Qualifying for PrCs question


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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

I have to agree with James. It seems like splitting hairs. Either it's a minimum or nothing is. There are many instances in the game where you in fact do not go from X BAB to Y BAB in a linear progression. Fighters never have a 0 BAB, and most anything with racial HD begins at BAB Y from the get-go without some sort of progression. They just begin at BAB *insert number higher than another here*.

Well, not to "jump on you," but you're still wrong. (Not arguing it's overpowered, just refuting your logic.) BAB and skill points are linear. Spell levels can be, but are not always. The fact that fighters start with BAB +1 merely means they gained that with their fighter level. Monsters get BAB from racial hit die the same way characters gain levels. That's the same as saying, "my fighter never had a BAB of 3 because we started at 5th level." The fact that you can have a 3rd level spell, without the ability to cast 1st or 2nd level spells, is proof they are not linear.

Except you can't, at least not outside of pure theory, which is what is happening. Pure theory. A spell-like ability is not a spell. The rules are very clear on that. To my knowledge there is no way to acquire a level of spellcasting that exceeds a given level without also being able to cast lower level versions, with the specific exception of paladins and rangers who skip 0-level spells entirely (though their progression would indicate that they shouldn't).

In all cases of casting a spell you can cast lower level versions. Even if for some bizarre reason a spell-caster were to skip an entire spell level in terms of spell casting, they can still cast lower level spells due to how spells function (if I'm a 20th level wizard or a 20th level sorcerer, I can burn all my spell slots on 1st level spells if I wanted to).

And again, you say that BAB and skills are linear, but they are just as linear as spells. And the point that fighters gained that BAB with their fighter level is proof of that. They didn't have to begin at 0 BAB. There are many creatures who simply never have nor ever will have a value of 0 as their BAB, or +1, or even +2. When a succubus comes along it's already at BAB +7. It's never had a +0-6 BAB. It just has a +7.

So I'm saying I think it's stupid to split hairs. Especially when you're splitting hairs over something that isn't even legal in the RAW. RAW, SLAs are not spells. Since they are not spells they do not qualify you for prestige classes requiring you to be able to cast spells.


Ashiel wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

I have to agree with James. It seems like splitting hairs. Either it's a minimum or nothing is. There are many instances in the game where you in fact do not go from X BAB to Y BAB in a linear progression. Fighters never have a 0 BAB, and most anything with racial HD begins at BAB Y from the get-go without some sort of progression. They just begin at BAB *insert number higher than another here*.

Well, not to "jump on you," but you're still wrong. (Not arguing it's overpowered, just refuting your logic.) BAB and skill points are linear. Spell levels can be, but are not always. The fact that fighters start with BAB +1 merely means they gained that with their fighter level. Monsters get BAB from racial hit die the same way characters gain levels. That's the same as saying, "my fighter never had a BAB of 3 because we started at 5th level." The fact that you can have a 3rd level spell, without the ability to cast 1st or 2nd level spells, is proof they are not linear.

Except you can't, at least not outside of pure theory, which is what is happening. Pure theory. A spell-like ability is not a spell. The rules are very clear on that. To my knowledge there is no way to acquire a level of spellcasting that exceeds a given level without also being able to cast lower level versions, with the specific exception of paladins and rangers who skip 0-level spells entirely (though their progression would indicate that they shouldn't).

In all cases of casting a spell you can cast lower level versions. Even if for some bizarre reason a spell-caster were to skip an entire spell level in terms of spell casting, they can still cast lower level spells due to how spells function (if I'm a 20th level wizard or a 20th level sorcerer, I can burn all my spell slots on 1st level spells if I wanted to).

And again, you say that BAB and skills are linear, but they are just as linear as spells. And the point that fighters gained that BAB...

I agree it is hair splitting but the fact remains; BAB and skills are linear, spell-casting (specifically spell-like abilities) are not. The fact that the succubus starts with a higher BAB is no different then starting a character past level one. The character with only one 3rd level SLA has only the one SLA. They did not progress through lower level SLAs before the game started.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
The fact that you can have a 3rd level spell, without the ability to cast 1st or 2nd level spells, is proof they are not linear.

And this is the crux of the matter. This is the answer to Jame's question.

James asked:

james maissen wrote:
Bizbag wrote:
james maissen wrote:

When the Arcane Archer lists BAB+6, could a PC with BAB+7 take levels in the class (assuming it has the other prereqs)?

-James

Yes, and this applies to skill ranks and all other prereqs too, unless specified otherwise (and I haven't seen one that does).

So why is it that people object to the ability to cast 3rd level spells to qualify for the ability to cast 2nd level spells?

-James

And this has been answered, above. Being non-linear means that someone can read, and is justified in reading, the prerequisites against the idea of a "higher" spell level trumping a "lower" spell level.

This has been my point in this thread. To answer this question.

To be clear, I do not run it this way myself, and, more to the point, I don't like this interpretation. However, I cannot object to someone reading it that way, because, you know, English*, amirite?

James, your OP has been answered, your follow-up (and the reason behind the thread) has been answered, and - to no one's surprise - there are people who still fall on a different side of the argument than you, and people that fall on your side of the argument (some of which have been swayed, some not, some the opposite).

Can we be done here, everyone? It's exceedingly obvious that the majority of opinions aren't going to be changed with that "one perfect argument". A few might. But really, most of those arguments are really well made already. I don't see this thread producing any further positive results.

From what I gather, the way people feel can be broken down below:
- Group one: almost all things are linear (exceptions made for feats).
- Group two: while skills, saves, and base attack are linear in progression, spell-like abilities break the linearity of spell-levels, similar to how certain bonus feat options break the linearity of feat progressions.
- Group three: gaining early access prestige classes is cheesy and/or I don't like it and/or I love it (choose all that apply).
- Group four: I reject the FAQ on <insert principle(s) here>
- Group five: multiple interpretations are possible and valid, though I side with the results generated by group <insert number(s) here> for <reasons>.

Does everyone more or less agree with the groupings I have noted? (It is possible to be in more than one group).

* Replace "English" with many languages, I would imagine.
EDIT: removed a ranty rant.


Seems legit. To me, the rules > FAQ every time, so I probably fall into group 4. I see James' argument and I agree with him that spells are like BAB, saves, skills, etc. In fact, I think I agree with Durngrun but the confusion between the two of us is about SLAs (he uses the succubus as an example of how she doesn't have lower level SLAs); but SLAs don't matter to the conversation because SLAs aren't spells and cannot legally qualify you for prestige classes asking for spells anyway.


Ashiel wrote:

Seems legit. To me, the rules > FAQ every time, so I probably fall into group 4. I see James' argument and I agree with him that spells are like BAB, saves, skills, etc. In fact, I think I agree with Durngrun but the confusion between the two of us is about SLAs (he uses the succubus as an example of how she doesn't have lower level SLAs); but SLAs don't matter to the conversation because SLAs aren't spells and cannot legally qualify you for prestige classes asking for spells anyway.

Succubus was your example and I only used it in reference to BAB.

Edit : Also, isn't this thread about using SLAs to qualify for prestige classes?

Shadow Lodge

Ashiel wrote:

Seems legit. To me, the rules > FAQ every time, so I probably fall into group 4. I see James' argument and I agree with him that spells are like BAB, saves, skills, etc. In fact, I think I agree with Durngrun but the confusion between the two of us is about SLAs (he uses the succubus as an example of how she doesn't have lower level SLAs); but SLAs don't matter to the conversation because SLAs aren't spells and cannot legally qualify you for prestige classes asking for spells anyway.

Unfortunately, Ashiel, it is currently the official ruling that SLAs do count as spells for the purpose of prerequisites, as has been linked up-thread. That was never part of the debate, although a number of us have expressed dissatisfaction with that ruling.

Durngrun, this thread has been about, "Given that SLAs have been ruled to qualify as spells for purposes of feat and other prerequisites, does it then follow that a higher level SLAs qualify for a lower level prerequisite?"

And Tacticslion, your facton breakdown does appear accurate. Except my perfect argument will totally sway everybody once I've perfected it. :)


It does not matter if they are linear - it says "characters must meet specific requirements before they can take their first level of a prestige class"
he had +6 BAB before he got +7 BAB

Silver Crusade

I still haven't seen a reason why the ability to cast a generic 2nd level spell would show that you have enough magical power to qualify for a PrC, but the ability to cast a 3rd level spell fails to show enough power.

Anyone?


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I still haven't seen a reason why the ability to cast a generic 2nd level spell would show that you have enough magical power to qualify for a PrC, but the ability to cast a 3rd level spell fails to show enough power.

Anyone?

Well, again I'm arguing for the sake of arguing, but a 3rd level spell is not the same power as a 3rd level caster (needed to cast 2nd level spells). Obviously a single 2nd level spell would not be either while still technically fulfilling the requirement.

Silver Crusade

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I still haven't seen a reason why the ability to cast a generic 2nd level spell would show that you have enough magical power to qualify for a PrC, but the ability to cast a 3rd level spell fails to show enough power.

Anyone?

Well, again I'm arguing for the sake of arguing, but a 3rd level spell is not the same power as a 3rd level caster (needed to cast 2nd level spells). Obviously a single 2nd level spell would not be either while still technically fulfilling the requirement.

I don't understand your point.

No-one is talking about caster level. The measure of how magically powerful you are, in this case, is measured by the level of spell you can cast.

How can a 2nd level spell be powerful enough but a 3rd level spell not?

Unless we are talking about a specific spell, the power to cast a generic 2nd level spell has nothing special about it that isn't exceeded by a 3rd level spell.

Conceptually, what could be the writers reason for setting a prerequisite of being able to cast a generic 2nd level spell that would not be satisfied by a 3rd level spell?


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Well, again I'm arguing for the sake of arguing, but a 3rd level spell is not the same power as a 3rd level caster (needed to cast 2nd level spells). Obviously a single 2nd level spell would not be either while still technically fulfilling the requirement.

So why accept one and not the other?

If you accept that SLAs can qualify, then why not allow higher level ones to do so as well?

If your objection is with SLAs qualifying ("a single 2nd level SLA would not either"), then direct it there.

But if you take the FAQ, then take the baggage. Don't go half way.. it doesn't fit the RAI, and you have to stretch to say it fits the RAW.

That's not the way to read these rules in this game of ours.

I mean read what you've written and add in accepting the FAQ that a 2nd level SLA is the same power as a 3rd level caster (for this purpose), a 3rd level SLA is more powerful than a 2nd level SLA in terms of 'magical power', and connect the dots.

Now I agree that I don't like the resulting line.. but I blame the SLA ruling (which I agree with Ashiel are not legal RAW as it stands). Drawing weird lines here makes for obfuscated rules and a horrible system.

-James

Sczarni

you understand regardless of how you read the FAQ, the earliest this lets you take a say Mystic theurge is lvl 4....


lantzkev wrote:
you understand regardless of how you read the FAQ, the earliest this lets you take a say Mystic theurge is lvl 4....

It's not about when you enter Mystic Theurge (they are fine with the earlier entry), but rather it's about applying the rules equally.

The SLA ruling is wonky and not the best, but if we accept it, then we must truly accept it and not let it distort everything.

In the case of MT, it was obviously the intent with 2nd level spells that this be a minimum requirement.

Likewise all of the 'or higher' entries are when you are dealing with a list such as '7 spells, one of which needs to be at least 3rd level' etc. where it is natural to do so.

Meanwhile things like BAB+5, are always read as 'at least BAB+5', so to try to suddenly read it as 'exactly BAB+5' would be a mistake.

-James


James, I tend to agree - personally - with your rules interpretation, but you are making a false dichotomy. It's not "accept or be stupid" as you're presenting. The two things are not necessarily equal, though I would treat them as such. This has been shown. If you don't see it, it's either on purpose or due to (current) inability. Insisting that your interpretation is the only valid one is incorrect.

Silver Crusade

james maissen wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Well, again I'm arguing for the sake of arguing, but a 3rd level spell is not the same power as a 3rd level caster (needed to cast 2nd level spells). Obviously a single 2nd level spell would not be either while still technically fulfilling the requirement.

So why accept one and not the other?

-James

Pragmatically, because it is ambiguous and it is best to avoid ambiguity, ESPECIALLY for those of us who play PFS.

Speaking for myself, there is also the emotional argument that the FAQ is clearly wrong so deciding ambiguities in a way to limit the damage is attractive.


lantzkev wrote:
you understand regardless of how you read the FAQ, the earliest this lets you take a say Mystic theurge is lvl 4....

Assuming this was the case, you can take Eldritch Knight at 2nd, Wizard at 3rd, go Eldritch Knight until 8th level, take Arcane Archer, retrain your 1st level class into another level of EK or Arcane Archer, and be an 8th level character with a 7d10+1d6 HD, +7 BAB and 6th level wizard casting, and +5 / +3 / +5 base saving throws, 2 bonus feats, 7 effective caster levels for prerequisite purposes.

However you can't. FAQ or not, the rules say you need arcane or divine spells to qualify for all those tasty prestige classes. "Offical ruling" aside, official rulings don't mean much outside of PFS. We have the rules. When a FAQ answers something and it conflicts with the rules, rules trump every time. This is the way it was in 3.x too, when the WotC FAQ biffed or contradicted the rules.

You cannot, legally, within the rules as they are laid out in the SRD qualify for ANY of the prestige classes through SLAs because they are neither arcane, nor divine, nor spells. Which means no Arcane Archer, no Dragon Disciple, no Eldritch Knight, no Loremaster, no Mystic Theurge. Every last one of these requires SPELLS.


Tacticslion wrote:
James, I tend to agree - personally - with your rules interpretation, but you are making a false dichotomy. It's not "accept or be stupid" as you're presenting. The two things are not necessarily equal, though I would treat them as such. This has been shown. If you don't see it, it's either on purpose or due to (current) inability. Insisting that your interpretation is the only valid one is incorrect.

Thank you for saying this; it's what I've been trying to get across. Not everyone thinks that the two options presented are the only valid ones.

Quote:
If you accept that SLAs can qualify, then why not allow higher level ones to do so as well?

Because spell levels aren't additive. A cleric 4/wizard 2 has a BAB added from wiz2, cleric 2, cleric 3, and cleric 4. Spells don't work that way.

Spells could have letters instead of numbers (except for Metamagic feat rules) and it wouldn't matter; no combination or addition of level H spells is going to equal level L spells. The ability to cast level H spells isn't the same as casting level K spells.

Question: can a level 11 wizard immediately start taking levels in Mystic Theure, since he can use Limited Wish to cast level 2 divine spells? If he can't, why not? Because he can't cast level 2 divine spells. He has an ability that "exceeds" it, much more directly than an Aasimar does, at that, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to say a wizard could do this. Because having abilities that duplicate spells (Limited Wish, SLAs) is not the same thing as actually having those spells.

The FAQ rules that SLAs do indeed count. But that doesn't mean anyone is stupid for thinking they would not.


james maissen wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Well, again I'm arguing for the sake of arguing, but a 3rd level spell is not the same power as a 3rd level caster (needed to cast 2nd level spells). Obviously a single 2nd level spell would not be either while still technically fulfilling the requirement.

So why accept one and not the other?

If you accept that SLAs can qualify, then why not allow higher level ones to do so as well?

If your objection is with SLAs qualifying ("a single 2nd level SLA would not either"), then direct it there.

But if you take the FAQ, then take the baggage. Don't go half way.. it doesn't fit the RAI, and you have to stretch to say it fits the RAW.

That's not the way to read these rules in this game of ours.

I mean read what you've written and add in accepting the FAQ that a 2nd level SLA is the same power as a 3rd level caster (for this purpose), a 3rd level SLA is more powerful than a 2nd level SLA in terms of 'magical power', and connect the dots.

Now I agree that I don't like the resulting line.. but I blame the SLA ruling (which I agree with Ashiel are not legal RAW as it stands). Drawing weird lines here makes for obfuscated rules and a horrible system.

-James

I don't really care one way or the other. I'm just putting forth an opposing view.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I still haven't seen a reason why the ability to cast a generic 2nd level spell would show that you have enough magical power to qualify for a PrC, but the ability to cast a 3rd level spell fails to show enough power.

Anyone?

Well, again I'm arguing for the sake of arguing, but a 3rd level spell is not the same power as a 3rd level caster (needed to cast 2nd level spells). Obviously a single 2nd level spell would not be either while still technically fulfilling the requirement.

I don't understand your point.

No-one is talking about caster level. The measure of how magically powerful you are, in this case, is measured by the level of spell you can cast.

How can a 2nd level spell be powerful enough but a 3rd level spell not?

Unless we are talking about a specific spell, the power to cast a generic 2nd level spell has nothing special about it that isn't exceeded by a 3rd level spell.

Conceptually, what could be the writers reason for setting a prerequisite of being able to cast a generic 2nd level spell that would not be satisfied by a 3rd level spell?

I was going off your assumption the class was written with spell casters in mind rather than characters with SLA.

Paizo Employee Official Rules Response

FAQ: http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fm#v5748eaic9r95

Prestige Class Requirements: If a prestige class requires 5 ranks in a skill and I have 6 ranks in that skill, do I still meet the requirements?

Yes, because skill ranks are inclusive: if you have 6 ranks in a skill, then you have 5 ranks in that skill, and therefore meet the "have 5 ranks in [this] skill" requirement.

In the same way, if you have a BAB of +6, then you have a BAB of +5, and therefore meet the "have BAB +5" requirement.

In the same way, if you have Str 15, then you have Str 13, and therefore meet the "Str 13" feat prerequisite for Power Attack.

However, spellcasting ability is not inclusive: it is possible (mainly through the use of spell-like abilities) to be able to cast 3rd-level spells but not 2nd-level spells. If you can only cast 3rd-level spells, that does not meet the requirement of "able to cast 2nd-level spells."

Likewise, feat prerequisites are not inclusive, as it is possible for a creature to have a feat without meeting that feat's prerequisites. For example, a ranger can select Precise Shot as a ranger bonus feat without having the Point Blank Shot feat; he does not meet the prerequisites for Far Shot (which has Point Blank Shot as a prerequisite) because he doesn't actually have the Point Blank Shot feat, even though he has a feat that lists Point Blank Shot as a prerequisite.


hah, called it


Huh, I must have provided too good of an argument. My bad you guys.


Pathfinder Design Team wrote:
<snip>

Thank you for the response, Dev Team! Now we know.

Shadow Lodge

Many thanks, Dev team. Your work is greatly appreciated, even when it sounds like we don't.

Liberty's Edge

Agreed, thank you very much.


Bizbag wrote:
Pathfinder Design Team wrote:
<snip>
Thank you for the response, Dev Team! Now we know.

...

(waits)

...

...(sighs)

Fine, I'll do it.

*ahem*

And knowing is half the battle!

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