Saturday, September 17, 2011

Class Tiers (A.K.A. What do you mean we have another encounter today? I already cast all my spells!)

I have never understood this whole Tier system that I keep seeing on various forums. I think the tiers are set up as a Tier 1 class is the most powerful and tier 5 is the least. The main reason why I haven't understood it is because I've never really seen one of the base classes overpower the others (I am talking about base classes only, not classes from the many other source books or online resources. I find them to be rather broken).
And then it hit me the other day.
I realized why everyone keeps thinking that spell slingers are the most powerful and the other non-spell casting classes are not as good. I've seen it so many times before and never realized it, most spell casters will dump their powerful spells into the first encounter they run into. They do this and then the party will rest to let them recover their spells and/or special abilities, hence the 15 minute adventuring day.  I've seen this a bit in the game that I run on Saturdays. It's a 3.5 core books only game (with the Arms and Equipment Guide).  Right now the group is providing escort to a dwarven mastersmith as he travels. They don't have the option of resting for a day to get spells back after a difficult encounter (they got to once but that was because the bulette damaged the wagon the dwarf smith was driving and it needed to be fixed). It's great to see them trying to plan out how to use their spells and abilities so that they can last through the day. And I roll for encounters every 3 hours when they are in the wild lands, so there are days where they get 4 encounters in the day, and 4 during the night. Luckily, not all encounters have to be fights. Of course, the Wizard of the party is still first level and likes to hide behind his dogs.
So that's my take, I figure that most spell slingers use up all the spells they have in just a few moments of the first encounter and it looks like they are THE MOST POWERFUL CHARACTER IN THE WORLD!! Then they need a nap.
Don the Evil Bassman

1 comment:

  1. Well, for me, it was because I was assuming a much lower encounter rate. I’m more used to something like two checks a day. (One for day and one for night.) Plus, it had seemed like we hadn’t had as many encounters on the trip there, so I wasn’t expecting as many on the way back.

    Although, there has been a shift in my tactics in recent years towards using resources sooner rather than later. Especially at the lower levels where not using your big gun early may mean that you never get to use it. ^_^ Plus, our group has a history of resting to regain spells even when we’ve only spent a few low-level ones, which has also played into that shift.