Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

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Sun Wukong
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Sun Wukong » Mon May 21, 2018 11:02 pm

And as for the Phantom being a new class, well, it has been here for few years already. I think it was added around November 2016... Not to mention that it had been talked about ever since the Wilderness Stalker PRC was added. Thus it is really stretching fabric of reality to call it a new addition.
mrm3ntalist wrote:However, with new classes we have the freedom to implemented them from scratch. The phantom base class, was not designed to be a good dip for the cleric base class. Yes, the phantom class can use some rework but not to make it better for clerics or druids or SSs. The phantom base will be adjusted to be more efficient on its own.
It was pointed out at the time how Phantom AC worked rather well with wisdom based builds. It was thought a non-issue since it was deemed to be nothing comparted to the likes of the Monk/Sacred Fist combination.

And the thing is, Phantom is not that good of a dip for the cleric class. Sure, it works with the Darkfire Disciple PRC, but the fact remains that the Cleric 7/Monk 3/Sacred Fist 10/Hierophant 10 is the superior alternative in all ways.
Valefort wrote:Druid 17 / Hiero 10/ Phantom 3, 42 WIS with ICE and tower shield proficiency :

AC : 10 (base) + 16 (WIS to AC) + 3 (Tumble) + 4 (dodge boots) + 4 (tower shield) + 4 (armor enchant) + 4 (shield enchant) +6 (ICE) + 9 (tortoise shell) +4 (DEX) + 4 (halo of sand) = 68 AC
So let us have look at that: Cleric 7/Monk 3/Sacred Fist 10/Hierophant 10 build that can be made right now.

AC: 10 (Base)
+ 12 (Wisdom to AC)
+ 4 (Dexterity)
+ 3 (Tumble)
+ 3 (Sacred Fist AC)
+ 4 (Dodge Boots)
+ 5 (Armor Enchantment, Magic Vestment)
+ 4 (Shield Enchantment, Shield Wand)
+ 6 (Improved Combat Expertise)
+ 5 (Natural Armor Enchantment, Spiderskin/Barkskin)
+ 5 (Deflection Enchantment, Shield of Faith)
= 61

Clearly the AC of 61 is not an issue on this server.

Thus how about we change it to the 'hypothetical' Druid 7/Monk 3/Sacred Fist 10/Hierophant 10 build:
AC: 10 (base)
+ 16 (Wisdom to AC)
+ 4 (Dexterity)
+ 3 (Tumble)
+ 3 (Sacred Fist AC)
+ 4 (Dodge Boots)
+ 4 (Armor Enchantment)
+ 4 (Shield Enchantment, Shield Wand)
+ 6 (Improved Combat Expertise)
+ 9 (Natural Armor Enchantment, Tortoise Shell)
+ 4 (Deflection Enchantment, Halo of Sand)
= 67

Do you know what the difference between the Cleric and Druid versions is? In melee, the cleric build hits like a truck, while the druid alternative sits still like a lame duck.

If that is the case, then some of you might wonder why the Druid/Monk combination was banned on this server way back when. The simple answer lies in the Druid's ability to Wild Shape that used to gain the benefit from Monk's Wisdom based AC. Many Wild Shape forms come with 30+ strength, which gave the Druid/Monk combinations decent AB, in addition to the wisdom based AC. This is not the case anymore, wisdom based AC can be disabled.

And as for the 'Druid 17/Hierophant 10/Phantom 3' build Valefort brought up, if you disable Phantom AC whenever a shield is equipped, you lower the AC of said combination to 60 or 64 from 68. Any dispel or breach will remove the Shield Wand effect. Additionally, apart from relying on Zen Archery, this combination has nonexisting AB and the Druidic spell book is not exactly known for spells that increase ranged damage.

Therefore, a far more sensible way to balance the Phantom class for 'Wisdom based' caster dips is to disable the wisdom AC if a shield is equipped. The description of Phantom's Wisdom AC is basically just missing the tail end of the Monk's Wisdom AC description.

As for Phantoms that might lose the use of shields they are not even proficient at to begin with, you can come up with additional Ki Powers. Call it Ki Defense, have it raise the Phantom's AC for three rounds. (A duration that is also extended with 'Extend Ki Power' feats.) Let the Phantom use their Ki Power points for various different things, which is something that doesn't exactly benefit the builds that took three level dip in the class.
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Nemni
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Nemni » Tue May 22, 2018 2:49 am

KOPOJIbPAKOB wrote:
Valefort wrote:Druid 17 / Hiero 10/ Phantom 3, 42 WIS with ICE and tower shield proficiency :

AC : 10 (base) + 16 (WIS to AC) + 3 (Tumble) + 4 (dodge boots) + 4 (tower shield) + 4 (armor enchant) + 4 (shield enchant) +6 (ICE) + 9 (tortoise shell) +4 (DEX) + 4 (halo of sand) = 68 AC

Add Oaken resilience, premonition and regen spells; I think it'll tank for a bit, toss displacement and mirror image wands if you want to be funnier. This change is mainly to remove that possibility as far as I'm concerned.

Without Phantom you're looking at 8 (mithral full plate) + 3 (DEX) = 11instead of 16 (WIS)+ 4 (DEX) = 20
Isn't it easier to disable Phantom AC bonus while wielding shield?
Exactly (if it's indeed working atm). Most people don't "phantom" around with a tower shield, that makes no sense.

It's also wrong to try to balance something and just look at 1 dimension. In how many situations would that extra AC be better than just turning into a dragon with also great AC, better extra defenses and much better offense? Very few I bet.

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Akroma666
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Akroma666 » Tue May 22, 2018 10:38 am

I think you should reverse the AC nurf, I'm never one to discourage class building or dipping, it's part of what i love about DND. If we're scared of big scary druids and their godly wisdom, just put a note not allowing for cross-class.

If QC doesn't feel comfortable with that, maybe put a no armor/shield restriction?

Personally, i think the class sucks and it needs all the help it can get. The fact sneak dice don't stack and build into rogues is horrible.
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Valefort » Tue May 22, 2018 12:16 pm

Most people don't phantom around with casters either because that makes no sense. Personally I can envision a phantom with a shield more than with druidic or shamanic powers ...

This change boils down to shutting off a power increase, what's wrong with that ?

Also what exactly is weak with phantom ? Comparing it with rogue, as long as soon as you go for 16+ Phantom levels you'll get better benefits than with Rogue, except a tad less skill points (which is not exactly a big deal as Phantom still gets 6 points per level). I don't understand the claims posted here at all, please elaborate :shock: (if you start with rogue is weak don't expect to be taken seriously though).
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Endelyon
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Endelyon » Tue May 22, 2018 3:08 pm

The wisdom AC is pretty tacked on anyway, without any other kind of synergy with wisdom in the kit it probably should have just been removed entirely during implementation and instead phased all over to extra "Phantom Dodge AC."

Personally I don't mind the idea of a Cleric/Phantom or Druid/Phantom for extra AC whatsoever, but I suppose this boils down to whether or not you want to use a shield (unlike Monk) or want to get a bunch of AC from wisdom from a 3 level dip (like Monk).
Akroma666 wrote:The fact sneak dice don't stack and build into rogues is horrible.
There is a Kaedrin-created feat that allows them to stack together if I'm not mistaken, but we chose intentionally not add it iirc so we wouldn't pigeonhole every single Rogue into taking Phantom levels to feel "optimized." Phantom itself doesn't stand to gain anything from taking rogue levels, and we felt the reverse should be true as well.

Something minor worth noting is that a Monk's wisdom AC is noted to become disabled if they become immobilized (such as from an Entangle, Hold Person, or Bigby 9 spell) or helpless (such as from a Sleep, Solipsism, Moonbolt, Swamp Lung, or Fear spell). This restriction does not apply to Phantoms, so all in all their "wisdom AC" is a bit more versatile than a Monk's in general. Making it completely identical to monk AC in every way would surely still be balanced, but there's no reason the two need to have exactly the same mechanics.

We weren't really trying to make Phantom a super attractive class that a lot of people play and dip. I originally proposed adding it as a Sneak Attack focused class that had an alternative play style to HitS/HiPS while still being viable, and in that regard I believe at least it's succeeded, since 30 Phantom should be at least a bit tougher than 30 Rogue (though either will benefit tremendously from dipping a PRC with HIPS!).

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Nemni
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Nemni » Tue May 22, 2018 4:06 pm

Valefort wrote:Most people don't phantom around with casters either because that makes no sense. Personally I can envision a phantom with a shield more than with druidic or shamanic powers ...
It's a stealth class and it's hard to sneak with a shield big as a tower. And since the AC already turns off on mobility-hindering armor it would make perfect sense that carrying a shield would have the same effect. Except perhaps a tiny one :P No reason moving like a phantom and casting spells couldn't be combined though, I think.
Valefort wrote:Also what exactly is weak with phantom ?
Lack of UMD is one thing.

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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Akroma666 » Tue May 22, 2018 4:32 pm

Valefort wrote:Also what exactly is weak with phantom ?
Lack of UMD is one thing.[/quote]
viewtopic.php?f=443&t=56846&start=0

Here's a topic, but in my opinion, the sneaks should stack to allow cross class if a player wants to mix the two. Phantom doesn't get one of the pinical rogue feats; defensive roll and gets crippling strike 6 levels late. Also, if the intention was to make a hybrid fighter-rogue class, then it should have full BAB and not half.

Those are a few suggestions.

Can someone clarify if the prestige class sneak dice work? Like arcane trixter, dsm, or zealot?
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Valefort » Tue May 22, 2018 4:36 pm

Yes those stack. And a full BAB class with full sneak progression should be an obvious no...
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Akroma666 » Tue May 22, 2018 7:50 pm

Valefort wrote:Yes those stack. And a full BAB class with full sneak progression should be an obvious no...
Not if you drop the sneak progression. Once every 3 or 4 levels?

Point is, rogue does it better IMO, no reason to take the class unless you want the dip for Wis AC.
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Sun Wukong » Tue May 22, 2018 8:40 pm

Valefort wrote:Personally I can envision a phantom with a shield more than with druidic or shamanic powers ...
Light Shield has Armor Check Penalty of -1, Heavy Shield has Armor Check Penalty of -2, Tower Shield has Armor Check Penalty of -10.

The phantom loses its wisdom AC if it wears a Paddded Armor that has Armor Check Penalty of 0.

Honestly, I struggle to envision a phantom with a shield. :lol:
Valefort wrote:Also what exactly is weak with phantom ? Comparing it with rogue, as long as soon as you go for 16+ Phantom levels you'll get better benefits than with Rogue, except a tad less skill points (which is not exactly a big deal as Phantom still gets 6 points per level). I don't understand the claims posted here at all, please elaborate :shock: (if you start with rogue is weak don't expect to be taken seriously though).
A typical rogue only requires a high dexterity ability score to raise AB, AC and to boost their core skills. This means that a rogue build can spread ability points around for carrying capacity or additional intelligence for extra skill points.

A typical phantom requires a high dexterity ability score to raise AB, AC, and to boost their core skills. But phantom cannot wear armor and therefore they also require an investment in the wisdom ability score, which limits how much they can invest in other ability scores. This results in less skill points, and less carrying capacity that comes with added handicap of making the phantom more prone to losing their wisdom based AC due to encumbrance. It also limits the number of healing kits that can be carried, alongside with other consumables as potions come with their weight.

Therefore, let us look at the number of skill points per level. Rogues get 8 while Phantoms get 6.

What skills could a phantom with intelligence modifier of 0 get?
1) Hide
2) Move Silently
3) Search
4) Disable Device
5) Open Lock
6) Tumble

And what skills could a rogue with intelligence modifier of 0 get?
1) Hide
2) Move Silently
3) Search
4) Disable Device
5) Open Lock
6) Tumble
7) Appraise (Rogue only)
8) Use Magic Device (Rogue only)

Then let us not forget that rogue has easier time increasing their intelligence modifier and could get more skill for role-play flavour rather than mechanical power.

And finally, we could have a look at the builds that are available to both rogues and phantoms. Both rely on sneak attacks to deliver damage and both require Epic Precision to deal with critical hit immunity. Epic Precision can only be taken if you got Crippling Strike, which Rogues get at level 10 and Phantoms get at level 16. Thefore, because Epic Precision is a must have feat it limits phantom's multiclassing options far more than rogue's - and rogues get extra feats that could be spent on other things during epic levels.

Earlier in this thread it was said that the phantom only has two builds going for itself: Phantom 25/Shadowdancer 5, and Phantom 21/Assassin 9. This is only half true if you look at from the perspective of gameplay ease. If you go for the Assassin build, you have to choose between delaying HiPS or Epic precision into the epic levels. A Rogue 21/Assassin 9 does not have that problem and it actually gets more epic feats to spend.

So how about we look at the phantom's class abilities:
  • Ghost Step - it is better than nothing - but no replacement to HiPS.
  • Ki Dodge and Greater Ki Dodge - concealment is always nice - but this only lasts for three rounds and breaks combat to reapply even as an instant ability.
  • Ghost Strike - you can hit ghosts and other incorporeal beings - now you just need to find some first.
  • Ghost Sight - True Seeing - I assume this is permanent, but it probably only lasts for three rounds.
  • Ghost Walk - Ethereal Jaunt - I suppose it could be an alternative for stealth mode... but that's about it.
Thus, why should I make a phantom, when rogue is better by default? The only time phantom has the edge is when you want to make a Zen Archery based sneak... And even in that case a monk dip to a rogue might work far better.
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by KOPOJIbPAKOB » Wed May 23, 2018 4:11 am

I agree that instead of nerfs this class requires synergy with wisdom. For example, how about adding new Ki Powers? Like:
"Ki Shadow Strike - You spend a use of your Ki power to gain damage bonus (negative energy) for 3 rounds. Damage bonus is equal to your wisdom modifer"
Or:
"Ki Shell - You spend a use of your Ki power to add your wisdom modifier to your savethrows for 3 rounds"
etc.
Also, it might be an interesting idea to rescale the duration of all Ki Powers from 3 rounds to 1+1/2(round down) WIS modifer rounds? Such additions are much better than nerfs.

As for dips, if it is really about fighting them, then you have started from the very wrong place. Clerics, Monks, Rogues, Shadow dancers, Blackguards, Fighters, Paladins, Bodyguards, Assasins.... but of course, lets nerf the least popular base class in the game.
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Sun Wukong » Wed May 23, 2018 8:16 am

Or you could add stackable: 'Extend Ki Power' feat in the way of Extend Rage feats, and then add more Ki Powers. But yeah, there is no harm with Ki Power Gaining longer duration based on the wisdom modifier, just like how Rage is extended based on the constitution modifier.

Now a phantom 30 gets 30 uses of Ki Power, while a barbarian 30 gets 8 uses of Rage. The difference here is that for a Barbarian all their perks are tied down to a single ability, while with Phantom those could be divided into multiple different ones.

Therefore, you could come up with various different types of Ki Powers for a phantom to use. Such as an AB bonus, healing bonus, bluff bonus for feinters, etc... Thus the more Ki Powers you use, the faster you run out. The less you use, the longer you can fight, etc. I think this would be a way to boost the class without actually changing it from what it is.

Most importantly, those 'dastardly Phantom Druids/Clerics/Spirit Shamans/Favored Souls' would not benefit from said changes.

And here I go on like a broken record again. :lol:
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Valefort » Wed May 23, 2018 1:33 pm

A typical rogue only requires a high dexterity ability score to raise AB, AC and to boost their core skills. This means that a rogue build can spread ability points around for carrying capacity or additional intelligence for extra skill points.

A typical phantom requires a high dexterity ability score to raise AB, AC, and to boost their core skills. But phantom cannot wear armor and therefore they also require an investment in the wisdom ability score, which limits how much they can invest in other ability scores. This results in less skill points, and less carrying capacity that comes with added handicap of making the phantom more prone to losing their wisdom based AC due to encumbrance. It also limits the number of healing kits that can be carried, alongside with other consumables as potions come with their weight.
While true it's also temporary as rogues end up unarmored so phantoms can end up with overall better AC than rogues at equal investment.
And finally, we could have a look at the builds that are available to both rogues and phantoms. Both rely on sneak attacks to deliver damage and both require Epic Precision to deal with critical hit immunity. Epic Precision can only be taken if you got Crippling Strike, which Rogues get at level 10 and Phantoms get at level 16. Thefore, because Epic Precision is a must have feat it limits phantom's multiclassing options far more than rogue's - and rogues get extra feats that could be spent on other things during epic levels.
Also true but again temporary, a possibility that is being discussed is to give all the class feats within the first 20 levels instead of extending up to 24.
Earlier in this thread it was said that the phantom only has two builds going for itself: Phantom 25/Shadowdancer 5, and Phantom 21/Assassin 9. This is only half true if you look at from the perspective of gameplay ease. If you go for the Assassin build, you have to choose between delaying HiPS or Epic precision into the epic levels. A Rogue 21/Assassin 9 does not have that problem and it actually gets more epic feats to spend.
Once again this is temporary, secondly there are always monsters in your CR window that are not crit immune so practically this is not an issue.
Ghost Step - it is better than nothing - but no replacement to HiPS.
It doesn't replace HiPS but it works very well in itself and is excellent in combination with HiPS as you can chain their use to deliver sneak attacks quicker than a usual sneaker.
Ki Dodge and Greater Ki Dodge - concealment is always nice - but this only lasts for three rounds and breaks combat to reapply even as an instant ability.
Right, it's not the best but it's still free displacement.
Ghost Strike - you can hit ghosts and other incorporeal beings - now you just need to find some first.
Won't argue there, we barely have any ghosts ! Perhaps 3-4 monsters total :lol:
Ghost Sight - True Seeing - I assume this is permanent, but it probably only lasts for three rounds.
Well no, it's permanent.
Ghost Walk - Ethereal Jaunt - I suppose it could be an alternative for stealth mode... but that's about it.
Between that and HiPS you can't really die in PvE unless you screw up very badly.

So overall there's less build diversity for Phantom and not having full access to UMD directly can sting but that's it, tradeoffs mainly being free ethereal that can be instantly activated (that's by far the biggest perk of Phantom, there's no cooldown on ghost step) and free true seeing.
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by KOPOJIbPAKOB » Wed May 23, 2018 2:52 pm

Also (not to start a new thread for this small issue), ghost strike seems to be bugged (doesn't work). I press it but nothing happens and concealment still works (tested it on ghosts as well, weapons used — darts, crossbow and club).
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Re: Phantom Wisdom AC limited by phantom level is silly

Unread post by Sun Wukong » Wed May 23, 2018 4:26 pm

There is a difference to a build that becomes playable at level 30 and one that is playable from the start.

I have run to people who have rolled a phantom, who just gave up on the class and RCR-ed into a phantom.

Anyhow... Rogues have easier time multiclassing into Invisible Blade or Duelist for intelligence based AC, and so on...
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