Seeing the Arcanist in action


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Some Other Guy wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:


Sounds to me like the slots per day are independent of preparing spells and the pearl of power would not work. (But things like rhinestones of power would)

The pearl works.

You get to re-prepare the spell. That doesn't give you the slot back though, since that is not what arcanist preparation does. So you just get one spell prepared twice.

I disagree with this completely. When you use Consume Spells, you do NOT lose a prepared spell, thus cannot recall it, as Pearl of Power is worded. I can almost guarantee an FAQ is needed for this.

I think we're all on the same page here, just phrasing it slightly differently. I also think most people of us feel an FAQ would be good to help clear this up.

As an aside, there is another roadblock to pearls working with consume spell. Pearls of power explicitly restore spells "prepared and then cast". Even if you assume the pearls work with the arcanists normal casting, consumed spells are never cast.


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Mystically Inclined wrote:

As someone who watched the Arcanist beta test threads and saw the "ZOMG Overp0wer3d" reaction, reading this thread and the 'yeah I won't be bothering with this class' comments make me laugh.

If people are saying that the Arcanist is just barely under the Wizard, and that the class has a "eh... some will take em, some won't" feel to it, then I think Paizo nailed things perfectly.

Thanks for responding to my OP. I was wondering if my message was getting lost; that the Arcanist is actually reasonably balanced. You get some sweet abilities that you can flexibly mix and match as you please, but it comes at a cost. (Inferior spell progression/spells per day, fewer spells prepared than spontaneous classes have spells known.)

I think someone else alluded that an Arcanist is a good introductory class for someone who's never played an arcane caster. It's like a caster that's not committed to any one way of doing magic.

1. Did you like schools of magic and having precisely the right spell for the occasion? Next time, try a wizard with Fast Study.

2. Did you like the flavor of bloodlines, enjoy using metamagic, but wish you had more spell slots? Next time, try a sorcerer.

3. Did you like alternating between casting spells and using non-spell abilities? Next time, try a witch.

The Arcanist is the ultimate generalist.


I wish I could spoiler my earlier post to Juda. I didn't think of it at the time, but now it looks like I'm purposefully dogpiling, when I just got ninja'd. I flagged it for that reason.


I think people's issue with the Arcanist is that it is better than a sorcerer and a lot of people thought sorcerers were as strong as wizards, just like people think oracles are as strong as clerics.

In practice thought that might just not be the case and why the arcanist doesn't clearly outpace the wizard.

Such an observation makes things like divine protection make more sense (vastly favors oracles).


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Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
I think people's issue with the Arcanist is that it is better than a sorcerer and a lot of people thought sorcerers were as strong as wizards, just like people think oracles are as strong as clerics.

People throw that around like its a fact; the Arcanist is better than the Sorcerer. Would I prefer to play an Arcanist over a Sorcerer at my next opportunity? Sure. But that doesn't mean the Sorcerer is de facto weaker.

Sorcerers have 2 additional spell slots per spell level. That's a lot of spells. The Sorcerer also has more spells known than an Arcanist has spells prepared, thanks to bloodline spells. And if you add in the human favored class bonus, you have a huge edge on in combat versatility, and your out of combat versatility isn't bad either.

And you still have some respectable class abilities; your bloodline, crossblooded and wildblood. Abilities as great as the Arcanist? Not at all, but you still have something.

So no, the sorcerer is not strictly inferior. Just different.


And of course there is always Razmiran Priest Sorcerer. The only Sorcerer that really matters.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

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I've never had trouble making sorcerers that are fun and effective and this isn't going to change that. Bloodlines, racial favored class bonuses, and new items have made playing sorcerers far less painful then they were when the class was just a few known spells you could spam over and over.

For me, the arcanist will likely replace any future wizard characters I might make. I've always hated the spell prepared/ burned mechanic; the mechanic the arcanist uses is just much more natural to me.


The Chort wrote:
So no, the sorcerer is not strictly inferior. Just different.

I disagree. Sorcerers function just fine (still fullcasters).

Having extra spells is nice, but the little things like delayed teleport (a luxury to have by 11) and the like hurts.

Sorcerers still naturally do planar binding well, but that also cuts into the spells know niche.


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
The Chort wrote:
So no, the sorcerer is not strictly inferior. Just different.
I disagree. Sorcerers function just fine (still fullcasters).

I go to great lengths to explain the merits of sorcerers; 'how they function just fine' and you... Disagree with me? O.o


I think Marroar is trying to say that sorcerers are viable (they still 'function just fine') but are inferior (for reasons given in the rest of the post).

I don't agree with this, btw. I think it's okay for the sorcerer to have a niche, and have them be superior in their particular niche.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

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Mystically Inclined wrote:

I think Marroar is trying to say that sorcerers are viable (they still 'function just fine') but are inferior (for reasons given in the rest of the post).

I don't agree with this, btw. I think it's okay for the sorcerer to have a niche, and have them be superior in their particular niche.

I've never understood this sort of mentality. I honestly could care less if my character is the most powerful guy at the table. The only question I care about "Is it fun to play?"

I can understand the frustrations with the rogue and the monk because they can easily be outclassed by others doing what they are supposed to be great at and can seem like the 5th wheel in a party... the sorcerer? Maybe if you are completely horrible at picking spells. Of course if that's the case, wizard isn't going to be better.


Dennis Baker wrote:
I can understand the frustrations with the rogue and the monk because they can easily be outclassed by others doing what they are supposed to be great at and can seem like the 5th wheel in a party... the sorcerer? Maybe if you are completely horrible at picking spells. Of course if that's the case, wizard isn't going to be better.

Actually, the Wizard would still be better, because if you picked the wrong spells you can go buy some different ones and prepare them instead. Sure it costs time and gold, but it's better than the Sorcerer retraining one spell every other level.


1.- Action points are detailed in Advanced Players Guide
2.- Called shoot rules are in Ultimate Combat (the goat head was stagered by the called shoot effect).
3.- Str 26 for the blood rager (20 at the character creation, +4 bloodrage, +2 something to do the skald abilities, i dont know what was that).

And you are losing the fact that 4 2nd lvl characters beats a Chimera.

Yes, the encounter was a test, even so: 4 2ND LVL CHARS BEATS A CHIMERA!!
Yes, that case could be with a vanila party with a barbarian, wizard, rogue, and a cleric... but was made with a Skald, Bloodrager, Arcanist (who obviously would die, and a Swashbuckler)

The extra rules ar not homemade, and the chimera can´t do so much in that encounter...

Im only telling you that the monsters needs a Rebalance, or maybe, my best guess is that paizo want to broke the system to sells PFRPG 2 or maybe something else. I don´t know for sure, that was my experience, and those was so munchkin to me-


we do not use neither in that test, nor critical hit nor critical fumble.

Now i can´t imagine a Mythic applied in any of these classes.


The thing is, that Chimera would have lost regardless of what the classes were. Which sort of makes your point really moot. The problem you are having is that the optional rules (particularly action points) skew things in the PCs favor. Also lets ignore the fact that the Chimera never should have landed in the first place and should have just strafed you to death with breath weapons from the sky... so the encounter was only won because the DM either let you win or had no idea how to use the monster.


I agree with you, but, there is a clear point in fact: The monsters are so weak.

Check the 3.0 rules (the chimera was nerfed twice [3.5, PFRPG]), there is no real change in the monster rules. Check the monsters in those bools!!

Im afraid that the Tarrasque could be soloed at 10h lvl, i have seen the builds, the idea itself is so munchkin and now the rules allow that build to happen without breaking any kind of rule [regardless the unclarity and the subjetivity from the rules].


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That's more an issue of monster design then it is of class balance. Though the Tarrasque has been known as a joke of a monster for over decade now, and the PF version is not much of an improvement over the one in the 3.5 Monster Manual. Spines were a neat idea, but they just don't cut it at CR 25, though really the Tarrasque could be considered an objective lesson on the fact that in order to be a threat at high CR you *need* magical abilities.


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Dennis Baker wrote:

I honestly could care less if my character is the most powerful guy at the table. The only question I care about "Is it fun to play?"/QUOTE]

This is exactly the way I look at it. I don't care if the number crunching seems to indicate one class is more or less powerful than another. For me it's about fun and flavor. Play a rogue? Sure! Play an arcanist? You bet! I don't care how under powered some people believe the rogue to be, or how over powered some people think the arcanist to be. I don't give a fig about the math; I play for fun.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
This is exactly the way I look at it. I don't care if the number crunching seems to indicate one class is more or less powerful than another. For me it's about fun and flavor. Play a rogue? Sure! Play an arcanist? You bet! I don't care how under powered some people believe the rogue to be, or how over powered some people think the arcanist to be. I don't give a fig about the math; I play for fun.

To be honest, my frustrations with the rogue/ monk are more about the fact that they are very tricky to master. They call this newest book the "Advanced Class Guide", but it's much easier to make a slayer or swashbuckler who is able to fill the rogue's role in combat than it is to build a good combat rogue friendly rogue.

When I see a newer player looking at the rogue or the monk, it bugs me not because I'm pretty certain they are going to struggle to get what they want out of them.

Sovereign Court

I agree with Dennis, and I think a lot of the issues rogues and monks face could be solved by allowing archetypes that give full BAB or increased HD at the cost of other class features.

In addition, I think porting over some 3.5 sneak attacks feats like Craven, Improved Sneak Attack, Crippling Strike (sp?), Telling Blow and others could improve rogues greatly. It's also my opinion that sniping rules need to be clarified and revisited. I feel higher level Rogues should have some way to fake-out blindsense and tremor-sense, as well.


the secret fire wrote:

This is honestly more of a problem with Exploiter Wizards, who get Scribe Scroll for free and can use Pearls of Power to refill their points pretty much indefinitely for the cost of 500 GP per point/day if they craft. This has the potential for very serious abuse for the Exploiter, and that could roll downhill to the Arcanist.

Exploiter Wizards don't get Consume Spells class feature, so I don't see how they could directly recover AR points with Pearls of Power.

Munching 2nd level scrolls (75 gp apiece) seems like the cheapest way to get AR points at the moment. You can also use some custom staves, but the price tag on them is much higher and you can still regain only 1 charge per day, so some downtime is needed anyway.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Juda de Kerioth wrote:

I agree with you, but, there is a clear point in fact: The monsters are so weak.

Check the 3.0 rules (the chimera was nerfed twice [3.5, PFRPG]), there is no real change in the monster rules. Check the monsters in those bools!!

Im afraid that the Tarrasque could be soloed at 10h lvl, i have seen the builds, the idea itself is so munchkin and now the rules allow that build to happen without breaking any kind of rule [regardless the unclarity and the subjetivity from the rules].

Um, aside from dragons almost every monster was buffed from 3.5 -> PF and I think most monster also got a buff from 3.0 -> 3.5.

Although I agree with you that a lot of them are still terribly weak, especially as we get into the higher CR's. Player characters got a lot more powerful between editions and monsters (especially high level) haven't really kept up with that.


magnuskn wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:

I agree with you, but, there is a clear point in fact: The monsters are so weak.

Check the 3.0 rules (the chimera was nerfed twice [3.5, PFRPG]), there is no real change in the monster rules. Check the monsters in those bools!!

Im afraid that the Tarrasque could be soloed at 10h lvl, i have seen the builds, the idea itself is so munchkin and now the rules allow that build to happen without breaking any kind of rule [regardless the unclarity and the subjetivity from the rules].

Um, aside from dragons almost every monster was buffed from 3.5 -> PF and I think most monster also got a buff from 3.0 -> 3.5.

Although I agree with you that a lot of them are still terribly weak, especially as we get into the higher CR's. Player characters got a lot more powerful between editions and monsters (especially high level) haven't really kept up with that.

As my personal experience goes, at higher levels I rarely fight with standard printed-out versions of monsters. Such opponents are mostly just mooks used to drain some of party's resources before final showdown which usually inludes some high level NPCs and/or advanced/customized monsters set up in environment unfavorable for PCs.


Dennis Baker wrote:
I think we're all on the same page here, just phrasing it slightly differently. I also think most people of us feel an FAQ would be good to help clear this up.

They'll need an FAQ for Dimensional Slide, as well.

I'll still ban the Arcanist and its children at my table because I hate the idea of wizardry for dummies, but closing the potential loopholes in the class would at least slow down the game's inexorable descent into splatbook purgatory.


magnuskn wrote:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:

I agree with you, but, there is a clear point in fact: The monsters are so weak.

Check the 3.0 rules (the chimera was nerfed twice [3.5, PFRPG]), there is no real change in the monster rules. Check the monsters in those bools!!

Im afraid that the Tarrasque could be soloed at 10h lvl, i have seen the builds, the idea itself is so munchkin and now the rules allow that build to happen without breaking any kind of rule [regardless the unclarity and the subjetivity from the rules].

Um, aside from dragons almost every monster was buffed from 3.5 -> PF and I think most monster also got a buff from 3.0 -> 3.5.

Although I agree with you that a lot of them are still terribly weak, especially as we get into the higher CR's. Player characters got a lot more powerful between editions and monsters (especially high level) haven't really kept up with that.

I agree.


Something that has come up is people thinking the monk and the rogue are in simular boats, when the monk actually works just fine with qinggong and dragon style.

Are monks in a great place? No. But a better one than pre-ACG fighter.


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Anzyr wrote:
The thing is, that Chimera would have lost regardless of what the classes were. Which sort of makes your point really moot. The problem you are having is that the optional rules (particularly action points) skew things in the PCs favor. Also lets ignore the fact that the Chimera never should have landed in the first place and should have just strafed you to death with breath weapons from the sky... so the encounter was only won because the DM either let you win or had no idea how to use the monster.

I agree. Dumb monsters are dumb.

Pretty much the only time creatures in nature are not playing to their strengths is when you catch them by surprise, which I would point out is often pretty hard since many depend on surprise in their home terrains. That doesn't even begin to consider magical beasts who have twice as much intelligence as an animal to those that have roughly human level intelligence.

magnuskn wrote:
. . . Although I agree with you that a lot of them are still terribly weak, especially as we get into the higher CR's. Player characters got a lot more powerful between editions and monsters (especially high level) haven't really kept up with that.

You are right. When I DM, I usually give monsters full hit points and often give an extra defensive ability or an offensive ability which is used tactically to create defensive situations, like strikes that have a chance to daze or slow or stagger or sicken for a round or 1d4. I still find, though, that playing them as if they wished to live and possessed an instinctive cunning goes a long way.

I am somewhat jazzed about the arcanist. It's nice to see Pathfinder is... drawing inspiration... from other places, like the Magister (Monte Cook ©2003) and multiclass archetypes. I am also REALLY digging on the investigator.


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Given I left this around noon - two hours and 43 minutes ago - I'm probably ninja'd substantially. I'm submitting it anyway.

Here's the breakdown, Juda:
Juda de Kerioth wrote:
1.- Action points are detailed in Advanced Players Guide

Ah. You mean "hero points". Gotcha.

Juda de Kerioth wrote:
2.- Called shoot rules are in Ultimate Combat (the goat head was stagered by the called shoot effect).

Re-reading your post, it seems that only that head was staggered... which means that the head could still take a standard action, meaning that you didn't actually do anything to it.

To quote the rules:

Quote:
Creatures with multiple heads must be hit by called shots to all their heads in a single round to suffer ill effects, and even then, only suffer the least effect that is inflicted on any single head (so for example, an ettin would need to take critical hits to both heads to receive the effects of a critical called shot to the head).

... so congratulations, the creature suffers absolutely nothing. An improper call by the GM.

Juda de Kerioth wrote:
3.- Str 26 for the blood rager (20 at the character creation, +4 bloodrage, +2 something to do the skald abilities, i dont know what was that).

The Skald cannot add a +2. That's what I showed you. You added it wrong. Re-read my post. The skald grants a morale bonus. The . These don't stack. His strength should only have been 24.

(I was, however, incorrect on the value the bloodrage grants - it does grant a +4 instead of my initial reading of +2).

The skald has no in-character options at second level to grant a +2 bonus to strength to anyone by way of his class.

Please read the entry: the only option the skald has at second level is Inspired Rage, which grants a +2 morale bonus to strength. Given that bloodrage grants a +4 morale bonus to strength, you don't get a +6, you only get a +4.

Juda de Kerioth wrote:

And you are losing the fact that 4 2nd lvl characters beats a Chimera.

Yes, the encounter was a test, even so: 4 2ND LVL CHARS BEATS A CHIMERA!!

No, I'm not missing it. You're applying the rules incorrectly, got some nice dice rolls, and came out with an unusual result.

I'm still not sure why the chimera was so silly, though. Walking right into melee combat and never leaving? Terrible tactics when you're surrounded and have action economy working against you.

The rules you use exist, but they're optional variant rules - they're not considered core rules.

And, if they were considered core by your group, why wasn't the chimera doing so? Honestly, had the chimera made a called shot to anyone's head, it would have hit barring terrible rolls. Instant stagger.

The chimera didn't battle up to his potential at all. The one time he damages the swashbuckler... did the swashbuckler take damage? If not why? How?

Juda de Kerioth wrote:
Yes, that case could be with a vanila party with a barbarian, wizard, rogue, and a cleric... but was made with a Skald, Bloodrager, Arcanist (who obviously would die, and a Swashbuckler)

If you believe that these classes are no more powerful than a vanilla party, your initial post (and subsequent three follow-up posts in different threads I was in) don't give that impression at all.

Juda de Kerioth wrote:
The extra rules ar not homemade, and the chimera can´t do so much in that encounter...

The chimera could do all sorts of things in that encounter that it didn't. It was foolish and you were lucky.

1) You guys had no ranged ability at all, from what I saw. The chimera could simply have strafed you with firebreath every 1d4 rounds until you ran away or you pulled out ranged weapons.
2) It has a +5 initiative modifier - the fact that all of you went first means it rolled really low.
3) It has two bites, a gore, and two claw attacks. That's five attacks. In your recollection, I count... what... three? Where is your swashbuckler's AC coming from that it doesn't get hit by anything? He'd need an AC of 22 to have a 50% chance of not hitting your swashbuckler. That's really peculiar. Of course, if he hit your swashbuckler twice out of its five attacks and the swashbuckler made the reflex save for half damage, your swashbuckler should still have been dead. At maximum, he's 20 hp at his level - more with higher constitution, but unless he's got 18 in CON and toughness, he's only got a few more by second level - very unimpressive, and easily within the realm of "dead in one round".
4) Everything that went wrong for the chimera can be explained as dice rolls, called shots

Let me quote you what is says about [url=http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/other-rules/called-shots]called shots:

Called Shots wrote:

The normal combat rules deal with attacks and hits in an abstract way, subtracting hit points and leaving the details of where the sword strikes up to the GM’s description. This system places more control in the individual’s hands, allowing characters to target specific areas of an opponent, with corresponding results.

This game deals with hits and damage in a rather abstract way, treating almost all hits the same except for the amount and type of damage dealt. With these optional called shot rules, PCs, monsters, and villains alike can aim their attacks more precisely, potentially to devastating effect[b]. [b]These rules are an optional addition to any campaign, and should be approached with care by the Gamemaster.

Emphasis mine.

Oh, and then there's hero points:

Quote:
Although all of the options presented here should be carefully considered before they are added to your game, hero points deserve closer inspection. Although hero points do not drastically increase the power of the PCs, they do grant the PCs the ability to greatly increase their chances of success during critical moments. While the game itself is set up to give the player characters an edge, hero points take that a bit further, possibly more so than you might be comfortable with.

Add that to:

Juda de Kerioth wrote:

... with a crit...

...with a crit...

round two-----------------------------------------------------

...

... scores a crit ...

Three crits in two rounds. Holy crap. Do you guys have improved critical on everyone or are you just that lucky? Those crits did 65 of the damage you dealt. Without crits (which have a 5-10% happenstance rate, and generally double your damage), you'd have dealt about 32-33 damage instead. Those hits easily swung the battle in your favor without called shot rules and hero point rules.

Juda de Kerioth wrote:
Im only telling you that the monsters needs a Rebalance, or maybe, my best guess is that paizo want to broke the system to sells PFRPG 2 or maybe something else. I don´t know for sure, that was my experience, and those was so munchkin to me-
It didn't sound like it with,
Quote:

I read all the Advanced Class guide, not only the Arcanist...and we play a party of 4 (Arcanist, Bloodrager, Skald and Swashbuckler), we have a hard mode gm and... WE KILL A CHIMERA AT 2nd Lvl in 3 Rounds!!

those classes have a lot of power, there is no reason in the search for power to use one of the 22 Classes ... My guess is that Bestiary 5 must have monster rules to challenge those classes (low the actual cr for all bestiaries, or gave them more power at no cost or something)

No, you need to re-balance yourself. (Also, your GM wasn't playing in "hard mode" - he was throwing larger numbers at you. Though related, there is a difference.)

The game's balance is meant for lower optimization skews than your characters evinced. How did your characters have a 20 STR at 2nd level, for instance? It's totally legit within the rules, but did he tank all of his other scores to get there?

They clearly weren't built around 15 point buy, unless you wanted your bloodrager to shove something down to 8 or 7 in order to bump his STR up to 20 - he couldn't have afforded an 18 (which costs 17 points). At which point he has no dexterity... or, if he did, that means he tanks things even further. Even under a 20 point buy, you're going put nearly everything into an 18. Under 25 point buy, you're not only playing with super-heroes, you're still not getting too much beyond an 18: you've got a single 18, and, at most, a 14 somewhere else, or a smattering of 12s.

If your scores are higher than that, you're not using point-buy, which skews typical CRs all ways. Recall that for every +4 to ability scores (more or less), the CR is supposed to be increased. For players, this is doubly true.

Your characters are min-maxed (this is not necessarily a bad thing), using rules that notably make them stronger, against an opponent using terrible tactics, with lucky rolls on the player's part and notably poor rolls on the monster's part. Added to it, you used the variant rules and core rules at least partially incorrectly.

Given your level of optimization for character concepts, It's not surprising, under the circumstances, that they took the critter down. The beasts are not built around that level of optimization. They're built around 15 point buy (except for specific APs).

You're using optional variant rules that grant more power to the player characters.

Yes, they're going to be more powerful and be able to take on additional challenges. One of your characters still died. I'm interested in knowing if, from hit points, hero points, and everything else, your party could have taken another encounter that day.

Regardless, it's neither the monsters nor the classes nor the rules nor the optimization - it's how all of those things interact together.

If you're going to use optional rules that empower the characters, the GM is going to need to adjust the vanilla monsters if they're supposed to be a challenge.

All that said, I still like your name - sure he's a traitor, but it's Biblical, and that's cool. :)


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Okay, we're all thinking it anyway so I'm just going to put it out there: Novack, your avatar's face is incredibly handsome.

There. Now that it's been acknowledged, discussion of the topic may resume. Don't we all feel better now?


Within the spoiler above, due to a misplaced "]" on my part, I linked the bloodrager improperly, and it is now too late to edit. The line should have read:

Tacticslion wrote:
The Skald cannot add a +2. That's what I showed you. You added it wrong. Re-read my post. The skald grants a morale bonus. The bloodrager also grants a morale bonus. These don't stack. His strength should only have been 24.

Due to that error, later, the link to called shots is broken. Here is the proper link.

Tacticslion wrote:
Let me quote you what is says about called shots:

I hope that clears up any confusion and apologize for my typos. I was in a hurry when I submitted it and didn't review it in time.

EDIT: I've flagged my post for markup/display problem. I'd appreciate it if others did as well. Thanks!


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the secret fire wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
I think we're all on the same page here, just phrasing it slightly differently. I also think most people of us feel an FAQ would be good to help clear this up.

They'll need an FAQ for Dimensional Slide, as well.

I'll still ban the Arcanist and its children at my table because I hate the idea of wizardry for dummies, but closing the potential loopholes in the class would at least slow down the game's inexorable descent into splatbook purgatory.

Except its not really Wizardry for dummies so much as a different system of casting and one several people prefer. I like playing wizards but I've always hated the vancian system of casting as it makes no sense to me.

As for the party I agree it seems less a problem with the classes and more an issue with how the fight was run, a chimera or other flying creature particularly an intelligent should never land when attacking a group.


Liam Warner wrote:
Except its not really Wizardry for dummies so much as a different system of casting and one several people prefer. I like playing wizards but I've always hated the vancian system of casting as it makes no sense to me.

What "makes sense" to you, me, or anyone in regards to magic is never going to produce a compelling argument.

Of course a lot of people prefer the Arcanist's casting system (not his spell progression) to the Wizard's; it is strictly better. Saying that you prefer the system is like saying you prefer ten dollars to five.

Wizards have an enormous amount of power at their fingertips, but despite the silliness of online "god" handbooks, they are actually tough to pilot, and the curve from average to great is very steep. Wizards are caught all the time in positions where they cannot anticipate their enemies and have spells which are either unusable or which can only be used in non-standard ways. Getting the best out of your spells as a wizard often requires quick wits and creativity, at least if you play with a DM who challenges you. Imagine the following scenario:

Quote:

You're a 9th level spellcaster going into a dungeon which you take to be an old Orc warren. You have seen Orcs in the area before, and suspect that there will be quite a few of them underground. You prepare some BC/area denial-type spells with this in mind...

Turns out, the section of caverns that you have entered is an ancient Orcish burial ground, and you are attacked by insubstantial undead in numbers. After fighting off the first wave, the party finds itself nearly overrun, and is forced to withdraw without a clear escape route. You come to a precipice over a massive cavern, the bottom of which you can barely make out in the darkness 150 feet below. What do you do?

Arcanist: "Well crap guys, I didn't prepare the right spell, but...give me six seconds...ok, now I can cast feather fall with all of my 1st level slots. You may jump at your leisure."

Wizard: "Gah...uhhhhh...this is...but I...wait! I'm going to cast a web between the rocks down there, and you peeps jump down into it. It might be a bumpy landing, but it should catch you, and I can dispel it when you're all down."

Solving the problem with the Arcanist took about as much thought as cooking a pot of coffee. The Wizard, on the other hand, actually had to do something clever with his resources, something that the players will remember much more than "ah, the Arcanist just spammed the spell we needed...like he always does."


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the secret fire wrote:
Wizard: "Gah...uhhhhh...this is...but I...wait! I'm going to cast a web between the rocks down there, and you peeps jump down into it. It might be a bumpy landing, but it should catch you, and I can dispel it when you're all down."

And then the party dies. There are about ten reasons it doesn't work or is a rotten idea in this scenario, starting with the fact that you can't cast it on the area described in the first place.

I'm sure others will also point out that the wizard's probably going to have scrolls of better solutions to the problem handy, and know which ones.

Quote:
Arcanist: "Well crap guys, I didn't prepare the right spell, but...give me six seconds...ok, now I can cast feather fall with all of my 1st level slots. You may jump at your leisure."

And he's burned through about a fourth of his resources for the day given a probable party of five-six targets. So even IF your web scenario worked, an Arcanist working with his fewer spells has just as much, if not more, reason to apply cleverness and ingenuity to the problem so he doesn't burn through his entire spell allowance. He also doesn't have ready access to Scribe Scroll, so he's (a bit) less likely to have the right answer a move action away without spending daily resources.


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the secret fire wrote:
Of course a lot of people prefer the Arcanist's casting system (not his spell progression) to the Wizard's; it is strictly better. Saying that you prefer the system is like saying you prefer ten dollars to five.

That's borderline delusional; you must be reading the rules of the Arcanist without bothering to look at the numbers on the tables OR watch how a player actually runs one. The Arcanist's casting system isn't that great. In the heat of combat, (which is usually when a well timed spell matters most) the Arcanist is one of the least impressive casting classes. It has less versatility than a Sorcerer and fewer spells per day than any other full caster.

the secret fire wrote:
Solving the problem with the Arcanist took about as much thought as cooking a pot of coffee. The Wizard, on the other hand, actually had to do something clever with his resources, something that the players will remember much more than "ah, the Arcanist just spammed the spell we needed...like he always does."

The Arcanist's Quick Study is certainly a neat class feature, but honestly, a Wizard with Fast Study can accomplish much the same as an Arcanist. (Or a Wizard with an Arcane Bond. Or a Wizard with a few scrolls. Or...)

Quick Study is a sweet get out of jail free card, sort of like the Arcane Bond but perhaps usable a couple more times in a day. But remember, it often costs 2 arcane points per use. At level 10, for example, you prepared something like Wall of Stone or Icy Prison as your 5th level spell. (You only have one slot, remember.) Then you Quick Study to change to teleport. After you've teleported, you'll want to switch back to something you can use in combat. So 2 points, and you only have 3 + 1/2 your level in your pool each day. (8 points.) So then you'll have to start consuming spells just keep Quick Study usable. ...and you already have fewer spells per day than any other full caster.

Anyway, I say all that to say that although the Arcanist has a neat trick to pull out whatever spell he needs, it's not without a cost. It's also not that exceptional, when you consider scrolls and the Arcane Bond. And if you overuse Quick Study, you won't even make it through the 15 minute adventuring day, let alone a proper session.

It'll take a clever Arcanist to properly manage his resources, or he'll end up spending most of his day as a glorified commoner.


Chris Kenney wrote:
And then the party dies. There are about ten reasons it doesn't work or is a rotten idea in this scenario, starting with the fact that you can't cast it on the area described in the first place.

Whether or not the web will work in the area is entirely terrain-dependent. If the cavern is narrow enough or the rocks large enough, of course it would work. It would also catch the party. If a web can stop flying creatures moving upwards of 100'/round dead in their tracks without damage, why shouldn't it stop falling creatures? What is the functional difference between flying downwards and falling? If your answer is "none", you win the prize.

Quote:
And he's burned through about a fourth of his resources for the day given a probable party of five-six targets.

PF's Feather Fall spell is a 1 target/level spell. One 1st level spell, exactly when it is needed, plus one reservoir point isn't even close to the amount of resources you suggest. It's a magic bullet solution for the Arcanist, who can essentially spam magic bullets, as needed, without planning or creativity.


I have not found any monster that works as a solo encounter. Almost any group can kill an APL+5 monster in a solo encounter if they work together. 4 actions against one is too much.


Aeric Blackberry wrote:
I have not found any monster that works as a solo encounter. Almost any group can kill an APL+5 monster in a solo encounter if they work together. 4 actions against one is too much.

Definitely. The only way I'd consider running one badass enemy would be to pump up the HP and give it multiple turns in the initiative... reminds me of Digital Devil Saga now with those bastards who could use their one turn to give themselves three half turns.

I want to throw a Bandersnatch at my party while doing that...


The Chort wrote:
the secret fire wrote:
Of course a lot of people prefer the Arcanist's casting system (not his spell progression) to the Wizard's; it is strictly better. Saying that you prefer the system is like saying you prefer ten dollars to five.
That's borderline delusional; you must be reading the rules of the Arcanist without bothering to look at the numbers on the tables OR watch how a player actually runs one.

At this point, I can only suggest that you read for content. I specifically said that his spell progression is not as good as a wizard's. We were talking about the casting system, which incorporates the best of both of the core arcane casting classes. The point I was making wasn't terribly complex.

Quote:
The Arcanist's Quick Study is certainly a neat class feature, but honestly, a Wizard with Fast Study can accomplish much the same as an Arcanist. (Or a Wizard with an Arcane Bond. Or a Wizard with a few scrolls. Or...)

Fast Study is completely unusable in combat. If you have a full minute to look at your spellbook, you are not in any kind of combat that could be considered dangerous.

Bonded items and scrolls are both resource-intensive. They are not viable as default plans. You give up a familiar for the one (and get only one magic bullet per day), or gold for the other, and potentially lots of it if you plan on having a wide range of utility. Both of these are constraining factors on a wizard's ability to pull silver bullets out of his pocket. The Arcanist is not similarly constrained. Firing silver bullets can easily be his standard plan.

*apropos nothing, even if a 9th level Arcanist could cast the spell in the first place, which he cannot, why you would swap out for teleport and not feather fall in the above scenario is beyond me.*


the secret fire wrote:
The Chort wrote:
the secret fire wrote:
Of course a lot of people prefer the Arcanist's casting system (not his spell progression) to the Wizard's; it is strictly better. Saying that you prefer the system is like saying you prefer ten dollars to five.
That's borderline delusional; you must be reading the rules of the Arcanist without bothering to look at the numbers on the tables OR watch how a player actually runs one.

At this point, I can only suggest that you read for content. I specifically said that his spell progression is not as good as a wizard's. We were talking about the casting system, which incorporates the best of both of the core arcane casting classes. The point I was making wasn't terribly complex.

Quote:
The Arcanist's Quick Study is certainly a neat class feature, but honestly, a Wizard with Fast Study can accomplish much the same as an Arcanist. (Or a Wizard with an Arcane Bond. Or a Wizard with a few scrolls. Or...)

Fast Study is completely unusable in combat. If you have a full minute to look at your spellbook, you are not in any kind of combat that could be considered dangerous.

Bonded items and scrolls are both resource-intensive. They are not viable as default plans. You give up a familiar for the one (and get only one magic bullet per day), or gold for the other, and potentially lots of it if you plan on having a wide range of utility. Both of these are constraining factors on a wizard's ability to pull silver bullets out of his pocket. The Arcanist is not similarly constrained. Firing silver bullets can easily be his standard plan.

*apropos nothing, even if a 9th level Arcanist could cast the spell in the first place, which he cannot, why you would swap out for teleport and not feather fall in the above scenario is beyond me.*

... if you're wasting a Full Round Action and an Arcane Point in the middle of a combat to find a better spell... You're doing something wrong. As a full caster with metamagics and exploits at your disposal, and a reasonable diversity of spell preparation across your spell levels, you should have some kind of method to contribute to combat, although inefficient compared to "the best spell", that trumps wasting an entire turn. If you could Quick Study as a move action, I could understand outrage over such an ability. As it stands, it seems fine as one of the few things Arcanists can do better than other classes; out of combat versatility.

My theoretical 10th level Arcanist unrelated to your example can cast Teleport just fine.


The Chort wrote:
... if you're wasting a Full Round Action and an Arcane Point in the middle of a combat to find a better spell... You're doing something wrong. As a full caster with metamagics and exploits at your disposal, and a reasonable diversity of spell preparation across your spell levels, you should have some kind of method to contribute to combat, although inefficient compared to "the best spell", that trumps wasting an entire turn.

It most certainly does not, especially if you've got another caster in the party who can lay down battlefield control in the first round, which is not at all uncommon. Especially as you get up in levels and monsters start popping up with large amounts of resistances and high saves, the ability to quickly find just the right spell to target their weaknesses is extremely valuable.

Quote:
As it stands, it seems fine as one of the few things Arcanists can do better than other classes; out of combat versatility.

Potent Magic makes the Arcanist, by default, the best SoS caster in the game, bar none. Counterspelling makes him the best against the scariest bad guys in the game, other casters. If Dimensional Slide can be used to escape grappling, which may well be the case (we'll wait for an FAQ on that one), the Arcanist is second only to the Teleport School Conjurer in terms of defensive/tactical movement ability, and the gap between him and 3rd place is huge. And that's just for starters.

The "few things" the class does better are quite potent, indeed.


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Mystically Inclined wrote:
Okay, we're all thinking it anyway so I'm just going to put it out there: Novack, your avatar's face is incredibly handsome.

Thank you so much. I think I have no other option than to simply return the compliment ;).

the secret fired wrote:
Counterspelling makes him the best against the scariest bad guys in the game, other casters.

It was already discussed. Counterspelling as an Arcanist isn't really that powerful, especially before 11th level (so for vast majority of games). Slower spell progression of Arcanists and common level advantage among "the scariest bad guys in the game", severely limits Arcanist's capability to counterspell anything crucial.

As an example you can consider effectiveness of Counterspell exploit in fight of 6th level party with Arcanist vs. 9th level Wizard BBEG. Hell, even 7th level Wizard would be pain in the #%$.


the secret fire wrote:

Potent Magic makes the Arcanist, by default, the best SoS caster in the game, bar none. Counterspelling makes him the best against the scariest bad guys in the game, other casters. If Dimensional Slide can be used to escape grappling, which may well be the case (we'll wait for an FAQ on that one), the Arcanist is second only to the Teleport School Conjurer in terms of defensive/tactical movement ability, and the gap between him and 3rd place is huge. And that's just for starters.

The "few things" the class does better are quite potent, indeed.

First off, I want to apologize to you for becoming rude and snippy. It was 3am, you offended some of my sensibilities and I went on a warpath. Sorry about that. >_<

When I heard you wanting to ban the Arcanist from your games, I took the position of a whiny player caterwauling to his GM about losing his favorite toy. As I mentioned in my OP, I can't wait to play the Arcanist. Having played many a Wizard and Sorcerer and having seen someone else play an Arcanist I understood the weaknesses of this shiny new class, but want to embrace it all the same, because, as you've well noticed, it has some cool abilities. Do I think the class and its abilities are powerful? Well, yes. Do I think its powerful in such a way that it diminishes fun for surrounding players? Not so much.

I just don't see the Arcanist as a problem class. I would love seeing it at my table. It gives me nowhere near as much grief as other things I've encountered: Magus nova one-shotting bosses. Fey Kitsune Sorcerer spamming confusion, making the whole party wait while the monsters very slowly and boringly kill themselves. Crane Style users, before that was nerfed. An Oracle of Life altogether removing the fear of taking damage. Druid clogging up the battlefield with Animal Companion, Summons, and Cohort (Might reconsider my policy on Leadership for my next campaign) and bringing combat to a crawl. There's just so much out there that makes me grimace as a GM, it's hard to see why you singled out the Arcanist as the enemy of fun.

If some particularly feature of the Arcanist is just too destabilizing, perhaps just nerf one particular exploit. I just hate to see the death of a cool class.


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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

My only problem with the Arcanist is that I'm not sure it's valuable to the game to have all three casting mechanics:
- Full Vancian (wizard, cleric, etc.)
- Full spontaneous (sorcerer, oracle, etc.)
- Arcanist's hybrid method

That said, I love the mechanics, independent of the class's power level. I just see it as a great design choice. Were I designing a whole new system that used spell-slot-based casting, I would most likely use the Arcanist mechanic, because it makes more narrative sense to me.

It hits that sweet spot with me. Between the fear of playing a wizard and guessing wrong as to what we'll need today, and the away-from-the-table work of making sure my sorcerer has the necessary breadth of problem-solving capability with limited spells known (and possibly without the assistance of a human favored class bonus). Instead, I get to have access to basically every spell in the game, but don't get them every day; I get a subset. And while I have to choose what spells I expect to need today, that's not too hard to fill out a common baseline... being able to not worry about how many of each, and how to metamagic, that makes me feel much more comfortable, much less paranoid about screwing up my prep.

And it doesn't have that Vancian mechanism that's always been weird to me.

There may be some exploits to ban; I see no reason to ban the class entirely.


I'd agree if it weren't for consume spells. Unfortunately that was built in as a class feature and not an exploit, making the class broken for either PFS or AP's. If you do the long adventuring days its more balanced, but since you have to use published material as the baseline, its probably the least balanced class.

Oh, plus the entirely better infinite arcane points exploit that someone has found in another thread. It does take 3 exploits, but 2 of them are REALLY good anyway, and BAM unlimited arcane points.


I think another thing people loose out on when they talk about the sorcerer is how they can specialize with bloodline to be a tad better in some ways then the arcanist and maybe then the wizard in that one area. Dangerous to do in most campaigns, but some like that. I have seen some truly amazing enchantment specializing sorcerer for an intrigue campaign I ran.

I have to admit I had some wild thoughts when I first saw the arcanist and exploiter wizard. It was total knee jerk shenanigans as if the rules for them work as written(mind you this is murky as hell)they are still behind a specialist wizard.

I totally concur this is a great training class, even if not intended. I now have a class to throw at every new player that wants to play arcane. Not saying I will force, just a hearty recommend.


I finally remembered why the arcanist's counterspell looked familiar to me, it's the same as the 1st tier mythic path ability flexible counterspell, only that arcane reservoir points come a lot easier than mythic power points.


Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:


Oh, plus the entirely better infinite arcane points exploit that someone has found in another thread. It does take 3 exploits, but 2 of them are REALLY good anyway, and BAM unlimited arcane points.

This is rather difficult to run a search on; Link please.


pad300 wrote:
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:


Oh, plus the entirely better infinite arcane points exploit that someone has found in another thread. It does take 3 exploits, but 2 of them are REALLY good anyway, and BAM unlimited arcane points.
This is rather difficult to run a search on; Link please.

Here


leo1925 wrote:
I finally remembered why the arcanist's counterspell looked familiar to me, it's the same as the 1st tier mythic path ability flexible counterspell, only that arcane reservoir points come a lot easier than mythic power points.

Actually the flexible counterspell path ability works like the greater counterspell exploit (but is powered by mythic points instead of arcane reservoir points).

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