I believe retraining should always be an option - after all, you're stuck with your assigned skills for the rest of the game too.Ok, so long as you have a built-in retraining mechanism, I think I'd be good with it. But otherwise, at level six you are stuck with your inventions you chose for the rest of the game.
Would you mind providing some examples?
I'm sure you appreciate the inherent idea of a primary caster (which the Engineer really sort of is) with awesome (6+!) skills and a medium BAB is something that needs work just as assuredly as the Brawler being consistently better than the Gladiator in pretty much everything needs work.While optimization is part of D&D, at the highest levels it simply becomes asinine. Especially considering that Kholai's proposed Engineer hugely complicates the Engineer in order to get around a fairly minor balance issue.
This is a thematic alternative dedicated to improving the use of a skill the class was already keyed off of, rather than lessening the class' ability to use skills. The same can be achieved by reducing the potency of inventions.
My proposition is that the Engineer can use a relevant craft skill to produce a number of usable items, freely selectable by themselves, whilst having a maximum number of these limited by their class level. Ideally this is no more complicated than the crafting system: Roll against a DC, measure progress, get item in that amount of time.
This could be simplified to:
- The Engineer may have prepared a number of inventions equal to their class level + intelligence modifier.
- Each invention only counts as "1" invention by default, regardless of "grade". Certain inventions will only count as 1/2 inventions, such as consumables. Some will explicitly count as 2 inventions, handled in the item text itself.
- Each invention has a craft DC on how difficult and how "expensive" it is to make, even though the Engineer never needs to pay that amount.
- Each invention requires a certain number of other inventions known in the discipline, but can be learned at any level.
- They still learn 3 inventions at level 1, plus 1 per level. At least 1 of the starting inventions must be in their archetype speciality.
- They are no longer constrained to their archetype disciplines, and may learn inventions from any field.
No points, just simple crafting checks every night, which they can take 10 on most of the time. A class that specialises in crafting its own tools and equipment.
As a logical extension, inventions would be items, and handled as such, rather than the hammer space thing method, they may be confiscated, sundered, or lost.
As items, they can be produced in any particular quantity (up to ~10) without arbitrary limitations on how many they can have at once.
Correct, a rebalancing of their spell-equivalents a non-vancian equivalent would be perfectly valid. Anything that reduces them to a level where they are on par with other Skilled classes.Rebalancing of the engineer could potentially happen just by incorporating reasonable, comprehensive changes
If people are really that interested, I'd be happy to work on the other invention fields to that effect when we revisit the engineer at a later date.
Not accusing you of this, but: "E6 should not give powerful abilities to all classes just in case the player can't be bothered to use their given class abilities to good effect."I see no reason why E6 should be an advanced way to play Dungeons and Dragons, rather than a simplified way.
The Engineer, as demonstrated, is able to craft themselves an immense arsenal of alchemical items, poisons and other consumables in short order, is not a bad combatant at all, and fulfils one of the four party roles. The fact that the inventions on top of all this are pretty well overkill is the problem we've been circling around for most of this.
Are you saying the intelligent usage of alchemical items is overpowered? It would be appreciated if you could indicate the particulars you have a problem with, because I've not done anything beyond use a single feat and craft items that, as Eldest has pointed out, could be purchased by anyone.Also, as a DM, if my players tried to pull half of the crap you described in reasoning why the Engineer is more powerful, I would shut them down faster than you can say "overpowered".
Relying on the DM to enforce class balance that could be achieved mechanically is not an optimal design goal. Every class should be fun to play and have things they can do without being consistently overshadowed.I think that, instead of tweaking each and every class so that they cannot be more powerful than others, you leave those extremely unlikely and rare cases where someone breaks the game in the hands of the individuals who run games using these classes.
The Engineer isn't "potentially more powerful" than the Scoundrel; they're consistently and routinely better than them in a large number of situations with the only possible exception being maybe the initiator, in and out of combat. They're not "potentially more versatile" than the Red Mage, they're consistently and routinely bringing more options to the table than the Red Mage can.
Breaking the game needs to be avoided, but so does having one class gets consistently more spotlight. This is why Tier 3 is the goal.
Primary party roles: Fighter, Mage, Cleric, Thief.
The Engineer is a Thief who can blast like a mage and heal and support like a cleric, whilst still being a full-scale Thief.
Core alchemy plus one feat in the PHB II: The Engineer is able to make difficult terrain on demand, deal his bonus fire damage with alchemist's fires or lantern oils (given the feat wording of "Weapon Attack or Spell" to cause damage, this covers breath Weapon, splash Weapon or the like, giving ultimately +1D6 bonus to each Alchemist's fire after the first on a direct hit, not too powerful per se, but a nice and flavourful boost), disrupt spellcasters with contested Concentration versus Craft rolls (with the Engineer reasonably expecting to have at least +3 advantage compared to the mage at level 6), or give great debuffs to non-casters with opposed Will Save versus Craft rolls (almost guaranteed -2 Atk, Saves and Skill Checks).I'm running an E6 game right now using this system, with some relatively new players. I have trouble getting them to use Vancian magic, as they'd rather just use the simpler attack system. I don't want them being discouraged from the Engineer class because it got "balanced", into a system that takes knowing the entire system of crafting, and several other books worth of alchemical items to effectively use.
Water Breathing Auran masks I believe are in Complete Scoundrel or Complete Adventurer, as are Weapon Capsules. I do not consider the Complete series to be esoteric.
With one book - Frostburn, you get to make ice on demand (though you could do the same things with oil which is 1 SP), and 1D6+1D4 traps with Razor Ice. Neither is hugely necessary.
For the record, no, none of this is overpowered whatsoever, nor even close to what I'd consider serious char-op; Even with the more out-of-the-box uses. Reward players doing clever things with mundane items and you'll probably develop cleverer players.
In any case, if your players don't have a mastery of the flanking, feint, bluff system and never sneak attack with their Rogue, this doesn't mean that the class should be balanced around their failure to do so.
No problem, apart from clearing up any current discussions on the matter I'll drop this and continue with running through the "by level 6" considerations. If you don't mind I'd like to visit it again once the classes are more complete.Any changes of that magnitude to the engineer will not be undertaken without some serious time and consideration, though I am very much impressed by your efforts and arguments. Right now, I'd like to concentrate on shoring up the hunter, zealot, sentinel, and noble, as well as fine-tuning a few of the archetypes.