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Thread: Unbalanced Prestige Classes

  1. #1
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    Unbalanced Prestige Classes

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    About to start running a new campaign and would like a listing of any prestige classes that are problematic. Unbalanced, overpowered or just a pain in the ass. Please provide a little bit about why if possible. Thanks!

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    I've found Incantatrix (from Player's Guide to Faerun), Fochlucan Lyrist (from Complete Adventurer), Ultimate Magus (from Complete Mage), and Abjurant Champion (also Complete Mage) to be problematic. Reasons below.

    Incantatrix - Ever wanted to see a pc mage tear through your bad guys like so much tissue paper? This is the guy who can do it. His ability to add metamagic after the fact practically guarantees him extended (and higher levels persistent) defenses. And his 10th level ability to lower metamagic costs by one is grotesque. It's an epic feat that this guy gains at 15th level. And if you allow pcs to take multiple prestige classes, this nightmare gets worse with the addition of archmage or argent savant (both fine on their own).

    Fochlucan Lyrist - I think this has a misprint, they shouldn't have fighter attack bonus. If you turn that down to match a wizard the class isn't so bad.

    Ultimate Magus - This one is under constant debate. It seems to be too powerful but I haven't tested it yet. I think when I allow it I might make some changes.

    Abjurant Champion - Only dangerous when stacked with existing fighter/ arcane caster type classes. By itself it's rather harmless, but slightly unbalanced. Also note, the only spells its abjurant armor ability affect is shield and repelling shield (not sure what they were thinking with that).

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    Quote Originally Posted by starfalconkd View Post
    Ultimate Magus - This one is under constant debate. It seems to be too powerful but I haven't tested it yet. I think when I allow it I might make some changes.
    Really only over balanced if you consider the Mystic Theruge over banlanced as well.

    If you play it from Level 1 to finish though, you will feel the pain of having to make it there. But in full by Level 20 you are a major force to be reckoned with.
    If you use the Practiced Caster Feat at 3rd Level on the Sorceror class, you can at 20th be casting with spells as a Wizard 18(Caster Level 22) & Sorceror 9 (Caster Level 17).

    It is about level 10-12 that you can feel the full on creep of the PrC. The final out put for the 20th level character I mentioned is Wizard 9 / Sorceror 1 / Ultimagus 10.
    I know on the WOTC boards, there are a few possible Epic builds for UM 11-20, but some of them get wild but there were a couple that seemed reasonable.

    I have an Excel file of the breakdown to 20th, as I was seeing if it was worth taking myself.

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    Notions of what is balanced tend to be very subjective and depend almost completely on the person running the campaign itself. Since that's you, you control that factor entirely.

    One way to make sure you aren't totally blind-sided would be to research a good number of Prestiege Class concepts and pre-approve the ones that fit your setting the most. Then you can still let individual players suggest alternates that fit their ideas, but they at least get a baseline idea of what you consider viable.
    --
    Grimwell

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    The warlock is a nerf if you ask me... just lame...

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    The True Necromancer from Heroes of Horror has the potential to be broken. For 3/4 of its levels you gain a cleric and a wizard caster level, plus spell-like abilities, culminating at Wail of the Banshee.

    Any class that gives you the benefits of two base classes has the potential to be problematic.

    Also, I don't remember where, but one of the articles on wizards.com recommended disallowing the Dervish from Complete Warrior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorquemada View Post
    The True Necromancer from Heroes of Horror
    True Necromancer is in Libris Mortis. And yeah, that prc is ridiculous.

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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by starfalconkd View Post
    True Necromancer is in Libris Mortis. And yeah, that prc is ridiculous.
    You are absolutely correct.

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    Ur-Priest (CD) is a pretty broken PrC (right out of the box broken; a fighter can take this and break the game). Initiate of the seven fold viel is the "I'm an arcane caster and don't die" PrC. Dweomerkeeper is broken in any sort of build (google cheater of mystra or twice betrayer of shar). I personally see no problems with abjurant champion. It is a gish class and makes gishes more on par with cleric. Nothing it does is really problematic.
    //end rant

    if you recognize that then you get a cookie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ubernoob View Post
    I personally see no problems with abjurant champion. It is a gish class and makes gishes more on par with cleric. Nothing it does is really problematic.
    My biggest problem is when it stacks with other gish prcs. A Fighter 1/ Wizard 6/ Eldritch Knight 10/ Spellsword 3 has a +17 ATB and 17th level caster abilities. You could mess around with this to create some different power balances. Adding Abjurant Champion to the mix creates this: F 1/ Wiz 5/ EK 10/ AbjCh 4 gives you +17 ATB and 18th level spellcasting. It's just another step up from when the spellsword came out.
    Also, since you mentioned Ur-Priest, you should be careful with all the prcs that grant huge spellcasting in 10 levels (Ur-Priest, Blighter, Sublime Chord, etc). I generally don't allow people to build up those classes spellcasting through other prcs +1/level.
    Last edited by starfalconkd; 06-06-2007 at 06:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starfalconkd View Post
    My biggest problem is when it stacks with other gish prcs. A Fighter 1/ Wizard 6/ Eldritch Knight 10/ Spellsword 3 has a +17 ATB and 17th level caster abilities. You could mess around with this to create some different power balances. Adding Abjurant Champion to the mix creates this: F 1/ Wiz 5/ EK 10/ AbjCh 4 gives you +17 ATB and 18th level spellcasting. It's just another step up from when the spellsword came out.
    Also, since you mentioned Ur-Priest, you should be careful with all the prcs that grant huge spellcasting in 10 levels (Ur-Priest, Blighter, Sublime Chord, etc). I generally don't allow people to build up those classes spellcasting through other prcs +1/level.
    A wizard that gives up ANY CL to be a gish is nerfing himself up until epic levels. Spellcasting is that strong. AC is just another gish PrC; if you dont like it you might as well ban eldritch knight as welll as wiz 8/ ftr 2/ EK gets 16 bab and 17 CL. Sublime chord IF USED PROPERLY (on a bard base and only on a bard base) is perfectly balanced. If someone with levels in ultimate magus asks to take it, you are in for a world of cheese and need to say NO.

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    To each their own. I find it helpful to just ask my pcs what their intentions are and we discuss it. I'd probably use almost any prc if the player had a good story and didn't cheese it to death.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starfalconkd View Post
    To each their own. I find it helpful to just ask my pcs what their intentions are and we discuss it. I'd probably use almost any prc if the player had a good story and didn't cheese it to death.
    That would be a good way to handle PrCs.

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    I try to be a fairly open-minded DM. I like my players to have a good time.

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