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    Default Pathfinder and the Tier System

    I've been looking through pathfinder (well, d20pfsrd.org), and I've remarked that many of the "weaker" classes have been given a boost, and there are several new, interesting classes that seem very powerful, such as the Witch, the Cavalier, and the Summoner. How do the new and updated classes fit into the 3.5 tier system? Did the fighter get a boost? Did the cleric get nerfed back to tier 2?
    I know the results are skewed somewhat because Pathfinder does not immediately include all the source material that 3.5 has, but please just consider core for Pathfinder.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Look for old threads. This comes up periodically.

    Short answer, Rogue tier 4 (top of) >tier 3 (bottom of), Paladin tier 5 > tier 4. All other core classes stay same tier, although Druid is clearly at the bottom of tier 1 now.

    I don't remember the breakdown on the new classes, but I think witch and summoner are both tier 3. Cavalier is probably 4.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-04-21 at 12:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    I wish they'd just out and given the fighter a proper Good Will save. This whole "+x to saves vs fear" business is just another thing to remember, and it's not like it was going to overpower a fighter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Ring of Evasion means never playing a monk with monk levels again. There is just no reason to dip that stuff. I know we're all about using every part of the buffalo here, but can we just admit that it's inedible?

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Look for old threads. This comes up periodically.

    Short answer, Rogue tier 4 (top of) >tier 3 (bottom of), Paladin tier 5 > tier 4.

    I don't remember the breakdown on the new classes, but I think witch and summoner are both tier 3. Cavalier is probably 4.
    That's about it. The Summoner is borderline Tier 2/3. Witch I haven't seen enough of to be able to place it.


    Monk is now in the top three of Tier Five (didn't move up a Tier yet, due to subsequent nerfs). Druid is dead last in the Big Six, but is still a member of the Big Six. Barbarian and Fighter didn't move, but Barbarian's best class feature got hit hard (auto-ending the Rage if knocked unconcious). Class Features, Bard took a hit but ended up surviving it.

    Rogue and Paladin are happy. Wizards weren't touched (not if you consider all of the spells they missed). Clerics lost Turn Undead, but no one actually used that anyway.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Look for old threads. This comes up periodically.

    Short answer, Rogue tier 4 (top of) >tier 3 (bottom of), Paladin tier 5 > tier 4.

    I don't remember the breakdown on the new classes, but I think witch and summoner are both tier 3.
    Bottom of tier 3 for the rogue? I don't think so. Still solidly tier 4. Apart from auto penetrating strike, what does it get? Still doesn't compete with tier 3 classes.

    Anyway, druid got nerfed to tier 3 or so, the cleric was always tier 2 in core, and like he said, pallys got a nice boost. Barbarians didn't get much of anything, and fighters got some extra numerical bonuses. A lot of feats have been changed though. The monk got a tiny boost, but still sucks, and the ranger also got a small boost. Sorcs and wizards are still crazy powerful, but sorcs in particular got some nice flavor abilities.

    The summoner (or at least the incarnation that I last saw) is really good. Your eidolon is incredibly strong, and you get a decent spell list. I don't know much about the cavalier or witch, but I hear they're pretty good.

    EDIT: oh yeah, the bard lost some stuff, and gained some more. I'm not sure where it would place now, but I think it's about the same.
    Last edited by Tinydwarfman; 2010-04-21 at 12:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    I'd say the ranger got more than a small boost, with a much larger pile of feats going their way, and with Deadly Aim added in.
    Last edited by Mongoose87; 2010-04-21 at 01:00 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Ring of Evasion means never playing a monk with monk levels again. There is just no reason to dip that stuff. I know we're all about using every part of the buffalo here, but can we just admit that it's inedible?

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose87 View Post
    I'd say the ranger got more than a small boost, with a much large pile of feats going their way, and with Deadly Aim added in.
    Eh, I wouldn't count deadly aim as something that boosts rangers, as an archer fighter can also take it, but I guess your right, favored terrain and the additional combat feats are nice, especially since you can choose which feats you want.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinydwarfman View Post
    Bottom of tier 3 for the rogue? I don't think so. Still solidly tier 4. Apart from auto penetrating strike, what does it get? Still doesn't compete with tier 3 classes.
    Depending on campaign assumptions (which largely involve availability of UMD), you can make a good argument that rogues are tier 3 in 3.5. That isn't an argument I would defend, but reasonable people made it on tier threads.

    What do rogues get? 2.5 free combat feats (weapon focus is worth about half a feat). Better Hp, which is good for a class that sometimes enters melee. A bonus on their trapfinding. Roughly 2-3 extra skill points per level due to skill consolidation. Some other minor class features roughly equal to skill tricks. A beastiary that greatly reduces the number of critters who are immune to their schtick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinydwarfman View Post
    Anyway, druid got nerfed to tier 3 or so, the cleric was always tier 2 in core
    A shapeshift variant druid is still a tier 1. The pathfinder druid is entirely better than the shapeshift druid. He still has all spells known casting from a large spell list. He still has a pet that is as good as a weak party member. He can still turn into a bird and fly around all adventuring day while casting spells with Natural Spell, only now he can do it 1 level sooner. All he lost was his ability to turn into a bear and rip peoples faces off after dumping his physical stats.

    Cleric was never tier 2. Tier 2 is for classes who can't pick their spells every day, or have lists that can't break the game. That was never cleric.

    Edit: Upon looking at it, witch may also be tier 2 or very low tier 1. They seem to have 9th level casting off a reasonably varied list, although I don't see many world-breakers on it. It might depend on how much support they get in splats.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-04-21 at 01:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    What do rogues get? 2.5 free combat feats (weapon focus is worth about half a feat). Better Hp, which is good for a class that sometimes enters melee. Some other minor class features roughly equal to skill tricks. A beastiary that greatly reduces the number of critters who are immune to their schtick.
    Pathfinder didn't address a lot of things as well as we'd have like, but slashing the number of SA/Crit immune foes was a great move.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Ring of Evasion means never playing a monk with monk levels again. There is just no reason to dip that stuff. I know we're all about using every part of the buffalo here, but can we just admit that it's inedible?

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    All in all, I'd say most of the classes are in the same Tiers as before. There are a few exceptions though (paladin shifting up a Tierto Tier 4, since the paladin is capable of dealing alot more damage than before).

    It's been a while since I read the Tiers though, so I can't quite remember what they entail. I beleive paladin shifts up one because it goes from "Being able to do one thing, but not really well" to "Being able to do one thing well, but lacking in other areas". The "lacking in other areas" part is never likely to change though, since I don't think anyone would change the fact that their abilities only really function on evil creatures. Having said that, fighting evil is something paladins do very well in PF (though I personally think it's "too well").

    Rogues should shuffle up, though I'm not sure a whole Tier. Their sneak attack is now viable in alot more combats (though, it still doesn't work against everything, so it might not be enough to shift them up to Tier 3). Against things still immune to sneak attack they take a bit of a back seat still, hence why I'm reluctent to push them up a Tier. Granted, if someone simply made a rogue talent that was "You sneak attack now affects plants/elementals/incorporeal" etc then I think that would give them the needed boost.

    Fighter is a high Tier 5, though I'd still say Tier 5. It's still very easy to shut a fighter down and they aren't anymore versitle in PF than they were in 3.5

    Id' say Druids though...if they used the Domain in place of the animal companion option, I'd reckon they'd drop down to Tier 2 (a high Tier 2 though). Personally, I like that, since it balances them a bit better. However, with the AC I'd say still firmly in Tier 1.

    Aside from that, I think all the Tier's remain the same. Barbarians didn't get much of a boost (since most of the Rage Powers are pretty weak), but they didn't get nerfed either.
    Ditto for bards. They got a small boost in that they can get more skill points (though I feel that particular mechanic is a bit wonky) and can maintain bardic music as a free action, but alot of the spells that got hit with a nerf bat were on their spell lsit. I still reckon they're a solid Tier 3 though.

    Clerics got some nerfs, but they were a very high Tier 1, so now they're just a lower Tier 1.

    Monks are still Tier 5 I'd say, their class features still don't mesh well (can't move and flurry for instance), though I do think they're ranking a little higher since they did get a bit of a power boost.

    Rangers, in my opinion, didn't get much. They'd move up a little, but not alot, they're still firmly Tier 4 in my view (though admittidly, I'd actually peg the ranger as being Tier 5 instead of Tier 4, both in 3.5 and PF, unless favoured enemies are appearing constantly).

    Sorcerer I'd say is the same. The extra spells known are nice, but not enough for a Tier, and the actual bloodlines don't really add much (the only sorcerer I ever seen who used his claws only did so because he got them via a Draconic feat and granted free attacks when he cast). Admittidly, I'm felt that Tier 3 or 4 was prime for balance, and that a moderately optimised sorcerer can still be a powerhouse, so I couldn't really understand why they put so much effort into making it more powerful (though having said that I could understand adding the at-will powers or such to lower level sorcerers, since they don't really become the powerhouse until level 6ish).

    Wizards didn't budge. They got some nerfs, but they've got class features on top of it. What's more, wizards can now ban schools but still use spells from the school (the actual spells are harder, but can use scrolls and wands freely).

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Nero24200 View Post
    Rogues should shuffle up, though I'm not sure a whole Tier.
    *Shrugs*

    Most people seem to feel that rogue is one of the stronger tier 4s in 3.5. Pf makes it stronger. Debating things like "is it the strongest tier 4 or the weakest tier 3" is impossible. It is a matter of opinion, heavily weighted by item availability and campaign style. You could just as well put it between the tiers, like the Spirit Shaman, which is weaker than a tier 1 and stronger than a tier 2.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-04-21 at 01:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    *Shrugs*

    Most people seem to feel that rogue is one of the stronger tier 4s in 3.5. Pf makes it stronger. Debating things like "is it the strongest tier 4 or the weakest tier 3" is impossible. It is a matter of opinion, heavily weighted by item availability and campaign style. You could just as well put it between the tiers, like the Spirit Shaman, which is weaker than a tier 1 and stronger than a tier 2.
    Hmm, compare it to a beguiler, or worse, factotum, and the rogue loses every time, but comparing to to other tier 4s, I guess it could be a tier 3.5.
    A shapeshift variant druid is still a tier 1. The pathfinder druid is entirely better than the shapeshift druid. He still has all spells known casting from a large spell list. He still has a pet that is as good as a weak party member. He can still turn into a bird and fly around all adventuring day while casting spells with Natural Spell, only now he can do it 1 level sooner. All he lost was his ability to turn into a bear and rip peoples faces off after dumping his physical stats.
    I don't think a shapeshift druid is tier 1, it looses a huge amount of power and flexibility. I believe that animal companions are also less powerful now. It is still very powerful, but all it does is emulate a relatively sub-par wizard/sorc spell. I would say it's tier 2 though, not tier 3. The loss of it's triple threat ability has knocked it down in power.
    Cleric was never tier 2. Tier 2 is for classes who can't pick their spells every day, or have lists that can't break the game. That was never cleric.
    Oh, it's spells are extremely useful, and it's very versatile, but it just doesn't have the same kind of list that a wizard or sorcerer does. It really needs the huge amount of spells and turning abilities it gets out of core to be tier 1.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinydwarfman View Post
    I don't think a shapeshift druid is tier 1, it looses a huge amount of power and flexibility. I believe that animal companions are also less powerful now. It is still very powerful, but all it does is emulate a relatively sub-par wizard/sorc spell. I would say it's tier 2 though, not tier 3. The loss of it's triple threat ability has knocked it down in power.

    Nope, still Tier 1. It has enough BC/Buffs in it's spell list to make up for the loss. Look at the Wizard: They're a single threat, but they are Tier 1. The loss of an Animal Companion and Wild Shape did two things: Removed two front liners from combat and forced a strategic role onto the druid. All of a sudden it's gone from "Wild Shape into a Bear, ride my pet T-Rex, and shoot lasers" to "Wild Shape into a small flying animal, sit out of reach while peppering them with lasers". Or buff up and do secondary front liner work.


    Oh, it's spells are extremely useful, and it's very versatile, but it just doesn't have the same kind of list that a wizard or sorcerer does. It really needs the huge amount of spells and turning abilities it gets out of core to be tier 1.
    Speculation is that Cleric+Quicken Spell=Big 6. Cleric+Spell Compendium=Big 6. DMM is a major boost in power (taking it from second to last in the Big 6 to #4 or #3), but not big enough that losing it drops them an entire tier. Really, all losing DMM does is nerf their Frontlining capabilities slightly. They now actually have to pick long-duration spells to prepare rather than grabbing all of the Personal-range 1 round/level spells.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinydwarfman View Post
    Hmm, compare it to a beguiler, or worse, factotum, and the rogue loses every time,
    I agree fully, but I would place Beguiler and Factotum at the high end of Tier 3. Lets compare it with a Duskblade. The rogue has way more utility, at least as good survivability, and if it has a flanker or another sneak attack method, the rogue is comparable in damage. The rogue has a hard time against opponents which are immune to crits (rare in PF) the Duskblade has a hard time against opponents with high SR or other antimagic defenses. Is it close to the duskblade? If so, maybe the bottom of tier 3 is the right place.

    Another way to check is compare with the tier descriptions. Bearing in mind that sneak attack immunity is rare in PF, and that even strong tier 3s sometimes get shut out (My Dread Necro has a really hard time fighting Golems for example...) does the rogue sound more like

    "Capable of doing one thing quite well, while still being useful when that one thing is inappropriate, or capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area. Occasionally has a mechanical ability that can solve an encounter (like trapfinding?)), but this is relatively rare and easy to deal with."

    or "Capable of doing one thing quite well, but often useless when encounters require other areas of expertise, or capable of doing many things to a reasonable degree of competance without truly shining. Rarely has any abilities that can outright handle an encounter unless that encounter plays directly to the class's main strength. DMs may sometimes need to work to make sure Tier 4s can contribue to an encounter, as their abilities may sometimes leave them useless."


    Quote Originally Posted by Tinydwarfman View Post
    I don't think a shapeshift druid is tier 1, it looses a huge amount of power and flexibility....

    Oh, it's spells are extremely useful, and it's very versatile, but it just doesn't have the same kind of list that a wizard or sorcerer does. It really needs the huge amount of spells and turning abilities it gets out of core to be tier 1.
    I respectfully submit that you do not understand what tier 1 means. JaronK has admitted that the shapeshift druid is tier 1, and he designed the system.

    A tier 1 caster is one which knows or potentially knows every spell on its list. One which can solve any encounter if the proper spells are chosen. One who can access campaign breaking powers at high levels, and can use long duration spells to further maximize his advantages. PF clerics and druids are weaker than wizards. They are still tier 1. The pet and wildshape are nothing but candy. Tier 1 has nothing to do with how strong you are and everything to do with your ability to solve wildly different problems with radically different spell selections from day to day.

    Edit: ninjaed by Sinfire
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-04-21 at 02:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    From what I've seen, the Wu Jen is generally considered to be High T2, rather than T1.

    I'm not convinced the Druid's spell list is significantly better than the Wu Jen's.

    If the Wu Jen is T2, I think there's quite a strong argument that the Shapeshift Variant Druid is also T2. Wildshape and Animal Companion are not just "candy," they are class features that are stronger than some entire classes. IMHO, it's only because of them that the normal Druid is undebateably T1.

    Of course the Tiers can be defined in a few different ways. T1 has traditionally meant the "Big Six" (or Five if the StP Erudite isn't counted as a class), but if you want to drop that tradition and argue that Wu Jen, Spirit Shaman, and Shapeshift Druid are all T1 in spite of not being "Big Six," that makes sense too.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    From what I've seen, the Wu Jen is generally considered to be High T2, rather than T1.

    I'm not convinced the Druid's spell list is significantly better than the Wu Jen's.

    If the Wu Jen is T2, I think there's quite a strong argument that the Shapeshift Variant Druid is also T2. Wildshape and Animal Companion are not just "candy," they are class features that are stronger than some entire classes. IMHO, it's only because of them that the normal Druid is undebateably T1.

    Of course the Tiers can be defined in a few different ways. T1 has traditionally meant the "Big Six" (or Five if the StP Erudite isn't counted as a class), but if you want to drop that tradition and argue that Wu Jen, Spirit Shaman, and Shapeshift Druid are all T1 in spite of not being "Big Six," that makes sense too.
    JaronK put the Spirit Shaman between the tiers. It gets every spell, but slower, with less spells known on a given day, and nothing to buff. Like the PF rogue, you could flip a coin, or put it in either tier and not be wrong. It looks weaker than Tier 1s and stronger than tier 2s.

    Shapeshift Druid isn't a class. The only times that an ACF gets listed is if it really changes where the base class is located. For example, the WS ranger and Dungeoncrasher are listed, but not all the other ranger or fighter ACFs. Shapeshift Druid is in Big Six, under "Druid".

    Wu Jen isn't listed at all. Either in the most recent tier thread on Brilliantgameologists or in the listing of why classes are in their tiers. Maybe it is discussed in the bowels of a thread somewhere. I would guess that JaronK's answer would be similar to mine. I haven't seen one in play. My understanding of it is purely theory, and I wouldn't want to argue for a rank on something I may not fully understand. If you want to call Wu Jen Tier 1, or ask JaronK about it, it's all the same to me.

    Edit: For that matter, I don't really like to defend the Shapeshift druid either, just because I don't personally like it. I only mentioned it because It is mostly held to be tier 1, and the PF druid is clearly better.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-04-21 at 03:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    JaronK put the Spirit Shaman between the tiers. It gets every spell, but slower, with less spells known on a given day, and nothing to buff. Like the PF rogue, you could flip a coin, or put it in either tier and not be wrong. It looks weaker than Tier 1s and stronger than tier 2s.
    The thing about not having the animal companion to buff isn't that big. There's a good number of personal-ranged Druid buffs that don't need Wildshape.

    In all honesty, it's the only Tier 1 that isn't a member of the Big 6, which is why it's in such limbo. It has everything needed to be Tier 1, but lacks the oomph needed to make it #7. Kinda like the difference between the Power 9 and the Power 10 (MTG reference).



    Wu-Jen gets mentioned as a nerfed Wizard due to lack of splat love.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    I think it's hard to really define the PF tiers because a lot also depends on the sources you use. If you're not using 3.5 materials then 3 the "Big Six" don't even exist, assuming we're mentioning the psion, archivist, and artificer. If you ARE using 3.5 material than many PF changes are irrelevant because casters can get better spells than the nerfed ones by using 3.5 sources.

    Along the same lines, we have to ask if this is "practical" or whether limits will be placed on the game. Can you chain-gate solars or will the DM limit them, for example? Just a guess, but 5-10 houserules will fix most of the broken spells left over in core PF from 1st-15th level.

    And finally, you have to look at how the overall rule changes have shifted things. Now that all skills are 1 point per rank, it's a lot easier for wizards to take random stuff like Tumble, and every class has the potential to be more flexible. Look at the rogue for example:
    3.5 Rogue with a 10 int: Hide, Move Silently, Search, Spot, Listen, Disable Device, Open Lock, Use Magic Device
    PF rogue with a 10 int: Stealth, Perception, Disable Device, Use Magic Device, 4 open skills.

    Does the skills change benefit rogues enough to shift them up a tier? What about sneak attack hitting everything that isn't incorporeal? The HD increase? 4 bonus feats/special abilities from 2nd to 8th? Or because all the classes got nice things, is it a zero-sum game where the improvements to rogues don't matter because everyone else got stuff as well?
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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    I think it's hard to really define the PF tiers because a lot also depends on the sources you use. If you're not using 3.5 materials then 3 the "Big Six" don't even exist, assuming we're mentioning the psion, archivist, and artificer.
    Well...the psion isn't one of the "big six", the Psion is Tier 2. The Erudite is Tier 1 due to it's badly worded spell to power ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    If you ARE using 3.5 material than many PF changes are irrelevant because casters can get better spells than the nerfed ones by using 3.5 sources.
    Some of the biggest offenders were core though. Wizards still have teleport, fly and time-stop (and those are only a few examples).

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Akal Saris View Post
    I think it's hard to really define the PF tiers because a lot also depends on the sources you use. If you're not using 3.5 materials then 3 the "Big Six" don't even exist, assuming we're mentioning the psion, archivist, and artificer. If you ARE using 3.5 material than many PF changes are irrelevant because casters can get better spells than the nerfed ones by using 3.5 sources.

    Along the same lines, we have to ask if this is "practical" or whether limits will be placed on the game. Can you chain-gate solars or will the DM limit them, for example? Just a guess, but 5-10 houserules will fix most of the broken spells left over in core PF from 1st-15th level.
    I agree, but those are all issues in 3.5 as well. Just saying 3.5 doesn't automatically bring in every splatbook, and what was and wasn't allowed was a point of contention early on in tier threads.

    As it relates to those questions, the best answer seems to be roughly "The tier system assumes a certain game (Mostly RAW, limited item availability, sourcebook benefit roughly equivalent across classes). If your game differs, adjust tiers accordingly. They are a good rule of thumb guideline but can shift a lot based on campaign."

    For example, a 3.5 Rogue in Ravenloft could be tier 5. The same rogue with the same build in an urban campaign including magic marts where all the enemies are humanoids could be tier 3.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-04-21 at 05:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post

    Wu-Jen gets mentioned as a nerfed Wizard due to lack of splat love.
    Spell Compendruim says to add new Druid elemental spells to it though (except Air).

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Spell Compendruim says to add new Druid elemental spells to [the Wu Jen] though (except Air).
    Unfortunately for theoretical power debates you need RAW, not a suggestion by the rules.

    Edit: Wu Jen is one of my favorite classes, I'm not happy about the lack of Splat love either.
    Last edited by Captain Six; 2010-04-21 at 06:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    So.. could somone give me a link to the description and listing of all these tiers?
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    played the Space Pope in Total War 2125
    ..and the Papal States of Luna in Total War 2260


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    Darkness Fell, and with it Light

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    Gunslinger in the Playground Administrator
     
    Roland St. Jude's Avatar

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    Default Re: Pathfinder and the Tier System

    Sheriff of Moddingham: Thread Necromancy.
    Constable Roland by Balford
    Old Ways, a long-running RC/BECMI game is now recruiting for a replacement player.
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