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Fixer
2007-06-01, 10:39 AM
Master Brewer

Hit Die / Level: d4

{table]Level|BAB|F|R|W|Effect
1|+0|+0|+0|+2|Spellcasting, Alchemy Bonus
2|+1|+0|+0|+3|Improved Brewing (5th)
3|+1|+1|+1|+3|Mixed Potions (2)
4|+2|+1|+1|+4|Efficient Brewing (Cost, Time)
5|+2|+1|+1|+4|Improved Brewing (7th)
6|+3|+2|+2|+5|Essence of Magic, Mixed Potions (3)
7|+3|+2|+2|+5|Improved Brewing (9th)
8|+4|+2|+2|+6|Efficient Brewing (XP), Potion Grenades[/table]

Prerequisites:
Caster Level 10th
Brew Potion Feat
Craft (Alchemy) 13 ranks

Class Skills (2 skill points / level):
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Spellcasting:
Each time the Master Brewer gains a level, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in whatever spellcasting class qualified him for this prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If a character had more than one spellcasting class which would allow him to meet this class's prerequisites, he must decide which class he will be adding a caster level to for the purpose of determining spells per day. Once chosen, this selection may not be changed.

Alchemy Bonus:
The Master Brewer gains a competence bonus to all Craft (Alchemy) checks equal to their class level.

Improved Brewing:
At 2nd level, the Master Brewer may begin to create potions of increasing power. He may make potions utilizing spells up to 5th level instead of 3rd. At 5th level this increases to 7th level spells and at 7th level increases to 9th level spells.

Mixed Potions:
At 3rd level, the Master Brewer may combine two different effects into one potion. The imbiber gains both effects simultaneously. The caster level of all effects in a given potion, regardless of spell level, must be identical and must be at least the minimum caster level to be able to cast each spell in the potion. The cost of a mixed potion is the total cost of all combined effects calculated individually. At 6th level the Master Brewer may combine up to three effects into one potion.

Efficient Brewing:
At 4th level the Master Brewer only has to spend half the normal amount of time and pay half the normal gp in raw materials and spend half as long brewing any of his potions. At 8th level the Master Brewer also only has to spend half the required XP to create any of his potions.

Essence of Magic:
At 6th level the Brew Master has a sublime mastery of his craft and an unparalelled understanding of the interaction between the inumerable exotic and mundane components involved in the making of his potions. This understanding allows the Brew Master with at least 19 ranks in Craft (Alchemy) to create a potion that duplicates the effect of any spell of 5th level or lower usable as a standard action that does provoke an attack of opportunity when imbibed (or thrown using Potion Grenade). The effects of the spell are considered an extraordinary ability and, as such, will ignore spell resistance and may be used within an anti-magic field. The cost and time of making such a potion is double that of a normal potion of its type and is not subject to the reduction of cost gained from Efficient Brewing or any feat.

Potion Grenades:
At 8th level, the Master Brewer may create potion grenades that mimic the effects of Touch, Ranged Touch, or Area of Effect spells. The wielder of such a potion must make a ranged touch attack (60 foot maximum range) as a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. The spell(s) in the potion grenade spell are considered to be cast targeting or centered on the location the potion struck (DM decision where a missed attack might strike but they will not 'bounce'). Potion grenades are no more fragile than normal potions. The action of using the potion grenade causes the enchantments on the bottle to cause it to break upon the next impact.
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Now, the problem I have with this class so far is that sorcerers still lose nothing by taking this class (except familiar enhancement, whoop-tee-doo) but given that most prestige classes have that same problem I guess I shouldn't worry. I also wanted to make it available to many classes (any spellcasting class can take this prestige class).

It was designed with 8 levels because this is a digression class. I don't want it to have epic levels and also didn't want to just leave it at the standard 5 with the abilities I had in mind. Only 5 levels would make it too powerful, too quickly.

I put the prerequisites high for two main reasons: 1) The abilities are pretty potent at higher levels and 2) I wanted to have the abilities line up with the lowest level they would be able to cast a spell they could brew.

Telonius
2007-06-01, 12:45 PM
I'd suggest making it clear that the crafting bonus does not (or does, if you intend that) stack with things like Extraordinary Artisan, etc. Looks like a pretty nice PrC. I'd say that giving the Sorcerer a bump isn't necessarily a bad thing. I would assume Clerics and Druids are going to be the main ones taking this class. (Though a few grenades of Enervation would be pretty terrifying...)

For a bit more fluff, maybe give a bonus to any Profession(brewer) - or would that be Craft(alcohol)? - checks.

Fixer
2007-06-01, 12:54 PM
I'd suggest making it clear that the crafting bonus does not (or does, if you intend that) stack with things like Extraordinary Artisan, etc. Looks like a pretty nice PrC. I'd say that giving the Sorcerer a bump isn't necessarily a bad thing. I would assume Clerics and Druids are going to be the main ones taking this class. (Though a few grenades of Enervation would be pretty terrifying...)

For a bit more fluff, maybe give a bonus to any Profession(brewer) - or would that be Craft(alcohol)? - checks.
I was going to allow the bonuses to stack for Efficient Brewing as each reduction in cost cannot reduce the cost to 0 and making potions in of the time/expense instead of is only a reduction of the time for three whole feats (one each for time/cost/exp).

When I originally envisioned this class I actually planned it for wizards and made sure to open it for any other class to see if others could bork it up. Clerics could get some decent bonuses (potion of true ressurrection?) and their buffs (potion of righteous might!) would also be very valuable, but clerics would potentially lose more (turning unead vs. familiar levelling).

As a DM, I would say that making alcohol COULD be done under alchemy if the resulting brew was semi-magical in nature. Otherwise it'd be craft (liqour) or something and that's not the point of the prestige class.

Poppatomus
2007-06-01, 01:57 PM
It's a cool class, but I have the same concern about the Sorceror taking this as a bonus rather than a digression. The capstone ability is particularly troubling on this score, since it can effectivly give a blaster a basically limitless number of spells per day, at far reduced cost.

Perhaps change potion grenades so that, while they can be created to mimic particular spells, they need to be "primed" the day they are used by "casting" some other spell of the same spell level at the concoction, recharging its magical abilities. This would still make the ability fairly strong, and allow the brewer to become more flexible, without trivializing the spells per day limitation.

Rnett
2007-06-01, 02:12 PM
All that would do is allow touch attack spells that can't normally be ranged to get a range though, since you're trading an x level spell that you know for an x level spell that you know in a bottle, right? And heck, chuck your familiar at the enemy and you have that anyhow.

Fixer
2007-06-01, 02:14 PM
It's a cool class, but I have the same concern about the Sorceror taking this as a bonus rather than a digression. The capstone ability is particularly troubling on this score, since it can effectivly give a blaster a basically limitless number of spells per day, at far reduced cost.
One of the reasons I left the potion grenades alone as is was because of the costs involved. It is a very potent ability but it is also very expensive in time and materials.

9th level meteor swarm @ 17th level = 3825gp (ergo 1912.5gp and 4 days and 153 xp)

6th level disintegrate @ 11th level = 1650gp (ergo 825gp and 2 days and 66xp)

So, even assuming a sorcerer wanted to be able to toss 6 meteor swarms in addition to what he could cast he'd need 11475 GP (a decent chunk of change but not back-breaking), 24 days (which is downtime for a blaster, which is boring) and 918 xp (which, at 18th level, is not too bad but is also nothing to sneeze at).

If you can think of specific things that break this I'd like to know of them, but there is no prestige class that sorcerers can't gain an advantage by dipping into them so that alone isn't a major problem. EDIT: (Oh, and you cannot take this class past 8th level, so the sorcerer or whatever would have to take its base class or another prestige class after this one anyway.)

Fixer
2007-06-01, 02:20 PM
All that would do is allow touch attack spells that can't normally be ranged to get a range though, since you're trading an x level spell that you know for an x level spell that you know in a bottle, right? And heck, chuck your familiar at the enemy and you have that anyhow.
Kind of.

This also allows you to hand the potions to another party member and let them use them also. Slightly more useful than a spell-completion item (which costs the same). You cannot do that with a familiar.

Poppatomus
2007-06-01, 02:34 PM
One of the reasons I left the potion grenades alone as is was because of the costs involved. It is a very potent ability but it is also very expensive in time and materials.

9th level meteor swarm @ 17th level = 3825gp (ergo 1912.5gp and 4 days and 153 xp)

6th level disintegrate @ 11th level = 1650gp (ergo 825gp and 2 days and 66xp)

So, even assuming a sorcerer wanted to be able to toss 6 meteor swarms in addition to what he could cast he'd need 11475 GP (a decent chunk of change but not back-breaking), 24 days (which is downtime for a blaster, which is boring) and 918 xp (which, at 18th level, is not too bad but is also nothing to sneeze at).

If you can think of specific things that break this I'd like to know of them, but there is no prestige class that sorcerers can't gain an advantage by dipping into them so that alone isn't a major problem. EDIT: (Oh, and you cannot take this class past 8th level, so the sorcerer or whatever would have to take its base class or another prestige class after this one anyway.)


these are fair points. It is your class and you are correct it isn't game breaking in the slightest. I probably wouldn't even have noticed had you not mentioned your own concern about it in the OP. And even if you accepted my critique, i'm not sure I like my fix (I think it may be too much of a nerf actually. probably should be something more like, a spell 2 levels lower than the level of the potion, or a different mechanism entirely.).

still, let's take your example: with 24 days preperation an 18th level sorceror can, cha bonus aside, triple his number of number of ninth level spells in a given day. I'm not so much worried about this ability from a breaking the PC side, as from the evil DM side. imagine entering the lair of a lich with 8 ranks in this class and a decade to prepare for an invasion [also forgive me, but i am unclear on how potion making works at higher levels, can it normally be used to create 9th level spells. I was under the impression it was limited to lower level spells] Every kobold in the place could open up with meteor storm.

Fixer
2007-06-01, 02:46 PM
these are fair points. It is your class and you are correct it isn't game breaking in the slightest. I probably wouldn't even have noticed had you not mentioned your own concern about it in the OP. And even if you accepted my critique, i'm not sure I like my fix (I think it may be too much of a nerf actually. probably should be something more like, a spell 2 levels lower than the level of the potion, or a different mechanism entirely.).
Well, with any prestige class there is a balance between nerfed and uber'd that must be achieved. When designing any prestige class I want to answer two questions:
1) Why would anyone WANT to take this prestige class?
2) Why would anyone NOT WANT to take this prestige class?

If you can come up with a lot of answers for 1) but none for 2) then it is too powerful. If you can come up with a lot for 2) but not for 1) then it is too nerfed.

My own answers to those two questions: Ability to use potions for higher than 3rd level spells (the normal maximum).
Sharing higher level spell effects with companions.
Ability to allow others to use high level spell effects without needing the Use Magic Device skill.
Loss of Class abilities for digression into this class.
Skill Points requirement and keeping "Brew Potion" for up to 7 levels as a selected feat.
Cost in Gold, Time, and XP to prepare class abilities.
Several parts of these class abilities can be reproduced using various skill/feat combinations.



still, let's take your example: with 24 days preperation an 18th level sorceror can, cha bonus aside, triple his number of number of ninth level spells in a given day. I'm not so much worried about this ability from a breaking the PC side, as from the evil DM side. imagine entering the lair of a lich with 8 ranks in this class and a decade to prepare for an invasion [also forgive me, but i am unclear on how potion making works at higher levels, can it normally be used to create 9th level spells. I was under the impression it was limited to lower level spells] Every kobold in the place could open up with meteor storm.

Normally Brew Potion is limited to 3rd level spells.
Yes, under the circumstances any NPC with unlimited resouces can prepare exactly the scenario you described, but an NPC with unlimited resources can prepare any number of PC death scenarios without this class.

Off the top of my head: A room ringed with Necklace of Missiles and a contingent Fireball in the middle of them, catching each in the area of effect. Contingency: Anyone entering the room and doesn't say a password within 10 seconds. You have an equivalent of a massive meteor swarm with similar costs with existing items.

Poppatomus
2007-06-01, 03:09 PM
Normally Brew Potion is limited to 3rd level spells.
Yes, under the circumstances any NPC with unlimited resouces can prepare exactly the scenario you described, but an NPC with unlimited resources can prepare any number of PC death scenarios without this class.

Off the top of my head: A room ringed with Necklace of Missiles and a contingent Fireball in the middle of them, catching each in the area of effect. Contingency: Anyone entering the room and doesn't say a password within 10 seconds. You have an equivalent of a massive meteor swarm with similar costs with existing items.

Absolutely right on the prestige class bit, i don't think the class itself is overpowered, I am just wondering about this one ability. [I have the same problem with a prestige class I am working on right now. class overall seems balanced, but with one very exploitable mechanic towards the end]

I can't find stats for necklace of missile, so lets take necklace of fireball instead. The most comprable to meteor swarms 4x 6d6 is the type four necklace which costs 5,400 gp. by your own calculation, the potion costs a little less than 4,000. Actually, this seems rather reasonable given the greater time investment and the xp cost. (plus, something i just thought of. Say the party takes out a few of the scared little kobolds before they get to throw their item. suddenly the lich has a dozen of his own meteor swarms heading his way.)

well, you've convinced me.

Fixer
2007-06-01, 03:21 PM
It is not a matter of convincing. In truth I am feeling this class is still wanting something. In comparing it to a Candle Caster (Tome and Blood) it seems somewhat nerfed because it had no focused feat effects on the potions. I do not really WANT to put those feats available for the potions but I am also not quite pleased with its present incarnation.

Looking for improvements that do not make it go over that line.

(Off Topic: What thread is your prestige class? I'll give it a look.)

Poppatomus
2007-06-01, 03:28 PM
It is not a matter of convincing. In truth I am feeling this class is still wanting something. In comparing it to a Candle Caster (Tome and Blood) it seems somewhat nerfed because it had no focused feat effects on the potions. I do not really WANT to put those feats available for the potions but I am also not quite pleased with its present incarnation.

Looking for improvements that do not make it go over that line.

(Off Topic: What thread is your prestige class? I'll give it a look.)

Wish I could help you with that. Still very new at this, and have no where near the experience needed to pull something like that out of the air. Doesn't help that most of my play experience is with melee. If you have a sense of what you want to do I might be able to help you come up with a mechanism, but I'm not really sure what power level or approach you'd prefer. (Part of the reason I've been posting here is to take the Fareignheit 451 approach to learning, and keep using my admittedly blunt tool so that it can sharpen naturally.)

I would be thrilled if you would critique my prestige class, but don't feel like you have to, it is kind of long. still, in the interests of getting it to work right this is the link: the daoist (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45573). Any and all suggestions and criticisms are welcome.

Poppatomus
2007-06-01, 03:54 PM
hmm... looked up what I could on the candel caster. Assuming you don't just want to port that ability, which does seem a bit silly, how about this, as an ability available at level 6. Again, just a suggestion from a neophyte, but this would be a power boost and one that would really distinguish this class.

Essence of Magic: At this level the Brew Master has a sublime mastery of his craft and an unparalelled understanding of the interaction between the inumerable exotic and mundane components involved in the making of his potions. This understanding allows the Brew Master to create a potion that duplicates the effect of any spell below 5th level without the use of magic. The brew master must still know the spell in order to mimic its effects and the cost of making potion is double that of normal and not subject to the reduction of cost gained from efficient brewing. potions made in this way are not considered magical effects and thus are neither revealed by dispell magic or effected by spell resistance. These potions can even be used inside of anti-magic fields.

Language needs to be cleaned up a bit, but i think the idea might work.

Fixer
2007-06-01, 04:34 PM
hmm... looked up what I could on the candel caster. Assuming you don't just want to port that ability, which does seem a bit silly, how about this, as an ability available at level 6. Again, just a suggestion from a neophyte, but this would be a power boost and one that would really distinguish this class.

Essence of Magic: At this level the Brew Master has a sublime mastery of his craft and an unparalelled understanding of the interaction between the inumerable exotic and mundane components involved in the making of his potions. This understanding allows the Brew Master to create a potion that duplicates the effect of any spell below 5th level without the use of magic. The brew master must still know the spell in order to mimic its effects and the cost of making potion is double that of normal and not subject to the reduction of cost gained from efficient brewing. potions made in this way are not considered magical effects and thus are neither revealed by dispell magic or effected by spell resistance. These potions can even be used inside of anti-magic fields.

Language needs to be cleaned up a bit, but i think the idea might work.

Oooooh. I like! I like lots! And you worded it very well. I am good with the mechanical aspects but not so good on the flavoring of the text.

To rewrite using mechanical terms, it would be as follows:
Essence of Magic: At this level the Brew Master has a sublime mastery of his craft and an unparalelled understanding of the interaction between the inumerable exotic and mundane components involved in the making of his potions. This understanding allows the Brew Master with at least 19 ranks in Craft (Alchemy) to create a potion that duplicates the effect of any spell of 5th level or lower usable as a standard action that does provoke an attack of opportunity when imbibed (or thrown using Potion Grenade). The effects of the spell are considered an extraordinary ability and, as such, will ignore spell resistance and may be used within an anti-magic field. The cost and time of making such a potion is double that of a normal potion of its type and is not subject to the reduction of cost gained from Efficient Brewing or any feat.

DracoDei
2007-06-01, 05:27 PM
If you use Essecense of Magic I would lower the max. level also I think that making potions above 3rd level is unique already... which brings me to my next pet peeve: abilities that are stagnant for a while and then jump up. In this case make it so at 4th class level one can make 6th spell level potions and at 6th class level one can make 8th level potions. This is much less 'jarring'.

Poppatomus
2007-06-01, 05:51 PM
Do you mean lower the overall max (down from nine) or the max on essense (down from 5)?

DracoDei
2007-06-01, 05:59 PM
I was talking about the maximium on Essence... although the maximium on the overall thing might also bear a looking at.

Fixer
2007-06-05, 06:03 AM
I was talking about the maximium on Essence... although the maximium on the overall thing might also bear a looking at.
Have you ever seen the rules on infusions? Those are (essentially) potions that can go up to 9th level already and can be used by anyone (Masters of the Wild). The 9th level thing with potions I am not interested in changing as they are NOT game breaking by any means.

My question, then, is what 5th level spells make the Essence of Magic so breakable. Or even the 4th level spells. I am going to have to work today and can only read and ocassionaly respond so I am interested to know which spells Essence of Magic breaks.