Author Topic: Pathfinder tier system  (Read 35943 times)

Offline ImperatorK

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Pathfinder tier system
« Topic Start: November 19, 2011, 07:48:16 PM »
This time Pathfinder only. Last time I was making it 3.P, but not everyone is playing with 3.X materials, so...



Tier 1: Cleric, Druid, Witch, Wizard, Oracle (with Paragon Surge), Sorcerer (with Paragon Surge);

Tier 2: Psion, Oracle, Sorcerer, Summoner, Bard (Magician w/ Paragon Surge);

Tier 3: Alchemist, Bard, Inquisitor, Magus, Psychic Warrior, Wilder;

Tier 4: Barbarian, Fighter, Gunslinger, Ninja, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Soulknife;

Tier 5: Cavalier, Expert, Monk, Samurai;

Tier 6: Aristocrat, Commoner, Warrior;



Now some questions:
Assuming that those placements are somewhat correct, what would each of the tier 4 classes need to become tier 3?
Barbarian is already a decent combatant, so does it need more and better skills or something else?
Ranger has skills, but his combat capabilities aren't that great without optimization, I think. Would something like Fighter bonus feat progression improve him?
Gunslinger I don't know very good.
Ninja is a variant of rogue, so maybe it is already low tier 3 like him?
Paladin... would adding Marshals (from 3.5) class features help?
Soulknife I'm not enough familiar with.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 10:44:02 PM by ImperatorK »
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Offline rasmuswagner

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #1: November 20, 2011, 03:19:59 AM »
I think you got Rogue and Ninja switched. The Ninja is balls-out better than the Rogue.

Offline ImperatorK

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #2: November 20, 2011, 06:39:20 AM »
Why?
Magic is for weaklings.

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Offline StreamOfTheSky

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #3: November 20, 2011, 01:20:17 PM »
Rogue is Tier 4 in PF, at best.  Other than disarming (non-magical) traps, there is literally nothing they do better than anyone anymore (including FINDING traps, even non-magical ones, though at will detect magic certainly sank them at finding magical ones compared to casters more).  I'd actually consider Tier 5 for Rogue and Ninja.  They have no real niche, and are mediocre to utterly sucky at everything.

Fighter should be tier 4 if Barbarian is.  Fighter just plain out fights the barbarian now.  More to hit and damage on top of the already much higher AC (Barb's slight hp advantage is pretty negligible).  Barbarian has more skill points and a better class list (which is just a +3 bonus in PF anyway...), but main advantage over fighter is really specific builds.  Like "demoralizer," or "offense is the best defense AoO machine" (Come and Get Me), or "idiot with a sword who thinks he can slay casters."  Raw damage 2H power attacking murder machine...Fighter is much much better at now.  No contest.

Offline ImperatorK

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #4: November 20, 2011, 01:43:49 PM »
Quote
Rogue is Tier 4 in PF, at best.  Other than disarming (non-magical) traps, there is literally nothing they do better than anyone anymore (including FINDING traps, even non-magical ones, though at will detect magic certainly sank them at finding magical ones compared to casters more).  I'd actually consider Tier 5 for Rogue and Ninja.  They have no real niche, and are mediocre to utterly sucky at everything.
Not true. Rogue got improved, and by quite a bit. Sneak Attack works against more opponents then in 3.5, Rogue gets cool and useful special abilities or can change them into bonus feats. Skills are consolidated, which means that a Rogue with his high skill points, can specialize in more of them, for example being a decent acrobat AND party face.
How can he be worse at finding traps when he gets a boost to searching and disarming them?
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Offline Basket Burner

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #5: November 20, 2011, 01:56:38 PM »
I think you got Rogue and Ninja switched. The Ninja is balls-out better than the Rogue.

This is correct.

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #6: November 20, 2011, 02:05:53 PM »
The rogue mostly just lost sneak attacking with splash weapons and the Dex requirements for TWF went up(usually a non-issue for rogues who'd be rocking Dex anyway). If he can manage it, Power Attack works slightly better for them(better exchange rate means you can do something even with less attack bonus), at the cost of losing PA on touches.

Nothing too tier impacting, since its not his sole style(or even that common a style). Not sure if the added abilities are enough to bring it up a tier, though it couldn't hurt. I'd say its still in T4 despite the changes, the good stuff isn't that good and the bad isn't that bad.

The ninja is flat out better than the rogue though. Especially where all the ninja tricks also give you full access to rogue stuff.
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Offline Halinn

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #7: November 20, 2011, 02:09:04 PM »
Fighter should be tier 4 if Barbarian is.  Fighter just plain out fights the barbarian now.  More to hit and damage on top of the already much higher AC (Barb's slight hp advantage is pretty negligible).  Barbarian has more skill points and a better class list (which is just a +3 bonus in PF anyway...), but main advantage over fighter is really specific builds.  Like "demoralizer," or "offense is the best defense AoO machine" (Come and Get Me), or "idiot with a sword who thinks he can slay casters."  Raw damage 2H power attacking murder machine...Fighter is much much better at now.  No contest.

Barbarian can get level DR (Invulnerable Rager) and pounce at level 10 (Beast Totem). Add to that other rage powers, and the barbarian is better on the charge, equal in full attack exchange.

Offline X-Codes

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #8: November 20, 2011, 02:33:37 PM »
The Rogue is still Tier 4.  Yes, Sneak Attack hits *a few* more things, but Fortification armor is still out there at it's usual price, and there's the whole thing that rogues still suck balls-deep at combat.  The Rogue's unique shtick of Trapfinding was also made a lot less useful by the aforementioned prevalence of Detect Magic.  The trade-off of Rogue Talents for Special Abilities is one that favors the rogue, but not enough to boost him a Tier, absolutely NOT ahead of Fighter or Barbarian.

Bard was dropped to Tier 4 by the incomprehensible Bardic Music nerf, that also just so happens to make a lot of music-related feats completely obsolete by the Bard not having daily uses of Music anymore.  Also, Bardic Knowledge was changed to make it the worst of Bardic Knowledge and Bardic Knack, and the various other attempts to make the Bard a better "skills" character are not all that useful.

Offline StreamOfTheSky

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #9: November 20, 2011, 04:10:44 PM »
Quote
Rogue is Tier 4 in PF, at best.  Other than disarming (non-magical) traps, there is literally nothing they do better than anyone anymore (including FINDING traps, even non-magical ones, though at will detect magic certainly sank them at finding magical ones compared to casters more).  I'd actually consider Tier 5 for Rogue and Ninja.  They have no real niche, and are mediocre to utterly sucky at everything.
Not true. Rogue got improved, and by quite a bit. Sneak Attack works against more opponents then in 3.5, Rogue gets cool and useful special abilities or can change them into bonus feats. Skills are consolidated, which means that a Rogue with his high skill points, can specialize in more of them, for example being a decent acrobat AND party face.
How can he be worse at finding traps when he gets a boost to searching and disarming them?

Sneak attack was nerfed.  It works on more things now, but Fortification armor is still the same (as another poster mentioned), and now:
1) You can't SA with splash weapons.  That's a HUGE nerf!
2) You can't SA balancing foes except via readied action.  The whole point of sneak attack and ranged attacking is full attacking, I thought?
3) Blinking no longer lets you SA.

In short, PF basically killed ranged SA.  And gods help you if you think rogue can survive in melee...  Only reason it worked in 3E was the Staggering Strike feat....

He got worse at trapfinding because:
1) At will detect magic
2) ANYONE can find nonmagical trap now
3) Search got rolled into Perception, which just happens to be the best skill in the game, so everyone has it maxed.  Since it's a wis-based skill, monks, druids, and rangers are all better at trapfinding than a rogue without even trying.  Other classes probably, too.

The skill changes HURT rogue.  A class skill is just a +3 bonus now and anyone can get it with just a dip.  In 3E, rogues had genuine niche protection, in the form of the double cost cross-class skills that everyone complained about.  Now that they're gone, anyone with a higher relevant ability score beats the rogue at that skill, unless they purposely decide not to step on his toes.  Hence why I said rogue is now mediocre or sucky at everything, good at nothing.

Also, while this was also a nerf to Monk and Bard and other acrobatics classes, the tumble DC nerf basically KILLED skirmishing and even the humble "tumble into a flank."  It's versus the monster's CMD!  That's ridiculous!  Even if you could succeed half the time (as levels go up, the monsters' CMD climbs faster than your tumbling mod, fun fact!), that means the enemy's getting 1.5 attacks for each one of yours.  Which means even if you could compare to the melee monster's (why on earth would you skirmish a mage or archer?) hp and attack/damage scores...which you totaly can't...you'd STILL lose.  Every time.

PF Rogue sucks balls.

Offline X-Codes

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #10: November 20, 2011, 05:13:46 PM »
PF Rogue sucks balls-deep.
Fix'd.  You implied that the rogue was merely getting teabagged, when in reality he's being brutally sodomized by the archfiends of hell using FATAL's ruleset.

While it may be true that the Rogue's niche protection is gone, he's still mostly the same on his own, so he's still, essentially, Tier 4, it's just that there's no reason to play one when one can, instead, play a Ranger or Bard.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2011, 05:16:20 PM by X-Codes »

Offline StreamOfTheSky

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #11: November 20, 2011, 05:26:17 PM »
Ok, tier descriptions:

(click to show/hide)

I guess I can see Tier 4 for the "capable of doing many things to a reasonable degree of competance without truly shining."  But I think Tier 5 is a better fit.  Rogues literally have no purpose for being in the party at all, and the only way to make one at all relevant and not just a waste of space requires extreme levels of one-trick pony twinkage (right now the only Rogue build I've made that I think is even worth playing sinks a crapton of feats into the Sap Master and Shatter Defenses feat lines along with intimidation feats, multiclasses out a bunch, and still ends up only doing slightly better damage than a fighter or barbarian against targets that are not immune to SA, nonlethal damage, NOR fear!).

EDIT: It may also be worth noting that the Flanking Foil feat from UC, which anyone can have by level 1, completely and utterly shuts down a rogue just by hitting them in melee once per turn.  RAI was probably "can't flank me," RAW is "can't SA me at all!"
« Last Edit: November 20, 2011, 05:34:29 PM by StreamOfTheSky »

Offline ImperatorK

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #12: November 20, 2011, 05:29:32 PM »
Quote
Sneak attack was nerfed.  It works on more things now, but Fortification armor is still the same (as another poster mentioned), and now:
1) You can't SA with splash weapons.  That's a HUGE nerf!
2) You can't SA balancing foes except via readied action.  The whole point of sneak attack and ranged attacking is full attacking, I thought?
3) Blinking no longer lets you SA.
If the Fortification armor is the same then why does it matter?
2) What? Aren't you reading too much into that ruling about Acrobatics?
1) and 3) There are still other ways to Sneak Attack.

Quote
In short, PF basically killed ranged SA.
Nerfed it there, but buffed here. A fair trade-off, IMO.

Quote
And gods help you if you think rogue can survive in melee...
Now he's got d8s! :P
And Rogue Talents also help.

Quote
He got worse at trapfinding because:
1) At will detect magic
2) ANYONE can find nonmagical trap now
3) Search got rolled into Perception, which just happens to be the best skill in the game, so everyone has it maxed.  Since it's a wis-based skill, monks, druids, and rangers are all better at trapfinding than a rogue without even trying.  Other classes probably, too.
Not one of this things made a Rogue worse at searching for traps. Other classes might have it easier, but Rogue didn't get worse.
1) In 3.5 casters also had Detect Magic and Rogues were still fine. An item of at-will Detect Magic costs just 2kgp, or 750gp for a wand with 50 charges. Also a Rogue in PF can get 3/day Detect Magic at 2nd level via Rogue Talent.
2) That's actually good, because now the rest of the party can Aid Another to help the Rogue.
3) Maybe at early levels, but a little later Rogue picks up the pace with finding them. And then the Rogue can actually do something with the trap by having DD as a class skill and getting a bonus to it, not to mention Rogue Talents that help with it even more.
BTW. What other classes can do is irrelevant to Rogues placement in the tiers.

Quote
The skill changes HURT rogue.  A class skill is just a +3 bonus now and anyone can get it with just a dip.  In 3E, rogues had genuine niche protection, in the form of the double cost cross-class skills that everyone complained about.  Now that they're gone, anyone with a higher relevant ability score beats the rogue at that skill, unless they purposely decide not to step on his toes.  Hence why I said rogue is now mediocre or sucky at everything, good at nothing.
You forget about Rogue Talents. They can give a Rogue an edge in skillmoneying.

Quote
Also, while this was also a nerf to Monk and Bard and other acrobatics classes, the tumble DC nerf basically KILLED skirmishing and even the humble "tumble into a flank."  It's versus the monster's CMD!  That's ridiculous!  Even if you could succeed half the time (as levels go up, the monsters' CMD climbs faster than your tumbling mod, fun fact!), that means the enemy's getting 1.5 attacks for each one of yours.  Which means even if you could compare to the melee monster's (why on earth would you skirmish a mage or archer?) hp and attack/damage scores...which you totaly can't...you'd STILL lose.  Every time.
There are Rogue Talents that deny AoOs.

Your arguments don't really convince me, but this isn't about what I think, but what is the consensus. I see that all of you are in agreement, so I'll change it.

Soooo... Anything else? any classes could be considered high/low in their tier?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2011, 05:48:44 PM by ImperatorK »
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Offline X-Codes

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #13: November 20, 2011, 05:52:25 PM »
Bard is, at the very least, low Tier 3.  IMO he got dropped to Tier 4.

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #14: November 20, 2011, 06:03:42 PM »
Bard is, at the very least, low Tier 3.  IMO he got dropped to Tier 4.
Some call it a nerf, some an improvement. Me? I call it "meh." Is Bardic Performance really the ability that gave the Bard tier 3 status? Or were it skills + spells?
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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #15: November 20, 2011, 07:47:41 PM »
bardic Music got nerfed hard when they wrote the rules for bardic performance.  Also unlike 3.5 3.p has no spell/item boosts for Inspire X that I know of.

And while bard casting is decent, it's got nothing really special going for it and isn't all that versatile without a vastly expanded list (again, not an option in 3.p) 

Offline StreamOfTheSky

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #16: November 20, 2011, 08:19:51 PM »
Bardic music is also eventually a move and then swift (or is it free?) action to initiate and now you can use spells while maintaining it.  So overall it's better for in combat buffing w/ inspire courage.  But yeah, it got raped pretty hard on the out of combat utility.  Inspire Competence, Fascinate...they're just plain not worth using now, they eat too many of your precious rounds/day.

IMO, ultimately Bard's strength is being a full caster (albeit up to 6th level spells) with a nice HD/BAB/skills/proficiencies chasis, so while the nerfs were stronger than the buffs (their spell progression did also get buffed), I don't think the class got much weaker...

EDIT: Also, something that's easy to miss, inspire courage improves like 3 levels earlier than in 3E.  You still end up at +4, but it comes sooner, and you hit +2 at level 5.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 10:31:36 AM by StreamOfTheSky »

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #17: November 20, 2011, 10:09:41 PM »
With rogues, they didn't really move in the Tiers, what was shut down were specific styles, but they had more to tap and the boosts kept them from sinking out of T4 entirely. Judge it objectively, based on what the class does now, and not what it used to do or what others can do.
In that light, it has the same optimization potential in the sneak attack, which can be used to inflict real damage, and what are shut down are relatively fringe tactics, though highly effective ones. At the same time, the rogue talents adds a few possible strategies. So combat wise, unchanged, though it had a greater shift towards melee rogues.
Skill wise is unchanged, it can cover more skills with the same points and multiclass easier due to the new class skill system. That others also have more skills just means the party as a whole can solve these challenges easier. The +1/2 level skill bonus vs traps also means they're well ahead in a trap heavy environment. Some of the rogue talents expand skills further.
So overall summation: Increase in melee ability, Decrease in ranged ability, Increase in skill abilities, but the Minor Magic and similar stuff are not enough to push it clean into T3.

Bards are abit easier. I have a player running one of them.
Bardic Music - Honestly, it makes no difference in the typical fight. You have enough available to keep going through every round of every encounter except at the lowest levels. Theres a lack in terms of bardic music feats...but in PF theres not much of these to begin with. Overall a drop, but again, its not everything, just one thing.
Bardic Knowledge - The difference here is investment. With any investment at all in Knowledge, the bard exceeds all but Int based casters in knowledge areas. He also has plenty of skill points to invest with.
Versatile Performance - Combined with the general skill compacting, a bard can hit very high modifiers in many skills without needing a ton of skill points.

So the bard has Weaker Inspire(for lack of options, mostly, the chassis works about the same), Stronger Skills, Stronger Spells. Still T3 really, they make really great all-round skillmonkeys but lose out a bit in combat. The spells make it right back up though.
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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #18: November 21, 2011, 12:03:54 PM »
Bardic music is also eventually a move and then swift (or is it free?) action to initiate and now you can use spells while maintaining it.  So overall it's better for in combat buffing w/ inspire courage.  But yeah, it got raped pretty hard on the out of combat utility.  Inspire Courage, Fascinate...they're just plain not worth using now, they eat too many of your precious rounds/day.

IMO, ultimately Bard's strength is being a full caster (albeit up to 6th level spells) with a nice HD/BAB/skills/proficiencies chasis, so while the nerfs were stronger than the buffs (their spell progression did also get buffed), I don't think the class got much weaker...

EDIT: Also, something that's easy to miss, inspire courage improves like 3 levels earlier than in 3E.  You still end up at +4, but it comes sooner, and you hit +2 at level 5.

Only being able to have 1 BM up at a time is the biggest nerf, IMO.  I like having IC *and* IG up, moddarnit.  Also, most of the best bard spells aren't available in 3.P AFAIK.   Spells like Improvisation and Harmonize allow the 3.5 bard to match or better several of the "buffs" of the 3.P bard, so I'm less sanguine about those that I would have been.

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Re: Pathfinder tier system
« Reply #19: November 21, 2011, 12:50:59 PM »
3.5 Bard song = standard action to turn on (can be reduced), free actions to maintain unless it says it requires concentration. Need Melodic Casting to cast and sing at the same time.

PF Bard song = requires the listed action every round. The song itself is considerably weaker.