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Author Topic: Uber's Tiers  (Read 21888 times)
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dark_samuari
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« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2008, 11:12:40 PM »

Shit, what can factotums do in combat that matters?

So is you tier system based off of combat ability alone?
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« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2008, 11:47:36 PM »

Shit, what can factotums do in combat that matters?

So is you tier system based off of combat ability alone?
Pretty much.  The whole point of the tiers is so the DM can get encounters that are a challenge to everyone without being too easy for any single character.  The tiers were designed specifically for CRs and ELs.
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« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2008, 12:08:43 AM »

There was a Factotum Archer thread on 339 that I believe used Manyshot to fire a ton of arrows and, given that Factotum deals Int-to-damage on each one, deal more-than-insignificant damage.  Since they also have SLAs, they've got a few good options in a given combat, and pretty much own everything out-of-combat.  That seems to me to be the definition of Tier 3.
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« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2008, 12:12:45 AM »

There was a Factotum Archer thread on 339 that I believe used Manyshot to fire a ton of arrows and, given that Factotum deals Int-to-damage on each one, deal more-than-insignificant damage.  Since they also have SLAs, they've got a few good options in a given combat, and pretty much own everything out-of-combat.  That seems to me to be the definition of Tier 3.
I'm still skeptical.  When I get my hands on dungeonscape again (misplaced my hardcopy and never got the pdf) I'll run the same game test with the other tier three guys.  We'll see how he does.  I can easily just use the level 7 and 12 lists we used in carnivore's PW thread.
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« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2008, 01:59:21 AM »

Tier 4: Competent in area of specialty, but not able to fill multiple roles on the fly.  Many things fuck these classes.  Typically one trick ponies.
Examples: Swordsage, Barbarian, Warlock, Warmage, Scout, Ranger, Adept, Fighter, Bard, Factotum, Rokugan Ninja, Shugenja

What kind of drugs are you on?  Factotums are the polar opposite of one-trick pony.  And bards are the classical Jack of all trades class.

Oh wait, I see, you are basing your ranks off of solo-ing.  WTF?  How many people actually play D&D Solo anyway?
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« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2008, 02:15:38 AM »

What can a Factotum do with a standard action that's on par with a thier three's standard action?

Cast Polymorph and gain the spellcasting of another caster?  Use Sapphire Nightmare Blade (from an item) to deal a ton of damage with support from Iajuitsu Focus?  Do anything that involves Use Magic Device?

Quote
Shit, what can factotums do in combat that matters?

Why is it all about combat?  They can turn a Wizard into a Fanatic and get a permanent best friend easily if they wanted, fill the trapmonkey/scout role easily, and absolutely rock every non combat aspect, then Iajuitsu Focus their way to awesomeness.

That said, a 5th level Factotum can use a spell (Alter Self) to get +18 Natural AC for 50 minutes, and then Mage Armour his way to +22 AC.  You think that doesn't matter in combat?  That's enough to become basically invincible at that level to anything that targets AC.  Or, how about +7 Natural AC and 5 natural attacks... use an item that lets you have Burning Blade (or just have decent Bard support) and you're going to destroy anything CR 5.    Oh, and then he can heal a bit too, just for fun.

Look, you ranked the Factotum as being unable to go outside their role and being a one trick pony.  That really is like saying Barbarians can't do damage... it's rediculous.  Filling random roles is what they do best, and they do it REALLY well.

Tell me, what does a Rogue have over a Factotum?  And remember, Factotums have Iajuitsu Focus for the damage... and no, using a good skill is not crazy optimization for a Factotum.  It's exactly what they do.  If your listing for Factotums only applies to Factotums that don't use Font of Inspiration and don't use UMD/Iajuitsu Focus/Diplomacy, then it should apply only to Druids that don't use Natural Spell and Wild Shape and Barbarians that don't melee, as well as Wizards that never cast potent spells.

But the focus on only combat is strange, and needs to be in the first post.  I know my Tier system is supposed to help for any campaign, whereas yours is only going to apply to kick in the door campaigns.  As soon as we get into any intrigue/stealth/military command/mystery solving/dungeon exploring stuff, yours is going right out the window... but DMs need to know, for example, that a Fighter is only good in kick in the door campaigns.

And by the way, the Swordsage is a melee class that can teleport and turn invisible and break through structures.  That's not a one trick pony either.

JaronK

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« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2008, 09:13:17 AM »

What can a Factotum do with a standard action that's on par with a thier three's standard action?

Cast Polymorph and gain the spellcasting of another caster?  Use Sapphire Nightmare Blade (from an item) to deal a ton of damage with support from Iajuitsu Focus?  Do anything that involves Use Magic Device?

Quote
Shit, what can factotums do in combat that matters?

Why is it all about combat?  They can turn a Wizard into a Fanatic and get a permanent best friend easily if they wanted, fill the trapmonkey/scout role easily, and absolutely rock every non combat aspect, then Iajuitsu Focus their way to awesomeness.

That said, a 5th level Factotum can use a spell (Alter Self) to get +18 Natural AC for 50 minutes, and then Mage Armour his way to +22 AC.  You think that doesn't matter in combat?  That's enough to become basically invincible at that level to anything that targets AC.  Or, how about +7 Natural AC and 5 natural attacks... use an item that lets you have Burning Blade (or just have decent Bard support) and you're going to destroy anything CR 5.    Oh, and then he can heal a bit too, just for fun.

Look, you ranked the Factotum as being unable to go outside their role and being a one trick pony.  That really is like saying Barbarians can't do damage... it's rediculous.  Filling random roles is what they do best, and they do it REALLY well.

Tell me, what does a Rogue have over a Factotum?  And remember, Factotums have Iajuitsu Focus for the damage... and no, using a good skill is not crazy optimization for a Factotum.  It's exactly what they do.  If your listing for Factotums only applies to Factotums that don't use Font of Inspiration and don't use UMD/Iajuitsu Focus/Diplomacy, then it should apply only to Druids that don't use Natural Spell and Wild Shape and Barbarians that don't melee, as well as Wizards that never cast potent spells.

But the focus on only combat is strange, and needs to be in the first post.  I know my Tier system is supposed to help for any campaign, whereas yours is only going to apply to kick in the door campaigns.  As soon as we get into any intrigue/stealth/military command/mystery solving/dungeon exploring stuff, yours is going right out the window... but DMs need to know, for example, that a Fighter is only good in kick in the door campaigns.

And by the way, the Swordsage is a melee class that can teleport and turn invisible and break through structures.  That's not a one trick pony either.

JaronK

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So aside from using the two most commonly banned spells and the most commonly banned skill in the game what can they do?  What does the class let you do that doesn't bump it a tier by heavy optimization?  They psychic warrior has to pick claws of the beast and claws of the vampire to be kick ass.  You're telling me that the factotum needs polymorph shenanigans and 3.0 skills to be useful?  Sounds pretty gimped to me.

Wizards can kick ass with glitterdust.  They don't need to use alter self and friends.  That's why they are tier 1.  Sorcerers get to use glitterdust, but don't get the chance to trade that out for alter self very often.  The shugenja does the same thing, but with an even more limited spells known mechanic.  Rogues can hop in and kill things with sneak attack.  Factotums can... do nothing of note unless they go for the cheesiest stuff possible, which qualifies as heavy optimization to bump it a tier.

Basically you've just supported my placement of factotum.


Swordsage?  That's hardly competent in melee combat.  Really, past round two swordsages get totally gimped by medium bab and lack of access to the more powerful disciplines.  Everybody can grab a shadowhand teleport pretty cheaply to ready shadowhand maneuvers.  Swordsages are cute, but add nothing close to what warblades and crusaders add to combat.


Why combat?  Everyone can roleplay.  You're not likely to kill off a PC on a skill challenge.  Your out of combat can be tailored to suit the party (they can just bypass the things they can't succeed on), but your combat is the place where you have the chance of killing off PCs.  Killing off PCs is a bad thing.
Tier 4: Competent in area of specialty, but not able to fill multiple roles on the fly.  Many things fuck these classes.  Typically one trick ponies.
Examples: Swordsage, Barbarian, Warlock, Warmage, Scout, Ranger, Adept, Fighter, Bard, Factotum, Rokugan Ninja, Shugenja

What kind of drugs are you on?  Factotums are the polar opposite of one-trick pony.  And bards are the classical Jack of all trades class.

Oh wait, I see, you are basing your ranks off of solo-ing.  WTF?  How many people actually play D&D Solo anyway?
I was basing this on how well the class contributes to combat.  My list is so DMs can more easily design encounters.  Out of combat everyone has skills and items that can mimic everything the factotum can do pretty easily.

Basically, factotums are gimped binders (no endurance) with some fancy skill checks which may or may not be worthless in combat.


Also, some stuff from the den for discussion:
Quote from: FrankTrollman
Quote from: ubernoob
80% chance of JaronK posting more fail.

Quote from: JaronK
I guess I just don't see how Dread Necromancer and Sorcerer are on the same tier...
What can a Dread Necromancer do to hold a candle to a Sorcerer who just cast Shapechange and gained 20th level Cleric casting (Solar) and then switches to get 17th level Wizard casting (Black Ethergaunt), or Genesis to get his own free Flowing Time plane where time moves 10,000 times faster?

Sigh. You were so right.

Dread Necromancers get frickin Planar Binding. If they want, they can grant themselves wishes, that will do literally any stupid broken thing you want. And they can do it at 12th level rather than 18th. Now, a Sorcerer can do that too, they just have to give up doing anything else level appropriate to do it.

Which gets to the core of the problem: Sorcerers select less spells from a bigger list that has more broken spells on it. Dread Necromancers have more spells from a smaller list that has any broken spells on it. So while all Dread Necromancers are broken in the same way, all Sorcerers could be broken in one of several different ways. But unlike the Wizard or the Cleric, the Sorcerer does actually have to pick his broken trick and run with it rather than preparing a different one each day.

But really this goes to the core of how much failure JaronK's conceptualization of tiering actually is. It's all based essentially on how many ways you can cheat. But that's a meaningless consideration, since the moment you cheat in even one way the game is essentially over and makes little sense. The Dread Necromancer who Chain Binds for More Wishes is no more or less over the top than a Sorcerer who Balor Mines - both essentially force the DM to the negotiating table.

-Frank
Quote from: Leress
Quote from: ckafrica
Well to play Paizo's advocate (it seems to be the prevalent playing style over there, though not exclusive to them) I think a lot of people want to be playing where fireballs are thrown around and guys are whacking things with swords. Sure the mechanics don't really incourage this but if that's what float people's boats and they derive enjoyment from that play style than who is anybody to tell them not too. Obviously the DM is probably self gimping the monsters so they are not tactically optimal to avoid TPKs and probably fudges his dice, but if that is their idea of fun, and they can make it fun, than who are we or anybody else to tell them that it's wrong to play like that.

Let's face it, most people aren't inclined to dissect the game to figure out how it ticks, it's too much work for what is supposed to be a recreation.

It's not to say that dissecting the game is a bad thing, somebody definitely  should be so that hopefully someone will finally make a game that isn't riddled with flaws.

But at the same time it not wrong to play otherwise

*going along with the advocate*

In regards of that statement with the Tiers, it assumes that the player is at least competent in class making (no wizards with 8 INT). Then in that same vein it also assumes that people can have Iajitsu Focus a class skill if they are an Expert. There is also the caveat about if its optimized then it could go up a tier, or down if you make it shitty. Now a DM would have to know pretty much how well a class can be made before really knowing if the player is putting them on a level of the tier, below it, or above it.

So a direct damage throwing wizard is a lower tier ( either 2 or 3), because the definition of what makes a class stay in the initial tier isn't really set.

If your group is having fun then you get the point of the game. Also it really has nothing to do with if the class is any good or not.

Quote from: JaronK

Tell me, what does a Rogue have over a Factotum?  And remember, Factotums have Iajuitsu Focus for the damage... and no, using a good skill is not crazy optimization for a Factotum.  It's exactly what they do.  If your listing for Factotums only applies to Factotums that don't use Font of Inspiration and don't use UMD/Iajuitsu Focus/Diplomacy, then it should apply only to Druids that don't use Natural Spell and Wild Shape and Barbarians that don't melee, as well as Wizards that never cast potent spells.


First Iajuitsu Focus argument is bullshit since that complete relies on the DM allowing that skill. So really the Factotums have the Font of inspiration that over shadows the Rogue (if you can call it that). Next its taking the argument from sensible to plain damn stupid (Barbarians not doing melee)


Quote
But the focus on only combat is strange, and needs to be in the first post.  I know my Tier system is supposed to help for any campaign, whereas yours is only going to apply to kick in the door campaigns.  As soon as we get into any intrigue/stealth/military command/mystery solving/dungeon exploring stuff, yours is going right out the window... but DMs need to know, for example, that a Fighter is only good in kick in the door campaigns.

Bullshit, JaronK's Tier doesn't even take that shit into account. When you start taking about Genesis, you have pretty much left the ntrigue/stealth/military command/mystery solving/dungeon exploring stuff and gone into the realm of "Fuck yo campaign"

Quote
And by the way, the Swordsage is a melee class that can teleport and turn invisible and break through structures.  That's not a one trick pony either.

That is true they are not one trick ponies.
Quote from: FrankTrollman
How come Jaron keeps jizzing on Polymorph? Last time I checked, the spell ha been errataed over a half dozen times to varying effects, the current text was splayed out between five sources of uncertain inheritance, and the last printed examples and clarifications were internally inconsistent and unhelpful.

No one knows what that fucking spell does. Having it on your list is not an "I win" button, it's just an argument with your DM and ten minutes of math and cross referencing. And at the end of that exasperation, nobody knows or cares what you'll actually get.

Yeah, I can make a coherent argument that casting alter self gives me the casting of a 7th level Sorcerer (thanks, Sylph), but I can also make a coherent argument that that shouldn't happen. And JaronK is straight lying if he tells you that he's ever seen that consistently applied. Heck, there are no rules for what happens when you pick up the spellcasting ability for 30 minutes at a time - you haven't rested and meditated to fill those spell slots pretty much deifnitionally.

Having spells that very simply and in an easy to explain fashion give you limitless power (Wish, for example) are fine and all, but spells that bury the DM under a mountain of paperwork that in some interpretations give you real ultimate power are worth precious close to nothing at all.

-Frank
Quote from: SunTzuWarmaster
Honestly, the argument of "I can perform <cheating trick>" so I should be a higher ranked character is completely meaningless.  To start with, you have to assume the ranking means anything.  Then, assume the cheating means anything (if you are level 20, it doesn't, no one plays at level 20).  Finally, rank the characters, now compare the effect your rank has had on the game (hint: none).

Who cares?
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 12:00:20 PM by ubernoob » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2008, 10:02:26 AM »

A blasting wizard is still tier 2 or 3? Seeing as even an unoptimized fighter hits harder... lol, what?

I'd say something myself about it, but that forum doesn't want to send me my password recovery email.
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« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2008, 10:14:57 AM »

A blasting wizard is still tier 2 or 3? Seeing as even an unoptimized fighter hits harder... lol, what?

I'd say something myself about it, but that forum doesn't want to send me my password recovery email.
Well, scorching ray is pretty good.  Fireball and friends blow goats though.

Scorching ray wizard using metamagic: Tier 2
Wizard with empowered fireballs: Tier 3 (still a wizard and can kill stuff, but not nearly as fast)
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« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2008, 10:37:12 AM »

Blasting is ok with a fuckload of metamagics. Just casting it? Not so much.

48d6 a round is fairly respectable for example.
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Sunic may be more abrasive than sandpaper coated in chainsaws (not that its a bad thing, he really does know what he's talking about), but just posting in this thread without warning and telling him he's an asshole which, if you knew his past experiences on WotC and Paizo is flat-out uncalled for. Never mind the insults (which are clearly 4Chan-level childish). You say people like Sunic are the bane of the internet? Try looking at your own post and telling me you are better than him.

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« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2008, 10:39:22 AM »

Blasting is ok with a fuckload of metamagics. Just casting it? Not so much.

48d6 a round is fairly respectable for example.
Well, with just empower most blasting is pretty solid.  Not great, but solid.  After a few more levels you add in energy admixture(acid) and Draconic Aura(whatever you use most) to cover the drop in DCs.
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« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2008, 02:36:27 PM »

A blasting wizard is still tier 2 or 3? Seeing as even an unoptimized fighter hits harder... lol, what?
I never said anything about the fighter. You and Uber pretty said what I was talking about with it being Tier 2 or 3. Also when you optimize the blasting it would by the Tier definition bring you back up a tier.
Quote
I'd say something myself about it, but that forum doesn't want to send me my password recovery email.

Well you can always make another account and tell the Admin about the situation.
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« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2008, 03:11:00 PM »

Uber, you keep picking one small part and ignoring the rest.

Yes, a Factotum can rock out with Alter Self.  They can also rock out with Glitterdust if they want... slower than a Wizard level wise, but then again they can gain a free standard action to do it.  So yes, a Factotum can open a fight by casting both Evard's Spiked Tentacles and Cloudkill in the same round.  And then they can take out survivors with Iajuitsu Focus powered strikes... if there are any.  Pick your level of what spells are not banned, and they can do pretty darn well with it.  They're not Wizards, but they're incredibly flexible, able to pull stunts that leave Dread Necromancers and Beguilers jealous (and yes, Factotums can cast Animate Dead too, but they can also back it up with Explosive Runes, something my DN always wanted).

At the basic level, you've taken one of the most flexible classes in the game and ranked it in a catagory that's all about not switching roles and being a one trick pony, and that's rediculous.  I've watched Factotums play... so far, three players with them (two who'd never played D&D before) just picked up the class for the first time and absolutely rocked.  Whatever the party needed out of combat, the Factotum pulled out of their bag of tricks... even in a game where their spell like abilities weren't allowed.  And in combat, they were no slouches either, capable of melee fighting or healing or crowd control, and capable of switching day by day.  Remember, they get ANY Wizard/Sorcerer spell, without even needing a spellbook.  They're the only class that can just pick any Wizard/Sorcerer spell (of appropriate level) without any warning at all like that.  A Wizard has to get the spell for their book, a Sorcerer has to pick the spell known, an Artificer must spend a bit crafting a wand, but a Factotum can say "wait, we need to be able to craft quickly?  Right, Fabricate coming up, I can have it tomorrow."  Not to mention the number of Wizard/Sorcerer spells that are awesome for archers and melees to be able to cast.

And I haven't even gotten started on the Bard, who you also claim is incapable of switching roles.  A first level unoptimized Bard can easily change the direction of an entire battle just by giving him one pair of Masterwork War Drums.  Bards are a bit more subtle, requiring more finesse then "I pick a lot of charging feats.  Now I charge.  A lot." but they're incredibly potent if used at all intelligently... and incredibly flexible.  A Bard with Bardic Knack and Jack of All Trades is incredible as a skill monkey, at roughly Factotum levels of skill.  A Bard with Dragonfire Inspiration and Words of Creation ups his party damage by insane amounts.  A Bard that dips War Weaver and Combat Medic is an amazing healer.  And nothing stops you from doing all three of those, because none of those require too much investiture.  The only thing with Bards is that you don't do the damage yourself... you make the rest of your party awesome in combat, then you rock out in skills.

But it does help to know that this is only for kick in the door campaigns, which explains a little bit of your decisions.  You say "why combat" and claim that PCs only get killed in combat.  True... but fun gets killed out of combat.  I've seen more people quit campaigns because their Fighter was just sitting around while the party was trying to solve something out of combat than people quitting because their character died.  And someone having so little fun and feeling so useless that they quit is far worse than someone having their character die, to me.

JaronK
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« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2008, 03:22:23 PM »

Bard and Factotum aren't ranked tier 3 because they can't do multiple roles.  They are ranked tier 3 because they cannot do a single role on the level with the tier 3 classes.  If you build a bard to be haus at music he won't be that great of a caster and will suck at melee and certainly won't be a skill monkey.  If you build a bard to be a great caster.. wait, that doesn't happen.  If you build a bard to be great in melee... wait, that doesn't happen.  Bards can be good at music, but there is literally nothing else they can do that is on par with tier 3.

Factotums?  You have yet to give an example that does not assume FoI stacking.  Sure they can nova.  That doesn't show any power.  That shows nova capability.  Factotums can't heal as well as a crusader, they can't deal damage like a PW, they can't cast spells like a shugenja.  Basically the only thing they can do is stack up on FoI to nova.  That's optimizing to bump a tier.  If you think that getting extra actions makes you special you should look over at the crusader.  They grant a full round every three rounds.  Warblade does it every other round.

Factotums aren't tier three because they can't do multiple roles.  They are tier three because they cannot do anything that matters.  Iajutsu focus is a bullshit skill.  Alterself is a bullshit spell.  Cloudkill+Black tentacles?  You get better crowd control from all the real members of tier three and have way more endurance.

Factotums can nova.  That doesn't mean shit.
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« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2008, 03:58:35 PM »

I sort of disagree with Bards being unable to shine in several things. Even if you optimize Inspire courage (and Dragonfire inspiration), you can still get access to 9th level spells and combat versatility via stuff like Heroics and you own music boosts. Add in Bardic knack, Improvisation and Jack of all trades and you've got a skillmonkey too...
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« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2008, 04:00:58 PM »

Arcane strike combined with all the other stuff is decent for melee.
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« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2008, 04:10:40 PM »

Bard and Factotum aren't ranked tier 3 because they can't do multiple roles.  They are ranked tier 3 because they cannot do a single role on the level with the tier 3 classes.  If you build a bard to be haus at music he won't be that great of a caster and will suck at melee and certainly won't be a skill monkey.

Spellscale Bard 20 with Bardic Knack, Jack of All Trades, Words of Creation, Dragonfire Inspiration, Haunting Melody, Lingering Song, Song of the Heart, Imperious Command, Never Outnumbered.  Awesome, I'm amazing at music and an amazing skill monkey.  His allies add +10d6 damage (pick your type) with all attacks, and so does he, so he's reasonable in melee, but more importantly his allies become far better in melee.  Also, all his enemies will be shaken for 23 rounds, if he intimidates anyone (and he's a Charisma caster, it'll work!) they cower for that 23 rounds, making them helpless.  Never Outnumbered means he can AoE pulse hit a bunch of enemies, taking them all out of the fight completely.  This is no slouch in combat... in fact he's incredible, though he doesn't use standard "hit it with an axe" tactics.  Just start singing (shaking every enemy and giving all allies HUGE damage), and then walk around taking out one enemy per round with Imperious Command, once per combat knocking out everyone adjacent.  Anyone immune to mind effecting gets hacked up with the bonus damage he has (not that 35 damage is incredible, but it's pretty darn significant and it's a bonus to all attacks, making it great for his allies).  

Now, you said that someone like that who's so good at music "certainly won't be a skill monkey."  Except he has a virtual 10 ranks in every skill in existance, except for the 6+Int skills that he has 23 ranks in.  That's a VERY good skillmonkey... most Rogues can't pull that off.  Certainly it's enough to rock out Intimidate, Diplomacy, UMD, and even get some bonus from Iajuitsu Focus.  So what are you talking about?  It only took one alternate class feature and one feat to be incredible.  And you said he'd suck at melee, but here we have a guy that can take anyone out in one round if they get too close (note: when wielding a whip, too close is 15').  Note also that he can hold his action to intimidate if someone gets too close.

Seriously... have you ever played a Bard?  They're amazing.  They're not straight forward, but they're amazing.  And note that in the above example I optimized, but I optimized for bardic music... the skill monkey and combat abilities required only a single feat each (and the combat one didn't really NEED that feat, Frightened for 23 rounds is enough.  But Cowering is just that much better).

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  If you build a bard to be a great caster.. wait, that doesn't happen.  If you build a bard to be great in melee... wait, that doesn't happen.  Bards can be good at music, but there is literally nothing else they can do that is on par with tier 3.

Bard leads into Sublime Chord, or War Weaver/Combat Medic, so yeah, the casting thing can happen.  I know it's not the Bard class itself but Bard gets you there.  Great in melee?  I just gave you an example of someone who can once per encounter drop everyone within 15' and the rest of the time drop one per round, then add 10d6 damage to all attacks to take them out.  That's good in melee.  And you put them down with Fighters?

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Factotums?  You have yet to give an example that does not assume FoI stacking. 

FoI stacking is standard.  Is your Druid up there without Natural Spell?  Does the Barbarian not have Power Attack?  FoI stacking is just what they do.

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Factotums can nova.  That doesn't mean shit.

They can nova once per encounter, thus destroying the encounter.  That means plenty.  And then they can turn right around and do awesome stuff outside the combat.  But I guess we'll just have to disagree.  Certainly, I'd hate to see what happens when a DM tries putting a Factotum with a Fighter and expects them to be the same level.

JaronK
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« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2008, 04:36:05 PM »

Bard and Factotum aren't ranked tier 3 because they can't do multiple roles.  They are ranked tier 3 because they cannot do a single role on the level with the tier 3 classes.  If you build a bard to be haus at music he won't be that great of a caster and will suck at melee and certainly won't be a skill monkey.

Spellscale Bard 20 with Bardic Knack, Jack of All Trades, Words of Creation, Dragonfire Inspiration, Haunting Melody, Lingering Song, Song of the Heart, Imperious Command, Never Outnumbered.  Awesome, I'm amazing at music and an amazing skill monkey.  His allies add +10d6 damage (pick your type) with all attacks, and so does he, so he's reasonable in melee, but more importantly his allies become far better in melee.  Also, all his enemies will be shaken for 23 rounds, if he intimidates anyone (and he's a Charisma caster, it'll work!) they cower for that 23 rounds, making them helpless.  Never Outnumbered means he can AoE pulse hit a bunch of enemies, taking them all out of the fight completely.  This is no slouch in combat... in fact he's incredible, though he doesn't use standard "hit it with an axe" tactics.  Just start singing (shaking every enemy and giving all allies HUGE damage), and then walk around taking out one enemy per round with Imperious Command, once per combat knocking out everyone adjacent.  Anyone immune to mind effecting gets hacked up with the bonus damage he has (not that 35 damage is incredible, but it's pretty darn significant and it's a bonus to all attacks, making it great for his allies).  
So he gets completely negated by immunity to fear and resistance to energy 20?  Both are pretty damn common at that level.  As I said before, failing to get core competency.
Quote from: JaronK
Now, you said that someone like that who's so good at music "certainly won't be a skill monkey."  Except he has a virtual 10 ranks in every skill in existance, except for the 6+Int skills that he has 23 ranks in.  That's a VERY good skillmonkey... most Rogues can't pull that off.  Certainly it's enough to rock out Intimidate, Diplomacy, UMD, and even get some bonus from Iajuitsu Focus.  So what are you talking about?  It only took one alternate class feature and one feat to be incredible.  And you said he'd suck at melee, but here we have a guy that can take anyone out in one round if they get too close (note: when wielding a whip, too close is 15').  Note also that he can hold his action to intimidate if someone gets too close.
10 virtual ranks... whoopdy shit.  That's about as useful as... well, it's pretty useless.  Better to actually keep bardic knowledge.
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Seriously... have you ever played a Bard?  They're amazing.  They're not straight forward, but they're amazing.  And note that in the above example I optimized, but I optimized for bardic music... the skill monkey and combat abilities required only a single feat each (and the combat one didn't really NEED that feat, Frightened for 23 rounds is enough.  But Cowering is just that much better).
So you can use the intimidate skill... whoopdy shit.  Plenty of people can.  Fucking sorcerers can do the same thing.
Quote from: JaronK
Quote
  If you build a bard to be a great caster.. wait, that doesn't happen.  If you build a bard to be great in melee... wait, that doesn't happen.  Bards can be good at music, but there is literally nothing else they can do that is on par with tier 3.

Bard leads into Sublime Chord, or War Weaver/Combat Medic, so yeah, the casting thing can happen.  I know it's not the Bard class itself but Bard gets you there.  Great in melee?  I just gave you an example of someone who can once per encounter drop everyone within 15' and the rest of the time drop one per round, then add 10d6 damage to all attacks to take them out.  That's good in melee.  And you put them down with Fighters?
Being two levels behind on spell aquisition and getting spells known worse than a sorcerer is a good caster?  No, that's a joke.  Energy damage?  Also a joke.
Quote from: JaronK
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Factotums?  You have yet to give an example that does not assume FoI stacking. 

FoI stacking is standard.  Is your Druid up there without Natural Spell?  Does the Barbarian not have Power Attack?  FoI stacking is just what they do.
So you can't do anything besides stack up on inspiration?  What a joke.  At least give me a real build.  Fuck, I'll show you one right now:
Factotum 20:
1) Combat Expertise
3) Improved Trip
6) Font of Inspiration
9) Power Attack
12) EWP: Spiked Chain
15) Combat Reflexes
18) Improved Initiative

Honestly, stacking FoI is a joke.  It's as obvious of a design mistake as polymorph.

Take a look at that though.  He is moderately good in melee and gets some extra actions.  Not bad, but nothing close to tier 3.  He gets SLAs, but nothing like what tier three gets.  He gets skills, but let's face it.  Skills don't matter past level 7.
Quote from: JaronK
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Factotums can nova.  That doesn't mean shit.

They can nova once per encounter, thus destroying the encounter.  That means plenty.  And then they can turn right around and do awesome stuff outside the combat.  But I guess we'll just have to disagree.  Certainly, I'd hate to see what happens when a DM tries putting a Factotum with a Fighter and expects them to be the same level.

JaronK
Whoopdy shit.  If they can't be competent in combat without a feat that only appears online then the class is not tier 3.

PS: Heavy optimization raises the class a tier.  Everything you've posted in support of factotum and bard being tier three has been heavy optimization.  You're proving my assessment.
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« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2008, 04:39:32 PM »

Oy, I give up.  I can see where we disagree.  I had hoped to see good reasons for your alterations, but right now, I'm pretty confortable with my placements.

JaronK
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« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2008, 04:46:59 PM »

Oy, I give up.  I can see where we disagree.  I had hoped to see good reasons for your alterations, but right now, I'm pretty confortable with my placements.

JaronK
Good reason?  Do all players pimp out their bards?  Bards are fucking hard.  Do all players know about FoI?  The trick to any good resource is to understand who is going to use it.  I'm not going to use it because I already know my shit.  It's gunna be that guy that doesn't know how to build a bard or factotum that uses the tiers.  Thus we have to assume he is the one making the characters.

Basically, you make resources for people not as smart as yourself.  You have to understand your audience's skill level and knowledge to make the resource useful.
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