Talk:Arcane Trickmaster (3.5e Prestige Class)

From Dungeons and Dragons Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


RatedFavor.png Leziad favors this article and rated it 4 of 4!
A remake of the arcane trickster that doesn't suck horribly. It add a few interesting class features to the table, I like that.

Now I want to play a duskblade/rogue/arcane trickmaster.

RatedDislike.png Ghostwheel dislikes this article and rated it 1 of 4.
Balance-wise seems VH to me, taking into account full CL, SA advancement, the number of skill points per level, etc, all at no practically loss with Assassin's Stance. Straight out better than staying wizard.

Lucky wizards, with their two feat investment and cross class ranks in Disable Device. They can sneak in at 18th level in 3.5, or 9th in Pathfinder, with no losses. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 12:20, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

When converting reqs from 3.5 to PF, it's generally accepted to reduce skill points by 3, so I'd say level 6 in PF. --Ghostwheel (talk) 13:04, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
No, still 9th. Actually 10th, I misjudged. Assassin's stance requires initiator level 5th. You have no initiator levels, so you count as half. 10/2=5, its the soonest Martial Stance can work. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 13:13, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Ah, fair point. --Ghostwheel (talk) 13:41, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
So, still dislike? -- Eiji-kun (talk) 20:07, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Yep, but also because of principles. It is my opinion that any prestige class that's stronger than a vanilla wizard needs to lose some CL or else it's a pure upgrade, thus making it VH. --Ghostwheel (talk) 20:15, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
I do not see a single ability on this class, which is by principle VH. The class is essentially impossible to qualify for without losing class level anyway. While spellcasting usually is VH this prestige class is not, in a VH game you have levels in wizard but such is unlikely in a pure H game (unless you play a houseruled version). It is definitely not a straight upgrade over the bard or duskblade. --Leziad (talk) 20:41, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but we don't take things at what they might be. We take their most powerful example. And Wizard X / Arcane Trickster X is stronger than Wizard X. If it were to lose a CL or three, that might not be the case, and might actually be debatable, but as it stands, with the ability to enter it without losing wizard levels theoretically, it is stronger than a vanilla wizard, and thus VH in my mind. I like the class, and think the prerequisites partially make up for its power, but I am still of the opinion that it is VH. --Ghostwheel (talk) 20:46, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Entering without losing CL is irrelevant, it can only enter at 18th, where you do not care about the CL loss anyway (hello 9th level spells). Also I think it really really cheesy to rate something based on backdoor PrC entry. Even accepting your basic premise, that arcane trickster/wizard is better than a wizard it does not make this class H to VH, the wizard is very VH and I do not see why we are using it as an example. In a high-game there is not going to be a backdoor entry from wizard, because you ain't playing a wizard. There is no VH class features on this class, therefore it is not VH. --Leziad (talk) 20:55, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
How do you figure 18th? There's a number of feats that grant class skills FWIW, and as mentioned above, you can take Assassin's Stance by 10ish, allowing you to start taking levels in this class at level 11 for caster 10 / PrC 10. And as I said before; the class is rated on its maximum potential, not on what it could do in a given game. This makes things incredibly dicey for prestige classes, which can build off of, and augment, VH material. --Ghostwheel (talk) 21:17, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
If you use VH content of course the class will be VH. But there is nothing inherently VH about the class therefore it not VH. Taken on a duskblade or bard, it does not make them VH. It only VH when you take it... on a VH class. Also wasting three feat at VH level for weak sneak attack and some low end class feature is probably decreasing your power, instead of you know, investing in good VH feats. --Leziad (talk) 21:25, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Did you just claim that all PrCs are VH? --Undead_Knave (talk) 21:25, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Only ones that both give full caster level, have some way of getting in without wasting class levels, AND give abilities that are better than the feats they lose and/or what a vanilla wizard would give. --Ghostwheel (talk) 21:44, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
EDIT: The Alienist from Complete Arcane, for example, would be the lowest point of VH or high H, in my opinion, is a good example. Its abilities are flavorful, and so minor that they don't trump what a straight wizard can do while still giving full casting. On the other hand, something like the Argent Savant from the same book would be High-level in my opinion. Its abilities are nice, but I don't think they're worth giving up the extra CL, thus making them less powerful than a straight wizard, and from an optimization standpoint I would take a Wizard 20 over Wizard 15 / Argent Savant 5. --Ghostwheel (talk) 21:50, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

(RESET INDENT) Just popping my head in briefly, but now you've used nearly half (3 out of your 7) feats just to qualify, and feats granting class skills aren't so hot. Or common, barring homebrew.

There's also a problem coming at PrCs using "the most optimal method" rather than "the intended method". As it is, this makes Paladin 1 the most broken class ever because the most optimal thing you can do with it is summon Pazuzu and start the Pun Pun chain of events. And you have classes like Mystic Theurge, which are very poor normally due to lost CL, but get brokenly good... if mixed with Beholder Mage and Ur Priest. I am saying the problem here isn't the Theurge. It's the things you're doing to get in, things which are neither expected nor terribly common.

The obvious entry for this is rogue/arcane spellcaster. Even with the method of keeping full CL instead of CL -2, you're paying for it in the inability to access these things until 11th and a none-too-insignificant number of feats, feats which can no doubt go to a much more optimal purpose. You've payed for it while the rogue/arcane spellcaster payed in a different way, a way which allowed them to enjoy the benefits of the class at the level they were intended. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 21:34, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

(EDIT: On a side note, actually the PF form of the no CL loss method can't take this until 11th after all. That's when the first feat to qualify for Martial Study comes in. Your last level will come in at epic. That's no good.) -- Eiji-kun (talk) 21:36, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

I think it's implicitly agreed upon not to use Pazuzu, Pun-Pun, or similar levels of cheese when evaluating things since they break the game so hard that they make everything entirely irrelevant. On top of that, wizards don't actually need that many feats to be excellent. They're inherently godly. I would also say that wizard 9 / fighter 1 / arcane trickmaster 10 is better than wizard 20, if you want to get in exactly at level 11. Regardless, I feel like I've explained myself a number of times. Please either bring new information to the table, or we can agree to disagree. --Ghostwheel (talk) 21:44, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Are we even talking H-game anymore? Because if we go VH, no one stay full wizard. Just go abjurant champion or archmage, or whatever and call it a day. In a high-level game you either have a severely nerfed wizard or a duskblade or a bard or whatever. Here where you argument do not hold on, even if the arcane trickster made you outright better that won't necessarily push you into VH. There is nothing inherently VH about this class. Also your fighter example essentially gave the class a caster level loss plus a two feat tax.
I also strongly oppose calling wizard inherently godly when discussing a High class, a God-Wizard si definitely not high and if it in a high game then there was definitely a fuck up somewhere. Also why the wizard would ever care about sneak attack and better bab if it cost him 3 feats, which he could take metamagic or item creation or arcane thesis or any GOOD feats instead. He can just shapechange into a fucking dragon anyway, the VH God-wizard has nothing to even gain from this class. It just icing on the cake, icing he paid 3 feats for. --Leziad (talk) 22:03, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
"Also your fighter example essentially gave the class a caster level loss plus a two feat tax."
Three still actually. Fighter doesn't have Disable Device either. It's a lot of work just for the benefit of -1 CL instead of -2. It doesn't hold up.
I used Pun Pun as the example to show that if you come in with VH material, it's not going to bump you lower. Rather, "this class is suitable for High", and it is, either by CL loss, feat loss, or the most important part, the ability to enter with a less-than-VH class and either get an upgrade or stay the same, without going VH. That, and if the wizard is in a High level game it has the capability to be scaled back to such. It's safe to assume that a high level game will not be allowing wish loops and other wizard brand VH cheese, which is where the threat of this being VH comes from. Again, it's the problem with the wizard, not the PrC. As Leziad states, nothing the PrC grants makes this VH. For VH classes, it can only dilute them from a little to a bunch depending on how you go about it and how far you are willing to optimize.
On a side note, given the presence of sneak attack the wizard is encouraged to use spells which enable said sneak attack. Blasts. Specifically touch and ranged touch spells. In terms of what makes a wizard VH, it's not the blasts, so in a sense the nature of the class actually promotes use of High level stuff from the wizard anyway.-- Eiji-kun (talk) 00:08, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

High Prerequisites?[edit]

The prerequisites seem a bit hasrh, rogue/caster already have a hard time and the high qualification make it a bit harder on them. In comparison the pathfinder version of the arcane trickster as lower skill prerequs. --Leziad (talk) 01:22, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

The PF Arcane Trickster has alignment: Any nonlawful; Skills: Disable Device 4 ranks, Escape Artist 4 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks; Spells: Ability to cast mage hand and at least one arcane spell of 2nd level or higher; and Special: Sneak attack +2d6. That's not really that much different.
This is a remake of the original arcane trickster anyway, and the benefits are superior by effectively being full gestalt, more or less. SA and CL are not degraded. You will be taking a -2 CL from the rogue levels anyway, unless you obtain it other ways cough cough Assassin's Stance cough cough. Seeing the costs of the earliest entry (rogue 2 so -2 CL) or the later entry (full CL and two feats), I don't see it as an issue. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 01:30, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
9 ranks mean entry is only possible at 7th though. So the wizard lose 3 caster level and the rogue is 3 level behind on his sneak attack. Honestly the easiest way in would be Rogue/Thug Fighter/Wizard 1 with precocious apprentice for the pathfinder version, which is 5th level entry. I am not saying you should change it, im just commenting. --Leziad (talk) 01:36, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Wait now I remember why I noted this, entry is much later. Disable device is not a class skill for ANY arcane spellcasting class I know of in Core. Since you are limited to half rank fuckery that mean you only get level 7 entry if tyou somehow have disable device as class skill on both classes. --Leziad (talk) 01:38, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
I just re-read the skill entry (which is confusing) this seem it did not work the way i thought it did. Nevermind. --Leziad (talk) 01:40, 7 April 2015 (UTC)