How about making fighters useful so that the DM doesn't have to build situations that the fighter can actually get something to do, apart from watch the casters win the fight?


Carnivorous_Bean wrote:
This thread, and the other one with the inflating bonuses thing that I started about high-level play, makes me realize how gigantic an overhaul the 3.5 system needs in order to make it truly functional.

I disagree. Spellcasters are always probably going to have an edge, but I think Pathfinder has already done a good job of closing the gap between the Tiers.

Carnivorous_Bean wrote:
I'm not in favor of nerfing the casting classes too much, other than zapping a couple of the more abusable spells back to the stone age. However, I think the melee classes could use a serious buff -- and some kind of maneuver system to match the spell system seems like a logical way to go (a la Bo9S without the silly names).

There's a few really broken spells that need to be fixed, and the "virtual save or die" spells need to be cleaned up (I'm looking at you, Enchantment), but I don't think the situation is as dire as many make it out to be.


Pathfinder has widened the gaps between the Tiers. Not narrowed them.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Am I the only one who's High level games the Melee classes do better the the Spell Caster Classes?


Dragnmoon wrote:
Am I the only one who's High level games the Melee classes do better the the Spell Caster Classes?

I find that fighter/rogues and monks make highly effective wizard killers.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
QXL99 wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Am I the only one who's High level games the Melee classes do better the the Spell Caster Classes?
I find that fighter/rogues and monks make highly effective wizard killers.

That is not what I am saying..

In my games while the wizards are trying to get through SR and Saving throws the Fighters are beating the poop out of everything.


I'd say your casters are doing something very wrong then. My guess is direct damage spells. Also, I'm guessing they face a lot of non intelligent enemies as the intelligent ones have ways of shutting down the party (which work far better on non casters due to lack of adaptability).

Also, Fighters, Monks, and Rogues are free XP for casters. Unless the caster is an idiot, then they die anyways. Monks are lucky if they can even hit you. Say it with me. Flurry of Misses. Fighters and Rogues still have to get their one trick off.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:

I'd say your casters are doing something very wrong then. My guess is direct damage spells. Also, I'm guessing they face a lot of non intelligent enemies as the intelligent ones have ways of shutting down the party (which work far better on non casters due to lack of adaptability).

Also, Fighters, Monks, and Rogues are free XP for casters. Unless the caster is an idiot, then they die anyways. Monks are lucky if they can even hit you. Say it with me. Flurry of Misses. Fighters and Rogues still have to get their one trick off.

Though there are spell that have No Saves or no SR, they are not many, and at High levels your adversaries will have High Saves and/or High SR which will slow down the Casters.

On the other hand the Buffed up Fighters are esisly capable of getting thruogh DR and the AC and able to make thier saves becuase of thier Buffed up Saving throws and SRs at high levels and bring down the adversaries by the time the Wizard gets a spell through.

There are ways to make it easier to get through High Saving throws and SR but there are many more ways to get through AC and DR.


First, how are Fighters getting better saves than casters?

Second, how are the Fighters getting Spell Resistance? No, those items that cost absurd amounts for very low SR don't count.

Third, how are the Fighters getting to melee intelligent opponents? Certainly, they can hit on a 2, and hurt it a bit... but first they have to find it/catch it/whatever.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:

First, how are Fighters getting better saves than casters?

Second, how are the Fighters getting Spell Resistance? No, those items that cost absurd amounts for very low SR don't count.

Third, how are the Fighters getting to melee intelligent opponents? Certainly, they can hit on a 2, and hurt it a bit... but first they have to find it/catch it/whatever.

1. There are plenty of ways to get your saves up through Spell Buffs, Feats and Magic items.

2. Nice little Cleric spell called Spell Resitence and Spell Resistence, Mass

3. Range weapons work really well.

Ofcourse this will not always be true in all situtations but in general at High levels a Melee character can do as well or better then a Spell caster, ofcourse this is assuming they are getting help from the spellcatsers which they should be since it does make the combat easier and faster.


Dragnmoon wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:

First, how are Fighters getting better saves than casters?

Second, how are the Fighters getting Spell Resistance? No, those items that cost absurd amounts for very low SR don't count.

Third, how are the Fighters getting to melee intelligent opponents? Certainly, they can hit on a 2, and hurt it a bit... but first they have to find it/catch it/whatever.

1. There are plenty of ways to get your saves up through Spell Buffs, Feats and Magic items.

2. Nice little Cleric spell called Spell Resitence and Spell Resistence, Mass

3. Range weapons work really well.

Ofcourse this will not always be true in all situtations but in general at High levels a Melee character can do as well or better then a Spell caster, ofcourse this is assuming they are getting help from the spellcatsers which they should be since it does make the combat easier and faster.

The casters get the same or better buffs (the best spells are self only), feats don't make enough of a difference to matter, everyone has magic items.

Also, ranged weapons only work if you are specialized in ranged combat which means... oops, we're not talking melees anymore. Not to mention 1d8 + small to low medium range number isn't going to bother much anyways. He's not keeping up unless the casters are very badly played and he is extremely well optimized with various non OGL things that make him decent. He's not doing better unless all of the above is true, and the casters are complete idiots. Last I checked, you had to have high mental stats to be a caster. Oops, they aren't idiots.


1) Fighters don't necessarily have to be stupid thugs--I like playing Fighters with above average INT who are quick witted in combat.

2) The only real weakness to a Fighter is the WIS saving throw--not at all hard to compensate for. The best defense against most offensive spells, IMO, is a good save roll.

3) As soon as concentration is disrupted, the magic user is vulnerable...


QXL99 wrote:

1) Fighters don't necessarily have to be stupid thugs--I like playing Fighters with above average INT who are quick witted in combat.

2) The only real weakness to a Fighter is the WIS saving throw--not at all hard to compensate for. The best defense against most offensive spells, IMO, is a good save roll.

3) As soon as concentration is disrupted, the magic user is vulnerable...

1: Ok. Your fighter is smart. That's nice. So is everyone else. Difference is they have the right tools, he doesn't. No amount of smartness gives you what you do not have.

2: Hardly.

3: Elaborate.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You guys must think players that play Melee are Dumb..

They are just as smart as players that play Casters..

A group working together can out smart any encounter. With the Melee the Casters will be dead, with out the Caster the Melee will be dead.

A melee with all the buffs given to him can go toe to with almost anything, if he can't get to him the ranger can and do amazing damage with that Longbow.

A wizard though powerful is nothing on his own. A demon/devil of equal ability would rip him/her apart.

It really has nothing to do with one class being more powerful then another. it is how they help each other.

We can go in circles explaining how this with that can outmatch that. but in the end what really matters is the team worked needed with all the classes together.


His point- and one that's been stated repeately- is that you Do Not Need some classes in order to do well.

Do you need the fighter? No. Why not? Because he has NOTHING to bring to the table that someone else can't do.

Clerics make just as good fighters as fighters do- and they get full spell casting. Even after buffing themselves they still tend to have enough spells left over- and channeling- to keep everyone healed.

Is he there to kick in the door or carry loot?

Now you may not have had a cleric play the fighter role before. I haven't myself seen a cleric go balls-to-the-wall melee but that doesn't mean I can't read the spells and class descriptions and see that the fighter is seriously lacking.

The Barbarian does better 2h damage than he does and the cleric can at least match his melee damage not to mention being a full spell caster besides. True- the figher has gotten some buffs- but not nearly enough to make him anywhere Near as useful to the party as having a full-level cleric in his place.

THAT is the problem with the fighter. They can't do ANYTHING that someone else can't do much, much more effectively and with More aside from that to add to the party. The rogues at least have infinite trap-finding.

Until they Change that fact, then we will continue to see threads like this pop up. It isn't necessarily that Fighters aren't FUN to play. to some folks- they are fun. I know some guys who love them. Some of you Love them. Heck, I like fighters just fine- but I can't argue against the point that they are mechanically useless compared to having a druid or a cleric in their place.

A party of
fighter cleric wizard rogue
and a party of
cleric cleric wizard rogue.
or
druid cleric wizard rogue.

The second and third "party" have MANY MANY more options than does the first party simply in virtue of having the cleric or druid in place of the fighter. And they have lost -nothing-.

That is the problem. Until it is solved from a game-rule mechanical standpoint either by buffing the fighter, radically changing his class ToB style, or seriously putting the hammer down on the cleric/druid/full caster, then we still have the problem.

-S

edit: spelling, grammar, whatnot


Crusader of Logic wrote:
QXL99 wrote:

1) Fighters don't necessarily have to be stupid thugs--I like playing Fighters with above average INT who are quick witted in combat.

2) The only real weakness to a Fighter is the WIS saving throw--not at all hard to compensate for. The best defense against most offensive spells, IMO, is a good save roll.

3) As soon as concentration is disrupted, the magic user is vulnerable...

1: Ok. Your fighter is smart. That's nice. So is everyone else. Difference is they have the right tools, he doesn't. No amount of smartness gives you what you do not have.

2: Hardly.

3: Elaborate.

1 & 3) A smart fighter studies his opponent before engaging in combat (unless caught by surprise). Even w/o Spellcraft, a smart and experienced fighter has a pretty good idea what he's going up against when dealing with a spell caster. Dust in the eyes (from a kick or sprayed from a hand held pouch) might disrupt concentration (so might a container of acid, choking powder, etc), giving an opeing between spells to get some licks in or use terrain to sow further chaos (i.e., cutting a rope to drop the chandelier--even if it misses, it's a big distraction for someone trying to get off a spell. Of course there is Taunt, which could be roleplayed in many different--and disturbing--ways to throw a caster off his game).

2) A Fighter, by definition, survives on three things--AC, HP, and damage output. To survive attack/debilitation spells, he must either shrug them off or survive the damage. The worst spells for a Fighter to go up against are ones that attack the mind, because of his weak WIS save--a wounded Fighter can attack, but a charmed Fighter cannot. This is why I believe a smart Fighter boosts his WIS save and/or gets protection from mental attacks from somewhere (items, potions, spells).


A Fighter can do something better than any other character in the party--pounce quickly to deliver damage with "shock and awe."

A Fighter doesn't have to buff up before melee (which a Cleric or Druid have to at higher levels). Of all the classes, only the Fighter and Monk go into battle immediately out of the gate w/o some kind of buffing or setting up protections, and the Fighter has better AC and BAB. A lot of damage can be dealt while spellcasters are busy casting. This Fighter role benefits from a decent DEX, Improved Initiative, and a weapon with good reach.


Dragnmoon wrote:

You guys must think players that play Melee are Dumb..

They are just as smart as players that play Casters..

A group working together can out smart any encounter. With the Melee the Casters will be dead, with out the Caster the Melee will be dead.

A melee with all the buffs given to him can go toe to with almost anything, if he can't get to him the ranger can and do amazing damage with that Longbow.

A wizard though powerful is nothing on his own. A demon/devil of equal ability would rip him/her apart.

It really has nothing to do with one class being more powerful then another. it is how they help each other.

We can go in circles explaining how this with that can outmatch that. but in the end what really matters is the team worked needed with all the classes together.

Intelligence =/= ability.

Here is an example since you are having difficulty understanding. I am a very intelligent person. Let's say I am in a 20 * 20 room. On the opposite side of the room, a man is pointing a gun at my head. At this point, it does not matter what sort of close combat abilities I have. I could be a master of Krav Maga. I still have to get close to the guy to kick his ass. He will shoot me long before this. Because I do not have the right tools for the job (a gun of my own, or supernatural speed etc) I cannot apply my abilities against him. Therefore, I can plan all I want. I do not have the means to enact those plans. I'd be no better off as a Krav Maga master than as I am now. Being a Krav Maga master would have other benefits, but those are rather moot if this guy puts a bullet between my eyes.

By the way, Ranger archers are even worse than Fighter archers. There's only two archers that do half decent damage, and both are negated by immunity to precision.

Outsiders are tough for anyone, but casters can deal with them because they have the right tools. In fact they'll be the ones pulling everyone through the encounter.

Melees can do little to help casters, barring very specific builds that don't even exist in PF. Casters can do quite a bit to help melees.

Edit: QXL...

"1 & 3) A smart fighter studies his opponent before engaging in combat (unless caught by surprise). Even w/o Spellcraft, a smart and experienced fighter has a pretty good idea what he's going up against when dealing with a spell caster. Dust in the eyes (from a kick or sprayed from a hand held pouch) might disrupt concentration (so might a container of acid, choking powder, etc), giving an opeing between spells to get some licks in or use terrain to sow further chaos (i.e., cutting a rope to drop the chandelier--even if it misses, it's a big distraction for someone trying to get off a spell. Of course there is Taunt, which could be roleplayed in many different--and disturbing--ways to throw a caster off his game)."

The above is you making up stuff at random, and the DM coddling you if it works. Plain and simple. See, being able to disrupt spells that easily is an arbitrary house rule. And seeing as he can probably make his concentration check to survive sword to the face, why would you think a bit of dust would ruin his day? Seriously. Acid does less damage than sword to the face. Choking Powder = Dust of Sneezing and Choking? That actually will work, but at the same time most DMs will smack you if you try to use that cursed item as a benefit regardless of who you are. The rest is just really stupid stunts that means either again, the DM is coddling you or you are wasting your time. Let's put this into perspective.

20 Extraordinarily violent motion (earthquake).

An Earthquake is only DC 20. Which means he can probably cast just fine, even in a Magnitude 9 quake. Clearly, dropping a light is nowhere near that.

15 Violent motion (on a galloping horse, taking a very rough wagon ride, in a small boat in rapids, on the deck of a storm-tossed ship).

Yup, all of the above examples are still a greater disruption than having a light fall.

Here's the lowest example:

10 Vigorous motion (on a moving mount, taking a bouncy wagon ride, in a small boat in rough water, belowdecks in a stormtossed ship).

Not even DC 10 worthy. Even if it were, a first level mage passes 85% of the time. Way to go. This is a failure of the action economy check.

The taunt is you assuming someone smarter and/or wiser than you would fall for such a stupid trick and again making up stuff with no grounds. I have a neat fictional ability too. It's called 'I win'. See how pointless playing Cops and Robbers is?

"2) A Fighter, by definition, survives on three things--AC, HP, and damage output. To survive attack/debilitation spells, he must either shrug them off or survive the damage. The worst spells for a Fighter to go up against are ones that attack the mind, because of his weak WIS save--a wounded Fighter can attack, but a charmed Fighter cannot. This is why I believe a smart Fighter boosts his WIS save and/or gets protection from mental attacks from somewhere (items, potions, spells)."

This part is at least mostly accurate.

By the way, you're forgetting long term buffs which are cast long beforehand. The animal companion is your equal or better in melee, and it comes with a free Druid.


annnd.. so does the Cleric.

The only thing the fighter really has over the cleric is a HD bump and one extra attack after 15th level. And the cleric can make up that extra attack with spells. Spells that he himself can cast, not relying on items or someone else to assist him.

A melee cleric (as opposed to a spell casting cleric who buffs himself) can do a fair deal without any spells at all. Not as good as the fighter- true- but even one spell cast before battle can make a ton of difference and quite afew spells can be cast before hand.

Keep in mind here I'm not talking "cleric vs fighter, fight of the century" I'm talking their use in the common party. Sure some fights are spontaneous surprise-fests but alot of them also involve the party being well prepared. When both sided have any time at all for preparation the melee-cleric will reign supreme. Keep in mind that he not only can buff himself, but everyone else, and Still heal. They are just that freakin powerful.

Which is the problem we're talking about here. The fighter is too weak and the full casters are by and large too powerful compared to the fighter. Some classes close the gap abit, at least in places (rogue imo, barbarian also in my opinion).. the fighter though is just too lack luster.

It doesn't necessarily make them less fun- fun is too subjective a term for us to adequately try to evaluate. It does however make them objectively mechanically inferior. If you assume a 3-4 encounter adventuring day then the cleric comes out on top. Sure if you mess with the base numbers the fighter does tend to come out ahead but to do so you are effectively *house ruling the game* so that they come out ahead. And that is what we're trying to avoid.

If you have to alter your entire design paradigm around making sure the fighter is useful compared to the other classes then you are admitting that they have a serious, severe problem.

Yes- the DM can twist and bend and force encounters around so that everyone feels useful. They can have a dozen encounters per day or AMF zones or introduce creatures constantly that do nothing but cast Greater Dispel Magic at higher caster levels than the party. Sure- the DM can do this. Should they have to? Should it be a requirement that if you have full casters you have to constantly beat them with a bat to make the fighter feel better? Of course not.

Instead, we need to balance the scale. To balance a scale you can add to one side, take off from the other- or do both. Paizo HAS doen both. The fighter has gotten some beef. Some meat has been taken from the full casters. Is it enough?

That is the question. If your answer is anything but "Yes" then we have some adjustment to do.

-S

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:

[

Outsiders are tough for anyone, but casters can deal with them because they have the right tools. In fact they'll be the ones pulling everyone through the encounter.

Melees can do little to help casters, barring very...

You must play with some really dumb fighters then to have this point of view *By the way...yes that is the same as you saying I have dumb players that play wizards.*

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