Lowering Mystic Theurge level requirements.


Homebrew and House Rules


One of my players wants to play a Mystic Theurge. Since we start at lvl 1, lvl 7 is way in the future and the Mystic Theurge is not really considered powerful (a 3wiz/3cler by definition is not really powerful compared to a full class imo), I was wondering what the pitfalls would be if I lowered the requirements so that MT can be accessed at level 5 (2wiz/2cler). Would full caster progression in both classes be too powerful if you get it 2 levels earlier?

If it turns out to be broken, I could always rule that the next MT level will not gain any spell progression. Might be I'm missing something important though that will completely screw balance if you can become MT at lvl 5.

Any thoughts?


I don't think it would be particularly unbalancing. I've seen posts from others who have used a houserule that reduces one of the spellcasting requirements to 1st level spells (so you could go Cl 3/Wiz 1 to qualify) and I haven't heard that it didn't work OK.


I certainly agree with Treantmonk that it's not unbalancing. You know your players. I would like to bring up just a few things to keep in mind when considering this.

If the goal is to have a Mystic Theurge on the same power level as other casters your idea would help, depending on how you handle the class later.

MT is only a 10 level class. Will you allow your player to take more levels than 10 in the class? If not, he will be in the same boat later on, assuming you play past level 15.

If you do add levels to MT, will you continue the progression in the "Combined Spells" ability? It might get pretty powerful after awhile.

Also, will you still let him have "Spell Synthesis" at level 10, or delay it?

Most importantly, in my mind, will this set a precedent with your players that they should assume you will boost "weak" prestige classes? In my experience, the more you are willing to bend, the more stuff will be requested of you.

The Mystic Theurge is supposed to be weaker, but much more versatile. I've DM'd for a party with a Mystic Theurge that was played all the way from 1st to 18th level. He was never as powerful as a pure wizard, cleric or druid, but he never ran out of spells and seemed to have a spell for every situation. It felt like a fair trade to me. Pathfinder has boosted the Mystic Theurge already, there is a fair chance you may later feel you've given too much, depending on how well the player optimizes.


Funkytrip wrote:

One of my players wants to play a Mystic Theurge.

Any thoughts?

You know, I think the best argument AGAINST lowering the requirements is that plenty of people still seem to want to play a Mystic Theurge. I never see threads about "Why would anyone ever play a Mystic Theurge?", but I see lots of threads about "How do I make it better/easier to make a Mystic Theurge?"

That tells me that the MT has something people want a lot, they just don't want to put in the front-end difficulty for it :-).

Keep in mind that the MT has NO feat requirements and minor/easy skill requirements (seriously, unless you're NOT going Wizard/Something, you will easily have enough skill points). So the suck-age of taking 2 caster classes is the only downside to qualifying - if you lower the pain of this, qualifying is basically a breeze.


Helic wrote:
Funkytrip wrote:

One of my players wants to play a Mystic Theurge.

Any thoughts?

You know, I think the best argument AGAINST lowering the requirements is that plenty of people still seem to want to play a Mystic Theurge. I never see threads about "Why would anyone ever play a Mystic Theurge?", but I see lots of threads about "How do I make it better/easier to make a Mystic Theurge?"

That tells me that the MT has something people want a lot, they just don't want to put in the front-end difficulty for it :-).

Keep in mind that the MT has NO feat requirements and minor/easy skill requirements (seriously, unless you're NOT going Wizard/Something, you will easily have enough skill points). So the suck-age of taking 2 caster classes is the only downside to qualifying - if you lower the pain of this, qualifying is basically a breeze.

Maybe, but when I read threads about the various prestige classes the Mystic Theurge is the only one where the comments about lowering the level requirements are such a majority.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Well, lets see what would happen.

At 5th level, when you enter the prestige class.

3rd Level X/1st Level Y/1st Level MT

This means you have 4th level X casting and 2nd level Y casting.

Add the rest of the levels.

3rd X/1st Y/10th MT

13th X casting and 11th Y casting.

Now you have six more levels to add.

Add 6 X levels, you get 19th level X casting and 11th level Y casting.

Add 6 Y levels, you get 13th X casting and 17th Y casting.

Add 3 X and 3 Y, you get 16th X casting and 14th Y casting.

So you can get 9th level spells and 7th level spells at best or some lesser combination. For the entire procession of the prestige class, your secondary spells are one level behind the norm while your primary are at the norm. As it stands right now, you get equal progression of both, but they are two spell levels behind the norm.

I guess it depends on if you think being one level of progression behind in your primary casting and three in your secondary is not enough of a penalty.


Helic wrote:


You know, I think the best argument AGAINST lowering the requirements is that plenty of people still seem to want to play a Mystic Theurge. I never see threads about "Why would anyone ever play a Mystic Theurge?", but I see lots of threads about "How do I make it better/easier to make a Mystic Theurge?"

That tells me that the MT has something people want a lot, they just don't want to put in the front-end difficulty for it :-).

That is a damn good point Helic.

-Windquake


From my perspective, the best way to do it would probably be to require 1 spellcasting level in each of the given classes, and then expand the progression something like such.

1: +1 / +1
2: +1 / +1
3: +1 / +1
4: +1 / +1
5: +1 / +1
6: +1 / +1
7: -------
8: +1 / +1
9: +1 / +1
10: +1 / +1
11: +1 / +1
12: +1 / +1
13: +1 / +1
14: -------
15: +1 / +1
16: +1 / +1
17: +1 / +1
18: +1 / +1

It capstones with double-nine's casting at level 20, but only just barely, with generally less 9th and 8th level casting than a single class, especially when you take the MAD into account.

Note I designed this in 3.5, so I don't have a setup for distributing the class abilities, but I find it works nicely, growing in power fairly quickly, though a bit behind the curve, and that curve widens as the levels grow, rather than being weak when the progression first starts, then strong when it ends, and becoming weaker again as a dual-caster at level 20 because you can only advance one class at a time at that point.

(I will point out, however, that I myself tend to favor dual-casters as hybrids who focus evenly on each side. If your player(s) want to be a 'wizard who seconds in cleric' or vice-verci then you may want to use a different option)

Also, feel free to add one more dead casting level in there somewhere if you feel the abilities the MT gained in the PF conversion makes up for not having 9th level spells (although having them for only 5% of gameplay is a pretty steep penalty, 1/4th as long as straight casters who got them at level 17 would)


Thanks for the feedback. The player will have to become 2nd lvl X/2nd lvl Y and not a weird 3/1 combination. After 10 levels, MT ends as usual.

For balance reasons I may impose a spellprogression-less level at any time, so that's not really a problem. Player already agreed to that.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Don't forget if you take the Magical Knack Trait you can offset one of the classes CL by 2. So if you do have the 2/2 caster level will be 4/2. If you are allowing 3.5 feats Practiced Caster also helps the class be effective.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Helic wrote:
Funkytrip wrote:

One of my players wants to play a Mystic Theurge.

Any thoughts?

You know, I think the best argument AGAINST lowering the requirements is that plenty of people still seem to want to play a Mystic Theurge. I never see threads about "Why would anyone ever play a Mystic Theurge?", but I see lots of threads about "How do I make it better/easier to make a Mystic Theurge?"

That tells me that the MT has something people want a lot, they just don't want to put in the front-end difficulty for it :-).

Keep in mind that the MT has NO feat requirements and minor/easy skill requirements (seriously, unless you're NOT going Wizard/Something, you will easily have enough skill points). So the suck-age of taking 2 caster classes is the only downside to qualifying - if you lower the pain of this, qualifying is basically a breeze.

The reason you dont see 'why would anyone ever play a mystic theurge threads is because they have LONG been done and gone. The arguments against playing a MT have been stated in guides, and in responses to questions all over the place. Those who feel the class have issues have long been in agreement as to why, and how. There isnt a whole lot to discuss about it anymore.

And how exactly is a ton of people asking how to make a MT work not indicative of their being a problem with the class? Yes people love the IDEA of the MT just not the mechanics. And personally I have the same problem with it that i have with all the multiclass caster prc's. You should have to wait months or even years of ACTUAL time to start playing a character that you want to play.

The idea of 'paying' to play a class is nonsense in my mind. PrC prerequisites are not supposed to be punative, they are supposed to be guidance so your character matches what the PrC is trying to accomplish (or at least partially does).

Balanced PrC's should not have 'pain' associated with entering them. If such is required, the prc shouldnt exist as it clearly isnt balanced to begin with. What is so special about a multiclass divine/arcane caster that should require the player to play to pay it? Is it too powerful? If that is the case, re-design the class so it isnt too powerful, then make it simple to enter, so that the player doesnt need to go through 6-8 levels of play before he gets to a point where he is playing the kind of character he wants to play.


Another option for changing the entry requirements is to make it by class level instead of spell level.

IE make the requirements 2 levels in an arcane caster class, and 2 levels in a divine caster class.

This has 2 effects.
1. It lowers the requirements, but forces you to lose 1 spell level of progression.
2. It allows you to use a larger variety of caster classes. With these requirements, a Oracle/Sorcerer or even Oracle/Bard actually becomes viable because you can enter MT class at level 5, just like a wizard/cleric would.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Funkytrip wrote:

One of my players wants to play a Mystic Theurge. Since we start at lvl 1, lvl 7 is way in the future and the Mystic Theurge is not really considered powerful (a 3wiz/3cler by definition is not really powerful compared to a full class imo), I was wondering what the pitfalls would be if I lowered the requirements so that MT can be accessed at level 5 (2wiz/2cler). Would full caster progression in both classes be too powerful if you get it 2 levels earlier?

If it turns out to be broken, I could always rule that the next MT level will not gain any spell progression. Might be I'm missing something important though that will completely screw balance if you can become MT at lvl 5.

Any thoughts?

I don't see any reason to change the prereqs. No PrC should be enterable before 6th level. If your player is looking for POWER, he's barking up the wrong tree when it comes to this class. Because that's not what it's meant for. If he wants a powerful spellcasting PrC, there are options, such as Loremaster, Dragon Disciple.

I definitely see no reason to make this class easier for spontaneous casters to enter. It's not the PrC's problem that the player is choosing an inherently more difficult road to travel, this class is biased towards full studious casters at the expense of blooded ones.


Kolokotroni wrote:
Helic wrote:


You know, I think the best argument AGAINST lowering the requirements is that plenty of people still seem to want to play a Mystic Theurge. I never see threads about "Why would anyone ever play a Mystic Theurge?", but I see lots of threads about "How do I make it better/easier to make a Mystic Theurge?"

The reason you dont see 'why would anyone ever play a mystic theurge threads is because they have LONG been done and gone. The arguments against playing a MT have been stated in guides, and in responses to questions all over the place. Those who feel the class have issues have long been in agreement as to why, and how. There isnt a whole lot to discuss about it anymore.

Kolo, you and I both know that threads repeat themselves every month, if not every two weeks or less (thread-searching being the lost art that it is). If they occur at all. "Help me make a good MT" pops up so regular it's almost worthy of a drinking game. "MTs suck!" shows up less often than "Duelists suck!"...

EDIT: And the requirements for the PrC do make sense. 3 levels of a spellcasting class is a commitment, and you have to be committed to BOTH styles of casting. Makes sense to me - even if it is very sub-optimal from a mechanical standpoint.


LazarX wrote:
Funkytrip wrote:

One of my players wants to play a Mystic Theurge. Since we start at lvl 1, lvl 7 is way in the future and the Mystic Theurge is not really considered powerful (a 3wiz/3cler by definition is not really powerful compared to a full class imo), I was wondering what the pitfalls would be if I lowered the requirements so that MT can be accessed at level 5 (2wiz/2cler). Would full caster progression in both classes be too powerful if you get it 2 levels earlier?

If it turns out to be broken, I could always rule that the next MT level will not gain any spell progression. Might be I'm missing something important though that will completely screw balance if you can become MT at lvl 5.

Any thoughts?

I don't see any reason to change the prereqs. No PrC should be enterable before 6th level. If your player is looking for POWER, he's barking up the wrong tree when it comes to this class. Because that's not what it's meant for. If he wants a powerful spellcasting PrC, there are options, such as Loremaster, Dragon Disciple.

I definitely see no reason to make this class easier for spontaneous casters to enter. It's not the PrC's problem that the player is choosing an inherently more difficult road to travel, this class is biased towards full studious casters at the expense of blooded ones.

Then make it 5 ranks in knowledge(arcana), 5 ranks in knowledge(religion), 2 levels in a class that grants arcane spells and 2 levels in a class that grants divine spells.

So you can't enter the class until level 6.

This also gets rid of the loopholes using of using feats to allow a level 1 caster to cast level 2 spells.


Anyone ever considered to make the MT into a base class instead, so you can start playing one from level 1 up ?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Remco Sommeling wrote:
Anyone ever considered to make the MT into a base class instead, so you can start playing one from level 1 up ?

Yes, the Witch is a base class MT :)


Gorbacz wrote:
Remco Sommeling wrote:
Anyone ever considered to make the MT into a base class instead, so you can start playing one from level 1 up ?
Yes, the Witch is a base class MT :)

And then Multiclass into Cleric with an elemental domain for your favorite blasting spells and a support domain like Trickery or Travel and take levels in Mystic Theurge and you have a Mystic Theurge/Mystic Theurge/Mystic Theurge.


Funkytrip wrote:

Thanks for the feedback. The player will have to become 2nd lvl X/2nd lvl Y and not a weird 3/1 combination. After 10 levels, MT ends as usual.

For balance reasons I may impose a spellprogression-less level at any time, so that's not really a problem. Player already agreed to that.

Simplest way in my opinion is to allow access at this, add two levels to Mystic Theurge (before the capstone), and put in two levels where spellcasting improves in only one class. This maintains the overall balance, but stretches the power level to be more balanced.

So:

1 - Combined Spells 6th - arcane & divine
2 - arcane & divine
3 - Combined Spells 6th - arcane only
4 - arcane & divine
5 - Combined Spells 6th - arcane & divine
6 - arcane & divine
7 - Combined Spells 6th - divine only
8 - arcane & divine
9 - Combined Spells 6th - arcane & divine
10 - arcane & divine
11 - Combined Spells 6th - arcane & divine
12 - Spell Synthesis - arcane & divine


Majuba wrote:
Funkytrip wrote:

Thanks for the feedback. The player will have to become 2nd lvl X/2nd lvl Y and not a weird 3/1 combination. After 10 levels, MT ends as usual.

For balance reasons I may impose a spellprogression-less level at any time, so that's not really a problem. Player already agreed to that.

Simplest way in my opinion is to allow access at this, add two levels to Mystic Theurge (before the capstone), and put in two levels where spellcasting improves in only one class. This maintains the overall balance, but stretches the power level to be more balanced.

So:

1 - Combined Spells 6th - arcane & divine
2 - arcane & divine
3 - Combined Spells 6th - arcane only
4 - arcane & divine
5 - Combined Spells 6th - arcane & divine
6 - arcane & divine
7 - Combined Spells 6th - divine only
8 - arcane & divine
9 - Combined Spells 6th - arcane & divine
10 - arcane & divine
11 - Combined Spells 6th - arcane & divine
12 - Spell Synthesis - arcane & divine

Good idea, but I would make the single levels players choice. They can get a level in arcane or divine, but not both. If they want them both to be arcane or divine, so be it.

Sovereign Court

I think the MT works as currently built. 3rd levels spells in both mean that you don't enter to level 11, and get the capstone at 20th. Yes, it sucks to level an MT of the start in a low level game. But the MT trades power up front for versatility over the long haul. I've seen plenty of effective MTs in high level start games, and especially at conventions; despite their high level of commitment required, I think they are viable.

That being said, this thread seems to assume the MT is underpowered and is asking about how to modify it for low level access. I would drop the casting requirements to ability to cast arcane and divine spells (either level 1, or simply casting without specifying level), then add a skill requirement of 5 ranks of Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Religion), AND Spellcraft. This makes the class accessible at level 5 to a MUCH larger class mix. I would then revamp MT to be a 15 level PrC to look something like:

Spoiler:
  1. both classes
  2. both classes
  3. one class, combined 1
  4. both classes
  5. both classes, combined 2
  6. one class
  7. both classes, combined 3
  8. both classes
  9. one class, combined 4
  10. both classes
  11. both classes, combined 5
  12. one class
  13. both classes, combined 6
  14. both classes
  15. neither class, combined 7, capstone


Laughing Goblin wrote:

I think the MT works as currently built. 3rd levels spells in both mean that you don't enter to level 11, and get the capstone at 20th. Yes, it sucks to level an MT of the start in a low level game. But the MT trades power up front for versatility over the long haul. I've seen plenty of effective MTs in high level start games, and especially at conventions; despite their high level of commitment required, I think they are viable.

That being said, this thread seems to assume the MT is underpowered and is asking about how to modify it for low level access. I would drop the casting requirements to ability to cast arcane and divine spells (either level 1, or simply casting without specifying level), then add a skill requirement of 5 ranks of Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Religion), AND Spellcraft. This makes the class accessible at level 5 to a MUCH larger class mix. I would then revamp MT to be a 15 level PrC to look something like:** spoiler omitted **

The general consensus on the MT isn't that it is underpowered. The problem is that it is very underpowered at certain levels. Once you get past that hump, the MT is fine.

Take a Wizard/Cleric/MT

Level 1-3 -> Wizard, You are right on par with other classes.
Level 4-6 -> Cleric, You start falling behind significantly. If you had stayed wizard you would be casting level 3 wizard spells at level 5.
Level 7 -> MT, This is where the hole is. At level 7, if you had stayed wizard, you would have level 4 spells. As a Wiz3/Cleric3/MT1, you only have access to level 2 spells.
Level 8-17 -> MT as you go up in levels you gradually catch back with the power curve of the rest of the group.

From level 4 to level 10, the MT is fairly gimp compared to a pure wizard. The problem is that most adventure paths run from level 1 to level 13-16, so a mystic theurge spends about half of the path gimp compared to the rest of the party.

The second problem is that the mystic theurge only works for prepared casters. Because spontaneous casters, like Oracles and Sorcerers, do not get level 2 spells until level 4, they cannot become MTs until level 9, they get delayed entry into the MT class, and they end up so far behind the rest of the party in effectiveness they will never catch up.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Remco Sommeling wrote:
Anyone ever considered to make the MT into a base class instead, so you can start playing one from level 1 up ?

super genius games did


So , why don't people just play a Witch? It just seems like a better design choice all around; instead of having two sets of spell slots, two separate spell lists, etc, the witch seems to put everything together more elegantly, with no power issues.

Ken


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kenmckinney wrote:

So , why don't people just play a Witch? It just seems like a better design choice all around; instead of having two sets of spell slots, two separate spell lists, etc, the witch seems to put everything together more elegantly, with no power issues.

Ken

You got me, a wise man once helped me to see the light with the help of admiral ackbar...but not everyone got the message. Some people keep attacking that death star regardless of wether or not the sheilds are up.

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