[0.9] Paragon Paths

Polare

Count
Alliance Rules
Moderator
Seattle Staff
Good evening Playtesters,

As you may note, the addition of Paragon Paths is a significant change and I wanted to open this thread for discussion specific to the Paragon Paths. Feel free to discuss either the concept as a whole or specific Paths in this thread.

Thanks,
Bryan Gregory
ARC Chair
 

Muir

Fighter
I admit, I am a bit leery of this concept as a whole.

With the changes to build expenditure, these seem to be trying to fix a problem that no longer exists. Until we get to characters that are well above the practical limits of the game (Level 40+), there is no longer a spot where further build is effectively irrelevant.

Further, from a design standpoint, these flatly break several of the basic concepts of the system and stated goals of the playtest changes. I see monster abilities for PCs, spellcrafting of rituals that include catalysts outside of Treasure Policy as a per day ability, stackable defenses, altered effect from carriers (which IIRC was stated as a major reason for the removal of Master Constructs), and free production items that neither come from treasure policy nor character skills.

Frankly, I feel like this is adding back in a lot of the things that the beta rules have gone to great pains to remove for the benefit of the game, and that's a bit disappointing.
 
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Tulbor

Artisan
On the opposite of that, I think they are great. These are something for players to build up to. Now, at the beginning, it's going to have the opposite effect. People with a lot of build (if they want to, I know I do) are just going to jump right on with 4 or 5 levels of a paragon path while lower level players are not able to. But for those coming up, it gives a good choice of what to spend build on; do I stay on my regular path or branch out a bit, it'll take me longer to get to that 4th column, but look at the neat stuff I could do. Also, they'll have an easier time remembering everything then the players that jump right up to the top.

That being said, Warsmith being designed for Artisan makes absolutely no bloody sense to me, at all. It is not written as a "you are a master of all the crafts, put those skills to use doing this cool thing", it is seriously written as a Fighter Blacksmith setup. I first saw it and went "awesome! Something finally to help out the completely screwed over blacksmithing profession", because it's been seriously trashed over the years, but then was sorely disappointed. The new shatter rules do help a bit, but probably not much.
 

Mark of Chaos

Artisan
Denver Staff
Hopefully people cant jump right in with 4-5 ranks on any of the paths (at least in the beginning). You still have to find a Teacher to take the path, so hopefully the local plot teams gateway it a bit with some good roleplay. I wouldn't be opposed to each rank needing a new Teaching, or some other artificial barrier such as only being able to purchase one rank at a time or something to reflect dedication and training on the path. I could see some of that being a potential plot nightmare early on as a larger than normal number of people seek individual plot attention (and the potential headaches of "this person got their paragon teacher but I didn't" kind of thing), but I think there are some really cool ideas in here, so I hope we can find a way to reflect the true special-ness of embarking on and rising the ranks of the path instead of having people just spirit forging into a Rank 5 Assassin (or w/e) all of a sudden.
 

Mark of Chaos

Artisan
Denver Staff
Is Arcanist not included in the spreadsheet tabs, or am I just blind?
 

Alavatar

Baron
They are an interesting concept. I need to think about each one to form a full opinion.

First thought of Ritualist is that Ritualist 5 Active Ability should still conform to the normal "Ritual Levels above" requirements. Or, add spell levels expended to the caster's Ritual Levels for the purposes of the conforming to the "Ritual Levels above" requirements of the ability. Although I may be a bit biased.
 

Ruki

Scholar
I personally love this change/addition. It might be my favorite of all the 2.0 stuff (and i really like 2.0). This will help make classes feel very different from one another, I feel. Fighter A and Fighter B will be vastly different with paragons!

It adds something to late/end game for non-casters, and it's basically prestige classes from D&D!
 

Muir

Fighter
On the opposite of that, I think they are great. These are something for players to build up to. Now, at the beginning, it's going to have the opposite effect. People with a lot of build (if they want to, I know I do) are just going to jump right on with 4 or 5 levels of a paragon path while lower level players are not able to. But for those coming up, it gives a good choice of what to spend build on; do I stay on my regular path or branch out a bit, it'll take me longer to get to that 4th column, but look at the neat stuff I could do. Also, they'll have an easier time remembering everything then the players that jump right up to the top.

That being said, Warsmith being designed for Artisan makes absolutely no bloody sense to me, at all. It is not written as a "you are a master of all the crafts, put those skills to use doing this cool thing", it is seriously written as a Fighter Blacksmith setup. I first saw it and went "awesome! Something finally to help out the completely screwed over blacksmithing profession", because it's been seriously trashed over the years, but then was sorely disappointed. The new shatter rules do help a bit, but probably not much.
I'm more concerned that there's going to be no buildup, but rather a direct power addition in contravention to the intent of reducing power creep. The characters for whom this is most relevant will be able to check it off on their sheets when doing the rules rewrite, because they're already sitting on enough build to be looking for places to put it. The minority of the game whose characters will not already be qualified to use the system will either note it as something to pursue later, or not at all depending on their concept.

Adding more abilities at the top end does not correct the power imbalance issues, which were looking to be rather capably reduced by the scaling costs and MI changes.
 

Polare

Count
Alliance Rules
Moderator
Seattle Staff
Please note that 50 Build Points is a hefty expenditure at the top end, especially since it doesn't build any prereqs for other skills. Paragon Path build doesn't help Wand charges/damage, doesn't qualify you for that next Eviscerate or Dodge, and doesn't allow you to build your spell pyramid outwards. There's a very significant opportunity cost there.

Honestly, after building out some sample characters in the spreadsheet, I would say that Paragon Paths are *not* an auto-include. Long-term I expect maybe 3 out of 4 "high level" (30+) characters will have 5 tiers of a Path, but definitely not all of them. They're not for everyone, and they're certainly not all an automatic buy - which is kind of the point. They should give options, not pure power.

-Bryan
 

Muir

Fighter
By 300 build, which if my math is right seems to be about the sweet spot for these to top out, 50 build total is 1 more than the cost of a 7th prof/backstab for the straight classes, or 1 more than a 7th, 8th, and 9th level spell slot for a straight scholar.

It's not really a huge investment at the top end, and has much, much higher utility return than a single damage bump or three spells.

There are a lot of characters at or approaching 300 build presently in the game.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I'm confused as to why the base class for Healer is Spellsword E when its requisites appear to be Scholar E.
 

Ruki

Scholar
Question! Some of the paths grant access to certain globes (Amnesia globe, for example)... are they the only ones who can use them? Or only create?
 

Polare

Count
Alliance Rules
Moderator
Seattle Staff
I'm confused as to why the base class for Healer is Spellsword E when its requisites appear to be Scholar E.
Should be Scholar E, yeah. Note that the base class is just a guideline, though. You can totally be a Rogue Stalker (or an Adept Assassin) as long as you fulfill the build requirements.
 

Polare

Count
Alliance Rules
Moderator
Seattle Staff
Question! Some of the paths grant access to certain globes (Amnesia globe, for example)... are they the only ones who can use them? Or only create?
They are the only ones who can create them, but they are usable by anyone with the appropriate skills.
 

KyleSchmelz

Fighter
It's not really a huge investment at the top end, and has much, much higher utility return than a single damage bump or three spells.
Not sure where you're getting three spells or one weapon proficiency from. Fifty build is two spell columns or 16 ranks of formal for a caster. That could be 16 crit attacks, or 4 parries + 2 eviscerates + 4 slays + 3 improved slays + 2 ripostes for a fighter. Fifty build is enough for a mid-level character to pick up enough cross-class skills to fluid-class over to a hybrid class. Fifty build is pretty significant.

Admittedly, I'm probably going to end up picking up a paragon path for my two characters that are high enough level to qualify for it, but it's not like you don't have to give anything up to get them.
 

Muir

Fighter
By having some weird conversion issues with the Build Spending excel sheet. Those numbers are flat wrong. That's what I get for posting while tired.

I still don't think the cost is all that excessive given the capstone abilities include things like converting Chaos carrier to Normal, burning a dodge to get a 10 minute immunity to a particular Spell qualified attack, or gaining the ability to Rip from bind and confine.
 
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Durnic

Squire
Owner
Oregon Staff
Marshal
I still don't think the cost is all that excessive given the capstone abilities include things like converting Chaos carrier to Normal, burning a dodge to get a 10 minute immunity to a particular Spell qualified attack, or gaining the ability to Rip from bind and confine.
The reason we playtest is for feedback such as this. Write up what you feel seems too powerful for the cost and we will take it under advisement. The specifics can always be changed, especially when we discover through playtesting that something is actually very powerful or broken, instead of simply running mental exercises and thinking so. This is why we changed the Empowered Armor ritual, for instance. That was very powerful.
 
That being said, Warsmith being designed for Artisan makes absolutely no bloody sense to me, at all. It is not written as a "you are a master of all the crafts, put those skills to use doing this cool thing", it is seriously written as a Fighter Blacksmith setup.
I'm going to echo this sentiment, with the note that the Warsmith, as presented, would make more sense for Rogue or Scout to be the guideline class than either Artisan or Fighter. This is all theory for the time being, but even just reading through the abilities it seems fairly obvious that a Rogue or Scout will be a way more efficient Warsmith than a Fighter or Artisan will, and one with many ranks of Create Trap will get more use out of the granted passive abilities in general. It heavily promotes dabbling in three crafting disciplines (Alchemy/Blacksmith/Create Trap), two of which (Alchemy/Create Trap) are Rogue skills and one of which (Alchemy) is not used by the path at all other than for building up the Crafting Pool.

[This gets quite wordy, so I apologise in advance, but it is in point form so that should make it a little easier to digest... Maybe. There is no tl;dr, other than the brief paragraph above, as all of the below is theory and explanation. If you don't want to read it, just skip to the next post. :)]
  • At levels 1 and 2:
    • There's very little difference between taking ranks in any of the disciplines to meet the prerequisite, with just 1 rank of Blacksmith being required to make use of the level 2 passive and no other abilities requiring specific skills to make use of (other than a weapon skill for Parry, noted here only because someone (like me) would likely eventually point it out).
      • Side note on Weapon Skill: despite Fighters paying as much or less than Rogues for every Weapon Skill, I discount this in my theory crafting because it is a one-off purchase and the difference in XP cost is no more than 5 (for Weapon Master), which means that the Fighter loses this edge with each rank of either Alchemy or Create Trap they purchase, and it is eliminated entirely and replaced with a 1 XP loss with only 2 ranks of Create Trap or a 4 XP loss with 2 ranks of Alchemy (both compared to a Rogue with identical skills). The gain would either stay the same or widen if the Fighter sticks with Blacksmith and the Rogue dabbles in multiple fields, but as you'll see, only ranking up Blacksmith will hurt the Fighter much more in the long run than dabbling will hurt a Rogue.
    • There's only a 1 XP cost difference between Fighters and Rogues for Blacksmith, which is insignificant in regards to making use of the level 2 passive.
  • At level 3:
  • The passive ability lets you create special Trap Globes for 10 production, which is 2 ranks of Create Trap; if you've focused heavily on Alchemy or Blacksmith, you may not even be able to throw them, since that requires 3 ranks (18 XP for a Fighter, but only 9 for a Rogue or 12 for a Scout).
  • Even if you stay at 2 ranks and intend to sell them, you can still only make 1 or 2 per logistics period without batching, and if demand is high that will be nowhere near enough unless you can regularly do multiple batches without worrying about coin; if demand is low or nonexistent, you could still throw the points from more Create Trap ranks into your Crafting Pool, making it the superior choice regardless of whether you intend to use Trap Globes yourself or not.
  • Your active only requires you to spend points from your Crafting Pool to use the effect, and those points can come from any of the three skills, which means there's almost no downside to taking one rank of Blacksmith for the level 2 passive and then sinking XP into Create Trap to meet the prerequisites for higher levels.
  • At level 4:
    • You can expend an Eviscerate or a Terminate to swing for X Body for 10 minutes, and Terminate is slightly cheaper for a Rogue than it is for a Fighter (4 XP as opposed to 5 XP).
    • The ability does not specify that the normal rules for that skill's use is in effect, meaning you still swing for X Body from the front even if you spent a Terminate, making Terminate the more efficient choice overall.
    • Scout is slightly disadvantaged here, as you're looking at 6 or 7 XP cost each, but it's cheaper overall to dabble in multiple disciplines, so it may even out with careful spending (I haven't done all the math yet, but it's on my to-do list).
  • At level 5:
    • Ranks in Blacksmith might actually start meaning something, as you require at least enough ranks to make the weapon you want to use for your per-day ability, but the ability doesn't specify which discipline the 50 points have to come from (unless the intention is that players are to assume they have to come from Blacksmith, but that isn't really clear), so 10 ranks in Create Trap seems to be just fine.
    • Your passive again grants a Trap Globe (20 PP, or 4 ranks to create) and the active grants touchcasting from your Crafting Pool (doesn't matter where the points come from).
So... With how the abilities are worded and the benefits granted at each level, it's way easier for a Rogue or Scout to make efficient use of everything it has to offer than either a Fighter (24 XP in Create Trap vs up to 36 XP in Blacksmith for a Rogue [depending on what weapons you want to be able to make for the level 5 per-day and further offset by Create Trap being cheap]) or an Artisan (the cost for Eviscerates [14 XP] and Terminates [12 XP] is significantly worse in the long run than the minor increase in one of the crafting skills Rogue or Scout will incur, making the level 4 active of limited use).
 
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