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    Default My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    So, I took the advice I got from my two previous failures, and have finally made a class, that I think, gets penalized enough to be allowed it's additional caster level, but flavorful, and gaining enough positive abilities beyond just a +1 caster level to be attractive, but not so much as to cancel the penalties. I present, the

    Metamaster

    prerequisites:
    Feats: Any two metamagic feats
    Skills: Spellcraft 7 ranks
    Special: Able to cast 2nd level prepared spells

    Class skills: Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (any, chosen separately) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int)
    skill points at each level: 2 + Int modifier

    d4 hit dice
    {table]Level | BaB | Fort | ref | Will | Special | Spell casting
    1|+0|+0|+0|+2|Bonus metamagic feat, Versatile Metamagic, Minor Loss|-
    2|+1|+0|+0|+3|Minor Loss|+1 level of existing spell casting class
    3|+1|+1|+1|+3|Bonus metamagic feat, minor loss|+1 level of existing spell casting class
    4|+2|+1|+1|+4|Major loss, minor loss|+2 levels of existing spell casting class
    5|+2|+1|+1|+4|Bonus metamagic feat, Major loss, minor loss|+2 levels of existing spell casting class[/table]

    Spells:
    When a new Metamaster level is gained, except the first, the character gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in any one spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. When the fourth or fifth levels of Metamaster are taken, the character gains new spells per day as if he had gained two levels in any one spellcasting class he belonged to before, as stated in the table. However, he does not gain any other benefits a character of that class would have gained.
    If a character had more than one spellcasting class before he became a Metamaster, he must decide to which class he adds each level of Metamaster that advances spell casting for the purpose of determining spells per day and caster level.

    Bonus metamagic feats:
    At first level, and every odd level of Metamaster thereafter, the Metamaster gets a free metamagic feat.

    Versatile Metamagic:
    At first level, the Metamaster gains the ability to prepare a spell at one higher level than it really is, and then while casting it, choose any one metamagic feat he has that would increase the level by one, and apply it as if he had when he prepared his spells for the day.

    Minor loss:
    On taking a level of Metamaster, the character must sacrifice something or take a penalty to something from the list below. The must choose one minor loss each level, although they do not need to take them in any particular order, and some may be taken more than once.
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    Missing familiar
    If the Metamaster has any sort of familiar, animal companion, or special mount as a class feature, he loses it permanently. If he never had a familiar, animal companion, or special mount, he can not take this minor loss.

    Energy vulnerability:
    Choose an energy type (Fire, cold, electricity, sonic). The Metamaster gains vulnerability to that type of damage, meaning he takes half again damage from it. The Metamaster may take this minor loss more than once, up to four times, never more than once for the same energy type.

    Man of a Lesser Will:
    The Metamaster takes a -2 penalty to will saves. This minor loss may be taken twice.

    He Who is Missing a Feat:
    This minor loss may only be taken on levels where the Metamaster would gain a feat (this may be a Bonus Metamagic feat, or a feat gained through other means). This minor loss may be taken up to five times. If it is taken on a level where the Metamaster would gain two feats, he only loses one

    Skill points, shmill points:
    The Metamaster does not gain any skill points this level. It may only be taken if the Metamaster would gain skill points in the first place. This minor loss may be taken up to three times.


    Major loss:
    The Metamaster almost always gains a new spell level on his fourth and fifth levels. However, he may no longer cast spells with an unaltered level in his highest level spell slots available at fourth level. By using metamagic to increase the spell's effective level, or otherwise putting a spell of lower level into the slots, the Metamaster is considered to be able to cast spells of that level, but not to know spells of that level. If a spell after metamagic is equal or lower than it's original level, it is considered to be a spell of unaltered level.
    At fifth level, he may no longer cast spells with an unaltered level in his two highest level spell slots.



    Comments: While there need to be more abilities to pick from in the Minor Loss ability, each minor loss makes the character slightly... different. Weaker, in Net, but... different. The Major Loss makes the +1 caster level not entirely as powerful as before, although it does allow for early entry to some classes (intended). It gets three bonus metamagic feats, which is a big plus, especially when combined with versatile metamagic, but if it still comes across too strong, I'll remove the bonuses that the character gets for each minor loss.

    Changelog:
    Bonuses from minor loss removed, Skill points, Shmill points can only be taken if you can get skill points at all.
    Last edited by flabort; 2011-04-13 at 06:55 PM.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Uh, yeah. Remove the bonuses. If you're trying to balance getting an extra caster level, giving them bonuses to compensate for the loss is not a good idea.
    Say, Sorcerer 4, take Arcane Preparation to qualify, 8 Int so I don't care about skill points, take Skill points, shmill points 3 times and Missing familiar once. At 9th level, take Rapid Metamagic. He's 1 BAB behind the Fighter, at spell level parity with the Wizard, and has 3 extra metamagic feats that he can actually use well. Looks like a great option for a Swiftblade, or a Spellwarp Sniper, or anything else that uses metamagic and attack rolls.

    I'm OK with Major Loss; it's a pretty good way to balance being a spell level higher. Looks pretty easy to work around with metamagic reducers, though, unless you specify that a spell whose level has been modified and then modified back to its original level has not has its level modified. Same with +0 metamagics.

    I'd consider having more specific and stricter entry requirements, so that going into this class is a choice and not mandatory for anyone who wants to rely heavily on metamagic. Spellcraft 7 and 2 metamagic feats are things that most casters are going to have anyway.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Comments:
    I'd probably put the skill points back down to normal for a wizard; they don't really seem to have a reason to get more than a wizard does.

    Missing Familiar: Should probably state that you can't take Obtain Familiar either.

    Missing Feat: +10 to all Knowledge checks is nice, but I wouldn't drop 5 feats for it, might work well on an NPC though.

    Man of Lesser Will: I'd count this as a gain if I was going straight arcanist (you'll have 3+ Good Will save classes and no good Fort or Ref).

    Versatile Metamagic: Sad that this only works with +1 metamagics.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Nice try, but this is just too good, period.

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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Thanks for replying. I've removed the bonuses from Minor Loss. I was very unsure about them, and getting rid of them was too easy.

    I'll see what kind of sentence I can add to Major loss to prevent that kind of cheese.

    Stricter entry requirements? I dunno. I want it enter able by 5th or so... But you are right that it's too easy right now.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    double post, because of ninjas.

    Zaydos: Do you think I should put the skill bonus back on Missing Feat, now that I've removed it? That one would still be a net loss (most feats that grant skill bonuses give a net 4).
    It only works with +1 metamagics because if it worked with +2, it would be too good for 1st level. I'll make it work with +2 at fourth, though, how does that sound? I won't make the change, though, until I get a reply on that.

    True_shinken: I said this was my third attempt, and have spent considerable time trying to balance it. As is, you'll never be able to cast 8th level spells without a +1 metamagic, and will never get 9th level spells, at all, pre-epic.
    But if you think it's just TOO GOOD, that's your desision. You don't have to use my material.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    I.... I would take this on every single caster who I didn't expect to reach 17th level.
    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2011-04-13 at 06:21 PM.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Why on earth are there any bonuses whatsoever aside from the improved spellcasting? That is such an unbelievably huge bonus. Three bonus feats over five levels is really good in its own right! I'd drop those without a second thought; you're supposed to be losing things in order to do this.

    Also, I don't think the 0/1/1/2/2 is the right progression. It just makes actually playing the class bad, without doing anything to people who have finished it (started play with all 5 levels complete). 1/1/1/1/2 would be better.

    Finally, I don't understand what Major Loss does, at all. The Minor Losses do not seem to be equal, either.

    But -4 to Will, lose 18-21 skill points, for a full spellcasting level ahead of where you should be? Done and done. I'm with DocRoc; this is good enough that every spellcaster ever should take it.

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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    I honestly don't see why everyone is so down on this class. I don't see how it is overpowered.

    Pretend that you enter this class at level 5 as a wizard 4/Metamaster 1. For the first 3 levels, you are actually sacrificing a caster level in exchange for metamagic goodness, meaning that you only have access to your 3th level spells at 7th level. At 8th level, you finally catch up in terms of caster level but you lose the ability to cast spells of the highest spell level available, meaning that you are still stuck with 3rd level spells at 8th level (for reference, a wizard 3/cleric 3/MT 2 would have 3rd level spells from two spell lists at this point). At 9th level (final level of this class), when normal wizards finally get solid fog, you finally gain your mythical extra caster level but can't cast spells of the two highest spell levels available, meaning that you are still stuck with level 3 spells. To reiterate, you only possess 3rd level spells by level 9.

    Now, what does this extra caster level really give you?
    1. a +1 bonus to caster level (imitable through an ioun stone).
    2. More spell slots (useful for the purpose of making metamagic specialists more viable as an alternative to the high-level spells that you lose. That said, the high level spells are often still a more powerful option so you are losing out).
    3. The most powerful of all abilities, potential access to PrCs and Feats one level early. that said:
    a) very few PRCs possess high caster level prerequisites (and this class would require a Caster Level requirement of at least 10 to grant early prereqs)
    b) this class can't be used to gain early access to classes requiring the ability to cast spells of a certain level (or requiring access to specific high-level spells)
    c) only feats requiring a caster level of 10th, 13th, 16th, or 19th would really benefit from this ability (and there aren't many such feats in general, much less feats worth basing your entire character around).

    At the end of the day, losing access to the best 1/5 of your potential spell list is rarely, if ever, more valuable than the extra caster level. Also, this penalty doesn't only inflict high-level characters (in fact, the 9th level character described above is losing access to 1/3 of their potential spell list, more than a level 17+ character loses).
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2011-04-14 at 12:03 AM.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Veyr View Post
    Finally, I don't understand what Major Loss does, at all. The Minor Losses do not seem to be equal, either.
    The idea of Major Loss is that you can't actually cast spells of your highest spell level; you get the spell slots for that level, but you can only use them to cast metamagic'd lower level spells. I'm OK with it, it shuts down most of the benefits of being a caster level ahead of everybody else.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    That's an interesting idea, and it does do a lot to tone it down.

    RoC: Your argument only "works" during the class. Once it's completed, it's OP. And the fact that you give up power early to gain power later is poor design, IMO. It's how we got linear warriors, quadratic wizards in the first place.

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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    How is it overpowered once the class is over? This class puts you 3 levels behind normal access to new spell levels for your entire advancement and prevents you from ever casting 8th and 9th level spells. It rarely (if ever) allows for early prerequisites and gaining a caster level bonus, while useful, is hardly unique.

    The spell delay and losing your two highest levels of spells is an incredibly huge loss at every single level. This means no solid fog or contact other plane or teleport until 12th level, No true seeing or contingency until 14th level, no forcecage or limited wish until 16th level, and absolutely no Mindblank, PaO, True Creation, Timestop, Wish, Gate, Astral Projection, or Genesis before epic levels.

    In what way and at what levels is this class overpowered? Can anyone give a specific example?
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Maybe I'm misreading but how do you not get 9th level spells.
    The way I understand it @ 18th you would have @ least 3 9th level spell slots with only two forced to be metamagic and you can always research new spells so Isee no problem with this class at all.

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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by GideonRiddle View Post
    Maybe I'm misreading but how do you not get 9th level spells.
    The way I understand it @ 18th you would have @ least 3 9th level spell slots with only two forced to be metamagic and you can always research new spells so Isee no problem with this class at all.
    Major Loss: He can't use 8th or 9th level spell slots for spells with an unaltered level of 8th or 9th. Says nothing to hint that bonus slots would be exempt, or that if he researched a 9th level spell he could use it.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2011-04-14 at 11:16 AM.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    In what way and at what levels is this class overpowered? Can anyone give a specific example?
    The wording of Major Loss is a little off, and because of this it allows for some interesting, if half-baked, interpretations.

    Something more like this seems appropriate:

    "Starting at 4th level, a Metamaster may not prepare spells of the highest level available to him in any spell slots."

    I can't think of any other abuses that could possibly be taken advantage of that would get around that, unless of course there's a way for prepared casters to spontaneously cast spells. In which case it's just a minor tweak.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    It's EE-able from a variety of interesting directions, leading to situations where you, as a blaster, or as a BC caster, will want it regardless. More than there, there are ways to further accelerate casting progression, things that produce some pretty horrible results in conjunction with this.

    Spontaneous Divination conveys its cordial regards. As does ultimate magus, fast-progging via sub chord or similar.

    Versatile Spellcaster will get you a k+1th level slot, enough to act like a normal wizard, I suspect. Might not be ideal, but it'll work.

    Finally, for builds like swiftblade, where you have a vastly different set of priorities, it's completely irresistible.
    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2011-04-14 at 02:49 PM.
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    Thumbs down Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    I have to agree with realms on this. The fact that by the end of this class you're one level ahead on casting means next to nothing when compared to the fact that you've just lost yourtwo highest levels of spells. You still get the slots for meta magic, but that's hardly an equivalent trade, it might be slightly decent for sorcerers who get more spells per level, but since they don't really benefit from versatile meta-magic they're giving up alot to effectively get bonus feats and +1 caster level (which they could get as a kobold with greater rite of passage for a feat). Also how does your extra level work at level 20 when you stop progressing spells?
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Epsilon Rose View Post
    I have to agree with realms on this. The fact that by the end of this class you're one level ahead on casting means next to nothing when compared to the fact that you've just lost yourtwo highest levels of spells. You still get the slots for meta magic, but that's hardly an equivalent trade, it might be slightly decent for sorcerers who get more spells per level, but since they don't really benefit from versatile meta-magic they're giving up alot to effectively get bonus feats and +1 caster level (which they could get as a kobold with greater rite of passage for a feat). Also how does your extra level work at level 20 when you stop progressing spells?
    This stacks with loredrake&rite. Just sayin'.

    The problem is that:
    Unless you deliver mail, use a trick, or have a specialized build, this class is worthless. If you do any of those, it's broken.
    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2011-04-14 at 03:44 PM.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    So the general consensus is that if you don't try to break it, it's too weak, and if you do, it's much too strong?

    Concerning 20th level:
    You'd get spells/day as a 21st level caster, meaning your highest two levels of spells are 10th and 9th, I believe. So you still never get your fabled 9th level spells, but at 20th, I think you may (depending on your DM) get your 8th level slots for 8th level spells.
    And although you'd get 10th level slots, again, only for metamagic'd spells. So no epic stuff pre-epic, sorry.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    So the general consensus is that if you don't try to break it, it's too weak, and if you do, it's much too strong?
    If you don't go for a heavily metamagic approach, you miss out on your highest level spells. Missing out on your highest level spells = sucks. You're still a full caster, but comparatively speaking, you're going to blow chunks.

    If you do go for a metamagic approach, the class basically says "Here Mr. Mailman, go forth and deliver mail at warp speed!"

    It's just not good design. Powerful abilities countered by powerful downsides will always have this problem.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    So the general consensus is that if you don't try to break it, it's too weak, and if you do, it's much too strong?

    Concerning 20th level:
    You'd get spells/day as a 21st level caster, meaning your highest two levels of spells are 10th and 9th, I believe. So you still never get your fabled 9th level spells, but at 20th, I think you may (depending on your DM) get your 8th level slots for 8th level spells.
    And although you'd get 10th level slots, again, only for metamagic'd spells. So no epic stuff pre-epic, sorry.
    21st level doesn't give 10th level spells, you have to take an Epic Feat for that.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    ...*face-desk*...I need to go read over that section more carefully. Thanks for that, though.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    So the general consensus is that it totally OP when used in maximized builds that use large helpings of cheese and worthless elsewhere?

    I'm not quite sure that I buy that argument.

    For one thing, the ability to make an overpowered combo even more overpowered doesn't seem to be quite the same thing as being overpowered itself. Locate city, for example, isn't overpowered in and of itself simply because a large series of feats that can be applied to release genocide using it.

    For another thing, blasters, fell-drain specialists, non-mailman metamagic specialists, swiftblades (as mentioned) and other casters could most certainly use this class without it being totally worthless. Outside of combination with cheese, this class may be useless to optimizers but I'm not seeing where it is useless, either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Fury View Post
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    You complicate things without a reason :)
    Just have a trade-off between a high spell level and an ease of use for meta-magic feats. Isn't that already done?? For example a maximized fireball is equal to a 7th level spell. That works pretty well for a Sorcerer. You can make a PrC for a Wizard to get the choice on the fly as well.

    My solution is to create some more interesting and more powerful meta-magic feats available only to the Metacaster.

    Example (not necessarily balanced):
    Linked spell: After you cast a spell altered with this metamagic feat, you can cast sequential spells as a free action. Each sequential spell has to be two levels lower than the previous one.
    Level Augmentation: +2
    Special: you can only use one of your highest available spell slots

    The trade can always be "use you highest available spell slot". Think of quickened spell. It is powerful if you can quicken maybe a 3rd level utility spell instead of a 7th level spell when you are level 20. But if you are at level 13th most likely that 7th level spell will be more intriguing.
    Unless you have a very hard battle that you are planning to waste or your spells on. Then the meta-magic feat shows is use. So then the Metacaster can be very effective since he has more powerful meta-magic feats.

    Caster level: normal progression
    Penalties: nothing. Does he really have to have a minus? If he doesn't use his special meta-magic feats, he just wasted a class feature. Remember, there are other powerful caster PrC competing. Overall, the meta-magic feats can just compete with normal higher level spells and that is their balance

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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    So the general consensus is that it totally OP when used in maximized builds that use large helpings of cheese and worthless elsewhere?

    I'm not quite sure that I buy that argument.

    For one thing, the ability to make an overpowered combo even more overpowered doesn't seem to be quite the same thing as being overpowered itself. Locate city, for example, isn't overpowered in and of itself simply because a large series of feats that can be applied to release genocide using it.

    For another thing, blasters, fell-drain specialists, non-mailman metamagic specialists, swiftblades (as mentioned) and other casters could most certainly use this class without it being totally worthless. Outside of combination with cheese, this class may be useless to optimizers but I'm not seeing where it is useless, either.
    Except of course if you somehow, inexplicably, take signature spell timestop. or something like that. But no one would violate authorial intent like that!
    Last edited by Doc Roc; 2011-04-14 at 10:25 PM.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Except of course if you somehow, inexplicably, take signature spell timestop. or something like that. But no one would violate authorial intent like that!
    If I'm reading the class correctly, Major loss explicitely prevents you from casting spells of a certain level. Wouldn't such a technique also stop spontaneous casting as gained through signature spell/versatile spellcaster? If not, it seems that a very simple change in the language of the ability would prevent this problem (for example, by stating that all spells of the highest spell level [and later of the highest two spell levels] you have access to are removed from your spell list and that spells of such levels can't be added to your spell list).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Fury View Post
    okay RoC, that is enough! the gitp boards can only take so much awsome, you might actually hurt somebody with this one!
    At long last, I have an extended signature

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    If I'm reading the class correctly, Major loss explicitely prevents you from casting spells of a certain level. Wouldn't such a technique also stop spontaneous casting as gained through signature spell/versatile spellcaster? If not, it seems that a very simple change in the language of the ability would prevent this problem (for example, by stating that all spells of the highest spell level [and later of the highest two spell levels] you have access to are removed from your spell list and that spells of such levels can't be added to your spell list).
    That would also make them incapable of using certain magic items, which seems unnecessary. Especially because at level twenty you're losing the supposed benefit you're taking all these penalties for.
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Perhaps clarify the line where it says:

    Quote Originally Posted by Flabort
    By using metamagic to increase the spell's effective level, or otherwise putting a spell of lower level into the slots, the Metamaster is considered to be able to cast spells of that level, but not to know spells of that level.
    To make reinforce that they do not know, and cannot learn, spells of that level.

    Versatile Spellcaster could still get you knowing spells of a level higher so that every other level you gain the ability to cast spells merely of 1 level lower than that available to a normal wizard of your level (for example at 14th level, you'd have a CL of 15 and the ability to cast 7th level [unmodified] spells even if you did use Versatile Spellcaster).
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2011-04-15 at 01:28 AM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Perhaps clarify the line where it says:



    To make reinforce that they do not know, and cannot learn, spells of that level.

    Versatile Spellcaster could still get you knowing spells of a level higher so that every other level you gain the ability to cast spells merely of 1 level lower than that available to a normal wizard of your level (for example at 14th level, you'd have a CL of 15 and the ability to cast 7th level [unmodified] spells even if you did use Versatile Spellcaster).
    ? Why is it nessasary to make it harder to cast spell of a wizard one level BELOW your own?

    Also, question, What are the benefits of this class pre-level 5? Compared to most other classes?
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    Default Re: My third (and final) attempt at a 6/5 casting PrC (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Epsilon Rose View Post
    ? Why is it nessasary to make it harder to cast spell of a wizard one level BELOW your own?

    Also, question, What are the benefits of this class pre-level 5? Compared to most other classes?
    It isn't necessary, my point is even with a bit of shenanigans it's still getting worse than a normal wizard.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2011-04-15 at 02:15 AM.
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