Author Topic: Class Changes - Hak update  (Read 1483 times)

EO

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Class Changes - Hak update
« on: January 27, 2018, 04:30:47 PM »
Wiki updated with all class descriptions:
http://nwnravenloft.wikia.com/wiki/Classes
http://nwnravenloft.wikia.com/wiki/Prestige_Classes

Blackguard
-Aura of Despair: At level 3, a blackguard can inspire despair in his enemies, causing them to take a -2 penalty to their saving throws.
-Detect Good: At level 1, a blackguard can detect lawful creatures.
-Added new prerequisites:
    -Lore 2 ranks

Divine Champion
-Added new prerequisites:
    -Lore 3 ranks
    -Weapon Focus must be in their deity's favored weapon

Dragon Disciple
-Speak Language is now going to properly be a class skill as per its class description
-Added new prerequisite (in the October hak update):
   -Draconic (Drc)

Dwarven Defender (from the October hak update)
-They now receive bonus natural AC on leveling up
-Reworked the order of some feats
-Fixed issues with Defensive Stance
-Added new prerequisite:
   -Endurance

Shifter
-Added new prerequisite:
   -Endurance

Pale Master
-Summon Undead/Summon Greater Undead take into account the total caster level of the character (casting class levels + Pale Master levels/2)
-Pale Masters gain new spells per day as if they had also gained a level in his highest caster class (bard, sorcerer or wizard) and their caster level increases accordingly.
-Summon Undead and Summon Greater Undead take into account the character's full caster level (including non-PM caster levels) up to a maximum of 15.
-Added new prerequisites:
    -Lore 8 ranks
    -Skill Focus (Lore)

Paladin
-Gains Courage as a level 2 feat (+4 vs Fear)
-Aura of Courage changed to provide Immunity vs Magical Fear, not natural fear.
-Removed Inspire Courage; Inspire Courage's ability merged with Aura of Courage.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 10:44:05 PM by EO »

Troukk

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 02:16:14 PM »
I was toying around with the Pale Master, and now a 10 wizard / 10 palemaster no longer has access to tier 9 spells, when in our actual build (and previous builds of the test server) he does.

Is it an intentional change or a bug?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 02:18:02 PM by Troukk »
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EO

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 08:19:24 PM »
I was toying around with the Pale Master, and now a 10 wizard / 10 palemaster no longer has access to tier 9 spells, when in our actual build (and previous builds of the test server) he does.

Is it an intentional change or a bug?

Yeah but I think I'll revert it.

Troukk

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 09:59:33 PM »
That'd be appreciated. As a current pale master player, I can say that they have it hard enough with the low caster level making their buffs have short duration and easier to dispell, and nukes doing less damage and having a harder time penetrating spell resistance.

Getting tier 9 spells makes them at least viable (although still weaker than a regular wizard)
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aprogressivist

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 12:14:15 AM »
Getting tier 9 spells makes them at least viable (although still weaker than a regular wizard)

Weaker than a regular wizard how? Isn't the Palemaster going to get full spell progression in that suggestion? So for losing a few feats, they get 6 Natural Armour, +4 Strength, a whole bunch of touch attacks, and the clincher, immunity to Critical attacks (and sneak attacks, I believe[1]) at PM 10?

I agree that Pale Master at half spell progression is underpowered, but let's not over-egg the pudding. At full spell progression it'll become powerbuild territory.
 1. http://nwn.wikia.com/wiki/Deathless_mastery
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 12:20:19 AM by aprogressivist »
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Troukk

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2018, 12:41:19 AM »
Right now they get access to tier 9 spells, but their pale master levels only give half caster level. It's not the feats that hurt. It's the caster level. Shorter buff duration really hurts at lower levels, and easy to dispell buffs really hurts at higher levels where all dungeons have dispelling casters.

They get survival goodies, but they don't have the BAB to be a frontliner.

From a powerbuilding standpoint, I'd still take pure wizard over a pale master any day of the week.
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aprogressivist

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2018, 01:02:31 AM »
Either I'm misunderstanding something or I think you may be confusing things. Right now they can't be half caster progression for Pale Master if they get access to Tier 9 spells; Wizard 10/PM 10 (with PM at half caster) would cap out at caster level 15, and that's only level 8 spells. So if they have access to Tier 9 spells right now, that implies they have full caster progression already (as it says on the wiki: http://nwnravenloft.wikia.com/wiki/Pale_Master ).

To rate their stuff as "survival goodies" is an understatement. PM 10 is individually one of the best class levels in the game, a reason for some people to get into the class on servers that still have half progression. As for not being a front-liner, that's underestimating them; I can tell you for a fact that Palemaster at full caster progression is the sort of thing that makes Mayvind drool at the thought of melee caster builds ;)

Still, I agree that PMs should have full caster progression because they're a necromancer Prestige Class in Ravenloft and thus ought to be powerful. But as a former CC I suspect that this change will (or possibly already has, as I assume it's already in...) radically change the way the CC views requests for this Prestige class.
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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2018, 08:03:22 AM »
Palemaster's progression is confusing. They get full progression towards their spell circles, but they only get half progression for caster level.

Here's EO explaining it: http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=35863.msg586910#msg586910

Quote
As per PnP, I've set it up so that pale master levels count when calculating caster level. As per 3E PnP (which is what we follow for pale masters), they progress at 1/2 their pale master level. It'll affect everything except (unfortunately) the spell resistance checks since that part is hardcoded.

3.0 has half progression for Palemasters, 3.5 has full progression. Basically, a level 10/10 wizard/palemaster will cast spells that have the duration and DC of a level 15 character, but they'll have access to all 9 spell circles. It's a decent trade-off.
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Troukk

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2018, 08:43:45 AM »
Yeah I think you are misunderstanding a very cool feature our Dev team implemented here:

spell progression ≠ caster level ≠ spell penetration caster level.

I'll explain it with an example that will make it more clear. Let's say we have Quinn the Palemaster (10 wizard / 10 palemaster), and Ana the wizard (20 wizard)

Ana will have 20 spell progression / 20 caster level / 20 spell penetration caster level.
Quinn will have 20 spell progression / 15 caster level / 10 spell penetration caster level.

How does that affect them? Let's take it to the numbers:

They both have 20 spell progression, so they both have access to the same amount of tier 9 spells as long as they have the same intelligence.

Ana has 20 caster level and Quinn has 15. There are many things that are affected by caster level:

Spell duration: Buffs cast by Ana will last longer, especially the ones that work with turns/level mechanic. For example, if Ana casts Bull's Strength, it will last 20 turns. If Quinn casts Bull's Strength, it will last 15 turns. It may seem minor, but Ana's buffs will last until her next available rest, while Quinn's won't, and that can be a hassle.

Spell Damage: Many damaging spells use caster level to determine damage because they use the caster level as a multiplier. To name a classic, if Ana casts Isaac's Greater Missile Storm it will do 20d4+1 damage (between 40-100 damage). If Quinn casts that same spell it will do 15d4+1 (between 30-75 damage).

Dispelling: The buff dispel mechanic takes into account spell level. Which means if you have lower caster level, your buffs are easier to dispel. And if you have higher caster level, your dispelling is more effective. The formula is 1d20 + dispel's caster level  vs.  12 + creator's effective level. It's confusing, so let's make an example. Imagine Ana and Quinn start fighting each other and they both cast Mordekainen's disjunction. Ana's dispelling will be 1d20 + 20 vs DC27. That means Ana has 65% chance to dispel Quinn's buffs. On the other hand, Quinn's dispelling will be 1d20 + 15 vs DC 32. That means Quinn only has a 20% chance to dispel Ana's buffs. This is a BIG deal. And is not only important in PvP, most high level dungeons in this server have monsters that can dispel buffs.

And there is also spell penetration caster level. It's the ability to pierce a target's spell resistance. The formula is d20 + spell penetration caster level + spell penetration  vs. Spell Resistance. In an example, let's say Janos the evil necromancer (Cleric 20) casts Spell Resistance spell on himself. And both Ana and Quinn try to fling a fireball at him. Ana's fireball is d20 + 20 vs DC 32. That means Ana has a 40% chance to land the fireball on evil Janos. On the other hand Quinn has d20 + 10 vs DC 32, which means his fireballs have a 0% chance of landing (I am not sure if a natural 20 is an autosuccess here, but even if it was, it only raises the success rate to 5%).

As you can see, Ana is clearly the better spellcaster. Quinn gets some tankiness in return, but in powerbuilding terms alone, they are not worth it, because at the end of the day, Pale Masters are spellcasters, not tanks. It's the equivalent of offering a paladin more spells per level, at the cost of losing AC and AB. Sure, it's nice to get more spells, but not at the cost of being worse at their main role.

I am not saying Pale Masters are a weak class, they are not. They are still spellcasters, and as such, they are stronger than most melee classes, but that's just how DnD works. But they are weaker than their base class that requires no application, so I see no reason to take their tier 9 spells away.
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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2018, 12:27:17 PM »
Would someone know if the effective caster lvl can go beyond 20 with a feat such as Inspire Spellpower? If the limit is set at 20, would Pale Master be able to get at 16 (15+1) caster lvls despite being lvl 20?

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EO

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2018, 10:37:09 PM »
Quote
spell progression ≠ caster level ≠ spell penetration caster level.

I've given it some thought and decided to have spell progression = caster level for pale masters (but not spell penetration alas due to engine limitations). I know this is quite a pretty big buff for pale masters but it makes more sense in general and we did increase the prerequisites to be a pale master (Spell Focus (Lore) + 8 ranks in Lore).

Also, updated the initial topic. Blackguards get Detect Good (lawful) at level 1. Also I'll merge Inspire Courage with Aura of Courage for paladins.

ASymphony

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2018, 11:25:11 AM »
What is the drawback then? The investment, for a class that is near exclusively going to be taken by wizards is going to be near-irrelevant, that is an extreme powerupgrade to this class, that already takes out several regular weaknesses of wizards. With this upgrade, whole tiers of power difference are put between wizard/PM and _anything_ else.
Just to point out, the strongest base-class on POTM is getting from this:
- Full spell progression
- High fort Progression
- +6 AC
- 38 HP
- A number of valuable touch attacks
- Immunity to Crits
- Immunity to Sneak Attacks
- Immunity to Paralysis
- Immunity to Stun

And all of this for 8 skillpoints, which is nothing for a wizard and a feat for the class that gets the second most amount of feats on this server. If this is to be done then the requirements should make the ones for weapon master silly, which is a bad joke compared to what pale masters get. The reduced spell progression was the only thing that kept the class remotely balanced.

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2018, 12:07:21 PM »
Spell Resistance is a big one, I think. Good luck taking down a monk, a buffed-up cleric, or a drow/svirfneblin as a pale-master, because your spells will be far more likely to just fizzle and do nothing.

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ASymphony

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2018, 12:21:05 PM »
Disjunction is going to take care of the cleric easy. I don't know how SR is implemented for drow and svirfs here, but I suspect its susceptible to being lowered so breaching takes care of that. Leaves the monk, who admittedly the number of offensive spells to attack directly is low, but thanks to Premo + Acid Sheath, would be suicidal to take you on as well. (also stunning fist etc. won't work against you either because PM immunities)

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2018, 12:37:41 PM »
I've given it some thought and decided to have spell progression = caster level for pale masters (but not spell penetration alas due to engine limitations). I know this is quite a pretty big buff for pale masters but it makes more sense in general and we did increase the prerequisites to be a pale master (Spell Focus (Lore) + 8 ranks in Lore).

I have no idea how balanced this is, but reading the articulate concern others are expressing, I have to ask about the phrasing above. Aren't major changes to a class decided by some kind of consensus among the Team, or can any developer unilaterally implement a "pretty big buff" (and conversely, a nerf)?

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2018, 12:49:09 PM »
At current it is a tossup as to how Palemasters will play out.

One one hand, you can't go around Disjoining every monster in PvE to lower its SR. There are some pretty nasty enemies that have high SR, but they are only small handfuls.

As for players and PvP, Disjunction works wonders on them. Also greater spell penetration coupled in with that basically makes all your spells rip through. The only class that is saved from this is a monk, as their SR cannot be stripped away by a Disjunction (neither can racial SR if I recall). But how often will you realistically encounter a high level monk or race with SR that you can't punch?

I say it was fine before with them receiving 1/2 progression to duration and acquisition of spells.

Also agree the prerequisites are still pretty limp for access to such power (barring any applications).
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 12:51:28 PM by Sword »
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EO

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2018, 01:03:49 PM »
Keep in mind that the spell progression has been like that for the past three years already. The only change is that caster level will now progress at the same rate vs half. Palemasters already had access to level 9 wizard spells since the 2014-2015 hak and clearly that didn’t break server balance.

Also don’t forget the following:

-They get a hefty OcR boost
-They don’t learn spells when leveling up, unlike wizards, so they need to find scrolls and higher tier scrolls are now very hard to find and level 9 ones drop in the rare treasury which means they drop in less than 1% of cases.
-And like all other PrCs they are gated behind an application process.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 01:07:35 PM by EO »

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2018, 01:06:46 PM »
You're also taking the 'outcast' hit (if you make your powers known).

booksarefun666

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2018, 01:18:00 PM »
You literally walk around with a skeleton arm that people will have no problem piling on and if RP'd properly, you look partially undead from all the time spent augmenting yourself with forbidden knowledge. You'll be a periah right out of the gate and at a marked disadvantage to a non-app'd for vanilla wizard.

SR currently is d20 + caster level + spell penetration (assumed you spent two feats for lesser and greater pen) vs. SR.

Currently it'd be d20 + 10 + 4 vs SR vs Bec'ky the level 15 drow  (25). Out of every spell cast, you'd need 11+ or you have a 45% of that spell not outright becoming a biff if we're assuming the pale master is level 20.

A cleric decides to take a step after level 10 palemaster/10 wizard because he's such an obvious bad. With one spell, and we'll presume he's also a bored level 20, his SR is 32 given this formula that's up to you to tweak it as you like:
Quote
The target creature has its spell resistance set to 12, +1 per caster level

In the default situation mister palemaster needs a 18 or higher, or a resounding 10% for a spell to work. I mention Mordenkainen's Disjunction not at all because palemasters don't get it currently and that is what Troukk wound up requesting for.

Sure, you get some cool abilities but they get poor optics and they don't even get the dignity of good summons (read: long summons) like the original PrC was supposed to do in PnP. I can assure you guys that the meta is not shifting and the clerics and regular wizards will still have an easier time, both socially and PvE-wise.

Edit:

Quote
A number of valuable touch attacks

Bear in mind they're literally touch attacks and you need to be at melee and revealing the fact that you have a skeleton arm, the death one is DC 20 vs fort which most people can typically easily cover especially when we're talking about this is the very pinnacle of the Pale Master craft at level 10 it also probably means you're a high level character yourself. It's almost useless to use it given that context unless you're using it to bully low levels or the two rogues we have left on this server.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 01:32:03 PM by booksarefun666 »

Legion XXI

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2018, 01:34:38 PM »
You're also taking the 'outcast' hit (if you make your powers known).

Yeah no kidding.  Let word get out that your PC is basically a walking +5 good boy hero points and you'll have some people trying to kill you like no other.  So that's hefty in the way of "drawbacks" to me.   Also having to actually locate your scrolls is going to be a massive pain unless you take all your PM levels as early as possible to buy the ones from the shop.  And like EO said, this is an application based class.  If you're "that guy" who's character concept is "wizard with crit immunity" and has made no IC progression toward taking the class, you're just not going to get it.


Like Books pointed out, the Spell Pen of 10 means you have to burn 2 extra feats (on top of the one you now need for the class) to get back into competitive ranges, or you just now have to try and Mord every single enemy you come across.  And since your dispel portion of the Mord isn't going to strip anything, you'll only strip the breachable spells, which doesn't cover any of the cleric's AB buffs, so you're still probably getting KD'd by the end of the first round unless you manage to stop him from getting to you.

Also we're assuming these PMs are all level 20 already.  That's like a year off bare minimum, and the "getting there" is going to be a real pain for this class.  The earlier you take those 10 PM levels, the better it's going to be for you spell-selection wise, but that means more time playing "hide your skeletal arm or die simulator 773."  If you put them off until the end, well, good luck finding all the level 9 scrolls.

Edit - Also without getting into pvp tactics too much, I will say that a disjunction isn't always a realistic spell you can manage to cast in the very short amount of time you may have.  Remember, as a caster, once you fail a discipline check it's basically over.  And most people aren't already walking around populated areas with premo/acid sheathe/haste active.  Sure, in a hardcore no-Rp-just-pvp level gank you'll have that active, but wizards always win those anyways and it's like the whole way they are set up.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 01:37:53 PM by Legion XXI »

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2018, 01:36:20 PM »
At best (no SR mobs), they're better off-tanks who can more effectively sling damage and CC spells. At worst (SR mobs), they're just tanks with decent AB and a mediocre dispel (with blackstaff). This is all assuming they're a level 10 PM at least + the needed wizard level to take blackstaff.

Troukk

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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2018, 02:08:58 PM »
The only situation I can think where I'd rather be playing a Palemaster than a pure wizard is a PvP scenario where my PC is being ganked unbuffed.

And even then, if the attacker is half competent, my PC's chance of survival is still zero.
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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2018, 12:06:12 AM »
Spell Resistance is a big one, I think. Good luck taking down a svirfneblin as a pale-master because your spells will be far more likely to just fizzle and do nothing.

To be fair, if you've managed to piss off a svirfneblin to the point of being hunted down you've likely pissed off everyone else in the server first before that happened.
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Re: Class Changes - Hak update
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2018, 06:57:47 AM »
Not sure I have even seen a svirf on my entire time on the server.