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Intractable Balance Level Issues - Time Bender

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The Time Bender class is quite obviously at least rogue-level, yet the author refuses to update it to the appropriate balance point. The arguments for it are on the talk page, though let me know if it's necessary to reiterate them and I'll do so. --Ghostwheel 22:00, December 31, 2009 (UTC)

Your original complaint was that they could take a feat to become a wizard level class (which does not make a class wizard level on its own since it's easy enough to ban the wizard level feat), and then it got weird. Plus, your argument appears to be a rather defensive one on that page as Rith set the argument stage, and that doesn't seem a particularly fair footing to start out on since you already have to argue uphill to get this changed. So if you're inclined, I'd appreciate a rehash / re-presenting of the case that's easier to wade through. And if you're not I'll just read it a few times until I have a fair sense of what's actually going on there. - TarkisFlux 23:20, December 31, 2009 (UTC)
We'd first have to decide whether psions in general are rogue-level or wizard-level. That said, I'd say that the class is at least rogue-level (I don't mind if it's labeled at that balance point) for these reasons:
  • It gains access from the start to powers that can decide the course of combat in a single round (something that's usually at the wizard-level of play, might be at the rogue-level, but is seldom if ever fighter level. (Examples: Ego whip, Time Hop, Psionic Blast, Psionic Plane Shift, Psychic Crush, etc.)
Psionic Plane Shift needs to come off of that list as it requires a willing creature, unlike the spell version. - TarkisFlux 18:37, January 1, 2010 (UTC)
  • It has access to a feat that grants it any other power, and gains it as a bonus feat a number of times.
Side note: while I don't think that one should include every single feat the fighter can take as one of its bonus feats (for example) to decide the fighter's power level, one should at least take a look at the minimum books/sources required to play a class. Psionics is a necessary part of the class, and thus the psionic feats in the SRD should be taken into account. One can't simply assume that people aren't going to take the feat--it's like assuming rogues aren't going to pick up Weapon Finesse or Two-Weapon Fighting, feats from the same source as the original class is.
The feat you appear to be referring to is not actually in the list of bonus feats for the class, which would make it a character feat instead of a class feature, and thus not particularly valid as a criticism of the class unless you want to make the claim that every psionic class ever is awesome because some feat exists that they have access to. More on this later since you bring it up again. - TarkisFlux 18:37, January 1, 2010 (UTC)
Ah, right you are--for some reason I thought it gave you any psionic or metapsionic bonus feat. Still, let's follow this reasoning with another class in mind, the rogue. The rogue's ability to be a rogue-level character comes from a few places, namely (or so I've been told) that they can take Perfect TWF at level 10 along with a Blink ring to make ranged SA attacks all day long with acid/fire, and UMD. Following the same logic as above, we could say that neither magic items (beyond the Big 6) nor the Perfect TWF feat nor the Blink Ring are part of the rogue's actual class abilities, and while he has access to these things they aren't actually part-and-parcel of his class abilities, and can be considered outside sources that could be nixed by the DM. Does that mean that the rogue is actually fighter-level? --Ghostwheel 02:48, January 5, 2010 (UTC)
Logic is fair, but your premises are flawed and thus the conclusion. I think UMD actually does contribute a significant portion to a class being rogue level (it's not sufficient to push them up all on its own, but it's certainly nice), and I argued the same with UPD in this case (on the talk page if not specifically here). The Perfect TWF is a class feature in the rogue case, since it is taken as a bonus feat instead of another Special Ability (hence the feat tree skipping) at level 10, so that counts towards class power level. Still, you can disagree with that interpretation and not allow it, in which case it's not a class feature and also not something they can get at 10. That's not a big deal for me since I also disagree on it adding a significant portion of power to a rogue (at best, it's a 3-4 feat saving device that occasionally provides an extra tertiary off-hand attack a level or two earlier than if you had to take the tree, which is nice but it's nothing amazing or balance changing), so I don't actually think it's particularly important for the class to be rogue level. Lastly, you're absolutely right that the ring of blink shouldn't be considered when judging the classes specific power level (especially if Blink is a wizard level spell, which I don't believe I've seen discussed). Again though, I don't consider the ring of blink to be a necessary piece of equipment for the rogue to be a rogue level class, and generally think it a piece of optimization that pushes rogue builds wizard-ward. So you could take those two things away from the class consideration (even the ones that actually are class features) and you'd still have a rogue level class in the rogue in my opinion. Or you could put them on, and optimize your character a bit to get some extra mileage out of him/her, just like you could do with Expanded Knowledge in this case, but that optimization is incorporating other, potentially wizard level options, and not directly relevant to the level of the class itself. - TarkisFlux 05:07, January 5, 2010 (UTC)
  • Has access to UPD, which can double as UMD under the default setting (magic-psionic transparency).
  • Gains a number of bonuses "usual" psionic manifesters don't get--while this doesn't make it rogue-level all by itself, it helps a little to push them up.
Reasons given that it's fighter level:
  • Has less power points than the similar class, the psion.
Not a good argument, since DMs can have only 1-2 encounters per day, and the Time Bender can call for a stop--same reason wizards are still wizard-level at level 1.
And they have access to Cognizance Crystals and can make them even, so the limited points are even less a burden. - TarkisFlux 18:37, January 1, 2010 (UTC)
  • A bonus feat doesn't make fighters rogue-level, so it shouldn't make Time Benders rogue-level. Furthermore, you can ban the feat.
I never said that fighter bonus feats make the fighter rogue level, from what he said on the page. Furthermore, saying that you can ban it is an Oberoni fallacy--you could also say that you ban Divine Metamagic and Persistent Spell or Law Devotion from clerics, but they're powerful in part because those feats are available to them. (Not only, but you get my meaning--saying that something could be banned isn't a good argument against a class.)
No. Again, it's not a bonus feat that they just get for taking the class, so it doesn't count. If they had access to it as a bonus feat, maybe, just like if fighters had access to a fricken awesome rogue level feat as a bonus that they all took and that made up for their other shortcomings we'd actually treat them as a rogue level class. If it's not a class feature option though, it falls into optimization and not class balance level concerns.
And as for the Oberoni portion of this, you're stretching that. No one is saying that it's not broken because you can ban or change it. What they are saying is that it's not a higher balance level if you don't allow them to use higher balance level material that isn't written into the class, which is just using the balance levels as intended. As that's not actually restricting their already written class features in any way (like you would need to do with spell lists for a Wizard or CoDzilla to bring them down) but instead is limiting their character feats to balance level appropriate material, it seems an entirely reasonable argument to make. - TarkisFlux 18:37, January 1, 2010 (UTC)
  • The Time Bender suffers penalties if the Fetch goes too far from them.
Most psions and casters with psicrystals/familiars tend to forget about them, having them hide all the time in their clothing. Doesn't really matter.
That's basically a summary of that page, along with some of the arguments and counter-arguments there. I think that's about everything... --Ghostwheel 03:36, January 1, 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to hold off on casting a vote for a bit yet. Still digesting some of the capabilities. - TarkisFlux 18:37, January 1, 2010 (UTC)
Vote for rogue level in its current form. I basically agree with the points that I didn't comment on, and even some of the ones that I did, so I think you're on the right track there Ghost. I'd be much happier if this was seconded by someone else though, since I'm pretty reticent to go and change an author's balance point without a stronger majority and a more thorough review. - TarkisFlux 05:49, January 2, 2010 (UTC)
Bump. The issue technically closes in 9 days, so people who have a say in the matter should get on that. :-) - TarkisFlux 21:08, January 4, 2010 (UTC)

ResolutionEdit

The final tally: 1 For, 0 Against. As such I have updated the balance rating. If Rithaniel would like it lowered back to fighter, they will need to make substantive adjustments along the lines discussed here.

All discussion of how to resolve the continued outstanding issues should be taken up on the article's talk page, like any other balance issue. Dialogue broke down, this happened, it's picked back up again and needs to happen in the attached talk page like any other balance discussion. - TarkisFlux 17:49, January 16, 2010 (UTC)
With no word from the author in a week, I'm requesting that this be reopened on the forum--or can we just dispense with waiting for another week or two and simply summarize it as still not fighter level? --Ghostwheel 04:03, January 25, 2010 (UTC)
I don't think there's any reason to reopen this, just put it back to Rogue. The points that needed addressing haven't been entirely addressed, and a rehash of the same isn't going to help anyone. - TarkisFlux 04:59, January 25, 2010 (UTC)

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