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    Default [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Hey-

    My group just hit 7th level, and we were talking Prestige Classes the other day after our session. I hadn't really thought about what to do with my Thoth-worshipping wizard4/cleric3 and our DM suggested the Mystic Theurge (DMG p192). I did not think much of it, and asked if he would let me increase the HD to a d6. He thought I was crazy- he says it is overpowered, because it allows a PC to advance in two spell-casting classes every level.

    This touched off a minor group argument; the DM and a player think this PrC is overpowered, and 4 of us think it is really rather bland.

    I'm fine with abiding by his decision; his game and all that. I'm not going to take any levels in it, but I'm curious to see if there is any kind of consensus out there on this issue.

    Overpowered? Underpowered? Just Right?

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    The overpowered choice has been made: to follow the dual class path Wiz/cleric is a poor option, cause you'll stay behind the spell power of a single class caster.
    MT helps a little, mitigating the initial (and permanent) disadvantage. But it's absolutely not overpowered.
    Last edited by Killer Angel; 2010-05-03 at 05:27 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    It's a horribly designed class that leads to completely underpowered characters unless the PC is specifically built to break it (which yours is not). Advancing two classes may seen powerful at first glance, but the prereqs make it so that you're almost always behind a single-classed wizard or cleric.

    The main problem with Mystic Theurge is that it requires at least wizard 3/cleric 3 to enter. This means that you lose out on three caster levels in either class compared to a single-classed wizard or cleric. At level 7, you'll still be casting 2nd level spells, while a wiz 7 or clr 7 is casting 4th level ones. And considering that increasing spell level leads to exponential increases in power, a Mystic Theurge is incredibly behind throughout its entire career.

    However, since you're a wizard 4/cleric 3 already, you still should take the class, even if your DM won't let you make it more viable. It's still better than taking one class at a time, and +1 average hp per level won't matter that much anyway once you have higher level spells to make hit points meaningless.
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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Definitely Underpowered if you don't get in with early entry, and I think Just Right if you do.

    The former puts you at least 3 levels behind a single-class caster - that's too large a gap for your second class to compensate for in most cases. Casting 2nd-level spells while the game expects you to be casting 4th-level spells is problematic - for you and your party.

    The latter puts you just 1 level behind - still a pain, but now the spells from your other class at least have a chance to make up for it.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    The idea of a man in control of both the divine and arcane is awesome.

    The class itself is not.
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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Miles_Teg View Post
    Hey-

    My group just hit 7th level, and we were talking Prestige Classes the other day after our session. I hadn't really thought about what to do with my Thoth-worshipping wizard4/cleric3 and our DM suggested the Mystic Theurge (DMG p192). I did not think much of it, and asked if he would let me increase the HD to a d6. He thought I was crazy- he says it is overpowered, because it allows a PC to advance in two spell-casting classes every level.

    This touched off a minor group argument; the DM and a player think this PrC is overpowered, and 4 of us think it is really rather bland.

    I'm fine with abiding by his decision; his game and all that. I'm not going to take any levels in it, but I'm curious to see if there is any kind of consensus out there on this issue.

    Overpowered? Underpowered? Just Right?
    MT has great class features, and a steep, steep cost.

    You've already paid the cost. There's no reason NOT to take MT now. MT gets really good if you can find ways to get into it early. As is, it's probably the single best PrC for your current character build.

    Not overpowered, but you've got an underpowered option. Might as well make the best of it.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Your spells/day and spell selection matter little when you can still only cast one spell per round. Compared to a single-classed Wizard or Cleric of equal level, a Mystic Theurge is far less powerful because he is casting lower level spells just as often as the single-classed character is casting his higher level spells. Not only is a Wizard/Cleric/Mystic Theurge not overpowered, it ends up being far less powerful than a single-classed character. Indeed, if your character were currently a Wizard 3/ Cleric 3/ Mystic Theurge 1, you would be casting 2nd level spells in two classes, whereas a single-classed character would be casting 4th level spells. At the next level you would gain 3rd level spells, and the next level a single-classed character would have 5th level spells, you're always 1.5 spell levels behind. Power scales exponentially with spell level, i.e. two 1st level spells are less powerful than one 2nd level spell, two 2nd level spells are less powerful than one 3rd level spell, two 3rd level spells are less powerful than one 4th level spell, etc. Your doubled spells/day is less powerful than the higher level spells of a single-classed character. Add to that the fact that it takes you twice as many rounds to cast them all, and you'll be lucky to contribute anything significant at all.

    Here is my advice for this character: Tell your DM that you agree that Mystic Theurge is overpowered, and that you'd rather not use it. However, you don't think your character will be strong enough as a multiclass Wizard/Cleric without it, so you'd like to change the character to something more viable without using an overpowered prestige class. Ask if you can switch to a single-classed Cloistered Cleric, which in flavor has very few differences from a Wizard/Cleric. You would get the Knowledge domain for free, so your other two domains would be Magic and Rune. You would keep Scribe Scroll due to the Rune domain, and you would be able to activate magic items as though you still had Wizard levels. You could swap around your ability scores to put a lower stat on Intelligence, possibly making Dex or Con higher for better survivability. Your spells would progress much more quickly, making them much more powerful than those of a multiclass character, and the character wouldn't really play any differently than it does now apart from spell selection.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    Your spells/day and spell selection matter little when you can still only cast one spell per round. Compared to a single-classed Wizard or Cleric of equal level, a Mystic Theurge is far less powerful because he is casting lower level spells just as often as the single-classed character is casting his higher level spells. Not only is a Wizard/Cleric/Mystic Theurge not overpowered, it ends up being far less powerful than a single-classed character. Indeed, if your character were currently a Wizard 3/ Cleric 3/ Mystic Theurge 1, you would be casting 2nd level spells in two classes, whereas a single-classed character would be casting 4th level spells. At the next level you would gain 3rd level spells, and the next level a single-classed character would have 5th level spells, you're always 1.5 spell levels behind. Power scales exponentially with spell level, i.e. two 1st level spells are less powerful than one 2nd level spell, two 2nd level spells are less powerful than one 3rd level spell, two 3rd level spells are less powerful than one 4th level spell, etc. Your doubled spells/day is less powerful than the higher level spells of a single-classed character. Add to that the fact that it takes you twice as many rounds to cast them all, and you'll be lucky to contribute anything significant at all.

    Here is my advice for this character: Tell your DM that you agree that Mystic Theurge is overpowered, and that you'd rather not use it. However, you don't think your character will be strong enough as a multiclass Wizard/Cleric without it, so you'd like to change the character to something more viable without using an overpowered prestige class. Ask if you can switch to a single-classed Cloistered Cleric, which in flavor has very few differences from a Wizard/Cleric. You would get the Knowledge domain for free, so your other two domains would be Magic and Rune. You would keep Scribe Scroll due to the Rune domain, and you would be able to activate magic items as though you still had Wizard levels. You could swap around your ability scores to put a lower stat on Intelligence, possibly making Dex or Con higher for better survivability. Your spells would progress much more quickly, making them much more powerful than those of a multiclass character, and the character wouldn't really play any differently than it does now apart from spell selection.
    Not true in all cases. MT/Psychic Theurge/Cerebremancer can all be powerful, IF you can find things to do with spells.

    Buffs, utility, etc mean that you cast spells BEFORE battles.
    Quicken lets you get off powers at twice the speed.
    Spells that are naturally swift actions also help here.

    No, if you build for theurge, you can do great things with it. It just has to be built for.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    I was thinking about a MT base class, basically a sorcerer that gets half the number of spell perday/known but on two lists, the second lists draw from the cleric's known spells, I do not feel such a class would be overpowered. Alternatively allowing the wizard to trade in his bonus feats for adding a few spells normally found only on divine castor's lists wouldn't be overpowered neither. A warforged can already heal itself with repair spells anyways.
    Last edited by Geiger Counter; 2010-05-03 at 06:14 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Probably the worst part about MT is the lack of class features. At the time, WotC thought that merely having two lists was powerful enough; you didn't need any other synergy or incentive to take the class.

    By the time they learned from that mistake (via theurges like Arcane Hierophant, Eldritch Theurge, Anima Mage, Soulcaster etc.) the damage was done to the earlier ones.

    The Pathfinder MT attempts to address this oversight.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Well, many people disagrees with the MT for the reasons here: You're would be Cure-Moderate and Acid Arrow when were supossed to Cure-Critical or throwing Fireballs. It would be to have a weakness

    But you have the weakness, no matter you take the clase or not. Now, you learned to cope with it. so I encourage you to become a MT.

    The main reason is not just having a huge spell selection, but DOUBLING your spell slots for each level! you can be the more trigger-happy caster in the world, and never run out of spells!

    Don't worry about your HP. As you are the spellcaster a foe hiting you would be your doom, because the constant concentration cheks. And a few HP more won't make a big diference. A good spellcaster really need to be behind a good meatshield, or will face that he can't beat four pitiful goblins because their constant attacks keeps ruining his concentration.

    And don't worry about your party asking for "one more sword" in the battle. When you start fireballing, enlighthing, Praying, etc... they sure won't miss your D8 mace.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Agreed - inform your DM that the PrC is the only hope your character has of being salvageable at this point. If he disallows it, you may as well reroll or xbox.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    The Mystic Theurge is also a great way of stopping a wizard/cleric from vastly outpacing the other party members in power. Instead of turning into a virtual deity with 7th, 8th, 9th level spells the full caster becomes suited for casting low level buffs and utility spells all day with a huge range of options, but they need the brute force of the melee types. It's a good way to make a team player.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander View Post
    The Mystic Theurge is also a great way of stopping a wizard/cleric from vastly outpacing the other party members in power. Instead of turning into a virtual deity with 7th, 8th, 9th level spells the full caster becomes suited for casting low level buffs and utility spells all day with a huge range of options, but they need the brute force of the melee types. It's a good way to make a team player.
    You can get 9ths just fine with an MT, even without early entry. You just get them late.

    Wiz 3/Cleric 3/MT10/Wiz 4, for instance, casts as a Wizard 17 - 9th-level spells. Use the Cleric 13 side for buffs.

    Yeah you're weaker, but that drops you to what, tier 2? 3? You're still way ahead of the Fighter and Rogue.
    Last edited by Optimystik; 2010-05-03 at 06:41 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Mystic Theurge, if anything, is underrated. Yes, in terms of heavy optimization, it is sub-par; but no, most groups in practice do not play under such optimization.

    Wizard/10 is tier 1. Cleric/10 is tier 1. Wiz3/Cle3/MT4 is what, tier 2 or perhaps 3? Many fun and playable classes exist at tier 3, so the MT is still a useful build.
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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    So is your DM allowing you to retrain that 4th lv of wizard to 1 lv of mystic theurge?

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Mystic Theurge, if anything, is underrated. Yes, in terms of heavy optimization, it is sub-par; but no, most groups in practice do not play under such optimization.
    It's not simply a matter of optimization preference, though. As stated earlier, entering MT "vanilla" has you casting 2nd-level spells at a point where the game expects you to have 4ths. Depending on your DM, that can be "subpar"... or it can be fatal.

    On top of everything else - if you're theurging the wrong classes, you end up having to deal with MAD issues. A Wiz/Cleric theurge has to keep both Wis and Int fairly high, while still keeping an eye on Dex and Con. That doesn't leave a lot of wiggle-room, spells or no spells.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    If you take Precocious Apprentice feat, you can enter MT at Wizard 1/Cleric 3, then it gets kind of good. Be an elf, and continue with Arcane Hierophant after MT.
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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    If you take Precocious Apprentice feat, you can enter MT at Wizard 1/Cleric 3, then it gets kind of good. Be an elf, and continue with Arcane Hierophant after MT.
    You need Druid, not Cleric, for that one

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Character design should be based on personality and backstory first, power level second but Wizard 4/Cleric 3 is a horrid drop in the power curve. Horrid. You'd be better off roleplaying a very religious Wizard. You do not have to be a Cleric to worship a god.

    You may as well play a Mystic Theurge as you've already taken the power loss. MT has access to lots of spells but you won't have the best spells for your level. That stings. Also remember that armour interferes with arcane spellcasting, nullifying a useful Cleric proficiency, and, far more importantly, you can still only cast one spell per round. MT is not overpowered.

    However, I've played an MT and it was fun. I'm a tactician and a wide of spells and scrolls gave me a tool for every situation.
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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    You need Druid, not Cleric, for that one
    Ow, right you are. For the Clerics there's True Necromancer(Yet another example of evil getting all the good stuff).
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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical View Post
    Ow, right you are. For the Clerics there's True Necromancer(Yet another example of evil getting all the good stuff).
    I fail to see the connection between true necro and "good stuff".
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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Mystic Theurge, if anything, is underrated. Yes, in terms of heavy optimization, it is sub-par; but no, most groups in practice do not play under such optimization.

    Wizard/10 is tier 1. Cleric/10 is tier 1. Wiz3/Cle3/MT4 is what, tier 2 or perhaps 3? Many fun and playable classes exist at tier 3, so the MT is still a useful build.
    Actually, under heavy optimization, Mystic Theurge is borderline broken. A Wizard/Ur Priest/Mystic Theurge can easily get 9th level spells in both arcane and divine, using Ur Priest slots to DMM Persist and Wizard slots to rule the world. Even without Ur Priest, early entry can lead to powerful builds that barely sacrifice casting in one class to become proficient in another.

    However, using it as intended, it is a terrible prc that puts you far below the power level of the entry classes, which makes for bad class design, regardless of whether the final class is actually playable. (Even the Truenamer has been proven to be playable; that doesn't make it a well-designed class.)
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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Quote Originally Posted by PId6 View Post
    Actually, under heavy optimization, Mystic Theurge is borderline broken. A Wizard/Ur Priest/Mystic Theurge can easily get 9th level spells in both arcane and divine,
    That strikes me more as an example of Ur Priest being broken.

    However, using it as intended, it is a terrible prc that puts you far below the power level of the entry classes,
    Being below the power level of the entry class doesn't mean that a PRC is terrible; it may just as easily mean that the entry class is too strong.
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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    The "Terrible" thing that all of you say applies to every non-full spellCaster prestige class.

    Take for example,the SpellSword, or the Eldrich Knight, or the Both of them requires to sacrifice a few levels learning non-spell classes. But the result is quite good: a spellcaster who can minions by hilself without draining his low levels, or one of the greatest classes (Greater Invisibility,and now... Stealth Dissintegrate, Stealth Dissintegrate, Stealth Dissintegrate!)


    The greatest advantage I see to the MT isn't about knowing a lot spells, is about the enormous cuantity of spell slots they gain. In pathfinder, the Mistyc Theurge can even trow two spell simultaneously, making him able to MeteorSwarm and Implosionate a target the very same turn!

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Souhiro View Post
    The "Terrible" thing that all of you say applies to every non-full spellCaster prestige class.

    Take for example,the SpellSword, or the Eldrich Knight, or the Both of them requires to sacrifice a few levels learning non-spell classes. But the result is quite good: a spellcaster who can minions by hilself without draining his low levels, or one of the greatest classes (Greater Invisibility,and now... Stealth Dissintegrate, Stealth Dissintegrate, Stealth Dissintegrate!)


    The greatest advantage I see to the MT isn't about knowing a lot spells, is about the enormous cuantity of spell slots they gain. In pathfinder, the Mistyc Theurge can even trow two spell simultaneously, making him able to MeteorSwarm and Implosionate a target the very same turn!
    1. Pathfinder MT is better. Not a lot better, but better.

    2. Spellsword is a 1 level dip, and Eldrich Knight only loses 1 caster level, and at that is only really good in core builds because later PRCs (like Abjurant Champion) are so much better.

    3. Yes, almost all non-full casting PRCs are traps. There are very few classes that are worth losing a caster level. You have to get a LOT for that level for it to be worth considering.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-05-03 at 08:50 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    In essence, if you felt like your character was doing OK beforehand (or, at worst, if you thought they were a little mediocre), then you should be fine, MT should fit your character pretty well, and your character will fit into the game pretty well.

    You don't have to have the most powerful character possible in order to play the game.

    On the other hand, if you didn't feel like you were doing anywhere near as well as the other characters in your party, then you might be better off asking the DM for a rebuild.

    In reality, it all comes down to how difficult your campaign is.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2010-05-03 at 09:04 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    That strikes me more as an example of Ur Priest being broken.
    Hence why I also mentioned that it's still good without Ur Priest. A cleric 3/wizard 1/MT 10/cleric +X only loses 1 caster level as cleric and gets 11th level wizard casting, which is almost certainly more powerful than pure cleric. A wizard/druid/MT/Arcane Hierophant can get 9th level arcane and divine. Classes like Mystic Theurge and Cerebremancer are quite powerful if heavily optimized; it's only when used as intended that they're bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Being below the power level of the entry class doesn't mean that a PRC is terrible; it may just as easily mean that the entry class is too strong.
    A prestige class should be on a power level equal to the entry class, trading certain capabilities for other ones or specializing at a certain task. It should not be an exercise in purposefully gimping yourself; that's just bad design. Most of the best-made prestige classes are +0 or +1 classes for that reason. The power level of casting classes are a problem, but it's not the job of the PrC to fix them; self-gimping is easy enough without having trap-laden PrCs around to attract newcomers.
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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Another problem with Mystic Theurge: in order to cast your Wizard spells, you're almost always going to have to go with light armor, taking away one of the advantages of the Cleric class (armored casting with no spell failure). Technically speaking this isn't as bad as it sounds (if armor starts mattering to a Wizard, something has gone horribly wrong). But if your DM thinks Mystic Theurge is overpowered, he might be convinced by the argument.

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    Default Re: [3.5] What do you think of Mystic Theurge?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    MT has great class features, and a steep, steep cost.

    You've already paid the cost. There's no reason NOT to take MT now. MT gets really good if you can find ways to get into it early. As is, it's probably the single best PrC for your current character build.

    Not overpowered, but you've got an underpowered option. Might as well make the best of it.
    This +1.

    Mystic Theurge isn't great, but its the best your character can get into, OP, so do it. And while you're absolutely right that a HD bump would be nice, it isn't required(It's also only +10 hp after 10 levels, so not very great). And you can compensate by devoting 4+ spell slots a day to the spell Aid, to get 1d8+CL(Max 1d8+10) temp hp per casting.
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