What makes the Arcanist unbalanced?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


If anything...

I've read in a few different threads that the arcanist is unbalanced / overpowered and when i read over it, I can only see small bits that could be considered as such.

Is it the fact they can cast as a sorcerer and change their list as a wizard?

Is it one of their exploits? If so, which one and how is it unbalanced?

The one I saw that I thought could be slightly unbalanced was the counterspell and dispel styled exploits, but they seemed to need to do things on par with what the feats require. I've seen spell tinker could be unbalanced in some threads, but I don't see how.

In any event, I'm just curious, both as a player and a DM. I want to know what I'd be getting myself into either way.

Note: I am aware that the book isn't out just yet, but it seems most believe that the arcanist isn't going to change much, so I figured I'd ask anyways.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Its their casting first and foremost. They essentially have the flexibility benefits of both the wizard and sorceror. Though they dont have as many spells as a sorceror, their peak power is higher then the sorceror, and at least at even levels, they are more powerful then wizards.

Being able to prep as wizard but cast a sorceror is very very poweful, you basically get to choose the sorcerors spells known day by day. That alone is suffiicent to keep the class out of my table. I have some experience with that kind of casting and it is an issue in my opinion.

Liberty's Edge

What Kolokotroni said. Far more flexibility than a sorcerer, about the right balance of spells per day and spells known, more spell casting potential than the Wizard, albeit at a slower (by one level) progression.

Also, something I spotted over lunch.

ACG Archetype:
They get an archetype that gives 'em the summoner's Summon Monster SLA, including scaling, standard-action summons, and minute-per-level duration.


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The arcanist is not going to be a class whose balance can be determined through theory crafting alone. The specifics of it absolutely need long periods of playtesting, because the real strengths of the class come about over long periods of time, just like the wizard. Or any prepared caster really.

No one really knows if it's overpowered or not yet. More data is needed to get a good answer.

Liberty's Edge

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Cheapy wrote:
No one really knows if it's overpowered or not yet. More data is needed to get a good answer.

Agreed, but I don't think there's a lot of doubt that it will wind up in close proximity to the Wizard/Sorcerer, especially since it was significantly buffed from the playtest version.

I really like the class, love the flavor, and have enjoyed playing my PFS arcanist thus far, but in my experiences thus far it's solidly in the Wizard power range, and with the aforementioned archetype, even has a lot to do at low levels.


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Simply being a full arcane caster already makes Arcanists far more powerful than most other classes. Having access to their whole spell list and being able to cast as a Sorcerer pushes them even further up (and makes Sorcerer pretty much completely obsolete, save for a few very specific builds, such as a Kitsune enchanter).

Now... To make it even more broken, Arcanists also get lots of extremely powerful class features, such as being able to boost the CL and save DC of their spells by 2, teleport as a move action, change their prepared spells on the fly, counter-spell effectively, increase or decrease the duration of spells already in effect, ignore spell effects for a few rounds (this alone is very, very powerful!), etc.

Oh, and they are also the masters of metamagic.

Despite claims to the contrary, it's pretty obvious that Arcanists will hit tier 1 and, at very least, give Wizards a run for their money.

Save for some really intense and unexpected nerf, Arcanists are overpowered. Claiming otherwise is either dishonest or naive. Possibly both.


They can get arguably the strongest part of having a bloodline(the bloodline Arcana) through an exploit and an Arcane School power. Dimensional Slide is an incredible exploit. Counterspell is an incredible exploit. Spontaneous or Prepared Metamagic is incredible.


Personally; it doesn't look much worse than a wizard. I like it's power through simplicity but I don't see it being more broken than what already exists, at least from what I read. I haven't gotten to the archetypes or fully dissected the exploits.


The problem is that "what already exists" includes some very powerful (not to say broken) stuff.


There's also the fact that they get a multi-use Arcane Bond as an Exploit.


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Speaking from the perspective of someone with a huge preference for sorcerers over wizards, I don't really see it being a huge deal.

On a general, day to day level, unless you have a campaign/GM which seriously enables the whole scry-and-fry approach, a spell book really isn't that great of an edge. I only have whatever spells I prep for the day, which in practice is going to boil down to a specific default list. Theoretically, I have access to all the others, but (short of arcane bond, which arcanists don't get) I'd have to leave and take a nap to get access to them. If it's not time-sensitive, I can really just go home and buy a scroll from somewhere. So me, I play sorcerers, and just work out spell lists that cover all my bases. Easy enough to do with some practice.

Playing a spontaneous caster is great, because if I can find room for some specialized spell that only matters now and then into my list, it doesn't deprive me of casting something the days it doesn't come up, and the days it does come up, hey, I'm potentially packing six castings. Great... but less so if you're an arcanist. They just plain don't get as many spells per day, so, that hurts. You might run out, or at least be stingier with what you have.

Plus when you're out, you don't quite have the same freedom to use exploits as sorcerers do with their bloodline powers. Very limited pool powering everything, and while sure, you can fill it higher by sucking down scrolls like pixie sticks, the sorc could just cast whatever spells are on those, and not have to commit so hard to doing so first thing in the morning.

The real things they have going for them are using extracts as a sort of build your own bloodline toolkit (which has a lot of potential) and a bit of a training wheels take on a sorcerer, where you can edit your limited spell selection on the fly when you realize there's bases that you haven't covered.

Sorcerers, if they're happy with what they do have, get more milage out of it, and some bloodline abilities really do nice things for you on a permanent basis. One gives you a druid pet, just flat out.

Wizards meanwhile have the wildcard spell from their arcane bond, always on the table, and at every other level, they have a whole extra level of spells to consider. Not bad.

And then there's Witches, who tend to get left out of this conversation, with their weird alternate spell list, and the interesting once per person per day limit on their hexes, they're still doing fine.

This of course is all assuming nothing on the final exploit list is crazy crazy great, particularly the elemental blasts which are getting a second look. If you can really lean on those all day long, getting short-changed on spell slots isn't much of a limiting factor.

Rynjin wrote:
There's also the fact that they get a multi-use Arcane Bond as an Exploit.

Wait, really? Was that mentioned in the recent preview?


Specialized downtime spells are *conditionally* some of the strongest powers in the game. Having access to stuff to handle very specific situations, like a battery of divinations, or shrink item, or animate dead, or crafter's fortunes, etc. is very very powerful, even if they aren't things you would use every day, or pick if you had limited options.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Think how many times a Wizard player has stated something to the effect of "Wish I had prepared ____ spell instead." The Arcanist never has to say that.

It will also really depend a lot on how many encounters people expect to get through in a day before retiring. If the Arcanist would run out of spells before that point, then there is something balancing it. If they normally wouldn't, then the only thing holding them back is wanting two characteristics in order to use their spells.

Until more people have had a chance to run the final version of Arcanist, I don't think we will have a good feel for how well they do.

I do think that it makes a better introduction to arcane casting than either the Sorcerer or Wizard. Most of that is because errors made in spell selection can be readily fixed.


I am...not very worried. Sorcerer and Wizard are some of the most powerful classes in the game, and the Arcanist is up there with them. But my experience is that many (most?) parties will have only one 9 spell level caster (and maybe a druid), so I don't see much of a potential difference in party dynamics if the Arcanist is used versus other casters.

Wizard, Sorcerer, and Arcanist all can be attractive to people for different reasons. Outside of the initial novelty of new classes, I don't see the the older spell casters disappearing from play.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The arcanist makes wizard and sorcerer obsolete due to the flexibility. It's not so much the power level, it's the idea that you can have the best of both worlds.

You have the spontaneous strength of the sorcerer, able to recast the same single highly usable spell over and over again, mixed with the ability to retool your whole spellcasting check list each day like the wizard.

Wizards and sorcerers were apples and oranges, both awesome and both having different strengths and weaknesses. The arcanist cherry picked the best advantages and has no disadvantage that either wizard or sorcerer has.

Personally, I would allow the arcanist for players that are earful of the magic system, yet brave enough to try. New players can be intimidated by the vast array of spells they know little about, and may become frustrated by the limitations of wizards and sorcerers. The arcanist is a perfect training wheel class for such players. A class that focuses their education on a few spells at a time, yet doesn't constrain them forever to a bad spell selection choice.

For experienced players, or players with a good level of system mastery, arcanist is off-limits in my home games.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:

The arcanist is not going to be a class whose balance can be determined through theory crafting alone. The specifics of it absolutely need long periods of playtesting, because the real strengths of the class come about over long periods of time, just like the wizard. Or any prepared caster really.

No one really knows if it's overpowered or not yet. More data is needed to get a good answer.

While it was slightly greater in flexibility, the truth is, I have seen this in playtest. With wizards who used the spell point variant from unearthed arcana in 3.5. I have used those in a couple campaigns, as I like the idea of spell points even if the implentation presented was in my opinion problematic. The effect is similar to the arcanists spontaneous prepared spells. Those 'just the right moment' spells become extremely prevalent and low risk to prepare because you only need to prep a single 'generally useful' spell per spell level to not lose out on spell slots.

This kind of setup actually makes the theocrafting far more justified. Because the arcanist has the same wide selection of spells the wizard does, but has no loss of resources for preping a spell that he ends up not using.

So for instance, if an arcanist has 4 2nd level spells for the day, and he preps see invisibility, if he doesnt end up dealing with invisible stuff, no big deal, he has 3 other spells of 2nd level to choose from. A wizard on the other hand, effectively has one less spell that day if he preps it and doesnt end up needing it.

That is a tremendous boost for a 9 level arcane caster.

Dark Archive

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Arcanist Thoughts:
I've been running Kingmaker, one of the notorious "15-minute adventuring day" APs, with a 2-man party consisting of an Arcanist and a Shaman. The Arcanist has plenty of experience and is familiar with full-casters, so he absolutely has the tools necessary to build the character everyone seems to be worried about. Even so, he hasn't done anything I would call "OP" by most wizard's standards. The only problem so far has been dealing with Charm Person with the +2 DC boost from his arcane pool, and that's more of an issue with the spell itself than the class.

In addition, the versatility of the class is limited by his spell book. I bet at least one person will chime in with "But Lunias, he can just buy spells at a city!" Well, yeah, he probably could. But what about the other things he needs, like stat-boosting items and consumables? If he spent his money getting more spells and boosting his versatility he would have very little cash to spend on important defenses like his Cloak of Resistance. Sure, this isn't as big an issue at higher levels, but at those levels your fellow wizard will just take a time-out and head to their personal demiplane to rest up and re-prepare spells, so it's not really much of a difference.

Long story short, my campaign's Arcanist has been no more powerful than the average Wizard or Sorcerer in practice. That's still pretty strong, but definitely workable.


Ya, not going to lie, the reason I really want to play an Arcanist is not just the incredible casting. It's the exploits. Some of those are just way to good to pass up.

Dark Archive

Anzyr wrote:
Ya, not going to lie, the reason I really want to play an Arcanist is not just the incredible casting. It's the exploits. Some of those are just way to good to pass up.

Oh yeah, they are really nice, and I heard that the blasts got boosted too - perhaps add an option to throw out multiple per round (with GM approval) and you'd have an instant Warlock? Wait, I can't just post my ideas online, people will take them! Better get started on that patent...


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LuniasM wrote:
Oh yeah, they are really nice, and I heard that the blasts got boosted too - perhaps add an option to throw out multiple per round (with GM approval) and you'd have an instant Warlock? Wait, I can't just post my ideas online, people will take them! Better get started on that patent...

Alright boys, seems we got one O them patent trolls to hunt down 'n kill. Everybody got a couple O jugs filled wit alchemist fire, right?


Spell Points is something that I really like the variant of, and the arcanist is just a poor man's version of that.

Often, Spell Points (being a derivative of Power Points) are considered to be more balanced than traditional Vanican casting.

Ironic, isn't it?

In practice the arcanist is not more powerful than a wizard. Quick Study does not break the class as much as people hype it to, since it's so time consuming and dangerous to use it will never see use in combat which effectively makes it the same thing as a wizard leaving a spell slot open to prepare later.

That is the results of my limited experience with the class.

Also look up, because the f**king sky is falling.

Dark Archive

BretI wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
Oh yeah, they are really nice, and I heard that the blasts got boosted too - perhaps add an option to throw out multiple per round (with GM approval) and you'd have an instant Warlock? Wait, I can't just post my ideas online, people will take them! Better get started on that patent...
Alright boys, seems we got one O them patent trolls to hunt down 'n kill. Everybody got a couple O jugs filled wit alchemist fire, right?

Hah! Unfortunately for you, this patent troll took a level in Hunter to use Resist Energy! I cover my bases!


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Anzyr wrote:
Ya, not going to lie, the reason I really want to play an Arcanist is not just the incredible casting. It's the exploits. Some of those are just way to good to pass up.

Some of them are truly powerful. No other full casters has class features that powerful, except, maybe, Druids. But their spell list is not nearly as good as the Arcanist's.


To me the counterspell exploit is basically giving a bonus feat if one chooses it with the caveat that you must use an arcane point to use it. So that sort of matches up with other classes that get bonus feats, such as wizard as well.

The dimension hopping one however, I will say that is quite powerful. Unlike the dimension slide (hop...whatever) that the conjurer wizard gets, they can still cast spells after they "jump".

I didn't notice anything about an arcane bond one, but maybe I overlooked it.

The bloodline and school ones are pretty good I will say. Diviner and any of the enchanting sorcerer comes to mind.

I do like the one that increases the DC by plus 2 but can see how that'd be a bit too powerful.


Cheapy wrote:

The arcanist is not going to be a class whose balance can be determined through theory crafting alone. The specifics of it absolutely need long periods of playtesting, because the real strengths of the class come about over long periods of time, just like the wizard. Or any prepared caster really.

No one really knows if it's overpowered or not yet. More data is needed to get a good answer.

It's a wizard who can change out its prepared spells on the fly and access sorcerer bloodlines. That sounds pretty crazy on its face.

Really though you don't even need to worry about its exploits though: It's a 9th level prepared caster with full access to the wizard's spell list.

That's already top tier regardless of what class features it actually has.


LuniasM wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Long story short, my campaign's Arcanist has been no more powerful than the average Wizard or Sorcerer in practice. That's still pretty strong, but definitely workable.

After buying a blessed book (for free scribing costs), the cost to get scrolls to add spells is relatively cheap.

Scarab Sages

Kolokotroni wrote:

Its their casting first and foremost. They essentially have the flexibility benefits of both the wizard and sorceror. Though they dont have as many spells as a sorceror, their peak power is higher then the sorceror, and at least at even levels, they are more powerful then wizards.

Being able to prep as wizard but cast a sorceror is very very poweful, you basically get to choose the sorcerors spells known day by day. That alone is suffiicent to keep the class out of my table. I have some experience with that kind of casting and it is an issue in my opinion.

A Ring of Spell Knowledge and a few Pages of Spell Knowledge already do this.


swoosh wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

The arcanist is not going to be a class whose balance can be determined through theory crafting alone. The specifics of it absolutely need long periods of playtesting, because the real strengths of the class come about over long periods of time, just like the wizard. Or any prepared caster really.

No one really knows if it's overpowered or not yet. More data is needed to get a good answer.

It's a wizard who can change out its prepared spells on the fly and access sorcerer bloodlines. That sounds pretty crazy on its face.

Really though you don't even need to worry about its exploits though: It's a 9th level prepared caster with full access to the wizard's spell list.

That's already top tier regardless of what class features it actually has.

I'm not too worried about the arcane school / bloodline access. It's level 1 powers only and you have to use reservoir points to make it use your actual arcanist level. Plus, it goes in effectiveness and uses off of your secondary stat, Charisma, unlike a wizard or sorcerer.


Artanthos wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:

Its their casting first and foremost. They essentially have the flexibility benefits of both the wizard and sorceror. Though they dont have as many spells as a sorceror, their peak power is higher then the sorceror, and at least at even levels, they are more powerful then wizards.

Being able to prep as wizard but cast a sorceror is very very poweful, you basically get to choose the sorcerors spells known day by day. That alone is suffiicent to keep the class out of my table. I have some experience with that kind of casting and it is an issue in my opinion.

A Ring of Spell Knowledge and a few Pages of Spell Knowledge already do this.

At the cost of a item slot and lots of gold. Page of Spell of Knowledge of spells of 4th level or higher are insanely expensive.


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I played in a game for a whole semester with an arcanist in the party, and honestly, I really don't see what the big fuss is about. The player of the arcanist even uses numerous amounts pointers from optimization boards. While the arcanist was certainly strong, I haven't experienced anything that a wizard wouldn't also be able to do. I will certainly say that they are stronger than a sorcerer, but I don't see what the arcanist can do that the wizard wasn't already doing for a long time.


The arcanist looks to be slightly more powerful than the sorcerer with the previous version of paragon surge. I don't really know how it would play next to a school-specialized wizard (there's still just way more content/combos for them to work with). Nonethless the Arcanist looks to be incredibly powerful on it's casting alone.

Your opinion on whether or not the class is overpowered probably depends on whether or not you think the wizard is overpowered, or if something in the range of the wizard is overpowered. I think wizards/tier 1 classes are overpowered, so the arcanist is overpowered IMO. That said, it's also just a drop in the bucket when it comes to class balance, so it doesn't really bother me.


Were they playing with the "Spend an arcane point to swap out one of their spells prepared for another one" Exploit that was teased a while back and will be in the upcoming final version?

Scarab Sages

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Lemmy wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:

Its their casting first and foremost. They essentially have the flexibility benefits of both the wizard and sorceror. Though they dont have as many spells as a sorceror, their peak power is higher then the sorceror, and at least at even levels, they are more powerful then wizards.

Being able to prep as wizard but cast a sorceror is very very poweful, you basically get to choose the sorcerors spells known day by day. That alone is suffiicent to keep the class out of my table. I have some experience with that kind of casting and it is an issue in my opinion.

A Ring of Spell Knowledge and a few Pages of Spell Knowledge already do this.
At the cost of a item slot and lots of gold. Page of Spell of Knowledge of spells of 4th level or higher are insanely expensive.

The second ring slot is not typically filled until higher level.

Higher level Pages of Spell Knowledge are expensive, which is why I stated a few. Just a handful of "must have" higher level spells that are too situational to put in a regular slot.

Most of your utility spells come in at 4th level or lower and are handled by the ring.


Artanthos wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:

Its their casting first and foremost. They essentially have the flexibility benefits of both the wizard and sorceror. Though they dont have as many spells as a sorceror, their peak power is higher then the sorceror, and at least at even levels, they are more powerful then wizards.

Being able to prep as wizard but cast a sorceror is very very poweful, you basically get to choose the sorcerors spells known day by day. That alone is suffiicent to keep the class out of my table. I have some experience with that kind of casting and it is an issue in my opinion.

A Ring of Spell Knowledge and a few Pages of Spell Knowledge already do this.
At the cost of a item slot and lots of gold. Page of Spell of Knowledge of spells of 4th level or higher are insanely expensive.

The second ring slot is not typically filled until higher level.

Higher level Pages of Spell Knowledge are expensive, which is why I stated a few. Just a handful of "must have" higher level spells that are too situational to put in a regular slot.

Most of your utility spells come in at 4th level or lower and are handled by the ring.

Your logical discourse will not stop the sky from falling!!!!

The Arcanist is the end of us all!!!!!!

we are all DOOMED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Artanthos wrote:

The second ring slot is not typically filled until higher level.

Higher level Pages of Spell Knowledge are expensive, which is why I stated a few. Just a handful of "must have" higher level spells that are too situational to put in a regular slot.

Most of your utility spells come in at 4th level or lower and are handled by the ring.

I really doubt those pages are enough to cover the utility gap between Arcanists and Sorcerers. They are way too expensive. The ring itself isn't exactly cheap either.

And most bloodline abilities are not nearly as powerful as arcane exploits (and Arcanists don't really need Cha either).

Chicken Little wrote:

Your logical discourse will not stop the sky from falling!!!!

The Arcanist is the end of us all!!!!!!

we are all DOOMED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You do realize that saying a class is overpowered is not even close to being the same as claiming the sky is falling, right?

CoDzilla was absurdly powerful and 3.5, and I never claimed the game was doomed because of divine metamagic.

Similarly, I'm sure Arcanists are at very least on par with other tier 1 classes, but I'm not saying the game is doomed because of it.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I am of the opinion that the arcanist is stronger than the sorcerer, in general. However, I am also of the opinion that the fault is not with the arcanist.

Mostly, the existence of this class just gave me the impetus to do something I've been meaning to for a while - switch sorcerers and oracles to wizard/cleric spell level progression (i.e. every odd level).

This fairly nicely balanced the arcanist, in my opinion - they combine some of the best aspects of wizard and sorc, but get their spells slower than either.


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It's a really neat class, but not meaningfully any stronger than a splatbook friendly sorcerer or wizard in play. Every single unique trick held up as broken can be duplicated other ways.

Teleporting around and acting in the same round? Dimensional agility.

Ability to cast any spell in their spellbook that they need out of combat given a bit of time? Wizards run arcane bond rings or quick study and open slots, while sorcerers have the option of mnemonic vestments and spellbooks of their own, in addition to paragon surge. To say nothing of the option to have scrolls to cover gaps.

They get fewer spells per day than wizard and sorcerers. They get fewer spells known at a time than a human wizard, don't get the advantage of things like the human FCB to add spells prepared (and thus can be way behind a sorcerer in spells available at any given time). They run off two key ability scores for many of their powers.

I like the arcanist a lot, but the only people screaming broken are the ones that think the game was broken by arcane casters long before the arcanist.

The only option I think may be a bit over the top is the Occultist, but I'd have to see it in play to really know, and the idea of someone always having something to contribute to a fight isn't a terrible one (especially since one who leans a lot on summons will burn through his arcane reserve quickly).


The arcanist will be tier 1, it will be on par with the wizard.

This post, remember it well as I am here now predicting that we will see another thread that may take the spot away from the weekly paladin alignment thread and in its place we will have the weekly "arcanists vs wizards" thread.

We are already almost there.


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Kolokotroni wrote:

Its their casting first and foremost. They essentially have the flexibility benefits of both the wizard and sorceror. Though they dont have as many spells as a sorceror, their peak power is higher then the sorceror, and at least at even levels, they are more powerful then wizards.

Being able to prep as wizard but cast a sorceror is very very poweful, you basically get to choose the sorcerors spells known day by day. That alone is suffiicent to keep the class out of my table. I have some experience with that kind of casting and it is an issue in my opinion.

their casting method isn't really different from the 3.5 shaman class in complete divine. it merely uses the wizard list.


Eh the Arcanist makes the sorcerer rewrite in PF Unchained make sense.


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Peter Stewart wrote:

It's a really neat class, but not meaningfully any stronger than a splatbook friendly sorcerer or wizard in play. Every single unique trick held up as broken can be duplicated other ways.

Teleporting around and acting in the same round? Dimensional agility.

Ability to cast any spell in their spellbook that they need out of combat given a bit of time? Wizards run arcane bond rings or quick study and open slots, while sorcerers have the option of mnemonic vestments and spellbooks of their own, in addition to paragon surge. To say nothing of the option to have scrolls to cover gaps..

I think it's somewhat dishonest to only analyze the portion that makes your argument sound good. Every trick you listed is inferior to how an Arcanist does it. Even a simple skim will reveal that much.

Dimensional Agility is a standard action that consumes a 4th level spell slot or a 8th level spell slot as a swift action. Or requires you to be a specific kind of Wizard while all Arcanists can spend an exploit to gain an ability with far better action economy.

Wizards using quick study and open slots requires a minute of preparation(Thus burning 10x more buff time) and undoubtedly less versatile during this time due to having one less spell slot to call upon. An Arcane Bond can be gained through feats so it's nothing to write home about. Scrolls are a wash due to access by both parties.

FCB aren't up for debate as we do not know what the Arcanist FCB will be.

The key ability scores mentioned only really applied to the damage exploits which were lackluster and unlikely to be picked anyways. A dumped charisma arcanist in the playtest was a fair norm.

So basically what you've proven is that yes, some of the Arcanist abilities can be duplicated, but less effectively than what the Arcanist puts out.

The reason why people are irritated is that full casters were already head and shoulders above all other classes. There was no new design space being explored with the Arcanist. It's turning out to be just another full caster that dominates play. Only it does so even more efficiently.


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Scavion wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:

It's a really neat class, but not meaningfully any stronger than a splatbook friendly sorcerer or wizard in play. Every single unique trick held up as broken can be duplicated other ways.

Teleporting around and acting in the same round? Dimensional agility.

Ability to cast any spell in their spellbook that they need out of combat given a bit of time? Wizards run arcane bond rings or quick study and open slots, while sorcerers have the option of mnemonic vestments and spellbooks of their own, in addition to paragon surge. To say nothing of the option to have scrolls to cover gaps..

I think it's somewhat dishonest to only analyze the portion that makes your argument sound good. Every trick you listed is inferior to how an Arcanist does it. Even a simple skim will reveal that much.

Dimensional Agility is a standard action that consumes a 4th level spell slot or a 8th level spell slot as a swift action. Or requires you to be a specific kind of Wizard while all Arcanists can spend an exploit to gain an ability with far better action economy.

Wizards using quick study and open slots requires a minute of preparation(Thus burning 10x more buff time) and undoubtedly less versatile during this time due to having one less spell slot to call upon. An Arcane Bond can be gained through feats so it's nothing to write home about. Scrolls are a wash due to access by both parties.

FCB aren't up for debate as we do not know what the Arcanist FCB will be.

The key ability scores mentioned only really applied to the damage exploits which were lackluster and unlikely to be picked anyways. A dumped charisma arcanist in the playtest was a fair norm.

So basically what you've proven is that yes, some of the Arcanist abilities can be duplicated, but less effectively than what the Arcanist puts out.

The reason why people are irritated is that full casters were already head and shoulders above all other classes. There was no new design space being explored with the...

Teleportation (Conjuration) wizards can teleport as a swift action.

Neither Quick Study nor Fast Study are usable in combat, so that's a wash. A wizard must waste a resource in leaving a spell slot open and an arcanist must waste reservoir.

The only thing that gives the arcanist an edge is its spellcasting, which in most cases doesn't make the class better than a wizard since most wizards I know and play can cast their favorite spells spontaneously anyway while they prepare their utility spells in their slots.

The class is just as balanced as the wizard, only with less spells in a day. Surely more versatile at earlier levels, but then again wizards and other full arcane casters are borderline useless at earlier levels unless they cast color spray, and quick study doesn't even matter then.

For real, this trend needs to stop.


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Peter Stewart wrote:

It's a really neat class, but not meaningfully any stronger than a splatbook friendly sorcerer or wizard in play. Every single unique trick held up as broken can be duplicated other ways.

Teleporting around and acting in the same round? Dimensional agility.

Ability to cast any spell in their spellbook that they need out of combat given a bit of time? Wizards run arcane bond rings or quick study and open slots, while sorcerers have the option of mnemonic vestments and spellbooks of their own, in addition to paragon surge. To say nothing of the option to have scrolls to cover gaps.

So, what you're saying is, it's balanced to you that they have Exploits that are better versions of abilities that require Feat investment, minimum level requirements (Dimensional Agility requires you to be a minimum of 7th level to cast Dimension Door), or purchases of magic items and abilities that only work ONCE PER DAY? And do it 10 times as fast as at least one of those options?

Peter Stewart wrote:
They get fewer spells per day than wizard and sorcerers. They get fewer spells known at a time than a human wizard, don't get the advantage of things like the human FCB to add spells prepared (and thus can be way behind a sorcerer in spells available at any given time).

I'm fairly certain this option will be in the final book. No FCBs were in the playtest, that doesn't mean they won't get some.

Peter Stewart wrote:
They run off two key ability scores for many of their powers.

Whoop-de-doodle-doo. They require TWO ability scores? Like most of the other classes in the game?

Color me unimpressed with that as a balancing factor.

Liberty's Edge

Rynjin wrote:
I'm fairly certain this option will be in the final book. No FCBs were in the playtest, that doesn't mean they won't get some.

Per the ACG product thread (and from people who have the book already) they do not get this. They get racial Favored Class bonuses, but those that add spells add them to the Arcanist's spellbook (like the Human Favored Class bonus for Wizards), not their 'spells known'.

So...this is not a thing. There's a Feat that's the equivalent of Expanded Arcana...but at 1 or 2 extra spells known per Feat invested, that's a bit pricey.


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Scavion wrote:
I think it's somewhat dishonest to only analyze the portion that makes your argument sound good. Every trick you listed is inferior to how an Arcanist does it. Even a simple skim will reveal that much.

Let’s see explore this idea.

Scavion wrote:
Dimensional Agility is a standard action that consumes a 4th level spell slot or a 8th level spell slot as a swift action. Or requires you to be a specific kind of Wizard while all Arcanists can spend an exploit to gain an ability with far better action economy.

Let’s focus on the second option here, where for a feat you can jump as a swift action instead of a move action and don’t have to burn points out of your highly expensive arcane pool. Honestly, I’d rate the two as about even, but I should also point out that dimension door and pals also allow you to take along someone else, while Dimensional Agility is arcanist only. Combined with Dimensional Agility you could drop people on the front lines then jaunt away. I’d rate the two options as about even.

Scavion wrote:
Wizards using quick study and open slots requires a minute of preparation(Thus burning 10x more buff time) and undoubtedly less versatile during this time due to having one less spell slot to call upon.

No one is using Rapid Prep to throw out buff spells and change back and forth. I suspect the vast majority of uses will be to swap to a nitche spell you need for a specific out of combat need. In that respect, arguing that it is meaningfully different than Quick Study (or even regular spell prep) is kind of disingenuous. A full round action in combat with your spellbook out is a huge investment.

But let’s say that you really do want to use Rapid Prep in combat to throw out a spell you don’t have prepared. I answer with…

Scavion wrote:
An Arcane Bond can be gained through feats so it's nothing to write home about.

Nothing to write home about, but still allows duplication of the Rapid Prep, and when combined with Quick Study lets you throw out a needed spell once per day in combat or prep some needed buffs or utility spells on the fly. Alternatively, you know, if you’re a transmutation wizad you could pick up some annihilation spec’s and be able to spontaneously swap out among the largest and most varied arcane school on the fly.

All of which brings me back to this argument that the arcanist has so much more flexibility in spells prepped is garbage.

Scavion wrote:
Scrolls are a wash due to access by both parties.

No, they’re not a wash due to access by both parties. If they overlap with the abilities of one class (say arcanist) and complement the abilities of another (say, sorcerer or wizard) then they fall in favor of the second. They speak directly to the argument about having the correct spell on hand / being able to swap spells back and forth, which is one of the primary “amazing new strengths” of the arcanist, and they undermine that argument by giving similar flexibility to others.

Scavion wrote:
FCB aren't up for debate as we do not know what the Arcanist FCB will be.

Some of us do. None of them are extra spells prepared. We’ve got extra exploits (like extra rogue talents), slightly powered up specific exploits, extra points to maximum arcane pool, extra spells to spellbook, and the like, but nothing on par with the human FCB for sorcerers or the other similarly amazing sorcerer FCBs.

Scavion wrote:
The key ability scores mentioned only really applied to the damage exploits which were lackluster and unlikely to be picked anyways. A dumped charisma arcanist in the playtest was a fair norm.

While you can certainly get by without charisma as an arcanist, most of the exploits with any duration are based on charisma – lasting minutes or rounds equal to charisma modifier. If you want one of the low level blasts (you likely do, on account of having so few spells at low levels) you are probably buying a blast as well, which is meaningful. Played 1-20 I have trouble seeing an arcanist that completely dumps charisma.

Scavion wrote:
So basically what you've proven is that yes, some of the Arcanist abilities can be duplicated, but less effectively than what the Arcanist puts out.

No, what I’ve shown is that every new huge option available to the arcanist already existed, and I observed that the downsides to the arcanist (delayed spell access, fewer spells per day, fewer spells prepared (than a wizard or sorcerer) are meaningful. They’re even more so if you are paying out the nose with arcane reservoir power constant exploit use.

At the highest levels (say 14+) that likely becomes a lesser issue, as they being to field enough spells and points per day that they can afford to spray then around, but by that point other classes have their own toys online.

Scavion wrote:
The reason why people are irritated is that full casters were already head and shoulders above all other classes. There was no new design space being explored with the Arcanist. It's turning out to be just another full caster that dominates play. Only it does so even more efficiently.

Yes, I understand that a small but very vocal minority hated full casters already. Sorry to hear that, but arguing that the arcanist is meaningfully stronger than existing options isn’t really true. I think the objection for many here is to full casters, not the arcanist.

"Rynjin” wrote:
So, what you're saying is, it's balanced to you that they have Exploits that are better versions of abilities that require Feat investment, minimum level requirements (Dimensional Agility requires you to be a minimum of 7th level to cast Dimension Door), or purchases of magic items and abilities that only work ONCE PER DAY? And do it 10 times as fast as at least one of those options?

Already addressed above, not going to repeat myself over and over. How often do you legitimately have a wizard or sorcerer that has to have another spell they don’t have prepared in a given day? How often does a specific spell have that much impact? I’m guessing not more than 1-2 a day.

"Rynjin” wrote:
I'm fairly certain this option will be in the final book. No FCBs were in the playtest, that doesn't mean they won't get some.

Well, I can be pretty sure you’re wrong as I browse through pages 69-71 that detail FCB’s for the new classes and don’t see them there, but who knows, maybe they’ll be in your copy?

"Rynjin” wrote:

Whoop-de-doodle-doo. They require TWO ability scores? Like most of the other classes in the game?

Color me unimpressed with that as a balancing factor.

You realize that the need for Charisma to power several exploits is not the only balancing factor, right? The arcanist is limited by fewer spells per day, fewer spells prepared / known, the need to track down spells for his spellbook (often ignored, they don’t simply have access to the entire list like a cleric or druid), and an extra ability score to worry about (on top of the usual Casting, Con, and Dex trifecta for casters).

The premise of the balance behind the arcanist, near as I can tell, is that it requires resource management to a very real extent, because at any given level its resources are much less than a wizard or sorcerer.


Lemmy wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Ya, not going to lie, the reason I really want to play an Arcanist is not just the incredible casting. It's the exploits. Some of those are just way to good to pass up.
Some of them are truly powerful. No other full casters has class features that powerful, except, maybe, Druids. But their spell list is not nearly as good as the Arcanist's.

Witch, although, again with the spell list.

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