Arcanist Discussion


Class Discussion

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vuron wrote:

It's got less lasting power than the sorcerer and the specialist wizard (I pretty much assume that basically nobody goes generalist anymore) and most of the flexibility advantage it has can be negated by a decent batman wizard build.

I could see it being a wholesale replacement of the sorcerer and the wizard but I'm not sure I see a compelling reason to have all three in a setting simultaneously.

Mechanically each can provide unique experiences, and conceptually each has a different sort of story associated with it. I can easily see characters that would fit into wizard, sorcerer, and arcanist respectively. You probably could tell the story without a third class, but it hardly hurts anything.


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RJGrady wrote:


First, let me say that the Arcanist appears to be fairly well balanced by the numbers, that the spell preparation mechanic is a nice compromise between the sorcerer and wizard styles, and Intelligence seems like the correct ability score to use. Now, on to some questions and criticisms.

Mechanical issues: Blood focus is an interesting, but it applies to a lot of class features that weren't written with it in mind.

I completely agree with this. I like the class overall, but wish it had more unique features than its spell preparation method. Blood Focus is used either for a bland minor power-up, or to make the character into sorcerer-light, the diet coke of sorcerers.

While the Arcanist feels a needed mechanical niche, one I've been wanting for D&D/Pathfinder since the Magister in Arcana Evolved, they need more flavor to stand on their own as a class. Replacing Blood Focus with its own thing specific to the arcanist, rather than just making it a watered-down sorcerer bloodline, would help a lot like this.

Even if the bloodline types are kept, making their abilities different for an Arcanist would be helpful, much like the Shaman uses "Spirits" with the same types as Oracle Mysteries, but grants shaman-specific abilities for each of those spirits/mysteries.

Shadow Lodge

I'm in agreement on most points with Grady. I think all the worry that is overpowered is unfounded. Would it be any different if it simply had wizard spell capabilities with a bloodline? No, people would still decry that it is overpowered with it's versatility. It's not a flaw of the class, but in any mid/high level spell versatility. It is the nature of an arcane caster, with a spellbook, to be able to be versatile.

I think that the class COULD slow down how many spells it has memorized and that might help with all the naysayers, however, I don't know if it's necessary. That being said, doing too much of that and it becomes more and more like a wizard and loses the little bit of sorcerer feelings that it gets.

I would like to see a bit more sorcerer flavor, as it is. I agree that the blood focus is a little clunky, but it would have to add a lot more space in order to give a little more to the bloodlines.


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I feel like the blood focus ability ought to drop it's "+1 level and DC" part and allow for the grabbing of school powers as well. The pool itself is limited enough that I don't see it turning into a balance issue as you don't get either the bloodline arcana nor the extra spells from the school. But I do feel like it would be better balanced in being a "sorcerzard" rather than a sorcerer with a different way of casting things. At the moment it feels far closer to a sorcerer than a wizard.

Beyond that I honestly think just removing blood focus entirely and trying out some unique features might work out better.

Like perhaps having sort of bloodlines associated with schools rather than heritage? I dunno. Stray thoughts.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

What TarkXT just said is a good idea, I think. Allow the Arcanist to use abilities from the appropriate arcane school with uses from the blood focus pool of points. Permanent abilities are gained for a round a level etc etc.

I don't think this class is way OP, it just needs something past the spell preparation!


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Apocryphile wrote:

What TarkXT just said is a good idea, I think. Allow the Arcanist to use abilities from the appropriate arcane school with uses from the blood focus pool of points. Permanent abilities are gained for a round a level etc etc.

I don't think this class is way OP, it just needs something past the spell preparation!

I'd just as soon these guys ditched bloodlines and schools both in favor of something sort of like the Witch or Alchemist - a collection of abilities limited by class level that are unique stand alone abilities for this class. If you really want a bloodline / arcane school tie make an archtype for reach, but leave the class as more of a generic wielder of magic than someone wed to another class by default.


Peter Stewart wrote:
Apocryphile wrote:

What TarkXT just said is a good idea, I think. Allow the Arcanist to use abilities from the appropriate arcane school with uses from the blood focus pool of points. Permanent abilities are gained for a round a level etc etc.

I don't think this class is way OP, it just needs something past the spell preparation!

I'd just as soon these guys ditched bloodlines and schools both in favor of something sort of like the Witch or Alchemist - a collection of abilities limited by class level that are unique stand alone abilities for this class. If you really want a bloodline / arcane school tie make an archtype for reach, but leave the class as more of a generic wielder of magic than someone wed to another class by default.

I more or less agree.

Right now it is more wed to the sorcerer then the wizard which is not where I feel the class is meant to be.

But really who can blame the guy?

Still though it's true it can be torn away from its roots and made into something more unique.

Shadow Lodge

Hrm, I actually really like that concept...would it be possible to strip away the bloodline abilities and have them use the blood focus similar to a ki pool or arcane power. Create a list of abilities FROM bloodlines that you can tap into by spending the blood point. You aren't focused on a specific bloodline, but on your blood. I think it wouldn't be very hard to pull out a few of them that are usable and it gives you an easy to expand the class AND make it more sorcerer like as you do. If you made them good enough, then you could also tone down the number of spells that are either cast or memorized (but not both) and thus tweak down some of the gripes about the class being OP (which I don't at all agree with).


I think the idea was a of a fairly wizard-like character, who draws on their bloodline rather than pure study for their powers.


What are the gripes on it being OP again?


TarkXT wrote:

What are the gripes on it being OP again?

Knee jerk opposition to the idea of a Spontaneous Caster being able to change his spells known every day


Greylurker wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

What are the gripes on it being OP again?

Knee jerk opposition to the idea of a Spontaneous Caster being able to change his spells known every day

Ah.

This is not a new way of casting. It's actually already been done in 3.5. The World of Warcraft roleplaying game actually had this near exact same system for mages.


If PF2.0 ever happens, they don't need both sorcerers and wizards, they can just use this.

I think the game can benefit greatly if all casters used this class's system for generating spells known/ slots usable per day.

Tack on the actual taxes of needing to be able to obtain spells in your book, copy and paste this mechanic onto all the other spellcasting derivatives (divine, nature) and you can seriously cut down on a lot of bloat.

This class will change the game, for sure. Imo it completely replaces both the wizard and the sorcerer with a very nicely done new magic system that should be used in more places.


Peter Stewart wrote:

To Ernest Mueller, Soluzar, Lemmy, Psyren, Saidoro and everyone else predicting the end of the world - your arguments would be more persuasive if they were backed up by either of the following.

(most convincingly)
1. Playtest results. Tell us specifically how they ended the world in your game. What specific combination of available spells. What opportunity to reprepare. Tell us what level you were playing at, what your point buy was, what wealth was, what the party composition was, and what adventure you were running through. Were there other arcane casters? Were they overshadowed? Tell us how your group usually plays. Are you casual gamers? High level optimizers? Somewhere in-between the two? Be as highly detailed and specific as you possibly can. . Keep in mind that the game is not designed around high level optimization.

(less convincingly)
2. Demonstrative examples of how an arcanist matches up against a wizard or sorcerer (as I provided) in terms of spells available and other options. Right now I haven't seen anything offered except supposition. I see no response to concrete examples even in the theoretical sense.

Continuing to yell that they are broken based entirely on theory craft is not convincing to anyone and not productive in the conversation. At present the worst I can see is a slightly higher probably than a wizard of having a needed spell that the wizard only prepared once and already cast or the potential that a highly specific spell is needed and the arcanist knew exactly what it was going in compared to a sorcerer.

Both of these seem sort of like outside hedges, and neither seems likely to be game breaking on nearly the level suggested by some.

OK, in answer to Peter Stewart, (and to prove the Anarchist isn't over powered) here’s my take…

Using a (PFS Legal 20pt buy) Human Sorcerer, Wizard (Specialized in X School), and Arcanist all at 1st, 5th, and 10th level (this is assuming NO magic items and stat boosts going into the respective Stat).
Now, to be fair, I’m not using any Archetypes… just straight class abilities and modifiers.

I have included 0-level spells in the “Total spells cast per Day” at each level because we all known with the right builds you can achieve 10+ damage with ray of frost.

Sorcerer
Level 1 – Stats: Str 7, Dex 14, Con, 14, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 17 [19 with racial bonus]
Spells Known: 4 / 2
Spells per Day: 4 / 4
Total of 8 spells cast per day

Level 5 – Stats: Str 7, Dex 14, Con, 14, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 17 [20 with racial bonus and 4th level boost]
Spells Known: 6 / 4 / 2
Spells per Day: 6 / 8 / 5
Total of 19 spells cast per day

Level 10 – Stats: Str 7, Dex 14, Con, 14, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 17 [21 with racial bonus and 4th & 8th level boost]
Spells Known: 9 / 5 / 4 / 3 / 2 / 1
Spells per Day: 9 / 8 / 7 / 7 / 6 / 4
Total of 32 spells cast per day

Specialist Wizard
Spells known is assuming no additional spells other than at-level minimum were learned
Spells per day is including specialist extra spell slot

Level 1 – Stats: Str 11, Dex 14, Con, 14, Int 17 [19 with racial bonus], Wis 10, Cha 7
Spells Known: All Cantrips / 7
Spells per Day: 3 / 3
Total of 6 spells cast per day

Level 5 – Stats: Str 11, Dex 14, Con, 14, Int 17 [20 with racial bonus and 4th level boost], Wis 10, Cha 7
Spells Known: All Cantrips / 10 / 4 / 2
Spells per Day: 4 / 6 / 4 / 3
Total of 17 spells cast per day

Level 10 – Stats: Str 11, Dex 14, Con, 14, Int 17 [21 with racial bonus and 4th & 8th level boost], Wis 10, Cha 7
Spells Known: All Cantrips / 10 / 4 / 4 / 4 / 4
Spells per Day: 4 / 7 / 6 / 5 / 5 / 4
Total of 31 spells cast per day

Arcanist
Spells known is assuming no additional spells other than at-level minimum were learned, and is what is in the Arcanist’s spellbook, not “spells prepared”
Spells per day is including specialist extra spell slot

Level 1 – Stats: Str 11, Dex 14, Con, 14, Int 17 [19 with racial bonus], Wis 10, Cha 7
Spells Known: All Cantrips / 7
Spells per Day: 4 / 3
Total of 7 spells cast per day

Level 5 – Stats: Str 11, Dex 14, Con, 14, Int 17 [20 with racial bonus and 4th level boost], Wis 10, Cha 7
Spells Known: All Cantrips / 12 / 4
Spells per Day: 6 / 7 / 4
Total of 17 spells cast per day

Level 10 – Stats: Str 11, Dex 14, Con, 14, Int 17 [21 with racial bonus and 4th & 8th level boost], Wis 10, Cha 7
Spells Known: All Cantrips / 12 / 4 / 4 / 4 / 2
Spells per Day: 9 / 7 / 6 / 6 / 5 / 3
Total of 36 spells cast per day

As everyone can see, the number of spells an Arcanist can cast is right in the middle of Wizard and Sorcerer.

I want to add at this point (and because everyone else seemed to have glossed over it) because the Arcanist counts as an “Alternate Class” for the Sor/Wiz, you CAN’T multiclass them, so no dipping.

Now, if you take this, and compare an Arcanist to, say the “Blaster” Wizard (Admixture Focused with a level dip into Cross-blooded Sorcerer – Orc/Draconic Bloodline) there is no comparison to the damage output, or versatility (with admixture) to blast spells.
Besides, how is Blood Focus as good as (or better than) almost ANY of the Wizard Specialist school powers? Insane initiative, free short range teleporting, extra damage (or switching elements), the bonus vs spells from void school, etc., etc., are all better (or generally more useful) than a +1 to Save DC and CL (limited uses per day I might add, a 10th level Arcanist only has 8, 7 if they don’t want to be fatigued, to be split between adding to CL & Save DCs or using a bloodline ability).

As for Sorcerer Bloodlines, with the way Blood Focus works, for the most part there are useless for an Arcanist, or at best situational, but personally I’d much rather be spending my blood focus points on the +1 to CL & DCs.

The Arcanist is no more or less versatile or powerful than a Sorcerer or Wizard, just different.


TarkXT wrote:
Greylurker wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

What are the gripes on it being OP again?

Knee jerk opposition to the idea of a Spontaneous Caster being able to change his spells known every day

Ah.

This is not a new way of casting. It's actually already been done in 3.5. The World of Warcraft roleplaying game actually had this near exact same system for mages.

The Warcraft one was a little different, Spells Preped was tied to your Caster Attribute and your Ranks in Spellcraft had a contribution to how many spells you could Prep. I think a Mage with 18 Int got 9 Spells he could prep plus 1 more for every 4 or 5 ranks in Spellcraft, for each spell level he could cast.

Compared to that the Arcanist is positively crippled.


Lemmy wrote:

This is a class so powerful it makes Sorcerers (and maybe Wizards too) seem like puny weaklings. It's almost funny how overpowered this class is. And spontaneous-casting Wizard who can increase the CL and DC of his spells. It's supposed disadvantages are all but irrelevant. Having no familiar and getting spells 1 level later does not come even close to balancing its absurd versatility and RAW power.

I know balance is secondary priority at best, but the Arcanist screws it so badly that I'm can't imagine the game not suffering because of it. Hell, even the illusion of balance is broken. One look at the Arcanist and even a new player can see how much better than Sorcerers (and maybe Wizards too) it is.

I'm a very liberal GM and don't usually mind players using powerful combos and spells. Those who play with me know that I most often allow all sorts of powerful stuff in my games. Classes, feats, spells... Whatever.

I have no problem dealing with TWF Gunslingers, Synthesist Summoners, God Wizards, or any other of those things so often called "overpowered".

Even so, the Arcanist as it is has the dubious honor of being the first and only class that made me think two things I never thought about any other class in the game: "I wish they hadn't created this" and "This is definitely banned in every game I GM".

i think you are over reacting here... seriously ban it in your games? as a GM for a home game thats your prerogative.. but it isnt overpowered, at all... they can learn the same number of spells a wizard can in the same way, all they really have is SLIGHT versatility in spontaneous casting there PREPARED spells, its not like they can take fast study of something and switch out spells prepared to make them more useful, or have ANY other class abilities other than Blood Focus, and once that's gone, its like playing a 3.0 Sorcerer with no familiar and less spells known...


master_marshmallow wrote:

If PF2.0 ever happens, they don't need both sorcerers and wizards, they can just use this.

I think the game can benefit greatly if all casters used this class's system for generating spells known/ slots usable per day.

Tack on the actual taxes of needing to be able to obtain spells in your book, copy and paste this mechanic onto all the other spellcasting derivatives (divine, nature) and you can seriously cut down on a lot of bloat.

This class will change the game, for sure. Imo it completely replaces both the wizard and the sorcerer with a very nicely done new magic system that should be used in more places.

In some ways that's the point of books like this. Pick and choose the things you like or work best with your style of game and build your world with those.

Personally I see Part of the DM's job is to go through the books and set down what the limits are for his campaign.
"People from this Kingdom can only start with the following Classes" is part of that world building.

The Arcanist fits your world building then you tell your players to use that instead of the Wizard.

Saying "Everything from Every Book is allowed" is fine too if that's the game you want to run, but to me, Limits are what builds the world up properly.


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The lack of class features makes this class sad and depressing. Although, I don't see why it would be too bad for NPC characters, allows the usage of arcane spells without having to put as much work into choosing spells!


At the moment, the arcanist can prepare a number of spells per day equal to the sorcerer's number of spells known.

For 0-level spells, that should probably be changed to be equal to the number of 0-level spells the sorcerer can cast per day.

Otherwise, the arcanist gets unlimited use of 9 0-levels spells from level 10 onwards, as opposed to 6 for the sorcerer and 4 for the wizard and witch.

Grand Lodge

Focusing in on Blood Focus and what you get from your bloodline here, this is what I've gathered so far:

- Bloodline Spells are added automatically to your spellbook at the levels they'd become known to the Sorcerer. Not an issue at all.

- Bloodline Feats...swept under the rug. Not able to take them as Arcanist Bonus Feats.

- Bloodline Arcana...also swept under the rug. Not mentioned at all, likely means they don't apply to the class.

- Bloodline Powers. This is the fun bit. Took me a while to understand how it really worked, but I think I get it now.

Regular standard action bloodline powers work normally, but likely will never be used as much as they're able due to the limited Blood Focus pool. (Djinni Electricity Ray - Standard action, 1 Blood Focus to use)

Permanent powers can be used as rounds/level powers with the use of one Blood Focus (You gain Djinni Elemental resistance for 3 rounds when you spend one use of Blood Focus).

If a power works for rounds per level already, then they work for rounds per level after spending a use of Blood Focus. (I'd say Draconic Bloodline Claws work like this: Each activation of Claws uses 1 Blood Focus, but you keep the claws out as long as you wish up to the limit)

That using Blood Focus to power Bloodline Powers is a standard action is really only a problem when you get to certain Bloodline Powers that are regularly activated as different type of action (move, swift, etc.), like the Rakshasa Bloodline's Silver Tongue power.


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So I might be missing something here, but it seems like the Arcanist is superior to both the Sorcerer and the Wizard.

I understand that it gains a new spell level a level behind the Wizard, but that's certainly overshadowed by the fact that it's a spontaneous-prepared caster... which is ridiculous... The only "weakness" of the all-powerful wizard is that he had to prepare exactly which spells he wanted and how many of each. With the Arcanist, one can prepare spells without worrying about many times per day he wants to use each spell AND he casts more spells per day.

My other minor gripe is the flavor of the class, "Well, I was gonna be a sorcerer. But my blood was too thin... so I became better than a sorcerer and a wizard."

I wasn't under the impression that the wizard was a weak class that needed a boost? I fully understand classes like the Investigator and Brawler that "replace" the rogue and monk... but this just seems ridiculous.

I do get that this class has subdued Bloodline powers, and it doesn't get Scribe Scroll and Arcane Bond.. but really.. the thing that makes Wizards and Sorcerers powerful are their spells. And an Arcanist is a lot better at spellcasting than either of its parents.


MikeY NooDleZ wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

This is a class so powerful it makes Sorcerers (and maybe Wizards too) seem like puny weaklings. It's almost funny how overpowered this class is. And spontaneous-casting Wizard who can increase the CL and DC of his spells. It's supposed disadvantages are all but irrelevant. Having no familiar and getting spells 1 level later does not come even close to balancing its absurd versatility and RAW power.

I know balance is secondary priority at best, but the Arcanist screws it so badly that I'm can't imagine the game not suffering because of it. Hell, even the illusion of balance is broken. One look at the Arcanist and even a new player can see how much better than Sorcerers (and maybe Wizards too) it is.

I'm a very liberal GM and don't usually mind players using powerful combos and spells. Those who play with me know that I most often allow all sorts of powerful stuff in my games. Classes, feats, spells... Whatever.

I have no problem dealing with TWF Gunslingers, Synthesist Summoners, God Wizards, or any other of those things so often called "overpowered".

Even so, the Arcanist as it is has the dubious honor of being the first and only class that made me think two things I never thought about any other class in the game: "I wish they hadn't created this" and "This is definitely banned in every game I GM".

i think you are over reacting here... seriously ban it in your games? as a GM for a home game thats your prerogative.. but it isnt overpowered, at all... they can learn the same number of spells a wizard can in the same way, all they really have is SLIGHT versatility in spontaneous casting there PREPARED spells, its not like they can take fast study of something and switch out spells prepared to make them more useful, or have ANY other class abilities other than Blood Focus, and once that's gone, its like playing a 3.0 Sorcerer with no familiar and less spells known...

To add to this Blood Focus feels very "meh" to me.

What good is +1 dc and spell level to my summoning arcanist?

My blaster Arcanist is doing slightly more damage true. But that's child's play compared to what a dedicated blaster cleric is pulling.

BEtter Enchantment dc's? Wizards and sorcerers get +2 by default in certain schools/bloodlines without any issues.

Oh but I get a bloodline power for a little while whereas my friend the sorcerer is just flitting about on his fairy wings while he steals my girlfriend the prick.


Brenguar wrote:

So I might be missing something here, but it seems like the Arcanist is superior to both the Sorcerer and the Wizard.

I understand that it gains a new spell level a level behind the Wizard, but that's certainly overshadowed by the fact that it's a spontaneous-prepared caster... which is ridiculous... The only "weakness" of the all-powerful wizard is that he had to prepare exactly which spells he wanted and how many of each. With the Arcanist, one can prepare spells without worrying about many times per day he wants to use each spell AND he casts more spells per day.

You forget the wizard can spend five minutes and prep any unfilled slot he desired.

In other words a wizard can plot out any upcoming battle with the power of preptime.

Wizards are batman.

Now unless I'm mistaken Arcanists don't work that way which severely limits their ability to be batman.


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MikeY NooDleZ wrote:
i think you are over reacting here... seriously ban it in your games? as a GM for a home game thats your prerogative.. but it isnt overpowered, at all... they can learn the same number of spells a wizard can in the same way, all they really have is SLIGHT versatility in spontaneous casting there PREPARED spells, its not like they can take fast study of something and switch out spells prepared to make them more useful, or have ANY other class abilities other than Blood Focus, and once that's gone, its like playing a 3.0 Sorcerer with no familiar and less spells known...

Arcanist gets all the prepared goodness of Wizards without having to worry about not having the right spell at the right time (not anymore than Sorcerers and Wizards, at least). It's a sorcerer who can learn all spells in her spell list and change them as she wishes every day. And, just to top it off, she gets Scribe Scroll and the ability to boost the CL and DC of some of her spells, which is way more powerful than a few bloodline powers. Wizard spell-casting is most likely the most powerful ability in the game. This is a class who makes it even more versatile.

That's far beyond what I call "slight versatility". Do you honestly think not having a familiar is that much of a disadvantage? Class features where never what made casters powerful.

AS it is, the Arcanist completely obsoletes Sorcerers and, at higher levels, Wizards.

I've GMed and still GM for all sorts of powerful classes and builds and I hate banning stuff, but I wouldn't think twice before banning this class. Check my post history if you want... If something is so broken that even I wouldn't allow it, it must be way too powerful.

If this class was a spontaneous caster with a bit of vancian casting or maybe something similar to the Spellbinder archetype, it would be okay. But a prepared arcane caster who can cast spontaneously is completely out of touch with any semblance of balance with the other classes, except for the most optimized of Wizards.


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This is by far my least favorite of the ten hybrid classes. Personally, I don't see there to be any reason for this class to exist at all, but that is a separate issue entirely.
My question is (and I apologize if this has been answered already) whats preventing an arcanist from using the arcane bloodline to make familiars/bonded objects appear out of nowhere?
It also would be great if they got bloodline arcana, then we could see some very interesting options like having a wisdom based caster from the Empyreal bloodline.


I'd allow Arcanist if neither Sorceror nor Wizard existed in my setting, and it didn't get the Blood Focus thing.

Maybe you should be able to prepare Bloodline abilities as if they were spells or something, like they're added to your spellbook and then you cast them and make them happen, so you're forced to choose between useful Bloodline abilities or useful Spells.

But as it stands they need fewer resources, fewer spells per day by a huge margin, and Blood Focus needs to not exist.

EDIT: Hell, maybe give them the Bloodline Arcana instead of Blood Focus, and then allow them to prepare Bloodline Abilities as spells, so you have some actual presence and allow for neat stuff like the Empyreal Wisdom-focused caster, but then also force them to use resources to access the rest of their blood.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

All the 'ban it' and 'omg overpowered' stuff is coming from people with no playtest examples posted and no builds posted.

It's the mystic theurge all over again. Sounds super, in reality, not so much.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I find this part odd

The arcanist can use blood focus a number of times per day equal to 3 + 1/2 her arcanist level. If she expends all of her daily uses of this ability, she is fatigued. She cannot remove the fatigued condition until she has at least one use of this ability available.

Why the fatigued. First thing that I thought was, might as well just think of it as 2+ 1/2 level with one in case of emergences.


Lemmy wrote:
MikeY NooDleZ wrote:
i think you are over reacting here... seriously ban it in your games? as a GM for a home game thats your prerogative.. but it isnt overpowered, at all... they can learn the same number of spells a wizard can in the same way, all they really have is SLIGHT versatility in spontaneous casting there PREPARED spells, its not like they can take fast study of something and switch out spells prepared to make them more useful, or have ANY other class abilities other than Blood Focus, and once that's gone, its like playing a 3.0 Sorcerer with no familiar and less spells known...

Arcanist gets all the prepared goodness of Wizards without having to worry about not having the right spell at the right time (not anymore than Sorcerers and Wizards, at least). It's a sorcerer who can learn all spells in her spell list and change them as she wishes every day. And, just to top it off, she gets Scribe Scroll and the ability to boost the CL and DC of some of her spells, which is way more powerful than a few bloodline powers. Wizard spell-casting is most likely the most powerful ability in the game. This is a class who makes it even more versatile.

That's far beyond what I call "slight versatility". Do you honestly think not having a familiar is that much of a disadvantage? Class features where never what made casters powerful.

AS it is, the Arcanist completely obsoletes Sorcerers and, at higher levels, Wizards.

I've GMed and still GM for all sorts of powerful classes and builds and I hate banning stuff, but I wouldn't think twice before banning this class. Check my post history if you want... If something is so broken that even I wouldn't allow it, it must be way too powerful.

If this class was a spontaneous caster with a bit of vancian casting or maybe something similar to the Spellbinder archetype, it would be okay. But a prepared arcane caster who can cast spontaneously is completely out of touch with any semblance of balance with the other classes, except for the most optimized of...

Given that I've seen the way such a system works first hand?

No, no it doesn't make them OP in any real sense of the word. PRimarily because the afforementioned "weakness" of wizards wasn't really much of one at all.

In fact with open slot prepping which any prepared caster can do (and honestly they should prevent Arcanists from doing) this weakness is reduced to spending five minutes carefully studying a book. That's really about it.

People too often forget you don't have to prep all your spells in the morning.

More than that our friend the arcanist really isn't casting "more" spells than a wizard. Mainly because he's not a specialist so he doesn't really get any extra spells over the wizard or sorcerer.


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Kain Darkwind wrote:

All the 'ban it' and 'omg overpowered' stuff is coming from people with no playtest examples posted and no builds posted.

It's the mystic theurge all over again. Sounds super, in reality, not so much.

That's exactly what it feels like to me. It sounds great until you sit down and do the actual work. Then you start wondering why the heck you didn't just roll a wizard.

Heck MikeyNoodlez did the work above.


Kain Darkwind wrote:

All the 'ban it' and 'omg overpowered' stuff is coming from people with no playtest examples posted and no builds posted.

It's the mystic theurge all over again. Sounds super, in reality, not so much.

The build is Arcanist 20.

I sink a metric ton of money into having a metric ton of spells.

Every morning I prepare at least one of the general-use blast spells, one of the general-use Save Or Die spells, and one of the general-use buff spells into every slot I have.

I get an Intelligence of 32 from a +8 Headband, +2 from my Race, 18 from the-point buy, and +4 from level-ups.

Bonus spells alone give me the ability to do ridiculous, ridiculous things, and this is before Blood Focus ever gets involved, not to mention all the scrolls I can and will cart around to supplement my versatile spell preparation.

It isn't *silly* but it is definitely eyebrow-raising.

EDIT: I should note that, no, it isn't as powerful as a min-maxed wizard, but it's much much easier to attain than properly min-maxing a wizard because it doesn't rely on the Schrodinger's Wizard fallacy; e.g., where the wizard is always assumed to have favorable conditions and favorable spells prepared, the Arcanist can cart around a series of prepared spells and only use them as he needs.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Hey there folks,

I think a lot of the calls of "overpowered" will play out to be untrue in actual play examples, but I will gladly wait to see those come in (thanks thought to the folks who did some build analysis, we did that work weeks ago when building the class, but at least I dont have to repost it).

I am very much in the middle of the road on the Blood Focus class feature to be honest. I am thinking that in the coming days I will endeavor to workshop it with folks here on the boards to come up with something better. Currently it feels too much like a hodge podge to me and I am sure we can do better.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


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Kerian Valentine wrote:

I

But as it stands they need fewer resources, fewer spells per day by a huge margin, and Blood Focus needs to not exist.

Any fewer resources and they'll turn into an Adept.

As it stands they can cast as many spells as a specialist wizard (unless you were one of those doomed souls who thought going "undeclared" in magical college was a good idea) and as many spells prepared as a sorcerer knows.

It should be noted that this vaunted power does not come with eschew materials and also comes with that lovely burnable spellbook that's such a hot topic.

So you gain some and lose some.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there folks,

I think a lot of the calls of "overpowered" will play out to be untrue in actual play examples, but I will gladly wait to see those come in (thanks thought to the folks who did some build analysis, we did that work weeks ago when building the class, but at least I dont have to repost it).

I think it's easier to attain the peak of its power than a wizard is; I think compared to a martial class that doesn't synergize spellcasting it has a huge number of options in combat; I think it has a lower peak of power than a wizard does, but it's still a peak that's far beyond many other classes.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Currently it feels too much like a hodge podge to me and I am sure we can do better.

I really hope this attitude proliferates to the other classes, because this sort of summarizes this first round of playtesting to me. Some good ideas that need a lot of refinement.


Kerian Valentine wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:

All the 'ban it' and 'omg overpowered' stuff is coming from people with no playtest examples posted and no builds posted.

It's the mystic theurge all over again. Sounds super, in reality, not so much.

The build is Arcanist 20.

I sink a metric ton of money into having a metric ton of spells.

Every morning I prepare at least one of the general-use blast spells, one of the general-use Save Or Die spells, and one of the general-use buff spells into every slot I have.

I get an Intelligence of 32 from a +8 Headband, +2 from my Race, 18 from the-point buy, and +4 from level-ups.

Bonus spells alone give me the ability to do ridiculous, ridiculous things, and this is before Blood Focus ever gets involved, not to mention all the scrolls I can and will cart around to supplement my versatile spell preparation.

It isn't *silly* but it is definitely eyebrow-raising.

EDIT: I should note that, no, it isn't as powerful as a min-maxed wizard, but it's much much easier to attain than properly min-maxing a wizard because it doesn't rely on the Schrodinger's Wizard fallacy; e.g., where the wizard is always assumed to have favorable conditions and favorable spells prepared, the Arcanist can cart around a series of prepared spells and only use them as he needs.

It should be noted you can do pretty much the same thing as a sorcerer only better since you'll have more spells known than the wizard may have spells in his book.

Or god forbid a Half Elf sorcerer with a certain spell that can grant you any feat in the game.


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This spell preparation mechanic is everything I wanted from Wizard but never got. I personally don't particularly like vancian magic, and have frequently found myself really frustrated with true prepared casters for this very reason. This feels very much like a step forward, enough prep that you can have some of the choice of situational spells like a wizard, but not be completely useless if you guess wrong.

The Blood Focus mechanic feels weird and clunky, trying too hard to be a blend of Wizard and Sorcerer when it should be trying to be its' own thing. Also feels very bland. Overall I think that this class will appeal to players who like the idea of wizards, but hate seeing their prep work end up screwing them. All in all this looks like a lot of fun to play, and not uber-powerful or anything. I mean sure, I will always choose this over wizard, but that is more because I find pure prepared spellcasting to be very limiting and not to my preferred playstyle, I think that the three classes are still distinct (I know that there will still be some characters that I want to be sorcerers, and others that I would want to play as arcanists).


TarkXT wrote:


It should be noted you can do pretty much the same thing as a sorcerer only better since you'll have more spells known than the wizard may have spells in his book.

Or god forbid a Half Elf sorcerer with a certain spell that can grant you any feat in the game.

I would argue that you can do pretty much the same thing with a wizard, too; the only difference is how wide your net is and how many tools you have to respond to a situation, and the Arcanist definitely has the potential to be a wider toolbox than the Sorcerer.

But I still think the Arcanist achieves its peak of power much more easily, simply due to how it reaches into that toolkit and how it can add to it easier.


Lemmy wrote:
MikeY NooDleZ wrote:
i think you are over reacting here... seriously ban it in your games? as a GM for a home game thats your prerogative.. but it isnt overpowered, at all... they can learn the same number of spells a wizard can in the same way, all they really have is SLIGHT versatility in spontaneous casting there PREPARED spells, its not like they can take fast study of something and switch out spells prepared to make them more useful, or have ANY other class abilities other than Blood Focus, and once that's gone, its like playing a 3.0 Sorcerer with no familiar and less spells known...

Arcanist gets all the prepared goodness of Wizards without having to worry about not having the right spell at the right time (not anymore than Sorcerers and Wizards, at least). It's a sorcerer who can learn all spells in her spell list and change them as she wishes every day. And, just to top it off, she gets Scribe Scroll and the ability to boost the CL and DC of some of her spells, which is way more powerful than a few bloodline powers. Wizard spell-casting is most likely the most powerful ability in the game. This is a class who makes it even more versatile.

That's far beyond what I call "slight versatility". Do you honestly think not having a familiar is that much of a disadvantage? Class features where never what made casters powerful.

AS it is, the Arcanist completely obsoletes Sorcerers and, at higher levels, Wizards.

I've GMed and still GM for all sorts of powerful classes and builds and I hate banning stuff, but I wouldn't think twice before banning this class. Check my post history if you want... If something is so broken that even I wouldn't allow it, it must be way too powerful.

If this class was a spontaneous caster with a bit of vancian casting or maybe something similar to the Spellbinder archetype, it would be okay. But a prepared arcane caster who can cast spontaneously is completely out of touch with any semblance of balance with the other classes, except for the most optimized of...

1) a sorcerer can take scribe scroll (paying the same scribing costs as an arcanist) AND scribe scroll is banned in PFS play anyways

2) arcanists still have to prepare the right spells to maximize useful-ness, other wise they are as hosed as a fire mage against a red dragon

3) they have less prepared spells than a sorcerer has spells known

4) they have NO access to ANY wizard specialized schools and 90% of all the bloodlines arent nearly as useful to an arcanist as a sorcerer

5) blood Focus is still LIMITED USE (3+1/2 level, -1 if you want to avoid fatigued), so while sure a +1 to Save DC and CL is awesome (IF youre a blaster), its way less useful for most other builds.. seriously,, what does a diviner, or summoning arcanist need with the +1 save dc?...

6) NO, i do not think having a familiar is a serious disadvantage... BUT, if you actually read the post, i said after an arcanist blows his wad of blood focus points he's less useful then a 3.0 sorcerer with no familiar

7) the arcanist DOES NOT make EITHER sorcerer or wizard obsolete, at ANY level, they are still better over-all than the arcanist... again, arcanists have no access to specialized school abilities or static sorcerer bloodlines abilities or ANY of the bloodline arcana abilities for that matter...

so, in conclusion, how is a 3.0 wizard (with no school specialization, no familiar, a SLIGHT ability to be more versatile in spells known for the day, and less bonus feats) so godly over-powered (as you seem to insist) than either a pathfinder sorcerer or wizard?


I'm actually a little disappointed in this. Not only is it incredibly dull in my opinion, but it's not what I wanted.

The flavor just does not flow well - I understand that it's a sorcerer without the strong bloodline, yet I feel like Charisma should play some part. I always liked the idea of a charisma-based spellcaster that needed to read from a spellbook, and I figured that this would make a good fit. I'd have loved to see this, in fact, although it may be a bit OP.

The blood focus ability seems to be very rushed. It needs to be expanded or dropped altogether. It seems like an afterthought, when it very well could have (maybe even should have) been the defining feature of the class. This class does not seem even remotely unique when compared to some of the other hybrids.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there folks,

I think a lot of the calls of "overpowered" will play out to be untrue in actual play examples, but I will gladly wait to see those come in (thanks thought to the folks who did some build analysis, we did that work weeks ago when building the class, but at least I dont have to repost it).

I am very much in the middle of the road on the Blood Focus class feature to be honest. I am thinking that in the coming days I will endeavor to workshop it with folks here on the boards to come up with something better. Currently it feels too much like a hodge podge to me and I am sure we can do better.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

my sentiments exactly jason, on both accounts. i can foresee archetypes swinging the blood focus back and forth between better usage of bloodline abilities and even adding some wizard school powers (wink, wink, nudge, nudge say-no-more, say-no-more). or atleast for-going the bloodline powers entirely for static bloodline arcana would be nicer (and simpler imho)


Kerian Valentine wrote:

The build is Arcanist 20.

I sink a metric ton of money into having a metric ton of spells.

Every morning I prepare at least one of the general-use blast spells, one of the general-use Save Or Die spells, and one of the general-use buff spells into every slot I have.

How is this any different than a high level wizard or sorcerer? That same wizard could memorize two or even three copies of a generic nuke, generic save or die, and generic buff spell and still have significantly more spell spells available.

The same sorcerer will have almost twice as many spells of each level available - they can have the same generic spells and more specific spells as well. If they really need a specific spell they don't have they can rely on a scroll (especially combined with a mneominc vestment or the false priest archtype), wand, or stave.

Most characters will rely in a relatively small number of spells in the majority of circumstances - the ability to swap them around isn't worth as much as some seem to think, especially since rarely (in generic games or APs) will a party know exactly what the perfect spell combo is for a given circumstance and often there is not a chance to pull back and reprepare every time you run into an obstacle. In the world of pure theory spontaneous swapping spells maybe be king, but in the real world my experience says it'll probably all be a wash in the end.


I've avoided comment for a bit to see what people think, but about time I took a step in.

I took a little time and whipped up a quick, human Arcanist 6. The first thing to note is- assuming Blood Focus stacks with Spell Focus, which I'm currently assuming to be the case, when needed the Arcanist can produce a slightly more-difficult-to-resist spell. No biggie, because they don't have a base school ability or bloodline arcana, and I feel this is fairly even as far as that application.

Also, I hope the number of preparations gets trimmed... as is, they just copy/pasta'd the sorcerer spells known and I believe time will show that wasn't a good move.

But what DOES make give me some concern, as well as a certain thrill, is the sheer metamagic versatility this guy has.

Warning, mostly thinking process here:
To be blunt, he is the master of metamagic. Let's say you play the group buffer roll, and so prepare... let's say a Reach Stoneskin. A good choice to buff the fighter mid-combat, but here you can just instantly extend or quicken it- it's like having another sixth and ninth level spell prepared, too.

Then there's the Heighten spell feat. Prepare Charm Monster, and Heighten/Quicken as needed.

Or take a Fireball. Simple, basic blasting. What this means? Intensify(4th), Intensify+Empowered(6th), Heightened(4-9th), Quickened (7th), any mix of these.

Now, yes, a sorcerer can do the same to a degree, but they can't prepare metamagic version in advance as well, nor change up their 'spells known' list quite so easily.

Honestly, after looking this over, I think two things MUST be done to keep the Wizard viable. One, the Arcanist should NOT be allowed to prepare spells later in the day; two, we should see more Arcane Discoveries, and keep those Wizard only.

As far as keeping the sorcerer viable... the sorcerer is as sorcerer does. It's never gonna be replaced, so long as cool bloodline abilities exist that it can have all day long~

ALSO! For those wondering if Arcane Bond via Blood Focus would allow you to get a familiar or bonded item; NOPE!

There's a ritual of 8 hours for gaining a new familiar/arcane bond, as well as a gold cost. Unless the developers come out saying otherwise, I think it's more than safe to assume you can't pull that rabbit out of your hat.


Kerian Valentine wrote:
TarkXT wrote:


It should be noted you can do pretty much the same thing as a sorcerer only better since you'll have more spells known than the wizard may have spells in his book.

Or god forbid a Half Elf sorcerer with a certain spell that can grant you any feat in the game.

I would argue that you can do pretty much the same thing with a wizard, too; the only difference is how wide your net is and how many tools you have to respond to a situation, and the Arcanist definitely has the potential to be a wider toolbox than the Sorcerer.

But I still think the Arcanist achieves its peak of power much more easily, simply due to how it reaches into that toolkit and how it can add to it easier.

But that does not make it overpowered. It just makes it easier to play.

I don't think the weaknesses of sorcerers or wizards were really ever weaknesses at all to a skilled player. And really I think a skilled player is going to accomplish things a lot more dangerously with their respective class of choice than they will with an arcanist (heck I'd argue a witch is going to be far scarier).

The class features really do make a difference. Right now I get a chance to use a bloodline power (meh) or a +1 DC and CL to a spell from my school(meh).

So what we're really saying here is that a character who takes Eldritch Heritage is better off than me and a character who took Spell Focus is going to basically have one of my class features permanently on. Oh and if I run out of this ability I'm fatigued. Yeah could ahve been handled better.

Meanwhle our friend the Divination specialist just wins initiative (and with an 11+ modifier from level 1 was winning ever since) without expending a single resource. Our other friend the abjuration specialist can have energy resistance chosen out for the day and can chance his shirt out in the morning for a coat.

I don't know. But as it stands being more versatile than a sorcerer or wizard isn't as good as it sounds.


Raiderrpg wrote:
One, the Arcanist should NOT be allowed to prepare spells later in the day; two, we should see more Arcane Discoveries, and keep those Wizard only.

I honestly don't think wizards will ever suddenly become obsolete.

However I do think that they shouldn't be able to prep spells later in the day as suggested.

That gives them a scarier amount of versatility than the simple spontaneous preparation casting.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I am very much in the middle of the road on the Blood Focus class feature to be honest. I am thinking that in the coming days I will endeavor to workshop it with folks here on the boards to come up with something better. Currently it feels too much like a hodge podge to me and I am sure we can do better.

It would feel far less generic if it had something related to neither bloodlines nor wizard schools. The bloodline aspect just feels like Diet Sorcerer. Make something else that better reflects the combination of inherent ability and training ("Disciplines"?) and let them pick from that.

My first thought would be to somewhat juggle the idea of bloodlines and have (at least to start with) one New Thing for each alignment extreme/Outer Sphere, focusing on the metaphorical associations (e.g. calm, unity, and authority with Nirvana, or order, war, and numerology for Hell) rather than literal alignment requirements. Later on that can be expanded to Inner Spheres and prominent demiplanes.


TarkXT wrote:


Meanwhle our friend the Divination specialist just wins initiative (and with an 11+ modifier from level 1 was winning ever since) without expending a single resource. Our other friend the abjuration specialist can have energy resistance chosen out for the day and can chance his shirt out in the morning for a coat.

I don't know. But as it stands being more versatile than a sorcerer or wizard isn't as good as it sounds.

It is, and it isn't. A truly skilled player can wreck a game, if the GM allows, with any 9th level casting class; slightly easier with a wizard, but not by a significant amount. The Arcanist has the best of both sorcerer 9th level and Wizard 9th level, plus some tricks of his own.

But at the lower levels- say, 1st-12th or so, I think the three are rather well balanced against each other. Bloodline and School abilities constantly, versus a more spell focused arcane class.


Raiderrpg wrote:

ALSO! For those wondering if Arcane Bond via Blood Focus would allow you to get a familiar or bonded item; NOPE!

There's a ritual of 8 hours for gaining a new familiar/arcane bond, as well as a gold cost. Unless the developers come out saying otherwise, I think it's more than safe to assume you can't pull that rabbit out of your hat.

That's to replace one, which you could do in between encounters. What the rules actually say are:

Quote:


Wizards who select a bonded object begin play with one at no cost.

Familiar isn't called out in the same way, but I've never played in a game where you had to pay gold to get your first familiar.


TarkXT wrote:
Raiderrpg wrote:
One, the Arcanist should NOT be allowed to prepare spells later in the day; two, we should see more Arcane Discoveries, and keep those Wizard only.

I honestly don't think wizards will ever suddenly become obsolete.

However I do think that they shouldn't be able to prep spells later in the day as suggested.

That gives them a scarier amount of versatility than the simple spontaneous preparation casting.

Obsolete, no. But viable is a very different beast sometimes.

Honestly, I'll still run the occasional wizard- there's always something beautiful in the feeling of having /just/ the right spells prepared, your guesswork coming out fantastic. Like a puzzle game slotted into your RPG.
(( And a few scrolls to prevent game over, wink wink ;3 ))

But Arcanist, I think, is gonna become my go-to. I just don't think it's anything near /polished/ yet, but it IS a playtest.


I have always wanted to be able to cast prepared spells more than once. I figure having less spells prepared than a wizard normally gets should balance that out.

I like sorcerers better as NPC, and wizards better as PC's. This will be interesting. I might build one of these also. It would have been nice to have one for my last session.

Minor nitpick: For the spells per day chart the spell order is 3rd 5th 4th 6th. :)


Lemmy wrote:


If something is so broken that even I wouldn't allow it, it must be way too powerful.

That is your opinion. I have no idea what you have allowed but I do know that how something looks on paper is not how it always plays in a game. That is how the sorcerer ended up gaining a spell level behind the wizard. The assumption was that the spontaneous casting would make them equal. Not that sorcerers are weak, but they are not wizards.

I will admit that the class looks better than wizards on paper, but having even one less spell prepared at higher levels is going to hurt.

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