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Discussion:What are the best Prestige Classes of all time?
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Time to make a list of Awesome Prestige Classes. Go
Sir Milo Teabag 18:01, 21 January 2008 (MST)
Howdy folks. Write your good prestige class, write its strengths and drawbacks, and we'll see how they compare.
Sublime Chord. Allows Bards to become awesome, but unfortunately detracts from Music. Also, all the good Sor/Wiz spells of 3rd level or lower are beyond reach.
Fochlucan Lyrist: Would be the best prestige class in the game is it weren't for the ridiculous prerequisites. Awesome skill, Spells, and BAB.
Whoever you are, please continue this list. Thank you.
Ur Priest from Complete Divine. Why? Because it gains (evil) cleric casting at each level up and has really easy pre-requisites. It also gains Cleric BAB and saves. Drawbacks only really happen if you are a good cleric (you lose all your good cleric powers). Ur Priest level 10 plus any full BAB class 10 will give you 9th level cleric casting, and 17 BAB. I think it is the most powerful PrC.
For fun, I really like the Ultimate Magus from Complete Mage. It progresses both spontaneous arcane casting and prepared arcane casting. Beguiler/Wizard or Warmage/Wizard are great fun. Unfortunately it isn't full progression for both (though CL ends up high) and you lag behind in power. A friend of mine is playing a "Megevoker" right now, going Wizard/Warmage specializing in evocation. Though this is a bad choice late game, it has been very fun. Who said warlocks were the only ones that could blow stuff up all day?
Do you mean WotC PrCs? Or any PrCs? I like various flavour PrCs such as Arachnomancer (Underdark), ect. But the one I really like is the Spider Rider, simply because I love riding about on a huge spider.
Strongest? Easy. Planar Shepard. Flat out broken. The problem? Every DM aged over 15 will ban it. Heck, every DM below the age of 15 will ban it!!
There's also Chameleon. 6th level divine and 6th level arcane off every spellcasting list. Bards, Adepts (divine scorching ray), Paladins and Rangers have spells at lower level than other classes. Or what the heck, divine/martial focus then Divine Meta. Flaw? The mechanics suck. Big time.
Oh wait, you guys want something that's not broken. I like Master Thrower myself. On the ENworld forums there debate on whether there really is a 4E Matrial Controller. Well here he is! Complete battlefield control in 5 levels.
As Pswnafu said, there's a big difference between prestige classes that are way powerful and those that actually are balanced and equally pleasing to player and DM alike. To me, that means interesting concept, unique combination of abilities, and neither too powerful or too handicapped.
That being said, I think the PrC's that have piqued my interest most are the Risen Martyr from Book of Exalted Deeds (strengths: great storytelling potential and interesting abilities; weaknesses: stupid Nimbus of Light feat prerequisite) and the Zen Archer from the Wiki Homebrew section.
Sir Milo Teabag 06:32, 23 January 2008 (MST)
Indeed, the point is to look at the Prestige Classes that have the most interesting concept. Still, out of curiosity, what the heck is the Planar Shepherd?
The Planar Shepherd is a prestige class from the book, Faiths of Eberron. It is effectively a druid that has very close ties to a plane that shares his alignment. He eventually becomes "attuned" to that plane, and the benefits he gets from this range from "really good" to "OUTRAGEOUS". The class progresses wildshaping of the druid, which is a major plus, and also gives the druid a host of new forms from that plane (including outsiders and elementals) that he can wildshape into. Eventually, the Planar Shepherd is able to bring back part of the plane with him in a bubble around him, but he is immune to the negative effects of the plane.
What this means is that the druid gains: awesome wildshape forms, planar benefits (supposedly including time traits), and a couple of other goodies connected to the plane. On the other side, the druid loses: .
Requirements: Knowledge (nature) and Knowledge(the planes), wild shape class feature, and Greensinger Initiate or Nightbringer Initiate. It has a quirky flavor, but is pretty much unmatched in power.
But you see classes or prestige classes that are broken are not really very fun. Not fun at all. The DMs challenges become too easy and the other players cannot shine.
One problem I see with Sorcerer and Wizard PRCs is that you loose out on several levels of spellcasting, which kind of weakens your main ability, when you could set yourself apart from other spellcasters by simply choosing very specific spells and acting in a distinct mannor. While a druid PrC could grant spellcasting and abilities instead of various druid abilities (the vermin trainer, ''Underdark'' springs to mind here, though I think you could acheive the same or better with the Drow Druid variant and the Spider Companion feat), and a fighter could get specialist combat abilities rather than boring bonus feats. And a rogue could carry on with sneak attack, and replace rogue abilities with special things.
OptimizationFanatic 20:50, 23 January 2008 (MST)
The Planar Shepherd is a ridiculous class. Personally, I like quite a few classes...
For abjurers, the Incantatrix from Magic of Faerun is insane with its long metamagic, as is the Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil for its ability to surround itself with a prismatic sphere(In my opinion. I like Abjurers).
For most other arcane casters, the Archmage and the Mage of the Arcane Order with its spellpool (more spells! Yay!) are very good.
For divine casters... Well... There's the Sovereign Speaker and its extra domains, and the Planar Shepherd mentioned above.
Another one of my favorites, especially in a city-based setting, is the city-bound Urban Soul for flavor. Who wouldn't want to be bound to Ptolus?
Melee isn't really my strong point, but...
I suppose that the melee classes shouldn't forget about the Kensai and its signature weapons or the Bear Warrior with its shapeshifting abilities. I like both, but they aren't the best ones out there.
If I had to choose a single prestige class I thought overpowered, it'd be a toss-up between the Incantatrix, the Planar Shepherd and the Sovereign Speaker.
Archmage, hella. Everyone uses archmage. Also eldritch knight/mystic theurge. They seem to get a lot of use.
Hulking Hurler (Complete Warrior) ends up being overpowered even if you don't try to optimize. The first time (and last time) I used it I was trying to make an orc with permanent enlarge that threw stones. It ended up doing over 100d6 damage. That was just an accidental, non-optimized build...
Frenzied Berserker (Complete Warrior) is great for meleers. Power attack for lotsa damage.
Malconvoker (Complete Scoundrel) is hands down the best summoner.
And for pure brokenness, Ruby Knight Vindicator (Tome of Battle).
Sir Milo Teabag 06:30, 25 January 2008 (MST)
Ick... I'm really looking not at the classes power, but their flavor or general idea. I like the two prestige classes I mentioned because they turn a poor class into a good one, as a prestige class is supposed to do. I just don't care much for the flavor of Malconvoker. A good character using fiends... I don't know. I do not consider DND a Satanist game (otherwise I wouldn't play it) but the Malconvoker comes startlingly close to it.
I agree. Thats why I enjoy playing a Spider Rider. I just love the flavour and I love the spider. Although I do think a PrC has to have worthwhile abilities, else what you're loosing outweighs what your gaining. I think the important thing in a PrC is that you like the flavour. Therefore, there is no "best" PrC, just your favorite.
OptimizationFanatic 19:30, 25 January 2008 (MST)
Flavor-wise, my favorite PrC is the Urban Soul from Races of Destiny. The idea that one could live in a city for so long that they become irrevocably bound to it attracts me.
A player in my group has made me appreciate Halfing Outrider. He started with Ranger and Scout and went into Outrider. For his Ranger pet he went with a Panther. For his Outrider mount he went Panther. Watching the three of them work is amazing. Stealth, mobility, skirmish damage, barrages of arrows in the form or rapid shot or multi shot, grapples, it gets pretty crazy.
For me though my favorite has to be Uncanny Trickster from Complete Scoundrel. It's only 3 lvls and out of those 2 of them actually increase class features of an existing class while adding more skill tricks.
I am considering True Necromancer for my character in our upcoming evil campaign. The only real down side to that one I can see at the moment is only getting 8th lvl spells at 20. This might be offset by the fact that I will have access to both cleric and wizard spells.
123098zxcmnb 18:31, 14 May 2008 (MDT)
I like the Daggerspell Mage from complete adventurer. I like the idea of a wizard who casts spells through his daggers. The ability to cast quickened touch spells into the daggers as part of a daggerspell flurry is very handy.
Daggerspell Mage has to be my favorite with Elocater and Shadowblade coming real close.
(by the way, why don't my links work?)
Green Dragon 15:31, 8 August 2008 (MDT)
I fixed your links for you. The problem was that they were not linking to the correct page name. Hope it's better now.
3.0: Ninja of the Cresent Moon (Sword and Fist)...Reason? Two words: Always Sneaky. Flavor Reason? Who wouldn't want to be a Ninja?!?! One of the first prestige classes to offer the title, 'Ninja'. Way cool.
3.5: Kensei (Complete Warrior) Reason? Mixes well with the Monk class (for those that don't use UA variants), and allows for enhancements of the Monk's barehanded attacks themselves... without the class having to go looking for an equipment work-around. That, and the class ability: Withstand. Imagine the description of that ability in use...improved evasion, and no need to dodge away! Flavor Reason? Even the 'drawback' of this class (the vow) and the alignment restriction of this class (must be lawful) can make for some truly powerful stories, and would become truly 'epic' in nature if the Vow is undertaken in service of a deity. Truly great class, if you ask me.
Surely you all haven't forgotten the assassin. I personally feel that with a simple, but solid build an unstoppable assassin can be created. Especially combined with a rogue and swashbuckler levels (and the daring outlaw feat).
I like combining several PrCs, like in my Swashbuckler1/Wizard4/UrPriest2/MysticTheurge8 that goes boom with cleric and wizard spells at the same time (losing physical armor but gaining insane shield/armor spells).
Another version of it would be this one using sublime chord, great but it begins shining later: Bard1/whatever1/Sorcerer6/UrPriest2/SublimeChord1/MysticTheurge9.
Talking of single PrCs, I agree with OptimizationFanatic on the arcane/divine part. Melee PrC? Any Prc that gives you full casting as a cleric or druid will do.
3.0 = I think Iajustsu Master from the Oriental Handbook has the potential to be the most broken class of all through it's use of the Iajutsu Focus skill. Once the Iajutsu Master gets the ability to add his Charisma bonus to each die of damage, it becomes truly sickening.
3.5 = A well built Archmage can pretty much rock most other classes. It's not so much that this class is overpowered, but that there are a lot of spells that are borderline crazy. If prepared correctly (this takes time and experience playing one) it can devastate nearly any enemy of a comparable CR.
I would say the soul eater from book of vile darkness, if your willing to give up all weapon use then the ability to directly drain levels makes up for it, especially if you add in all of the ability score bonuses and the creation of wights.
best race for soul eater would definitely be a thri-kreen, 4 claws and a bite + multiattack = up to 5 negative levels per round
the extremely easy to reach prerequisites make up for the -2 level adjustment for thri-kreen