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View Full Version : Is item familiar XP gain to powerfull?



Diadoch
2009-08-07, 11:40 PM
I wanted to have a ring item familiar in our current campaign but our DM says that he will not allow me the ability to gain 10% more XP per XP gain that comes with having item familiar because he thinks that it will make my character too powerful compared to others. Now my character is Sthein ECL +4 and 6 levels of favored soul and he is now rather underpowered compared to rest of the party. But on the other hand he is allowing our sorcerer/blood magus to cast maximized spells on their normal level and that is more than overpowered.
Anyway, what do you think, is item familiar bonus XP too powerfull?

AstralFire
2009-08-07, 11:50 PM
+10% XP? I'd need to know more about the drawbacks/cost of an item familiar, but that's something I only see being an issue if you're the type that engages in lots of crafting. When you out level the party, you get a reduction in XP; that'd even out to be about the same as what happens when someone misses a few sessions.

Free maximize on all of the sorcerer's spells is broken full stop. Maximize is a weak feat, and blasting is a weak style of combat for the sorcerer/wizard, but getting cloudkills with a guaranteed 4 Con Damage a round at level 10 is kerazy like Cosby.

Douglas
2009-08-07, 11:50 PM
In general, everything about Item Familiar is broken and too powerful. I would never allow the feat in any game I DM.

That said, if your character is currently underpowered, and +4 LA as a full caster combined with using one of the weaker full caster classes is a pretty extreme handicap, in this case I think it would just partially balance out your rather inferior build.

Salt_Crow
2009-08-07, 11:56 PM
Well if the DM's really using Maximise spell metamagic (not sudden maximise) w/o level adjustment, then I'm sure adding an item familiar to a decidedly underpowered build won't disrupt a thing.

Diadoch
2009-08-08, 12:35 AM
+10% XP? I'd need to know more about the drawbacks/cost of an item familiar...

Item familiars are described in Unearthed Arcana page 170.
One can invest XP, skill points and spell slots in it to gain additional XP, skill points and spell slots but if he loses the item he losses all investments and gains from it and bond between item and master can be suppressed in Antimagic field. And it is necessary to take feat Item familiar!
On level 7 item gains Sapience; senses (character gains Awareness feat); communication.
On level 10, 14, 18, and every three levels after 20 gain special ability. To gain lesser and greater powers as special ability one has to pay a lot of gold (page 269, 270 DM guide).

sofawall
2009-08-08, 12:41 AM
Item Familiar is here. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/itemFamiliars.htm)

ColdSepp
2009-08-08, 12:47 AM
Item familiars are described in Unearthed Arcana page 170.
One can invest XP, skill points and spell slots in it to gain additional XP, skill points and spell slots but if he loses the item he losses all investments and gains from it and bond between item and master can be suppressed in Antimagic field. And it is necessary to take feat Item familiar!
On level 7 item gains Sapience; senses (character gains Awareness feat); communication.
On level 10, 14, 18, and every three levels after 20 gain special ability. To gain lesser and greater powers as special ability one has to pay a lot of gold (page 269, 270 DM guide).

And that's a big reason it's broken. Because, its theoretically balanced around the fact it can be lost... of course, if it is ever lost, the PC is gimped to near unplayable levels. Which means most DMs won't even consider destroying the familiar, thus making it brokenly overpowered.

Kelpstrand
2009-08-08, 12:57 AM
Yeah, a brief description of Item Familiar:

You spend a feat.

You get +10% XP over your current total, and gain 10% XP more from each future encounter.

You get an extra spell slot as a caster.

You get free extra skill ranks that stack ontop of normal maximums (IE, I auto make all UMD checks at level 8!)

You get a sentient item that gains more item powers at no cost, you can effectively craft the item without any crafting feat or having the spells to add the ability, and a bunch of minor things.

The cost for all this? One feat and the knowledge that if you lose the item familiar you are going to have to write a new character.

chiasaur11
2009-08-08, 01:18 AM
Yeah, a brief description of Item Familiar:

You spend a feat.

You get +10% XP over your current total, and gain 10% XP more from each future encounter.

You get an extra spell slot as a caster.

You get free extra skill ranks that stack ontop of normal maximums (IE, I auto make all UMD checks at level 8!)

You get a sentient item that gains more item powers at no cost, you can effectively craft the item without any crafting feat or having the spells to add the ability, and a bunch of minor things.

The cost for all this? One feat and the knowledge that if you lose the item familiar you are going to have to write a new character.

And, if you make the item familiar a cube, a sense of paranoia and looming loss.

Milskidasith
2009-08-08, 01:21 AM
The Weighted Familiar Cube will never threaten to stab you and, in fact, cannot talk. If it does, the Enrichment Center encourages you to disregard it's advice.

Jothki
2009-08-08, 02:20 AM
The New Owner Can Attempt a Link
The new owner can attempt to link to the item by selecting the Item Familiar feat (assuming he meets the prerequisite). What occurs next depends on his character level compared to the character level of the highest-level previous owner.

New Owner Is Same or Higher Level
The link succeeds. The new owner gains all the benefits of the abilities of the item familiar, and the item familiarís alignment changes to match that of its new master. If the item familiar had invested skill ranks and/or spell slots, those investments become accessible to the new owner, adding to his totals. If the item familiar has spell slots, the new master can access them only if he could already cast spells of the appropriate levels.

New Owner Is Lower Level
The link partially succeeds. The alignment of the item familiar changes to match that of its new master, and the new owner can use all the item familiarís special abilities and powers. However, the new master cannot benefit from any invested skill ranks or spell slots until his character level equals or exceeds that of the item familiarís highest-level previous owner.


Okay, wow. That's...wow.

Talk about a subversion of death and character replacement being a bad thing.

VirOath
2009-08-08, 02:25 AM
Item Familiars arejust plain broken no matter how you look at them.

The way they work is that with a feat, you invest your character development into the item, but as long as you have the item you still have that development. EXP, Skill points, Spell slots...

So if you drop half of your character into the item, you still have it all as long as you have the item. AND you get extra progression, bonus EXP, extra spell slots, skill bonuses...

So if you have it, you quickly become more powerful than a character of the same level.

But it has a drawback to balance it out. You lose the item, you lose the progression.

Problem. You lose the item, and your character is crippled. And I mean more crippled than an Uber-charger Forcecaged in a Solid Fog.

So this puts the DM between a rock and a hard place. Does he invoke your drawback, crippling your character and punishing you for a choice he let you make? Or does he only threaten with it, letting it hang over your head but never hurting you with it.

And is it a drawback if it is never invoked? RAW says no. Much to the point of why Flaws don't take negatives to attacks, because it is reasonable that a caster would never need to make those, so they can take it for a free feat without a real drawback.

And without the drawback, the feat it too powerful. Item familiars should only be considered if all of the party is on the same Tier, and if they all have one. Because Item familiars are a power to the existing class, increasing it's ability on a exponential scale, not linear (Obviously, Casters get the most out of them, followed by skill monkeys, with fighters last)

Lamech
2009-08-08, 02:27 AM
Question: Doesn't the wizards spellbook have this same problem? Should we ban wizards too?

sofawall
2009-08-08, 02:27 AM
Wait, if you die and someone takes your item familiar, your ranks and spells and whatnot are still in the familiar, so they get all the benefits, without storing the stuff?

So they lose nothing if they lose the item?

And that's not even addressing if they can put MORE ranks and slots to get even more bonus crap.

Oh man, a Item Familiar, passed down through the mists of time...

EDIT: A pair of ninjas!

EDIT 2:

And is it a drawback if it is never invoked? RAW says no. Much to the point of why Flaws don't take negatives to attacks, because it is reasonable that a caster would never need to make those, so they can take it for a free feat without a real drawback.


You mean like noncombatant and shaky?

Diadoch
2009-08-08, 04:19 AM
OK, I admit, after reading all above Item familiar is very powerful thing that puts wielder in advantage over others.

Maybe it would be best to have a chat with DM and have some of its benefits removed, like extra XP gain. One extra spell slot is no big deal, and since my character uses many different skills (craft: calligraphy, craft: bookbinding, craft: painting (don`t ask, she is evil tyrant) :-)) extra points get watered down.
And for Lesser or greater powers to put some big prices, or even necessity of a ritual or quest.

And it is good campaign subplot: Someone wants my char. power, steals the item (at least tries), quest to get it back..

Besides, all other characters are way more powerful now, and my char. is supposed to be their leader. He should have something to make it stand out.

Kelpstrand
2009-08-08, 04:29 AM
OK, I admit, after reading all above Item familiar is very powerful thing that puts wielder in advantage over others.

Maybe it would be best to have a chat with DM and have some of its benefits removed, like extra XP gain. One extra spell slot is no big deal, and since my character uses many different skills (craft: calligraphy, craft: bookbinding, craft: painting (don`t ask, she is evil tyrant) :-)) extra points get watered down.
And for Lesser or greater powers to put some big prices, or even necessity of a ritual or quest.

And it is good campaign subplot: Someone wants my char. power, steals the item (at least tries), quest to get it back..

Besides, all other characters are way more powerful now, and my char. is supposed to be their leader. He should have something to make it stand out.

If you are weaker than the other characters, especially because of houserules that favor others, then you need every benefit you can get from your feat.

oxinabox
2009-08-08, 07:10 AM
if your way under powered, ask for the DM to change all (or some of) you LA* into racail HD.
LA sucks, as compaired to Class lvls (Go up a class lvl: get more class features, and more HP, more skill points, and get closer to getting you next feat), (go up a LA+1, Get a feature).
LA puts you miles behind, all for a couple of Cool (sometimes almost fluff) features.

This aught to bring you up to something resembling average power for someone of your ECL.

Note I haven't see the stats for a Sthein, and if they get +Spell casting lvl equal to there ECL, you have nothing to complain about.


* this is assuming that the whole ECL is not already Racial HD.
This approach is vaguely used in "How things Should have been" ie the so called Tome of Awesome




Yeah this is pretty off core, I'm sorry i do that somethings.
I actaully have banned PC from taking any thing with LA greater than +1./
not cos they'll be overpowered, but because they will be underpowered.
I thend to screw over XP, and just lvl the party, when it seems right.
so LA buyoff isn't an option.

Bonus XP is just annoying cos you have to give out differnt XP to everyone.
bad enough if you have some to hte party at lvl 11 and others at lvl 12

AKA_Bait
2009-08-08, 07:15 AM
Item familiar is overpowered. The only game in which it has been allowed that I played, I was the one using it and the 10% xp was explicitlly to be used to offset the fact that I would be expected to be crafting magical items for the rest of the party.

Diadoch
2009-08-08, 07:46 AM
...
LA puts you miles behind, all for a couple of Cool (sometimes almost fluff) features.
...
Note I haven't see the stats for a Sthein, and if they get +Spell casting lvl equal to there ECL, you have nothing to complain about.
...


Sthein has STR +2; CON +2; DEX +2; CHA +4; base speed 40ft, Large, bite + poison (high DC); immune to sleep; +4 on saves vs. Enchantment spells, alternate form (humanoid); darkvision (60ft); +1 natural armor; spell like abilities (3x 0-level and 1x 1-level sorc. spells each casts once per day as a sorc. of character level); nothing extra (except stat bonuses) but I find that bloodline very exotic. And no, they do not get caster level equal to ECL so Im ECL 10, but cast divine spells as lv6 Favored soul (and gain new spell levels one level after cleric). And I get only to roll HD for 6 class levels.
ECL is big handicap (I first wanted to play with Fire Jovian ECL +7 :-)) but as I said, concept of Sthein race is what made me take it.

Godskook
2009-08-08, 07:48 AM
I'm curious, what's your current build?

ZeroNumerous
2009-08-08, 07:54 AM
Question: Doesn't the wizards spellbook have this same problem? Should we ban wizards too?

A wizard doesn't have to roll up a new character if he loses his spellbook because he can make copies of his spellbook, get more spells from another wizard or literally never lose his spellbook to begin with. An item familiar is not nearly as protected.

A lost spellbook is lost gold. That's not a big deal for certain games because gold is easy to come by. A lost item familiar is lost XP and potentially levels depending on how long you've had it.

AKA_Bait
2009-08-08, 07:58 AM
Question: Doesn't the wizards spellbook have this same problem? Should we ban wizards too?

A wizard doesn't have to roll up a new character if he loses his spellbook because he can make copies of his spellbook, get more spells from another wizard or literally never lose his spellbook to begin with. An item familiar is not nearly as protected.

A lost spellbook is lost gold. That's not a big deal for certain games because gold is easy to come by. A lost item familiar is lost XP and potentially levels depending on how long you've had it.

A simple 'yes' would also have sufficed. :smallcool:

ZeroNumerous
2009-08-08, 08:00 AM
A simple 'yes' would also have sufficed. :smallcool:

I don't believe people should ban wizards: Just never let them be PCs.

Xaklin_Magewrit
2009-08-08, 08:02 AM
I don't believe people should ban wizards: Just never let them be PCs.

What?:confused::frown:

AKA_Bait
2009-08-08, 08:05 AM
What?:confused::frown:

Wizards are overpowered with or without an item familiar is what I think we were both getting at. Quite a few groups ban them for balance reasons. Thankfully, I have never needed to in my games because none of my players wanted to do the paperwork.

Xaklin_Magewrit
2009-08-08, 08:07 AM
Wizards are overpowered with or without an item familiar is what I think we were both getting at. Quite a few groups ban them for balance reasons. Thankfully, I have never needed to in my games because none of my players wanted to do the paperwork.

Wait ban item familiar or wizards or both?

AKA_Bait
2009-08-08, 08:11 AM
Wait ban item familiar or wizards or both?

Both although I wouldn't say that Item Familiar would be banned, since it's a variant to begin with, so much as not let in.

Xaklin_Magewrit
2009-08-08, 08:21 AM
I know Wizards are powerful but banning them seem really weird. Though its weird for me since wizard is my favorite class.

Diadoch
2009-08-08, 04:07 PM
I'm curious, what's your current build?

Name: Wendelain
Race: Sthein (Elf-Naga offspring)
AL: LE
Size: Large (main form), Medium (alternate humanoid form)
ECL: 10 (Sthein LA+4), (Favored soul 6)
STR (20); DEX (16); CON (20); INT(16); WIS(12); CHA (18)
HP: 58; AC: 26; Touch: 13; Flat-footed: 23;
Speed: 40ft
INI: 3
Fortitude ST: 10
Reflex ST: 8
Will ST: 6
BAB: 4
Spell Res.:13 (Item)
Grapple:13
Attacks: Bite (AB:8, Dmg: 1d8+7, Crit x2, piercing/slashing, Range:10ft,
1/hour poison (Fort. DC18) Stun for 1d4 rounds x2)
Large mighty nagaika +3 (AB: 10; Dmg: 1d8+4, Crit x3, slashing,
Range: 25ft; Disarm, Trip, Adamantine shards)(Usable only while in true form)
Gear: Mithral Breastplate +1; H. Steel Shield +3; Amulet of N. Armor +1;
Ring of protection +1 (I. fam. maybe)
Skills: Class: Concentration: 11; Craft(Bookbinding): 7; Craft(Calligraphy): 6;
Craft(Painting): 6; Diplomacy: 9; Heal: 1; Jump: 5; Knowledge(Religion): 7;
Knowledge(History): 7; Knowledge(Arcana): 7; Sense motive: 7; Spellcraft: 3; Use magic device: 10
Feats: True believer, Item familiar, Leadership, Deity W. Focus: (Nagaika)
Special abilities:
Alternate form (humanoid); Innate spell ability(uses char. level)(Enlarge person 1/day; Ghost sound 1/day; Mage hand 1/day; Arcane mark 1/day); Energy res. 10/fire
Spells known:
0-level (known 7, 6 per day): Create water; Purify f. or d.; Resistance; Detect magic; Mending; Guidance
1-level (known 5, 7 per day): Resurgence; Bane; Bless; Remove fear; Nimbus of light
2-level (known 4, 6 per day): Cure M. Wounds, Owl`s wisdom, Resist energy, Bull`s strength
3-level (known 3, 4 per day): Prayer, Searing light, Bestow curse

I think that is all. I know there are some weird stuff (feats eg.) but I was trying to give her some background and personality (I`m the only one bothering, one would expect that DM would appreciate it a bit more.)

aquaticrna
2010-09-17, 11:06 PM
i'm of the opinion that all overpowered pc abilities can be countered by good dming... the easiest way i see to counter someone taking the item familiar feat, should it appear to be offsetting things (gotta catch it early), is to have the character's item stolen or lost often enough that they are afraid to put all their eggs in that particular basket, it only has to happen once or twice before the player backs off from putting everything in the item. If done right the player ends up a little more powerful but too scared to take the feats to its limit and become completely overpowered. Best way to counter an optimized build is to make the player back track to cover their weaknesses.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-09-17, 11:11 PM
The 10% XP bonus is typically just negated by the crafting costs to upgrade the item familiar itself. Especially if you make an item capable of performing Thread Necromancy.

Aaron L
2011-01-03, 03:20 AM
I always thought that the Item Familiar feat was to symbolize things like The One Ring of Sauron, and how he put so much of his own power in it he lost it he lost most of his power when he lost it. Besides, if you do lose your Item Familiar, you can get it back and re-establish the link, yes? Just like Sauron.

I'd say it's a fine feat. A DM can always have the item stolen, weakening the character for a time, but creating a built-in quest to retrieve the item.

And I also assumed that the +10& XP bonus was to provide extra XP for the character to be able to improve the item's abilities himself, which the feat also allows (as if he had the appropriate feat.)

Besides, what better familiar for a Bladesinger or Eldritch Knight or Duskblade than his own sword?

Vaynor
2011-01-03, 04:39 AM
The Red Towel: Thread necromancy.