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PF Advanced Class Guide Playtest Rules

knottyprof

Villager
Glancing through the PDF and focused more on the Shaman (as that seems to be the biggest draw from earlier posts), to me it seems more like a divine witch class more than an Oracle/Witch combo. The spirit rules seem more like the Witch's patron rules than anything else plus the spirit familiar is pretty much the same as the normal witch's familiar. Is the Spirit ability and Greater Spirit ability comparable the Oracles Revelation ability? Also since the Oracle is a spontaneous caster and the Witch a prepared spell caster why didn't they apply the same spell mechanic the used for the Arcanist rather than requiring the Shaman to prepare all of her spells ahead of time? Also to at least give it some Oracle flavor they should have retained the Oracle's Curse ability which I think could have easily been worked into the Shaman class as more of a primitive and superstitious flavor. Instead of a curse call it a taboo and an additional restriction (I think a mechanic similar to the Complete Arcane's Wujen Taboo class ability wouldn't be that hard to retrofit with some word smithing).
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
I could see the Arcanist basically replacing Wizard for anyone who does not absolutely have their higher levels spells one level earlier. Many of us may have a warm place in our hearts for Vancian spellcasting but discarding the literal "fire and forget" mechanic makes the class seem so much more intuitive.
 

Kinak

Villager
I could see the Arcanist basically replacing Wizard for anyone who does not absolutely have their higher levels spells one level earlier. Many of us may have a warm place in our hearts for Vancian spellcasting but discarding the literal "fire and forget" mechanic makes the class seem so much more intuitive.
Yeah, it feels way more like someone who studies magic than the wizard class to me.

The only place I've ever been really happy with full D&D Vancian casting is actually the Alchemist. It totally makes sense that they mix stuff up in advance and choose how many things to mix.

It's never worked for wizards or clerics for me, so it's nice to see another option to capture the wizard's flavor.

Cheers!
Kinak
 

Ace

Villager
I like most of these classes, the Investigator is much better than I expected. Fun, decently flexible and balances two different classes quite well

I like most of the classes well enough in fact though the Swashbuckler is is quite similar to variant gunslingers in some of the 3rd Party books. This was to be expected though.

The Arcanist is actually I think pick of the litter. It could easily be the only arcane class in the right game. I think its better than Sorcerer and Wizard, not in rule terms but in playability and flavor.

The only one I think is meh is the Warpriest. The slot for that class would have been better served by an Arcane Trickster, Rogue/Wizard IMO.
 

Kinak

Villager
I like most of these classes, the Investigator is much better than I expected. Fun, decently flexible and balances two different classes quite well
Glad that one's working out, haven't gotten to play with it much yet.

The only one I think is meh is the Warpriest. The slot for that class would have been better served by an Arcane Trickster, Rogue/Wizard IMO.
I think if they manage to nail the "paladins for all!" angle, the warpriest will be worth it. I agree it doesn't seem to be there yet, though.

Cheers!
Kinak
 

Jester David

Villager
Quick thoughts:

Arcanist - Lame. It's an alternate spellcasting system not a class. Like Words of Power. Just give us the system and let us swap it for other spellcasting classes.


Bloodrager - Some interesting stuff in this class but feels like standard multiclassing could have handled it with the addition of an option letting barbarians cast spells while raging.


Brawler - I see the need for a non-magical monk but wonder if that could have been an archetype

Hunter - Lame. This is a ranger alternate class, if not an archetype.


Investigator - Not sure this class couldn't be replicated by standard multiclassing. I like it, but that's personal affection for the trope and less a reflection of the class.


Shaman - I like the idea of a class heavily tied to the spirit world with a spirit familiar. But the oracle and witch flavour and mechanics seem to get in the way. This might work better when not being forced into the "hybrid" box.


Skald - Problematic. It induces rage but then can't cast spells or do much else in combat. Benefits of this class depend on the group.


Slayer - Dislike. Damage dealer is a character build not a class concept. And high DPR builds can already end encounters quickly, we don't need to up the bar.


Swashbuckler - I can see this being needed. Might need some work but there's some good stuff.


War Priest - With paladins being limited to LG this class does serve a purpose. It works I guess.


All in all the classes really look like they're being made just to make new classes. They came up with the idea of the book and the idea of hybrid classes and these are just the least bad classes. Most don't exist because there was a huge gap and the table but instead because there was a huge gap in the book.
 

Cadence

Villager
Out of curiosity, what do you dislike about the alchemist? I agree that the HULK-smash builds can be a little abusive. I personally like the techno-vibe, and for some reason the investigator seems to drift that into a steampunk feel, which I appreciate. It feels like the first class I would see in Victorian England.
My problem might be the name and how it leads me to think of the classic D&D alchemist -- having the potions only work for oneself seems more like a balance needed game mechanic than something that makes sense in terms of the game world itself. I can't conjure up a good image to fit the bombs either in my brains default D&D setting. I hadn't thought of pushing it into techno or steampunk like you suggest for the investigator (which should have been obvious from the Jekyll and Hyde analogy)... thinking of it for a totally different setting might help a lot. Is there a better name that might help me than alchemist?


Glancing through the PDF and focused more on the Shaman (as that seems to be the biggest draw from earlier posts), to me it seems more like a divine witch class more than an Oracle/Witch combo. <snip> Also to at least give it some Oracle flavor they should have retained the Oracle's Curse ability which I think could have easily been worked into the Shaman class as more of a primitive and superstitious flavor.
Like @Jester Canuck says too, its almost like forcing it to be a hybrid is getting in the way of some of the Shaman's potential. If you want changes to it, I'd like to avoid having it necessarily go for a primitive and superstitious flavor - I'd like it to work there, but also work for maybe something like an Eastern flavored campaign too.


War Priest - With paladins being limited to LG this class does serve a purpose. It works I guess.
I think @Kinak is right on this one and that it isn't quite there yet. I'd mimic your criticisms from a lot of the other classes that it seems like an archetype for the Cleric with its d8 and 3/4 BAB and not a good alternate to the d10 and full BAB Paladin.


Arcanist - Lame. It's an alternate spellcasting system not a class. Like Words of Power. Just give us the system and let us swap it for other spellcasting classes.
I vote with @Kaodi , @Kinak, and @Ace in terms of the Arcanist being one of the nicest things in the book... but I can see your point on why a system idea might be better than presenting it as a class. I wonder if they'll have that in the class construction rules that are supposed to be in the final book. Maybe something easy that would let us give the Wizard vs. Arcanist vs. Sorcerer type distinction to the Cleric, Druid, and (in reverse) the Bard.

The class creation rules they want to put at the end might also explain why:

All in all the classes really look like they're being made just to make new classes. They came up with the idea of the book and the idea of hybrid classes and these are just the least bad classes.
I just hope that if they do point costs or the like that they don't seem as forced as they did for some races in the ARG.
 
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Zelkon

Villager
My thoughts from over on MW:
The Arcanist is awfully OP compared to the Sorcerer, but it's a 3.5 rip so the disparity between casters isn't that big anyway. It's a cool mechanism, but the rest of the class mechanics are sort of blah. School Supremacy is a great capstone, but PrCs will end up being better I think.
The Bloodrager is obviously a step up from a Barbarian, because from what I can tell it gives up two DR and a hit point per level, but its spellcasting mechanism is so weak it's hardly worth the space its printed on. Really disappointed in what I thought would be a cool class. Oh! I just noticed the new bloodlines. Those are actually really cool.
The Brawler is strictly better than the Monk and Fighter, I'd say, but that's to be expected. It doesn't seem to have any real unique features except for Awesome Blow, which is cool (Knockout is really just a different Quivering Palm).
The Hunter looks like a good time, even if it's not completely original (they only added two things, really)
I'm drooling over the concept of the investigator, but in practice it's just a straight up mix. Even the exclusive feature, the talents, are bland or copy-pasted.
Shaman is neato, and it's spirit class features are truly a change of pace from the other two classes that merged to form this one.
The Skald is my favorite, I'd say, because it's cool what it can do, but I think there needs to be more bardic songs.
Slayer is dull and ineffective. FE is an outdated mechanic and this really stretches it beyond its limits. Quarry was a good idea though (albeit one that's been done a thousand times before)...why even keep FE around at this point? It sucks that Quarry comes in so late. It should be the defining feature. Also, there are some really odd, gamist limitations on the Quarry.
Swashbuckler is sort of cool, with it's Panache and Deeds, but after that it's really dull and doesn't really incorporate the gunslinger enough.
I dig the Warpriest. They implemented that class really effectively, IMO, but they dropped the ball when it comes to the chasis. However, Avatar of War is sort of lame.


Overall, this is really disappointing. When they said combinations of classes, I was not under the impression 90% would be copy-pasted.
 

paradox42

Villager
I've read the rest and digested them well enough for a first pass.

Brawler: Looks fun; the ability to auto-retrain some feats and feat chains looks like a potential bookkeeping problem but as other posters have said, I strongly suspect it won't be (because people will usually use it for a few favorites, and especially to get favorite chains like three Style feats). Awesome Blow at 20th though... meh. Seriously, it's just a bonus feat, and a Large Brawler can get it a lot earlier (and yes, Awesome Blow is just a feat, for those who don't read the Bestiary very closely). I'd suggest borrowing something from the Mythic book for the capstone instead; the Champion and Guardian Paths have some interesting abilities that could fit rather well, especially if you remove a restriction on using Mythic Power to activate the ability and instead base it on the Brawler's STR or CON modifier or something (or just make it once/day). Examples? How about Meat Shield, Punishing Blow, Uncanny Grapple, Wall Smasher, Maneuver Expert, Titan's Rage? Those are just from Champion. I could go on.

Hunter: Nice to see a 6-spell-level Nature caster. Having the Teamwork feats that you can use with your pet is a nice innovation too. Animal Focus is a slightly weaker Judgment, but you can use it outside of combat (in fact, in most cases it's evidently supposed to be used outside of combat). Still a lame name for the class, but I haven't thought of a better one yet. I'd suggest Totemist, but that one's sort of already taken (not least, by me).

Investigator: Alchemist with Sneak Attack instead of Bombs, and less alchemy. Only new thing is the Inspiration class feature, but that in itself is a very interesting ability. The Rogue should arguably have it by default. Generally, I like it, though it's not particularly innovative except for the Inspiration (especially when combined with some of the Talents).

Shaman: Meh. Interesting ideas here, like being able to choose a different secondary "Domain" every day, but flavor-wise I don't think those abilities should be called Hexes (because most of them just aren't). OTOH, maybe the Witch can steal a few of the Shaman "Hexes" for herself. I like the Oracle better, personally, though I suppose I'd put the Shaman above the Witch for interest value.

Skald: Spell Kenning is probably too expensive to use for what it does- but I admit, it is basically a "Wish for level-X-or-lower effect" ability so potentially very powerful. Also, why does Skald have Scribe Scroll, except for folklore/history flavor? It kinda doesn't fit with anything else the class does.

Slayer: Now you can play an assassin without being Evil! Reasonably cool class, albeit hyper-specialized. Favored Target is a nice idea.

Swashbuckler: By RAW, the Riposte Deed is completely useless until and unless the Swashbuckler has Combat Reflexes. Did you notice that it requires the spending of an AOO besides the one already spent to Parry? Swashbuckler should arguably get Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat at 1st, unless an Archetype switches it out. Pommel Swipe is rather nice though- you get an extra attack, which can turn into a free Trip maneuver (effectively), except that it's not called Trip so critters with multiple legs can still be knocked over with it, and if I'm not mistaken you can still use your Precise Strike to get extra damage on the Pommel hit. Also, I believe Dizzying Defense allows you to attack normally, and still go into Total Defense that same round, which is impressive.

Warpriest: Yeah, it's Cleric-Magus. Doesn't get Spellstrike or Arcana but does get spontaneous casting of Cure or Inflict spells, Channel Energy, and Sacred Weapon and Armor. The "Blessings" are just reskinned Domains- par for the Divine course.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Per Jason Bulmahn, Arcanist is being rebuilt to have an arcane reservoir, which can be used to generate certain magical effects (from a selected list, a la rogue talents). As they progress, they can use their spell slots to fill this reservoir, deconstruct magic items to fill it, and eventually break down currently existing spell effects to fill it (example given being a wall of fire). Still keeps the spellcasting mechanism, so I'm excited to see the changes.
 

paradox42

Villager
Per Jason Bulmahn, Arcanist is being rebuilt to have an arcane reservoir, which can be used to generate certain magical effects (from a selected list, a la rogue talents). As they progress, they can use their spell slots to fill this reservoir, deconstruct magic items to fill it, and eventually break down currently existing spell effects to fill it (example given being a wall of fire). Still keeps the spellcasting mechanism, so I'm excited to see the changes.
These sound like changes worthy of a whole new class. The spellcasting alone really wasn't.
 

Thotas

Villager
This has nothing to do with the game mechanics, but it's an aesthetic issue that I want to address up front: I hate the name "Brawler" for the Monk/Fighter hybrid. To me, a brawler is some big lout who relies on his size and belligerence to win fights, pretty much the opposite of the master of techniques. Pugilist, maybe? There's got to be something better than Pugilist. But Pugilist is better than Brawler.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
These sound like changes worthy of a whole new class. The spellcasting alone really wasn't.
I agree. While I love the mechanic, I think it would have been fine as an archetype added to wizards and sorcerers. Although I'd like to see it expanded to more classes, honestly. I think it would work really well with the new shaman, for example.
 

Kinak

Villager
Per Jason Bulmahn, Arcanist is being rebuilt to have an arcane reservoir, which can be used to generate certain magical effects (from a selected list, a la rogue talents). As they progress, they can use their spell slots to fill this reservoir, deconstruct magic items to fill it, and eventually break down currently existing spell effects to fill it (example given being a wall of fire). Still keeps the spellcasting mechanism, so I'm excited to see the changes.
Thanks for the news. This sounds pretty sweet.

Cheers!
Kinak
 

Greg K

Adventurer
Having looked over the classes some more.
Arcanist: Mixed on it. Some things I like. A couple of things I don't.

Investigator: So, I figured out my dislike for the class- alchemy. I like everything about the class except alchemy. Then again, I am not a fan of the Alchemist class for the style of campaigns that I run.

Skald: I still don't care for it. I don't mind inspiring rage, but it is enough for me. To me, a Skald will need Facinate, Inspire Courage, and the Court Bard's Satire and Mockery. Inspire Greatness might be a good addition as well.
 

RUMBLETiGER

Villager
As I read thru the Advanced Class Guide, I can't help but come to the conclusion that some of these new classes would make people not interested in playing some of the base classes.

Investigator trumps Rogue in everything a Rogue does. Sure, it's 6+INT skillpoints per level, but with the inspiration ability, you can break the skillpoint cap for skills and you can do so on the fly instead of preselecting. Slightly slower Sneak Attack progression will be noticeable in the early levels, but only slightly because you're adding a list of spell buffs to make up for it and you can add inspiration to attack (and saves!). One of the Investigator Talents is "Rogue Talent", so you have the entire Rogue list and then some, only losing the advanced ones. It seems

Investigator= Rogue - small things + decent spellcasting + buff everything on the fly.

With this package, I can't think of any reason someone would want to play a Rogue anymore.

Brawler leads me to believe Monk is obsolete. Full BAB, all the Monk basics, none of the Monk fluff, and floating feat selection providing tons of flexibility. Who'd want to go back to punching people the same old Monk way?

Arcanist seems to trump Sorcerer. Still have a Bloodline, some extra feats like a Wizard, better spell selection. Not sure why anyone would play Sorcerer after this, and it's even an appealing trade off instead of Wizard.

I'm still wrapping my head around some of the other classes, but these are my conclusions so far.
 
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sheadunne

Registered User
Investigator trumps Rogue in everything a Rogue does. Sure, it's 6+INT skillpoints per level, but with the inspiration ability, you can break the skillpoint cap for skills and you can do so on the fly instead of preselecting. Slightly slower Sneak Attack progression will be noticeable in the early levels, but only slightly because you're adding a list of spell buffs to make up for it and you can add inspiration to attack (and saves!). One of the Investigator Talents is "Rogue Talent", so you have the entire Rogue list and then some, only losing the advanced ones. With this package, I can't think of any reason someone would want to play a Rogue anymore.
Wasn't the rogue already replaced by the Alchemist, Bard, Ranger, or Ninja? The question is, does the investigator replace all of those other replacements?

Brawler leads me to believe Monk is obsolete. Full BAB, all the Monk basics, none of the Monk fluff, and floating feat selection providing tons of flexibility. Who'd want to go back to punching people the same old Monk way?
I wasn't a fan of the monk anyway, so it'll be nice to have an alternative, especially if it's better than the weak previous monk.
 
Random thoughts from an infrequent poster

Arcanist:I like the spellcasting mechanic. The class features were weak and I look forward to the changes. If Sorcerers are raw talent of Arcane Magic, Wizards the Scientists/Engineers, the revised Arcanists might become the Mad Scientists/Macgyers.

Bloodrager:It seems fun. Casting only while raging means the class will have little to do or contribute in non-combat scenarios

Brawler:I dig quite a bit. The flexibility of the Feats or Feat chains for a combat appeals to me so you can have the right trick for the environment and scenario. And you can try a feat on for size without having to commit a permanent feat slot for it.

Hunter:I have no major opinion on it. I am not a fan of Animal companions as a whole, so I wouldn't play a class dedicated to the concept.

Investigator:Sweet mystery of life at last I found you. For me, this is one of the best Out of Combat Classes I have seen. The Rogue is better in a fight, but i would rather play an Investigator in dungeon delves.

Shaman:It is a divine class I might want to play. The flexibility of Wandering Spirit/Hexes means you can adjust to more scenarios. I hope they get a more customized spell list and not just the Cleric List.

Skald:Full of Meh. It needs to be better in combat in weapons allowed or spells on list. Maybe more aggressive effects from Bloodsong.

Slayer:I like this build and I missed the Skirmisher from D&D, nice to see it re-skinned.

Warpriest:Just give it 4th level spells and let it have Full BAB progression, or even no spells but more blessings like Magus Arcana and Channels.
 

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