A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 69
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Ah, Psionics. So often banned, so often broken with optimization, so often misunderstood. I seriously love these classes and this subsystem, even more than I love Vancian Casting. But enough about my opinion, let's get down to facts. Most psionic classes make use of Power Points to manifest (aka, cast) Powers, which are like spells, only better. They don't suffer failure chance due to armor, they are automatically silent and stilled so you may cast when sneaking, or bound/imprisoned, or in social situations much more easily. But it's not all roses and cheese. For starters, there aren't as many powers as there are spells, which means some niches aren't as well covered by powers as they are by spells. And then there's the selfishness. A Wizard can cast Fly on the Barbarian and allow him to become a tornado of death, a Nomad Psion not only gets Psionic Fly two levels later than the Wizard, but Psionic Fly has a range of "Personal", and this holds true for many powers. So many powers are of "Personal" range that it's almost impossible to play a "God Psion", which sucks.

    A special note for this round: Avoid things that are very clearly cheese. I know, I know this is very subjective, but let's try. Infinite PP tricks, Linked Power+Synchronicity, or anything that appears on this thread's OP, are very unlikely to be allowed at any given game, so they shouldn't influence the classes' tier. And I'm done. Time to see some rankings

    Psion: Poster child of the Psionics subsystem, the Psion is much like a Sorcerer. He learns a couple of powers each level and can manifest them spontaneously as long as he has the Power Points to do it. The Psion is a force to be reckoned with, and the Expanded Knowledge feat really works wonders for your versastility. This puts the Psion very clearly in Tier 2, and I'll even go as far as saying that it's as high as a class can go in terms of Tier two-ness.

    Psychic Warrior: I'll be honest that I never really got this class. It's the psionic gish-in-a-can, but it gets a D8 and 3/4 BAB and poor Will save (which is compensated by its manifesting stat, Wisdom). A really terrible chassis to be sure. Of course, this is all more than made up for with the addition of Powers. The PsyWar manifests much like a Bard casts. They get a single power known per level, and can manifest up to 6th level powers. Also, the PsyWar's power list is not shy at all, containing some pretty great buffs and swift action powers that really help the action economy. I hesitate to give this class a Tier 3, but it's definitely not Tier 4. For my official vote I'm going with Tier 3.5, which I'm rounding up to Tier 3 in this section.

    Soulknife: Hooooly crap is this class terrible. People often give the Monk a hard time, but I think it's only because they don't know much the Soulknife sucks. It doesn't get Psionic Powers and it's only class feature is having a weapon that's worse than any weapon WBL gives the Fighter. It's also 3/4 BAB for some weird reason. Strong contender for "worst non-NPC class in thte entire game" here, folks. Tier 6.

    Wilder: Ok, remember when I said the Psion was like the "psionic sorcerer"? Well, this class is the one the designers intended to be the "psionic sorcerer", at least from a fluff point of view. Wilders manifest up to 9th level powers from a very strong list, but they get a pitiful single power known every two levels! That's a single power known for each power level except 1 and 9. Still, they have a slightly better chassis than both the Psion and the Sorcerer, though I'm not sure is enough. This class is Tier 2, for certain, but similarly to the PsyWar, it ranks low on its tier.

    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 Icarnum Classes: Incarnate, Soulborn, Totemist

    The Auraists (Re-Done): Divine Mind, Dragon Shaman, Marshal

    Completing the Psionics: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    The Rankings


    Psion: Tier 2

    Psychic Warrior: Tier 3

    Soulknife: Tier 6

    Wilder: Tier 2
    Last edited by heavyfuel; 2018-10-01 at 09:24 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Expanded Psionics: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Psion: T2.

    Psychic Warrior: T3, quite comfortable at that tier thanks to both off-list power access (Hidden Talent / Expanded Knowledge) and weird splatbook effects.

    Soulknife: T5, with many of the Monk's problems -- built-in weapon which isn't quite as good as just picking up a monster drop; speed boost so you can skirmish with your terrible weapon; 3/4 BAB and light or no armor because you're a primary melee combatant; on top of a solid foundation which isn't sufficient by itself (d10 HD, 4+Int skills off a decent list, 2 good saves). Soulknife lets you charge up & throw your built-in weapon, but you can't rapid-shot attack with it until 17th level for some insane reason. What you get overall just isn't good enough to justify the levels, but it's not nearly as bad as a Commoner.

    Wilder: T2.6, or T2*, or T2-except-terrible -- this is a class which has a scaling feature that makes it worse at its primary function as you accumulate levels. Taking fewer levels in the class itself makes it better at its job. Psion gets bonus feats, PsyWar gets bonus feats, but this thing which needs Expanded Knowledge gets nothing. This class is bad, and just to highlight how little WotC thought about Wilder mechanics, there's a PrC (Anarchic Initiate) which gets all the perks with no drawbacks, and you can get into it from a Psion (but not from a Wilder because of knowledge skills). So if that class is available, then Wilder is also obsolete.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Colossus in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    I'm largely in agreement on all those. Psychic Warrior kinda sucks WRT its power points. It just doesn't have enough without shenanigans. But its powers are good enough that you can't put it any lower. Psion and Wilder are a world apart but still probably the same tier, though it's worth noting that Psychic Reformation does exist and allow day-to-day versatility. Hidden Talent Soulknife is marginally better than normal Soulknife, being able to generate a small reservoir of power points and a good list of powers. Combine with the bonus-feats-over-Psychic-Strike [which frankly sucks horribly] and you can spend your normal feats on gaining a decent set of 1st level powers and enough power points to manifest them making you a...not nearly half caster-level spellcaster but at least a spellcaster. 1st level powers actually are pretty good at augmenting combat so perhaps this would be enough to push it into Tier 5 (the sole distinction from any other Tier 6 being the ability to take Hidden Talent multiple times).

    So:
    Psion: T1.75 rounded to T2
    Psychic Warrior: T3.5 rounded to T3
    Soulknife: T5.5 rounded to T5
    Wilder: T2.5 rounded to T2


    EDIT: Changed my opinion on Soulknife. With all the support I think it's still Tier 5 albeit a very weak one.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2018-09-17 at 11:19 AM.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    SRD Averages - An aggregation of all the key stats of all the monster entries on SRD arranged by CR.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OgresAreCute's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Tokyo, New Jersey
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Wilder gets less powers, delayed power progression, no bonus feats and the same amount of PP as a psion, with only a slightly better chassis and wild surge to show for it. You also have no access to discipline powers without expanded knowledge or mantle ACFs. I'd say it's clearly worse than a psion, but it's still pretty strong. You can manifest from power stones to get out-of-combat utility without clogging up your tiny little powers known list, and if you use the educated wilder ACF (and why wouldn't you?) you get access to 5 more powers throughout your carreer which can pick from discipline lists and such. Clearly inferior to a psion, but the ACFs from Mind's Eye help, and I don't think it's so bad as to bump you down to tier 3.

    Edit: Forgot to mention the daze from enervation can be solved with 2 feats, and the PP drain will always be outweighed by the gain from wild surge unless you're REALLY unlucky.

    Also, I'm guessing Ardent will be rated along with the other (terrible) CPsi classes?
    Last edited by OgresAreCute; 2018-09-17 at 09:05 AM.
    Known among friends as "Ogres"

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    ...so as we can see, no internal consistency from WotC (unsurprising).

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    No love for the Erudite, StP or otherwise?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Also, I'm guessing Ardent will be rated along with the other (terrible) CPsi classes?
    Your guess is correct :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Drysdan View Post
    No love for the Erudite, StP or otherwise?
    There will be Psionics part 2, which will contain the other psionic classes.
    Last edited by heavyfuel; 2018-09-17 at 09:25 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Troacctid's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    So, first off, guys, why are you rounding? Fractional votes are allowed.

    Psion I think is a strong T2 bordering on T1. It does a ton of powerful things and does them efficiently. Let's say 1.8.

    Soulknife is about as bad as it gets. Arguably the weakest standard class in the game. I'll generously give it a 5.4.

    Psychic Warrior is a little overrated IMO. It's actually pretty difficult to build and play. I think it's inarguably weaker than initiators (which I have in T3) and the Duskblade as well (which I have in low T3, bordering T4). Sure, they eventually get some good stuff, but so do Paladins, and I'm not putting them in T3. My vote is 3.5.

    Putting Wilder at T2 seems far too generous to me. Have you ever built a Wilder? Do you really think it hits the same power level as a Sorcerer with, what, 9 powers known over 20 levels? The fact of the matter is, it's much closer to a Warmage than a Sorcerer. In fact, I think the best comparison is Warlock. You actually get fewer powers than the Warlock gets invocations! Anything above a 3 for Wilder is madness IMO. I vote 3.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Wilder: T2.6, or T2*, or T2-except-terrible -- this is a class which has a scaling feature that makes it worse at its primary function as you accumulate levels. Taking fewer levels in the class itself makes it better at its job. Psion gets bonus feats, PsyWar gets bonus feats, but this thing which needs Expanded Knowledge gets nothing. This class is bad, and just to highlight how little WotC thought about Wilder mechanics, there's a PrC (Anarchic Initiate) which gets all the perks with no drawbacks, and you can get into it from a Psion (but not from a Wilder because of knowledge skills). So if that class is available, then Wilder is also obsolete.
    It can't be that terrible if you're ranking it higher than every single T3 class.

    Anyone who thinks Wilder is a 2, I challenge you to come up with any power list for it that can outmatch a Warmage, Warblade, or Bard.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-09-17 at 11:03 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    So, first off, guys, why are you rounding? Fractional votes are allowed.
    Personally, I rounded because I feel like the starting point should be a whole number. I intend to put a fractional value when the spreadsheet is ready.

    But yes, fractional values are encouraged if you feel a class is "high tier 2" for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Putting Wilder at T2 seems far too generous to me. Have you ever built a Wilder? Do you really think it hits the same power level as a Sorcerer with, what, 9 powers known over 20 levels? The fact of the matter is, it's much closer to a Warmage than a Sorcerer. In fact, I think the best comparison is Warlock. You actually get fewer powers than the Warlock gets invocations! Anything above a 3 for Wilder is madness IMO. I vote 3.
    They do get encounter-ending powers from level 1, and game-breaking powers even without cheese. From "Psionic Grease" to "Reality Revision", powers make them at least Tier 2. Expanded Knowledge also gets you really good powers, though you have to spend pretty much every single feat on it.

    Since I've just said fractional values are encouraged, I'd say that Wilder is 2.8. The bare minimum for a Tier 2 class before it's "Basically Tier 3".
    Last edited by heavyfuel; 2018-09-17 at 12:14 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    I was just in the E6 competition for soulknife, and it is my opinion that this is a tier 5 class because of the existence of that expanded classes Mind's Eye article. It is not a great class by any measure, but with hidden talent it can do some neat tricks. The weapon is better than most weapons wbl. So in a magic starved setting, this guy is even a high tier five.

    Psywarrior is tier 3, high tier four. It's powers and feats put it around the duskblade in gishibility. Again, the Mind's Eye article plants this firmly in tier 3, as you gain access to every weapon enchantment printed. It's like polymorph for a magic sword.

    Psion is tier 1. It's a wizard.

    Wilder is low tier 1, it's a crappier Wizard.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Troacctid's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    They do get encounter-ending powers from level 1, and game-breaking powers even without cheese. From "Psionic Grease" to "Reality Revision", powers make them at least Tier 2. Expanded Knowledge also gets you really good powers, though you have to spend pretty much every single feat on it.

    Since I've just said fractional values are encouraged, I'd say that Wilder is 2.8. The bare minimum for a Tier 2 class before it's "Basically Tier 3".
    Your example of an overpowered effect is...grease? First off, it's not that strong. Second, you want it to be your only power for the first three levels? That's your plan? And this is supposed to be better than a Warblade? Third, you're still not beating the Bard, which gets the same spell and more.

    Reality revision is plenty overpowered, but you get it at level 18. What are you doing until then? Healers get gate at level 17, Truenamers get at-will gate at level 20, and Warlocks get at-will shades at level 21, but I don't see anyone putting them in T2. (Except for that one guy, but the point stands.)

    Show me any set of 9 powers that beats a Warmage, Warblade, or Bard.

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    I was just in the E6 competition for soulknife, and it is my opinion that this is a tier 5 class because of the existence of that expanded classes Mind's Eye article. It is not a great class by any measure, but with hidden talent it can do some neat tricks. The weapon is better than most weapons wbl. So in a magic starved setting, this guy is even a high tier five.
    D&D 3.5e is the opposite of a magic-starved setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Psywarrior is tier 3, high tier four. It's powers and feats put it around the duskblade in gishibility. Again, the Mind's Eye article plants this firmly in tier 3, as you gain access to every weapon enchantment printed. It's like polymorph for a magic sword.
    So like a 3.25?

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Psion is tier 1. It's a wizard.
    You know, I actually think this position is within the realm of reason. The class is quite strong. But I do think it's also clearly weaker than the other classes in T1.

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Wilder is low tier 1, it's a crappier Wizard.
    This, though, I'm calling BS.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-09-17 at 12:33 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Luccan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    The Old West
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Soulknife is possibly the best example of T5. It doesn't have the utility or expertise in its supposed niche to rise any higher, but it does have actual class abilities, so it can't really be T6.

    I'm tempted to say Psions are a low T1. They can be built poorly and are technically stuck with their choices for a bit (though not forever, neccesarily). But psionic powers are more flexible than the majority of individual spells. T1.5

    Wilders are to Psions what Sorcerers are to Wizards: weaker in almost every way and the way in which they're supposed to be superior their counterpart can actually do too (or arguably doesn't even need to do). That said, they have a good list and again, psionics flexibility. Wilders are probably low T2. T2.5. You know, the thing I find fun about the "Pick your set of abilities forever" classes is they're much easier to move into lower tiers. Fixed-list casters are hard to lower and prepared Full Casters have to actively hamper themselves every day (as opposed to just doing it on level up) to fit into lower tiers. But sorcerer types can just be built for lower tiers.
    Last edited by Luccan; 2018-09-17 at 12:46 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    All Roads Lead to Gnome.

    I for one support the Gnoman Empire.
    Avatar by linklele

    Spoiler: Build Contests
    Show

    E6 Iron Chef XVI Shared First Place: Black Wing

    E6 Iron Chef XXI Shared Second Place: The Shadow's Hand


  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2017

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Psion is tier 1. It's a wizard.
    Isn't the better analogy sorcerer?
    3.5 Cast - A GitP member made, third edition podcast
    D&D 3.5 Discord Chat, Come one come all
    The Master Specialist Handbook
    Truly Complete List of 3.5e Base Classes
    Spoiler: quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    are you asking us to do research into a setting you wrote yourself?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    DMG 3.5e page 41:
    "If a player behaves in a way you don't want them to behave, talk to them about it. If they continue, stop playing with them. "
    By RAW, you have to stop playing with the guy.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    It think Psion really only breaks from t2 to t1 with shenanigans. It can get access to any number of game breaking tricks, but it can't normally get access to them all.

    Psychic warrior is pretty solidly in T3. Its PP total is somewhat low, but that's counterbalanced to a degree by getting native access to a good number of useful powers at a lower level than other classes.

    Soulknife... I love this class. It's so... dysfunctional and poorly implemented. The chassis itself is solid tier 5 material, though individual builds can be bootstrapped up to high t4/very low t3 functionality with a LOT of work.

    Wilder. Very very low t2. It has the same basic level of access to game breaking effects as the Psion, but has a much narrower scope in terms of practical access.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Troacctid's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Still waiting to see a Wilder power list that can beat a T3 class. I really don't think there is one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Miller View Post
    Isn't the better analogy sorcerer?
    Not really IMO. Psions have Int casting with bonus feats and the good progression. They feel more like wizards as a result.

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

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Your example of an overpowered effect is...grease?

    Show me any set of 9 powers that beats a Warmage, Warblade, or Bard.
    That was out the top of my head, but sure, I'll try.

    Spoiler: Power List
    Show
    Lv1- Psionic Grease / Entangling Ectoplasm
    Lv1- Energy Ray
    Lv2- Control Sound
    Lv3- Telekinetic Force/Touchsight
    Lv4- Psychic Reformation
    Lv5- Incarnate/Major Creation
    Lv6- Temporal Accelaration
    Lv7- Mind Blank, Personal
    Lv8- Bend Reality/Teleport, Psionic Greater
    Lv9- Reality Revision
    Lv9- Stygian Conflagration

    Expanded Knowledge lv6 - Astral Construct
    Expanded Knowledge lv9 - Concealing Amorpha, Greater
    Expanded Knowledge lv12 - Metamorphosis / Schism
    Expanded Knowledge lv15 - Dominate, Psionic / Clairtangent Hand / Second Chance
    Expanded Knowledge lv18 - Astral Seed / Fate of One / Fission / Fusion


    Looking at my own list, which is not at all perfect, I'd say the Wilder is a Tier 4.5 until and including level 5. At level 6, they rocket jump their way into Tier 2.5 and stay there until level 20. And that's for standard Wilder. Educated Wilder makes them significantly better.
    Last edited by heavyfuel; 2018-09-17 at 02:04 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    remetagross's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Paris
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Show me any set of 9 powers that beats a Warmage, Warblade or Bard.
    Uh. That's actually a rather interesting challenge. I have no idea whether this can be pulled off, but let's see.
    For one, Wilders gain 11 powers of the course of 20 levels (not 9) because they gain another one at level 2 and yet another one at level 20.

    So...skimming the New, No-Nonsense Guide to Psions and looking at the purple powers...
    Level 1: Entangling Ectoplasm, I guess? It remains useful for a long, long time.
    Level 2: We have to pick another 1st level power. Maybe there we can mention Psionic Grease?
    Level 4: Energy Stun takes great advantage of Wild Surge, and provides with a debuff in addition to damage.
    Level 6: Dispel Psionics. Thanks to Wild Surge this will quickly reach the cap of dispelling bonus, so you'll be ahead of the expected caster level on opponent spells. Or maybe Time Hop for utility?
    Level 8: Psionic Divination is an all-in-one divination power. Or Psionic Dimension Door?
    Level 10: I guess Ectoplasmic Shambler provides with battlefield control.
    Level 12: Psionic Disintegrate takes well advantage of Wild Surge, and can be used for a modicum of utility in addition to damage.
    Level 14: Nothing seems too great here. Maybe Eyes of the Basilisk or Decerebrate for the save or dies, or Personal Mind Blank.
    Level 16: I believe Bend Reality does not cost too much exp at that level and provides with a lot of utility.
    Level 18: Dunno. Stygian Conflagration for debuff?
    Level 20: That's when I'd take Reality Revision.

    So, how does that look? I'd say the raw damage can beat the Warblade, what with Psionic Disintegrate. There's a modicum of BFC, maybe not at the level of a Warmage though. Psionics is ill-suited to buffing allies, so there's no rivalling that part of the Bard, but this power list contains a number of debuffs. Plus Psionic Divination and/or Psionic Dimension Door that can either account for the Bard's intel gathering ability or for those White Raven maneuvers that allow the team to reposition.


    With the Educated Wilder it becomes better, though. The Expanded Knowledge you get can grant you Discipline-exclusive powers. How about:
    Level 5: Astral Construct. It pairs really well with Wild Surge. Or Psionic Minor Creation, or Charm Person.
    Level 9: Hustle, Ectoplasmic Cocoon, False Sensory Input?
    Level 13: Schism, or maybe Psionic Dominate. There's also Metamorphosis.
    Level 17: Fission, Mass Ectoplasmic Cocoon.

    I do feel going from 11 to 15 powers known is a significant improvement in the Wilder's power...

    In addition to that, Wilders have 4 skill points/level, are Cha-bases and have all the social skills, so maybe they can afford not to take Psionic Charm Person or Psionic Dominate and Diplomance their way through social encounters.
    Last edited by remetagross; 2018-09-17 at 02:05 PM.
    VC XV, The horsemen are drawing nearer: The Alien and the Omen (part 1 and part 2).
    VC XVI, Burn baby burn:Nero
    VC XVIII, This is Heresy! Torquemada
    VC XX, Elder Evil: Henry Bowyer

    And a repository of deliciously absurd sentences produced by maddened optimisers in my extended signature

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Swamplandia

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    I want to love the soulknife, but man, it's such a terrible class. All it does is fight, but it has 3/4 BAB so it's built in magic weapon bumps it all the way to to "Warrior with a club" levels of competency. The PF redo is much, much better. That I'd put at tier 4 (tier 3 for the Warsoul or Gifted Blade archetypes) but 3.5 Soul Knife? 5.5 at best.

    Psiwarrior seems like a solid T3 to me. Maybe 3.2. It has less staying power than the initiating classes, but can nova harder, and has some more interesting option, including the ability to learn other powers.

    Psion is a strong 9 level casting class, so T1 by default, but it casts from a limited spells known list akin to a Sorcerer so probably 1.5.

    Wilder is just weaker so maybe 2.5? Xykon seems to feel a limited Spell list can be made to work.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    It can't be that terrible if you're ranking it higher than every single T3 class.

    Anyone who thinks Wilder is a 2, I challenge you to come up with any power list for it that can outmatch a Warmage, Warblade, or Bard.
    1 - Because after it becomes so much worse than not using it, you can just opt to not use it. The major bonus which was supposed to be what you get as compensation for having so few powers becomes a liability which you simply ignore.


    2 - Okay. Trivial build: Wilder 5 / Thrallherd 10 then into some other PrC for the last 5. Get mindlink via Hidden Talent.


    I think a full-on Wilder 20 can beat Warmage / Warblade / Bard by cherry-picking powers using feats... let me try:

    Level 1: Hidden Talent (Psi Minor Creation)
    - Crystal Shard

    Level 2:
    - Vigor

    Level 3: Psicrystal Affinity

    Level 4:
    - Share Pain

    Level 6: Expanded Knowledge (Astral Construct)
    - Time Hop

    Level 8:
    - Psi Dimension Door

    Level 9: Expanded Knowledge (Psi Suggestion)

    Level 10:
    - Psi Plane Shift

    Level 12: Expanded Knowledge (Metamorphosis)
    - Psi Disintegrate

    You're behind what any competent Psion could have done, but I think you're ahead of most T3 classes, including the three listed. You've got a very solid tanking combo, plus you're well set up to exploit sharing a power with your pet rock (hello metamorphosis).

    That's all from core. If we extend the build higher, I'd probably want to look at non-core power lists.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Are you comparing these to the 3.5 versions or dreamscarred press?

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Luccan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    The Old West
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by catman04221985 View Post
    Are you comparing these to the 3.5 versions or dreamscarred press?
    This* Tier system has been devised largely for 3.5 1st party base classes, so Dreamscarred press and right now at least even PF classes don't enter into these considerations.

    *Edit: The to This
    Last edited by Luccan; 2018-09-17 at 07:20 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    All Roads Lead to Gnome.

    I for one support the Gnoman Empire.
    Avatar by linklele

    Spoiler: Build Contests
    Show

    E6 Iron Chef XVI Shared First Place: Black Wing

    E6 Iron Chef XXI Shared Second Place: The Shadow's Hand


  21. - Top - End - #21
    Banned
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    2 - Okay. Trivial build: Wilder 5 / Thrallherd 10 then into some other PrC for the last 5. Get mindlink via Hidden Talent.
    I get that this wasn't supposed to be a serious submission, but I don't even think that beats Warmage/Rainbow Servant or Bard/Sublime Chord.

    I think a full-on Wilder 20 can beat Warmage / Warblade / Bard by cherry-picking powers using feats... let me try:
    If we're counting list-expanding feats, the Warmage has you beat all to hell. It gets a decent spell at most levels anyway, and Apprentice (Spellcaster) lets it get whatever two spells it wants at each level. Personally, I think the Warmage probably belongs in Tier Two, because the fixed list casters have some pretty stupidly good synergies, but in a world where it is in Three, I don't think the Wilder gets out of there.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Colorado
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    So Psion is somewhere between a high mid two and a low 1 so I go with Tier 1.9.

    Psychic warrior seems like a mid 3 maybe low 3 I don't play them enough to really nail them down so I will stick with Tier 3 (by the way why is everyone hating on duskblade hands down better than psywarrior and competitive with initiators).

    Soulknife, darn you soulknife you are such an awesome idea until you actually start trying to build one and realize how horrible they are. I give you Tier 5.5 because not quite 6 material.

    On to the Wilder, first off I think the best comparison is probably paladin or even ranger into divine crusader which is tier 3 so I can't see Wilder getting any higher than a tier 3 prc that gives me 9 spells over 10 levels, especially since Divine Crusader can be abused into pretty nasty if you are at a cheese dip friendly table whereas even if I dump all my feats into Expanded Knowledge I still don't favorably compare to divine crusader. I am going with Tier 3.2.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    So Psion is somewhere between a high mid two and a low 1 so I go with Tier 1.9.
    This score seems low for that description. Theoretically, tier two ranges from 1.5 to 2.5, so a high two alone would probably hit the top half of that range. So, I would expect at least a 1.8 or 1.9 from just that description. If the psion is between that and a low one, which ranges from 1 to 1.5, then I would expect a 1.6 or even a straight 1.5. In other words, almost one but not quite.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Colorado
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    This score seems low for that description. Theoretically, tier two ranges from 1.5 to 2.5, so a high two alone would probably hit the top half of that range. So, I would expect at least a 1.8 or 1.9 from just that description. If the psion is between that and a low one, which ranges from 1 to 1.5, then I would expect a 1.6 or even a straight 1.5. In other words, almost one but not quite.
    High mid two would be 2.3 or 2.2 a low one would be 1.9,1.8, or maybe 1.7 therefore a 1.9 seems reasonable. Also this fractional tiering system is screwy, you should technically be saying a tier two is a 2.5 to 1.5 not the other way around....

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    High mid two would be 2.3 or 2.2 a low one would be 1.9,1.8, or maybe 1.7 therefore a 1.9 seems reasonable. Also this fractional tiering system is screwy, you should technically be saying a tier two is a 2.5 to 1.5 not the other way around....
    You said between high mid two and low one, so I assumed you meant high as in, y'know, good. Tier one is generally considered higher than tier two. Given that, high mid two would be above two, not below it.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    If we're counting list-expanding feats,
    The ones in core plus Complete Arcane? Sure. That'd be a fair comparison to the ones from the XPH which I've shown. Count them for us, but do mind the errata. If you manage to find even one, I'll be surprised.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    the Warmage has you beat all to hell.
    This sort of personal violence as metaphor is how we're supposed to communicate, eh?

    If so, then I guess Psi Minor Creation has already sent your broken body to the ICU, because the Warmage honestly can't compete with that level 1 power, and from level 6+ this Wilder offers a very substantial combat package in addition to a ton of utility and combat-negation. Uh, wait, I went off into civility instead of insinuating violence against you. Let me re-try in your language: Wilder has you beat down and curb-stomped. Is this amenable to your idiom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    Apprentice (Spellcaster) lets it get whatever two spells it wants
    Ha! Have you even read the feat, or are you just whiffing second-hand smoke from the posterior of a Theory Only thread?

    That feat doesn't allow you to go off-list, and there's nothing on the Warmage list which isn't already known to every Warmage. It's non-functional, not super-powered.

    Nothing wrong with blasters, but you're blatantly ignoring the rules in your attempt to over-rate this one.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OgresAreCute's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Tokyo, New Jersey
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    I get that this wasn't supposed to be a serious submission, but I don't even think that beats Warmage/Rainbow Servant or Bard/Sublime Chord.



    If we're counting list-expanding feats, the Warmage has you beat all to hell. It gets a decent spell at most levels anyway, and Apprentice (Spellcaster) lets it get whatever two spells it wants at each level. Personally, I think the Warmage probably belongs in Tier Two, because the fixed list casters have some pretty stupidly good synergies, but in a world where it is in Three, I don't think the Wilder gets out of there.
    Rainbow Warsnake and Sublime Chord are not tier 3 by any stretch of the imagination. Spontaneous casting from the entire cleric list is lower than tier 2? Yeah, nah.
    Known among friends as "Ogres"

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    ...so as we can see, no internal consistency from WotC (unsurprising).

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    remetagross's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Paris
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    As far as single-class PCs are concerned, I like to think the power selection I've provided above holds it own relatively well when compared to the combined capacities of a Warmage, a Warblade and a Bard not beating any at his schtik but not being utterly outshadowed either.
    VC XV, The horsemen are drawing nearer: The Alien and the Omen (part 1 and part 2).
    VC XVI, Burn baby burn:Nero
    VC XVIII, This is Heresy! Torquemada
    VC XX, Elder Evil: Henry Bowyer

    And a repository of deliciously absurd sentences produced by maddened optimisers in my extended signature

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Ha! Have you even read the feat, or are you just whiffing second-hand smoke from the posterior of a Theory Only thread?

    That feat doesn't allow you to go off-list, and there's nothing on the Warmage list which isn't already known to every Warmage. It's non-functional, not super-powered.

    Nothing wrong with blasters, but you're blatantly ignoring the rules in your attempt to over-rate this one.
    I've tried to explain this to him before. His position is that unless it specifically prohibits going off-list, he can pick spells from any list.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Banned
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    The ones in core plus Complete Arcane? Sure. That'd be a fair comparison to the ones from the XPH which I've shown. Count them for us, but do mind the errata. If you manage to find even one, I'll be surprised.
    The Healer got ranked for Sanctified Spell access, despite the fact that those don't appear in the Minature's Handbook. The standard has generally not been "Core + 1 book". Yes, that's all your Wilder uses, but that's because there are relatively few sources with options for Psionic characters, and surely that lack of resources ought to be reflected in the class's evaluation.

    Ha! Have you even read the feat, or are you just whiffing second-hand smoke from the posterior of a Theory Only thread?
    Have you? Because it doesn't say anything about your list. It uses the phrase "a spell"

    We could choose to believe that "a spell" always implicitly means "from your list", but that causes problems in other places. Consider the Warmage's Advanced Learning class feature:

    Quote Originally Posted by Warmage, Advanced Learning
    At 3rd, 6th, 11th, and 16th level, a warmage can add a new spell to his list, representing the result of personal study and experimentation. The spell must be a wizard spell of the evocation school, and of a level no higher than that of the highest-level spell the warmage already knows.
    So to pick something with Advanced Learning, it has to be "a spell", and that it must be "a wizard spell", and that it must be "of a level no higher than that of the highest-level spell the Warmage already knows". Notice how everything there except "a spell" is a restriction. If "a spell" means "from the Warmage list" the only valid targets for Advanced Learning are spells already on the Warmage list, which makes the feature dysfunctional. This is a very good reason to prefer an interpretation where "a spell" just means "a spell". Because apparently "that's what the feat says and adding extra text for no reason breaks our ability to make coherent decisions about the rules" wasn't good enough.

    But apparently something that makes a class better than the Sorcerer but still worse than the Wizard is "cheese" while the Artificer getting every spell in the game two character levels before the lowest class level that anyone else gets it is totally fine. This forum has a very strong bias against certain classes for reasons that are totally unclear to me. I have described some cheese strategies for those classes (like using Apprentice to get PrC spells at lower levels), but generally in the context of discussions about cheese, or clearly demarcated as such. This feat is not cheese, it's just something that happens to reward people for having lots of spells they don't need.

    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Rainbow Warsnake and Sublime Chord are not tier 3 by any stretch of the imagination. Spontaneous casting from the entire cleric list is lower than tier 2? Yeah, nah.
    If the Tiers are functioning correctly, opening new avenues of optimization shouldn't dramatically change evaluations. Nifft opted to include a PrC. If those are being accounted for, Warmages can become Rainbow Servants and Bards can become Sublime Chords. If the Wilder is in a higher tier than those classes, PrCs should produce a correspondingly more powerful build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Reader View Post
    I've tried to explain this to him before. His position is that unless it specifically prohibits going off-list, he can pick spells from any list.
    Yes, and I've tried to explain to you that "the feat has a restriction that's not in the text" is wishful thinking rather than a rule. I'm not sure why your failure to persuade me is relevant here, outside of an attempted appeal to groupthink.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •