http://brilliantgameologists.com
October 21, 2014, 05:28:46 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: These boards are now READ ONLY. We've started over! So don't try posting here. Go here www.minmaxboards.com
 
   Home   Help Search Members Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 »
  Print  
Author Topic: Why Tier 3s are in Tier 3, #2 of 2  (Read 27641 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Gr1lledcheese
Barbary Macaque at the Rock of Gibraltar
***
Posts: 193



Email
« on: July 06, 2009, 12:59:24 AM »

I made the mistake of not reserving posts under the original, so I split the post into two. Tier 3 seems to be very popular. Smile

It was brought up that there's no set explanation for why low tier classes are generally less effective. With that in mind, I figured I'd start one. I'll be doing one for each tiers, but I want to get the low tiers out of the way first, because most people know why classes like Wizards and Druids are above average. I'm looking for your input on the classes, and to make this a guide for people new to CO. Thanks to all who contribute in advance.

From JaronK's Tier System For Classes guide, the widely accepted Char Op base power description thread:

Tier 3: Capable of doing one thing quite well, while still being useful when that one thing is inappropriate, or capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area. Occasionally has a mechanical ability that can solve an encounter, but this is relatively rare and easy to deal with. Challenging such a character takes some thought from the DM, but isn't too difficult. Will outshine any Tier 5s in the party much of the time.

Examples: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, Crusader, Bard, Swordsage, Binder (without access to the summon monster vestige), Wildshape Varient Ranger, Duskblade, Factotum, Warblade, Psionic Warrior

A note on Tier 3s: I'd like to point out something.

Being a tier 3 is NOTHING to be ashamed of.  Tier 3 are the herald's of destruction, they can do humongously more damage in battle than tier 1 and 2 characters and are still immensely useful out of combat.  Simply put, if you're a least bit intelligent, you won't be bored playing a tier 3 character.

But you're not tier 2.  Or tier 1.

Tier 1 characters can BREAK THE GAME, litterally, all of them, that's why they are gods, that's why we are wary of the power we wield when we use them.

Tier 2 characters can BREAK THE GAME, just a tad less obviously, or in a more limited way.  

So anyone who feels insulted their class is ''only tier 3''  when they play one in game, DON'T BE!  It's still incredibly good.  Heck, i played a game with 3 tier 1 and a tier 3, and the tier 3 was always useful in battle.  Eventually, it got so easy it was boring!!!  We had to tangle with actual GODS at level 21 just to keep it challenging! -Alastar

Why Tier 3's are in tier 3:


Binder:
Cons: Can only use most of the cool things like imprisonment or what have you every 5 rounds, which is all right when you can cycle through 5 options, but at first though 8th level it really sucks. -lans
-------------------------------------------------------
Whilst any good player have plenty of options when playing a binder, fact remains that it is less versatile than a tier 1 or 2 spellcaster. It has already been stated that "around the clock" powers are only stronger than the "use and loose" type of powers (i.e spells) when you have more than 4 encounters a day.
Basically, if you have a wizard in your team, you'll probably rest after four encounters anyway unless you like to put your team in jeopardy since one of it's members now is a viablility instead of a reliability. That rarely happens.
On a round-by-round basis, spellcasters have more powerful options than Binders. Add to that the fact that most of the binders most powerfull abilites are once every five rounds, the action economy versus optimum preformance doesn't ad up all that well to the binders favor.

Thus, under normal circumstances (rest after 4 encounters), a spellcaster have more juice than a Binder. -Shadowhunter


Pros: Binders get a variety of options with 5 round cool downs, including save or sucks, penalties to everything, smites, turning, rerolls, cure light wounds and others. It can get spirited charge and mount, imprisonment at 15th level, phantasmal killer at 10th, get huge bonuses to a variety of skills, +16 to hide and move silently at 13th level for example with 4d6 sneak attack and sudden strike, punch like a monk, walk around and attack everybody you walk by which is kind of cool if you can punch like a monk, move an ally as a swift action,  20% concealment at 6th level unless they can see in darkness like you can.

The pact augmentation allows it to get a bonus on initiative, ac, saves, hp damage reduction, or damage.
Gets immunity to energy drain, and mind blank. -lans


Wildshape Variant Ranger:
The wildshape ranger trades his combat style feats for fast movement (as a barbarian) and wildshape (as a druid, small and medium animals only). This is generally considered a step up from the normal ranger. -Ninjarabbit


Cons: The wildshape ranger is pretty much a liability before level 5, assuming str and dex were dumped. He's limited to small and medium animals when wildshaping, limiting combat option when compared to the druid. Also since you aren't going to get any more wildshape forms after level 5, it severely limits the incentive to keep taking ranger levels. The wildshape ranger still has the sucky animal companion. -Ninjarabbit

Pros: The wildshape ranger is able to dump his str and dex scores, getting rid of the MAD that rangers normally have. Wildshaping creates much more flexibility in combat: pouncing as a leopard, tripping as a riding dog, grappling as a black bear, constrictor snake, or crocodile, weapons and armor as a baboon, and more. He still gets the normal ranger goodies like 2 bonus feats, spellcasting, 6 skill points/level, and evasion. The wildshape ranger can qualify for PrCs like Master of Many Forms and Warshaper. -Ninjarabbit

Duskblade:
A note about Duskblades: The duskblade is basically an arcane barbarian with a few more tricks thrown in, capable of doing high amounts of damage in melee thanks to arcane channeling and good feat selection. -Ninjarabbit


Cons: The duskblade's spell list is very limited, lacks buffs, battlefield control, and utility spells, and doesn't get that many top tier spells. The duskblade doesn't get any touch attack spells to channel past the 3rd level and he only has a handful of good spells that can be channeled. The duskblade only gets up to 5th level spells (though some of it's spells are higher level on other spell lists like polar ray and disintigrate). The duskblade can be a borderline one-trick pony and is really tight on feats. A d8 hit dice makes it a little more frail than most other melee types, though a channeled vampric touch helps with this. -Ninjarabbit


Pros: The duskblade can really dish out the damage in melee with arcane channeling and feats like power attack, knowledge devotion, and arcane strike. The duskblade does get a handful of debuffs like ray of enfeeblement, touch of idiocy, ray of exhaustion, and enervation. The duskblade does get quite a few spells per day and combined with a ring of wizardry or two he can arcane channel/arcane strike for a long time. The duskblade effectively get sudden quicken up to 4 times a day. The duskblade can cast in armor, partially making up for his lack of defensive spells. A d8 hit dice and full BAB make obtain familiar/improved familiar viable feat choices. -Ninjarabbit

Factotum:
Factotum, or Fiction?: The following is part of an argument I was having as to which is stronger, the Rogue or the Factotum, and it sums up why the Factotum is T3 pretty nicely (though it doesn't cover everything... their "duplicate class abilities" thing is INSANE).

Here's how combat went the first time a friend of mine picked up a Factotum (never having played before). He was just released from being captured (plot point to get him into the game) and thus had absolutely no gear at all, just the mundane clothes on his back. If he was anything like a Rogue, he should have been unable to fight, but he was thrown directly into combat, and here's what he did, and note that this is an 8th level Tiefling Factotum:
 
First, he made a rediculously high Escape Artist check to get out of his bindings (he was supposed to be just waiting for us to rescue him). Then he sneaks down the hall. Coming around the corner, he saw a bad guy right in front of him at the opening to a courtyard where the rest of the party was battling. So, on his initiative (it was an ongoing battle) he gets a free standard action with his Factotum abilities and Alter Selfs into an Advespa, which he had learned about with a quick google search for "Alter Self Forms." This gives him 5 natural attacks, 7 Natural Armour, and a flight speed. Then he full attacks the bad guy in front of him, getting a little sneak attack in for good measure. Next round, as our party is cleaning up pretty good and the Sorcereress just glitterdusted the guy and an enemy near him, the guy ran, getting away around a corner... but the Factotum just used an extra standard action to get to the corner, then charged him and used sneak attack to finish him off.

Now, this is simply not something a naked Rogue does.

Now, you can call an 8th level character using Alter Self to gain natural AC and natural attacks TO, but since it was used in game, it's clearly not, nor is it even overpowered (it's still light duty Wild Shape). Yes, Wizards using Alter Self at level 3 to get +8 Natural AC for 30 minutes is overpowered. But Factotums can't do that sort of thing until 5, at which point the Druid already has Wild Shape, which is an equivalent ability at level 5 and continues to get far better, outpacing Alter Self dramatically as the levels increase.

So yeah, really potent, really flexible class that can REALLY surprise a DM.-JaronK

Cons: Low IP means anyone not using the Font of Inspiration feat is going to fall behind fast. And they get about 5 to 7 spells/day, and only up to 7th level spells. And their metamagic option is rather weak. -Sinfire Titan

Pros: There's a reason this class is considered a better skill monkey than the Rogue. 7th level SLAs, and up to 5 or 6 6th level spells/day (at the cost of lower level spells). Int to damn near everything in the book. Extra actions/round. Int to AC constantly (that stacks!) at mid-levels. Able to emulate any EX class feature below 15th level from any base class (arguably the most redeeming quality of Factotum 20). Every skill as a class skill. Access to the Sor/Wis list without UMD or PrCs. The list may be short, but it is devastating. There's a reason to take the class over Rogue. -Sinfire Titan
----------------------------------------------------

Factotums do get access to Empower/Maximize/Quicken Spell-Like Ability (as well as any other SLA feats), which you can apply on-the-fly 3/day (each). They don't increase the effective level of your SLAs, and so can be used in tandem.These are in addition to regular metamagic feats and Spontaneous Metamagic feats that you can apply as normal (since the SLAs also count as regular magic spells for that purpose). -Lycanthromancer
----------------------------------------------------
Meanwhile, there's the old Iajuitsu Focus thing. Yes, OA was updated for 3.5, and yes, Factotums have ALL skills as class skills, including Autohypnosis and IF. The ability to take extra standard actions and, when you need, add your Factotum level to your check once in a while makes this incredibly potent. You can draw a weapon (usually with the eager enchantment if you can get it, since generally speaking Factotums have a better place to spend feats) in the surprise round (gained through hiding, or casting invisibility, or whatever), partial action charge the enemy, and deal IF damage. Then, if you want, use an extra standard action to hit them again. Then, if you win initiative, use an extra standard action to sheath your weapon while you move up to another enemy, then draw it and full attack, dealing IF damage a second time (and if you want to add sneak attack damage, you could do that too). I don't know why some people don't think IF should count... that's exactly what the Factotum's forte is (using any skill he wants). And of course an item that gives Sapphire Nightmare Blade is exceptionally cheap.

And then of course there's the spellcasting. While he has few spells per day and they're way behind a Wizard, he's got four big advantages here.

First and formost, he can gain extra standard actions, and can do it a LOT if he takes the Factotum only feat that, well, he almost certainly will take. Saying that feat doesn't count because it's in a weird place is silly, since the Factotum itself is in a weird place so you're already looking through weird places, and the "weird place" is the Class Chronicals about Factotums anyway. That's not hugely weird. The result is that he can combo spells together, which can be extremely useful.

The second advantage Factotums get with spells is that unlike Wizards, they can use the entire list without needing a spellbook. That means that if a Factotum suddenly realizes he needs spell X, that's exactly what he's going to have ready for the next day... plus he doesn't have to spend tons of his wealth by level on a spellbook. This is huge in games like World's Largest Dungeon, or just games where the situation changes a lot.

And third, he can ignore SR whenever he wants, starting from level 11. Just think about that one for a second.  Consider how many spells are balanced by the fact that at least SR can stop them, and then realize that when a Factotum does it, he can ignore that.  Cast Spectral Hand and Shivering Touch in the surprise round, touch attack the dragon with it, and ignore his SR for the purpose, which would be his only defense?  Sure.  And you've even got the Factotum's advantages in sneaking up on him, just stay out of the range of his Blindsense (unless you have Darkstalker of course).

So, another way a Factotum could fight (we've been through two already, turning into a powerful combat form and using Iajuitsu Focus for damage boosting) would be to combo useful spells together. One easy example is Cloudkill with Solid Fog, making a fog of death that enemies can't escape from quickly enough. And remember, you can cast the whole combo in the surprise round if you want. Very nasty.  No one ever expects the skillmonkey to pull that move off.  And the above mentioned combination of Spectral Hand with any potent touch attack.  All this and the ability to ignore SR whenever it suits you is pretty darn incredible.

The important point is that everything I've stated here is just a Factotum with a few Fonts of Inspiration. That's it. I haven't discussed gear other than the side note about using Sapphire Nightmare Blade, or race (though the Advespi thing only works if you're an outsider... that particular character happens to be a Tiefling... but you can use other forms if you're another race). And those were just some examples of what a Factotum can do (I haven't even gone into Turn Undead or his healing abilties or his ability to ignore DR, or his ability to eventually mimic any three Ex class abilities from 15th level characters... how about 10d6 sneak attack, 10d6 sudden strike, and full flurry of blows? Or would you prefer Pounce? You know what else is Ex? A Fighter's Bonus Feats, and you probably just gained 10 of them because you just gained the bonus feats ability of a fighter of your Factotum level. Now, technically spellcasting itself is Ex, but we'll ignore that for now). I haven't gone into his defense either... the ability to simply ignore any damage that would take him to 0 or less hitpoints for 4 Inspiration Points is pretty freaking awesome, as as Int to AC in any armour if he needs it (though his later version of the ability requires light armour). And who doesn't like the ability to add your class level to any save when you want it?

And of course, all of that was just combat. We haven't even gotten started on out of combat.

Out of combat you're much like a Rogue, except that unlike a Rogue you can pump Int without worrying (Rogues have to care about their Dex a lot more if they want to survive, and their poorer defense makes Con that much more critical). This means your higher int will make up for the skill point difference. Then you've got both Int and Dex (and both Int and Str) to skills that require Str or Dex, the ability to add your Factotum level once per day to any skill you've got a point in already, and of course the ability to cast nearly any Wizard/Sorc spell, though admittedly a few spell levels behind the big boys. This can mean scouting an area while Alter Selfed into a Whispergnome or Skulk for better hide and move silently, using Autohypnosis to automatically memorize every detail you see, and then sneaking back. Or just using a divination spell. You've got such spells as Knock and Silence to help out too. And that's just the scouting aspect.

There's a reason Factotums are in Tier 3 in my system, and in fact they're pretty high in Tier 3. They've got so much innate flexibility it's obscene... unexperienced DMs thinking they're weaker could get VERY surprised but how much a Factotum can alter himself to suit a situation perfectly.  Put a Factotum in a group with a Rogue and that Rogue ends up looking like dead weight plenty of the time (any time where the situation calls for one skill monkey to do something). And the Fighter? The Factotum can often outclass him too, sometimes dropping whole encounters in the surprise round and start of the first round. And he can do all of it without warning, adapting on the fly to the situation in front of him.  Certainly, when I watch the one that's currently grouped with my Dread Necromancer (plus a Sorcerer, Cleric, Swordsage, and Paladin of Tyranny/Hexblade) there's no way he's the weak link. -JaronK

Warblade:
A note on the Warblade: Warblades are tier 3 only because 9th level spells are better than the rule books and not because the monster manuals are packed full of monsters that can kill them. Being the horseman War is great and all, but it will always be second best to a god. -SorO_Lost

 
Cons: They don't have ranged attacks and always have to use mithral as their armor's material if they want to use full-plate. That's it. -SorO_Lost

Pros: Warblades are simply the best melee class ever.

Ok to reiterate, Warblades pack a d12 hit dice, full BAB, proficiency with all melee martial weapons, and up to medium armor as their basic class stats meaning they are meant for melee combat. From there things go uphill at a staggering pace.

For one thing they are the smart fighter, none of that 'Thorg smash puppies' stuff fighters do. Warblades get bonuses for having intelligence such as adding their int bonus to reflex saves, crit confirmation, damage rolls when flanking, all those combat maneuvers in the PHB, and finally attack and damage rolls for AOOs. Oh and did I mention they sport 4 skill points per level and can pick up skills like balance,tumble and intimidate?

Another thing to mention is Weapon Aptitude which not only lets you have access to but lets you swap your Weapon Focus chain of feats on the fly. Did you focus on longswords but find this awesome mace? Spend an hour playing with it and poof, instant retraining with no XP cost!

By the 6th level a warblade has improved uncanny dodge and a bonus feat. Later on they will pick up an additional three bonus feats from a limited but useful list. It's kinda like stealing class abilities from the Barbarian and Fighter at the same time.

Then there is the maneuver system the ToB introduced of course, the warblade gets the best recovery mechanic of all the classes. When you run out of maneuvers just attack someone. Yes I said attack them. I mean in a boring no maneuvers used sort of way, but it's the same exact (full) attack actions that you are used to using and the monsters still are. Walk over and beat the every living crap out of something to recover your maneuvers to beat the remaining blood out of them next round. Fun times.

Warblades can choose from any of the unsupernatural style of schools. They are realistic and in your face. They don't care about such things like fire, ghosting people, or purifying the wicked. Keep it simple, the pointy end goes into the foe a dozen times or the sharp edge slices them into pieces. Expect your average warblade to ignore save or die effects, to break battle control effects cast at them, to set the battle field in favorable conditions and exploit it, and to be seen helping the entire party's melee capabilities.

Finally, even those high nosed RPers will love the warblade. Now they have rules and effects backing such stories as 'I leap up and slice the snake's head clean off'. Even the most boring of players will find them selves shouting out the names of their attacks and bragging about how cool their character looks while swinging his sword. No more boring 'I attack..." comments. Ever. Well, unless it's part of a small joke, such as 'I attack... With my Finishing Move after flash stepping behind them and my blade lights up resembling molten lava to burn away their very soul!'. Maneuvers are so flavorful...
-SorO_Lost

« Last Edit: July 14, 2009, 05:22:00 PM by Gr1lledcheese » Logged

The Optimizationale: by Solo.<br /><br />Arise, ye posters, from ye slumbers!<br />Arise, ye lurkers of the forum!<br />For reason in revolt now thunders<br />A better day shall come!<br />No more falsehood\'s chains shall bind us,<br />Eager masses, arise! Arise!<br />We’ll change henceforth the old consensus<br />And spurn it\'s dust to optimize...
Gr1lledcheese
Barbary Macaque at the Rock of Gibraltar
***
Posts: 193



Email
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2009, 01:02:15 AM »

Still left in this thread:

The binder needs a description (Tier 3 post # 2)

The dread necromancer needs some pros.
I'll be starting Tier 2 tomorrow likely.
Logged

The Optimizationale: by Solo.<br /><br />Arise, ye posters, from ye slumbers!<br />Arise, ye lurkers of the forum!<br />For reason in revolt now thunders<br />A better day shall come!<br />No more falsehood\'s chains shall bind us,<br />Eager masses, arise! Arise!<br />We’ll change henceforth the old consensus<br />And spurn it\'s dust to optimize...
Gr1lledcheese
Barbary Macaque at the Rock of Gibraltar
***
Posts: 193



Email
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2009, 10:15:14 AM »

Added: Binder description.
Logged

The Optimizationale: by Solo.<br /><br />Arise, ye posters, from ye slumbers!<br />Arise, ye lurkers of the forum!<br />For reason in revolt now thunders<br />A better day shall come!<br />No more falsehood\'s chains shall bind us,<br />Eager masses, arise! Arise!<br />We’ll change henceforth the old consensus<br />And spurn it\'s dust to optimize...
Shadowhunter
Hong Kong
****
Posts: 1003



« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2009, 12:25:42 PM »

Your binder section needs to be reversed.
The pros and cons are the wrong way.

CONS:
Whilst any good player have plenty of options when playing a binder, fact remains that it is less versatile than a tier 1 or 2 spellcaster. It has already been stated that "around the clock" powers are only stronger than the "use and loose" type of powers (i.e spells) when you have more than 4 encounters a day.
Basically, if you have a wizard in your team, you'll probably rest after four encounters anyway unless you like to put your team in jeopardy since one of it's members now is a viablility instead of a reliability. That rarely happens.
On a round-by-round basis, spellcasters have more powerful options than Binders. Add to that the fact that most of the binders most powerfull abilites are once every five rounds, the action economy versus optimum preformance doesn't ad up all that well to the binders favor.

Thus, under normal circumstances (rest after 4 encounters), a spellcaster have more juice than a Binder.
Logged

Quote from: Runestar
the most effective optimization is the one you can actually get away with.  Smirk

Quote from: Vinom
(A group of nerds are called a murder because like crows we are anti-social, like shiny things, and often squack at each other over nothing for hours)

I often have to remind people not to underrate divination.  The ability to effectively metagame without actually metagaming beats the ability to set things on fire more times than not.
[/quote]

Binder? You're Welcome

Zceryll makes Binders go from tier 3 to tier 2.
Cagemarrow is a Genius

Before giving the advice that build X would be better of with Fist of the Forest, take a long, good look at Primal Living. Twice.
johnboy069
Barbary Macaque at the Rock of Gibraltar
***
Posts: 142


Email
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2009, 10:17:20 PM »

Where would one put the Wildshape Ranger if it also takes the Mystic Ranger variant from Dragon 336 (It is also on the Wizards' boards somewhere). How about the trapfinding variant from Dungeonscape? Would it be about the same? I was just wondering, thanks for any insight. I am planning on making one of these guys that plans on going into Daggerspell shaper with the Sword of the Arcane Order feat from Champions of Valor.
Logged

This is johnboy069 and toryn from the wizards boards:)
\m/ RIP Ronnie James Dio, you will be missed.\m/ Big Eyes

Endarire
Man in Gorilla Suit
*****
Posts: 2171



Email
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2009, 11:21:41 PM »

A Trapfinding Mystic Wildshape Ranger if well-built is high tier 3.  He can't break the game like a Sorcerer can, but he's like a 1-man party at low levels.
Logged

Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"
Flay Crimsonwind
Hong Kong
****
Posts: 1310


Watching the World Burn in Magnificence


Email
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2009, 01:09:35 AM »

CONS:
Basically, if you have a wizard in your team, you'll probably rest after four encounters anyway unless you like to put your team in jeopardy since one of it's members now is a liability instead of a reliability. That rarely happens.
On a round-by-round basis, spellcasters have more powerful options than Binders. Add to that the fact that most of the binders most powerfull abilites are once every five rounds, the action economy versus optimum performance doesn't ad up all that well to the binders favor.

Thus, under normal circumstances (rest after 4 encounters), a spellcaster has more juice than a Binder.
Fixed it. Sorry, grammar/spelling nazi.
Logged

Shadowhunter
Hong Kong
****
Posts: 1003



« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2009, 05:08:58 PM »

CONS:
Basically, if you have a wizard in your team, you'll probably rest after four encounters anyway unless you like to put your team in jeopardy since one of it's members now is a liability instead of a reliability. That rarely happens.
On a round-by-round basis, spellcasters have more powerful options than Binders. Add to that the fact that most of the binders most powerfull abilites are once every five rounds, the action economy versus optimum performance doesn't ad up all that well to the binders favor.

Thus, under normal circumstances (rest after 4 encounters), a spellcaster has more juice than a Binder.
Fixed it. Sorry, grammar/spelling nazi.

I don't mind, I shouldn't have made that misstake in the first place Smile
I'm somewhat of a grammar nazi myself, but sometimes I slip. English not being my first language might have something to do with it. Tongue
Logged

Quote from: Runestar
the most effective optimization is the one you can actually get away with.  Smirk

Quote from: Vinom
(A group of nerds are called a murder because like crows we are anti-social, like shiny things, and often squack at each other over nothing for hours)

I often have to remind people not to underrate divination.  The ability to effectively metagame without actually metagaming beats the ability to set things on fire more times than not.
[/quote]

Binder? You're Welcome

Zceryll makes Binders go from tier 3 to tier 2.
Cagemarrow is a Genius

Before giving the advice that build X would be better of with Fist of the Forest, take a long, good look at Primal Living. Twice.
johnboy069
Barbary Macaque at the Rock of Gibraltar
***
Posts: 142


Email
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2009, 06:07:43 PM »

A Trapfinding Mystic Wildshape Ranger if well-built is high tier 3.  He can't break the game like a Sorcerer can, but he's like a 1-man party at low levels.

Thanks Endarire.Smile
Logged

This is johnboy069 and toryn from the wizards boards:)
\m/ RIP Ronnie James Dio, you will be missed.\m/ Big Eyes

Gr1lledcheese
Barbary Macaque at the Rock of Gibraltar
***
Posts: 193



Email
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2009, 05:22:55 PM »

Fixed the binder section who's pros and cons were reversed, also added Shadowhunter's binder con. Sorry about that man, I didn't see your post.
Logged

The Optimizationale: by Solo.<br /><br />Arise, ye posters, from ye slumbers!<br />Arise, ye lurkers of the forum!<br />For reason in revolt now thunders<br />A better day shall come!<br />No more falsehood\'s chains shall bind us,<br />Eager masses, arise! Arise!<br />We’ll change henceforth the old consensus<br />And spurn it\'s dust to optimize...
Jopustopin
That monkey with the orange ass cheeks
****
Posts: 288



« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2010, 09:16:47 PM »

No one ever did a why the Psychic warrior is in tier 3.  Sad!
Logged

Zemyla
Ring-Tailed Lemur
**
Posts: 60

Rampant Changeling Fetishist

syrazemyla
Email
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2010, 06:47:54 PM »

Psychic Warrior
Cons: You've got lower BAB, less HP, and fewer feats than the fighter.  You've also got only a small amount of PP, though your bonus PP can cover that.

Pros: You still have enough feats to pick up almost everything a fighter can, plus more on top of that.  Deep Impact means you can full power attack and not worry about the AC of most monsters, you can be a better archer than a fighter by picking up Zen Archery to base it off your important Wis stat, you get Autohypnosis and a good Wis to use it with, you can pick up maneuvers with feats and recover them with Psychic Recovery (which already makes you better than all the other non-ToB classes), and then you have powers.

The powers are the bread and butter of what make a psychic warrior good.  Expansion, Strength of My Enemy, Claws of the Vampire, Vigor, and so many other good powers give you combat tricks that a standard fighter, or even a barbarian, can't match.  Hustle lets you not only move around better, but also recharge your psychic focus without worrying about losing your move actions.  You could grow claws, or summon a weapon from nowhere and act like a much better soulknife.  You could even, if you want, spend your feats to pick up powers from other lists.  From synchronicity and anticipatory strike to schism and dispel psionics, you've got options.  You could even pick up the healing role with a psicrystal, vigor, and share pain.

In conclusion, the psychic warrior fights better than most other dedicated fighting classes, even with 3/4 BAB.

Edit:  Lycanthromancer did this much better than I did.  So as a bonus, I'll do why the DFA deserves to be in tier 3.

Dragonfire Adept
Cons: A DFA is most often compared to a warlock, and comes off fairly unfavorably in that regard at first glance.  Where warlocks have 3/4 BAB and a d8 HD, DFAs have 1/2 BAB and a d6 HD.  They also have many of the same problems warlocks do (limited invocation selection, lack of raw damage until the higher levels), and they only have one book for their invocations, while warlocks have several.

Pros: Five words: Metabreath feats and Entangling Exhalation.  At low levels, a breath weapon enhanced by entangling exhalation acts like a crippling power word: pain, and slow breath at level 5 with entangling exhalation is even more devastating actionwise.  At high levels, a maximized fivefold breath of Tiamat does buckets of damage.  Also, their battlefield control breaths don't hit the party with endure exposure.  Out of combat, they have a lot of the same utility as a warlock; flight, invisibility, Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, and so on.  They also get alter self as an at-will invocation, which pretty much automatically bumps them a tier above warlock.  Also, they can have identify at will for free, and geas as a standard action.

Also, their cons aren't as bad as they sound.  1/2 BAB is irrelevant when you aren't making attacks, and d6 HD isn't as bad when one of your prime requisites is Con.  In fact, they have quite a bit of SAD, as they only really need Con, and then Cha if they have invocations that require saves.  They can target all three saves (Ref with damage breaths, Fort with status breaths, and Will with invocations), so they aren't crippled by enemies with evasion like they would seem to be.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 08:22:31 PM by Zemyla » Logged
ninjarabbit
Hong Kong
****
Posts: 1442



Email
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2010, 04:22:29 PM »

No one's done the beguiler yet


Beguiler
Cons: Very limited and redundant spell list, for example just way too many will-save-targeting mind-effecting spells. Somewhat frail with d6 hit dice and light armor though a few spells on his list do help. Mindblank shuts down a huge chunk of his spells. The beguiler has almost no direct offensive abilties and has trouble against many types of foes like undead, plants, and elementals.

Pros: 6 skill points/level with int-based spellcasting with an excellent set of class skills and trapfinding. There's quite a few gems on the beguiler spell list inlcuding glitterdust, haste, greater mirror image, dispel magic, and time stop in addition to the heavy focus on enchanment/illusion spells. Gains 2 bonus metamagic feats. Advanced learned can greatly increase spellcasting flexibility with spells like ray of stupidity and shadow conjuration/evocation. Cloaked casting and surprised casting give you a few unique combat options and cloaked casting can effectively be a free spell focus/greater spell focus for the beguiler. A beguiler can easily charm/dominate something to make up for his lack of offensive options.

The beguiler is easily among the top of the skillmonkeys and his focus on enchantment/illusions means the party wizard can safely ban those schools

Logged
ShneekeyTheLost
Ring-Tailed Lemur
**
Posts: 21


« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2010, 11:05:10 PM »

Dread Necromancer

Cons:
* While this class is extremely undead-centric, it gains access to neither Unhallow nor Desecrate
* Overall low damage output, despite the interesting options available, without tricks
* Unlike Beguiler or Warmage, unable to use Rainbow Serpent to gain spontaneous cleric casting, due to alignment restrictions
* Poor multiclassing options. With a variety of class abilities, and an actually useful capstone, it's tough to multiclass out of Dread Necro
* If you use Necropolitian to gain infinite healing from the get-go, over half of the class abilities, including the capstone, are worthless
* Also, most of these class abilities mentioned previously are simply part of the capstone, so by level 20, you actually don't get as many class abilities as you think, although they are useful at the level they are received
* Non-Undead whom are immune to negative energy effects find you to be a much less challenging threat

Pros:
* Unlimited out of combat healing with Charnel Touch. If you want to go Litch at 20, just use Tomb-Tainted and retrain the feat then
* Awesome minomancy potential. With the appropriate Corpsecraft feats, you can make viable minions, or just suicide bombers. And you can heal and buff them too
* Rebuke Undead for possible DMM shenannigans, although you have to use Alternate Spell Source to let it qualify
* Easy spell list. No expensive scrolls to scribe, no tough 'spells known' choices to make. You get what ya get, which makes it ideal for a newbie who wants to play a caster
* Plenty of battlefield control/save or loose options. Particularly if you go outside of Core with your Advanced Learning choices. Enervation is begging to be (ab)used.
* Fairly good synergy with class abilities. You've got lots of minion potential, which are healed by negative energy, and you practically urinate negative energy.
* Good party synergy as well. With spells like Death Ward on your list, you can also buff allies. Any allies who are either undead or also took Tomb Tainted also consider you a healbot, particularly out of combat. However, Negative Energy Burst is both damage and party healing, if you set it up right.

So... yea. You want the 'evil commander of undead' vibe, but arcane necromancy is sub-par and you don't want to be a cleric? This is your way to go. You've got a lot of good options for combat, from debuffing to summoning undead minions to using Save or Loose effects. If your GM thinks he can try to minimize your effectiveness by throwing undead at you, simply Command or Rebuke and laugh as they join your forces.

There's also LOADS of love for negative energy damage output in the various splatbooks, but particularly in Complete Divine and Complete Mage. Grabbing a few Corpsecrafter feats will make your minions much nastier, and also act as battlefield control or even healing. Look, your Corpsecrafter feats work on undead summoned with Summon Undead series. You find a way to heal from negative energy. Destructive Retribution turns your minions, including summoned, into suicide bombers that hits everyone within 10' with negative energy. Which you heal from. And your opponents likely don't. So yea. Hell, Fell Animate + Fell Drain + Destructive Retribution. Your opponents die, and turn into undead which blow up when they die again, so their buddies die while trying to kill their former comrades. That is what it means to be a Dread Necromancer.

You aren't 'evil lite'. You aren't trying to 'explore the possibilities', or 'studying that which I fight against', nor even 'neutrally and scientifically studying this intellectually interesting topic'. You are a plague upon the earth, you know the difference between good and evil, and you chose Evil. Or rather, you ran up to Evil, embraced it lovingly, gave it some action, and proceeded to ride it while shouting 'Who's your daddy now!'. Your very presence makes Paladins loose their last meal. Your gaze causes the strong to shudder and the weak to collapse in horror. Undead are your playthings, and negative energy your lifeblood. And you're pretty damn good at it.

Feats and Tips
Getting a Mother Cyst adds even more interesting stuff to your spell list. Controlling an Undead Bard with Requiem feat makes for a very nasty synergy, with all the minions you have floating around. Corpsecrafter feats are fun. So is Necromantic Presence/Might. Undead Leadership can break a game. Fell Drain and Fell Animate are like peanut butter and jelly, particularly when paired with spells that have a large area or hit multiple targets. Heighten Turning can help thicken your ranks. Arcane Disciple can get you access to Desecrate and Unhallow. DMM can dramatically increase the effectiveness of high-cost metamagic. Divine Spell Power + Blasphemy = have fun. Rapid Spell + Summon Undead = faster minions. Rapid Metamagic, because you are a spontaneous caster. Metamagic School Focus can help mitigate the cost of metamagic feats, because guess what 90% of what you are casting at opponents will be Necromancy. Master of Undeath can give you temporary minions. Of course, with Destructive Retribution, it probably won't last long enough to turn hostile.
Logged
The_Mad_Linguist
Organ Grinder
*****
Posts: 8780


Simulated Thing


« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2010, 11:32:36 PM »

Dread necromancers can enter Rainbow Servant just fine.  Be TN or LN.  Dread necromancers are nongood, Rainbow Servants are nonchaotic and nonevil.  Plus, you keep all your DN goodies if you change alignment.
Logged

Linguist, Mad, Unique, none of these things am I
My custom class: The Priest of the Unseen Host
Planetouched Handbook
Want to improve your character?  Then die.
RelentlessImp
Donkey Kong
****
Posts: 653


opaqueobscurity
Email
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2010, 11:44:20 PM »

Dread necromancers can enter Rainbow Servant just fine.  Be TN or LN.  Dread necromancers are nongood, Rainbow Servants are nonchaotic and nonevil.  Plus, you keep all your DN goodies if you change alignment.

Not to mention Dread Necromancer is only 8 levels long, so taking Necropolitan and losing the capstone isn't a big deal.
Logged

Solo on Essentials
I prepared irresistible phantasmal killer today... as a 4th level spell.
"He hit me with a flaming garbage can...and then the god damn hobo next to it!"
Sinfire Titan
Organ Grinder
*****
Posts: 5697


You've got one round to give a rat's ass.


Email
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2010, 11:46:08 PM »

Dread necromancers can enter Rainbow Servant just fine.  Be TN or LN.  Dread necromancers are nongood, Rainbow Servants are nonchaotic and nonevil.  Plus, you keep all your DN goodies if you change alignment.
I have always believed that Dread Necromancers have a recommended alignment, not an alignment restriction. Its not a restriction if there are no consequences for violating it.
Logged



snakeman830
Organ Grinder
*****
Posts: 3494


BG's resident furry min/maxxer

591915459 snakeman830@yahoo.com snakeman830 snakeman830
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2010, 11:50:25 PM »

Dread necromancers can enter Rainbow Servant just fine.  Be TN or LN.  Dread necromancers are nongood, Rainbow Servants are nonchaotic and nonevil.  Plus, you keep all your DN goodies if you change alignment.

Not to mention Dread Necromancer is only 8 levels long, so taking Necropolitan and losing the capstone isn't a big deal.
It's worth going beyond that in Dread Necro, especially if you want to max out your control pool.  You only add your Cha modifier*Dread Necro level, not Cha mod*Caster level.  Also advances Rebuking for better undead minions (like a Slaymate and a few other toys) and, honestly, free lichdom is never bad, even if you do have to wait until 20 to get it.  Yes, you have a long time to wait, but you still get stuff (unlike Sorcerers, Wizards, and Warmages).
Logged

I am constantly amazed by how many DM's ban Tomb of Battle.  The book doesn't even exist!

Quotes:
By yes, she means no.
That explains so much about my life.
hiicantcomeupwithacharacterthatisntaghostwhyisthatamijustretardedorsomething
Why would you even do this? It hurts my eyes and looks like you ate your keyboard before suffering an attack of explosive diarrhea.

If using Genesis to hide your phylactry, set it at -300 degrees farenheit.  See how do-gooders fare with a liquid atmosphere.
Ramaloke
Barbary Macaque at the Rock of Gibraltar
***
Posts: 197


101407785 regali62@hotmail.com Ramaloke+1st Ramaloke_crushridge
Email
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2010, 11:58:30 PM »

I've always felt that the dread necromancer really shines in gestalt games where you can focus on the other side and stay Dread Necromancer 1-20 on the left.
Logged

Favorite Songs
Passing Afternoon Like A Stone Wish You Where Here
~\-----------------/~
JaronK
Organ Grinder
*****
Posts: 4039


« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2010, 01:43:45 AM »

Certainly, especially when combined with a very active class (martial adepts, for example, or other melee types).  Binder is an amazing gestalt with DNs, and considering losing Binder levels isn't that bad, Paladin of Tyranny 3/Hexblade 4/Binder X is a very solid way to do it.  I don't consider DN to be 8 levels long... certainly the first 8 levels are awesome, but Fear Aura and Undead Mastery are both solid abilities that scale with level.

JaronK
« Last Edit: November 15, 2010, 01:45:58 AM by JaronK » Logged

Pages: 1 2 »
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!