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Kaihaku
2008-10-05, 04:42 AM
So, what Prestige Classes have you always wanted to play but been prevented from due to poor mechanics or design flaws?

Master of the Unseen Hand: I love the flavor and style of a telekinetic battler but the class suffers from three major flaws. 1. Casters are really the only viable option to meet the Telekinesis requirement in most campaigns. 2. Casters who take the class end up significantly worse for it. 3. The abilities provided by the class are flavorful but they are not potent enough to be worthwhile.

Forsaker: This is older material from 3e but this magic hating class was much more flavorful and, at least I thought, interesting of a design than the 3.5 Occult Slayer. Unfortunately, for forsaking magic altogether the class did not receive enough benefits to keep on level with other melee much less casters. Of course, something cheesy like a Monk->Forsaker w/ Vow of Poverty is another matter at least at low levels but still...

Wayfarer Guide: I know this was probably meant to be an NPC class to allow for a system of teleporting or what not, but I rather enjoyed the class and if it had not hindered casting progression I probably would have tried fielding it. As it is, it weakens a caster for little benefit.

Maybe I'll post some others later, how about you?

Tempest Fennac
2008-10-05, 04:54 AM
Considering the Wayfarer Guide requirements, isn't taking just 1 level practical? If I can find which book it's in, I'll check the other class levels (I only know the first 2 from Crystal Keep).

EDIT: I know what you mean about the 3rd level not being that worthwhile.

jcsw
2008-10-05, 04:59 AM
Mindbender. I know first level is a good dip, but I wish the rest of it were playable.

Teron
2008-10-05, 05:15 AM
The osteomancer and the flux adept from Dragon are conceptually really cool (spellcasters who manipulate bones and their own glands, respectively) and get some nifty abilities, but most of them aren't very useful, and they don't remotely make up for the halved spellcasting progression - yet they both require too much spellcasting ability to enter to be used in a viable gish build, despite class features half-arsedly geared to that (especially the osteomancer -half the feature list consists of DR-piercing properties for bone spurs that act as spiked gauntlets). While I haven't seen the Dragon Compendium versions, I've heard they still have half spellcasting progression and I simply can't comprehend who thought that was a good idea, since the worthlessness of such classes was well known by the time the book was put together.

Incidentally, there's another class I've been contemplating regretfully of late... and I'd like to know who gave the arcane duelist (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20030224a) wizard BAB so I could beat them over the head with a stack of books.

Smeggedoff
2008-10-05, 05:19 AM
Shifter, Master of Many Forms just doesn't measure up imo

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-10-05, 05:23 AM
Shifter, Master of Many Forms just doesn't measure up imoMoMF does just fine as long as you don't compare it to a full Druid.

Really, every Wizard PrC that loses caster levels but has good flavor needs a revamp, other than the Malconvoker(which is just awesome).

Kaihaku
2008-10-05, 05:26 AM
Well...there are also Prestige Classes which have 'Evil' alignment requirements removing them as choices in many campaigns.

Assassin: Why couldn't it be "non-good" or even have no alignment penalty? There are no Lawful Neutral dutiful Assassins following the orders of their liege? There are no Good characters who use stealthy methods to oppose their enemies? Please don't tell me that that poison is 'evil'...and that's the reason. :smallfrown:

Ur-Priest: Evil? Why? There are Evil gods in almost every Dungeons and Dragons setting. Why does rebelling against the divine come with an "Evil" qualifier? Shouldn't it be "Chaos" instead? Or even better, how about no alignment requirement leaving it open for a character to come to see the divine as the target of their ire for whatever reason; there are plenty of justifiable ones that still fit a 'good' character. I know, I've played a few of those perspectives out as a Mystic (Dragonlance).

Then there are racial prestige classes that are...just what?

Arcane Archer: Elves and Half-elves only, what? Why? Why can't any arcane spellcaster who knows how to use a bow go for it? That's in addition to problems with the mechanics of the class.

Dwarven Defender: Okay, yes, Dwarves are stalwart and that's really cool. But why is this class for Dwarves only? Why can't a person of any race become a defensive specialist?

Tempest Fennac
2008-10-05, 05:34 AM
I know what you mean about those issues. (In regards to Assassins, I would have thought that the lack of skill points would have been the biggest problem). With Ur-Priests, the idea of stealing Divine energy could be seen as a huge crime against nature, but I'd have said Chaotic would fit better for that.

Tokiko Mima
2008-10-05, 05:46 AM
Well...there are also Prestige Classes which have 'Evil' alignment requirements removing them as choices in many campaigns.

Assassin: Why couldn't it be "non-good" or even have no alignment penalty? There are no Lawful Neutral dutiful Assassins following the orders of their liege? There are no Good characters who use stealthy methods to oppose their enemies? Please don't tell me that that poison is 'evil'...and that's the reason. :smallfrown:

Be an Avenger (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/prc/20070401a) instead! It's EXACTLY what you're looking for.

*shoos away Harvey Birdman fans*

Personally, I'd like to see an Enlightened Spirit PrC that advances invocations, and Invocations flavored for good-aligned Warlocks. It would be nice to be able to point to a good aligned Warlock PrC that doesn't completely suck.

bosssmiley
2008-10-05, 05:50 AM
The Planescape faction prestige classes from "Planar Handbook". Some of them are fun, but almost all are either sub-optimal, or outright weaksauce. :smallannoyed:

Dhavaer
2008-10-05, 05:53 AM
Magelord: due to poorly thought-out requirements, it can't be completed pre-epic.

Irreverent Fool
2008-10-05, 05:55 AM
Mindbender. I know first level is a good dip, but I wish the rest of it were playable.

Mindbender is playable if your DM doesn't take away your toys every time you eternal charm something...

BobVosh
2008-10-05, 05:56 AM
So, what Prestige Classes have you always wanted to play but been prevented from due to poor mechanics or design flaws?

Master of the Unseen Hand: I love the flavor and style of a telekinetic battler but the class suffers from three major flaws. 1. Casters are really the only viable option to meet the Telekinesis requirement in most campaigns. 2. Casters who take the class end up significantly worse for it. 3. The abilities provided by the class are flavorful but they are not potent enough to be worthwhile.

I have always wanted to be a blue slaad/MotUH. It would be epically awesome.

Bear Warrior. I really like the shaman/naturistic barbarian, but it just takes too much away from the other potentials like frenzy beserker.

Can't really remember the name...Alien something or other from the Complete Arcane.

Tempest Fennac
2008-10-05, 06:06 AM
Are you thinking of Alienists, Bob? They sound interresting, but most of their abilities appear to be cancelled out by additional penalties. Excluding the fluff, are there honestly any differences between Avengers and Assassins?

Saph
2008-10-05, 06:08 AM
Master of Many Forms: It would be a great class except that the entire ten levels of the PrC are all made obsolete by a single spell (Shapechange). If they just made it as good as Shapechange it would be okay, but as things are a straight-classed Druid at high levels is actually a better shapechanger than the MoMF, which is just wrong.

Hierophant: Nice idea, shame about the total loss of caster levels.

Arcane Archer: Really nice idea, except they forgot that bow and arrow enhancement bonuses don't stack in 3.5, making the PrC's primary feature totally useless. If you let the AA's enhancement bonus stack and gave it 1/2 spellcasting progression, it would be awesome.

Dwarven Defender: High-level combats are all about mobility. A class that revolves around the enemy coming to you? Not really going to work. The class would work much better if they just got rid of the movement restrictions completely.

- Saph

BobVosh
2008-10-05, 06:09 AM
Are you thinking of Alienists, Bob? They sound interresting, but most of their abilities appear to be cancelled out by additional penalties. Excluding the fluff, are there honestly any differences between Avengers and Assassins?

Probably, the one that had to had contact with another plane. I think it is alienist. Like I said, I wish they were playable. But they ain't.

Also I wish green star adept went the other way around granting fighters magic powers rather than making wizards more physical. Give em a spell progression that is decent. Although even then they would only be playable in games where you build the character with the levels already.

Dhavaer
2008-10-05, 06:12 AM
Excluding the fluff, are there honestly any differences between Avengers and Assassins?

Nope. That's kind of the point, I think.

Tempest Fennac
2008-10-05, 06:13 AM
Aren't Hierophants okay for Epic levels? (Admittedly, that is a huge problem for most players due to most games not getting to that point.) I've never tried the class and I'm not that good at balancing things, but I'm guessing that the negatives outweigh the Alienist's bonuses, right? Wouldn;t just removing Assassin's alignment restrictions be easier and more logical?

Kaihaku
2008-10-05, 06:34 AM
Aren't Hierophants okay for Epic levels? (Admittedly, that is a huge problem for most players due to most games not getting to that point.)

In Epic, great even. :smallwink: But, as was said, the lack of spell progression in normal levels is...eh. Surely there were other ways to make it different from Archmage than removing spell progression?

Irreverent Fool
2008-10-05, 06:49 AM
Master of Many Forms: It would be a great class except that the entire ten levels of the PrC are all made obsolete by a single spell (Shapechange). If they just made it as good as Shapechange it would be okay, but as things are a straight-classed Druid at high levels is actually a better shapechanger than the MoMF, which is just wrong.

MoMF is worth it if you don't spring to life as a character able to cast Shapechange. The power ramps up a bit faster... or seems to until you notice how many spells you're losing.

You know what, I'm just going to stop talking.

Cheesegear
2008-10-05, 07:21 AM
Scar Enforcer: Possibly one of the coolest sounding classes there is, and the 'fluff' behind it isn't too bad either. The bad points, are, obviously, that you have to be a Half-Elf.
You get Favoured Enemy, which is nice...Except you're forced to choose Elves and Humans. You also get Smite Enemy...Which, again, only works on Elves or Humans.
You get a pretty poor Sneak Attack (+3d6 at lvl 10), and the only way to boost this, is to start out as a rogue. Which is nice for the free Disguise Self and HiPS. If it weren't for the fact that a Scar Enforcer also gets +Spellcaster Levels...Which a rogue doesn't have.
They also only get 3/4 BAB. They do have a decent Will save though.

They get a big 'Meh.' from me. It's like it wants to do everything at once...Like a Bard...But, worse.

Epinephrine
2008-10-05, 07:30 AM
Beastmaster - it's basically a 1 level dip for a boosted animal companion. It'd be nice if it could be played the way it was intended.

Combat trapper - somewhat playable if you get into it early, but the DCs just aren't high enough and the effects are too small. Not useless, but not a great class.

Peregrine runner - interesting idea, but gaining an animal companion from a PrC that only scales with the PrC makes for a really vulnerable AC.

Fishy
2008-10-05, 07:43 AM
I really wish Arcane Trickster worked. I know we have Beguilers and Unseen Seers and Greater Mage Hand now, but it's just not the same.

Guchalez
2008-10-05, 08:01 AM
Scar Enforcer: Possibly one of the coolest sounding classes there is, and the 'fluff' behind it isn't too bad either. The bad points, are, obviously, that you have to be a Half-Elf.
You get Favoured Enemy, which is nice...Except you're forced to choose Elves and Humans. You also get Smite Enemy...Which, again, only works on Elves or Humans.
You get a pretty poor Sneak Attack (+3d6 at lvl 10), and the only way to boost this, is to start out as a rogue.

I haven't read the class, but it seems that it would make a nice assasin:D
As for the avenger it seems to have more role playing restrictions than a supposedly good aligned assasin... I mean, how do you avenge someone if you are dungeon craling for some loot, it would make you character useful only if you're defending your country... I'd just take the aligment restrictions away... Isn't there a class in the Book of Exalted Deeds that does that?

I always wanted to play an aristocrat for role purposes and I think it would be nice to use it in a role based campaign.

Saph
2008-10-05, 08:03 AM
MoMF is worth it if you don't spring to life as a character able to cast Shapechange. The power ramps up a bit faster... or seems to until you notice how many spells you're losing.

You know what, I'm just going to stop talking.

I'd actually be fine with losing spellcasting, except for the fact that once Druids hit level 17, your MoMF, who's sacrificed everything else to boost his shapechanging ability, is now a worse shapechanger than the guy who's also a full caster.

It works OK if your game never gets that far, but it's still kind of annoying. Never getting Supernatural abilities hurts, too.

- Saph

Curmudgeon
2008-10-05, 08:10 AM
The Hierophant is one of the core PrCs, but it's just lame. It's the D&D equivalent of saying "I'm retired now." Really, you get to where you can cast 7th level spells -- and then just stop. Give it half caster progression and it just might be worth considering for the flavorful special abilities.

Riffington
2008-10-05, 08:11 AM
Probably, the one that had to had contact with another plane. I think it is alienist. Like I said, I wish they were playable. But they ain't.

I assure you they are playable. I've had one in 2 campaigns, and they were fun both times.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-05, 08:34 AM
Psionic ones:
MetaMind: Read the fluff, you are supposed to be hasve more power in psionics than a straight psion, but you end up with less.
Even the level 10 cap ability doesn't make it up (if more than 1/day maybe).

Flayerspawn Psychic: The prereqs alone. How many power points do you channel into a Mind blast (it doesn't say!)? Is it just flavor text?
Why even use game mechanic terms like power points if it doesn't mean them. Why not say psychic energy or something.

Ectopic Adept: The class was made before/after they nerfed Astral Constructs (in the same book) to 1 at a time. They class just removes that limitation.
Why not be innovative and not nerf Astral Constructs...
Plus, Ectopic Forms suck as they no menu options.

Xenogears
2008-10-05, 08:42 AM
Force Mage Adept. A mage that specializes in magic missile. Would be good if it actually increased the power of magic missile significantly. Basically in the end you get two extra missiles, the ability to overcome the shield spell, and you can turn your magic missiles into other energy types (like fire). Even for a five level PrC it just sucks. I think you only lose 1 caster level though.

Osteomancer would be just plain awesome if you could get into it without focusing on casting. Don't actually remember the requirements but the class abilities are just plain awesome. You can control someone (and even make them attack someone ungodly powerful although you have to be within 30ft) and your final ability just melts their skeleton. Even if they make the save they take 10d6. Only usable once per day though. Also you become Wolverine halfway through (Adementium bones).

wadledo
2008-10-05, 08:46 AM
99% of all psionic PrC's:
Almost nothing has full manifesting levels.
Do you know how annoying that is, Wizards?
You have 4+ PrC's in the Players handbook that have full spellcasting, why can't you have the same for psionics?:smallfurious:

Eldariel
2008-10-05, 08:53 AM
-99% of the Gish PrCs (Spellsword, Arcane Archer, Bladesinger, Rage Mage, etc.)
-Just about any "spell specialist" PrC (Master of the Unseen Hand, Mindspy, etc.)
-All Archery PrCs (Order of the Bow Initiate, Darkwood Stalker, Arcane Archer, etc.)
-A bunch of randoms like Exemplar, Tempest, Thief-Acrobat, etc.

My definition of playable:
-Taking the PrC doesn't make you much worse than progressing either of your base classes.
-The PrC is worth taking all the 10 (or 5) levels.

Kaihaku
2008-10-05, 08:54 AM
99% of all psionic PrC's:
Almost nothing has full manifesting levels.
Do you know how annoying that is, Wizards?
You have 4+ PrC's in the Players handbook that have full spellcasting, why can't you have the same for psionics?:smallfurious:

And then there's this (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/psionicSlayer.html) which always makes me shake my head. So, it doesn't have 'full manifesting' but it's close enough. What were they thinking? It strikes me as a ridiculously powerful class. Easy requirements, 90% manifesting progress, full BAB, a few hunterish special abilities, 4 + INT skills, constant Mind Blank, and...and... Immunity to all Mind Affecting abilities? Really? :smallfrown: I wish they had moved some of the awesome from this into the other psionic prestige classes.

Rad
2008-10-05, 08:59 AM
Avenger is a joke. Seriously. It was published as an April fool's day jokeand the point was exactly that it was the assassin with a hardly believable refluffing.
Also, the 21's in the spell progression was there because of a misprint in one of the 3.0 supplements who forgot a <tab> in the spell table, thus giving 21 3rd level spells to some PrC (instead of 2 3rd level and 1 4th level).

Mark Hall
2008-10-05, 09:01 AM
Dragon Disciple. I love the idea, but it requires either a split concept or badly damages your effectiveness.

Curmudgeon
2008-10-05, 09:13 AM
It strikes me as a ridiculously powerful class. Easy requirements, 90% manifesting progress, full BAB, a few hunterish special abilities, 4 + INT skills, constant Mind Blank, and...and... Immunity to all Mind Affecting abilities? You're overstating things a bit. It's not 90% manifesting progress until you get take all 10 levels of the Slayer PrC (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/prestigeClasses/slayer.htm); at 2nd level it's only 50%, for instance. And Cerebral Blind isn't exactly the same as Mind Blank, and you don't get it until you've got 6 levels of Slayer.

Anyway, the Slayer PrC is off the topic here. I don't think anyone (except wadledo) is going to complain that it isn't playable. :smallwink:
99% of all psionic PrC's: Since there are under 50 psionic prestige classes, your 99% figure means that all of them are unplayable. You might want to recheck your arithmetic.

Kaihaku
2008-10-05, 09:37 AM
You're overstating things a bit. It's not 90% manifesting progress until you get take all 10 levels of the Slayer PrC (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/prestigeClasses/slayer.htm); at 2nd level it's only 50%, for instance. And Cerebral Blind isn't exactly the same as Mind Blank, and you don't get it until you've got 6 levels of Slayer.

I was addressing the Prestige Class as a completed whole. From your perspective, yes, my statements were not accurate until reaching level 10. Fair enough, I'd forgotten that distinction, Cerebral Blind provides protection against effects that 'reveal location' but nothing beyond that. I still hold the Slayer to be significantly more powerful than any of the other Psionic Prestige Classes that I have seen. In fact, I'd rank it among the most powerful Prestige Classes period (Gish[Full BAB + Manifester] + Useful Immunities + Decent Skills + Foe Specific Abilities = :smalleek:).

wadledo
2008-10-05, 10:21 AM
Anyway, the Slayer PrC is off the topic here. I don't think anyone (except wadledo) is going to complain that it isn't playable. :smallwink: Since there are under 50 psionic prestige classes, your 99% figure means that all of them are unplayable. You might want to recheck your arithmetic.

I never said unplayable, I just said annoying.
Look at the number of PrC's that provide caster levels, and those that provide full caster levels.
It's somewhere in the 1/4th to 2/5th's range, if you include stuff that doesn't focus on casting.
Out of those 50 Psionic PrC's, only 2 have full manifesting.
Arch psion,
Anarchic Initiates.

That is not equal.
That is not fair.

The Glyphstone
2008-10-05, 10:29 AM
Avenger is a joke. Seriously. It was published as an April fool's day jokeand the point was exactly that it was the assassin with a hardly believable refluffing.
Also, the 21's in the spell progression was there because of a misprint in one of the 3.0 supplements who forgot a <tab> in the spell table, thus giving 21 3rd level spells to some PrC (instead of 2 3rd level and 1 4th level).

I think you missed the joke...it was a Take That to all those people who insist assassins must be evil because they kill people by presenting a PrC with a logical, convincing, and well-thought out reason to assassinate enemies without being evil. Its fluff was about as believable as the original assassin's fluff.

AstralFire
2008-10-05, 10:34 AM
Spellfire Channeler.

Mephit
2008-10-05, 10:38 AM
My vision on psionic Prc's compared to Vancian PrC's is the folllowing:
Psionic PrC's are how arcane PrC's should've been.
I mean, seriously, look at those classes: they offer full casting progression at 'the loss' of their base classe's features. In the case of the core arcane classes this is what, a bonus feat once every 5 levels (for wizards) and familiar progression? What kind of a deal is that? Casting is obviously the most important feature of those classes, so there's really little reason not to PrC-out as soon as possible. Am I the only one who finds that unbalanced?!
In my eyes, every caster PrC should at least lose a caster level at 1 level. Except perhaps for classes like the archmage, which has pretty harsh prerequisites.

The problem with this effort at fixing that imbalance is of course, that psions are thoroughly screwed.

But my ranting aside, PrC's I'm really disappointed in are
a) a lot of very flavorful PrC's, for instance the Thief-Acrobat. They always give you this magnificent image of a PC with levels in the class when you read the introductory description to the class, but usually, the mechanics are either really sub-optimal to the point of plain horrible, or they only let your character be useful in very specific conditions. (To follow the example: even in an urban campaign having levels of Thief-crobat will rarely pay off)
b) Swashbuckler-like classes. I have never read a class with that kind of fluff that seemed on par with the average power level. (No, not even the Swashbuckler)

Kesnit
2008-10-05, 10:40 AM
As for the avenger it seems to have more role playing restrictions than a supposedly good aligned assasin... I mean, how do you avenge someone if you are dungeon craling for some loot, it would make you character useful only if you're defending your country... I'd just take the aligment restrictions away... Isn't there a class in the Book of Exalted Deeds that does that?

Yes, but it requires you to be Exalted (no Neutral, or just plain Good) and have a CHA of 15 (for one of the pre-reqs). There may be other problems with it. Those are just the two I remember off the top of my head.

Rad
2008-10-05, 10:48 AM
I think you missed the joke...it was a Take That to all those people who insist assassins must be evil because they kill people by presenting a PrC with a logical, convincing, and well-thought out reason to assassinate enemies without being evil. Its fluff was about as believable as the original assassin's fluff.

I'm not a fan of the assassin fluff either... By saying that the Avenger fluff was ridiculous I didn't mean to redeem the assassin's in the slightest. I don't see how smiting an evil foe with a big fat sword is good but casting an "inflict" spell is evil either. But that's for another thread.

FMArthur
2008-10-05, 11:02 AM
The Survivor. 5 levels with 0 BAB for what? d6 HD, Uncanny dodge, and DR 5/-? Damn, no wonder people always think of it as an NPC class. Wouldn't it have been cool to have a character who is nothing but a wall? No? Well, it still fails miserably at it. The entry requirements involve an undisturbed month in meditation, too. Survivor should have had d12 HD, regeneration, and better DR at least, in order to make up for being generally terrible at everything. Hell, the requirements make you pretty bad. Think about the character build you'd have to go through to get all of your base save bonuses below your character level.

Eldariel
2008-10-05, 11:06 AM
The Survivor. 5 levels with 0 BAB for what? d6 HD, Uncanny dodge, and DR 5/-? Damn, no wonder people always think of it as an NPC class. Wouldn't it have been cool to have a character who is nothing but a wall? No? Well, it still fails miserably at it. The entry requirements involve an undisturbed month in meditation, too. Survivor should have had d12 HD, regeneration, and better DR at least, in order to make up for being generally terrible at everything. Hell, the requirements make you pretty bad. Think about the character build you'd have to go through to get all of your base save bonuses below your character level.

Commoner enters it on level 1. It is an NPC class.

The Rose Dragon
2008-10-05, 11:08 AM
Think about the character build you'd have to go through to get all of your base save bonuses below your character level.

5th level anything qualifies. It's not that hard to qualify, but it's for monsters anyway, who already can have more HD than they have CR.

FMArthur
2008-10-05, 11:13 AM
D'oh. For some reason I was thinking good saves got 1-per-level growth, which is totally ridiculous. Something wrong with me today.

The Rose Dragon
2008-10-05, 11:40 AM
Of course, Survivor is one of the few cases where leveling up can reduce your chances of qualifying. Say, you have a Fighter 4 going for Survivor (why?). But during level up, he decides to take a level of Ranger. Suddenly, he doesn't qualify anymore. Had he taken a level of Fighter first and then Ranger, he would have qualified.

Let's face it, sometimes, WotC writers and editors can be really moronic.

sonofzeal
2008-10-05, 11:41 AM
PrCs I'd like to see kick more buttock...

Invisible Blade/Duelist - IB almost gets it right, but only if you remove that stupid stupid errata that nerfs feinting, or give them that Drow feat as a class feature and remove the archery feats from the prerequisites list.

Entropomancer - seriously, such a badass concept with almost nothing to back it up. Those shards should be way more powerful, IMO.

True Necromancer - Should get better synergy between its two sides by way of class features.

Mystic Theurge - Should have a sane Epic progression (either 2/3 or 3/4 would be fine)

Dwarven Defender - Should get either {a} more mobility, or {b} more battlefield control.

FMArthur
2008-10-05, 11:49 AM
Of course, Survivor is one of the few cases where leveling up can reduce your chances of qualifying. Say, you have a Fighter 4 going for Survivor (why?). But during level up, he decides to take a level of Ranger. Suddenly, he doesn't qualify anymore. Had he taken a level of Fighter first and then Ranger, he would have qualified.

Let's face it, sometimes, WotC writers and editors can be really moronic.

It's been errata'd.

The Rose Dragon
2008-10-05, 11:52 AM
It's been errata'd.

Wait, isn't that the only prerequisite for the class? How did they errata it?

streakster
2008-10-05, 11:58 AM
Planar Shepherd. Unplayable because it's too powerful.

I mean, the idea is great - you come to exemplify a certain plane, turn into its beasties, etc. But somewhere along the line, round about the 10:1 time ratio, or the turning into all the inhabitants of the plane with all their cool stuff and full casting, it just got way too good.

The entrance requirements are a joke as well. The feats you have to take to get in are actually useful all by themselves.

ocato
2008-10-05, 12:07 PM
Concerning the few full manifesting PrCs:

This complaint is true, but they also have a 9/10s manifesting PrC that gives full base attack, one that gives double leadership, and a bunch of others that are hard to pass up.

FMArthur
2008-10-05, 12:11 PM
Wait, isn't that the only prerequisite for the class? How did they errata it?

I can't seem to find it, but I remember seeing either an FAQ or an errata just saying that if a PrC would cause a character to no longer qualify for that same PrC, you're treated as still qualifying.

Starbuck_II
2008-10-05, 12:14 PM
I can't seem to find it, but I remember seeing either an FAQ or an errata just saying that if a PrC would cause a character to no longer qualify for that same PrC, you're treated as still qualifying.

I think was that was common sense you are thinking of about that. No FAQ said that.

The Rose Dragon
2008-10-05, 12:17 PM
I can't seem to find it, but I remember seeing either an FAQ or an errata just saying that if a PrC would cause a character to no longer qualify for that same PrC, you're treated as still qualifying.

No, it's Ranger. Leveling up in Ranger causes you to no longer qualify at level 6. Because you had a sudden +2 bump to your Fortitude and Reflex saves.

Drascin
2008-10-05, 12:19 PM
99% of all psionic PrC's:
Almost nothing has full manifesting levels.
Do you know how annoying that is, Wizards?
You have 4+ PrC's in the Players handbook that have full spellcasting, why can't you have the same for psionics?:smallfurious:

Because Full-casting PrCs mean the player loses nothing, and that was a mistake that breaks mages even more - but since there were already basic PrCs that did so, if new classes wanted to compete, they HAD to be full-casting, starting a vicious cycle. And psionics, of course being inherently superior to magic :smallwink:, are not broken, so you have to lose at least one manifester level in exchange for extra abilities. Most psionics fans actually realize this, and looking at most third-party resources, the classes that give you full manifesting are very, very rare, because it's a somewhat common belief that that's how casting classes should have been as well.

However, the point is not the manifester loss. The point is, is the class interesting enough to stomach that loss? And what most of WotC's classes give you is not even barely grazing "worth it", yeah. Compare, for example, Maverick Voidshaper, from Untapped Potential, where you lose not one, but two, but feels distinct enough that you can feel it was worth it. Most WotC psionic classes are really average-to-bad...

...and then, there's the metamind. Man, that is not a class, that's a newbie-trap with stats :smallannoyed:

Chronos
2008-10-05, 12:36 PM
Master of Many Forms: It would be a great class except that the entire ten levels of the PrC are all made obsolete by a single spell (Shapechange). If they just made it as good as Shapechange it would be okay, but as things are a straight-classed Druid at high levels is actually a better shapechanger than the MoMF, which is just wrong.The difference between MoMF and Shapechange is Natural Spell. There are some forms which would be great, except that you wouldn't be able to cast spells in them. MoMF lets you bypass that problem via Natural Spell, whereas Shapechange would not. It'd be nice if you actually had half-decent spells you could cast, though...

It also has a duration advantage over Shapechange. To use Shapechange in a fight, you have to either anticipate when the fight's going to be, burn an action during the fight, or persist a 9th-level spell (and anything that lets you do that is horribly broken). Master of Many Forms, on the other hand, lets you stay shifted all the time, including when you're sleeping.

Yeah, it still doesn't really match up, but that's just a symptom of the overall problem that casters beat noncasters. You wouldn't say that the Frenzied Berserker sucks because it doesn't advance casting, for instance.

Saph
2008-10-05, 12:52 PM
The difference between MoMF and Shapechange is Natural Spell. There are some forms which would be great, except that you wouldn't be able to cast spells in them. MoMF lets you bypass that problem via Natural Spell, whereas Shapechange would not. It'd be nice if you actually had half-decent spells you could cast, though...

It also has a duration advantage over Shapechange. To use Shapechange in a fight, you have to either anticipate when the fight's going to be, burn an action during the fight, or persist a 9th-level spell (and anything that lets you do that is horribly broken). Master of Many Forms, on the other hand, lets you stay shifted all the time, including when you're sleeping.

Well, for Shapechange you only have to anticipate the fight within a 3-hour window, which is usually doable. Really, though, I'd be okay with MoMF if it only allowed you to get Supernatural abilities. Many of the most fun monster powers (like a dragon's breath weapon) are Supernatural.

- Saph

Tempest Fennac
2008-10-05, 12:57 PM
Which book can Survivour be found in? It sounds odd.

Inhuman Bot
2008-10-05, 12:58 PM
IT's in either the Comp. Scoundrel, or Races of destiny, IIRC.

The Rose Dragon
2008-10-05, 12:58 PM
Savage Species.

Drascin
2008-10-05, 01:01 PM
Well, for Shapechange you only have to anticipate the fight within a 3-hour window, which is usually doable. Really, though, I'd be okay with MoMF if it only allowed you to get Supernatural abilities. Many of the most fun monster powers (like a dragon's breath weapon) are Supernatural.

- Saph

I normally allow the MoMF to get a Variant Assume Supernatural Ability feat, that allows him to pick one single supernatural ability of that form whenever you shift into a form. Most of my players have liked it up to now.

Inhuman Bot
2008-10-05, 01:05 PM
Savage Species.

Right. Whoops....

The daggerspell _____ classes have fairly uniuqe fluff, but it seems like it would be weak.

Same with the Folchoiun (SP?) Lyrist.

Tempest Fennac
2008-10-05, 01:09 PM
Survivour is odd. I'd personally give it all good saves, a d10 HD (if not d12) with Wizard BAB.

FinalJustice
2008-10-05, 01:36 PM
Kensai. The fluff makes it really, really, really specific, while the crunch doesn't support it. I'd just get rid of it, since a melee-PRC getting 3/4 BaB seems enough hinderance to me.

Tempest. Every Marty-Stu around there dual wields. They should give a class at least decent to portray such popular concept. Instead, they gave us a stupidly feat intensive piece of crap, with diametrally incompatible features (namely, dual wielding and attacking a lot versos running around and not doing it).

Elemental Savant. I like the idea of elemental spellcasters, specially sorcerers. But limiting yourself to blasting and with one element only is a recipe to uselesness, even if partial. Stuff like Piercing Cold should be a class feature, to make it more viable.

OzymandiasVolt
2008-10-05, 02:04 PM
Elemental Savant. Definitely. Good idea, weak execution.

Jack_Simth
2008-10-05, 02:14 PM
99% of all psionic PrC's:
Almost nothing has full manifesting levels.
Do you know how annoying that is, Wizards?
You have 4+ PrC's in the Players handbook that have full spellcasting, why can't you have the same for psionics?:smallfurious:
Mostly because PrC's that give useful extras AND full spellcasting are more powerful than the base class - which is, to say, not balanced vs. the base class.

Really, every Wizard PrC that loses caster levels but has good flavor needs a revamp, other than the Malconvoker(which is just awesome).
Every Wizard PrC that doesn't lose caster levels needs a revamp. Basically all Wizard PrC's do.

If you lose casting progression, you're rather notably behind a pure-classed caster (as Full Casting generally is that good). This isn't particularly good for balance.

If you don't lose casting progression, and the class has nifty features, you're almost always notably ahead of a pure-classed caster (Full Casting + Nifites > Full Casting Alone). This isn't particularly good for balance.

My favorite house-rule for casting PrC's is lost spell slots. At the first class feature of a given PrC, you lose one spell slot of your highest level (this moves to keep up with your higest level - if a 3rd level spell slot was your highest available when you took the first level of the PrC, and you later gain access to 4th level spell slots, you get the 3rd level spell slot back and lose a 4th level spell slot instead). At the second class feature of that PrC, you lose one spell slot of your second highest level (again, moving so that it's always lost at your second-highest level). At the third class feature of that PrC, you lose one spell slot of your third highest level (likewise), and so on. PrC's that require you to lose caster levels to qualify (such as the Arcane Trickster or the Mystic Theurge) don't suffer this, as are casting PrC's that miss out on casting progression at 1st level.

What's this do?
It discourages "dips" in front-loaded PrC's (each PrC causes spell slot loss independently).
It encourages continuing with the PrC (each PrC level causes you to lose something... but it's progressively smaller hurt each time).
It causes the character to focus (you trade endurance - raw arcane might - for the class features).
It gives a reason to stick with the base casting class (you get more endurance with the base class).




Dragon Disciple. I love the idea, but it requires either a split concept or badly damages your effectiveness.
The trick with the Dragon Disciple is realizing it's not a caster class, despite the little issue that it requires some small amount of spellcasting.

A Barbarian-X/Bard-1/Dragon Disciple-Y does pretty well for a melee character.

Grynning
2008-10-05, 02:21 PM
Which book can Survivour be found in? It sounds odd.

Savage Species.

Damn, ninja'd by an entire PAGE. I must not have refreshed at all while I was reading :smallyuk:

Well, since I'm here looking like an idiot anyways:

Seconded on archery PrC's...in fact all natur-ey, ranger like PrC's as well. There weren't a lot of good PrC's for ranger types, except maybe Horizon Walker, which was kind of weird in it's own right.

MisterSaturnine
2008-10-05, 02:23 PM
Death Delver. Cool concept, terrible implementation.

thegurullamen
2008-10-05, 02:29 PM
Blood Magus. Bloodwalk is cool. So are blood potions and bloodseeking spells. DR 1/bludgeoning and a Homunculous at the cost of spell gain? Not so much. Crappy Feat prereqs? Pass.

Vigilante'd be nice if it gave Batman-esque tricks instead of the same tired spell list from Ass/Rng s.

mostlyharmful
2008-10-05, 02:37 PM
Well, for Shapechange you only have to anticipate the fight within a 3-hour window, which is usually doable.

Longer than that, give them CL boosters and a Rod of Greater Extend and you're looking at a six to eight hour all-adventuring-day buff that's damn hard to dispel. For essentially no cost (all the equipment used is Druid Dynamite anyway).

Tengu_temp
2008-10-05, 02:52 PM
Kensai. The fluff makes it really, really, really specific, while the crunch doesn't support it. I'd just get rid of it, since a melee-PRC getting 3/4 BaB seems enough hinderance to me.


Kweh? Isn't this a very solid class, the medium BAB being countered by its ability to improve strength?

Saph
2008-10-05, 03:09 PM
Longer than that, give them CL boosters and a Rod of Greater Extend and you're looking at a six to eight hour all-adventuring-day buff that's damn hard to dispel. For essentially no cost (all the equipment used is Druid Dynamite anyway).

You can't always get the equipment you want. The 16th-level Druid I'm playing is in a WLD game where we haven't seen a shop since level 1. There's no choice on magic items, and gold is essentially dead weight that does nothing but mess up your encumbrance status. So the point Chronos made is a valid one in my case.

- Saph

FinalJustice
2008-10-05, 03:33 PM
Kweh? Isn't this a very solid class, the medium BAB being countered by its ability to improve strength?

I see I expressed myself badly there. I actually meant what you said, the class is already balanced without the need of the fluff drawback. Maybe the whole 'hinderance' expression sounded a bit exaggerated, sorry about that, I'm no native speaker. =P

Thurbane
2008-10-05, 03:39 PM
I really like the concept of the Dungeon Delver, but (IMHO) the skill and feat reqs are too tough, and the payoff too little.

The_Snark
2008-10-05, 04:19 PM
99% of all psionic PrC's:
Almost nothing has full manifesting levels.
Do you know how annoying that is, Wizards?
You have 4+ PrC's in the Players handbook that have full spellcasting, why can't you have the same for psionics?:smallfurious:

Several people have said this already, but I'll offer my own thoughts—this is a case where psionics has done it right and magic has gotten it dead wrong. A prestige class should grant enough cool abilities to be unique and fun, and if it does that, it should be taking something away.

As an example of a full-casting PrC done right, look at the alienist. Full spellcasting and special abilities, but it also has drawbacks. The fact that it was actually mentioned on this thread despite being a full-casting wizard prestige class... well, it doesn't speak well of Wizards' ability to balance their casting prestige classes. Admittedly, the pseudonatural template should probably be a little better, to make up for the loss of the ability to summon elementals and outsiders, but I feel like it's a good thing that the class isn't giving you stuff for free.

As for my own contribution, I wish the Renegade Mastermaker were a bit better. It's a cool class, but looking at it from an artificer standpoint, you lose your bonus item creation feats, your craft reserve, and some infusions, and gain... a few minor abilities, like DR 2/adamantine and a free magic natural weapon. It needs to include some bonus feats, a partial craft reserve progression, or both. The class might be a little better looking at it from an arcane caster standpoint, but there are much, much better gishes out there and the benefits do little for a pure caster... in fact, the best entering class might be cleric, but the caster level loss is a problem.

JupiterPaladin
2008-10-05, 04:28 PM
I mean, seriously, look at those classes: they offer full casting progression at 'the loss' of their base classe's features. In the case of the core arcane classes this is what, a bonus feat once every 5 levels (for wizards) and familiar progression? What kind of a deal is that? Casting is obviously the most important feature of those classes, so there's really little reason not to PrC-out as soon as possible. Am I the only one who finds that unbalanced?!
In my eyes, every caster PrC should at least lose a caster level at 1 level. Except perhaps for classes like the archmage, which has pretty harsh prerequisites.

And here lies the biggest problem with PrC's in general. Core casters have no awesome class features except spells for a reason... because those spells are the best possible thing in the game. Now when you add a PrC that doesn't take that away and gives a load of extra abilities completely destroys any chance of balance. Even the loss of one caster level is not harsh enough to compensate for most of the popular classes. I don't believe that any PrC should grant more than 1/2 spellcasting. It would work out just fine if people actually played with tactics instead of "I can just use a 9th level spell to fix anything".
Another major problem with casters is that there are spells with either no save, no spell resistance, or both... WTF!?! Seriously, no spell should bypass either one. OK so maybe the attack roll to hit with a Scorching Ray is an decent trade. No reflex save because they are making an attack roll, even though a touch AC is almost never a problem to hit, but spell resistance? How can you justify that a creature that is almost immune to magic can be hit with a spell without requiring the caster level check? It doesn't make sense. The spell is magic, and if the creature is resistant to magic, it should not just get through. WotC had to do this to please their Wizard loving fanboys who didn't want to feel "useless" if a monster happened to save against their spells once in a while.
For the record, my houserules cover these items and it works great. No caster or PrC gains more than 1/2 casting (yes so you gotta be 19th level to cast a 5th level spell as a Wizard), all spells allow a save (except ray spells which require the attack roll), and no spell bypasses spell resistance. It's so much more balanced than the core rules. My players seem to like it, and the melee classes don't feel so useless. Now considering I used a modified spell point variant, the casters never run out of spells at higher level and do much better at the low levels too. I gave the spell points in a linear progression so they can cast 10+ spells at first level and gain a few extra abilities free. It works, even if you're afraid to try it. I know the general populace is way too attached to the idea of a Tippy-style Batman Wizard, but I don't let my campaigns be ruled by those types of characters. :smallamused:

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-10-05, 04:54 PM
Any warlock PrC. To be honest, I'd love to say "A Warlock is considered to be able to cast a level of spell equal to the highest level spell-equivelant Invocation he knows" and be done with it. As it is, all of the PrC's that Warlock qualifies for... suck. Hard. It's a shame that the base class kicks so much ass and yet has no decent PrC's.

Hal
2008-10-05, 05:13 PM
Bonded Summoner. I like the idea of having a familiar who grows in power, and an elemental familiar just seems cool. However, the dedication to one element really hurts you. If you choose, say, fire, your DM has to hide away any encounters with fire resistance/immunity or your new dedicated class feature is utterly worthless.

I'm not sure what I would change about this. Perhaps you could allow the player to change the element in some way. Randomly switches? Controllable at will? Somewhere in between?

Collin152
2008-10-05, 07:32 PM
Any warlock PrC. To be honest, I'd love to say "A Warlock is considered to be able to cast a level of spell equal to the highest level spell-equivelant Invocation he knows" and be done with it. As it is, all of the PrC's that Warlock qualifies for... suck. Hard. It's a shame that the base class kicks so much ass and yet has no decent PrC's.

Even Hellfire Warlock?

Person_Man
2008-10-05, 07:37 PM
Rebutting several posts:

Master of the Unseen Hand: Pick up the ghost template or a few levels of the ghost racial class, and you get telekinesis as a supernatural ability. Combine it with the MotUH's improvements, and it can be truly nasty.

Assassin: Most DMs will hand wave away the alignment restriction. Otherwise, you can play the Avenger (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/prc/20070401a&dcmp=ILC-RSSDND) (which was an April Fool's Day joke, but is still up there). If you want to play above ECL 16 though, I suggest the Psychic Assassin (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20040723d).

Arcane Archer: Here's my homebrew fix (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5014030) that kinda gets at what most people want from an AA. But yeah, WotC screwed this one up.

Scar Enforcer: Actually works ok if you're in an urban setting where most of the enemies are human or elves. While this isn't typical for most campaigns, it does happen, and your DM is likely to tell you that's the setting before you start playing. The Favored Enemy, Smite, and Sneak Attack aspects of the PrC can be vastly improved by various feats.

Kensai: Is actually quite easy to optimize. Get natural weapons. (Bunch of different ways to do this, the easiest being a template or Savage Species class). Give each natural weapon Spell Storing. Buy a friend a wand and have him fill them up for you. Pump your Concentration check (Item Familiar) for +8 to Str for pretty much every combat, and pass pretty much every Reflex Save, and buy a Ring of Evasion for good measure. You are now a melee monster. Alternatively, you can just have a ridiculously potent bow, and invest all of your saved GP into ridiculous magic ammo. A +1 Flaming Frost Bow firing +1 Shocking Acid arrows deals 1d8 + 1 + 4d6 + Str damage, for example.

Dr Bwaa
2008-10-05, 07:51 PM
Blood Magus. Bloodwalk is cool. So are blood potions and bloodseeking spells. DR 1/bludgeoning and a Homunculous at the cost of spell gain? Not so much. Crappy Feat prereqs? Pass.

I'm surprised it took so long for the blood magus to get mentioned. That was my first thought on reading the thread title.

Alienist is such a cool class--and they are definitely playable, especially if you and your group play up the role-playing aspects of your character going insane and sprouting weird appendages :p

Devoted Defender: another very cool class, one that I am playing currently in a game that's now around ECL 13. The class isn't terrible and it has some really cool abilities, but it suffers from Fighter Syndrome and a little bit of Dwarven Defender Syndrome: movement is restricted and as a defender, you're protecting something squishy: something that will probably be flying, much like you can't :smallfrown:

Quirinus_Obsidian
2008-10-05, 07:54 PM
Elemental Savant. Definitely. Good idea, weak execution.

Well, the class has a good design, but DnD being what it is kills it. If you are focusing in one Element (or Energy Type, if you houserule that) there will be invariably something out there that you have to fight that is immune or highly resistant to that energy type. Argent Savant is merely a Force version of that class; that one is actually pretty good when coupled with the Force Missile Mage and a Force Specialist. Hmmmm..... that gives me some ideas....

Kaihaku
2008-10-05, 08:24 PM
Rebutting several posts:


Thanks for contributing.


Master of the Unseen Hand: Pick up the ghost template or a few levels of the ghost racial class, and you get telekinesis as a supernatural ability. Combine it with the MotUH's improvements, and it can be truly nasty.

As I said: Caster is the only viable option in most campaigns (Ghost, Blue Slaad, whatever are usually not).

As a Ghost I'd rather take Eidolon. Yes, it can be a "truly nasty" if you have the option of playing higher powered races but that's generally not an option.


Assassin: Most DMs will hand wave away the alignment restriction. Otherwise, you can play the Avenger (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/prc/20070401a&dcmp=ILC-RSSDND) (which was an April Fool's Day joke, but is still up there). If you want to play above ECL 16 though, I suggest the Psychic Assassin (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20040723d).

Houserules to make something like an Assassin a playable option are great. They're still houserules.


Scar Enforcer: Actually works ok if you're in an urban setting where most of the enemies are human or elves. While this isn't typical for most campaigns, it does happen, and your DM is likely to tell you that's the setting before you start playing. The Favored Enemy, Smite, and Sneak Attack aspects of the PrC can be vastly improved by various feats.

You know, I wish this prestige class had been made adaptable to any half-human. Half-Orc Scar Enforcer?


Kensai: Is actually quite easy to optimize. Get natural weapons. (Bunch of different ways to do this, the easiest being a template or Savage Species class). Give each natural weapon Spell Storing. Buy a friend a wand and have him fill them up for you. Pump your Concentration check (Item Familiar) for +8 to Str for pretty much every combat, and pass pretty much every Reflex Save, and buy a Ring of Evasion for good measure. You are now a melee monster. Alternatively, you can just have a ridiculously potent bow, and invest all of your saved GP into ridiculous magic ammo. A +1 Flaming Frost Bow firing +1 Shocking Acid arrows deals 1d8 + 1 + 4d6 + Str damage, for example.

That's true. Kensai is quite a powerful class.

Durendal
2008-10-05, 08:42 PM
Drunken Master- Awesome idea and fluff, but suffers from a lot of the monk problems with little to make up for it. 3/4 BAB, Loss of good will saves, doesn't improve unarmed damage or flurry progression. And the key class ability Drink Like a Demon decreases Int and Wis for a boost to Con or Str.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-05, 08:51 PM
Well, here's my (not-so-)short list:

Avenging Executioner. This class has potential: every time you shank someone, everyone gets terrified? Be considered flanking people who are under fear effects? Awesome, especially with stuff like the Eviscerator feat out of Libris Mortis. The one problem? Stuff gets immune to Fear and/or Mind-Affecting at or before you can get entrance to the class, rendering the class' features nearly useless.
Blighter. Essentially restart you casting with a more destructive bent and gain the ability to blight stuff as an SLA? Yeehaw. Why not just play, y'know, an evil druid to begin with?
Bloodhound. Good idea: PCs do spend a lot of time tracking people down. But this class' main abilities are too weak to be worthwhile--might as well just play a Ranger with the right Favored Enemy instead.
Cloaked Dancer. Okay, so she's a stripper with another sneak attack variant ("Surprise Strike"? Seriously?) and a couple abilities that are too hard to use effectively.
Legacy Champion. A neat idea, but it's a total copout. 8 out of 10 levels have the feature, "+1 level of existing class features." What, was it too difficult to come up with champion-like classes for each archetype? Because that one class feature breaks SO MUCH.
Master of Masks. Great concept, poor execution. Those halfcaster levels hurt for anyone with casting and equate a lost class feature for anyone without.
Warchief. Too hard to qualify for reasonably, and no real advantage for going as one instead of just being a bard.

thegurullamen
2008-10-05, 11:10 PM
Master of Masks. Great concept, poor execution. Those halfcaster levels hurt for anyone with casting and equate a lost class feature for anyone without.

I totally forgot about that one. I was so disappointed when I realized how sucky it was; I really wanted to play one and then all my fellow PCs did the thing they usually do and threw effective builds out the window in favor of RP bait leaving me to pick up the slack. Me want decent revamp of Mask class.

Cuddly
2008-10-05, 11:26 PM
Bear Warrior. I really like the shaman/naturistic barbarian, but it just takes too much away from the other potentials like frenzy beserker.

Really?
It's like a one level dip for +8 str while raging (or whatever it is for a black bear). And the fact that you get so mad you turn into a bear.

Cuddly
2008-10-05, 11:31 PM
*snipp*

Try fourth edition.
The Wizard is really, really nerfed.

mabriss lethe
2008-10-05, 11:39 PM
Shadow Dancer: Sure, a dip gives you some nice goodies, but actually going all the waythrough 10 levels is sort of a waste most characters.

Horizon Walker: Only a minor beef with HW really. It's a rather nice class otherwise. The extra book keeping involved with the insight bonuses to attack and damage based on terrain type aren't really worth the effort to keep track of for me as either a GM or a player. I wish they'd used a more streamlined approach or just chucked it entirely. It would still be a nice class w/o it.

Segial
2008-10-05, 11:41 PM
I used the Savant of the elements (fire) PrC in a doomguard warmage-fire genasi build. That worked out quite well, the warmage is already limited to blasting magic and the PrC gives him an extra edge, and you still have a few non-fire spells available for those opponents that are resistant to fire damage.

I also have a bear totem barbarian in my group, and he seems to be quite happy with the class. You cant wear armor, but some bracers of armor take care of that, and with the right feats the class is quite deadly. And it does not suffer from accidential TPK-risks like the frenzied berserker.

Tokiko Mima
2008-10-05, 11:42 PM
Any warlock PrC. To be honest, I'd love to say "A Warlock is considered to be able to cast a level of spell equal to the highest level spell-equivelant Invocation he knows" and be done with it. As it is, all of the PrC's that Warlock qualifies for... suck. Hard. It's a shame that the base class kicks so much ass and yet has no decent PrC's.


Even Hellfire Warlock?

Warlock has a couple PrC's that are decent, and Hellfire Warlock which is unstoppably awesome for anyone that wants to be a blaster. The problem is you have to trick your way in because instead of using arcane caster level they use the ability to cast spells of a certain level. It's lame that a warlock can drop Foresight on an entire party 24/7 and yet doesn't count as being able to cast even 1st level spells.

The stupid part is how completely at random their access to PrC's is. Did you know that it's technically possible for a warlock to qualify for the Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil PrC? It's silly and half their class features wouldn't work, but you can cobble together enough dispel invocations to make it work if you really wanted.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-05, 11:51 PM
Warlock has a couple PrC's that are decent, and Hellfire Warlock which is unstoppably awesome for anyone that wants to be a blaster. The problem is you have to trick your way in because instead of using arcane caster level they use the ability to cast spells of a certain level. It's lame that a warlock can drop Foresight on an entire party 24/7 and yet doesn't count as being able to cast even 1st level spells.

The stupid part is how completely at random their access to PrC's is. Did you know that it's technically possible for a warlock to qualify for the Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil PrC? It's silly and half their class features wouldn't work, but you can cobble together enough dispel invocations to make it work if you really wanted.

In a similar vein, Shadowcasters technically don't qualify for the Shadow Adept prestige class. Why? Because Shadowcasters can qualify for PrCs that don't specify arcane or divine casting, and the Shadow Adept has a prerequisite of "Either 3rd level arcane or divine spells". :smallannoyed:

OracleofWuffing
2008-10-06, 01:11 AM
The Watch Detective intrests me. It has a few unique benefits, like the fourth-wall breaking Deductive Augury, which helps you with those dreaded DM puzzles, or the useful but not powerful insight bonuses. The Rule of Evidence sounds really nifty to roleplay, too. What do I find unplayable about it?

Bonuses to knowledge skills, the ability to form a mental image of a criminal, the ability to tell how someone died, and some nifty subdual damage tricks.

Again, this is awesome role-playing stuff, but very little of it is going to help you slay a dragon. It's useful for a campaign designed exclusively to this prestige class, and outside of that mystery-type campaign, he disarms and deals subdual damage. Worse yet, it's a Prestige Class evidently for Rangers and Rogues, which means you're probably loosing Sneak Attack or Favored Enemy and limited magic.

The worst part, though? What's an urban-type detective doing in Masters of the Wild?

arguskos
2008-10-06, 01:32 AM
To the guy who mentioned Magelord and how it can't be completed pre-epic, there is a way to do it: Divine Oracle (if your DM is nice enough to assume that there is A) an arcane version of the class, and B) that their second level ability (Prescient something) is equal to evasion).

I guess that if I had to point at, I'd throw the finger at Archmage. It's playable, sure, and I have several times, but it doesn't give me the feel of "Epic Awesome Super-Wizard".

-argus

JupiterPaladin
2008-10-06, 01:34 AM
Try fourth edition.
The Wizard is really, really nerfed.

While I appreciate what they tried to do with 4e, it still has nothing to do with this thread. It was tagged with [3.5] and is a discussion of such. My opinions still stand. If there is no reason not to take a PrC, it's probably overpowered. It's like they decided that to sell more books they had to print overpowered stuff, enabling the game to become an arms race. They may have done better to offer more balanced and flavorful options (except like those ones that are all flavor with gaping holes in the benefits)... :smallconfused:

The Rose Dragon
2008-10-06, 01:36 AM
The worst part, though? What's an urban-type detective doing in Masters of the Wild?

What's Urban Ranger doing in Masters of the Wild?

Answer: Because it's for Rangers.

JupiterPaladin
2008-10-06, 01:43 AM
Masters of the Wild? That reminds me of a really sucky joke I just made up :smallsmile:

Why did the Forsaker cross the road?
The chicken had Boots of Speed on!!! :smallsigh:

Yah yah OK that really was bad, but I agree the Forsaker was a sweet idea but they totally biffed on the execution. EPIC FAIL :smallfrown:

Cuddly
2008-10-06, 01:51 AM
If you can play with flaws, you could potentially enter forsaker at 1st level. Or second? Not sure if it's feats then class, or class then feats.

The Rose Dragon
2008-10-06, 02:02 AM
Feats, then class. So at second level. You just need to play human and have one flaw. Or any race and two flaws, but humans are just better.

JupiterPaladin
2008-10-06, 02:02 AM
That depends on if you have to follow the order in the 3.5 PHB under level advancement on page 58? It says:

1. Choose a class
2. BaB
3. Saving throws
4. Ability Scores (1 every 4th level)
5. Hit Points
6. Skill Points
7. Feats
8. Spells
9. Class Features

If you follow that, then you have to take a base class because the prerequisites are undefined at that point. Maybe they built the PrCs that way on purpose. It would make sure you have at least a full level in a base class first.

EDIT: Rose, where did you find that info?

The Rose Dragon
2008-10-06, 02:08 AM
I'm not sure where, but I read somewhere that you need to fulfill all the prerequisites of a class before taking the first level.

So, technically, you take the class, then feats. I meant the feats come before you get the class. Prerequisites that you would have gained upon entry to the class do not count.

It was somewhere where it was discussed most PrCs were balanced towards a minimum level of 6 and it gave Assassin as an example: you can qualify as level 4 Rogue and level 1 Assassin, but you need five levels in Rogue to qualify since skills gained from Assassin do not count towards the prerequisites.

Talic
2008-10-06, 02:14 AM
Level advancement != Level 1 character creation.

However, class can't be the last step. And it must always come before feats. This is because if feats come first, level 1 characters cannot qualify for any feat that has a caster prerequisite, or a class feature prerequisite, or a base save prerequisite, or a Base attack prerequisite.

Which would mean, in exchange for being able to take Forsaker at level 1, you'd render level 1 fighters unable to take weapon focus.

Cuddly
2008-10-06, 02:49 AM
Level advancement != Level 1 character creation.

However, class can't be the last step. And it must always come before feats. This is because if feats come first, level 1 characters cannot qualify for any feat that has a caster prerequisite, or a class feature prerequisite, or a base save prerequisite, or a Base attack prerequisite.

Which would mean, in exchange for being able to take Forsaker at level 1, you'd render level 1 fighters unable to take weapon focus.

Ah.
Well then.
Entry at level 2.

Edge of Dreams
2008-10-06, 05:45 AM
Thaumaturgist:
This would be an awesome summoning PrC.... for a Druid. As it is, though, the only class that can access it is a Cleric of at least level 7 (unless there's something else that can cast Lesser Planar Ally). The half BaB and d4 hit points are okay to deal with when you consider that the level 5 ability of the class gets you a really shiny companion of your choice, and the contingent conjuration ability gives you a free summons at the start of every fight. Access to Summon Nature's Ally (generally considered much better than Summon Monster) would make this class significantly more worth taking.

Then again, it's really not that bad now that I think about it. Anyone ever actually played one of these?

Leon
2008-10-06, 09:32 AM
Thaumaturgist:
This would be an awesome summoning PrC.... for a Druid. As it is, though, the only class that can access it is a Cleric of at least level 7 (unless there's something else that can cast Lesser Planar Ally). The half BaB and d4 hit points are okay to deal with when you consider that the level 5 ability of the class gets you a really shiny companion of your choice, and the contingent conjuration ability gives you a free summons at the start of every fight. Access to Summon Nature's Ally (generally considered much better than Summon Monster) would make this class significantly more worth taking.

Then again, it's really not that bad now that I think about it. Anyone ever actually played one of these?

Arcane Disciple feat using Summoner Domain and a semi decent WIS for a arcane caster

Adumbration
2008-10-06, 09:46 AM
Thaumaturgist:
This would be an awesome summoning PrC.... for a Druid. As it is, though, the only class that can access it is a Cleric of at least level 7 (unless there's something else that can cast Lesser Planar Ally). The half BaB and d4 hit points are okay to deal with when you consider that the level 5 ability of the class gets you a really shiny companion of your choice, and the contingent conjuration ability gives you a free summons at the start of every fight. Access to Summon Nature's Ally (generally considered much better than Summon Monster) would make this class significantly more worth taking.

Then again, it's really not that bad now that I think about it. Anyone ever actually played one of these?

It has some serious synergy with Malconvoker. Played with one cleric/malconvoker/thaumathurgist at level 18 - loved it. Those fiendish T-rexes rock.

Piggy Knowles
2008-10-06, 11:44 AM
Re: some of these...

Heirophant seems like an odd class for the Core system overall, because it is pretty much always significantly LESS powerful than a core Cleric just taking more Cleric levels.

That being said, in epic play it is excellent. Also, it is really spectacular when combined with Ur-Priest. An Ur-Priest can easily have full casting by level 15, and adding Heirophant is not only a strong choice, but also quite flavorful.

Thaumaturgist is actually pretty good. It's best if you're playing in the mid-levels, or play with feat retraining, though (if you're focused on summoning, you probably already want Augment Summoning before level 7). It is overshadowed by the Malconvoker, but there's no reason why you can't play with BOTH.

If you're looking for broken, the fact that by level 12 the Thaumaturgist can have a Nightmare as a cohort is just SICK. That's right, at level 12 I can have a cohort that can cast two 9th-level spells... at will, and as Supernatural abilities.

Have fun making Astral doubles of yourself and all your equipment, with Contingent Conjuration set to protect your only weakness (your silver cord).

(Sure, you can do the above with Planar Binding - but not as safely, or as well...)

JMobius
2008-10-06, 11:49 AM
My vision on psionic Prc's compared to Vancian PrC's is the folllowing:
Psionic PrC's are how arcane PrC's should've been.
I mean, seriously, look at those classes: they offer full casting progression at 'the loss' of their base classe's features. In the case of the core arcane classes this is what, a bonus feat once every 5 levels (for wizards) and familiar progression? What kind of a deal is that? Casting is obviously the most important feature of those classes, so there's really little reason not to PrC-out as soon as possible. Am I the only one who finds that unbalanced?!
In my eyes, every caster PrC should at least lose a caster level at 1 level. Except perhaps for classes like the archmage, which has pretty harsh prerequisites.

I just want to echo that I absolutely agree with this statement. I've never liked the notion of PrCs as just "more powerful base classes".

I wonder if a project to 'fix' a lot of the existing Vancian PrCs, to bring them in line with the psionic ones, might be worth thinking about.

Zeful
2008-10-06, 12:01 PM
I just want to echo that I absolutely agree with this statement. I've never liked the notion of PrCs as just "more powerful base classes".

I wonder if a project to 'fix' a lot of the existing Vancian PrCs, to bring them in line with the psionic ones, might be worth thinking about.

Easy, other people have brought it up. Just pull the first level of spellcasting advancement from every single prestige class with full casting advancement, then go from there. The Archmage would have the same caster level advancement as the Heirphant (as in none) but the CL bosting special power would give spellcasting advancement (to both classes), Incantrix for example would lose at least 2 levels (first and last levels) worth of spellcasting advancement because of it's goodies, Master specialist would lose maybe 3 (with the written exception of their specialization, maybe) and so on. The more bonuses the PrC gives, the more spellcasting they lose.

Ascension
2008-10-06, 12:28 PM
Fochlucan Lyrist and the Daggerspell guys. Fochlucan lyrist would be greatly improved by the removal of the stupid Evasion requirement which forces further multiclassing on top of the Bard/Druid mix that's the entire point of the class in the first place.

J.Gellert
2008-10-06, 12:43 PM
The Tainted Scholar is an awesome idea, really basic concept in fantasy; and yet it's unplayable. Not because it's bad... But it's so good you'd rather not use it, for the sake of your fellow players.

And even if you do, rocks fall, you die, so there you go.

DeathQuaker
2008-10-06, 09:33 PM
Running my own games I stick largely to core, with splat PrCs approved on a case-by-case basis... and I tend to only remember the ones I like rather than the ones disliked (how y'all have this encyclopedic knowledge of all that's in these gazillions of books I have no idea. I am in awe...).

But there's plenty to complain about the PrCs in core.... (why even though I largely run core campaigns I allow splat PrCs)....

'Course, as complained, Arcane Archer. Seems to add very little to the concept, and feels like you lose more than you gain as opposed to say playing a multiclass Ranger-Sorcerer or something (which may not be optimal but quite fun). Easy to tweak, though... add in half spell casting and alter Enhance Arrow so it's useful (maybe doing Elemental Damage rather than just boosting the enhancement bonus, because by the time you've qualified for the PrC, you have a magical bow probably anyway. Otherwise only useful in low magic item campaigns).

Horizon Walker. If I can think of one PrC I would never want to take to all 10 levels, that would be it. Terrain Mastery is a cool idea, but it's all the class does. And I'm always somewhat skeptical of "conditional abilities" --- Mountain Mastery is lovely, until your DM starts running campaigns in nothing but jungle... The planar mastery is nice but it's hardly worth getting through the first five levels to get there. Given that, I think, it's basically a Ranger PrC, the Ranger is hella better off sticking to leveling higher and getting spellcasting, a buffed animal companion, and bonus feats and improved favored enemies, etc.

Eldritch Knight isn't so bad but it needs some bonus feats to round it out. Just to get a high BAB and spellcasting isn't enough (may as well play a cleric).

mabriss lethe
2008-10-06, 09:49 PM
Horizon Walker. If I can think of one PrC I would never want to take to all 10 levels, that would be it. Terrain Mastery is a cool idea, but it's all the class does. And I'm always somewhat skeptical of "conditional abilities" --- Mountain Mastery is lovely, until your DM starts running campaigns in nothing but jungle... The planar mastery is nice but it's hardly worth getting through the first five levels to get there. Given that, I think, it's basically a Ranger PrC, the Ranger is hella better off sticking to leveling higher and getting spellcasting, a buffed animal companion, and bonus feats and improved favored enemies, etc.

you realize that the Horizon Walker's terrain abilities function everywhere, right?

From the SRD:

Horizon walkers take their terrain mastery with them wherever they go. They retain their terrain mastery bonuses on skill checks, attack rolls, and damage rolls whether they’re actually in the relevant terrain or not.

AstralFire
2008-10-06, 09:55 PM
Yes, but half of the usefulness in them - the bonus to attack/damage (that being half the usefulness is pretty sad...) is likely to be gone if you're fighting enemies in a radically different terrain. A lot won't have an Environment for both say, a Jungle and Arctic.

tyckspoon
2008-10-06, 10:06 PM
Yes, but half of the usefulness in them - the bonus to attack/damage (that being half the usefulness is pretty sad...) is likely to be gone if you're fighting enemies in a radically different terrain. A lot won't have an Environment for both say, a Jungle and Arctic.

So just take the common (and useful) terrains and don't worry about it if you happen to be fighting enemies that don't qualify. It's only +1 hit/damage, in the end; nice, but not something you're going to be basing all of your combat around. But if you take 6 levels, say, and go with Forest/Plains/Hills/Underground/Desert/Shifting Planes: You're immune to Fatigue, you have Darkvision or improved range on your existing Darkvision, get a +4 bonus to Spot/Listen/Hide (which is unfortunately Competence, which is the most common bonus type for skill-boosting items), and can Dimension Door every 1d4 rounds.. which is completely awesome and pretty much the best reason to take the class. I have to agree that there's little reason to take the last four levels, however; level 6 for that first Planar Terrain Mastery is an obvious leaving point. Maybe one more level for Tremorsense from Cavernous Planar.

Vortling
2008-10-06, 10:11 PM
Definately seconded, thirded, whichever on Drunken Master and Master of Masks. I'm not sure how playable Fortune's Friend (Comp Scoundrel) is but it looks so very neat. Tattooed Monk tickles my fancy as well but I doubt it's worth all the levels.

mabriss lethe
2008-10-06, 10:14 PM
Definately seconded, thirded, whichever on Drunken Master and Master of Masks. I'm not sure how playable Fortune's Friend (Comp Scoundrel) is but it looks so very neat. Tattooed Monk tickles my fancy as well but I doubt it's worth all the levels.

I've only found one instance where taking tattooed monk as far as you can is preferable. Playing a monster class. It allows you access to SR and a few other goodies that you'd miss otherwise. (because of LA and HD, you may not be able to take it to 10 at all) (I've made a disgustingly effective monk/wight/tattooed monk in the past.)

Chronos
2008-10-07, 12:38 AM
Now, see, it seems to me that if you're going to suffer through the first five levels of Horizon Walker, you might as well take all ten. Sure, the other masteries aren't worth as much as Shifting, but the marginal price is lower: If it's worth spending six levels to get Dimension Door (and a couple of other miscellaneous bonuses), then it's probably also worth it to spend four more levels to get resistance to fire and cold, tremorsense, and immunity to Blasphemy and the like.

Temp.
2008-10-07, 01:19 AM
Geomancer. I love its Drift and Spell Versatility, but it just sort of sucks.

I would rewrite it along one of two lines:

Requiring one casting class with 8 ranks in both of the Knowledge prerequisites. I would kill its caster progression at levels 1 and 6. This would make it playable while casters are squishy, only making its caster level/nifty ability tradeoff once spellcasting becomes big business. Two lost spellcasting levels are more than enough for the perks of the class.

-or-

Requiring 1st level Arcane and Divine spells with 8 ranks in both Knowledge skills. Double spellcasting advancement at even-numbered levels and single advancement on odd-numbered levels. This would be uglier, but playable.

erikun
2008-10-07, 01:30 AM
Ever since I ran one, the entry requirements of the Loremaster has always annoyed me. Knowledge skills? Sure. Skill Focus? I can see that. But why would knowing how to craft magical bracelets of maximize a spell (even when you don't have the spell levels to do so) be necessary for loregathering?

Teron
2008-10-07, 01:33 AM
Ever since I ran one, the entry requirements of the Loremaster has always annoyed me. Knowledge skills? Sure. Skill Focus? I can see that. But why would knowing how to craft magical bracelets of maximize a spell (even when you don't have the spell levels to do so) be necessary for loregathering?
It has full casting progression plus decent perks. I don't see the problem (or rather, I see a different problem).

Krimm_Blackleaf
2008-10-07, 01:39 AM
There are a few classes I think need severe retooling, but I (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11253) do (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62659) what (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90871) I (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57794) can (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11260) to (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67389) do (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80274) just (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76892) that (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69427).

JupiterPaladin
2008-10-07, 01:40 AM
Arcane Trickster - I love the idea, but the class abilities are very limited. I can understand the limit on Impromptu Sneak Attack, but I feel that the Ranged Legerdemain should be a constant ability. It makes perfect sense for a Rogue/Sorc or whatever to be able to use Mage Hand to pick a pocked or disable a trap. That actually makes up for a few of the Rogue weaknesses when they fail and set off traps and stuff like that. I know the full casting progression makes it decent anyway, but the requirements make you multi-class more than it's worth IMO, especially because I prefer the Sorc over Wizard and that's a level behind as it is.

Horizon Walker - Not much to say here. The concept fits perfectly for Ranger types, but the execution is poor. I ignore the class and give the Terrain Masteries to the core Ranger class at every even level. Regular at 2-4-6-8-10 and Planar Masteries at 12-14-16-18-20. That little boost has never been an issue, and my players really enjoy that type of character!

DeathQuaker
2008-10-07, 07:00 AM
you realize that the Horizon Walker's terrain abilities function everywhere, right?



True. In all honesty it's been awhile since I fully read the class, because I found it somewhat disappointing.

Yes, some of the abilities are cool, but it's a very mixed bag (Immunity to Fatigue sounds great...... except I can't remember ever playing a game where I actually got fatigued.... it'd be nice versus a few spells, sure, but is not likely to be a boon in most games I play. The skill bonuses are nice, but I can take another class with better and more unique class features (and a skill focus feat if I want it that bad). A lot of the planar masteries are nice but it takes awhile to get there (and some are still lame. Yay, I get a bonus to movement in a plane with no gravity. Huh.)

More to the point, as I said, it's not something I can imagine you'd take all 10 levels of. It's great for a dip class... maybe too great.... but as a PrC to aspire to, it's not high on my list. And I wish it were.

IMO of course. It may also depend a lot on the kind of campaign your GM runs.

Piggy Knowles
2008-10-07, 08:35 AM
Immunity to Fatigue sounds great...... except I can't remember ever playing a game where I actually got fatigued....

Barbarians love the [censored] out of immunity to fatigue...

I know that Entropomancer has been mentioned before, but I'd like to repeat it - such a cool idea, done so poorly!

Starbuck_II
2008-10-07, 10:12 AM
More to the point, as I said, it's not something I can imagine you'd take all 10 levels of. It's great for a dip class... maybe too great.... but as a PrC to aspire to, it's not high on my list. And I wish it were.


I thought that was the point of Prc for dips...why else would most suck past X level (X varies like fatespinner 5 sucks but 3 or 4 is okay).

Loremaster 2 is awesome: You get Dodge bonus to AC (not likethe feat versus one target but versius everything) or something less good. Great for a Gish.

Riffington
2008-10-07, 10:30 AM
I thought that was the point of Prc for dips...why else would most suck past X level (X varies like fatespinner 5 sucks but 3 or 4 is okay).


That's a bug, not a feature. The goal is that you take a PrC the whole way. But it's tough to write that well. You want to give the player the PrC's flavor at level 1 or 2, obviously. But giving a reason to take it up front, as well as reason to stick with it the whole way, without being more powerful than a standard class... it's a bit difficult. A PrC ought to be equally balanced with a main class, just take it on a different path. Few succeed.

Alienist does a great job there. It starts up front with the pseudonatural summoning (the soul of the class). It gives a new creepy power every level. The capstone is neat enough to look forward to. Yet the whole class is equally as powerful as a straight wizard (which itself may be overpowered, but that's not the fault of PrC's). It's what every PrC ought to be.

Starshade
2008-10-07, 01:08 PM
Have to admit i GOT no real 3.5 experience, but my thinking by reading the 3-3.5 DM guide was same as DeathQuaker. I took one look on it, and imagined it being a cool figure able to walk on walls as spiderman or something from the pic, and thought "coool!" at first, until i READ the text, back when 3d ed was new. :smalltongue:

Person_Man
2008-10-07, 01:09 PM
Well, here's my (not-so-)short list:

Avenging Executioner.

Master of Masks.


I've seen Avenging Executioner in a real campaign, and my opinion is that its quite playable between ECL 6-10. Basically, you rock against anyone who is not immune to Fear. And you have to pile your feats and magic items into things that hurt people who are immune to Fear (which is something that Rogue-ish builds generally have to do anyway). Above ECL 11ish though its starts getting utterly useless though, since more then half of the enemies you face will be immune to Fear and/or mind affecting effects.

Master of Masks is great for a dip (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88633) or for an NPC, but yeah, big disappointment overall.


On the Horizon Walker:


Full BAB means that Power Attack feats are an option for bonus damage. You also have d8 hit points, and minor but helpful Skills/bonuses.
Shifting (Planar) gives you dimension door once every 1d4 rounds. Telflammar Shadowlord (http://forums.gleemax.com/wotc_archive/index.php/t-444438) and a few other PrC have the ability to make a full attack after they use dimension door. Put together by itself, and this is very useful. Put together with Quicken Spell-Like ability and/or Factotum, and it sets up the ability to make 2 full attacks each round.
Aligned (Planar) says that "spells and abilities that harm those of the opposite alignment don’t affect you." This makes you immune to a few nasty spells, feats, Smite, etc.
Cavernous (Planar) gives tremorsense 30 ft. Combine this with a burrow speed, and you can play a mole build (http://forums.gleemax.com/wotc_archive/index.php/t-961599), which can be quite potent, because if you don't have line of sight to an enemy, they can't be targeted.


So certainly Horizon Walker grants nothing but full BAB and some minor bonuses for the first 5 levels. But if you can get into the ECL 10+ range, it has a ton of great possibilities.

erikun
2008-10-07, 01:47 PM
It has full casting progression plus decent perks. I don't see the problem (or rather, I see a different problem).

Loremaster 2 is awesome: You get Dodge bonus to AC (not likethe feat versus one target but versius everything) or something less good. Great for a Gish.
The problem I found with Loremaster was that it takes four feats to gain access. Sure, if you don't mind buying them early, then Quicken Spell, Maximize Spell, or Heighten Spell can be quite useful... but when you're level 8, you're not using them too much.

Also, aren't you thinking Loremaster 3? Lore 2 just grants the Lore ability; Lore 3 is the earliest for the +1 AC secret, unless you managed a 22 Int somehow before entering the class.

Zeful
2008-10-07, 01:51 PM
Also, aren't you thinking Loremaster 3? Lore 2 just grants the Lore ability; Lore 3 is the earliest for the +1 AC secret, unless you managed a 22 Int somehow before entering the class.

Human 18 Int, Verable Age +3(right?), lvl 4 bonus +1. It's not that hard.

Tempest Fennac
2008-10-07, 02:01 PM
Would that be wise considering how you'd be likely to end up with a negative Con modifier? It doesn't really seem worth it to me.

Adumbration
2008-10-07, 02:06 PM
I know that Entropomancer has been mentioned before, but I'd like to repeat it - such a cool idea, done so poorly!
Seconded. I'd like to see a fix to it, some day.

erikun
2008-10-07, 02:08 PM
Ah, yes. I forgot about the min/maxitude some people can pull off. :smallbiggrin: I was actually more expecting a lv.8 Sun Elf, but hey...

Although Tempest is right - you're now looking at around 4 Con and another 10 years of life left. You can enjoy; I'll be relazing with my Divine Oracle PrC.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-07, 02:17 PM
I've seen Avenging Executioner in a real campaign, and my opinion is that its quite playable between ECL 6-10. Basically, you rock against anyone who is not immune to Fear. And you have to pile your feats and magic items into things that hurt people who are immune to Fear (which is something that Rogue-ish builds generally have to do anyway). Above ECL 11ish though its starts getting utterly useless though, since more then half of the enemies you face will be immune to Fear and/or mind affecting effects.

...which, to me, is the fundament of the issue. If, for some inexplicable reason, your class features simply stop working because your enemies are now, on average, tougher, there's something wrong.

I just wish there was some way to break Fear immunity, because then I could bring down the biggest fearmonster this side of the King of Smack.

String
2008-10-07, 04:35 PM
In my (admittedly limited) face-to-face experience, I really wish that Blood Magus worked.

Uh, not having played either class yet, could someone tell me if Stormcaster or Stormlord (from Stormwrack and Complete Divine, respectively) are playable?

Temp.
2008-10-07, 04:43 PM
Stormlord's fine. I played one and it was quite a bit of fun. We'd houseruled some scaling effects on feats, so the prerequisites weren't bad. I'm not sure what they'd be like if they stayed static.

I haven't played a Stormcaster, but giving it a quick look-over, I don't see anyting that makes up the lost caster level.

String
2008-10-07, 04:45 PM
Not even the +2 to caster level on lightning, water, air, and sonic descriptor spells?

Starbuck_II
2008-10-07, 05:16 PM
...which, to me, is the fundament of the issue. If, for some inexplicable reason, your class features simply stop working because your enemies are now, on average, tougher, there's something wrong.

I just wish there was some way to break Fear immunity, because then I could bring down the biggest fearmonster this side of the King of Smack.

Maybe, if the class had the ability (Extra Cap stone) to give Shaken penalties to those immune to fear (don't stack with repeated uses).
You know, so scary that even those who do'nt feel fear are shoken up.

That would make it suck less.

The_Snark
2008-10-07, 05:31 PM
Maybe, if the class had the ability (Extra Cap stone) to give Shaken penalties to those immune to fear (don't stack with repeated uses).
You know, so scary that even those who do'nt feel fear are shoken up.

That would make it suck less.

The Dread Witch does that for spellcasters, and it's cool, but the problem isn't immunity to fear, it's immunity to mind-affecting effects. You don't want to give a blanket ability to get past that, because then you get into the ridiculous situation of frightening something that can't even think, like a golem or a skeleton.

It's the same problem that enchanters, telepaths, and beguilers have, except that they can pretty easily pick up some alternative options so that they have something to do when they're fighting undead and constructs.

Although really, it's an exaggeration to say that half of the enemies you'll fight will be immune. Humanoids make up a sizable proportion of the enemies in most games, and most of them aren't immune to fear (unless your DM is fond of having all enemies breakfast on Hero's Feast). In undead-heavy games and some dungeon crawls, you might have trouble; in a lot of games you're just fine.

Chronos
2008-10-07, 05:41 PM
The problem I found with Loremaster was that it takes four feats to gain access. Sure, if you don't mind buying them early, then Quicken Spell, Maximize Spell, or Heighten Spell can be quite useful... but when you're level 8, you're not using them too much.Except three of those four feats, you're guaranteed to pick up from Wizard 10, if not earlier (giving you time to pick up all ten levels of Loremaster, if you want them). If you're playing in an all-books-allowed game, then you're probably going to switch out of wizard faster than that (Master Specialist, say), but if you're going with a core-only game and don't want to go for Archmage, then Wiz10/Loremaster 10 is pretty much absolutely superior to Wiz20. And metamagic feats in general are a pretty good choice for spellcasters anyway, so if you spend any normal feat slots at all on metamagic, you can qualify with Wiz7.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-07, 05:48 PM
The Dread Witch does that for spellcasters, and it's cool, but the problem isn't immunity to fear, it's immunity to mind-affecting effects. You don't want to give a blanket ability to get past that, because then you get into the ridiculous situation of frightening something that can't even think, like a golem or a skeleton.

Does Dread Witch specify spells-only?

The_Snark
2008-10-07, 05:52 PM
Does Dread Witch specify spells-only?

It does. Although the one time I played it, I convinced my DM to let it apply to the supernatural abilities from Nightmare Spinner, too.

There really ought to be a combination class for those two. Preferably losing only one caster level between them.

Lorien077
2008-10-07, 06:01 PM
Ah Arcane Archer, such an interesting flavor concept, such poor requirements/ actual progression. (Assassin also makes me sad. The level of Blood Magus where you get that useless homunculus and lose a caster level is also sad, but understandable)

To be honest I think there should be full caster PrC options: however their specials should be mainly about flavor, and not power boosts. (the goal would be equivalency to bonus feats lost from wizard and familiar progression) Any caster PrCs that give specials with some amount of power should probably loose caster levels or some other sort of benefit appropriate to the power gain.

As a player I've always thought one of the points of getting into a PrC is being rewarded with a slight power boost for meeting requirements/ surviving that long. So in my humble opinion maybe a mild power boost from a PrC isn't a bad thing.

I will also not that in any game I run as a DM I over-rule most alignment/race requirements for classes.

Fax Celestis
2008-10-07, 06:04 PM
It does. Although the one time I played it, I convinced my DM to let it apply to the supernatural abilities from Nightmare Spinner, too.

There really ought to be a combination class for those two. Preferably losing only one caster level between them.

Well, what I was thinking was ray spells + Avenging Executioner + Dread Witch, but if it doesn't apply to general fear effects and is just fear spells, then never mind.

Oslecamo
2008-10-07, 06:13 PM
I must point out that from I've seen in this thread:

Playable=same power level as the more powerfull builds ever done.

It scares me. What would be overpowered then?

Fax Celestis
2008-10-07, 06:15 PM
I must point out that from I've seen in this thread:

Playable=same power level as the more powerfull builds ever done.

It scares me. What would be overpowered then?

Not true. "Playable" equates useful, interesting class features that are not negated by simple (level < 5) spells, outclassed by single feats, or have worse benefits than sticking to the original class would have.

ocato
2008-10-07, 06:36 PM
Tempest. Every Marty-Stu around there dual wields. They should give a class at least decent to portray such popular concept. Instead, they gave us a stupidly feat intensive piece of crap, with diametrally incompatible features (namely, dual wielding and attacking a lot versos running around and not doing it).

Tempest isn't really so much unplayable as it is inferior to the almighty Dervish. Fighter 2/Swashbuckler 3/Dervish 10/Tempest 5, for example, is a pretty fun melee build.

As for unplayable, I don't think the term applies necessarily but I happen to absolutely hate the Pledge for Skypledged (races of the wild). You're a super cool aerial raptorian cleric! You assist your friends or your flock in battle by flying overhead and raining the might of the elements on your enemies, carving battlefields and supporting the mighty Stormtalons! Cool! But you can't cast any Earth, Water, or Fire descriptor spells so say goodbye to Wall of Stone, Flamestrike, and a few other spells that I really love. It's a good class, but that pledge is something I've never been able to swallow, especially because shape stone is something a cleric really ends up using as a go-to button in dungeons. I mean, I guess you could just cast all your Fire, Water, and Earth spells from scrolls, staves, and wands but... it just irks me. It isn't unplayable, it just bugs me.

Zeful
2008-10-07, 07:15 PM
I must point out that from I've seen in this thread:

Playable=same power level as the more powerfull builds ever done.

It scares me. What would be overpowered then?

You did see the half page or so where we talked about nerfing full-caster PrCs into not full-caster PrCs?

Shosuro Ishii
2008-10-07, 10:43 PM
The Dread Witch does that for spellcasters, and it's cool, but the problem isn't immunity to fear, it's immunity to mind-affecting effects. You don't want to give a blanket ability to get past that, because then you get into the ridiculous situation of frightening something that can't even think, like a golem or a skeleton.



While I could be mistaken, I was under the impression that the way the Dread Witch was worded, you broke through anything that would cause the enemy to be immune to fear, including not being able to feel fear (I could have misread it though).

Even then, though, that doesn't address the real problem of the Dread Witch (or any fear based class) is that feared enemies rarely stay in one place, and without an entire party willing to coordinate to your playstyle, a Dread Witch will cause a lot more chaos on the battlefield than a normal group will want. This is really bad in dungeons, where a monster wil panic, run in the next room over and drag back his friends with him.

Also, I second anyone who was talking about fixing up the swashbuckler prestige classes, espically the duelist, although with a kind DM and access to an enchanter, they can do sick burst damage (and we all knowhow good that is in this game :smallannoyed:).