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    Default Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Now, we've had a quintillion threads pointing out why the Batman Wizard is a god among men, the CoDzilla is the master of the smackdown, and on the opposite end of the line, the Monk, CW Samurai and Truenamer sit in a corner and cry. Obviously, no DM wants to deal with either extreme on the scale of power.

    So, here comes the question. What classes are perfectly balanced? For gits and shiggles, I'd like to keep the Bo9S out of this (since we already know how great they are). What classes can players not get slaughtered with out of the box, but still lend themselves to a degree of optimization and, most importantly, fun?

    Important note, being a balanced class isn't a law of averages. Glass cannons that obliterate one type of challenge but get utterly mowed down by all others aren't wanted here. Then again, neither are mediocre jacks-of-all-trades that can't excel at anything but have no weaknesses...how do you let that player shine? Anyways, enough. On with the thread!

    Personally, I'd say the Barbarian does a decent job of this. Armour, HP to spare, and things that make him not die, as well as a resource (Rages) that you still have to manage.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    I find both the Psion and Psychic Warrior to be well balanced.

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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Well, a lot of classes are pretty "swingy." You can use certain cheesy optimization tricks to pretty much break them, or you can *really* not optimize them and they'll suck, but with a moderate bit of skilled optimization they'll sit nicely in between. (Warlock comes to mind, as does Factotum, and even Bard.) Or classes that are pretty decent, until they run into their Achilles' Heels. (Rogue, Scout.)

    Tossing out a lot of good classes that are in those categories, I'd like to nominate:

    Psychic Warrior
    Knight
    Ardent

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by Lert, A. View Post
    I find both the Psion and Psychic Warrior to be well balanced.
    Really? The Psion seems to be about the same power level as the Sorcerer. Not one of The Big 5, certainly, but still full-caster-style game-breaking.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2008-12-15 at 10:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Factotum, of course.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Totemist, Dread Necro without any undead armies, Beguiler without adding anything to spell list, Heavily optimized Rogue, Psy Warrior.

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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    You need something to balance them against. With few restrictions, Wizards, Druids, Clerics and other such classes (Erudite, Sorcerer, Artificer, Archivist, etc.) are balanced against each other. They're just better than the other classes in such a sitiuation.


    I'm going to assume you're talking about "middle of the road"-balance; powerful, versatile, but challenged by CR appropriates. I'd say: Psychic Warrior. Psion. Heck, most of Psionics (sans Soulknives, Wilders and Complete Psi). Ok, so Psychic Warrior and Psion. And I know you said no ToB, but ToB. Also, Binders. Factotums. You can make sucky Factotums, Binders, and heck, even Psychic Warriors if you try hard enough. With ToB, it ain't happening, even if you make a Warblade with the Weapon Focus-tree. Hmm, Totemist is quite good too, but they tend to require you knowing what you're doing. Ditto with Dragonfire Adept. Knight is actually a good one, although has the Barbarian-syndrome (below), but at least it has a great capstone.

    Also, Barbarian is a decent example, but kinda suffers of the lack of versatility core melee has. It can be optimized, sure, but once you play Barbarian for 20 levels, you'll eventually get bored with the "Rage, charge, smackdown"/"Rage, trip, smackdown"-routine. I'd say Barbarian would be decent except for all the dead levels. Best example out of the core though, alongside Bard I think.

    Duskblade is also decent, if a bit one-trick ponyish. Beguiler without too much spell acquisition also falls here. PHBII overall did quite a good job here.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    EDIT:
    Really? The Psion seems to be about the same power level as the Sorcerer. Not one of The Big 5, certainly, but still full-caster-style game-breaking.
    I find the powers to be a bit more balanced than the Sorcerer's arcane spells, which brings the class down a bit.

    There are always the insane power builds, but it is a lot harder - in my experience - to make such a build.

    The biggest problem I've seen that people have with the Psion is the nova aspect that earlier level characters have, where they can just blow all their PP in a single encounter and then have nothing left for the rest of the day. Depending on the DM and his style of play - especially with the D&D "I stop and recharge my spells" mentality that often prevails - this can be a problem, but the same could be said for a lot of classes.

    EDIT: I see the Binder mentioned. Love using that class and feel disappointed that I didn't mention it earlier.
    Last edited by Lert, A.; 2008-12-15 at 10:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Well, no, I didn't mean characters you can't make suck. Obviously you can pick Skill Focus (Comprehend Languages) and (Forgery) for all your feats and be miserably poor. We're assuming that the class is being played by someone who knows a bit about the metagame.

    Just the same, a weakness or two are no reason to discount classes.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    No love for the Dragonfire Adept, possibly one of the coolest and most overlooked PC classes in the game. So much cool stuff that can be had. Its basically infinite crowd control, with a bit of damage tacked on for good measure. Its like the wizard-lite. Same great taste, less game breaking.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    @Eldariel:
    Hmmm, I would have put Sorcerer, Psion, and Beguiler in the "overpowered" category compared to your "middle of the road." Though I love Dragonfire Adepts, I was even afraid to put them on my list, because I wasn't sure they weren't a bit too powerful.

    Ardents, on the other hand, don't suck.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2008-12-15 at 10:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Definitely seconding Binders and the invoking classes as being nicely balanced (and easy to track as well.)

    The "specialist" sorcerors could fall into that category pretty easily. Warmage, dread necro and beguiler. Yes. Even the much belittled warmage is relatively well balanced.

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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    @Eldariel:
    Hmmm, I would have put Sorcerer, Psion, and Beguiler in the "overpowered" category compared to your "middle of the road." Though I love Dragonfire Adepts, I was even afraid to put them on my list, because I wasn't sure they weren't a bit too powerful.

    Ardents, on the other hand, don't suck.
    I put Sorcerer there. Beguiler with just Beguiler-spells is merely "strong". Psion, likewise, doesn't really break things outside infinite PP multiaction novas (although since its potentional for brokenness comes from inherent class features, I suppose it could be listed as broken). Also, agreed on Ardent. I just wanted to manifest my hatred for Comp Psi, so I failed to list them.

    Dragonfire Adept? Definitely right in the middle.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Maybe my opti-fu is not quite over 9000 yet but I tend to think:

    Warlock
    Barbarian
    Rogue
    Duskblade
    Favored Soul

    They come out of the box simple direct and good at what they do, without blowing anything out of the water.

    They each have versatility without taking over the roles of others members of the party.

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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    I'd say Dread Necromancers are a rare case of a full caster who isn't overpowered. Psionics, as has been previously pointed out, also tends to be pretty balanced. In terms of combat classes, Rangers, Rogues, Swashbucklers and Scouts are all pretty good.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Beguiler with just Beguiler-spells is merely "strong".
    People keep specifying that. What other spells would it have? I thought it had a very specific spell list in the PHB2, and that (almost) nobody houseruled it to be bigger or smaller than it is.

    Unless you're talking about cutting the Beguiler down to a smaller list than most people use with it, I still think it's definitely on the "too powerful" side. Just compare it with the Rogue, which would be a pretty decent middle-ground class if it didn't have its Achilles Heel or specific (UMD) abuses.

    Dragonfire Adept? Definitely right in the middle.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    People keep specifying that. What other spells would it have? I thought it had a very specific spell list in the PHB2, and that (almost) nobody houseruled it to be bigger or smaller than it is.
    Rainbow Servant, for example.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    I'm sorry to intrude, but I seem to be lacking in Giantitp vernacular.

    What is a CoDzilla and a ToB?


    I wouldn't be surprised to be lambasted for saying this, but I'm throwing paladin in as a generally balanced class.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    People keep specifying that. What other spells would it have? I thought it had a very specific spell list in the PHB2, and that (almost) nobody houseruled it to be bigger or smaller than it is.

    Unless you're talking about cutting the Beguiler down to a smaller list than most people use with it, I still think it's definitely on the "too powerful" side. Just compare it with the Rogue, which would be a pretty decent middle-ground class if it didn't have its Achilles Heel or specific (UMD) abuses.



    Good to hear.
    I think people are referring to their Advanced Learning, which lets them add a spell from, I believe, the Illusion school to their list once in a while. Warmages get the same thing but from Evocation, except Warmages suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Graymayre View Post
    I'm sorry to intrude, but I seem to be lacking in Giantitp vernacular.

    What is a CoDzilla and a ToB?


    I wouldn't be surprised to be lambasted for saying this, but I'm throwing paladin in as a generally balanced class.
    ToB: Tome of Battle, which introduces a system to make melee characters be more effective.

    CoDzilla: Cleric or Druid -zilla, a way of building the aforementioned Divine casting classes that makes them into melee monsters. Both classes have access to powerful buffs, which Clerics can make to last all day with Divine Metamagic Persist, and Druids can use buffs in conjunction with their Wildshape forms for brutal efficiency.
    Last edited by Flickerdart; 2008-12-15 at 10:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Graymayre View Post
    I'm sorry to intrude, but I seem to be lacking in Giantitp vernacular.

    What is a CoDzilla and a ToB?


    I wouldn't be surprised to be lambasted for saying this, but I'm throwing paladin in as a generally balanced class.
    CoDzilla stands for Cleric or Druid 'zilla (as in Godzilla). Basically, a cleric or druid that's really good in melee.

    ToB stands for Tome of Battle, a book with a good melee system.
    Last edited by monty; 2008-12-15 at 10:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    People keep specifying that. What other spells would it have? I thought it had a very specific spell list in the PHB2, and that (almost) nobody houseruled it to be bigger or smaller than it is.

    Unless you're talking about cutting the Beguiler down to a smaller list than most people use with it, I still think it's definitely on the "too powerful" side. Just compare it with the Rogue, which would be a pretty decent middle-ground class if it didn't have its Achilles Heel or specific (UMD) abuses.



    Good to hear.
    They get Advanced Learning, too.

    For me:

    1. Warlock
    2. Dragonfire Adept
    3. Rogue
    4. Barbarian
    5. Dread Necromancer?
    6. Binder
    7. Bard
    8. Duskblade
    9. Knight
    10. Psychic Warrior
    11. Hexblade
    12. Warmage

    Those are all over the middle of the power scale, with only Dread Necromancer being iffy in my opinion.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    The Rogue. The Bard can be, depending on how you build them. The Monk also, though they tend to be more balanced than the Bard.

    Hmm...what other classes have Balance as a class skill?*

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    Last edited by mikeejimbo; 2008-12-15 at 11:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Warlock is a surprisingly balanced class. It can do useful things all day long.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeejimbo View Post
    The Monk also
    Wait, what?
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by monty View Post
    Wait, what?
    Well, they have Balance as a class skill, and generally a decent Dex (for their AC). If they put ranks into it, they'll hardly ever fall! Hence, best-Balanced.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeejimbo View Post
    Well, they have Balance as a class skill, and generally a decent Dex (for their AC). If they put ranks into it, they'll hardly ever fall! Hence, best-Balanced.
    Can they afford those skill points, though, with their MAD?
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by monty View Post
    Can they afford those skill points, though, with their MAD?
    Ah, true! Their INT usually isn't great.

    You could build a Monk who could Balance very well, but coincidentally, and humorously, he wouldn't be game-mechanically balanced.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Rogue. They can do what their class description says they do, at least.


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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    heh. Warmage.

    *waits for the inevitable warmage hate*

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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeejimbo View Post
    Well, they have Balance as a class skill, and generally a decent Dex (for their AC). If they put ranks into it, they'll hardly ever fall! Hence, best-Balanced.
    Druid, you didn't put any points into Balance? You fall.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
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    Default Re: Best-balanced 3.5 classes...

    *hates on the warmage*

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