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Jason Wedel wrote:

Random thought:

If not counting equipment in this, would not almost all prepared spellcasters fall to 0 on this? After all they no longer have their spellbooks or holy symbols...

It's not that we're completely discounting equipment, it's that were discounting things that aren't unique to your class.

UMD doesn't matter because everyone can do it with (more or less) about the same level of capability.

But things like Gloves of Dueling are a solid argument if you're looking at comparing the damage capabilities of fighter vs the damage capabilities of another class.


WBL should be assumed.


These might be dumb counter arguments but here goes:

1: ball lightning does 3d6 damage, anyone with 10+ ER will ignore it. 50/50 at 10 and just about always at 15. Dazing spells don't trigger if the target is immune to the damage type.

2: landing a successful planar binding is tough work with multiple points of failure, and even if successful in binding an efreet would move your caster towards LE as the spell would gain the L and E descriptors. Additionally, the efreet is the one casting the wish spell allowing it to bend your intentions. Especially if it doesn't like being bound (here is a hint, it doesn't).

3: being a prepared spell caster means you can adept daily but not within a specific situation. Thus by favoring specific spells, like dazing ball lightning, you open yourself up to NPCs making knowledge checks to learn your habits and develop counters. That ball lightning or planar binding isn't going to help when the enemy has prepared energy resistance and banishment.

Basically, I can see how wizards can be strong. Especially in pfs where encounters cannot be altered and enemies cannot adapt to the players, thus a bit of meta gaming and a wizard can win the game. But in a home game if you were to try that nonsense it would result in the GM either talking to you privately or dropping hammers on your strategy to ensure the other players at the table were allowed to participate and have fun. When only 1 person is winning whole encounters the rest of the table is not having fun because tree is no reason to participate or get invested into a game that the wizard wins for them.


All of these factors matter. The real question comes down down to context. Is this one player or a party and what other classes are in that party.

I would probably have wizard and cleric higher than, say barb, no matter what. But if it was a 1 man party, I'd be more inclined for cleric, despite the wizard's overall power adtvantage.

So tiers may be both subjective and objective. It depends on the goal of this exercise.

Grand Lodge

Create Mr. Pitt wrote:

All of these factors matter. The real question comes down down to context. Is this one player or a party and what other classes are in that party.

I would probably have wizard and cleric higher than, say barb, no matter what. But if it was a 1 man party, I'd be more inclined for cleric, despite the wizard's overall power adtvantage.

So tiers may be both subjective and objective. It depends on the goal of this exercise.

There is an experiment on the boards where someone ran a single sorcerer through an AP. I have never seen it attempted with another character, but I would like to.


ShroudedInLight wrote:

These might be dumb counter arguments but here goes:

Basically, I can see how wizards can be strong. Especially in pfs where encounters cannot be altered and enemies cannot adapt to the players, thus a bit of meta gaming and a wizard can win the game. But in a home game if you were to try that nonsense it would result in the GM either talking to you privately or dropping hammers on your strategy to ensure the other players at the table were allowed to participate and have fun. When only 1 person is winning whole encounters the rest of the table is not having fun because tree is no reason to participate or get invested into a game that the wizard wins for them.

I get the Idea no one wants a character who can win every fight by themselves. But I am HIGHLY against GM vs Player because they win a fight by themselves every now and then.

My reasons:

1: There will be fights that negate certain character builds. There will be times a fighter is useless or the rogue cannot get to a target. There will be fights that a wizard would have more trouble than others in and must rely on the others. But because a wizard is much more versatile than a fighter it will seem like those fights are rarer.

2: It basically is a controllers job to swing the chances of victory in favor of the party. You basically punish them for doing their job.


Arbitrarily punishing the wizard for doing his job is, of course, unacceptable GM behavior. However, There is a difference between "the wizard contributes majorly to the party victory" and what some folks in the thread have been describing as "the wizard ends every fight on round 1 with 1 spell"

The prior is expected on a majority of fights after level 5, the later involves enemies with significant anti-wizard design suddenly entering the campaign. At the very least it will force the wizard to rely on his allies to keep him safe as he disables the foes that are still vulnerable to his chosen tactics. Remember that it is important that everyone at the table has fun, some enemies will still be vulnerable to his/her tricks but they can be their spell book that the number of encounters they are single handily ending will go down. The rest of the party only enjoys "and we kill the unconscious enemy party" a few times before it gets really old.


ShroudedInLight wrote:

These might be dumb counter arguments but here goes:

1: ball lightning does 3d6 damage, anyone with 10+ ER will ignore it. 50/50 at 10 and just about always at 15. Dazing spells don't trigger if the target is immune to the damage type.

At the levels where you can have a Dazing Ball Lightning, you also have access to Permanent Arcane Sight. Spellcraft check to see if the enemy has magical abjurations up, Knowledge check to see if they have natural immunities. At most, these cost you your move action. Still enough for a Quickened Dispel Magic at any particular abjuration, followed by the spell in question.

Quote:
2: landing a successful planar binding is tough work with multiple points of failure, and even if successful in binding an efreet would move your caster towards LE as the spell would gain the L and E descriptors. Additionally, the efreet is the one casting the wish spell allowing it to bend your intentions. Especially if it doesn't like being bound (here is a hint, it doesn't).

The alignment point is moot, since that would mean I just have to planar bind an angel or an azata to completely counteract it's effects.

As for the possibility of the efreeti bending your intentions, this is partially solved via basic diplomacy checks. Or just Charm Monster, forcing it to (as per the spell) "perceives your words and actions in the most favorable way."

This of course ignores the far easier option, Simulacrum. Simulacrums have no will of their own, and are bound to do as you wish, forever. Hence the moniker "Snow-Cone Wish Machine."

Quote:
3: being a prepared spell caster means you can adept daily but not within a specific situation. Thus by favoring specific spells, like dazing ball lightning, you open yourself up to NPCs making knowledge checks to learn your habits and develop counters. That ball lightning or planar binding isn't going to help when the enemy has prepared energy resistance and banishment.

If you use one spell to end an encounter, then you have a ton of free spell slots open for potential backups. Then there are general spells like Summon Monster which are incredibly strong because they give you immense situational versatility. Even if the enemy has access to Banishment, that's still an action that they had to use to deal with it, and an action that they aren't using against you directly.

Quote:
Basically, I can see how wizards can be strong. Especially in pfs where encounters cannot be altered and enemies cannot adapt to the players, thus a bit of meta gaming and a wizard can win the game. But in a home game if you were to try that nonsense it would result in the GM either talking to you privately or dropping hammers on your strategy to ensure the other players at the table were allowed to participate and have fun. When only 1 person is winning whole encounters the rest of the table is not having fun because tree is no reason to participate or get invested into a game that the wizard wins for them.

I agree that a wizard played to their potential and winning every combat before anyone else even gets to play is not going to be a fun game for many other players. I'm not saying this a good thing, I am only calling to attention the fact that this entirely exists, since we are in a discussion about class tiers.

Casters at higher levels are kept in check only by GM fiat and more powerful casters, nothing more. Enemies are forced to adapt to the strategies of the caster and pre-buff, but rarely can the same be said of martials.

Plus, even with prebuffing, even with prior knowledge, it's not always possible to completely neuter a wizard, or disadvantage them in a way that doesn't hamper the entire party without just straight up GM fiat.


Claxon wrote:

Teleport is blocked? How? Forbiddance, it can be dispelled. Typically unless the GM is just making crap up, there is a way around it.

Uh, gms have narrative power and more than one game and/or module has had wonky s&#% that interferes with teleportation. GMS dont have to follow the same rules as players, thats part of being a GM.


Tier 1: Core
Tier 2: PFS
Tier 3: Your GM says everything is allowed (and loans the players a database of pirated PDFs)
Tier 4: ...including 3rd Edition.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Teleport is blocked? How? Forbiddance, it can be dispelled. Typically unless the GM is just making crap up, there is a way around it.

Uh, gms have narrative power and more than one game and/or module has had wonky s%*% that interferes with teleportation. GMS dont have to follow the same rules as players, thats part of being a GM.

Yes, or as I put it "GMs making crap up".

You're right, they don't have to follow the rules, but that just says more about how good wizards are that GMs have to break the rules to compensate for them.


The Tier list is enormously influenced by the GM's behaviour.... 90% of the games I've played in, the D6 caster classes are far less attacked by the enemy.

Where the GM actively balances the enemies attacks and behaviour, the D6 classes soon find themselves struggling more than the martials.


I feel like a big part of that Doc Roc is that martials all tend to be in front of casters. The martials are aware that the casters handle problems they cannot, so they want to protect their spell casters so they can do that.

So if you mean that the GM focuses on casters to the exclusion of martials...I wouldn't call that balanced.


doc roc wrote:

The Tier list is enormously influenced by the GM's behaviour.... 90% of the games I've played in, the D6 caster classes are far less attacked by the enemy.

Where the GM actively balances the enemies attacks and behaviour, the D6 classes soon find themselves struggling more than the martials.

GM should be focus firing just like the party does.

If dive bombing the wizard is an effective tactic, then the party deserves to be dead.

Or your wizard is magic jarred into their favorite bound outsider and is the tankiest member of the party.

Using my own HP? What is this low levels?


Claxon wrote:


So if you mean that the GM focuses on casters to the exclusion of martials...I wouldn't call that balanced.

I didnt say that at all did I?

When I GM I use common sense.... when I am attacked by a party of PCs, I reply in kind.

Its not hard to recognise casters, and if they are presenting a serious threat then they get attacked.... simple. After all if I have an enemy caster and the PC Barbraian is wrecking havoc..... it makes no sense to just stand back... it just wouldnt happen.

Why do you think in modern warfare, enemy artillery is attacked very early on? If you sit back and let artillery shoot at you, you end up dead very quickly.....


What I meant is that most encounters primarily involve melee NPCs for the party to fight.

This means that generally speaking (if the party is using good tactics) they cannot bum rush or focus fire the casters without exposing themselves to great risk.

Now, in encounters when there are enemy ranged martials or enemy casters, they are normally view as target priorities and are eliminated before others because they pose such a risk to the less survivable members of the party.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
Uh, gms have narrative power and more than one game and/or module has had wonky s$#+ that interferes with teleportation. GMS dont have to follow the same rules as players, thats part of being a GM.

I feel like, just in terms of simulationist logic, if there's some vault or command center that a fortified area exists to protect, since teleportation exists and people know about it, if it's a suitably high level area that the party has access to teleport, they would have considered "how do we keep people from just teleporting into the vault and robbing us" and engaged in appropriate countermeasures (I mean, Teleport Trap can be made permanent).

I think GM fiat in the form of "making the world make sense by having the people in it be aware of what things are possible and plan for various possibilities" is the most acceptable form of GM fiat, anyway.


doc roc wrote:

The Tier list is enormously influenced by the GM's behaviour.... 90% of the games I've played in, the D6 caster classes are far less attacked by the enemy.

Where the GM actively balances the enemies attacks and behaviour, the D6 classes soon find themselves struggling more than the martials.

Similarly, wizards drop a tier or two when the campaign doesn't include enough downtime to shop for scrolls, copy scrolls into your spellbook, scribe scrolls, or have time to come at a problem tomorrow with a tailored spell selection. or at least that's my personal experience.


The DMs who single out and overly target the caster tend to also be the ones who Ban Emergency Force Sphere and goes ham on in the middle of the night encounters so the wizard cannot get full rests and attacks when most defensive buffs are down.

Hell, I've even seen a GM build a party of 4 designed specifically to screw the caster. Tetori Monk, Counterspelling Arcanist, Superstition Arcane Bloodrager, and Evangelist Travel cleric. Says things like "The group should defend the caster." While teleporting around the group, and walling them off to get to the wizard and killing him in a single round.

I've seen it, I've Experienced it and it really sucks when GMs will punish you for being a certain class or playing a halfway decent full caster.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Emergency Force Sphere is an obvious case of designer having a great idea about a spell but failing to imagine how the implications of its practical use. Just like with Snowball.

It's not "punishing people for playing halfway decent casters", it's eliminating non-core cheese which pops up every now and then. Full casters are powerful enough with their CRB spell lists.

Grand Lodge

I agree with Louise that gms should not target any specific characters. But I come in on a middle ground of the issue. I think games are more fun when people overcome challenges and encounter real risks. In this respect a gm should have the system mastery to find interesting challenges for each character and not allow a single pc dictate the terms of the game. Even attacks at night are a reasonable tool if a wizard decides he is going to rest after every fight. Recon would suggest the group spends 23.9h a day at camp. Perfectly reasonable for the enemy to work with this.

Paizo has anti magic, anti temportation, magic mishapps, crazy weather effects baked into plenty of publish material. That would suggest that these are within reason for a gm to use as story telling devices.


Grandlounge wrote:
Paizo has anti magic, anti temportation, magic mishapps, crazy weather effects baked into plenty of publish material. That would suggest that these are within reason for a gm to use as story telling devices.

They do, but they also have limitations that can be gotten around.

Antimagic Field spell has limited range.

Anti-teleportation spells can usually be dispelled.


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Gorbacz wrote:

Emergency Force Sphere is an obvious case of designer having a great idea about a spell but failing to imagine how the implications of its practical use. Just like with Snowball.

It's not "punishing people for playing halfway decent casters", it's eliminating non-core cheese which pops up every now and then. Full casters are powerful enough with their CRB spell lists.

I can understand playing CRB only but when you allow everyone to build with any Paizo only material then start stripping things from 1 player mid-campaign and taking focus on trying to actively kill that player because you as a GM hate the class and how powerful it becomes is straight BS.

But also proof that they are top tier when people feel like they should be highly limited and not given the same ability to pick what is available.

Now if EFS is such a problem then I would believe the staff would Make it not PFS legal or "Fix" the spell. But it has been out for YEARS now and no such thing. As a matter of fact, it has been out for 8 years now.

Grand Lodge

Claxon wrote:
Grandlounge wrote:
Paizo has anti magic, anti temportation, magic mishapps, crazy weather effects baked into plenty of publish material. That would suggest that these are within reason for a gm to use as story telling devices.

They do, but they also have limitations that can be gotten around.

Antimagic Field spell has limited range.

Anti-teleportation spells can usually be dispelled.

In pfs scenarios they have blanket effects, not really based on spells, many of which are insurmountable.

They are caused by artifacts, massive dementias rifts, crazy time portals etc.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Louise Bishop wrote:

Now if EFS is such a problem then I would believe the staff would Make it not PFS legal or "Fix" the spell. But it has been out for YEARS now and no such thing. As a matter of fact, it has been out for 8 years now.

So is Wizard, Cleric and Druid, and no fixes in sight. Besides, Paizo never issues errata for softcovers, so even if they would think EFS warrants a change, it won't happen.


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Louise Bishop wrote:
But also proof that they are top tier when people feel like they should be highly limited and not given the same ability to pick what is available.

Yeah, this. If GMs have to design encounters to stymie the wizard, or design dungeons of even entire campaigns with the wizard's powers in mind to stop the wizard trivialising something important, then that's a clue that the wizard is a bit much. Which in turn brings us back to the tiers. A tier guide is a useful tool for GMs to warn them when problems are likely to occur.


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Louise Bishop wrote:
I've seen it, I've Experienced it and it really sucks when GMs will punish you for being a certain class or playing a halfway decent full caster.

If this caster turns out to be way stronger than any fellow adventurers or the encounters, then there is also the option that the player restrict themselves. So the other players will enjoy more spotlight, the GM is no longer in the unpleasant situation to decide about restricting the caster and the caster player still has some emergency tricks to pull if an encounter goes horribly wrong.

Sovereign Court

Regarding the "GM making crap up to stop teleportation"...

Teleport spell wrote:
You must have some clear idea of the location and layout of the destination. The clearer your mental image, the more likely the teleportation works. Areas of strong physical or magical energy may make teleportation more hazardous or even impossible.

This is totally baked into the spell to begin with. The GM would be just following the cues he's given by the game.

There's a reason volcano lairs are a classic. And all of the vague excuses from Star Trek why they can't just transport in and out everywhere can be used in Pathfinder as well.


Ascalaphus wrote:

Regarding the "GM making crap up to stop teleportation"...

Teleport spell wrote:
You must have some clear idea of the location and layout of the destination. The clearer your mental image, the more likely the teleportation works. Areas of strong physical or magical energy may make teleportation more hazardous or even impossible.

This is totally baked into the spell to begin with. The GM would be just following the cues he's given by the game.

There's a reason volcano lairs are a classic. And all of the vague excuses from Star Trek why they can't just transport in and out everywhere can be used in Pathfinder as well.

The problem is they don't specify what "areas of strong physical or magical energy" are. It's still GM fiat. Is a volcano strong energy? Is a star? What qualifies?

Sure, the GM can decide that something qualifies, but players are given no guidelines by the game to know what does or doesn't qualify. I'm not saying it's not justified, I'm just saying it's still the GM making stuff up.

I definitely have home rules about teleportation. My house rule is that if you couldn't move through the space on your own you can't teleport into an area. So for instance, a closed door into a room will prevent teleportation. This means that teleportation for over world almost always works. But it means any building will usually block teleportation by taking minimal actions to keep doors/windows shut.

Sovereign Court

Claxon wrote:

The problem is they don't specify what "areas of strong physical or magical energy" are. It's still GM fiat. Is a volcano strong energy? Is a star? What qualifies?

Sure, the GM can decide that something qualifies, but players are given no guidelines by the game to know what does or doesn't qualify. I'm not saying it's not justified, I'm just saying it's still the GM making stuff up.

Well yeah of course. Then again I wouldn't play "gotcha" with the players about it. If an area is difficult to teleport into, it'll probably also show up when trying to scry into the area. If you're scrying the BBEG and he's in his volcano lair that's so energetic it prevents teleport, you'd see lava flowing past on the scrying sensor, or "interference" - stuff that a guy with Knowledge Arcana could interpret as a danger sign.

If the wizard is just teleporting in without any scouting ahead, he deserves a transport accident episode.

Claxon wrote:
I definitely have home rules about teleportation. My house rule is that if you couldn't move through the space on your own you can't teleport into an area. So for instance, a closed door into a room will prevent teleportation. This means that teleportation for over world almost always works. But it means any building will usually block teleportation by taking minimal actions to keep doors/windows shut.

I'm not sure I'd go with that - maybe for teleport, but I think it doesn't suit Dimension Door for example.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey, the OP wanted clear, universally agreed upon tier lists, not nerds arguing over minutae... ;-P


Ascalaphus wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I definitely have home rules about teleportation. My house rule is that if you couldn't move through the space on your own you can't teleport into an area. So for instance, a closed door into a room will prevent teleportation. This means that teleportation for over world almost always works. But it means any building will usually block teleportation by taking minimal actions to keep doors/windows shut.
I'm not sure I'd go with that - maybe for teleport, but I think it doesn't suit Dimension Door for example.

Yeah, it doesn't apply to DDoor, only teleport. Sorry, that was unclear in my post, but you're right.

I wanted to leave teleport as a useful means to get between cities and such, but not have it be an option to get past dungeons or enemies who are intelligent and would like to be prepared, but don't have magic like forbiddance.


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

I thought that was the whole point of trying to separate things into rice fields (or tiers, if you prefer).

To argue over minutae. :-)


Hate to be that guy, really do, but it's minutiae, not minutae. And I agree, that's kinda the point (how can we determine if X is better than Y if we don't talk about every difference between X and Y).

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