Talk:Thief-Acrobat (3.5e Class)

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Rating[edit]

Power - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because I've always thought this class was balanced, it was even my favorite out of the Dungeonomicon. → Rith (talk) 21:56, 20 April 2009 (MDT)

Wording - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because everything stated on the page is easily understood. → Rith (talk) 21:56, 20 April 2009 (MDT)

Formatting - 2.5/5 I give this class a 2.5 out of 5 because massive portions of the preload are missing, though, interwiki linking is decently comprehensive. (also, you have a incomplete link in the Power Slide entry) → Rith (talk) 21:56, 20 April 2009 (MDT)

Flavor - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because, as I stated above, this is my favorite out of the Dungeonomicon. → Rith (talk) 21:56, 20 April 2009 (MDT)

Base Attack Bonus[edit]

Is there a reason this uses conventional attacks (15/10/5) rather than the modified variant seemingly preferred by other Tome classes (15/10/10)? -- Jota 22:39, 25 June 2009 (MDT)

I could have sworn they were all Tome-styles. Maybe someone snuck an edit by me and Surgo. --Genowhirl 22:42, 25 June 2009 (MDT)
I can fix it, if you want. Tome classes rock. It'd be my pleasure. -- Mythos 15:38, 29 June 2009 (MDT)
Fixed. It doesn't make sense for the T-A to have the traditional BAB when it isn't even that powerful by Tome standards. -- Jota 16:41, 29 June 2009 (MDT)
Meh, ANY class should have the Tome BAB. Wizards didn't playtest properly when they wrote the rules anyway. -- Mythos 13:57, 30 June 2009 (MDT)

"Homebrew"[edit]

Isn't Thief-Acrobat directly from Complete Adventurer?

The class name maybe. Everything else? No.--Genowhirl 20:37, 22 October 2009 (MDT)

Extremely overpowered[edit]

While, from a personal perspective, I love this class and its goals (I myself re-imaged the Shadow Dancer to accomplish the same goal as this class), it seems to me to be extremely over powered.

  • The immunity to all reflex-save events is inappropriate. The mechanism in place in D&D to reflect that something is adept at avoiding damage by reacting is the reflex save itself. If you want to say that a thief acrobat is very adept at avoiding things that require a reflex save, then give it a better reflex save. Just saying "nope, immune" is not an appropriate use of existing D&D mechanisms. The method proposed in this class ignores the fact that as fast as a thief-acrobat is, there is always the potential for something faster. Improved Evasion as written is about as far as I think anything should go for this. This class should simply adopt a higher reflex save to accomplish this goal.
  • Using yourself to flank an opponent is... interesting. Perhaps we should just toss in the ability to sneak attack constructs and a free greater truedeath crystal for undead while we're at it? Then, hey, we can sneak attack anything, anywhere, any time. I suggest that playing sneakily should be a prerequisite for sneak attack, and that it's not appropriate to start doling out cheap ways to make it usable anywhere. This ability needs deleting.
  • Both acrobatic flair and rapid stealth give the thief-acrobat the ability to use skills without penalties for things that are difficult. This is also inappropriate because, again, it is ignoring the already established method for making someone better at something, which is simply the skill itself. If you want to say a thief-acrobat is better at balancing, tumbling, or hiding, then give a bonus to the appropriate skills. Making the skill checks easier for one class is just silly. As it is written just it looks like a way to give a bonus to hide, tumble, balance, etc without making it look as bad on paper to a DM as just saying the thief-acrobat gets a +10 to all those skills. Interesting ways to accomplish the same goal are improved skill synergies (every 5 of one gives a 2 bonus to another), or better yet increasing the maximum ranks you can buy for certain skills. Perhaps while one skill point buys one rank of tumble, you can buy another half a rank with a second skill point. That way for certain skills you get a bonus, but it is balanced by increased skill point cost.
  • Shadow-tumble? At level 14 you should have 17 ranks of tumble, plus enough DEX that with a take 10, you should easily get a 30. So unlimited times per day you can just poof yourself 4 squares through solid rock, force effects, doors, etc. Does a prismatic wall even affect this?
  • Auto-take 20? That's something that greater deities get. Enough said.

As a player, the choice of one class over another should be a hard one. One where the pros and cons are balanced against your personal play style and RP options. As it is, if I had this and a rogue in front of me, this wins hands down, every time. It is this, more than anything that red-flags this class to me. There are no real cons to this class, and a whole load of pros, from the player perspective.

In fact, this class is a soloists dream. Which is another red flag. It's way too much of a dream. For the cost of a single rank of sneak attack, and the open locks skill (which the same author already advocates rolling into disable device, and this class gets that), you turn a rogue into a one-person army. Don't even need a wizard, because the thief-acrobat can detect magic and use appraise to analyze magic items. Even the holy-grail rogue "use magic device" and "trap sense" abilities are tossed in, making no real cons and further limiting the need for anyone else in the party. Not only is it overpowered, but it will discourage team playing. I wouldn't want to play in a party with this character (unless it was me), and as a DM there is no way I'd allow one.

This class is in serious need of balancing. Several of the abilities need to be stripped completely, and others need per-day limits. -- Kurt 14:05, 28 November 2009 (MST)

I'm too mentally exhausted to give full credit to your comments (try taking Sedimentary Petrology's final and see what it does to you). However, right now, my assessment is that you're doing a knee-jerk because the class features look awesome, without actually stopping to think about the mechanics and the context of the levels at which these abilities are gained. It happens to a lot of people when they see a Frank and K class (it was a shock for me, too). When my brain has sufficiently recovered to let me address your posts in full detail, with references to level-appropriate abilities, I shall be happy to do so. Until then, I'm going to rest and make myself a turkey sandwich. --Genowhirl 14:27, 28 November 2009 (MST)
I apologize for the delay, but I am now ready to roll. So, let's go, shall we?
  • I stand by my previous assessment that you're suffering from a knee-jerk reaction to the shock of seeing something so different, and have yet to actually take a look at how the written mechanics interact with the game. The immunity to reflex saves isn't gamebreaking, nor is the idea unprecedented (which your argument makes it out to be). Having an energy subtype gives you immunity to an entire energy set. As for why it's not gamebreaking: Of effects targeting the three saves, I'd honestly rather get hit by an effect targeting a Reflex save, rather than a fort or will save. Most Reflex-requiring effects do HP damage. Most effects doing HP damage won't actually kill you right off the bat. But failing a Fort save will very probably kill you, and failing a Will save is a ticket to beginning your day with being told, "Good morning, mind slave!"
  • Your objection to the Thief-Acrobat's ability to flank with yourself leads me to believe you didn't actually visualize how it'd work. Or think much about the name being Thief-Acrobat. The T-A being able to flank with himself encourages a high-mobility combat style which is both interesting and justified by the class's flavor. I'd hardly expect one to stand in one spot across from the Fighter and just repeatedly stab. Also, I hate to break it to you, but some of the non-Core splatbooks do have abilities to let Sneak Attack target undead or constructs. They can even be put in wands, so a little Use Magic Device could score these for you.
  • In a similar vein, Hiding and Moving Silently both are handled really poorly in the SRD. You seriously expect me to believe than I can only pass unnoticed when I'm in the shadows or have cover? Oh, and, get this: Later on, most things have darkvision, so there aren't any actual shadows for you to use to hide in, unless you're hiding in magical darkness...and magical darkness hurts you, too. Likewise, the penalties get so stiff it's hard to use them when they might otherwise be useful. Also, heck, they're both made more or less useless when the casters get Invisibility and Silence, both of which last for minutes. For the record, both of those are level 2 spells.
  • You're seriously worried about a short-range essentially teleport effect at level 14? No, really: Wizards get Dimension Door at level 7, and it has Long Range. It is straight-up better in every way than Shadow Tumble, except it has limited uses a day. Even then, it can be used so many times that, well, the caster is set. When you're level 14, the Wizard has had level 7 spells for an entire level. He can not only teleport, he can cast things like Plane Shift (which can be used to quite literally send you to Hell if you fail a Will save.) The Wizard also has Finger of Death (he can poke you and kill you if you fail a Fort save). He also has Forcecage. Seriously, Forcecage traditionally shuts down non-casters. All the effects that can counter it are only domain of casters. You can't even use a dispelling weapon it. On the divine side of the level 14 fence, Clerics get things like Holy Word and Destruction. Heck, back at level 7, they were getting Divine Power. You know, the spell that gives the caster BAB equal to his caster level (i.e, same as a martial class of the same level) along with +6 strength? Oh, yeah, the CR 14 monsters are kicking your butt, too. Nalfeshnees get Greater Teleport, at will-- much better effect than the Shadow Tumble.
  • Auto-take 20 is actually pretty appropriate for a class that lives and dies by its skills when it gets so far. If they are honest-to-goodness specializing in using their skills, they should be able to use them reliably. Why tell someone they can do awesome stuff...and then say only in really unlikely circumstances. Also, the official D&D rules for deities make no sense and prove nothing. There's the occasional useful bit, just like in the rest of Epic territory, but the idea that an ability is overpowered because it comes from there does not, on examination, hold water.
  • The class isn't a soloist dream. It does get abilities (rather than numbers), and it does get a degree of reliability early on, trading in the versatility of the SRD Rogue (including skill points and class skills) for being able to regularly handle the thieving and sneaking and scouting--you know, the things sneaky people are traditionally supposed to do.
There. I have proven that the Thief-Acrobat is not overpowered for any of its levels, nor are any of the mentioned abilities overpowered, and they stick to the theme pretty well. Heck, I have demonstrated that the game is actually full things of outclassing the abilities you have issue with. Some of those things are actually found at much earlier levels than the Thief-Acrobat gets an equivalent effect. --Genowhirl 21:22, 2 December 2009 (MST)
Genowhirl is da' real deal! Nuff said. --Jay Freedman 11:19, 3 December 2009 (MST)
I needed the mental exercise after four days or so of letting my brain rest (i.e, reading, going to work, and grinding on Kingdom Hearts). Also, hey, Kurt, thanks for being so polite in your original analysis. A lot of people would just go, "overpowered warmonger mary sue lol" and leave it at that. You provided some decent reasons for your opinion--reasons that I can sympathize with (I was there once, myself), but that I know don't stand up against the rest of the game. Thanks. --Genowhirl 11:45, 3 December 2009 (MST)
You still didn't address the fact that at 20th the T-A is immune to effects requiring a Reflex save. What's the point of even having a Reflex save score by then if you're entirely immune? Having at least a chance to fail makes more sense... Mythos 18:44, 6 December 2009 (MST)
Actually, I did. By 20th level, you just don't worry about Reflex saves. By then, anything that wants to kill you or take you out can actually do it outright by any number of means (Finger of Death, Wail of the Banshee, Planeshift, Dominate, etc.) that being immune to Reflex saves basically comes up against breath weapons, which don't do that much damage (I think a CR 20 Dragon might be better off using its natural weapons and relying on the fact that it's much bigger and stronger than you are to take you out. I'm not entirely sure; I'd have to check the math). Anyway, the T-A has gotten abilities relating to evasion so far, why worry about it getting an auto-pass on the save which...Well, the save that if you fail, won't actually kill you. It's not a big deal, and it fits the theme of the class and falls in with the progression. --Genowhirl 18:56, 6 December 2009 (MST)
I suppose, but it looks like a huge arbitrary chunk of Iwinium against said damage sources. For instance, it means you could stand ground-zero to a massive epic area-effect spell going off and not feel a scratch. Hell, one million all going off around your body all at once, and nothing happens... If anything was made to slaughter an entire army of warmages, it would be a 20th-level T-A. But hey, it's YOUR class, not mine. Personally, on a failed save, for supreme evasion I might have put "Takes minimal damage (or 10% damage, even) on a failed save". That said, if nobody objects to something like this, then my planned revamp of the Paladin isn't going to have any problems either. All in all, though, it's a good class, and you have made your point. Cheers to a job well done, Genowhirl. Good to see we have great authors sticking around. Mythos 19:40, 6 December 2009 (MST)
I would, however put sneak attack +1d6 at 3rd level, rather than second so as to not look as front-loaded, and also to make the SA progression look more logically consistent (I have seen a couple S&S classes do this: Bandit & Shadowsworn). Mythos 19:44, 6 December 2009 (MST)

Dino's Edits[edit]

Go against the author's original request, are boring and unimaginative, and subtract from the flavor of the class. Don't make me revert them again. -- Jota 21:26, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Overpowered[edit]

to all dungen masters. if you have been playing for a while, then only a glance woth tell u that this class is way, way to overpowerd. an if not. you have now been officaly warnd. do not let player's plays this class, even when they ask very nicly! cuz you will find it to be a hugh sore on your side, just as i did!! instead cheack out the reviste 3.5 acrobat thif pristige class, on wizards home pages. ( from: angry dungen master) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 84.210.43.230 (talkcontribs) . Please sign your posts!

To all dungeon masters: the individual above me clearly has a multitude of issues, both concerning the ability to properly use the English language and the ability to judge balance for 3.5e classes. This class offers a small vertical upgrade over the base rogue. That's it. Rogues are already flanking without help and dealing fricktons of damage anyway, and the abilities offered in this class give a rogue more options but don't significantly enhance it's combat capabilities. This is covered somewhat already on this talk page, but making the rogue better at what it was actually intended to do isn't really offering a noticeable damage upgrade, it just makes the damage dealt more consistent on a round-to-round basis, and perhaps makes the rogue a little less squishy (appropriate given the mismatched scaling of BAB and AC). Furthermore, Use Magic Device is one of the biggest reasons rogues are capable in the first place, not their class abilities, so reducing the rogue's dependence on UMD by bringing their class abilities into a similar vein of power only increases the breadth of the rogue's options, not their outright power.
TL; DR - class is fine, ignore OP. -- Jota 12:44, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Hey, in fact, why not do the work of rogue optimization for them! Atypicaloracle
There's more truth in that than you'd like there to be. If a class has a shtick (barbarians do melee combat pretty much no matter what, assassins kill one thing at a time, knights defend, monks go for unarmed, etc), they should be able to just bloody well use that shtick. If the shtick isn't that mechanically viable but has a recognized niche in the game (the barbarian's tendency to go toe-to-toe with things larger and stronger than it is comes to mind), it needs some help from the class's features. So, sure, a class -should- have what it need to fulfill expectations, with variety coming from the feats and other choices. If you nail it right, the feats add more versatility/neat tricks than they do vertical power. Meaning you have a strong class but it's hard to significantly increase its power level. But does not contain traps for the unwary. I think we've gone over that before, you and I. --Genowhirl 23:17, 21 September 2010 (MDT)


OK, I'm going to go through this class, level-by-level, and tell you why I think it's overpowered. First level up to third level, you're fine. Lots of movement-based powers, based around jumping and tumbling. I'm fine with this.

Fourth level: Detect Magic, at-will. Wizards don't get this, sorcerers don't get this, this is not something that should be given to a player at level four. Later on, Detect Magic is easily obtainable and less useful, but at fourth level, when magic items are starting to come into play commonly, it's a very nice ability to have. It's also not particularly flavourful for a thief-acrobat. You're supposed to be doing acrobatics, and later on, appraising your finds. Not automatically detecting all kinds of magic. The grapple line ability is interesting, and useful, but not overpowered.

Fifth level: Rapid Stealth. This is a reasonable ability, though I would personally say that you take only a -5 penalty, which disappears later. Stealth is supposed to slow you down, especially early on, to balance out the high power boost it gives you.

Sixth level: Mercurial Charge. This is fine, Swashbucklers get a similar ability.

Seventh and Eighth level: Fine.

Ninth level: Athletic Cascade. Flanking with yourself? That seems a little clunky to me. There are other ways of getting an opponent flat-footed for sneak attack, and this one is at least flavoured well. I think you should be able to choose any square you passed through, not automatically get every square you passed through, but oh well.

Tenth level: Skill Mastery. Wow. That's too many skills. Given that you're meant to be an acrobat, perhaps limit it to balance, jump and tumble checks?

Eleventh level: Aggressive stealth. You're getting basically a +20 to hide at this level, which is a LOT to gain in one level. Halving the penalty at this level, and removing it at later levels might be workable, but I think it's too much to get all in one go.

Twelfth level: Dedicated Evasion. This ability NEEDS to have uses per day on it. Otherwise, I'll just take a standard action to gain +12 to AC and Reflex saves at all times, at this level, only dropping it when I'm hiding and about to attack. That's far, FAR too much of a bonus to have as an at-will ability.

Thirteenth level: Power Slide. Again, needs to have uses per day. Balance check for half damage? You're getting a VERY powerful ability there. It allows you to get away from an opponent, too, so that you can escape the combat more easily, or use ranged weapons. Otherwise, if you're up against a fighter or barbarian, they can't do ANYTHING against you, since you're already almost impossible to find with your high stealth checks, and if they do find you, you're almost certainly going to be flung a few squares away from them so that you can just hide again.

Fourteenth level: Shadow Tumble. You're getting to pass a DC 120 escape artist check (pass through wall of force) as a check that you can pass without making a roll by this level. Given that you can then use this to pass through an enemy to flank with yourself and attack, then hide again (and you're not getting a penalty due to Aggressive stealth), it's a very powerful combat ability. Compare it to the monk's ability to Dimension door, which is gained two levels earlier, and once per day. Compare it to a wizard or sorcerer, who can only cast teleportation spells five, maybe six times a day, and that's at the cost of losing their combat power. If this ability is going to stay, it needs to be a 1/day ability.

Sixteenth level: Getting triple damage just for jumping or dropping onto an opponent is too much. If it was a +1 to crit multiplier, or a double crit chance, then maybe it would be acceptable. Compare this to the Tiger Claw maneuvers from Tome of Battle. They have similar "jump to gain bonus damage" effects, but they are limited in how often they can be used.

Nineteenth level: Supreme Skill Mastery. This is a divine ability. GODS get access to this. If it was a 1/day, then it might be acceptable, but as it is, this is FAR, FAR too powerful.

Twentieth level: Supreme Evasion. Perhaps a once-per-day take-no-damage would be acceptable, but a constant "I'm immune" effect is too much to have against a class of spell this vague. If it was fire immunity, you can use frost spells. If it was air immunity, you could use fire spells. But immune to reflex saves? This encompasses breath weapons, most save-or-damage spells, as well as most traps. It's too broad a category for immunity.

I hope that I have enlightened you as to why I gave this class a 1/5 for balance. Up until tenth level, this class is a mite overpowered, but workable, especially in a party who likes to optimise. After tenth level, this class just continues to gain at-will, no-cost powers that are superior to almost every other class.

already exist Thief-Acrobat class:[edit]

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20041210b&page=3

We're well aware. --74.182.83.96 10:40, 18 September 2012 (MDT)

Rating[edit]

Balance - 1/5 I give this class a 1 out of 5 because it contains multiple abilities of epic-scale power, with no cost to use them or limits on the number of uses per day. --151.225.227.55 13:05, 12 September 2013 (MDT)

Wording - 4/5 I give this class a 4 out of 5 because the abilities are concise and clear in most cases, with only a couple of spelling errors. --151.225.227.55 13:05, 12 September 2013 (MDT)

Formatting - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because the formatting is clear and easy to read. --151.225.227.55 13:05, 12 September 2013 (MDT)

Flavor - 3/5 I give this class a 3 out of 5 because a tumbling, bouncing character who has bonuses to moving around the battlefield is good, but there is a lot of excess in this class that doesn't suit the theme or fit the character. --151.225.227.55 13:05, 12 September 2013 (MDT)

Rating[edit]

Balance - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 --24.128.180.118 10:54, 15 December 2013 (MST)

Wording - 5/5 I give this class a X out of 5 --24.128.180.118 10:54, 15 December 2013 (MST)

Formatting - 5/5 I give this class a X out of 5 --24.128.180.118 10:54, 15 December 2013 (MST)

Flavor - 5/5 I give this class a X out of 5 --24.128.180.118 10:54, 15 December 2013 (MST)

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