Ok, with those three classes bashed together I’m happy with my general replacement of the fighter class, now the question becomes where to go next.
I said in a previous blog entry that this project would likely lead into a complete restructuring of classes and other mechanics to tie into a setting I am creating as part of this endeavor, and that seems like the best guide for moving forwards.
My goals for the next few changes are to balance out classes into a much compressed set of tiers compared to the current 6 tier spread. At a very basic level my intention is to remove tier one and six classes, and to condense tier two and 5 classes into the 3rd and 4th tier as much as I am able. The result will be hopefully a selection of competent classes capable of doing their main job well while being free to branch out a bit, or to be moderately competent jack of all trades.
The plan so far:
Remove: Fighter, Rogue, Monk, Samurai, Ninja, Cleric, Druid, Wizard, Sorceror, Arcanist, Witch, Shaman, Summoner, Gunslinger, Swashbuckler.
Add new: Soldier, Weapon master, Brute, Illusionist, Wanderer, Burglar, Elementalist, Occultist.
What the plan means:
So I’m removing a tonne of classes here, primarily all the top tier classes and a few of the bottom tier classes. I’m going to be replacing the top tier caster classes with the occultist and the Elementalist as well as a modified oracle. The illusionist is actually going to be a rogue related class, so don’t confuse it with the wizard school specialist.
The “subtle” goal here is to remove all 7th level spells and higher. I’ve done this in a sneaky way, by removing all the classes that can cast them. Occultists, Elementalists and Illusionists are at best going to cast up to 6th level spells, and part of the nerf I’m going to hand oracles is removing their 7th and higher spells to bring them in line with the rest of the game’s caster classes.
Removing the monk, ninja and samurai are part of the thematic choices of the game. I don’t want any eastern influences in my setting. Everything is going to be European or nearby to some extent, so these classes break flavour quite a bit. The monk arguably is the least eastern option, having European analogs, but I want to cut some work for myself in order to make this project more manageable, and instead of doing to monks what I did to fighters, it would be justifiable and easier to just remove them entirely. I don’t feel like the game is going to miss them at all, really, so I’m not too heartbroken. Don’t get me wrong, I love my eastern lore, samurais, ninjas, etc, but pathfinder just does a terrible job of incorporating them into the game, and I want a cohesive internally balanced piece of work when I’m done.
Gunslinger and swashbuckler are being sidelined simply because guns aren’t something I want in this setting, nor are they realized in any particularly satisfying way. They misfire, except in a gunslingers hands they don’t. They target touch AC, but only within 30′, so be prepared to put your unarmoured ass in harms way in order to take advantage of your classes single advantage, etc. etc. Long story short, If I have an epiphany and think of a way to fix the guns they use, I will consider touching the classes up and adding them back into the mix, but until then I’m just going to make my life easier.
All primary casters, casters that gain 9th level spells, with summoner thrown in for obvious reasons, have been removed from the game. The reasons for this choice are manifold. Caster classes are broken. By their existence they make the rest of the catalogue of classes arbitrary and meaningless. The cleric, the druid, the wizard, they can do anything any other class can do, and just as well as those classes. No class can hold a candle to a well built primary caster, and that means less fun for the rest of the party. So they are snipped, removed entirely. The amount of work required to fix those classes is monstrous and I set out with a goal of this project being less work than an entire game creation project would be.
Buffing the cavalier is a problem. The class fits well enough with the setting and has enough class features and mechanics I like that I want to save them. That said, this class is hardly a priority and I will either remove it, or buff it up to tier 4 or better if I have the time. If I can’t buff it I’m not going to let it remain as a trap choice, and will remove it.
Removing the rogue is a tricky choice. On the surface the rogue is a nice class, but it’s such a tangled ball of poor abilities that it constantly shoot itself in the foot. It needs some kind of dramatic change. So I’m going to do what I did with the fighter and break the class up, make 3 classes all specialized in an aspect of what the rogue does, and let players pick their specialty. As a special note, with the inclusion of the Slayer class, a sneak attack class that is actually quite usable has been added to the game. This class really exemplifies the killer nature of the rogue, and leaves room for the more creative, specialized versions of the rogue to sprout from it’s corpse. The intended classes are Wanderer, Illusionist and Burglar, and each should be moderately obvious what they are for. The Wanderer is a jack of all trades and almost a build your own class, exemplifying the skill-monkey nature of rogues, as well as their mystique and strength of character. The Burglar is of course the quintessential thief. Getting in and out gaining what you want is the burglar’s primary goal. The Illusionist is a nod to the ninja and the really neat but impossible to use magic based rogue talents. My intention here is to create an arcane trickster that actually works, without making yet another casting class.
Ok I’m passing out at the keyboard, time to call it a night. I’ll keep you guys posted on how things go from here on out. Next post will be a look at the classes that will still be in the game and how they will begin to fit into the cultures of the world.