Why does Forgemaster sucks and how to make it better?


Advice

Silver Crusade

I am playing a 9th level multiclass Forgemaster Cleric of Torag. My build is actually 5 Forgemaster Cleric / 1 Unsworn Shaman / 3 Soul Warden. It is mainly a melee character, with crafting focus out of combat. Soul Warden levels were taken mainly for the channel energy and the free Channel Smite feat (needed for the Guided Hand feat), so I have no reason to continue on that route, and next level, I will go back to Forgemaster. The problem is, after level 5, there is pretty much no more progression in terms of class features.

Let me explain. As a Forgemaster, I am forced to use the Artifice domain (with no subdomains): Artifice domain is one of the worst domains that exist in the game (in my opinion), both in terms of domain powers and spells. At the moment, I have already substituted the 1st level domain power for Torag's Patient Strike, as per the rules of Divine Fighting Technique, but I still have no use for the 8th level domain power: why would animating my weapon for 3 rounds per day (since the first is wasted on the standard action to activate the power) be of any use?

As per the Runeforger class feature, only two or three of the available options are decent, and the levelling up pretty much only increases the duration of the runes (which is hardly of any use once you can already have them for hours/level).

I have tried looking into Prestige Classes, but they are all either feat intensive in terms of prerequisites, or do not add caster levels from the start (which could be fixed with the Prestigious Spellcaster feats, which will however make the PrC even more feat intensive), or have BAB 1/2.

Do you have any idea on how to make this archetype more interesting without a huge investment on feats?


Gray Warden wrote:

I am playing a 9th level multiclass Forgemaster Cleric of Torag.

multiclass Forgemaster Cleric of Torag.

multiclass Cleric

Well that's your first, and main, problem. Sure you've basically thrown away all of your class features as a Forgemaster, but you're still a 9th level caster. As a multiclassed cleric you're not even that. Retrain immediately. Either out of cleric or into cleric, doesn't really matter.

If you decide to stay, then first on the shopping list is an Icon of Aspects, so that you can change your domain powers for better ones. See if your GM allows subdomains to work with it, and tell your god you'd rather have your 1st level power back than the Divine Fighting Technique. Hopefully they're understanding.


You could look at Exalted or Evangelist. Exalted requires a bit more, but it gives you caster level for all 10 levels as well as granting you an additional domain. So, you're not having to spend feats on prestigeous caster.

Another option is Pathfinder Savant. It would match your crafter theme while granting a lot of useful abilities, in addition to letting you poach spells from other classes. As a cleric its easy to get a lot of mileage out of this prestige class, even if you're just using it to grab things like permanency.

None of these options should be too feat intensive for your character. As you probably only need 1 or at most 2 feats in order to qualify.

Silver Crusade

Wonderstell wrote:
Gray Warden wrote:

I am playing a 9th level multiclass Forgemaster Cleric of Torag.

multiclass Forgemaster Cleric of Torag.

multiclass Cleric

Well that's your first, and main, problem. Sure you've basically thrown away all of your class features as a Forgemaster, but you're still a 9th level caster. As a multiclassed cleric you're not even that. Retrain immediately. Either out of cleric or into cleric, doesn't really matter.

If you decide to stay, then first on the shopping list is an Icon of Aspects, so that you can change your domain powers for better ones. See if your GM allows subdomains to work with it, and tell your god you'd rather have your 1st level power back than the Divine Fighting Technique. Hopefully they're understanding.

One level dip never hurt nobody...I still am a 9th level caster, except I also have a familiar to help with crafting, +1 natural armor (from Ioun Wyrd familiar), Craft Wondrous Item, Extend Spell or lots of other abilities on demand (through the floating hex). I strongly believe this is worth losing a single CL.

The Icon of Aspects, however, is very nice: I did not know about it. I will keep the Divine Fighting Technique, since I do enjoy the free Combat Reflexes on Wis, but I will gladly swap the 8th level domain power for literally anything else. Thank you!


Gray Warden wrote:
One level dip never hurt nobody...I still am a 9th level caster, except I also have a familiar to help with crafting, +1 natural armor (from Ioun Wyrd familiar), Craft Wondrous Item, Extend Spell or lots of other abilities on demand (through the floating hex). I strongly believe this is worth losing a single CL.

Oooooh... Soul Warden was a prestige class advancing your spellcasting. I thought it was another dip and you had the spellcasting of a 5th level cleric. Which is pretty bad.

Gray Warden wrote:
The Icon of Aspects, however, is very nice: I did not know about it. I will keep the Divine Fighting Technique, since I do enjoy the free Combat Reflexes on Wis, but I will gladly swap the 8th level domain power for literally anything else.

Hm. Well you can always just take it with a normal feat if you think some 1st level power is worth a feat later on. Not quite sure how much mileage you're getting out of Combat Reflexes though.

Silver Crusade

Wonderstell wrote:
Hm. Well you can always just take it with a normal feat if you think some 1st level power is worth a feat later on. Not quite sure how much mileage you're getting out of Combat Reflexes though.

A lot, since it goes on Wis (not Dex) and I often use Enlarge Person and Long Arm.

Exalted is nice, however it will not come online before 13th level, when I will be able to pick the second pre-req feat, while the Expanded Portfolio won't come before 15th level, which is a bit too late for my tastes.


As someone who has a 5th level Unsworn Shaman in Giantslayers, I'm curious why you took the dip in Unsworn Shaman...is it the floating hexes that could be used for potion brewing and crafting wondrous items (as well as a familiar)? Or some other reason?


eh, a 1 level dip on a 9 level caster with wizard style progression rather than sorc progression is a 1 level delay on your next level of spells. I find that hurts more than almost anything else.

Multiclassing is for martials.


Gray Warden wrote:


As per the Runeforger class feature, only two or three of the available options are decent, and the levelling up pretty much only increases the duration of the runes (which is hardly of any use once you can already have them for hours/level).

You should probably look at the Runeforger class features again. Levels don't dramatically raise the duration of the runes. Expending multiple runes on an item does. The number of uses goes up with Int mod. You gain new rune choices every 2 levels and some of them are quite powerful.

Invulnerability seems nice. Limited, but nice. Powerstrike and Ghostglyph are also very nice and you only qualify to take one of them currently.

Honestly don't think Runeforging is as good as Channel, but you didn't pick this archetype to gain Runeforging. Nobody would.

Silver Crusade

JiaYou wrote:
As someone who has a 5th level Unsworn Shaman in Giantslayers, I'm curious why you took the dip in Unsworn Shaman...is it the floating hexes that could be used for potion brewing and crafting wondrous items (as well as a familiar)? Or some other reason?

Valet Familiar, +1 AC from the familiar, on demand: Craft Wondrous Items, Extend Spell, Wis instead of Int on skills, Heaven's Leap. Worth it. And the 4 extra 1st level spells are useful for the occasional Stone Shield.

Ryan Freire wrote:

eh, a 1 level dip on a 9 level caster with wizard style progression rather than sorc progression is a 1 level delay on your next level of spells. I find that hurts more than almost anything else.

Which means that I can notice the difference only literally 50% of the time, while the things I get in return apply 100% of the time. As said multiple times: worth it.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Multiclassing is for martials.

Oh, OK, I guess I'll change all my build now.

Meirril wrote:
You should probably look at the Runeforger class features again. Levels don't dramatically raise the duration of the runes. Expending multiple runes on an item does. The number of uses goes up with Int mod. You gain new rune choices every 2 levels and some of them are quite powerful

Which part of my comment makes you think this wasn't clear to me already? Indeed, leveling up only affects the duration of the runes, as they last rounds, minutes, 10 minutes or hours per level. Also, as I said, only 3 or so are worth their space on the character sheet, namely Powerstrike, Ghostglyph (as you said as well) and Spellgliph, all of which can be obtained with 6 levels of Forgemaster through one retrain. But then again, I'm not discussing the utility of this class feature: I already know that this class feature is bad, as well as all others class features past level 5-6. The question is: read the title.


Gray Warden wrote:
Oh, OK, I guess I'll change all my build now.

The heathen hath converted! Another victory for our lord and saviour, the holy Optimization!

The main problem you're encountering is that the Cleric class is very badly designed (just like Wizard, by the way). In 3.5, everyone and the kitchen sink used prestige classes because most main classes had practically no class features (beyond spell casting, which prestige classes often fully advance). Paizo fixed that more-or-less successful for most classes, but Wizard's and Cleric's spellcasting is so strong that you can't just add class features to the class, so they got some minor thing (bonus feats and channel energy, respectively), plus some abilities at some point form their specialization (school/domain). The problem is that Paizo didn't have the balls to do what was needed to be done, severely nerfing the spells to a point where the classes aren't utterly defined by their spellcasting.
The result is that the problem is not that Forgemaster's non-casting class features are too weak, the problem is that there aren't strong enough non-casting class features to really produce good archetypes for the class.

Still, it would help if there were runes with a higher level requirement, that would be worth it at higher levels, or more scaling ones.

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