Talk:Flammenwerfer (3.5e Class)

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RatedFavor.png YX33A favors this article and rated it 4 of 4!
Man, where has this class been all my days using Hellfire Throwers to be a Pyro?

The non-combat uses are cool enough that I wish I could use some earlier(mostly Solid Fire for building a house), and while Microwave and Irradiate stack oddly(how can one deal pure [light] damage and half fire half [light]? And the stacking of 1d8 con damage on a failed save with 2 con damage on a failed save might be overkill), I like the class enough that I think it is my favorite "new" class, even if there are plenty of other useful classes out there. That being said, I still can't make a character without stressing about which class to use, but I digress.

RatedLike.png DanielDraco likes this article and rated it 3 of 4.
I still balk at calling Fog Cloud, regardless of the continual action investment required, High power. Blindness and nausea too, but at least they require saves. Overall, this is a pretty good class and I really like where it's going. But...I just can't bring myself to Like it in its present state. Those abilities just ruin it as a H class. Nerf them somewhat, and you can expect a Like. Nerf them and also add a helping of utility abilities, and you can expect a Favor. Re-examining the class, I do genuinely like it, so I'll give it a positive rating. I would love to be able to favor it, but spamming fog and blindness is just too VH to let slide.
RatedLike.png Leziad likes this article and rated it 3 of 4.
I appprovewerfer, for this class has plenty of combat potential.I will change toa favor as soon as it get some noncombat utilities.

Out of Combat[edit]

I have some now. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 10:19, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Asbestos Aura - "20 foot" is not an area by itself. Radius maybe? - Tarkisflux Talk 17:54, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
I dig it. They are few, but between Solid Flame and Reforge there is a lot of potential for flexibility. It's like major creation, without all the massive abusability. So yeah, that stuff should be enough for utility. Although I'm not sure whether the 5 lb/level is meant to be a limit to how much solid flame can be created at once, or how much can be created in total. If the latter, what happens if he loses track of some of his solid flame? Is it gone forever and unable to be replaced, or can he will it to unshape wherever it is, and then just make some more? --DanielDraco (talk) 20:41, 27 September 2012 (UTC)


Since when has a spammable AoE blind been balanced at High? Especially when it's available at 2nd level. Or the ability to completely negate ranged characters? Or the ability to AoE nauseate enemies? Honestly, I like this class, but it has enough combat utility to potentially put many sorcs to shame (and let's not talk about psions/wilders, who are also in the VH range). --Ghostwheel (talk) 12:18, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

You had a point on blind, and it has been pushed back (the blinding part anyway) to 8th. I suppose negating ranged attacks means Deflect Projectiles, but its just once a round. It's just Deflect Arrows. AoE nausea is at 10th, at which point I don't care, since the superior stinking clouds have been floating around for five levels by then. The spell doesn't require upkeep and constant saves. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 12:50, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Let's give my favorite example; either this against a party of definitely-H-range-characters, or this as part of a party against a DM throwing H-level encounters at the party.
Either way, there's going to be a lot of frustration if half the time the opposing side can barely function... which is a mark of VH-level abilities.
And I meant Fog Cloud more than Deflect Projectiles, since that'll screw over any opposing ranged character, as well as bringing a lot of utility to the class in a way that isn't reminiscent of H-range characters. --Ghostwheel (talk) 13:19, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
I disagree slightly. The level things come online plays a large part where I stick the balance range. A [Death] effect save or die might be fight in fighter games... at 20th. In higher level games they appear at lower and lower levels until wizard level (9th). But, on terms of fog cloud... interesting, but it's available via Smokesticks. I'm sure sure if you can't get more available than that. It's mostly an escape tactic until you can See in Smoke, which is a great ability allowing you to have one-sided concealment. But at the level you get it, I find it appropriate. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 13:55, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Making an argument of the form, "WotC VH classes can get it at level X, so it's fine for a H class as long as I give it later" presumes that the difference between H and VH is purely quantitative, not qualitative. It also presumes that VH class abilities form a logical, consistent, and balanced progression. Both presumptions are patently untrue. H classes can be justified to get access to very limited shutdown abilities. But AoE fog every round is not sufficiently limited, especially when the class is based on AoE damage anyway -- just keep spamming that ability, and it doesn't make a bit of difference whether you can see where the enemies are. Your allies are safe too, because of Precise Fire, which does not require you to actually know where your allies are. So yeah, smokeblast could use a cooldown. I'd say every 1d4 rounds for the high end of H, or 1/minute to be more middle-of-the-road.
I'd argue against allowing them Deflect Projectiles too, on the basis that it is a hard counter. Yeah, it's only 1/round, but not all ranged combatants use barrages. It's seriously strong in the right situation, and should probably involve a roll of some sort. --DanielDraco (talk)
What DD said, just because they come online early in VH games, does not mean that stinking cloud should ever make an appearance in H-level games (or, for that matter, nor should most of the god-wizard spells). That means that both the blind and nauseate rarely come up in H-level play, and if they do then they are severely limited, not spammable, and come at the cost of another ability rather than being tacked on top of everything else you can do. --Ghostwheel (talk) 21:47, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not saying it's purely quantitative, but I am saying quantitative is a large part of it. Here, take Tome of Battle, the defacto example of High level. Yet this "High Level" possesses massive ability damage (mountain tombstone strike, 5 shadow creeping ice enervating strike), save or dies/effective death (hand of death, feral death blow), and various means of denying actions (stunning, dazing, paralysis). Clearly, action denial is not the sole domain of Very High. The fact these effects often come 4 levels after wizards obtain them furthers my argument for delayed acquisition. You can still spam these effects fairly easily, even with ToB's restrictions of maneuver use. If you wish to argue that it becomes too powerful because it's that, plus in an area, all well and fine, but that's unrelated to the idea that things lower than Very High level can obtain and use these "very high level tactics".
The reason I rank this lesser than the wizard's stinking cloud isn't just because it comes later, but also because it's not fire and forget. The wizard dedicates a single round to shutting down the enemy, who will remain shut down for 1d4+1 more rounds later with no effort on his part, while he goes and summons some solars or something. To achieve the same effect the flammen must employ the same tactic every round, with them getting a save every round, in order to keep them shut down. I lock away their combat options on other things they may want to do in that round, and make it uncertain since the enemy is likely to make they're saving throw eventually. Combine that with Fort being one of the stronger saves in the game, and unless you're fighting nothing but casters you have a fairly good chance that your nausea tactics will fail to produce results beyond middling damage.
Amusing bug you found though, about Precise Fire not needing to know where your allies are. That is unintentional and will be re-worded.
I'm rather surprised you think Deflect Arrows is so potent. It's... it's often been shown as a very blah ability. Even if you assume the enemy is only firing a single arrow at a time (a fairly difficult to pull off build IMO), it also assumes you're only fighting a single ranged character. I dunno about you, but I imagine if I'm gonna throw in powerful single shooters, I'm gonna have more than one on the battlefield. In fact, the only example I can think of of powerful single shots... are siege attacks like a giant's rock throwing, which this doesn't cover. This seems like a situation which is too circumstantial to bother with. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 01:12, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
ToB shutdown abilities are generally very very low duration, and have a cooldown (in the form of requiring that they be recovered before being used again). So it's generally 1 round of the effect, with a practical minimum of 2 rounds between. Yes, Bright Fire and Smoke Blast and Toxic Blast are inferior to similar wizard abilities in terms of duration, but A) they are superior in that they are at-will and have very very large areas and B) that is comparing apples to oranges, because disparity from a wizard would not imply similarity to a warblade. The save doesn't factor into it when you're comparing apples to this new fruit intended to be apples, because ToB abilities always either require an attack roll, allow a save, or both, and are generally very very small areas (on the rare occasion that they're not just single-target) -- so yeah, you're allowing a save every round...but so does ToB generally, and it doesn't let you spam AoE shutdowns.
Even setting aside the above, the argumentum ad ToBum doesn't really apply to any of those abilities because they are effects which are completely unavoidable. If you're in the area of Bright Fire from a level 8 pyrflammenwerfer, then you're getting that penalty. Period. No questions. If you're in the area of Smoke Blast, you can't see. Period. No questions. There's no roll involved -- you're doomed to becoming far far FAR less effective. Unavoidable shutdowns and debuffs are not the domain of H.
That, by the way, is the same reason I don't like Deflect Arrows in a H game. Yeah, it's generally not worth a feat because it's so conditional, but that doesn't mean that it justifies a hard counter when those conditions are fulfilled. --DanielDraco (talk) 18:32, 22 September 2012 (UTC)


Would be fitting? --Ghostwheel (talk) 12:20, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

It is fitting, and yes, this is basically Pyro the class. However, I've a different image in mind.... -- Eiji-kun (talk) 12:50, 21 September 2012 (UTC)


I really like the class, but there were a few things I wanted to note. And here they are.

Flammenwerfer Gun is listed as supernatural, and within that entry describes the gun itself. Which sort of implies that the very existence of the object is supernatural. Does the gun vanish in an antimagic field? Either way, you might want to specify.

There are times when you don't want to create a gout of flames that extends most of the length of a football field. You might want to allow the flammenwerfer to choose their range, up to that maximum.

Close Combat Flammenwerfer might need to be tightened up a bit. What about feats like Superior Unarmed Strike? That is a feat, and it is specific to one weapon, so according to your wording it does count. Maybe "If you possess any feats which normally only apply to a single weapon chosen taking the feat, you may apply all of those feats to your flammenwerfer gun in melee. Each feat can only apply once, and a feat only functions in this way if a greatclub is a valid option for it." You might also consider giving them their full fire damage instead of just 1d6, so that it's actually a viable combat option.

You might consider changing Deflect Projectiles to "With a readied action, you can deflect a single projectile as if you had the Deflect Arrows feat, except that you do not need a free hand."

Burn Ro Dah could use some clarity. Is there some particular shape to this blast? The best interpretation I can figure is that he essentially pushes back every creature within 15 feet, but judging from the source material I'd say that's probably not what you want.

I am very much approve that you mimiced the axetinguisher with Critical Flames, but I question the implementation. A flammenwerfer is almost always going to prefer to simply burninate again, because it deals superior damage. Add to that the fact that critical hits are highly variable -- 18-20/x2 and 20/x4 are equivalent when you must roll, but auto-crit abilities make one strictly superior to the other. I would suggest changing it so that it deals extra damage based on flammenwerfer gun damage -- possibly double the base. This is more predictable, and more likely to be something the flammenwerfer actually wants to do.

You refer to the flammenwerfer gun a few times as simply a "flammenwerfer", which is confusing because that is the name of the class. Might want to comb through and fix those.

Improved Critical Flames should likely be rephrased to saying that a creature on fire takes that much damage, rather than dealing it.

Melt Blast should specify that it functions on worked materials rather than just natural materials like the spell (or else it can never actually afffect metal). Because of this, it should also only affect unattended objects -- no insta-sundering armor and weapons.

Burn Duration has no inition action. It also uses the very very imprecise phrasing of "negative effect". What about effects that have positive and negative sides, like rage -- is only the negative part ended? It should probably require an action, and allow the flammenwerfer to choose any single effect (or number of effects).

Phoenix Fire's first sentence should probably be rearranged. It implies that they can make a reflex save to only be reduced halfway to ash.

"destroys maximum hp damage" is rather awkward phrasing. May I suggest "reduces maximum HP by an amount equal to the damage dealt"?

Heat Rocket needs some clarity. Does this take effect only after moving 20 feet, or during the move? (It probably should only apply after 20 feet. The intent to move 20 feet is all well and good, but such intent can easily be spoiled and then you've got a weird retcon situation.) What is the action on the sprint dash?

I get that it's a capstone, but that's not necessarily an excuse to leapfrog well into VH territory -- Irradiate should have less damage than 1d8 Con. Maybe 1d4+1. Or maybe just 3. --DanielDraco (talk) 20:10, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Ha, that's a lot of few things. Still, glad you like the idea. Let's answer....
The gun is supernatural and does go away in an AMF. Most of their goodies are magic in nature so AMF hurts them about as much as it hurts any caster. Also, good call on doing less-than-maximum on the cone size.
Close Combat Flammenwerfer's any-weapon ability is an effective rip from aptitude weapon of warblade fame. Anything you can apply to an effective greatclub can work on it. Some things, like rapid shot, can't apply. Not because it's not weapon-specific, but because it's not ranged. Got a good way to word this? Should I rip the aptitude boilerplate and modify it as needed?
Deflect Arrows already limits you to one arrow a round, but good call on not needing a free hand.
Burn Ro Dah affects everyone in a 15 ft cone of your attack (or a line), and bull rushes them. They may be bull rushed beyond the range of your AoE. Sounds like another wording issue.
Critical Flames mixes best with high multiplier weapon. Intentional and fitting, seeing as axes are a common weapon of choice. So yes, an axe or a scythe does really well matched with this one.
Note, I'll typo check for lack of gun in flammenwerfer gun. Also noted on Improved Critical Flame's wording. Will clarify on Melt Blast too.
Burn Duration is a non-action. This is actually one of the stronger abilities... anything you are not willing to be affected by is removed within a few rounds. I'm considering making it 1d4+1 just to ensure 2 rounds of penalty. Like if I, say, used Ray of Enfeeblement (usually lasts for minutes). Ray of Enfeeblement will be removed in 1d4+1 rounds. Meanwhile if I took ability damage from Poison, or got turned to stone by Flesh to Stone, neither is removed. The first is instant, the second permanent. As for buffs, presumably you WANT to be Invisibled or Bear's Enduranced, so you don't shorten its duration.
XD Oh dear... Phoenix Fire... ok, I'll fix that. Same with the max hp thing.
Heat Rocket's shielding effect kicks in if you move at least 20 ft, much like how scout's skirmish damage kicks in if you move 10 feet. Wording? Sprint dash is a non-action to activate if that's what you mean. It's a rip from the rare animal ability Sprint, as seen on whatever cheetahs are under in D&D. You decide to move x10 speed for one round, making whatever move actions you want in that time, with a 1 hour cooldown.
For the capstone, I'll consider it. 1d4+1 is sounding pretty good. At these levels, ability damage immunity becomes fairly common, which is why I'm less worried. It's also why I emphasize that getting powers later than wizards work, since some of these things are a matter of what you are facing against. Some powerful crit ability is godly at low levels and ok at high, just because more and more things become crit immune as you rise.
I'll do some edits later, but here's a heads up on the changes planned. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 01:12, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
I already gave you a suggested rewording for Close Combat Flammenwerfer: "If you possess any feats which normally only apply to a single weapon chosen taking the feat, you may apply all of those feats to your flammenwerfer gun in melee. Each feat can only apply once, and a feat only functions in this way if a greatclub is a valid option for it."
Yes, Deflect Arrows limits you to one per round, but your phrasing indicates deflecting "projectiles" (plural) with "a [single] readied action".
The big big concern on Critical Flames is not so much that it's better for some weapons, but more that it's useless. The standard action is always, always, always better spent on another gout of flame, because it does better damage. The ability, as written, is never worth taking -- which does not do justice to the awesome of d'axetinguisher. I think making it deal 1d6 extra damage per level would be better.
I misread Burn Duration, so ignore my comments there. Except the last bit -- I think instead of basing it on some subjective abstract notion of "negative", it should simply be any effect that the flammenwerfer wishes to burn. And yeah, 1d4+1 seems more sane. You might want to specify that this only applies to effects with set durations -- if something has a duration of "Concentration" or "until you make your save", it should not be affected.
The sprint dash of Heat Rocket just increasing your speed for whatever actions you take is fine. It strikes me as very odd, though, for such an ability to restrict you to a straight line. I would suggest that, if it is not an action in and of itself, it should not have that restriction. It should also specify that it lasts 1 round. --DanielDraco (talk) 01:32, 22 September 2012 (UTC)


"So, Mr. Flammenwerfer, what is it that you do?"
"I werf flammen."
"What else do you do?"
"I'm sorry, I don't understand the question."

While I do very much like the class overall and will likely give it a positive rating after its state is a little less volatile (pun intended), there is one major concern aside from balance which disinclines me from Favoring it: utility. It has none. There is precisely one utilitarian ability, Firewalk, but it's nothing really special. It's a transportation ability -- something that most homebrew classes in the H range tend to get, and which is generally only useful if you lack a teleporting wizard anyway. It could use something not geared toward meting out fourth-degree burns. A pinch of prestidigitation, a dash of divination, a smidgeon of something vaguely useful outside of combat. This class looks like it can potentially be a lot of fun in a fight, but I'd be bored out of my mind playing one in any noncombat situation while the rogue keeps the party safe from traps, the wizard deals with non-trap obstacles, and the beguiler sweet-talks all the weak-minded peons. --DanielDraco (talk) 20:33, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

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