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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

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    Default Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Ah, the three fixed list casters. So many spells, all accessible at once. Are these classes as weak as the original tier system indicated, or is there more strength here than is immediately apparent? Let us tier them, here and now, and let their position be set in the minds of all. I will give my own vote later, to allow room for discussion, but here I will provide some class summaries.

    Beguiler (PHB II, 6): The master of illusions and enchantment, this class boasts a ton of spells to screw with your enemy's mind, and a ton of spells that do nothing of the kind. Perhaps their greatest native asset is their ridiculous array of low level spells, and their list maintains its potency into pretty deep into the game. Moreover, like all of these fixed list casters, the casting mechanic at work here makes adding spells really powerful. Arcane disciple, bloodline feats, and some other resources grant you the ability to cast these spells, and then you can just toss them out spontaneously without much in the way for care.

    Dread Necromancer (HoH, 84): Emperor of necromancy, the dread necromancer is akin to the beguiler in a number of ways. The list here is arguably somewhat weaker than that of the beguiler, but it is still very strong and offers a ton of variety, including a bunch of effects you wouldn't necessarily expect Some effort can make your access to planar binding actually useful, and necromantic trickery can offer some real value at higher optimization. And, as with the beguiler, adding spells is great. Better, even, because the base is weaker.

    Warmage (CArc, 10): Expert at evocation, this class is the weakest of the three by a decent margin. You obviously have a wide array of blasting spells, but you less obviously have some battlefield control as well as some occasional utility. Here, spell addition is at its very best, adding a ton of utility that you weren't even getting close to before. Not the best class, but it too likely deserves an upgrade tier-wise.

    What are the tiers?

    The simple answer here is that tier one is the best, the home of things on the approximate problem solving scale of wizards, and tier six is the worst, land of commoners. And problem solving capacity is what's being measured here. Considering the massive range of challenges a character is liable to be presented with across the levels, how much and how often does that character's class contribute to the defeat of those challenges? This value should be considered as a rough averaging across all levels, the center of the level range somewhat more than really low and really high level characters, and across all optimization levels (considering DM restrictiveness as a plausible downward acting factor on how optimized a character is), prioritizing moderate optimization somewhat more than low or high.

    A big issue with the original tier system is that, if anything, it was too specific, generating inflexible definitions for allowance into a tier which did not cover the broad spectrum of ways a class can operate. When an increase in versatility would seem to represent a decrease in tier, because tier two is supposed to be low versatility, it's obvious that we've become mired in something that'd be pointless to anyone trying to glean information from the tier system. Thus, I will be uncharacteristically word light here. The original tier system's tier descriptions are still good guidelines here, but they shouldn't be assumed to be the end all and be all for how classes get ranked.

    Consistent throughout these tiers is the notion of problems and the solving thereof. For the purposes of this tier system, the problem space can be said to be inclusive of combat, social interaction, and exploration, with the heaviest emphasis placed on combat. A problem could theoretically fall outside of that space, but things inside that space are definitely problems. Another way to view the idea of problem solving is through the lens of the niche ranking system. A niche filled tends to imply the capacity to solve a type of problem, whether it's a status condition in the case of healing, or an enemy that just has too many hit points in the case of melee combat. It's not a perfect measure, both because some niches have a lot of overlap in the kinds of problems they can solve and because, again, the niches aren't necessarily all inclusive, but they can act as a good tool for class evaluation.

    Tier one: Incredibly good at solving nearly all problems. This is the realm of clerics, druids, and wizards, classes that open up with strong combat spells backed up by utility, and then get massively stronger from there. If you're not keeping up with that core trio of tier one casters, then you probably don't belong here.

    Tier two: We're just a step below tier one here, in the land of classes around the sorcerer level of power. Generally speaking, this means relaxing one of the two tier one assumptions, either getting us to very good at solving nearly all problems, or incredibly good at solving most problems. But, as will continue to be the case as these tiers go on, there aren't necessarily these two simple categories for this tier. You gotta lose something compared to the tier one casters, but what you lose doesn't have to be in some really specific proportions.

    Tier three: Again, we gotta sacrifice something compared to tier two, here taking us to around the level of a swordsage. The usual outcome is that you are very good at solving a couple of problems and competent at solving a few more. Of course, there are other possibilities, for example that you might instead be competent at solving nearly all problems.

    Tier four: Here we're in ranger/barbarian territory (though the ranger should be considered largely absent of ACF's and stuff to hit this tier, as will be talked about later). Starting from that standard tier three position, the usual sweet spots here are very good at solving a few problems, or alright at solving many problems.

    Tier five
    : We're heading close to the dregs here. Tier five is the tier of monks, classes that are as bad as you can be without being an aristocrat or a commoner. Classes here are sometimes very good at solving nearly no problems, or alright at solving a few, or some other function thereof. It's weak, is the point.

    Tier six: And here we have commoner tier. Or, the bottom is commoner. The top is approximately aristocrat. You don't necessarily have nothing in this tier, but you have close enough to it.


    The Threads

    Tier System Home Base


    The Fixed List Casters: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage


    The Obvious Tier One Classes: Archivist, Artificer, Cleric, Druid, Sha'ir, and Wizard



    The Mundane Beat Sticks (part one): Barbarian, Fighter, Samurai (CW), and Samurai (OA)


    The Roguelikes: Ninja, Rogue, and Scout



    The Pseudo-Druids: Spirit Shaman, Spontaneous Druid, Urban Druid, and Wild Shape Ranger


    The Jacks of All Trades: Bard, Factotum, Jester, and Savant


    The Tome of Battlers: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade



    The NPCs: Adept, Aristocrat, Commoner, Expert, Magewright, and Warrior


    The Vaguely Supernatural Melee Folk: Battle Dancer, Monk, Mountebank, and Soulknife



    The Miscellaneous Full Casters: Death Master, Shaman, Shugenja, Sorcerer, and Wu Jen



    The Wacky Magicists: Binder, Dragonfire Adept, Shadowcaster, Truenamer, and Warlock

    The Rankings

    Beguiler: Tier two.

    Dread necromancer: Tier two.

    Warmage: Tier three.

    And here's a link to the spreadsheet.
    Last edited by eggynack; 2018-06-10 at 09:23 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Beguiler: Well, start from the top. d6 HD is in the middle for casters who get 9ths, not a cleric's d8 or a wizard's d4. 6+Int skills is great, and your skill list is huge. Int being your casting stat also helps you with the skills thing, because there's a fair number of problems you can solve with just your skills, even if 4 of them are spoken for in your class features. Traps, social, casting, stealth, perception, the skills world is your oyster. 1/2 BAB stings, but if you're relying on your BAB as a beguiler you're doing it wrong. Poor/poor/good saves also stings, but everybody and their cousin takes decent Con, so you're not in terrible shape there. Some class features towards the sneaky casting role are likely situational, but a situational advantage is better than no advantage. Free metamagic feats that help with the sneaky casting are nice.

    Casting-wise, the Beguiler gets a nice list and can cast anything on it. Anything they add to the list can be used all the time. It's got win spells and solution tools at every level. They get plenty of spell slots per day, too. It's incredibly good at solving a huge bucket of problems. I have no problems with placing the beguiler in Tier 2.

    Dread Necromancer: Again, start from the top. d6 HD. 2+Int skills with Cha as your casting stat. You're not a skill monkey. Charnel Touch provides an infinite source of healing to undead like Necropolitans or characters with Tomb-Tainted Soul (both of which come up so often in discussion of the Dread Necromancer that they might as well be class features like Natural Spell for Druid). 1/2 BAB kinda stings, even with your Touch Attack shenanigans.

    Casting-wise, there's a focus on fear, on undead, and on negative energy. It's not a bad list, but I wouldn't call it amazing. Personally, I'd put the Dread Necromancer in Tier 3 but I'm open to discussion on it.

    Warmage: d6 HD, 2+Int skills, Cha casting stat, a chunk of metamagic feats. Warmage edge helps you do more damage with your spells, but you're still on the same poor BAB, poor/poor/good saves setup as the others. Adding to your spell list can get you some great things.

    Casting-wise, you do combat things. Not just damage, either. You can get into the battlefield shaping game as soon as 3rd level spells, or 2nd if you have a source of fire. I have no problem putting Warmage in Tier 3, but I could see arguments made for Tier 4 also.
    Player >>> Build >>> Class. I'm running a game where two very effective characters are a Warlock (ranged touch attacks hit a lot. Who knew?) and a Daring Outlaw with a few maneuvers (full sneak attack and Island of Blades Stance generates a lot of damage quickly) and the Druid mostly uses the class as an excuse to live out lifelong dreams of being best friend to animals.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    I think Dread Necro is actually much closer to Tier 2 than the others as its Advanced Learning offers more opportunity to break the campaign. You've got undead eyes, which ups the utility of mindless undead into the stratosphere, and then you have door of decay, which makes it the only fixed-list caster with built-in access to long-distance teleportation. Also, planar binding isn't that bad without the circle, because you just kill whatever you call, then turn it into a bone or corpse creature and command it, much to the dismay of the DM that thought you done goofed.

    Edit: And to go a little... that guy... on the DN, the Cha focus really does make UMD viable even if it isn't a class skill and even with your paltry skill points.

    Also, who doesn't want to be immune to mind-affecting at level 7 and have a gaze attack with a scaling DC that paralyzes anyone unfortunate enough to fail?
    Last edited by Deophaun; 2017-02-19 at 01:09 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    GilesTheCleric's Avatar

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    I'd also like to point out that Dread Necro gets rebuke undead as a class feature (plus is cha-focused anyway), which natively opens it up for a whole host of great [divine] feats, many of which greatly expand utility (devotion feats) or power (basically most of the rest of them).

    Spoiler: For your edification, all Clr Necro spells
    Show

    Name Lvl Book Other Class
    Disrupt Ectoplasm 0 Ghostwalk
    Inflict Minor Wounds 0 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Preserve Organ 0 Book of Vile Darkness
    Angry Ache 1 Book of Vile Darkness
    Blade of Blood 1 Player's Handbook II
    Cause Fear 1 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Curse Water 1 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Deathwatch 1 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Doom 1 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Ease of Breath 1 Frostburn
    Hemorrhage 1 http://archive.wizards.com/dnd/artic...sb/sb20030504x -
    Inflict Light Wounds 1 Player's Handbook v.3.5 Destruction 1
    Necrotic Awareness 1 Libris Mortis: The Book of the Dead
    Painless Death 1 Ghostwalk
    Reaving Aura 1 Complete Mage
    Shivering Touch, Lesser 1 Frostburn
    Slow Consumption 1 Book of Vile Darkness
    Black Lungs 2 Ghostwalk
    Blood Snow 2 Frostburn
    Boneblast 2 Book of Vile Darkness
    Curse of the Gypsies 2 Drag348 Brd 2, Drd 2, Wiz 3
    Dance of Ruin 2 Book of Vile Darkness
    Death Knell 2 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Dessicate 2 Sandstorm
    Execration 2 Complete Champion
    Frostburn, Lesser 2 Frostburn
    Gentle Repose 2 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Horror of the Spoken Name 2 Tome of Magic
    Inflict Moderate Wounds 2 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Living Undeath 2 Spell Compendium
    Mark of Judgment 2 Player's Handbook II
    Mark of the Outcast 2 Spell Compendium
    Necrotic Cyst 2 Libris Mortis: The Book of the Dead
    Necrotic Scrying 2 Libris Mortis: The Book of the Dead
    Rigor Mortis 2 Heroes of Horror
    Shroud of Undeath 2 Spell Compendium
    Spawn Screen 2 Spell Compendium
    Thin Air 2 Frostburn
    Vestigewrack 2 Tome of Magic
    Affliction 3 Book of Exalted Deeds
    Animate Dead 3 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Bestow Curse 3 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Black Sand 3 Sandstorm
    Blindness/Deafness 3 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Boneblade 3 Book of Vile Darkness
    Clutch of Orcus 3 Spell Compendium
    Contagion 3 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Crown of the Grave 3 Player's Handbook II
    Curse of Petty Failing 3 Miniatures Handbook
    Cursed Dragonmark 3 Dragonmarked
    Death Lock 3 Ghostwalk
    Inflict Serious Wounds 3 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Mark of Doom 3 Player's Handbook II
    Necrotic Bloat 3 Libris Mortis: The Book of the Dead
    Plague Carrier 3 Races of FaerŻn
    Rain of Terror 3 Drag348 Drd 3, Wiz 3
    Rejuvenative Corpse 3 Spell Compendium
    Shivering Touch 3 Frostburn
    Shriveling 3 Book of Vile Darkness
    Skeletal Hand 3 Drag348 Wiz 3
    Skull Watch 3 Spell Compendium
    Soul Boon 3 Magic of Incarnum
    Soul Charge 3 http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...d/mb/20040818a Wiz 3
    Spark of Life 3 Spell Compendium
    Speak With Dead 3 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Sticks and Stones 3 Shining South
    Unliving Weapon 3 Book of Vile Darkness
    Animate Legion 4 Heroes of Battle
    Blood Drinker 4 Drag304 Wiz 4
    Blood of the Martyr 4 Book of Exalted Deeds
    Consumptive Field 4 Spell Compendium
    Death Ward 4 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Delay Death 4 Spell Compendium
    Frostburn 4 Frostburn
    Inflict Critical Wounds 4 Player's Handbook v.3.5 Destruction 4
    Mortal Wound 4 Lords of Darkness
    Necrotic Domination 4 Libris Mortis: The Book of the Dead
    Negative Energy Aura 4 Spell Compendium
    Poison 4 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Pronouncement of Fate 4 Heroes of Horror
    Proper State 4 Ghostwalk
    Seed of Undeath 4 Complete Mage
    Stop Heart 4 Book of Vile Darkness
    Wall of Pain 4 Shining South
    Wrack 4 Spell Compendium
    Bleed 5 Complete Champion
    Breath of Contagion 5 Drag304 Drd 5, Wiz 6
    Channel the Void 5 Drag304 Wiz 5
    Charnel Fire 5 Book of Vile Darkness
    Choking Sands 5 Sandstorm
    Contagion, Mass 5 Spell Compendium
    Curse of Ill Fortune, Mass 5 Spell Compendium
    Curse of Petty Failing, Legion's 5 Miniatures Handbook
    Death Throes 5 Spell Compendium
    Disanimate 5 Drag304 Wiz 5
    Extract Gift 5 Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss
    Fallen Soul 5 Drag312 -
    Ghost Storm 5 http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...d/fw/20041022a Wiz 5
    Haunt Shift 5 Libris Mortis: The Book of the Dead
    Hibernate 5 Frostburn
    Incorporeal Nova 5 Spell Compendium
    Inflict Light Wounds, Mass 5 Player's Handbook v.3.5 Destruction 5
    Kelemvor's Grace 5 http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...d/mb/20040421a -
    Manifest Death 5 The Forge of War
    Manifest Life 5 The Forge of War
    Mark of Justice 5 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Necrotic Burst 5 Libris Mortis: The Book of the Dead
    Necrotic Skull Bomb 5 Champions of Ruin
    Oath of Blood 5 Heroes of Horror
    Orb of Dancing Death 5 Magic of Eberron
    Slay Living 5 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Soul Scour 5 Unapproachable East
    Spit Poison 5 Drag304 Drd 4
    Summon Blood Elemental 5 http://archive.wizards.com/dnd/artic...sb/sb20030504x -
    Symbol of Pain 5 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Touch of the Pharaoh 5 Drag331 -
    Barghest's Feast 6 Spell Compendium
    Corpsebond 6 Drag300 Wiz 5
    Create Undead 6 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Desiccate, Mass 6 Sandstorm
    Frostburn, Mass 6 Frostburn
    Harm 6 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Inflict Moderate Wounds, Mass 6 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Mummify 6 Sandstorm Drd 6, Wiz 6
    Necrotic Eruption 6 Libris Mortis: The Book of the Dead
    Opalescent Glare 6 Spell Compendium
    Secure Corpse 6 Book of Exalted Deeds
    Semblance of Life 6 Magic of Eberron
    Symbol of Fear 6 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Undeath to Death 6 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Bestow Curse, Greater 7 Spell Compendium
    Blood to Water 7 Spell Compendium
    Consumptive Field, Greater 7 Spell Compendium
    Death Dragon 7 Spell Compendium
    Destruction 7 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Energy Ebb 7 Spell Compendium
    Evil Glare 7 Spell Compendium
    Harm, Greater 7 Heroes of Horror
    Inflict Serious Wounds, Mass 7 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Leech Undeath 7 Magic of Eberron
    Necrotic Curse 7 Complete Mage
    Necrotic Tumor 7 Libris Mortis: The Book of the Dead
    Pact of Return 7 Heroes of Horror
    Plague 7 Player's Handbook II
    Pulse of Hate 7 Player's Handbook II
    Ravage 7 Champions of Ruin
    Ravenous Darkness 7 Complete Champion
    Righteous Glare 7 Book of Exalted Deeds
    Seed of Undeath, Greater 7 Complete Mage
    Symbol of Weakness 7 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Undead Mask 7 Savage Species
    Withering Palm 7 Spell Compendium
    Bodak's Glare 8 Spell Compendium
    Create Greater Undead 8 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Death Pact 8 Spell Compendium
    Death Ward, Mass 8 Spell Compendium
    General of Undeath 8 Spell Compendium
    Heat Drain 8 Spell Compendium
    Heat Leech 8 Drag312 -
    Inflict Critical Wounds, Mass 8 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Last Judgment 8 Book of Exalted Deeds
    Necrotic Empowerment 8 Libris Mortis: The Book of the Dead
    Pestilence 8 Book of Vile Darkness
    Symbol of Death 8 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Veil of Undeath 8 Spell Compendium
    Astral Projection 9 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Energy Drain 9 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Imprison Soul 9 Heroes of Horror
    Laeral's Crowning Touch 9 City of Splendors: Waterdeep
    Necrotic Termination 9 Libris Mortis: The Book of the Dead
    Plague of Undead 9 Spell Compendium
    Soul Bind 9 Player's Handbook v.3.5
    Absorb Strength * Book of Vile Deeds Corrupt 4
    Aching Dread * Drag330 Cerebrant 1
    Animate Undead Legion * Drag309 War 4
    Befoul Water * Drag285 Water 2
    Black Talon * Player's Guide to FaerŻn Initiate of Cyric 2
    Blight Fire * Drag285 Fire 2
    Cause Fear, Greater * Drag342 Initiate of Erythnul 2
    Cause Fear, Greater * Drag342 Initiate of Nerull 2
    Circle of Death * Player's Handbook v.3.5 Initiate of Wee Jas 6
    Consume Likeness * Book of Vile Deeds Corrupt 6
    Consume the Parasite * Drag343 Kyuss 3
    Dread Blast * Player's Guide to FaerŻn Initiate of Cyric 4
    Eyebite * Player's Handbook v.3.5 Initiate of Vecna 6
    Far Realm Visitation * Drag330 Cerebrant 3
    Favor of Ilmater * Player's Guide to FaerŻn Inititate of Ilmater 4
    Lingering Raver * Drag330 Cerebrant 4
    Magic Jar * Player's Handbook v.3.5 Initiate of Wee Jas 5
    Mark of Justice, Lesser * Drag342 Initiate of Heironeous 2
    Mark of Justice, Lesser * Drag342 Initiate of St. Cuthbert 2
    Necrotic Awareness * Libris Mortis Mother Cyst 1
    Necrotic Bloat * Libris Mortis Mother Cyst 3
    Necrotic Burst * Libris Mortis Mother Cyst 5
    Necrotic Cyst * Libris Mortis Mother Cyst 2
    Necrotic Domination * Libris Mortis Mother Cyst 4
    Necrotic Empowerment * Libris Mortis Mother Cyst 8
    Necrotic Eruption * Libris Mortis Mother Cyst 6
    Necrotic Scrying * Libris Mortis Mother Cyst 2
    Necrotic Termination * Libris Mortis Mother Cyst 9
    Necrotic Tumor * Libris Mortis Mother Cyst 7
    Pact of Martyrdom * Player's Guide to FaerŻn Inititate of Ilmater 4
    Plague Cloud * Drag309 War 4
    Possess Animal * Player's Guide to FaerŻn Initiate of Malar 3
    Power Leech * Book of Vile Deeds Corrupt 5
    Putrefaction * Drag300 Corrupt 9
    Red Fester * Book of Vile Deeds Corrupt 3
    Reveille * Spell Compendium Initiate of Milil 3
    Rot Earth * Drag285 Earth 2
    Scare * Player's Handbook v.3.5 Initiate of Hextor 2
    Servant of the Green Corruption * Drag343 Kyuss 5
    Soul Blasting Dread * Drag330 Cerebrant 5
    Soul Boon * Magic of Incarnum Incarnum 3
    Torture Air * Drag285 Air 2
    Undeath After Death * Player's Guide to FaerŻn Initiate of Bane 7
    Wail of the Banshee * Player's Handbook v.3.5 Initiate of Nerull 9
    Worm Within, The * Drag343 Kyuss 3
    Phoenix Fire * Book of Exalted Deeds Sanctified 7
    Sanctify the Wicked * Book of Exalted Deeds Sanctified 9
    Sicken Evil * Book of Exalted Deeds Sanctified 5


    I don't have a complete list of Wiz spells, sorry. Maybe Pippin's list can be easily converted to CSV if someone can wrangle the LaTeX.

    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room!" Ė Kubrick, "Dr. Strangelove"
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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    I'ma give some tiers now. Though if you've seen my talk in the other thread, should be pretty obvious.

    Beguiler: 2. Honestly, at this point, it's really hard for me to see this ranking as anything else. You're doing better than a sorcerer at what might actually be a straight up majority of levels, and that's assuming the sorcerer is picking spells really well. If the sorcerer picks just alright, or if the beguiler uses feats, it's no contest. Otherwise, it is a contest, but it's a close enough contest that the two classes just kinda belong in the same tier.

    Dread Necromancer: 2. As I noted above, I think this list is weaker, but still good enough. That argument from advanced learning is really interesting though. I should really look at that (though it obviously won't impact my vote overmuch). I think my last analysis gave the dread necromancer the advantage over the sorcerer at about 8-10 levels, and that was before considering learning, spell addition, or only solid spell picks on the sorcerer side. That seems like, again, more than enough for tier two.

    Warmage: 3. Not the best out of combat, but you're pulling a really wide variety of things in combat. This is where advanced learning and spell adding in general strike me as really relevant. They push you from this kinda narrow class to a class with some real variety. And, critically, looking at what we expect to populate tier four, I think it's really hard to argue that what the warmage is doing belongs there.

    Quote Originally Posted by BaronDoctor View Post
    Casting-wise, there's a focus on fear, on undead, and on negative energy. It's not a bad list, but I wouldn't call it amazing. Personally, I'd put the Dread Necromancer in Tier 3 but I'm open to discussion on it.
    I can only really ask what I'd been asking in the old thread. That being, at which levels do you think the sorcerer can pick spells to out-good a dread necromancer, and what does the list look like at those levels? My analysis has indicated that the quantity of levels is pretty close to half. Maybe more once you account for advanced learning stuff. Even more than that with something like arcane disciple.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    I think Dread Necro is actually much closer to Tier 2 than the others as its Advanced Learning offers more opportunity to break the campaign. You've got undead eyes, which ups the utility of mindless undead into the stratosphere, and then you have door of decay, which makes it the only fixed-list caster with built-in access to long-distance teleportation.
    As I noted above, this is quite interesting. Door is a bit limited for a teleportation spell, but it's still undoubtedly one of those, and that's pretty great. And eyes seems really interesting too. I dunno if I'd put them above the beguiler, but it's an interesting position.
    Also, planar binding isn't that bad without the circle, because you just kill whatever you call, then turn it into a bone or corpse creature and command it, much to the dismay of the DM that thought you done goofed.
    I don't think this is a thing. Binding repeatedly specifies that it's putting a creature into a circle, and that said circle must exist. Without a circle, I think binding just fizzles.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Beguiler (PHB II, 6):

    Tier 2
    I'm not going to be short here god knows it wasn't the last time it was debated. Great skill list and being 6+ and SAD INT based meens you will have a lot of points, probably more than anyone really. Spell list is surprisingly strong outside of the Illusion and Enchantment schools. Advanced learning is oversold a little bit but still helps, and is still free spells. As an arcane caster it has the easiest and most ways to cheat more spells onto it's list. Armored mage is never mentioned in the discussions but is really a nice thing to have. Bracers of armor are cool and all, but a +5 mithril BP is just better.

    Dread Necromancer (HoH, 84):

    Tier 3/2
    Skill list is really short and not amazing. Minionmancy is pretty good in theory but not in practice, more on that later. Definitely a weaker list than a Beguiler, and does not compete with a sorcerer past 5th level maybe 6th level spells. Advanced learning and spell adding tricks are more useful to the "DN" than the Beguiler.
    Spoiler: Edit
    Show
    I just notice that their advanced learning does have one pretty nice feature in that if the spell is both cleric and wizard you use the lower level which could get something on the list early at the expense of 1 point of save DC.
    Of the 3 classes here DN has probably the best class features, and I fall on the you get the lich template side of the argument, but that's at level 20 so pretty much moot anyway.

    Minionmancy, you get A LOT of minions and loads of ways to add more, so many in fact it bogs a game down real fast unless you just have them back home digging in the salt mines. Also while you have alot of them they aren't exactly spectacular for the most part. Undead Leadership (because let's be honest this is the class they wrote it for) will get you a 14th level lich in the end and a mountain of lesser undead. You can add more to how many you can rebuke with feats but those ones tend to be fodder anyway. Control undead in theory can get you really good ones but there is a mountain of caveats built into the wording of the spell, and what kind of scrub caster undead wont make them selves immune to a second level spell..... Even assuming your DM lets you get a good one that way you are now looking at 1 PC 2 1/2 PCs (or more) and a bajillion scrubs. In practice I think you can really only abuse Minionmancy to its fullest is in maybe a PBP game or a single player campaign.

    Over all I don't think that except for the highest levels of optimization a "DN" breaks the T2 barrier without abusing the minionmancy which just isn't practical in most games.

    Warmage (CArc, 10):

    Tier 3

    Weakest spell list of the group by quite a bit, if you don't want to BFC, or blow something up you have to go off list. As with Beguiler and "DN" they are arcane casters so it's pretty easy to do. Skill list is really lacking, but at least you are INT based and cross class skills are a thing. Class features you have them and they aren't bad. The "Sudden" feats are pretty useful and armored mage is great for you, because +5 mithril breastplates are for chumps, hello +5 mithril full plate. Back to the spells unless you skip out on grabbing utility options when you add spells you probably won't be able to get very many sexy spells, and you really, really should load up on the utility stuff. On the plus side if you really want to reduce somethings HP to 0 before they reduce yours to 0 Warmage is a very good option.
    Last edited by Hurnn; 2017-02-19 at 03:15 AM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurnn View Post
    Minionmancy, you get A LOT of minions and loads of ways to add more, so many in fact it bogs a game down real fast unless you just have them back home digging in the salt mines. Also while you have alot of them they aren't exactly spectacular for the most part. Undead Leadership (because let's be honest this is the class they wrote it for) will get you a 14th level lich in the end and a mountain of lesser undead. You can add more to how many you can rebuke with feats but those ones tend to be fodder anyway. Control undead in theory can get you really good ones but there is a mountain of caveats built into the wording of the spell, and what kind of scrub caster undead wont make them selves immune to a second level spell..... Even assuming your DM lets you get a good one that way you are now looking at 1 PC 2 1/2 PCs (or more) and a bajillion scrubs. In practice I think you can really only abuse Minionmancy to its fullest is in maybe a PBP game or a single player campaign.

    Over all I don't think that except for the highest levels of optimization a "DN" breaks the T2 barrier without abusing the minionmancy which just isn't practical in most games.
    What if you considered minionmancy just in terms of BFC? Bog-standard skeletons aren't super great for most creatures, but they do an excellent job of stopping up charge lanes, providing volley fire/ hitting on a 20, and generally just being a nuisance for your foes and a benefit to your party. They're like a permanent, mobile, shapeable Wall of Stone Blades, that with the right creatures can even fly. I think that being able to fairly well control the battlefield in almost every situation (in the cold, in the water, in negative energy/ AoEs, even in the sky) makes for a huge benefit in combat. You can make a wall of them around your camp at night. Send them to hunt. Use them as bait. Send them into traps. Disguise them as body doubles. Use them as mobile Scrying sensors. Have them Aid Other.

    All of these uses are pretty simple and don't really require any fancy bodies, just bodies, and don't have to slow down the game.
    Last edited by GilesTheCleric; 2017-02-19 at 03:29 AM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by GilesTheCleric View Post
    Have them Aid Other.
    I like this... "Skeletons 1-4 have been ordered to follow the Rogue around and use 'Aid Another'. It's great in combat, but he gets annoyed when they try to aid his Move Silently. It's even worse when they try to aid his Listen check..."

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurnn View Post
    Definitely a weaker list than a Beguiler, and does not compete with a sorcerer past 5th level maybe 6th level spells.
    Does it compete with the sorcerer before that point? If so, then the dread necromancer is competing for between eight and twelve levels, likely exceeding the sorcerer for a lot of that time, depending on whether "past 5th level" is 5th level spells inclusive. If you're ahead of the sorcerer for half the time, and behind them the other half, I'm not really sure how that fails to add up to tier two. And that's just a baseline consideration. If you add a domain with arcane disciple that specifically has a great 7th or 8th level spell, does the dread necromancer not then win at that level? Like, say you picked up the alteration domain, thus adding perhaps the best 8th level spell, polymorph any object, to your list. Aren't you then better at 16th and probably close to equal at 17th? What if we consider the favored soul instead, which is likely weaker than the sorcerer? What of the mystic, which is even weaker than that? What if spell selection on these spontaneous casters is suboptimal? I could very likely find a single sorcerer 7th better than every 7th that the dread necromancer has, but I could far easier find a massive pile of sorcerer spells worse than every 7th the dread necromancer has.

    So, far from your eventual assertion that sorcerers are better in all but the highest optimization games, it strikes me as highly likely that dread necromancers only have a small chance of landing in three, and then only when you place an enormous number of stipulations on the situation. Also, consider a really simple argument. Does it make more sense to stick the dread necromancer in tier two, with the favored soul, or to stick them in tier three, with the bard and warmage? It is my thinking that the tier two classes are way way closer.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    I don't think this is a thing. Binding repeatedly specifies that it's putting a creature into a circle, and that said circle must exist. Without a circle, I think binding just fizzles.
    I'm sorry. The problem isn't the lack of magic circle; there are eternal wands or wondrous architecture for that if we aren't talking UMD. It's the lack of dimensional anchor, which would under normal circumstances limit you to dealing with things like elementals that can't just teleport or plane shift away. But if you're going to just kill them anyway, it's then only a matter of killing them before they kill you.

    Of course, the first thing you call is a bar-lgua so that you can have your own personal greater teleport monkey to visit every major city in the world before breakfast.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Beguilers Tier 2: Most of this has been covered already but I'll still weigh in. They got solid spells and a good chassis. While there is overlap between their skills and spells, that really just lets you conserve spell slots when you can get by on skills. Beguilers can actually be a bit problematic in campaigns if they follow their natural urge to charm, diplomacize, and dominate everyone they meet simply in the name of making friends. It's a very powerful set of abilities when you can stop in a town for few days of roleplay and convert must of your spell slots into converts. They have a pretty impressive ability to shore up their gaps with items and feats. Probably the most well rounded of the fixed lister's.

    Dread Necromancer Tier 2(low): I had to wrestle with this one a bit. I can sometimes appreciate the arguments that they are pretty limited in some respects, but I do think they still eke out a spot in tier 2. They are a solid example of the "when all you've got is a hammer..." Philosophy, but that hammer is a pretty big one.

    No other class has the native ability to put large amounts of undead HD on the battlefield. Yes, undead aren't the best, but let's look at things for a second. At low optimization, you're just making skeletons and zombies of the dire bears and giants and such that you fight. Against standard MM enemies, you're going to overwhelm most level appropriate encounters outright. A couple steps up the ladder and your focusing on the good bodies and you've still got a hell of a tank that helps shield the squishiest and flank with the melee. They are about as effective as having a low to mid op fighter on the field, and they are trap springers, door busters, mobile walls, night guards, and a million other uses.

    At mid to high op, things start going crazy. If you weren't already using UMD or arcane disciple to access Magic Circle and items or AD for dimensional anchor, you are now and planar binding fills pretty much all your gaps. You're using awaken undead on your best minions to get feats back. You're using Draconomicon to get your zombie dragon mount and cackling wildly.

    And through all these possible levels of optimization, you're still sponging debuffs and fears and negative levels around, and just generally being a full caster. To me they are the druid of tier 2. They have the weakest spell list, but they just have so many other big hammers in the bag to bash their way thru problems that their spells are unable to handle due to the thematic limits put on their list. Biggest difference is they have a much better ability to add the spells they need.

    Warmage Tier 3/4: Honestly these guys have been underwhelming every time I've seen them in play. They have the same strong casting mechanism, but their list just doesn't back it up and they don't get enough in the way of class features. With bonus metamagic feats or something they would have at least made good blasters. I'd say that their ability to add spells to the list still let's them edge into T3, but it's a near thing.
    Last edited by AnachroNinja; 2017-02-19 at 08:39 AM. Reason: Dimensional Anchor

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Beguiler: Tier 3. Can do a lot of things well, can sometimes solve encounters with class abilities. Too limited access to campaign-breaking abilities for tier 2, although it is better than the Sorcerer for about the first 1/3 of levels.

    Warmage: Tier 4. Can do one thing, combat, and can do it well.

    Both have very high ceilings, and the second-best spell knowledge mechanism in the game. It is very easy to raise them a tier with a good build.

    Dread Necromancer: Haven't seen it in play enough to judge.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    No one mentioning Rainbow servant shenanigans?

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    To burst the beguiler's bubble a bit, I think it starts to drop out of Tier 2 in the late-mid levels, and the main problem is that it still has the exact same weakness at level 20 that it did at level 1: immunity to mind-affecting. Now, you can say that you get around this by dominating non-immune creatures to do your work for you, but the problem with that is a first level cleric or wizard or bard can undo that with a single casting of protection from evil. A real in-game example:

    I was playing an adventure at level six where we had to deal with this group of bandits that had managed to dominate an adult gold dragon. Of course, we weren't supposed to know it was dominated, but there's that pesky DC 20 Sense Motive check to clue you in on that fact. We also weren't supposed to charge head in to attack their front door, because they would send the adult gold dragon out to barbeque us in a fly-by. But we also weren't supposed to summon a celestial eagle, cast magic circle on it, then have it ready an action to fly to the dragon when it got in range before it could roast us with its breath weapon. After that, the dragon landed and we cast protection from evil on it and had a friendly chat in full view of the bandits. Now we had the adult gold dragon, and our suicidal frontal assault turned into a panicked evacuation of the bandit fortress.

    And that's the beguiler's problem; your biggest assets can be turned against you real quick. And it's not just protection from evil, but dispel magic will do it, too, and you start running into creatures that can spam the heck out of it. As you get higher in levels, it becomes real difficult to explain why few adversaries are using these things against you as standard procedure, because that's what you do and that's what you're known for. Of course, you also have the problem of true seeing now becoming increasingly common, nerfing your other shtick. You pretty much have to prestige into shadowcraft mage or something to stay effective.

    The dread necromancer, meanwhile, is hitting his stride because of all these wonderful monsters the DM's throwing at him. And what does he care if someone tosses greater dispel magic his way? His command undeads are boosted by consumptive field.

    In short: dread necromancer 20 is more effective than a beguiler 20. Sure, you can throw UMD onto both of these to fix their problems, but with the dread necromancer you have the option of using UMD to make you more necromancer-y and still play like a lord of the dead, while with the beguiler you're using UMD to not be a beguiler anymore.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Dread Necromancer- Tier 3, for reasons Hurn stated in post 6, as well as their list falls behind color spray for the first 3 levels, and being comparable for 2 more levels after that.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Blu View Post
    No one mentioning Rainbow servant shenanigans?
    There are many builds and PrCs that can take a class up a tier. Or down. 10 levels of Kensai on a Wizard isn't tier 1 any more. That doesn't change the tier of the Wizard class.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Tier 2 for all of them. Yes, even the Warmage: it can take all the same metamagic stuff a sorcerer blaster would want, and gets some for free. Dread Necro and Warmage are lower than the Beguiler, because Beguilers really do have basically every mind-affecting spell of note while the other two have a lot more spells they might be lacking, but in the end each has plenty enough to be at the top of the heap.

    When dialing it up to 11, Beguiler and Dread Necro get worse due to the problems with mind control and potentially self-replicating minions, but the campaign devastation of a Warmage is essentially limited to their line of effect. However, Warmages do get the Eclectic Learning option which can grab them a wildcard spell of 2nd, 4th and 7th level. While there aren't many 2nd or 4th level spells that could rock the world, 7th level spells include Limited Wish, Simulacrum, Greater Shadow Conjuration, Vision, Energy Transformation Field, Spell Matrix, and Arcane Spellsurge, which if exploited can give the Warmage a significant boost to their versatility or raw power and go a ways towards closing that gap. Before that, even just Knock or Invisibility and normal Shadow Conjuration are a strong expansion.
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Reader View Post
    Beguiler: Tier 3. Can do a lot of things well, can sometimes solve encounters with class abilities. Too limited access to campaign-breaking abilities for tier 2, although it is better than the Sorcerer for about the first 1/3 of levels.
    Beguiler gets Ice Assassin. I'm also personally not fond of requiring game breaking abilities to go up a tier - if you are using them the game is over, what is the point?
    Last edited by Aimeryan; 2017-02-19 at 12:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimeryan View Post
    Beguiler gets Ice Assassin. I'm also personally not fond of requiring game breaking abilities to go up a tier - if you are using them the game is over, what is the point?
    I've had a problem with that description, which is why I've been using it to mean spells that are op for their level ie alterself and power word pain and spells that could ruin a dms adventure plans like speak with dead and teleport. At least for tier discussions

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by BaronDoctor View Post
    Casting-wise, there's a focus on fear, on undead, and on negative energy. It's not a bad list, but I wouldn't call it amazing. Personally, I'd put the Dread Necromancer in Tier 3 but I'm open to discussion on it.
    Taking Arcane Disciple or the first level of Rainbow Servant gives you access to magic circle for planar binding. Putting that on the same level as the Bard seems really loose to me. Look at the rest of the classes in Tier Three (on the original list, not counting Beguiler). Is there anything they bring to the table, even with a feat or a one level dip, that's as good as planar binding?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurnn View Post
    [B][COLOR="#800080"]Definitely a weaker list than a Beguiler, and does not compete with a sorcerer past 5th level maybe 6th level spells.
    The Dread Necromancer gets planar binding at 6th. I think any game where you are playing a Dread Necromancer, and where planar binding is allowed/necessary, you will cotton to the fact that taking the right feat gets it for you. That's as good as a Sorcerer all on its own, and you totally get other stuff. You get a decent save-or-die at 7th, which is as much as the Sorcerer is getting at first. It falls off eventually, but there are so many ways to get extra spells its hard to imagine being stuck with your base list at even 10th level.

    Over all I don't think that except for the highest levels of optimization a "DN" breaks the T2 barrier without abusing the minionmancy which just isn't practical in most games.
    What do you mean by "not practical in most games"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    To burst the beguiler's bubble a bit, I think it starts to drop out of Tier 2 in the late-mid levels, and the main problem is that it still has the exact same weakness at level 20 that it did at level 1: immunity to mind-affecting. Now, you can say that you get around this by dominating non-immune creatures to do your work for you, but the problem with that is a first level cleric or wizard or bard can undo that with a single casting of protection from evil.
    Couple of problems here:

    First, in any game where the Beguiler's base list isn't sufficient, it's going to be able to expand that list with Prestige Domains, Arcane Disciple, or UMD + Runestaves/Knowstones. If a 20th level Beguiler is still relying on his 1st level tricks, it's because he doesn't need anything else.

    Second, enemies that have protection from evil prepared aren't exactly common. It's not an amazing spell if you aren't expecting mind control, and if NPCs are, that represents a level of game warping that should count for something.

    Third, you shouldn't keep your enemies mind controlled. Use charm monster, then make the DC 20 Diplomacy check to make them permanently Helpful.

    In short: dread necromancer 20 is more effective than a beguiler 20. Sure, you can throw UMD onto both of these to fix their problems, but with the dread necromancer you have the option of using UMD to make you more necromancer-y and still play like a lord of the dead, while with the beguiler you're using UMD to not be a beguiler anymore.
    UMD is on the Beguiler's skill list. Anything it uses UMD to do is by definition Beguiler like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Reader View Post
    There are many builds and PrCs that can take a class up a tier. Or down. 10 levels of Kensai on a Wizard isn't tier 1 any more. That doesn't change the tier of the Wizard class.
    Rainbow Servant is definitely a special case. It's pretty crap for anything but a fixed list caster, but pretty sweet on a fixed list caster. It's also notable that the Beguiler and Dread Necromancer are still advantaged from a one level dip. The Dread Necromancer gets the magic circle he needs to use planar binding, and the Beguiler can UMD a wand of substitute domain to shuffle around for a good selection of spells (Mystra seems nice for that).

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimeryan View Post
    Beguiler gets Ice Assassin. I'm also personally not fond of requiring game breaking abilities to go up a tier - if you are using them the game is over, what is the point?
    Game breaking abilities generally gets houseruled away in actual play but we have to use the classes and rules as written as the basis for discussions.

    The tier 2 definition includes "Has as much raw power as the Tier 1 classes, but can't pull off nearly as many tricks, and while the class itself is capable of anything, no one build can actually do nearly as much as the Tier 1 classes. Still potentially campaign smashers by using the right abilities"

    While Tier 3 "Can be game breaking only with specific intent to do so."

    To me, the Beguiler just fits the second better than the first. The Sorcerer can do most tricks a wizard can. It is a tier below because a single build can't do nearly as many tricks. The Beguiler can't do a lot of the tricks, onl some.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    I've had a problem with that description, which is why I've been using it to mean spells that are op for their level ie alterself and power word pain and spells that could ruin a dms adventure plans like speak with dead and teleport. At least for tier discussions
    power word pain is not OP in the hands of PCs. It kills your target over the course of several rounds. That's not better than just attacking them a bunch of times. power word pain is dangerous because there's no way to stop it, so a NPC casting it means a (near) 100% chance of PC death at low levels.

    I would really prefer that we not conflate the ability to use planar binding to destroy any possible opponent with the ability to use teleport to skip encounters your DM didn't make seem interesting.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Here's my breakdown via levels. Please tear apart:

    Levels 1-3
    The Beguiler is solidly Tier 2. Between color spray, hypnotism, and sleep, you end encounters before they being, and mage armor actually lets you survive if everyone manages to save. Charm person is perfect for making those surly first-contacts go smoothly, although here it should be noted that the spellís effectiveness is going to be largely DM-dependant. Are you at my table? Then a charmed guard is going to either escort you out of the building and give you a break by not telling his superiors, or heís going to use subdual damage. Heís not going to take you on an all-access tour of the royal vault.

    The Dread Necromancer is a solid Tier 3. He doesnít end encounters, but he does debuff nicely. If need be, he can summon an undead minion to spring a trap, he can get proficiency with an honest-to-goodness bow if he wants to conserve spells and plink at range, and Intimidate is a nice skill to have on and off the battlefield; he grabs a kusari-gama for the reach and stacks those fear effects. There are also some important feat selection choices at this level. Tomb tainted soul is a natural, but so are domain feats; law devotion is great for making sure those rays hit, and he has the Turn attempts to fuel it.

    Levels 4-6

    The Beguiler is still Tier 2. Now heís got glitterdust to play with, as well as invisibility, glibness, and silence. At six he picks up haste and glibness. Itís a shame that his Advanced Learning kicked in at level 3, or he could have grabbed ray of stupidity to render encounters with animals or dumb magic beasts irrelevant. Well, maybe if he used some Versatile Spellcaster shenanigans, he pulled it off.

    These are the sad levels for the Dread Necromancer. Level 2 DN spells arenít that great. Spectral hand is useful, false life is useful, but thatís the best that can be said about the spells here: useful. Not powerful, and they arenít synergizing with what he already has. He does get his fear aura, so thatís something that builds. At level 6 he gets death ward because of an editing mistake, which is a warning of things to come, though greater dispel magic will work around that. There is an Advanced Learning option here, which will probably be Kilgoreís gavemist. Yes, I rave about undead eyes, but thatís what retraining rules are for.

    Levels 7-9

    The Beguiler is losing his mojo here. He can grab shadow conjuration, but unfortunately some of the best tricks like using it to mimic greater mage armor donít actually work on him, because he has proof that itís an illusion by having cast it so thereís no save for him to voluntarily fail. He gets greater invisibility, so thatís fun, and charm monster, but all in all this is treading water.

    The Dread Necromancer, meanwhile, moves up to Tier 2. You know how the Beguiler was stomping all over combats at level 1? Well, The Dread Necromancerís level 7 familiar can do that, too, starting from this level all the way to 20th. It can also make the DN immune to the Beguilerís best tricks. Or he can be boring and grab an Imp or a Quasit. Invisible scouts, really, as they need ranks in UMD to really shine and, despite the Dread Necro's high Charisma, thatís not a class skill for him.

    The real prize is animate dead. Now is the time to put childish things behind and retrain gravemist to undead eyes. The Beguiler may have friends in nearby cities, but The Dread Necromancer has the Embassy of Ravens. Whatís that? Why, theyíre zombie birds that heís cast undead eyes on and gifted with a pearl of speech (common). They are his eyes, ears, and voice in every major point of interest within a six-day radius of where he is, as the undead crow flies (which needs neither rest nor sleep, so itís further than you think). Who wants to coordinate the movement of five different armies in real time?

    Also, he has zombie bears. The fighter can retire.

    Levels 10-12

    The Beguiler is so excited! He gets dominate person and repulsion andÖ true seeing. Oh dear. Yes, these are the levels when that is definitely a thing. And all that charming that heís been doing catches up to him--at 11th level you are a valid subject of legend lore--as protection from evil and magic circle proliferate. Not to mention he just had that adventure. You know the one: with all the intelligent undead? He had no fun. He gets all these wonderful toys, but drops to Tier 3 because the world is moving on. But hey, at least he doesnít have to move to cast any of them.

    Meanwhile the Dread Necro is cackling with maniacal glee: (lesser) planar binding, magic jar, create undead. Oh, please do that voodoo that you do so well! This is where campaigns come to die in agony and have their corpses profaned at the DNís hands. Light fortification and enervating touch are the whip cream and cherry on top of this dread sundae.

    And it progresses more or less like that, with the Beguiler dropping in tier depending on the campaign setting (can even go down to Tier 5) unless we open up to UMD, at which point, again, all bets are off and every fixed-list caster moves into Tier 2 or even Tier 1. But at that point the classes become indistinguishable, so you can't really say you're playing a Beguiler or a Dread Necromancer or a War Mage: you're playing a Sorcerer regardless. The only respite from the decline is ice assassin at 19th level, but even the Truenamer gets gate.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Reader View Post
    Game breaking abilities generally gets houseruled away in actual play but we have to use the classes and rules as written as the basis for discussions.

    The tier 2 definition includes "Has as much raw power as the Tier 1 classes, but can't pull off nearly as many tricks, and while the class itself is capable of anything, no one build can actually do nearly as much as the Tier 1 classes. Still potentially campaign smashers by using the right abilities"

    While Tier 3 "Can be game breaking only with specific intent to do so."

    To me, the Beguiler just fits the second better than the first. The Sorcerer can do most tricks a wizard can. It is a tier below because a single build can't do nearly as many tricks. The Beguiler can't do a lot of the tricks, onl some.
    We aren't using JaronK's tier descriptions; read the Home Base thread.
    Last edited by Aimeryan; 2017-02-19 at 02:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Why do you care about Mage Armor or Greater Mage Armor when a Beguiler has Armored Mage (light)?

    A chain shirt gives you the same AC bonus as Mage Armor & a +1 Mithril BP matches your Greater Mage Armor.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagroth View Post
    Why do you care about Mage Armor or Greater Mage Armor when a Beguiler has Armored Mage (light)?
    Probably since I stopped caring about physical armor forever ago; armor proficiency, let alone armored mage, doesn't exist for me when I read class entries.

    But you're right. Not all that useful for people still fixated on draping metal over their shoulders for some imitation of real protection.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Probably since I stopped caring about physical armor forever ago; armor proficiency, let alone armored mage, doesn't exist for me when I read class entries.

    But you're right. Not all that useful for people still fixated on draping metal over their shoulders for some imitation of real protection.
    Real armor is worthwhile if only as a base for the many very useful armor enchantments.
    Last edited by AnachroNinja; 2017-02-19 at 02:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by AnachroNinja View Post
    Real armor is worthwhile if only as a base for the many very useful armor enchantments.
    That's what clothing is for.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Probably since I stopped caring about physical armor forever ago; armor proficiency, let alone armored mage, doesn't exist for me when I read class entries.

    But you're right. Not all that useful for people still fixated on draping metal over their shoulders for some imitation of real protection.
    Since Mage Armor doesn't protect against touch attacks any better than physical armor... and physical armor saves you a spell slot.

    The only reasons to not wear physical armor would be a dip into Monk (or using a feat for Improved Unarmed Strike) so you can get Aesthetic Mage, or just having such a ridiculously high Dex that armor would slow you down. (By ridiculously high, I mean over a +8 bonus, since Celestial Armor is a thing.)

    Especially given some of the nice armor enchantments you can get at higher levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnachroNinja View Post
    Real armor is worthwhile if only as a base for the many very useful armor enchantments.
    What game are you playing where a +3 Mithril Breastplate doesn't beat Greater Mage Armor?

    Heck, get some +1 Defending Armor Spikes and have the Cleric cast Greater Magic Weapon on them for even more AC that you can't get with magical clothing.
    Last edited by Dagroth; 2017-02-19 at 02:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagroth View Post
    The only reasons to not wear physical armor would be a dip into Monk (or using a feat for Improved Unarmed Strike) so you can get Aesthetic Mage, or just having such a ridiculously high Dex that armor would slow you down. (By ridiculously high, I mean over a +8 bonus, since Celestial Armor is a thing.)
    I like how you think "ridiculously high" is "over a +8 bonus." It's cute, really.

    But this isn't about AC, it's about the Beguiler not being good much past 11th.

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