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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Commoners are tier 1

    The purpose of this thread is to explain the horrific forum-wide bias many people here have towards commoners. In particular, I think that commoners deserve to be placed among the tier 1 classes in JaronK's tier system.

    Reason 1: Versatility
    Versatility is frequently considered the most important factor in the tier rankings. For example, a fighter can be decent at hitting stuff, but that's about it, so it is stuck at tier 5. A tier four class like a rogue is decent at killing stuff, but can also be a skillmonkey and scout.
    But all the classes except commoner, even the tier one classes, lack total versatility. Most of the classes are effectively shoehorned into one particular playing style. The wizard, for example, sucks at anything which doesn't involve spells. The barbarian, likewise, is effectively forced to play a mundane melee character, and is penalized for other play-styles.
    The commoner, on the other hand, can do all things equally well. Suppose your DM is forcing you to play a particular class. If that class is anything but a commoner, they are basically forcing you to build a certain style of character. But if you play a commoner, you can do anything equally well. Wanna be a primary spell-caster? No problem! Just take a few cross-class ranks in Use Magic Device, pick up a few magic items, and you are good to go! And unlike the wizard or sorcerer, who are penalized for not casting spells, the commoner can fight in melee just as well as it can with magic. All it needs is to take martial weapon proficiency, a couple combat feats and magic items, and bam! He's just as good at melee as he is at casting! Do you want your commoner to be a skill monkey? No problem! It is just as good at that as it is at combat: just get a few skill-boosting items and feats and you are set. Need to be the party face? Easy, just train charisma, cross-class ranks in diplomacy, get items to boost bluff/intimidate, and go steal the rogue's job. Scout? You have spot and listen as class skills! Overall, it is pretty clear that the commoner does equally well in all roles in a party.

    Reason 2: They can't be disabled
    One of the biggest issues with monks is that their class features require a bunch of magic items to work well. The ranger has a similar problem (along with needing magical buffs to make their animal companion more useful, which they can't provide for themselves without items).
    The commoner is a completely different story. Go back and look at the commoner's class table. Now, how many class features does the commoner have which require items to work properly? That's right, NONE! The commoner can keep using all of its class features even after you strip all its items away! How is that fair?!? The only other classes that can do that are the tier 1-2 casters!
    It gets even worse, though: while a wizard or sorcerer, like the commoner, can make full use of all their class features without needing magic items, almost everything a T1 caster can do is completely shut down by an antimagic field. A commoner, on the other hand? Look again, it has no supernatural abilities at all. None of its class features are shut down or hindered in any way by an antimagic field. It's just about the only class that can use all of its class features to their full effect without any items and inside an AMF. The monk's flurry can't hit without items, the cleric's spells are shut down without items (like their holy symbol), the wizard/cleric/druid are all shut down by anti-magic fields. But the commoner keeps chugging at full power.

    Reason 3: Get the most from your gold:
    All classes can benefit from magic items, but some can benefit more. Suppose you find an item which gives you +4 to constitution. For a barbarian, that's nothing special--an extra 17% of their hit-points and a small bonus to a saving throw they were already making anyways. But for a commoner, sorcerer, or wizard, +4 constitution nearly doubles your hp, with just one item.
    On the other hand, an item which grants an extra spell per day is nothing special to a wizard or sorcerer--they already have a bunch of spells. But a commoner? You just increased their spells/day by a factor of infinity (0 to 1)! See the problem? Certain items are more beneficial to certain classes, but commoners get the full benefit from all items, making them the most overpowered item-user in the game (and, as explained above, they are already the least item-dependent, so...)
    Reason 4: Power
    A bunch of versatility and tools are nothing if you don't have the power to back them up. So let's take a look at the commoner's raw power:
    First up is skill points. Now, it is well established that the tier system rewards lower numbers (hence why the best classes are tier 1, while the worst are tier 6). The commoner has two skill points, tied for the lowest in the game. And who else has two skill points/level? Why, other tier 1 and 2 classes! The commoner gets the same number of skill points as the wizard, sorcerer, psion, and cleric!
    Now, for hit-dice. Once again, low numbers dominate (yea, the barbarian does have a larger HD than the fighter, but the barbarian can make up for it by being literate in fewer languages and getting fewer bonus feats, which is why the barbarian is better). The commoner, once again, has the smallest hit die in the game, along side, yes, that's right, other tier 1-2 classes like wizard, sorcerer, and psion.
    Base attack bonus? Same deal! The classes with low BAB are among the best ones, while full BAB classes like fighters or barbarians are stuck in the mundane. Commoner once again sits among the best with the wizard.
    As if that weren't overpowered enough, let's take a look at saving throws. Saves, more than any other stat, are best kept low (I mean, look at the monk--it has the highest saves in the game, and is the worst base class). But here, the commoner is beyond comparison with the other tier 1s. The wizard does pretty well with two low saves, but the cleric and druid are left with only one. But the commoner? It gets all three of its saving throws as low as possible!

    Last, but certainly not least, we have class features. More so than any other aspect of a class, the one thing that really hurts a class is bad class features. Exhibit A: the monk. All of its class features suck. Slightly better is the fighter, who does have some good feats available, but a lot of horrible ones bog those down.
    The ranger can do a little better, but it still has that animal companion which is too weak to be useful without spells the ranger can't use, and it has spells which are too weak and come to late to help. Likewise, the rogue is weakened by the crippling limitations of sneak attack.
    Even the other tier one classes are plagued by a few bad class features. While most of the wizard's class features (i.e. spells) are great, it is still stuck with a couple bad bonus feats, and, even worse, a familiar. Remember, just like a team or a chain, a class is only as good as its weakest link, so a couple bad class features can really drag down a class. The cleric is a bit better, but turn undead is still not that great, and most domains have force you to learn at least one bad spell. The druid, on the other hand, has almost no bad class features (as to be expected, given that the druid is usually considered one of the strongest classes in the game). Still, resist nature's lure is a weak spot, and venom immunity is totally redundant by 9th level, given all the spells you have.
    But the commoner? How many bad class features does it have? That's right, NONE. It doesn't have a single class feature which isn't an earth-shattering game-breaking auto-win!

    Ultimately, it is clear that the commoner exhibits all the qualities normally associated with tier 1 classes: It can take on any roll in a party equally well. It has the raw stats comparable to other tier 1-2 classes. There isn't much of a weak point in its class features. In fact, I would would go so far as to say the "weak-link-class feature" of the commoner is nonexistent. It can operate at full power without magic items and gets the most use out of items, operates equally well in and out of an anti-magic field, and in pretty much any other situation. In short, the commoner has all the power and versatility to place it firmly beside the druid in tier 1.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    You're... you're right! I have never realised the pure potential of the Commoner. It is indeed a mighty class.

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    Frankly, I think the designers and novelists did great work in the post-Spellplague Realms. But, in the end, this wasn’t a new setting. It was the Realms, the Realms 100 years later, and therein lay the problem.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Let's not forget that the Commoner has gotten some serious support in the form of specialized material, such as from the Dragon Magazine. The Commoner, and ONLY the Commoner, has the capability to destroy the world instantly with nothing more than a 5 gp Spell Component Pouch and an ensuing black hole of quantum chicken singularity.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Commoners have infinite potential with Vow of Poverty as well.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Nettlekid View Post
    Let's not forget that the Commoner has gotten some serious support in the form of specialized material, such as from the Dragon Magazine. The Commoner, and ONLY the Commoner, has the capability to destroy the world instantly with nothing more than a 5 gp Spell Component Pouch and an ensuing black hole of quantum chicken singularity.
    Very true, great sir! The Commoner's Great Wall of Chicken completely proves his might and his right to sit well above those pesky casters, with infinite economy breaking power and versitality with non magical battlefield worldfield universal-field control. Nothing can skillmonkey like a commoner, nor can they create poultry at god-rates.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Sylthia's Avatar

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    I think this means that house cats are tier 0.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    I think that Chickens are Tier -1. Especially if they are Legend of Zelda Style Cuccos.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    commoners can get UBER STR by getting sick and staying that way because their saves suck.

    Festering anger deals a max of 2 con damage a day, it also increases your strength every day. Take disease immunity at first level to heal off ability damage from diseases at twice the normal rate (1 x 2 = 2!). Get sick, get mad, get HULK SMASH STRONG
    Fighter is an NPC class.

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    Vinyl Scratch's Avatar

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    They also can enter early into the Survivor prc in savage species at level one. No other class can do that.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    I love it.

    ...Hmm. What are Aristocrats, then? Tier 2? I'm surprised there hasn't been a revolution yet- Commoners are clearly so much more powerful than the nobility, and there are far more of them.

    By the way, I'll bet Chicken-Infested actually makes Commoners Tier 2, if only because there's no situation that can't be solved by crushing everything within a mile radius under a mountain of magic chickens.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    -Snippity snip-
    Oh ho ho, that slaps me on the knee.

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Next campaign, I'll outplay my party by starting as a commoner~~
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateral View Post
    ...Hmm. What are Aristocrats, then?
    A bad joke.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Rezkeshdadesh View Post
    I think this means that house cats are tier 0.
    Bah, cats have no need of your piddly 'Tier System'; in fact, the game only exists at all by the whim of the house cat. Were it to strike his fancy, the mighty house cat could simply bring the entire game to a grinding halt in a myriad of ways, including, but not limited to:

    A. Distracting the DM.
    B. Taking the dice.
    B. II. Taking the miniatures.
    C. Laying down on the battlemat.
    C. II. Laying down on the DM's notes.
    D. Slaughtering the DM and players indiscriminately.
    Last edited by White_Drake; 2013-05-31 at 09:50 AM.
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    Like one, that on a lonesome road
    Doth walk in fear and dread,
    And having once turned round walks on,
    And turns no more his head;
    Because he knows, a frightful fiend
    Doth close behind him tread.
    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner -- Samuel Coleridge Taylor

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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    I think you've overlooked the fact that the Commoner doesn't get a familiar, this drops it down to at least tier 2, if not 3.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Quote Originally Posted by supermonkeyjoe View Post
    I think you've overlooked the fact that the Commoner doesn't get a familiar, this drops it down to at least tier 2, if not 3.
    Also, they cannot specialize.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    This is one of the funniest D&D-related things I've ever read. Well done sir! As a mathematician, I have a special place in my heart for vacuously true statements. May I sig some of that post?

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Waitingnomad's Avatar

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Chicken-infested Commoners can kill dragons as a free action. They can wipe out entire continents as a free action. There is never too great a threat that can't be solved by immediately filling the entirety of creation with trillions upon trillions of confused chickens.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Quote Originally Posted by White_Drake View Post
    Bah, cats have no need of you piddly 'Tier System'; in fact, the game only exists at all by the whim of the house cat. Were it to strike his fancy, the mighty house cat could simply bring the entire game to a grinding halt in a myriad of ways, including, but not limited to:

    A. Distracting the DM.
    B. Taking the dice.
    B. II. Taking the miniatures.
    C. Laying down on the battlemat.
    C. II. Laying down on the DM's notes.
    D. Slaughtering the DM and players indiscriminately.
    Oh, the horror

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    White_Drake, I once heard of a DM who put his party up against the Tarrasque... And used his cat as the Tarrasque's miniature.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
    As You Like It, III:ii:328

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    That is just too awesome for expression. Not even gonna try.
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    Like one, that on a lonesome road
    Doth walk in fear and dread,
    And having once turned round walks on,
    And turns no more his head;
    Because he knows, a frightful fiend
    Doth close behind him tread.
    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner -- Samuel Coleridge Taylor

    Spoiler
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    I...I...I'm at a loss for words. I knew that commoners could be good with cheese but this new kosher approach has enlightened me. Now I want to be a commoner!
    4/10/2013 is this first day I used blue text. Isn't that soooo cool
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    Qwertystop's Avatar

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    What's Chicken-Infested actually do?
    Quote Originally Posted by jamieth View Post
    ...though Talla does her best to sound objective and impartial, it doesn't cover stuff like "ask a 9-year-old to tank for the party."
    My Homebrew

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    It means that whenever you attempt to draw any item or otherwise remove an item from a container, you have a 50% chance of accidentally pulling out a chicken instead. Don't ask where they come from. Well, drawing components from a spell component pouch is a free action, so you can continue doing so until you have as many chickens as you like.

    The best part is, it's actually a flaw. So not only does it not cost you a feat slot, it even gives you an extra feat of some sort or another. Not that you need it; you've already got Chicken Infested.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
    As You Like It, III:ii:328

    Chronos's Unalliterative Skillmonkey Guide
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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Bless this post.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkan View Post
    This is one of the funniest D&D-related things I've ever read. Well done sir! As a mathematician, I have a special place in my heart for vacuously true statements. May I sig some of that post?
    Go ahead, always nice to see another mathematician around!

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Huh, I just realized that there is another thing which makes commoners overpowered: frontloading. Every other class has to sit around being useless until they get their best class features. But a commoner? They don't have to wait for anything! They get all of their class features right from the start.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Quote Originally Posted by FleshrakerAbuse View Post
    I think that Chickens are Tier -1. Especially if they are Legend of Zelda Style Cuccos.
    Cuccos, Navi and Kaepora Gaebora– the only three beings in existence more evil than Ganon

    Quote Originally Posted by White_Drake View Post
    Bah, cats have no need of your piddly 'Tier System'; in fact, the game only exists at all by the whim of the house cat. Were it to strike his fancy, the mighty house cat could simply bring the entire game to a grinding halt in a myriad of ways, including, but not limited to:
    YARN FOR THE YARN THRONE!
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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Jane_Smith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    -salute-.

    That is all.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Commoners are tier 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Razanir View Post
    CATNIP FOR THE CAT GOD!

    Anyway. Look at their weapon proficiencies: Commoners are proficient with only a single simple weapon. SO OP. I mean, think about it- other classes' proficiencies are split between many weapons. Even the humble Wizard has to choose between five. Not so with the commoner. They only use one, because they only NEED one- they're so much better with it than everyone else, anyway.

    Not only that, but it's not any specific simple weapon- it's ANY ONE simple weapon. That's right, not only can a Commoner beat you into the ground with their weapon, but you'll never know what they're going to use. It has all the tactical value of having proficiency with everything, but is way more powerful because of the above.

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