Rethinking Evangelist PRC Early Entry


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The Exchange

With the recent addition of the Core Campaign bringing new options to those who are interested I was hoping a change could be made to PFS to bring us new options as well. I would like the early entry ruling for the Evangelist prestige class removed allowing people to enter this class when they would normally qualify instead of level 6.

When Inner Sea Gods was released I remember being excited for this class. It gave many cool and flavorful boons to worshipers of those Gods. It was interesting to see what options created new character concepts and how creative use of the aligned class feature, along with the deific boons, opened up new options.

Unfortunately there was a knee-jerk reaction to this prestige class. People had many questions about how aligned class interacted with progression of both base and prestige classes. It made people believe that this class simply added on an entire prestige class to whatever they were already playing. This is far from the truth. Spell casters lose progression, class features are delayed, and overall benefits must be set back in order to take advantage of Evangelist. With no errata or changes coming to aligned class or the legality of Evangelist it is safe to say this is a perfectly normal part of this prestige class’ design.

So now comes the tricky part; does receiving boons early change the dynamic of PFS play? At level 11 a character who has taken 9 levels of Evangelist has now received their 3rd deific boon. How strong are these boons and do they significantly alter play at this level? The strongest of these boons, and there are many options much weaker than these, are 1/day summon monster VII equivalents. This is nothing out of the ordinary and in fact there are legal options such as the Controller Wizard’s 9th level SLA Dominate Monster which qualifies it for Major Spell Expertise gaining it 2/day 5th level spell like abilities of your choice. At best you have a martial character who can sometimes summon a decently strong monster one time over the full caster who has 6th level spells. If the full-caster decided to take Evangelist they have lost 6th level spell access and have made a likely worse but potentially flavorful character option.

As for taking Evangelist on a martial character is there actually a point where this is too strong? You’ve gained a tiny hint of magical potential. That’s excellent! With the release of the Advanced Class Guide we have seen new classes, archetypes, and character options change how we build martial characters. We even temporarily banned Pummeling Charge from the same reaction we had to the Evangelist Prestige class; people didn’t understand the abilities, some rules needed clarification, and in the end it was released again as an acceptable and good option for unarmed strike character builds. The Evangelist Prestige class seems to have needed the same thing and I think now is the time for it to be re-released as an early entry option just like every other prestige class that this is available to.

Hopefully we can all explore and discuss this PRC objectively. I want to stress the barring from early entry is abnormal and specific only to this class and is certainly not the standard for other prestige class qualification. I also ask that people don't write off this option simply because so many other options exist. I think its amazing that the game can have so much content that everyone has available! Lets try our best to be inclusive and judge the Evangelist on the strength of its own abilities rather than settling for what we currently have.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Please explain two things before I comment on your request.

1) How would you enter into the Evangelist Prestige Class early.

2) What was the ruling (and where was the ruling made) that said this is not possible.

The Exchange

Evangelist can enter the class with a 3rd level SLA.

Special: Any one of the following: base attack bonus +5, 5 ranks in any skill other than Knowledge (religion), or ability to cast 3rd-level spells.

Additional Resources wrote:
Prestige classes: the evangelist, exalted, and sentinel prestige classes are legal for play. The evangelist prestige class may not be taken as an option until 6th level.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ragoz wrote:

Evangelist can enter the class with a 3rd level SLA.

Special: Any one of the following: base attack bonus +5, 5 ranks in any skill other than Knowledge (religion), or ability to cast 3rd-level spells.

Additional Resources wrote:
Prestige classes: the evangelist, exalted, and sentinel prestige classes are legal for play. The evangelist prestige class may not be taken as an option until 6th level.

Are the only remaining options out there for a 3rd level Spell-Like Ability the grandfathered Aasimar?

The Exchange

Daylight from Aasimar, Send Senses from the Wizard Scryer School, and a boon from

Spoiler:
Adventure Path #61: Shards of Sin

are the only ways I know of to enter. You also can't enter before level 3 because the feat Deific Obedience requires knowledge religion 3 ranks.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So we are talking 3 extra levels of the prestige class. You wouldn't get the capstone level until level 13 (halfway through Eyes of the Ten) anyways. So getting to experience the full prestige class really depends on module play after the Seeker Arc.

The ability to gain early entry would be severely limited, and once all the grandfathered Aasimars are played out, even more limited.

AP #61:
If I remember correctly, the boon is actually a Shard of Sin, and as such has a pretty severe drawback. So those who actually qualify for this may be pretty reluctant to actually use it, thus also limiting things pretty severely.

So I'm pretty content that things remain the way they are. I am pretty positive the decision to limit the Evangelist to 6th level was not a knee-jerk reaction, but a well-thought out choice. I don't remember the actual reasons right off the top of my head. But I do remember the conversation taking place. And those in favor of limiting the Evangelist to the intended 6th level (remember, that PrCs have prerequisites of a certain level, as an intention that their power level is equivalent to what a normal class would get at that level.)

I am not in favor of this petition.

The Exchange

What's wrong with severely limited entry for those who would qualify as you said? If you meet the prerequisites of a PRC haven't you reached the intended power level just like early entry Eldritch Knights, Bloatmages, Mystic Theurges, and Arcane Tricksters?

Is it acceptable to be content things remain the way they are when you don't remember why something is the way it is? I really do believe this prestige class can open up at the very least 20 playable and flavorful Deity themed options to be used in combination with both martial and spell caster characters.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I believe that the unexpected (the design team even said it was unexpected) consequence of SLAs allowing early entry into things is one of the chief reasons why the Evangelist was limited in the AR. There are a couple of boons granted that normally are spells you wouldn't get until 9th or 11th level (5th or 6th level spells) and getting them at 6th or 8th level could have caused some severe game balance issues.

This is more true for the Evangelist than it is for any other PrC out there.

And getting the PrC 3 levels earlier than normal really isn't a huge enough deal to essentially say that these 20 options aren't available.

Indeed, the AR doesn't say that you can't use the 3rd level SLA to qualify at 6th level. It just limits you to entry until 6th level. So use your Aasimar or Scrying School Wizard or Special Boon to let you into the Evangelist class at 6th level.

Silver Crusade

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Also regarding the [redacted] from AP#61...

I thought I read a rules team post clarifying that a character cannot use a spell or spell-like ability from an item to qualify for a prestige class.

My searching has failed to find that post, so I am probably mistaken.

That said, I'm not in favor of this petition.

Furthermore, I am in favor of the rules team reversing the "early entry" FAQ ruling and return prestige class requirements to spells only.

The Exchange

At 8th level you get your 2nd boon. The there is one god who gives a 1/day summon monster V. There are also 2 other gods who give 4th level SLA. These are the highest spell level abilities granted for the 2nd boons.

I don't believe 1/day summon monster V at 8 is too much. Arcane eye usable 3/day is cool and a neat trick at best.

Getting in 3 levels earlier is a make or break deal for prestige classes. It always has been. It also isn't an inconvenience to change an early entry restriction if it makes players happy to play pathfinder.

Silver Crusade

@The Fox Here is the SLA FAQ

Contributor

Well, I'm a player and it would make me unhappy if the restriction was lifted.

We find ourselves in disagreement. I feel like "early entry" is not make or break for prestige classes. I believe summon monster V once per day at 8th level is too much.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ragoz wrote:


Getting in 3 levels earlier is a make or break deal for prestige classes. It always has been.

Not sure how this is true. Prestige classes have been around since DnD 3.0 and Pathfinder has been around since 2009. And until the FAQ last year (2014), you couldn't get early entry into a prestige class. So not sure how its "always been" make or break for prestige classes.

FYI: I created a Rage Prophet and an Arcane Archer (and will have a Dragon Disciple) without worrying about early entry.

I've seen a Mystic Theurge, Holy Vindicator, and a couple others that didn't have early entry, and they did fine.

Ragoz wrote:
It also isn't an inconvenience to change an early entry restriction if it makes players happy to play pathfinder.

It isn't about whether its an inconvenience. And if its a game balance issue, Paizo in general and the campaign management of PFS specifically, aren't going to "make players happy to play pathfinder" if it means breaking game balance.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Andrew Christian wrote:
I am pretty positive the decision to limit the Evangelist to 6th level was not a knee-jerk reaction, but a well-thought out choice.

James Jacobs reacted very strongly (and very quickly) to the first comment on the subject in the product discussion thread for ISG (complete with not one but two all-caps "NOT"s) declaring how his PrC is an exception to current rules and the FAQ should be changed to match how he wants his PrC to work.

When someone pointed out that his preference doesn't carry official rules weight for PFS, he said "Let us worry about that."

The book's induction to Additional Resources - including the special exception for Evangelist to not follow the SLA rules, just like JJ wanted - went live merely two weeks later.

Was it "knee-jerk"? Was it "well-thought out"? Was it something else?

I think the facts tell the story.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Starfinder Superscriber

I really don't like the whole SLA giving you early entry to prestige classes.

My understanding is that they've been allowed to stand because overall the prestige classes aren't overpowered, and therefore it's not that big a deal if people get them early.

If that's the case, then I would just like to see the bar for entry to prestige classes lowered for everybody! If there's a way to get into a prestige class at level 4, just set the requirements that way, rather than having a few corner/edge cases that allow people to get away with it. This kind of loophole stuff is part of what makes the Pathfinder ruleset seem (and *be*) the growing byzantine mess that it is.

For instance, Mystic Theurge. If it's deemed OK that people start that class at level 4, or whatever is possible, then just make the requirements *be* that way. Right now, clerics of the Trickery domain can get into a Mystic Theurge early, but clerics of the Magic domain *can't*, and that just doesn't make sense. Given what the prestige class is, you'd think that clerics of the Magic domain would be the prime candidates for Mystic Theurge, and if anybody should get in early, it should be them. But, no, their power description didn't *just happen* to reference a spell (that is more powerful than the ability) and therefore by a developer-allowed perverse reading prematurely satisfy a prerequisite. It's clear that the whole SLA/early entry thing is an unintended consequence that the developers have explicitly let slide (on the basis that "it's not overpowered") rather than something that "should" be.

Either errata the prestige class requirements to allow for straightforward early entry without finding odd edge cases, or disallow SLAs for creating odd edge cases. Keep it simple and straightforward.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
I am pretty positive the decision to limit the Evangelist to 6th level was not a knee-jerk reaction, but a well-thought out choice.

James Jacobs reacted very strongly (and very quickly) to the first comment on the subject in the product discussion thread for ISG (complete with not one but two all-caps "NOT"s) declaring how his PrC is an exception to current rules and the FAQ should be changed to match how he wants his PrC to work.

When someone pointed out that his preference doesn't carry official rules weight for PFS, he said "Let us worry about that."

The book's induction to Additional Resources - including the special exception for Evangelist to not follow the SLA rules, just like JJ wanted - went live merely two weeks later.

Was it "knee-jerk"? Was it "well-thought out"? Was it something else?

I think the facts tell the story.

I know that the general public doesn't get to see the private discussions of these things on the Venture-Officer private boards. But these types of things do get discussed, and Mike & John both lend an incredible amount of weight to those discussions when it comes to making a decision.

So I'm pretty sure the decision was not made entirely because James Jacobs reacted in that way. Although it probably did carry a decent amount (if not preponderance) of weight when the decision was made.

And two weeks is a lot of time to make a decision. If you are implying that 2 weeks (by saying "merely") is knee-jerk then I think you are wrong.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

rknop wrote:

I really don't like the whole SLA giving you early entry to prestige classes.

My understanding is that they've been allowed to stand because overall the prestige classes aren't overpowered, and therefore it's not that big a deal if people get them early.

If that's the case, then I would just like to see the bar for entry to prestige classes lowered for everybody! If there's a way to get into a prestige class at level 4, just set the requirements that way, rather than having a few corner/edge cases that allow people to get away with it. This kind of loophole stuff is part of what makes the Pathfinder ruleset seem (and *be*) the growing byzantine mess that it is.

For instance, Mystic Theurge. If it's deemed OK that people start that class at level 4, or whatever is possible, then just make the requirements *be* that way. Right now, clerics of the Trickery domain can get into a Mystic Theurge early, but clerics of the Magic domain *can't*, and that just doesn't make sense. Given what the prestige class is, you'd think that clerics of the Magic domain would be the prime candidates for Mystic Theurge, and if anybody should get in early, it should be them. But, no, their power description didn't *just happen* to reference a spell (that is more powerful than the ability) and therefore by a developer-allowed perverse reading prematurely satisfy a prerequisite. It's clear that the whole SLA/early entry thing is an unintended consequence that the developers have explicitly let slide (on the basis that "it's not overpowered") rather than something that "should" be.

Either errata the prestige class requirements to allow for straightforward early entry without finding odd edge cases, or disallow SLAs for creating odd edge cases. Keep it simple and straightforward.

Do keep in mind that, from Paizo's end, there's value to being able to do something without actually having to produce errata.

They had a goal of bringing the function of SLAs closer to spells. They found precedent in existing rules (crafting prereqs) for SLAs counting as spells, so they were able to issue a FAQ that allowed them to move toward their goal without having to actually rewrite anything.

Doing an errata to let everyone into PrCs early is extra work, and reversing the SLA ruling is antithetical to their "make SLAs more like spells" goal.

Silver Crusade

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Actually, my take on James Jacob's post is he wants to do away with "early entry" all together. To which I will not lose a wink of sleep or shed one single tear over.

James Jacobs wrote:
That's an unfortunate side effect of a FAQ entry, and frankly, we should re-evaluate that FAQ entry since spellcasting is NOT the same as spell-like abilities.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber
Jiggy wrote:

Do keep in mind that, from Paizo's end, there's value to being able to do something without actually having to produce errata.

They had a goal of bringing the function of SLAs closer to spells. They found precedent in existing rules (crafting prereqs) for SLAs counting as spells, so they were able to issue a FAQ that allowed them to move toward their goal without having to actually rewrite anything.

Doing an errata to let everyone into PrCs early is extra work, and reversing the SLA ruling is antithetical to their "make SLAs more like spells" goal.

Sometimes, you can have two sane but conflicting positions, where a compromise between those two positions is *not* sane. Sometimes moving something superficially towards something else doesn't actually help with that.

If they wanted SLAs to be more like spells, then they should issue a blanket statement that tells you how to figure out the effective spell level of an SLA. For instance, they could declare that all first-level cleric domain SLAs count as second-level spells for purposes of prerequsites. What they've done right now has *not* made SLAs really more like spells, because the only SLAs that actually get that treatment are the ones where, because of an accident of history, the text author *happened* to reference the effect of an existing spell. They've made *some* SLAs like spells, haphazardly.

I get that trying to issue an errata that either changes the Prestige classes to have earlier entry, or that tries to establish rules for how SLAs count as spells, is a big errata. On the other hand, looking at the history of Crane Style, they're willing to make changes to things of the same order of magntiude as the prerequisite list to prestige classes.

If it's too big an errata to actually make SLAs have spell levels cleanly, they should just accept that they don't get to do that until (and if) Pathfider/2e... just like probably a whole bunch of other things. The mess we have right now is a mess.

The Exchange

Are there actual issues with the class itself? If the design team is ok with SLAs working then I ask that we not discuss that here.

Christopher Rowe wrote:
I believe summon monster V once per day at 8th level is too much.

Is it too much because it is one level early? What if a character uses a scroll of summon monster V? Is there something wrong here but not a samsaran or pathfinder savant who does this? I don't understand why the line is drawn at Evangelists of Lamashtu who are level 8.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Andrew Christian wrote:

I know that the general public doesn't get to see the private discussions of these things on the Venture-Officer private boards. But these types of things do get discussed, and Mike & John both lend an incredible amount of weight to those discussions when it comes to making a decision.

So I'm pretty sure the decision was not made entirely because James Jacobs reacted in that way. Although it probably did carry a decent amount (if not preponderance) of weight when the decision was made.

I never meant to imply a discussion didn't happen. I'm just pointing out how the discussion started. (As for why I'm pointing that out, see below.)

Quote:
And two weeks is a lot of time to make a decision. If you are implying that 2 weeks (by saying "merely") is knee-jerk then I think you are wrong.

First: two weeks is not the time spent on a discussion. Two weeks is the total elapsed time between James Jacobs discovering the topic and Chris Lambertz announcing that the AR update had gone live. Now take the time it took for JJ to bring up the topic through whatever channels were involved, the time taken to make every single other decision about the legality of that book's content, and the time from the finalized turnover to the web team to getting it actually implemented, and subtract all of that time from two weeks, and what you have left is the time spent on that decision.

But figuring out exactly what that amount of time was would only be relevant if I were trying to prove that the decision was "knee-jerk," but I'm not really interested in establishing a label. All I'm trying to show is that, unlike most AR decisions, it's well within the "reasonable to come back and reevaluate" category.

And I think it's pretty clear that it is.

Silver Crusade

Tamec wrote:
@The Fox Here is the SLA FAQ

Thank you. I was aware of the FAQ. My statement was regarding using a spell or spell-like ability from an item (as opposed to one granted by a feat, or a racial or class ability). I thought there was a ruling that said it was not allowed, but I cannot find it.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Yeah no.

I could see if the prestige class was narrow, specific and thematic but evangalist is none of these. Its simply what any character "should" do at that level.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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rknop wrote:
If they wanted SLAs to be more like spells, then they should issue a blanket statement that tells you how to figure out the effective spell level of an SLA.

How to determine the spell level of an SLA has been in the Core Rulebook since long before this newer FAQ.

rknop wrote:
What they've done right now has *not* made SLAs really more like spells, because the only SLAs that actually get that treatment are the ones where, because of an accident of history, the text author *happened* to reference the effect of an existing spell. They've made *some* SLAs like spells, haphazardly.

See, all this here about "what they've done" is all wrong, because how SLA spell levels work was all already in the book. Like so many others before you, you're vastly overestimating just how much stuff changed, because the one change (well, "change") brought to light a bunch of stuff that so few people were familiar with that they had to make a few additional FAQs to assert that yes, the existing rules really do still mean what they say even though they're suddenly more relevant than they used to be.

It actually reminds me a lot of when the Magus first showed up with Spellstrike: it made one tiny little change to the existing touch spell rules, yet people kept trying to claim that the magus couldn't do XYZ thing or that it was introducing XYZ thing, when really XYZ thing was available to all casters of touch spells since before Ultimate Magic was even conceived of. In the same way, people responded to the "SLAs count for prereqs" FAQ by saying that it doesn't actually enable XYZ thing or that it's introducing a new XYZ thing, when really XYZ thing has been sitting there in their Core Rulebooks for years.

The Exchange

This option isn't what every character should do at any level. Like any successful character you will evaluate what you gain and lose and I'm fairly sure that for most classes that cast spells the answer is "there is almost no way I'm going to lose a spell level for this. It have to be pretty awesome for me to give up my spells."

Edit:

Quote:
I could see if the prestige class was narrow, specific and thematic but evangalist is none of these.

I really love some of the gods paizo has given us. Urgathoa was so cool and her boons were awesome and I wanted to make a sweet character with those boons. I also love having a successful character who isn't at a complete and total disadvantage just because I took that option. I think you have really understated the flavor the core Deities bring to pathfinder.

Liberty's Edge

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I truly wish that they would reverse the FAQ regarding SLAs entirely, and have Feats, Prestige Classes and anything else dependent upon spell casting should rely solely on class based spell casting abilities.

If they had intended for the feat or PrC to require spells OR spell like abilities, they would have said so originally.

While every FAQ is an official ruling, it doesn't mean every FAQ is "right".

Just my 2 coppers, YMMV.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Yeah no.

I could see if the prestige class was narrow, specific and thematic but evangalist is none of these. Its simply what any character "should" do at that level.

Really? Every full-BAB class wants to drop down to 3/4 BAB and d8 HD? Every spellcaster wants to delay their spell progression? Are you sure?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Fomsie wrote:
While every FAQ is an official ruling, it doesn't mean every FAQ is "right".

A rule going one way or the other has nothing to do with "right". There is no "right" way for the game to be. This notion of there being a "rightness" from which a rule/build/playstyle could deviate is the source of a lot of unnecessary drama, rage, divisiveness, and elitism that plagues our community. If we could all abandon the idea that a given element of the hobby has a "right" version, the community would benefit exponentially.

Grand Lodge

Just my 2 cents but...

I think the main issue with early entry to PrC, and thus the reason people want it, is the Level Cap in PFS, 12.

Normal advancement means you get to level 6 in most PrC, missing many of the fun things the later levels of the PrC get. There are some (like MT and MC) where you get even less of the PrC.

Well, at least that is what early entry means to me. Another 2-3 levels of the cool class I jumped through hopes to get in in the first place.

Yes, you can play over level 12, but that is not something you can do with every character. Defiantly not easily at the very least.

The Exchange

Exactly, that's what I meant for being the make or break deal with prestige classes. Getting to play them for more levels is awesome and fun. If I could early entry dragon disciple for awesome wings I totally would but when I can't get them until level 14 when the wizard has been turning himself into a full dragon for 3 levels it hurts.

To be able to play an evangelist for 2-3 more levels is worlds of difference when we only have so many levels to play the characters.

Grand Lodge

Ragoz wrote:

Exactly, that's what I meant for being the make or break deal with prestige classes. Getting to play them for more levels is awesome and fun. If I could early entry dragon disciple for awesome wings I totally would but when I can't get them until level 14 when the wizard has been turning himself into a full dragon for 3 levels it hurts.

To be able to play an evangelist for 2-3 more levels is worlds of difference when we only have so many levels to play the characters.

If that is what you are looking for Raqoz, your petition should be for expanding the number of games you may play your character in, not more ways to get Evangelist earlier.

Additionally, a petition to add a tier 13-16, with a new, repeatable retirement arch for level 12, would receive more support then a petition to remove restrictions.

The Exchange

I don't think creating new content for levels of play that people barely participate in would be easier than just removing a single line of text from additional resources. There's no point in tiptoeing around the issue rather than just addressing and fixing it.

This isn't to say I don't appreciate new content. I'm sure plenty of people are happy with our new seeker arc. In fact its because I love paizo's content so much that I want more of Evangelist to be accessible for regular play.


In agreement with OP on his petition. I don't see anything in Evangelist that justifies it getting a special exception preventing early entry (excepting Mr. Jacobs' instinctive reaction to the SLA FAQ).

As Jiggy stated upthread, most martial characters are not going to want to sacrifice their BAB, and most spellcasters do not want to sacrifice their spell progression. I haven't seen any boons that could be gotten early that would derail expected power levels in PFS; as Ragoz stated Summon Monster V a single level early is something reproducible easily elsewhere in the game.

Additionally nothing major needs to be refactored when reevaluating Evangelist's legality other than the removal of a single line of text from Additional Resources. Therefore it's really only a matter of noting that it does not disrupt game balance such that it warrants a special exception on the Additional Resources.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Ragoz wrote:

Are there actual issues with the class itself? If the design team is ok with SLAs working then I ask that we not discuss that here.

Christopher Rowe wrote:
I believe summon monster V once per day at 8th level is too much.
Is it too much because it is one level early? What if a character uses a scroll of summon monster V? Is there something wrong here but not a samsaran or pathfinder savant who does this? I don't understand why the line is drawn at Evangelists of Lamashtu who are level 8.

Worth pointing out that you cannot have a Deific Obedience to Lamashtu in PFS.

Spoiler:
Quote:
...Misc.: all material in chapter 1 is legal except pages 92-99

Lamashtu's obedience appears on page 92.

The Exchange

Ah right this one was the one that was too evil. Excellent so the strongest one (SLA level highest) isn't even available.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:

I know that the general public doesn't get to see the private discussions of these things on the Venture-Officer private boards. But these types of things do get discussed, and Mike & John both lend an incredible amount of weight to those discussions when it comes to making a decision.

So I'm pretty sure the decision was not made entirely because James Jacobs reacted in that way. Although it probably did carry a decent amount (if not preponderance) of weight when the decision was made.

I never meant to imply a discussion didn't happen. I'm just pointing out how the discussion started. (As for why I'm pointing that out, see below.)

Quote:
And two weeks is a lot of time to make a decision. If you are implying that 2 weeks (by saying "merely") is knee-jerk then I think you are wrong.

First: two weeks is not the time spent on a discussion. Two weeks is the total elapsed time between James Jacobs discovering the topic and Chris Lambertz announcing that the AR update had gone live. Now take the time it took for JJ to bring up the topic through whatever channels were involved, the time taken to make every single other decision about the legality of that book's content, and the time from the finalized turnover to the web team to getting it actually implemented, and subtract all of that time from two weeks, and what you have left is the time spent on that decision.

But figuring out exactly what that amount of time was would only be relevant if I were trying to prove that the decision was "knee-jerk," but I'm not really interested in establishing a label. All I'm trying to show is that, unlike most AR decisions, it's well within the "reasonable to come back and reevaluate" category.

And I think it's pretty clear that it is.

A meaningful and thoughtful discussion could take 5 minutes on something like this.

I'm not sure where you are getting all this stuff happening between JJ's statement and the AR going live.

As far as I'm concerned every second of those 2 weeks could have been used in discussion barring some time for sleep and eating.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

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I think the early entry SLA stuff is pure shenanigans.

I've said so numerous times in person and online. I've said so to campaign staff in threads just like this but about not allowing it in PFS.

But the response is that early entry SLA Jank is a Pathfinder rules decision and not a PFS one, so early entry stands in PFS, which is fine by me (and the correct response to give, IMO). I will enforce the rules of the system and change them as needed in home games. PFS rules are determined by not me, which is a good thing.

Jame Jacobs is one of the rules guys. When he posts that SLAs don't qualify for early entry into Evangelist, that's the Pathfinder rules decision, as far as I'm concerned. And We have already determined that PFS follows Pathfinder rules decisions, which is the only reason early entry SLAs were allowed in the first place!

To have one and not the other is the definition of having your cake and eating it too, in my mind.

The Exchange

But this rule was not a pathfinder rules decision. This is a PFS decision which is why Evangelist early entry is specifically called out in additional resources and not the prestige class itself.

Creating exceptions to the rules the design team has implemented doesn't make much sense for this prestige class and not others.

If SLAs have to be changed that's its own topic. Why is this class so special compared to the others that it needs its own rules?

Silver Crusade

Ragoz wrote:

But this rule was not a pathfinder rules decision. This is a PFS decision which is why Evangelist early entry is specifically called out in additional resources and not the prestige class itself.

Creating exceptions to the rules the design team has implemented doesn't make much sense for this prestige class and not others.

If SLAs have to be changed that's its own topic. Why is this class so special compared to the others that it needs its own rules?

It's special because James Jacobs said it was special.

The Exchange

And I would like to change the rule saying this prestige class is 'special' and 'different than the others'. It really isn't a fair method of criteria. There are no power related concerns for this class. There are no flavor related concerns for this class. It meaningfully expands options available to players from a popular and exciting book.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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To provide some context on the decision to include a special restriction on the evangelist prestige class, it came out around the same time as the spell-like-ability-as-prerequisite FAQ, which had resulted in some curious repercussions for prestige class entry. A few others pointed out the potential for early entry using the same trick for the evangelist, I talked about it with one of the book's developers, took my concerns to Mike, and we discussed whether it was in the campaign's interests to introduce another prestige class accessible at level 2. We decided it was not--especially when two "equivalent" prestige classes in the same book had no such option. Rather than ban the class, I recommended a clause limiting the minimum level requirement, and it sounds like it matches the expectations of the prestige class shared by other members of the staff.

I hear yor request.

Thus far, I feel the restriction has been a healthy one for the campaign. I do not believe that the introduction of the Core Campaign option is cause for us to loosen restrictions on the existing campaign--especially if such an action would alienate or upset many other players. In what I have read, I do not see a sufficiently compelling argument to consider otherwise.

Thoughts? Concerns?

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Starfinder Superscriber
John Compton wrote:

and we discussed whether it was in the campaign's interests to introduce another prestige class accessible at level 2. We decided it was not--especially when two "equivalent" prestige classes in the same book had no such option.....

Thoughts? Concerns?

This. Very much this. This is the nut of the problem. A handful of prestige classes get early entry, through a handful of corner cases. It's odd and perverse. It leads to very specific builds being used not because they're what people want to play, but because it gives them, through weird interactions of the rules, early access to something else.

I *really* want to see a normalization of all of it. In home games, I can just declare myself a house rule that the developer FAQ is wrong about SLAs satisfying prereqs for prestige classes. (And I can lower the entry barrier other ways if I want.) Obviously, this is not an option in PFS. But you (and Mike) can do this in PFS! The Additional Resources document is the PFS "house rules", effectively.

Please, please, please in PFS issue a rule that takes out all of those weird corner edge cases, and makes the rules set more normalized and central. Better, convince the developer team to reverse that FAQ along with what James Jacobs is also very clearly suggesting. But, if they won't do that, then clearly add a statement in Additional Resources that that one FAQ line is not a legal PFS resource, and that SLAs don't count as a prerequisite for anything.

Not because it's necessarily overpowered, or anything-- it may be, but that's not the point. Rather, it just leads to a byzantine mess inside a rules system that is already fiddly and complicated.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Walter Sheppard wrote:
Jame Jacobs is one of the rules guys.

No, he's the Creative Director.

Quote:
When he posts that SLAs don't qualify for early entry into Evangelist, that's the Pathfinder rules decision, as far as I'm concerned.

No, it's not. He often says things that are in flat contradiction to how the rules actually work. A post from him about how something is supposed to work can certainly give us insight into what the intent was when something was written, but is no more of a "rules response" than say Chris Lambertz telling us how she would run things.

If you were to take posts from JJ as being "the Pathfinder rules decision", I could make you cry with the list of posts I could come up with that you'd need to start enforcing in contradiction to the actual rules of the game. :/

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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John Compton wrote:
Thoughts? Concerns?

First, the PrC would be available at 4th, not 2nd. That's only 2 levels earlier than folks could normally get it.

Second, the primary thing pointed out as an example of being overpowered (a summoning SLA granted by Lamashtu) isn't even legal in PFS in the first place. So what exactly are the power concerns? (Since the class is altered rather than banned, it's clear we're not dealing with a "doesn't fit campaign" or "reserving for chronicle access" issue here, so that just leaves "overpowered".)

Third, rknop correctly identifies that we've already got a pretty complex system here. It gets even more complicated when you factor in organized play. Isn't that the whole reason that, as you and other members of campaign leadership have often pointed out, PFS sticks to PFRPG rules as much as possible, to avoid adding additional layers of differences/complexity unless absolutely necessary?

So for this special exception that deviates from PFRPG rules, we're adding a piece of complexity to an already complex system in order to get... what? Presumably some sort of concern for power, but what power are you seeing?

If there's no compelling power issue, then PFS would be backtracking on its own standards of non-complication, so let's see what the power concern is.

Through traditional entry, character level 11th (the last level most PCs will ever play) will be Evangelist level 6th, which is the level that grants the second Divine Boon. This has already been decided to be acceptable in PFS.

What changes with early entry? A two-level shift. That means a couple of things:

1) Most characters can upgrade their Protective Grace to +2 and get Gift of Tongues prior to retirement. Is this overpowered?

2) A character playing Eyes of the Ten can actually get Divine Boon 3 halfway through instead of never. Is this overpowered?

3) A character gets Divine Boon 1 at 6th level instead of 8th, and Divine Boon 2 at 9th instead of 11th. Is this overpowered?

If PFS still has the goal of not deviating from PFRPG rules unless absolutely necessary, then someone needs to demonstrate that one of these things will harm the game.

If no one can do so, then there doesn't appear to be a reason to keep the extra point of complexity involved in the Evangelist being a special exception to existing rules.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I petition to even the field, that early entry be banned for all PrCs.


Andrew Christian wrote:
I petition to even the field, that early entry be banned for all PrCs.

I'd like to start a petition for you to get off my lawn!

Lantern Lodge

I personally see no compelling reason to make this particular class a stand alone exception to the general rule. SLA qualification is a bit silly, but it is what it is, and is rarely a game balance concern compared to many straight up options.

The Exchange

I am in agreement with Jiggy. There are no reasons this class should be different than the others. The Deific Obedience prereq also limits how early you can enter this class.

If people are upset it is not because of this class and their frustrations are misplaced. Don't take that out on a perfectly healthy and acceptable prestige class.

Edit -

To clarify a mistake I had from earlier I was applying the levels of the prestige class for entry one level too early. Even if the summon monster option was legal you receive it a level later making it even with anyone else obtaining summon monster 5. Everything besides this option is under this power level.


Andrew Christian wrote:


I petition to even the field, that early entry be banned for all PrCs.
BigDTBone wrote:
I'd like to start a petition for you to get off my lawn!

Tongue-in-cheek, but seconded, banning early entry would be a complete mess in terms of all the perfectly happy, non-game-breaking players currently utilizing the option suddenly having the rug pulled out from under them. And since I don't know of any character using early entry AND doing so in a game-breaking way, seems like an unnecessary "petition." Either way best put in its own thread.

John Compton wrote:
I do not believe that the introduction of the Core Campaign option is cause for us to loosen restrictions on the existing campaign--especially if such an action would alienate or upset many other players. In what I have read, I do not see a sufficiently compelling argument to consider otherwise.

Thank you for weighing in Mr. Compton. I'd like to reiterate support for removing the strange Evangelist exception, and emphasize that I do not understand why this should upset other players. So far the individuals saying they are not in support of this in the thread appear to be primarily not in support of two things:

1) The SLA ruling in general, which does not apply to this petition
2) The access to the ability to Summon Monster V early, which as pointed out is not actually legal in PFS

Thank you for the consideration. I for one would be very excited to potentially be able to take this class on my PCs, or see the fun things other players could come up with.

Aside: I have played a character to retirement who would have made a perfect Evangelist (literally has 'Evangelist' as his chosen profession); previously he, regrettably, saw no reason to do so with the unnecessary delay on achieving any of the potentially interesting deific boons weighted against the painful spell progression loss.

EDIT: Also as noted by other posters above, the Deific Obedience requirement firmly places the level that the prestige class can be entered at 4, not 2, which makes a pretty huge difference in this case.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Andrew Christian wrote:
I petition to even the field, that early entry be banned for all PrCs.

If it were done at the PFRPG rules level (i.e., reversing that FAQ) then I'd be fine with it. But let's definitely not do it at the PFS level. If we start changing whichever rules enough people don't like, then we need to stop referring rules questions to the Rules forum and just answer them all here, and stop telling people that PFS just follows PFRPG rules wherever possible.

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