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    Default [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    What would be the effects of giving wizards and sorcerers Eschew Material Components instead of familiars, giving clerics bad fortitude saves, making all druids use the Shapechange variant and giving all rangers a druid's animal companion?

    It's something I'm considering for my campaign.
    Last edited by Myou; 2009-03-12 at 04:13 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myou View Post
    What would be the effects of giving wizards and sorcerers Eschew Material Components instead of familiars, giving clerics bad fortitude saves, making all druids use the Shapechange variant and giving all rangers a druid's animal companion?

    It's something I'm considering for my campaign.
    Overall it'd improve balance. The "clerics get bad fort" would probably have the least impact. Familiars are good, but generally not very good as used, while giving arcanists Eschew Material Components does remove one vulnerability (sundering/disarming their pouch), so that's a toss-up. The druid/ranger change is one I'd agree with.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    This will greatly underpower wizards and sorcerers, whose ability to function as a spellcaster is severly lmiited without a familiar.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myou View Post
    What would be the effects of giving wizards and sorcerers Eschew Material Components instead of familiars, giving clerics bad fortitude saves, making all druids use the Shapechange variant and giving all rangers a druid's animal companion?

    It's something I'm considering for my campaign.
    You would have the wizards and sorceres buffed (NOT needed), clerics almost uneffective, and druids down from the biggies.

    It would turn from BIG 5, into BIG 4 (Wizard, Cleric, Archivist, Artificer), with druids down to 2nd tier, and a powerful 2nd tier at that.
    This will greatly underpower wizards and sorcerers, whose ability to function as a spellcaster is severly lmiited without a familiar.
    Fear teh familiar POWER!
    Last edited by Eloel; 2009-03-12 at 05:53 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    I agree that those changes would be good (especially the Druid one). I'd say the Cleric changes would have more impact then the Familiar replacement, though (I won't say it doesn't make sense based on how you'd expect Clerics to focus more on other things rather then becoming physically resistant to things*).


    *That is awkward as far as Knights go due to how they only havea strong Will save dispite being melee warriors.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    The following is simply my personal opinion as a player and a DM, not a carefully thought out critique of the effects of those changes.

    In order:
    -Good (especially if the players weren't planning to roleplay their familiars anyway; the benefits provided by Eschew materials are more universal)
    -Good (as it would cut down a little on their ability to be just as sturdy as a fighter, which is a bad thing)
    -Good (as it is more interesting and limit the abuse of wildshape)
    -Depends. This probably won't really make rangers that much stronger, just make it so that the animal companions they have don't utterly s**k. I think that this is probably Good.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Which tier are normal Rangers considered to be, and would their tier be boosted a lot by getting a Druid companion?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei View Post
    Overall it'd improve balance. The "clerics get bad fort" would probably have the least impact. Familiars are good, but generally not very good as used, while giving arcanists Eschew Material Components does remove one vulnerability (sundering/disarming their pouch), so that's a toss-up. The druid/ranger change is one I'd agree with.
    Great, thanks! :3

    Quote Originally Posted by Dhavaer View Post
    This will greatly underpower wizards and sorcerers, whose ability to function as a spellcaster is severly lmiited without a familiar.
    I remember seeing that once before. It's very strange. xD

    Quote Originally Posted by ozgun92 View Post
    You would have the wizards and sorceres buffed (NOT needed), clerics almost uneffective, and druids down from the biggies.

    It would turn from BIG 5, into BIG 4 (Wizard, Cleric, Archivist, Artificer), with druids down to 2nd tier, and a powerful 2nd tier at that.

    Fear teh familiar POWER!
    I'm a little confused by your post. ^^;

    Druids still have full casting etc, making them extremely powerful. All this really does is make them less easily broken.

    Eschew Material Components only removes the need for components worth less than 1gp, which most DMs don't even bother to track, and backup spell component pouches cost a few gp each, so how is it a buff? To me it's a slight debuff, albeit one that removes a lot of pointless book-keeping.

    Perhaps my sarcasm detector is on the fritz again though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Fennac View Post
    I agree that those changes would be good (especially the Druid one). I'd say the Cleric changes would have more impact then the Familiar replacement, though (I won't say it doesn't make sense based on how you'd expect Clerics to focus more on other things rather then becoming physically resistant to things*).


    *That is awkward as far as Knights go due to how they only havea strong Will save dispite being melee warriors.
    Yeah, it always annoyed me that a priest is almost as tough as a dedicated warrior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiery Diamond View Post
    The following is simply my personal opinion as a player and a DM, not a carefully thought out critique of the effects of those changes.

    In order:
    -Good (especially if the players weren't planning to roleplay their familiars anyway; the benefits provided by Eschew materials are more universal)
    -Good (as it would cut down a little on their ability to be just as sturdy as a fighter, which is a bad thing)
    -Good (as it is more interesting and limit the abuse of wildshape)
    -Depends. This probably won't really make rangers that much stronger, just make it so that the animal companions they have don't utterly s**k. I think that this is probably Good.
    Yes, I really don't see the point in a companion as weak as the normal ranger one, it's just going to turn into a liability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Fennac View Post
    Which tier are normal Rangers considered to be, and would their tier be boosted a lot by getting a Druid companion?
    They're thought to be teir 4, but as for how much it would boost their level, I'm really not too sure.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    I'd say the fact that it effectively gives you another Fighter would boost it a lot. In fact, do you have a list of the tiers handy please? (I've seen one before, but I'm not sure where to find it). Natural Bond would boost a Ranger companion to the Druid's level but the fact that it costs a feat would be a problem for some builds.
    Last edited by Tempest Fennac; 2009-03-12 at 06:43 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Fennac View Post
    I'd say the fact that it effectively gives you another Fighter would boost it a lot. In fact, do you have a list of the tiers handy please? (I've seen one before, but I'm not sure where to find it). Natural Bond would boost a Ranger companion to the Druid's level but the fact that it costs a feat would be a problem for some builds.
    http://brilliantgameologists.com/boa...p?topic=1002.0 Has the list I use.

    I agree it's very helpful, but I wouldn't personaly value it as highly as a fighter. But maybe I'm wrong?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Here's one, taken from JaronK on the Brilliant Gameologists Forums.
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    The Tier System

    Tier 1: Capable of doing absolutely everything, often better than classes that specialize in that thing. Often capable of solving encounters with a single mechanical ability and little thought from the player. Has world changing powers at high levels. These guys, if played well, can break a campaign and can be very hard to challenge without extreme DM fiat, especially if Tier 3s and below are in the party.

    Examples: Wizard, Cleric, Druid, Archivist, Artificer.

    Tier 2: Has as much raw power as the Tier 1 classes, but can't pull off nearly as many tricks, and while the class itself is capable of anything, no one build can actually do nearly as much as the Tier 1 classes. Still potencially campaign smashers by using the right abilities, but at the same time are more predictable and can't always have the right tool for the job. If the Tier 1 classes are countries with 10,000 nuclear weapons in their arsenal, these guys are countries with 10 nukes. Still dangerous and world shattering, but not in quite so many ways. Note that the Tier 2 classes are often less flexible than Tier 3 classes... it's just that their incredible potential power overwhelms their lack in flexibility.

    Examples: Sorcerer, Favored Soul, Psion, Binder (with access to online vestiges)

    Tier 3: Capable of doing one thing quite well, while still being useful when that one thing is inappropriate, or capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area. Occasionally has a mechanical ability that can solve an encounter, but this is relatively rare and easy to deal with. Challenging such a character takes some thought from the DM, but isn't too difficult. Will outshine any Tier 5s in the party much of the time.

    Examples: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, Crusader, Bard, Swordsage, Binder (without access to the summon monster vestige), Wildshape Varient Ranger, Duskblade, Factotum, Warblade, Psionic Warrior

    Tier 4: Capable of doing one thing quite well, but often useless when encounters require other areas of expertise, or capable of doing many things to a reasonable degree of competance without truly shining. Rarely has any abilities that can outright handle an encounter unless that encounter plays directly to the class's main strength. DMs may sometimes need to work to make sure Tier 4s can contribue to an encounter, as their abilities may sometimes leave them useless. Won't outshine anyone except Tier 6s except in specific circumstances that play to their strengths. Cannot compete effectively with Tier 1s that are played well.

    Examples: Rogue, Barbarian, Warlock, Warmage, Scout, Ranger, Hexblade, Adept, Spellthief, Marshal, Fighter (Dungeoncrasher Varient)

    Tier 5: Capable of doing only one thing, and not necessarily all that well, or so unfocused that they have trouble mastering anything, and in many types of encounters the character cannot contribute. In some cases, can do one thing very well, but that one thing is very often not needed. Has trouble shining in any encounter unless the rest of the party is weak in that situation and the encounter matches their strengths. DMs may have to work to avoid the player feeling that their character is worthless unless the entire party is Tier 4 and below. Characters in this tier will often feel like one trick ponies if they do well, or just feel like they have no tricks at all if they build the class poorly.

    Examples: Fighter, Monk, CA Ninja, Healer, Swashbuckler, Rokugan Ninja, Soulknife, Expert, Paladin

    Tier 6: Not even capable of shining in their own area of expertise. DMs will need to work hard to make encounters that this sort of character can contribute in with their mechanical abilities. Will often feel worthless unless the character is seriously powergamed beyond belief, and even then won't be terribly impressive. Needs to fight enemies of lower than normal CR. Class is often completely unsynergized or with almost no abilities of merit. Avoid allowing PCs to play these characters.

    Examples: CW Samurai, Aristocrat, Warrior, Commoner

    And then there's the Truenamer, which is just broken (as in, the class was improperly made and doesn't function appropriately).

    Now, obviously these rankings only apply when mechanical abilities are being used... in a more social oriented game where talking is the main way of solving things (without using diplomacy checks), any character can shine. However, when the mechanical abilities of the classes in question are being used, it's a bad idea to have parties with more than two tiers of difference.

    It is interesting to note the disparity between the core classes... one of the reasons core has so many problems. If two players want to play a nature oriented shapeshifter and a general sword weilder, you're stuck with two very different tiered guys in the party (Fighter and Druid). Outside of core, it's possible to do it while staying on close Tiers... Wild Shape Varient Ranger and Warblade, for example.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    They all look great modifications. I am not sure about the cleric one though. May point you towards the cloistered cleric? It makes clerics more like priests and less like holy warriors (you can always be a paladin or multiclass 1 level of fighter for that).
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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    They all look great modifications. I am not sure about the cleric one though. May point you towards the cloistered cleric? It makes clerics more like priests and less like holy warriors (you can always be a paladin or multiclass 1 level of fighter for that).
    Oh, thank you, I hadn't considered that. I don't really like the bonus domain, but I'll give that some thought. :3

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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Thanks for the links. I never liked CCs that much due to how they seem to vurnerable on the frintlines, which is where they ideally need to be if they are combat medics. (I think the idea behnd Clerics initially was that they were based on some Holy Knight orders). While this isn't useful for PCs, I tend to see CCs as being librarians/preachers/doctors while seeing normal Clerics as being the guys who churches would send on dangerous missions (using the idea that Paladins are warriors of Law and Good rather then necessarily needing to follow a particular diety).
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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    actually, the best way to modify the wizard class is to give him fewer spells known at higher lvls. I'm not sure how many less spells, but that would be definitely the way to go. Also, ban prestige classes like archmage, mystic theurge and so on
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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    I use a few of these (Shapechange druids, Sorcs get free Eschew). I don't think Wizards need another (admittedly minor) power bump from getting Eschew, and I like the idea of familiars. I'd keep both of those.

    My solution for Clerics: All are Cloistered; Divine Power is in the War Domain only (not the general list); Nightsticks don't stack. You can still go 'zilla if you really want to, but it requires a bit more investment (heavier armor proficiency, must pick War domain, most likely Domain Spontaneity if you can't manage Persist) and is more dangerous (fewer HP to go around).

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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Wouldn't just banning DMM and limiting access to Divine Power to the War Domain be better, Telonius? One problem with limiting Cleric's survivability is that it means it's harder on the party if they need a specialist healer (some parties could get around this to a degree with UMD, but ready access to higher level healing spells which can't be used with Wands could be an issue later on).
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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Narmoth View Post
    actually, the best way to modify the wizard class is to give him fewer spells known at higher lvls. I'm not sure how many less spells, but that would be definitely the way to go. Also, ban prestige classes like archmage, mystic theurge and so on
    I'm not trying to weaken them, just get rid of a useless class feature that complicates the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    I use a few of these (Shapechange druids, Sorcs get free Eschew). I don't think Wizards need another (admittedly minor) power bump from getting Eschew, and I like the idea of familiars. I'd keep both of those.

    My solution for Clerics: All are Cloistered; Divine Power is in the War Domain only (not the general list); Nightsticks don't stack. You can still go 'zilla if you really want to, but it requires a bit more investment (heavier armor proficiency, must pick War domain, most likely Domain Spontaneity if you can't manage Persist) and is more dangerous (fewer HP to go around).
    It's really not a power bump, familiars are more powerful than Eschew and can be traded for other features too. Eschew just takes out book-keeping really.

    Making them all be cloistered seems a little too extreme, and makes it harder for low-level parties.

    I just ban nightsticks, but if I didn't they'd be useable only for turning, not 'turning attempts' and refuse to let them stack.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Fennac View Post
    Wouldn't just banning DMM and limiting access to Divine Power to the War Domain be better, Telonius? One problem with limiting Cleric's survivability is that it means it's harder on the party if they need a specialist healer (some parties could get around this to a degree with UMD, but ready access to higher level healing spells which can't be used with Wands could be an issue later on).
    Yes, I don't want to make clerics fragile, but good fort is just a step too far for me.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    I wasn't critercising the "bad Fort save" idea. (CCs normally have good Fort saves anyway from what I can gather).
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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Fennac View Post
    I wasn't critercising the "bad Fort save" idea. (CCs normally have good Fort saves anyway from what I can gather).
    I'm sorry, I think you misunderstood, I didn't think you were.

    If CCs get good fort that's even sillier. o.o

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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Don't worry about it (I often get confused). For some reason, Archivists, which are similar to CCs fluffwise ( http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x...051007a&page=3 ), get good Fort saves as well. I suppose this could be explained by the idea that learning Divine magic somehow toughens people in a way that Arcane magic can't. I guess gods/nature just hate the idea of their most dedicated followers having poor health.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    I've always disliked the Polymorph and Wildshape mechanics, and strongly suggest that my PC's avoid them. But other then that, I've rarely seen the need to mandate nerfs. If Player A wants to be CoDzilla and Player B wants to be a Samurai, you can just give Player B more magic items and/or grafts and/or broken templates (Feral, Mineral Warrior, etc). As long as you keep a vague amount of balance between players, you can always adjust the difficulty of your encounters up or down.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Fennac View Post
    Don't worry about it (I often get confused). For some reason, Archivists, which are similar to CCs fluffwise ( http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x...051007a&page=3 ), get good Fort saves as well. I suppose this could be explained by the idea that learning Divine magic somehow toughens people in a way that Arcane magic can't. I guess gods/nature just hate the idea of their most dedicated followers having poor health.
    I think it's the nature of the work they do. If part of your job is to regularly reattach limbs, or deal with slimy gibbering horrors whose existence Should Not Be Known, you're probably not going to be nauseated easily.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    The thing with Clerics having good Fort and Will is due to the creed that WotC had that they had to be resilient to be able to be the "last man standing" so they could heal and refresh everybody else. This change does almost nothing to balance things out...


    You could give your players the option to have Eschew Materials or teh Familiar... I know a lot of people who like their familars and never forget about them.


    Shapechange FTW!!! The best variant ever. It will cut Druids a bit in power, since they will to be a SAD class anymore if tehy want to excell in combat and casting.


    Carefull... Animal Companions are almost in pair with fighters of the same HD... This would double the Ranger.


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    Default Re: [3.5] Altering several classes slightly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    I've always disliked the Polymorph and Wildshape mechanics, and strongly suggest that my PC's avoid them. But other then that, I've rarely seen the need to mandate nerfs. If Player A wants to be CoDzilla and Player B wants to be a Samurai, you can just give Player B more magic items and/or grafts and/or broken templates (Feral, Mineral Warrior, etc). As long as you keep a vague amount of balance between players, you can always adjust the difficulty of your encounters up or down.
    Very true, but I'd prefer there be less need and the variant is already there. :3

    Quote Originally Posted by Fawsto View Post
    The thing with Clerics having good Fort and Will is due to the creed that WotC had that they had to be resilient to be able to be the "last man standing" so they could heal and refresh everybody else. This change does almost nothing to balance things out...


    You could give your players the option to have Eschew Materials or teh Familiar... I know a lot of people who like their familars and never forget about them.


    Shapechange FTW!!! The best variant ever. It will cut Druids a bit in power, since they will to be a SAD class anymore if tehy want to excell in combat and casting.


    Carefull... Animal Companions are almost in pair with fighters of the same HD... This would double the Ranger.


    Any thoughts on the Paladin?
    Well, in the end I decided not to change clerics.

    I know some people like them, but those people can just take the familiar feat. There's no real reason why wizards or sorcerers should have one automatically.

    Yeah, I like the shapechange variant a lot. :3

    You say that, but they can get the same effect with one feat. So either that's an incredibly broken feat and no-one has noticed or it can't be all that powerful.

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