FAQs about SLAs, and the impact on Prestige Classes


Pathfinder Society

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Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain aka TwilightKnight

Exguardi wrote:
I'm hoping to create a compelling argument here that could counteract the potential intense sadness of a decent amount of players...wait a bit on that until we've hashed this out

I don't think there is any cause for this since...

Michael Brock wrote:
this is the decision that the PFS team has made and is what we are going with

5/5

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Kolby Sample wrote:

I fully suppot this revision and think it was needed to put an end to some cheeseburger options. I know of a few people that abbused the grace period from the race allowed change with a stockpile of 1 chronicle native outsiders that can't shortcut anymore.

Good job

Turning otherwise weak options into actually useful and effective character concepts is about as far from cheesy as you can get.


Bob Jonquet wrote:
I don't think there is any cause for this

With all due respect, Bob, this doesn't modify the overarching decision at all, it simply relaxes things a bit to potentially make more people happier. Paizo does try to listen to their customers and I have seen them consider reasonable suggestions in the past, even and especially on issues that they firmly ruled on such as Crane Style.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain aka TwilightKnight

Exguardi wrote:
stuff

Perhaps so. Carry on...

3/5

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The "taking things away" posts are always the worst. I don't envy John & Mike having to communicate the ramifications of the new FAQ to the PFS-base.

-TimD

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain aka TwilightKnight

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Deussu wrote:
you dare to reverse a ruling knowing it would result in many many angry posts

Technically they didn't have anything to do with it. It was a decision made by the game designers. Mike/John just decided to stick to the intent that PFS follow PFRPG as closely as possible and decided how to best incorporate it into PFS. Its important that players understand the difference.

But your sentiment is not lost :-)

Paizo Glitterati Robot

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Removed some baiting posts/heated posts and the replies to them. We understand that FAQs and rules decisions are going to be met with some level of disagreement, but please keep comments constructive and the conversation civil.

Sovereign Court

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Deussu wrote:
you dare to reverse a ruling knowing it would result in many many angry posts

Technically they didn't have anything to do with it. It was a decision made by the game designers. Mike/John just decided to stick to the intent that PFS follow PFRPG as closely as possible and decided how to best incorporate it into PFS. Its important that players understand the difference.

But your sentiment is not lost :-)

Well, John Compton was the one to bring the new reversed ruling to light. Maybe he pulled the shortest straw.

Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed some baiting posts/heated posts and the replies to them. We understand that FAQs and rules decisions are going to be met with some level of disagreement, but please keep comments constructive and the conversation civil.

Huh, didn't expect my post to garner that kind of attention. I'm agreeing with the new ruling, after all.

5/5

I never got around to trying out a Mystic Theurge early entrance, but I'm not mad about it either. Its your ball anyway.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Oh well, since I didn't have a single character who planned to take this option, it really does not bother me. It is a little sad for those who were building towards something like a MT.
My sympathy is a bit tempered by knowing those some players have been using the normal ways to get into the class for years.


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My sympathy is for the noble prestige class, that had seen a resurgence in popularity that will likely die down now. I love prestige classes and the number one thing that has always saddened me about Pathfinder is the de-emphasis on prestige classes as "viable" options rather than just flavorful ones.

I don't feel that I should have to lose character efficacy just to be part of an awesome organization that I love the lore for. And, frankly, I can say I'm part of that organization without being the prestige class, and without being sad because my character is technically weaker. Don't even get Favored Class Bonuses on prestige classes, one of the niftiest little additions Paizo made to D&D...

The original SLA ruling made me feel like I can be a cool AND competent Mystic Theurge, or Eldritch Knight, or Bloatmage, or any other prestige class improved by early entry. And now I won't get to experience that, as I hadn't made a character to take advantage of that yet and now I won't be able to.

Grand Lodge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Bothell aka Pinstripedbarbarian

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Even though I have to rework one of my character's build, I'm happy with this. I really appreciate how much the team is working to pull back the power-creep that has exploded over the past couple years. One of the main reasons my group likes Core so much is avoiding crazy builds on par with Synthesists. And, unlike the Aasimar / Tiefling thing, all we're losing is early-access options; granted that will make some classes (looking at you, Mystic Theurge) far less appealing, but it's not the same as completely losing the options.

In short: I like it.

5/5

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pinstripedbarbarian wrote:

Even though I have to rework one of my character's build, I'm happy with this. I really appreciate how much the team is working to pull back the power-creep that has exploded over the past couple years. One of the main reasons my group likes Core so much is avoiding crazy builds on par with Synthesists. And, unlike the Aasimar / Tiefling thing, all we're losing is early-access options; granted that will make some classes (looking at you, Mystic Theurge) far less appealing, but it's not the same as completely losing the options.

In short: I like it.

The most powerful options in the game sit in the CRB. This does nothing to address power creep.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Deussu wrote:
Well, John Compton was the one to bring the new reversed ruling to light. Maybe he pulled the shortest straw.

Ponder this statement in light of your previous (now deleted) identification of the old FAQ as "SKR's ruling". Could SKR have pulled the shortest straw as well?

Sovereign Court

Do note that this will also affect characters trying to pick certain feats, such as Arcane Strike.

Jiggy wrote:
Deussu wrote:
Well, John Compton was the one to bring the new reversed ruling to light. Maybe he pulled the shortest straw.
Ponder this statement in light of your previous (now deleted) identification of the old FAQ as "<redacted>'s ruling". Could <redacted> have pulled the shortest straw as well?

Excellent remark. I retract my previous inconsiderate statement.

5/5

Exguardi wrote:
The original SLA ruling made me feel like I can be a cool AND competent Mystic Theurge, or Eldritch Knight, or Bloatmage, or any other prestige class improved by early entry. And now I won't get to experience that, as I hadn't made a character to take advantage of that yet and now I won't be able to.

To be fair the Bloatmage is still a perfectly decent option. You need 5 wizard levels so you grab a bonus feat and what it gives is arguably as good, if not better, than an extra bonus feat and many level 8 school abilities.


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andreww wrote:
To be fair the Bloatmage is still a perfectly decent option.

True, but that actually reinforces the point even more. The SLA wasn't even needed for more "power" in this case, it literally just let me play more of the prestige class I like, sooner, as a member of the organization I like.

4/5

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Exguardi wrote:
My sympathy is for the noble prestige class...

I also enjoyed the resurgence of the PrC, but I was uncomfortable with the means by which it came about.

I'd much prefer that paizo relaxed the prereqs for PrCs a bit rather than allowing specific corner cases. I don't think it's much better if the only way to have an effective* mystic theurge is to be a specific variant of a specific race or worship one of a few deities.
*whatever your definition of that might be

So I'm happy for the change but a little bummed by the results.

I do need some help in framing this as paizo hating martials. Any ideas?


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Well, uh, I don't want to get in a debate about this (please don't derail the thread debating about this guys) but... I'm pretty sure anyone can agree a Wizard 3 / Cleric 3 / Mystic Theurge 5 is not gonna be keeping up with his peers very well. Even if you still manage to see this as an effective character you have to admit it's stretched pretty thin and has a number of very awkward levels in the character's progression.

redward wrote:
I do need some help in framing this as paizo hating martials. Any ideas?

I'd like to keep the Paizo staffs' interest in this thread from turning into annoyance so I'm not gonna touch that.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

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Well, My Oracle/Sorcerer/Bard/Paladin/Mystic Theurge is fine... no, wait, he had not got into Mystic Theurge yet. Darnit! Now he may never become one.

4/5

Exguardi wrote:
Even if you still manage to see this as an effective character you have to admit it's stretched pretty thin and has a number of very awkward levels in the character's progression.

I do. The journey there doesn't look like much fun.


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There ya go then. I want to have as much fun in my characters' careers as possible, not wait around wanly waiting for it to "kick in" if I can just get through 'x' more games...


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andreww wrote:
Exguardi wrote:
The original SLA ruling made me feel like I can be a cool AND competent Mystic Theurge, or Eldritch Knight, or Bloatmage, or any other prestige class improved by early entry. And now I won't get to experience that, as I hadn't made a character to take advantage of that yet and now I won't be able to.
To be fair the Bloatmage is still a perfectly decent option. You need 5 wizard levels so you grab a bonus feat and what it gives is arguably as good, if not better, than an extra bonus feat and many level 8 school abilities.

Bloatmage is still a viable class for a game that is going to go up to 20 or at least the high teens. For say PFS where you retire at 11th it just got really bad. Early entry let you bloat effectively at level 3 and get your capstone at 11th. The build was always going to be Wizard 10/Bloatmage 10. Early entry made the build stronger from 3rd to 14th.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Drat. Caught with my hand just outside the fondu pot

Grand Lodge 4/5

Welp, I now have two characters that I have no idea what to make with them. At least they both still qualify for the first level rebuild.

Dark Archive

Exguardi wrote:
My sympathy is for the noble prestige class, that had seen a resurgence in popularity that will likely die down now. I love prestige classes and the number one thing that has always saddened me about Pathfinder is the de-emphasis on prestige classes as "viable" options rather than just flavorful ones.

Are you talking about Noble Scion? As it is not PFS legal I'm guessing you are talking about something else?

4/5

Exguardi wrote:
There ya go then. I want to have as much fun in my characters' careers as possible, not wait around wanly waiting for it to "kick in" if I can just get through 'x' more games...

I completely agree. I've never liked that you have to "do your time" to get enjoy a prestige class. But I was also uncomfortable with the exclusive nature of the early entry options. So I'm glad the loophole is gone, but wish they would make earlier entry available to everyone.

The Exchange

Also not to derail the thread, but I feel like a broken record repeating this so I might as well stick it where a lot of people will hopefully see it (and Greg in relation to his last post)

Pathfinder Society progresses until level 20 now.
The retirement at 12 clause hasn't been around for years.
The more people that know this the better, since we will have more people for high level games.


DubiousYak wrote:
Exguardi wrote:
My sympathy is for the noble prestige class, that had seen a resurgence in popularity that will likely die down now. I love prestige classes and the number one thing that has always saddened me about Pathfinder is the de-emphasis on prestige classes as "viable" options rather than just flavorful ones.
Are you talking about Noble Scion? As it is not PFS legal I'm guessing you are talking about something else?

I think the sympathy is for prestige classes in general, and they were collectively being referred to as "noble."

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

DubiousYak wrote:
Exguardi wrote:
My sympathy is for the noble prestige class, that had seen a resurgence in popularity that will likely die down now. I love prestige classes and the number one thing that has always saddened me about Pathfinder is the de-emphasis on prestige classes as "viable" options rather than just flavorful ones.
Are you talking about Noble Scion? As it is not PFS legal I'm guessing you are talking about something else?

His use of the word "noble" was just how he felt about prestige classes in general. He means that people hardly ever played prestige classes until the previous FAQ, and then they started showing up a little bit, and now they're going to disappear again.


Yes, that. But I totally wish I could play a Noble Scion! I'd be cool with passing over the Leadership stuff, they have a lot of other fun things going on! I don't think their small bonus gold stipend would be unworkable in terms of a PFS ruling; there's a Bard archetype that's allowed to double their Day Job gold bonuses, for example.

But this sounds like a discussion for another thread. Man, I forgot how cool that prestige class is...

2/5

People got grandfathered in this time. I had a character at 10th level in Slow Progression rendered "table illegal" due to a change in January of 2013.

I like that Paizo is trying to downplay PrCs. Characters with a valley of suck aren't a lot of fun - and I speak as someone who's played more than my fair share of them. (Human Fighter/Sorcerer/Eldritch Knight, anyone? Crossblooded Efreeti/Orc bloodline Sorcerer who doesn't get 2nd level spells known until 5th?)

Glad this change got made, glad they grandfathered characters that had already early-entered, glad they didn't give a window for "mad dash level upping."

And if you feel that you have to "compete" with "shenanigans" that other characters have? You're missing one of the major points.

Explore
Report
Cooperate

Make your characters unique by their personality, their motivations and why they work for the Society, not "I have managed to exploit this corner case of the rules," please.

Or, if you're really aiming for "I've got a build nobody else has...!"

Here's your challenge:

No more than one level in any single class.
No more than one class with a full BAB progression.

Make it viable! Go!

Anyone can make a bloatmage. Can you meet that challenge and make a character who's a viable team contributor from level 2 through level 11?

5/5

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Exguardi wrote:

My sympathy is for the noble prestige class, that had seen a resurgence in popularity that will likely die down now. I love prestige classes and the number one thing that has always saddened me about Pathfinder is the de-emphasis on prestige classes as "viable" options rather than just flavorful ones.

[...]

The original SLA ruling made me feel like I can be a cool AND competent Mystic Theurge, or Eldritch Knight, or Bloatmage, or any other prestige class improved by early entry. And now I won't get to experience that, as I hadn't made a character to take advantage of that yet and now I won't be able to.

I feel the need to comment on this: Yes, Mystic Theurge and several of the other prestige classes are underpowered, almost to ineffectiveness.

Some prestige classes aren't (Evangelist, Bloatmage, ...)

But suggesting that a strange backdoor that only opened up due to a completely different 'rules clarification' is the solution is a band-aid at best.

The real solution would be to modify the entry requirements of the prestige classes that are positively affected: For instance, Mystic Theurge's entry requirements could be dropped to "Ability to cast either 2nd level arcane spells and 1st level divine spells; or Ability to cast 1st level arcane spells and 2nd level divine spells, Knowledge religion 3 ranks".

Which would be a lot more beneficial than: "1 level in an arcane spellcasting class, 3 levels in a divine level spellcasting class, Must be some race or class that gets a 2nd level equivalent spell-like ability."

Liberty's Edge 2/5 5/5

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Exguardi wrote:
Well, uh, I don't want to get in a debate about this (please don't derail the thread debating about this guys) but... I'm pretty sure anyone can agree a Wizard 3 / Cleric 3 / Mystic Theurge 5 is not gonna be keeping up with his peers very well. Even if you still manage to see this as an effective character you have to admit it's stretched pretty thin and has a number of very awkward levels in the character's progression.

Given that that's the case - and having GM'd a MT the long way (abjurer 3/druid 4/mystic theurge 4 before the game ended) I can assure you that it is - it's an issue with the prestige class, not the ruling. Mystic theurge needs a spot in PF Unchained 2 or something.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain aka TwilightKnight

Using that logic, why not just make mystic theurge "ability to cast both arcane and divine spells"? Then anyone could play one starting at level three. Would that make the class "not suck" as many seem to indicate?


Mekkis, I actually felt the SLA ruling made a lot of sense and solved the issue fairly cleanly. Obviously some people felt otherwise, but I felt it actually did a bang-up job of solving the entry requirements for these prestige classes on a global basis instead of needing to actually alter rules text in the prestige class, which Paizo will not do without reprinting (as in the case of the Pain Taster, a prestige class that was recently reprinted and edited slightly to change its entry requirements).

Shisumo wrote:
Mystic theurge needs a spot in PF Unchained 2 or something.

Sure, that would do it, but that's still solving things on a case-by-case basis as opposed to the nice blanket fix from before. *shrug*

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Would that make the class "not suck" as many seem to indicate?

I didn't refer to it as "sucking" at any point, although phrases like "ineffective compared to other options" can certainly be thrown around. And that's found elsewhere in the game as well, and it's always exciting to me when an option's effectiveness is boosted and saddening to me when it's lowered.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/55/55/55/5 Venture-Captain, Indiana—Southern aka CanisDirus

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Just as a reminder (I can't find the post Mike Brock made saying this at the moment, but I 100% know he said this) -

"If you think it's a loophole, use it at your own risk, for it may close without warning"

(I think that was in reference to using weapon cords for fast two-gun-mojo fast-reloading cheese for gunslingers, but it does apply universally)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Using that logic, why not just make mystic theurge "ability to cast both arcane and divine spells"? Then anyone could play one starting at level three.

Or even keep the skill rank prereq so you can't get in until 4th.

Quote:
Would that make the class "not suck" as many seem to indicate?

Probably. At least until you try to play them past MT10. ;)

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