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Talk:Pyromancer (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Balance Point Edit

This seems like it gives you a lot for almost no sacrifice. Isn't that all it takes to make a caster prestige class Wizard-level? --Foxwarrior 23:38, May 28, 2010 (UTC)

Hrmm, not sure why I assigned it that... fixin' it... --Ghostwheel 23:41, May 28, 2010 (UTC)

it seems rather over powered for how little it takes to get into the prestige. it appears to have three rather strong abilities that you wouldn't otherwise find in any class except maybe as the 10th lvl ability. gift of the blessed fire for example makes a 3rd lvl fireball just as strong as or stronger than many spells higher lvl than it especially when combined with inner flame (at 16th lvl you can cast a fireball that did 21d6) plus if you combine that with the feat fiery spell you gain a 21 bonus to damage and with a warmage as the base class you can also add your int mod making your 3rd level spell surpass a normal mages 9 lvl spell in damage. and you can't even use fire is the most common resistance with the 9th level ability surpassing fire resistance and immunity, and caught within your own fireball will then heal a lvl 10 pyromancer. and i may be interpreting fire manipulation wrong, but i feel with the way it's worded that i can add an infinite amount of metamagic feats with a one cost increase and never change the level of the spell effectively making every spell fiery, silent, still etc. and it not effect them negatively, or is it that the total effective spell lvl is decreased by 1

You are accurate in your interpretation of this class's abilities. The fact is, though, that the damage of these spells is still not equivalent to a mass save-or-die effect, so a Pyromancer caster build is certainly not too powerful in a Wizard-level campaign. --Foxwarrior 03:20, July 20, 2010 (UTC)
Re: "for how little it takes to get into the prestige" - prestige classes should never be balanced based on their entry requirements. Doing that results in idiotic multi-level credit schemes where you trade a small amount of power now for absurd amounts later, or borrow power from a future that never comes (because you take the free telepathy and never bother with the non-caster-advancing levels right after it). It's a fundamentally bad idea for any and all sane purposes.
To avoid mistaken intentions: the prerequisites here are wholly appropriate and in good taste. ;) --Quantumboost 06:38, July 20, 2010 (UTC)
sure a fireball obviously isn't the same as a save or die...but save or dies are limited which is why spells such as polar ray, an 8th lvl spell, are also available. and at the lvl i used as an example before it will deal the same amount of damage as this fireball as a ranged touch rather than an area. so you effectively made a 3rd lvl as powerful as an 8th lvl in this instance. for that matter, as a touch attack, a lvl 1 shocking grasp will also do the same amount of damage.
if that's not enough the metamagic feat ability can get ridiculous really fast. with energy substitution all your elemental spells have the fire descriptor. the only ability i can think of off the top of my head that's even similar is a feat called arcane thesis which gives a single spell the ability to reduce the total effective lvl given to a spell modified by metamagic feats 1 reduced lvl.
and i'm sorry but even in a wizard campaign this trumps any other prestige class in any of the 3.5 books. there's nothing even comparable. the one it should compare the closest to would probably be the frost mage listed in frostburn, which does get a nat armor bonus the ability to pierce resistance and immunity and the frost descriptor. but the pyromancer is superior to it in not only all these aspects but still gets a LOT more on top of it.
and i agree wholeheartedly that a class should not be balanced based on it's prereqs but the prereqs should be keeping the chars at an appropriate lvl before they are able to acquire some of these abilities. lvl 15 is the earliest any other class or ability, short of a special race, gives an elemental subtype while with the pyromancer you not only do you get the fire subtype at 10th lvl but you then gain the ability to heal from fire which even fire elementals, beings made of fire, can't do. and you get that ability the same time any other class would just be getting immunity. and many of the multiclassing classes i believe to be flawed in the fact that you're char is weak for a while and then all the sudden learns to mix them together raising their effectiveness back up to maybe slightly above the average str, but it had the cost of being weaker for so long, and they still aren't as strong as the pyromancer. and as one more thought, the archmage isn't able to be acquired before lvl 14, do you believe it should be reached as early as 6 as well, and if not then your balancing argument is flawed as well

Firstly, on a note of formatting, please sign your posts (--~~~~) and use proper indentation (: per indent). It's just easier to read and follow that way.
Firstly, let's discuss pre-requisites. As my classes reflect my beliefs on characters, I'll explain to you my belief. I don't like the idea of being in a base class after level 5, unless it has a VERY good reason to keep you in it. Therefore, I make Prestige Classes that can be accessed at level 6. If not, I normally have a good reason not to.
Polar Ray is an absolutely awful spell. Awful, really really awful. It deals 1d6 per caster level damage for an 8th level slot? Why would you use that? Why don't you just... cast Irresistible Dance? Charm Monster? Prismatic Wall? Maze? Greater Planar Binding? Trap the Soul? Temporal Stasis? These are SRD eighth level spells that just mess people up. Taking 20d6 from Polar Ray at level 20 is not going to make an enemy even wince. Heaven forbid he has Cold Resistance or even Cold Immunity. A Pit Fiend has 225 average hit points and is a credible threat to a level 20 character. Polar Ray deals an average of 20 * 3.5, or 70 damage. -10 for Cold Resistance. That's 60 damage from an 8th level spell, if you beat it's Spell Resistance. The Pit Fiend proceeds to cast Blasphemy and you're paralyzed.
It's understandable that you may think the class is powerful, it is after all. But that's because it's trying to put a Blaster slightly higher on the pedestals of power. It's a Blaster reaching up to Batman Wizard. But, better than any other prestige class? Tell that to Incantatrix or Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil. IotSV has the power to make himself immune to spells. Incantatrix can make spells persistent. Is it so bad that the Pyromancer can use his powers to transcend mortality and become one with the fire?
The Metamagic redux is essential to blaster builds. Anyone who's made a Mailman Sorcerer, a sorcerer who deals alot of damage, knows that you NEED metamagic reducers. I don't normally like them, but this is for damaging spells. And damaging spells, after all, are on the low end of power.
Unless you want to point out very specific things about the class that are totally overpowered and give reasons why, compared to say; other wizard level prestige classes or just a plan Batman Wizard, I'll leave it at this. Thank you, of course, for your critique. --TK 19:36, July 20, 2010 (UTC)
sorry about the formatting
i can see the point of thinking by lvl 5 you should be focusing your char a bit more than an average or base class. i'm fine with that and also think that by lvl 5 you should have a path formed for you char. doesn't mean that you need to prestige right then. but it's nice to know you can. which is why there are prestiges that start low and some that start high. the reason i in fact am taking such an interest in your class is because i think it's very unique and in fact the only decent fire based mage out there, since Wizards didnt feel making a firemage was necessary. i think many of the abilities it has are fantastic, but maybe a little too fantastic since it gains many abilities other classes in it's range gain but stronger and all together without much...or any consequence. it may simply need to be focused more. yes the IotSV is a fairly powerful class...but it can't make itself immune to all spells as many times as it wants but only 4 times per day at max and not till lvl 6 in the class. which i'm surprised you used it as an example since you can't enter it until lvl 10. making this ability not available till at earliest lvl 15. plus by using that veil it prevents the passage of ALL spells meaning hers as well. so it can be a double edged sword.
as far as polar ray goes, i disagree completely. using the pit fiend once again as an example. with the average damage of 60 you so kindly calculated you, without a party, kill it in 4 turns if it overcomes the spell resistance each time which with no other bonuses the average lvl 20 char does with a roll of 12...and i see that as a short battle in my opinion. while most of the other spells you listed are simply delayers. maze for example simply removes them from the battle field temporarily till they are smart enough to escape, which a pit fiend merely needs to roll a 12 to do so. and as far as blasphemy...i'm not sure where you were going with that since it won't even effect a lvl 20 char when cast by a pit fiend which has 18 HD. for a little more perspective a fighter with an 18 str +6 str mod item has a 7 modifer with a +5 great axe will deal on average 21 dam per hit not including feat bonuses. and at lvl 20 gets 4 attacks giving him an average of 84 damage per round, if he connects with every hit. while his AB is a 32/27/22/17 meaning on his 3rd attacked he has to roll an 18 to hit and a 20 on his last. so chances are on average he'll hit a pit fiend twice per round giving him 42 dam on average. while a touch AC for a pit fiend is only 17.
and i agree that metamagic reducers are a necessity to any blaster. but you trumped the feat i listed by a hundred fold, and no class ability should be that much stronger than a feat. maybe limit it a bit i can see using arcane thesis as a basis and making that available to all fire spells...but even that's pretty strong.
i think you have a lot of great ideas here that dnd hasn't tapped into and would very much like to see many of these implemented since i believe the fire element has been completely looked over as far as classes go...but i feel it's way too much all wrapped up in one package.consider using spell slots as costs maybe, or number of times per day. and i like the healing factor, but maybe fraction the amount it heals. it just feels like you gave it everything you wanted to have, without looking at what others similar to it do have. --[RR] 20:06, July 20, 2010 (UTC)
I'm not going to reply to the post just yet, I'll wait till tomorrow. But, Blasphemy cast by a Pit Fiend is a CL 25, which is 5 points higher than a level 20's HD. Which means paralysis. -- 22:28, July 20, 2010 (UTC)
no prob...but it's DC 25 caster lvl 18th --[RR] 23:04, July 20, 2010 (UTC)
Prayer beads; they help. --Ghostwheel 23:09, July 20, 2010 (UTC)
I think the assumption that polar ray is a good spell is made under the DMG's definition of Challenge Rating (i.e. "Four characters can kill it using 20% of their resources, etc."). I think for Wizard-level games like the ones the Pyromancer would be in operate more under the assumption that a character of a particular level should be able to go toe to toe with a monster (or monsters) of equivalent CR (which is why the Same Game Test is in place to determine their efficacy in these situations). Under said definition, polar ray is an absolutely shitty spell since the pit fiend is going to waste no time in casting blasphemy on you. If you use finger of death on the other hand (a 7th level spell) or even a maximized disintegrate (a prototypical blaster spell that with metamagic takes a 9th-level slot), you can kill the pit fiend in one turn on a failed save. Which is good, considering he's going to paralyze you immediately afterwards if he lives.
The point is, the effectiveness of the spell is called into question when a party isn't there to back you up. And when better alternatives are available at lower levels (let alone the same level), it's difficult to imagine any wizard using polar ray unless they're willing to risk their survival to make their fighter pal feel like he's actually pitching in. - TG Cid 00:51, July 21, 2010 (UTC)
ok...if you're looking to make a much more powerful class capable of standing toe to toe on it's own to a monster with a CR equal to it's lvl, then that's really all you had to say...but if this is supposed to fit in a world where the other prestiges are supposed to keep up, that's where i'm seeing the problem.
and once again...the pit fiend can not paralyze a lvl 20 char with blasphemy...because it's a caster lvl 18 not 25, the DC for the spell is 25. it can however use power word stun if you'd like to make that arguement, and being a wizard there isn't much you can do about that unless you have an immensely high con, or decide to build your mage more defensively spell wise...which i would suggest if you're looking to stand solo.
and as far as disintegrate...have you even read the spell. lets say your a lvl 20 wizard with an 18 int and you have an item that gives you a +6, pretty common for a lvl 20 mage. that's a 7 int mod + lvl 6 spell + 10 giving you a DC of 23 without adding in feats or other abilities. the pit fiend has to roll a 4 to pass that. which then makes your amazing disintegrate 5d6 versus polar rays 20d6 with that pesky 10 cold resistance. and finger of death with these same stats a pit fiend has to roll a 5 which it would then take 3d6 + 20. now of course you can increase DC's and argue that you can make that spell better...but you can do the same to polar ray making it better as well. there are some spells less effective in some situations it's always gonna happen, and in your campaign you may find certain spells to be more effective...but your arguments in the validity of polar ray are all least in the situations your throwing against me.
so in closing let that pit fiend waste no time in ever casting blasphemy on my lvl 20 char --[RR] 06:03, July 21, 2010 (UTC)
RR, you don't need to be sarcastic. We can have a perfectly pleasant debate without being asses. As for characters fighting monsters of their own CR, this whole wiki is based off that idea. You should read the balance points and SGT info posted here, since apparently you haven't already. As to the merit of the current argument, a lvl 20 Wizard should have much more than a 24 Int. Think 34 to 39 (18 base+5 tome+5 wish+5 levels+6 item). That puts the DC of Disintegrate at 28 to 30, ignoring feats. And since Polar Ray has no save, feats that increase the save for Disintegrate do not benefit Polar Ray (rendering that point moot). The caster level of a pit fiend is purely dependent on the DM, and as Ghost pointed out, a cheap magic item can increase the CL to 22 for the duration of the encounter (so it's not unreasonable to assume that a DM that wishes to provide a player with an actual challenge would properly gear an enemy). Also, it's rather asinine to flout Blasphemy and then in the same breath concede that Power Word: Stun would work just as well (which undermines your own point).
As far as damaging spells go, anything a Wizard can do a Warmage (Warmage Edge) or Duskblade (Arcane Strike+Full Attack Channeling) can likely do better. But the strength of a Wizard isn't in damage (which is the point Cid is trying to get across).--Tavis McCricket 08:08, July 21, 2010 (UTC)
inherent bonuses from wishes and tomes don't stack. "An inherent bonus may not exceed +5 for a single ability score, and inherent bonuses to a particular ability score do not stack, so only the best one applies. but otherwise yeah, 24 int wizard @ level 20 is the slow kid in the wizard school--NameViolation 08:29, July 21, 2010 (UTC)
Let us firstly assume that we're using the same wizard, not apparently one that can only get a 24 on it's int score. The wizard I usually refer to is 'That Motherfucking Wizard' (TMW), who's stat block I have unfortunately lost. This guy demonstrates what a wizard can do. Easily, you start off at an 18 Int, as we always assume, +2 for being a Grey Elf (because it's the wizard race), add in +4 for being level 19 (That Motherfucking Wizard never reached level 20, due to use of xp draining things), +6 for a headband of Intellect, +4 for a Manual of Learning thing and there we have a total of 20 + 4 + 4 + 6 for 34, which is +12. If we're assuming CORE ONLY, then that goes up to 36, because TMW does get to level 20 and gains his stat boost, for a +13 int modifier.
So, we have the Pit Fiend, who I mistook to have a CL 25 at a very quick glance of the entry, against 1) a wizard using Polar Ray and 2) TMW. Let's keep this in 8th level spells. I'm assuming both the wizards actually are the same person, but using different tactics. TMW has a CL of 21, due to that Ioun Stone. For argument's sake, let's assume he took that stupid feat that gives him a +2 CL for spell resistance, which is going to make us assume he passes all CL checks vs Spell Resistance.
So, let us compare against one round vs the Pit Fiend. Polar Ray, CL 21, will deal an average of 63.5 damage ((3.5 * 21) - 10). This is an eighth level slot remember, so it should be rather quite decent. But, that is not decent. It's high time the realization that damage spells aren't any good. For one, the Pit Fiend is ready to wail on you in any way he wants after you do that damage to him. So, what does TMW do that's so much better? He touches the Pit Fiend. That's right, touches him. Gives him a rub maybe. The Pit Fiend then dances for 1d4+1 round due to Irresistible Dance. Wherein, the Pit Fiend can do... nothing. Who has accomplished more? 63.5 damage (-5 Pit Fiend's turn due to Regeneration) or causing the Pit Fiend to do nothing but provoke AoOs for 1d4+1 round (average, 3.5 rounds).
Of course, this is core only. If you wanted, I'd be happy to make a wizard again to pit against a Pit Fiend, one that doesn't use any kind of blasting spells at all. If you wanted, you could make one that does, specializing in Evocation and such. Heck, make a Pyromancer Wizard if you wanted. I can quite easily prove to you that, compared to other spells, Polar Ray is just not all that great. --TK 10:44, July 21, 2010 (UTC)
i was trying really hard not to be sarcastic...but having to explain the pit fiend 3 times kinda got to me and i'll apologize for that. as for reading the balance point thread you'd be correct on that as well. i assumed being a 3.5 dnd wiki it would follow the same basic structure, that's again my fault. so i will no longer argue the validity of the pyromancer for he may well fall into the acceptable structure of what you're trying to accomplish. however i do still feel that your viewpoint on damaged based spells is very skewed. i was trying to keep numbers simple for the sake of not having to create a char hence me not adding in a number of items or calculating exp for the sake of spells such as wish. and as far as damage based char i had mentioned warmage earlier for i am very aware of it. but i was again as TK pointed out trying to use one char to accomplish both.
now as for using the power word stun argument i was showing that it could be used as an argument against me to get the conversation off of blasphemy, and yes pit fiends can be upgraded as can any monster or class based off of DM's discretion, but if were going to use that argument we might as well stop now because the DM can alter the power of, add in, or change anything, hence the making of one's own class. yes a pit fiend can have prayer beads...but really...are you going to give your pit fiend prayer beads? most DM's would simply use a different monster than try to validate giving a pit fiend prayer beads.
with my argument saying i can alter polar ray the same way...i worded that wrong...i didn't mean with the same DC increasing abilities, but rather damage increasing abilities and feats. which if done correctly could increase the spell's damage to well over 200 guaranteed. you may be misinterpreting my intentions here...i don't think any of the spells used in arguments against least in the use from a mage...are bad. i'm simply trying to prove that polar ray does not only deserve to be an 8th lvl spell but is just as useful, especially if we're using the argument that the mage is alone...because what is the mage really gonna do with AoO's, especially if he doesn't have high damage spells. keep hoping that it's gonna fail it's DC for an instant kill. or lets say you don't go for the kill and instead try trap the soul...assuming the int mod given by TK DC is 31 again without feats but if necessary i will build an evoker and you can build yours for the sake of this argument. which means the pit fiend only needs to roll a 10 which is over a 50% chance of success, and unless you carry a lot of gems is now useless. temporal stasis however would be the better choice in this situation considering you can do it more than once and it now needs to roll a 12 which is better in your favor. now both of these spells are fantastic but just like your noticing the flaws in polar ray you need to see that all spells have a down side and all spells have there uses. however, not attacking the pyromancer, but the reason this argument started was that it destroyed the need for high lvl damage spells. but as long as fireball stays at 10d6 base max (no alterations) polar ray is in every respect a good 8th lvl spell maxing at 25d6 --[RR] 17:20, July 21, 2010 (UTC)
The issue is that blasters lag behind other casting archetypes, and another thing is that against single opponents and uncapped Polar Ray is a better spell than fireball. With metamagic feats such as heighten spell you can get the save dc quite high, I don't know of any feats that increase the number of die rolled once the cap is reached. With all that aside I'd like to point out that I'm making a blasting wizard in a campaign that is coming up soon using this class. --PixieDragon 07:01, September 29, 2010 (UTC)

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