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    Default [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    (Repost from here. Initial discussion here.)

    Rating PrCs is difficult. It's obvious that some provide too much and some provide too little, but which is which depends on a lot of factors - base class entry being the most obvious. Where the difference between two "logical entries" is huge, those entries can be listed separately (see Rainbow Servant), but just like for base classes, a single PrC can go up or down based on optimization skill, and we should focus on what we see as the "average" use. We should only list a PrC multiple times if the multiple entries are all simple and straightforward given the requirements, as anything else falls under the individual's optimization skill.

    It's also difficult to categorize power. Soulbow certainly adds more to Soulknives than Mindbender does to Sorcerers, but I think most will agree that a high level Mindbender will still beat a Soulbow with both arms tied behind its back. Still, ranking them that way is merely repeating the obvious, that some base classes are better than other, down through the list of PrCs ad nauseum. That's neither helpful nor productive. Instead, it would make more sense to rate PrCs by how much advantage they give, over their "logical entries". In other words, a PrC for Soulknives is held to a different standard than a PrC for Sorcerers, and the grade tells you how strongly you should consider taking that PrC, assuming you're already working on a build that could qualify.

    So for this, I'll be referring to Tiers and how the PrC changes them, but I'm aware that there's multiple Tier systems out there that differ in substantial ways, and that some of these gradings will put classes into places they just don't belong when taken literally. A Tier 3 with an "up one" PrC wouldn't necessarily be a Tier 2, and a Tier 1 with a "down two" PrC would probably still be better than most Tier 3 classes. There will also be classes that go off the top or bottom of the scale. The goal is merely to make it clear that an "up two" is better than an "up one", and that both are only in reference to the starting point as given by the "logical entry". To repeat: the ranking is not literal. It's just a guideline to help novice or intermediate players know where to start looking.

    I hope to eventually have this guide cover all published PrCs, and I know I can't do that alone. I'll be needing as much assistance as possible going through various books. Don't worry too much if you're not a certified professional PrC-rater; nobody is, including myself, and there's always a review period where other people who may have more experience with specific classes can weigh in. In general, if you can convince me then I'll change it, and you can't convince me but other posters agree with you then I'll change it too. As a final note, none of the ratings are ever final, so don't worry about it too much.


    Books included so far
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    Book of Exalted Deeds (ave: +0.182)
    Book of Vile Darkness (ave: +0.647) - Samb
    Champions of Ruin (ave: +0.0)- Tam_OConnor
    Complete Adventurer
    Complete Arcane - biznarf
    Complete Divine
    Complete Mage (ave: +0.545) - Surreal
    Complete Psionic - Samb
    Complete Scoundrel - Samb
    Complete Warrior
    Drow of the Underdark - Akalsaris
    Dungeon Masters Guide (ave: -0.375)
    Eberron Campaign Setting
    Expanded Psionics Handbook (ave: +0.222)
    Expedition to Castle Ravenloft
    Expedition to the Deamonweb Pits - Zombieboots
    Frostburn - tusk
    Heroes of Horror (ave: +0.5)
    Libris Mortis (ave: -1.0) - Salt_Crow
    Lords of Madness (ave: +1)
    Lost Empires of Faerun - Tam_OConnor
    Magic of Incarnum - woodenbandman
    Planar Handbook (ave: +0.0) - tusk
    Player's Guide to Faerun (ave: -0.1) - Tam_OConnor
    Races of Destiny (ave: +0.176) - tusk
    Races of Eberron (ave: +0.625) - Salvonus
    Races of Stone (ave: +0.467) - Surreal
    Races of the Dragon (ave: +0.0) - tusk
    Races of the Wild - CthulhuM and Sirek Inta
    Sandstorm
    Serpent Kingdoms (ave: -0.06) - Tam_OConnor
    Stormwrack
    Tome of Battle
    Tome of Magic - jameswilliamogle
    Unapproachable East (ave: +0.417) - Tam_OConnor
    Underdark (ave: +0.333) - Tam_OConnor

    Books still needed: Cityscape, Complete Champion, Draconomicon, Dragon Magic, Dungeonscape, Fiendish Codex II, Ghostwalk, Heroes of Battle, Miniatures Handbook, Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde, and Weapons of Legacy, plus any setting-specific 3.5 books we've missed.


    Up Two or More Tiers. These PrCs improve the power of their entry classes dramatically, either by building on strengths or by adding powerful new ones. Expect characters with these to blow their single-classed peers out of the water (and possibly get DM-smote, depending on the base class's power).
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    Anarchic Initiate
    Anima Mage
    Champion of Gwynharwyf
    Disciple of Disapater
    Dweomerkeeper
    Emissaries of Barachiel
    Halruuan Elder
    Hulking Hurler
    Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil (unless your DM overrules Veils blocking Antimagic Fields)
    Incantatrix (when combined with other metamagic cost reducers)
    Legendary Captain (if naval combat is required)
    Moonspeaker (with Knowledge Devotion)
    Necrocarnate (unless your DM limits what you can draw essentia from)
    Planar Sheppard
    Rainbow Servant (Warmage entry)
    Runescarred Berserker
    Sacred Exorcist (non-Cleric entry)
    Sentinel of Bharrai
    Shadowcraft Mage
    Soulbow
    Soul Eater
    Sublime Chord
    Tainted Scholar
    Telflammar Shadowlord
    Thrallherd
    Thrall of Juiblex
    Ur-Priest
    Void Disciple
    Walker in the Waste
    Warshaper (non-casting entry)



    Up One Tier. These PrCs generally improve their entry classes substantially, without radically affecting game balance. Expect characters with these to be powerful allies or dangerous enemies, without totally overshadowing their single-classed peers.
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    Abjurant Champion
    Abolisher
    Acolyte of the Ego
    Aglarondan Griffonrider
    Annointed Knight
    Arachnomancer
    Arcane Heirophant
    Ashworm Dragoon
    Assassin
    Atavist
    Bear Warrior
    Beloved of Valarian
    Blackguard
    Blade Bravo
    Bloodclaw Master
    Bloodhound
    Breachgnome
    Cabinet Trickster
    Cavalier
    Cavelord
    Cancer Mage (broken with festering rage)
    Celestial Mystic
    Chaotician
    Chameleon (an odd case by any standard)
    Champion of Corellon Larethian
    Church Inquisitor
    Contemplative
    Cragtop Archer
    Daggerspell Shaper
    Darkrunner
    Death Delver
    Deepwarden
    Defender of Sealtiel
    Demonwrecker
    Dervish
    Diabolist
    Disciple of Amodeus
    Disciple of Baalzebul
    Disciple of Mephistopheles
    Disciple of the Eye
    Disciple of Thrym
    Divine Crusader
    Divine Oracle
    Divine Prankster
    Dragon Devotee (for non-casters)
    Dragonmark Heir
    Dread Fang of Lolth
    Dread Pirate
    Drow Judicator
    Drunken Master
    Earth Dreamer
    Eldeen Ranger
    Elemental Warrior
    Elven High Mage
    Enlightened Fist
    Eternal Blade
    Exotic Weapons Master
    Eye of Horus-Re
    Fatemaker (worse for bards)
    Fatespinner (fifth level not recommended)
    Fiend-Blooded
    Fist of Raziel (Charging Smite paladin variant highly recommended)
    Fleshwarper
    Frenzied Berserker
    Frost Mage (Sorc entry)
    Ghost Faced Killer
    Grey Guard
    Halfling Outrider
    Hammer of Moradin
    Hathran
    Heir of Siberys
    Holy Liberator
    Holy Scourge
    Illithid Body Tamer
    Illumine Soul
    Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil
    Ironsoul Forgemaster
    Jade Phoenix Mage
    Jaunter
    Justicar of Tyr
    Keeper of the Cerulean Sign
    Knight of the Chalice
    Knight of the Raven
    Knight of Sacred Seal
    Knight Protector
    Leviathan Hunter
    Lion of Talisid
    Loredelver
    Loremaster
    Lyric Thaumaturge
    Malconvoker
    Mage of the Arcane Order
    Magical Trickster
    Master Inquisitive
    Master of Many Forms (Ranger entry)
    Master of Masks (Spellthief entry)
    Master of Shadow
    Master Specialist
    Master Thrower
    Menacing Brute
    Mortal Hunter
    Mountebank
    Nentyar Hunter
    Nightsong Enforcer
    Nightmare Spinner
    Noctumancer
    Olin Gisir
    Orc Warlord
    Pale Master
    Primeval
    Prophet of Erathaol
    Psibond Agent
    Psionic Fist
    Quori Nightmare
    Radiant Servant of Pelor
    Recaster
    Rimefire Witch
    Risen Martyr
    Ruby Knight Vindicator
    Runesmith
    Sacred Exorcist (Cleric entry)
    Sacred Fist
    Sanctified Mind
    Sand Shaper (Sorc entry)
    Scion of Dantalion
    Scion of Tem-Et-Nu
    Scorpion Heritor
    Sea Mother Whip
    Shadowbane Inquisitor (in conjunction with Blackguard)
    Shadowbane Stalker
    Shadow Sentinal
    Shining South
    Shou Disciple
    Singer of Concordance
    Skypledged
    Slayer
    Slayer of Domiel
    Spellfire Hierophant
    Spellwarp Sniper
    Stoneblessed
    Suel Arcanamach
    Temple Raider of Olidammara (for non-Rogue entry)
    Thaumaturgist
    Thayan Gladiator
    Thrall of Demogoron
    Topaz Guardian (gish entry)
    Triadic Knight
    Umbral Disciple
    Unseen Seer
    Urban Soul
    Vassal of Bahamut
    Vengeance Knight
    Virtuoso
    Warforged Juggernaut
    War Mind (non-pure psi entries)
    Warrior of Darkness
    Warrior Skald
    Weretouched Master
    Whisperknife
    Wild Plains Outrider
    Wildrunner
    Wild Soul
    Winterhaunt of Iborighu
    Witch Slayer (non-caster entry)
    Zerth Cenobite



    Equal. These PrCs are roughly on par with their entry classes overall, trading strengths in certain areas for strengths in others, or provides moderate gains for a moderate investment (ie required feats or unfavorable multiclassing). Expect characters with these to fit naturally into a single-classed party.
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    Alienist
    Animal Lord
    Arcane Devotee
    Archmage
    Ardent Dilettant
    Astral Dancer
    Avenging Executioner
    Battlerager
    Battle Trickster
    Beastmaster
    Black Blood Hunter
    Blood Magus
    Champions of Valor
    Child of the Night
    Cipher Adept
    Cloud Ancorite
    Combat Trapper
    Consecrated Harrier
    Corrupt Avenger
    Cultist of the Shattered Peak
    Daggerspell Mage
    Darkwood Stalker
    Deep Diviner
    Deepstone Sentinal
    Disciple of Mammon
    Disciple of the Word
    Divine Champion
    Divine Disciple
    Divine Seeker
    Dracolexi
    Dwarven Defender
    Dread Witch
    Demonbinder
    Ectopic Adept (but only if your DM uses CPsi nerfs already)
    Eldritch Disciple
    Eldritch Knight
    Eldritch Theurge
    Elemental Savant
    Elocater (Psychic Warrior or Psychic Rogue entry)
    Exorcist of the Sacred Flame
    Eye of Gruumsh
    Fang of Sseth
    Fiendbinder
    Flayerspawn Psychic
    Frost Mage (Wizard entry)
    Frost Rager
    Fortune's Friend
    Geometer
    Gnome Giant-Slayer
    Goliath Liberator
    Great Rift Deep Defender
    Great Rift Skyguard
    Hand of the Adama
    Highland Stalker
    Imaskari Vengeance Taker
    Inquisitor of the Drowning Goddess
    Invisible Blade (feint not recommended)
    Jordain Vizier
    Justicar
    Kensai
    Knight of Iron Glacier
    Knight of the Pearl
    Knight of the Weave
    Lord of Tides (Cleric Entry)
    Luiren Marchwarden
    Maester
    Magelord
    Maiden of Pain
    Maquar Crusader
    Master of Masks (general entry)
    Master of Vipers
    Mindspy (CAdv version)
    Moonsea Skysentinel
    Morninglord of Lathander
    Nar Demonbinder
    Nature's Warrior
    Netherese Arcanist
    Occult Slayer
    Peregrine Runner
    Pious Templar (except for 1 level dips)
    Prime Underdark Guide
    Psion Uncarnate
    Purple Dragon Knight
    Ravager
    Reachrunner
    Reforged
    Red Wizard
    Ronin
    Ruathar
    Runecaster
    Sapphire Hierarch
    Scar Enforcer
    Scourge Maiden
    Seeker of the Misty Isle
    Serpent Slayer
    Shaaryan Hunter
    Shade Hunter
    Shadow Adept
    Shadowband Inquisitor
    Shadowblade
    Shadowcrafter
    Shadowsmith
    Shadow Thief of Amn
    Soulcaster
    Spellcarved Soldier
    Spellsinger
    Spinemeld Warrior
    Spymaster
    Stonedeath Assassin
    Stonelord
    Stonespeaker Guardian
    Stormcaster
    Storm Disciple (Ardent dip entry)
    Stormlord
    Stormsinger
    Stormtalon (except for 1 level dips)
    Streetfighter
    Sword of Righteousness
    Talontar Blightlord
    Tattooed Monk
    Temple Raider of Olidammara (Rogue entry)
    Thayan Slaver
    Totem Rager
    Thayan Knight
    Thrall of Orcus
    Ultimate Magus (except with fast entry tricks)
    Uncanny Trickster
    Unseen Seer
    Vermin Keeper
    Vigilante
    War Chanter
    War Mind (pure PsiWar entry)
    Warshaper (casting entry)
    Warsling Sniper
    Wild Mage
    Witch Slayer (gish entry)
    Zhentarim Spy



    Down One. These PrCs are generally inferior to their obvious entry classes, losing out on important features in order to gain things that are likely not to matter in the long run. Expect characters with these to struggle in a single-classed party. They may still be viable for cherrypicking, or under heavy optimization.
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    Ancient Master
    Arachnomancer
    Arcane Trickster
    Argent Savant
    Bladesinger
    Black Blood Cultist
    Black Flame Zealot
    Bloodstorm Blade (except 2 level dips)
    Cavestalker (Ranger entry)
    Celebrant of Sharess
    Cerebremancer
    Cloaked Dancer
    Cognition Thief
    Coiled Cultist
    Cryokineticist
    Dark Hunter
    Death's Chosen
    Demonlogist
    Doomguard
    Dragon Disciple
    Dragonheart Mage
    Dungeon Delver
    Durthan
    Ebon Saint
    Effigy Master
    Elocater (Psion entry)
    Enlightened Spirit
    Exalted Arcanist
    Exemplar
    Extreme Explorer
    Evereskan Tomb Guardian
    Geomancer (varies greatly on entry)
    Glorious Servitor
    Halruuan Magehand
    Harper Agent
    Harper Paragon
    Heirophant
    Horizon Walker
    Hospitaler
    Hunter of the Dead
    Incandescent Champion
    Initiate of Pistis Sophia
    Justice of Weald and Woe
    Kinstalker
    Lord of Tides (Druid Entry)
    Luckstealer
    Martyred Champion of Ilmater
    Master of Many Forms (Druid entry)
    Master of Nine (unless you can get some of the feats for "free")
    Master of Radiance
    Master of Shrounds
    Master of the Yuirwood
    Master Transmogrifist
    Mindspy (CWarrior version)
    Monk of the Long Death
    Mystic Theurge
    Naga Lord
    Nightmask Deathbringer
    Nightsong Infiltrator
    Order of the Bow Initiate
    Outcast Champion
    Purifier of the Hallowed Doctrine
    Pyrokineticist
    Rage Mage
    Rainbow Servant (Sor/Wiz entry)
    Sacred Purifier
    Sand Shaper (Wiz Entry)
    Scarlet Corsair (except with capstone abuse)
    Sea Witch
    Shadowdancer
    Shadow Sun Ninja (unless you resist Con damage)
    Shining Blade
    Skylord
    Slime Lord
    Spellguard of Silverymoon
    Spellsword (except for 1 level dips)
    Stalker of Kharash
    Storm Disciple (Pure Ardent entry)
    Sunmaster
    Swanmay
    Tempest
    Tenebrous Apostate
    Thief-Acrobat
    Thrall of Graz'zt
    Topaz Guardian (caster entry)
    Troubadour of Stars
    Vermin Lord
    Visionary Seeker
    Warpriest
    Wayfarer Guide (except for 1 level dips)
    Yathchol Webrider



    Down Two or More Tiers. These PrCs completely fail to do what they were trying to do, or makes heavy sacrifices for little to no gain. Expect characters with these to be unplayable without heavy optimization effort, or some cunning trick.
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    Acolyte of the skin
    Apostle of Peace (not broken, but blatantly contradictory text on material possessions)
    Arcane Archer
    Bereft
    Blighter
    Brimstone Speaker
    Cavestalker (Druid entry)
    Defiant
    Dirgesinger
    Duelist
    Entropomancer
    Evangelist
    Eye of Lolth
    Fochlucan Lyrist (unless Evasion is gained without dips, then Up One Tier)
    Green Star Adept
    Incarnum Blade
    Insidious Corrupter (Arcane Spellcaster entry)
    Lifedrinker
    Master of the Unseen Hand
    Metamind (higher with abuse of the capstone)
    Mindbender (except for 1 level dips)
    Ollam
    Reaping Mauler
    True Necromancer
    Wavekeeper
    Witchborn Binder
    Wonderworker
    Yathrinshee
    Last edited by sonofzeal; 2009-04-30 at 12:32 AM.
    Avatar by Crimmy

    Zeal's Tier System for PrC's
    Zeal's Expanded Alignment System
    Zeal's "Creative" Build Requests
    Bubs the Commoner
    Zeal's "Minimum-Intervention" balance fix
    Feat Point System fix (in progress)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    I vote Green Star Adept all the way down to the Down Two category. Its capstone actually hurts more than it helps.
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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    I vote Green Star Adept all the way down to the Down Two category. Its capstone actually hurts more than it helps.
    Hard to say. It certainly isn't a "good" PrC. I'm not sure it's entirely dysfunctional though, just underwhelming given the context - a gish that doesn't really get anything that synergizes with gishing. The bonuses are body-tied so morphing is weak; the spellcasting is badly nerfed so that's not going to help you; and there's no "channeling" type power to fuse magic and melee. On the other hand, the bonuses it does give, when taken objectively, aren't all that bad. On the gripping hand... wouldn't the entire ten-level class be better off as an LA +2 or LA+3 template, even by the universally underwhelming standards of templates?

    Can anyone else weigh in on this? "Down One Tier" or "Down Two Tiers" for Green Star Adept?
    Avatar by Crimmy

    Zeal's Tier System for PrC's
    Zeal's Expanded Alignment System
    Zeal's "Creative" Build Requests
    Bubs the Commoner
    Zeal's "Minimum-Intervention" balance fix
    Feat Point System fix (in progress)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    The Green Spice Addict needs to be down 2 tiers. Your BAB, HP, casting and such is all terrible, and your DM is encouraged to send NPCs to try to kill you. And you pay for the privlage.

    I'd also mention that Nature's Warrior should only really be a dip. It loses too much over straight Druid to spend 5 levels on it. I'd say, though, that MoMF is pretty good even for a Druid. Levels 5-15 you're not really giving up features, you're trading casting and the AC for melee capabilities. It might be a loss, but it's about even IMHO.
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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Agree with lowering of Green Star Adept from -1 tier to -2 tier, since really what were the designers thinking ?
    Last edited by mikej; 2009-03-21 at 11:10 PM. Reason: error
    mikej

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smiling Knight View Post
    Just to save time:

    Giacomo: Monks are as strong as wizards with UMD and partially charged wands.

    [Respected forum members]: No they are not.

    Giacomo: Yes they are. You all just abuse the rules.

    [Rfm]: No u

    G: No u

    Repeat until someone challenges G to duel, which then never happens.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Done! I've lowered it in both listings (here and Brilliant Gameologists).

    Any other suggested changes? Or, can anyone comment on Void Disciple either way?
    Avatar by Crimmy

    Zeal's Tier System for PrC's
    Zeal's Expanded Alignment System
    Zeal's "Creative" Build Requests
    Bubs the Commoner
    Zeal's "Minimum-Intervention" balance fix
    Feat Point System fix (in progress)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.

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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Shadowcraft Mage??!! That class is more powerful than Incantrix!!! It's flat-out insane! It's so broken you really wouldn't believe it! Put it in the highest tier ASAP!

    I'm going to assume you're not familair with the standard Shadowcraft Mage build as otherwise there's no way it would be that low. A-like so:
    Shadowcraft Mage Guide

    If you don't want to read it over, I'll give you the basics. By combining Shadowcraft Mage with Heighten Spell, Arcane Thesis and Earth Spell, a Shadowcraft Mage can prepare all Silent Image (A 0th level spell via gnome substatuion levels) and heighten it to the appropaite level. This heighten comes with an effective +2 levers because of the aformentioned 2 feats. Thus, he can make any slot any conjuration or evocation spell and get a bonus. He casts these spells w/o maetrial components and generally owns. In this way he can has incredible versatility. This means you can for example, cast Major Creation without any components and surround your enemies with Black Lotus Poison. You can cast Wish w/o any exp cost. And you can be banned by any sane DM along with Pun-Pun and such.

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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    I have some objections to 3 PrC you listed

    War mind makes you start your power and points progression all over again. Granted you could enter as a psionic race or a non psi race with wild talent, but you would need to go 5 levels in a non psi class or risk losing all your progress once you enter war mind. What entry class did you use for warmind? Psiwarrior would lose around 3-4 levels of powers and no access to 6th level powers (well those kinda suck to start with but still) and ML doesn't stack.

    Slayer of Domial: I think this should be equal due to it entry requirements. If you picked exalted rogue or even a poverty rogue you sac 3 feats on a class that really needs them, poverty rogue is a sacrifice in it's own right.

    And invisible blade should be +1 IMHO if entry class is rogue. Full SA progression, free arterial strike feat, AC bonus are all big for rogues. Only sacrtice I can think of are the feats required, but even then you could or should be using lots of ranged SA when your full attack is only one attack anyway. Taking flaws like shakey will sofen the blow as well.

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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Samb View Post
    War mind makes you start your power and points progression all over again. Granted you could enter as a psionic race or a non psi race with wild talent, but you would need to go 5 levels in a non psi class or risk losing all your progress once you enter war mind. What entry class did you use for warmind? Psiwarrior would lose around 3-4 levels of powers and no access to 6th level powers (well those kinda suck to start with but still) and ML doesn't stack.
    This. War Mind has a serious problem in that, to the best of my knowledge, it has no actual logical entry. A power point reserve can be acquired easily enough by way of feat or race, and the Know (History) requirement is low enough to cross-class easily if needed. Eight ranks in Know (Psionics), however, is pretty rough on the kinds of classes that would actually want to take War Mind. It'd be an easy +1, maybe a +2 for a PHB melee class, for example.. but they'll either have to burn feats on skill points and/or getting Know (Psi) as a class skill or just suck up cross-classing it, which means they can't actually get into the class until after level 13. Psionic characters can get into it pretty easily, but.. why would they want to? As mentioned it starts their power progression all over again- Slayer is far more attractive for both PsyWars and Psions. Although power point pools *do* stack, either class would still be getting more pp out of advancing their primary manifesting and getting the increased bonus points thereof.

    Hmm.. oh. Hey. War Mind is meant for Soulknives. Bonus Wild Talent, Know (Psionics), no native manifesting progression to screw up. Ok, with Soulknife as an entry, it's easily +1. For everybody else, however, I'd say it's probably equal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aje8 View Post
    Shadowcraft Mage??!! That class is more powerful than Incantrix!!! It's flat-out insane! It's so broken you really wouldn't believe it! Put it in the highest tier ASAP!

    I'm going to assume you're not familair with the standard Shadowcraft Mage build as otherwise there's no way it would be that low. A-like so:
    Shadowcraft Mage Guide

    If you don't want to read it over, I'll give you the basics. By combining Shadowcraft Mage with Heighten Spell, Arcane Thesis and Earth Spell, a Shadowcraft Mage can prepare all Silent Image (A 0th level spell via gnome substatuion levels) and heighten it to the appropaite level. This heighten comes with an effective +2 levers because of the aformentioned 2 feats. Thus, he can make any slot any conjuration or evocation spell and get a bonus. He casts these spells w/o maetrial components and generally owns. In this way he can has incredible versatility. This means you can for example, cast Major Creation without any components and surround your enemies with Black Lotus Poison. You can cast Wish w/o any exp cost. And you can be banned by any sane DM along with Pun-Pun and such.
    Mmm, I do entirely see your point. And I'm entirely aware of the Killer Gnome builds; I've made one myself. The counterargument is {a} we're concerned less with Earth Spell type munchkinry and more in how well the class functions out of the box. And, out of the box, it doesn't come with Earth Spell Heighten Spell 120% real shadows. And {b} that most of the power comes from wizard spells that are already broken, and SCM just makes the brokenness a bit more obvious.

    That said, I'm not the one who rated it (that'd be PhaedrusXY of BG). I'm honestly leaning a little in your favour just because the PrC really is easy to abuse. I'll bring it up with him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samb View Post
    I have some objections to 3 PrC you listed

    War mind makes you start your power and points progression all over again. Granted you could enter as a psionic race or a non psi race with wild talent, but you would need to go 5 levels in a non psi class or risk losing all your progress once you enter war mind. What entry class did you use for warmind? Psiwarrior would lose around 3-4 levels of powers and no access to 6th level powers (well those kinda suck to start with but still) and ML doesn't stack.

    Slayer of Domial: I think this should be equal due to it entry requirements. If you picked exalted rogue or even a poverty rogue you sac 3 feats on a class that really needs them, poverty rogue is a sacrifice in it's own right.

    And invisible blade should be +1 IMHO if entry class is rogue. Full SA progression, free arterial strike feat, AC bonus are all big for rogues. Only sacrtice I can think of are the feats required, but even then you could or should be using lots of ranged SA when your full attack is only one attack anyway. Taking flaws like shakey will sofen the blow as well.
    War Mind - I can see what you mean, but I think the class is still solid enough to deserve its rank. I see the "logical entry" as a non-caster dipping a psi class for a level or two and then taking Warmind straight up. As a PrC for non-psi characters transitioning into psi, it's brilliant.

    Slayer of Domial - three feats? I only see two. Still, I agree that Rogues generally need their feats. On the other hand, being able to cast Dimension Door, Invisibility, Spider Climb, Freedom of Movement, Alter Form? A lot of the spells on the spell list are the sort of required things that other rogues need to invest heavily in items or scrolls to get; being able to cast them yourself is a big help. Honestly, it's probably on the upper side of "Equal" or the lower side of "Up One". Does anyone else have any input on it?

    Invisible Blade - SA is good, but consensus is that AC generally isn't really important (most higher level monsters will hit you anyway), and bleed damage takes too long to really kick in. None of that is bad, it just doesn't really warrant a +1. Still, I like the class and have used it quite effectively in the past, so I'll give it an Equal. Fair?
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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Invisble blade as equal sounds about right.
    I'm still not convinced that war mind is for soulknives, but I guess it would be doable. Thing is your ML is starting all over and that will make it really hard to make powers effective. As any other psi class I'd say it would be equal at best.

    Ok you sold me on slayer of Domial. I forget that it had a good spell list and the fact that sanctified strike is acutally a decent feat (+1 on evil, +1d8 on evil outsiders, vile can't heal that damage). Servant of heaven is meh though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samb View Post
    I'm still not convinced that war mind is for soulknives, but I guess it would be doable. Thing is your ML is starting all over and that will make it really hard to make powers effective. As any other psi class I'd say it would be equal at best.
    I don't think Warmind is for Soulknives either; as I said, I think it's for... oh, Barbarian4/PsiWar2, or Swashbuckler4/Psion2, or Crusader4/Wilder2, or something along those lines. People who begin without psi, then start gaining psi midway through their career as a result of build necessities or plot twists. And, really, if all you're looking at is the psi it grants then you're missing out. Yes it gets great pp progression, but it also gets enough class features to be entirely functional without Psi at all. Sweeping Strike alone is pretty solid.
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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Bah I have to insist that invisible blade be on +1 since if you compare a rogue 10 to a rogue 5/IB 5 the latter clearly is better and even has an extra 1d6 on Sa to boot. Unless you say that the two entry feats would negate everything IB has to offer Id say it is fairly clearcut.

    As for war mind I can see were you are coming from as to just look at the non psi stuff. It is a nice class with rage-like features and sweeping attack but by the same token you would have to apply that criteria on all Gish and psi PrC.

    Take elocator for example. A fighter3/ psiwarrior2 could qualify for this easy and he gains leviate, dimentional door as a psi-like skill, bonus to hit, teleport and plane shift, 7/10 stacked ML. But you did (rightly) consider the lose of bonus feats and ML simplily because it was a psionic PrC. If considered for something like a human fighter3/ psiwarrior 2 it is almost all benefit, since he could meet the feat requirement and still have 4 feats to play with.
    Last edited by Samb; 2009-03-22 at 11:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samb View Post
    Bah I have to insist that invisible blade be on +1 since if you compare a rogue 10 to a rogue 5/IB 5 the latter clearly is better and even has an extra 1d6 on Sa to boot. Unless you say that the two entry feats would negate everything IB has to offer Id say it is fairly clearcut.
    Mmm.... let's break it down.

    Same hp
    Same saves
    IB has better BAB
    Rogue has considerably better skillpoints.
    Rogue has better SA since it doesn't need to be with daggers (but proper timing can get IB an extra 1d6)
    IB gets AC bonus
    Rogues gets a Special Ability and Imp Uncanny Dodge
    IB gets feinting skills

    ...eh, I still think it's a tossup. Anyone else have an input here?


    As to Warmind - the difference between it and Elocator is that you need a viable manifesting class to make the latter work (but if that class is too good then you're losing too much), while the former doesn't depend on what you had before. In that way, it's a far more flexible PrC than Elocator, and I think we can agree both that it's far easier to get into. These points weigh in its favour. And really, we should be comparing it against PrCs that do similar things, like Suel Archanamach. By that standard, where should it be?
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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    I personally don't consider rogue to have better SA since what weapon they use rarely has as much effect as how much d6's they use and in rogue 5/ IB 5 has 6d6 while rogue 10 only has 5d6.

    If you said war mind was for psionic races that were in a non psionic class then I could see how war mind's requirement were easier to meet. But as it stands a human psiwarrior could meet all but the concentration requirement by level 1. I hardly find that any harder than war mind.
    I just think that ranking it high when it doesn't increase ML to be very counterintuitive. Especially when one of the requirements is be psionic. I mean imagine an arcane PrC that required you to be able to cast 1st lvl spells but then advanced spells at it's own rate? I would not consider a win for the PC since I basically had to repeat my "freshman" caster level.

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    I personally don't consider rogue to have better SA since what weapon they use rarely has as much effect as how much d6's they use and in rogue 5/ IB 5 has 6d6 while rogue 10 only has 5d6.

    If you said war mind was for psionic races that were in a non psionic class then I could see how war mind's requirement were easier to meet. But as it stands a human psiwarrior could meet all but the concentration requirement by level 1. I hardly find that any harder than war mind.
    I just think that ranking it high when it doesn't increase ML to be very counterintuitive. Especially when one of the requirements is be psionic. I mean imagine an arcane PrC that required you to be able to cast 1st lvl spells but then advanced spells at it's own rate? I would not consider a win for the PC since I basically had to repeat my "freshman" caster level.

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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Quote Originally Posted by mikej View Post
    Agree with lowering of Green Star Adept from -1 tier to -2 tier, since really what were the designers thinking ?
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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    I'll give complete scoundrel a try then.

    +2: malconvoker, spellwarp sniper
    +1: avenging executioner (ninja entry, 0 for rogue), magical trickster, mountebank, psibond agent, grey guard , master of masks (pure spellthief entry)
    +0: battle trickster, combat trapper, fortunes friend, unncanny trickster
    -1: cloaked dancer
    -2: none
    Some could be better depending on what trick skills are used. Also this book had a bunch of PrC that only lasted 3 levels so how much was sacrificed or gained is minimized. Magical trickster allowed for a free metamagic to be applied is good enough to get +1 even though it only had 3 lvls in it. Unncanny trickster's worth will vary greatly depending on which class features you add. In general, adding class features of a low skill class make it more worth while.
    Never played malconvoker but 8/9 CL progression and summoning demons sounds like it is significantly better than a straight arcane base class. Master of masks just has so much to offer.
    Last edited by Samb; 2009-03-24 at 02:57 PM.

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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Malconvoker is +0; you lose casting, but get potent abilities. The cost is rather immense, but the abilities are decent. It's not a full casting & bonuses-class, but it is a worthwhile semi full casting class because it does what it does so well.
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    I'd argue that Malconvoker is more like -1/2.... a Wizard who goes Malconvoker will usually end up mildly weaker. Not weaker than a straight Sorcerer but still signficantly weaker. It's notable as arguably the most powerful class in DnD that loses caster levels, however, it breaks rule one.

    Don't lose caster levels.

    So I'd probably lean towards +0 on it but it'd be at the low end of +0.

    Also:
    Ok, so you get most of the cheese associated with SCM. Yeah... characters that are more powerful than even the most well built Incantrix need to be +2.

    Um.... I'd argue that IoSV needs to go down 1 tier. Maybe I'm alone in this and maybe I'm not but here me out. IoSV gives you basically inabliltiy to die as long as you don't really attack. That's powerful and abusable sure. But is it worth the 3 terrible, terrible feats you take for entry? I'd say yes, but It's not like it's a no-trade off win many people think it is. You're literally setting feats aflame here. It's still more powerful than a regular wizard but not up to the level of Planar Sheperd (lose nothing, beak game on regular basis)

    Magic Circle Cheese associated with Red Wizard of Thay is similair to SCM. It also breaks the game in half if used properly but requires specific builds. That should maybe go up depending upon how much you consider specific builds to be relevant.

    Also: I'd pretty sure Warmage+Rainbow servant was debunked as a myth.

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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Is Master of Masks any good except to get Exotic Weapon proficiency?

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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Thing is, some PrCs work better for some classes than others, when there are multiple entry choices.

    And, there's the interactions with other PrCs. Though, those probably don't really count (I'm looking at you Mystic Theurge/Ur-Priest!)
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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Changed malconvoctor to 0. Master of masks looks great on paper but I have never played one.

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    I got a second opinion on Invisible Blade/Warmind, and I'll be keeping them at Equal / Up One respectively. There's always going to be some rankings that any given person will disagree with (I think Frenzied Berzerker should get a nod in the top spot, but I went with the popular consensus there). And there's always going to be things that are near the line and could go up or down. I'll correct IB's entry soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samb View Post
    I'll give complete scoundrel a try then.

    +2: malconvoker, master of masks
    +1: avenging executioner, magical trickster, mountebank, spellearp sniper, psibond agent
    +0: battle trickster, combat trapper, fortunes friend, grey guard, unncanny trickster
    -1: cloaked dancer
    -2: none
    Some could be better depending on what trick skills are used. Also this book had a bunch of PrC that only lasted 3 levels so how much was sacrificed or gained is minimized. Magical trickster allowed for a free metamagic to be applied is good enough to get +1 even though it only had 3 lvls in it. Unncanny trickster's worth will vary greatly depending on which class features you add. In general, adding class features of a low skill class make it more worth while.
    Never played malconvoker but 8/9 CL progression and summoning demons sounds like it is significantly better than a straight arcane base class. Master of masks just has so much to offer.
    Thanks! It's always nice when other people pitch in.

    Avenging Executioner seems odd to me. It only gets Sudden Strike (which is categorically weaker than Sneak Attack), and isn't long enough to get remotely effective DCs on the two fear effects. And Demoralize as a Move Action brings back all sorts of nasty memories of the CW Samurai. I'd say "Equal" at best, and even then I'd have liked it to have full BAB.

    Grey Guard strikes me as an "Up One", just because it removes the stick from their rear end. That, to me, is worth all sorts of mediocre class features. That's just me though.

    I'd definitely say that Malconvoker deserves a high ranking. "Never give up caster levels" is all well and good, but Sor/Wiz have a dire shortage of class features, and the Malconvoker is entirely respectable and focuses on one of the (arguably) two strongest schools anyway. The two entry feats are entirely functional. I'd have no problems giving it an "Up One".

    Master of Masks... I can see it as "Up One" because of the flexibility if nothing else, but I'm not entirely sure beyond that. Samb, what's your logic here?



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    Quote Originally Posted by aje8 View Post
    Um.... I'd argue that IoSV needs to go down 1 tier. Maybe I'm alone in this and maybe I'm not but here me out. IoSV gives you basically inabliltiy to die as long as you don't really attack. That's powerful and abusable sure. But is it worth the 3 terrible, terrible feats you take for entry? I'd say yes, but It's not like it's a no-trade off win many people think it is. You're literally setting feats aflame here. It's still more powerful than a regular wizard but not up to the level of Planar Sheperd (lose nothing, beak game on regular basis)
    The natural entry is Abjurer > Master Abjurer which only loses 1 feat to enter (getting Skill Focus & Greater Spell Focus for free). Abjuration happens to be one of the better Master Specialist-menus too.

    Quote Originally Posted by aje8 View Post
    Magic Circle Cheese associated with Red Wizard of Thay is similair to SCM. It also breaks the game in half if used properly but requires specific builds. That should maybe go up depending upon how much you consider specific builds to be relevant.
    Then again, straight Red Wizard buys you +4 CL for free among other goodies, which happens to be pretty kickass with no lost levels. And of course, you can provide your own Circle with Leadership fairly easily without any actual cheese (then again, that's Leadership being busted, but there you go). In fact, Red Wizard/Archmage/Loremaster (1-level dip for UMD) with Leadership is probably the single most powerful Core-only build on higher levels (obviously Druid takes the low-level cake).
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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Changed malconvoctor to 0. Master of masks looks great on paper but I have never played one.

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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    I think the best entry for War Mind is probably a psionic race taking 4 levels of a full BAB class (Warblade or Crusader get Know:History in-class), followed by one level of Paragnostic Initiate (CChamp) to pick up Know:Psionics. That way, you don't lose any BAB, and you get into the class as quickly as theoretically possible. But it's probably not fair to judge a class from one of the earliest 3.5 books based on an entry using one of the latest books.

    I'm a little unclear on the Elocator ranking, and why it's considered worse for a psion than for a wilder. It seems to me that it's not primarily a melee/manifesting class, but a skillmonkey/manifesting class, so I'd consider the logical entry to be rogue/manifesting class (or scout, considering the focus on mobility). And Int being more useful than Cha for a skillmonkey, I'd think that Psion would be the better fit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post

    I'm a little unclear on the Elocator ranking, and why it's considered worse for a psion than for a wilder. It seems to me that it's not primarily a melee/manifesting class, but a skillmonkey/manifesting class, so I'd consider the logical entry to be rogue/manifesting class (or scout, considering the focus on mobility). And Int being more useful than Cha for a skillmonkey, I'd think that Psion would be the better fit.
    Because a wilder is a gish class that can benefit from the added attack bonus from opportunistic strike and flanker to shore up the lose in ML, while a psion who doesn't attack anyway, would just lose 3 ML for the same benefits (scorn earth, psi-like dimension door and temporal accel, free teleport, free plane shift).

    I currently have a rogue 6/psiwarrior 2/ elocator 6 and I personally think I don't that my rogue is any better because of it. But free dimension door/day is a blast to play with.

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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Because a wilder is a gish class
    3/4 BAB and light armor does not a gish make. Gishes are made or broken in the spells they can use, and the Wilder fails that check. He doesn't get native access to the PsyWar's buffs, and he doesn't get native access to the best of the Psion list either, because they're discipline specific (Egoist-> Metamorphosis, Hustle, Animal Affinity, Thicken Skin, for example. Wilders have to burn xp on research or spend a feat for all of those.) You can make a Wilder work as a gish if you really want to, but you have to fight against the class to do so; its natural role is more like that of a very stripped-down Sorcerer or a Warmage. The biggest benefit to a Wilder from Elocator, IMO, is the bonus powers known at level 6. That's not anywhere near enough to make up for the lost manifester levels and especially not for the feats burnt on Mobility and Spring Attack just to get into the class.. especially keeping in mind that every lost manifester level erodes the edge a Wilder should be getting from Wild Surge.

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    Default Re: [3e] Zeal's (in-progress) Tier System for PrCs

    Samb - people over here are commenting that Spellwarp Sniper could be +2, and Master of Masks could be +0. Comments?
    Avatar by Crimmy

    Zeal's Tier System for PrC's
    Zeal's Expanded Alignment System
    Zeal's "Creative" Build Requests
    Bubs the Commoner
    Zeal's "Minimum-Intervention" balance fix
    Feat Point System fix (in progress)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.

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