Talk:Spider Rider (3.5e Class)

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Rating 7/10[edit]

I give this class a rating of 7/10 for the following reasons:

Concept

I think that it is a good idea having a character bonded to a spider mount and I think Sam Kay has done a great job working on this class to make it balanced and playable (I will talk about that later). My problem with this class is that it fills a too restrictive roll, which should not happen with a base class. If you look at a Cleric for example, it can be all sorts of characters with different personalities and agendas. The spider rider is involved in a war and has almost a template for the way the character develops. To me, that just screams Prestige Class rather than base class. I don't feel there is enough freedom for how a character would develop from a spider rider. When Prestige Classes were designed, they allowed Bob the Fighter to become many things like a Pink Berserker maybe or a Rhinoceros Warrior (disclaimer: names may be fabricated), and Bob would become that PrC. Instead I can't see Jim the Spider Rider being anything but a Spider Rider.

For the concept, the class gets a 5/10 (only because it has a better place as a PrC).

Background/Flavor

The background feels really restrictive for a base class, but is very convincing at setting the tone as to what a Spider Rider is about. Under "Religion", it says that neutral spider riders do not worship either Lolth nor Arachne. Later it says that they worship Arachne. I would fix that. Also I would change the "Races" section to allow all races to have this class. Base classes should not be so restrictive. Why are they all chaotic when they so lawfully follow their deities?

All in all however I like the detail given to this class. It tells a prospective character a lot about what their character should be like. There are some wordy sentences, so that also needs to be improved.

For the background/flavor, the class gets a 7/10.

Balance

I should first list the vital statistics before I get into balance.

  • D8 HD
  • Full BAB progression
  • Good Fort Save
  • 4 skills per level (not a large skill list however)
  • Weapon/Armor proficiencies as a combat class (no tower shield)

Looks good for a secondary combat class. From those stats we can assume that the abilities will have to be stronger than a ranger (who has 6 skillpoints with a good list and a good Ref save).

At level 1 the character is basically a weak fighter. The monstrous spider helps boost this however, but the penalty for its death is very harsh (I will talk about that later). Unbreakable spider bond is a good ability, but the Web Climbing will not see much use until later levels (likely no use at all). Spider empathy is decent as a fluff ability.

Web hide is cool, but again will likely not have application until the spider is larger or the Spider rider can actually cast web.

Summon swarm is fair. Planar Web should likely start at 2 uses per day. Share spell is good (even though the spider rider does not get spells until way later). Spider climb is appropriate, but you may want to move it up to level 5 (that level seems dead). Rebuking is good (just make sure to label that it is not turning) -- you may want to move this up to level 7 to avoid another dead level. Perfect Rider works. Spider jump is fair. The summon spider abilities are also fair as long as you change it from 4 large at 10th to one large. You should also allow them to summon the lower type if they wish when they get the new summon spider abilities. Poison touch is good as an idea, but rather weak. I'd allow it to have a DC of 15 + spider rider's Con modifier. The one that gives the spider domain I think should be given earlier. I would give it at level 7 and count the spider rider as a caster of 5 levels lower. You need to also specify their primary spellcasting ability (which would likely be wisdom).

I still think the penalties for losing the spider are too harsh. I think a character should be able to get a new spider later on.

For balance, the class gets an 8/10.

Clarity

Many of the abilities need to be either fixed on the table or fixed in their description. Here is a list where I found some tweaks necessary. This is not including grammar/spelling issues.

  • Rebuke Spiderkind (table, define what spiderkind is)
  • Unbreakable Spider Bond (clarity)
  • Spider Empathy (define what spiderkind is)
  • Summon Spider (clarity)
  • Spider Jump (clarity)
  • Poison Touch (clarity -- make sure to mention it is a melee touch attack that does not provoke an AoO)

For clarity, the class gets a 7/10.

Overall

Overall I think this class has become a lot more solid than where it started and I do think it is playable. With some changes to clarity and perhaps some tweaks to the abilities, I could see this class getting an 8/10. Unfortunately I think that just by the nature of the idea, the class suits a PrC better and I don't think it will be able to score higher than an 8 (feel free to disagree with me there). Hope this review helps, and keep up the good work Sam Kay!

--Aarnott 08:37, 24 July 2007 (MDT)

Just to point this out: the spider rider can do a ritual to revive the spider. I think you missed that (I changed it from having to visit the deity so that thre penalty was not harsh. Oh, If I do change it to be a PrC, what if I wanted to take it from first level? I could not do that if it was a PrC. On reflection, it should be a PrC, but I would like to take it at 1st level (though I could make the prequisites easy to attain...). I will point out that I only restrict alignment (the spider queens are chaotic, as are spider related things) I just gave it a heavy drow theme. If I change it to a PrC, reveiw the clarity, ballance, background, and concept, could it be better than 8/10? Well, I am off on holaday tomorrow, but I will bring a cxopy of the class riles etc, and fiddle about, and implement the improvements when I get back. Thanks for your help. --Sam Kay 09:25, 24 July 2007 (MDT)
I have done all the altering I can for now. Please can you explain what you mean by clarity? Thanks for your help. I would appreciate it if you gave me feedback ASAP, please (although I will not be able to do anything about it from wednesday for two weeks), so could I have feedback today (if possible, it is not ergant) please so I could think about it while I am on holaday (to spain)? Thanks for your help. --Sam Kay 10:37, 24 July 2007 (MDT)
By clarity I mean it may have some ambiguous rulings, or the text is not completely exact as to what it means. To change this to a PrC will be a more involved change (since PrC's should really only max out at 10 levels and be able to be obtained at 3rd level --exceptions are Paragon classes). This class however I think is playable, so if you want to play it, you can keep it as a base class as long as your DM is okay with that. The reason I suggest a change to PrC is for other wiki users who may want to make a spider rider. We could always keep the base class version and put a disclaimer at the top pointing to the new prestige class version (which we will have to make). --Aarnott 12:02, 24 July 2007 (MDT)
To answer if it could get better than 8/10 --> as a 20 level base class no (in my opinion). As a 10 level prestige definitely. If you find that your DM often abandons games before you reach 6th level, then try it out as a base class. I think you should keep this copy here however (move it back to a base class), and then create a brand new PrC. --Aarnott 12:05, 24 July 2007 (MDT)
Ok, I will fiddle with it and implement the PrC version of it when I get back in two weeks. It can always have an epic for anyone who is made enough to want to specifically be a Spider Rider (like me). Thanks! Brilliant idea, by the way, of having two versions of the class. I never would have thought of it myself. --Sam Kay 14:27, 24 July 2007 (MDT)
Sounds good :). And don't take my words too harsh -- I really like what you have done with the class. Enjoy Spain! --Aarnott 15:15, 24 July 2007 (MDT)
thanks! :)--Sam Kay 23:45, 24 July 2007 (MDT)

Balance[edit]

I think this class is WAY too overpowered. Fighter base attack progression, LOTS of summoning spells/spell-like abilites, an ability that rivals if not SURPASSES the Shadow Jump of Shadowdancers, and a really kick ass mount. I REALLY like the concepts you have for this class,though. Enough so that I have made my own version based off yours. --Dunkleheit, 8:28 PM Pacific, 11/8/07

No, it is not. What you have to remember is the bonus feats- they are powerful abilities. Plus, the class you are looking at is the out of date base class version- the version you should see is the Prestige Class Version (Spider Rider)- it was rated 10/10 by Aarnott. And what's that about shadowdancer? so a 20 level character can have an ability surpassing a 10 level PrC? so what? 20= 10x2, so, no problem. Plus, shadowdancer is underbalanced, it has no ability it is worth taking the class for. For comparisson, druid or paladin is a better class, due to companions. Trust the rating, it's ballance is fine. But, like I said, go for the PrC version (pointed out at the top of the page). I am actually playing one, and it is brilliant, and not overballanced. --Sam Kay 06:42, 9 November 2007 (MST)
Oh, I've seen the Prestige Class and trust its balance rating. Didn't realize that the base class is the older of the two classes, though. XD --Dunkleheit, 10:07 AM Pacific, 11/9/07
Yeah, it can be confusing. When in doubt, see the history tab. If you trust the PrC ballance rating, just use the PrC (although after you max the level, you need to find another class to advance in, which is annoying. --Sam Kay 12:32, 9 November 2007 (MST)
Unless one is epic then they can make a PrC go onto infinity (if it's a PrC with 10 levels). --Green Dragon 22:19, 11 November 2007 (MST)
This rating has been nullified with the implementation of the new Rating System. --Green Dragon 22:43, 20 February 2008 (MST)
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