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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Rappel: a drumbeat to call soldiers to arms. From French (rappeler to call back, recall), from Latin (appellāre to summon)



    Rappeler

    ďI only need to do one thing, so long as it contains everything.Ē
    -Rivakar Pactmaker, Rappeler.

    Look at a rappeler and the common man may see a wizard. Certainly the spellbook, the robes, and the clipped speech suggest as much. Looking deeper he may notice that while wizards like to hex, explode, or otherwise cripple their enemies, a rappeler prefers instead to empower his allies. And when thatís not enough, he can make more allies to empower. And more. And more. And more.

    A rappeler is trained like a wizard, and casts many of the same spells. However, while wizards can specialize in any type of magic they so choose, a rappeler learns only how to summon, and how to increase the power and abilities of those around him. In exchange for this versatility, the rappeler increases his power with the creatures he summons, learning to summon more creatures, summon more quickly, and effortlessly shrug off impediments a summoning wizard faces. A rappeler must know what he can conjure, because there is a right answer to every problem if only he can find it.

    Making a Rappeler

    A rappeler occupies the same role as a mage, standing in the back of a battle, out of harmís way. Besides summoning forms to help overwhelm or target an enemyís weakness in combat, he can summon forms to support the party out of combat as well. He also knows many buff spells to help both his summons and his party members, and divinations to determine what best to summon next. He is skilled for a mage, and rappelers commonly put skill points into knowledge skills to determine enemy weaknesses. Other rappelers may focus on their social skills instead.

    Abilities: Intelligence determines what spells a rappeler can cast and how many bonus spells he gets. Intelligence also governs his skill points and his ability to recall his foeís exploitable weak points. High charisma allows a rappeler to serve as the diplomat of a party. Constitution and Dexterity increase a rappelerís defenses when the enemy realizes heís the real reason his foes keep multiplying.

    Races: Humans, the most populous race, are also the most common rappelers. Some elves chose rappeling as an alternative to wizardry, a distinction that seems small to other societies but is regarded as a major slight to their teachers, as summoning is considered one of the least dignified of the magical arts. Half-elf rappelers are common for this reason. Intelligent monstrous spellcasters are frequently rappelers, especially bugbears, as the tangible effects of summoning can improve their status within their people more than waves of their arms producing sparkles or fire.

    Alignment: A rappeler can be of any alignment. However, most are at least partly neutral, to reflect the huge tapestry from which they call Ė from neutral animals, to chaotic evil demons, to lawful good archons. A minority of rappelers are good, as it is not always easy to reconcile a selfless view of the universe with making others do all of your work.

    Starting Gold: 3D4x10 GP (75 GP).

    Starting Age: Complex (as wizard).

    Hit Die: D4.

    Class Skills

    The Rappelerís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.

    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

    Table: The Rappeler



    Class Features

    All of the following are class features of the rappeler.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Rappelers are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a rappelerís gestures, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

    Spells: A rappeler casts arcane spells which are drawn from the rappeler spell list. A rappeler must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time (see below).

    To learn or cast a spell, a rappeler must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a rappelerís spell is 10 + the spell level + the rappelerís Intelligence modifier.

    Like a wizard, a rappeler may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting a good nightís sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the rappeler decides which spells to prepare.

    Spellbooks: A rappeler must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook, except for read magic, which all rappelers can prepare from memory.

    A rappeler begins play with a spellbook containing three 0-level rappeler spells plus three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the rappeler has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new rappeler level, he gains three new spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new rappeler level) for his spellbook. At least one of these spells must be a conjuration (summoning) spell. At any time, a rappeler can also add spells found in other rappelersí spellbooks to his own.

    Spontaneous Casting: A rappelerís summoning spells are always available in the back of his mind. He can lose any prepared spell in order to cast a conjuration (summoning) spell in his spellbook of the same level or lower. If modified by metamagic feats, he must lose a spell of at least the modified level.

    Summonerís Companion (Ex): A rappeler may begin play with a single summonerís companion. This companion may be any creature that can be summoned by a conjuration (summoning) spell he can cast that has does not require concentration. This creature is not always around, but it can always be brought forth quickly. If it is not mindless, its intelligence is increased to a minimum of 3. The rappeler has a mental link with the companion, allowing them to communicate silently as long as they are within 1 mile.

    A rappeler can bind a new summonerís companion by performing a ritual that takes 10 minutes. During the ritual, he must cast a conjuration (summoning) spell to summon the new companion. This ritual can be performed at most once per day. When such a ritual is begun, any previous companion is dismissed. When his companion is killed or dismissed, a rappeler may not bind another companion of the same type for one week.

    The summonerís companion advances like a druidís animal companion. However, the effective druid level of the rappeler is reduced by the levels that a rappeler is unable to cast the level of spell used in the summoning. For instance, a rappeler can cast summon undead I (a first level spell) starting level 1, so a human warrior skeleton companion would advance as an animal companion of the rappelerís full level. However, a rappeler can cast summon natureís ally IV starting level 7, so a unicorn companion would be treated as an animal companion of her level minus 6.

    A summoner's companion is not always around, but it is always at his beck and call. He may summon his companion at any time by performing a special casting the summoning spell used to bind it. If the casting time is fewer than five rounds, he may cast this spell as a swift action. The duration of the spell is automatically increased 10 times, and the spell can be further modified with metamagic feats. Obviously, the companion may not be summoned if it is already present. Each time it is summoned, it recovers as if it has rested a night. Even if this spell normally summons multiple creatures, only the summoner's companion is brought forth through this special casting.

    A summonerís companion may look like a normal creature of its kind, or it may look magical and otherworldly, depending on how the rappeler chooses to bind it. This type of binding increases the DC to identify its species by 1 but has no other mechanical effect.

    Augmented (Su): At first level, any creatures summoned by a rappeler are more powerful than the norm. He may apply a +2 enhancement bonus to a single ability of his choice to every creature he summons. This bonus increases by +2 for every four levels, as shown on Table: The Rappeler. When summoning multiple creatures using the same spell, he must apply the enhancement bonus to the same ability for all creatures.

    These enhancement bonuses apply to his summonerís companion as well. He may change what abilities of his companion are being augmented every day when he prepares his spells, or when a new companion is summoned. This ability counts as Augment Summoning for purposes of anything that requires it as a prerequisite.

    Extended Summons: Starting at second level, when a rappeler casts a summoning spell with a duration measured in rounds, the duration of the spell is doubled. This stacks with the Extend Spell feat, but not with other abilities that create similar effects.

    Summoning Versatility: Starting at second level and every four levels afterwards, a rappeler may select one versatility boost from the following list. Once the selection is made, it cannot be changed. Some versatility boosts have additional effects if selected multiple times, as mentioned in their descriptions.

    Alignment Versatility: A rappeler with alignment versatility may ignore up to 1 alignment or elemental descriptor on a conjuration spell per casting, for purposes of changing his own alignment or being forbidden from using certain spells. If selected a second time, he may ignore up to 2 descriptors per spell. If the Rappeler is not religious, this is rarely selected.

    Alignment Penetration: A rappeler with Alignment Penetration may choose to change a summoned creatureís effective alignment by up to 1 step for purposes of ignoring spells and effects that restrict the use or movement of certain alignments, such as Magic Circle Against Evil. If used, this must be declared upon summoning a creature and cannot be changed for the duration of the summoning spell. If taken multiple times, he may shift the effective alignment by that many steps. If a spell or ability would change what was summoned due to the alignment of the summoned creature (such as Perfect Summoning or Distort Summoning), it reacts to the new alignment instead of the old alignment Ė the descriptor is effectively stripped from the spell for purposes of these effects. Once summoned, this is considered a persistent magical effect on the creature with spell level and caster level equivalent to the summoning spell, and can be dispelled normally.

    Instantaneous Summoning: All summoning spells with durations measured in rounds may instead be cast as though their duration were instantaneous. However, anything summoned by the spells still disappears when the duration would have expired. Banishment, dispels and similar things affect them normally.

    Impregnable summoning: A rappeler with Impregnable summoning has a +4 to all concentration checks made to cast summoning spells. If taken multiple times, he has +4 per time he has taken Impregnable Summoning.

    Stubborn Summoning: A rappeler with stubborn summoning adds +4 to his effective caster level for the purposes of resisting Dispel Magic and similar spells. This also grants all summoned creatures a +4 bonus when making saves against spells like Dismissal or Banishment. If taken multiple times, he adds +4 per time he has taken Stubborn Summoning.

    Summoning Power: Starting at third level and every four levels afterwards, a rappeler may select one power boost from the following list. Once the selection is made, it cannot be changed. Some power boosts have additional effects if selected multiple times, as mentioned in their descriptions.

    Bonus Metamagic Feat: A metamagic feat may be taken in place of a Summoning Power. The rappeler must still meet the prerequisites of the feat.

    Imbue: Requires the metamagic feat Imbued Summoning. Every time this is taken, increase the level of spell that can be imbued by two.

    Impart Magic: Increase the DC of all spell-like abilities of creatures summoned by the rappeler by 2. If taken a second time, all creatures summoned gain the benefits of the Magic In The Blood feat (PGtF), even if they do not meet the prerequisites.

    Inherent Metamagic: Choose a single metamagic feat known by the rappeler. When applied to a summoning spell, that metamagic increases the spellís level 1 less level (to a minimum of +0). This may be taken multiple times to apply to multiple metamagic feats, or to apply to a single metamagic feat multiple times to discount a larger level increase.

    Rejuvenation: All creatures summoned by the rappeler gain fast healing equal to the level of spell used to summon them. For instance, a creature summoned with Summon Monster VII gains fast healing 7. The spell level, as normal, is not changed by metamagic spells (except for Heighten Spell). If taken twice, double the granted fast healing.

    Summon Horde: Any time a spell cast by the rappeler summons multiple of the same type of creature, or a variable amount of the same type of creature, it summons one additional creature.

    Rapid Summons: A rappeler of at least 4th level can cast any normally full-round summoning spell as a standard action instead.

    Dual Augment: At 5th level, a rappeler may apply his augment bonuses to any two ability scores of his choice when summoning.

    Rapid Metamagic: A rappeler of at least 8th level can apply metamagic effects to spontaneous summoning spells without increasing their casting time.

    Triple Augment: At 10th level, a rappeler may apply his augment bonuses to any three ability scores of his choice when summoning.

    Telepathic Link (Su): A rappeler of at least 12th level may communicate telepathically with his summons, so long as they are within his long range. This does not give him any ability to control the summons not granted by the spell with which he summoned them, merely the ability to communicate quickly and silently.

    Quad Augment: At 15th level, a rappeler may apply his augment bonuses to any four ability scores of his choice when summoning.

    Swift Concentration (Ex): At 16th level, a rappeler can concentrate on a summoning spell as a swift action once per round. This spell does not count as a spell on which he is concentrating, and he may cast and concentrate on other spells at the same time.

    Universal Augment: At 20th level, a rappelerís augment bonuses apply to all ability scores when using a summoning spell.

    Specialty Summoner: At 20th level, a rappeler may choose one of the following abilities:

    Aligned Summoner: All summoning spells with a descriptor of the rappelerís choice (such as Evil or Air) are cast with +4 caster level. This applies even if the rappeler is ignoring the descriptor for the purposes of other effects, such as with Alignment Versatility, but not if he removed the descriptor from the spell. This descriptor must be chosen when this ability is taken and cannot be changed.

    Dual Companion: The rappeler may have two summonerís companions at a time. He is considered to have two companion slots, and interactions with one (summoning, dismissing, replacing, death, etc.) never change his companion in the other.

    Cloaked Summons: All non-mindless creatures summoned by the rappeler are under the effects of the spell Mind Blank for the duration of the summoning spell.

    Emergency Summons: A number of times per day equal to his intelligence bonus, a rappeler with emergency summons can quicken a summoning spell for free, even if he does not have the quicken spell feat. This usage does not increase the spellís level.

    Incorruptible Summons: All creatures summoned by the rappeler, except for his companion, gain spell resistance equal to his 10 + his caster level once summoned.

    Irresistible Summons: All special attacks with DCs, including spell-like abilities, of creatures summoned by the rappeler get a +5 enhancement bonus to their DCs. If the special attack forces opposed rolls, such as improved trip, the summoned creature gets a +5 enhancement bonus to its roll.

    Twin Summons: Every time a summoning spell calls one of a type of creature, it calls a second as well. If the spell already summons more than one or a variable number of that creature type, this ability has no effect.

    Rappeler Spell List

    Level 0: Arcane Mark, Create Water, Detect Magic, Guidance, Read Magic, Summon Instrument, Purify Food and Drink, Resistance, Virtue

    Level 1: Bless, Detect Animals or Plants, Detect Snares or Pits, Detect Undead, Endure Elements, Feather Fall, Jump, Mage Armor, Magic Fang, Magic Weapon, Mount, Pass Without a Trace, Protection from Alignment, Summon Desert Ally I, Summon Monster I, Summon Natureís Ally I, Summon Undead I, Unseen Servant

    Level 2: Barkskin, Bearís Endurance, Bullís Strength, Catís Grace, Darkness, Darkvision, Eagleís Splendor, False Life, Foxís Cunning, Invisibility, Lesser Restoration, Levitate, Owlís Wisdom, Protection from Arrows, Reduce Animal, Resist Energy, Spider Climb, Summon Desert Ally II, Summon Elysian Thrush, Summon Monster II, Summon Natureís Ally II, Summon Swarm, Summon Undead II, Whispering Wind

    Level 3: Arcane Sight, Blink, Daylight, Displacement, Flame Arrow, Fly, Gaseous Form, Greater Magic Fang, Greater Magic Weapon, Haste, Heroism, Invisibility Sphere, Keen Edge, Neutralize Poison, Nondetection, Phantom Steed, Protection from Energy, Rage, Regal Procession, Remove Disease, Shrink Item, Speak with Plants, Summon Desert Ally III, Summon Monster III, Summon Natureís Ally III, Summon Undead III, Stone Shape, Tiny Hut, Tongues, Vipergout, Water Breathing

    Level 4: Air Walk, Arcane Eye, Dimension Door, Fire Stride, Freedom of Movement, Greater Invisibility, Mass Surefooted Stride, Minor Creation, Mnemonic Enhancer, Remove Curse, Secure Shelter, Stoneskin, Summon Desert Ally IV, Summon Elementite Swarm, Summon Hound Archon, Summon Monster IV, Summon Natureís Ally IV, Summon Undead IV

    Level 5: Animal Growth, Break Enchantment, Death Ward, Dream, Greater Blink, Greater Dimension Door, Insect Plague, Leomundís Secret Chest, Lesser Ironguard, Mageís Faithful Hound, Mageís Private Sanctum, Major Creation, Mass Fly, Passwall, Plague of Rats, Prying Eyes, Secret Chest, Seeming, Sending, Summon Bearded Devil, Summon Bralani Eladrin, Summon Desert Ally V, Summon Monster V, Summon Natureís Ally V, Summon Undead V, Telepathic Bond, Teleport

    Level 6: Brilliant Blade, Cloak of the Sea, Control Water, Eyes of the King, Fire Spiders, Greater Heroism, Mageís Lubrication, Mass Bearís Endurance, Mass Bullís Strength, Mass Catís Grace, Mass Eagleís Splendor, Mass Foxís Cunning, Mass Owlís Wisdom, Mass Reflective Disguise, Spider Plague, Summon Babau Demon, Summon Desert Ally VI, Summon Greater Elemental, Summon Monster VI, Summon Natureís Ally VI, Superior Resistance, Transport via Plants, True Seeing, Veil

    Level 7: Brilliant Aura, Creeping Doom, Drawmijís Instant Summons, Energy Immunity, Ironguard, Mass Invisibility, Planar Bubble, Plane Shift, Regenerate, Sequester, Submerge Ship, Summon Desert Ally VII, Summon Monster VII, Summon Natureís Ally VII, Statue, Wind Walk

    Level 8: Cloak of Chaos, Fierce Pride of the Beastlands, Greater Plane Shift, Holy Aura, Mind Blank, Phantom Wolf, Protection from Spells, Prying Eyes, Refuge, Shield of Law, Spell Engine, Summon Desert Ally VIII, Summon Monster VIII, Summon Natureís Ally VIII, Superior Invisibility, Unholy Aura

    Level 9: Abyssal Army, Effulgent Epuration, Elemental Swarm, Etherealness, Eye of Power, Heavenly Host, Hellish Horde, Hunters of Hades, Phantom Bear, Planar Perinarch, Shambler, Summon Desert Ally IX, Summon Elemental Monolith, Summon Monster IX, Summon Natureís Ally IX, Teleportation Circle

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Misc. Notes:

    The Rappeler's spell list is composed of conjuration(summoning) spells and spells without saves or the target of "self". The only purpose of the casting stat is bonus spells and the extremely occasional instances where someone saves against a (harmless) spell.

    As all base classes, I create, the rappeler's class features are carefully designed to encourage single-classing.

    As with (most) classes I create, the rappeler is designed to facilitate multiple types of interesting builds. This helps explain why the majority of the granted class features require meaningful player choice, either when selected, when used, or both.

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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Is the Summonerís Companion also affected by Augmented, Summoning Power and Specialty Summoner?

    The class features are well-crafted and fit well together with each other and the theme as a whole. However, the class isn't Tier 3. Not on fault of the class features, or even the spells directly, but the creatures that can be summoned with them. Minionmancy is extremely powerful, especially when you can summon creatures that can cast spells or summon others of their kind. It's like a much better version of Leadership and the reason the Pathfinder Summoner is Tier 2.

    I really like the name of the class. Nice bit of research you've done there, as well as providing the French and Latin to showcase that. Much better than my initial confusion about what abseiling had to do with summoning.
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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Really well done, I agree, and share Morph's question/concern. Tier 3 summoning is hard to pull off, and you made this guy a really powerful summoner. It's awesome, but it feels almost certainly Tier 2 to me.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Is the Summonerís Companion also affected by Augmented, Summoning Power and Specialty Summoner?
    As written, yes. I even put a note under Augmented to make it explicit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    The class features are well-crafted and fit well together with each other and the theme as a whole. However, the class isn't Tier 3. Not on fault of the class features, or even the spells directly, but the creatures that can be summoned with them. Minionmancy is extremely powerful, especially when you can summon creatures that can cast spells or summon others of their kind. It's like a much better version of Leadership and the reason the Pathfinder Summoner is Tier 2.
    I am kind of disinclined to agree. The class has no [Calling] spells, no action economy abuse before level 17, no infinite power loops (I think), no planar abuse (plane shift by itself isn't as powerful if you don't have Genesis or Magnificent Mansion), No save-or-lose, no damage, nearly no BFC (a few fog spells), no self-buffing, etc.

    It has no minionmancy that lasts longer than a couple of minutes. If you wanted minionmancy, go dread necromancer. And from the SRD:

    Quote Originally Posted by Summoning Subschool
    A summoned creature cannot use any innate summoning abilities it may have, and it refuses to cast any spells that would cost it XP, or to use any spell-like abilities that would cost XP if they were spells.
    Keep in mind that while you can summon some incredibly powerful creatures, summon monster spells cap out around CR11 or CR12. If you want to measure summoning companion, fleshraker with natural bond and animal growth is going to be a higher CR than anything you can manage.

    What about that seems tier 2? It has no innate campaign wrecking power, it has no ability to mechanically solve encounters, and the class itself certainly "isn't capable of anything" with "world shattering power". In fact, I'd argue that if compared to any decently built sorcerer, even a decent summoning sorcerer, this class would have less power but more flexibility. The exact definition of that tier barrier...

    Also remember that PF Summoner gets save-or-lose, binding spells, BFC, self-buffs... it covers most bases, even if more limited than a Sorc in them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    I really like the name of the class. Nice bit of research you've done there, as well as providing the French and Latin to showcase that. Much better than my initial confusion about what abseiling had to do with summoning.
    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    What about that seems tier 2? It has no innate campaign wrecking power, it has no ability to mechanically solve encounters, and the class itself certainly "isn't capable of anything" with "world shattering power". In fact, I'd argue that if compared to any decently built sorcerer, even a decent summoning sorcerer, this class would have less power but more flexibility. The exact definition of that tier barrier...
    Err... that's not exactly true. Summoning in itself is an action economy-abuser, and the class does have self-buffing.

    However, you are right, this isn't tier 2. Given that they have an interesting spell list and can learn any spell from it, I'd even say its tier 1. The Summon Monster list of spells is pretty versatile in itself, because it gives access to many spell-like abilities. You may have to look into some obscure books to get the most interesting summonings, but your summoner's companion already resolves the duration issue, so I personally think the class is capable of everything, which is the definition of tier 1.
    Last edited by Network; 2013-10-09 at 04:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    First off, I 100% disagree with the idea that this class is tier 1. That said I may remove Time Stop, the extremely limited BFC, and one or two other tricks. I'm keeping its summons, targetable buffs, and no-save divinations. But I'm figuring out whether to keep the Dispel line and Teleports.

    That said, the tier system is extremely weak for homebrew. It was designed to model existing classes, which it does adequately. However, it has two major problems adapting classes that aren't the standard PHB/Completes fare.

    The first problem is its extremely unclear distinction between class flexibility and build flexibility. A good example is this: Imagine we had a poll to determine the 5 strongest Sorc/Wiz spells of every level. Then we made a class that was identical to the sorcerer, except that its spell list was restricted to said 50 spells. Well, this class is obviously not tier 2, because a tier 2 class "itself is capable of anything, no one build can actually do nearly as much as the Tier 1 classes." Despite this, when built, the class bears a close resemblance to one of the strongest sorcerer builds. Does that make it tier 3? 4? It's certainly not 1.

    The second problem is that the tier system attempts to distill 12 categories of class into 6 groups. Here's a (rough) model. For this model, I'm ignoring the class/build inconsistency I mentioned above.

    {table=head]Power|High Flexibility|Medium Flexibility|Low Flexibility
    Broken|Tier 1 (Wizard)|??? (Wu Jen?)|Tier 2 (Sorcerer)
    High|"High Tier 3" (Factotum)|Tier 3 (Swordsage)|Tier 4 (Warmage)
    Moderate|Tier 3 (Bard)|Tier 4? (Marshal?)|Tier 5 (Fighter)
    Low|Tier 5 (CA Ninja)|Tier 5 (Healer)|Tier 6 (Commoner)[/table]

    And note that even this is a simplification, because there's some wiggle room and waffling about classes that can do one thing with high power and have moderate effectiveness elsewhere vs. classes that can do one thing at high power and have no effectiveness elsewhere. You see why 6 numbers - the bottom of which is essentially never used - is a rather limiting descriptor of power.

    Surfing this forum, you'll see classes fit into many of these questionable categories often. And you'll see classes that don't follow the class/build dynamics often - this class is one.

    The question is where the summon monster line and summon nature's ally line, by themselves, fall on this chart. Because without that, this class has literally no offensive capability - all it can do is movement, limited scrying, buffing, and dispelling. I seriously doubt that all of those will bring this single-trick pony up a tier (but, due to how the tier system works is, it's possible).

    Is summon monster the ability to break everything, like Network suggested? Is it a single broken trick, as Morph Bark believes? Or is it a high-power, but not game-breaking trick, which is what I assumed when I set out to make this class? Because if it's not game-breaking, there's no way the class can be tier 1 or tier 2. At best it's in that quasi-tier with factotum, where you say "that thing is really, really, really good... but it's not a full caster."

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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    This definitely isn't Tier 1. If it had access to Calling spells, maybe, but Summoning alone doesn't get you there.

    That said, if you don't agree with the Tier system, why do you describe the class by it in the thread title?

    One main thing about Tier 1 and 2 is that the classes can do thing better than classes designed to do that particular thing that fall into Tier 3 or 4, and they can do so with little effort thanks to spells or certain class features. The Rappeler, as I see it, doesn't do so directly, but rather through subcontractors in the form of summoned creatures. Now Summoning is insanely weak at low levels, primarily because it takes 1 round to summon a creature and they don't last long at low levels, but at higher levels you can easily have a whole bunch of strong monsters at the ready for a particular task, if your Summoner's Companion isn't suited enough for it himself.

    The Rappeler is very flexible in build and spell use, which is a good thing about it. However, if you want it to keep from overshadowing other classes, the spell progression would have to slow down after getting level 2 spells, topping out at 6 or 7, with maybe a level 8 spell as a capstone. That would, as you say, make it "really, really, really good... but it's not a full caster."

    What books did you take the spells from, by the way? I note some that aren't in the PHB or Spell Compendium, and a few that I don't know by name.
    Last edited by Morph Bark; 2013-10-10 at 06:54 AM.
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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    This definitely isn't Tier 1. If it had access to Calling spells, maybe, but Summoning alone doesn't get you there.

    That said, if you don't agree with the Tier system, why do you describe the class by it in the thread title?
    It's not that I don't agree with the tier system, but simply that I think it's not always a good fit to describe classes that aren't built to the mold of those in the PHB and Completes.

    For instance, read this thread, even just a few posts. Choice selections:

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Tier 2 and above classes are only there because of one simple truth; they have massive raw power on a strategic scale.

    You can gestalt every Tier 3 and below class in the game together and it won't break into Tier 2.

    Tier 2 and above is the realm of classes that can go "I don't like this city/nation/continent/world/plane/multiverse so I will remove it within the next 48 hours."
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    What makes a class T2 as opposed to T4 is the ability to end encounters with a single standard action, available without optimization cheese, and which can't be easily bypassed. Beguiler and Dread Necro are stuck in T3 because it's so easy to become immune to death effects/mind-affecting/illusion spells. Ubercharger barbarian is T4 because it's even easier to avoid chargers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    Anyway, I like to define Tier 2 as "capable of singularity-cheese". Basically, spells that get you access to other spells. There are a set of spells (TO-complete is a term I've been considering for them) that let you access pretty much anything else. Wish/Miracle/Reality Revision, Shapechange/Greater Metamorphosis, Gate(and the later Planar Allies/Bindings), Ice Assassin...basically, if you've got access to just one of these spells, you have all of them, plus essentially everything else in the game.
    Quote Originally Posted by Karnith View Post
    a given tier 2 character may not have an answer to a situation, but a tier 2 class can be built to solve any situation. Remember that tier 2s generally have access to all of the same tricks as tier 1s, they just don't usually have all of them in one build like tier 1s.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roguenewb View Post
    As has been said, tier 2 has access to the broken stuff. We can all name it, the Litany of the Wizard: glitterdust/web/alter self early, polymorph/enervation/planar binding mid, shapechange/ice assassin/clone/ astral projection late. Sorcs, as the archetypal tier 2, can do that.
    [...]
    Now the threes, generally can't do this. Beguillers get glitterdust, dread necros get enervation, but no tier 3 or lower gets any access to the late game spells that are really broken
    That doesn't describe this class at all. This class has no strategic power. All of its important spells are close range, have a duration of rounds/level, and tend to grab a creature or two with CRs of half its level.

    As a counterpoint to what I'm saying, consider the binder. People say that it's tier 2 with online vestiges despite not even remotely resembling Tippy's description or JaronK's description of a class that can do everything depending on its build.

    So is a Zceryll Binder considered tier 2 because it can cast a summon monster 1 level under a full wizard? Is it the versatility and power in combat? Is it because that combines and synergizes with the many things a binder can already do, the "excessive tier 3 abilities become tier 2" that tippy was arguing against? Or is it because it can keep summoning all day while flying around a nation, leveling it in 48 hours?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    One main thing about Tier 1 and 2 is that the classes can do thing better than classes designed to do that particular thing that fall into Tier 3 or 4, and they can do so with little effort thanks to spells or certain class features. The Rappeler, as I see it, doesn't do so directly, but rather through subcontractors in the form of summoned creatures. Now Summoning is insanely weak at low levels, primarily because it takes 1 round to summon a creature and they don't last long at low levels, but at higher levels you can easily have a whole bunch of strong monsters at the ready for a particular task, if your Summoner's Companion isn't suited enough for it himself.

    The Rappeler is very flexible in build and spell use, which is a good thing about it. However, if you want it to keep from overshadowing other classes, the spell progression would have to slow down after getting level 2 spells, topping out at 6 or 7, with maybe a level 8 spell as a capstone. That would, as you say, make it "really, really, really good... but it's not a full caster."
    So a sorc summoning is tier 2, but delay it by one or two levels, cut a spell per level per day and it's tier 3?

    Interesting. I'm not sure I understand why that meets any of the above definitions, but all right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    What books did you take the spells from, by the way? I note some that aren't in the PHB or Spell Compendium, and a few that I don't know by name.
    99% of these should be from those sources. Is there one in particular you can't identify?

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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    I absolutely love this homebrew :) I am so going to try and get it into a game. A question though, why did you make it prepared casting? A lot of spell casting classes that specilize in one school have spontaneous casting (beguiler, dread necromancerand warmage) so it seems odd that it is prepared. With how small the spell list is and how few of those spells will actually be used I don't see it being over powering to spontaneously cast from the list. Nevermind, I had missed the spontaneous summoning spells. It is still a bit weird but it makes more sense to me now.
    Last edited by Hamste; 2013-10-10 at 03:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamste View Post
    I absolutely love this homebrew :) I am so going to try and get it into a game.
    Thank you!

    If I may ask, which feature of it do you like?
    • Focused caster (like beguiler or dread necro)
    • Meaningful build decisions inside a single-class chassis
    • High power [and possibly not game-breaking, if my theory bears fruit]
    • Focused caster that actually feels wizardly


    Or, something else?

    Fun fact: the hardest design decision I went through making this class was deciding if I could justify 4+int skill points. In the end my hatred for 2+ won out.

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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    The spell list is my main love. Unlike other casters it is not overwhelming to choose from and there are still some nice choices in it. I also like the fact this can play at level 1 and still feel like it is contributing to the team (mostly through their special all day summon but that's still contributing). That is something few spell casters can really do, particularly summoners.

    I also like that you included the extend summons, at low levels it is so annoying to summon a monster that just disappears in 2 rounds before it can do anything serious so it's nice to have a class feature that makes is so that I am able to use summons to more effect.

    I just love this class in general though for making summon monster so much easier to use at early levels but not too insane at high levels. I'm very thankful you did make it have more skill points, nothing annoys me more than having so much access to the knowledge skills but not be able to use them because of low skill points and needing to put those points elsewhere.

    A note though, I have not been able to find (though d&d tools might not have it for some reason) sure footed stride and it appears to be on there twice at two different levels, if there is two different ones you might want to clarify which is which.
    Last edited by Hamste; 2013-10-11 at 06:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    It's not that I don't agree with the tier system, but simply that I think it's not always a good fit to describe classes that aren't built to the mold of those in the PHB and Completes.

    For instance, read this thread, even just a few posts. Choice selections:
    It fits Emperor Tippy's definition, as he goes by a level 20 character, and at level 20 the Rappeler can summon armies that last longer than a single combat.

    It doesn't fit Grod's definition, as it can't end encounters with a single spell.

    It fits Urpriest's definition, as it can get access to other spells (SLAs) through summoned creatures. Granted, it's less than what you can do with Calling spells, but you still have access to a lot indirectly.

    It doesn't fit Karnith's definition, as that is based on all Tier 2s essentially being "spontaneous, limited Tier 1s". This is true for all official classes that are Tier 2, which makes the difference between Tier 2 and High Tier 3 a hard one at times when Tiering homebrew classes.


    I personally don't feel Zceryll alone could make a Binder Tier 2. The progression is slowed down, the summons are ordinary aside from a small template, and it can only use summon monster, which is better than summon nature's ally, but not as good as other summon spells that aren't part of a line from I-IX (or I-V). It's largely that first reason that I feel slowing down the Rappeler's spell progression starting from the level casters get better than the lower Tiers would improve its balance. It would require letting go of the awesome level 9 summoning spells though. (As well as Time Stop and Teleportation Circle.)

    99% of these should be from those sources. Is there one in particular you can't identify?
    Sure Footed Stride for one, as Hamste marked. It's mostly just spells I don't know the name of, they could well be in the Spell Compendium for all I know. Spells like Cloak of the Sea and Vile Power sound like they'd come out of Stormwrack or BoVD. What's the 1% that comes from elsewhere?
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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    I don't particularly care for tier debates since I've never met a gamer who can actually play at a "tier 1" level so it doesn't really matter. There's pwntastically good, there's terribad, and there's stuff in between, whatever. This class is the most powerful summoner I've seen (summoning, not calling because that's got all kinds of problems), and summoners can cause some very serious problems. Of course the time I had a player go full summoner he ended up being almost completely useless because apparently RHoD really requires blasting. I think the companion is a bit much: I'd replace it with something like a contingent or quickened summon that you pre-specify if I wanted to reign in the class (the idea being that you've always got a summon ready without wasting a turn, but you still have to burn the spells). Maybe I'd allow the companion table for it, but permanent companions are supposed to have some actual penalties for losing them. The ability enhancements are pretty huge, but they don't stack with standard Augment Summoning and aren't too much huger than summoning PrC bonuses I don't think.

    A question on the spell list: when you say, "The Rappeler's spell list is composed of conjuration(summoning) spells and spells without saves or the target of "self".," do you mean to imply that it should include all such spells, or were you simply stating the criteria under which you chose them? You've got spells from a lot of sources but I can't tell at a glance if you've included every such spell, and I'm usually loathe to deal with things that have their own special list without consideration for new spells and esoteric sources.

    Oh, and by the way: love having a full caster that doesn't care about their casting stat. Warlock's just about the only other "caster" that can pull it off without losing the vast majority of it's options. I've always wanted a "dumb" wizard who doesn't bother with spellcraft or knowledge because his magic book is just a tool, and being able to drop the main ability score makes it even better.
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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    It fits Emperor Tippy's definition, as he goes by a level 20 character, and at level 20 the Rappeler can summon armies that last longer than a single combat.
    40 rounds at level 20, or 60/80 depending on how extend spell stacks (I think 60 but I've seen people on these forums suggest *2 twice is *4). There are longer-duration summons, but they tend to summon worse things. Abyssal Army is a 10 minute cast, and its most powerful summon is a single CR9 creature 20 minutes after the casting finishes. The CR might get a buff from the spell granting more HP but not a significant one.

    Summon Monster caps out at CR11 (except for the Leonal). Meaning that two are CR 13, four are CR15, and thus all of the level 9 spells available at level 20 are maybe 16ish. Half of the Rappeler's class abilities increase their ability to not be hard countered, which aren't factors in the CR in the first place (since those are the listed CRs are the real deal, not summoned copies). The other half - Augmenting ability scores, fast healing, increasing efficiency of buffing/metamagicing - might increase the summoned creatures by maybe ~2 CR through massive expenditure of resources. Thus, a level 19 Rappeler could could blow his 4 9th level spells to create a force that's CR17.

    In other words, as powerful as a single 17th level character. The class can blow all its 9s and roughly equal leadership for 1 encounter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    It doesn't fit Grod's definition, as it can't end encounters with a single spell.

    It fits Urpriest's definition, as it can get access to other spells (SLAs) through summoned creatures. Granted, it's less than what you can do with Calling spells, but you still have access to a lot indirectly.
    I think he mentioned calling specifically for a reason. Calling spells open up some very high level spells, including but not limited to Wish/Miracle, which he mentioned. Best Spells and SLAs given on summon monster 9: detect thoughts, hold monster, wall of force, heal, plane shift, charm monster, freedom of movement, major image, greater teleport (self), blasphemy. SM8 is pretty lackluster with only Lillend and Vrock able to cast SLAs: Darkness, Hallucinatory Terrain, Knock, Speak with Animals, Speak with Plants, Invisibility, Telekinesis, Heroism. SM7 has See Invisibility, Darkness, Dispel Magic (CL 15 from Avorals, lower from devils), Dimensional Anchor, Wall of Ice, Fly, Wind Walk, Major Creation, Persistent Image, Dimension Door, Lightning Bolt. Once you're down to SM6, you have no spell-likes except those coming from the Bralani and the Janni: Blur, Wind Wall, Lightning Bolt, Cure Serious, Speak with Animals, and a few self-buffs or level 1s. Nearly all of these are CL < 10; none of them are above CL15.

    So, few spells above 5th level are accessible with Summon Monster 9; few spells at all are accessible with with SM6 and below. These aren't bad spells, but nothing approaching what you're getting out of Gate. Or, obviously, wish and miracle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    It doesn't fit Karnith's definition, as that is based on all Tier 2s essentially being "spontaneous, limited Tier 1s". This is true for all official classes that are Tier 2, which makes the difference between Tier 2 and High Tier 3 a hard one at times when Tiering homebrew classes.

    I personally don't feel Zceryll alone could make a Binder Tier 2. The progression is slowed down, the summons are ordinary aside from a small template, and it can only use summon monster, which is better than summon nature's ally, but not as good as other summon spells that aren't part of a line from I-IX (or I-V). It's largely that first reason that I feel slowing down the Rappeler's spell progression starting from the level casters get better than the lower Tiers would improve its balance. It would require letting go of the awesome level 9 summoning spells though. (As well as Time Stop and Teleportation Circle.)
    Arguably the best summon spells that aren't summon monster are Elemental Swarm/Fierce Pride/Abyssal Army/Celestial Host/Etc. They all have 10 minute casting times and last 10 Minutes/level. However, the 9s in there tend to summon 1D4+1 ~SM4s, 1D3 ~SM6s and one ~SM8. They last 3 hours for the rough combat power of a single SM9. (also, you'll notice that much of the awkward wording in Rappeler's summoning buffs is designed to take these spells into account.) This means that, if you blow 9s on having this force out for 12 hours of adventuring day, you'd have roughly 1 SM9 all day + another SM9 from your companion for CR of about 13 (two CR11s) or, buffed, maybe CR15. In other words, the approximate strength of a Druid's animal companion (which has other benefits such as being owned by a class that can heal it). Less than leadership. And at 20th level you'd have a single 9th level spell left over.

    Binder summoning is delayed 1 level compared to Wizard or Rappeler. Meaning that at a level when the Rappeler can cast two 9th level spells per day, a binder can cast SM8 at CL17 every 5 rounds for the whole day, effectively having 4-5 companions CR9-10 companions all day. I know which I would prefer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Sure Footed Stride for one, as Hamste marked. It's mostly just spells I don't know the name of, they could well be in the Spell Compendium for all I know. Spells like Cloak of the Sea and Vile Power sound like they'd come out of Stormwrack or BoVD. What's the 1% that comes from elsewhere?
    Wizards has an online spell search that covers the PHB and the SpC. Here's where I got half the spell list, for instance. Surefooted stride, cloak of the sea, and vile death are all SpC. Although I'm dropping Vile Death because I just realized it's calling, despite the spell text referring to summoning. Cloak of the Sea is a buff spell in the SpC as well, which if the player takes the imbue summoning buff from Summoning Power, they can cast with a summon to go "my summons can breathe water and have blur and freedom of movement while doing it!"

    The second Surefooted Stride was supposed to be Mass, so that's my bad. Look for minor revisions in the spell list later today.

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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    I think he mentioned calling specifically for a reason. Calling spells open up some very high level spells, including but not limited to Wish/Miracle, which he mentioned. Best Spells and SLAs given on summon monster 9: detect thoughts, hold monster, wall of force, heal, plane shift, charm monster, freedom of movement, major image, greater teleport (self), blasphemy. SM8 is pretty lackluster with only Lillend and Vrock able to cast SLAs: Darkness, Hallucinatory Terrain, Knock, Speak with Animals, Speak with Plants, Invisibility, Telekinesis, Heroism. SM7 has See Invisibility, Darkness, Dispel Magic (CL 15 from Avorals, lower from devils), Dimensional Anchor, Wall of Ice, Fly, Wind Walk, Major Creation, Persistent Image, Dimension Door, Lightning Bolt. Once you're down to SM6, you have no spell-likes except those coming from the Bralani and the Janni: Blur, Wind Wall, Lightning Bolt, Cure Serious, Speak with Animals, and a few self-buffs or level 1s. Nearly all of these are CL < 10; none of them are above CL15.

    So, few spells above 5th level are accessible with Summon Monster 9; few spells at all are accessible with with SM6 and below. These aren't bad spells, but nothing approaching what you're getting out of Gate. Or, obviously, wish and miracle.
    Many non-core monsters were also added to the list, though one could argue you have to drop access to another creature on the list to get them. For example, the movanic deva (Fiend Folio), which is a SM7 monster, can cast Plane Shift and Raise Dead as SLA. I don't count monadic deva because its basically the same, though there are probably other monsters with good SLA, too.
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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    I think the companion is a bit much: I'd replace it with something like a contingent or quickened summon that you pre-specify if I wanted to reign in the class (the idea being that you've always got a summon ready without wasting a turn, but you still have to burn the spells). Maybe I'd allow the companion table for it, but permanent companions are supposed to have some actual penalties for losing them.
    I liked your idea to some extent, despite the fact that the penalty for losing an animal companion is exactly 0.

    So, new edition of the Rappeler! Changes:

    • Removed Spells: Dispel Line, AMF, all Walls, All Fogs and other BFC, some planar-themed spells, and misc. others.
    • Summoner's Companion depowered slightly. Now brought in with a summon spell that can be freely quickened and gets an increased duration. This means it's roughly the same in combat but doesn't get to stick around all day for non-combat challenges (no all-day mounts) and eats a swift during round 1. And, of course, eats spell slots every time you use it.

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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Instant Summons is useless without Arcane Mark.
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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    I like this class, gives a nice commander feel to a summoner build.

    You should add the Summon Desert Ally spell line from Sandstorm for the sake of completeness in the summoning selection.
    Last edited by Aldurin; 2013-12-12 at 11:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldurin View Post
    I like this class, gives a nice commander feel to a summoner build.

    You should add the Summon Desert Ally spell line from Sandstorm for the sake of completeness in the summoning selection.
    Fair enough. Added. (so was arcane mark)

    I was thinking of going back through the class and swapping its spell progression to every 3 (7ths at 18) just to make it undisputedly tier 3. Problem with that is all of the high-duration summons are 8 and 9 (fierce pride, heavenly host, etc.) and I'd move a few of them down a level to keep them as crowners and then I'm in the same spot I was.

    I don't consider summoning significantly more powerful than necromancy (evocations, conjuration(healing), yes. but not necromancy). So I baffles me that the dread necro can get 9s yet I had throngs (3 people is a throng now) crying foul when I granted the crowner summons.

    The point of the lower-tier full casters was for them to be specialized, obviously less flexible than wizards (who can do everything) but, in theory, with marginal gains in their areas of specialization. If any of them lost 9s even their marginal claims are taken away.

    To rephrase the last point: Someone with Tippy-level Op-Fu can look at the dread necro's class features and say, "I can do all that and more with a wizard." However, somebody with less system mastery can look at it and see that, while it lacks much that 7 schools of magic have to offer, it grants some fun things that wizards lack like increased undead control and lichiness. Lose 9s and it's no longer a contest at any level of optimization. Hence my hesitation to drop them.

    I was wondering how people were finding this thread (I saw someone build a rappeler for a PbP a few weeks back) but I see Morph Bark tiered it (as tier 3, too! Maybe I made with the logics, or he just liked my last round of nerfs) (how many parentheticals can I fit into one sentence?) (evidently more than this).

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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    The problem with kicking down the class like this to 7th-level spells maximum is that there's suddenly no real reason to play it. If you go into a casting class that doesn't go the full way, there needs to be other non-casting aspects of the class to keep with the fact that you're not rocking 9th-level spells like the other casters. Usually this always means at least 3/4 BAB, some martial proficiencies and some other form of combat not mechanically linked to the spellcasting. Problem is all of those make no sense for this class, which is clearly a summons commander and has no place having to take up arms or show any need to use an actual weapon.

    It's a good class right where it is, and slashing the casting progression over a tiering debate is only going to kill it.

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    Default Re: Rappeler: Tier 3 Summoning. [3.5 Base Class]

    What exactly is the problem with this class sitting between tier 2 and tier 3? "Better than a Dread necromancer, worst than a sorcerer" is a strange place to be, yes, but that is not exactly ruinous is it?
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