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Zman
2013-01-29, 09:43 PM
Here is another fix for my classes rebalance aimed at bringing the classes into Tiers 1.5-4. See my homebrew signature for details. There is also a Minor Magic Fix and other related fixes will follow.

The Beguiler is Tier3, why? Because it is simply great at what it does, illusion and enchantment and those two schools are alone extremely powerful. Couple that with a good Skill Monkey chassis and Armored Mage and you have a solid class. My fixes will be aimed at giving the Beguiler a few more option, bringing his spellcasting progression inline with my other fixes. And giving him a modicum of melee ability.


Beguiler

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4 th|5th|6th|7th|8th

1st|
+0|
+0|
+0|
+2|Armored Mage, Trapfinding, Sudden Strike +1d6|5|3

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3|Cloaked Csting(+1 DC), Surprise Casting|5|4

3rd|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+3|Advanced Learning|5|5|3

4th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4|Sudden Strike +2d6|5|5|4

5th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4|Advanced Learning, Silent Spell, |5|5|5|3

6th|
+4|
+2|
+2|
+5|Surprise Casting(Move Action)|5|5|5|4

7th|
+5|
+2|
+2|
+5|Advanced Learning|5|5|5|5

8th|
+6/+1|
+2|
+2|
+6|Cloaked Casting(+2 to overcome SR), Sudden Strike +3d6|5|5|5|5|3

9th|
+6/+1|
+3|
+3|
+6|Advanced Learning|5|5|5|5|4

10th|
+7/+2|
+3|
+3|
+7|Still Spell|5|5|5|5|5

11th|
+8/+3|
+3|
+3|
+7|Advanced Learning|5|5|5|5|5|3

12th|
+9/+4|
+4|
+4|
+8|Sudden Strike +4d6|5|5|5|5|5|4

13th|
+9/+4|
+4|
+4|
+8|Advanced Learning|5|5|5|5|5|5

14th|
+10/+5|
+4|
+4|
+9|Cloaked Casting(+2 DC)|5|5|5|5|5|5|3

15th|
+11/+6/+1|
+5|
+5|
+9|Advanced Learning|5|5|5|5|5|5|4

16th|
+12/+7/+2|
+5|
+5|
+10|Sudden Strike +5d6|5|5|5|5|5|5|5

17th|
+12/+7/+2|
+5|
+5|
+10|Advanced Learning|5|5|5|5|5|5|5|3

18th|
+13/+8/+3|
+6|
+6|
+11||5|5|5|5|5|5|5|4

19th|
+14/+9/+4|
+6|
+6|
+11|Advanced Learning|5|5|5|5|5|5|5|5

20th|
+15/+10/+5|
+6|
+6|
+12|Cloaked Casting(Overcome SR), Sudden Strike +6d6|5|5|5|5|5|5|5|5|3[/table]

Alignment: Any
Hit Die: 1d6

Class Skills: Appraise(Int), Balance(Dex), Bluff(Cha), Climb(Str), Concentration(Con), Decipher Script(Int), Diplomacy(Cha), Disable Device(Dex), Disguise(Cha), Escape Artist(Dex), Forgery(Int), Gather Information(Wis), Hide(Dex), Jump(Str), Knowledge Arcana(Int), Knowledge Local(Int), Listen(Wis), Move Silently(Dex), Open Lock(Dex), Profession(Wis), Search(Int), Sense Motive(Wis), Sleight of Hand(Dex), Speak Language(Int), Spellcraft(Int), Spot(Wis), Swim(Str), Tumble(Dex), Use Magic Device(Cha)
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6+Int Modifier) x 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + INT.


Proficiencies: Beguilers are proficient with all simple weapons plus the hand crossbow, rapier, shortbow, and shortsword. Beguilers are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

Spells:A Beguiler casts arcane spells which are drawn from the Beguiler spell list on page 11. When you gain access to a new level of spells, you automatically know all the spells for that level on the beguilerís spell list. You can cast any spell you know without preparing it ahead of time. Essentially, your spell list is the same as your spells known list. You also have the option of adding to your existing spell list through your advanced learning class feature (see below) as you increase in level. To cast a beguiler spell, you must have an Charisma score of 10 + the spellís level (Cha 10 for 0-level spells, Cha 11 for 1st-level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a beguilerís spell is 10 + the spellís level + the beguilerís Cha modifier. Like other spellcasters, a beguiler can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. The base daily spell allotment is given on Table 1Ė1. In addition, you receive bonus spells for a high Charisma score (PH 8). A beguiler need not prepare spells in advance. You can cast any spell you know at any time, assuming you have not yet used up your spells per day for that spell level.

Armored Mage (Ex): Normally, armor of any type interferes with an arcane spellcasterís gestures, which can cause his spells to fail (if those spells have somatic components). A Beguiler's limited focus and specialized training, however, allows him to avoid arcane spell failure as long as he sticks to light armor. This training does not extend to heavier armors, nor to shields. Nor does this ability apply to spells gained from a different spellcasting class.

Trapfinding: Beguilers can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20. Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25+ the level of the spell used to create it.

Beguilers can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap typically has a DC of 25+ the level of the spell used to create it.

A Beguiler to beats a traps's DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it(with his allies) without disarming it.

Sudden Strike (Ex): If a Beguiler can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Whenever a Beguiler's target is denied a Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), the Beguiler deals an extra 1d6 points of damage with her attack. This extra damage increases by 1d6 points at 4th level and every four Beguiler levels thereafter. A Beguiler canít use sudden strike when flanking an opponent unless that opponent is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC. Sudden Strike only applies to he first attack of the round.

This damage also applies to ranged attacks against targets up to 30 feet away. Creatures with concealment, creatures without discernible anatomies, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are all immune to sudden strikes. A Beguiler canít make a sudden strike while striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are out of reach.

A Beguiler canít use sudden strike to deliver nonlethal damage. Weapons capable of dealing only nonlethal damage donít deal extra damage when used as part of a sudden strike.

The extra damage from the sudden strike ability stacks with the extra damage from sneak attack whenever both would apply to the same target.

Cloaked Casting(Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a Beguiler's spells become more effective when cast against an unwary foe. You gain a +1 bonus to the spell's save DC when you cast a spell that targets any foe who would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC(whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not).

At 8th level, you gain a +2 bonus on rolls made to overcome the spell resistance of any affected target.

At 14th level, the bonus to your spell's save DC increased to +2.

At 20th level, you become able to automatically overcome the spell resistance of any affected target.

Surprise Casting(Ex): Starting at 2nd level, when you successfully use the Bluff skill to feint in combat, your target is denied its Dexterity bonus (if it has one) to AC for the next melee attack you make against it or the next spell you cast. You must remain in melee with the target, and the attack must be made or the spell cast on or before your next turn. The target is not considered flatfooted and therefore can make attacks of opportunity against you if you do not cast defensively.

At 6th level, you gain the ability to feint in combat as a move action instead of a standard action. If you have the Iproved Feint feat, you can now feint in combat s a swift action.

Advanced Learning: At 3rd and every two levels thereafter(5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, and 19th level), a Beguiler can add a new spell to his list, representing the result of personal study and experimentation. The spell must be a wizard spell of the enchantment or illusion school, and of a level no higher than that of the highest-level spell the Beguiler already knows. Once a new spell is selected, it is forever added to that Beguiler's spell list and can be cast just like any other spell on the Beguiler's list.

Alternatively, the Beguiler can select a spell of any school available to a Wizard with a few restrictions. For the purposes of selecting this spell the Beguiler counts as a Wizard of 1/2 his level for determining what level of spell the Beguiler can choose. For instance, an 11th level Beguiler counts as a 5th level Wizard and can choose a 3rd level spell from any school to learn as part of his Advanced Learning.

Silent Spell: At 5th level, you gain Silent Spell as a bonus feat.

Still Spell: At 10th level, you gain Still Spell as a bonus feat.

ACF's

Spellthief
Level: 1st Level
Changes: Determine casting based upon 1/2 Beguiler Level.
Gains: Steal Spell (Su): A spellthief can siphon spell energy away from his target and use it himself. A spellthief who hits an opponent with a successful sneak attack can choose to forgo dealing 1d6 points of sneak attack damage and instead steal a spell, or the potential to cast a specific known spell, from his target. If the target is willing, a spellthief can steal a spell with a touch as a standard action.

The target of a steal spell attack loses one 0-level or 1st-level spell from memory if she prepares spells ahead of time, or one 0-level or 1st-level spell slot if she is a spontaneous caster. A spontaneous caster also loses the ability to cast the stolen spell for 1 minute. If the target has no spells prepared (or has no remaining spell slots, if she is a spontaneous caster), this ability has no effect. A spellthief can choose which spell to steal; otherwise, the DM determines the stolen spell randomly. If a spellthief tries to steal a spell that isn't available, the stolen spell (or spell slot) is determined randomly from among those the target has available.

For example, a 1st-level spellthief who uses this ability against a 1st-level sorcerer could choose to steal magic missile. Assuming the sorcerer knew that spell, a successful steal spell attack would eliminate one 1st-level spell slot and temporarily prevent her from casting magic missile. If the same spellthief stole magic missile from a wizard who had it prepared, the wizard would lose one prepared magic missile spell (but wouldn't lose any other magic missile spells she might also have prepared).

After stealing a spell, a spellthief can cast the spell imself on a subsequent turn. Treat the spell as if it were cast by the original owner of the spell for the purpose of determining caster level, save DC, and so forth. A spellthief can cast this spell even if he doesn't have the minimum ability score normally required to cast a spell of that level. The spellthief must supply the same components (including verbal, somatic, material, XP, and any focus) required for the stolen spell. Alternatively, a spellthief of 4th level or higher can use the stolen spell power to cast any spellthief spell that he knows of the same level or lower (effectively, this gives the spellthief one free casting of a known spell). A spellthief must cast a stolen spell (or use its energy to cast one of his own spells) within 1 hour of stealing it; otherwise, the extra spell energy fades harmlessly away.

As a spellthief gains levels, he can choose to steal higher-level spells. At 4th level, he can steal spells of up to 2nd level, and for every two levels gained after 4th, the maximum spell level stolen increases by one (up to a maximum of 9th-level spells at 18th level).

At any one time, a spellthief can possess a maximum number of stolen spell levels equal to his class level (treat 0-level spells as 1/2 level for this purpose). For instance, a 4th-level spellthief can have two stolen 2nd-level spells, or one 2nd-level spell and two 1st-level spells, or any other combination of 0-level, 1st-level, and 2nd-level spells totaling four levels. If he steals a spell that would cause him to exceed this limit, he must choose to lose stolen spells sufficient to reduce his total number of stolen spell levels to no more than his maximum.
A spellthief can't apply metamagic feats or other effects to the stolen spell unless the specific spell stolen was prepared with such an effect. For example, a spellthief of 6th level or higher could steal a wizard's empowered magic missile, but only if he specifically chose to steal empowered magic missile. If he chose to steal an unmodified magic missile, he couldn't steal an empowered magic missile, a silent magic missile, or any other metamagic form of the spell. A spellthief couldn't steal an empowered magic missile from a sorcerer, since the sorcerer applies metamagic effects upon casting and thus has no prepared empowered magic missile spell.

This ability works only against spells. It has no effect on psionic powers or spell-like abilities (but see the steal spell-like ability class feature, below).

Steal Spell Effect (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, a spellthief can siphon an active spell effect from another creature. A spellthief who hits an opponent with a sneak attack can choose to forgo dealing 1d6 points of sneak attack damage and instead gain the effect of a single spell affecting the target. If the target is willing, a spellthief can steal a spell effect with a touch as a standard action.
The spellthief can choose which spell effect to steal; otherwise, the DM determines the stolen spell effect randomly. If a spellthief tries to steal a spell effect that isn't present, the stolen spell effect is determined randomly from among those currently in effect on the target. A spellthief can't steal a spell effect if its caster level exceeds his class level + his Charisma modifier.
Upon stealing a spell effect, a spellthief gains the stolen effect (and the original creature loses that effect) for 1 minute per class level (or until the spell's duration expires, whichever comes first). If the spell effect's duration hasn't expired by this time, the spell effect returns to the creature that originally benefited from it.

A spellthief can steal the effect of a spell only if the spell could be cast on him by the original caster. For example, a spellthief couldn't gain the effect of an animal growth spell (unless the spellthief is of the animal type) or the effect of a shield spell (since that spell's range is personal). If a spellthief tries to steal the effect of a spell not allowed to him, the effect is still suppressed on the original target of the spell for 1 minute per spellthief class level.

This ability does not work on spell effects that are immune to dispel magic (such as bestow curse).

Steal Energy Resistance (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, a spellthief can siphon off some or all of a target's resistance to an energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic). A spellthief who hits an opponent with a successful sneak attack can choose to forgo dealing 1d6 points of sneak attack damage and instead temporarily gain resistance 10 to an energy type to which his target is resistant or immune). If the target is willing, a spellthief can steal energy resistance with a touch as a standard action.

Simultaneously, the target creature's resistance to that energy type is reduced by 10 (to a minimum of 0). A creature with immunity to an energy type retains that immunity.

If his target has more than one type of resistance to energy, a spellthief can choose which kind to steal; otherwise, the DM determines the stolen resistance randomly from among those possessed by the target. If a spellthief chooses to steal a type of resistance that the target doesn't possess, the stolen type of resistance is determined randomly from those possessed by the target.

The resistance a spellthief gains from using this ability lasts for 1 minute. If the resistance is derived from a temporary effect (such as a spell), the stolen resistance disappears when the effect expires.

A spellthief can use this ability multiple times, but its effects do not stack unless they apply to different types of energy. For example, throughout a long combat, a spellthief might use this ability to gain resistance to fire and resistance to cold, but he could not use it twice on a creature that is resistant to fire to gain twice as much resistance to fire (nor to reduce the creature's resistance to fire by twice as much).

At 11th level, a spellthief can steal resistance 20 to an energy type by using this ability, and at 19th level he can steal resistance 30 to an energy type.

Steal Spell-Like Ability (Su): At 5th level and higher, a spellthief can use a sneak attack to temporarily steal a creature's spell-like ability. A spellthief who hits an opponent with a sneak attack can choose to forgo dealing 1d6 points of sneak attack damage and instead gain one use of one of the target's spell-like abilities. If the target is willing, a spellthief can steal a spell-like ability with a touch as a standard action.

This spell-like ability can originate from the target's class, race, template, or any other source, and can be of any level up to a maximum of one-third the spellthief's class level. A spellthief can select a specific spell-like ability to steal; otherwise, the DM chooses the ability at random. If the ability has a limited number of uses per day, the target must have at least one such use left, or the spellthief can't steal the ability. If the target can't use its ability at the present time (such as a summoned demon's summon ability), the spellthief can't steal it.

A spellthief can use a stolen spell-like ability once. For all purposes (caster level, save DC, and so on), treat the spell-like ability as if it were being used by the original possessor of the ability. A spellthief must use the stolen spell-like ability within 1 minute of acquiring it, or it is lost harmlessly. Until the spellthief uses the ability (or until the minute elapses), the target cannot use the stolen ability.

Absorb Spell (Su): Beginning at 7th level, if a spellthief makes a successful save against a spell that targets him, he can attempt to absorb the spell energy for later use. This ability affects only spells that have the spellthief asa target, not effect or area spells. A spellthief can't absorb a spell of a higher spell level than he could steal with his steal spell ability (see above).

To absorb a spell that targets him, a spellthief must succeed on a level check (1d20 + spellthief class level) against a DC of 10 + the spell's caster level. Failure indicates that the spell has its normal effect. Success means that the spellthief suffers no effect from the spell and can cast the spell later (or use its energy to cast one of his own spells known) as if he had stolen the spell with his steal spell ability. His normal limit of total spell levels stolen still applies.

At 20th level or higher, a spellthief can choose to use the stolen spell energy as an immediate action (see page 137), either to recast the original spell or to cast one of his own spells known using the stolen spell energy.

Steal Spell Resistance (Su): Beginning at 15th level, a spellthief can use a sneak attack to temporarily steal some or all of a creature's spell resistance. A spellthief who hits an opponent with a sneak attack can choose to forgo 3d6 points of sneak attack damage and instead reduce the target's spell resistance by 5. The spellthief also gains spell resistance equal to 5 + his class level (up to a maximum value equal to the original spell resistance of the target). If the target is willing, a spellthief can steal spell resistance with a touch as a standard action.

The stolen spell resistance benefits the spellthief for a number of rounds equal to the spellthief's Charisma modifier (minimum 1 round) and then returns to the target creature. If the spell resistance is derived from a temporary effect (such as a spell), the stolen spell resistance disappears when the effect elapses. A spellthief can't use this ability on the same creature again until the creature's stolen spell resistance returns.

Zman
2013-01-29, 09:46 PM
Change Log:

1-29-13
Added Spellthief ACF

1-31-13
Sudden Strike, only 1st attack per round(Consistent with Rogue Sneak Aattack).

12-5-13
Cha based Casting

ngilop
2013-01-29, 09:53 PM
another baseline good fix from Zman

My only worry is now did you make the beguiler a better rogue than the rogue..?

I mean.. yeah the beguiler was already better than the rogue at a lot of things, only now.. the builder gets sneak attack and gets 3/4 BAB :(

Its just I think a full caster should get somewhat weakened abilities to attack something.

Im just worried that those 2 changes rendered your rogue actually fully unecassary

Zman
2013-01-29, 09:54 PM
another baseline good fix from Zman

My only worry is now did you make the beguiler a better rogue than the rogue..?

I mean.. yeah the beguiler was already better than the rogue at a lot of things, only now.. the builder gets sneak attack and gets 3/4 BAB :(

Its just I think a full caster should get somewhat weakened abilities to attack something.

Im just worried that those 2 changes rendered your rogue actually fully unecassary

You need to relook at my Rogue I think. Also, my minor Magic fix does put a bit of a damper on the Beguiler as well.

Edit: Forgot to say thank you.

nonsi
2013-01-30, 02:17 AM
Still, your Beguiler will walk all over your Rogue.
Since both classes are quite squishy, getting into the heat of battle is something they'd both try to avoid, which narrows the gap between Sneak Attack and Sudden Strike (especially since the latter will be applicable for damage spells).

I suggest you focus on making Cloaked Casting a lot more meaningful and leave precision damage to noncasters.

Something like this would be decent:



Level Special
================================================== =======
1st Armored Mage, Trapfinding
2nd Cloaked Casting (+2 DC), Surprise Casting
3rd Advanced Learning
4th Silent Spell
5th Advanced Learning, Surprise Casting (move action)
6th Cloaked Casting (+5 to overcome SR)
7th Advanced Learning
8th Still Spell
9th Advanced Learning
10th Cloaked Casting (+4 DC)
11th Advanced Learning
12th
13th Advanced Learning
14th Cloaked Casting (+10 to overcome SR)
15th Advanced Learning
16th
17th Advanced Learning
18th Cloaked Casting (+6 DC)
19th Advanced Learning
20th Cloaked Casting (overcome SR)



You could also give your Beguiler good Reflex saves with a clear conscious.


As for your approach regarding Advanced Learning - I really like it.


EDIT:
You could also consider Enlarge Spell & Widen Spell for levels 12 & 16 respectively, and to make those inherent metamagic feats not use up higher slots.

CinuzIta
2013-01-30, 05:29 AM
no evasion or uncanny dodge? Personally I think they would fit these class. Obviously the choice is up to you, but I'm curious: why did you decided to not give the beguiler one of these abilities?

nonsi
2013-01-30, 06:22 AM
no evasion or uncanny dodge? Personally I think they would fit these class. Obviously the choice is up to you, but I'm curious: why did you decided to not give the beguiler one of these abilities?

No way for Uncanny Dodge - it's a strictly martial ability.
Evasion, OTOH, could definitely fit anywhere between 7th and 9th - early enough to count for something, but too late to justify Improved Evasion later on.

CinuzIta
2013-01-30, 06:29 AM
i see your point about uncanny dodge even though I don't totally agree with you

In my opinion evasion could be placed at 7th level, with the improved version of it at the 12th level. It would be a fair deal i think. The ninja of CAd [meh] pays his abilities obtaining evasion only at 12th level

Zman
2013-01-30, 08:36 AM
Still, your Beguiler will walk all over your Rogue.
Since both classes are quite squishy, getting into the heat of battle is something they'd both try to avoid, which narrows the gap between Sneak Attack and Sudden Strike (especially since the latter will be applicable for damage spells).

I suggest you focus on making Cloaked Casting a lot more meaningful and leave precision damage to noncasters.

Something like this would be decent:



Level Special
================================================== =======
1st Armored Mage, Trapfinding
2nd Cloaked Casting (+2 DC), Surprise Casting
3rd Advanced Learning
4th Silent Spell
5th Advanced Learning, Surprise Casting (move action)
6th Cloaked Casting (+5 to overcome SR)
7th Advanced Learning
8th Still Spell
9th Advanced Learning
10th Cloaked Casting (+4 DC)
11th Advanced Learning
12th
13th Advanced Learning
14th Cloaked Casting (+10 to overcome SR)
15th Advanced Learning
16th
17th Advanced Learning
18th Cloaked Casting (+6 DC)
19th Advanced Learning
20th Cloaked Casting (overcome SR)



You could also give your Beguiler good Reflex saves with a clear conscious.


As for your approach regarding Advanced Learning - I really like it.


EDIT:
You could also consider Enlarge Spell & Widen Spell for levels 12 & 16 respectively, and to make those inherent metamagic feats not use up higher slots.

Beguiler walked all over the Rogue before, granted having precision Damage starts to feel like the Beguiler can completely replace the Rogue but his combat cqpabilities severely lack. The Rogue has a bigger HD, AC boosting abilities, the ability to deal double the precision damage, uncanny dodge and evasion not to mention a host of other special abilities like Penetrating Strike, dual strike, etc. the Beguiler lags behind in damage output, but giving him some precision damage makes a little bit of combat possible and his spells and special abilities compliment it. If he spends an advanced learning on combat spells, so much the better Sudden Strike merely keeps him in the game at that point.

When coupled with my Minor a magic fix the Beguiler merely gains combat options outside of his normal Schlick, making other builds and options available. A little less reliance on Illusion and Aenchantment seems good to me. He did lose 9th level spells, one spell per level, and now has to be careful just how many spells he casts seems like a balancing factor and makes him more meaningfull in other ways.

+6 to DC! That is a bit extreme IMO.


no evasion or uncanny dodge? Personally I think they would fit these class. Obviously the choice is up to you, but I'm curious: why did you decided to not give the beguiler one of these abilities?

Those are for the Rogue, let him have something.


No way for Uncanny Dodge - it's a strictly martial ability.
Evasion, OTOH, could definitely fit anywhere between 7th and 9th - early enough to count for something, but too late to justify Improved Evasion later on.

I agree, Uncanny dodge is martial. Not a fan of giving evasion to the Beguiler.


i see your point about uncanny dodge even though I don't totally agree with you

In my opinion evasion could be placed at 7th level, with the improved version of it at the 12th level. It would be a fair deal i think. The ninja of CAd [meh] pays his abilities obtaining evasion only at 12th level

As before, let the Rogue keep evasion, if the Beguiler really wants it, let him spend the gp on a ring.

Thanks for the feedback guys.

Admiral
2013-02-21, 11:27 AM
Finally got a chance to look at your beguiler fix, sorry it's nearly a month late!

My general opinion is that there is no reason to make the beguiler this much stronger, particularly in this manner. I would divide my feedback into two groups:

1. Giving a beguiler melee ability, especially the BAB increase, is IMHO completely unnecessary and goes against the point of the class. You know that I've played a PbP beguiler for about a year and never one used my rapier in combat, nor did I ever once kill a living creature myself- and I really liked it that way.

A beguiler is supposed to think and trick his way out of a problem: that's important not only in roleplaying but also in combat (enchantments, illusions, etc). This helps differentiate it from the rogue, who is more of a scoundrel (like Indiana Jones)- good in a fight even while his main skills lie elsewhere. Or look at the quest I'm on now- Shiny left his weapons behind because he knows he will lose any fight. All of his energy and focus is on sneaking and trickery.

Sudden Strike is more in-character than the BAB increase (thinking his way into more damage), but in that case it makes the class too similar to the rogue (and, in my opinion, overpowered- the class is just a little bit short of "rogue+spells"). What's more, it has little impact if you do nix the BAB-increase (since he won't be hitting much anyway). Not every class has to be useful in melee. Finally, this makes a 1 level dip into beguiler a bit too powerful for a rogue.

2. Making his spells more flexible (Advanced Learning, spells from other schools), is understandable (I know you're trying to put the beguiler a little closer in power to the wizard), but again it greatly dilutes the flavor of the class. The fun of the beguiler is solving problems with the tools you have available.

For instance, take whelm- L1 spell that deals 1d6/2 levels damage, allowing a Will save. This is strictly worse than magic missile, which has the same expected damage, but doesn't allow a Will save and isn't mind-affecting (so it can work on the undead). But that's the only tool a beguiler has available- it helps differentiate him from the wizard in the party. If a beguiler gains magic missile at L3, that restriction disappears, and I think the flavor of the class is poorer for it.

Even worse, in my view, is when a beguiler can get a spell like fireball at level 11. A spell like fireball goes against everything a beguiler stands for- I just don't see what the class gains from it.

Finally, I would say that if you do want to increase the power level of the beguiler in your homebrew environment (perhaps in response to how you've changed other classes), I would turn up Cloaked and Surprise Casting (either by increasing the bonus or decreasing the level it occurs at). They're a way to distinguish the beguiler from its closest relative, the sorcerer, and they emphasize how the beguiler prefers to strike from an advantageous position. And at their current level of power, it's possible to ignore them, in a way a rogue would never ignore her sneak attack feature.

Zman
2013-02-21, 02:02 PM
Finally got a chance to look at your beguiler fix, sorry it's nearly a month late!

My general opinion is that there is no reason to make the beguiler this much stronger, particularly in this manner. I would divide my feedback into two groups:

Part of these changes were meant to compensate for my Minor magic fix, Nonlethal damage for casting, loss of 9th level spells, changed invisibility, minor changes to illusions and enchantments. Also, keep in mind the Rogue has been changes as well.

1. Giving a beguiler melee ability, especially the BAB increase, is IMHO completely unnecessary and goes against the point of the class. You know that I've played a PbP beguiler for about a year and never one used my rapier in combat, nor did I ever once kill a living creature myself- and I really liked it that way.

That depends on what you believe the Point of the class is. In most cases it won't be useful, but does provide some options for the Beguiler if necessary. Its about adding a bit of versatility.

A beguiler is supposed to think and trick his way out of a problem: that's important not only in roleplaying but also in combat (enchantments, illusions, etc). This helps differentiate it from the rogue, who is more of a scoundrel (like Indiana Jones)- good in a fight even while his main skills lie elsewhere. Or look at the quest I'm on now- Shiny left his weapons behind because he knows he will lose any fight. All of his energy and focus is on sneaking and trickery.

And Shiny would still do the same exact thing if he were built using this class fix. A beguiler is certainly different than a Rogue, but there is some overlap. This class fix is just as capable of fufilling the same concept and role, with some added tools which are fitting.

Sudden Strike is more in-character than the BAB increase (thinking his way into more damage), but in that case it makes the class too similar to the rogue (and, in my opinion, overpowered- the class is just a little bit short of "rogue+spells"). What's more, it has little impact if you do nix the BAB-increase (since he won't be hitting much anyway). Not every class has to be useful in melee. Finally, this makes a 1 level dip into beguiler a bit too powerful for a rogue.

1 level dip? Sudden Strike is synergystic with many of the Beguiler's abilities and skills. Medium BAB is necessary to make it work, and it only affects one attack per round, not every attack. With some focus a Suddenstrike Beguiler build could be viable, and certainly never as good in combat as a Roge or dedicated combat class. Again, its about adding a bit of versatility. There is almost no point in it besides a single +1d6 Sudden Strike, which is by default inferior to Sneak Attack. Hower Hit dice, lower skill points, no new abilities, slowing rogue progression, I would call beguiler a bad dip for Rogue now.

Every class doesn't have to be good at combat, but this makes them not abysmal.

2. Making his spells more flexible (Advanced Learning, spells from other schools), is understandable (I know you're trying to put the beguiler a little closer in power to the wizard), but again it greatly dilutes the flavor of the class. The fun of the beguiler is solving problems with the tools you have available.

Not trying to bring the Beguiler up to a Wizard's power, but adding versatility and stopping them from being a one trick pony. Solving problems with only the beguiler's narrow toolset is a personal preference, one I do not share. This grants access to many utility spells, ones that the beguiler doesn't have access to. Just as Mage Armor doesn't detract from the flavor of the class, even though its an added non illusion non enchantment utility spell.

For instance, take whelm- L1 spell that deals 1d6/2 levels damage, allowing a Will save. This is strictly worse than magic missile, which has the same expected damage, but doesn't allow a Will save and isn't mind-affecting (so it can work on the undead). But that's the only tool a beguiler has available- it helps differentiate him from the wizard in the party. If a beguiler gains magic missile at L3, that restriction disappears, and I think the flavor of the class is poorer for it.

Opportunity cost, a Beguiler that chooses magic missile as an advanced learning has the opportunity cost of every other 1st level spell they could have chosen. Just because people have teh ability to choose soemthing that could hurt the flavor of the class, doesn't mean they will. If you were playing this fix, I'd be money on you not making such a choice. You'd pick a good utility spell, probably distract assailant just like you did. Options aren't bad.

Even worse, in my view, is when a beguiler can get a spell like fireball at level 11. A spell like fireball goes against everything a beguiler stands for- I just don't see what the class gains from it.

You have to ask yourself what would a beguiler gain from choosing fireball. By level 11 it is becoming an obsolete spell. The Beguiler has many other options it would likely choose over fireball. If someone wants to choose fireball let them, it comes at a high opportunity cost. Giving access to utility spells allows a Beguiler to move from a 5th party member spot to one of the main 4, and I see that as a good thing.

Finally, I would say that if you do want to increase the power level of the beguiler in your homebrew environment (perhaps in response to how you've changed other classes), I would turn up Cloaked and Surprise Casting (either by increasing the bonus or decreasing the level it occurs at). They're a way to distinguish the beguiler from its closest relative, the sorcerer, and they emphasize how the beguiler prefers to strike from an advantageous position. And at their current level of power, it's possible to ignore them, in a way a rogue would never ignore her sneak attack feature.

With my changes the Beguiler has less absolute power, but more versatility. I disagree that this beguiler would play stronger, especially with my Minor Magic Fix. Versatility is good, and giving players options is better.


See blue for responses.

Admiral
2013-02-21, 03:39 PM
Most of my response is regarding:



In most cases it won't be useful, but does provide some options for the Beguiler if necessary. Its about adding a bit of versatility.

Solving problems with only the beguiler's narrow toolset is a personal preference, one I do not share.

Versatility is good, and giving players options is better.


This gets at a fundamental philosophical difference between you and me, one that also informs my opinion of Valen's homebrewed class. My philosophy, one I believe I share with D+D's developers, is that specialization encourages strategy, and that too much versatility hurts it.

In the extreme case, imagine that every character and class were equally capable of melee fighting, ranged fighting, casting spells and healing. In that case, there is no need to decide on a marching order and little need to coordinate your battles at all- everyone can just do what is best for them in that moment. It doesn't matter who charges forward, it doesn't matter who stays back, it doesn't matter how you apportioned the magic items. (In this post (http://alt.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14487639&postcount=745) I discussed how a wizard isn't like a superhero, he's like a mounted machine gun. It can have an enormous impact on a battle, but it has to be appropriately set up, defended, and supported or its utterly useless).

Beyond that, it hurts roleplaying. Taking a class is an opportunity to distinguish yourself as a character- "I'm someone who would heal," "I'm someone who would charge in in a rage", "I'm someone who would cast a spell to take control of my enemies." In my view, that's the entire purpose of the system of classes. And how is attacking in melee an in-character action for a beguiler?

Versatility sounds like a good thing- who doesn't want more options? But the entire purpose of a game is to place restrictions on its players so they can work around them. One of my favorite game designers, Mark Rosewater (head designer of Magic: the Gathering), loves saying that "restrictions breed creativity." (https://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr103) (Myth #5 in that linked article includes a great case where reducing versatility helped the game of MTG- removing direct damage from the color blue).


Opportunity cost, a Beguiler that chooses magic missile as an advanced learning has the opportunity cost of every other 1st level spell they could have chosen. Just because people have teh ability to choose soemthing that could hurt the flavor of the class, doesn't mean they will. If you were playing this fix, I'd be money on you not making such a choice. You'd pick a good utility spell, probably distract assailant just like you did. Options aren't bad.

Options can absolutely be bad (see above). But putting that aside- could you provide an example of an non-illusion-non-enchantment advanced learning spell that would add to the flavor of a beguiler? (You can't just say "a player would never exercise this option" like you did about magic missile- in that case, why add the option at all?)

A much more reasonable fix would be to add a couple of spells to the list that you thought were in character (perhaps Shield? Feather Fall? Web?)

Zelkon
2013-02-21, 08:18 PM
Eventually, they should be allowed at-will illusions, like at will silent image or whatever. That would be awesome.

Zman
2013-02-21, 08:44 PM
Most of my response is regarding:



This gets at a fundamental philosophical difference between you and me, one that also informs my opinion of Valen's homebrewed class. My philosophy, one I believe I share with D+D's developers, is that specialization encourages strategy, and that too much versatility hurts it.

It is true, we do have a fundamental difference of opinion here. I have never said specialization or focus is bad, merely over specialization is. This is where we differ in opinion.

In the extreme case, imagine that every character and class were equally capable of melee fighting, ranged fighting, casting spells and healing. In that case, there is no need to decide on a marching order and little need to coordinate your battles at all- everyone can just do what is best for them in that moment. It doesn't matter who charges forward, it doesn't matter who stays back, it doesn't matter how you apportioned the magic items. (In this post (http://alt.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14487639&postcount=745) I discussed how a wizard isn't like a superhero, he's like a mounted machine gun. It can have an enormous impact on a battle, but it has to be appropriately set up, defended, and supported or its utterly useless).

Yes, that is an extreme case, so much so that it is utterly irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Even if there was only one class with no built in options, characters would be different, Feat, Skill, Spell, and equipment are all used for specialization. Even with the base chassis we would have specialized and different characters. So, even in your example, yes marching order, item distribution, and tactics would still matter. I've never said everyone should be good at everything, but good at one thing and terrible at the rest is bad.

Beyond that, it hurts roleplaying. Taking a class is an opportunity to distinguish yourself as a character- "I'm someone who would heal," "I'm someone who would charge in in a rage", "I'm someone who would cast a spell to take control of my enemies." In my view, that's the entire purpose of the system of classes. And how is attacking in melee an in-character action for a beguiler?

I do not believe that having versatility hurts role playing, I would argue the contrary that forcing specialization does. It makes it difficult to differ from said role. Being the "Healer" or "Guy who gets rages" or "Guy who hits things with a sword" are bad for roleplaying. They force characters into a predefined role and tendencies. IMHO that hurts roleplaying more than anything, when a player goes, "I'm playing the Healbot" instead of I'm playing an "Aggressive Fire and Brimstone Preacher". Both characters use the cleric class, but one is a much better for creating good RP. Forcing players to only be good at one thing hurts games, that is my honest opinion.

Attacking in melee would absolutely be in character for a beguiler under certain circumstances.

"Surprise Casting (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, when you successfully use the Bluff skill to feint in combat, your target is denied its Dexterity bonus (if it has one) to AC for the next melee attack you make against it or the next spell you cast. You must remain in melee with the target, and the attack must be made or the spell cast on or before your next turn. The target is not considered flat-footed and therefore can make attacks of opportunity against you if you do not cast defensively."

The stock beguiler is given a fantastic ability which specifically states melee as a use, yet the Beguiler has no effective way to utilize it outside of its one specialed role. I simply gave the beguiler a way to utilize and develop a new skill. Working on bluff and the ability to feint in combat to deliver a single surprise attack. Which, will never ever be as powerful as a Rogue or dedicated combat class, and moves into the ok and not terrible category for melee.

Versatility sounds like a good thing- who doesn't want more options? But the entire purpose of a game is to place restrictions on its players so they can work around them. One of my favorite game designers, Mark Rosewater (head designer of Magic: the Gathering), loves saying that "restrictions breed creativity." (https://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr103) (Myth #5 in that linked article includes a great case where reducing versatility helped the game of MTG- removing direct damage from the color blue).

Again, its a matter of degrees. Even with this beguiler fix, the character will specialize and be a focused character, making not terrible at a couple of other things, like the rare melee or opportunistic strike is better game design the predetermining the players choices.

I'm not a fan of MTG, so I won't comment here. Last I played, MTG wasn't extremely specialized, and the mixed decks(versatile) decks were the ones everyone was playing.

Options can absolutely be bad (see above). But putting that aside- could you provide an example of an non-illusion-non-enchantment advanced learning spell that would add to the flavor of a beguiler? (You can't just say "a player would never exercise this option" like you did about magic missile- in that case, why add the option at all?)

Alarm, Grease, Mount, Shield, Unseen Servant, Animate Rope, Erase, Arcane Lock, Obscure Object, Cause Fear, Web, Locate Object, Darnkness, Blindness/Deafness, Scare, Alter Self, Levitate, Pyrotechnics, Rope Trick, Whispering Wind, Phantom Steed, Tongues, Blink, Gaseous Form, Sectret Page. That is 1-3rd level, from core only.

A much more reasonable fix would be to add a couple of spells to the list that you thought were in character (perhaps Shield? Feather Fall? Web?)

See blue, I've had some wine so it may not be as well written as usual.

Admiral
2013-02-22, 01:27 AM
Like you said- I think we're just not going to agree on this! :smallwink: