Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 65
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    T.G. Oskar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Retooled Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting) - v3

    Ladies and gents!! Children of all ages!! Outsiders and Eldritch Abominations are welcome too!! Today, I shall introduce a class that has been neglected by that famous group of people, the Optimizers!!

    Since it's introduction, the Warmage was meant to be the kind of class that made things go BOOM!! (Yep, just like a bomb) However, the Powers that Be found a MAJOR flaw in this most singular class devoted to demolitions...that is, that demolitions sucks badly. Really, really, really badly.

    Then, it got worse. Sorcerers gained powers from their Dragon ancestors, and forces of chaos provided such a depth of power that caused the formerly red-headed stepchild to gain dominion over the oft-maligned art of making things go BOOM!!! A respite was found by the mighty Optimizers, who found that the Rainbow Servant, follower of the Couatls and all that is shiny and good, granted Warmages with the power of Clerics themselves, which made for a spectacular boost in power...if it weren't because it also made the Warmage a one-trick pony.

    Then, came the Beguiler. In a swift stroke, the Warmage lost the only advantage it could possibly get, by having a class that could do what the Warmage couldn't: actually be effective in what it did. Yes, even the oft-maligned school of Enchantment managed to shine a bit (and just a bit) with the appearance of the Beguiler, which used its wits and guile to cast the right spells. Granted, the Elite 5 weren't fazed much with that, but that was cause for the Warmage to falter.

    And...come today. I, with some hefty suggestions by the group of fellows that comprise the archfamous Test of Spite, made an attempt to make the Warmage faster, stronger...blastier...and quite definitely, a guy that you'd love to have in your group.

    So, without further ado, I'd like to introduce to you...the retooled WARMAGE:
    *Retooler's note: the Warmage may produce sensations of WTF, OMG, LOL, "this class is still made of fail", or similar. This Warmage is meant to handle blasting better, and also to expand a bit its spellcasting to allow better battlefield control and even some buffing. While not comparable to an Elite 5, it is still meant to be an upgrade from base Warmage, raising it a few levels above the normal.
    WARMAGE

    "Let the erudites pour upon their tomes and dream of power. I am a realist. I live to win the wars they cannot win alone."

    MAKING A WARMAGE (or, what has changed and what hasn't)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Abilities: A warmage's key stat is definitely Charisma, as it is the spell that determines its spellcasting power. Warmage Edge, though, makes Intelligence a very important stat. While Strength, Dexterity and Constitution are valuable choices, they are at best tertiary to Intelligence and Charisma, and usually best replaced whenever necessary with buffing spells.
    Races: Humans, naturally, make superb Warmages: they are quite balanced in most regards. Of the other classes, Elves (of the Grey variety principally) make extraordinary Warmages, given their expanded choice of weaponry and their high Intelligence, which should complement Charisma well.
    Of the other races, undoubtedly the Aasimar and their Charisma make for wonderful Warmages. Races that have good mental stat increases make for good Warmages.
    Alignment: Any. A warmage usually inclines to Lawful because of the extensive training and military discipline infused to a warmage, but a Chaotic warmage can equally show a desire to gain power and thus doesn't particularly fail to suit the class. Warmages have no regards upon good or evil, since both know the importance of tactical warfare and potent artillery and battlefield control.
    Starting Gold: as Warmage
    Starting Age: as Warmage


    Class Skills: The warmage’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis) and Use Magic Device (Cha)
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Compared to the original Warmage, this retooling has given some important skills to the class. Listen and Spot are important to allow the Warmage to serve as a scout, or to prevent the dreaded surprise attacks. Knowledge (the Planes) is mostly to understand outsiders and in a way understand their battle tactics, just as Knowledge (history) allows to understand historical tactics.

    Perhaps the biggest surprise should be Use Magic Device. Why UMD?

    Why not!? Figure this out: the Warmage is a spellcaster that learns how to manipulate a small but suitable amount of spells on their list. They learn how to complement their magic with scrolls and wands, and even staffs with the spells they know. However, there are chances when a Warmage may find himself (or herself; a Warmage is an equal opportunity employer) with a wand of a spell that he or she doesn't know. Should it be thrown away? No, a Warmage learns how to improvise and use that tool of war as a benefit. Or at least, should do. Hence, coupled with the naturally high Charisma of the Warmage, it is expected that UMD should be on the list. It baffles me why such a simple skill was absent from the list and not added by the devs...


    Hit Die: d6.

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|+0|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Armored mage, warmage edge|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    2nd|+1|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Combat Casting|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    3rd|+2|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Advanced learning|6|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    4th|+3|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bonus feat|6|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

    5th|+3|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Energy substitution|6|6|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

    6th|+4|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Spell widening (-1)|6|6|5|4|-|-|-|-|-|-

    7th|+5|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Advanced learning|6|6|6|5|3|-|-|-|-|-

    8th|+6/+1|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Bonus feat|6|6|6|5|4|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|+6/+1|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Discriminating spell (self)|6|6|6|6|5|3|-|-|-|-

    10th|+7/+2|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Improved warmage edge|6|6|6|6|5|4|-|-|-|-

    11th|+8/+3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Advanced learning|6|6|6|6|6|5|3|-|-|-

    12th|+9/+4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Bonus feat, spell widening (-2)|6|6|6|6|6|5|4|-|-|-

    13th|+9/+4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Dent resistance|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3|-|-

    14th|+10/+5|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Discriminating spell (allies)|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|4|-|-

    15th|+11/+6/+1|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Advanced learning|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3|-

    16th|+12/+7/+2|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bonus feat|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|4|-

    17th|+12/+7/+2|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    ||6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3

    18th|+13/+8/+3|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Spell widening (free)|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|4

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

    20th|+15/+10/+5|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Bonus feat, metamagic edge|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6[/table]

    Spoiler
    Show
    The biggest change you'll notice is the more streamlined amount of class features. Warmage Edge has taken a turn much like Cloaked Casting, which has an expanded set of abilities. As niftily pointed out below, Warmage Edge didn't looked much like Cloaked Casting, so it got separated into different abilities. Advanced Learning now has a mathematical progression, and the old Sudden X metamagic feats have changed into a wider set of bonus feats. That'll be introduced later.

    The second biggest change, and one you'll probably not notice, is the BAB. Guess what's the Warmage's real BAB? Poor. This retooling, considering that the Warmage must at least train a bit on combat and thus separate from the Sorcerer in that way, improves its BAB to average. However, they don't get any particular boost to Fortitude and Reflex, so they are still weak on that regard. Yet, with the new spells (which shall be introduced on a second post) and how Wizards and Sorcerers boost their abilities? Warmages got that slightly covered.

    UPDATE (8/28/2010): I'm going to try a new paradigm on prepared and spontaneous spellcasting. It won't remove the Big 5 from their tier, but it should make the path a bit harder. As you can see, the access to spells for the Warmage has been buffed up to odd levels (so they get spells one level earlier). The Healer and any spontaneous spellcaster from now on will follow that paradigm, while prepared spellcasters will gain spells on even levels. Basically, a switcheroo. How's that for some more love?


    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the warmage.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A warmage is proficient with all simple weapons, plus a martial weapon of their choice. Warmages are proficient with light and medium armor, and light shields.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Warmages now have the choice of getting the martial weapon of their choice. This is a slight advancement over the base Warmage, which has only proficiency with simple weapons. Simple Weapon Proficiency is no slouch: there are some decent simple weapons out there. But, this is a Warmage; at one moment, it'll want to use a stronger weapon. This choice can't be changed, but it allows for treating exotic racial weapons as martial weapons, so you can make a dwarf Warmage (not very recommended because of the Charisma penalty, but...) and allow it to have a Dwarven Waraxe, or better yet, an Urgrosh.

    Still, the Warmage is based on the spells and not on the weapons, so let's get a move on.


    Spells: A warmage casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the warmage spell list below. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. When a warmage gains access to a new spell list, he automatically learns all the spells for the level listed on the warmage’s spell list. Essentially, his spell list is the same as his spells known list. Warmages also have the option of adding to their existing spell list through their advanced learning ability as they increase in level (see below).
    To cast a spell, a warmage must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a warmage’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the warmage’s Charisma modifier. Like other spellcasters, a warmage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Warmage. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.
    As noted above, a warmage need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.

    Spoiler
    Show
    The catch of the Warmage was its intention as a focused spellcaster. You don't have to look for thousands of books for spells; only for a few additions, and that's it. The Warmage, however, had a pretty poor list since it had too much blasting spells, and only a few worthwhile battlefield control spells such as those that the Sorcerer or Wizard could work with.

    Spells will be explained in greater definition at the second post.


    Armored Mage (Ex): A warmage can cast warmage spells while wearing up to medium armor and light shields without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, a warmage wearing heavy armor or using a heavy shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component (most do). A multiclass warmage still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Another of the nifty quirks. With this, you could get a Mithral Full Plate and cast without arcane spell failure. Of course, adding armor to the bulk of spells a Wizard could cast wasn't pretty interesting, so this ability was kinda lost on the Warmage. There are benefits to wear armor, such as getting some very good enhancements on yourself, which you can activate with but a thought. And, since they don't interrupt your spellcasting, you become a tad more powerful that way.

    UPDATE: Since the mechanic was pointed out as being clunky and probably unneeded, I eliminated the vestigial 9th level improvement and made medium armor accessible since 1st level. That makes a Warmage hardier from day 1.


    Warmage Edge:At 1st level, a warmage can deal extra damage with spells that deal hit point damage. A warmage adds his class level times his Intelligence modifier, divided by two, to all of the targets of a spell. For spells that hit multiple times, the target receives the extra damage once.

    Spoiler
    Show
    THIS is the signature ability of the Warmage!! What makes a Warmage differ from a blaster Sorcerer? Well...the original only added a miserable amount of extra damage equal to your Int modifier, so at best it added the unsurmountable amount of...6 damage. Or perhaps a bit more. Bummer, right?

    Not here. The first ability is a massively boosted version of that ability, made so that it worked differently depending on the spell. Allow me to explain: for spells that have a fixed yet dynamic damage dice cap (such as the orbs, Fireball, Polar Ray, Disintegrate and others), damage depends on the amount of dice you get. This is very important for two reasons: one, it takes advantage of a natural limit; second, it applies to everyone in the area. So, if you throw a Fireball, everyone eats the extra damage. Nifty, no? The second works for spells which don't have such a dynamic damage cap, those spells which have a fixed AND static amount of damage per dice (such as Magic Missile, Scorching Ray, Incendiary Cloud, Acid Fog and the like) would add damage based on the caster level instead. This may sound a bit off, but consider the following: limiting it by dice of damage makes these spells weaker than their rising damage dice counterparts. This specific ability can be awfully exploited, so I expect you people to point out some discrepancies and allow me to work that out nicely. However, this is a good way to see it:

    If the spell has a growing amount of damage dice, such as Fireball, apply the first.

    If the spell has a fixed amount of dice, such as Incendiary Cloud, apply the second.

    If the spell has a fixed amount of damage AND multiple projectiles, apply the second only to a projectile of your choice. So that would mean only ONE missile or ONE ray gets the extra damage, not all (so that it doesn't stack and suddenly you get more damage by stacking missiles or rays)


    Big explanation, right? Apparently, it wasn't simple to understand even though I provided a good description of the idea. It apparently provoked epilepsy episodes or something. Thus, although it's power has been nerf-duced to near original levels, and has turned into a smaller linear progression, it still allows for bigger amounts of damage than the pitiful original version. Still, if you have a working idea that stands right on the middle, then please provide it; I'll consider it as I considered all of the below proposals and work to make Warmage Edge much better.

    UPDATE: Warmage Edge now deals Int mod. times class level, divided by two. I had to check this out after pointing out something with the Healer. It works "organically" (grows in accord to an expected rate, not exactly linear but almost curved)


    Combat Casting: At 2nd level, a Warmage gains Combat Casting as a bonus feat.

    Spoiler
    Show
    When finding what to do for the Warmage's 2nd level, a friend of mine suggested adding Combat Casting, as it fits the idea of a front-line/mid-line spellcaster. It does little, but it helps nonetheless (unless, of course, you're using a better version of Combat Casting which would make it even more useful).


    Advanced Learning: At 3rd level and every four levels after that, a warmage can add a new spell to his list, representing the result of personal study and experimentation. The spell must be a sorcerer/wizard spell of the abjuration, conjuration or evocation school, and of a level no higher than that of the highest spell level the warmage already knows. Once a new spell is selected, it is forever added to that warmage’s spell list and can be cast just like any other spell on the warmage’s list.

    Spoiler
    Show
    So yeah...Advanced Learning was made so that a Warmage had options and felt different. This is all good and such...except for a few problems. It was limited to Evocation spells (which, aside from Wind Wall, Contingency and a few others, it is a taboo spell), and it gave you only about 4 more spells, without even considering to give you a 9th level spell that's so important for all spellcasters. Now, the choices have expanded a bit; 5 spells, and the fifth spell can be a 9th level spell. Plus, you can also choose from Conjuration and Abjuration...Maw of Chaos, anyone?


    Bonus Feats: At 4th level, and every 4 levels after that, a warmage gains a bonus feat. He may choose from any metamagic feat, any reserve feat, or from the list provided below, provided s/he complies with the feat’s prerequisites.
    Warmage Bonus Feat List: Arcane Defense, Arcane Mastery, Arcane Preparation, Eschew Materials, Extra Slot, Extra Spell, Greater Spell Focus, Greater Spell Penetration, Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot, Ranged Spell Specialization, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, Touch Spell Specialization, Weapon Focus.

    Spoiler
    Show
    The Sudden X metamagic feats were cool to get free of cost, but let's face it; by the time you got the first one, you were already using a real arcanist or going Rainbow Servant. You'd barely, if ever, use these abilities!! So, they got turned into Bonus Feats...yeah, like those of the Wizard!

    The list of bonus feats seems small, but it's mostly effective. First, you got access to every single metamagic feat ever published. Lemme repeat again: every single metamagic feat ever published. Maximize? Sure, why not? Empower? Why, but of course!! Twin? Be my guest!!! Quicken? Uh...next choice, please...

    The second part is the reserve feats introduced first at Complete Mage. These allow your Warmage to get more bang for their buck, as they are considered to always have at least one of the five major energy types, plus force spells and a few others. Also, with the expansion of spells that a Warmage has, it has a good chance of getting respectable reserve feats.

    The third part is the small list over there. These, of course, are a courtesy; spells that would fit the Warmage in either combat or magic. Three-quarters of the list are pretty much worthless; that is entirely intentional. ENTIRELY INTENTIONAL. Because...if feats were to be improved somehow...these might grow to be a tad better, no? Um...what do you say? Filler? Shenanigans!!


    Energy Substitution (Su):At 5th level, a warmage can alter the damage dealt by a spell that has the fire, cold, lightning, acid or sonic descriptor. Treat as if the Energy Substitution feat, but with the following changes: the warmage can change the energy damage of his/her spell to the energy type s/he chooses, and the spell does not take a full-round action to be cast. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to half his/her class level plus her Int modifier.

    Spoiler
    Show
    This ability is pretty simple: assume you have Energy Substitution for all elements (fire, cold, acid, electricity and sonic; force is not an element, nor does negative/positive energy). Take that, replace immediately with an energy type of your choice, no questions asked. The amount is based on both your class level and your Int modifier, so you can work that out a hefty number of times; afterwards, you'll need the feat or the metamagic rod. This ability effectively expands your spell list, as you suddenly find yourself with a Fireball, a Frostball, a Shockball, an Acidball and a Sonicball: five spells for the price of one. The limited quantity means the caster must make their damage count; however, your spells do more damage now, so that shouldn't be a problem.


    Spell Widening (Su): At 6th level, a warmage gains the ability to expand the area of any spell he casts. At first, the spells take a great effort on the side of the warmage, but with time, he learns how to do it at a moment’s notice. Treat this ability as if the warmage had the Widen Spell metamagic feat, including for purposes of qualifying for feats or prestige classes that require this feat, but with the following changes. A warmage may only apply this ability to spells of his class list; thus, a warmage that multiclasses into another spellcasting class may not use this ability.
    Unlike Widen Spell, a warmage does not need to use a spell slot of three levels higher in order to use this ability. Instead, a warmage requires only a spell slot two levels higher in order to use this ability. At 12th level, a warmage needs only to use a spell slot one level higher, and at 18th level he may use this ability without expending a higher spell slot.

    Spoiler
    Show
    If you're an area blaster, the first thing you really, really, pretty please with sugar on top want for your feat list is Widen Spell. Why? Extra area means more deep-fried (or deep-frozen, or carbonized, or causterized, or bleeding-from-ears) enemies per square inch. Double, to be precise. So...why not have it? Your allies might get on the area of effect? Bah, why do you worry; there are various ways to avoid that (the 15th level Warmage Edge ability, Sculpt Spell, Archmage's Mastery of Shaping...) You want to get as many mooks as you want with that single spell, and this allows you to get more area as needed. So, Widen Spell must be free for them, and not a silly Sudden Widen. More like a "Sudden Widen, when you need it, for what you need it".

    Of course, this means having to waste a spell slot of three...wait, two levels higher. You thought it would be pretty easy, no? Well...if you dedicate to the Warmage path, you'll slowly get the chance of reducing that penalty, until at 18th level you eliminate it altogether; free Widened spells when you want them, for what you want them, as promised in the package. Departing from Warmage too soon? Well...suck on that, but you *can* apply the metamagic boosters of spell slot level lessening to reduce the penalty as well.


    Discriminating Spell (Ex):At 9th level, any spell cast by a warmage from his/her class list that deals damage affects does not treat you as a target. At 14th level, this benefit extends to all of your allies. A warmage may decide to include an ally in the area of the spell if it so desires.

    Spoiler
    Show
    This ability was originally composed of the 15th14th level ability. Thanks to Set's idea, it was expanded as a better ability. Since Armored Mage now has remained locked on 1st level, the 9th level was now devoid of a class ability. How to fix that? Well...now the Warmage can ignore himself for purposes of dealing damage. That means you can blast yourself with a Fireball, or one in close proximity, and you won't feel anything. Your enemies? Yeah, they'll feel everything.

    The 15th14th level ability is a godsend, even though it's a late godsend. It prizes remaining in the class for so long with the dream of every blaster. That being free rein on blasting. That you have the King's Army, that you are not meant to kill, against the forces of the Abyss, and the hordes are tactically placed for a Fireball or Incendiary Cloud? Disregard that, let your foes suck damage from those oh-so-nifty blasts from your magical BFG-OVERNINETHOUSAND. Or, make your enemies suffer the effects of a well-placed Web while your allies move freely. Or better: let the enemy army get tentacle raepd held immobilized by a single casting of Evard's Black Tentacles, while your allies layeth the smackdown on them. Friendly enough? Consider that this ability is far superior than the Archmage's Mastery of Shaping or the Sculpt Spell metamagic feat.

    UPDATE: A friend, player of mine, that's playtesting the Warmage suggested dropping Discriminating Spell's 15th level ability for 14th level, as Advanced Learning stands well on its own.


    Improved Warmage Edge:At 10th level, a warmage can increase the cap on damage dice of any warmage spell he casts, up to a maximum equal to half his character level. This increase only applies to spells that have a fixed damage dice cap, not to spells that have a different kind of cap (such as Magic Missile or Scorching Ray). The actual amount of damage dice of the spell is still determined by your caster level, as usual.

    Spoiler
    Show
    This ability is magnificent, for one single reason. Why Fireball sucks? Why Wings of Flurry and Maw of Chaos are so powerful and OMGWTFBBQ awesome? Two reasons: no fixed energy and no damage cap. The 5th level ability mostly resolved the first problem; this resolves the second. By expanding the damage cap on spells such as Fireball, Lightning Bolt and whatnot, you are effectively expanding the life of those spells by tenfold! This doesn't work on spells such as the Clouds (they don't have a damage dice growth based on caster level), nor with Magic Missile or Scorching Ray or Melf's Acid Arrow (since those spells have a completely fixed damage cap). By rule of thumb, if the spell is affected by the first variant of the 1st level ability of Warmage Edge, this one affects it too. If it's the second this ability is off-limits.

    NOTE: After being pointed this out by Baron Corm, I feel I need to explain this a bit: your damage dice cap grows, but not your damage dice per se. Those are still determined by your caster level. Hence, a Fireball that is cast by a 12th level Warmage deals 12d6 points of damage, not 16d6. At 20th level, a Warmage would deal 20d6 points of damage, not 30d6. A Magic Missile or Scorching Ray, though, would still deal 1d4+1 times the number of max projectiles (5) or 4d6 times the number of rays (3), plus the extra damage from Warmage Edge.


    Dent Resistance (Su): At 13th level, a warmage adds his Int modifier on caster level checks to defeat spell resistance. This ability stacks with both Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration.

    Spoiler
    Show
    If there's something that won't infuriate a blaster more, is that the carefully crafted spell that goes OMEGABOOM!! gets foiled by Spell Resistance. This allows to use your Intelligence modifier to enhance those caster level checks. By the moment you get it, that's probably a +4 - +5 on the CL check, which is effectively half of Assay Spell Resistance, at EVERY MOMENT. It is elegant, not so powerful, it respects those characters that have SR but it also allows you to feel less worried because of too high SR.


    Metamagic Edge:At 20th level, the spell level cost for applying metamagic feats to spells on the Warmage spell list is reduced by 2. The final cost of the increased spell level may not be lower than 1. A warmage may not reduce the cost of Heighten Spell with this feat, nor this ability nulls the increased casting time of the spell. You may further reduce this cost by 1 a limited number of times per day equal to the warmage's Intelligence modifier.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Finally, for all the dedication of not-multiclassing or going into a Prestige Class at all, you get a nifty benefit: your use of metamagic is enhanced. No longer do you have to use a spell slot of three levels higher to cast a Maximized Warmage-Edged Fireball; now, you use a spell slot of two levels higher. Add more shenanigans, and you can reduce that to at least one, but no higher than one. (Or, you can go Incantatrix and disregard that, but just how much are you willing to sacrifice? Choices, choices...which is exactly what this class should work with!)

    UPDATE: This little ability has caused more troubles than necessary. I was pointed out by one fellow friend o' mine semi-personally that such ability encouraged "dumpster diving", or basically loading a spell with metamagics. Zaydos addressed the point of how Arcane Thesis superpowers this simple ability. Now, I don't want to bring Sudden X metamagics again aside from taking them as bonus feats, since that would be akin to overloading the capstone with too many feats and it would be less elegant. Despite the problem it causes, I feel it is a fitting capstone for a class that should definitely master blasting. Thus, whatever is up there will be (hopefully) a fitting replacement.


    --

    So, in summary: you deal far more damage than a Sorcerer or Wizard while blasting, you blatantly disregard immunities and resistances to a point, you again deal more potential damage, your spells won't ever affect your allies in terms of dealing damage, and your metamagic uses are reduced. This isn't exactly a "suck on this, Wizard/Sorcerer/Druid/Cleric/etc.!!", but it's darn pretty close, don't you think?

    Uh...hey, Mr. Wizard, how you doin'? What you...oh, hi Mr. Graz'zt, I didn't noticed the Wizard mindraepd youwas your acquaintance... Heheh... *sweats*.

    Now, please examine this retooling and be sincere with your opinion. Feel free to say "wow, it rocks my socks" or "wow, it fails more than a Commoner; heck, it sucks more than an unoptimized Truenamer!!". Or something in between. As for the spells...watch them below. The spell process is pretty interesting, as it allowed me to discover something I didn't imagined the Warmage actually had.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2012-08-19 at 01:11 AM. Reason: UPDATE: Adding Combat Casting as bonus feat and dropping Discriminating Spell's 15th level ability to 14th

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    T.G. Oskar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Retooled Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting) - v3

    Warmage Spell List
    0—acid splash, detect magic*, disrupt undead, light, ray of frost, resistance*
    1st— accuracy, burning hands, chill touch, expeditious retreat*, fist of stone, grease, hail of stone, lesser orb of acid, lesser orb of cold, lesser orb of electricity, lesser orb of fire, lesser orb of sound, mage armor*, magic missile, magic weapon*, obscuring mist*, produce flame*, shield*, shocking grasp, true strike

    2nd—acid arrow, bear’s endurance*, blades of fire, continual flame, eagle’s splendor*, fire trap, fireburst, flame blade*, flaming sphere, fog cloud*, fox’s cunning*, glitterdust*, gust of wind*, ice knife, protection from arrows*, pyrotechnics, resist energy*, scorching ray, see invisibility*, shatter, sound burst*, web*, whirling blade
    3rd—call lighning*, daylight*, dispel magic, fire shield, fireball, flame arrow, greater mage armor*, greater magic weapon*, ice storm, haste*, keen edge*, lightning bolt, poison, protection from energy*, ray of exhaustion*, resonating bolt*, ring of blades, searing light*, sleet storm, slow*, stinking cloud, vampiric touch*
    4th—arcane eye*, black tentacles, blast of flame, blistering radiance*, contagion, dimension door*, enervation*, hallucinatory terrain*, mass resist energy*, orb of acid, orb of cold, orb of electricity, orb of fire, orb of force, orb of sound, phantasmal killer, shout, solid fog, spike stones*, stoneskin*, wall of fire, wall of ice*
    5th—arc of lightning, blight*, call lightning storm*, cloudkill, cone of cold, flame strike, freezing fog*, greater fireburst, mass fire shield*, prismatic ray, prying eyes*, sending*, sword of deception*, telekinesis*, telepathic bond*, teleport*, vitriolic sphere*, wall of stone*, waves of fatigue*
    6th—acid fog, blade barrier, brilliant blade*, chain lightning, circle of death, disintegrate, fire seeds, freezing sphere, greater dispel magic*, mass bear’s endurance*, mass eagle’s splendor*, mass fox’s cunning*, transformation, wall of iron*
    7th—control weather*, delayed blast fireball, earthquake, emerald flame fist*, finger of death, fire storm, greater teleport*, mage’s sword, prismatic spray, reverse gravity, sunbeam, waves of exhaustion
    8th—greater shout*, greater prying eyes*, horrid wilting, incendiary cloud, iron body*, moment of prescience*, polar ray, prismatic wall, sunburst, whirlwind*
    9th—energy drain*, elemental swarm, implosion, mage’s disjunction, meteor swarm, prismatic sphere, sphere of ultimate destruction*, storm of vengeance*, wail of the banshee, weird
    *: spells not on the original Warmage list.

    Spoiler
    Show
    As promised, I'll now deal with the thought process of the Warmage spell list. This might be long, or might be short, but I expect it to be very, very long.

    The first thing I noticed when dealing with the Warmage was that it barely had spells that would aid in war. A warmage, as it stood, could deal nothing more than blasting and a few instant kill and battlefield control spells that were barely justified. Looking at most guides that detailed how a Sorcerer or Wizard could be twinked, I noticed that a few spells essentially grounded battles to a halt without dealing a single point of damage.

    What mostly inspired me to deal with the spell list was a thread, done long ago here at the Roleplaying forum section of GitP, that proved how a Sorcerer, with it's tweakable spellcasting, out-blasted a Warmage in its own game. Looking closely, it is evident: there's enough evidence that blasting spells won't scale well with the game's progression, and would stop being useful at particular levels. Spells that should have been bread-and-butter, such as Fireball, stop being useful at all by the time you reach level 12, if not earlier (since fire is the energy type most resisted or immunized against). Those concerns were dealt with in the main class write-up, increasing blasting spells' damage in order to keep up with the escalating power curve of D&D.

    However, after checking that, I noticed that the Warmage was awfully devoid of utility spells, and mostly, utility spells that just made sense for the Warmage to have. As an example: a Warmage is supposed to be better in melee combat than a Sorcerer or Wizard, yet it couldn't do much in that regard: while it had better weapons and the ability to cast spells on armor, the Wizard and the Sorcerer could outmanage the Warmage in melee combat just with one or two spells that the Warmage awfully lacked (Magic Weapon, Mage Armor, Shield), just barely trying. At the same time, Sorcerers and Wizards could handle the battlefield much easier than a Warmage, which was limited in its blasting area and couldn't do much with the spells it had. Furthermore, without Energy Substitution, nearly half of its spells were resisted, so they slowly turned useless.

    On the rework of spells, I decided to group spells into several categories, which I found were crucial for a mage dedicated to the art of war:
    Pinpoint Blasting: as it stood, the Warmage has it in bulk. Between Magic Missile, Scorching Ray, Polar Ray, Disintegrate, between others, the Warmage could easily handle that task.
    Area Blasting: again, another strong point for the Warmage. Loads of area of effect spells that dealt explosive damage, including and not limited to Fireball.
    Battlefield Control: one way to win the battlefield is manipulating it to your benefit. Here, the Warmage lacked a few good spells, although it had strong ones such as Stinking Cloud, Evard's Black Tentacles, Acid Fog, Incendiary Cloud and Prismatic Wall. However, there's more to battlefield control than just clouds and fogs: it had an awful lack of walls which are every bit as effective as defense points, and some of the mightier battlefield control spells were notoriously absent.
    Buffing: when you're out of spells, the least thing you want is be unprepared by not buffing enough. The Warmage specialized so much in dealing damage that forgot some of the best methods to sustain on the battlefield; namely, supportive and protective buffs. Standards such as Resist Energy, Haste, Mage Armor, Shield, Greater Magic Weapon and such are equally as valuable for a Warmage as they are for a fellow warrior. It is odd that, a mage specialized in war, the Warmage lacked such simple and basic spells.
    Debuffing: just by debuffing an opponent, you can turn the tide of war to your side. Just as much as you can prep Haste and support your troops, you can take the fastest opponent nearly completely out of the battle with Slow. Glitterdust (which is surprisingly Conjuration-based) and Web (Transmutation) are also mighty ways to debuff opponents, and even dabble as BFC spells.
    Tactical Movement: of all things, why can't the Warmage move through the battlefield as he would desire? It required having a fellow caster move him around in order to work, and that needlessly placed him down. With spells such as Dimension Door and Teleport, a Warmage can literally rain down fire and hail upon his enemies, and move back with little effort. The only surprise is the lack of Fly and Overland Flight (aka, flight spells) as well as Spider Climb; those can be provided by so many items, it's no problem at all.
    Scouting: first thing to win a war is to know what will lie ahead. Oddly, the Warmage lacked some of the most important divinations to even move ahead; a Warmage could be, and most likely WILL be, taken by surprise and out of the battle faster than you can say "It's a trap". By just adding such reasonable spells as Detect Magic, Arcane Sight, Prying Eyes and even Greater Prying Eyes, a Warmage can work as a range scout, supporting his allies before battle even starts.

    This makes a Warmage more than capable of holding his own in battle. With the power to do great damage, shape the battlefield into strong defensive points and protecting weak points, moving great distances and scouting ahead in order to grasp the battlefield, the new spell list should definitely allow him to stand his ground even with the strongest of creatures roaming around, including and not limited to dragons.

    To understand this process a bit better, let's explain how it was mostly made. The spells are pretty standard; mostly limited to Player's Handbook and Complete Arcane. Spell Compendium has most of the spells from Complete Arcane, and it serves as a good source material for spells to add through Advanced Learning. As a contrast, I noticed what spells were apparently out of touch with the Beguiler, which has a good bit of Transmutation and Conjuration spells around; it even has Mage Armor and Shield, when it has far much better defenses (such as Invisibility, Blur, Displacement and Mirror Image) I took those spells that almost speak "hey, I would work fine with a Warmage!!", and added them to the list. The spell list was mostly limited to Sorcerer/Wizard originally, adding mostly assorted buff spells, fogs, clouds, traps, walls, spheres and even the occasional eyeball spell. When it ended, another concern was included: the Warmage wasn't limited to Sorcerer/Wizard spells. Why would it have Fire Storm, or Fire Trap, or Fire Seeds of all things, when those aren't Sorcerer/Wizard spells?

    Then I noticed something hilarious. The Warmage draws spells, believe it or not, from the Druid. Yes, no less and no more than the Druid of all spellcasters. I noticed since it got to my attention that the Warmage had some divine spells, and I went straight to Cleric (since I know better of Cleric than of Druid). I halted at Searing Light, when I noticed "hmm, Warmage has no Cleric spells...", then it struck, right at the moment I saw Fire Trap.

    Aside from Sorcerers and Wizards, Druids have an awful lot of attack spells. Furthermore, they have a pretty hefty lot of varied attack spells, and even more, natural traps that the Warmage could yoink out and give them better use. So, with that revelation, I took some of the spells that would make a Warmage a really considerate force on the battlefield: Spike Stones, Control Weather, Storm of Vengeance. I also watched which spells were suited for the Warmage on Complete Arcane, and when I finished, I took one good look at the spell list and said "this is enough".

    So, if you find that the Warmage may have too much spells or perhaps not as enough, and you as a DM wish to homebrew this list a little bit more, consider the following:
    • The Warmage's list is limited. Giving him knowledge of all Evocation spells would make him not much of a powerhouse, but it would automatically make it better than a Wizard or Sorcerer in sheer spells known available at all times.
    • The Warmage's list is not only Evocation spells. It has Conjuration, it has Abjuration, it has Transmutation, it even has Necromancy of all things!! One thing I found hilarious was that Circle of Death was a spell originally located at the Warmage's list, but that spells that could have made good sense (such as Vampiric Blade) didn't. That was a serious bummer, and one that had to be fixed. As a rule of thumb, if you're going to add a new spell, first look upon Evocation and Conjuration (energy type or force) spells, then look for Abjuration or Transmutation, then look at the rest. Enchantment and Illusion should be last, Divination only works if it allows scouting (or to prevent pre-emptive attacks), and Necromancy only for damage or limited debuffing. If you're going to remove a spell, consider the above mentioned groups and consider which doesn't fit with your vision of Warmage.
    • If you're going to add some utility spells, make sure they are justifiable in combat. Detect Magic is justifiable, as you can use it as a deterrent for most hidden characters through their magic auras; walls are justifiable because they solidify weak points. Dominate Monster, though, has as much utility in a battlefield as taking a specific monster or enemy commander, and then...well, your ethics and your superior officers may not wish to have him alive, so it will be a short lived spell (and mostly tweaked for a mindbender, or Beguiler)
    • One spell type that can be gained through Advanced Learning but isn't recommended to be added as a default list spell are summoning spells and calling spells. Elemental Swarm works roughly well with the theme, and it's a legacy spell so it's not as shocking, but Planar Ally and Planar Binding are spells of another league. That is best left to the Sorcerer or Wizard that can make better use of them, or the daring Warmage that uses Advanced Learning to gain them. However, summons and callings are a mechanic that works on a very different degree; in a way, a Warmage that uses his spells to bind many creatures isn't following the spirit of the class, which is roughly pointed out on the quote (lone person bringing the smackdown on armies; not lone person with outsider "allies" standing there while his "allies" lay the smackdown on armies). Yet, it is not a tactical blunder (even if I start to sound repetitive.


    As a final point: more than half of the Warmage's power, and what makes the Warmage different from a Sorcerer or Wizard is his or her spell list. Keeping the original list and not expanding the Warmage's options (as the Beguiler does) seems quite irresponsible in retooling a class to be stronger and useful. I hope this spell list deals with that concern in the best possible way, but feel free to discuss what spells from either PHB or CA could do an entry, which make little sense and should leave, or what can make the Warmage better. After all, it will never have the sheer versatility of the Wizard or the insurmountable utility of the Sorcerer, but it should stand on a niche of its own and do that work the best way possible.


    One final note: I didn't wrote this yesterday, but I wanted to add it today: I'd like to thank most of the people of the Test of Spite for helping me on the brainstorm process, specifically to Cieyrin and Olo Demonsbane who provided much of the ideas (my memory might be hazy, but I also think Ithilanor St. Pete and imperialspectre collaborated on the process). If I forgot any of you, feel free to bash me (but not so much!!). Also, big thanks to Doc Roc for essentially building the community: you and I may not agree much on some stuff, but we're cool like that. And, also, to those who take the time to comment* on the class: this is still a work in progress, and might remain as such but it is mostly ready for use.

    (*: since this was written one day after, this means deuxhero, Baron Corm for his valuable concern, and Xefas)

    Version log:
    Version 1.0 (November 11, 2009): First version of the retooling.
    Version 1.1 (November 13, 2009): Minor edits (mostly explaining some items)
    Version 2.0 (November 15, 2009): Major edits to the class. Separated the original Warmage Edge into their own skills; upgraded Armored Mage to give full effect at level 1; upgraded 15th level ability to Discriminating Spell and added a 9th level lower ability; reworked capstone into Metamagic Edge.
    Version 3.0 (August 28, 2010): Warmages get higher level spells one level earlier! Changed the spells per day section to reflect the idea.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2010-08-28 at 05:18 PM. Reason: Adding versions

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    deuxhero's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Fl

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    So now the Warmage is Evocation/Arbitration/buffs to go along with the Beliguer's Illusion/enchantment and Dread Necromancer's Necromancy/I forget? A big improvement. There are a few issues with the spell list thanks to some stupid WoTC school choices (Mage Armor in conjuration) but nothing you can do about that.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Baron Corm's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Avatar by Kymme
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    The warmage now has cheesy optimization built right in? I guess that's alright when you're partying with uberchargers and batmen, but I think the class would be better off if the cheese was just an option that optimizers could take.

    With your warmage, at level 20, most encounters can be taken out with a single fireball, energy substituted appropriately. That's something like 20d6 (average 70) plus 5 x 20 = 100 (1/2 Int x dice) = 170. That might leave opponents with middling HP a bit of health, but the encounter is essentially won. And that's from a multitarget level 3 spell. Magic missile (15d4 + 5 = 42.5, 5 x 25 = 125, 167.5) is nearly the same never-missing force damage from a level 1 spell, but single-target (unless you wish to spread a few of your d4s around for some reason).

    Getting into higher levels, you've got polar ray dealing 297.5 damage (35d6 + 5 x 35) without any kind of metamagic or optimization at all. This will kill a balor in one shot if it is 2.5 points above average damage. All the player has to do is select polar ray and there's nothing you can throw at him any more, short of the tarrasque. Now, if you need to start throwing things with tarrasque HP at an unoptimized party, I think there might be something wrong.

    So my suggestion is to have warmage edge start out as less powerful, and have it upgradeable through either feats or a list of selectable special abilities, among which are less powerful class features.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Xefas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    Evocation/Arbitration/Buffs
    That should totally be a school of magic. Or maybe a class? Arbitrator? Anyway...

    I like the new Warmage class. I'm all for power being built right into a class, though that may just be from the standpoint of a DM with players who don't know the first thing about optimization. I want to throw one fight a day at them with a CR 1 or 2 over the party, using reasonably intelligent tactics, without worrying about an unmitigated TPK massacre.

    Its not going to happen without power right out of the box (fortunately, they're a Crusader, Swordsage, Wizard, Druid and a homebrew class, so I have that and don't have to worry ).
    Last edited by Xefas; 2009-11-11 at 12:02 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    T.G. Oskar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    So now the Warmage is Evocation/Arbitration/buffs to go along with the Beliguer's Illusion/enchantment and Dread Necromancer's Necromancy/I forget? A big improvement. There are a few issues with the spell list thanks to some stupid WoTC school choices (Mage Armor in conjuration) but nothing you can do about that.
    Well...what you're talking about is the Warmage's specialties. If you notice the spell lists, Warmage has most Evocation and Conjuration and only a few of other spells (some increase in Divination and a bigger dabble in most spell schools, including Transmutation and Necromancy). This isn't so shocking, since the original Warmage actually dabbled in most schools (in fact, once I write the thought process on the new and improved spell list, I'll mention a funny something I noticed)

    One particular I left from the writing process were marking the new spells added to the class. Abjuration still isn't as abundant as Evocation and combat Conjuration, which are the mainstays of the class. I added some more Abjuration as a few of those spells (such as Shield, or Greater Dispel Magic) are considerable from a mass combat standpoint. However, the original had some odd gems added into it.

    I worked on that given how the Beguiler, of all classes, actually behaves. Beguiler, while being mostly Enchantment and Illusion inclined, had spells such as Dispel Magic and Mage Armor and Shield added on, which are good protection spells but not particularly spells you'd think having on a Beguiler. Furthermore, those are spells that were oddly absent on the Warmage, so I mostly rectified that mistake.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    The warmage now has cheesy optimization built right in? I guess that's alright when you're partying with uberchargers and batmen, but I think the class would be better off if the cheese was just an option that optimizers could take.

    With your warmage, at level 20, most encounters can be taken out with a single fireball, energy substituted appropriately. That's something like 20d6 (average 70) plus 5 x 20 = 100 (1/2 Int x dice) = 170. That might leave opponents with middling HP a bit of health, but the encounter is essentially won. And that's from a multitarget level 3 spell. Magic missile (15d4 + 5 = 42.5, 5 x 25 = 125, 167.5) is nearly the same never-missing force damage from a level 1 spell, but single-target (unless you wish to spread a few of your d4s around for some reason).

    Getting into higher levels, you've got polar ray dealing 297.5 damage (35d6 + 5 x 35) without any kind of metamagic or optimization at all. This will kill a balor in one shot if it is 2.5 points above average damage. All the player has to do is select polar ray and there's nothing you can throw at him any more, short of the tarrasque. Now, if you need to start throwing things with tarrasque HP at an unoptimized party, I think there might be something wrong.

    So my suggestion is to have warmage edge start out as less powerful, and have it upgradeable through either feats or a list of selectable special abilities, among which are less powerful class features.
    A very good concern, sir. However, it is difficult to predict huge escalation through theoretical mathematics. However, I'll point things out to see if that works out a bit better, and then I'll respond in property.

    At the beginning, Warmage Edge works actually weaker than the original Warmage Edge (although a bit more spread out). Assuming a respectable Int score for a secondary stat (let's say 14-16, which would be a +2-+3), the same Magic Missile would do 1d4 + 1 (fixed damage) + 1 (from Warmage Edge), for a grand total of 1d4+2 damage. Original Warmage Edge would instead have 1d4+3~1d4+4, accounting for the same Int modifier. At level 20, that same Magic Missile would do 5d4+5 (the base score) + 40 (assuming Int was raised to 20 as a bare minimum, which would be a +5, rounded down to half, hence CL 20 + 2) on a single person, unless it's spread out. I also want to point out two specific things, since the calculation you made assumes two things I corrected earlier, specifically for Magic Missile:

    Quote Originally Posted by first post, Warmage Edge 1st level ability
    If the spell deals a fixed amount of damage, or is comprised of multiple projectiles (such as Magic Missile or Scorching Ray), the warmage instead deals bonus damage equal to half his Int modifier times his caster level. In the case of multiple projectiles, the damage only affects one chosen target.
    Your assumption (correct me if I'm wrong on at least one) was using full Int instead of half Int, or else the character is already pretty optimized (since it would have Int 30, which would be pretty high for a secondary stat, pointing that Charisma would be primary). In that case, Warmage Edge deals considerably good damage without much Metamagic, which is understandible since the damage output for high-level combat pretty much requires it. After all, Wizards with even moderate levels of optimization facing monsters out of the box already end battles with a single spell, or are meant to do so. Second...

    Quote Originally Posted by first post, Warmage Edge, 11th level abillity
    [...]a warmage can increase the cap on damage dice of any warmage spell he casts, up to a maximum equal to half his character level. This increase only applies to spells that have a fixed damage dice cap, not to spells that have a different kind of cap (such as Magic Missile or Scorching Ray).
    Again, bolded for reference. Magic Missile has a different method of dice cap, in which it gains more damage dice through more missiles. I specifically pointed out Magic Missile as one of those spells that didn't qualify, as it doesn't have the same damage dice cap that spells such as the Orbs, Fireball, Lightning Bolt or Polar Ray hold (increase in amount of damage dice through caster level, topping a specific point); Magic Missile increases it's potential damage through the addition of projectiles, which I assumed was pretty clear it was not contemplated in the retooling. As what one of my friends told me when I was brainstorming for ideas (I think it was Cieyrin of this same forums); "If you want more missiles for MM, go Force Missile Mage (PrC on Dragon Compendium which deals with improving Magic Missile spells)". Scorching Ray follow the same suit, as its damage potential is determined through extra rays instead of extra damage dice on a single ray. The reason the second type of Warmage Edge's 1st level ability was keyed off caster level is because not only does it works similar to the first (after all, limiting your Warmage edge based on dice means you're technically using your caster level, and Empower multiplies your spell after the dice roll), but because those spells lose power (and thus, are discarded or rejected faster) than other spells of the same kind. This ability, as written (the second part of the ability, the one that's 1/2 Int x CL) is meant to benefit the cloud and fog spells, which would receive a nifty boost in damage.

    Now, to answer your concern; it is very, very difficult to determine how well does a mathematical equation will escalate compared to the relative power level. As it stands, blasting (even well optimized) is a poor alternative to other spells; save or die spells, save or lose spells and no save, just suck spells dwarf blasting spells out of the water as written. Disintegrate is one of the few strong spells, as it has little resistances and a potent effect that also makes it a potent utility spell. Evard's Black Tentacles, as written, pretty much dwarfs any blasting spell through sheer immobilization and constant damage; you can pretty much fire EBT and forget about the battle, or allow your people to mop up those who survive. Increasing that damage potential, thus, is crucial for the Warmage to escape from the drain in which pure spellcasters have left them; just exactly how much is the question.

    As a note; originally, Warmage Edge was determined to have full Int modifier times dice (or CL) for damage. I noticed it was pretty much, and I reduced application of Int to half, which in theory reduces the power acquired through this ability by half. It would be pretty complicated to further reduce the power of Warmage Edge's first level ability in order to make it reasonable enough for low optimization; first thing that comes to mind is limiting to half damage dice or half caster level, rounded up, but that would imply ample testing in comparison to how the ability stands right now against monsters of equivalent Challenge Rating. Yet, it is not a bad concern and I hope you may point any other concerns you might have. If you wish, and can work some spells that might get some hefty damage boosts in order to strengthen your claim, be my guest; I am but one, and making a class can be draining.

    Though, Polar Ray by itself is insanely powerful out of the box. At level 25, for example, a Polar Ray (which is an 8th level spell) originally dealt 40d6 cold damage; now, it would deal 50d6 cold damage plus (1/2 Int x 50) damage, which can be energy substituted free of cost (since the damage dice cap would augment by 17, and each increase in CL for Polar Ray adds 2d6 points of damage, which technically qualifies for the 11th level ability), which translates to a massive amount of damage on a single target. This, however, may be intentional as it focuses all that damage on a single target, while spells such as Maw of Chaos would still deal 25d6 points of damage plus the rider effect to everyone on the damage area (and if cast through a Warmage, as it technically can, it would be 25d6 + [1/2 Int x 25] plus rider effect, without affecting allies at all)

    Still, valuable concern. I'd wish to keep discussing the range of this concern, in order to fine-tune the class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    I like the new Warmage class. I'm all for power being built right into a class, though that may just be from the standpoint of a DM with players who don't know the first thing about optimization. I want to throw one fight a day at them with a CR 1 or 2 over the party, using reasonably intelligent tactics, without worrying about an unmitigated TPK massacre.
    Thanks. Not quite used to praise, but good that you consider my class as such.

    As it stands, a pure Warmage can quite considerably make battles easier (Baron Corm nails that concept well, although I'd prefer some testing in order to measure how damage should be escalated properly). Taking this Warmage and giving it to a player who doesn't get much optimization implies the character may reach a point where it gets a bit too powerful, even with an increased CR, just by lobbing a Fireball or two; however, it can also allow you as a DM to work a challenge in which you can drop a strong character and slightly tool it so that it becomes more of a tactical challenge. One of the best ways to increase CR is adding more monsters of the same base CR, which adds a considerable amount of CR per each two monsters added.
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder.
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Nothing important to say here. Just props on your post title. I actually snickered in a room full of people.
    Character Sheet
    Spoiler
    Show

    Gavyn Feld
    Alertness - 2
    Intelligence - 1
    Stamina - 2
    Stealth - 1
    Strength - 1
    Weapon: Longbow - 3

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Baron Corm's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Avatar by Kymme
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    I'm about to be late for class, but in a nutshell:

    Force missile mage sucks. It adds very little damage to magic missile. If your main class feature isn't going to improve spells like magic missile, I wouldn't put them on the spell list.

    I think Intelligence is actually your primary stat. It determines your damage, and you are a warmage. The best spells don't allow saving throws. Even so, you don't need to spend gold on a weapon, so you definitely have enough to buy yourself a +6 item of both Intelligence and Charisma, and a +5 tome of inherent Intelligence and Charisma. I think it's reasonable to expect even an unoptimized character to have those things because there's little else for a mage to spend money on. If you start with 16 Intelligence (because you think it's secondary, and you're either on point buy or have a +2 Intelligence race with a bad roll) and add 11 from items, you get 27. If I was playing I would put my level up points into Intelligence as well, netting 32, or up to 36 if you placed more importance on it initially/got good rolls. This makes for a +4 to a +6 warmage edge bonus. I picked 5 *shrug*. The number you settle on actually makes your damage vary drastically, so it's hard to say.

    Polar ray has a damage cap of 25d6. Not sure if you were aware of that from what you said.

    A lot of monsters have a high Fortitude save so disintegrate is typically not very reliable.

    Gotta go!

    Edit: Now for a suggestion as to what I would specifically do about this. One solution is to force all of the spells to allow a saving throw. If polar ray had a saving throw line of Fortitude: Half, the (unoptimized) caster is going to be dealing 150 damage instead of 300 most of the time. I think this is a much better number for an 8th level spell. Most of the area spells allow Reflex saves for half damage already, so they're pretty much fine.

    Another solution is to change the class feature. Instead of having it as a multiplier or a static damage amount, have it grant an amount of bonus damage dice. So with 30 Intelligence, you're adding +10d6 damage to your fireball from Intelligence, and +10d6 from being level 20 (as the other part of that class feature). You're throwing around 30d6 (average 105) damage fireballs and 45d6 (average 157.5) damage polar rays. Significantly more powerful than the originals, yet not encounter-shattering. I also like that this allows you to use your entire Intelligence modifier, because subtracting 10 from your score and dividing by 4 is saddening.

    With some metamagic and/or metamagic reducers, both of those can still be broken. Orb of acid is a favorite for those who currently optimize damage, as it's 4th level and deals 15d6 damage with few things resisting it. With any of the new warmage edges in this thread, it's very easy to break that. Taking my latter suggestion, which is lower in damage than the one in your post, a twinned empowered orb of acid takes up a 4 + 4 + 2 - 2 (warmage class feature) = 8th level spell slot and deals 70d6 + 35d6 * 1.5 (average 428.75) damage. Arcane Thesis it and you can Repeat and Maximize it, but since we're just concentrating on non-optimized right now we can leave that out. Could be a problem with that class feature. If I read it wrong and it's a -1 total reduction in spell level, not for each metamagic (which should be clarified if so), you can still Twin and Empower it for a 9th level slot. Even without the class feature Twinning becomes a problem for all of your low level spells, since the damage from Warmage Edge is added in equal power to lower and high level spells, and lower ones are easier to metamagic. I rather like how it makes lower level spells useful, so a quick fix to this is to state that Warmage Edge is applied after any metamagic.

    Bonus Suggestion: It would be helpful if you listed the different aspects of Warmage Edge as separate class features (maybe Lesser, Improved, Greater, Superior?) as they're pretty separate entities and it's hard to talk about them individually if you don't, and it would cut down on that wall of text.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    T.G. Oskar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    Force missile mage sucks. It adds very little damage to magic missile. If your main class feature isn't going to improve spells like magic missile, I wouldn't put them on the spell list.
    Well...I was just mentioning what I was mentioning. The damage dice for Magic Missile depends on a different method than the usual; it behaves like a static damage dice cap, except that it increases the total damage by increasing projectiles. Thinking on this, I made the second (or the variant, so to speak) damage increase method for the 1st level ability of Warmage Edge. I pointed Force Missile Mage out because it behaves as how you presented Magic Missile; whether it sucks or not as a PrC isn't what I wanted to express, but the point that if you wanted to increase the amount of projectiles from MM, then go FMM.

    I think Intelligence is actually your primary stat. It determines your damage, and you are a warmage. The best spells don't allow saving throws. Even so, you don't need to spend gold on a weapon, so you definitely have enough to buy yourself a +6 item of both Intelligence and Charisma, and a +5 tome of inherent Intelligence and Charisma. I think it's reasonable to expect even an unoptimized character to have those things because there's little else for a mage to spend money on. If you start with 16 Intelligence (because you think it's secondary, and you're either on point buy or have a +2 Intelligence race with a bad roll) and add 11 from items, you get 27. If I was playing I would put my level up points into Intelligence as well, netting 32, or up to 36 if you placed more importance on it initially/got good rolls. This makes for a +4 to a +6 warmage edge bonus. I picked 5 *shrug*. The number you settle on actually makes your damage vary drastically, so it's hard to say.
    I'd say quite the contrary. The main blasting spells allow saving throws, and even a few rays also allow them (Disintegrate, as you mentioned). But I'll expand on that below.

    Charisma is, IMO, primary because it's your casting stat, and you're a Warmage. It not only determines your DC and your spellcasting (which means at least a minimum of 19 by the time you get 9th level spells), but your bonus spells. It also allows you to have a higher UMD total score, or Intimidate if you so desire (and with an equally high Int, you'll have some points to spare)

    Optimizing yourself for damage may leave you weakened on other stats, which means some openings on your defense: low Dex means low Reflex and AC, low Con means low HP and Fortitude. A Warmage suffers from MAD, if you notice. Furthermore, you will still have some ways to spend money: a Cloak of Resistance, for example, or Boots of Flying, or even lowly Rings of Protection and Amulets of Natural Armor. It's great and stuff that you can pretty much destroy an entire battlefield, but it's terrible and bad when you don't even get the chance, because you went way too far on cranking up your defense.

    Again, I don't say it's not a valid concern, but usually, the main boosters for ability scores are the headbands/gloves/belts/amulets/periaps/cloaks. Tomes are insanely rare, and even more insanely expensive. You might miss on strong defenses by consuming half of your resources on those four things, and that's just going by WBL standards exactly at level 20. I find your claim to be mildly contradictory, as you're suggesting that someone with little optimization skills will do something of moderate optimization without falling with the usual things (such as having a weapon, or a medium armor with enhancements); mildly, because even I recognize that those recommendations may eventually become notable through some thought.

    Polar ray has a damage cap of 25d6. Not sure if you were aware of that from what you said.
    For some reason, I thought of Disintegrate. Since Disintegrate does have the 40d6 cap.

    Edit: Now for a suggestion as to what I would specifically do about this. One solution is to force all of the spells to allow a saving throw. If polar ray had a saving throw line of Fortitude: Half, the (unoptimized) caster is going to be dealing 150 damage instead of 300 most of the time. I think this is a much better number for an 8th level spell. Most of the area spells allow Reflex saves for half damage already, so they're pretty much fine.
    As I mentioned above: most of the blasty spells do have a saving throw (typically, spells like Fireball and Lightning Bolt). Those that don't are because of rays or orbs, which work through a different method (aiming through a ranged touch attack), or the fogs and clouds which have a fixed space. Forcing all of the spells to allow a saving throw would mean dealing with the entire set of spells, which means indirectly nerfing rays or orbs.

    Consider that rays also must deal with spell resistance, which the Dent Resistance ability only lessens (not eliminates). Furthermore, some creatures have a pretty high spell resistance, and there are spells that completely null the effectiveness of rays. Furthermore, some spells already offer saving throws, and they offer it because their effects are far stronger than a damage-dealing ray. Going with Fortitude, as you mentioned, would again turn those damaging spells into nothingness, as you pointed out earlier:

    A lot of monsters have a high Fortitude save so disintegrate is typically not very reliable.
    Changing all those spells that have no save to Fort (half) needlessly dents them again. Furthermore, Disintegrate is very reliable for other purposes: with some luck, it's the most effective way to deal damage to most constructs (including dreaded golems), and it also works wonders with objects, which include walls. It also destroys force effects.

    Orbs, however, are effective for one purpose; they are built for being nearly unblockable. No save, no SR, not even fizzling out on an AMF because they're Conjuration spells of Instantaneous effect, and if they do have a saving throw, it's for their rider effect. That problem is with the spells, not with the Warmage Edge; adding a nerf in order to fix a potential amount of damage would kinda beat out the purpose of increasing the damage, no?

    Another solution is to change the class feature. Instead of having it as a multiplier or a static damage amount, have it grant an amount of bonus damage dice. So with 30 Intelligence, you're adding +10d6 damage to your fireball from Intelligence, and +10d6 from being level 20 (as the other part of that class feature). You're throwing around 30d6 (average 105) damage fireballs and 45d6 (average 157.5) damage polar rays. Significantly more powerful than the originals, yet not encounter-shattering. I also like that this allows you to use your entire Intelligence modifier, because subtracting 10 from your score and dividing by 4 is saddening.
    I can work with this, though. Perhaps not as you're suggesting, but dealing with the effect itself.

    As you suggest, you're making one ability become redundant as the other appears. What the ability does is increasing your total cap as your character levels increase, but not your damage dice. I reckon I wasn't clear on the intention, which is great since that allows me to clarify something out.

    As the ability stands, and using the second example (Polar Ray), you're still supposed to have a 25d6 ray at level 25th, not a 37d6 ray. What the original 10th level ability is supposed to do is break the limit on your damage dice cap, so that by 20th level your Fireball spell would still do damage. Note that this only applies to spells such as Fireball and Lightning Bolt and Polar Ray and Disintegrate, since spells such as Incendiary Cloud and Acid Fog don't get a benefit from this ability (they get a benefit from the 1st level static damage increase only). Even then, a Polar Ray still would deal 20d6 points of damage as it did before at 20th level, because while its cap is now 35, it's damage dice are restricted by caster level. If you have something that increases your caster level, then that ability would apply (such as having an item that grants you +1 to CL on cold spells, which means you'd have 21d6 at level 20). Once you reach the cap, your CL remains adjusting the damage dice until it reaches a new cap, which will then increase at a slower rate.

    If I were to replace the first ability with your proposed fix, yet keep the original intention on both (as in, limit damage dice growth to CL as usual), then one gets redundant as the other appears until epic levels. You'll still be dealing a 20d6 damage Fireball instead of a 30d6 Fireball, since you're still at CL 20. Only when you reach about character level 31st, you'll notice a difference. If I were to replace the first ability with your proposed fix, but only enforce that small restriction on the second ability, then you'd get what you proposed for Fireball, but perhaps not for Polar Ray (35d6 of damage instead: +10 from the first ability, +25 from caster level)

    Also, it is a bit messier to introduce. As it stands, while it is easier to understand (Int 10: no increase, Int 12: +1 die, etc.), as it probably stands out it would be perhaps a bit too much; it would make the Warmage stronger from the beginning, and only begin to normalize at higher levels, instead of the opposite. If I were to impose the caster level cap, then I would cause redundance.

    Finally, there's a reason why I find static damage slightly better than dice damage. One of the big problems of the Warmage is that, as it stands, Resist Energy and huge HP essentially reduce the power of blasting. That can also manifest with Sneak Attack dice, or weapon-based damage. While this is mostly the voice of optimizers, static damage works better than dice-based damage because you'll do roughly the same amount of damage each time. You can make a variance between the lowest and the highest amount of damage, but in the end, you'll do a constant amount of damage. This is crucial in-game, as most creatures at high levels have too high amounts of HP (which in turn, helps their already massive Fort score) to even be dented by the damage, not to mention energy resistances (which is why Force spells and Energy Substitution work wonders) and huge stats, which would make all the work only be a moderate inconvenience for them, instead of virtually nothing.

    However, I still say I could work this out. Static damage increases are harder to deal with than dynamic damage increases, but more effective. Half may seem not as elegant as full (and perhaps saddening on your part), but it's a good method of restricting an overflow of damage. I'll propose this, and you tell me if it's a good method or not:

    1st level is a static increase, not based on Intelligence but on caster level. That makes a Warmage depend less on Int, but it will still deal much more damage. It will still behave like the original (extra damage applies to all creatures in area, but in the case of multiple projectiles, it only applies to one of the projectiles), but it will be less powerful. If it's not enough, let's say you add your Int modifier to the damage (as the original Warmage Edge does) plus your caster level (or your character level, whichever sounds best).

    10th level ability is an increase based on Int. The higher your Int, the higher the damage cap will be. It won't be as elegant as the original (which allows you to increase the damage dice cap well beyond your class level or your Int), but it still makes Int relevant (although, as the class works, it still makes Int a relevant choice for Warmage)

    The end result still allows for extra damage, but it's of a less potent degree. At most, at 20th level you'd have a Fireball dealing 20d6+30 points of Fire damage, which averages to a solid 100 damage, compared to your feared amount. It would allow for optimizers to do large amounts of damage, but still make non-optimizers do at least respectable damage; furthermore, it would still make Int a viable choice, and keep it as a secondary choice compared to Charisma (which should be the primary)

    With some metamagic and/or metamagic reducers, both of those can still be broken. Orb of acid is a favorite for those who currently optimize damage, as it's 4th level and deals 15d6 damage with few things resisting it. With any of the new warmage edges in this thread, it's very easy to break that. Taking my latter suggestion, which is lower in damage than the one in your post, a twinned empowered orb of acid takes up a 4 + 4 + 2 - 2 (warmage class feature) = 8th level spell slot and deals 70d6 + 35d6 * 1.5 (average 428.75) damage. Arcane Thesis it and you can Repeat and Maximize it, but since we're just concentrating on non-optimized right now we can leave that out. Could be a problem with that class feature. If I read it wrong and it's a -1 total reduction in spell level, not for each metamagic (which should be clarified if so), you can still Twin and Empower it for a 9th level slot. Even without the class feature Twinning becomes a problem for all of your low level spells, since the damage from Warmage Edge is added in equal power to lower and high level spells, and lower ones are easier to metamagic. I rather like how it makes lower level spells useful, so a quick fix to this is to state that Warmage Edge is applied after any metamagic.
    You read it right. It's a reduction of -1 to each metamagic feat you apply, but that use cannot reduce your metamagic spell slot cost to less than 1. So, if you try to use Energy Substitution, or any of those MM feats that cost no points to reduce, you'll still be adding +1 per each one you add; it's meant to reduce the cost on the really useful and really expensive ones, and meant to synergize with metamagic reducers. I don't see it as much of a problem, since you've effectively cut out of the solid metamagic reducers through way of Prestige Classes, and it would make you consider staying on the Warmage path instead of PrCing early, since at the end you'll have the same result as if you had multiclassed to one of the broken PrCs. Arcane Thesis is potent but seriously limited, as it only affects one spell, and it causes you to determine which spell is the most effective on all the list; just right there, you're super-optimizing (since you're effectively determining the best spell of the entire bunch, including those you can get through Advanced Learning)

    However, your second suggestion (applying the Warmage Edge bonus damage after any metamagic) is one I could consider. It would seriously dent the first version and make it manageable, but it would severely nerf the second one; since you couldn't Maximize it, it applies to only one projectile so it would be good to assume that it wouldn't work with Twinned, and just about the only MM feats that really would provide an advantage would be Repeat and Empower.

    Bonus Suggestion: It would be helpful if you listed the different aspects of Warmage Edge as separate class features (maybe Lesser, Improved, Greater, Superior?) as they're pretty separate entities and it's hard to talk about them individually if you don't, and it would cut down on that wall of text.
    That is the way Cloaked Casting is written for the Beguiler in the PHBII. All of the abilities that comprise Cloaked Casting are roughly different from each other. I just used "familiar" formatting, familiar to the extent of "hey, this is how the Beguiler's Cloaked Casting is written!!" The reason it seems like a wall of text is because those abilities have to be described in detail, unlike Cloaked Casting which works on much more familiar abilities (increase in DC and checks to bypass SR). Furthermore, Cloaked Casting should also have the format you described, as the two main abilities have an improved version (and you can argue that one isn't merely improved but rather greater)

    Anyways: I'll edit the class a bit, adding the clarification on the increased damage dice cap, and I'll meditate on how Warmage Edge will apply and on the format. I want to see your opinion on the compromise with Warmage Edge, and see if it's closer to what you imagine.
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder.
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Banned
     
    Corporate M's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    I liked the warmage as he was. Albeit I love your Dr.Strangelove reference...

    Hell, the only thing I'd have changed about the warmage was he could pick any spell, not just evocation school for his "advanced learning" spell. And maybe expand/deflate his spell-list to being an all evocation mage, but none of the conjuration or other spells that should've been evocation but weren't for some reason.

    But then basicaly I'm playing a specialist wizard who's extremely specialized in favor of better hit die/proficietcy/medium BaB. I suppose it's a decent tradeoff. But it makes you wonder why not just take a whole lot of classes and call them variants of one dictating class like they did in AD&D..

    Like a warmage isn't it's own class but rather a variant of the wizard who specializes in blaster spells.. This really doesn't effect cheese too much because casters generally don't multiclass much anyway. But it can hamper those prestige classes a bit. And the non-caster/dabblers need all the help they can get!

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    T.G. Oskar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Corporate M View Post
    I liked the warmage as he was. Albeit I love your Dr.Strangelove reference...

    Hell, the only thing I'd have changed about the warmage was he could pick any spell, not just evocation school for his "advanced learning" spell. And maybe expand/deflate his spell-list to being an all evocation mage, but none of the conjuration or other spells that should've been evocation but weren't for some reason.

    But then basicaly I'm playing a specialist wizard who's extremely specialized in favor of better hit die/proficietcy/medium BaB. I suppose it's a decent tradeoff. But it makes you wonder why not just take a whole lot of classes and call them variants of one dictating class like they did in AD&D..

    Like a warmage isn't it's own class but rather a variant of the wizard who specializes in blaster spells.. This really doesn't effect cheese too much because casters generally don't multiclass much anyway. But it can hamper those prestige classes a bit. And the non-caster/dabblers need all the help they can get!
    Technically, a Warmage isn't a Wizard variant, but a Sorcerer variant. It replaces the Sorcerer's limited spell list for a wider, but more specialized, list of spells that do damage. Sorcerer doesn't have written in-game a super-specialization bonus, so it's pretty pointless to devote yourself to a single school as a Sorcerer (and even then, it would still cause some oddities since Contingency is an Evocation spell; so does Miracle, even though it's not a Cleric spell) A Warmage isn't an evocation specialist more than the Beguiler is an Enchantment/Illusion specialist: a Warmage is a specialist on blasting and dealing raw damage/instant killing, in comparison with the Beguiler's focus on subterfuge and deceit (and the Dread Necromancer's focus on raising undead).

    Expanded Learning (the PHBII alternate class feature for Warmage) does exactly what you ask, except that it penalizes you: you can choose any single spell from the Sorcerer/Wizard school, but you choose up to a maximum of one level less than the highest spell level you can cast. Extra Spell does this as well. So a Warmage has options with spells, it's just that they're kinda limiting.

    Also, one of the ideas of this edition was to separate the original variants into full-fledged classes, but they kinda got stuck in the middle. There was no reason why an Illusionist should exist as a different class, but there was no reason why a Barbarian shouldn't exist as a Fighter variant. Warmage is mostly on the middle: it's meant to be a class specializing on a very small category of spells, but it uses the Sorcerer as a base, not a Wizard. And even then, most of the Sorcerer variants are better than the Warmage as it stands.

    You're free to keep using the Warmage as-is and retool the spell list into simply Evocation; this is a retooling, not a replacement after all. I just wanted to address some concerns regarding the class and how they could be dealt with: improving X thing, changing Y, adding Z. Compare the original Warmage with, for example, the specialist Evoker variant from Unearthed Arcana; they are strikingly different, in regards with the effectiveness of the spell list (Wizards will still have loads of spells, they'll just be unable to choose from two of the remaining six, if we count both the chosen specialization and Divination), the class abilities (the Evoker variant works a tad better than a Warmage which only gets extra damage and a few free spells, as well as armored casting), and even the proficiencies and skill lists. New-Warmage adopts those variant abilities, but confronts them with a reality: blasting spells are far less useful that save-or-die spells, or buffing/debuffing spells, and tries to make them useful in exchange for removing most of the spells that actually make Wizards almighty and potent.

    Consider that, at level 20, neither version of Warmage will have either Time Stop or Wish (core broken spells), nor it will have Permanency for those few spells that should be worthwhile, and depending on the class version, it will make one of the few worthwhile Evocation spells (Contingency) completely useless. An Evoker variant from UA will quite probably have those spells, plus prepared spellcasting (thus, a spellbook and the chance of surpassing the limited Warmage spell list), and since you won't get any truly worthwhile class abilities (you get them all at 1st level, and you'll get 5 uses of one and 10 uses of the other at 20th level, which the Energy Substitution [X] feat and Assay Spell Resistance completely nullify), you'll have no chance but to PrC very, very early. Much like...what a Wizard does now.

    Also, recall that only a few PrCs are valuable to a Wizard, because they break the class more than it already is. Incantatrix takes those few bonus feats you lost from the Wizard variant, and pretty much returns them with the benefit of exploiting Metamagic; Archmage has Spell Power, Mastery of Shaping, Mastery of Elements and even Arcane Reach for the exchange of four spell slots; Mage of the Arcane Order pretty much solves your spellbook dependency (in exchange for providing spells to the pool). Even Geometer works for some glyph specialization and maximizing Boccob's Blessed Book's spell capacity (one BBB will now hold 500 spells, which is more than enough to cover both PHB, PHBII and Spell Compendium, and still have extra pages). Few people actually recommend taking more than 5 levels of Wizard: even less if you go Master Specialist.

    In general: a Warmage isn't more of an Evoker than a Sorcerer specializing in blaster spells. Making it a Wizard variant won't do much, as generalist Wizards (not Elven Generalist Wizards, a very different thing) are more often than not better than specialist Wizards (except for Conjurers and Abrupt Jaunt, which are broken beyond belief). That would relegate the Warmage Evoker variant into nothing, if it's exactly like it already was except for the ultra-specialization: even then, that is a moot point since it would be a Sorcerer variant instead. And the Warmage has various things in which it holds difference towards a Sorcerer, much like the Beguiler has differences and so does the Dread Necromancer. Finally, you'd be depriving the Warmage of his stolen Druid spells, the Beguiler of his stolen Bard spells, and the Dread Necro of his stolen Cleric spells, even if those are from the same school in which any of the three specialize in.
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder.
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Baron Corm's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Avatar by Kymme
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    I'd say quite the contrary. The main blasting spells allow saving throws, and even a few rays also allow them (Disintegrate, as you mentioned). But I'll expand on that below.
    The main blasting spells are bad, which is why you've made this class.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Charisma is, IMO, primary because it's your casting stat, and you're a Warmage.
    I disagree. Warmage . But we can leave it at that.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    That problem is with the spells, not with the Warmage Edge; adding a nerf in order to fix a potential amount of damage would kinda beat out the purpose of increasing the damage, no?
    Well, it was just because your proposed damage increase was about 2x too high, and using 1/4 of Intelligence modifier would be bad. This idea also allows a player to deal massive damage every once in a while when they beat a save, which is fun for him. Just throwing it out there. I realized that I said above that spells which allow saving throws are bad, but I was talking about normal spells, not considering your Warmage Edge.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    As you suggest, you're making one ability become redundant as the other appears. What the ability does is increasing your total cap as your character levels increase, but not your damage dice.
    I was assuming that the player would have caster level increases. I suppose an unoptimized player would only have +1 or +2 at most, so that was a mistake. So your ability makes fireballs equal to delayed blast fireballs for an unoptimized player... and is essentially useless to him at higher levels, unless he runs out of higher level spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Also, it is a bit messier to introduce. As it stands, while it is easier to understand (Int 10: no increase, Int 12: +1 die, etc.), as it probably stands out it would be perhaps a bit too much; it would make the Warmage stronger from the beginning, and only begin to normalize at higher levels, instead of the opposite. If I were to impose the caster level cap, then I would cause redundance.
    A solution would be to start it out as static damage then change it to dice damage later on. Your idea down below is good though so we can forget this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Finally, there's a reason why I find static damage slightly better than dice damage.
    Static damage might be more reliable, but dice damage can potentially kill monsters with much higher hp, can be Maximized, and is generally more suspenseful and exciting. I'd say there's definitely an argument either way there. I don't think either one increases or decreases the power of a class, as long as the average damage is the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    1st level is a static increase, not based on Intelligence but on caster level. That makes a Warmage depend less on Int, but it will still deal much more damage. It will still behave like the original (extra damage applies to all creatures in area, but in the case of multiple projectiles, it only applies to one of the projectiles), but it will be less powerful. If it's not enough, let's say you add your Int modifier to the damage (as the original Warmage Edge does) plus your caster level (or your character level, whichever sounds best).

    10th level ability is an increase based on Int. The higher your Int, the higher the damage cap will be. It won't be as elegant as the original (which allows you to increase the damage dice cap well beyond your class level or your Int), but it still makes Int relevant (although, as the class works, it still makes Int a relevant choice for Warmage)

    The end result still allows for extra damage, but it's of a less potent degree. At most, at 20th level you'd have a Fireball dealing 20d6+30 points of Fire damage, which averages to a solid 100 damage, compared to your feared amount. It would allow for optimizers to do large amounts of damage, but still make non-optimizers do at least respectable damage; furthermore, it would still make Int a viable choice, and keep it as a secondary choice compared to Charisma (which should be the primary)
    As mentioned above, since the level 10 ability is pretty irrelevant for non-optimizers unless they run out of spells, this is basically just adding 30 damage to your high level spells. I think that's on the lowish side. An idea is to make it easier to increase your caster level, maybe through warmage-specific feats. If you tack the extra 10d6 onto your better spells, I think you've come up with some good numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    That is the way Cloaked Casting is written for the Beguiler in the PHBII.
    However, Cloaked Casting has only two aspects, both of which function only when the target is flatfooted, and both serve the same function of reducing the target's defenses. Warmage Edge abilities are not nearly as related and have twice the number of aspects. This is of course a minor thing and up to you.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Dante & Vergil's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    I would like to add that Warmage's Edge should probably always add half of the Intelligence modifier to each dice for damage spells including Magic Missle, Scorching Ray, and the like. "Why?" you ask, because I think it's too confusing just to differenciate between the spells and what benifits they get.
    Last edited by Dante & Vergil; 2009-11-13 at 03:29 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    DracoDei's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Atlanta,GA USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Ok, before I forget... I just gotta ask: How well would this work with my Artillery Mage PrC?

    It would require taking the Acquire Familiar feat at first third level, and Extra Spell(Invisibility) at some level to make it work, but I would think they would go together like bread and butter in many ways. Although the boldness of the Warmage is somewhat are odds with the evasive sniper nature of Artillery Mage.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2009-11-18 at 01:37 AM. Reason: Acquire Familiar can't be taken until Caster Level 3
    Best homebrew:
    Running: Ruceeglaelsktinag IC OOC Active Map
    Power Rangers:"BIG TWIST!!" (working title) IC OOC Active Map:None.
    For everything else (including my homebrew) see: Full list of Homebrew.
    My Homebrew is meant to be used, but, if you do, PLEASE tell me how it goes.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    T.G. Oskar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    The main blasting spells are bad, which is why you've made this class.
    Well...I didn't make it per se. I just took the old Warmage and used the chassis and body, then pimped it out. Hence, a retooling, not a creation...

    I disagree. Warmage . But we can leave it at that.
    ...but just like this, it's mostly semantics, no?

    Somewhat like this other example, it's mostly a question of semantics. Indeed, the main blasting spells are bad, so something had to be done. Whether it's creating a new class or reworking an existing one, the idea is fixing that. So yeah...

    Well, it was just because your proposed damage increase was about 2x too high, and using 1/4 of Intelligence modifier would be bad. This idea also allows a player to deal massive damage every once in a while when they beat a save, which is fun for him. Just throwing it out there. I realized that I said above that spells which allow saving throws are bad, but I was talking about normal spells, not considering your Warmage Edge.
    Well, there are ways to increase your saving throw, and some are better than others. There's Heighten Spell, for example, as well as raising your main casting stat. And yet, the best caster is the one that knows which kind of spell to use, although in most senses it resorts to:

    Big and burly: probably low Reflex
    Weak and frail: probably low Fortitude
    Not very smart: probably low Will, but beware of mindlessness.

    So since most monsters have strong Fortitude, it's usually best to use spells that attack their weakest save (Reflex or Will) or use a no-save spell; usually, use an ability damage spell since that usually lowers or nerfs the saves.

    Just extending on your point. Now I'll answer the other part:

    Indeed, Warmage Edge as it currently stands seems quite powerful, but D&D tends to work well with simple arithmetics. Since you already have the Intelligence modifier and either the damage dice or the caster level provided, an equation of (1/2 Int. Mod x CL) ends up simple. Doing something else would be a bit more complex, or too weak. Which is why I agreed to the compromise of (CL + Int. modifier) extra damage, since it's both considerable and simple (and considering it, also easier to implement)

    I was assuming that the player would have caster level increases. I suppose an unoptimized player would only have +1 or +2 at most, so that was a mistake. So your ability makes fireballs equal to delayed blast fireballs for an unoptimized player... and is essentially useless to him at higher levels, unless he runs out of higher level spells.
    Technically yes, technically no. Fireball behaves on a different way than a Delayed Blast Fireball: think of it as launching a rocket-propelled grenade (Fireball) to throwing a timed grenade (Delayed Blast Fireball). Both have different means of execution, but one tends to deal greater damage than the other. This is both understandable and expected, since you're using a higher level spell, hence you should do greater damage.

    Which is why I might keep the 10th level ability of Warmage Edge as it currently stands (half of character level). It allows to, at 20th level, have a Fireball deal as much damage as a Delayed Blast Fireball, but in the end, Delayed Blast Fireball will have a smaller edge and it will be roughly a bit more tactical. It doesn't use Int that much, but between the 1st and 5th level abilities of Warmage Edge, and Dent Resistance, Int retains its utility. That's what I meditated on a bit, since it prevents the volley of static damage and allows for optimizers to take advantage, but it doesn't affect the bulk of the blaster spells.

    Static damage might be more reliable, but dice damage can potentially kill monsters with much higher hp, can be Maximized, and is generally more suspenseful and exciting. I'd say there's definitely an argument either way there. I don't think either one increases or decreases the power of a class, as long as the average damage is the same.
    A considerable point. I'm on the line of static, but I can agree that most of the fun of a blasting spell with dice damage is actually rolling high.

    A solution would be to start it out as static damage then change it to dice damage later on. Your idea down below is good though so we can forget this one.

    [...]

    As mentioned above, since the level 10 ability is pretty irrelevant for non-optimizers unless they run out of spells, this is basically just adding 30 damage to your high level spells. I think that's on the lowish side. An idea is to make it easier to increase your caster level, maybe through warmage-specific feats. If you tack the extra 10d6 onto your better spells, I think you've come up with some good numbers.
    I decided to join these two quotes in order to handle your discarded idea, and later expand a bit on the feats. I've wanted to tackle Extra Edge, since I usually like to do a slight "errata" on the feats after working on the class, in order to make the complete package. I feel it's important to deal with all aspects of a brainstorm, since a previously discarded idea might come to relevance later on (or not).

    Starting as static and then exchanging to dynamic damage is a bit complex, since it means you're changing entirely the original mechanic. Few spells begin as "deal X points of damage per caster level", then change to "deal 1dX dice of damage per caster level", if any (IIRC, I think none). To keep it simple, it's better to handle the extra damage mechanic on two different sides, where you still retain your static damage but also enhance the dynamic damage of those spells that have them. There's a few spells that deal 1dX points of damage, plus X damage per caster level which gets capped usually to 10 or 15. I think this is going out of simplicity, but this point could also be addressed.

    Now, to the caster level increase. Reserve feats, as they stand, offer a simple method of increasing caster level even though they're not exactly warmage-specific. However, a warmage will make even better use of reserve feats than other spellcasters, if only because the increase in CL will always apply no matter what. So, with at least +1 to CL, that means an extra 1d6+1 points of damage, or an average of 4.5 damage per increase in CL, with a range between 2-7. There are also magic items that also increase your CL for a single spell, and they also provide another +1. So, warmage-specific feats aren't exactly needed, since there's already a method to increase CL if ever so slightly.

    However, as I mentioned before, there's the question of Extra Edge. As it stands, it's almost needed if you want extra damage (mostly, +1 to damage, +1 additional damage per 4 class levels), but it provides too little damage (at 20th level, Int + 5, which is hilariously low). However, this serves as a mainframe for fixing the feat and even expanding the options. For example:

    Extra Edge can, instead of adding to the damage, serve as a multiplier for Int (which is the lowest, but also the easiest variable to handle). Extra Edge would treat your Int bonus as double for purposes of adding damage to Warmage Edge, so in terms it would replace (CL + Int.) to (CL + [2xInt.]). This would make Int increases much more valuable, but even a low Int or the lack of a feat wouldn't punish the non-optimizer.

    Improved Extra Edge would affect the damage dice cap. Although with some hefty requirements (Warmage level 10th, Extra Edge), it would serve as the original Extra Edge, but with the dynamic modifier: add 1d6 to all spells, plus 1d6 per four class levels starting from the 1st; alternatively, say "add 3d6 points of damage to all spells, plus 1d6 per four class levels". I'd go with the first idea, since it would mean roughly an end result of 5d6 by level 20, and 6d6 by level 21st.

    However, Cloaked Casting has only two aspects, both of which function only when the target is flatfooted, and both serve the same function of reducing the target's defenses. Warmage Edge abilities are not nearly as related and have twice the number of aspects. This is of course a minor thing and up to you.
    I thought of that, and at least the 5th, 15th and 20th level abilities of Warmage Edge are considerably separate options. I might consider renaming them. 1st and 10th would remain as Warmage Edge, although there's a slight point in treating 10th as "Improved" Warmage Edge. I'll think about that, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dante & Vergil View Post
    I would like to add that Warmage's Edge should probably always add half of the Intelligence modifier to each dice for damage spells including Magic Missle, Scorching Ray, and the like. "Why?" you ask, because I think it's too confusing just to differenciate between the spells and what benifits they get.
    That's something I've been discussing these few days. I'll change the original ability to a simpler and low-powered version, in order to address that confusion. That way, it's a much easier thought process: IF spell does damage, THEN apply Warmage Edge (1st).

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Ok, before I forget... I just gotta ask: How well would this work with my Artillery Mage PrC?

    It would require taking the Acquire Familiar feat at first level, and Extra Spell(Invisibility) at some level to make it work, but I would think they would go together like bread and butter in many ways. Although the boldness of the Warmage is somewhat are odds with the evasive sniper nature of Artillery Mage.
    It mostly depends on the breaking point.

    Consider the following: since Advanced Learning essentially behaves the same as the original Warmage's Advanced Learning, it is more than acceptable that you can replace it with Eclectic Learning and thus, at 7th level, get the Invisibility spell and Obtain Familiar, so that at level 8th you can enter the class (recall that you also get Weapon Focus, so you can use it on ray spells and qualify).

    At the lowest entry point (6th, since you have Fireball as a Long range spell, Scorching Ray and Ray of Frost already learned, you can use your 3rd level bonus feat for Weapon Focus [ray], and then use your 3rd and 6th level feats for Obtain Familiar and Extra Spell [Invisibility], respectively), you'd have extra damage that will always scale, about 3 + Int. uses of the 5th level Warmage Edge Energy Substitution feature, Widen Spell with a metamagic reduction of 1, and at least one extra spell. Your familiar, at the very least, would gain the effect of Greater Mage Armor, Shield, and use a few touch spells; furthermore, the greatest synergy would exist on the large amount of blasting and cloud spells you can unleash with Rapid Barrage without seriously depleting your resources.

    10th, however, would be the main breaking point, since there you'll have the 10th level ability to increase your damage cap. In that moment, aside from the extra feat and the ability to cast on Medium armor, your spells will do a pretty huge amount of damage as your caster level increases, so instead of using bombs of 100-tons, you'd be using bombs of 200-tons that look like bombs of 100-tons. That's mostly the synergy I see, along with the familiar-as-scout which can serve as a focal point for Prying Eyes, so that essentially you form a radar around your familiar, which you can both Scry and check.

    15th would sacrifice some of your Rapid Barrage power, but it would introduce the anti-friendly fire 15th level ability of Warmage Edge, which in short terms means you can load your spells right on your Familiar and your Familiar will end up unscathed (and your enemies well toasted, deep-frozen, carbonized, devoid of skin and muscle or bleeding from their ears; your choice)

    In any case, fun synergy.

    It should be a fun synergy, tho.
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder.
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    DracoDei's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Atlanta,GA USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Very glad of your response!

    I just woke up so I am still processing your comments. There is one issue that is potentially important enough that I am going to mention it immediately though. This issue has one or two sources (depending on how clearly I am reading your response):
    1.) I goofed through not actually knowing how "Obtain Familiar" was worded as far as requirements.
    2.) You MAY have skimmed over one of the most important clauses of the pre-requisites.
    Special: Must have had a familiar from the first level you ever took of any arcane casting class.
    This means that Obtain Familiar must be taken at Warmage 1 for you to qualify for the class... which isn't technically possible now that I get my first direct look at that feat ever. Ok, I will have to reword that feat to get the nit-picking aspect of the rules right, but for these purposes assume that to get into the PrC you have to take Obtain Familiar as your 3rd level feat and use it immediately. I am not sure if all of your scenarios include this or not (as I said, I just woke up).

    EDIT:
    Ok, I now have some more workable wording... it doesn't handle multiclassing very well, but since arcanists don't multiclass much, it will do.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Special: Must have had a familiar from the lowest level you ever took of any arcane casting class that offers such (so 1st for a Sorcerer or Wizard, 2nd for a character who started out in Adept*, and etc), or third level of an arcane casting class, whichever is lower.


    ALSO:
    At 5th level, a warmage can alter the damage dealt by a spell that has the fire, cold, lightning, acid or sonic descriptor.
    Shouldn't that be "electricity"?
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2009-11-14 at 11:13 AM.
    Best homebrew:
    Running: Ruceeglaelsktinag IC OOC Active Map
    Power Rangers:"BIG TWIST!!" (working title) IC OOC Active Map:None.
    For everything else (including my homebrew) see: Full list of Homebrew.
    My Homebrew is meant to be used, but, if you do, PLEASE tell me how it goes.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    T.G. Oskar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Very glad of your response!

    I just woke up so I am still processing your comments. There is one issue that is potentially important enough that I am going to mention it immediately though. This issue has one or two sources (depending on how clearly I am reading your response):
    1.) I goofed through not actually knowing how "Obtain Familiar" was worded as far as requirements.
    2.) You MAY have skimmed over one of the most important clauses of the pre-requisites.

    This means that Obtain Familiar must be taken at Warmage 1 for you to qualify for the class... which isn't technically possible now that I get my first direct look at that feat ever. Ok, I will have to reword that feat to get the nit-picking aspect of the rules right, but for these purposes assume that to get into the PrC you have to take Obtain Familiar as your 3rd level feat and use it immediately. I am not sure if all of your scenarios include this or not (as I said, I just woke up).
    Hmm, I did skimmed over that clause. I was most interested on minimum entry requirements, since the intention is to define all scenarios by means of the level in which one exits from Warmage and enters Artillery Mage; I did remember the requirement from Obtain Familiar (I checked it on Complete Arcane just to be sure), and estimated that you could use your 3rd level feat for it, at any possible scenario. The wording, however, I didn't realized so it's mostly a problem caused by the entry wording (mostly, since you specified entry through Obtain Familiar, assuming thus it was a legal method of entry). I guess the problem would be the need of a familiar ASAP, although I figure your class places way too much emphasis on a familiar instead of using him as a tool (which I imagine on the visualization of an artillery-specialized mage).

    Even if you fix it, the limiting requirement is the need for both Weapon Focus (ray) (or Spell Focus [evocation]) and the acquisition of Extra Spell at level 6th (since you would be capable of choosing 2nd level spells at that moment) or Eclectic Learning (Invisibility), assuming (as I intend to) that you replaced Advanced Learning through the PHBII alternate class feature, at level 7th. As well, the scenarios mostly focus on the 10th and 15th level exits, as those provide valuable Warmage Edge abilities.
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder.
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    DracoDei's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Atlanta,GA USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    I originally thought Obtain Familiar could be taken at 1st level. Now that I know better I modified the entry requirements.
    Keeping the familiar alive/replaced from 3rd to 10th level, instead of 3rd to 6th before getting something major back for it is a noticeably burden.

    Perhaps Warmage 6, Artillery Mage 3 (or something), then to Warmage 10, then to Artillery Mage 10, and then on to Epic Warmage...
    Best homebrew:
    Running: Ruceeglaelsktinag IC OOC Active Map
    Power Rangers:"BIG TWIST!!" (working title) IC OOC Active Map:None.
    For everything else (including my homebrew) see: Full list of Homebrew.
    My Homebrew is meant to be used, but, if you do, PLEASE tell me how it goes.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Zaydos's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    The Beastlands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    I like what you did, and throughout most of the game it should work fine, but I'd be a little worried about the Lv 20 ability especially with arcane thesis. They could easily apply searing and burning spell (not that they need it so much but the +60 damage is nice), maximized, twinned, energy admixture, and empowered, and any other +2 or less metamagic they can get their hands onto (since you apply reducers in the most beneficial way possible thus arcane thesis comes second) and cast a Lv8 spell which is a heavily modded fireball dealing 320+Int+either 50% or 20d6/2 or well it depends upon how you read empower spell + another 50% to living foes (or half to unliving) + 2 negative levels just from metamagic that I can remember... oh yeah you do this twice with one spell, and can do it 14 times per day. This does involve some optimization, or metamagic spamming at least, but it is a dangerous ability to give as proven by the incanatrix. It is better than the incanatrix in that you wait longer and it doesn't give you several dozen ways to break metamagic before this, but it is still something to worry about. Other than that I really like the retool, and in any game not going to 20th that's not a problem. I might limit it to 1 feat per spell (which it might be supposed to be, if so I'm sorry I misread it), or so many times per day equal to your Int modifier, or just ban Arcane Thesis.

    tl;dr metacheese might get dangerous at 20th, limit it to 1 feat/spell or Int mod metamagics/day and that might cover it, other than that it looks really cool and fun (I can blow stuff up ) and like some really good work, I kept wishing warmage would be playable and this would be.
    Peanut Dracolich avatar by Emperor Ing.

    My homebrew (now includes a giant undead brain)

    If you ever want to try some of my homebrew and need a DM send me a PM, and if you are playing some, I'd love to know how it works out.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    DracoDei's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Atlanta,GA USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Warmage 20 + Arcane Thesis = has to be Epic levels, right? Because you need some levels of (Some PrC that DOESN'T appear to be Archmage) to get that, correct?
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2009-11-14 at 03:11 PM.
    Best homebrew:
    Running: Ruceeglaelsktinag IC OOC Active Map
    Power Rangers:"BIG TWIST!!" (working title) IC OOC Active Map:None.
    For everything else (including my homebrew) see: Full list of Homebrew.
    My Homebrew is meant to be used, but, if you do, PLEASE tell me how it goes.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Zaydos's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    The Beastlands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Arcane thesis is a feat from PHBII, only applies to one spell but is quite potent.
    Peanut Dracolich avatar by Emperor Ing.

    My homebrew (now includes a giant undead brain)

    If you ever want to try some of my homebrew and need a DM send me a PM, and if you are playing some, I'd love to know how it works out.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    So I've got a bunch of thoughts upon reading this, but the first is;

    The 15th level ability is very cool, and, as you state, comes a bit late, but is still invaluable. It would follow that theme for the Warmage himself to have the ability to ignore damage from their own blasting spells at, say, 5th level, allowing the Warmage to drop fireballs at her own feet, knowing that he'll be fine. (Weaker alternatives would be giving the Warmage Evasion and then Improved Evasion, to his own spells only.)

    You've definitely put a lot of thought into trying to address some of the inadequacies of direct damage spells in 3.X, at the Energy Resistance level (through built in Substitution), the Spell Resistance level (through Dent Resistance) and the piddly damage level (although I'm not in love with the mechanic you use, just because it seems overly complicated).

    Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Magic Missile, etc. were designed to be useful spells to throw when the largest beastie you'd face was an 88 hp. Red Dragon (or, shudder, the 66 hp *Demon Queen of Spiders!*). It's been a couple of decades, and that same Red Dragon now has 660 hit points, and the direct damage spells not only haven't kept up, but the Red Dragon can cast energy resistance spells, has Spell Resistance, and the damage die caps *are lower.*

    You are definitely swimming against the tide of history, but I wonder if you've perhaps neglected the survivability of the class. A blaster mage seems well suited to not just have Evasion against it's own blasting spells, but even to eventually have it versus the blasting spells of others...
    Last edited by Set; 2009-11-14 at 06:23 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    T.G. Oskar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    I like what you did, and throughout most of the game it should work fine, but I'd be a little worried about the Lv 20 ability especially with arcane thesis. They could easily apply searing and burning spell (not that they need it so much but the +60 damage is nice), maximized, twinned, energy admixture, and empowered, and any other +2 or less metamagic they can get their hands onto (since you apply reducers in the most beneficial way possible thus arcane thesis comes second) and cast a Lv8 spell which is a heavily modded fireball dealing 320+Int+either 50% or 20d6/2 or well it depends upon how you read empower spell + another 50% to living foes (or half to unliving) + 2 negative levels just from metamagic that I can remember... oh yeah you do this twice with one spell, and can do it 14 times per day. This does involve some optimization, or metamagic spamming at least, but it is a dangerous ability to give as proven by the incanatrix. It is better than the incanatrix in that you wait longer and it doesn't give you several dozen ways to break metamagic before this, but it is still something to worry about. Other than that I really like the retool, and in any game not going to 20th that's not a problem. I might limit it to 1 feat per spell (which it might be supposed to be, if so I'm sorry I misread it), or so many times per day equal to your Int modifier, or just ban Arcane Thesis.

    tl;dr metacheese might get dangerous at 20th, limit it to 1 feat/spell or Int mod metamagics/day and that might cover it, other than that it looks really cool and fun (I can blow stuff up ) and like some really good work, I kept wishing warmage would be playable and this would be.
    The original version is intentionally -1 to spell level increase per metamagic feat, minimum of 1. I've gotten a similar complaint on the same matter, in which the ability essentially prizes "dumpster diving" (aka, adding as many metamagic feats as possible to the spell). The other suggestion was limiting the total metamagic spell level reduction to -1 at 10th level and -2 at 20th level, which was the suggestion I was most comfortable with. Might consider that option, though I'm also considering your idea of using Int modifier in a variance (as in, limit that ability to Int. times per day, but that would again place a lot of importance on Int rather than Charisma)

    Yet, I don't consider Arcane Thesis much of a problem. The feat is hilariously broken, but it's extremely limiting in terms that it only works on one single spell, and nothing can be worse than losing that spell slot or that benefit by bad casting. So, while I don't find it meritory to ban it, I can work out a restriction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Set View Post
    The 15th level ability is very cool, and, as you state, comes a bit late, but is still invaluable. It would follow that theme for the Warmage himself to have the ability to ignore damage from their own blasting spells at, say, 5th level, allowing the Warmage to drop fireballs at her own feet, knowing that he'll be fine. (Weaker alternatives would be giving the Warmage Evasion and then Improved Evasion, to his own spells only.)
    The reason why I placed it at so high a level has various reasons. Prevention of friendly fire is a staple of PrCs like Archmage, or feats like Sculpt Spell and Extraordinary Spell Aim. This decision extends the life of the Warmage to at least level 15, even though there's a reasonable decision to PrC at or around that level.

    To answer your proposal...a suggestion was placed upon me to give Medium armor proficiency and Armored Mage since the very first level, which would grant the Warmage a better AC at the most needed moment. Since that would free the 9th level of a class ability, and since I was thinking about separating the Edges into much more reasonable abilities, I could grant the ability to allow the Warmage to ignore himself as a target at 9th level. While it's a tad late, it's not reasonable and it maintains symmetry (since 5th level is best for Energy Substitution)

    A blaster mage seems well suited to not just have Evasion against it's own blasting spells, but even to eventually have it versus the blasting spells of others...
    The Warmage has at least a simple method to deal with blasting spells, and Evasion isn't an effective method since it relies on Reflex, which the Warmage has as a weak save and having Dex as a tertiary/quaternary stat at best. Resist Energy allows a respite from elemental spells, even though in a limited way; so does Protection from Energy. If the character is a fellow Warmage, then the other Warmage may sacrifice his blasting for counterspelling, which is a far much more effective method than immunity to blasting spells since: a) it's already on the rules, clunky as they may be, b) the Warmage quite probably has the right spell to counterspell or barring that, Dispel Magic (or Greater Dispel), c) the definition of a blasting spell is pretty wide and could be messy and d) it's a Globe of Invulnerability that affects up to 9th level and even Epic Spells. So, such an ability is not strictly necessary, because it could crank up the power level of the class a hefty bit.

    So...with that dealt with, I'll start the v2.0 revision. Changes:
    • Warmage Edge will be split into a few "Edge" abilities. 1st and 10th will retain connection, while 5th, 15th and 20th will be different abilities. Further changes:

      *1st level ability will retain the Warmage Edge name. Instead of half of Int. modifier, it'll be CL + Int. modifier extra damage (essentially, regressing to the original ability but adding CL to the damage) to all damage spells.

      *5th level ability will be renamed to Energy Substitution (or better name). Ability will remain the same.

      *10th level ability will be renamed to Improved Warmage Edge. Ability will remain the same (only affecting spells with damage dice caps)

      *15th level ability will be renamed to X. Ability will remain the same.

      *20th level ability will be renamed to Metamagic Edge.

    • Armored Mage will provide ASF-free casting with up to Medium armor since 1st level. Also, Warmages will be proficient with Medium armor since 1st level.

    • A new 9th level ability that allows the Warmage to ignore himself from his own blasting spells. Will be thematically linked with the 15th level ability and share the same name.
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder.
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    DracoDei's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Atlanta,GA USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    I guess the problem would be the need of a familiar ASAP, although I figure your class places way too much emphasis on a familiar instead of using him as a tool (which I imagine on the visualization of an artillery-specialized mage).
    Was rereading, and I discovered I never really understood this part of what you said. Do you mean that Artillery Mage places too much emphasis on the familiar (including adding a lot of abilities to the familiar that help it survive)? If so I would point out that the definition I am using for "artillery" is a subtly modern one, and artillery guys LIKE their spotters, and DON'T like it when they get killed.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2009-11-18 at 01:46 AM.
    Best homebrew:
    Running: Ruceeglaelsktinag IC OOC Active Map
    Power Rangers:"BIG TWIST!!" (working title) IC OOC Active Map:None.
    For everything else (including my homebrew) see: Full list of Homebrew.
    My Homebrew is meant to be used, but, if you do, PLEASE tell me how it goes.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    T.G. Oskar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting)

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Was rereading, and I discovered I never really understood this part of what you said. Do you mean that Artillery Mage places too much emphasis on the familiar (including adding a lot of abilities to the familiar that help it survive)? If so I would point out that the definition I am using for "artillery" is a subtly modern one, and artillery guys LIKE their spotters, and DON'T like it when they get killed.
    Mostly, I find that the problem lies on requiring a familiar way too fast. That makes the entry for the PrC exist only on a window of opportunity that's insanely short (levels 1-3, where you're pretty much forced to get a familiar or else you lose the entry chance forever). I can understand that the familiar gets a load of benefits for being the equivalent to an AWACS, but you need to relax your restriction or else you might find yourself having six nightmarish levels (in the case of most arcanists) just to get access to a very niche class (pinpoint blasting). I'd relax the restriction of "get a familiar ASAP or else" for entry; as it seems, it's good, but it makes you cut on very, very, very good options. It also allows for other builds to enter, such as the Evoker specialist variant from Unearthed Arcana (which would gain a moderate benefit from entering this class), or an Instant Metamagic Sorcerer which would highly benefit the PrC.

    In other points to deal:
    Regarding Warmage Edge (or the first level ability that increases static damage of spells), I was pointed to a very good alternative which I'm strongly considering given the mathematical evidence proving its relative balance.

    The 1st level ability, as suggested, would grant an increase in static damage equal to the warmage's Int. modifier times its class level, divided by half. After doing a comparative test, the differences are notable: damage with this new variant starts as 84.61% of the current version, and it grants a damage increase exactly equal to the current at about levels 5-6, before increasing very, very slightly; at 20th level, the damage dealt by this suggested progression would be of around 117% of the damage dealt by the current version of Warmage Edge. Furthermore, the expected damage is of around 42.26% of a CR 20 creature's average HP at 20th level using average rolls, so that means it can take somewhere between 3-4 blasts without metamagic, with a very unoptimized Int of 21. Using the same parameters and the best possible Int, it would still require two spells to defeat a creature using average HP.

    Since I don't want to penalize those whom, for one reason or another wish to PrC out of the class, I'm thinking of making the growth based on character level instead of class level. There's also the point of using caster level, but that could get messy fast. I know it's a pretty wild shift from taking one posture to the other, but there's a good reason why I'm subscribing to this new version of Warmage Edge: while it is a bit awkward, it is quite balanced when looked at a mathematical level on average. Some luck or extensive use of metamagic might break it, but that implies taking some choices out of the normally intended; however, it won't break a battle with an average HP creature of the same level, and much less with a creature using maximum HP, even if the variance on HP between creatures of different Challenge Ratings is erratic at best.
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder.
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    DracoDei's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Atlanta,GA USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting) -

    Hmmm... you may have a point, I shall have to consider.
    Best homebrew:
    Running: Ruceeglaelsktinag IC OOC Active Map
    Power Rangers:"BIG TWIST!!" (working title) IC OOC Active Map:None.
    For everything else (including my homebrew) see: Full list of Homebrew.
    My Homebrew is meant to be used, but, if you do, PLEASE tell me how it goes.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Revan Ordo's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting) -

    I really like the changes made to this version of the warmage. However, for the standard warmage edge gained at 1st, I would make it simpler to calculate by making the damage equal to your Int modifier + 1/2 your caster level. Just my 2cp.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Chimera

    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting) -

    This Warmage version of advanced learning, can he use it to add to his 9th level slots? He seems to be able to add to any spell level he knows, and a warmage begins knowing all spells on his spell list.

    Otherwise I love it and am now using it in my campaign rather than the warmage i originally had in mind, thanks a bunch.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Cieyrin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooling the Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting) -

    Quote Originally Posted by whydoibover View Post
    This Warmage version of advanced learning, can he use it to add to his 9th level slots? He seems to be able to add to any spell level he knows, and a warmage begins knowing all spells on his spell list.

    Otherwise I love it and am now using it in my campaign rather than the warmage i originally had in mind, thanks a bunch.
    Ignoring the threadomancy here, if you check the note under Advanced Learning, he does note that your 5th Advanced Learning can indeed by a 9th level spell.
    Rule of Cool Contributor and Goon

    Goblin Cannon Crew avatar by Vrythas.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Gnome Gun Mage avatar by NEO|Phyte
    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    Damn you Cieyrin! Cieyrin!!!!!read as Khaaaaan!

    My badges! :D
    My Homebrew
    The Gunslinger's Handbook
    Archetype Combo List!

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    T.G. Oskar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retooled Warmage (or, how I learned to stop whining and love the blasting) - v3

    Better late than never, but...

    I decided to establish a new something after some careful consideration. This will affect the Warmage, the Healer, and any other spontaneous spellcaster I retool or create (this implies that if I retool the Favored Soul or Sorcerer, it'll follow this simple exchange).

    So: prepared spellcasters gain access to new levels on odd levels, but the idea is that they take eons to learn the use of magic. On the other hand, spontaneous spellcasters (and this includes spontaneous specialists, whom learn a simpler and focused way to unleash their innate power) simply explode in power, with few to little training (aside from spontaneous specialists, such as the Warmage above), yet they gain their higher level spells later than prepared spellcasters.

    Isn't that a bit ironic? Part of the lack of love is that spontaneous spellcasters get their spells one level late, and even one level late is punishing. With their very specific spell list and/or small list of spells known, there is absolutely no advantage to being a spontaneous spellcaster.

    Thus, after pondering, I decided to have all of my homebrew thus far (and whatever comes later) hanging on a simple exchange. Spontaneous spellcasters (and spontaneous specialists such as Warmage) that gains spells as Sorcerers, Favored Souls and whatnot get their spells one level earlier, on odd levels. Meanwhile, any prepared spellcaster that gains spells as Clerics, Wizards or whatnot get their spells one level later, on even levels (so they won't get their first 2nd level spells up until 4th level). Any spellcaster that doesn't gain their spells in that way (such as Bards, Duskblades, Paladins, Rangers) keep their original acquisition rates.

    Considered I might bump my work that way a small bit. Again, won't harm the Big 5 but it should even the playing field a bit.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2010-08-28 at 05:16 PM.
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder.
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •