Casting Tax


Ultimate Intrigue Playtest General Discussion

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Maybe it's just that I haven't played the warlock/zealot yet, but not gaining additional spell levels on a specialization that is designed as a spell caster seems counter intuitive. If this were a 'build your own class' situation I'd understand, but given the specializations I'm confused. Can someone shed light on this?


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

I suspect it's just an easier way to have the same overall class abilities. It's simpler (and slightly more flexible) to say you use your talent at those levels than to give bonus talents just to the avenger and stalker.


I think the mechanic is sloppy and makes the classes weaker overall.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I agree MM. It needs to go.


They devised a class with a single chassis into which you can squeeze a fighter, thief, magic-user, or cleric. Its pretty clever, I think, but... yeah maybe it should be four different classes.


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I think they should probably give all four magic or something like it.

As-is Stalker and Avenger will ALWAYS play second fiddle to Warlock and Zealot because a Feat equivalent that gives you a level of spellcasting will always trump anything the other classes get.

Give Stalker Alchemy and Avenger Bard casting and have done. Or not be lazy and give them unique spell lists.

Reduce Talents to Revelation progression and improve the sucky ones and you have an interesting class.


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I'd really rather the Avenger continue to not have spellcasting... but for that to work they would need to make talents much better than they currently are, which obviously isn't happening since Paizo is apparently under the impression that these talents are crazy strong and above what, say, an Oracle gets.


Which just goes to show you none of them have so much as glanced at a lot of Oracle Revelations.


Why not give them all spell slots but have Avenger/Stalker use the slots for something other than casting?

Stalker could use them for precision dice so that he can get a bit looser with how he can apply them since he has a finite pool of d6s. Stalker could use them for temporary HP d6s or healing to make up for lack of a d10.


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I'd like all the talents to be available to the base Vigilante and let the players decide what kind of mish-mash they want.

Also the amount of talents you have to dedicate toward spell casting is a bit much if they are keeping specializations. You get talents every two levels and it takes five talents to get full casting? So half your progression goes to casting.


Yes, half your talent pics to get what other partial casting classes get for free, and if for some perverse thematic reason you don't use all of these talents but only go up to casting 3rd or 4th level, you really don't have as much martial power to fall back on (especially when Globe of Invulnerability goes up), so you almost have to take arcane striker, bombs, mystic bolt and elemental battle armor, and that's most of your talent pics right there.


Maybe avenger can bring "manuvers" from the book of nine sword in 3.5 back as a countepart to spells?


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That would be pretty great, but I'm doubtful on whether A.) Paizo would put that much effort into this class or B.) Dreamscarred Press would allow a Paizo base class to rip Path of War wholesale.


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Rynjin wrote:
That would be pretty great, but I'm iffy on whether A.) Paizo would put that much effort into this class or B.) Dreamscarred Press would allow a Paizo base class to rip Path of War wholesale.

B doesn't really work. "Oh no, Pazio ripped the same 3.5 material that we ripped!" doesn't really go far.


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kestral287 wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
That would be pretty great, but I'm iffy on whether A.) Paizo would put that much effort into this class or B.) Dreamscarred Press would allow a Paizo base class to rip Path of War wholesale.
B doesn't really work. "Oh no, Pazio ripped the same 3.5 material that we ripped!" doesn't really go far.

Not what I was talking about.

To do Maneuvers, Paizo has to do one of two things:

1.) Create an entire subsystem for 1/4 of one class (unlikely)

2.) Get DSP to let them use their already created ports of Maneuvers (also unlikely...but still probably moreso than option 1).


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pixierose wrote:
Maybe avenger can bring "manuvers" from the book of nine sword in 3.5 back as a countepart to spells?

Since Avenger seems focused on unarmed, Monk Style feats?


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The other thing the "martial focused" guys could do is, instead of getting spells and such, they can get a grit pool. It could be their resource to expend and well within the realm of pure martial and allow paizo an excuse to give more powerful abilities to the martials since they now have a resource.

Idk, its just an idea.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
PIXIE DUST wrote:

The other thing the "martial focused" guys could do is, instead of getting spells and such, they can get a grit pool. It could be their resource to expend and well within the realm of pure martial and allow paizo an excuse to give more powerful abilities to the martials since they now have a resource.

Idk, its just an idea.

I support this. It's even thematic.

After all, what's a word used to describe superheroes like the Punisher or (some iterations of) Batman?

"Gritty". ^_^


Cubic Prism wrote:

I'd like all the talents to be available to the base Vigilante and let the players decide what kind of mish-mash they want.

Also the amount of talents you have to dedicate toward spell casting is a bit much if they are keeping specializations. You get talents every two levels and it takes five talents to get full casting? So half your progression goes to casting.

Id love if it was more like this. The vsriety would be just so amusing and fun.

Itd be interesting to pour all talents at noth castings....
or making your own version of a magic trickster

Like.. choose your speciality. But if you wanted to spend a lot of your talents for weird things. Go ahead.

Be a vigitlante stalker who spends half his talents getting lv 1 and 2 divine and arcane spells.
(and in general i think they should have automatically scaling progression for spells per day. but still need the talents to unlock the abilty to use them)

Avenger gets full pseudo bab
Stalker gets sneak attack
Just alter the warlock and zealot's prime special to be a bit more useful. Or just give those two much more spells per day like normal 6th levels.
and then do require the talents to unlock the abilty to cast those levels

This way you could make a weird Warlock who fights like an avenger. or an avenger who knows a little healing. a stalker who dabbles in a little magic to pick up sneaking or traveling ability.

This would make the class so much more modular and unique and beloved.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I actually really like this mechanic, and its flexibiility. The Warlock I'm playing around with is ignoring spellcasting as much as possible.


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I'd like to make sure I understand the consensus. At least as it seems to stand.

That is that the only people who DON'T know how to design something for Pathfinder, are Paizo themselves, because they've never even glanced at all the work they've done for it.

Did I get that right?

Seems like that's all I've really taken away from this discussion.


pH unbalanced wrote:
I actually really like this mechanic, and its flexibiility. The Warlock I'm playing around with is ignoring spellcasting as much as possible.

Same my warlock builds for the most part have spells tacked on as an after thought.


Bruunwald wrote:

I'd like to make sure I understand the consensus. At least as it seems to stand.

That is that the only people who DON'T know how to design something for Pathfinder, are Paizo themselves, because they've never even glanced at all the work they've done for it.

Did I get that right?

Seems like that's all I've really taken away from this discussion.

It sure seems that way sometimes, when they make statements like "These Talents are more powerful than most class features" when there are other class features that are clearly as powerful or moreso.

The Avenger Talents that grant multiple Feats at once when compared to the Battle Oracle Revelations that do the same being the most direct example.


Bruunwald wrote:

I'd like to make sure I understand the consensus. At least as it seems to stand.

That is that the only people who DON'T know how to design something for Pathfinder, are Paizo themselves, because they've never even glanced at all the work they've done for it.

Did I get that right?

Seems like that's all I've really taken away from this discussion.

not what i was expressing in anycase.

I"m putting my thoughts into it. Since playtest is for reasons for thoughts and testing.
I like the idea but i think the spells per day need to be adjusted in order to make it more useful.
or for the innate bonus to the class to be altered a bit.

So the class can be more modular which is what it seems to be wanting.
Since I would love to be able to make a warlock who doesn't focus on high level magics.. but since you automatically start with 1st level. It would be nice if at level 20 you could cast more than 1 or 2+int.
Since the non casting focused warlocks look damn fun.

which is another reason I think that talents should be available for all specializations.
Just some specializations do it better.
Warlock and zealot get scaling spells per day based on their caster level/class level.
but any specialization can take the casting basics. but they only get spells per day as the current talents specify (ending with that progression where they only have 1 lv 6 spell per day in the end).

Sure there will be talents you are pointless if you didn't take that specialization (for instance a warlock a warlock could take, but have almost no use for the sneak attack related talents (baring vmc)).

I think that sort of design fits better in how this class reads to me.
balancing would be near impossible though of course.

but I'm basing that feeling entirely based what the class pdf comes with. Since we're only getting partial information on the class and the new mechanics it's mean to be used with.


Zwordsman wrote:
Cubic Prism wrote:

I'd like all the talents to be available to the base Vigilante and let the players decide what kind of mish-mash they want.

Also the amount of talents you have to dedicate toward spell casting is a bit much if they are keeping specializations. You get talents every two levels and it takes five talents to get full casting? So half your progression goes to casting.

Id love if it was more like this. The vsriety would be just so amusing and fun.

Itd be interesting to pour all talents at noth castings....
or making your own version of a magic trickster

Like.. choose your speciality. But if you wanted to spend a lot of your talents for weird things. Go ahead.

Be a vigitlante stalker who spends half his talents getting lv 1 and 2 divine and arcane spells.
(and in general i think they should have automatically scaling progression for spells per day. but still need the talents to unlock the abilty to use them)

Avenger gets full pseudo bab
Stalker gets sneak attack
Just alter the warlock and zealot's prime special to be a bit more useful. Or just give those two much more spells per day like normal 6th levels.
and then do require the talents to unlock the abilty to cast those levels

This way you could make a weird Warlock who fights like an avenger. or an avenger who knows a little healing. a stalker who dabbles in a little magic to pick up sneaking or traveling ability.

This would make the class so much more modular and unique and beloved.

Well,

For Warlock: base ability can be spellcasting + mystic bolt (we can give weak version of 1d6 no +lv unless take talent too).
Zealot: Give him spellcasting + channel energy.

I mean clerics get both those and domain sperlls/powers.


Has anyone seen any developer responses to why a Warlock or Zealot would be penalized half their talents just to be a rather poor spellcaster? I have read they're looking at bettering the dual identity aspect, but this seems to be just as big a weakness as that. Just let these two have their spells.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Manwolf wrote:
Has anyone seen any developer responses to why a Warlock or Zealot would be penalized half their talents just to be a rather poor spellcaster? I have read they're looking at bettering the dual identity aspect, but this seems to be just as big a weakness as that. Just let these two have their spells.

Because if you have a rogue, and a version of rogue with spellcasting with no trade off. The spellcasting rogue is 50% more efficient. The trade of talents for spells is just explicit in this instance.

I think the Warlock/Zealot should just have proper casting tables and fewer talents than the Avenger/Stalker. Yes you lose some flexibility but this class is already trying to do too much and does only one thing well (deceive divination). Which is like a class that's best at improving their carrying capacity. It doesn't come up often enough to matter anyway.


Starbuck_II wrote:


Well,
For Warlock: base ability can be spellcasting + mystic bolt (we can give weak version of 1d6 no +lv unless take talent too).
Zealot: Give him spellcasting + channel energy.

I mean clerics get both those and domain sperlls/powers.

That is an awesome idea...

Maybe even make Mystic Bolt run off caster level instead of class level.. Give the warlock more ability to use it while multiclassing.
or even make the base warlock's an SU(to prevent the double provoking of ranged attack), 1d6 and nothing. then with the talent it upgrades to 1d6+lv, SU running off caster level

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Mystic Bolt can be 1d6 per spell level capable of casting.

1d6 at 1st
2d6 at 4th
3d6 + 3d6 at 8th
4d6 + 4d6 at 10th
5d6 + 5d6 at 14th
5d6 + 5d6 + 5d6 at 15th
6d6 + 6d6 + 6d6 at 16th

EDIT:

Also, the range could increase by 30 feet for each increase in spell level.


SmiloDan wrote:

Mystic Bolt can be 1d6 per spell level capable of casting.

1d6 at 1st
2d6 at 4th
3d6 + 3d6 at 8th
4d6 + 4d6 at 10th
5d6 + 5d6 at 14th
5d6 + 5d6 + 5d6 at 15th
6d6 + 6d6 + 6d6 at 16th

EDIT:

Also, the range could increase by 30 feet for each increase in spell level.

That punishes Warlocks who who don't take all the casting talents. It would be better, were a change of this sort implemented, to set it a 1d6 at 1st level +1d6 per three caster levels after 1st (4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 19th), with a maximum of 7d6. This also doesn't change the end-of-build average damage by very much.

Regardless of all that, though, can we all agree that Mystic Bolt should not have a level restriction?

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I kind of like the idea that you have to choose between spell advancement and mystic bolt. Maybe give the warlock the option of spells OR mystic bolt at 1st level.


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SmiloDan wrote:
I kind of like the idea that you have to choose between spell advancement and mystic bolt. Maybe give the warlock the option of spells OR mystic bolt at 1st level.

But a Sorcerer with the Elemental bloodline doesn't have to choose between casting and elemental ray. With the other weak talent choices, why make the warlock even weaker? They make this a caster version of the vigilante class, and then make them pay thru the nose for a very few spells.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Manwolf wrote:
Has anyone seen any developer responses to why a Warlock or Zealot would be penalized half their talents just to be a rather poor spellcaster? I have read they're looking at bettering the dual identity aspect, but this seems to be just as big a weakness as that. Just let these two have their spells.

Because if you have a rogue, and a version of rogue with spellcasting with no trade off. The spellcasting rogue is 50% more efficient. The trade of talents for spells is just explicit in this instance.

I think the Warlock/Zealot should just have proper casting tables and fewer talents than the Avenger/Stalker. Yes you lose some flexibility but this class is already trying to do too much and does only one thing well (deceive divination). Which is like a class that's best at improving their carrying capacity. It doesn't come up often enough to matter anyway.

But that is the problem...

Comparing something to rogue will just do nothing but knee cap the class before it begins... Instead of limiting the rest of the classes to match the piss poor power level of the rogue (which is SO BAD that even paizo had to redo it...), how about buffing up the rogue part to match or atleast be close to the caster types?

Why penalize the only good specs because the other specs just suck hard.


SmiloDan wrote:
I kind of like the idea that you have to choose between spell advancement and mystic bolt. Maybe give the warlock the option of spells OR mystic bolt at 1st level.

That would make the warlock worse, when it's the only specialization that's "decent". There is no benefit to forcing the warlock to pick between being able to do damage and being able to be a weaker wizard.


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Why is everyone insistent on nerfing the ONLY DECENT SPEC of the vigilante too the crap level of its counter parts? You are all looking at this all wrong. Instead of penalizing the Warlock, WHY NOT MAKE THE OTHERS BETTER? I mean, as it stands, The fighter and the rogue types are really meh and the Zealot is just a piss poor Inquisitor.

Oh and the talk about making cool social persona talents does not help at all. Now you are just penalizing the Warlock even more since he has to waste half his talents just to be a worse caster than any other 6-level caster...


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Milo v3 wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
I kind of like the idea that you have to choose between spell advancement and mystic bolt. Maybe give the warlock the option of spells OR mystic bolt at 1st level.
That would make the warlock worse, when it's the only specialization that's "decent". There is no benefit to forcing the warlock to pick between being able to do damage and being able to be a weaker wizard.

Hell your not a weaker wizard.. your a weaker magus.. or bard... Even the Magician archetype BARD is a better caster than you...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It was an analogy. If I said:

If you make a version of the slayer with 6 levels of spellcasting with no trade off then your spellcasting slayer is 50% better than a slayer.

The zealot and warlock need to balanced against the Avenger and Stalker. That means they either need an additional mechanic or the vigicasters need to lose talents to compensate.

I am not saying balance against the rogue.


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Unfortunately, Paizo IS.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

It was an analogy. If I said:

If you make a version of the slayer with 6 levels of spellcasting with no trade off then your spellcasting slayer is 50% better than a slayer.

The zealot and warlock need to balanced against the Avenger and Stalker. That means they either need an additional mechanic or the vigicasters need to lose talents to compensate.

I am not saying balance against the rogue.

But compensating DOWN is horrible. The Avenger and Stalker are horridly broken... and not in the good way. They are utterly useless compared to the alternatives. Bringing down the only "decent" specs will just do nothing but force the class int obscurity... this will just end up like 3.5's Shadow Casters... cool flavor... not really worth using though...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
PIXIE DUST wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

It was an analogy. If I said:

If you make a version of the slayer with 6 levels of spellcasting with no trade off then your spellcasting slayer is 50% better than a slayer.

The zealot and warlock need to balanced against the Avenger and Stalker. That means they either need an additional mechanic or the vigicasters need to lose talents to compensate.

I am not saying balance against the rogue.

But compensating DOWN is horrible. The Avenger and Stalker are horridly broken... and not in the good way. They are utterly useless compared to the alternatives. Bringing down the only "decent" specs will just do nothing but force the class int obscurity... this will just end up like 3.5's Shadow Casters... cool flavor... not really worth using though...

I'd be fine with the vigimundanes getting more, and more effective talents if the vigicasters lost their casting tax.

I am not talking about the vigilante in comparison to other classes. Only the four archetypes balancing against one another.


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What I suggest is giving the Vigimundanes a Grit Pool like mechanic to justify more powerful abilities.

I've noticed Paizo does not like giving powerful abilities to mundanes unless they have a "only useable X/day (usually 1)" clause on it, and honestly... 1/day abilities suck because you end up holding on to it for when you need it and really sucks having to feel like your holding back due to limited use... Having a grit pool gives the Vigimundanes an expendable resource, but also has a nice auto filling mechanic built in. All in all, this would allow for some really cool abilites (as demonstrated with the Gunslinger and the Swashbuckler).


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


I'd be fine with the vigimundanes getting more, and more effective talents if the vigicasters lost their casting tax.

I am not talking about the vigilante in comparison to other classes. Only the four archetypes balancing against one another.

Having 1 specialization decent is better than having all crap IMO.

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Milo v3 wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
I kind of like the idea that you have to choose between spell advancement and mystic bolt. Maybe give the warlock the option of spells OR mystic bolt at 1st level.
That would make the warlock worse, when it's the only specialization that's "decent". There is no benefit to forcing the warlock to pick between being able to do damage and being able to be a weaker wizard.

Sorry for the late reply.

Anyways, I guess what I meant is this: I like the idea of the warlock having multiple interesting choices. Ideally, choosing to focus on spellcasting or mystic bolt or even something else will all be valid and balanced and super fun options.

EDIT:

For example, I think there should be talents to enhance the mystic bolt. Like a grappling hook option that can pull opponents toward the vigilante or let the vigilante climb and swing around.


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To put it into perspective, a casting themed warlock/Zealot is an NPC Adept with 3 extra specializations at 20th level, one additional level of spell casting, improved bab progression from 0.5 to 0.75, good reflex saves, and an alter ego. This is fine for the vigilante I'm inserting into my campaign; a peasant mook who turns into an NPC when relevant. I'd feel really constrained by this as a player.


SmiloDan wrote:


Sorry for the late reply.

Anyways, I guess what I meant is this: I like the idea of the warlock having multiple interesting choices. Ideally, choosing to focus on spellcasting or mystic bolt or even something else will all be valid and balanced and super fun options.

EDIT:

For example, I think there should be talents to enhance the mystic bolt. Like a grappling hook option that can pull opponents toward the vigilante or let the vigilante climb and swing around.

That doesn't really fit as a warlock though, since warlock is meant to be for arcane vigilantes, and not really arcane if you don't have arcane spells... either way spellcaster with the ability to deal damage rather than sorcerer/wizard spellcasting is a rather big nerf.


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Saying that the design team doesn't know how to design is going to do an amazing job of getting them to listen to your ideas, good job!


Cheapy wrote:
Saying that the design team doesn't know how to design is going to do an amazing job of getting them to listen to your ideas, good job!

I'd still like an answer to the original question. The Warlock is actually a very well designed NPC sub-class; nobody's said they don't know how to design, at least in this thread. This is a feedback forum, we're providing feedback. The current design does not work as a PC class.


Cheapy wrote:
Saying that the design team doesn't know how to design is going to do an amazing job of getting them to listen to your ideas, good job!

I don't think that they don't know how to design, they put out a play test to see if there are weak points to be fixed or improvements that would make it better.

My biggest issue is why bother to have an arcane or divine caster version of a vigilante if you have to spend talents just to be about to cast spells? If you're going to do that you might as well not bother with a fighter or rogue version either, and just create one vanilla flavored vigilante and it will be totally defined by choosing talents.

I would prefer to see the spells be part of the warlock and zealot class abilities, not is talents. Those talents should be additional abilities and add-ons to improve spell casting. I would also prefer the zealot not be limited to inquisitor spell lists. Let them have access to those lists and cleric lists. Pathfinder already has an inquisitor, it doesn't need a slightly different flavored duplicate.

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The modular spellcaster is a fun new design space. Obviously, it's not going to be perfect right out of the gate. Hopefully, they'll tweak it during the playtest to make it better. Maybe the higher level talents need to add more lower level spells per day.

For example, Arcane Training III might add 1 third level spell, 2 second level spells, and 1 first level spell, for a total of 4 first, 3 second, and 1 third.

Arcane Training IV might add 1 fourth level spell, 2 third level spells, 1 second level spell, and 1 first level. For 5, 4, 3, 1.

Arcane Training might add 1 fifth, 2 fourth, 1 third, and 1 second.
5, 5, 4, 3, 1.

Arcane Training might add 1 sixth, 2 fifth, 1 fourth, and 1 third.
5, 5, 5, 4, 3, 1.

Or variations like this. It would have to be playtested and balanced against the bard, inquisitor, magus, warpriest, and other 6/9 casters and maybe even 4/9 casters.


That would make them better spellcasters, though the zealot's will still need something to stop their casting from just being inquisitor casting with a different score.

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