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    Default Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty PrC.

    Ladies and gentlemen!! Childrens of all ages!! Eldritch abominations and outsiders too!! And a warm welcome to Clerics of Boccob and Wee Jas...and Mystra...and...wait, which of the Eberron gods has the Magic domain?

    Anyways, today I present...an oddity. Certainly, you may be fazed by the title: a Prestige Class!? "But, don't you deal with retooling classes, he whose abbreviated title rhymes with Wonder Cod?", I presume you must say. And yes, I deal with retooling classes. The Monk, for example, which...had only minimal success. The Ninja, which...had a bit more success, given that it got something of apparently solid power. The Warmage, which...I must say, has caused some sensation for revolutionizing blasting. And the Healer, my latest retooling, which has gotten such critics as "masterpiece", as well as "dude, that capstone is too strong, tweak it down a bit!!".

    But, this time, I deal with a Prestige Class. And not just any PrC: one that, for most people, gets swiftly associated with this illustrious military officer's memorable words:



    Unless you have a special method of entry, the Mystic Theurge isn't particularly mind-breaking. Granted, spellcasting is rather unbalanced, but this class is almost a taboo, something that can only serve to spark polemics. Thus, I took it upon myself to, after some time working with the downtrodden, offer a respite to those who wish to wield the powers of the arcane while devoting to a god of magic power. To rebuild the prestige of this class into a powerhouse, and even dealing with the biggest problem of this class: a 10-level limit. Since...later PrCs decided to ditch this little restriction out (in some occasions, for something worse)

    Without further ado, I present the twinked and retooled:

    MYSTIC THEURGE


    Thorus Nymar, Mystic Theurge of Kossuth, by Francis R.P. Navarro. Original on elfwood.com

    "I wield the flames of the arcane and the fires of the Firelord in my hands. You would do wise to avoid my wrath." - Thorus Nymar, fire genasi Mystic Theurge of Kossuth

    Requirements
    To qualify to become a mystic theurge, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
    Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 7 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 7 ranks.
    Spells: Able to cast 1st-level divine spells and 1st-level arcane spells.

    Spoiler
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    Thought it would be different for Prestige Classes, right? Well...sorta. You still get to hear my lovely thoughts on the matter of how the class (or in this case, Prestige Class) was retooled.

    First and foremost, a character could get to Mystic Theurge originally at level 6, considering you got 2nd level spells at level 3, and you need two classes at level three for this. This requirement hindered the future MT, to the point it was considered actually stupid to enter at those levels, given that you lost too much for what you actually gained.

    Evidently, this changed when the Precocious Apprentice feat. This effectively qualified you to get a single 2nd level spell for casting, although only one slot and only once per day, and later on the slot was pretty much wasted (although you retained the spell). This allowed early-methods of entrance, in which you could get roughly at level 4.

    Let's not mention spontaneous spellcasters. They...suffer from taking one extra level per each spontaneous entry class. That could mean you entered at level 8, which was 4 levels of magic lost: that alone meant you lost any reason to enter the class, since you'd be far behind and lacking the all-important 9th level spells.

    This retooling doesn't allow boosted entry for various reasons, the most important being how the class penalties have been lessened. Sure, you still have a lack of power compared to a full single-class spellcaster (including late access to spells, mostly late access to spells, plus the chance of not getting 9th level spells), but it has other advantages in comparison. Thus, the absolute entry requirements are level 6, given that it's pretty easy to bypass the spell requirement but not as easy to bypass the skill rank requirement. Don't worry; your sacrifice won't be in vain.


    After an epic battle of wits (or perhaps not so epic, but to give it some importance nonetheless), I decided to reduce the entry ranks to something less painful. Level 5 is a decent entry point, given that while it still causes you to lose some caster levels and perhaps one actual spell levels, you don't get a massive hit like losing two, or even three spell levels. I can justify up to a 16-level PrC, though: any more, and it would be pretty much a class.


    Class Skills
    The mystic theurge’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the Planes), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

    Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

    Spoiler
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    So yeah...if you've noticed, the skill list is a bit bigger, but hasn't changed a lot. It's a blend of the Cleric's skill list and the Wizard's skill list, which means you have Diplomacy, Heal, Knowledge (the Planes) and Sense Motive added to the original, Wizard-flavored limited list. Adding all Knowledge skills would be reasonable, but they are gaining power by thinning their focus. Hence, only the class skills that you'd expect them to have.


    Hit Die: d6.

    Table: The Mystic Theurge
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells

    1st|+0|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Spell versatility, spell power|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    2nd|+1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    3rd|+1|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    4th|+2|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    5th|+2|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Spell power|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    6th|+3|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    7th|+3|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    8th|+4|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    9th|+4|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    10th|+5|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Unified theurgy|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class [/table]

    Spoiler
    Show
    As you can notice, the Mystic Theurge has changed a bit. The most notable point is that it actually has class abilities now. This is intentional: it already has a lot of class abilities (two different kinds, actually), but the two abilities are so distant from each other that they make little to no sense. Thus, something to make them have some sense.

    As for the other little changes: their Hit Dice has evolved into a respectable d6. Originally, it had a d4, which is the absolute worst dice you can have, because the Mystic Theurge was more of a magician than a warrior of some sort. However, the Cleric's training can't be forgotten that easily, so it's better to deal with the happy medium. BAB remains poor, given that they're focusing more on magic than on fighting (and even then, Clerics get Divine Power so if they want decent BAB, they'll get it no matter what; Favored Souls can do so too); as well, Fort becomes poor given that, again, they are focusing on more magic. They already have a nice Fort boost, so it's not like they'll suffer enough having immunities to virtually all Fort saves from both sides, no?


    Class Features
    All of the following are features of the mystic theurge prestige class.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Mystic theurges gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

    Spoiler
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    Well, duh... You get the proficiencies of the Cleric and the Wizard; what else do you want? You already have heavy armor, darn it!! Or...none, since you get Arcane Spell Failure. Still, that'll change soon...


    Spells per Day: When a new mystic theurge level is gained, the character gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in any one arcane spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class and any one divine spellcasting class he belonged to previously. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. This essentially means that he adds the level of mystic theurge to the level of whatever other arcane spellcasting class and divine spellcasting class the character has, then determines spells per day, spells known and caster level accordingly. If a character had more than one arcane spellcasting class or more than one divine spellcasting class before he became a mystic theurge, he must decide to which class he adds each level of mystic theurge for the purpose of determining spells per day.

    Spoiler
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    Ah, spells per day. I guess everybody knows the run-down by now: you raise a level, decide to get Mystic Theurge, your spells are treated as if you had gained a level in both Cleric and Wizard (or divine spellcaster and arcane spellcaster) at the same time. So, if you entered Cleric 3/Wizard 3, you'll be treated as Cleric 4/Wizard 4 for purposes of spell slots, known spells (or spells that you can write to your spellbook), and caster level. OF course, that's additive; you add those levels, not gain a new form of casting (so that you can't combine with other classes). So far, it behaves like the ol' MT, right? Right?

    Read on.


    Spell Versatility: At 1st level, a mystic theurge learns to blend arcane and divine magic. He still acquires and prepares his spells in the normal way for his individual spellcasting classes. When he casts them, however, he can mix and match spellcasting parameters from any of his classes to gain the maximum possible advantage. A mystic theurge can cast arcane spells without arcane spell failure, use the best of either Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma (whichever applies to any of the spellcasting classes to which he has access) to determine the Difficulty Class of all his spells and choose to use either an arcane material component or divine focus for spells that require them. As well, a cleric or druid may spontaneously convert any of his spell slots into cure spells, inflict spells or summon nature’s ally spells, if they apply.

    Spoiler
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    Familiar? Does this ability ring a bell? Well...let's go to Complete Divine, page 41-42, right where it says "Geomancer". Which...only holds some relevance to an actual Geomancer, since it doesn't make divinations based on the land, right?

    Well, Geomancer is known for being worse of a trap than a Mystic Theurge, and that is because it pleads you to enter it with similar requirements, and then it actually nerfs your casting by raising only ONE of your spellcasting levels. Not both, as ol' MT over here. Just, simply, ONE. Well, one per level, but still: not like MT. But, it has something to apparently compensate, and that is spell versatility. It allows you to treat arcane spells as divine spells or viceversa whenever appropriate, but dependant on level.

    Well...I stole that from the Geomancer. In fact, I don't like the Geomancer at all: soon, I'll even take the name and place it on a really, really, really old PrC I actually brewed based on the Geomancer class from Final Fantasy. Since I found spell versatility was something any dual-class based caster must have, I decided to add it. After all, it doesn't affect your casting much, does it...?

    I kid. It affects it A LOT. First, you can now equip armor if you like, and shields as well. You can pretty much eschew arcane materials by showing your favorite holy symbol. Those...well, those aren't spectacular.

    Unifying your spell lists to cast from ONE ability score? Now that's what I'm talking about. This revolutionizes the Mystic Theurge because it essentially kills some of the MAD at an increasing rate. If you part away, you'll lose some of the benefits, though. If you get all 10 levels, you can pretty much ditch away your weaker score and concentrate on the score you really want. Want more skill points? Go full Int. Want more Will? Go Wisdom. This...loses relevance if you go with classes that have the same ability score requirement (Archivist/Wizard, any two spontaneous spellcasters), but it's solid for those distant mental score builds. And with some of the stuff that's out there (*coughcoughIllumiancoughhackwheeze*), you can even do it with physical scores...


    Spell Power: At 1st level, and again at 5th level, a mystic theurge treats his caster level as one higher for purposes of determining caster level-dependent variables (such as damage, damage dice or range) or for caster level checks, up to his character level. This ability applies to all spellcasting classes to which the mystic theurge has access.

    Spoiler
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    Again, stealing from someone else. This theft was daring, since we essentially stole from the Archmage, giving them an ability that costs them a 5th level slot. However, it's a bit more restrictive, and meant to deal with some of the balance issues. Basically, you lose 3 caster levels (perhaps more) with the entry requirements: this allows you to recover them (for spontaneous spellcasters, to a point) very slowly. This pretty much saves you two feat slots, and you know how important those slots are.

    This doesn't affect the Mystic Theurge a lot, though: you still don't get the higher level spells. You, though, lose some of the penalties for entering in this way.

    UPDATE: It happens that Ultimate Magus has also Spell Power. I just was a bit more daring and applied it to both kinds of spells.


    Unified Theurgy (Su): At 10th level, a mystic theurge gains the ability to unify his arcane and divine spellcasting ability to greater power, but only when the spellcasting methods are similar. If the mystic theurge prepares both divine and arcane spells, he may prepare arcane spells in his divine slots and viceversa. If the mystic theurge spontaneously casts both arcane and divine spells (spontaneous conversion of prepared spells into cure, inflict or other spells does not apply for this method), he may use either his arcane or divine spell slots to cast any arcane or divine spell he knows.

    Spoiler
    Show
    And now, the capstone. If you noticed, there's one thing that Spell Versatility doesn't offer: the ability to use your spell slots from one class to supplement the slots of the other. By this moment, a Mystic Theurge should learn to blend both lines of spellcasting to the point they actually become a single line. This is achieved through this class ability, which allows you to treat slots from one class as slots from another class. Thus, if you're a Cleric/Wizard/MT and want to prepare more Wizard spells on one spell level and more Cleric spells on another, you're more than welcome. You can turn into a super-buffer, using all your slots to fill with arcane and divine buffs, so you can cast both Haste and Freedom of Movement, or something along those lines. It doesn't do much for action economy, but I wouldn't worry about that: you'll probably have Celerity, so you can cast both spells at the same time. Plus, you'll probably have Divine Metamagic, so you can now persist your arcane spells as well (actually, you could do that pretty much from 1st level, but now you can do it for up to, theoretically, 9th level spells.


    --

    So far, it's pretty small, pretty simple, right? It still has some of the classic MT problems, including a 10 level limitation. Lemme do a magic trick. And notice that, in no moment...
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2009-12-09 at 04:21 AM. Reason: Version 2.0: Big patching for better work

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    ...do I stop posting. Well...I make an interruption, but I don't actually intend to stop posting. This is how I intend to solve the MT past level 10 problem.

    Introducing...special rules!!

    Rules for progressing Mystic Theurge above 10th level for non-epic levels
    Normally, progression for all Prestige Classes halts after level ten (in most cases). The Epic Level Handbook and the revised 3.5 Dungeon Master’s Guide have rules to progress prestige classes beyond 10th level, but for epic classes. As it stands, the Mystic Theurge reaches full potential after 10th level and wouldn’t allow further progression until after the character reaches epic levels. As a recommendation, a Mystic Theurge should extend beyond 10 levels, but hold a simple “intermediate” progression between the moment where 10th level is achieved and epic levels are achieved. The progression should behave as follows:


    Table: The Mystic Theurge post level 10
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells

    *11th|+5|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    *12th|+6|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    *13th|+6|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    *14th|+7|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    *15th|+7|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class

    *16th|+8|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    ||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class/+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class[/table]

    *Note: This progression halts after character level 20th, after which epic rules apply.

    Spoiler
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    As you notice, this is basically an addendum to the class. To keep the methodology that existed originally on the books, the Mystic Theurge can be halted at 10th level, where they get their capstone. However, we all know that you want the 9th level spells, and to be less weak than the single-leveled Cleric or Wizard. Furthermore, spontaneous spellcasters suffer and ache! They still need one more caster level to be roughly equal!

    Introducing the special rules. This means that, by definition, a Mystic Theurge works as a 16th level class, although as it currently stands it actually works as a 14th level class at most. While it doesn't help spontaneous spellcasters to achieve their dream (their progression gets halted at 16 for both sides), prepared spellcasters get their nifty gift: they can get actual 9th level spells at 20th level, after loads of effort! And with Unified Theurgy (presented above), they don't need to suffer much from the lack of 9th level spell slots: they'll quite probably have more than enough.

    The stars and the note are important. This is an intermediate progression, which is meant to work to extend the class until you reach epic levels. Once you get to epic levels, these extra levels won't apply: epic rules kick in, thus you get...roughly the same progression. Except on Will saves, of course...actually, more like you gain a new progression for Fortitude and Reflex.

    Since these are intermediate levels, these don't have the restriction of not having actual class levels, but they don't have bonus feats either. Thus, spontaneous spellcasters that extend beyond 10th level get a saving grace in having their lost CL added here. A bit late, sure, but not absent (which is worse than being late, always).


    Alright, the usual: any comments, insults, expressions of joy, worshippings or painstaking deconstructions of the Prestige Class retooling are welcome. As a note, this version of the Mystic Theurge is meant to work as a way to actually grant some sort of reward for not going single-classed and kicking buttocks since level 10; it doesn't help that I got inspired by Wizardry's Bishop and the version of the Druid from The Dark Spire, both of which have a slow progression for their spells but allow some sort of gestalt progression. So if you see it doesn't change the Mystic Theurge's basic flaw...well, that's the point. This is meant to work with some of the flaws, but the idea with a PrC is to sacrifice going full class with a different take, no?
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2009-12-09 at 04:24 AM.
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Let me just say one thing... Nice!
    I always liked the Mystic Theurge, I just didn't like sacrificing caster levels. You have made it worth it. You also fixed the issue with only having 10 levels, making them pretty bad at higher levels. I'll leave it up to others more experienced than myself to critique this however.
    Last edited by Mythestopheles; 2009-12-06 at 12:59 PM.
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    I love it. I really do. I've wanted the Mystic Theurge to be playable forever (literally. First class I wanted to play, but was smacked by reality for being dumb).

    I'm glad to see the Geomancer abilities here, they always seemed extremely useful. And extending it is good too (the one good thing to come out of the True Necromancer).

    However it still has the whole "all those spells, nothing to use them on" problem. One suggestion I had in my recent thread about the MT was along the lines of:

    A Mystic Theurge may cast two spells as a Standard action, (use the longer Cast time, all components are required etc.). They may combine spells whose total combine Spell Level = the MT's Class level or less.

    So a Level 1 MT could cast Acid Orb and CLW in one round, and a Level 10 one could cast Flame Strike and Telekinesis in the same action.

    Do you have any thoughts on the viability of such an ability?

    Of course you can feel free to ignore my inane ramblings. I still love the class.
    Last edited by Kobold-Bard; 2009-12-05 at 02:34 PM.
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobold-Bard View Post
    I love it. I really do. I've wanted the Mystic Theurge to be playable forever (literally. First class I wanted to play, but was smacked by reality for being dumb).

    I'm glad to see the Geomancer abilities here, they always seemed extremely useful. And extending it is good too (the one good thing to come out of the True Necromancer).

    However it still has the whole "all those spells, nothing to use them on" problem. One suggestion I had in my recent thread about the MT was along the lines of:

    A Mystic Theurge may cast two spells as a Standard action, (use the longer Cast time, all components are required etc.). They may combine spells whose total combine Spell Level = the MT's Class level or less.

    So a Level 1 MT could cast Acid Orb and CLW in one round, and a Level 10 one could cast Flame Strike and Telekinesis in the same action.

    Do you have any thoughts on the viability of such an ability?

    Of course you can feel free to ignore my inane ramblings. I still love the class.
    True Necromancer lies to us about that, as it only actually advances 10 levels in each over its 13 level range. It just had the decency to not leave us hanging when the class ended pre-epic on where to go from there.

    I also don't think there needs to be a dual casting ability, as there are methods to go about it, especially once you hit cap and you have more than enough slots to metamagic up Rapid and Quicken spells, as well as Celerity and other methods. Hell, DMM(Quicken) could work well for you in that, as well.

    @Oskar: I know you note that the intermediate progression should probably end at 14th, as that's the most you'll get without early entry (which you ignored for this exercise), so why not cut the progression off at that point, given no one will achieve 15th? It's just kinda odd for the 15th level to be there, otherwise...

    Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will.
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobold-Bard View Post
    I love it. I really do. I've wanted the Mystic Theurge to be playable forever (literally. First class I wanted to play, but was smacked by reality for being dumb).

    I'm glad to see the Geomancer abilities here, they always seemed extremely useful. And extending it is good too (the one good thing to come out of the True Necromancer).

    However it still has the whole "all those spells, nothing to use them on" problem. One suggestion I had in my recent thread about the MT was along the lines of:

    A Mystic Theurge may cast two spells as a Standard action, (use the longer Cast time, all components are required etc.). They may combine spells whose total combine Spell Level = the MT's Class level or less.

    So a Level 1 MT could cast Acid Orb and CLW in one round, and a Level 10 one could cast Flame Strike and Telekinesis in the same action.

    Do you have any thoughts on the viability of such an ability?

    Of course you can feel free to ignore my inane ramblings. I still love the class.
    I think Cie pretty much summed up my point. There are several ways to use all those slots, in which adding an ability that allows effective Doublecasting at a Standard Action becomes a tad pointless. Furthermore, I'm keeping the Theurge close to the original source, using mostly materials already existing on the system.

    But, as mentioned, there are ways to deal with it. Consider that you can use Celerity with your spells, which allows you to cast all those spells almost at the same time (with daze afterwards, of course); as well, you can use Quicken Spell and cast two spells at the same time. Finally, since you'll probably have Turn Undead attempts, you can use the Divine Metamagic feat to use Persist and Quicken on your arcane slots, thanks in no part to Spell Versatility: as well, you could go Bard if you like, get Extra Music and Metamagic Song, and do something along those lines (the weaker version of DMM). There's ways to use all these abilities, and the 10th level ability allows you as many Celerity spells as you possibly can. Spontaneous spellcasters can do something similar with Arcane Spellsurge, since they can treat their divine spells as arcane spells for that purpose.

    So, giving them a class ability that fixes their action economy isn't as imperative (spells themselves can take care of that). Giving that to a melee character would be priceless, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    @Oskar: I know you note that the intermediate progression should probably end at 14th, as that's the most you'll get without early entry (which you ignored for this exercise), so why not cut the progression off at that point, given no one will achieve 15th? It's just kinda odd for the 15th level to be there, otherwise...

    Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will.
    Actually, in theory, there shouldn't be an early entry method. Ranks have increased, and it's much more difficult to simulate ranks (although I do recall being mentioned it's possible; bug Doc Roc for me on that one. Or...maybe I'll bug him myself)

    I actually thought the same way, but decided to keep it if for some reason. The original extra Spell Power for spontaneous spellcasters ability was at level 13th, and as you may have noticed, that wouldn't have helped them much, since they tap out at level 12.

    But yeah, I agree it's odd.

    I'd also like to work some way to allow spontaneous spellcasters to shine as well. Mystic Theurge isn't exactly for them, as they fail to get access to 9th level spells, even though they will have the most insane amount of spell slots. Then again, spontaneous spellcasters have other troubles (and are bizarre like that).
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Um. This rewrite entirely misses the point of why the mystic theurge is bad in the first place. At 6th level you're still a 3rd level cleric and 3rd level wizard. This is BAD. At 7th level you're still flinging around 2nd level spells as if they matter while other spellcasters have 4th level spells.

    People have this weird notion that if you decide to suck for a while your character should end up being awesome, and that that's balanced. It's not. You don't "save up" character awesomeness for future investment. Because if you're playing the campaign at a low level you suck, and if you're playing at a high level then you're overpowered compared to the rest of the party. Neither is good for the game. Like it or not, most campaigns are not actually going to cover all levels from 1-20. Which means that 'balance' means being able to contribute effectively at ANY level and having your schtick right away instead of hoping that the campaign lasts long enough for you to get to play a dual caster.

    This is purely hypothetical of course, because this class sucks at all levels.

    The reasons why:

    Basically you've added three class features.

    1. Spell Power: Any mystic theurge with half a brain takes Practiced Spellcaster (cleric) and Practiced Spellcaster (wizard). All this does is give it to the character slowly across the class, but since he loses the spellcasting levels BEFORE he enters the class, he'll probably still just take the feats anyway so his spells are powered up to par for most of his career, making this feature entirely useless.

    2. Spell Versatility: The main change to the class. The big changes that this will cause is removing arcane spell failure chance and unifying a casting ability. Now the problem with this is that it's entirely pointless as written. You've already been forced to play through 3 levels of two different spellcasting classes, and if you dumped one of your stats to focus on the other, that makes you even more crappy than you would be already. So now you can choose to suck EVEN MORE early on in order to be a little better MUCH later.

    Because that's the second problem with this ability, which is that is only applies it to 0th level spells to start, and you need to work your way up. It doesn't even catch up to your highest level spells until the 5th class level, or character level 10. Prior to that, your highest level spells are based on the respective class' spellcasting mechanics. This not only means more bookkeeping of which spells use what abilities for DCs and need divine focuses and so on, but it also guarantees that nobody is actually going to strap on armour since they risk arcane spell failure with their best spells. And as is obvious, NO arcane spellcaster EVER wears armour if there is any chance of arcane spell failure. It's just not worth it, plain and simple. Show me a single arcane spellcaster that voluntarily chooses to accept an arcane spell failure chance, and I will eat my hat. That's why the duskblade is so much more loved than the eldritch knight or the spellsword. Because it doesn't get arcane spell failure.

    And the last, worst part of this ability is that since your highest level spells use different casting mechanics until halfway through the class, half of your highest level spells are going to suck for DC if you do what the class intends and only seriously invest in one of the two. Which just makes you suck more.

    Seriously, ask yourself this: how would it cause ANY balance problems to give all nine spell levels of this at the 1st class level?

    3. Unified Theurgy: A fine ability, but one that would have been perfectly fine to give out earlier in the class. The bigger problem, and the reason this is bad for the class, is that it leaves spontaneous/prepared theurges high and dry, while basically saying that only prepared/prepared casters get a capstone out of the class. And why the hell would you want to say that? Are you trying to limit the archetypes you can have with this concept?

    -=-

    I just don't get this mentality where people want to punish characters for playing a weird concept. Even losing ONE spell level is bad enough, and is part of the reason why half the time the wizard is destroying the sorcerer. Forcing someone to lose 3 caster levels in two progressions is just CRUEL. If you want to make a REAL mysic theurge class, require 1st level divine spells, 1st level arcane spells, make an 18-level class that advances both, and call it a day. And there will STILL be people that play a full spellcaster over it, just because of how VITAL a single caster level is if it's lost at the beginning of the character's career. It absolutely destroys his ability to contribute effectively on par with other spellcasters until he can even things out. And with this class, he never does. He is always behind, and stays behind.
    Last edited by Eagle; 2009-12-06 at 01:14 AM. Reason: Typo

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle View Post
    I just don't get this mentality where people want to punish characters for playing a weird concept. Even losing ONE spell level is bad enough, and is part of the reason why half the time the wizard is destroying the sorcerer. Forcing someone to lose 3 caster levels in two progressions is just CRUEL. If you want to make a REAL mysic theurge class, require 1st level divine spells, 1st level arcane spells, make an 18-level class that advances both, and call it a day. And there will STILL be people that play a full spellcaster over it, just because of how VITAL a single caster level is if it's lost at the beginning of the character's career. It absolutely destroys his ability to contribute effectively on par with other spellcasters until he can even things out. And with this class, he never does. He is always behind, and stays behind.
    I don't know if I agree with that. One spellcasting level is barely anything - half the time it means that you're not a level of spells behind (at worst, a prepared/prepared theurge would be equivalent to a gestalt sorcerer/mystic theurge in terms of maximum spells known) and you always have more total spell slots of every level than a non-theurge would.

    If you made it an 18-level class (or heck, a 20-level base class, because at that point it's hardly a "prestige" class), I think you would really have to give it the staggered progression of the Ultimate Magus. Actually, I'd quite like that; it would make the earlier levels easier, so you don't have to go through between 6 and 8 levels of undeniable lameness, while also ensuring that you actually are sacrificing a reasonable bit power in one class to pick up an entire second class's spellcasting. That's not punishing people for playing a weird concept, that's trading one kind of power for a different kind of power.

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurus View Post
    I don't know if I agree with that. One spellcasting level is barely anything - half the time it means that you're not a level of spells behind (at worst, a prepared/prepared theurge would be equivalent to a gestalt sorcerer/mystic theurge in terms of maximum spells known) and you always have more total spell slots of every level than a non-theurge would.
    And half the time it means you are a level of spells behind. In both classes. So in exchange for picking up roughly double the number of spells, half the time you're going to not have access to the most powerful spell effects for the level. That's still not a great trade. It means you get haste a level later than everybody else, it means you don't have contingency and fly and greater invisibility and celerity and time stop when all the other full spellcasters first get them. You're always playing catch-up, and in exchange you have to pump two stats in order to have twice as many underpowered spells. And that's ONE spell level.

    If you made it an 18-level class (or heck, a 20-level base class, because at that point it's hardly a "prestige" class), I think you would really have to give it the staggered progression of the Ultimate Magus. Actually, I'd quite like that; it would make the earlier levels easier, so you don't have to go through between 6 and 8 levels of undeniable lameness, while also ensuring that you actually are sacrificing a reasonable bit power in one class to pick up an entire second class's spellcasting. That's not punishing people for playing a weird concept, that's trading one kind of power for a different kind of power.
    Except that in this game, that 'one kind of power' is not equivalent to the 'different kind of power'. To put it in layman's terms:

    If you have a fighter (bear with me) that specializes in, say, a war pick. He pumps all of his feats into focusing on the war pick, he takes the whole line of fighter-only feats in the PHBII for the war pick, he gets Improved Critical and all the rest and then he goes out and buys a +5 vorpal war pick to decapitate people with (I can't remember off the top of my head if war picks are piercing or slashing, but just go with it. It's an analogy).

    Now our second fighter decides that he would rather have versatility. He decides to focus on both ranged AND melee combat. After all, it's good to be prepared, right? So he splits his feats into two piles: longbows and, say, gnome hammering. Then he buys a couple +6 equivalent weapons to kill people with.

    Anybody with experience playing the game would of course be able to tell you that the second fighter SUCKS even more than most fighters at high levels, because he split his resources on two totally different endeavours. You need an astonishing amount of feats to be competent at ranged combat, and melee is a lost cause even WITH a metric ton of feats. Not to mention splitting wealth-by-level to get two decent weapons. The first fighter, even though he might not be as good at ranged combat, utterly destroys (relatively speaking) at close range. And at high levels, that's what matters. He might not have arrows, but the war picker can go toe to toe with the tarrasque. Whereas anything level-appropriate, that is, of an appropriate CR, is seriously going to laugh at the second fighter because he simple can't contribute with either of his weapons.

    The moral of the story is that the game rewards specialization, and nowhere moreso than with spellcasters. A single lost spell level is a huge disadvantage that you have to carry around at half the levels in the rest of your character's career. Quantity seriously doesn't matter for the most part, unless your DM is especially cruel about having you run through tons of encounters per day. And there we get into individual play styles that are impossible to compare in a theoretical excercise like this. But simple spells like rope trick obviate the need for lots of spells in favour of really powerful spells.

    No matter how skilled the mystic theurge is, he's only got so many actions with which to cast spells on a given round. It doesn't matter that he has both arcane and divine spells to shove through the slot if the slot can only take so many at a given time. As long as a full spellcaster has enough to last him the battle, he's still going to be ahead. No comparison.

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle View Post
    And half the time it means you are a level of spells behind. In both classes. So in exchange for picking up roughly double the number of spells, half the time you're going to not have access to the most powerful spell effects for the level. That's still not a great trade. It means you get haste a level later than everybody else, it means you don't have contingency and fly and greater invisibility and celerity and time stop when all the other full spellcasters first get them. You're always playing catch-up, and in exchange you have to pump two stats in order to have twice as many underpowered spells. And that's ONE spell level.
    The problem that I have with this is that it implies that all spontaneous casters are entirely useless. Because, after all, half the time they're an entire spell level behind prepared casters, and they don't even get a second type of casting to make up for it. Yes, I know that the general consensus is that sorcerers are worse than wizards for exactly that reason, short of Greater Draconic Rite of Passage or Loredrake shenanigans, but most people will agree that they're still exceptionally powerful compared to most classes.

    As to the dual-stat casting, that's less of a problem if you focus on spells without saving throws. You technically only need a 19 in each stat, and a 24 or so in each is perfectly acceptable - how many bonus spells does a theurge actually need? Of course, this is assuming you don't ignore the issue entirely with Wizard/Archivist.

    Except that in this game, that 'one kind of power' is not equivalent to the 'different kind of power'. To put it in layman's terms:

    If you have a fighter (bear with me) that specializes in, say, a war pick. He pumps all of his feats into focusing on the war pick, he takes the whole line of fighter-only feats in the PHBII for the war pick, he gets Improved Critical and all the rest and then he goes out and buys a +5 vorpal war pick to decapitate people with (I can't remember off the top of my head if war picks are piercing or slashing, but just go with it. It's an analogy).

    Now our second fighter decides that he would rather have versatility. He decides to focus on both ranged AND melee combat. After all, it's good to be prepared, right? So he splits his feats into two piles: longbows and, say, gnome hammering. Then he buys a couple +6 equivalent weapons to kill people with.

    Anybody with experience playing the game would of course be able to tell you that the second fighter SUCKS even more than most fighters at high levels, because he split his resources on two totally different endeavours. You need an astonishing amount of feats to be competent at ranged combat, and melee is a lost cause even WITH a metric ton of feats. Not to mention splitting wealth-by-level to get two decent weapons. The first fighter, even though he might not be as good at ranged combat, utterly destroys (relatively speaking) at close range. And at high levels, that's what matters. He might not have arrows, but the war picker can go toe to toe with the tarrasque. Whereas anything level-appropriate, that is, of an appropriate CR, is seriously going to laugh at the second fighter because he simple can't contribute with either of his weapons.

    The moral of the story is that the game rewards specialization, and nowhere moreso than with spellcasters. A single lost spell level is a huge disadvantage that you have to carry around at half the levels in the rest of your character's career. Quantity seriously doesn't matter for the most part, unless your DM is especially cruel about having you run through tons of encounters per day. And there we get into individual play styles that are impossible to compare in a theoretical excercise like this. But simple spells like rope trick obviate the need for lots of spells in favour of really powerful spells.

    No matter how skilled the mystic theurge is, he's only got so many actions with which to cast spells on a given round. It doesn't matter that he has both arcane and divine spells to shove through the slot if the slot can only take so many at a given time. As long as a full spellcaster has enough to last him the battle, he's still going to be ahead. No comparison.
    But that's not a perfect comparison. It's not like the example of a fighter, where you're splitting your resources almost evenly between range and melee; a normal theurge is still as powerful as an arcane caster of 1-3 levels lower, and also as powerful as a divine caster of 1-3 levels lower, where the fighter is cutting his effectiveness by a much greater percentage. And to be perfectly honest, a mage can be quite effective with slots of one level lower than normal - the only thing that will be of comparable or greater power is still another mage.

    And I'm fully aware that the number of slots you have isn't as important as the actions you get. But the number of high-level slots you have can be important. If a Wizard 1/Cleric 1/Mystic Theurge 8 is measured against a Wizard 10, the theurge has more 5th level slots than the plain wizard, and I do believe that the wizard is likely to burn through his five or six highest level slots during a typical adventuring day and be reduced to casting a few lower-level spells. Now you're looking at a caster who has access to more different spells, can continue to cast his strongest spells for another round or two after the plain wizard has exhausted his, and suffers little by way of disadvantage at this level. Yes, the theurge runs into a problem during odd levels, but even then, it's not as if 5th level spells suddenly become useless at ECL 11. As you pointed out, you need to look at each level individually, and at over 50% of character levels between 1 and 20, a Wizard 1/Cleric 1/Mystic Theurge 1-18 is better. And during the other levels, they're only worse in the sense that a Sorcerer is worse than a Wizard - still powerful, but not quite as world-shattering just yet.


    Basically, my problem is that I worry that your proposed theurge that only sacrifices one level from each class will be in many ways at many times actually superior to a straight caster. I don't think that you should have to sacrifice power, but I do believe that someone who branches out into another field of study does so by specializing less in his current field.
    Last edited by Eurus; 2009-12-06 at 02:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Yes, you're probably right. For my hypothetical theurge, half the time he would straight up have more going for him than a full spellcaster. But the other half of the time he's noticably weaker than a full spellcaster who has access to higher level spell effects. Add on top of that the fact that he literally gets to play his archetype starting from level 2, and it's probably as close as you're ever going to get to a true mystic theurge. Double the spells you normally get, but slightly delayed access to spell levels. It's not perfect, but it's a strange archetype.

    I think, however, we can both agree that something like the prestige class presented here, interesting as it is, doesn't solve any of the problems that the mystic theurge actually has. If you're losing any more than one caster level on each side, you're always going to be behind a spell level, and that just destroys you against a full spellcaster.

    The question that inevitably comes up with this sort of thing is, what are you trying to balance against? And a mystic theurge, with both the cleric and wizard as the starting classes, must inevitably be compared to those two classes for power. After all, if your intention is to make a prestige class that's WEAKER than the base class that leads into it, nobody is going to take it; by default they must have access to the more powerful base class, and I don't know many players that would intentionally cripple their characters even for a cool concept like this.

    I could actually see a 17-level mystic theurge class working if it had these prerequisites:

    • 1st level arcane casting
    • 1st level divine casting
    • Knowledge (arcana) and Knowledge (religion) 6 ranks each

    That means you go in as a 3rd level character, with 1 level of divine full spellcaster and 1 level of arcane full spellcaster, but one additional level of one of your choice. Spontaneous and prepared can both enter equally, since both get 1st level spells at 1st level. In exchange for being a single spell level behind half the time in your character progression, you get to cast as well as a cohort from the Leadership feat would be able to in an opposed class. It's probably as good a mystic theurge as will ever see the light of day, especially if it has neat and flavourful mechanics like the versatile spellcasting presented here (although relevant to the highest level spell slots available at the time. That still makes me sigh).

    Thoughts?

    EDIT: Also, I hope you're happy, OP. The title of this thread just made me stay up 'til 3 AM to watch Aladdin. Thanks a lot.
    Last edited by Eagle; 2009-12-06 at 04:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle View Post
    EDIT: Also, I hope you're happy, OP. The title of this thread just made me stay up 'til 3 AM to watch Aladdin. Thanks a lot.
    Hah! I knew that quip would be pretty useful. Don't feel mad, actually (I had to see Aladdin again just to entertain my little niece, who doesn't even understand the movie anyways, so...

    However, I am glad you hate this class with a burning passion. And pointing some notes as to how to make it better. It helps me to remind I'm a single person doing all of this stuff, actually.

    First and foremost, the original class sucks even more. This retooling makes it better. And, evidently, it will suffer the same from the beginning: that's, albeit not reasonable, almost unavoidable. As far as I can recall, the only PrC that actually breaks the general recommendation for PrC creation is Master Specialist, which could be accessed as early as 3rd level with the right methods. Otherwise, the entire bulk of all Prestige Classes pretty much recommend an entry period around the end of low level and the beginning of mid-level. Just...reminding you of that, since that's pretty much part of the design process: though, if you want to break it, fine.

    Second, let's go through each point:
    Spell Power: this is a bit of a conundrum. What's more important: caster levels or feat slots? In the case of a magician, both. However, you can play with caster levels; you can't play with feat slots unless you retrain them. Losing spell power would imply you must permanently sacrifice two slots which you could use for something else: for example, to get Metamagic feats. Which are every bit as important to a caster than caster levels. Most spells, as they stand, cap at a specific point, so depending on the spells you choose, caster level may not be that important (except, of course, for Dispel checks: by the moment you actually boost your caster level as a single spellcaster, another might as well dispel your buffs with a single well-placed spell)

    Also, if you consider it's really, really, really bad...well, there's always retraining. You could get Practiced Spellcasting first, then replace those two once you reach MT 7th and actually get two worthwhile feats. Because...getting two feats to normalize your spellcasting seems kinda counterproductive, no?

    But lets say you actually get to recover your lost caster levels at 1st level. Onward...

    Spell Versatility: First, Twilight Mithral Full Plate. Or Twilight Mithral Celestial Armor, if you want something light and worthwhile. There, you can equip an armor that protects you more than enough without ACF. Close, no cigar of course, so that means...half the hat?

    Spell Versatility is meant to progress slowly. If you wish to consider it, let's say the spell versatility is equal to your current casting level on both sides (that way, it progresses organically and so forth). Let's also say it begins at first level. Right? Now...

    Unified Theurgy: This serves right as a capstone, given that you actually get more spell slots to use the same spells Wizards use to screw action economy, even if they get the spells later. Sorcerers get a bigger play out of this, given that they actually get far more uses of the same kind of spells that pretty much ruin action economy. Recall one thing: while they get the Celerity line late, they do get the Celerity line. The fact that they can get both lines of spells means they can do much more with Celerity than a normal arcane spellcaster does, considering they also get a bigger amount of spell slots. This ability allows them to potentially cast many more Celerity spells than they possibly could, and not so late as, say, 20th level. Perhaps 16th, but at that point even the single-class spellcasters don't get their 9th level spells just yet.

    But, given how you wish to expose it, let's just give the ability early. That shouldn't be a problem, right? How about...level...5, perhaps?

    Without Unified Theurgy, and considering your entry requirements, you have... a front-loaded class. A really front loaded class, that would make single-class spellcasters worthless. No, really:

    --You can enter at level 3. You're doing it so that a single-classed spellcaster doesn't lose their slight advantage, but you can already do more with those 1st level spells than a single-classed spellcaster can do with those 2nd level spells. When you get 2nd level in the PrC, single-classed spellcasters can start packing their bags.

    --By MT 5th (considering this is how early you want it to be), the single-classed spellcaster is worthless, period.

    --Since it'll keep progressing, there's no chance, even with Limited Wish/Wish/Miracle, that the single classed spellcaster will ever recover from the hit. There will be no competition. Getting the coveted 9th level spells one level earlier? Pointless: the MT will get them one level later than them, but will make much more use from them that the base spellcaster.

    Furthermore, it is important to point that some of the best spells in-game are low-level spells. Consider how spells such as Shivering Cold, or Glitterdust, or Stinking Cloud, or Web, are pretty low-level spells. By the time the MT catches up as they stand currently (with my revision), they'll be capable of contributing with those valuable spells. Also, consider that the best method of Cleric buffing is before battle, so you can behave more like a Wizard in combat, and as a Cleric outside of it. Finally: consider that, even as they stand (the original version), they have a "better UMD" than the people who actually have it, since you can pretty much cast every spell ever. Granted, not many of the Paladin, Ranger or Bard exclusives, but those few may not be as important as the real thing.

    Finally, and this is something I'd like to point out, is this. Certainly, this game prizes specialization over versatility: fat chance when the actual "specialists" are better on versatility than their peers. I mean, why would you like to go with a Fighter if a Cleric of all people does better. Or the Druid, with its animal companion pretty much buffed to no tomorrow? And they can do that right out of the box, little to no optimization required. What I can agree is that D&D prizes specialization for those who aren't spellcasters, and versatility for spellcasters. Since...being a blaster specialist isn't, using the current rules, a viable option, no? You need to do far too much to make that option viable, actually.

    Yet, prestige classes as they stand don't always work with specialization. In fact, they are meant to present other, newer, options. You can use a PrC to dabble on a new system (such as Incarnum or Psionics), you can make a weird multiclass concept work a bit better (Arcane Trickster, Eldritch Knight, Mystic Theurge, Cerebremancer, Psychic Theurge, Anima Mage, etc.), you can work with a concept that might not work as a class but it might work as something else (Assassin, Alchemist Savant, Runecaster, etc.), and yes, help you to specialize further on a concept. The concept of a Prestige Class is much wider; limiting to "aiding on specialization" is a very limited vision on how a Prestige Class is meant to work.

    And we return to Mystic Theurge after drifting up a bit. Mystic Theurge works mostly on terms of making multiclassing between arcane spellcasters and divine spellcasters a much more viable option than usual (otherwise, you'd suck even more, since you'd be only capable of casting 5th level spells for each class, both at CL 10, with few if not enough options to make the concept worthwhile. The old Mystic Theurge did something, but it didn't do too much: it only implemented that on 10 levels, you could have a roughly equal progression. This retooling dealt with some of the main issues, but evidently, it didn't dealt with all of them. This, of course, is quite intentional (if not to say very intentional). Striking a balance is very, very, very difficult. As I worked it around, it stands better than the old MT, but even I have to consider it's not enough. Going with your recommendation, I'm making the class better than its individual counterparts at almost every point in the way. Far too much better; heck, I would make the single class progressions pretty pointless, since consider that there's absolutely no reason why to take more levels in the class. Cleric? Front-loaded. Wizard? Bonus feats are nice, and you'd be sacrificing that; still, not enough to make the Wizard a front-loaded class. In fact, the reason why you need to take more than one level on the class is to get to a PrC as fast as you can. The rest? Well...Sorcerer is front-loaded as well; Favored Soul isn't front-loaded but the granted abilities aren't so hot; Shugenja is also pretty much front-loaded as well; Spirit Shaman is a very balanced and beautiful class for what it gets, but then again I barely see a Spirit Shaman in play; Druid is also very front-loaded; Bard -> Sublime Chord isn't frontloaded class-wise; Sublime Chord is mostly 2 levels and that's it; Archivist is also quite front-loaded but it has some cool abilities; Warmage, Beguiler and Dread Necromancer are pretty much on a niche of their own, and could count as even on most levels, perhaps Beguiler more than anything. What makes single-classed spellcasters, or spellcasters with PrCs devoted to a single method of spellcasting, important is their spells: with MT as proposed by you, you're removing from ~56% of the classes what make them special.

    I presume some clarifications are in order. I don't say you're absolutely wrong and I'm perfectly right, but I would feel stupid if I don't at least defend my position. I also consider pretty well the parts of the discussion, in order to reach a satisfactory conclusion. Your ideas are quite good (I won't say that they don't), but threaten the balance of the concept in the name of optimization; you're with the idea that the Mystic Theurge must be better than the base classes in order to make it worthwhile, without considering the proper limit to it. I could make it a 4th level entry class, which is a fine entry point since, while you lose two CL, it allows both even progression in both classes (instead of uneven progression, even if you take your 3rd level in a completely unrelated class), earlier progression than the original, and it would still show some of the effort in multiclassing. It would also allow you to cast 2nd level spells from both sides while the single-class casts their first 3rd level spells, which still gives relevance to single-class casters. Any earlier than that, and it could shift the balance of the game a bit too far; it would lead to the point "why not make it a class and call it a day? It's way too similar to a class."


    One extra final point I want to address:
    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle View Post
    People have this weird notion that if you decide to suck for a while your character should end up being awesome, and that that's balanced. It's not. You don't "save up" character awesomeness for future investment. Because if you're playing the campaign at a low level you suck, and if you're playing at a high level then you're overpowered compared to the rest of the party. Neither is good for the game. Like it or not, most campaigns are not actually going to cover all levels from 1-20. Which means that 'balance' means being able to contribute effectively at ANY level and having your schtick right away instead of hoping that the campaign lasts long enough for you to get to play a dual caster.
    Doesn't spellcasters actually begin as this? They suck at early levels, since they get few spell slots, some of which they can't use very well before they're completely gone, and then you're left with someone that can hardly use a crossbow well. At high levels, they break worlds (and gods, and planes, and even games if not careful). And they start getting good at level 3, but they can still be handled pretty well until level...5, when they start contributing much more and the Fighters and meleers begin to lower. Isn't that...mid-level already? What if the campaign only works through 6 levels? 7 levels?

    Not balanced, as you say. But hey: these ARE the best classes on the game. So...I find it odd that you get angry off a mentality that pretty much describes spellcasters on their starting roles. Given that they lose their schtick pretty swiftly at early levels, and only later they get to turn much better. And hey, multiclass dual-casters do contribute; they can contribute just as well, actually. Evidently, not equally, but they can contribute.
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    Some interesting points, and I do actually intend to reply to them, but I wanted to talk about this first.

    Doesn't spellcasters actually begin as this? They suck at early levels, since they get few spell slots, some of which they can't use very well before they're completely gone, and then you're left with someone that can hardly use a crossbow well. At high levels, they break worlds (and gods, and planes, and even games if not careful). And they start getting good at level 3, but they can still be handled pretty well until level...5, when they start contributing much more and the Fighters and meleers begin to lower. Isn't that...mid-level already? What if the campaign only works through 6 levels? 7 levels?

    Not balanced, as you say. But hey: these ARE the best classes on the game. So...I find it odd that you get angry off a mentality that pretty much describes spellcasters on their starting roles. Given that they lose their schtick pretty swiftly at early levels, and only later they get to turn much better. And hey, multiclass dual-casters do contribute; they can contribute just as well, actually. Evidently, not equally, but they can contribute.
    Low-level spellcasters are not neccessarily incredibly weak. The presence of low-level game-winners like grease, sleep, and prismatic spray allow them to easily outclass the nonmagical competition. You can make a very strong case that full spellcasters progress reasonably in power as they advance in levels, and that other classes should have the same sort of progression. But because people have a bias that nonspellcasters should for some reason be not as good as spellcasters, this doesn't happen.

    But the more important part here is that the character is a viable concept from 1st level.

    The entire POINT of 'balance' is to ensure that every character is equally powerful at all levels as all other characters at the same level. Right? The holy grail you might say, of designing.

    The problem with this, and the reason that everybody gets hung up on crap like "capstones" is that a character is NEVER played from level 1 to level 20. It just doesn't happen. You might have a character start at level 7 and go to level 9. You might have a character go from level 1 to level 5. You might have a character go from level 15 to level 18. But nobody is ever actually going to play through the full 20 levels of a class.

    So let's take a wizard and your mystic theurge here. At level 7, the wizard has 4th level spells. Your mystic theurge has roughly 1 1/2 times more spell slots, being generous. But none above 2nd level. Imaging being a character who wants to get into the prestige class, and being FORCED to cripple his character by playing something literally as unplayable as a cleric 3/wizard 3 at the early levels. This guy doesn't care about that it might even out at high levels. He doesn't care that you think it's more 'balanced' to spread out the progression of these weird abilities across 10 levels or that he should be forced to play a bad character before he can play a good character. All he cares about is that he's playing a bad character on the hopes that the campaign might last long enough to get into the prestige class.

    You say that this mystic theurge is more powerful than a single-classed caster at level 20. You might be right, since you have 9th level spells from 2 classes. But at literally every other level in the game, he's at LEAST one spell level behind a full spellcaster, and oftentimes two. In exchange, he gets more spell slots. This is not a fair compromise. There's a reason people always use their high-level spell slots before their magic missiles. Because although there are some diamonds in the rough (oh god, it's still in my head) in the low levels, by and large high level spells are flat-out BETTER than low-level spells. Wish is BETTER than pretty much any 8th level spell. Same with time stop. Or wail of the banshee.

    If you seriously want to compare this prestige class to the alternative at 20th level alone, then you need to go bang your head against a wall for awhile. It is flat out unfair to force a character to have to play a bad character for the sake of a good backstory.

    On the topic of giving away spell versatility at 1st level in all its glory: who the hell cares? It already has a "built-in" limiting factor of the levels of spells you can access. Why does it need a second one? Your class is delayed getting the highest spell levels, but then it's delayed AGAIN to use spell versatility with it until the two catch up. If you're worried about someone cherry-picking the class just for spell-versatility, consider how much they'd have to abuse their character to get in. It's not worth it just for one mediocre ability like that.

    You have this weird notion that full spellcasters are 'front-loaded'. Heads up: they're not! They get the most powerful class feature there is, and it even scales with level. Just because there are a lot of prestige classes that advance that class feature doesn't mean that the base class is missing something at higher levels. It gets incrementally and noticably more powerful all the time as it advances in the base class. And people will seriously stick with the base class for that alone.

    Now if you have a prestige class that fully advances spellcasting and that has other class features besides, that's great! You might say that it's unfair because the prestige class is a straight power-up, but as long as the prestige class isn't giving out abilities that are stronger than what a character of the same level has, then it seriously doesn't matter. If all of your prestige classes have full spellcsting advancement and all of them have flavourful and level-appropriate abilities given out besides, then what's the problem? It's ludicrous to make something like this mystic theurge that basically tells the player "if you take this class you will be a master of all magics" and then kick him in the groin when he actually wants to play it. It has all the same problems that the original mystic theurge does, because the mystic theurge's problems do not stem from the fact that it is missing Practiced Spellcaster or unified theurgy or versatily spellcaster. Those are nice, and would be fine to put in there for flavour's sake, but they don't change anything about the mystic theurge paradigm in the game. It still sucks just as much as it always has, because you haven't actually fixed anything.

    One last point: consider that you have a cleric 3/wizard 3/mystic theurge 3. Then the fighter, who's tired of sucking all the time, takes the Leadership feat and gets a wizard 7 as his cohort. At this point the fighter is honestly contributing more to the party in terms of magical power than the wizard is. When people want a solid fog, they're turning to the fighter instead of the 'master of all magics'. And that's a problem.

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Personally I like it. You lose a little in the way of direct power but the versatility is good. I made a level 9 focused conjurer and he uses primarily fourth level spells now (and teleport). Giving up 3 levels of wizard would hurt because it would put him 2 behind but in one level it would be worth it. This might just be level 9 (and the lack of stony environments for Wall of Stone), but losing your highest level hurts but gaining the same amount of spellcasting of another type can easily be worth it. Then again 4th is probably my favorite spell level so...
    And unified theurgy is awesome. Also Practiced Spellcaster applies at the best possible time, Spell Power doesn't cap at character level (as shown by the level 11 ability) so in theory you could get above character level that way which I like about the class. Then again that is feat heavy and not necessarily worth while except for Holy Word spells but you could do it.
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Umm, spell power does not work as as written. You gain +1/2/3 to your caster level, up to your caster level. So at level of MT I am a cleric 3/wizard 3. So For cleric my caster level is 3+1 up to caster level, so depending on the way it is interpreted you have either CL 3 or 4. Rephrase it for clarity.
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Yayz! Can we has Ultimate Magus next?

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Quote Originally Posted by vasharanpaladin View Post
    Yayz! Can we has Ultimate Magus next?
    But there's nothing wrong with Ultimate Magus.

    @T.G. Oskar:

    Also, real good work here. I tried my hand at redoing the Mystic Theurge but I feel humbled a bit by yours here. Really good work. Kudos!

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle View Post
    Low-level spellcasters are not neccessarily incredibly weak. The presence of low-level game-winners like grease, sleep, and prismatic spray allow them to easily outclass the nonmagical competition. You can make a very strong case that full spellcasters progress reasonably in power as they advance in levels, and that other classes should have the same sort of progression. But because people have a bias that nonspellcasters should for some reason be not as good as spellcasters, this doesn't happen.
    Whether there are low-level game winners in existence doesn't mean people will choose them. Evidently, few people will take something like Hold Portal unless there was some relevance to it. However, people will still take Burning Hands and Magic Missile, which aren't as effective as the spells you mentioned. It mostly depends on the choice of spells, which can make or break a spellcaster.

    But the more important part here is that the character is a viable concept from 1st level.

    The entire POINT of 'balance' is to ensure that every character is equally powerful at all levels as all other characters at the same level. Right? The holy grail you might say, of designing.

    The problem with this, and the reason that everybody gets hung up on crap like "capstones" is that a character is NEVER played from level 1 to level 20. It just doesn't happen. You might have a character start at level 7 and go to level 9. You might have a character go from level 1 to level 5. You might have a character go from level 15 to level 18. But nobody is ever actually going to play through the full 20 levels of a class.
    In terms of these specific kind of PrCs, where you intend to level the penalties of "dual-classing", it;s much harder to strike that balance point. You could do as the devs did: be too conservative and have a line of thought that makes the class unplayable (and I admit, I tend to go to the conservative line several times). You can strike it right, and actually make the concept viable at all levels, thus striking the fabled "balance" point. Or, you can overdo it, and give an option that could make the other options pointless compared to that option (such as, for example, how a few spells and buffs work better than the blasty spells; equally, how spellcasters suddenly can do anything better than non-casters)

    It's much harder if the intention is to conform to at least two of the expectations of the game: the devs' expectation (you will play up to 20th level, thus you must have options available for each level), and the real expectation (you may not ever reach 20th level; heck, you may not even reach 15th level). This makes striking that balance point much more difficult.

    Now, let's say you're realist and consider that no one reaches 20th level. Now, let's say someone actually plays from 1st level and reaches 20th level. What will be offered to those people? Nothing, just "thanks for playing, come again?" If you provide no benefit to play at that last level, you aren't motivating people to actually attempt to reach that last level; equally, if you don't offer something at least nice for that last level, you aren't motivating people to at least attempt to reach that last level and finish the progression (something that applies to other PrCs, not exactly to Mystic Theurge).

    Working with a class, Prestige Class, feat, new mechanic or monster isn't just ascribing to an abstract idea such as balance. It is a very important point, but not the only point to consider.

    So let's take a wizard and your mystic theurge here. At level 7, the wizard has 4th level spells. Your mystic theurge has roughly 1 1/2 times more spell slots, being generous. But none above 2nd level. Imaging being a character who wants to get into the prestige class, and being FORCED to cripple his character by playing something literally as unplayable as a cleric 3/wizard 3 at the early levels. This guy doesn't care about that it might even out at high levels. He doesn't care that you think it's more 'balanced' to spread out the progression of these weird abilities across 10 levels or that he should be forced to play a bad character before he can play a good character. All he cares about is that he's playing a bad character on the hopes that the campaign might last long enough to get into the prestige class.
    I could argue the problem lies on the multiclassing system, but then again, this class is meant to deal with that (and the whole point of this conversation is to strike the right point, right?)

    You say that this mystic theurge is more powerful than a single-classed caster at level 20. You might be right, since you have 9th level spells from 2 classes. But at literally every other level in the game, he's at LEAST one spell level behind a full spellcaster, and oftentimes two. In exchange, he gets more spell slots. This is not a fair compromise. There's a reason people always use their high-level spell slots before their magic missiles. Because although there are some diamonds in the rough (oh god, it's still in my head) in the low levels, by and large high level spells are flat-out BETTER than low-level spells. Wish is BETTER than pretty much any 8th level spell. Same with time stop. Or wail of the banshee.
    I can't say it doesn't at that level: it would be lying, no? You have more spells, and more spell slots, than a single-classed spellcaster at that level. Just pointing that out.

    As for the rest: by the time you reach high levels, you won't be dishing Magic Missiles. Nor Fireballs. Evidently, you won't (those spells lost their shine earlier than 20th level). Evidently, higher level spells are meant to be better than lower level spells (although if they were like psionics...; of course, for purposes of this discussion they don't).

    Wish, of course, is better than every other spell since it's the rough equivalent of a "I Win" button (and even then, it can cause some serious problems; it's not very effective to state it as better than any spell since it's pretty much better than any epic spell). Time Stop is also mighty good (and one spell that actually serves to state the point you want to express). Wail of the Banshee...not so much, given that most monsters of roughly equivalent level will already have some form of resistance or immunity to that spell. Furthermore, a 4th level spell defeats Wail of the Banshee. Heck, a second level spell beats Wail of the Banshee.

    However, and this is a big however, consider that the MT will have access to spells a single-classed spellcaster won't unless it wastes a higher level spell slot it could have used for another thing, or won't probably get at all. You...don't see many Wizards with Death Ward, no? You see Clerics with Death Ward...but they don't get Celerity, or Haste. Archivists might, but that's using a RAW ruling. This is a point you should consider, something I don't think you did.

    What I can agree, and something that I insist isn't as easy as you think, is striking the right point. 3/3 isn't a proper entry point; 1/1 begs for a class, actually. I was considering 2/2 (or, in layman terms: access to 1st level spells from both sides, and top of 7 ranks instead of 9), since it seems to be a more natural point: it still doesn't help the MT character be one level behind, but it's less severe than two levels lost, no?

    Any lower, and I can't simply take you seriously. Three is uneven, and works better for an Ultimate Magus progression since it seems to be the intention.

    On the topic of giving away spell versatility at 1st level in all its glory: who the hell cares? It already has a "built-in" limiting factor of the levels of spells you can access. Why does it need a second one? Your class is delayed getting the highest spell levels, but then it's delayed AGAIN to use spell versatility with it until the two catch up. If you're worried about someone cherry-picking the class just for spell-versatility, consider how much they'd have to abuse their character to get in. It's not worth it just for one mediocre ability like that.
    Umm...where did you got the idea that I did it to prevent cherry-picking? Even the original version, held by the Geomancer, had absolutely no reason to extend the progression in order to prevent cherry-picking... (Unless you use it for one of those weird progressions that use Ur-Priest with Sublime Chord, but those are the exception instead of the rule)

    I did it mostly because I removed it almost textually from the Geomancer. Almost, in which I made some slight editing to make it smaller than the description actually is.

    I might consider going full-blast with it, but there's other options I'm also considering. Not saying that I won't change Spell Versatility, but that I won't do it at a whim.

    You have this weird notion that full spellcasters are 'front-loaded'. Heads up: they're not! They get the most powerful class feature there is, and it even scales with level. Just because there are a lot of prestige classes that advance that class feature doesn't mean that the base class is missing something at higher levels. It gets incrementally and noticably more powerful all the time as it advances in the base class. And people will seriously stick with the base class for that alone.

    Now if you have a prestige class that fully advances spellcasting and that has other class features besides, that's great! You might say that it's unfair because the prestige class is a straight power-up, but as long as the prestige class isn't giving out abilities that are stronger than what a character of the same level has, then it seriously doesn't matter. If all of your prestige classes have full spellcsting advancement and all of them have flavourful and level-appropriate abilities given out besides, then what's the problem?
    That's a bit ironic...

    Prestige Classes work fine and well when they offer some abilities that work within the mythical level of "balance" (I'm not saying that to mock you, mind you). Problem lies when there are PrCs that go beyond that.

    As it stands, barring the insane (and probably inane) entry requirements for some of them, why I wouldn't enter the Archmage PrC, the Incantatrix PrC, dip on the Sacred Exorcist PrC, or in the case of Druids, go Planar Shepherd? Just like Wish, Time Stop and other spells show that 9th level spells are better than lower level spells, these Prestige Classes make staying as a pure Wizard feel like something stupid. Just like Wish exists, so does Archmage. Particularly speaking about Archmage, given that the flavor fits virtually every single Wizard, unless for fluff reasons you don't want to be the best mage in all of the Planes or something...

    You could get classes with those nifty features (Geometer is a nice example of that: you get abilities related to geometry, including a beneficial class ability, as well as full spellcasting). There's no need to enter this PrC, and certainly it doesn't break you if you enter it. Incantatrix, on the other hand, reaches a point where it grants to the Wizard an ability that nulls any argument as to why it isn't better than progressing on the base class.

    It's ludicrous to make something like this mystic theurge that basically tells the player "if you take this class you will be a master of all magics" and then kick him in the groin when he actually wants to play it. It has all the same problems that the original mystic theurge does, because the mystic theurge's problems do not stem from the fact that it is missing Practiced Spellcaster or unified theurgy or versatily spellcaster. Those are nice, and would be fine to put in there for flavour's sake, but they don't change anything about the mystic theurge paradigm in the game. It still sucks just as much as it always has, because you haven't actually fixed anything.
    It's not entirely wrong. If you...bar innate magic, you're not going too far from the truth, since you'll be able to cast arcane magic and divine magic. Rhetorics and fluff, of course, but just to state it's not far from the truth.

    The class abilities of the MT aren't there just for fluff's sake, or for flavor's sake. Specifically Unified Theurgy, which is meant to allow the MT to do more with its huge amount of spells. "Not fixing anything" is too big of a point to work out: it sounds like plausible deniability. That you may consider that the root problem hasn't been solved and thus it is deficient, that I could consider; that it's entirely worthless, not that much.

    Which...is the point on actually posting it. And repeatedly stating it's the work of one person (and technically, it's not the work of just one person, given that I end up brainstorming with other people when concerns such as yours appear in order to work a solution to the concern). This, if I may repeat, is not meant to be the final version of the project; quite the contrary, it's meant to be a way to allow other people to point potential troubles and find solutions to those problems. Evidently, it also requires that said concerns are studied and dealt with so that the project improves. Stating it doesn't work? Fine; it stemmed some discussions as to how to deal with the big problem without going too far. Saying it sucks? No problem: the intention is to make it suck less. Exaggerating, though, is not the best way to work with the situation.

    One last point: consider that you have a cleric 3/wizard 3/mystic theurge 3. Then the fighter, who's tired of sucking all the time, takes the Leadership feat and gets a wizard 7 as his cohort. At this point the fighter is honestly contributing more to the party in terms of magical power than the wizard is. When people want a solid fog, they're turning to the fighter instead of the 'master of all magics'. And that's a problem.
    The Mystic Theurge could have access to Leadership as well. Furthermore, I'm half-tempted to use the equivalent to Godwin's Law just because you stated Leadership. Granted, it is on one of the Core books. It's also broken beyond belief, and it also doesn't represent anything. If else, it represents the character who plays the fighter actually wants to play a Wizard with a free meatshield, even if it's two levels behind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Umm, spell power does not work as as written. You gain +1/2/3 to your caster level, up to your caster level. So at level of MT I am a cleric 3/wizard 3. So For cleric my caster level is 3+1 up to caster level, so depending on the way it is interpreted you have either CL 3 or 4. Rephrase it for clarity.
    I actually meant it to be character level. I guess I got a bit distracted on caster level and character level.

    Quote Originally Posted by vasharanpaladin View Post
    Yayz! Can we has Ultimate Magus next?
    Umm, I think Errant got it out of my mouth. UM is fine, no need to work with it. So does Arcane Hierophant.

    Now, other classes such as Psychic Theurge and Cerebremancer? Perhaps.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErrantX View Post
    @T.G. Oskar:

    Also, real good work here. I tried my hand at redoing the Mystic Theurge but I feel humbled a bit by yours here. Really good work. Kudos!

    -X
    Well...it's still a work in progress. As Eagle pointed out, it still requires some massive tweaking to make it worthwhile.

    And...to finish this round of questions and speaking of tweaking, here's some proposed changes:

    --The main would be reducing the entry point to level 5. I think I mentioned before it was a decent entry point, lower than the usual but not that much. Entry at level 4 was a bit awkward, given that it allows a "free" level that might cause some trouble.
    --Collapsing Spell Versatility to provide all benefits right from 1st level. I still have my qualms about it (I can't say I don't), but there's no better method to actually fix the trouble.
    --Reduce Spell Power to 2 levels, based on character level, to cover for the CL lost.

    While it still presents the earlier problem, the impact is lessened heavily. Thoughts? Comments?
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Nicely done; it's like you applied a healthy dose of common sense to the class. No, seriously, you'd think that WotC would see the Mystic Theurge (knowing that it doesn't work well) and the Geomancer (knowing that it doesn't work well) and put the two together. Then again, that would mean they'd need to come up with something new in Complete Divine...

    I have to agree with Eagle that there are some "dead" levels where the Theurge is really behind, around 5th~9th level. It looks like they're actually pretty decent in the mid-high levels, though. I do notice that the class needs to take the last level as wizard (or cleric with Knowledge domain) to have the required skill ranks.

    I suppose you could change the entry requirements to match the Ultimate Magus - 2nd level arcane and 1st level divine, or 2nd level divine and 1st level arcane. Doing so would allow entry at Wizard 4/Cleric 1 and not leave spontaneous casters out in the cold. However, you'll probably need to reduce it back to a 10 level class in that case. Giving up one caster level in exchange for 9th level spells on both sides is far too absurd.

    Other than that, good luck with the class. It looks like you're doing a fine job so far.

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    And...to finish this round of questions and speaking of tweaking, here's some proposed changes:

    --The main would be reducing the entry point to level 5. I think I mentioned before it was a decent entry point, lower than the usual but not that much. Entry at level 4 was a bit awkward, given that it allows a "free" level that might cause some trouble.
    --Collapsing Spell Versatility to provide all benefits right from 1st level. I still have my qualms about it (I can't say I don't), but there's no better method to actually fix the trouble.
    --Reduce Spell Power to 2 levels, based on character level, to cover for the CL lost.

    While it still presents the earlier problem, the impact is lessened heavily. Thoughts? Comments?
    You may not like it, but I say go ahead with these changes.
    Other than that, this is the most sensical things to be done with the Mystic Theurge, by actually blending both sides of magic together instead of having both sides go up parallely.
    Last edited by Dante & Vergil; 2009-12-06 at 08:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Anything new? Thought I should chime in to check.

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    I don't think I would allow this in a campaign, if I were a DM, and I'm quite sure no DMs I have played with would. You just take a class from an official book and edit it this way:

    - Ask for some more requirements (which are still very easy to fulfil, anyway)
    - Give it a better hit dice.
    - Give it better class abilities.
    - Give some bonuses to the caster level.
    - Slowly give it the ability to cast both arcane and divine spells from the same mental stat, and THIS IS EXTREMELY POWERFUL.
    - Slowly give it the ability to cast arcane spells without spell failure.

    So, this class is extremely more powerful than a class from an official book. If a player asked me to play this class, I'd just say "use the class on the DM book".

    Also, by looking around in most books, we can see that casting arcane spells without spell failure is extremely difficult. The poor bard is forced to have light armors and even the Warmage can't use heavy armors.

    Finally, there is really a problem about the level a character is made. If a player starts at level 1 and goes cleric/wizard/theurge, he will likely have good Int and Wis, probably at least 14 Int/14 Wis. But, if a character start from level 10, he could like to have 18 Int / 8 Wis (unless the DM tells him he didn't match prerequisites because he couldn't cast Divine Spells as he was a low level character; but then, the player can say that he just had a +4 Wisdom item at that time...). This is really unfair. This would be an extremely powerful class to use at high levels (probably too powerful) and an extremely frustrating class to use at low levels.
    Last edited by Pigkappa; 2009-12-08 at 07:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Do you play with RAW fighters then, and say that they must be fine because they are from an official book? What about RAW Incantatrixes, at the other end of the scale? Just because something is in an official book, doesn't mean it's a good idea. And also, claiming that you had a +4 wisdom item at the time is ridiculous, and any sane DM will say that they had to meet the prerequisites.
    Last edited by Fortuna; 2009-12-08 at 08:31 PM.
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Quote Originally Posted by Pigkappa View Post
    I don't think I would allow this in a campaign, if I were a DM, and I'm quite sure no DMs I have played with would. You just take a class from an official book and edit it this way:

    - Ask for some more requirements (which are still very easy to fulfil, anyway)
    - Give it a better hit dice.
    - Give it better class abilities.
    - Give some bonuses to the caster level.
    - Slowly give it the ability to cast both arcane and divine spells from the same mental stat, and THIS IS EXTREMELY POWERFUL.
    - Slowly give it the ability to cast arcane spells without spell failure.

    So, this class is extremely more powerful than a class from an official book. If a player asked me to play this class, I'd just say "use the class on the DM book".
    As with other homebrews (hence, the term "homebrew"), accepting any of the retooled classes is mostly DM judgment. If you're completely and perfectly fine with the Mystic Theurge as presented in the 3.5 Dungeon Master's Guide by Wizards of the Coast, fine by me. Consider the reasons why this is almost good and honest homebrew (not entirely since I've placed in on a forum for everyone to see), and not Pathfinder where if you get the book, you mostly subscribe to all of the rule changes that are in the book. As well, I have no intentions to force you by any means to take your concept of Mystic Theurge and ditch it so that you can accept mine. If you consider it powerful, then by all means deny it to your players; that is a DMs final decision (much like it's a final decision to disallow a specific spell, particular PrC, or even an entire book from the official source).

    The entire point of the retooling was to at least attempt to make changes to the system. As you could see, at least one of the fellow posters pointed me that the change was not leaning towards the powerful side, but to the "fixes nothing" side (and I'm working to deal with that). I'm aware of some of the concepts that make the Mystic Theurge, in my opinion, a pointless concept; I also tried to deal with some of the best ways (again, IMO) to deal with them, present it, see where I could find some discrepancies, and alter the product so that it fulfills the intention of the change as close as possible.

    Also, by looking around in most books, we can see that casting arcane spells without spell failure is extremely difficult. The poor bard is forced to have light armors and even the Warmage can't use heavy armors.
    Erm...Twilight enhancement, Mithral armor, Battle Casting feat, some PrCs... and even then, you can just say "I cast Mage Armor/Greater Mage Armor" and stop worrying about ASF. Which is why it isn't as worrisome as you may think.

    Finally, there is really a problem about the level a character is made. If a player starts at level 1 and goes cleric/wizard/theurge, he will likely have good Int and Wis, probably at least 14 Int/14 Wis. But, if a character start from level 10, he could like to have 18 Int / 8 Wis (unless the DM tells him he didn't match prerequisites because he couldn't cast Divine Spells as he was a low level character; but then, the player can say that he just had a +4 Wisdom item at that time...). This is really unfair. This would be an extremely powerful class to use at high levels (probably too powerful) and an extremely frustrating class to use at low levels.
    I guess I should point out some discrepancies with that.

    A 1st level character and a 10th level character could have the same, exact ability scores right from the beginning. Both could begin with 14 Int and 14 Wis (and there wouldn't anything bad with that; even without spellcasting, that means +2 to Will and +2 skill points per level, as well as a +2 to all Int and Wis skills. While the Cleric and the Wizard don't have many Wis skills, they have a lot of Int skills); however, the biggest difference would be that the 10th level character would have to begin, in order to be considered a proper 10th level character, with wealth equivalent to what a 10th level character would have (aka, go to the DMG's wealth by level guidelines), two extra ability score points (which would go to either Int or Wis, as you desire), as well as extra feats and skill points and Hit Dice and...well, you get the point. If you start at level 10 as if it were a level 1 character in terms of wealth, it begs the question of "how did you get to level 10 anyways?"

    Of course, the concern, I believe, is with how the MT has the ability to consider one score as valid for both his arcane spells and his divine spells. That would be a tad senseless, given that you *can* cast spells of the required level (you gain the ability, you just don't comply with the specific prerequisite at the moment). In that case, well...it's worse with the current MT, anyways...you need to have both scores high in order to be successful. One of the point of the change was to give a breather to those who decide to multiclass and enter the PrC with classes that have different ability scores. You may argue as to how well that was done, in any case.

    --

    In any case, if there was no response (specifically to answer D&V), it was because I was expecting a response from someone else. So far, I've received good answers towards the reduced entry and collapsed Spell Versatility options, so I'll add them ASAP. That should reduce the impact of the multiclassing (as mentioned before), as well as be a tad fairer to the spontaneous spellcasters whom will be capable of getting to 9th level spells (granted, slower than their prepared counterparts but not to a ridiculous degree)
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    This is really interesting, and while I at first was wary of spell versatility, I realized it's not that big of a deal. The mage armor series, after all, can (with the right build) be better than full plate (especially because of incorporeal creatures), and for everything else, the only real reason you'd dip is to add versatility to your one or two cleric levels, which is hardly a bad thing.

    (That is, there are some theurge builds that work really well with a dip to reduce MAD, but as the core principle involves falling behind in spell levels, grabbing it hardly overpowers the build)

    So I'm impressed.
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Mm. I'm generally a bit cautious about trading 1 level of spellcasting (on one side) for 17 on the other, to be honest. I'm not completely sure I'd allow this class as a DM 'cause my gut feeling is that -1 CL on your "primary" side is enough of a trade-off*, but the power level isn't... horrendously high. I'd certainly (try to) play one. It feels more balanced if you assume spontaneous casting on both sides, but that's just a general rule anyway.

    I'm hardly going to argue with more skilled players than me over balance and I don't really have time to read through the whole thread anyway. I'd... almost say that -2 CL (on the primary side) seems fairer, but YMMV? -3 is too much, certainly. And -2 would be too much for a spontaneous caster. But... Mm, for a Wizard/Cleric (or Wizard/Archivist), -1 seems too low for my tastes. If I did allow this in a game I ran, I'd probably enforce something like that... 2/2 for prepared casters, but 2/2 or 3/1 allowed for spontaneous ones. 'though, at Level 20, 18/18 casting might be better than 19/17 for spont. It's just that it would lag behind at every level before that. For a prepared and spontaneous mixture, I'd probably allow 2/2 or a 3/1 spontaneous primary.

    Again, though, I'm not a particularly good optimiser or judge of balance. *shrug*

    Overall, though, it's a pretty solid PrC... And actually has relevant abilities? Shock! Excellent work.

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    * The official "theurge" PrCs that trade off one CL don't actually offer full progression, as I'm sure you're aware. Ultimate Magus avec Practised Spellcaster ('though, that PrC has all the metamagic goodies...) gives you something like 19/11 (I think? Unless you use the Nar Demonbinder...) and Eldritch Disciple is something like 18/11. So, this is... certainly a step up on that, and those were "theurge" PrCs that I felt were relatively balanced (both in the sense of being desirable/workable and in the sense of not being overpowered).

    (By the way, in terms of Cerebremancer remakes, I do rather like this one. What might you do differently?)

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Just had a chance to look at this, and wanted to say that it looks really good. Clever entry requirements let people who enjoy that sort of thing split up their levels between the two classes, but for the rest of us let us stay only one level behind on the primary side. And with the change to spell versatility, letting you actually use it, I'd say it looks great.

    The only thing I want to mention is in the wording of spell versatility. Make sure you specify that the benefits for arcane and divine spells there are examples only, and that what the ability actually does is mix and match the parameters. As it is right now, it says that it lets you mix and match the parameters, but then goes on to say that you can cast arcane spells without ASF, and so on. That part should be an example of the effect, not an entirely new ability. Just in case someone finds a way to enter the class with a different sort of spellcasting, like shadowcasters.

    Hm, that's actually a good point. If someone enters with, for example, a shadowcaster 3/wizard 1/cleric 1, does he get to apply the benefits of spell versatility to his mysteries that he casts as arcane spells? And when he gets to cast his mysteries as supernatural abilities, can he apply that to his arcane and divine spells? It's an interesting edge scenario, but it seems to me that it's not especially overpowered since you'd be splitting up your spellcasting even further.

    Anyway, nice job. Looks good.

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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Huh. Well - I'm impressed at all of this, Very well done.
    One thought that I had had, was say you get the capstone ability, and have a character that spontaneously casts spells. Okay - cool. you have so many spells per day that you could choke a whale with them.
    Versatile spellcaster - use 2 lower level spells to cast a spell one level higher you know.
    Well, that would reduce the lost 'level' of spellcasting, wouldn't it? heck, it would even work at lower levels before you get the capstone ability.

    Heck, even casters that prepare spells would double their spells/day if they prepared all of their spells as arcane, and quadruple them with a ring of wizadry. it's not perfet, but to have a character that can go all out and maintain it for a long time? I don't think this class is lacking in power nearly so much as everyone seems to think.
    I think it is very well done, and would like to thank you for your work. Now to find a game to give it a try in...
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Quote Originally Posted by appending_doom View Post
    This is really interesting, and while I at first was wary of spell versatility, I realized it's not that big of a deal. The mage armor series, after all, can (with the right build) be better than full plate (especially because of incorporeal creatures), and for everything else, the only real reason you'd dip is to add versatility to your one or two cleric levels, which is hardly a bad thing.

    (That is, there are some theurge builds that work really well with a dip to reduce MAD, but as the core principle involves falling behind in spell levels, grabbing it hardly overpowers the build)

    So I'm impressed.
    Spell Versatility offers more choices than a mere elimination of ASF. While that is one of the abilities that first come to mind, consider the power of casting off a single ability stat with any two different spellcasting classes (specifically Clerics and Druids, given that it's one of the few classes that casts off Wisdom; I could also mention Favored Soul, but they cast mostly off Charisma), or using some arcane spells with no material components if the spell has a divine focus (also consider there's a spell at Complete Champion called Summon Holy Symbol, and you might notice you may not have that much of a need for a spell component pouch), or even spontaneously exchanging arcane spells for a specific number of spells (cure may not seem much, inflict much less; SNA, though, is pretty powerful at high levels)

    I had spell versatility spread out at more levels, but as pointed out before, that didn't helped out the MT. The spell versatility ability, after all, already has a slow progression (which depends on your spells), so you're not getting overpowered on that area since it requires having more spellcasting levels than a full single-class spellcaster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salvonus View Post
    Mm. I'm generally a bit cautious about trading 1 level of spellcasting (on one side) for 17 on the other, to be honest. I'm not completely sure I'd allow this class as a DM 'cause my gut feeling is that -1 CL on your "primary" side is enough of a trade-off*, but the power level isn't... horrendously high. I'd certainly (try to) play one. It feels more balanced if you assume spontaneous casting on both sides, but that's just a general rule anyway.

    I'm hardly going to argue with more skilled players than me over balance and I don't really have time to read through the whole thread anyway. I'd... almost say that -2 CL (on the primary side) seems fairer, but YMMV? -3 is too much, certainly. And -2 would be too much for a spontaneous caster. But... Mm, for a Wizard/Cleric (or Wizard/Archivist), -1 seems too low for my tastes. If I did allow this in a game I ran, I'd probably enforce something like that... 2/2 for prepared casters, but 2/2 or 3/1 allowed for spontaneous ones. 'though, at Level 20, 18/18 casting might be better than 19/17 for spont. It's just that it would lag behind at every level before that. For a prepared and spontaneous mixture, I'd probably allow 2/2 or a 3/1 spontaneous primary.

    Again, though, I'm not a particularly good optimiser or judge of balance. *shrug*

    Overall, though, it's a pretty solid PrC... And actually has relevant abilities? Shock! Excellent work.
    Thanks. One of the things I tend to do is try to listen to everyone, so...that should certainly help with balance.

    The difference between the method of casting for spontaneous spellcasters and prepared spellcasters is what makes balancing the entry requirements difficult. -2/-2 on both sides seems a fair trade, given how multiclass works and how it's mostly better to reduce on the side of the easiest entry method (prepared/prepared) without denting those classes with a lower entry method (spont./spont.; prepared/spont.). Too low, and the idea of a PrC falls to the idea of actually creating a dual-spellcasting class (since you're pretty much dipping on the classes). Too high, and it causes the current problem with the MT. Uneven has its own problem too: except for prepared/spontaneous classes, uneven entry means one class is left behind at the expense of another; of course, the exception means you'll progress both classes pretty much equally.

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    * The official "theurge" PrCs that trade off one CL don't actually offer full progression, as I'm sure you're aware. Ultimate Magus avec Practised Spellcaster ('though, that PrC has all the metamagic goodies...) gives you something like 19/11 (I think? Unless you use the Nar Demonbinder...) and Eldritch Disciple is something like 18/11. So, this is... certainly a step up on that, and those were "theurge" PrCs that I felt were relatively balanced (both in the sense of being desirable/workable and in the sense of not being overpowered).
    Francophone, I assume?

    In those cases where dual-casting progressions exist, while the idea is to make it roughly balanced (same-level entry requirements, mostly 3/3 on both sides), the concept mutated into primary/secondary. Instead of what a real dual-casting progression was meant to do (minimize the insanely huge hit of multiclassing), they proposed the idea of "boost one class at the expense of another". Ultimate Magus tends to go with the idea of boosting Wizard at the expense of Sorcerer levels, which you leave for either metamagic or for buffs that you use a lot (for example, Haste)/spells you use a lot (Grease, Web, Stinking Cloud, Glitterdust). Arcane/Innate dual-progression classes work under a same mechanic, except that the end effect is debatable: Warlocks aren't seen as a powerful class, since their main damage mechanic progresses very poorly, and the incantations don't compare to actual spells, so losing one spell level (not one CL; that can be fixed as mentioned earlier) to gain at-will SLAs doesn't seem a fair trade. I have my qualms about those classes for other reasons (Complete Mage assumed that Warlock was the only invocation spellcaster, which made those classes bad choices for Dragonfire Adept as they can't use most of the abilities granted to them; it also dents any other homebrewed invocation spellcaster unless it behaves exactly like the Warlock)

    And of course, the problem of high-level spell-granting PrCs (Sublime Chord, Nar Demonbinder, Ur-Priest, Apostle of Peace to an extent); these are the other sides of the coin. While they have a low amount of spells and have troubles with CL, the fact they allow access to 9th level spells makes them unusually broken for whatever you need them. Making the MT better for the traditional classes undoubtedly boosts these ones, which get much better benefits from it. I don't pay those much attention, since they imply distorting your build for the sake of mechanics, and if you're willing to do that, getting +2 CL/Spell Versatility/Unified Theurgy is the least of your troubles. The fact that they don't get much more after 10 levels, or that they may not reach the 10th level if they build it wrong is their kind of problem.

    (By the way, in terms of Cerebremancer remakes, I do rather like this one. What might you do differently?)
    I had the idea of expanding the MT to work as a main dual-caster PrC chassis for other systems. Specifically, the Unified Theurgy 10th level ability would change into the ability to manifest powers using spell slots or casting spells through power points, and the Spell Versatility class ability would mutate to consider the differences between spells and powers (except casting spells with the mind; however, you could use a metapsionic feat to enhance a spell, or use a metamagic feat to enhance a power as if a spontaneous spellcaster).

    It's a class that progresses pretty well, but it isn't as simple to understand. As well, I don't share the concept of "primary/secondary", since it kinda punishes the guy who just wants to get good with both at the same time (and even then, I had troubles initially getting it right...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle View Post
    Just had a chance to look at this, and wanted to say that it looks really good. Clever entry requirements let people who enjoy that sort of thing split up their levels between the two classes, but for the rest of us let us stay only one level behind on the primary side. And with the change to spell versatility, letting you actually use it, I'd say it looks great.
    Hunh!? So...apparently you like it now... That's an improvement.

    The only thing I want to mention is in the wording of spell versatility. Make sure you specify that the benefits for arcane and divine spells there are examples only, and that what the ability actually does is mix and match the parameters. As it is right now, it says that it lets you mix and match the parameters, but then goes on to say that you can cast arcane spells without ASF, and so on. That part should be an example of the effect, not an entirely new ability. Just in case someone finds a way to enter the class with a different sort of spellcasting, like shadowcasters.
    That can be changed. It only requires a "for example", but it also serves as a guide to those who wish to know what they can do by RAW. Of course, I might just have to work that out a bit.

    Hm, that's actually a good point. If someone enters with, for example, a shadowcaster 3/wizard 1/cleric 1, does he get to apply the benefits of spell versatility to his mysteries that he casts as arcane spells? And when he gets to cast his mysteries as supernatural abilities, can he apply that to his arcane and divine spells? It's an interesting edge scenario, but it seems to me that it's not especially overpowered since you'd be splitting up your spellcasting even further.

    Anyway, nice job. Looks good.
    Point by point:
    --The area where the rules for shadowcaster progression for PrCs is indicated pretty much grants you access to Mystic Theurge. You pretty much don't need to get one level of Wizard for it, if what I read is right.

    --In order to reap the benefits of the mysteries, you must be capable of progressing the mysteries. If what you progress are the arcane and divine spells, then you shouldn't gain the benefit. This is a bit of a problem with shadowcasters, in that they don't progress in the same way as arcane or divine spellcasters, and in that you MUST progress in the mysteries in order to gain the benefits of SLA/supernatural transformation of the mysteries. So, if you entered as Shadowcaster 3/Cleric 1/Wizard 1 and you decided to progress both Cleric and Wizard, you don't gain anything. However, if you decide to progress Shadowcaster and Cleric, your divine spells could gain the benefit as mentioned (basically, treat your 1st-3rd divine spells as SLAs at the time your Shadowcaster "level" reaches 7th, and so forth), and you wouldn't be capable of increasing your Wizard spells (though you could gain advantage of the CL increase of Spell Power, and cast 1st level divine spells through the arcane spell slots)

    --Just noticed that adding Shadowcaster levels instead of Wizard levels (or any arcane spellcasting levels) makes Dweomerkeeper useless, since you steal what few things it had (except the metamagic reduction, but that can be fixed)

    Quote Originally Posted by DueceEsMachine View Post
    Huh. Well - I'm impressed at all of this, Very well done.
    One thought that I had had, was say you get the capstone ability, and have a character that spontaneously casts spells. Okay - cool. you have so many spells per day that you could choke a whale with them.
    Versatile spellcaster - use 2 lower level spells to cast a spell one level higher you know.
    Well, that would reduce the lost 'level' of spellcasting, wouldn't it? heck, it would even work at lower levels before you get the capstone ability.

    Heck, even casters that prepare spells would double their spells/day if they prepared all of their spells as arcane, and quadruple them with a ring of wizadry. it's not perfet, but to have a character that can go all out and maintain it for a long time? I don't think this class is lacking in power nearly so much as everyone seems to think.
    I think it is very well done, and would like to thank you for your work. Now to find a game to give it a try in...
    Consider the following: unless it's a Warmage, Beguiler, or Dread Necromancer, or a Wizard that has on its spell list a higher level spell (also counts for Archivist), you wouldn't recover the "lost" level. You could work with using Versatile Spellcaster to cast a spell of the same level you know but with a metamagic feat that raises its spell level by 1.

    As for the second ability: the feat is pretty specific. You get one spell of a higher spell slot for two spell slots of the same level (so, for a 3rd level spell slot, you must sacrifice two 2nd level spell slots). It also means you MUST sacrifice spell slots from a spontaneous spellcasting class.

    Unified Theurgy doesn't work currently for prepared/spontaneous. If you notice, there's a small point that says "if the spellcasting methods are similar". This is shorthand for "if you prepare both arcane and divine spells, or if you spontaneously cast both divine and arcane spells". There are reasons why the ability doesn't provide the benefit, mostly because of how prepared spells and spontaneous spells work. You *might* gain a benefit from it if you get Versatile Spellcaster and Alacritous Cogitation (the ability to "prepare" spells for spontaneous spellcasters), sure, but what you'd end up getting would be the same amount of spell slots as if you added the Ring of Wizardry to the one-level higher spell level, and even then, it would only work if you choose a divine casting class as your prepared class. You could get more of your spells if you added a Ring of Wizardry and made your divine spellcasting class the spontaneous one (if you're willing to go with that build).

    And, FYI, adding those feats makes Unified Theurgy a bit of a mess. Which is the reason why the ability doesn't work for prepared/spont. at the moment.
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    Default Re: Retooling the Mystic Theurge: Phenomenal cosmic powers!!! ...In this itty-bitty P

    Oh, well - I actually meant for the two examples to work seperately.
    We use knowstones for sorcerers, so if you've got a 3rd level knowstone, you can sacrifice 2 2nd level spells to use it. This would come in a lot handier with all of the extra spells that spontaneous/spontaneous would have.

    beguiler or warmage would work great with that too, I guess.

    The Ring of Wizadry was more for prepared/prepared. I don't know, just a thought.

    I guess I was just airing a couple thoughts - things that could work well, but I do understand the idea behind it.
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