How do people feel about Paizo's "new" base classes?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Marthkus wrote:

The depth of mechanics in real life and fantasy are so innumerable that Paizo's attempts to quantify and enable all of it in a game is but a drop in comparison to the ocean of concepts out there. Even at the Height of 3.5 they never came close to providing satisfactory mechanics to cover every concept out there.

Just recently a friend of mine tried to make an air-bender in pathfinder and failed miserably at making it work or be effective.

Keep the splat books coming I say. If you don't like the rules don't use them. (Although don't say the summoner is OP, I will fight you! :P)

Have you considered -- and I don't mean this at all in a snarky way -- something like the Hero system? If want a rich, deep set of highly customizable mechanics that can model just about anything well, you might find Hero ideal.


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bugleyman wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

How are they redundant though?

All of them are unique.

How are they redundant? Conceptually.

Summoner? We have conjuration wizards in that niche.
Cavalier? Fighter.
Witch? Sorcerer/wizard.
Alchemist? Wizard with a feat.
Inquisitor? Fighter/Cleric.

Nothing here that couldn't already be done, and done effectively with the core classes. At most a few feats would have sufficed.

I realize that the ideal specificity of classes is a matter of opinion, but in my opinion, the APG classes don't broaden the range of concepts that can be realized -- it just introduces additional mechanics in a game that already has too many.

On a only marginally related note, I thought D20 modern's take on classes was extremely clever.

In a class based game, you really only get two choices:

1. A handful of core concepts as classes:
Warrior, Caster, Expert are the 3 default D&D classes. (One could argue white mage versus black mage in the caster class, but magic is magic is magic.)

From those 3 classes, feats/talents/skills/whatever fluff title build your archetype : Paladin? Warrior with a little white mage and heavy armour. Summoner? White mage and Black mage with a talent that gives you a pet and more talents to make that pet tough. Bard? A whole lot of Expert with social skills emphasized and a dip into white and black mage for support and charm spells. Monk? Warrior with white mage for buffs and mysticism, and expert for acrobatics and mobility.

Ta da! Simple class choice, incredibly complicated class build to get what you want out of the archetype. D20 Modern and Gurps do this.

OR:

2. Many classes, each offering an incredibly distinct package that summarizes a classic archtype:

Snake-Eyes is a Ninja, Conan is a Barbarian, Galahad is a Paladin, Gandalf is a Wizard, Eowyn is a Fighter, Shir is a Rogue.

If anyone said I want to play a character like one of the above and chose the class I listed, any harsh criticism of that choice would be pedantic: each class does something mechanically that the others cannot do.

Even when spells and supernatural abilities allow Clerics to out fight Fighters or Wizards to out rogue Rogues, the way Wizards and Clerics are doing it are obviously different, and while that has no mechanical difference, it has a story-telling difference. I want to be Eowyn, shield-maiden of Rohanbecause she overcame sexist adversity and through force of will became a powerful warrior, and that's awesome.

I don't want to be Eowyn, smiter of Iluvatar, because I think gaining my strength through a god's spells as lame, even though I might gain a mechanical advantage.

And while you can say this is just fluff, it isn't for beginners. They look at a class and say "that's it, that's my character". The more classes there are, the easier that is. It's hard to find Ash from Pokemon in the Wizard class. The druid seems more obvious. But the Summoner isn't too far removed.

I can see Zatoichi in the fighter class, perhaps, but he's a samurai. Good thing I have a class for that!

More classes = More archetypes. And with MUCH simpler builds.

Where D&D and Pathfinder sometimes fail in this second options is this:

The fighter and the rogue are too bland to be true archetypes. Their cousins: The Paladin, the Bard, etc. are much stronger flavours, but are also redundancies of the Fighter and the Rogue, because they are the ur-archetypes. Wizard and Cleric suffer from this a bit too, but not nearly as much.

If you don't like chocolate chip mint or chunky munkey because they are similar to chocolate ice cream, and you prefer putting mint and peanut butter in your pure chocolate yourself, that's fair. But you must see why some people just want their Ben and Jerry's.


MrSin wrote:


R_Chance wrote:


Rynjin wrote:

Meanwhile, a 6th level Wizard can cast Stinking Cloud with no prior Feat investment or specific weapon choice and do the same thing...

If he knows the spell and doesn't mind tying up a significant part of his limited use resources. Great if he has it, zero if he doesn't.

Possibly ending the battle in a single spell sounds like a good use of my resources. I have what, 3 of those?

Possibly ending the battle. You have 2 3rd level spells at 6th level, 3 with a 16+ Intelligence score which is very reasonable. And, 4 if you have a bonded object I suppose. There are a lot of other spells vying for those three slots though. I doubt you would have more than 1 spell slot dedicated to it. Unless, you're a bit... strange. You've got Fly, Dispel Magic, Invisibility Sphere, and Fireball available among many others. And you only learn two new spells in your spell book per level without investing extra resources. So, you know 4 3rd level spells at 6th level (if you used all your freebies on 3rd level spells). Which do you know, which do you not? And which of those 4 will you memorize, or not? Limited resource for a day. Without using up extra resources (scrolls etc.). And if you want to scribe scrolls that's a feat and, for a third level spell c.3-400 gp (?), I'm not sure on the cost. It's an old chestnut I know, but "a feat chain is forever" a spell slot is only good once a day. As the Wizard goes up picks up more spell slots and begins crafting goodies this becomes less of an issue. But a 6th level Wizard is only on the beginning of that road. His resources while powerful are limited. As always ymmv.

*edit* Hmmm... Yeah, as that Wizards goes up it doesn't just become less of an issue, it tends to be a insignificant issue. But, that's as you go up and become incredibly powerful :)


R_Chance wrote:
MrSin wrote:


R_Chance wrote:


Rynjin wrote:

Meanwhile, a 6th level Wizard can cast Stinking Cloud with no prior Feat investment or specific weapon choice and do the same thing...

If he knows the spell and doesn't mind tying up a significant part of his limited use resources. Great if he has it, zero if he doesn't.

Possibly ending the battle in a single spell sounds like a good use of my resources. I have what, 3 of those?

Possibly ending the battle. You have 2 3rd level spells at 6th level, 3 with a 16+ Intelligence score which is very reasonable. And, 4 if you have a bonded object I suppose. There are a lot of other spells vying for those three slots though. I doubt you would have more than 1 spell slot dedicated to it. Unless, you're a bit... strange. You've got Fly, Dispel Magic, Invisibility Sphere, and Fireball available among many others.

Wait, wait, are you saying FIREBALL at level 6 doesn't stack up with this Daze feat balance-wise?


Not every archetype should be supported by every game. Conan doesn't belong in a Star Trek game. Wesley Crusher doesn't belong in Pathfinder. Mr. Mitzelplick doesn't belong in any game unless he's a powerful background NPC. And, frankly, Ash Ketchum doesn't belong in Pathfinder either. Unless you inappropriately use pokemon tournament rules limitations when fighting daemons he's really bad for time sharing in a turn based multiplayer game and bad for balance in one where action economy is an important consideration.

It's better for the game to tell the guy who wants to play an archetype not suited to the genre or setting to come up with a second choice than to compromise the setting or genre.


Dr. Calvin Murgunstrumm wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
MrSin wrote:


R_Chance wrote:


Rynjin wrote:

Meanwhile, a 6th level Wizard can cast Stinking Cloud with no prior Feat investment or specific weapon choice and do the same thing...

If he knows the spell and doesn't mind tying up a significant part of his limited use resources. Great if he has it, zero if he doesn't.

Possibly ending the battle in a single spell sounds like a good use of my resources. I have what, 3 of those?

Possibly ending the battle. You have 2 3rd level spells at 6th level, 3 with a 16+ Intelligence score which is very reasonable. And, 4 if you have a bonded object I suppose. There are a lot of other spells vying for those three slots though. I doubt you would have more than 1 spell slot dedicated to it. Unless, you're a bit... strange. You've got Fly, Dispel Magic, Invisibility Sphere, and Fireball available among many others.

Wait, wait, are you saying FIREBALL at level 6 doesn't stack up with this Daze feat balance-wise?

No. Just replying to a post about Stinking Cloud and pointing out options other than it for a limited resource like 3rd level spells for a 6th level Wizard. Also pointing out that any feat is an "at will" resource, a different creature than a spell slot. I wasn't really thinking about the Daze feat at all (nor did I take a look at it). You can calm down :)

Or heck, get excited. I've finished grading and I'm calling it a day :D


R_Chance wrote:
Dr. Calvin Murgunstrumm wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
MrSin wrote:


R_Chance wrote:


Rynjin wrote:

Meanwhile, a 6th level Wizard can cast Stinking Cloud with no prior Feat investment or specific weapon choice and do the same thing...

If he knows the spell and doesn't mind tying up a significant part of his limited use resources. Great if he has it, zero if he doesn't.

Possibly ending the battle in a single spell sounds like a good use of my resources. I have what, 3 of those?

Possibly ending the battle. You have 2 3rd level spells at 6th level, 3 with a 16+ Intelligence score which is very reasonable. And, 4 if you have a bonded object I suppose. There are a lot of other spells vying for those three slots though. I doubt you would have more than 1 spell slot dedicated to it. Unless, you're a bit... strange. You've got Fly, Dispel Magic, Invisibility Sphere, and Fireball available among many others.

Wait, wait, are you saying FIREBALL at level 6 doesn't stack up with this Daze feat balance-wise?

No. Just replying to a post about Stinking Cloud and pointing out options other than it for a limited resource like 3rd level spells for a 6th level Wizard. Also pointing out that any feat is an "at will" resource, a different creature than a spell slot. I wasn't really thinking about the Daze feat at all (nor did I take a look at it). You can calm down :)

Or heck, get excited. I've finished grading and I'm calling it a day :D

Quote was more tongue in cheek than anything. Have a good night!


Atarlost wrote:
Not every archetype should be supported by every game.

Who's saying they should?

Atarlost wrote:
Conan doesn't belong in a Star Trek game.

Isn't that just Worf with less forehead ridges?

Atarlost wrote:
Wesley Crusher doesn't belong in Pathfinder.

Wesley Crusher doesn't belong in anything though.

Atarlost wrote:
It's better for the game to tell the guy who wants to play an archetype not suited to the genre or setting to come up with a second choice than to compromise the setting or genre.

Which of the Base classes compromises the genre/setting?

I'm confused by this post...


Rynjin wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
It's better for the game to tell the guy who wants to play an archetype not suited to the genre or setting to come up with a second choice than to compromise the setting or genre.

Which of the Base classes compromises the genre/setting?

I'm confused by this post...

The only thing I got out of it was that Atarlost thinks the Broodmaster and Master Summoner were a bad idea for reasons which have little to do with compromising the setting or genre: "And, frankly, Ash Ketchum doesn't belong in Pathfinder either. Unless you inappropriately use pokemon tournament rules limitations when fighting daemons he's really bad for time sharing in a turn based multiplayer game and bad for balance in one where action economy is an important consideration."


Atarlost wrote:

Not every archetype should be supported by every game. Conan doesn't belong in a Star Trek game. Wesley Crusher doesn't belong in Pathfinder. Mr. Mitzelplick doesn't belong in any game unless he's a powerful background NPC. And, frankly, Ash Ketchum doesn't belong in Pathfinder either. Unless you inappropriately use pokemon tournament rules limitations when fighting daemons he's really bad for time sharing in a turn based multiplayer game and bad for balance in one where action economy is an important consideration.

It's better for the game to tell the guy who wants to play an archetype not suited to the genre or setting to come up with a second choice than to compromise the setting or genre.

How many times has Kirk engaged in hand to hand combat with a primitive savage? Also, Worf.

Wesley is a boy genius with a technical flair. Paizo hasn't really done the tinker yet, but the Artificer from Adamant would do.

Mxyzptlk would be an excellent bard. Power scaling is a concession of the class system. Also, Q is Mxyzptlk in your star trek game. A PC Q just gets kicked out of the continuum and starts at level 1.

And your critique of the Ash Ketchum summoner applies to druids and rangers too. And Paladins and Cavaliers with mounts and anyone with the leadership feat. And all spellcasters. Summons and pets are part of the game, have been since 1E. You're welcome to ban them, but to say that summoners have invented an action economy imbalance is silly.

The idea of a young boy going out to become a hero who trains fighting animals is iconic. Beastmaster is a cult classic.

I'm not crazy for the summoner, as I do think that a summoning wizard archtype with an improved familiar feat tree would be better for the genre considerations, the idea of a wizard with a bad ass demon bodyguard is iconic. And the mechanics are certainly novel.

In a game who's predecessors had space pirates (spelljammer), multi-verses (planescape), survival horror (Ravenloft), lovecraftian nightmares (illithids and their ilk), tolkienesque high fantasy (Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Greyhawk, etc.), post-apocalyptic survival (Dark Sun), steampunk (eberron), grindhouse kung fu (Oriental Adventures) and so on and so forth, to say that some archetypes don't belong in the game is a failure of imagination.

The Gunslinger is in fact excellent evidence that the people at Paizo are looking at major genre works (The Dark Tower) and looking at ways to make them fit in Golarion and at other people's tables.

Also, Wesley Crusher would totally work in a spell jammer campaign.


KingmanHighborn wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:

Meh I don't even find them to be the most powerful classes (though Magus and Summoner are certainly up there) Strongest in my opinion are the Barbarian (what with rage cycling and god like saves), Paladin (who can easily get enough smites to smite every foe in an average work day about 16 a day), and wizard for obvious reasons. Druids might be up there too.

Not exactly a fan of gun slinger or cavelier but thats because I simply have no urge to play them.

Honestly, more classes never hurts my feelings.

Again I find them all pretty balanced. Barbarians are auto dead at certain points if the rage is ended to soon, Pallys are great vs. evil, and ho hum against an angry dire tiger to the face.

Disagreement on both counts.

Channel energy only gives a save if they choose damaging option by RAW, so anyone who can channel energy auto bypasses superstition unless they're trying to hurt the barbarian. So the barbarian can be healed while raging though only with a couple of effects. The barbarian only need save against spells, so spell like effects like the witches hex for healing and lay on hands also bypass it.

Paladin's will only be meh against anyone not evil? Are you crazy? They'll be slightly less powerful without smite yes. On the other hand they have numerous buff powers and spells that are independent of enemy alignment to kick them up a notch. Furthermore, have you looked at AP's? General rule of thumb; if its smart enough to have an alignment, you can bet that alignment has the word evil in there somewhere.

Basically the only things you commonly fight that aren't evil are constructs and animals, and even those are fairly rare.

The Exchange

Taking the discussion back to it's starting point, I think most base classes are very justified, and work well. They fill holes that are left by the core classes:

1) oracle == divine sorcerer
2) witch == arcane druid
3) inquisitor == divine bard

I think that those three variations on the mechanical concepts each got an amazing fluff justification (oracle is SOOO awesome). There is no reason that these classes should be core, in my opinion, other than the simple fact that including them in a core rulebook would make it too big.

The other base classes are a more interesting case. Some of them, like gunslinger, alchemist and magus are there to do something that's very hard to support with the "normal" rules and classes, and are obviously there for the people interested in playing 'em. If you don't like them, ignoring them is rather easy.

The rest of the base classes are a little harder to classify. I can't see why ninja is not a archetype or prestige class, and cavalier barely had a reason to exist in the first place, making me really confused about the Samurai, given that it's basically a cavalier. Summoner had a potential to be really good but I think Paizo massed up the mechanics on this one (James Jacobs said numerous times that if he had the chance he would have changed the eidlon mechanic to be more similar to the druid's animal companion, with a basic template and types of outsiders changing that basic template - instead of choosing "cat, small" you chose "celestial, winged", for example).

All in all the inclusion of case classes in a game improved it, IMHO. Some of them are really core classes in disguise, others serve groups of people who so far were unable to create characters they wanted to play, and the rest seem like a harmless bundle of new mechanics. I'm happy with base classes.


Lord Snow wrote:
The rest of the base classes are a little harder to classify. I can't see why ninja is not a archetype or prestige class, and cavalier barely had a reason to exist in the first place, making me really confused about the Samurai, given that it's basically a cavalier. Summoner had a potential to be really good but I think Paizo massed up the mechanics on this one (James Jacobs said numerous times that if he had the chance he would have changed the eidlon mechanic to be more similar to the druid's animal companion, with a basic template and types of outsiders changing that basic template - instead of choosing "cat, small" you chose "celestial, winged", for example).

I think that if the summoner used a number of fixed templates like the druid animal companion fewer people would hate it. Even experts at the game often seem to mess up the eidolon as it currently works. The fact that my group doesn't allow them is more of a combination of group size (making someone who breaks action economy a drag) and the fact that the players most likely to summon something are those with the least system mastery (constantly getting things wrong and never having stats in advance).

I understand the cavalier a little bit more. The fighter is not capable of making an educated warrior due to only having 2 skill points a level and the limited skill list. However, other than the teamwork feats, the cavalier intorduces no new machanics. The mount is from the druid, challenge is a weaker version of the paladin smite, banner is a weaker version of bard performance, and so on. Since samurai are supposed to be educated (and can be loosely called 'japan's knights) they became an alternate class of cavalier rather than anything else.

The Exchange

Grey Lensman wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
The rest of the base classes are a little harder to classify. I can't see why ninja is not a archetype or prestige class, and cavalier barely had a reason to exist in the first place, making me really confused about the Samurai, given that it's basically a cavalier. Summoner had a potential to be really good but I think Paizo massed up the mechanics on this one (James Jacobs said numerous times that if he had the chance he would have changed the eidlon mechanic to be more similar to the druid's animal companion, with a basic template and types of outsiders changing that basic template - instead of choosing "cat, small" you chose "celestial, winged", for example).

I think that if the summoner used a number of fixed templates like the druid animal companion fewer people would hate it. Even experts at the game often seem to mess up the eidolon as it currently works. The fact that my group doesn't allow them is more of a combination of group size (making someone who breaks action economy a drag) and the fact that the players most likely to summon something are those with the least system mastery (constantly getting things wrong and never having stats in advance).

I understand the cavalier a little bit more. The fighter is not capable of making an educated warrior due to only having 2 skill points a level and the limited skill list. However, other than the teamwork feats, the cavalier intorduces no new machanics. The mount is from the druid, challenge is a weaker version of the paladin smite, banner is a weaker version of bard performance, and so on. Since samurai are supposed to be educated (and can be loosely called 'japan's knights) they became an alternate class of cavalier rather than anything else.

Yeah, I agree 100% about the summoner. I would have been tempted to play one myself, if it would have been designed like a druid that heavily focuses on a cool outsider as an animal companion.

About the Samurai/Cavalier issue, if the entire point was to add skill points, well, that's exactly what archetypes are for.


With all the feats Fighters get, a mounted knight is an easy concept even without the Cavalier.

Actually, if Paizo had just given the Fighter more skill points, the Cavalier wouldn't even need to exist.

I'm not making mentions of the Samurai since it's just an alternate Cavalier, and the 3.5e Samurai was horrible.


They were very scary fellows though, oooh that intimidate.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lord Snow wrote:
I can't see why ninja is not a archetype or prestige class, and cavalier barely had a reason to exist in the first place, making me really confused about the Samurai, given that it's basically a cavalier.

This has come up several times in this thread, and it keeps making me facepalm. So let me get this off my chest:

The ninja is, in fact, an archetype for rogues.

The samurai is, in fact, an archetype for cavaliers.

Please, everybody, stop saying "they should have been an archetype." They are.

Thank you.


Icyshadow wrote:
With all the feats Fighters get, a mounted knight is an easy concept even without the Cavalier.

The cavalier base class is both a mounted knight and a leader that lends his allies teamwork feats, gives them bonuses with his banner, and helps them with other order-specific buffs. There really isn't a good way (that I know of at least) to give a fighter a substantial buffing portfolio.


Shisumo wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
I can't see why ninja is not a archetype or prestige class, and cavalier barely had a reason to exist in the first place, making me really confused about the Samurai, given that it's basically a cavalier.

This has come up several times in this thread, and it keeps making me facepalm. So let me get this off my chest:

The ninja is, in fact, an archetype for rogues.

The samurai is, in fact, an archetype for cavaliers.

Please, everybody, stop saying "they should have been an archetype." They are.

Thank you.

Agreed. An alternate class is an archetype that a) requires a few more column inches to write down than the usual archetype and b) is enough of a change that it has it's own archetypes (e.g., Samurai with the Sword Saint).

The Exchange

Humphrey Boggard wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
I can't see why ninja is not a archetype or prestige class, and cavalier barely had a reason to exist in the first place, making me really confused about the Samurai, given that it's basically a cavalier.

This has come up several times in this thread, and it keeps making me facepalm. So let me get this off my chest:

The ninja is, in fact, an archetype for rogues.

The samurai is, in fact, an archetype for cavaliers.

Please, everybody, stop saying "they should have been an archetype." They are.

Thank you.

Agreed. An alternate class is an archetype that a) requires a few more column inches to write down than the usual archetype and b) is enough of a change that it has it's own archetypes (e.g., Samurai with the Sword Saint).

Not exactly, though. The difference in mechanics between ninja and rouge are very big. I think that the concept of "ninja" could have been executed far more simply in an archtype or hack, by just adding a chain of rouge talents or whatever. But it's a complete class, with it's own mechanics. I see why you'd say an alternate class and an archetype is the same thing, but at least to me, it *feels* very different.


As a follow-up, here's how the dazing feat is written in my actual houserules. It's somewhat weaker at 6th level here than the one we discussed specifically because fighters in my home game actually get class features other than feats. Also, we use scaling combat feats, as shown. ("Strike" feats are a whole subset of combat feats that all activate similarly.)

STAGGERING STRIKE (Combat, Strike)

Spoiler:
Prerequisites: Str 13, base attack bonus +1.
Benefit: As a standard action, make a single attack. Any opponent with a discernable anatomy that is damaged by this attack must succeed at a Reflex save (DC 10 + half your base attack bonus + your Strength modifier) or be flat-footed until the start of his next turn.
  • If your base attack bonus is +6 or higher, an opponent damaged by this attack must also succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half your base attack bonus + your Strength bonus) or be staggered for 1 round as well.
  • If your base attack bonus is +11 or higher, the opponent is dazed 1 round and staggered 1d4+1 rounds on a failed save, and is staggered 1 round if the saving throw succeeds.
  • If your base attack bonus is +16 or higher, the opponent is stunned instead of dazed.

    You can use this feat in conjunction with a full attack, but this imposes a -5 penalty on all attacks that round. Multiple hits in a single round can increase the condition from staggered to dazed, and from dazed to stunned.
    Synergy:

  • If you also have the Critical Focus feat, Staggering Strike activates automatically on a confirmed critical.
  • If you also have the Deft Opportunist feat, Staggering Strike activates automatically on a successful attack of opportunity.
  • If you also have the Improved Grapple feat, you can activate Staggering Strike as part of a pin.

  • This is my assessment of the new base classes.

    Alchemist: I have had no one wanting to play one, but I have used them a lot a NPCs. The class fills a specific niche, I feel, but it feels a little to specific for my taste.

    Witch: I adore this class, but it can totally dominate a game set with a lot of brutes (with bad Will saves) just because of spammable hexes like Slumber (and the Evil Eye, Misfortune, Slumber combos). House-ruling Slumber makes it more balanced. Still, a nice class.

    Cavalier: I like that this class brings morale bonuses and tactical tricks. What I dislike is that the mount comes with the price tag. Then again being a mounted fighter should be amount the mount, so the class is hard to incorporate in broad adventures, making it a niche class.

    Magus: I like this class, but to be honest, this class can outshine other melee characters like there is no tomorrow. Intensified shocking grasps, black blades, hexcrafting Slumber at will (!) coupled with decent spells makes it a huge damage dealer, especially from level 3 and up. I also had to nerf the arcane mark stunt, not to embarass the fighter. Still, this class is a fine concept, and my players like it a lot.

    Summoner: I typically assess PC power in how much wealth they really need to spend on magical items. I have had a player being a Summoner and she didn't spend a coin on such matters until reaching 10th-level, she gladly handed the fighter in the group all her wealth, so he could at least pretend catching up. And no, she wasn't a Synthesist since such a monster would bring forth the Apocalypse, were it to exist, other than in concept. Still, a very interesting class, even though it can be made to be broken on many levels.

    Gunslinger: At one time I did abhor all things not medieval fantasy. Being through too many steam-punk fantasy adventures, I have shed such preconceptions. I like the idea, but find that the class can have a hard time actually bringing down serious firepower without using advanced firearms. Constantly reloading with a move action or worse, makes it less good than a crossbowman, and much worse than an archer.


    Morhin wrote:
    Summoner: I typically assess PC power in how much wealth they really need to spend on magical items. I have had a player being a Summoner and she didn't spend a coin on such matters until reaching 10th-level, she gladly handed the fighter in the group all her wealth, so he could at least pretend catching up. And no, she wasn't a Synthesist since such a monster would bring forth the Apocalypse, were it to exist, other than in concept. Still, a very interesting class, even though it can be made to be broken on many levels.

    How does this even happen? I have yet to see a legal eidolon build that put a fighter to shame without turning the summoner into a living battery.

    The Exchange

    Marthkus wrote:
    Morhin wrote:
    Summoner: I typically assess PC power in how much wealth they really need to spend on magical items. I have had a player being a Summoner and she didn't spend a coin on such matters until reaching 10th-level, she gladly handed the fighter in the group all her wealth, so he could at least pretend catching up. And no, she wasn't a Synthesist since such a monster would bring forth the Apocalypse, were it to exist, other than in concept. Still, a very interesting class, even though it can be made to be broken on many levels.
    How does this even happen? I have yet to see a legal eidolon build that put a fighter to shame without turning the summoner into a living battery.

    Without even checking, I can guess that the Eidlon has several mistakes in it's stats. It's so absurdly complicated that just about anyone would make a mistake somewhere.


    I don't think the eidolon is too complicated. Just choose your base, use the chart, apply your evolutions using your power points, and done! At worst its bookkeeping.

    There is a joke that its the Eidolon and his pet summoner for a reason. Buffing up the eidolon and devoting the game to him will likely make him powerful, but at the cost of what you could have added to the summoner. At later levels the summoner's SLA tends to be more powerful than the eidolon. Regardless, you can summon an army of expendable minions and one of the biggest complaints I've heard about the summoner is how he doesn't put himself at risk. Not that I agree, but it did almost get someone's character banned from the local PFS group.


    A class being complicated and hard to play correctly doesn't make it OP or broken though. I've been in groups where every prepared caster would cast all their spells spontaneously with no slot limit. I played with one player who cast spells of her current level (8th lvl spells by level 8). Yeah most of these players' characters were horribly broken. That doesn't make those classes broken.

    Casters are more complicated than martials. Summoners are more complicated than full-casters (unless you play a master summoner and avoid the whole eidolon thing).

    As far as lag goes, I've seen wizards take 5 minutes figuring out which spell to cast and how it works. Just because a player can play a class poorly doesn't make it broken, just more advance. Even with all that complexity the summoner is not more powerful than any full-caster.


    Marthkus wrote:
    How does this even happen? I have yet to see a legal eidolon build that put a fighter to shame without turning the summoner into a living battery.

    Oh, in that campaign there were really no extreme faults with the summoner per se, since she mostly hid behind the others, buffing them and her minions, using the eidolon very little. It was the fact that she didn't need her gear to be effective as a class (summoning monsters, casting haste, bull's strength, and so on, coupled with the fact that the fighter needed better arms and armor, that made her rationalize her choice to give him her wealth.

    My players are extremely cooperative and tends to think as a team.

    I have no real experience with an eidolon as a deal breaker, only when used as the avatar for a synthesist, something that produces a beast.

    In essence, I believe that a class is strong when it can fulfil its part in a PC group using very little wealth, as opposed to a class that desperately needs it, such as, there is no way a fighter can compete with a wizard without having magical items to go round hindrances set up with spells. In a team, PCs can polarize their wealth to strengthen their team, playing on such strengths and weaknesses. The summoner is a very strong choice, since it can fulfil that part, using nothing more than summons, spells, and perhaps a mere longspear for show.


    Morhin wrote:
    Marthkus wrote:
    How does this even happen? I have yet to see a legal eidolon build that put a fighter to shame without turning the summoner into a living battery.

    Oh, in that campaign there were really no extreme faults with the summoner per se, since she mostly hid behind the others, buffing them and her minions, using the eidolon very little. It was the fact that she didn't need her gear to be effective as a class (summoning monsters, casting haste, bull's strength, and so on, coupled with the fact that the fighter needed better arms and armor, that made her rationalize her choice to give him her wealth.

    My players are extremely cooperative and tends to think as a team.

    I have no real experience with an eidolon as a deal breaker, only when used as the avatar for a synthesist, something that produces a beast.

    In essence, I believe that a class is strong when it can fulfil its part in a PC group using very little wealth, as opposed to a class that desperately needs it, such as, there is no way a fighter can compete with a wizard without having magical items to go round hindrances set up with spells. In a team, PCs can polarize their wealth to strengthen their team, playing on such strengths and weaknesses. The summoner is a very strong choice, since it can fulfil that part, using nothing more than summons, spells, and perhaps a mere longspear for show.

    Ok but my sorcerer wouldn't need much gear either. The wizard still needs to buy spells and stuff, but a sorcerer needs like 1 stat boost item to be effective. Similar to a summoner.


    Marthkus wrote:


    Ok but my sorcerer wouldn't need much gear either. The wizard still needs to buy spells and stuff, but a sorcerer needs like 1 stat boost item to be effective. Similar to a summoner.

    Quite true. :)


    Bah people keep saying summoners are overpowered, but when you compare them to fullcasters no one has yet to show that they are OP. Yet nearly every critique of the summoner on this thread alludes to them being OP.


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    Marthkus wrote:
    Bah people keep saying summoners are overpowered, but when you compare them to fullcasters no one has yet to show that they are OP. Yet nearly every critique of the summoner on this thread alludes to them being OP.

    If it makes you feel any better, my reservations concerning the summoner have absolutely nothing to do with its upper end strength.


    bugleyman wrote:
    Have you considered -- and I don't mean this at all in a snarky way -- something like the Hero system? If want a rich, deep set of highly customizable mechanics that can model just about anything well, you might find Hero ideal.

    Or Mutants and Masterminds, which is d20 based. (And it even has a sourcebook for doing fantasy characters.)


    Ashiel wrote:
    Marthkus wrote:
    Bah people keep saying summoners are overpowered, but when you compare them to fullcasters no one has yet to show that they are OP. Yet nearly every critique of the summoner on this thread alludes to them being OP.
    If it makes you feel any better, my reservations concerning the summoner have absolutely nothing to do with its upper end strength.

    Ok then what is the problem? I understand people not wanting to play a class, but many people don't want that a summoner at their table and I find that to be an unfounded opinion.


    Marthkus wrote:
    Ashiel wrote:
    Marthkus wrote:
    Bah people keep saying summoners are overpowered, but when you compare them to fullcasters no one has yet to show that they are OP. Yet nearly every critique of the summoner on this thread alludes to them being OP.
    If it makes you feel any better, my reservations concerning the summoner have absolutely nothing to do with its upper end strength.
    Ok then what is the problem? I understand people not wanting to play a class, but many people don't want that a summoner at their table and I find that to be an unfounded opinion.

    My problems with the summoner is I have a great hatred for their spell list which is nonsensical in quite a few ways and is very "hackish" in its execution. I also dislike that it's so easy to break the rules (a lot of this is because the eidolon's abilities are not well sorted and is more of a formatting criticism than a class criticism).

    But then again I haven't ever banned it from my games. The closest I came to banning it was putting it on hold pending a spell-list revision. I've allowed them in my games and on at least one occasion made heavy use of the class for NPCs.

    I've also not found it to be overpowering in my (albeit limited) experience with them (one of the players I GMed for actually chose the class just because it was supposed to be so "overpowered" and ended up rather shocked at how fast that eidolon killing machine got chewed up by normal NPCs; and the other was a venerable synthesist - yeah let that sink in - who died from Zombie Plague).


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    What's wrong with the spell list? It's essentially full-casting with less slots and lower save DCs.


    Ashiel wrote:
    Marthkus wrote:
    Ashiel wrote:
    Marthkus wrote:
    Bah people keep saying summoners are overpowered, but when you compare them to fullcasters no one has yet to show that they are OP. Yet nearly every critique of the summoner on this thread alludes to them being OP.
    If it makes you feel any better, my reservations concerning the summoner have absolutely nothing to do with its upper end strength.
    Ok then what is the problem? I understand people not wanting to play a class, but many people don't want that a summoner at their table and I find that to be an unfounded opinion.

    My problems with the summoner is I have a great hatred for their spell list which is nonsensical in quite a few ways and is very "hackish" in its execution. I also dislike that it's so easy to break the rules (a lot of this is because the eidolon's abilities are not well sorted and is more of a formatting criticism than a class criticism).

    But then again I haven't ever banned it from my games. The closest I came to banning it was putting it on hold pending a spell-list revision. I've allowed them in my games and on at least one occasion made heavy use of the class for NPCs.

    I've also not found it to be overpowering in my (albeit limited) experience with them (one of the players I GMed for actually chose the class just because it was supposed to be so "overpowered" and ended up rather shocked at how fast that eidolon killing machine got chewed up by normal NPCs; and the other was a venerable synthesist - yeah let that sink in - who died from Zombie Plague).

    such fitting deaths for the summoners. i wish i could say i feel sorry for both of them, but i have no pity for those power seekers whom died, expecting an easy mode game.

    individuals of great power draw both powerful allies, and powerful enemies. and it has been proven many times in most APs. that the summoner isn't as powerful as people give it credit for.


    Marthkus wrote:
    What's wrong with the spell list? It's essentially full-casting with less slots and lower save DCs.

    Early spell entry means Summoners end up making all your wands and potions cheaply, throwing off prices. Banning anonymous NPC sweat-shop crafting Summoners solves the problem.


    Marthkus wrote:
    What's wrong with the spell list? It's essentially full-casting with less slots and lower save DCs.

    i don't neccessarily have a problem with the spell list itself. just that it completely changes how item prices work, and how it appears to seem, that they tried to cram 9 levels of spells into only 6.

    while it does mean a lot less slots, much lower DCs and a lot less spells known. most of the summoner spells are either buffs, battlefield control, or eidolon battery type stuff. the former 2, you only need a handful per fight, and the third, you only need if there is no cleric.


    Early access to spell is a feature, It is meant to be 9 levels of casting put into 6. Wands and potions are too pricey anyways and shops don't sell the stuff made by a summoner. If the summoner is making the items, then what's the harm? The summoner gets more spells with an even worse save DC than normal.


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    Marthkus wrote:
    What's wrong with the spell list? It's essentially full-casting with less slots and lower save DCs.

    That's pretty much exactly the problem, combined with a mish-mash of often randomish spells tossed into their list.

    The lower spell levels don't really concern them for DCs because most of the better spells they have don't even make use of saving throws, or have negligible saving throw difference (nobody cares about the saving throw DC of greater planar binding because you can just keep spamming the spell until you get the creature). The majority of their spells are buffing spells which also don't matter as far as save DCs are concerned.

    Meanwhile it creates some problems. It opens up things like wands of summon monster V, and makes acquiring scrolls cheaper. While it's not unheard of for a couple of spells to make a special appearance on a list at a lower level (Bards get irresistible dance for example) the Summoner's spell list is constantly squeezing high level spells into low level slots. It's lazy, it's dirty (from a design perspective), and it takes little notice of the rules concerning item creation and the like.

    If they were going to give it 9th level casting then man up and give them 9th level casting. Or if they're not supposed to be full casters then man up and DON'T give them full casting. They get Summon Monster I-IX as a SLA so they don't actually need anything beyond 6th level spells to do their jobs. I wouldn't care so much if they got some planar bindings a little earlier in spell level, but the huge pile of illusion and enchantment spells they get is overkill (what does Simulacrum and charm monster have to do with being a summoner? Not a damn thing).

    I also dislike haste coming at level 4 for them. That's not kosher to me. A half-caster getting spells faster than full-casters and at lower levels (and thus cheaper for wands and scrolls) is poor design IMHO. It's not like they need it and it wouldn't kill them to wait until 3rd level spells like bards.


    Ashiel wrote:
    Marthkus wrote:
    What's wrong with the spell list? It's essentially full-casting with less slots and lower save DCs.

    That's pretty much exactly the problem, combined with a mish-mash of often randomish spells tossed into their list.

    The lower spell levels don't really concern them for DCs because most of the better spells they have don't even make use of saving throws, or have negligible saving throw difference (nobody cares about the saving throw DC of greater planar binding because you can just keep spamming the spell until you get the creature). The majority of their spells are buffing spells which also don't matter as far as save DCs are concerned.

    Meanwhile it creates some problems. It opens up things like wands of summon monster V, and makes acquiring scrolls cheaper. While it's not unheard of for a couple of spells to make a special appearance on a list at a lower level (Bards get irresistible dance for example) the Summoner's spell list is constantly squeezing high level spells into low level slots. It's lazy, it's dirty (from a design perspective), and it takes little notice of the rules concerning item creation and the like.

    If they were going to give it 9th level casting then man up and give them 9th level casting. Or if they're not supposed to be full casters then man up and DON'T give them full casting. They get Summon Monster I-IX as a SLA so they don't actually need anything beyond 6th level spells to do their jobs. I wouldn't care so much if they got some planar bindings a little earlier in spell level, but the huge pile of illusion and enchantment spells they get is overkill (what does Simulacrum and charm monster have to do with being a summoner? Not a damn thing).

    I also dislike haste coming at level 4 for them. That's not kosher to me. A half-caster getting spells faster than full-casters and at lower levels (and thus cheaper for wands and scrolls) is poor design IMHO. It's not like they need it and it wouldn't kill them to wait until 3rd...

    Exactly : a summoner has pretty much the same spell list as a wizard, but with 6 spell levels.

    It has not a "bard-like" spell list, but a "wizard-like" spell list. Having a few spell that you gain one or two level earlier, why not, but the whole list ? At everylevel beyond the second spell level ? What else with that, mister !

    And beyond that, there is the eidolon, the most non-sensical feature that exist in the whole game. The feature that follows absolutly NO RULES of the game. And worse than that is the synthesist, that function as 3.5 shapeshifting on steroïds (all advantages of 3.5 shapeshifting, and all advantages of Pathfinder shapeshifting, without ANY WEAKNESSES to counterbalance it), while Pathfinder have changed all shapeshifting rules.

    To make it shorter : the summoner doesn't follow Pathfinder rules, and for that, I will not accept it on my tables. Or ONLY if I make it follow Pathfinder rules (and that will change quite a few things in the class, starting with the spell list and the eidolon).


    Ashiel wrote:


    A half-caster getting spells faster than full-casters and at lower levels (and thus cheaper for wands and scrolls) is poor design IMHO

    There is your problem. Summoners are fullcasters. They just reworked the design to balance out with the class features.

    I don't see how the summoner making cheaper items that are too pricey and time consuming to make anyways being an issue. What sort of sorcerer takes craft wand? Shops won't have those items because it doesn't make sense for any summoner to make them. Am I wrong?


    Avh wrote:

    Exactly : a summoner has pretty much the same spell list as a wizard, but with 6 spell levels.

    It has not a "bard-like" spell list, but a "wizard-like" spell list. Having a few spell that you gain one or two level earlier, why not, but the whole list ? At everylevel beyond the second spell level ? What else with that, mister !

    And beyond that, there is the eidolon, the most non-sensical feature that exist in the whole game. The feature that follows absolutly NO RULES of the game. And worse than that is the synthesist, that function as 3.5 shapeshifting on steroïds (all advantages of 3.5 shapeshifting, and all advantages of Pathfinder shapeshifting, without ANY WEAKNESSES to counterbalance it), while Pathfinder have changed all shapeshifting rules.

    To make it shorter : the summoner doesn't follow Pathfinder rules, and for that, I will not accept it on my tables. Or ONLY if I make it follow Pathfinder rules (and that will change quite a few things in the class, starting with the spell list and the eidolon).

    The summoner class is rules of the game. Is the problem that he is unique and has unique rules and mechanics?

    Synthesis is not all that powerful. A summoner gives up half his actions to be more durable.

    The summoner is Pathfinder rules, the argument that he doesn't follow the rules hurts my brain. Not allowing it at your table for that reason is ridiculous. It has nothing to do with the flavor of the class in your campaign or how the class balances with the rest of the party (weaker than a fullcaster).


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    Quote:
    The summoner class is rules of the game. Is the problem that he is unique and has unique rules and mechanics?

    The summoner class has its own rules of the game. It does not fit with pathfinder rules. Not a single one.

    First : he is an arcane full caster with D8 and average BAB : NOT A SINGLE CLASS IN THE GAME follow that rule : you are either full caster and D6 + poor BAB (wizard, sorcerer, witch), or either semi caster with D8 + average BAB (bard, magus). Not BOTH. He even have armor proficiency without spell failure, WHATEVER THE LEVEL (not following the rules for arcane spellcaster either), although limited to light armor.

    Second : he has EVERY SINGLE high level spell on the wizard list that matters, with the exception of time stop and shapeshifting spells. And he has several of those BEFORE the wizard (in term of caster level, in addition to have those earlier in spell level), EVEN when those are not summon spells (for all the second part : haste, teleport, fly, create demi plane, true seeing, simulacrum, invisibility, dispel magic, stone skin, magic jar, baleful polymorph, ...).

    Third : The eidolon is potentially a second character you play, because no DM wants to handle it and provoke conflicts with the summoner player, because you know "it's a feature of my class, not a freakin' NPC !!!", while every character that is not an PC is an NPC, feat, features or whatever.

    Fourth : the special list opens the most abusive play of all (I may play a Samsaran wizard in your game ? Okay, i make a conjurer with the summoner spell list (6 spells to pick on the summoner list, whatever the level, and add it to the same level for the wizard). And I won't talk about the magic items creation, that PFS had to handle to prevent players from abusing the rules (but didn't make that modifications in the official rules). You had only a couple spell before the summoner that you could abuse. With the summoner, you can abuse A WHOLE SPELL LIST.

    Fifth : The eidolon is more powerful than a character at early start, and have access to more power than martial classes. And when the level is such that your solution is not so good (around 10th level or so), you can change your eidolon completly and equip it as a fighter ! Or give him an amulet of mighty fists if you want, and keep your freakin' 13 attacks in charge with max BAB (and more strength than the martials).

    Sixth : The summoner, through a class ability, can have bonuses that make him also a better skill monkey than the best skill monkeys, without having to use spells or changing your eidolon. So you are a full caster, with a more powerful martial character than a PC martial character, with better skills than a skill monkey. And that is not even accounting that the eidolon has skills too.

    Seventh : You have CHA as your best ability, which make you one of the best Face there is AND allow you to use UMD at full power, in case your spell list is not enough for you. That makes you the healer of the party too (through CLW wands, at second level). You could even take Prestige to have a slave for your eidolon and fans to applause when you are a party by yourself.

    And I forgot many many things. The summoner is not way powerful, its just way more versatile than any class in the game. And you don't even have to think about things, because its automatic !


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    Avh wrote:
    First : he is an arcane full caster with D8 and average BAB : NOT A SINGLE CLASS IN THE GAME follow that rule : you are either full caster and D6 + poor BAB (wizard, sorcerer, witch), or either semi caster with D8 + average BAB (bard, magus). Not BOTH. He even have armor proficiency without spell failure, WHATEVER THE LEVEL (not following the rules for arcane spellcaster either).

    Umm... Oracles and Clerics. And magus... and bards. He has 3/4 BAB and 6 level casting, and his eidolon has reduced HD and 3/4 BAB.

    I'll just say I disagree. That's a lot to respond to.


    @Mrsin : Oracles and cleric are divine spellcasters, and bard and magus are arcane semicaster (and follow the rules).

    Summoner is arcane Fullcaster, who follow divine rules (no arcane spell failure at all [while even the magus have those through the level], as much BAB and HP as a magus, while being an arcane fullcaster, ...).

    EDIT : sorry aratrok ^^


    MrSin wrote:

    Umm... Oracles and Clerics. And magus... and bards. He has 3/4 BAB and 6 level casting, and his eidolon has reduced HD and 3/4 BAB.

    I'll just say I disagree. That's a lot to respond to.

    Oracles and Clerics are divine casters. The Magus and Bard are 6 level casters. The summoner ostensibly has 6 level casting, but has most of the spells a 9 level arcane caster would have, making them effectively a full caster.

    Edit: Ninja'd.


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    Magus and bard can both cast in armor. Summoner is six level caster. They all 3 have 3/4 bab and partial casting that can cast in armor. Summoner is limited to light, bards have archetypes that go beyond light, and magus starts at light and only gets better.


    You didn't read anything beyond the first point, did you ?

    I explain why it's a problem through the 6 other points.

    EDIT : To sum up : they are sorcerers with cleric "base" (HP, BAB), with more and better class features (that no one follow standard rules for PF) AND an eidolon which is a problem through different ways (I explain why through several points).


    Avh wrote:
    Third : The eidolon is potentially a second character you play, because no DM wants to handle it and provoke conflicts with the summoner player, because you know "it's a feature of my class, not a freakin' NPC !!!", while every character that is not an PC is an NPC, feat, features or whatever.

    And animal companions, familiars, and mounts aren't "potentially a second character you play"? (I've never seen any of those NPC'd either.)

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