Seeing the Arcanist in action


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I'm absolutely in love with the new Arcanist class. However, I've GM'd a game with one of my players playing an Arcanist and here's what's stood out to me:

1. Their spellcasting is okay. They can prepare the same amount of spells as spells known by a Sorcerer or Oracle, except they don't have any bonus bloodline/mystery/cure spells to broaden their on the fly versatility. Sure, there's Quick Study, but how often do you want to burn points and full round actions on that? I wouldn't even recommend Quick Study until probably 5th level or later, since you’re limited on resources at low levels.

2. They have less spells per day. They have the fewest spells per day of any full caster and you feel it. No bonus School Slots and so on. However, they can somewhat make up for that, but more on that later...

3. Being a level behind wizards is a really big deal. Just like with Sorc vs Wizard debates, a level 3 Arcanist vs a level 3 Wizard is no contest in terms of spellcasting, and the same holds at all odd levels. Although the Arcanist does have some nice abilities.

4. Abilities like Acid Jet are actually quite good, if you didn't dump Charisma. For a level 3 character, it's akin to more than doubling your spell slots for the day. Prepare some good first level spells like Grease and Color Spray and backing that up is quite the nasty little blast spell. A ranged touch attack dealing 2d6+Cha damage (2d6+3, in this case) and if they fail their save, sickening the target for d4 rounds is really quite a nice alternative to using spell slots, which you are lacking. It never becomes irrelevant, as the damage keeps scaling up, and the DC also scales with your level.

Obviously, campaigns aren't always stuck at level 3 and maybe some of the Arcanist's weaknesses will dissipate after a while, but those are my initial impressions of how they work in practice vs theorycraft “HOMG Arcanist is completely busted.” All that said, I've played my fair share of wizards (Which are still the strongest casting class) and can't wait to roll up an Arcanist. Lots of fun new stuff to try out!


I'm currently playing the cleric in one of my games and I've already decided that if she bites the dust I'm going arcanist. That would make three full casters in the party, but hey, you can never blow up enough stuff!

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah, examining it, my conclusion is basically that they're on-par with Wizards (which makes them one of the most powerful classes there is, mind you). But not necessarily power creep per se.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Yeah, examining it, my conclusion is basically that they're on-par with Wizards (which makes them one of the most powerful classes there is, mind you). But not necessarily power creep per se.

I would still say Wizards have the edge, but its easy to make the case that the Arcanist is better at certain things, especially at certain levels. Here's my new tier for arcane full casters:

1. Wizard - Wizard is still king. They have more spells per day than the Arcanist, (even comparing at level 2 and subsequent even levels) but more importantly, they get to the next level of spells earlier. This isn't just a tremendous advantage in combat, but also benchmarks of utility, like being able to cast Fly at 5th level and Teleport at 9th level. That kind of power to override obstacles your GM puts in your way in addition to the sheer power of higher level spell slots cannot be made up for with a few shiny abilities.
2. Arcanist - I think the Arcanist edges out the sorcerer. They have many strong abilities, and importantly, all of your abilities aren't locked in at level 1 like when you choose a bloodline; you can mix and match whatever you want and even take Extra Arcanist Exploit.
3. Sorcerer - If you examine JUST the spellcasting of sorcerers, I'd say they're better casters than Arcanists. They have more spells known than spells you can prepare and they have more spells per day. However, Arcanist Exploits are enough to erase this edge that Sorcerers have.

But as you say, if there's a class that you can claim "It's kind of a toss up whether it's better than a Wizard" it's instantly a class worth looking into.


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This is currently just first impressions, but Occultist arcanists might be the strongest of the lot. Spontaneous Improved Summon Monster (min/lvl duration and standard action) summoning spells are quite strong. For 2 exploits (1st and 7th - you also get a couple of SLA's from the 7th) and a changed (possibly better - unlimited summon monster IX is damn good!) capstone? If you are enthusiastic about charging your reservoir (say by using consume magic items) you can pretty easily drop a max level summon monster EVERY encounter.

Sovereign Court

Occultist is looking very viable to me. At low levels, the point cost of summons is relatively low, and your summon monster progression uses the wizard schedule of going up every odd level. So that's SM2 at level 3, and you don't get L2 spells until L4. I think that makes the Occultist strong in comparison with other Arcanists.

Summoning as a standard action makes it much easier to summon safely into combat, while minute-length duration means you can also use them for more scouting/utility jobs.

I'm not sure how well it'll work at higher levels, but at low levels I think this is a pretty strong class. By level 3 you can send Augmented Earth Elementals into battle. 3+ minute duration means you can summon them, explain in Terran what you want them to do, then send them through walls to attack enemies from behind.


The Occultist Archetype indeed does seem quite strong. Although part of me thinks that if I'm going to be a summoner, just go all in and play Master Summoner. On the other hand, it's a very powerful trick at very little cost (2 Exploits).

It also seems like a good option if you're going to completely dump Charisma and but still want a way to spend reservoir points to contribute to combat. (Acid Jet seems lackluster with 8 Charisma)

Another nice thing is that it helps the Arcanist match the Wizard with the "Flight by level 5" benchmark; summoning a large flying creature (Dire Bat) that lasts for 5 minutes.


The Chort wrote:

The Occultist Archetype indeed does seem quite strong. Although part of me thinks that if I'm going to be a summoner, just go all in and play Master Summoner. On the other hand, it's a very powerful trick at very little cost (2 Exploits).

It also seems like a good option if you're going to completely dump Charisma and but still want a way to spend reservoir points to contribute to combat. (Acid Jet seems lackluster with 8 Charisma)

Another nice thing is that it helps the Arcanist match the Wizard with the "Flight by level 5" benchmark; summoning a large flying creature (Dire Bat) that lasts for 5 minutes.

Well the advantage of the Occultist is that it lacks the Stygma attatched to the Summoner and Master Summoner.


The Chort wrote:

I'm absolutely in love with the new Arcanist class. However, I've GM'd a game with one of my players playing an Arcanist and here's what's stood out to me:

1. Their spellcasting is okay. They can prepare the same amount of spells as spells known by a Sorcerer or Oracle, except they don't have any bonus bloodline/mystery/cure spells to broaden their on the fly versatility. Sure, there's Quick Study, but how often do you want to burn points and full round actions on that? I wouldn't even recommend Quick Study until probably 5th level or later, since you’re limited on resources at low levels.

Arcanists are prepared casters, shouldn't they be able to leave some slots open in the morning? And one thing I think you're missing in this point is that they have a library of spells available to them rather than only a few.

Quote:
2. They have less spells per day. They have the fewest spells per day of any full caster and you feel it. No bonus School Slots and so on. However, they can somewhat make up for that, but more on that later...

School Savant solves this, on the even levels before 18.

Quote:
3. Being a level behind wizards is a really big deal. Just like with Sorc vs Wizard debates, a level 3 Arcanist vs a level 3 Wizard is no contest in terms of spellcasting, and the same holds at all odd levels. Although the Arcanist does have some nice abilities.

Yeah, that one stings.

Quote:
4. Abilities like Acid Jet are actually quite good, if you didn't dump Charisma. For a level 3 character, it's akin to more than doubling your spell slots for the day. Prepare some good first level spells like Grease and Color Spray and backing that up is quite the nasty little blast spell. A ranged touch attack dealing 2d6+Cha damage (2d6+3, in this case) and if they fail their save, sickening the target for d4 rounds is really quite a nice alternative to using spell slots, which you are lacking. It never becomes irrelevant, as the damage keeps scaling up, and the DC also scales with your level.

Despite it being the most commonly resisted element in the game, I personally like Flame Arc. It doesn't have any debuffs tacked on, unless you get the greater version, but it has a very nice area of effect.


Minor quibble but on a purely personal note I don't like the fact you still need to memorize the spells each day. Sure you can cast any of them as long as you have spell slots remaining (or at 20th level arcane poolpoints) but I was under the impression once you memorized a spell it remained until you memorized a replacement rather than just fizzling away after 24 hours requiring you to rememorize it.

Not to mention the fewer spells and delayed casting I'm honestly losing a lot of interest in the arcanist class because of this.


Liam Warner wrote:

Minor quibble but on a purely personal note I don't like the fact you still need to memorize the spells each day. Sure you can cast any of them as long as you have spell slots remaining (or at 20th level arcane poolpoints) but I was under the impression once you memorized a spell it remained until you memorized a replacement rather than just fizzling away after 24 hours requiring you to rememorize it.

Not to mention the fewer spells and delayed casting I'm honestly losing a lot of interest in the arcanist class because of this.

You only have fewer spells per day, not counting items, than the Wizard on levels where it has a spell level over you. Take levels 6 and 7, for example:

Level 6
Wizard - 4/3/3/2
Arcanist - 7/4/4/2

Level 7
Wizard - 4/4/3/2/1
Arcanist - 7/4/4/3

Both of them can get a school specialization and a bonded item to allow for casting more spells throughout the day and both run off of the same casting stat for bonus spells.

Technically, the Arcanist doesn't even have fewer spells per day than the Wizard, it's just that at odd levels the Wizard has a higher level spell than you.

Edit: I'm not entirely sure why I thought they could get a bonded item through an exploit. They can only get the familiar. They can get it through a feat though.


Suichimo wrote:
The Chort wrote:

I'm absolutely in love with the new Arcanist class. However, I've GM'd a game with one of my players playing an Arcanist and here's what's stood out to me:

1. Their spellcasting is okay. They can prepare the same amount of spells as spells known by a Sorcerer or Oracle, except they don't have any bonus bloodline/mystery/cure spells to broaden their on the fly versatility. Sure, there's Quick Study, but how often do you want to burn points and full round actions on that? I wouldn't even recommend Quick Study until probably 5th level or later, since you’re limited on resources at low levels.

Arcanists are prepared casters, shouldn't they be able to leave some slots open in the morning? And one thing I think you're missing in this point is that they have a library of spells available to them rather than only a few.

Eh... True, but for all practicality, no, you probably rarely leave slots open as an Arcanist. Lets look at 5th level spells at level 10:

A wizard has 4 slots; (At 20+ Int, assuming it's not 30?) he can choose to prepare 3 of them and leave the 4th open. Maybe for teleport or something. No big deal.

An Arcanist has 1 slot to prepare with. 1. True, you could leave it open, but you really shouldn't.

My thinking: Arcanists need to prepare all of their slots each day as though they were a Sorcerer and then use Quick Study to utility cast like a Wizard. I think you'll get more out of having as many spells as possible at your fingertips while in combat, since you have so few prepared slots.

Suichimo wrote:


Quote:
2. They have less spells per day. They have the fewest spells per day of any full caster and you feel it. No bonus School Slots and so on. However, they can somewhat make up for that, but more on that later...
School Savant solves this, on the even levels before 18.

School Savant does not give you extra spells per day. It gives you extra spells prepared. A nice benefit, but not quite the same.

If you want extra spells slots, you try Eldritch Font archetype, which while kind of cool, can be like being 2 levels behind a Wizard in casting your highest level spell.

Suichimo wrote:
Despite it being the most commonly resisted element in the game, I personally like Flame Arc. It doesn't have any debuffs tacked on, unless you get the greater version, but it has a very nice area of effect.

Hrmm, I sort of like it too, but it's a vastly different ability; things I'm considering:

You can reflex save to halve damage. Acid Jet always deals full damage so long as you can make the touch attack. Flame Arc might be more attractive if your Dex isn't great...

I'm unfamiliar with using line spells. Perhaps this actually is better than I suspect; I haven't practiced positioning a 30ft line and that could hit quite a few enemies. I mostly practice aiming fireball. =P

The Acid Jet debuff is nice. Sickened can put a nice cut in their combat potential and make it easier to land subsequent spells.

So... Hard to say. I like Acid Jet better and preparing a spell like fireball if I need area blast, but that's just preference.


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Suichimo wrote:
Liam Warner wrote:

Minor quibble but on a purely personal note I don't like the fact you still need to memorize the spells each day. Sure you can cast any of them as long as you have spell slots remaining (or at 20th level arcane poolpoints) but I was under the impression once you memorized a spell it remained until you memorized a replacement rather than just fizzling away after 24 hours requiring you to rememorize it.

Not to mention the fewer spells and delayed casting I'm honestly losing a lot of interest in the arcanist class because of this.

You only have fewer spells per day, not counting items, than the Wizard on levels where it has a spell level over you. Take levels 6 and 7, for example:

Level 6
Wizard - 4/3/3/2
Arcanist - 7/4/4/2

Level 7
Wizard - 4/4/3/2/1
Arcanist - 7/4/4/3

Both of them can get a school specialization and a bonded item to allow for casting more spells throughout the day and both run off of the same casting stat for bonus spells.

Technically, the Arcanist doesn't even have fewer spells per day than the Wizard, it's just that at odd levels the Wizard has a higher level spell than you.

Edit: I'm not entirely sure why I thought they could get a bonded item through an exploit. They can only get the familiar. They can get it through a feat though.

If you count school specializing for wizards, the comparison on even levels is this:

Level 6
Wizard - 4/4/4/3
Arcanist - 7/4/4/2

Arcanists cannot get extra spells per day from having a school:

1. The School Understanding exploit only gives you an ability from the school.
2. The School Savant archetype only gives you extra spells prepared, not extra spell slots.

Arcanists can, however get a Bonded Item. It's under the Bloodline Development exploit.

Quote:

...

If this ability is used to gain an arcane bond and a bonded item is selected, the arcanist can only use that item to cast spells of a level equal to the level of spell that could be cast by her equivalent sorcerer level (limiting her to 1st level spells unless she spends a point from her arcane reservoir).


The Chort wrote:

If you count school specializing for wizards, the comparison on even levels is this:

Level 6
Wizard - 4/4/4/3
Arcanist - 7/4/4/2

Arcanists cannot get extra spells per day from having a school:

1. The School Understanding exploit only gives you an ability from the school.
2. The School Savant archetype only gives you extra spells prepared, not extra spell slots.

Arcanists can, however get a Bonded Item. It's under the Bloodline Development exploit.

Quote:

...

If this ability is used to gain an arcane bond and a bonded item is selected, the arcanist can only use that item to cast spells of a level equal to the level of spell that could be

...

Now to see how many people continue to specialize and how many people take Exploits.

Yeah, that is why I crossed the school stuff out. I'd rather get the arcane bond through Eldritch Heritage(Arcane) since you should qualify for that easily enough. Sadly, I don't think you can take the Familiar exploit with this.


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Suichimo wrote:
The Chort wrote:

If you count school specializing for wizards, the comparison on even levels is this:

Level 6
Wizard - 4/4/4/3
Arcanist - 7/4/4/2

Arcanists cannot get extra spells per day from having a school:

1. The School Understanding exploit only gives you an ability from the school.
2. The School Savant archetype only gives you extra spells prepared, not extra spell slots.

Arcanists can, however get a Bonded Item. It's under the Bloodline Development exploit.

Quote:

...

If this ability is used to gain an arcane bond and a bonded item is selected, the arcanist can only use that item to cast spells of a level equal to the level of spell that could be

...

Now to see how many people continue to specialize and how many people take Exploits.

Yeah, that is why I crossed the school stuff out. I'd rather get the arcane bond through Eldritch Heritage(Arcane) since you should qualify for that easily enough. Sadly, I don't think you can take the Familiar exploit with this.

That's probably true; maybe go with Half-Elf for Skill Focus? Also, you'd have access to both the Human Favored Class Bonus and the Elf Favored Class Bonus, both of which I think are awesome.

Elf: Increase total number of points in the
arcanist’s arcane reservoir by 1.

Human: Add one spell from the arcanist spell list to the
arcanist’s spellbook. The spell must be at least 1 spell level
below the highest level the arcanist can cast.

So for the Elf FCB, I think I'd take it for the first three levels, maybe also level 5 and 7. The rest I'd take the human bonus. Why? If you look under Arcanist spellcasting, you find this interesting entry:

Quote:

Unlike the number of spells

she can cast per day, the number of spells an arcanist can
prepare each day is not affected by her Intelligence score.
Feats and other effects that modify the number of spells
known by a spellcaster instead affect the number of spells
an arcanist can prepare.

So from my understanding, that favored class bonus gives you extra spells prepared. Mind you, they're lower level slots, but that certainly adds some nice flexibility, just like the Human sorcerer bonus.


K177Y C47 wrote:
Well the advantage of the Occultist is that it lacks the Stygma attatched to the Summoner and Master Summoner.

I suppose it's not that unheard of for the summoner to be banned in all its forms. Hopefully those same GMs won't ban this class or this archetype?


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The Chort wrote:
K177Y C47 wrote:
Well the advantage of the Occultist is that it lacks the Stygma attatched to the Summoner and Master Summoner.
I suppose it's not that unheard of for the summoner to be banned in all its forms. Hopefully those same GMs won't ban this class or this archetype?

That will probably depend on a few things:

1) How Dimensional Slide ends up getting used. If it's a free grapple escape, that is a problem.

2) If people start abusing Consume Spell and Consume Magic Items in order to refill their reservoir points on the cheap with 2nd level scrolls and 1st level runestones of power. As it stands today, running out of points stops becoming a meaningful problem for the Arcanist around the mid-levels if he's built cleverly, though I agree, he's not all that strong at the low levels.

2a) 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.

3) Whether or not there is significant blowback from Potent Magic spam, especially by builds set up with easy access to large amounts of cheap reservoir points.

---------------------------------------------

IMO, the Arcanist isn't as bad as the Summoner, but he has pretty strong potential to get banned, himself.


Has anybody tried the Spell Specialist? That Signature Spell ability looks nasty if you combine it with Spell Focus and the Arcane Reservoir.

Liberty's Edge

The Chort wrote:

Elf: Increase total number of points in the

arcanist’s arcane reservoir by 1.

Human: Add one spell from the arcanist spell list to the
arcanist’s spellbook. The spell must be at least 1 spell level
below the highest level the arcanist can cast.

So for the Elf FCB, I think I'd take it for the first three levels, maybe also level 5 and 7. The rest I'd take the human bonus. Why? If you look under Arcanist spellcasting, you find this interesting entry:

Quote:

Unlike the number of spells

she can cast per day, the number of spells an arcanist can
prepare each day is not affected by her Intelligence score.
Feats and other effects that modify the number of spells
known by a spellcaster instead affect the number of spells
an arcanist can prepare.
So from my understanding, that favored class bonus gives you extra spells prepared. Mind you, they're lower level slots, but that certainly adds some nice flexibility, just like the Human sorcerer bonus.

"Spells known" and "spells added to a spellbook" are not the same thing mechanically. The Human FCB adds the latter, not the former. So...that doesn't work at all.

the secret fire wrote:

2) If people start abusing Consume Spell and Consume Magic Items in order to refill their reservoir points on the cheap with 2nd level scrolls and 1st level runestones of power. As it stands today, running out of points stops becoming a meaningful problem for the Arcanist around the mid-levels if he's built cleverly, though I agree, he's not all that strong at the low levels.

2a) 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.

Uh...neither Runestone of Power and Pearls of Power work for this.

Read Runestone of Power, it doesn't actually give you a spell slot, you can just burn it to cast a spell of the appropriate level. Now, with a number equal to your standard 1st level spell slots, you can burn all your 1st level spells and then use Runestones for actual casting, but that only gets you 4 or 5 points a day.

And Pearls of Power only work on spells you've actually cast, so it results in an even worse situation (if you want to cast more than one kind of spell).

Both can be helpful, but you max out at getting 4-5 Pool Points a day at the 1st level prices.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
"Spells known" and "spells added to a spellbook" are not the same thing mechanically. The Human FCB adds the latter, not the former. So...that doesn't work at all.

Ah, I think you are right. Oh well, I guess just go for the Elf Favored Class bonus (Which has weaknesses of its own; it doesn't increase how many you gain daily.)

*double checks Arcane Reservoir text*

Quote:

Arcane Reservoir (Su)

An arcanist has an innate pool of magical energy that she can draw upon to fuel her arcanist exploits and enhance her spells. The arcanist's arcane reservoir can hold a maximum amount of magical energy equal to 3 + the arcanist's level. Each day, when preparing spells, the arcanist's arcane reservoir fills with raw magical energy, gaining a number of points equal to 3 + 1/2 her arcanist level. Any points she had from the previous day are lost. She can also regain these points through the consume spells class feature and some arcanist exploits. The arcane reservoir can never hold more points than the maximum amount noted above; points gained in excess of this total are lost.

Whoops, I was under the impression that even though you didn't regain your entire pool daily, you could stock up if you had leftovers from the previous day. The elf bonus is decidedly less shiny.

Hrmm. The halfling favored class bonus is starting to look good. Or maybe just bonus HP?


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

Uh...neither Runestone of Power and Pearls of Power work for this.

Read Runestone of Power, it doesn't actually give you a spell slot, you can just burn it to cast a spell of the appropriate level. Now, with a number equal to your standard 1st level spell slots, you can burn all your 1st level spells and then use Runestones for actual casting, but that only gets you 4 or 5 points a day.

And Pearls of Power only work on spells you've actually cast, so it results in an even worse situation (if you want to cast more than one kind of spell).

Both can be helpful, but you max out at getting 4-5 Pool Points a day at the 1st level prices.

I know how the items work. The Runestone obviously only replaces the 1st level spell slots. The Pearl is really not clear, as it actually refills the spell slots directly, rather than simply casting out of them through the item. Here is the relevant RAW for the Pearls and the Consume Spell ability:

Pearls of Power:

Quote:
Once per day on command, a pearl of power enables the possessor to recall any one spell that she had prepared and then cast that day. The spell is then prepared again, just as if it had not been cast.

Consume Spell:

Quote:
At 1st level, an arcanist can expend an available arcanist spell slot as a move action, making it unavailable for the rest of the day, just as if she had used it to cast a spell. (emphasis added)

Based on standard Pathfinder "duck typing" and backwards compatibility of new rules to old, if the Consume Spell ability works "just as it had been used to cast a spell", then there is a strong argument that the Pearls could be used to refill slots expended through the Consume Spell ability. If this is the case, I think the consequences for game balance are pretty clear. Hopefully, this gets an errata at some point.

Liberty's Edge

Maybe. I'm a bit skeptical, and probably wouldn't let Pearls of Power work like that.


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Guys the arcanist casts spells as a spontaneous caster, which means that he can't use pearls of power, he must use runestones of power instead (double price btw and not in the core line nor the PRD) for his spellcasting, and runestones of power work differently (you must use them at the time of the spellcasting and the slot isn't spend), and because runestones of power work as part of the spellcasting action so he can't use for his consume spells ability.

PS. yes i see how the pearl of power can be read and still works for consume spells but i think that it's a BIG stretch
PS.2 Again i see how the runestone of power can be read to allow it to work for the consume spells ability but again BIG stretch


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Maybe. I'm a bit skeptical, and probably wouldn't let Pearls of Power work like that.

I would never let them work like that, but I'm also 100% certain that munchkins will try just this to get themselves a huge reservoir of points on the cheap. If the practice becomes widespread, it would likely lead to the class (that is, the Exploiter, at the very least...I think it's pretty clear the Arcanist can't use the Pearls) being banned by most civilized people. I'd rather see the idea nipped in the bud before it can get out of control.


True the arcanist can prepare more lower level spells than a wizard but she can prepare fewer higher level ones and in terms of casting power those tend to be the more important ones. Essentially cantrips to 2nd level she has 1 more prepared and castable, 3-5 she's on par with a wizard and for 6+ spells she's one behind in terms of memorized + the later gaining of a spell level. So on average less although I do admit its going to come down to figuring out whether the 1 less higher level spells is offset by the fact you only need to memorize 1 version of each spell to be able to cast it a potential 4 times e.g. an arcanist can only memorize wish once vs a equal level wizards 2 but they can actually cast it twice however alternatively they can memorize wish once and cast it twice but a wizard can memorize one wish and one time stop. I've not had much opportunity to play high level games (one day) and I'm not sure how often wizards actually memorize multiples of those spells?

Honestly I could live with that since I think I was getting mixed up in the descriptions of how their spells work. If I'm right in my current impression that spells prepared remain memorized until they memorize something else regardless of casting or time period and it only matters for learning new ones to replace them then this class could well be viable.


In addition to my above post the loss of 1 prepared spell level hurts a bit much to take eldritch font but that is interesting in its flavour text.

EDIT
Do people think pearl or runestone would be more appropriate for an arcanist? Not thinking about the extra arcane pool exploit but simply using them as a wizard/sorcerer would to get an extra spell or two a day by expending the items power rather than the spell. Right now I'm thinking the pearls but I could see a case for runestones or even both. You prepare and cast the spells but its sort of spontaneous in that you can pick which of the prepared ones you cast each day. However the pearls were released before the arcanist while the runestones were released with them along with the spell latice. The spell latice specifically mentions its effects when used by an arcanist AND a spontaneous caster whereas the runestones only mention spontaneous casters which implies that an arcanist would use the pearl.

EDIT 2
On a random offtopic thought the spell latice with its 3 dimensinal image etched in the interior sounds pretty neat even if some spells would be a pain and a half to create a three dimensional image of.


Liam Warner wrote:
Do people think pearl or runestone would be more appropriate for an arcanist? Not thinking about the extra arcane pool exploit but simply using them as a wizard/sorcerer would to get an extra spell or two a day by expending the items power rather than the spell.

To be honest, I don't think this is entirely clear, either, though the consensus seems to be that the Arcanist should be treated as a spontaneous caster. The Arcanist both prepares spells, and casts them spontaneously. Strict RAW, he can probably use both items. I don't think this is actually a good idea, but it is yet another unclear aspect of how this class is meant to function in the game.


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the secret fire wrote:
Liam Warner wrote:
Do people think pearl or runestone would be more appropriate for an arcanist? Not thinking about the extra arcane pool exploit but simply using them as a wizard/sorcerer would to get an extra spell or two a day by expending the items power rather than the spell.
To be honest, I don't think this is entirely clear, either, though the consensus seems to be that the Arcanist should be treated as a spontaneous caster. The Arcanist both prepares spells, and casts them spontaneously. Strict RAW, he can probably use both items. I don't think this is actually a good idea, but it is yet another unclear aspect of how this class is meant to function in the game.

I'm fairly confident that they're treated as Spontaneous casters, it's just that they change what they can spontaneously cast each day.

Reading pearl of power, it makes no sense that Pearl of Power would function for an Arcanist.

Quote:
This seemingly normal pearl of average size and luster is a potent aid to all spellcasters who prepare spells (clerics, druids, rangers, paladins, and wizards). Once per day on command, a pearl of power enables the possessor to recall any one spell that she had prepared and then cast that day. The spell is then prepared again, just as if it had not been cast. The spell must be of a particular level, depending on the pearl.


the secret fire wrote:
I don't think this is actually a good idea, but it is yet another unclear aspect of how this class is meant to function in the game.

WHAT! There's nothing unclear in the ACG!


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Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
the secret fire wrote:
I don't think this is actually a good idea, but it is yet another unclear aspect of how this class is meant to function in the game.
WHAT! There's nothing unclear in the ACG!

The pages are opaque.


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From what I understand pearls of power restore expended spells. The arcanist does not lost spells they cast so there is nothing to recall.


wraithstrike wrote:
From what I understand pearls of power restore expended spells. The arcanist does not lost spells they cast so there is nothing to recall.

Like I said a case either way, and my arcanists if I run a game will only need to memorize new or replacement spells rather than rememorize every day. At least till I can determine if that makes them a bit too powerful.


The Chort wrote:
I'm fairly confident that they're treated as Spontaneous casters, it's just that they change what they can spontaneously cast each day.

Except that "prepare" is a game term, and it is explicitly used to describe how an Arcanist readies her spells for use. If it said "change", that would be different, but the verbiage is quite clear.

Here's the Wizard:

Quote:
A wizard may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the wizard decides which spells to prepare.

Now, the Arcanist:

Quote:
An arcanist must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying her spellbook. While studying, the arcanist decides what spells to prepare and refreshes her available spell slots for the day.

It's not quite a copy-paste job, but the verbiage of "preparing" spells is the same. The Arcanist is a prepared caster. He selects from his prepared spells spontaneously when he casts them, but he must still prepare them, like a Wizard. The Pearls work by restoring "prepared" spells. The potentially horrible exploit with the Pearls is probably RAW. It's a pretty bad loophole.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The arcanist casts spell spontaneously, how they choose their pool of spells doesn't matter as they can cast whatever they want in that pool of spells in whatever combination they want.


Liam Warner wrote:


However the pearls were released before the arcanist while the runestones were released with them along with the spell latice. The spell latice specifically mentions its effects when used by an arcanist AND a spontaneous caster whereas the runestones only mention spontaneous casters which implies that an arcanist would use the pearl.

I was going to ask what you were talking about but then i noticed that runestones of power were reprinted in the ACG.

Runestones of power were printed in the PFS field guide and now they have been reprinted in the ACG.


SaddestPanda wrote:
The arcanist casts spell spontaneously, how they choose their pool of spells doesn't matter as they can cast whatever they want in that pool of spells in whatever combination they want.

You seem to be under the impression that "prepared" and "spontaneous" casting are mutually exclusive things. They were mutually exclusive before the Arcanist. It is not at all clear at this point, RAW, how the class is meant to interact with both items and feats.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

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Well... from Pearl of Power:

Quote:
Once per day on command, a pearl of power enables the possessor to recall any one spell that she had prepared and then cast that day. The spell is then prepared again, just as if it had not been cast.

For an arcanist, preparing a spell only puts it into her memory so she can cast it from the book, there are two pieces here: "While studying, the arcanist decides what spells to prepare and refreshes her available spell slots for the day." The memorizing and spell slots are separate.

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)


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My read - a Pearl would only work if the Arcanist has some way to "burn" the prepared spell slot (Losing access to the spell prepared in that slot) and would restore it for use with their spontaneous casting pool. Right now, I don't know of any way to do that other than maybe some 'steal spells' type abilities.


Dennis Baker wrote:

Well... from Pearl of Power:

Quote:
Once per day on command, a pearl of power enables the possessor to recall any one spell that she had prepared and then cast that day. The spell is then prepared again, just as if it had not been cast.

For an arcanist, preparing a spell only puts it into her memory so she can cast it from the book, there are two pieces here: "While studying, the arcanist decides what spells to prepare and refreshes her available spell slots for the day." The memorizing and spell slots are separate.

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 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).

My second guess is one of two or both at the same time guess
1.- that Paizo wants to breake the game to offer, maybe Pathfinder 2, or another kind of d20 version.
2.- Maybe they want to high level kind of play games.

The truth is that they need to make harder the monsters. I do not allow to my players to play those classes, i will use them as a villain classes. Too Munchkins to me.


I'd love to hear your detailed description of the round-by-round.
Also, how many other encounters did you have that day (before refreshing your stuff).

Also, at second level, a barbarian seems far more powerful than a bloodrager to me, as he has more hit points and he has a rage power. The bloodrager has his bloodline power at first level, but still fewer hit points. I doubt most anything the bloodrager did wouldn't have been easily replicated (or surpassed) by a barbarian (though could be wrong, so do let me know).

The Skald is really interesting in that its rage song (if that was being used) wouldn't have activated said bloodrager's powers, but it has a few spells which are interesting.

Swashbuckler seems to have a lot of options for controlling combat (on first glance). That may well have made up a significant difference.

Arcanist is a caster. The power of a caster is generally impressive, with the appropriate spells, though I'm not aware of any save-or-lose spells at this level.

I'm not seeing anything there - even when combined together - that couldn't be replicated or surpassed by the core classes replacing anything.

Thus, instead of describing the sum party as broken (and thus declaring the classes so), please tell us about the adventure they were on, the situation in which a bunch of level twos found themselves up against a chimera, and how six +12 attacks in a round managed not to hit anyone (because they had AC of 23 or higher, one would presume) or managed not to hit anyone other than the bloodrager once (the bloodrager could take a total of three hits).

Because I'm not seeing it from just basic review of the classes. I'd like to know how these work.

Grand Lodge

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Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:

Well... from Pearl of Power:

Quote:
Once per day on command, a pearl of power enables the possessor to recall any one spell that she had prepared and then cast that day. The spell is then prepared again, just as if it had not been cast.

For an arcanist, preparing a spell only puts it into her memory so she can cast it from the book, there are two pieces here: "While studying, the arcanist decides what spells to prepare and refreshes her available spell slots for the day." The memorizing and spell slots are separate.

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.


Juda de Kerioth wrote:

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).

My second guess is one of two or both at the same time guess
1.- that Paizo wants to breake the game to offer, maybe Pathfinder 2, or another kind of d20 version.
2.- Maybe they want to high level kind of play games.

The truth is that they need to make harder the monsters. I do not allow to my players to play those classes, i will use them as a villain classes. Too Munchkins to me.

In your next post you will be trying to sell us a bridge right?


ok the party was made from Arcanist (I, who never have played a Caster), and tree friends playing Bloodrager, Skald and Swashbuckñer.

the chimera appears and fly in the air, i try to run (cast arcane barrier) and hide, but the monster choose me as a prey, she lands, and start to roar. then, we win the initiative...

Round 1----------------------------------------------------------

Mr. Skald start to sing (inspire something that i, and the swashbuckler says dont)) then charge and hit with a pretty 15 damage

Then, I use a potent MM with 4 damage :(

from nowhere the bloodrager leaps at the back of the chimera with a called shoot at the goat´s head with a crit of 32 and 2 minutes staggered that head (yes, a great sword and a +8 str 20+4 Rage+2 Skald plusses so 2d6+8+2d6+8)

then, the swashbuckler stands in front and try to tank the chimera´s with a Rapier and drains another 7 hp from the chimera.

Chimera´s round Try to hit to the swashbuckler and the swashbucler riposte with a crit of 11, then chimera bites the swash and breath with a reflex saved him and damaging the swash with 13, and Arcanist died with 26 fire damage :´(

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

the blodrager makes another called shoot now to the leg with another 17 hp drops. Chimera´s can´t use acrobatics and swim

The Skald called shoot the other leg from the chimera and scores a crit of 22, reduces the chimera 4 Dex down and let her prone.

the swashbuckler´s uses an action point and score a 6 damagemisses and get 5ft step back,

chimera´s Round 2: the chimeras uses fullround to stand from prone

Round 3---------------------------------------------------------

Bloodrager hit the chimera with 9 and the chimera´s falls.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, the chimera in the bestiary has 85 hp, 19 ac and +12 to attack...
but with the strategy that my friends made, the chimera has no chance against those classes. even we feel so sad for the combat (we are testing the classes and the GM uses a chiera, he says he want to use a displacer, but since there is no pathfinder versions he wants to confront with a hard monter and he remember the chimera)

The chimera is CR 7 whih means stands at +5 APL... so, what´s happen here?

what´s wrong with the game?
the monster just can´t do nothing, we only use the rules as they are (actualy, we don´t use fumble crit cards this time which could be more funny)

Scarab Sages

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It sounds to me, that the issue is the results you were getting from some 'called shot' houserules, combined with effects from the Critical Hit Deck.

Terrible tactics from the chimera. As a flyer with a breath weapon, there is no reason to land, unless the PCs have better ranged abilities, or go under cover.

And you still had a PC killed, so even with PCs using rules that don't exist in the typical game, and the chimera set up as a sacrificial gift, it wasn't exactly a walkover.


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As far as I can tell from the description, a number of factors played into it:

-Lucky rolling on the part of the party using called shots to up their impact
-Seemingly weak tactics on the part of the monster, ie: charging in instead of breathing fire from afar, and then hanging around after getting beaten hard by the melee martials (why did it not fly out of range of the guy with the greatsword?)
-Unlucky rolls to avoid any of the effects
-Possibly a side of rules mis-management (by RAW, head shots don't do anything unless ALL the heads get hit for multi-headed monsters, for example).

I also note that the fight doesn't really tell us much about the Arcanist, who died in turn 1 after a single magic missile, and instead confirms that high strength martial classes with two-handed weapons can do a lot of damage on a crit.

I also think the bloodrager _might_ have miscalculated his bonus to damage, +5 for str, +2 for rage +1 from skald = +8, +50% for two-hander = +12.
*EDIT* Except, as pointed out below, the rage bonus and the skald bonus are both morale bonuses, and thus don't stack, resulting in +5 (str), +2 (rage) = +7 +50% = +10 (rounding down)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Your example has nothing to do with ACG. A crit for 4d6+16 is something that a Barbarian and a smiting Paladin geats easily with Fighter and Ranger close behind.

The Arcanist, arguably the strongest ACG class ... died. So. Much. Overpowered! He literally died from being awesome, a tavern story in the making.

Everything in this combat that made it a cakewalk was wacky use of variant rules for called shots. When you introduce variant rules, balance changes. But it's not the ACG that changed anything here.

And as noted before, using called shots multi-head monsters need to be hit in every head in a single turn in order to suffer any conditions.


Yeah, there were a lot of mistakes made there.
The example says nothing about the classes themselves, and a lot about:
- action points (The 3.5 ones or 4E ones? Or do you mean 'panache'?)
- called shots (that are misapplied)
- critical hit deck implied, as you specifically cited you didn't use the critical fumble deck

The bloodrager gets a +2 morale bonus to his strength and constitution and will save.

The skald grants a +2 morale bonus to strength and constitution, and a +1 morale bonus on will save.

These benefits do not stack.

If the bloodrager was not raging under his own ability, but instead was gaining bonuses from the skald, he can not use his his special abilities.

Quote:
a great sword and a +8 str 20+4 Rage+2 Skald plusses so 2d6+8+2d6+8)

Where does the "+4+2" come from?

Either would provide a +2, and even if they combined (which they don't) it would be a +4. I'm missing something or someone added strange bonuses that don't belong.

Also, since this was a test, that means that the characters had no prior drain on their resources, and never fought anything thereafter, yes? Put it into an actual game. Pick up exactly where you left off before, and go from there. Run them through a dungeon, let's just say, I don't know, a second level dungeon.

A single combat is not a valid test.

Of course, one of the characters - the arcanist - died from a single blow, so... that's more or less as expected, really.

I think your assessment is over-all incorrect.

EDIT: Holy cow, was I ninja'd.


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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.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

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Mystically Inclined wrote:
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.

This is more or less my impression also. It has some neat non-casty abilities and it's casting is super versatile, but that's offset by lower spells/ day and slower spell progression.

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