Arcanist Discussion


Class Discussion

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Lemmy wrote:

You know what, I'll save further judgement on this class 'til I see the revised version and get to playtest it.

But I have no expectation of this class being anything but completely unbalanced and guilty of obsoleting two of the most powerful classes in the game.

I predict we'll continue to argue about this even post release, just as people continue to argue rogue and monks validity and alignment and a whole mess of other repeat topics.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
They do when your stance on them being broken is comparing them to Synthesist Summoners, TWF gunslingers, and God Wizards.

I never said those things are well-balanced. All I meant is that they are less broken than spontaneous-casting Wizards.

TWF Gunslingers are quite easy to deal with, actually... Not every challenge involves shooting stuff, and not every enemy is in a 30ft radius.

master_marshmallow wrote:
This class is no more powerful than the wizard, it's slightly more versatile in the fact that if it turns out the player doesn't need to cast 'Knock' in your dungeon, then it isn't a waste of a spell slot for him to memorize it and he can instead use that slot on an extra 'Scorching Ray' in combat.

Thus completely invalidating both Wizards and Sorcerers. Arcanists get the best of both worlds and only a few minor drawbacks.

master_marshmallow wrote:
It is less broken than things that already exist in the game, and it really won't cause as many problems as you think.

Perhaps, but they are not less broken than any other class.

Anyway, I won't repeat myself again. As I said, I'll wait for more information on the revised version and my own playtest game to comment more on this class.


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Jason has said the mechanic is not going to change for the casting. For those of you that think it is overpowered would you feel better with it being able to prepare one less spell per day.

When you reply could you point to a thread where you playtested the class. I intent to do so on black Friday since I will be off that day.


wraithstrike wrote:
Jason has said the mechanic is not going to change for the casting. For those of you that think it is overpowered would you feel better with it being able to prepare one less spell per day.

I think having less spells per day would only make the class a pain in the ass to play and barely impact the balance issue.

wraithstrike wrote:
When you reply could you point to a thread where you playtested the class. I intent to do so on black Friday since I will be off that day.

I think I'll play via Roll20 with one of my online groups. Some of the guys I know really want to test the Swashbuckler and Hunter. Another one wants to play a Sorcerer, but I'm sure I can convince him to play an Arcanist, he's pretty new to the game (he's been playing for about 6 months now) so I don't have to worry about he over-optimizing (not that arcane casters really need to worry about build).

I'll do my best to not mention my thoughts on any of the new classes, so I can keep their conclusions as impartial as possible. They also don't visit this site or even know my username here, so I don't think they'll read any of my posts.

Shadow Lodge

Lemmy wrote:

I think having less spells per day would only make the class a pain in the ass to play and barely impact the balance issue.

Agreed. The various bits of math that have been thrown around basically show that the Arcanist is roughly on par with the Sorcerer and specialist Wizard in terms of castings per day. What makes the Arcanist's casting a little bit silly is that it can prepare the fiddly contingency and utility spells a Wizard can without having to plan out how many he'll use over the course of the day. If once, great, I've saved the party some trouble! If many times, excellent, all shall love me and despair! If no times, oh well, at least that other spell of the same level I prepared can be brought to bear in most situations, and the useless spell isn't taking up a spell slot, and I can get rid of it tomorrow if I want. I've seen you describe this as being along the lines of "prepared and spontaneous casting with the benefits of both and the drawbacks of neither". I've used the same formulation, and I see what you mean.

Is there a way to restrict the kinds of spells an Arcanist can prepare without the restriction being too onerous? There's precedent; a specialist Wizard must prepare a spell from his specialty school in one of his slots. Perhaps tie it into the arcane reservoir somehow? Maybe, tying back to Adam Teles' idea, make at least one of the prepared spells per level share at least one subtype with a spell the Arcanist consumed the day before?

Liberty's Edge

I like the idea of balancing the flexibility by tying it to the reservoir. Like limiting the level of spells you can cast according to your current reservoir value. That would be a great reason to drain your items and spell slots to be able to cast that one big spell you prepared.

Shadow Lodge

Lemmy, I mean no disrespect, but your argument has been stated and the game designer has responded to it. Unless you have something new to add to why you think so many people (including the design team) are wrong about the power level, could you maybe hold off on saying the same things over and over and wait to see what they do to the class. It isn't constructive and we are needing to try the class out, not make theorycrafting decisions.


The black raven wrote:
I like the idea of balancing the flexibility by tying it to the reservoir. Like limiting the level of spells you can cast according to your current reservoir value. That would be a great reason to drain your items and spell slots to be able to cast that one big spell you prepared.

Makes me think of the Psion.

Scarab Sages

My review:

Arcanist: B. Essentially gives up school specialization (and the neat school powers) and full access to bloodlines to be a sorcerer can that swap out spells every day. They still have to find and pay for spells to go into the spellbook, which has always been a weakness for wizards (it gets very expensive at higher levels). Blood Focus is nice, though, since it's more or less a permanent +1 to your caster level and DC any time you need it. It could really use something to fill out all those blank levels.

Honesty? I can't think of many times when I'd want to swap out my sorcerer spells known during spell prep at the beginning of the day. But that's the only reason to play this class, and they won't have many options to swap to due to spellbook constraints.


Say a Arcanist has Spontaneous Metafocus: Scorching Ray and Magical Lineage: Scorching Ray. He could prepare a Silent Scorching Ray as a 2nd level spell. Then spontaneously add Still Spell when casting it with a 2nd level slot. Because he can double dip on the metamagic application, it seems to get added benefit from the trait.

And what if you got really cheesy and Spontaneous Metafocus, Magical Lineage AND Wayang Spellhunter your Scorching Ray. Couldn't you then prepare an Empowered Scorching Ray, then spontaneously apply Maximize Spell and use a 3rd level slot? So at 7th level he could fire off a Empowered Maximized Scorching Ray using a 3rd level slot, that would fire two rays each doing 2d6+24 (Total of 4d6+48).

Or could do that with a Fireball instead, and at 8th level be tossing out 4d6+48 fireball from a 4th level slot.

Or with a Magic Missle and be chucking out Toppling Heightenened+1 Dazing Magic missile from a 2nd level slot, followed by a Toppling Disrupting Quickened Magic Missile from a 3rd slot at 8th level for totally disabling up to 4-10 targets a round. And still wracking up a clean 8d4+8 or 10d4+10 damage.

This seems... out of line. Or is casting the equivalent of a 7th level spell in a 3rd level slot okay these days? A 6th in a 2nd? An 8th from a 4th? Just seems like a lot of new and interesting ways to break the system is being introduced.


It definitely needs to be specified whether Arcanist applies Metamagic at the time of preparation of the time of casting, and that they can only apply metamagic at that point.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Adam Teles wrote:
It definitely needs to be specified whether Arcanist applies Metamagic at the time of preparation of the time of casting, and that they can only apply metamagic at that point.

Have only given the playtest a cursory glance, but as I recall they could do both. Or were you saying they should only get one of them?

I personally love any excuse to encourage myself to make use of metamagic so I like the idea of being able to do it at either time, although maybe there should be some slightly greater costto applying metamagic in the field for Arcanists, I think they had a blood pool or the like maybe burn a point from there.

@Remy: Aren't at least a couple of those things you listed traits which would both be trait bonuses and thus not stack? And I think they only apply to the first metamagic feat you apply as well thus a silent scorching ray would have to be raised afterwards by stilling it. But I could be misremembering, it is like 3 in the a.m. and I'm just jumping in at this stage of the thread I should probably go read the other posts before saying anything else.


zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

I think having less spells per day would only make the class a pain in the ass to play and barely impact the balance issue.

Agreed. The various bits of math that have been thrown around basically show that the Arcanist is roughly on par with the Sorcerer and specialist Wizard in terms of castings per day. What makes the Arcanist's casting a little bit silly is that it can prepare the fiddly contingency and utility spells a Wizard can without having to plan out how many he'll use over the course of the day. If once, great, I've saved the party some trouble! If many times, excellent, all shall love me and despair! If no times, oh well, at least that other spell of the same level I prepared can be brought to bear in most situations, and the useless spell isn't taking up a spell slot, and I can get rid of it tomorrow if I want. I've seen you describe this as being along the lines of "prepared and spontaneous casting with the benefits of both and the drawbacks of neither". I've used the same formulation, and I see what you mean.

Is there a way to restrict the kinds of spells an Arcanist can prepare without the restriction being too onerous? There's precedent; a specialist Wizard must prepare a spell from his specialty school in one of his slots. Perhaps tie it into the arcane reservoir somehow? Maybe, tying back to Adam Teles' idea, make at least one of the prepared spells per level share at least one subtype with a spell the Arcanist consumed the day before?

I think not allowing them to leave spell slots open for preperation would help.


Kale Wieland wrote:
Adam Teles wrote:
It definitely needs to be specified whether Arcanist applies Metamagic at the time of preparation of the time of casting, and that they can only apply metamagic at that point.

Have only given the playtest a cursory glance, but as I recall they could do both. Or were you saying they should only get one of them?

I personally love any excuse to encourage myself to make use of metamagic so I like the idea of being able to do it at either time, although maybe there should be some slightly greater costto applying metamagic in the field for Arcanists, I think they had a blood pool or the like maybe burn a point from there.

@Remy: Aren't at least a couple of those things you listed traits which would both be trait bonuses and thus not stack? And I think they only apply to the first metamagic feat you apply as well thus a silent scorching ray would have to be raised afterwards by stilling it. But I could be misremembering, it is like 3 in the a.m. and I'm just jumping in at this stage of the thread I should probably go read the other posts before saying anything else.

They don't have any bonuses to be called trait, or otherwise. They just change how metamagic interacts with a selected spell.

By the way they are written, they change the total spell level when you apply metamagic (reduce it 1). So, applying a meta magic feat to a spell that you choose with Magic Lineage reduces the total modified level by 1. So a Stilled Magic Missile would take a 1st leel slot. or an empowered one a 2nd, etc.

It get worse when you take both, so that the total is now two levels lower when applying metamagic. (to a minimum of the original level) And Empowered Magic Missile would still be a 1st level, a Maximized one would be a 2nd. Etc.

Then compound that by the fact that Arcanist can apply metamagic at two separate occasions...

So, he prepares that Empowered Magic Missile as a first level spell. And then when casting spontaneously adds Maximize Spell to it, and only ends up using a 2nd level slot.


If he cast spontaneously it should go back to being a full round action. It is only a standard action in its orignal form. Otherwise you take the trait that reduces the metamagic cost by 1, and apply metamagic to all of your spells just so you can add another metamagic to them later without increasing casting time.


i think pulling his DC from Cha but his bonus spells from Int would be a good way of making this caster a bit MAD and making sure he is more that just a different wizard.


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Cap. Darling wrote:
i think pulling his DC from Cha but his bonus spells from Int would be a good way of making this caster a bit MAD and making sure he is more that just a different wizard.

Then why play it over any other arcane caster? I am personally glad that casting stat/spell DC disconnect didn't make it to PF from 3.5.


wraithstrike wrote:
If he cast spontaneously it should go back to being a full round action. It is only a standard action in its orignal form. Otherwise you take the trait that reduces the metamagic cost by 1, and apply metamagic to all of your spells just so you can add another metamagic to them later without increasing casting time.

Spontaneous Metafocus.

I'm not saying it is super crazy OP. Just weird that it lets you double dip.

With the traits you pick one spell that they apply to. They don't apply to everything. Same with Spontaneous Metafocus, you pick a spell it applies to and then spontaneously casting it with metamagic doesn't increase the casting time.

That way, all your favorite spell's metamagicking is still never going to increase the casting time, you can prep it with a free 2 levels, and cast it with another 2 free levels of metamagic.

I think I'm a fan of the Magic Missile option with Toppling, Disrupting, and Dazing and Quicken, myself. Magic missile hits pretty consistently, and can spread the effects of those metamagic feats reliably to a handful of targets. Multiple ranged trips, force concentration checks to cast or use spell-likes, save or daze... and only use up 2nd + 3rd level spells to cast twice a round. Seems legit.

Oh and toss in Empower and you could Topple Disrupt Empower a magic missile in a 1st level slot still.

Since you only need prep a Toppling Disrupting magic missile to do all of that... it frees up a whole lot of spell prep slots for utility/control/buff/defense spells. You know... like almost all of them.


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Lemmy wrote:
I think having less spells per day would only make the class a pain in the ass to play and barely impact the balance issue.

I respectfully disagree. Back in 3.5, people played as Battle Sorcerers (-1 spell known and spell per day per spell level, + a few bonuses that made it more martially-oriented), still had fun and could still contribute meaningfully to a party. If the Arcanist could prepare one less spell per level, for example, it would still be a "Sorcerer on steroids" (casting-wise) that traded set options for a flexible way to learn and cast spells. I think it would balance out nicely: the choice between playing an Arcanist or a Sorcerer would be less one sided, but at the same time neither class would be invalidated. Meanwhile, I also don't think the balance with the Wizard would be much affected. Besides, it opens up design space for FCBs and archetypes to increase those spells prepared. Of course, this is all IMHO.


Larkas wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
I think having less spells per day would only make the class a pain in the ass to play and barely impact the balance issue.
I respectfully disagree. Back in 3.5, people played as Battle Sorcerers (-1 spell known and spell per day per spell level, + a few bonuses that made it more martially-oriented), still had fun and could still contribute meaningfully to a party. If the Arcanist could prepare one less spell per level, for example, it would still be a "Sorcerer on steroids" (casting-wise) that traded set options for a flexible way to learn and cast spells. I think it would balance out nicely: the choice between playing an Arcanist or a Sorcerer would be less one sided, but at the same time neither class would be invalidated. Meanwhile, I also don't think the balance with the Wizard would be much affected. Besides, it opens up design space for FCBs and archetypes to increase those spells prepared. Of course, this is all IMHO.

One less per spell level and you better be packing metamagic, or you can't cast your spell slots of your highest level when you get em...

Edit/addition: Having to wait until 5th to prep a 2nd level? 7th level to actually prepare a 3rd level spell? And then, just the one? Eh... That is just adding insult to injury, as the arcanist is already a level behind the wizard. You'd have them be effectively 2 behind a wizard and 1 behind the sorcerer? worse yet, they have the slots...but can't cast spells of that level?


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I will throw my vote on board for the "Wis Caster" train, we need one. But I am sure the re-vamp will not disappoint us.


Remy Balster wrote:
Larkas wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
I think having less spells per day would only make the class a pain in the ass to play and barely impact the balance issue.
I respectfully disagree. Back in 3.5, people played as Battle Sorcerers (-1 spell known and spell per day per spell level, + a few bonuses that made it more martially-oriented), still had fun and could still contribute meaningfully to a party. If the Arcanist could prepare one less spell per level, for example, it would still be a "Sorcerer on steroids" (casting-wise) that traded set options for a flexible way to learn and cast spells. I think it would balance out nicely: the choice between playing an Arcanist or a Sorcerer would be less one sided, but at the same time neither class would be invalidated. Meanwhile, I also don't think the balance with the Wizard would be much affected. Besides, it opens up design space for FCBs and archetypes to increase those spells prepared. Of course, this is all IMHO.

One less per spell level and you better be packing metamagic, or you can't cast your spell slots of your highest level when you get em...

Edit/addition: Having to wait until 5th to prep a 2nd level? 7th level to actually prepare a 3rd level spell? And then, just the one? Eh... That is just adding insult to injury, as the arcanist is already a level behind the wizard. You'd have them be effectively 2 behind a wizard and 1 behind the sorcerer? worse yet, they have the slots...but can't cast spells of that level?

Eh, hate to sound presumptuous, but I posted about this up thread. :)


Whether the arcanist changes or not I will use the test version for a retraining of one of my players. She begun as a sorcerer, but she wanted to be a wizard. Perhaps I will change something, but this class has the point I need for her progression.
Think about an elven child who knows how to use magic and wants to get deeper in it using her innate power. It has been made for her.


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Heofthehills wrote:
Lemmy, I mean no disrespect, but your argument has been stated and the game designer has responded to it. Unless you have something new to add to why you think so many people (including the design team) are wrong about the power level, could you maybe hold off on saying the same things over and over and wait to see what they do to the class. It isn't constructive and we are needing to try the class out, not make theorycrafting decisions.

Ahem...

Lemmy wrote:

You know what, I'll save further judgement on this class 'til I see the revised version and get to playtest it.

But I have no expectation of this class being anything but completely unbalanced and guilty of obsoleting two of the most powerful classes in the game.

Lemmy wrote:
Anyway, I won't repeat myself again. As I said, I'll wait for more information on the revised version and my own playtest game to comment more on this class.


Larkas wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:


One less per spell level and you better be packing metamagic, or you can't cast your spell slots of your highest level when you get em...

Edit/addition: Having to wait until 5th to prep a 2nd level? 7th level to actually prepare a 3rd level spell? And then, just the one? Eh... That is just adding insult to injury, as the arcanist is already a level behind the wizard. You'd have them be effectively 2 behind a wizard and 1 behind the sorcerer? worse yet, they have the slots...but can't cast spells of that level?

Eh, hate to sound presumptuous, but I posted about this up thread. :)

I'm not sure why it is important how many times you've posted an idea I think has flaws. Do I need to comb through an entire thread to reply to all of your posts at once? Or how about we stick to just replying to what you posted which I quoted and was specifically addressing.

If your post wasn't written to properly express your intended ideas, by all means, elaborate.

Also, 'presumptuous' isn't the word you are looking for.

On topic:
The Arcanist already has far fewer spells prepared per day than a wizard does. The selection is even slimmer than a Sorcerer's list of known spells. Reducing the number of prepared spells is the wrong approach if you are worried about his overall power.

He has slower progression than the wizard too. And less staying power than the Sorcerer. His spells per day totals the least between the three classes. So diminishing his spells per day isn't the right approach either.

All that remains would be the 'other' stuff. So long as the Arcanist 'shtick' is less powerful than school specializations and/or bloodlines, it should all jive in the end. (My worry is that it'll be as good or better than either)

Alternatively, they could make some subtle alterations in the actual spell system they're proposing. But no one seems open to that. Devs included. (Double dipping metamagic, for one)


Larkas wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
I think having less spells per day would only make the class a pain in the ass to play and barely impact the balance issue.
I respectfully disagree. Back in 3.5, people played as Battle Sorcerers (-1 spell known and spell per day per spell level, + a few bonuses that made it more martially-oriented), still had fun and could still contribute meaningfully to a party. If the Arcanist could prepare one less spell per level, for example, it would still be a "Sorcerer on steroids" (casting-wise) that traded set options for a flexible way to learn and cast spells. I think it would balance out nicely: the choice between playing an Arcanist or a Sorcerer would be less one sided, but at the same time neither class would be invalidated. Meanwhile, I also don't think the balance with the Wizard would be much affected. Besides, it opens up design space for FCBs and archetypes to increase those spells prepared. Of course, this is all IMHO.

That is where I got the idea for my hybrid. Battle sorcs were nice. If PF had one it would be good way to go into dragon disciple.


Remy Balster wrote:


Edit/addition: Having to wait until 5th to prep a 2nd level? 7th level to actually prepare a 3rd level spell? And then, just the one? Eh... That is just adding insult to injury, as the arcanist is already a level behind the wizard. You'd have them be effectively 2 behind a wizard and 1 behind the sorcerer? worse yet, they have the slots...but can't cast spells of that level?

That is not exactly how it would work. Upon getting to a high enough level to access the first spell they get it, when the 2nd spell slot would be gained for any specific level he would not get it. That is how he would be one behind.


wraithstrike wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:


Edit/addition: Having to wait until 5th to prep a 2nd level? 7th level to actually prepare a 3rd level spell? And then, just the one? Eh... That is just adding insult to injury, as the arcanist is already a level behind the wizard. You'd have them be effectively 2 behind a wizard and 1 behind the sorcerer? worse yet, they have the slots...but can't cast spells of that level?

That is not exactly how it would work. Upon getting to a high enough level to access the first spell they get it, when the 2nd spell slot would be gained for any specific level he would not get it. That is how he would be one behind.

You just described the exact differnce between sorcerer spells known and arcanist spells prepared.

Exactly.


zimmerwald1915 wrote:
What makes the Arcanist's casting a little bit silly is that it can prepare the fiddly contingency and utility spells a Wizard can without having to plan out how many he'll use over the course of the day. If once, great, I've saved the party some trouble! If many times, excellent, all shall love me and despair! If no times, oh well, at least that other spell of the same level I prepared can be brought to bear in most situations, and the useless spell isn't taking up a spell slot, and I can get rid of it tomorrow if I want. I've seen you describe this as being along the lines of "prepared and spontaneous casting with the benefits of both and the drawbacks of neither". I've used the same formulation, and I see what you mean.

This isn't really true. The very limited number of spells prepared per day (especially with high level slots) generally means in practice that preparing these fiddly contingency and utility spells actually represents a greater loss for them than a wizard of the same level.

If you want to see this in practice try building out a 5th, 10th, 13th, and 16th level arcanist in sequence - or even simply filling out their spells prepared per day. Lay it alongside a wizard built with the same purpose. See how many random utility spells you can fit in relative to the wizard.

zimmerwald1915 wrote:
Is there a way to restrict the kinds of spells an Arcanist can prepare without the restriction being too onerous? There's precedent; a specialist Wizard must prepare a spell from his specialty school in one of his slots. Perhaps tie it into the arcane reservoir somehow? Maybe, tying back to Adam Teles' idea, make at least one of the prepared spells per level share at least one subtype with a spell the Arcanist consumed the day before?

There is a restriction - they get crap for high level spells prepared. An even level arcanist has 6 spells of the highest three levels he can cast. Period.


Remy Balster wrote:

I'm not sure why it is important how many times you've posted an idea I think has flaws. Do I need to comb through an entire thread to reply to all of your posts at once? Or how about we stick to just replying to what you posted which I quoted and was specifically addressing.

If your post wasn't written to properly express your intended ideas, by all means, elaborate.

First of all, if I said I posted the idea upthread, I probably fleshed it out better then. Second, again, if I said I posted the idea upthread, I was giving you the hint to check it out for yourself. Third, I don't think we should need to keep reposting the same ideas and thoughts all over again and all over the topic. It's both boring and yes, presumptuous. Fourth, if I didn't provide a direct link, it was probably because I couldn't do it at the time due to, I don't know, posting from a crappy cellphone. But if it is so hard to load previous pages and Ctrl+F>Larkas, then here, have a link. Lastly, no, I don't want to convince you of anything. I was just expressing how it could work.

Remy Balster wrote:
Also, 'presumptuous' isn't the word you are looking for.

Presumptuous was exactly the word I was looking for. Here, have another link.

Remy Balster wrote:

On topic:

The Arcanist already has far fewer spells prepared per day than a wizard does. The selection is even slimmer than a Sorcerer's list of known spells. Reducing the number of prepared spells is the wrong approach if you are worried about his overall power.

He has slower progression than the wizard too. And less staying power than the Sorcerer. His spells per day totals the least between the three classes. So diminishing his spells per day isn't the right approach either.

All that remains would be the 'other' stuff. So long as the Arcanist 'shtick' is less powerful than school specializations and/or bloodlines, it should all jive in the end. (My worry is that it'll be as good or better than either)

A very valid point, though I'm not sure I agree. It's not that the Arcanist is directly more powerful than the Sorcerer (it really isn't). It's just that the added versatility combined with a Sorcerer-like casting invalidates the Sorcerer as a class choice too many times. Eh, invalidate isn't exactly the word I'm looking for. It's just that... Well, if you're looking only at the spellcasting and comparing to a Sorcerer that's not optimized (say, Human and whatnot), it's kinda hard to justify going Sorcerer instead of Arcanist (I was going to say that it's even harder to justify it in a "core only" game, but hey, the Arcanist is not core, anyways. :D But I know plenty of DMs that disallow alternative FCBs, so there's that) Please, note that this is merely my opinion. You don't have to agree with it. You need to convince the developers of your points, not me. :)

Remy Balster wrote:
Alternatively, they could make some subtle alterations in the actual spell system they're proposing. But no one seems open to that. Devs included. (Double dipping metamagic, for one)

Now in that I thoroughly agree with you.


At the moment, NOT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE RECENTLY-ANNOUNCED REVISION, the main draw of Sorcerer over Arcanist for me is the always-on access to Bloodlines and Bloodline Powers. As someone mentioned in the thread somewhere way above, this is especially pertinent in the case of defensive powers and other things that for a Sorcerer are "Always On" - things like elemental resistances, AC boosts, auto-buffs, the ability to freely change the elemental subtype of a spell, and such like things like that. For an Arcanist, a lot of these things would have to be activated - burning precious Blood Focus points - and there would be some manner of anticipation of "I think I'm about to be hit by something, I need to throw my defenses on" and either you get lucky and you do pull it off, or it doesn't come (or worse, comes later, after the Blood Focus has worn off - you've wasted the points, but still took whatever it was you were trying to dodge/resist!).

WITH THE NEW REVISION, this seems even more distinct. With the removal of Blood Focus, it appears the Arcanist will be losing some of its ability to "call up" Sorcerer bloodline stuff, or will have access to it in an even more limited capacity, whereas the Sorcerer will always have their Bloodline abilities at-hand when they need them.

And of course there's the divided focus of Arcanist using INT versus Sorcerer using CHA. Some concepts will fit better into the former and some better into the latter.

I can definitely see myself playing one or the other depending on the circumstances, the campaign, and/or the theme of the character. While I have one Sorcerer character I am strongly considering revamping into an Arcanist, it's because I think the style of the class suits her better (she's loosely based on Harry Dresden - if an INT-based spont-caster that wasn't Psion had been available at the time I created her I would have leaped all over it right then); while another character, this one an NPC in the game I'm currently GMing, fits Sorcerer so well that I've given absolutely zero thought to exchanging her class, and now that I have the idea is simply unsuitable for her; her magic is a distinct mark of her heritage and one she's always been quite proud of (Divine bloodline), and to remove that would remove a large portion of her characterization.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pros:
Best of both vancian and spontaneous casting.
Extra spells can be very powerful in low wealth/magic campaigns
Cons:
Loss of full bloodline powers.


Rerednaw wrote:

Pros:

Best of both vancian and spontaneous casting.
Extra spells can be very powerful in low wealth/magic campaigns
Cons:
Loss of full bloodline powers.

The class is having a redesign, actually. I am not sure if the final product will be "better" or "worse" than sorceror bloodlines.

And I disagree that the arcanist is getting everything the sorcerer and wizard has to offer. They get fewer readied spells than the wizard but about the same number of spells unless it is a universalist like a chump. They get fewer "known" spells per day than a sorceror too (of course), and 2 fewer castings of those spells. It all seems pretty well balanced even looking solely at the casting mechanic.

People just fear new things that they don't understand.

Shadow Lodge

Peter Stewart wrote:

This isn't really true. The very limited number of spells prepared per day (especially with high level slots) generally means in practice that preparing these fiddly contingency and utility spells actually represents a greater loss for them than a wizard of the same level.

If you want to see this in practice try building out a 5th, 10th, 13th, and 16th level arcanist in sequence - or even simply filling out their spells prepared per day. Lay it alongside a wizard built with the same purpose. See how many random utility spells you can fit in relative to the wizard.

How many? As many as you have spells "known" slots, of course. But that doesn't really say anything. An Arcanist could be perfectly satisfied by dedicating one or two lower-level spells "known" to these sorts of spells and not dedicating their higher-level slots at all.

But since you asked, here are some spellbooks and spell loadouts, based on a (far from twinked-out) Wizard I happen to have lying around. Assume no interaction with WBL or feats (that's just silly, I know, but I'm trying to keep this simple):

Level 5 Wizard:
Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 5th; Concentration +9)
3rd aqueous orb (S, DC 17, x2), fly
2nd fog cloud (S, x2), gust of wind, levitate
1st charm person (DC 15), feather fall, grease (S, DC 15), mage armor (S), shield

Spellbook 3rd-aqueous orb, fly; 2nd-fog cloud, gust of wind, levitate, see invisibility; 1st-break, charm person, feather fall, grease, identify, mage armor, magic missile, sleep

Level 5 Arcanist:
Arcanist Spells Prepared (CL 5th; Concentration +9)
2nd (4/day) fog cloud, levitate
1st (6/day) charm person (DC 15), feather fall, grease (DC 15), ray of enfeeblement (DC 15)

Spellbook 2nd-fog cloud, gust of wind, levitate, see invisibility; 1st-break, charm person, comprehend languages, feather fall, grease, identify, mage armor, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, sleep

Level 10 Wizard:
Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 10th; Concentration +14)
5th cone of cold (DC 19), hostile juxtaposition (S, DC 19), telekinesis (DC 19)
4th confusion (DC 18), dimension door (S), resilient sphere, telekinetic charge (x2)
3rd aqueous orb (S, DC 17, x2), dispel magic (x2), fly
2nd fog cloud (S, x2), gust of wind (DC 16), levitate (x2), see invisibility
1st break (DC 15), charm person (DC 15), feather fall, grease (S, DC 15, x2)mage armor (S)

Spellbook 5th-cone of cold, hostile juxtaposition, passwall, telekinesis; 4th-confusion, dimension door, resilient sphere, telekinetic charge; 3rd-aqueous orb, daylight, dispel magic, fly; 2nd-fog cloud, gust of wind, levitate, see invisibility; 1st-break, charm person, feather fall, grease, identify, mage armor, magic missile, sleep

Level 10 Arcanist:
Arcanist Spells Prepared (CL 10th; Concentration +14)
5th (2/day) telekinesis
4th (5/day) confusion (DC 18), dimension door
3rd (6/day) aqueous orb (DC 17), daylight, dispel magic
2nd (6/day) fog cloud, gust of wind (DC 16), levitate, see invisibility
1st (6/day) charm person (DC 15), feather fall, grease (DC 15), mage armor, ray of enfeeblement (DC 15)

Spellbook 5th-cone of cold, telekinesis; 4th-confusion, dimension door, resilient sphere, telekinetic charge; 3rd-aqueous orb, daylight, dispel magic, fly; 2nd-fog cloud, gust of wind, levitate, see invisibility; 1st-break, charm person, comprehend languages, feather fall, grease, identify, mage armor, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, sleep

Quote:
There is a restriction - they get crap for high level spells prepared. An even level arcanist has 6 spells of the highest three levels he can cast. Period.

Does it matter how many different kinds of spells he can cast if the spells themselves are/spell itself is good enough? Both the Sorcerer and Wizard have some kind of thematic restriction placed on their spell selection. A Wizard must prepare at least one spell of their specialty school per level. Every specialist regrets this at some level. A Sorcerer must take, and cannot retrain, his designated bloodline spells at the given levels. An Arcanist...has total freedom to choose whatever spells from his spellbook he wants, theme be damned.


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I'll take the wizard in both of those examples.

Shadow Lodge

Peter Stewart wrote:
I'll take the wizard in both of those examples.

I would too (mostly because I have an actual build, concept, backstory, and plans for the Wizard, while the Arcanist is just a spell loadout I threw together), but that's hardly the point.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rerednaw wrote:

Pros:

Best of both vancian and spontaneous casting.
Extra spells can be very powerful in low wealth/magic campaigns
Cons:
Loss of full bloodline powers.

Just from a quick couple of test toons, I would definitely agree that the Arcanist feels like they get the best of both types of spell casting. The ability to make maximum use of meta magic feels extremely powerful to me atm. Couple this with the higher number of spells plus great flexibility make this character extremely powerful.

Edit: I just read Jason's new post on the redesign. I am in agreement with his take on the need for a redesign. I am looking forward to seeing the new post.


OK, lets compare your Arcanist to my current Level 10 sorcerer. On any given day he is capable of:

Scouting: Elemental Body, Invisibility, Disguise Self, Darkvision
Information Retrieval: Contact Other Plane, Suggestion, Charm Monster, Tongues, lots of Knowledge skills
Group Transport: Dimension Door, Teleport
Battlefield Control: Stinking Cloud (fort), Create Pit (reflex), Grease (reflex), Confusion (will), Glitterdust (will)
Single Target Removal: Suggestion/Charm Monster (will), Blindness (fort)
Group Buffs: Greater Invis, Haste, Resist Energy, Protection from Evil, Mage Armour, Darkvision
Personal Defence: Mirror Image

Can you achieve something similar with your 5/4/3/2/1 selection?

Quote:

Casimir

Male Human (Varisian) Sorcerer (Arcane(Sage)) 10
LN Medium Humanoid (human)

Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 10):
5 (4/day) Contact Other Plane, Teleport
4 (7/day) Elemental Body I, Invisibility, Greater, Charm Monster (DC 24), Dimension Door, Confusion (DC24)
3 (8/day) Tongues, Stinking Cloud (DC 21), Dispel Magic, Haste, Daylight, Suggestion (DC 23)
2 (8/day) Create Pit (DC 20), Darkvision, Resist Energy, Mirror Image, Glitterdust (DC 20), Invisibility, Blindness
1 (8/day) Protection from Evil, Mage Armor, Memory Lapse (DC 21), Identify, Grease (DC 19), Liberating Command, Disguise Self, Air Bubble
0 (at will) Acid Splash, Arcane Mark, Message, Daze (DC 20), Light, Mage Hand, Detect Magic, Prestidigitation (DC 18), Detect Poison

--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 7, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 26, Wis 11, Cha 7

Feats: Eschew Materials, Greater Spell Focus (Enchantment), Improved Initiative, Persistent Spell, Quicken Spell, Skill Focus (Disable Device) (Focused Study), Skill Focus (Perception) (Focused Study), Spell Focus (Enchantment), Spell Penetration

Traits: Magical Lineage (Charm Monster), Vagabond Child (urban) (Disable Device)

Skills: Appraise +12, Bluff +11, Disable Device +21, Diplomacy +8, Escape Artist +12, Fly +6, Knowledge (arcana) +21, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +9, Knowledge (engineering) +9, Knowledge (geography) +9, Knowledge (history) +18, Knowledge (local) +18, Knowledge (nature) +9, Knowledge (nobility) +18, Knowledge (planes) +12, Knowledge (religion) +9, Perception +21, Spellcraft +16, Stealth +12, Survival +0 (+2 to avoid becoming lost), Use Magic Device +2

Languages: Azlanti, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Elven, Kelish, Osiriani, Osiriani, Ancient, Thassilonian, Varisian


Alceste008 wrote:
Edit: I just read Jason's new post on the redesign. I am in agreement with his take on the need for a redesign. I am looking forward to seeing the new post.

Read it again, they are not changing its casting mechanic.

Lantern Lodge

As a player who prefers magic-users (both sorcerers and wizards), here is my $0.02 on metamagic and the arcanist.

Sorcerer’s still have one advantage in metamagic in that metamagic takes spells slots – your highest ones usually. Sorcerer’s have more of these, and will continue to have more of these. I do not think that the designers will allow a double-dip on the slot-reducing metamagic traits (Magical Lineage and Wayjang Spellhunter) – it will be an overall reduction of the final spell level cast.

Being able to prep them beforehand is handy, but applying metamagic on the fly will still be a full-round action. Also, you still have to spend the feats to get the metamagic, so there is no bonus to either class on that front.

So there you go.


zimmerwald1915 wrote:

5th (2/day) telekinesis

4th (5/day) confusion (DC 18), dimension door
3rd (6/day) aqueous orb (DC 17), daylight, dispel magic
2nd (6/day) fog cloud, gust of wind (DC 16), levitate, see invisibility
1st (6/day) charm person (DC 15), feather fall, grease (DC 15), mage armor, ray of enfeeblement (DC 15)

This is a pretty poor list if you value your own skin at all.

You lack much in the way of personal defensive spells. You cannot fly and you do not have Mirror Image or Greater Invisibility, one or the other is pretty key at this level for survivability. You have almost no group buffs. No Haste, no Resist Energy, no Protection from Alignment.

On Offence you are also lacking. You have some area control spells with Confusion (will) and Aqueous Orb (reflex) but nothing targeting Fort. Effective single target spells are severely lacking with pretty much just Telekinesis (will) and Charm Person (will).

You have little to no information gathering or scouting magic. Charm Person is about it.

Shadow Lodge

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andreww wrote:
*stuff*

*shrug* This thread is not about my ability to build characters.


Are Arcanists going to be eligible for Arcane Discoveries or is that going to be strictly reserved for the Wizard? I'd love to be able to prepare a spell in 1 minute with an Arcanist.


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I'm hoping no open slots or arcane discoveries for these guys.

One way to keep the wizard from becoming a secondary option to the Arcanist is by keeping their arcane discoveries as -theirs-. It's like Fighter bonus feats, if you gave them to all the melee classes fighter would take a hit. (And barbarian, ranger, etc. would get a tasty buff D:<)

Gonna delay my arcanist playtesting until new revisions arrive.


Raiderrpg wrote:

I'm hoping no open slots or arcane discoveries for these guys.

One way to keep the wizard from becoming a secondary option to the Arcanist is by keeping their arcane discoveries as -theirs-. It's like Fighter bonus feats, if you gave them to all the melee classes fighter would take a hit. (And barbarian, ranger, etc. would get a tasty buff D:<)

Gonna delay my arcanist playtesting until new revisions arrive.

Well they do prepare spells so nothing is stopping them from having open slots. I can see if they want to keep Arcane Discoveries Wizard only, as well as other archetypes. As long as they make Arcane Bond an option I will be happy.

Grand Lodge

Regarding all of the comments of "OP".

People said summoner was hopelessly broken, they were wrong.

They said Alchemist was OP... they were wrong.

There's only one class in this game that is hopelessly OP... and that's the paladin... period the end.

Yes, the Arcanist is strong. No... its not nearly as bad as people say it is.

In application it will be very good as a primary caster. But the thing is... he's not in a white box, and he's not by himself. In the end he's a cog in a machine. He can never fit into the slot for other cogs, he can only do what he was intended to do. Will it be a little easier, maybe, will it unbalance a game? I highly doubt it. And if it does, its cause the player built something specifically to do that. That's on the player, not the designer. And its on the DM to break his foot off in the player's colon for being a douche.

These people that say the Arcanist will hog the spotlight are the same people who do the same thing with paladins.


Robert A Matthews wrote:
Raiderrpg wrote:

I'm hoping no open slots or arcane discoveries for these guys.

One way to keep the wizard from becoming a secondary option to the Arcanist is by keeping their arcane discoveries as -theirs-. It's like Fighter bonus feats, if you gave them to all the melee classes fighter would take a hit. (And barbarian, ranger, etc. would get a tasty buff D:<)

Gonna delay my arcanist playtesting until new revisions arrive.

Well they do prepare spells so nothing is stopping them from having open slots. I can see if they want to keep Arcane Discoveries Wizard only, as well as other archetypes. As long as they make Arcane Bond an option I will be happy.

I can agree on the Arcane Bond, I want my 'magic staff' at level 1! >:D

And like I said, I hope for the open slot part. Though without Fast Study the damage'd be mitigated quite a bit.


Hrothgar The Spirit Caller wrote:

Regarding all of the comments of "OP".

People said summoner was hopelessly broken, they were wrong.

They said Alchemist was OP... they were wrong.

There's only one class in this game that is hopelessly OP... and that's the paladin... period the end.

Yes, the Arcanist is strong. No... its not nearly as bad as people say it is.

In application it will be very good as a primary caster. But the thing is... he's not in a white box, and he's not by himself. In the end he's a cog in a machine. He can never fit into the slot for other cogs, he can only do what he was intended to do. Will it be a little easier, maybe, will it unbalance a game? I highly doubt it. And if it does, its cause the player built something specifically to do that. That's on the player, not the designer. And its on the DM to break his foot off in the player's colon for being a douche.

These people that say the Arcanist will hog the spotlight are the same people who do the same thing with paladins.

You find the paladin OP and the summoner not? I think your games are very different from mine:)

Edit: i was also gonna remake my wizard to a arcanist for tomorrows game but will wait if the new stuff dosent make it:(


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Spellcasters vs non-spellcasters is not the argument here.

I personally believe over levels 1-20 in total paladin is the strongest class in the game as well but that should not affect the arcanist.

The arcansit needs to be balanced with respect to sorcerer and wizard. Nobody else.

I personally would rather error on the side of arcanist's being slightly weaker because even though the remake sounds cool, the spellcasting mechanic seems to be the lazy way out in which you get versatility without having to be careful of how many times you need to memorize each thing as a wizard. Also I usually would prefer to error on making the core superior.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Saying that 80% of my characters have been wizards is a conservative estimate. With the availability of scrolls, wands, potions, wondrous items, and an arcane bonded item here and there, I have rarely, if ever had to be careful with how many copies of a spell I prep.

So long as there are disposable magic items in Pathfinder that can address situational problems like scouting, battlefield control, transportation, etc., all of the spellcasting classes will be more or less equally capable of handling most situations. A concern that comes to mind with the arcanist is that the added mileage that it may potentially get out of these magic items will improve the overall usefulness of these items since they'll be able to pull double-duty, so to speak. Charged and single-use magic items are already powerful because of they can often be the "ace up the sleeve". For that ace to now be more than just a scroll of levitate or potion of cure critical wounds in the hands of an arcanist...? That's where the cause for concern comes in for me, not in the core spellcasting mechanic.

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