VP's APG Playtest


Round 2: Summoner and Witch


Okay, ran a dungeon level for four characters, one for each of the released APG classes, stats built to somewhat resemble the iconics.

Note This led to later problems with the Oracle, its not a sorcerer, and shouldn't be played as such, as the Oracle player soon learned, you need to have a little more balanced stats and some melee capability, especially at 1st level.

Also, as far as new spells for the oracle to learn, some elemental or offensive spells are needed, though command and divine favour were chosen and served admirably.

Battle 1: 6 kobolds, EL 2
Proceeded as expected, took 3 rounds to finish, pretty okay for a level one party, eidolon and cavalier shined, though great rolls by the cavalier made him unstoppable.

Battle 2: water and fire, small elementals, EL 3
Witch and Oracle rolled better initiatives and in general here, sadly fire elemental rolled abysmally and quickly perished, 2 rounds.

Battle 3: Minataur, EL 4
Decided to pitch it hard, EL 4 after 2 fights already, Eidolon dropped to aoo almost immediately, though using crossbow and summoned dog, (whose lucky rolls saved the party when it got choppy in the middle, the cavalier falling, raised by the girls only for them to fall next round. Cavalier bravely won the day. It was a very hard fight, as would be expected, by the end we felt that they had preformed no better than a party of core classes would have, suggesting that power creep isn't a big issue if it exists at all!

Feelings:
The witch preforms well, as effective as any level one caster, maybe less outright damage, but debuffed well, and her evil eye hex meant she was always able to contribute really well, class feels just right, a favourite.

The summoner did well too, the eidolon is better than an AC, but conversely the summoner is less than the druid, once the eidolon falls though, despite being the most effective class, the summoner is adrift without those summon monster sla's, a real life saver.

The oracle wasn't built or played very well at first, but soon got her steam, more spells known or some extra offensive options would be nice, but I'm less convinced that their neccesary after the playtest.

The cavalier was great fun, very flavourful, though didn't get to use mount, challenge didn't feel overpowered, nor was the penalty too much, just right, actually far less scary than rage, which suits as its can be used every fight, the once per encounter really keeps its power reasonable I thought, especially in the kobold battle.

Overall:
I'm very happy, Witch and Cavalier played well and too expectations, though i didn't use oaths.

Summoner seemed strong in the Eidolon's first turn, but soon balanced out to be no less powerful than the druid, just effectiveness moved to eidolon somewhat, very boned without the summon monster sla's, so they get a huge +1!

Oracle, who i was trepidatious about, plays well once you know her roll, especially at first level where spell selection means she has to variavle, bless and divine favour, as well as adequate physical stats would help her alot, so I reccomend have full caster Cha bloat, and saving a few points for Str and Dex at early levels. I'd like more spells known, as stated above, it would have made cure irresistable, though I'm not as desperate for it as before.

More to come!

Regards,
vagrant-poet


Just out of curiosity, what did the Oracle have as a focus and a curse? And the Cavalier's order? Maybe a little detail on the Eidolon?

Overall, I'm very glad you had a good experience with them! Were these just a series of encounters or was there some play involved between them? In either case, were the allowed to somehow heal between the encounters?

Glad to see some actual playtest postage, if you continue please keep us informed! If I had my players around I would definitely put some stuff up, but I guess college does that.


Thanks, seriously not enough actual play-testing going on. I find your report very positive, and comforting. I've built a level 2 oracle NPC for my campaign (made two diff builds before settling on one), and I found the same thing...more spells known, even if spells/day had to be sacrificed to do it. The party finagled their way out of fighting the Oracle (RPing there way out of a paper bag!)and my Cavalier/3 won't see the light of day 'till tomorrow (no finagling this one!). Again, thanks, and I hope this gets some feed-back.

...more details (who?,what?,when?) would be appreciated.


thats great info, again as the others, maybe some build info and a little more encounter info would be great.

Im building a level 5 witch to join in a running game that has a druid a bard a wizard and a fighter/wizard, hopefully it works well in a half and half campaign. ill post my results soon.


The Oracle was fire-based, which led to her beleif she'd be a fire sorcerer, but holier! With the clouded vision curse, coz well its cool and clearly what the iconic has. Her big problem was caused by the art to some extent, while gorgeous, and a fine idea for a mid to high level Oracle, a low level Oracle can't be very offensive without a balance of melee, she had the fire breath revelation though, which was fun, and as I stated, even with a quarterstaff and Str 12, divine favor helped alot in combat.

The Cavalier played with order of the Cockatrice, and its challenge ability helped alot, but at first level didn't have any order abilities, and he didn't get a chance to use oaths, or forgot them. I was pleasantly happy with Challenge though, so was the player.

The summoner was a gnome with a mace and crossbow, with a serpentine eidolon, with limbs and claws, to replicate the iconic once more.

It was a full, small-sized dungeon with some exploration and the ability to heal in between, the oracle drank her cure potion after the elemental battle for example. How ever, they were little different from other classes here, and puzzle solving is class free, so I didn't feel it was as important.

One thing though, a very charisamtic, diplomatic set of classes, the witch was lowest with Cha 13!

And as for the Oracle, my justification for more spells known has always been the number of spells a cleric knows compared to a wizard, so comparing oracle to sorcerer should yield proportionally similar results, given the power and theme of arcane vs. divine casters, an extra spell known would probably have been a cure, and that would have helped the Oracle grasp her role in the party better I think, more cleric than sorcerer.

That said, the revelation does help, and so does knowing what you want the Oracle to do. Definately an advanced class though, though I've found mostly that divine classes in general see the best use from fairly experienced players.

Dark Archive

Could you try a play test with a more optimized companion? Spending the 2 points on limbs at first level is a huge hit to the monster's effectiveness. For instance a quadraped form with claws, claws, pounce seems massively powerful at 1st level, but I won't be able to play test it anytime soon. I am assuming you used all 4 attacks on the eidolon the way it is currently set up?


vagrant-poet wrote:

Summoner seemed strong in the Eidolon's first turn, but soon balanced out to be no less powerful than the druid, just effectiveness moved to eidolon somewhat, very boned without the summon monster sla's, so they get a huge +1!

Are you aware that 'no less powerful that a druid' is not really a good criterium for balance?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Malaclypse wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:

Summoner seemed strong in the Eidolon's first turn, but soon balanced out to be no less powerful than the druid, just effectiveness moved to eidolon somewhat, very boned without the summon monster sla's, so they get a huge +1!

Are you aware that 'no less powerful that a druid' is not really a good criterium for balance?

Actually no less powerful then insert core class, is a good criterium for balance. It already exists in core, that is what we should be looking at. I would really appreciate it if people got down off the 'its better then the fighter' cross, use the wood to build a bridge and get over it. Classes should be compared to the core classes they most resemble. In the case of the summoner that is the druid.


Malaclypse wrote:

Are you aware that 'no less powerful that a druid' is not really a good criterium for balance?

Are you aware that druids are no longer anywhere near the top dog in Pathfinder? Top tier, for sure, but below cleric, wizard, and sorcerer in power.


Zurai wrote:
Malaclypse wrote:

Are you aware that 'no less powerful that a druid' is not really a good criterium for balance?

Are you aware that druids are no longer anywhere near the top dog in Pathfinder? Top tier, for sure, but below cleric, wizard, and sorcerer in power.

Yes, exactly. That's why those four classes are not a very good baseline.

On the other hand, of course I realize that power creep sells books, while balance ...not so much ;)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Malaclypse wrote:
Zurai wrote:
Malaclypse wrote:

Are you aware that 'no less powerful that a druid' is not really a good criterium for balance?

Are you aware that druids are no longer anywhere near the top dog in Pathfinder? Top tier, for sure, but below cleric, wizard, and sorcerer in power.

Yes, exactly. That's why those four classes are not a very good baseline.

On the other hand, of course I realize that power creep sells books, while balance ...not so much ;)

Its not power creep if its not more powerful then an existing class. Why is the 'power' standard required to be for the weakest existing class? How exactly can you say that 4 classes of 11 is not a good baseline? Thats over a third of existing material. In fact the summoner is very comparable to the druid as well so you now have 5 of 11 that are comparable to a summoner. The paladin as well can at least be argued (given the right opponent and the addition of the healing abilities) that it is a match for the summoner. Thats 6. So when do the stronger classes stop being broken and start being the standard? The fighter barbarian and bard are not the best classes, we get that, its unfortunate but paizo couldnt have changed that without a complete rewrite which they didnt want to do. You can get off the cross now.


Kolokotroni wrote:


Its not power creep if its not more powerful then an existing class. Why is the 'power' standard required to be for the weakest existing class? How exactly can you say that 4 classes of 11 is not a good baseline? Thats over a third of existing material.

Exactly. It's the top third. Baseline should be the average or median.

Kolokotroni wrote:


The paladin as well can at least be argued (given the right opponent and the addition of the healing abilities) that it is a match for the summoner.

Errr, no.

Please elaborate on how you come to the conclusion that a Pally is even remotely comparable to the summoner. Because I just don't see it.


Malaclypse wrote:
Exactly. It's the top third. Baseline should be the average or median.

Top 41.67%, actually. Which is within 1 standard deviation of average.

Quote:
Please elaborate on how you come to the conclusion that a Pally is even remotely comparable to the summoner. Because I just don't see it.

+Cha to hit, +Cha to AC, +1-2*level damage, ignore all DR vs evil targets. Heal self as a swift action. Massive saves. Special mount that's weaker than but still comparable to an Eidolon.

Seriously, Paladins are damn close to a top-tier class now. Certainly top of the middle tier.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Malaclypse wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:


Its not power creep if its not more powerful then an existing class. Why is the 'power' standard required to be for the weakest existing class? How exactly can you say that 4 classes of 11 is not a good baseline? Thats over a third of existing material.

Exactly. It's the top third. Baseline should be the average or median.

Kolokotroni wrote:


The paladin as well can at least be argued (given the right opponent and the addition of the healing abilities) that it is a match for the summoner.

Errr, no.

Please elaborate on how you come to the conclusion that a Pally is even remotely comparable to the summoner. Because I just don't see it.

The paladin's smite is probably one of the most potent offensive options in the game. When smiting he will surpase the eidolon in most ways except possibly AC unless the whole magic armor/natural armor madness gets fixed which I think it will particulary against dragons, outsiders and undead. He will also have the best saves, the ability to heal himself quickly, and either a descent pet of his own or a badass weapon on call. Keep in mind i said against the right opponents not all the time. Against the big bad evil guy the paladin definately outshines the summoner. I would say though in its current incarnation the summoner is probably stronger, but does not completely outclass the paladin.

However the druid, which I do think is average power level as well compares very well to the summoner. Both can summon a bunch of crittors and have a powerful pet. The summoners eidolon is more powerful but does not completely outclass the druids animal companion. The druid on the other hand is a more powerful caster then the summoner, and if built right will have better combat options with wild shape.

So it likely falls in the '2nd tier' of power between the paladin and druid. Thats pretty average. But I do not think it is required for new classes to be average. Some will be top tier some will be middle tier and some will be lower tier. As they stand i would put the oracle in the lower tier, the witch and cavalier in the middle tier and the summoner in the middle tier if certain problems (magic equipement) get resolved, and top tier otherwise. This does not seem like power creep to me coming from the APG. It seems like a mix of capabilities in classes.


That aside, I ran a level ten playtest fight tonight, we were on shorter time after your regular game, so it wasn't all I wanted it to be.

Fought against a bebelith, and the summoners ability to summon as an SLA hemmed it in nicely, that said most of the creatures couldn't really beat its DR, so they were more terrain than foes, the Eidolon rolled poorly but faired okay, and was frankly not close to what I've seen from experiecne a full BAB class do, even against something as melee dangerous as the bebelith. The witch was comparable to a wizard, slightly straight up weaker, evocation, etc. wise, but great debuffs, the player wasn't entirely used to a high-mid level full caster, but picked it up quick.

Summoner himself preformed quite well, actually, wall of fire and the hemming of summoned fire elementals slowly wore the beast away, however, the bebelith isn't super against energy damage, so that eventually wore it down.

Tired now, but overall, again, I found them pretty comparable to the base classes, loads of summons, including the witches few did slow us down, but thats more so lack of experience than a total flaw, but a limit to how many summons the sla can have going at once could lessen that nova-bility, though its no psion, i.e. not its most powerful ability, and only one of them.

Before any mention is made, yes the witch should be compared with wizard preformance, and if you just think that full casting classes are the uber-classes, you'll think that too I suppose, because shock horror, the witch plays and preforms like a full arcane caster.

Regards.

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