Revised Arcanist Discussion


Class Discussion

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Obviously, I enjoy the idea of having an anti-spellcaster facet to this class...

Feedback Loop(Su): When you successfully dispel a spell, you may channel energy back through it to its caster. By spending a point from your Arcane Reservoir as a part of your dispelling action, you deal 1d6 Force damage per level of the spell to it's caster. For example, dispelling Mage Armor would deal 1d6 of damage, and dispelling Haste would deal 3d6 Force to the caster. Will negates.

Copycat(Su): When you successfully identify a spell being cast which you are capable of casting, you may spend one point from your Arcane Reservoir on your next turn to prepare it in a spell slot of the appropriate level, either replacing another spell which you had already prepared or preparing it in a previously un-prepared slot. This is a move action which provokes an attack of opportunity. You must have the new spell in your spellbook in order to prepare it in this way.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Keign wrote:

Obviously, I enjoy the idea of having an anti-spellcaster facet to this class...

Feedback Loop(Su): When you successfully dispel a spell, you may channel energy back through it to its caster. By spending a point from your Arcane Reservoir as a part of your dispelling action, you deal 1d6 Force damage per level of the spell to it's caster. For example, dispelling Mage Armor would deal 1d6 of damage, and dispelling Haste would deal 3d6 Force to the caster. Will negates.

Copycat(Su): When you successfully identify a spell being cast which you are capable of casting, you may spend one point from your Arcane Reservoir on your next turn to prepare it in a spell slot of the appropriate level, either replacing another spell which you had already prepared or preparing it in a previously un-prepared slot. This is a move action which provokes an attack of opportunity. You must have the new spell in your spellbook in order to prepare it in this way.

Feedback Loop is really underpowered. The damage is abysmal, it's a will save to negate (the strongest save for all casters), and the DC will be low (it works off charisma). I think Copycat is fun, but it may make the arcanist too versatile.

Up-thread it was suggested making the old counterspell exploit an advanced form of the actual counterspell exploit, and I have to say I wouldn't take it either, unless there's an Extra exploit feat. Then I'd grab both the same level, and not spend two levels with an exploit I wouldn't use. Instead I'd make it a chain: See Magic -> Filter Spell -> Counterspell (the old version, stating it doesn't work with Parry Spell) -> Counter Drain

Filter Spell would be something like: if the arcanist identifies a spell as it's being cast, she may spend a point from her arcane reservoir to reduce the caster level of that spell by 1 (minimum 1).

Scarab Sages

Keign wrote:
I don't see it as any more complicated than many other abilities that currently exist in the game.

Indeed. Wizards have a school ability with similar concept, with escalating cost. If players can handle that, this exploit should be as easy to understand.

Keign wrote:
The reason I think dividing up the levels is a good idea is 1) it requires a heavy investment to be able to use metamagic on spells which you otherwise could never use it on - a Quickened Prismatic Sphere is plainly impossible for anyone else, and I don't want that to come easily. One exploit shouldn't give you access to spells that nobody else can achieve. Three? Well, you earned it by investing in the concept.

Our 3.5 group had a similar objection to what we saw as abuse of no-level-adjusted metamagic, such as the Divine Metamagic feat. We settled on a gentlemen's agreement not to use it in ways that would normally push the virtual spell level over 9. In effect, a non-proliferation pact, based on the warning that what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

"If your PCs don't use it to cast level 10 spells, I won't have the NPCs throw level 13 spells back at you..."

Scarab Sages

Keign wrote:
Copycat(Su): When you successfully identify a spell being cast which you are capable of casting, you may spend one point from your Arcane Reservoir on your next turn to prepare it in a spell slot of the appropriate level, either replacing another spell which you had already prepared or preparing it in a previously un-prepared slot. This is a move action which provokes an attack of opportunity. You must have the new spell in your spellbook in order to prepare it in this way.

I like the idea, it just needs the first and last sentences brought together, to tighten the language regarding 'capable of casting'.

Otherwise, you just know someone will quote the first half, to win an argument that they could learn all the currently-unknown spells on the class list, and scribe them all.
Also, I think the energy of the spell being cast has to be siphoned, or stolen, somehow, to provide the template for rewiring her own brain.
And it needs a caveat, to prevent this being stacked with dispelling the original.

Would the following be better?

Copycat(Su): When the arcanist successfully identifies a spell being cast, and the spell is one she has already learned, and scribed to her current spellbook, she may attempt to steal part of the energies used, to alter her current list of spells prepared.
She must spend one point from her Arcane Reservoir, and make an opposed caster level check as an immediate action.
If successful, she may add that spell to her spells prepared, either replacing another spell of that level, or preparing it in a slot she left previously un-prepared that day.
The effective caster level of the newly-prepared spell is set at the caster level of the spell copied, or the arcanist's own caster level, whichever is lower.
This action provokes an attack of opportunity, despite being immediate, as the arcanist temporarily loses concentration while reordering her spells.
Regardless of the arcanist's success or failure, the casting of the original spell continues as normal.

This forces the arcanist to make a choice between countering, or copying, but also allows her to correct a poor daily spell selection by copying her friends.
The caster level cap is there to reduce scroll abuse, and because friendly casters have the option of making copying easier by voluntarily casting at reduced caster level. If they do that, there should be a trade-off in what the arcanist can later pump out.


other simple Arcanist Exploits;

low powered feat such as;
Spell Thematics.
Jinxed Spell(HoG).
Lingering Spell.
Merciful Spell.
Extra Trait.
Silent Spell.
Still Spell.
the trick is to make them active for 10 rounds or so. See previous post.

Magical Supremacy could be better... such as casting spells for 1/2 AR point per spell level (round up).
This would open up a Greater Exploit at 1 for 1.


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Exploit ideas:

Arcane servant(Su): The Arcanist may spend a number of points from his arcane reservoir in order to conjure a creature that could be summoned by a Summon monster spell. The level of the spell emulated is equal to number of points spent (maximum lvl/2). By reducing this number from his maximum reservoir, the Arcanist can keep the creature summoned indefinitely, if he does so, these points are not recovered daily until the creature is unsummoned.

Infuse weapon(Su): The Arcanist may infuse a weapon with some of his magic power. By spending a number of points from his pool equal to 3x the weapon equivalent bonus, he may enchant a weapon for 1 hour/level. The following properties are available: +1-5 enhancement, frost, flaming, shocking,dancing, defender, vorpal. By reducing this number from his maximum reservoir, the Arcanist can keep the weapon enchanted indefinitely, if he does so, these points are not recovered daily until the weapon is unenchanted. (the arcanist must have 3 levels for each +1 bonus).

Infuse armor(Su): -the same-

Infuse Object(Su): The Arcanist may animate an object infusing it with power from his reservoir. -same mechanic as the ones above-

Life is Power(Su): The arcanist may recover points for his reservoir by killing a creature with a coup de grace. He recovers an amount of points equal to half the HD of the creature.

Blood is Power(Su): The Arcanist can refuel his pool with his own blood. As a standard action he can inflict 1d10 points of slashing of piercing damage on himself to regain 1 point of his reservoir. As the Arcanist attempts this repeatedly, it becomes increasingly dangerous, and each attempt after the first inflicts an additional cummulative 1d10.

Liberty's Edge

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How about Greater Exploits that expand the abilities of the School and Blodline Exploits?

An Exploit that lets you "Mark" and later teleport objects to your hand, whether from near or unlimited distances?

An Exploit that lets you create and access a small extradimensional space just big enough for say a spellbook, for example.


Expanding School and Bloodlines? They are already amazing as is. As for unlimited teleporting to your hand, to powerful. Making extra dimensional spaces for your spellbook negates a prime weakness of casters using books.


Heladriell wrote:

Exploit ideas:

Arcane servant(Su): The Arcanist may spend a number of points from his arcane reservoir in order to conjure a creature that could be summoned by a Summon monster spell. The level of the spell emulated is equal to number of points spent (maximum lvl/2). By reducing this number from his maximum reservoir, the Arcanist can keep the creature summoned indefinitely, if he does so, these points are not recovered daily until the creature is unsummoned.

Infuse weapon(Su): The Arcanist may infuse a weapon with some of his magic power. By spending a number of points from his pool equal to 3x the weapon equivalent bonus, he may enchant a weapon for 1 hour/level. The following properties are available: +1-5 enhancement, frost, flaming, shocking,dancing, defender, vorpal. By reducing this number from his maximum reservoir, the Arcanist can keep the weapon enchanted indefinitely, if he does so, these points are not recovered daily until the weapon is unenchanted. (the arcanist must have 3 levels for each +1 bonus).

Infuse armor(Su): -the same-

Infuse Object(Su): The Arcanist may animate an object infusing it with power from his reservoir. -same mechanic as the ones above-

Life is Power(Su): The arcanist may recover points for his reservoir by killing a creature with a coup de grace. He recovers an amount of points equal to half the HD of the creature.

Blood is Power(Su): The Arcanist can refuel his pool with his own blood. As a standard action he can inflict 1d10 points of slashing of piercing damage on himself to regain 1 point of his reservoir. As the Arcanist attempts this repeatedly, it becomes increasingly dangerous, and each attempt after the first inflicts an additional cummulative 1d10.

I think blood is power might be too good. Maybe have the damage from it be impossible to heal for 1, 4, or 8 hours.


Power Sync is really cool, and a good idea. I hadn't thought about exploits that might take advantage of the Arcanist multiclassing like that. Good one!


How about this greater exploit:
Borrow spell
Once per day as a standard action, the arcanist may expend two AR points to ready any spell she sees being cast and could identify in the last minute (as an additional prepared spell). If that spell is on the sorceror/wizard spell list, she must ready the spell seen at the level a sorceror or wizard can cast it. If the spell is not on the sorceror/wizard spell list, she readies the spell at the same level the creature casting the spell did. She need not meet any of the material components of this spell worth less than 10 gp, but must meet any alignment restrictions.


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And more ideas, some a bit inspired by Excaliburproxy.

Imbue Weapon(Su): You have learned to channel your damaging spells into weapons rather than casting them directly upon an enemy. When casting a spell which deals damage with a melee touch attack, you may spend 1 point from your Arcane Reservoir per spell level to transfer it to a touched weapon. The spell remains on the weapon for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier, or until the weapon is used to make a successful attack - at which time it deals damage normally to the creature struck. A weapon may not have multiple spells transferred into it at one time - the spell most recently cast into it removes the one previously cast.

Spell Armor(Su): You have learned to cast spells into your armor, releasing their fury upon those who dare to strike you. When casting a spell which deals damage upon a melee touch attack, you may instead channel it into your armor or clothing by spending 1 point from your Arcane Reservoir per spell level. If you do so, the spell is held in your armor for a number of hours equal to your Charisma modifier or until you are struck by a melee attack, at which time the spell discharges upon the attacker. You do not have to succeed at a melee touch attack to deliver the spell, but they may attempt a Reflex save to halve the damage dealt. You may not store more than a single spell in your armor in this way at one time, the spell most recently cast into it removes any previously cast spells.

Blood Sacrifice(Su): Sustaining damage calls to the magic in your blood, allowing you to cast more powerful spells. When an opponent deals damage to the Arcanist, she may choose to spend a point from her Arcane Reservoir as an immediate action to amplify the spells she casts for a number of round equal to her Charisma modifier. When casting spells during these rounds, if she uses her Arcane Reservoir to increase the Caster Level or Save DC of a spell, she increases both the CL and the save DC of the spell, rather than choosing one or the other to increase.

Chrysalis(Su): Once per day, as a one hour ritual the Arcanist may go into a state of deep meditation, swaddling herself in a cocoon of arcane energy. While in meditation, the Arcanist is treated as if under the effects of a Sanctuary spell, but she is also considered helpless and unaware of her surroundings. By performing the ritual, the Arcanist gains a number of points for her Arcane Reservoir equal to her Charisma modifier. If interrupted, the Arcanist does not gain these points.


This might be better for the magus, but shadowrun's adept would work well with the arcane pool. Exploits that are magic affects that only effect the arcanist.

Small (temporary) bumps to initiative, attacks, damage, perception, speed, movement, stealth, healing, etc.

Scarab Sages

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Jason,

Have you personally tried playtesting an Arcanist from levels 1-4? I found it to be rather painful - the limited Arcane Pool basically translates to a 1-2/day "+2 hours to Mage Armor" at best.

Everyone's so busy nerfing things to try to keep the concept balanced at level 16-20 that we're forgetting that most people never make it past level 15 (at least, going by the typical AP progession). Others have suggested good fixes, so I won't rehash them, but would you guys please take a hard look at making the class more fun to play for the first 4-5 levels?


I have personally playtested Arcanist from levels 1-4 and a DC 18 Will Save vs Sleep (using Potent Spell) is quite powerful IMHO. Not just Sleep mind you but DC 18 vs Grease, Charm Person,or Color Spray are all quite powerful at those low levels. Being able to do that only once or twice per day is quite reasonable. You are basically guaranteed to end a low level encounter a few times a day.


Yup. You're a king for one fight. The next fight you might do something useful. Assuming the DCs are failed.

Every fight after that? Well, at least you get to practice your cheerleading...

Liberty's Edge

Cubic Prism wrote:
Expanding School and Bloodlines? They are already amazing as is. As for unlimited teleporting to your hand, to powerful. Making extra dimensional spaces for your spellbook negates a prime weakness of casters using books.

Just to be clear, I am not a game designer. I am tossing out some general ideas that seem cool to me.

Yes the bloodline and school exploits are cool, but they are limited to the level 1 effects. I think that greater exploits that expand to let you get one of the higher level effects would be appropriate.

The intent in my wording of the teleporting idea was to be open to whatever range was at an appropriate power level.

Using up a class ability selection to reduce the effects of a weakness of the class is perfectly reasonable.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The arcanist seems to be reliant on magic items, especially at low levels. Maybe give them a couple item creation feats, ones they don't have to spend their limited feats one?

Dark Archive

Ok so I just brought in an Arcanist into our Wrath of the Righteous Campaign and we where at the fight with Zanthir Vang. My Acranist

Arkenis Thorad Trueleaf:

Arkenis Thorad Trueleaf
Male Elf Arcanist 12/Archmage 4
CG Medium humanoid (elf)
Init +8; Senses low-light vision; Perception +15
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Defense
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AC 25, touch 16, flat-footed 22 (+4 armor, +3 Dex, +5 natural, +3 deflection)
hp 78 (12d6+27)
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +9; +2 vs. enchantments, +1 morale bonus vs. fear
Defensive Abilities hard to kill, mythic saving throws; DR 10/adamantine; Immune magic sleep; Resist elven immunities;
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Offense
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Speed 20 ft.
Melee visnal +9/+4 (1d8+2/19-20/×2)
Special Attacks mythic power (11/day, surge +1d8)
Arcanist Spells Prepared (CL 12th; concentration +26):
6th (4/day)—disintegrate (DC 28)
5th (6/day)—dismissal (DC 27), cone of cold (DC 27), hold monster (DC 27)
4th (11/day)—lesser globe of invulnerability, charm monster (DC 26), greater invisibility, summon monster iv
3rd (11/day)—lightning bolt (DC 25), haste, dispel magic [M], fly
2nd (11/day)—invisibility, web (DC 24), scorching ray, mirror image, extend mage armor
1st (15/day)—shield, silent image (DC 23), summon monster i, charm person (DC 23), pierce magic missile [M]
0 (at will)—acid splash, open/close (DC 22), mage hand, detect magic, bleed (DC 22), ghost sound (DC 22), prestidigitation (DC 22), message, light
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Statistics
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Str 13, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 35, Wis 12, Cha 16
Base Atk +6; CMB +8; CMD 23
Feats Craft Wondrous Item, Extend Spell, Extra Path Ability [M], Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Counterspell, Piercing Spell, Quick Draw, Spell Penetration, Spell Penetration [M]
Traits magical lineage, riftwarden orphan
Skills Bluff +15, Fly +15, Knowledge (arcana) +27, Knowledge (history) +27, Knowledge (nature) +27, Knowledge (planes) +27, Knowledge (religion) +27, Perception +15, Sense Motive +13, Spellcraft +29 (+31 to determine the properties of a magic item), Stealth +12, Use Magic Device +18; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
Languages Abyssal, Aquan, Auran, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Other Language, Elven, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Sylvan
SQ amazing initiative, arcane reservoir, arcanist exploits (consume magic items, counterspell, dimensional slide [120'], metamixing, potent magic, spell tinkerer [±50% duration or suppress 3 rds] ), consume spells, elven magic, recuperation
Combat Gear Echoing metamagic rod (lesser) (3/day), Empower metamagic rod (3/day), Maximize metamagic rod (lesser) (3/day), Scroll of Dimensional Lock, Scroll of Dispel Magic, Greater, Scroll of Divination, Scroll of Identify, Scroll of Invisibility, Greater, Scroll of Levitate, Haunting Mists, Protection fro, Scroll of Limited Wish, Dispel Magic, Greater, Scroll of Mind Fog, Vampiric Touch, Scroll of Remove Disease, Bear's Endurance, Magic , Scroll of Sending, Dimension Door, Scroll of Shocking Grasp, Resist Energy, Staff of conjuration, Wand of Dimension Door, Wand of Magic Missile (CL 3), Wand of Magic Missile (CL 5), Wand of Mirror Image, Wand of Modify Memory, Wand of Nondetection, Wand of stoneskin; Other Gear Visnal, Amulet of natural armor +5, Bag of holding IV (13 @ 349.5 lbs), Belt of mighty constitution +2, Blessed book, Cloak of resistance +2, Decanter of endless water, Headband of vast intelligence +6 (Spellcraft, Know, Retriever drone, Ring of protection +3, Ring of wizardry I, Terendelev's scales (Cloudwalking), Spellbook, Travelling spellbook,
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Special Abilities
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Amazing Initiative (1/round) (Ex) As a free action, use 1 power to gain an extra standard action (can't be used to cast a spell).
Arcane Reservoir +2 DC or CL (36/day) (Su) An arcanist has an innate pool of magical energy that she can draw upon to fuel her arcanist exploits and enhance her spells. The arcanist’s arcane reservoir can hold an amount of magical energy equal to three times the arcanist’s level. Each day
Competent Caster (Ex) Concentration checks for arcane spells auto succeed (unless highest level castable).
Consume Magic Items (Su) The arcanist can consume the power of potions, scrolls, staves, and wands, using them to fill her arcane reservoir. Using this ability is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. When using this exploit, the arcanist adds a number of
Consume Spells (Su) The arcanist can spend a standard action to expend an available arcanist spell slot, making it unavailable for the rest of the day just as if she had used it to cast a spell. In doing so, she adds a number of points to her arcane reservoir equal to t
Counterspell (Su) By expending one point from her arcane reservoir to attempt to counterspell a spell as it is being cast. The arcanist must identify the spell being cast as normal. If the check is successful, the arcanist can then use an immediate action and expend a
Damage Reduction (10/adamantine) You have Damage Reduction against all except Adamantine attacks.
Dimensional Slide (120') (Su) The arcanist can expend one point from her arcane reservoir to create a dimensional crack that she can step through to reach another location. This ability is used as part of a move action, allowing her to move up to 10 feet per arcanist level to any
Echoing metamagic rod (lesser) (3/day) The wielder can cast up to three spells per day that can be cast an additional time that day as if using the Echoing Spell feat.

Elven Immunities +2 save bonus vs Enchantments.
Elven Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Elven Magic +2 to spellcraft checks to determine the properties of a magic item.
Empower metamagic rod (3/day) Metamagic rods hold the essence of a metamagic feat, allowing the user to apply metamagic effects to spells (but not spell like abilities) as they are cast. This does not change the spell slot of the altered spell. All the rods described here are use-activated (but casting spells in a threatened area still draws an attack of opportunity). A caster may only use one metamagic rod on any given spell, but it is permissible to combine a rod with metamagic feats possessed by the rod's wielder. In this case, only the feats possessed by the wielder adjust the spell slot of the spell being cast.

Extend Spell Spell duration lasts twice as normal. +1 Level.
Hard to Kill (Ex) Automatically stabilize when dying, and only die at neg Con x 2.
Improved Counterspell Use a spell of the same school 1+ levels higher to Counterspell.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Magical Lineage (Magic Missile) A chosen spell counts as 1 level lower when metamagic feats are applied to it.
Maximize metamagic rod (lesser) (3/day) Metamagic rods hold the essence of a metamagic feat, allowing the user to apply metamagic effects to spells (but not spell like abilities) as they are cast. This does not change the spell slot of the altered spell. All the rods described here are use-activated (but casting spells in a threatened area still draws an attack of opportunity). A caster may only use one metamagic rod on any given spell, but it is permissible to combine a rod with metamagic feats possessed by the rod's wielder. In this case, only the feats possessed by the wielder adjust the spell slot of the spell being cast.

Metamixing (Su) The arcanist can expend one point from her arcane reservoir to add a metamagic feat to a spell as she casts it, using a higher-level spell slot as normal, but using the spell’s original casting time. She can use this ability to add a metamagic feat
Mythic Power (13/day, Surge +1d8) Use this power to perform your mythic abilities.
Mythic Saving Throws (Ex) A successful save negates all effects from a non-mythic source.
Piercing Spell Affected spell treats creatures with SR as having an SR of 5 lower
Quick Draw Draw weapon as a free action (or move if hidden weapon). Throw at full rate of attacks.

Recuperation (Ex) Fully heal after 8 hrs rest, use 1 power and 1 hr to heal half and restore all non-mythic abilities.
Scroll of Dimensional Lock Add this item to create a scroll with spells on it.
Scroll of Dispel Magic, Greater Add this item to create a scroll with spells on it.
Scroll of Divination Add this item to create a scroll with spells on it.
Scroll of Identify Add this item to create a scroll with spells on it.
Scroll of Invisibility, Greater Add this item to create a scroll with spells on it.
Scroll of Levitate, Haunting Mists, Protection from Arrows Add this item to create a scroll with spells on it.
Scroll of Limited Wish, Dispel Magic, Greater Add this item to create a scroll with spells on it.
Scroll of Mind Fog, Vampiric Touch Add this item to create a scroll with spells on it.
Scroll of Remove Disease, Bear's Endurance, Magic Fang Add this item to create a scroll with spells on it.
Scroll of Sending, Dimension Door Add this item to create a scroll with spells on it.
Scroll of Shocking Grasp, Resist Energy Add this item to create a scroll with spells on it.
Spell Resistance (18) You have Spell Resistance.
Spell Tinkerer (±50% duration or suppress 3 rds) (DC 19) (Su) The arcanist can alter an existing spell effect by expending one point from her arcane reservoir. She must be adjacent to the spell effect (or the effect’s target) and be aware of the effect to use this ability. She can choose to increase or decrea
Surge (1d8) (Su) Use 1 power to increase any d20 roll by the listed amount.
Wand of Dimension Door Add this item to create a wand of a chosen spell.
Wand of Magic Missile (CL 5) Add this item to create a wand of a chosen spell.
Wand of Mirror Image Add this item to create a wand of a chosen spell.
Wild Arcana (Su) Use 1 power, cast an arcane spell from your class list at +2 CL (doesn't need to be known/mem).

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Could be some inaccuracies with this as I modified it from tier 5 which he was at after Vang's defeat. It is technically also the older Arcanist as hero lab has not updated yet, but I was using the rules from the revised like not being able to suppress spells with spell tinkerer and only being able to get double your level in arcane points etc.

Arkenis shut down almost one spell of Vang's per round and put down Vang in like 4 rounds (there were 4 cultists, 2 darakni demons, and a fly head demon that I can not remember the name to, so he was also dealing with some of those.) His maximized mythic magic missile did 90 damage in one hit which is the spell that killed him (After being hit by our cleric a few times). On top of this his spells per level is insane that he really does not need to worry about his arcane pool. But this is a mythic character so they break some of the rules. But I will say that this Arcanist is close to 2x the power of my wizard that died just before this encounter.


Mystically Inclined wrote:

Yup. You're a king for one fight. The next fight you might do something useful. Assuming the DCs are failed.

Every fight after that? Well, at least you get to practice your cheerleading...

King for one combat for sure, as well as extremely useful throughout the day... Are we forgetting that the Arcanist is still a FULL CASTER with access to possibly the best spell list in the game? At low levels you are just as competent as a Sorcerer or Wizard. Arguably a Sorcerer with the Fey Bloodline is better for longer (due to the static +2 to spells like Daze and Sleep) but that option is available to you at First Level as well. Not to mention you can pump that DC by an additional 1 when you really need it...

The Wizard starts to pulls away at level 3 due to 2nd level spells being available but levels 1-2 I didn't notice much of a difference. The Wizard can have the most diversity in spells, the Sorcerer the most castings per day from a limited set but the Arcanist finds quite a nice balance in between. They can also pack a punch when needed. I'm not saying the Arcanist is either overpowered nor underpowered but just a fun new take on some old clothes; so to speak.


Prepping for a play test. The player making an arcanist, and had this feedback.

-Class is really solid. Good mix of versatility and diversity. Threads the needle between the two parent classes well on spells per day.

-Wished there were more exploits. His exact comment was 'Half of them are offensive. That's why I have spells. I can cast Burning Hands 6 times per day if I want to scorch somebody.'


Oh! I assumed you were using potent magic as your first exploit. I forgot that an Arcanist can still up spell DC by one. Never mind then.


Mystically Inclined wrote:
Oh! I assumed you were using potent magic as your first exploit. I forgot that an Arcanist can still up spell DC by one. Never mind then.

I personally did take Potent Magic but that is because my character was made before the official PDF revision and I didn't feel the need to change it. I was just pointing out that a few Bloodline Arcana abilities are very good at low levels. Expending the point to boost the DC is quite nice as well.

Scarab Sages

brad2411's post brings up a valid point.

Will there be new mythic abilities in the Advanced Class Guide, to support these new classes?
Or would such potential new mythic abilities be more appropriate to a 'Mythic Handbook 2'?

Having them be included in the ACG could be confusing, or wasted pages, to those who don't own Mythic rules, or aren't including them in their campaign.
But I can't see there being a new Mythic book, so close to the first.

Some of the new classes possess abilities that are named or worded slightly differently to their core counterparts.
Language may be needed, to clarify that any mythic ability that alters one class' feature should be considered to also affect features on their hybrid cousins. (e.g. abilities affecting domains may also apply to a Warpriest's Blessings.)


slayer_of_gellcor wrote:

Prepping for a play test. The player making an arcanist, and had this feedback.

-Class is really solid. Good mix of versatility and diversity. Threads the needle between the two parent classes well on spells per day.

-Wished there were more exploits. His exact comment was 'Half of them are offensive. That's why I have spells. I can cast Burning Hands 6 times per day if I want to scorch somebody.'

My thoughts exactly. I'm not seeing how the differing elemental attacks are part of the Arcanist theme, or interesting for that matter. I'd rather see less exploits, with the remaining ones being unique to the Arcanist. No more feats, or exploits mirroring class abilities etc. Lets see more unique exploits like Spell Thief, Spell Disruption or Consume Magic Item that ride off the Arcanist's reservoir. We have the blend of Wiz/Sorc in the base mechanics of the class, make the shiny stuff unique.

The Arcanists schtick is consuming and collecting magical energy. Lets try and come up with some exploits for the devs to consider that revolve around that.

Some words that could go hand in hand with their theme: Rebound, Overload, Drain, Burn Out, Storing, Interference.


Cubic Prism wrote:


The Arcanists schtick is consuming and collecting magical energy.

Huh, this could be vastly overpowered, but thematically this idea just popped into my head when you said that. What about:

Vampiric Reservoir: An Arcanist can take this exploit to refuel their reservoir, the Arcanist can as a full round action absorb the essence of other spellcasters on the brink of death. The Arcanist must touch the spellcaster (who must be below 0 HP), after 1 round the Arcanist draws their essence out, gaining 1 point to their reservoir and doing 5 points of damage to the caster. If the caster does not have 5 points of damage left (before reaching their Con) then the damage is still inflicted but the arcanist fails to gain a point of reservoir. The arcanist can not do this more than once to the same caster, and if the caster is healed back to over 0 HP the arcanist suffers 1d6 damage and loses 1 reservoir point. An arcane caster who uses this against a divine caster does not refuel their reservoir but does inflict the damage.

I am half asleep so I know the text is clunky, but I was trying to shore up loopholes like friendly casters taking damage between fights to give you reservoir points and then getting healed, or refueling all your reservoir from a single caster.

Further thought:

Vampiric Steal: (Require Vampiric Reservoir) - The caster can as a standard action instead of concentrating on the essence of a fallen caster try and rip a spell from the caster, by expending the spell level-1 of their reservoir (ie a level 1 spell can be ripped for free), the Arcanist can steal a spell that the caster has prepared (or knows for spont) but has not yet wasted. The arcanist can choose to rip an arcane spell and store it for up to 1 hr/caster level, or a divine spell and store it for up to 1 round/caster level and cast it as a divine caster of half their arcanist level (Ripping from a divine caster costs the spell level exactly in points). This act rips the subjects essence meaning that the Arcanist can not use both Vampiric Steal and Reservoir on the same caster and can not use Steal twice on the same caster, If a caster is healed back to above 0HP the Arcanist still suffers 1d6 damage, but does not lose 1 point of reservoir.

Scarab Sages

A method to recharge allies' power reservoirs, at least the arcane ones such as ki pool, would be nice.

This may need some variable costing, since the utility of class powers can vary. I don't think Smite should be rechargeable, from a balance perspective, nor a theological one.

But refilling the ki pools of the ninja/monk/whoever, via the Arcanist's own reserve, doesn't seem overpowered to me. And makes her more of a team player, that they'd be glad to have around.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Hey there Folks,

As the playtest wraps up, I just want to say thanks to the folks in this thread for all of your ideas and feedback on the Arcanist. I am still combing through comments (and will be for days), and I am excited to showcase the final version when this book is released in August.

Thanks again

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there Folks,

As the playtest wraps up, I just want to say thanks to the folks in this thread for all of your ideas and feedback on the Arcanist. I am still combing through comments (and will be for days), and I am excited to showcase the final version when this book is released in August.

Thanks again

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Can’t you design a time machine, go back in time and write the book and release it on the 23 of December so I can get it as a Christmas present? :)


The text of Lingering Acid is contradictory: "The damage continues until the amount of acid damage dealt on the previous round by this effect is less than 1d4" should probably be "The damage continues until the amount of acid damage dealt on the previous round by this effect is 1d4 or less".


Love this class. I'm trying one out right now. However, I have a few issues currently with the Arcanist:

First, this is a spreadsheet I'm using to run comparisons is here. You can make a copy and mess with values if you want.

1. The Arcanist Reservoir Point (ARP) Progression runs dry too quickly at low levels.
At Level 1, Arcanists have 1 point to use per day. Compare this with Wizards or Sorcerers—across the board, they have abilities that are 3 + the Int/Cha modifier uses per day.

My primary proposal is to make ARPs refill each day according to this pattern.

An Arcanist would begin with 3 ARPs, then get an additional ARP at Level 3 and at every third level afterward (6, 9, 12, ...).

Compared with the current system, this would give low-level Arcanists more ARP, but the progression is slightly slower so that it evens out at Level 12, then falls slightly behind. At higher levels, between cannibalizing Level 1 spells, using exploits to gain ARP, and so on, there should be enough ARPs to go around.

2. ARP Storage needs fixing.
At Level 1, an Arcanist can store 2 APR a day. By Level 20, she can store 40, but will only get 11 per day. That's a massive jump.

I propose that an Arcanist can store the same number of ARP she gets each day, plus 3 (or 5 maybe), plus her Charisma modifier if greater than zero.

In addition to this, modify the Arcanist Exploits that steal ARP so that they also expand ARP storage by 2 each. This will allow some extra leeway.

The raw progression with no Charisma bonus would look like this.

3. Counterspell Can't be Used When Needed
Counterspelling is really needed when facing an enemy spellcaster. Often times, this spellcaster will be higher level than the Arcanist. Add to this the slower spell progression of the Arcanist and it means that the Arcanist will usually not be using counterspell.

Rather, allow Counterspell to work on any spell, but with an Exploit Penalty of DC+3 for spells of equal CL, with an additional +3 for each level higher. Also, I feel the Arcanist should add her Charisma modifier to the dispel roll.

For example, a Level 1 Arcanist tries to counterspell a CL 4 spell, such as Glitterdust cast by a L4 Wizard. The dispel check DC would be 11 + the spell's CL + the Counterspell Exploit Penalty = 11 + 4 + 3*3 = 24.

The Arcanist would roll a 1d20 + CL + Charisma modifier. That's 1d20 + 1 + 4 at 18 Charisma (which might be accurate for an Arcanist built for counterspelling).

Here's a chart outlining the rates of success based on the difference in CL and Charisma Modifiers.

This has has the following effects:
a. Arcanists who aren't built specifically for counterspelling can still take the exploit and be somewhat successful with it. They'll have a 35–50% chance of countering equal-level wizards casting weaker spells—mook casters—and a 15–30% chance of countering mooks' most powerful spells.

b. Arcanists built for counterspelling can deal similarly with wizards that are one level higher: 35–50% chance of countering weaker spells and a 15–30% chance of countering the most powerful spells.

c. Arcanists who have invested a lot into counterspelling will be able to deal with wizards that are two levels higher: 35–50% chance of countering weaker spells and a 15–30% chance of countering the most powerful spells.[/list]

If those odds are too good for the Arcanist, change the Exploit Penalty to DC+4 for spells of equal CL, with an additional +4 for each level higher.

4. Not All ARPs are created equal.
ARPs can fuel either powerful exploits or comparatively lack-luster exploits (I'm looking at you, blaster exploits). This means the value of an ARP is extremely variable.

One solution: Weaker abilities (e.g. the blaster exploits) function at 3 + Cha modifier uses per day. This allows them to be used frequently for dealing damage (similar to Wizard/Sorcerer School/Bloodline powers).

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Oops, all threads in the ACG playtest folder were supposed to be locked when the playtest closed. Fixed!

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