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Belial_the_Leveler
2014-02-23, 03:16 PM
This is supposed to be a class that replaces wizards and sorcerers as arcane casters, solving several problems without changing existing spells or gimping the epicness of magic and stuff. Thought process went something like this;
Premise: High-level casters are broken due to quadratic advancement.
Premise: High-level spells are broken because meleers don't have equivalent high-end abilities.
Premise: Lvl 6-8 is the best level where casters are balanced against noncasters, the so-called "sweet spot" of DnD.
Premise: Limiting magic to 4th level spells can be lame if there's no advancement as levels increase.
Solution: Build a class that uses low-level spells while also making them awesome



Master of Minor Magicks
http://www.path-of-exile.fr/images/POE/news/incinerate.jpg
You cast how many scorching rays?!

The Master of Minor Magics can wield the lesser spells better than any other. Where wizards in their ivory towers research spells of unsurpassed power to solve any problem ever imagined and clerics eventually become bridges through which their gods can act all but directly into the world, the MMM takes the little spells such casters have left far behind and applies them with such skill that the tiniest cantrips can become legendary feats of arcana.

Game Rule Information:
Abilities: Charisma is the most important ability for a Master of Minor Magicks, as it drives her spellcasting and special abilities. Constitution offers survivability, and Dexterity helps make her an effective ray combatant.
Starting Age: As sorcerer.
Starting Gold: As sorcerer.
HD: d6

The Master of Minor Magicks's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Craft (Int), Deception (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (any, Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Int) and Spellcraft (Cha)
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Masters of Minor Magicks are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any armor or shields.

{table=head]Level|BAB|Will|Ref|Fort|Spellcasting|Special
1st|+0|+2|+2|+0|1st lvl|cantrips, talent
2nd|+1|+3|+3|+0|1st lvl|talent
3rd|+1|+3|+3|+1|1st lvl|crafting
4th|+2|+4|+4|+1|1st lvl|talent
5th|+2|+4|+4|+1|1st lvl|metamagic, dual cast
6th|+3|+5|+5|+2|2nd lvl|talent
7th|+3|+5|+5|+2|2nd lvl|crafting
8th|+4|+6|+6|+2|2nd lvl|talent
9th|+4|+6|+6|+3|2nd lvl|metamagic
10th|+5|+7|+7|+3|2nd lvl|talent, triple cast
11th|+5|+7|+7|+3|3rd lvl|crafting
12th|+6/+1|+8|+8|+4|3rd lvl|talent
13th|+6/+1|+8|+8|+4|3rd lvl|metamagic
14th|+7/+2|+9|+9|+4|3rd lvl|talent
15th|+7/+2|+9|+9|+5|3rd lvl|crafting
16th|+8/+3|+10|+10|+5|4th lvl|quad cast
17th|+8/+3|+10|+10|+5|4th lvl|Mastery
18th|+9/+4|+11|+11|+6|4th lvl|Mastery
19th|+9/+4|+11|+11|+6|4th lvl|Mastery
20th|+10/+5|+12|+12|+6|4th lvl|Mastery
[/table]



Spellcasting (Sp)
At the beginning of their career, Masters of Minor Magics must choose a spell list to draw their spells from. That choice cannot later be changed. Their spells known are castable at will and include a number of cantrips equal to their charisma modifier plus a number of low level spells as shown on the table above. A Master of Minor Magics can exchange one of her spells known for another by spending 30 minutes per spell level studying an archive of the new spell, such as a spellbook or a scroll. Once the study is complete, the change is applied. The archive remains unexpended.
Masters of Minor Magics can cast multiple spells per round similar to how melee combatants get multiple attacks. Starting at 1st level, they can cast a number of cantrips instead of a normal spell equal to twice the replaced spell's base level. At 5th level, they can cast two normal spells, only one of which can be of their highest level. At 10th level they can cast three, two of which can be of their highest level. At 16th level they can cast four, without limitation. This multiple casting ability applies to any spells with a casting time of 1 full-round action or less, and the spells don't need to be cast simultaneously. Despite their significant advantages however, Masters of Minor Magic also have some important disadvantages when it comes to their magic;
1) Except for cantrips, they can only cast a single non-instantaneous spell per round.
2) They can only maintain a number of ongoing spells at once equal to their charisma modifier.
3) Higher level spells are not available to them if they're 5th level and above; to employ scrolls, staffs and similar items with such spells they'll need to do it in the same way a noncaster would.

Metamagic
MMMs can employ metamagic on their spells and get a small number of bonus feats too. Application of metamagic does not modify casting times or need to be memorized in advance but it can't increase their total level of spells per round either. I.e. if a MMM could cast two 3rd level and one 2nd level spells (total 8) and wanted to cast a twinned, empowered scorching ray, she could cast no other spells that round. However, cantrips cast do not count against this total.

Crafting
MMMs get access to a number of crafting feats; they can choose from the following list;
Scribe Scroll: as per normal, except the MMM can write a scroll every 10 minutes by not taking an entire day to write just a few words like wizards do.
Brew Potion: as per normal, except the MMM can brew any number of potion doses for the same potion simultaneously by using cauldrons larger than the half-pint sized one wizards use.
Craft Wand: as per normal, except the MMM can craft wands of fewer charges than normal, to a minimum of five, with a proportional reduction in cost and time. In addition, the MMM can enchant any lasting enough objects as wands - he isn't limited to handheld wooden rods.
Metamagic Crafter: the MMM chooses an item creation feat from the above three. When crafting items with that feat he can permanently apply to them one metamagic feat he knows. This feat can be taken multiple times; the MMM can either choose a different crafting feat or apply more than one metamagic feat if the same is chosen. Cost of the crafted item increases as if the spell level increased by 1 per feat applied.
Master Crafter: the MMM chooses one talent he has; that talent's benefit applies to all crafted items in addition to his normal spells. This feat can be taken more than once.

Talents
MMMs have a number of special tricks and abilities that can make their minor spells more useful in a variety of ways. They can choose talents from the following list;
Cantrip Metamagic: The first metamagic feat applied to a cantrip is free. You can take this talent more than once, increasing the number of free metamagic you can pile on cantrips.
Cantrip Storm: Instead of casting a normal spell or cantrip, the MMM casts a spell or cantrip at every target within range. She may exclude specific targets if she so wishes. This cannot be used with her highest level of spells, nor can it be used with spells affecting or aimed at more than one target at once.
Cantrip Power: Whenever a MMM makes a caster level check or opposed caster level check (including dispel and SR checks) with a spell or cantrip, she adds her charisma modifier to the check.
Cantrip Amplification: Spells and cantrips the MMM casts from her own list have an effective spell level equal to her charisma modifier for all purposes except spell DC. Spells from other classes are unaffected.
Irresistible Cantrip: Spells or cantrips have a saving throw DC as if they were 2 levels higher than the MMMs maximum available level of spells. I.e. if the MMM has access to 3rd level spells and this talent, her spells and cantrips are considered 5th level for the purposes of DC.
Arcane Entanglement: A MMM is aware of the strengths and can see the auras of all magical effects within 20 ft per class level. At 15th level and higher, she also immediately recognizes the exact spells that are active. This is not a divination and doesn't require line of effect.
Arcane Personalization: When memorizing a spell, a MMM may subtly modify its magic. Mechanical effects are identical but the spell's visual, somatic and non-costly material components can be changed, as can the spell's name. Any attempt to reveal what spell is being cast or already active reveals the new spell name instead of the original - and other casters won't recognize the often silly and controversial nomenclature MMMs are known for.
Arcane Disruption: The MMM gains access to Dispel Magic. When attempting to dispel magical effects, an MMM has no cap to her dispel check and may attempt to dispel effects normally immune to dispels such as curses, walls of force, antimagic fields and lasting supernatural powers.
Arcane Awareness: When the MMM has divination spells active whose total base spell level is 9 or more, she cannot be surprised or flat-footed.
Arcane Concealment: When the MMM has illusion spells active whose total base spell level is 9 or more, she is immune to all divination spells and effects employed against her except True Seeing.
Arcane Reserves: The MMM gains three Reserve feats of her choice. All bonuses to her cantrips also apply to those reserve feats, if applicable. She may use one of those Reserve feats instead of casting a spell .


Masteries
An MMM of sufficient power and experience can modify her magic in highly advanced ways, gaining precision and focus most higher-level casters can only dream of. She can choose masteries from the following list;
Arcane Sculptor: The MMM can exclude any targets from the effects of area spells, or reshape their area to any continuous shape desired as long as the total number of 5-ft spaces affected remains unchanged.
Arcane Elementalism: The MMM can change the damage type of any spell or cantrip she casts to any other type, provided she has at least one spell or cantrip memorized that deals that damage type.
Invoke Magic: The MMM's spells and cantrips resist suppression and impediments as if benefiting from Invoke Magic.
Unimpeachable Arcana: The MMM's spells and cantrips do not trigger contingencies or other forms of triggered magic and cannot be interrupted by immediate actions. They can still be interrupted by normal readied actions.




EPIC Master of Minor Magic
The MMMs multicasting and access to low-level spells continues to progress at epic levels. They gain a bonus feat or talent every 5 levels. They never gain access to 8th and 9th level spells - at 31st level and beyond, they learn a 7th level or lower spell from their list instead.

Gazzien
2014-02-25, 10:28 AM
I like it so far (but I'm a big fan of at-will, low-level magic, so this is kinda the perfect class for me). Looking forward to what else is still coming.

Tacitus
2014-02-25, 03:16 PM
So would Cantrip Amplification and Arcane Reserves mean you'd always have a spell of Cha Mod level available to power the reserve feat? I can see it being silly for maybe one level at 4th if you max the hell out of charisma but I don't see it as being a bad thing.

Also, nothing to break CL caps other than Dispel?

Also, gogo Incinerate.

Belial_the_Leveler
2014-02-25, 03:22 PM
What I'm worried about is the power level of the class. The class isn't high-tier; it only gets 16 spell choices a day at most, with them all being low-level ones so it can't do the combos that other casters - especially wizards - can pull off. OTOH, such minor spells get more and more boosts as the level goes up.

So the questions are; Is it viable at low levels where it only gets lvl 1 spells and cantrips? Does it become too powerful at high levels where it gets its fully augmented spells?



So would Cantrip Amplification and Arcane Reserves mean you'd always have a spell of Cha Mod level available to power the reserve feat?
Yep, it can power reserve feats fairly well. Though the main point of this ability is so that a single globe of invulnerability won't shut the whole class down outright and similar level-dependent defenses can be burned through.


Also, nothing to break CL caps other than Dispel?
Not needed IMHO; you just cast multiple spells. Fireball for example becomes a pretty decent replacement for Meteor Swarm at high levels.

Belial_the_Leveler
2014-02-25, 04:29 PM
I like it so far (but I'm a big fan of at-will, low-level magic, so this is kinda the perfect class for me). Looking forward to what else is still coming.
I'll be posting some feats for it, a few more masteries and the like. Possibly epic advancement once I consider whether I want it to get higher-level spells in epic or whether I want it to further improve low-level spells but not gain anything higher. Would be pretty neat to take on abominations and demigods with cantrips, wouldn't it? :smalltongue:


BTW, changed the title to be more clear on what the class is about.

Just to Browse
2014-02-25, 05:01 PM
Now all utility, evocation, and a myriad of other useful tactics are absolutely useless because of how late you get them. Fireball mages do not exist. No mage uses SoD/SoS except at low levels.

Buffs are the One True Way to power, as usual, but now even more. Spend all your feats on metamagic, boost your Charisma as high as possible, and persist all your highest-level spells for everybody all day. You're still kind of crappy, but at least everyone on your team fights like a bunch of jacked up invisible death assassins.

Dumpster diving is even more encouraged. Get that trapsmith spell list for level 1 haste or gaseous form. Find all the cantrips you can just in case they might apply to some scenario.

Belial_the_Leveler
2014-02-25, 05:56 PM
Now all utility, evocation, and a myriad of other useful tactics are absolutely useless because of how late you get them.
So, invisibility is useless if you get it at 6th level instead of at 3rd level? Ditto for flight at 12th level instead of at 5th level? On the contrary, wizards don't have enough spell slots at low levels to reliably use those tactics - they'll have memorized at most a single "utility" out of 4 slots for their best spell level so they can only use that once. This class may get utilities at a higher level but it can afford to use such utilities every time, not just once.
In addition, casters shouldn't be able to solve every problem they encounter with one spell - it makes them broken and the other classes useless. With more limited number of available spells, this class has to actually allocate its available spells strategically rather that try to do everything.


Fireball mages do not exist.
OK, suppose you could choose between hasting the group, incapacitating a bad guy and throwing a maxed twinned fireball at several bad guys for 60-120 damage a.k.a. instant BBQ. I'd choose the instant BBQ myself but YMMV. At higher levels though, you don't have to choose; you can fireball, haste and glitterdust at the same round by lvl 15


Buffs are the One True Way to power, as usual, but now even more.
Fixed. Yes, you can buff the party. But with active spells limited to your charisma modifier and the limited number of available spells, you'll have to choose between buffing, debuffing, battlefield control, summoning and utility. You can no longer get lots of buffs and persist them because persist won't help you get more buffs than normal.
And that balances out the tactic of buffing to hell quite nicely.



Dumpster diving is even more encouraged. Get that trapsmith spell list for level 1 haste or gaseous form. Find all the cantrips you can just in case they might apply to some scenario.
Yep, this still happens. Never seen it as a bad thing.

Kane0
2014-02-25, 07:47 PM
I have but one question. How would this work with Launch Bolt/Item?

Just to Browse
2014-02-25, 07:47 PM
So, invisibility is useless if you get it at 6th level instead of at 3rd level? Ditto for flight at 12th level instead of at 5th level? On the contrary, wizards don't have enough spell slots at low levels to reliably use those tactics - they'll have memorized at most a single "utility" out of 4 slots for their best spell level so they can only use that once. This class may get utilities at a higher level but it can afford to use such utilities every time, not just once.
In addition, casters shouldn't be able to solve every problem they encounter with one spell - it makes them broken and the other classes useless. With more limited number of available spells, this class has to actually allocate its available spells strategically rather that try to do everything.Since when were fly and invisibility considered "utility" or "evocation"? Those are One True Way buffs, but D&D spells are not all overpowered game breaking tools of devastation. Attempting to balance the game to those select 1% of spells leaves all the other ones in the dust.

Casters are still totally able to pick the best spells and auto-win encounters (after level 6, anything without see invisibility drops for an invisible buffmancer party), but now they can only auto-win a smaller number. The slots you could spend on utility are instead spent on buffs so that you can compete in fights.



OK, suppose you could choose between hasting the group, incapacitating a bad guy and throwing a maxed twinned fireball at several bad guys for 60-120 damage a.k.a. instant BBQ. I'd choose the instant BBQ myself but YMMV. At higher levels though, you don't have to choose; you can fireball, haste and glitterdust at the same round by lvl 15So 2 instances of mild damage of an easily-negated element with a low-DC reflex save after investing a bunch of your significant character resources? Yeah, you're not going to shine. How about instead using fly to negate all closet trolls for the rest of your adventuring career (no save)?



. Yes, you can buff the party. But with active spells limited to your charisma modifier and the limited number of available spells, you'll have to choose between buffing, debuffing, battlefield control, summoning and utility. You can no longer get lots of buffs and persist them because persist won't help you get more buffs than normal.
And that balances out the tactic of buffing to hell quite nicely.Yeah, and the choice is "buffing" because buffing is way better than all those other options up until halfway through your career. You persist the spells with 1r/lvl or 1r durations because those are the most broken, and now you bring a huge power amplifier to fights.


Yep, this still happens. Never seen it as a bad thing.I think this is highly indicative of why this class fix doesn't work. You should have the basic required knowledge to write a fix before you attempt one.

Gazzien
2014-02-25, 08:12 PM
I think it actually works as a fix. It means you can't optimize to holy hell and win everything as a caster, yes, but... is that a bad thing?

Is it a bad thing that suddenly this pseudo-full-caster (strength of a full caster without the spell levels to back it up) does the traditional Swords & Sorcery thing of casting only a couple spells at a time (fluff it as the magic being draining, if you want) - normally (and most powerfully) using things like Fireball, or a massive spam of Scorching Rays, or casting a massive amount of Magic Missiles at the Darkness?

Sure, it comes online later, but... until level 10, you're a Wizard with a (infinitely) larger spellbook and infinite endurance, with more crafting feats and versatility (in the form of having all the cantrips available, and casting many at once) to boot. After that, the Wizard (assuming an Evoker, because it's what would play similarly) uses 5th- or 6th- level metamagic'd Fireball or Lightning Bolt, while the MoMM is casting his Twin'd Scorching Ray + Magic Missile (or whatever).

It's a step down in absolute power, yes, but... I don't know. When I DM, I get really, really tired of my caster players being able to just say no to every encounter with (at best) three spells.

Zweisteine
2014-02-25, 08:17 PM
I remember reading about a class called "Hedge Wizard" or "Hedge Mage." It was a class focused entirely around low-level magic, and cantrips in particular.

I haven't read through your class in too much detail, but one thing struck me as odd. The Arcane Personalization ability doesn't make much sense. The most common method of identifying a spell being cast is Spellcraft, which (in fluff, at least) relies more on the viewer's knowledge. "If you see someone waving their hands like so and chanting these words, they are casting fireball." Perhaps it would make more sense for the attempt to identify the spell simply to fail, or to make it appear as another spell instead.

Tacitus
2014-02-25, 08:19 PM
Would you be against allowing a metamagic to be applied during preparation in addition to the rules you have as presented? I kinda like the idea of all day Empowered Scorching Rays.

Also, I am rubbish at balance, so I regret not being able to help in that capacity, I just have thoughts and present them when it comes to 'brew.

Zaydos
2014-02-25, 08:31 PM
Lv 11 you can deal 2 instances of 60 damage with fireball and six instances of 24 damage with scorching ray (both maximized and twinned through Metamagic) as a standard action. A hezrou (CR 11 demon) resist 10 damage from each instance. If it makes both reflex saves (+7 so not likely) it still takes 124 damage (assuming you don't roll a 1 for an attack roll). This leaves it at 14 hp. This does assume you make all required spell resistance rolls.

Now this has the problem of being fire damage, but is also against something that resists it. Throw in 2 of your non-bonus feats being metamagic to have 6 (leaves room for Arcane Mastery to get around the SR) and you can use Searing Spell. Now the damage looks like 180 (assuming a nat 1 on an attack and it makes both saves).

This is in addition to at-will swift action 1 round flight, at-will invisibility, and a variety of 1st level spell effects.

Their blasting is actually crazy good (this was me picking the most well known core evocations).

Also how does their casting interact with Quicken Spell and other Swift action spells?

Edit: 3rd level you're looking at 20 + 4-10 force damage at the beginning of every encounter with Twinned Empowered Maximized Magic Missile as your "attack" option followed by 2d4+2 every round thereafter. Of course most CR 3 creatures can't survive this. This requires no rolls except for SR and Damage.

You might want to put more limits of sorts on their metamagic.

Edit Edit: To clarify I really like the idea, but the math means they're just taking out encounters in one round with heavy blasting. Where a 3rd level warblade can often one-shot an opponent (5d6+1.5 Str with a Greatsword, a stance, and a 2nd level strike) they have a decent chance of missing (+4 + Str assuming Mw weapon so ~+8 which means a 35% chance of failure against average hp and it's 23.5 damage average with 18 Str) and then has a 50% chance of dealing less damage than your minimum (which is important as average hp is 26.

So it's a really nice try, but needs some more tweaking with metamagic.

Belial_the_Leveler
2014-02-25, 09:29 PM
@Zaydos:
You're right, the metamagic needs to be limited a bit. Maybe limited to no more than 1 use per round at levels 1-7, two uses at levels 8-14 and three uses at levels 15-20?

@Tacitus:
Thanks for bringing up out-of-combat metamagic. Maybe we need a short-rest-based mechanism for the recovery of uses rather than an encounter-based one. Perhaps 1 use per 5 minutes of rest?

@Just to Browse:
Just because you don't like a fix doesn't mean it fails. Just because results generated by theoretical discussions make a certain type of wizards more effective on paper doesn't mean they actually are. Which is what I've discovered after playing almost exclusively casters for over a decade against optimized threats.

Zaydos
2014-02-25, 10:13 PM
I'd say you'd probably want to base it off of levels of metamagic rather than # of metamagic. (Sudden) Twinned is better than (sudden) maximize which is better than (sudden) empower.

Still this would approximately half the damage or more. 3rd level you drop to 14 average (instead of 27 average) which is pretty workable. 11th level you lose Searing Spell and Maximize or have to apply Searing Spell to your Twinned Spell; you prepare Scintillating Sphere and Scorching Ray and then you have 154 damage/round against something not immune/resistant to 1 of these types (almost average hp which is 165, but saves could reduce it to 118 and touch AC/nat 1s could reduce it another 14 or so); this will 2 round the monster manual. Of course at this level there are workarounds (immunities), fire resistance will prevent ~35 damage as it will mean not twinning the scintillating sphere to apply searing spell to the scorching ray, fire immunity on the other hand means using Magic Missile(?) and just maxing your twinned sphere (134 average saves can reduce), meanwhile electricity resistance means just doing another 6 scorching rays (168 damage). Actually 1 target means 12 scorching rays. Then again your damage doesn't increase at all from level 11 to 14 though average hp goes up and down during there. 15th level you get another scintillating sphere (or scorching ray) and another twinned each round to increase your damage by 70 or 84 meaning you stay in the one hitting targets range.

Overall, I don't think it's actually enough to fix the problem. There are levels it's not a problem (1-5) then twinned scorching ray comes online at 56 damage (6th level with Fiery Burst) which is high but not unbelievably so (crusaders can match it at 7th, and high opt builds can probably match it). At 8th, though, damage goes up to 96 (average hp for CR 8). Fire resistance stops a lot of this, though. Your damage stays static till 10th where Dual Cast adds a slight bump (22.5 if you use an Orb) which keeps it in the ~90% average hp range. Then 11th bumps it again.

Hence I'd say instead of metamagic per round make it levels of MM per round and maybe make it +2 +1/3 levels (so you'd get twinned at 6th, and at 12th would be able to max 2 spells or twin 1 and empower 1) which simultaneously encourages you to use stuff like silence and still (and maybe cap total metamagic applied in a round at 2 + 1/3 levels to avoid a bunch of +0 metamagics).

Also don't let the access every arcane spellcaster's list (Lv 1 Haste and Gaseous Form as noted), limit at least to base classes (I'd actually suggest either Sor/Wiz or Sor/Wiz and Wu Jen).

Finally sorry for the block of barely coherent math. I had to do something to distract me from the worst episode of Star Trek I know of.

Just to Browse
2014-02-25, 11:00 PM
Just because you don't like a fix doesn't mean it fails. Just because results generated by theoretical discussions make a certain type of wizards more effective on paper doesn't mean they actually are. Which is what I've discovered after playing almost exclusively casters for over a decade against optimized threats.
If the goal was to create a high-quality class that performs at tier 3 and isn't littered with trap options, then I can indeed say it fails. I assume that was your goal, but if the goal of this class was "semi-playable if you avoid 90% of spells and make consistently optimized choices" or "discussion fodder with mediocre quality" then you can call it a success. That's just not usually a goal, so I assumed it wasn't yours.



At level 11, you can use all of your metamagic features to pick up Empower Spell, Maximize Spell, Twin Spell, and some other metamagic feat (let's say Repeat Spell and generously assume your enemy stands in place).

You are capable of casting fireball at-will, and every encounter you can drop 4 metamagic feats to make it awesome. Let's say you want to win at Rocket Launcher Tag, so you put all four down. A maximized twinned empowered repeating fireball deals 2 * 2 * (66 + ~38.5) = ~418 points of fire damage on average over four separate spells (two twin spells each repeated once). Sounds awesome, right? Let's look at that Hezrou now.

A hezrou comes with 138 HP. Your fireball's damage currently eclipses its health about threefold. However, it comes with Spell Resistance 19. Your CL is 11, which means your spells actually affect it only 65% of the time. 65% of 418 is 271.7, so you're still ahead. However, it also gets a reflex save for half damage. Because your base DC is crap (13 + Cha), you're probably maxing out your Reflex saves at DC 20, meaning he has a 40% chance of cutting that damage in half. The damage now goes down to ~217.36, which still manages to glean a victory. Of course, hezrous also have fire resistance 10, and from four fireballs that's a total of 40 damage mitigated. So the average damage actually comes out to ~177.36.

Now this is assuming that the hezrou is dumb enough to stand still for an entire round. If he uses greater teleport or just takes his move action to walk out of the spell area, the damage cuts in half and he's only taking an average of ~88.68.

So what I'm getting at is that, counter to what Zaydos says, even if you tailor your blasting specifically for blasting, burning all your feats and spending all your available class resources and nuking as hard as you possibly can, you barely eek out a victory over a level-appropriate opponent using no tactics whatsoever. If that opponent is allowed just one action or comes in with any preparation, your uberblast build (with little to no buff synergy) doesn't even go toe-to-toe with him. Given 1 round, a hezrou can literally grapple you to death, and you can't even fly to get away from him.


Seriously, you can't even deal level-appropriate damage with this class. The problems get even worse when you're trying to debuff enemies (your DCs can be up to -6 behind level-appropriate values, and debuffs are binary) or try to blast without burning all your metamagic feats at once.

The real benefit of this class is as a master-persister. Get the twice-betrayer's feats and and spend your per-encounter metamagic on only persisted spells. Your team will walk around permanently invisible and silenced during mid-level scouting missions, and you're never down on your luck when defending a base while you can cast enlarge person and bear's endurance effects that last all day. You could even keep an enemy blinded for an entire day with blinding spittle, or get all-day flight at level 2 with master of air.

But aside from that abuse, the traps this class offers are horrifying. Any fool using lightning bolt that doesn't pick up twin and maximize won't be able to clear level-appropriate minions. The whole jester archetype stops working after level 4-ish with glitterdust and color spray falling off really hard. God help the poor character who thinks at-will casting will make them good at in-combat healing.

Zaydos
2014-02-25, 11:37 PM
You do realize you're completely forgetting the Dual Cast ability which almost doubles your damage output, as well as the feat that allows you to ignore SR less than 22 (24 with Spell Penetration). My "build" only specified 6 of your 8 feats which allows you to still persist buffs (which you incidentally don't need to with at-will spellcasting you can just re-cast them at-will), and only 2 of your 11 spells prepared (leaving you with room for Invisibility and Swift Fly since you can't use Master Air as it's not an arcane spell; although that wording really ought to be changed since spells aren't intrinsically arcane or divine it depends upon who is casting them). Also Scorching Ray > Fireball (there's a reason I even noted that when things got tough you only Scorching Rayed).

Grod_The_Giant
2014-02-25, 11:41 PM
[Math]
Are you complaining that you can't one-shot an enemy that, theoretically, is a fair fight for your entire party?

Ziegander
2014-02-26, 12:21 AM
At higher levels though, you don't have to choose; you can fireball, haste and glitterdust at the same round by lvl 15.

Unfortunately, for me, this is why I think the class fails, because that sounds pretty broken to me. That kind of action economy is impossible to replicate outside of the Factotum, and the Factotum, with full-on reality bending Inspiration-op focus, can do that exactly once per day. This class can do it every. Single. Round. And it can cast a different set of three spells each time it does so.

Also, it knows every ****ing spell of levels it has access to? Absolutely, full-stop, no-****ing way. Not only is that a stupid, STUPID amount of book-keeping, it's unstoppably powerful. I don't care how late it gets its spells, I don't care how low-level they are, knowing literally every goddamn Sorc/Wiz spell from levels 0 thru 4, being able to prepare any four of each level, and being able to cast them, a few at a time per standard action, at-will, is hilariously too powerful.

Seerow
2014-02-26, 12:29 AM
Unfortunately, for me, this is why I think the class fails, because that sounds pretty broken to me. That kind of action economy is impossible to replicate outside of the Factotum, and the Factotum, with full-on reality bending Inspiration-op focus, can do that exactly once per day. This class can do it every. Single. Round. And it can cast a different set of three spells each time it does so.

Also, it knows every ****ing spell of levels it has access to? Absolutely, full-stop, no-****ing way. Not only is that a stupid, STUPID amount of book-keeping, it's unstoppably powerful. I don't care how late it gets its spells, I don't care how low-level they are, knowing literally every goddamn Sorc/Wiz spell from levels 0 thru 4, being able to prepare any four of each level, and being able to cast them, a few at a time per standard action, at-will, is hilariously too powerful.


Don't forget the free metamagics. 5 free metamagic feats, plus your normal feats you can also invest into metamagics. For every Metamagic you know you can apply any of your metamagics once a day. So you pick up 13 different metamagic feats? Well now you can Persist 13 spells. Or Chain spell 13 times a day. Or whatever else. You're encouraged to pick up crappy metamagic feats you don't care about to gain extra uses of the high cost metamagics you do care about.

Alabenson
2014-02-26, 12:34 AM
Unfortunately, this class has the misfortune of being simultaneously underpowered and overpowered. Without much optimization, the low DCs and stunted spell progression prevent the class from accomplishing much of anything, while a modicum of optimization renders the class hideously broken.

Just to Browse
2014-02-26, 12:37 AM
Are you complaining that you can't one-shot an enemy that, theoretically, is a fair fight for your entire would only consume 25% of the resources of your party?

First, fixed that for you. Second, I'm not complaining here. Zaydos posted saying that the class needed to be toned down because if you invested all your feats into blasting, you could blast really hard and win encounters really hard. I countered that by saying that an amped-up version of his build, assuming you win initiative and the enemy stands stock still, isn't nearly as much of a victory. I then continued by saying that rudimentary enemy tactics would leave this blaster mage in the dust, and that for so much feat investment, the blast was actually pretty subpar. Focusing all of your best class features on killing dudes (like an ubercharger, for example) and not being guaranteed a one-hit kill against one of the squishiest CR 11 creatures in the book is actually pretty weak.


You do realize you're completely forgetting the Dual Cast ability which almost doubles your damage output, as well as the feat that allows you to ignore SR less than 22 (24 with Spell Penetration). My "build" only specified 6 of your 8 feats which allows you to still persist buffs (which you incidentally don't need to with at-will spellcasting you can just re-cast them at-will), and only 2 of your 11 spells prepared (leaving you with room for Invisibility and Swift Fly since you can't use Master Air as it's not an arcane spell; although that wording really ought to be changed since spells aren't intrinsically arcane or divine it depends upon who is casting them). Also Scorching Ray > Fireball (there's a reason I even noted that when things got tough you only Scorching Rayed).

That second spell would be entirely separate and get no metamagic and it would have to be a level lower. Let's assume you got a free fireball anyways. (11 * 3.5) * (.6 + .2) * (.65) = ~20.02. The hezrou is laughing at you.

And yes, if you dumpster dive for obscure feats that even practiced optimizers like myself have never heard of, you can probably get a decent victory. Your unnamed spell resistance feat that sounds super duper broken actually manages to bring average damage to ~135, so congrats on burning most of your character resources to kill one of the squishiest CR 11 monster in the game.

And let me reiterate, your build dumpster dives, spends its only level 3 spell and 6 of its 8 feats, and might manage to kill one of the squishiest CR 11 monsters in the game. You know what else does that? Fly.

Please read the class: Master Air is totally legal because you can dumpster dive for whatever spells you want off whatever list. Your assumptions otherwise are an interpretation not supported by the rules.


Scorching ray, using twin spell, split ray, maximize, and empower. 2 * 2 * (24 * 3 + ~12 * 3 - 10 * 3) * .65 * .85 = 172. Yay, you can finally kill the hezrou, but only if you win initiative and only if the hezrou isn't prepared, and it's not nearly guaranteed because SR is binary, and you had to drop an even bigger feat sink on it.


So no, that's still not impressive. For all the dumpster diving it takes you to nearly kill a squishy hezrou, it can be done without burning nearly as many resources using fly and a magic attack (like a regular scorching ray, perhaps true strike and a crossbow). You can't be teleport / gaseous form ambushed, your victory is more reliable, and the core abilities are useful outside of killing dudes. That is a decent victory for this class, and it highlights just how subpar the blasting is.

__________________________________________________ _______________

Again, let me reiterate. I don't find this class weak. It's certainly capable of contributing in an adventure. However, this class is super bad because it has tons of trap options for noobish prospective mages, and the ideal tactics for it revolve around abusing the same feature that makes DMM persist clerics so cheesy. It's certainly usable, but it's not good.


Unfortunately, this class has the misfortune of being simultaneously underpowered and overpowered. Without much optimization, the low DCs and stunted spell progression prevent the class from accomplishing much of anything, while a modicum of optimization renders the class hideously broken.

This basically hits the nail on the head. Free access to casting is not something you can base a "fix" around, and it never will be.

Ziegander
2014-02-26, 12:39 AM
Unfortunately, this class has the misfortune of being simultaneously underpowered and overpowered. Without much optimization, the low DCs and stunted spell progression prevent the class from accomplishing much of anything, while a modicum of optimization renders the class hideously broken.

The way I've been looking at it:

1) Can a Wizard beat it? Of course.

2) Can a Sorcerer beat it? That honestly depends on the Sorcerer and the MoMM. Alarm bells should already be ringing.

3) Can a Warblade beat it? That depends entirely on the MoMM.

4) Can a Barbarian or Rogue beat it? Never.

Just to Browse
2014-02-26, 12:50 AM
The barb could probably beat it. The optimization floor for this class is super low. I mean suuuuuuuuper low. Even three simultaneous spells isn't all that impressive when you spend them on stuff like extended fire shield and fell frightening shout at level 17.

Ziegander
2014-02-26, 12:55 AM
The barb could probably beat it. The optimization floor for this class is super low. I mean suuuuuuuuper low. Even three simultaneous spells isn't all that impressive when you spend them on stuff like extended fire shield and fell frightening shout at level 17.

Well, if we're comparing similar optimization levels though... that Barb is getting totally ruined by extended fire shield + fell frightening shout + some other unnamed spell.

Sure, if the MoMM is really, really low-op, and the Barbarian is an uber-charger, he can maybe kill it, with some luck, but he doesn't really have a chance outside of that.

Just to Browse
2014-02-26, 01:12 AM
I can see your point. The unlimited reselection does also help a lot.

Mabn
2014-02-26, 01:30 AM
If I were playing it and not nerfing myself I'd probably drop my persisted spells into wands to get around the active effect limit and limited spells per day because 5 charges allow you to have a wand for everything. That way I can spend my active slots on prepared action dispel lockdowns and killing everything with whatever no-save effect I think they are vulnerable to. Come level 16 I can dispense with this and just murder everything with 1000s of force damage and save my spells for multiplanner-rocket-tag-enablers to try to stay relevant.

So, heaven and earth above mundanes, but casters think it's cute that death is something you care about.

Ziegander
2014-02-26, 01:39 AM
So, heaven and earth above mundanes, but casters think it's cute that death is something you care about.

lolz. So much this.

Realms of Chaos
2014-02-26, 03:45 PM
Please give this guy a spell list. I know that it may go against your design goals a bit but this is a class that really demands a spell list (and likely a specific list of bonus feats). Without a set spell-list, this class can't really do its own job reliably.

As far as I can tell from the OP, you removed high level spells because you wanted to make a more reasonable caster. To a certain extent, you have certainly succeeded there. The wizard is just about always more powerful than an equally optimized MMM and the MMM doesn't get narrative game-breakers like teleport or planeshift or contact other plane.

With that said, the goal for this class to still function normally requires a very specific level of optimization from the player, which I don't think is the most eloquent design.

To start, the wizard spell list really doesn't want to do what you're forcing it to do. While an optimizer can certainly make this class work with the selection of specific spells, a vast number of spells (including most of the enchantment, illusion, and necromancy schools) are turned into traps with their low save DCs and delayed advancement. While I'm more than willing to let a trap option or two like toughness reward system mastery, this class is a veritable minefield and can't be meaningfully used by most people without tremendous amounts of knowledge (making it a pretty bad replacement for the full wizard).

On the other hand, I would say that supplement delving is definitely an issue for this class. An MMM with too much system mastery could probably find 5th and 6th level spells listed as 3rd and 4th level spells in obscure sources, largely undermining the very premises that lead to the creation of the class.

At the end of the day, I believe that the wizard spell list is broken in every sense of the word. You can try playing along with it but it is riddled with traps (at least when weakened) and abuse (no matter what you do) and it grows larger and more unwieldy with just about every supplement you include in your camaign. Nothing I can recall seeing done with the wizard spell list has pushed a class into tier 3 or lower except perhaps by uncomfortable technicality.

Even though the spell list is broken, however, I personally love how it works with wizards. They don't require much more than common sense to use somewhat effectively, most of their spell list is usable (if not "optimized"), and they eventually gain enough spells per day that I can trust my younger cousin to pick his own spells and still have some usable goodies.

The MMM does not get these advantages. The gaps between the optimization floor and TO ceiling are so far apart that I honestly have no clue what power level you were aiming at, seeing as "wizard without wish" doesn't exactly denote a specific power level. If you could set up a specialized spell list, it would finally be clear what you expect these guys to be doing and how they would do so instead of leaving everyone in the dark.

I believe that at will spells can work. I believe that low-level spells can be awesome. I just wish there was a spell list so that this class could be used in campaigns other than those where players have lost their wizard privileges through abuse.[/plea-rant]

Belial_the_Leveler
2014-02-27, 08:15 AM
Following the advice of several people here, I've made the following changes;



1) Limited them to a single spell list. This limits dumpster diving.

2) Gave them a fixed number of spells known, though they can still change them through study of scrolls or spellbooks. This somewhat limits dumpster diving on one hand, and allows the DM to reward players with specific spells and/or guide inexperienced players in their spell selection thus.

3) Changed the rules of metamagic application. Metamagic is still useful in offering variety and customization but no longer increases total spell output.

4) Added a talent that increases save DCs for low-level spells.

5) Clarified and made some changes on how their multi-casting works.




I will be thinking on a basic spell list too.

Southern Cross
2014-02-27, 05:38 PM
I'd recommend that the MMM get a +1 to saving throw DC's every 4 class levels.

The Dragon
2014-02-27, 05:51 PM
I'd recommend that the MMM get a +1 to saving throw DC's every 4 class levels.

Very much this. Saving Throw DC scaling is one of the few things that isn't broken about the wizard.

I really don't see a reason that this class should have be weaker in that department than a wizard.

I'd line the DC increases up at levels 4, 8, 12, 14 and 18 myself: It isn't pretty, but it keeps the increases from coming in large increments.

Realms of Chaos
2014-02-27, 10:49 PM
...actually, why not just the abilities supernatural? It would give you a nice formula for save DCs that would increase naturally over time (10 + 1/2 level + ability modifier) and would let these guys slip past SR (making blasters and debuffers more realistic at high levels).

If they end up with a spell list to avoid the worst abuses, this could end up as a very fun class that balances blasts that are hard to resist, buffs for everyone, and spammed glitterdust.