Talk:Mime (3.5e Class)

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Class Redesigned and Finished as of June 8, 2013[edit]

I have redesigned many of the class features, and have completed the class as best I can for the time being. I will continue to edit it if necessary based on comments made on this discussion page.

In order to convert this class to Pathfinder, the following conversions should be taken:

-The mime's class skill list includes: Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Knowledge (Any), Linguistics, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device.
-If the mime copies someone's ranks in a skill, his total ranks in that skill become the number of ranks the target has (maximum his mime level), and that skill becomes a class skill for as long as it's copied (granting him the +3 bonus).
-If a mime copies a 0-level spell, he can use it as a spell-like ability at will.

I hope you have fun with the finished product of the Mime class. Rogue The Demonchild (talk) 00:59, 9 June 2013 (MDT)

Inbalance[edit]

I would like to thank Green Dragon for giving some feedback to the balance of this class. Following his advice, I added concentration checks whenever the mime is attempting to channel one of these copied abilities. As to the suggestion about Instability, however, the only benefit I can see it give (other than copying higher-level abilities) is to copy abilities when the mime has failed the caster level check. The only issue with that is if the mime fails his caster level check, he should not be able to know whether or not the person actually has the ability he wants. The failsafe for failing a check is that he obtains a randomly selected ability. Rogue The Demonchild (talk) 16:24, 11 June 2013 (MDT)

This has been slightly edited now, so that the mime only gets a random ability if his failed check fails by 5 or less. Otherwise, he simply doesn't copy anything. Also, now if the mime tries to absorb a higher level ability (from a character more than 5 levels higher), he has to make the same caster level check to succeed; if he fails this, he cannot get the ability. Rogue The Demonchild (talk) 16:19, 26 June 2013 (MDT)

Rating[edit]

Power - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because, since it uses spells from other, already balanced classes, it will most likely be well balanced. --72.197.242.188 05:43, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Wording - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because it is well written. --72.197.242.188 05:43, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Formatting - 4/5 I give this class a 4 out of 5 because it did not include a sample character. --72.197.242.188 05:43, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Flavor - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because it looks like a very interesting a veratile class to use. --72.197.242.188 05:43, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Rating[edit]

Power - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because it is limited by the creativity of the player. --71.63.218.77 07:21, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Wording - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because there are no problems with legibility. --71.63.218.77 07:21, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Formatting - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because it complies with formats common to Player's Handbook classes. --71.63.218.77 07:21, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Flavor - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because this class will certainly encourage roleplay and creative gaming. --71.63.218.77 07:21, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Rating System[edit]

To whomever it was that rated my class today, I thank you for the all 5* ratings. However, I cannot accept the rating because there were no reasons given as to why it received the ratings. Therefore, I deleted the rating given. Please feel free to rate the class if you can formulate valid reasons to give the rating you feel it deserves. Thank you very much, Rogue The Demonchild (talk) 19:08, 4 May 2013 (MDT)


Feedback Loops and Questions (fixed as of 6/8/2013)[edit]

So, obviously, any sane DM would strike this one down before their players could do it, but the Mimic Ability ability should probably specify that Mimic class features are not legal targets for this feature. Otherwise, well...

Take a situation where you have 2 3rd level Mimics. The first mimic uses a slot of Mimic Ability to mimic the other character's ability to Mimic abilities. The first Mimic has the prerequisite ability (Mimic Ability 1, assuming Mimic Ability 1 is a prerequisite, which isn't specified but can be reasonably assumed), so he is able to duplicate it, providing him with 2 slots for Mimic Ability (since he is level 3 and 3rd level mimics have 2 slots for Mimic Ability) at the cost of 1 Mimic Ability slot.

Mimic Ability does not have a uses/day or uses/period limit, so the mimic doesn't lose a duplicated one by using it and grabbing a different ability.

What's more, you could use Mimic Ability to duplicate Mimic Spell or Mimic Feat, so the feedback loop extends to those class features, too. Heck, if a 3rd level mimic ever met a 13th level mimic, they could swipe (with some persistence) the ability to mimic abilities they observe, effectively granting them that class feature 10 levels early (with the caveat of 'they can only do it once', but it might be all they need for a particular ridiculous situation). A 13th level Mimic meeting a 3rd level Mimic could effectively steal as many slots as he wanted--really, really quickly, since he'd gain 5 Mimic Ability slots for each one he expended! What's more, he'd only fail the caster level check on a natural 1, and only if a natural 1 is considered an automatic failure!

This does require 2 copycats to sit next to each other poking each other ad infinitum and then run around poking people whose class features they want, but they could then gain every class feature and every feat they satisfy the prerequisites for.

This feedback loop can be easily broken by saying that a Mimic's class features are not targetable features, and so I would highly recommend that little specification is added to the class feature's description.

Another potential broken angle is that having one mimic in the party makes any and all spells with hefty material components or experience costs essentially free. If a party member dies, as an example, the cleric could prep Raise Dead, the Mimic could duplicate it before casting, and voila, no need for diamonds. Duplicating Permanency also gives a Permanency that can be used at no XP cost, which means the XP cost given to using Permanency on Visual Replication is somewhat irrelevant. That also means, hey, free permanencies for everybody given enough days, which would also be rather broken. I think I see why that aspect of that ability was specified, considering it makes improvising an enemy's spell or ability reasonably practical, but it seems readily exploitable.

I'm also curious--does copying saving throw progressions count as copying 1 class feature in total, or is it 1 per type of throw? Is BAB duplicatable, and if so, does it count as BAB for the purposes of gaining (or stealing) feats? Is the number of skill points gained per level duplicatable, and if so, does it grant skill points the user would have gained? What about hit die? Or straight duplicating 'the ability to cast spells', since such is a (singular) class feature (granting the spell-per-day progression for that class, too, and spells known for classes that don't have spellbooks)? Do mimics suffer from arcane spell failure? What about spellcraft checks used on a spell cast by a mimic, since they don't use the spells normal Verbal or Somatic components? Is the DC simply higher, do they automatically fail (because it's an entirely different set of movements and sounds), do they automatically pass (which would make sense if the mimic had to, for example, yell the name of the spell), is it the same? What about mimicking domains?

Duplicating 'the ability to cast spells' strikes me as outside of the class's intention (as it would be unbelievably and obviously broken), and it might be prudent to specifically exclude it. BAB, save progression, and skill points / level, though, strike me as all falling into a somewhat gray area, as well as whether mimics suffer from arcane spell failure. Sildraug 19:31, 31 March 2011 (MDT)

Wow... that is one hell of a loophole. =P
The "Mimic Ability" ability would be able to copy class abilities only, so he cannot copy HP, Saves, or BAB (unless he uses Mimic Character at 20th level). Also, mimic ability cannot copy spells (because he already has the ability to cast spells at first level; and a spell itself is not a class ability, so he needs Mimic Spell to do that).
A Mime can never steal skill points (as you cannot learn retroactively)
That was my original intention.
I'll consider an alternative to the material components thing (or you can let me know if you have one).
Mimics should not suffer from arcane spell failure, because their somatic components are easy
For spellcraft checks, I'd say the Mime gives off an aura of sorts that requires the same spellcraft DC as normal.
A mime cannot mimic domains.
I will fix this in the page. Any other concerns? Rogue The Demonchild 19:58, 31 March 2011 (MDT)
The feedback loop for spells and feats comes from the fact that they could mimic the Mimic Spell class feature (and Mimic Feat), letting them transfer their infinite slots of Mimic Ability to Mimic Spell. Closing off the high-level loophole of duplicating the ability to duplicate abilities shuts that one off, too. While a spell itself is not a class feature, the ability to cast spells as a given class (ex. cast as a cleric or as a sorcerer) is a class feature--it's listed under the features for that class, hence the potential loophole.
Nothing else occurs to me yet, but I'll let you know anything that occurs to me in my game over the next few weeks, as I'll be playing as a Spellforged one of these in a short campaign (starting at 3rd level). Sildraug 21:20, 31 March 2011 (MDT)
Well if you see anything that needs fixing as it is, let me know (note that I removed Mimic Feat). Thank you for testing it. Rogue The Demonchild 21:34, 31 March 2011 (MDT)
Awww, guess that's one fewer feat for me... Also, that's a pretty dry second level now. Sildraug 21:47, 31 March 2011 (MDT)
Yea, that makes for a few dry levels, but I just figure it is too complex of a class with abilities, spells, and feats to mimic; there should be SOMETHING to put at level 2 (and some others), but I want them do be less drastic abilities (since all the mimic class features can be really big, if chosen right). Rogue The Demonchild 23:00, 31 March 2011 (MDT)
This is also an extremely tasty class to dip, I should point out. At first level, you get every skill as a class skill, as well as the ability to duplicate a class feature and a spell. It would let you 'take both paths' for a class that requires a choice of one feature or another, like a ranger stealing another ranger's favored enemy (or Fighting Style). Beats the crap out of a couple feats. Also, what about duplicating class features you possess through actual levels of the class in question? I think a Mimic 1 / Rogue 19 with twice the total sneak attack might be a bit on the potent side.
Also, if you're removing the Mimic Feat class feature, you should also probably remove the Mimic Epic Feat stuff as well.Sildraug 09:36, 1 April 2011 (MDT)
Remember that the MIMIC abilities copy depending on your Mime level, so a Mime 1 / Rogue 19 who copies Sneak Attack would have his own +10d6 sneak attack, plus the Mime's +1d6 sneak attack. And a Ranger could only steal a single bonus feat from another ranger if he only has 1 level in Mime.
For the class skill thing, I personally make all my classes have all skills as class skills, because I think every character should be able to choose what he wants to do (Why can't there be a fighter that happens to have trained with magic devices?). If a DM wants to get rid of this (which I can see why they would want to), they could change it (but I am not sure what they'd do)
Also, I know that (because of the Mime's all class skills) a multiclass Wizard 6 / Mime 1 has a max 10 ranks for all skills, but as far as I've seen, if you keep leveling Wizard after, you still only get the 1/2 rank for skills that are non-wizard (you just have a higher maximum). Did I miss something, or is my belief correct?
Rogue The Demonchild 13:24, 1 April 2011 (MDT)
The Mimic abilities may copy depending on your Mime level, but not ONLY your Mime level (the way it's written now). The way other classes work that provide you with the class features of a different class (such as Rogue prestige classes that provide Sneak Attack), their levels are considered in addition to your levels in the original class. The way it's worded, that is also how it would operate here, as you do not say that levels in the original class do not count for progression in duplicated abilities.
My understanding of class skills is that if any of your classes has a skill as a class skill, you pay in at 1:1 regardless of what you're currently leveling as. That derives from [here], the SRD's section on multiclass characters.
As to making classes with everything as class skills, I can kind of understand what you mean with that, but keep in mind there's nothing stopping a Fighter from dropping some skill points in Spellcraft (apart from a suboptimal buy rate). It's just that, with its close relation to the stuff a Wizard typically does, a Wizard has an easier time developing his abilities with that, so he buys in at 1:1.Sildraug 18:49, 1 April 2011 (MDT)
Yes, the Mime levels and Rogue levels would stack for sneak attack (if the Mime takes sneak attack), but with only 1 level in Mime, that doesn't give you much. And a Rogue doesn't have any "Mimic" features to stack with the Mime, so I don't see how it would get out of hand...
"If a skill is a class skill for any of a multiclass character’s classes, then character level determines a skill’s maximum rank. (The maximum rank for a class skill is 3 + character level.)
If a skill is not a class skill for any of a multiclass character’s classes, the maximum rank for that skill is one-half the maximum for a class skill. "
This says that the maximum rank is affected when you multiclass, but it does not say that a 6 wizard / 1 rogue can level up wizard and use rogue skills as class skills. His rogue skills just have a higher maximum, but he will then need 2 skill points to put 1 full point into a rogue skill.
If a fighter (pre-character creation) dedicates his life to destroying wizards and sorcerers, he would be studying spellcraft along with his fighter skills. If a fighter happened to be raised in a household where they use magic devices, he could still train as a fighter completely, but be as trained as anyone can be in UMD. See my point?
Rogue The Demonchild 19:29, 1 April 2011 (MDT)
Yes, I do, but such might be more simply represented by popping one of the many skill feats on it and keeping his fighter feats on fighter stuff. I don't mean to say that I think your way of doing it is invalid--I simply mean to say that I understand the design reason behind the class / cross class skill system. I personally enjoy skill monkeying characters, so it tends not to be as much of a problem for me.
Also, my point on Mime levels stacking with Rogue levels for sneak attack (just so I can be clear on it, because I apparently wasn't quite) was that for the specific feature of Sneak Attack the Mime got through Mimicry, meaning the one occupying that Mimic slot, the particular way Mimicry is phrased right now, the Mime would count his Mime levels and any Rogue levels toward the power of that particular instance of the Sneak Attack class feature. Whether or not the Mime has the class feature already is irrelevant for the purposes of Mimicry. Then, the instance of Sneak Attack the character has through his Rogue levels progresses ignoring his Mimic class features, meaning he essentially has two copies of the Sneak Attack class feature, with one of them using (Mimic + Rogue) as the Rogue level and the other using (Rogue). With 19 levels in Rogue and 1 level in Mimic, this means (1 + 19) levels for one and (19) for the other. They are two separate progressions of Sneak Attack, which is only possible because of how Mimicry works. This gives a 20th level character 39 levels' worth of Sneak Attack--20d6.
If a Mimic simply cannot duplicate a class feature they already have, that plugs that hole. Actually, that'd be a good idea anyway, since a far more dice-powerful variant would be just taking a level 20 mimic and filling up all of his Mimicry slots with just Sneak Attack, giving a 70d6 Sneak Attack.
Also, rules-as-written, I'm fairly certain a skill is either a class skill or not a class skill by character and not by level. That would be my interpretation of how the Multiclass Character section describes it. Thus, a Rogue 1 / Wizard 6 could have 10 ranks in Move Silently, having spent precisely 10 skill points to arrive at that total. It says nothing about having to spend more skill points for a skill that is a class skill for a character, but not a class skill for the class the character is currently leveling.
Such would make sense, don't get me wrong, but it would mean a lot more bookkeeping on an already complicated character setup (multiclassing is pretty much always more paperwork) and isn't stated as how the mechanic operates in the SRD, as far as I can see.Sildraug 22:03, 1 April 2011 (MDT)
I added a [NOTE 2] to fix the multiclass loophole, what do you think?
As for the skills thing, I'm going to leave it as is (unless you can think of a proper skill list), seeing as the rogue class (and some others) have so many class skills, it doesn't make much of a difference to have all of them; you still have a skill point limit.
Rogue The Demonchild 00:04, 2 April 2011 (MDT)
Yeah, that pretty much closes it off. What about duplicating multiples of the same class feature, though (closing that Mimic 20 with 70d6 sneak attack potential problem)? It really only is much of a problem for class features like Sneak Attack and the Scout's mobility variant, where the potency scales with class levels and upgraded versions are NOT unique class features (which is a short list of things--most of them go to Improved, which breaks the Mimic's chain). I don't know if it should be eliminated or not, because a mimic who does that is overspecializing to a crazy degree and a DM who's paying any attention whatsoever can shut it down with something like a single Ref save, but I think it's worth consideration. Leaving it in gives the Mimic more freedom and keeps the Mimic Ability rules from getting yet wordier by handling another specific case, so it may be fine to just leave that in.
Also, I think the skills thing 'is' fine the way it is (as you're definitely right--the skill points / level is a far more limiting factor), it's just one other influencing factor for why this class is so amazingly dippable. Closing off that multiclass thing goes a long way toward making it less appealing for that use, though. Still, I certainly wouldn't say no to, say, a paladin with Wild Shape (reverse bear cavalry!), temporary as it might be. Interestingly, mimic in general makes passive class features like Diamond Soul (Monk Spell Resistance) much tastier, since they don't get controlled the way the uses/day ones do.
Also-also, first game was delayed because our third party member didn't roll up until the meeting time (even though we all discussed rolling up beforehand...). Gonna be another week. Sildraug 01:06, 2 April 2011 (MDT)
Well I hope you enjoy this class; and if you have any other concerns, please let me know. I have to say, I really have been enjoying these last couple days of editing this. Thank you very much. Rogue The Demonchild 01:14, 2 April 2011 (MDT)
Ah, one last question that occurred to me--what motivated the decision to make discarding an ability randomized until level 17? It's not really an issue until you get a decent batch of features in the first place, but I'm curious as to what motivated that decision. Sildraug 01:17, 2 April 2011 (MDT)
I just figured it might help with balance. A level 6 mime can have 3 amazing abilities, but if he has 2 amazing ones and 1 not so amazing one, he can't just choose to lose the not so good one to get an amazing one. It was really just a side thought; if you don't think it works, it's easily deletable. Rogue The Demonchild 22:59, 2 April 2011 (MDT)

Right now levels 2, 5, 7, etc look extremely boring. Why not just have the mime get Mimic Ability (+1) at every odd level, and Mimic Spell (+1) at every even level? -Miryafa

I believe it would be too overpowered if it were to get another Mimic ability every level, so I wanted to spread out the levels a little bit (Thus the ability every 3 levels, and spell every 4 levels). This does leave levels 2 and 5 open, and I wanted to find some abilities to put in there that would not tip the balance, but I've been having trouble finding anything. Level 7, I thought, was perfect to leave open because the class gets +1 attack bonus, saves, and spell/day at level 7.
If there are any abilities that you think could be added to the empty levels that would not be too powerful, I'm open to suggestions. Thank you.
--Rogue The Demonchild (talk) 10:16, 20 August 2012 (MDT)
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