A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Default Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    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

    Ardent: I seriously love this class for no reason other than the fact that its access to powers is linked with its manifester level rather than class level. This makes for a class that can multiclass really really well what with the Practiced Manifester feat. There's not much else to say about this class, really. The class can cast up to 9th level powers from really solid lists, assuming you pick decent Mantles. I have no problems in saying it's a solid Tier 2 class.

    Erudite: Though this class is technically a Variant Psion, its manifesting mechanics is so different that I feel it's well deserving a separate entry. Not only can it learn any psionic power (except 9th level discipline powers), it can cast pretty much all of these powers with no preparation. However, the unique powers per day mechanic is incredibly restrictive, making the class really limited on a daily basis. It still has good versatility, but it just doesn't cut it to play with the big boys at Tier 1. Tier 2 it is, then.

    Lurk: So you want to play a Rogue class with a sprinkle of psionics? Boy have I got the class for you! It's right there below this one! Seriously, if you're thinking about playing this class it's probably because the party is in need of a Rogue, and the Lurk is outclassed in every rogue-ish aspect by the Psychic Rogue. Its Sneak Attack progression is super slow, doesn't qualify for Craven, and requires you to be focused. It only has 4+int skill points per day and its skill list is very lacking. Speaking of lacking, where the hell is "Trapfinding"? Still, the class isn't all bad, it's only bad as far as rogue-ish abilities go (which is probably why you wanted to play this class in the first place, but that's beside the point of this thread). They get something similar to Bard progression of spells but in Power form. Can manifest up to 6th level powers and get a bit more PP/day than the PsyRogue. They also get some way to Sneak Attack creatures normally immune with "Lurk Augments", but these options are often overshadowed by better Augments. I'll give this class a Tier 4 rating with a big asterisk that means "Tier 4 but no reason to ever pick this class".

    Psychic Rogue: Unlike other classes in this thread, the Psy Rogue isn't part of the Complete Psionics book, but can, instead, be found online here. This class seems pretty solid with a good combination of Skill Points (6 base on an Int focused class), excellent skill list, utility powers, and combat ability. Sure, it has a slower Sneak Attack progression, but this is offset by the existence of Craven, the feat itself improved by the Empty Mind power, which can negate the penalty against fear effects. My big beef with this class is the lack of Trap Sense. Not because Trap Sense is good, but because its absence means you can't trade it for (Lightbringer) Penetrating Strike, which makes you much less useful when facing crit immune enemies. This problem is exacerbated by the lack of psionic versions of "Golem/Grave/Vine/ Strike". Overall, I think the class fares better than the standard Rogue, but not enough for it to raise from Tier 4.

    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 Expanded Psionics: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, Wilder

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


    The Rankings


    Ardent: Tier 2
    Erudite: Tier 2
    Lurk: Tier 4
    Psychic Rogue: Tier 4
    Last edited by heavyfuel; 2018-10-01 at 04:46 PM. Reason: Lowering Erudite's tier from 1 to 2

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    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.
    I want to raise a question in the context of this disclaimer: how heavily should we weigh the Spell to Power Erudite? The Spell to Power Erudite is commonly discussed interchangeably with the Erudite, and a great deal of the class's power is often attributed to access to capabilities based on plundering the various spell lists open to it, whether that's the use of arcane fusion to avoid UPPD limits or the plundering of spells at lower levels of obscure lists. But to do that, you have to convince your DM to let you play a Web Enhancement variant of a splatbook variant of a non-core class, and then you have to personally track down every character you want to learn a spell from. It's like the Artificer's already-dubious item creation shenanigans, except instead of getting your powerup because anyone anywhere could theoretically be a Trapsmith with haste as a 1st level spell, you have to personally find someone who knows haste as a 1st level spell and lick their brain. And it costs XP. Given all that, I don't really see how Spell to Power Erudite should rank any higher in balance evaluations than "an Expert could totally UMD a scroll of planar binding and use it to get infinite wealth, therefore Experts are Tier One".

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Hmmm, very good point. From personal experience (and any other person is free to contest me here) StP Erudites aren't allowed in games. I put the mention there because it is RAW, and doesn't really affect the class' tier in my opinion.

    Because of it often being banned, I'd say to ignore StP variant in whatever rating you choose to give Erudites.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Ignoring StP, Erudite is still tier 1. It has a day to day versatility that the Psion technically lacks. From reading the threads, Psion is clearly a high powered t2, or as some people call it a t1.5. One of the differences between sorcerer and wizard is versatility.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by Sto View Post
    Ignoring StP, Erudite is still tier 1. It has a day to day versatility that the Psion technically lacks. From reading the threads, Psion is clearly a high powered t2, or as some people call it a t1.5. One of the differences between sorcerer and wizard is versatility.
    The (non-StP) erudite has a much lower ceiling, however. The UPPD restriction nerfs it pretty hard when compared to a psion, who only needs Linked Power + psychic reformation to have near instant access to every available power in the game.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Well, it doesn't cost the Wizard XP every time he tries to learn a new power. That's not a trivial cost, and if the Erudite isn't paying it he gets as many powers per level as the Psion. Also he can't learn discipline powers normally, but I'm not sure how big a deal that is.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    I think StP Erudite should be regarded like Wild Shape Ranger, as a separate class with a separate tier.

    Ardent: Tier 2
    Erudite: Tier 1
    Lurk: Tier 4
    Psychic Rogue: Tier 4
    Seems fine.

    Psychic Rogue is on the better side of T4. It feels weird to put a class I'd be fine playing in the same tier as a class I'd never play, but tiers are thick & unwieldy so that's where we end up.

    I feel like Lurk = Adept in terms of playability, but it turns out Adept is T4 so that's accurate I guess.

    Erudite is T1 with no special ACF perks. UPPD is a pain, but one utility power like create sound and attraction can get a lot of mileage out of combat, and energy _____ can get you through combat thanks to flexible energy types, so taking that one feat which grants you +1 UPPD makes the whole class somewhat reasonable even at low levels. Since you get Psicrystal Affinity as a bonus feat, plus another bonus feat, the feat tax is a wash.

    Ardent, yeah, T2 but as a DM I always find myself buffing up a lot of specific mantle list -- both finding homes for powers from other splatbooks (e.g. Eberron sourcebooks), and extending some of the mantles which have too few powers. I suspect there are some mantles which are fine, but the majority need work, and that's not a good place for a class to be.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Erudite versatility is somewhat of an illusion. The fact of the matter is you're extremely limited in your unique powers per day, even if you do have the ability to change them each day. And while you can learn spells like a wizard, the psion list is significantly more limited than the wizard list. The end result is a class that compares more closely with the spirit shaman than anything else, IMO. Yeah, you can do a bunch of stuff, but you can do so few of them at the same time that in actual gameplay, your practical versatility ends up being significantly lower than your theoretical versatility. Personally, I would consider the erudite to be straight up worse than any of the other psion subclasses outside of nomad. You need to be at a higher optimization level and spend a crapton of xp just to break even on power. To underscore my distaste for the class, I'm putting it all the way down at 2.5—below the ardent. The addition of StP would not change this rating. StP erudite is overrated. Fight me.

    Speaking of ardent, I think it's squarely in T2. It's limited in power selection, but the limitations are nowhere near as stifling as the shugenja, and they still leave plenty of room to breathe. The cleric-esque chassis helps too. (And one of the Mind's Eye variants is absurdly overpowered.)

    I guess I can see the argument for lurk in T4, but ultimately, if we have binder and factotum in T3, I mean...lurk can definitely match that level, IMO. Its power list has plenty of good utility effects, backed up by a decent chassis. The biggest thing that brings it down in my view is the same thing that hurts the psychic warrior: resource starvation. Sure, you have utility powers that don't necessarily need to be augmented with a lot of pp, but your lurk augments do a perfectly fine job chewing them up anyway. And while you technically only get powers up to 6th level, your 6th level powers do include mind blank and time stop, which are equivalent to 8th level spells. Bottom line, I think lurk lands in T3 anyway.

    Psychic rogue is straight up better than factotum IMO. It only goes up to 5th level spells, yes, but it has significantly better combat capability, it comes online a lot sooner, and it has a lower optimization floor. I think it's a clear T3.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Ardent: I seriously love this class for no reason other than the fact that its access to powers is linked with its manifester level rather than class level. This makes for a class that can multiclass really really well what with the Practiced Manifester feat. There's not much else to say about this class, really. The class can cast up to 9th level powers from really solid lists, assuming you pick decent Mantles. I have no problems in saying it's a solid Tier 2 class.
    Practiced Manifester shouldn't come into play when tiering it as an Ardent 20. It doesn't do anything if you aren't multiclassing.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Lurk: So you want to play a Rogue class with a sprinkle of psionics? Boy have I got the class for you! It's right there below this one! Seriously, if you're thinking about playing this class it's probably because the party is in need of a Rogue, and the Lurk is outclassed in every rogue-ish aspect by the Psychic Rogue. Its Sneak Attack progression is super slow, doesn't qualify for Craven, and requires you to be focused. It only has 4+int skill points per day and its skill list is very lacking. Speaking of lacking, where the hell is "Trapfinding"? Still, the class isn't all bad, it's only bad as far as rogue-ish abilities go (which is probably why you wanted to play this class in the first place, but that's beside the point of this thread). They get something similar to Bard progression of spells but in Power form. Can manifest up to 6th level powers and get a bit more PP/day than the PsyRogue. They also get some way to Sneak Attack creatures normally immune with "Lurk Augments", but these options are often overshadowed by better Augments. I'll give this class a Tier 4 rating with a big asterisk that means "Tier 4 but no reason to ever pick this class".
    You're framing it as a psionic rogue when it's actually a psionic bard. Its progression and power suite are remarkably similar. Of course it's worse than an actual bard, but there's a lot of room to be worse than a bard without dropping out of T3.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Psychic Rogue: Unlike other classes in this thread, the Psy Rogue isn't part of the Complete Psionics book, but can, instead, be found online here. This class seems pretty solid with a good combination of Skill Points (6 base on an Int focused class), excellent skill list, utility powers, and combat ability. Sure, it has a slower Sneak Attack progression, but this is offset by the existence of Craven, the feat itself improved by the Empty Mind power, which can negate the penalty against fear effects. My big beef with this class is the lack of Trap Sense. Not because Trap Sense is good, but because its absence means you can't trade it for (Lightbringer) Penetrating Strike, which makes you much less useful when facing crit immune enemies. This problem is exacerbated by the lack of psionic versions of "Golem/Grave/Vine/ Strike". Overall, I think the class fares better than the standard Rogue, but not enough for it to raise from Tier 4.
    What do you mean it doesn't get trap sense? It gets +4 trap sense at level 5.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Erudite is T1 with no special ACF perks. UPPD is a pain, but one utility power like create sound and attraction can get a lot of mileage out of combat, and energy _____ can get you through combat thanks to flexible energy types, so taking that one feat which grants you +1 UPPD makes the whole class somewhat reasonable even at low levels. Since you get Psicrystal Affinity as a bonus feat, plus another bonus feat, the feat tax is a wash.
    So why wouldn't a psion with those same powers also be T1? It's not as if the erudite has access to those powers plus a bunch of other ones—if you're using those powers, then you've blocked off your access to other ones that day.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-01 at 03:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Erudite versatility is somewhat of an illusion. The end result is a class that compares more closely with the spirit shaman than anything else, IMO.
    Y'know, I was thinking about this yesterday when I was writing the thread, but I don't think is very fair.

    At lv 10, a Spirit Shaman can retrieve "3 3 2 2 1" spells from lvs 1 through 5. A same level Erudite can manifest 6 powers from each level, 1 through 5. That's twice as many for 1st and 2nd level, thrice as many for 3rd and 4th level, and six times as many for 5th level.

    The difference isn't so big during early levels, but it's something that can be solved with a feat, on a class that has plenty feats. And at later levels Unique Powers/day is a non-problem.

    I can see the argument for lurk in T4, but ultimately, if we have binder and factotum in T3, I mean...lurk can definitely match that level, IMO.
    I'd fight the Factotum's and Binder's ratings as Tier 3, but these threads are unfortunately long gone. *shrug*

    Also, why would you say it doesn't get trap sense? It gets +4 trap sense at level 5.
    Because it doesn't get "trap sense" it gets "danger sense" which is "trap sense plus uncanny dodge but not really", so it can't be traded for Penetrating Strike.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Because it doesn't get "trap sense" it gets "danger sense" which is "trap sense plus uncanny dodge but not really", so it can't be traded for Penetrating Strike.
    If it were trap sense verbatim, you still wouldn't be able to trade it. ACFs are class-specific. You can't just trade out any instance of trap sense for penetrating strike. It's a rogue ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Y'know, I was thinking about this yesterday when I was writing the thread, but I don't think is very fair.

    At lv 10, a Spirit Shaman can retrieve "3 3 2 2 1" spells from lvs 1 through 5. A same level Erudite can manifest 6 powers from each level, 1 through 5. That's twice as many for 1st and 2nd level, thrice as many for 3rd and 4th level, and six times as many for 5th level.

    The difference isn't so big during early levels, but it's something that can be solved with a feat, on a class that has plenty feats. And at later levels Unique Powers/day is a non-problem.
    What? No. It's 6 powers total between all levels. Did you rate the class thinking it was just a strictly better version of psion?

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    I'd fight the Factotum's and Binder's ratings as Tier 3, but these threads are unfortunately long gone. *shrug*
    It's also pretty comparable to the psychic warrior, which I believe you had in T3.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-01 at 03:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    A same level Erudite can manifest 6 powers from each level, 1 through 5.
    That editorial mistake should have its own tier.

    It's significantly better than the (6+Int)x6 skill points that an editorial mistake gives to the Swordsage.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Yeah, I'd put Typo Erudite in T1 no question, as well as Dragon Erudite. But the actual class is definitely not getting there.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    What? No. It's 6 powers total between all levels. Did you rate the class thinking it was just a strictly better version of psion?
    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    That editorial mistake should have its own tier.

    It's significantly better than the (6+Int)x6 skill points that an editorial mistake gives to the Swordsage.
    Wait, is it an editorial mistake? I can understand someone pressing a "6" when they meant to press a "4", either because of a brain fart or a typo. But actually writing down "a certain number of unique psionic powers of each level per day" seems a stretch to say it wasn't intentional. Poorly though out? Almost definitely. But intentional nonetheless.


    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    If it were trap sense verbatim, you still wouldn't be able to trade it. ACFs are class-specific. You can't just trade out any instance of trap sense for penetrating strike. It's a rogue ability.
    Yeah... I know... Doesn't make my beef with the class disappear. Really wish they had some way of sneak attacking crit immune enemies.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Wait, is it an editorial mistake? I can understand someone pressing a "6" when they meant to press a "4", either because of a brain fart or a typo. But actually writing down "a certain number of unique psionic powers of each level per day" seems a stretch to say it wasn't intentional. Poorly though out? Almost definitely. But intentional nonetheless.
    Look at the chart. Where does it say how many unique powers per level you get per day?

    If you're familiar with the history of the class, it's easy to imagine how the mistake happened. The original version in Dragon Magazine had different unique powers per day for each power level. Complete Psionic revised it and updated the table, but ended up with a copy/paste error.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Yeah... I know... Doesn't make my beef with the class disappear. Really wish they had some way of sneak attacking crit immune enemies.
    Thing is, they also have some really nice powers, and they're one of the best skillmonkeys around overall. They can do a lot more than just roll a bunch of sneak attack dice.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-01 at 04:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Wait, is it an editorial mistake? I can understand someone pressing a "6" when they meant to press a "4", either because of a brain fart or a typo. But actually writing down "a certain number of unique psionic powers of each level per day" seems a stretch to say it wasn't intentional. Poorly though out? Almost definitely. But intentional nonetheless.
    You think it was intentional that they wrote a passage which was in conflict with the table? What possible reason would there be for doing that intentionally?

    I don't buy it. The conflict between table and text means at least one mistake was made.

    Looking for evidence of intent, compare with the Dragon Mag article. The table was changed deliberately, and the text was also changed, but the text was not sufficiently well edited to remove all previous wording.

    That specific passage contains other editorial mistakes (e.g. the comma after "from,") -- it was obviously not proof-read enough.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Don't forget the conflict with the epic erudite, where hitting level 25 means you go from 99 unique powers per day to only 12.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Look at the chart. Where does it say how many unique powers per level you get per day?

    If you're familiar with the history of the class, it's easy to imagine how the mistake happened. The original version in Dragon Magazine had different unique powers per day for each power level. Complete Psionic revised it and updated the table, but ended up with a copy/paste error.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    You think it was intentional that they wrote a passage which was in conflict with the table? What possible reason would there be for doing that intentionally?

    I don't buy it. The conflict between table and text means at least one mistake was made.

    Looking for evidence of intent, compare with the Dragon Mag article. The table was changed deliberately, and the text was also changed, but the text was not sufficiently well edited to remove all previous wording.

    That specific passage contains other editorial mistakes (e.g. the comma after "from,") -- it was obviously not proof-read enough.
    Well, of course there was some mistake if table and text is different, but since "text trumps table" is an actual rule, I just shrugged it off and though maybe they abbreviated the table or something.

    But, that's enough evidence for me. I'm ready to change my rating for the Erudite to Tier 2. Still a really strong class, but doesn't quite have the versatility I had hoped for. It's indeed as Troacctid said. More like Spirit Shaman than like a Wizard.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Well, of course there was some mistake if table and text is different, but since "text trumps table" is an actual rule, I just shrugged it off and though maybe they abbreviated the table or something.

    But, that's enough evidence for me. I'm ready to change my rating for the Erudite to Tier 2. Still a really strong class, but doesn't quite have the versatility I had hoped for. It's indeed as Troacctid said. More like Spirit Shaman than like a Wizard.
    Erudite is like a Wilder who gets (delayed) access to all Discipline powers, and can change her power choices every day for free.

    If Wilder is T2, then Erudite ought to be T1 -- I think it meets the criteria of being better than a T2 by swapping out different ways of breaking the world depending on the day, and by having better access to game-breaking effects.

    I think Troacctid is correct that Erudite is often over-rated, but I think my "basically a T1 Wilder" isn't all that high a rating. Erudite would be quite low on T1, just as Wilder ought to be low on T2.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    So why wouldn't a psion with those same powers also be T1? It's not as if the erudite has access to those powers plus a bunch of other ones—if you're using those powers, then you've blocked off your access to other ones that day.
    Because a Psion has a fixed list of powers.

    An Erudite can break the world in a different way each day, without needing to spend XP on psychic reformation.

    It's the same difference between a Cleric (T1) and a Favored Soul (T2).

    At least, that's how I think we're supposed to evaluate within tiers. Maybe I'm wrong.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Wilder is not T2 though. It's just sooo much worse than all the actual T2 classes. I think the main reason people talk about it in T2 is because of JaronK's faulty "can break the game but may not be versatile" definition. So, like, sure, it fits that profile, but that profile is also not actually what T2 means (and, yes, not how we're evaluating them here, btw; classes are ranked on overall power level, not "breaking the world"), and the fact of the matter is that wilder is kind of just bad.

    The classes currently in T2 are death master, spontaneous cleric, sorcerer, evangelist, favored soul, spirit shaman, urban druid, mystic, dread necromancer, beguiler, and I think psion made it in there too. Can you honestly say that wilder compares to any of those? The power level is substantially lower, more akin to bard, shugenja, warmage, or healer.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-01 at 05:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Wilder is not T2 though. It's just sooo much worse than all the actual T2 classes.
    I thought these threads did put Wilder at T2.

    Erudite should be one tier higher than Wilder, whatever that tier happens to be.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    I thought these threads did put Wilder at T2.
    No, I believe it ended up as the highest-ranked T3 class due to a preponderance of 2.5-type votes.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-01 at 05:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    I think the psionic rogue is a strong contender for tier 3, It is a little bit behind the rogue, but I can see it grabbing a strong power with a bonus feat to cover areas for when the rogue wouldn't be able to use sneak attack.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Erudite is T1 with no special ACF perks. UPPD is a pain, but one utility power like create sound and attraction can get a lot of mileage out of combat, and energy _____ can get you through combat thanks to flexible energy types, so taking that one feat which grants you +1 UPPD makes the whole class somewhat reasonable even at low levels. Since you get Psicrystal Affinity as a bonus feat, plus another bonus feat, the feat tax is a wash.
    But you don't actually know many more powers than the Psion does. You know more off the bat, because you get extra 1st level powers. But you get two extra powers known per level, and the Psion does at most levels. You end up like 5 or 6 powers known ahead at 20th level, which is not huge. And you can't naturally pick up discipline powers. So even if the UPPD aren't a huge deal, they're not buying you that much power.

    Ah, but you say, you can learn new powers! Except to do that costs you XP. To permanently learn a new power, you have to pay 20 XP per Erudite level*. If you're paying that kind of XP to pick up new powers, the Psion can probably afford to spend a similar amount of XP to psychic reformation himself into a new set of powers.

    *: The fact that this scales with class levels causes some weird conflicts. More Erudite levels boosts your UPPD, but makes learning powers more expensive. Also if you do PrC out, you arguably lose your ability to learn new powers at all once you have more PrC levels than Erudite levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    If Wilder is T2, then Erudite ought to be T1 -- I think it meets the criteria of being better than a T2 by swapping out different ways of breaking the world depending on the day, and by having better access to game-breaking effects.
    That's not the definition this thread is operating under though, so I'm not sure why you're bringing it up. Tier One is supposed to mean "Incredibly good at solving nearly all problems" and/or "keeping up with [the Cleric, Druid, and Wizard]". Nothing in the definition talks about breaking the game at all. Probably because that's an incredibly pointless thing for a set of power rankings to care about.
    Last edited by Cosi; 2018-10-01 at 08:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Yeah, that's the other thing—regular psions naturally have plenty of powers known to begin with, which means going erudite isn't actually as big a jump as you might think. I think at its base, erudite is actually less versatile than a psion. And if you go ham on learning powers, sure, you can expand your repertoire, but doing so takes about as much effort as it would take a regular psion to obtain a bunch of power stones.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-01 at 08:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    I'm playing my first Ardent (currently L13), and I'm actually considering dipping something else instead of picking up 9th level powers.

    Many of them just aren't that attractive.

    Metafaculty - yay, a divination. A nice one, but still not especially useful in many games.
    Apopsi - a save-or-randomly-suck that only applies to psionic enemies.
    True Creation - meh. I can make a bunch of adamantine, or build a castle faster, or cast wall of stone, at a big xp cost.
    Microcosm - [mind affecting] hitpoint limited no-save-just-lose. Useful, but enemies will often not be vulnerable. The area version could be fun for inducing terror among those who witness it I guess.
    Intellect Bomb - Save or Die. One that's hard to be immune to even. Decent power.
    Tornado Blast - An Energy Ball with a 40' radius. Meh.
    Timeless Body - Good power. Especially Extended. 2 rounds of immunity to everything is very nice.
    Earthquake - good for knocking down the castle the other guy built with True Creation.
    Affinity Field Pain - I guess I could put up a big Vigor spell and then shoot myself in the head with an Empowered Energy Ray or something (3rd level or lower of course). I'd prefer to just avoid damage thanks.
    Time Regression - savescumming. Which is powerful. Also nearly impossible to adjudicate in combat, unless you are using a VTT and actually saving the gamestate each round. Handy for getting your buddy out of the wrong Magic Mouth in Tomb of Horrors I guess. Otherwise it's a DM's nightmare.

    It's a good T3. T2 requires going dipping and using the RAW-but-maybe-not-RAI that new powers are manifester-level based instead of class level based.
    It's also annoying that if you pick your mantles wrong, you can get access to a new power level and not actually have any appropriate powers to choose.

    Now if you use the "Design your own mantle" MindsEye variant, it jumps massively, especially if the DM doesn't have a firm hand. But you can expect every other class to have similar advantages in such a loose game.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Ardent: Tier 2. It has access to some world-bending stuff and picks up a few class features too. Psi powers being naturally flexible and general helps make up for not having any day to day flexibility. I don't love the chassis, but wizard shows how little significance all that "BAB, hit points, skill points" stuff has.

    Erudite: Tier 2.4, I guess. The Int focus is nice and being able to learn practically anything is nice, but seriously, UPPD is a crippling limit in actual play.

    Lurk: Not going to vote right now. Apparently I need to re-read that class and its power list cuz everone is saying it's WAY better than I'd put it.

    Psychic rogue: As good as a bard or swordsage, no problem. Tier 3.
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    I'm staying out of the rating part of these threads as it's very clear my premise (that a tier system should be based primarily on spell access) has been rejected by the participants.

    I do, however, find it ironic that everyone is so certain as to the intent of the erudite, while simultaneously claiming it to be overly restrictive. No one mentions that the chart (and ability) in the Dragon article uses the same wording "Unique Powers per Day", despite its text using a "unique powers per level per day" progression, as evidence that the text in CPsi means exactly what it says it does (and that the epic class features description is indeed not a typo based on these facts). But everyone likes to imagine that their idea of balance is in fact RAI. The erudite was literally crammed into the back of CPsi, so I don't see how editing the chart and text to take up less space is somehow evidence for either side.
    TLDR: the RAW is clear and the perceived "typo" and wording discrepancies between the class' ability name and function exist in the original class, yet people still insist on finding any reason to editorialize something they don't like.

    As an aside, I also find it amusing that we have people "meh-ing" powers like Metafaculty and claiming the psychic rogue comes anywhere near bard. Or that paying XP for abilities over the course of an adventuring career is somehow prohibitive. Do your DMs not scale rewards based on ECL? Do you not use the amazing "Permanency" spell on any of your casters?
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleven View Post
    I do, however, find it ironic that everyone is so certain as to the intent of the erudite, while simultaneously claiming it to be overly restrictive. No one mentions that the chart (and ability) in the Dragon article uses the same wording "Unique Powers per Day", despite its text using a "unique powers per level per day" progression, as evidence that the text in CPsi means exactly what it says it does (and that the epic class features description is indeed not a typo based on these facts).
    Uh, yeah, because the chart in the Dragon article has separate columns for each power level. Duh.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleven View Post
    Or that paying XP for abilities over the course of an adventuring career is somehow prohibitive. Do your DMs not scale rewards based on ECL?
    The notion that because challenges rubber-band to your ECL losing (or in the Erudite's case missing) levels doesn't matter is the exact same argument as saying that you can use infinite consumables because you're always supposed to have WBL. You get some finite amount XP. If you spend that on learning extra powers, you have less to spend on levels.

    Also, even if we accept that XP costs are all secretly zero, there's the separate point that the Psion can also spend XP to shuffle their powers around. psychic reformation hits one level per 50 XP you spend. Yeah, that's a one-off and the Erudite's new powers are permanent, but you don't actually need to switch your powers around that much if you're smart. This is another case where the gap between zero and one is much bigger than the gap between one and ten (and also all the normal stuff about how versatility is not nearly as good as people insist it is).

    Do you not use the amazing "Permanency" spell on any of your casters?
    Yes, the super amazing ability to ... get slightly better senses or make your fortress better defended. So good! I mean, yeah, you get those things basically for free because it's a downtime spell, but at that point you should just upgrade to planar binding. Also the people who do use permanency are mostly Dweormerkeepers who don't pay the XP cost.

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