No Archmage?


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When looking at Prestige class info for the Pathfinder Core rulebook, I was disappointed to find there is no Archmage.

From searches I found online, I saw the reasoning from the designers was that all high level spellcasters are considered archmages.

Seriously? They got rid of it due to semantics in regards to the name? If that is the case, they could have renamed it. It's just sad to see it gone due to it has always been one of my favorite prestige classes.


Seriously this again? The reason wasn't simply a naming issue. They didn't want prestige classes that rendered the base classes obsolete at higher levels.

That's what the Archmage did. Why stick to simply 20 levels of wizard if instead you could get those caster levels and extra goodies?

In the end the APG will probably have several feats that will duplicate parts (if not all) of what the archmage could do.


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Sorry if I am bringing this up again, but I am new to the forums.

Well, I don't know exactly what changes to Wizard and Sorceror they made in the Pathfinder rule book as I won't get it until tomorrow. However, from what I have heard, you get an ability almost every time you level, so it would be a tradeoff if you got the Wizard/Sorceror abilities compared to the Archmage.

Now I agree, in D&D 3.5, it was definitely worthwhile to switch over to the Archmage, as they really didn't give anything to Wizards or Sorcerors ability-wise. Unless it is the same with Pathfinder, but I had heard the really revamped a lot of the classes so I assumed they actually gave Sorcerors and Wizards some abilities to learn (except raising your familiar or bonus feats every 5 levels). But then, maybe I am assuming too much.

And yes, I have heard they may be adding Archmage type feats in the Advanced Players guide. The problem is they will probably be Metmagic feats and will maybe you will have to use it as a higher level slot, or, you have to burn a feat for each energy substitution, like what is in the Complete Arcane. What was nice about Archmage, you just had to burn one spell slot and you could substitute any energy spell for every level.

Oh, and the reason it would be a problem for Metamagic feats for myself is I prefer the Sorceror over the Wizard, but never liked the handicap for spontaneous casters with Metamagic feats where it takes a full round to cast. Or was that removed in PFRPG?

Either way, I hope if they do go down the feat route in attaining the Archmage abilities, I hope you aren't having to use up a lot of feat slots to attain what you would have gotten originally in the Archmage class or I hope there aren't other drawbacks, as well.


Tell you what buddy. Check out the following site d20pfsrd.com , or wait until you get to read your book tomorrow. After you digest it some come on back and we can have the go around.

However there is more that the search fu could show you -- try "No Archmage?" or "What happened to the Archmage" or "Missing Prestige classes"

Reading the threads that those will take you to will help a LOT in understanding what all has been done and why.


Hobbun wrote:
Sorry if I am bringing this up again, but I am new to the forums.

WELCOME!

Hobbun wrote:


Well, I don't know exactly what changes to Wizard and Sorceror they made in the Pathfinder rule book as I won't get it until tomorrow. However, from what I have heard, you get an ability almost every time you level, so it would be a tradeoff if you got the Wizard/Sorceror abilities compared to the Archmage.

James Jacobs, stated that the Archmage and Hierophant would be included as high levels Alternate Class Features in the Advanced Player's Guide.

Hobbun wrote:


Now I agree, in D&D 3.5, it was definitely worthwhile to switch over to the Archmage, as they really didn't give anything to Wizards or Sorcerors ability-wise. Unless it is the same with Pathfinder, but I had heard the really revamped a lot of the classes so I assumed they actually gave Sorcerors and Wizards some abilities to learn (except raising your familiar or bonus feats every 5 levels). But then, maybe I am assuming too much.

Sorcerers get bloodlines wich give are quite a power boost and very flavorful. Wizards got a reason, albeit small, to not multiclass.

Hobbun wrote:


And yes, I have heard they may be adding Archmage type feats in the Advanced Players guide. The problem is they will probably be Metmagic feats and will maybe you will have to use it as a higher level slot, or, you have to burn a feat for each energy substitution, like what is in the Complete Arcane. What was nice about Archmage, you just had to burn one spell slot and you could substitute any energy spell for every level.

See above, it apears that they would be the ultimate reason for not multiclass.

Hobbun wrote:


Oh, and the reason it would be a problem for Metamagic feats for myself is I prefer the Sorceror over the Wizard, but never liked the handicap for spontaneous casters with Metamagic feats where it takes a full round to cast. Or was that removed in PFRPG?

There's an exception for Quicken Spell. Remember that the full round action of casting for spontaneous metamagiced spells is only your move plus your standar action, unlike the until the begining of your next turn of spells like Summon Monster *.

Humbly,
Yawar


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Abraham spalding wrote:
Tell you what buddy. Check out the following site d20pfsrd.com , or wait until you get to read your book tomorrow. After you digest it some come on back and we can have the go around.

I look forward to it! :)

Abraham spalding wrote:

However there is more that the search fu could show you -- try "No Archmage?" or "What happened to the Archmage" or "Missing Prestige classes"

Reading the threads that those will take you to will help a LOT in understanding what all has been done and why.

Yes, I have looked at some of those threads now, thank you. I will admit though, the reasons I have read is basically what I said earlier in they (as in the designers) felt that all high level casters are archmages. It really made it sound like it was semantics in a naming issue. Yes, you can attain some of those abilities in feats, but again, you are burning a lot more feats in attaining what the Archmage gets as abilities.

However, as you said, I should take a look at the rule book first before continuing.

YawarFiesta wrote:


WELCOME!

Thanks!

YawarFiesta wrote:
James Jacobs, stated that the Archmage and Hierophant would be included as high levels Alternate Class Features in the Advanced Player's Guide.

That's great! Now do you know if he meant actual classes with same abilities intact and same ways to achieve the abilities, or as in alternate class features through feat acquisition?

YawarFiesta wrote:
Sorcerers get bloodlines wich give are quite a power boost and very flavorful. Wizards got a reason, albeit small, to not multiclass.

Ah yes, I remember hearing about the bloodlines now, but not sure what they entail. I look forward to reading into that, as well as the Wizard reasons not to multi-class, as well.

YawarFiesta wrote:
There's an exception for Quicken Spell. Remember that the full round action of casting for spontaneous metamagiced spells is only your move plus your standar action, unlike the until the begining of your next turn of spells like Summon Monster *.

Oh yes, I know, it's not an actual full round of casting (like Sleep). Sorry, should have clarified. I meant a full round action, which I still feel is a handicap as you can only move 5 feet. So am I assuming correctly that PFRPG still has that handicap?


YawarFiesta wrote:
Hobbun wrote:
Oh, and the reason it would be a problem for Metamagic feats for myself is I prefer the Sorceror over the Wizard, but never liked the handicap for spontaneous casters with Metamagic feats where it takes a full round to cast. Or was that removed in PFRPG?
There's an exception for Quicken Spell. Remember that the full round action of casting for spontaneous metamagiced spells is only your move plus your standar action, unlike the until the begining of your next turn of spells like Summon Monster *.

Also the Arcane bloodline gets the ability to add metamagic without increasing casting time.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Majuba wrote:


Also the Arcane bloodline gets the ability to add metamagic without increasing casting time.

Oh, well there you go.

I will be honest, have never been a big fan of Metamagic feats in general. With Wizards, it is bad enough with the added spell slot levels you need to add. But Sorceror's are even worse with the double whammy in the normal added spell slot levels, but increased casting time as well. It's good to hear the increased casting time can be eliminated in PFRPG.

The only Metamagic Feats I really like are the Suddens or the ones that only add 1 spell level.


welcome to the forums....

I preferred the Loremaster over the archmage.
loss of spell levels never was worth it.

so alt class abilities... looking forward to hear more


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Steelfiredragon wrote:

welcome to the forums....

I preferred the Loremaster over the archmage.
loss of spell levels never was worth it.

so alt class abilities... looking forward to hear more

With a Wizard, I would agree, not worth it. It seems already you are running out of slots fast enough as it is for spells. But a Sorceror, who gets more spells per day, I feel it's definitely worth it.

Although I am sure there are those who would disagree with me and tell me that Wizards are the 'true' arcane caster. :P

The Loremaster is a fun prestige class as well. But he is obviously attuned more towards a Wizard with the bonuses on his knowledge skills (i.e. you want a high Int).

I am also looking forward to what the Advanced Players book shows us.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The primary purpose of the archmage and the hierophant prestige classes were to give high level spellcasters something to do at higher levels. In 3.5, spellcasting classes like wizards and clerics really had nothing to do at high level BUT cast spells. In Pathfinder, though, spellcasters get new abilities all the way up to 20th level—basically, we built the concept of an archmage or a hierophant into each of the various spellcaster classes, and thus there's not really a NEED for more variety at that level.

Now, that said, we're considering re-introducing some of the archmage and/or hierophant powers back into the game as alternate class abilities for high level spellcasters in the Advanced Player's Guide. We'll be including a lot more alternate class abilities as well, and we'll be doing this for EVERY class.


James Jacobs wrote:

The primary purpose of the archmage and the hierophant prestige classes were to give high level spellcasters something to do at higher levels. In 3.5, spellcasting classes like wizards and clerics really had nothing to do at high level BUT cast spells. In Pathfinder, though, spellcasters get new abilities all the way up to 20th level—basically, we built the concept of an archmage or a hierophant into each of the various spellcaster classes, and thus there's not really a NEED for more variety at that level.

Now, that said, we're considering re-introducing some of the archmage and/or hierophant powers back into the game as alternate class abilities for high level spellcasters in the Advanced Player's Guide. We'll be including a lot more alternate class abilities as well, and we'll be doing this for EVERY class.

Nice. I am really looking forward to this one. I like the idea of alternate class abilities over more prestige classes. Makes sense to me.


James Jacobs wrote:

The primary purpose of the archmage and the hierophant prestige classes were to give high level spellcasters something to do at higher levels. In 3.5, spellcasting classes like wizards and clerics really had nothing to do at high level BUT cast spells. In Pathfinder, though, spellcasters get new abilities all the way up to 20th level—basically, we built the concept of an archmage or a hierophant into each of the various spellcaster classes, and thus there's not really a NEED for more variety at that level.

Now, that said, we're considering re-introducing some of the archmage and/or hierophant powers back into the game as alternate class abilities for high level spellcasters in the Advanced Player's Guide. We'll be including a lot more alternate class abilities as well, and we'll be doing this for EVERY class.

Considering?!?!!?

Please, God, just go ahead and reintroduce them.

....no James, I wasn't calling you God.....


Steelfiredragon wrote:

welcome to the forums....

I preferred the Loremaster over the archmage.
loss of spell levels never was worth it.

so alt class abilities... looking forward to hear more

Maybe I'm interpreting this wrong, but are you saying Archmage had loss of spell levels?


meatrace wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

welcome to the forums....

I preferred the Loremaster over the archmage.
loss of spell levels never was worth it.

so alt class abilities... looking forward to hear more

Maybe I'm interpreting this wrong, but are you saying Archmage had loss of spell levels?

At each level, the Archmage had access to High Arcana; the special abilities of the class such as Energy Substitution, Shaping, Spell Power, and Arcane Fire. Each of these had a cost in the form of a spell slot of varying level.

Despite what others have said, my group universally embraced this (overpowered) class. The tactical advantages of shaping your areas of effect, increasing the DCs of your spells, and ultimately converting spell levels into ranged touch energy attack that had no resistance and wasn't subject to SR, more than made up for a few spell slots.


Can'tFindthePath wrote:
meatrace wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

welcome to the forums....

I preferred the Loremaster over the archmage.
loss of spell levels never was worth it.

so alt class abilities... looking forward to hear more

Maybe I'm interpreting this wrong, but are you saying Archmage had loss of spell levels?

At each level, the Archmage had access to High Arcana; the special abilities of the class such as Energy Substitution, Shaping, Spell Power, and Arcane Fire. Each of these had a cost in the form of a spell slot of varying level.

Despite what others have said, my group universally embraced this (overpowered) class. The tactical advantages of shaping your areas of effect, increasing the DCs of your spells, and ultimately converting spell levels into ranged touch energy attack that had no resistance and wasn't subject to SR, more than made up for a few spell slots.

I agree. It sounded like the poster was saying he gave up CL advancement, where Archmage had full CL advancement. Confused me.

Loremaster in PF is pretty spectacular though.


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Can'tFindthePath wrote:


Despite what others have said, my group universally embraced this (overpowered) class. The tactical advantages of shaping your areas of effect, increasing the DCs of your spells, and ultimately converting spell levels into ranged touch energy attack that had no resistance and wasn't subject to SR, more than made up for a few spell slots.

Bahh, you sound like my DM. Anything fun to play suddenly becomes overpowered. :P

But yes, the loss of spell slots is definitely worth the gain of abilities the Archmage has.


Hobbun wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:


Despite what others have said, my group universally embraced this (overpowered) class. The tactical advantages of shaping your areas of effect, increasing the DCs of your spells, and ultimately converting spell levels into ranged touch energy attack that had no resistance and wasn't subject to SR, more than made up for a few spell slots.

Bahh, you sound like my DM. Anything fun to play suddenly becomes overpowered. :P

But yes, the loss of spell slots is definitely worth the gain of abilities the Archmage has.

No, as I said, we embraced it. We played high level from the dawn of 3.0 hardcore until the dawn of 3.5. And when 3.5 nerfed the Archmage, we largely ignored the changes.

So, I can tell you from lots of fun experience.....it's overpowered. The real treats come with combos. Try 3.0 Wizard5/Incantatrix10/Archmage5. That my friend is the Destroyer of Worlds....and campaigns.


I converted the Archmage abilities into feats and posted them on the house rules forum a while back, if you're interested.

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/communityContent/houseRules/bringingBackTheArchmageViaFeats&page=1&a mp;source=search#0


Abraham spalding wrote:

Seriously this again? The reason wasn't simply a naming issue. They didn't want prestige classes that rendered the base classes obsolete at higher levels.

That's what the Archmage did. Why stick to simply 20 levels of wizard if instead you could get those caster levels and extra goodies?

Why didn't they fix this in Pathfinder then? As a wizard you still hardly get any new abilities after lvl 8. That's 12 levels of silence except for some minor additions to an already existing ability. A transmuter get a few extra points of dex or con and a somewhat scaling polymorph self thingie over the course of 12 levels. Whoopediedoo. Only at 20 *some* specialists get a worthwhile new ability that doesn't weigh up to prestige classes that give new abilites *every* level.

I really wish they would give you really new stuff every level. Take the monk. New stuff at every level. Some minor, some heavy. Level progression of wizard is pretty empty after 8.

Liberty's Edge

Wizards already get new stuff at every level. They are called spells.

Even with the improved pathfinder changes, wizards are still the uncontested #1 class, with sorcerers sitting at #2 along with druids. So please, explain to me how they could have given the wizard class a new ability every level in a way that was neither pointless nor broken. Provide examples.


BobChuck wrote:

Wizards already get new stuff at every level. They are called spells.

Even with the improved pathfinder changes, wizards are still the uncontested #1 class, with sorcerers sitting at #2 along with druids. So please, explain to me how they could have given the wizard class a new ability every level in a way that was neither pointless nor broken. Provide examples.

They could have nerfed/changes spells more so that they are fairly weak and become stronger based on wizard special abilities.

A far-fetched example within this line of thinking could be that Fireball does 1d4/lvl and that a wizard at lvl 7 gets his damage hitdie increased by 1. Or that all crowd control spells allow a save at +4 every round after the initial save and the wizard gets an ability that lowers this bonus by 2 at lvl 8 and another 2 at lvl 16. That kind of stuff.

Or simply nerf spells hard and give all kind of metamagic abilities to wizards. Free quicken 1/day at every x levels.

Requires a lot of playtesting though, which I suspect is the reason Paizo didn't go this far ;-)


Abraham spalding wrote:

Seriously this again? The reason wasn't simply a naming issue. They didn't want prestige classes that rendered the base classes obsolete at higher levels.

That's what the Archmage did. Why stick to simply 20 levels of wizard if instead you could get those caster levels and extra goodies?

Except the difference is there are now "extra goodies" for the base classes as well.

Shadow Lodge

Abraham spalding wrote:

Seriously this again? The reason wasn't simply a naming issue. They didn't want prestige classes that rendered the base classes obsolete at higher levels.

That's what the Archmage did. Why stick to simply 20 levels of wizard if instead you could get those caster levels and extra goodies?

In the end the APG will probably have several feats that will duplicate parts (if not all) of what the archmage could do.

To be fair Abraham, I remember you using the Archmage prestige class for your Universalist Wizard during the Alpha/Beta Playtests.

Dark Archive

Dragonborn3 wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:

Seriously this again? The reason wasn't simply a naming issue. They didn't want prestige classes that rendered the base classes obsolete at higher levels.

That's what the Archmage did. Why stick to simply 20 levels of wizard if instead you could get those caster levels and extra goodies?

In the end the APG will probably have several feats that will duplicate parts (if not all) of what the archmage could do.

To be fair Abraham, I remember you using the Archmage prestige class for your Universalist Wizard during the Alpha/Beta Playtests.

I lol'd!


The idea that you need a PrC just that you can call yourself "Archmage" or "High Priest" sucked. It's exactly the wrong kind of PrC.

And the PrCs should be hunted down, shot, and dismembered for its body parts. Then you fashion yourself some nice high-level feats out of them.

Some self-centred jerk that haunts these boards actually made those feats and put him into his house rules. I'll get him to post them here.


KaeYoss wrote:


I'll get him to post them here.

Sure, any time, Assmuppet.

BLAST INFIDEL [HIGH MAGIC]
You are adept at channelling negative energy.
Prerequisites: Channel Negative Energy.
Benefits: If you channel negative energy or use an inflict spell, you deal the maximum amount of damage
possible if the target's alignment is opposed to yours, or they follow a deity that is a direct enemy to your
patron deity. Those healed by negative energy, like undead, are healed the maximum amount of HP possible if
the they have the same alignment or patron deity as you.

FAITH HEALING [HIGH MAGIC]
You are adept at channelling positive energy.
Prerequisites: Channel Positive Energy.
Benefits: If you channel energy or use a cure spell, you heal the maximum amount of HP possible if the target
has the same alignment or patron deity as you. Those harmed by positive energy, like undead, are dealt the
maximum amount of damage if their alignment is opposed to yours, or they follow a deity that is a direct
enemy to your patron deity.

OPPOSED ALIGNMENT
Caster Alignment Opposed Alignment
Lawful good Chaotic Evil
Neutral good Neutral evil
Chaotic good Lawful evil
Lawful neutral Chaotic neutral
Neutral Lawful good, chaotic good, lawful
evil, chaotic evil (choose one)
Chaotic neutral Lawful neutral
Lawful evil Chaotic good
Neutral evil Neutral good
Chaotic evil Lawful good
Mindless undead are effected as if they had their master’s alignment

HIGH MAGIC FIRE [HIGH MAGIC]
You are able to channel magical energy into eldritch fire, manifesting it as a bolt of raw magical energy.
Prerequisites: Able to cast an evocation spell of at least 7th level.
Benefit: You can convert spells into a bolt of raw magical energy as a supernatural ability that takes a
standard action to use. The bolt is a ranged touch attack with long range (400 feet + 40 feet/caster level) that
deals 1d6 points per 4 caster levels, plus 1d6 per spell level of the spell you convert into high magic fire.

HIGH MAGIC REACH [HIGH MAGIC]
You are able to use touch spells at a distance.
Prerequisites: Able to cast at least three different touch spells, one of which must be at least 5th level.
Benefit: You can use spells with a range of touch as a ranged touch on a target up to 30 feet away. If you have
a caster level of at least 17, this increases to 60 feet. This is a supernatural ability.

MASTERY OF COUNTERSPELLING [HIGH MAGIC]
You are adept at disrupting spells and turning them back upon the caster.
Prerequisites: Improved Counterspell, able to cast greater dispel magic and spell turning.
Benefit: When you counterspell a spell, it is turned back upon the caster as if it were fully affected by a spell
turning spell. If the spell cannot be affected by spell turning, then it is merely counterspelled.

MASTERY OF SHAPING [HIGH MAGIC]
You can alter the shapes your area spells take.
Prerequisites: Widen Spell, able to cast at least three area or effect spells that use one of these shapes: burst,
cone, cylinder, emanation, or spread. One these spells must be at least 7th level.
Benefits: You can alter spells with the above&#8208;mentioned shapes. The alteration consists of creating spaces
within the spell’s area or effect that are not subject to the spell. The minimum dimension for these spaces is a
5&#8208;foot cube. Furthermore, any shapable spells have a minimum dimension of 5 feet instead of 10 feet.


KaeYoss wrote:
The idea that you need a PrC just that you can call yourself "Archmage" or "High Priest" sucked. It's exactly the wrong kind of PrC.

I agree with this. The name is like having a "Fighter-who-kicks-the-ass-of-all-other-fighters" PClass for fighters.

Now an Archmage PClass with CL20 as a prereq.... that could work.

That said, I'd strongly endorse archmage type powers as trade-off options. I'm looking forward to seeing what that brings.


KaeYoss wrote:
The idea that you need a PrC just that you can call yourself "Archmage" or "High Priest" sucked.

Where do you get this silly piece of dreck from? I don't see anywhere in the 3.0 or 3.5 rules that say you cannot call yourself an Archmage if you don't have levels in the Archmage prestige class, or a High Priest if you don't have levels in the Heirophant class (which nobody had any levels in because it was absolutely godawful thanks to not advancing casting at all).

Classes, even prestige classes, are neatly packaged bundles of mechanics. They have no impact on what your character calls himself in the game world.


Zurai wrote:

Where do you get this silly piece of dreck from? I don't see anywhere in the 3.0 or 3.5 rules that say you cannot call yourself an Archmage if you don't have levels in the Archmage prestige class, or a High Priest if you don't have levels in the Heirophant class (which nobody had any levels in because it was absolutely godawful thanks to not advancing casting at all).

Classes, even prestige classes, are neatly packaged bundles of mechanics. They have no impact on what your character calls himself in the game world.

I think you are getting hung up on nit-picking.

I've used the class for years. And I've used non "ARCHMAGE(TM)" mages who were referenced as "Archmage" for just as long. The difference between mechanics and in-game fluff is clear.

But at the same time, the neatly packages bundles of mechanics are expected to model the idea that the name describes.

I understood exactly what he meant.

Grand Lodge

Forgive me, but wasn't the Archmage PrC first introduced in the FRCS? -- which came out before the fake(3.5)DMG? {The Real(3.0)DMG does not have the Archmage}.

Now, Boyd, Heinso(sp?) and the other designers for the FRCS would want a PrC Archmage not because it's like a "Fighter-who-kicks-the-ass-of-all-other-fighters" but because the title "Archmage" permeates the FR novels.

It seems that it's more likely they named it Archmage because of the novels.

As for Heirophant, that was the title you would earn at, like, 9th level in 1E and 15th level in 2E. Maybe the screwups behind the fake DMG felt Archmange and Heirophant belonged.

Edit:
It just goes to show you

Spoiler:
You can never trust someone whose name rhymes with chaos


BobChuck wrote:

Wizards already get new stuff at every level. They are called spells.

Even with the improved pathfinder changes, wizards are still the uncontested #1 class, with sorcerers sitting at #2 along with druids.

*cough, wrong*

Edit: Also, Generally regardless of PrCs, if an arcane caster has access to 7th level spells or greater they're typically called an archmage in games I've played in.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

To Kae Yoss: So is your point they should have added your list of feats/abilities to the base classes of the Wizard/Soceror and Cleric, instead tacking them onto the prestige classes of the Hierophant and Archmage? Well, if Paizo did that, then I would agree with you, the problem is they didn't. The Wizard is just as bareboned as he was in 3.5 (with the exception of Arcane Hold).

And the abilities of the Archmage do not exist in Pathfinder now (at least as far as I know), unless your DM is open to using feats from 3.5 books and you can get Engery Substitution. The problem with that is it is a much weaker version of the Archmage version as every time you take the feat, it allows only one energy type. So, would I prefer taking 5 feats to substitute all the energy types, or take three feats (prereqs of the Archmage) to get access to choose from all High Arcana abilities? Now mind you, those 5 energy substitution feats are equivalent to ONE High Arcana ability. Of course you would need more feats to get Mastery of Shaping, Counterspelling, Spell-like ability, etc.

So I guess I just don't understood those who are making the argument for getting rid of the Archmage. You say because that is what a high level Wizard IS, however, the arcane classes just do not show it in their ability list (per level). You'd have to take far more feats to make up for what you could get in the Archmage package with only burning the 3 prereq feats. And that's it if all those feats were available (which they aren't).

However, I am eager to see what the Advanced Players book will give us. If you can get alternate paths for the arcane caster basic classes to go down the Archmage route, then this is all moot.


Hobbun wrote:


So I guess I just don't understood those who are making the argument for getting rid of the Archmage. You say because that is what a high level Wizard IS, however, the arcane classes just do not show it in their ability list (per level). You'd have to take far more feats to make up for what you could get in the Archmage package with only burning the 3 prereq feats. And that's it if all those feats were available (which they aren't).

You're looking at the Archmage from a mechanical perspective, Hobbun. You're right-it takes a lot of feats for a character to duplicate even some of the Archmage's mechanical abilities, such as Mastery of Elements. Others look at the Archmage and say an archmage is any powerful wizard and may then put a qualifier on it (e.g. can cast 7th-level or higher wizard spells). It was the title a wizard that a wizard got when they hit 18th level in 1E for that matter. Also, those high arcana abilities were in some cases as you've noted related to feats in what they did, if not their level of efficacy. An argument can then be made that there's no need for a PrC that basically for 5 levels says 'gain a feat'. If you look at the 3.5 archmage in that light, it doesn't seem so prestigious, now does it? Hence the idea that it should be just a title unless someone's really getting powers that make them stand out from any other high-level wizard.


Lathiira wrote:
An argument can then be made that there's no need for a PrC that basically for 5 levels says 'gain a feat'.

That would be a pretty fallacious argument, however. Only one of the High Arcana can be duplicated or even approximated by feats, and that one would take four or five feats all by itself and still not be a complete duplication IIRC (I seem to remember that Archmagi could change energy types on the fly, while Energy Substitution is done at the time of preparation for prepared casters).

Thus, the PrC was much more than 5 levels of "gain a feat".


Zurai wrote:
Lathiira wrote:
An argument can then be made that there's no need for a PrC that basically for 5 levels says 'gain a feat'.

That would be a pretty fallacious argument, however. Only one of the High Arcana can be duplicated or even approximated by feats, and that one would take four or five feats all by itself and still not be a complete duplication IIRC (I seem to remember that Archmagi could change energy types on the fly, while Energy Substitution is done at the time of preparation for prepared casters).

Thus, the PrC was much more than 5 levels of "gain a feat".

I admit, I engaged in hyperbole there. Mastery of Elements takes at least 5 feats. Mastery of Shaping takes at least 1 more. The Spell Power boost takes 1 or 2 per school (depending on edition). And so on. Perhaps a better way to phrase things would be to say that the archmage's abilities, while more powerful than feats, weren't so unique that they necessarily merited a separate prestige class?


Well, I disagree that they weren't unique enough, but honestly it's not a big deal. I liked the class, mechanically, and I don't give two whits for the flavor text; my players and I subscribe to the "reflavoring mechanics" philosphy, so mechanics are really all that matter to us. We build our characters out of whatever mechanics fit what the character actually does. Since it's impossible to re-create the Archmage without actually being an Archmage (thanks to all of those powers being either impossible to re-create or impossibly expensive even to a Pathfinder character), we continue to use the Archmage class.

... Oh dear, that came out more like a lecture than I intended.


Zurai wrote:

Well, I disagree that they weren't unique enough, but honestly it's not a big deal. I liked the class, mechanically, and I don't give two whits for the flavor text; my players and I subscribe to the "reflavoring mechanics" philosphy, so mechanics are really all that matter to us. We build our characters out of whatever mechanics fit what the character actually does. Since it's impossible to re-create the Archmage without actually being an Archmage (thanks to all of those powers being either impossible to re-create or impossibly expensive even to a Pathfinder character), we continue to use the Archmage class.

... Oh dear, that came out more like a lecture than I intended.

Ha! No problem. I'm trying to play devil's advocate with myself and losing, which is common;) I didn't have any problem with the Archmage's abilities, though I found the spell-slot cost to be something that made me very choosy about getting into the class as a wizard. For a sorcerer, different story altogether. In Pathfinder, I'd have to re-examine my views.

On the other hand, I didn't care for the hierophant at all. No problem with the name, but the abilities weren't worth what you were giving up, which was higher-level spell slots. I also have previous-edition hangovers and couldn't see my clerics being called hierophants, only druids.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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"Archmage" is a title stolen from AD@D, where it specifically referred to Magic-Users of 18th or higher level, i.e. that could cast 9th level spells. Clerics got the similar title Archpriest at level 16 (where they could cast the highest 7th level spells).

In other words, it's a title meant to be granted only to the very mightiest members of the magical classes.

In my world, titles are indicators of rank for spellcasters. They range from the Initiaties, who are the low level, barely-gifted people who can stumble through minor spells, the Adepts who can actually teach others magic and learn reasonable power, Arcanists (who have mastered the first steps of Greater Magical Power), the Mages (who master level Eights), Archmages (who master Nines), True Archmages (who master Epic Spellcasting), and ARchmages Eternal (who have 10th+ level spellslots). Archmage Supreme would have both 10th level slots and Epic casting.

Sorcerors work fine under this system, as it ports over and uses primary class level, instead of caster level (which can be fudged) or spells castable (which discriminates against Sorcs).

Level 1-4: (Class) (SPeciality) INitiate One/Two/Three/Four
Level 5-8: Class, Speciality, Adept ONe/Two/Three/Four
Level 9-12: Class, Speciality, Arcanist One, Two, Three, Four
Levels 13: Class/Speciality, 'True' Arcanist
Level 14: C/S High Arcanist
Level 15: C/S Master Arcanist
Level 16: Mage
Level 17: Master Mage
Level 18: Archmage
Level 19: High Archmage
Level 20: Master Archmage
Level 21: Grand Archmage

This is often subdivided by 'Circles', representing spell levels obtainable. So, Archmages should all be in the 9th circle of spells castable, while Archmages Eternal would naturally be in the 10th Circle or higher.

Titles should accrue by true caster levels, stack via specialty, and if you use specific PrC's or Feat Paths, should be worked in.

For instance, a level 13 wizard spec diviner/loremaster should be a Wizard Diviner High Arcanist Loremaster of the 7th Circle.

A wiz/3, f/4 with Practiced Spellcaster would still be a Wizard Initiate Third of the Second Circle, despite casting at 7th.

For further grandiosity when dealing with other spellcasters/traditions, make the names of specialities and bloodlines grand and pompous.

"I am Aelryinth of the Eternal Wyrm, Sorceror and Arcanist of the Fourth Circle! Who are you to dare challenge me?"

"I am Gandalf, Wizard of the True Flame, Fourth Arcanist and Knight of the Eldritch Blade! Mind thy place, Sorceror!"

OUr dragon bloodline sorc/8 and evoker/eldritch Knight with effective 8th level wizardry have effectively introduced one another in proper fantasy fashion, and the Sorceror is probably adding in those extra EK and Fighter levels and deciding its not time to pick a fight.

===Aelryinth

Grand Lodge

I am Gord, "Thug" of Greyhawk!

Spoiler:
"Thug" was the 4th level title for a Thief, right?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed some posts. Please behave like adults.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Well, it just seems to me that people seem to be more upset about WotC naming the prestige class, "Archmage" than it being unnecessary in thinking it can be duplicated by a high level arcane caster (which it can't).

I mean Pazio could have renamed the prestige class and called it "Master of High Arcane" and that would have worked for me.

And I am not trying to come across as rude or angry at all if it sounds that way, I just can't agree in the argument that a high level Wizard/Sorceror is an Archmage. In title, yes, mechanically, no. And because the prestige class shares a long standing name for a high level Wizard is no reason to remove it completely.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Hobbun wrote:

Well, it just seems to me that people seem to be more upset about WotC naming the prestige class, "Archmage" than it being unnecessary in thinking it can be duplicated by a high level arcane caster (which it can't).

I mean Pazio could have renamed the prestige class and called it "Master of High Arcane" and that would have worked for me.

And I am not trying to come across as rude or angry at all if it sounds that way, I just can't agree in the argument that a high level Wizard/Sorceror is an Archmage. In title, yes, mechanically, no. And because the prestige class shares a long standing name for a high level Wizard is no reason to remove it completely.

To be clear... it's not the name of the class that compelled us to not keep the prestige class in Pathfinder RPG. It's merely the fact that we think the class is not worth keeping; it's really got no flavor to it apart from "a more customizable wizard" and that's something we've solved with the base rules for wizards by making school specializations more interesting. And in the Advanced Player's Guide, which will give players options for alternate class abilities.

Now... if the archmage and hierophant had actually some hardwired abilities that gave the class some stable flavor, things might be different. But since the class itself is basically nothing more than a customizable shopping list of powers (resulting in one player's archmage looking very different from another's), it's not really something that a prestige class should be doing.

AKA: Our philosophy is that a prestige class should have a theme, and that means powers that are hardwired into the class so that all who have levels in the prestige class have a common ground.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Stuff about PrCs and themes and such.

One of the aggravating things about 3.5 that Paizo has taken a philosophical stance against (that I agree with), is that there is no reason for prestige classes that have the theme, "<insert class name> but more!" There were a disturbing number of prestige classes in 3.5 that were nothing beyond amped-up version of base classes. The Archmage prestige class, as an example, was the "Wizard but more!" because it offered the same benefits of being a high-level Wizard, but also included features that probably should have been class feature options of the Wizard anyway. Hats off to Paizo for recognizing and correcting this.

-Skeld


Or, in other words… it's still a wizard, just with some slightly different powers. Prestige classes are more than "just a different take on a core class" in Pathfinder.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


To be clear... it's not the name of the class that compelled us to not keep the prestige class in Pathfinder RPG. It's merely the fact that we think the class is not worth keeping; it's really got no flavor to it apart from "a more customizable wizard" and that's something we've solved with the base rules for wizards by making school specializations more interesting. And in the Advanced Player's Guide, which will give players options for alternate class abilities.

Now... if the archmage and hierophant had actually some hardwired abilities that gave the class some stable flavor, things might be different. But since the class itself is basically nothing more than a customizable shopping list of powers (resulting in one player's archmage looking very different from another's), it's not really something that a prestige class should be doing.

AKA: Our philosophy is that a prestige class should have a theme, and that means powers that are hardwired into the class so that all who have levels in the prestige class have a common ground.

Ok, first I want to apologize in making the (incorrect) assumption that Specialization worked just like it did in 3.5. You actually get some nice perks to go along with it.

Now, I will say I do still prefer the High Arcana abilities from the Archmage than the abilities you can gain from specializing in a school (or even the Universalist), but I can see your point now as the Wizard does have more to work with. And as does the Sorceror as well, with the Bloodlines. Some of those bloodlines are really nice.

My original argument was from people (not necessarily yourself, James) who said you can accomplish the same thing with a high level Wizard as you can with an Archmage, which is just not true.

And I do understand your reasoning now on why getting rid of the Archmage, I just think those 'shopping list of powers' were really nice. :)

But again, as you said, we will have some alternate options for class abilities in the Advanced Players Guide(hopes for High Arcana abilities).

Thanks for the clarification, James.


Skeld wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Stuff about PrCs and themes and such.

One of the aggravating things about 3.5 that Paizo has taken a philosophical stance against (that I agree with), is that there is no reason for prestige classes that have the theme, "<insert class name> but more!" There were a disturbing number of prestige classes in 3.5 that were nothing beyond amped-up version of base classes. The Archmage prestige class, as an example, was the "Wizard but more!" because it offered the same benefits of being a high-level Wizard, but also included features that probably should have been class feature options of the Wizard anyway. Hats off to Paizo for recognizing and correcting this.

-Skeld

God bless us, everyone.

And by God, I mean James.

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