Dragon 380 - Player's Handbook 3: The Seeker

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By Robert J. Schwalb and Stephen Radney-MacFarland



This month's Player's Handbook 3 debut content introduces the Seeker!




Talk about this Article here.




380_seekerdebut.jpg

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Maybe I read too much Eberron, but does anyone else feel a little bit like they took some of the 3.5 Artificer's thunder?  The ability to imbue weapons with power on the fly seemed like a really strongly Artificer-Related power.


 


---------------


Hmm... I forsee questions about this Inevitable Shot power in the future:


Effect: You make a ranged basic attack against an enemy
within 5 squares of the creature you missed, using that
creature’s space as the attack’s origin square.


Notice that it doesn't say you must target a different creature.  So we can just retarget the same creature again?

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From last month's design and development article:


"If a power source and a role appear as key,
defining traits in your opening statement, then you’re
probably in trouble. Sure, a martial controller might
be an interesting idea, but people don’t play D&D to
explore the intersection of a role with a power source.
They want interesting characters, not labels arranged
in a new order!"


 


From the seeker article:


"Robert J. Schwalb: For the Player’s Handbook 3, we
wanted to expand the family of primal classes to include
a new controller."


 


Do these guys even talk?


 


 

That's not the kind of opening statement they're talking about. The closest thing we see to that is at the top of the statblock, “I am the lightning strike, the earth’s upheaval, the unruly sea. I am the bringer of your destruction.”


 


EDIT: Never mind, completely misinterpreted a post. Nothing to see here.


From last month's design and development article:


"If a power source and a role appear as key,
defining traits in your opening statement, then you’re
probably in trouble. Sure, a martial controller might
be an interesting idea, but people don’t play D&D to
explore the intersection of a role with a power source.
They want interesting characters, not labels arranged
in a new order!"


 


From the seeker article:


"Robert J. Schwalb: For the Player’s Handbook 3, we
wanted to expand the family of primal classes to include
a new controller."


Do these guys even talk?





I actually talk a little bit about that in the commentary on the seeker. While we brainstorm and think about things like the martial power source controller and other purely gamist confluences, we will not design one just to design one or to fill a perceived rules niche. When the seeker was brought forward it was a primal controller it had a good and natural game and story hook; one that has been around the D&D game since the beginning, just with different names.
Stephen Radney-MacFarland Pathfinder RPG Designer

i don't know how anyone might take this, but it seems like newer classes are getting progressively "cooler".


it seems like, "what would be an existing class, but cooler?"


"rogue would be so much cooler as an assassin!" and "the ranger really should have been primal powered like a mystic hunter, let's make that next!"


"awesome"


maybe that's unfair, but i suspect that part of what breaks down the balance of classes is that initial efforts represent a good number of classic stuff, but then the later stuff gets into the progressively cooler and more awesome stuff. it would require a reset to bring the older stuff up to the grade with the later stuff.


it seems to me that all the classes should be built simultaneously in order to make sure that the later published stuff doesn't end up as "cooler" versions of the classics.


all-in-all, i'm not entirely comfortable with the feel of this class after reading. it seems to be extraordinary compared with several other classes, particularly against PH1 classes.


I actually talk a little bit about that in the commentary on the seeker. While we brainstorm and think about things like the martial power source controller and other purely gamist confluences, we will not design one just to design one or to fill a perceived rules niche. When the seeker was brought forward it was a primal controller it had a good and natural game and story hook; one that has been around the D&D game since the beginning, just with different names.




Hello SRM. I have an issue with your story directive for the Seeker, though. I understand that you had a cool idea to run a city as a dungeon for a primal party and everything, but what about the PHB2's conciet that nature and civilization are not enemies?


This was an entirely logical move for the primal power source. In a medieval fantasy setting like the core Points of Light world, civilization could not possibly be a big enough force to directly threaten nature. There is no global warming, strip mining, or mass deforestation. There are no super-power industrial nations to rapidly consume natural resources.


There are hamlets and villages and the occasional walled city. There's no possible way civilization, on its own, could be a big enough threat to "the wild" for the primal spirits to empower people to fight against it specifically.


In fact, the Killoren, who fought against the encroachment of civilization in 3.5 were turned into the Wilden for 4e and re-fluffed to fight Far Realm invasions, because that is a much bigger and more realistic threat to the wilderness. If we were just going to go back to civilization-hating-hermits, why did the Killoren's story change?


I feel like the flavor of the Seeker puts the primal power source's story back a few steps, into the relatively nonsensical conceits of past editions. The Seeker hunts defilers of nature. The list of nature's enemy should remain as it is in the PHB2, with civilization as a very very small and rare threat.


 

Planes Wanderer

The class looks cool, but I don't really care for the flavor. I thought the 4th edition flavor of primal stuff was actually kinda cool, and I honestly kind of hated the "Nature is better" attitude that the older naturey classes had. I avoided Lunars in Exalted and couldn't take the oWoD Werewolf seriously for the same reason.


You did the impossible and made me like the nature-flavored power source in PHB2 by distancing it from the old "Civilization is bad" thing. Now run with it.


Hello SRM. I have an issue with your story directive for the Seeker, though. I understand that you had a cool idea to run a city as a dungeon for a primal party and everything, but what about the PHB2's conciet that nature and civilization are not enemies?


This was an entirely logical move for the primal power source. In a medieval fantasy setting like the core Points of Light world, civilization could not possibly be a big enough force to directly threaten nature. There is no global warming, strip mining, or mass deforestation. There are no super-power industrial nations to rapidly consume natural resources.


There are hamlets and villages and the occasional walled city. There's no possible way civilization, on its own, could be a big enough threat to "the wild" for the primal spirits to empower people to fight against it specifically.


In fact, the Killoren, who fought against the encroachment of civilization in 3.5 were turned into the Wilden for 4e and re-fluffed to fight Far Realm invasions, because that is a much bigger and more realistic threat to the wilderness. If we were just going to go back to civilization-hating-hermits, why did the Killoren's story change?


I feel like the flavor of the Seeker puts the primal power source's story back a few steps, into the relatively nonsensical conceits of past editions. The Seeker hunts defilers of nature. The list of nature's enemy should remain as it is in the PHB2, with civilization as a very very small and rare threat.


 




Yeah. I'm kind of curious about the role of the primal spirits in the world because we've sort of got, if not mixed messages, certainly very vague ones, especially compared to what we know about the other god-equivalent forces of various planes. Still, it seems like making it seem like the primal spirits care overly much about punishing mortals while ignoring what was painted as the larger problems in PHB2 kind of looks like a step back from the message we were given before. 


I guess part of the question I have is that, so far, we haven't heard much about how the primal spirits interact with the world, outside of empowering certain people from the wilds to act for them. I'm honestly a little curious about the corner cases of primal characters. Like, PHB2 established that urbanized areas were part of the natural world, especially when compared to extraplanar influence.


Are there, in the core D&D concept, barbarians who live in dilapidated slums and draw power from the spirits of vermin and hunger, or shamans who've forged pacts with the primal spirit of their city? I had sort of assumed that the world was animistic and spirits were everywhere, and not just in the wild places, but the Seeker, in terms of the suggested flavor, seems even more tied to the wild than the other primal classes.

I think the Seeker is really underpowered. I see it having the following problems:
At-wills are all too similar. Two of them have decent potential of harming fellow PCs. This may be because we only see half the character class, but given Strength is the other secondary stat, I don't think that bodes well.


Inevitable Shot doesn't work against Solos - if you have the ability to use Inevitable Shot, shoot 2 targets on a miss, and then on top of it spend an action point, that's 4 attacks you just lost in a combat. That's a lot of attacks to lose just because you're fighting a Solo and being in a situation where you need to spend an action point. If you spend a lot of feats to boost inevitable shot, then you're even worse off vs. Solos. And Inevitable Shot in many ways is similar to Orb of Deception - an Illusionist Wizard is often going to have something very similar in effect to Inevitable Shot.


Damage. I understand the desire not to be too competitive with actual strikers, but at 27th level, Devouring Arrow is a 2w with a rider. At-wills are also 2w with riders. In Epic, at-wills consistently do more damage than most Paragon Tier encounters. Sure, Devouring Arrow's rider is better, but that brings up the next problem...


Riders. Look at Soul Fire - burst 2, does 3d8 to all targets, weakens any hit until end of next turn vs Devouring Arrow. Compare Visions of Wrath(Stunned on a miss, Dominate on hit in a burst) or Legion's Hold(Stun in huge burst) vs. Baleful Shot. Sleep(1st level Wizard) vs Wave of Sleep(15th level Seeker) The riders don't seem competitive.


Just to be clear - I like the idea and concept a lot. I don't like how the mechanics match up to it.

I was pleasently surprised to see the Seeker in today's Character Builder update!


It is nice to be able to build one right after reading the article instead of waiting for a month...I've gotten so lazy with the CB that I won't build a character by hand any more ;)


Thanks.


i don't know how anyone might take this, but it seems like newer classes are getting progressively "cooler".


it seems like, "what would be an existing class, but cooler?"


"rogue would be so much cooler as an assassin!" and "the ranger really should have been primal powered like a mystic hunter, let's make that next!"


"awesome"


maybe that's unfair, but i suspect that part of what breaks down the balance of classes is that initial efforts represent a good number of classic stuff, but then the later stuff gets into the progressively cooler and more awesome stuff. it would require a reset to bring the older stuff up to the grade with the later stuff.


it seems to me that all the classes should be built simultaneously in order to make sure that the later published stuff doesn't end up as "cooler" versions of the classics.


all-in-all, i'm not entirely comfortable with the feel of this class after reading. it seems to be extraordinary compared with several other classes, particularly against PH1 classes.




It's basically just the same thing that happened with 3.xE.  As the developers get more used to the system, they're better able to make classes that work in it, and are more willing to take risks with whacky mechanics.  Sometimes they fail, and sometimes they result in stuff that make the earlier classes look boring and weak in comparison.


But with the Power Source books and Dragon articles, they now have the ability to eventually go back and fix the earlier classes to get them up to par with the new stuff.



From last month's design and development article:


"If a power source and a role appear as key,
defining traits in your opening statement, then you’re
probably in trouble. Sure, a martial controller might
be an interesting idea, but people don’t play D&D to
explore the intersection of a role with a power source.
They want interesting characters, not labels arranged
in a new order!"


 


From the seeker article:


"Robert J. Schwalb: For the Player’s Handbook 3, we
wanted to expand the family of primal classes to include
a new controller."


Do these guys even talk?





I actually talk a little bit about that in the commentary on the seeker. While we brainstorm and think about things like the martial power source controller and other purely gamist confluences, we will not design one just to design one or to fill a perceived rules niche. When the seeker was brought forward it was a primal controller it had a good and natural game and story hook; one that has been around the D&D game since the beginning, just with different names.



While I see where the Seeker works as a Primal class with plenty of primal flavor, I disagree with the sentiment that the idea of a Martial Controller is percieved rules niche. I know many of us think there are ways to make a Martial Controller that feels unique. Seeing a lot of these Seeker powers makes me think it would have taken no stretch of imagination to flavor them as martial attacks and just be another ranger build. I also think the Monk would fill this role with it's Ki Power being treated the same way as a Warlord's inspiring healing and buffs.


I almost wonder if there's a bit of group think going on where you designers are simply stuck on the idea that Martial Controllers just don't work or fit into your design scheme. Of course maybe its just all of us players that are stuck in group think in seeing the possibility of one.


Good news is, if you don't play RPGA, you can house rule these changes or simply refluff it while keeping the same mechanics.



i don't know how anyone might take this, but it seems like newer classes are getting progressively "cooler".


it seems like, "what would be an existing class, but cooler?"


"rogue would be so much cooler as an assassin!" and "the ranger really should have been primal powered like a mystic hunter, let's make that next!"


"awesome"




I don't think the Rogue or the Ranger are going to suffer in popularity (okay maybe the rogue will, but that may wane after the "Ooooo... Shiney!" effect wears off on the Assassin). The ranged Ranger is just an awesome force of destruction. The Seeker though is lower in damage and accuracy, but makes up for it in control. They feel different enough, although I do fear the Elf Ranger|Seeker hybrid...


PHB1 Classes are very strong and fill their niches just fine. If anything, the new classes that have come since are just different takes on the archetypes that were established in the first PHB.

I like the Seeker, but I don't like the name.  The name immediate makes me think of 'Legend of the Seeker' and has nothing in common with it.  It also strikes me as the wrong power source based on it's name alone (Seeker makes me think Psionic or Divine).


I was just thinking the other day how we needed a wisdom-based bow user - probably Divine and flavoured off of the Order of the Bow Initiate.  This comes pretty close.  I would probably take this, reflavour the feats as divine (more radiant damage) and keep the encounter power that lets them get a free ranged basic attack when they miss.  Neat twist for a homebrew thing.


I built one of these to my playstyle (focusing on the critical utility powers and pps), but after looking at the powers and options available I find it way to similar to my Greatbow wielding Artificer (Who is styled as an 'Arcane Archer').  In fact, it's a smack dab cross between my "Arcane Archer" Artificer and my Psion, so I probably will not play this character.  Maybe when Primal Power comes out and we have more feats that key in to that power source I may have another look at it.  I definatly could build it in such a way as to not be like my Artificer (focusing on the Poison powers instead) but it wouldn't really fit my playstyle.


Mechanics wise - I'm a little concerned with the abundant use of the Poison damage type.  Poison is the most resisted element in the game mainly because PCs almost never use it until now.  What I find weird is that the Assassin got a feat that lets them completely ignore poison resistance, yet they have very few poison powers.


It just seems weird that the Seeker would have to multiclass (either as an Assassin or with the Poisoner feat) in order to get full use of their main damage source.



I was pleasently surprised to see the Seeker in today's Character Builder update!




Because it's a Debut Article, and Debut Articles always go in right away, Unlike regular Dragon Articles (like the Assassin) or a playtest (like the Monk)


Same as what happened with the Psion, the Githzerai and the Skill Powers.


I disagree with the sentiment that the idea of a Martial Controller is percieved rules niche. I know many of us think there are ways to make a Martial Controller that feels unique. ...  flavor them as martial attacks and just be another ranger build. I also think the Monk would fill this role with it's Ki Power being treated the same way as a Warlord's inspiring healing and buffs.


Quoted for truth, as the saying goes.  Almost every person IRL I've talked to about the monk says "It should be a martial controller."  They wouldn't even have to change anything, just slap the label on it.


I'm okay with it being Psionic, and I understand why (though I wish they kept the Ki power source), but I have several friends who will go on lengthy monologue tirades about how Wizards screwered up when they made the Monk psionic instead of a martial controller.


The plus side here is that I don't think the designers are 'done' with the Martial class, unless they want it to remain underpopulated.  With Arcane topping the charts at 6 classes, Primal now having 5, and Divine and Martial tying at 4 classes each, I'm sure we'll see more Martial classes, and I can't think of anything Martial needs other than a controller.  Of course, the designers may just say "Martial is boring and people want more exotic classes than another Martial class".  Which would disappointed me, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's what they say.


Maybe I read too much Eberron, but does anyone else feel a little bit like they took some of the 3.5 Artificer's thunder?  The ability to imbue weapons with power on the fly seemed like a really strongly Artificer-Related power.


How do you figure?  The Seeker's ability to "Imbue weapons with power on the fly" is done exactly the same way as the Artificer's 'melee or ranged weapon' powers.  The Bard and the Swordmage also have attacks that use the weapon keyword, despite being 'spell-like'.   We could go further and say the Cleric and the Paladin have been doing this since PHB1 (and the Avenger in PHB2), though for some reason for the divine characters it feels more like they are martial hybrids than it being truly 'magic powers'


The Seeker is the second class that from it's initial class write up can use such abilities with ranged weapons, so maybe that's where you get the impression that it's stealing the artificer's thunder, however the Bard's Virtue of Prescience from Arcane Power is also a Ranged Weapon user who imbues their weapon with arcane power.


Hello SRM. I have an issue with your story directive for the Seeker, though. I understand that you had a cool idea to run a city as a dungeon for a primal party and everything, but what about the PHB2's conciet that nature and civilization are not enemies? 





Don't confuse my idea for a campaign story involving primal characters for a story directive on the class. You're right; nature and civilization are not necessarily enemies. I was not thinking "dungeon" as you walk through the front gates and start fighting every single creature in the city. Instead I was wondering about a story that involved primal power users navigating the corridors of intrigue, encountering corruption, and thwarting plans to despoil sacred primal spots by despicable people within the city walls. Of course many people in the city would be helpful, allies, many areas maybe entire neighborhoods would be their own points of light.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland Pathfinder RPG Designer


While I see where the Seeker works as a Primal class with plenty of primal flavor, I disagree with the sentiment that the idea of a Martial Controller is percieved rules niche. I know many of us think there are ways to make a Martial Controller that feels unique.




I am sure there is an idea out there, somewhere, for a martial controller that is more than a perceived rule niche. All I am saying is that right now none have really gained traction within RPG R&D.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland Pathfinder RPG Designer

an alchemist would work if they would STOP tieing alchemy to arcane magic... i don't like that >< even in 3rd edition.


i don't know how anyone might take this, but it seems like newer classes are getting progressively "cooler".


it seems like, "what would be an existing class, but cooler?"


"rogue would be so much cooler as an assassin!" and "the ranger really should have been primal powered like a mystic hunter, let's make that next!"


"awesome"


maybe that's unfair, but i suspect that part of what breaks down the balance of classes is that initial efforts represent a good number of classic stuff, but then the later stuff gets into the progressively cooler and more awesome stuff. it would require a reset to bring the older stuff up to the grade with the later stuff.


it seems to me that all the classes should be built simultaneously in order to make sure that the later published stuff doesn't end up as "cooler" versions of the classics.


all-in-all, i'm not entirely comfortable with the feel of this class after reading. it seems to be extraordinary compared with several other classes, particularly against PH1 classes.





I have to disagree with this.  Is it "cooler?"  Sure, in as much as I read the class concept and went "Cool!"    Is it cooler than an Archer Ranger?  I don't think so.  I find a highly skilled "Legolas-type" archer just as cool as a "Kikyo-type" mystical miko style archer.

To be fair, had the "base" classes not been released first you may very well have seen them when released and said "Cool!"  As it is, the "base" classes were released first.  Later classes will deviate away from those in their own way and there will be a coolness factor to those deviations.  Who wants a bunch of new classes to come out that are meh?

Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf

'Cooler' is subjective.  Flashier, perhaps.  But I certainly don't find the Seeker to be cooler than the Ranger.  Of course, I think the primal power source is nonsensical, so that's to be expected.

Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.


I think the Seeker is really underpowered. I see it having the following problems:
At-wills are all too similar. Two of them have decent potential of harming fellow PCs. This may be because we only see half the character class, but given Strength is the other secondary stat, I don't think that bodes well.



Actually the at-wills let you mitigate damage better than the at-will burst or blasts most other controllers have. You apply your weapon damage, a larger size die than implement attacks, to the primary target and at worst allies will only suffer stat modifier's worth of damage. Wizards have to refocus their attack, possibly missing out on hitting the most enemies or spend feats to exclude allies. It's a good take on control without running into the problem multiple d12s in an area burst.


Inevitable Shot doesn't work against Solos - if you have the ability to use Inevitable Shot, shoot 2 targets on a miss, and then on top of it spend an action point, that's 4 attacks you just lost in a combat. That's a lot of attacks to lose just because you're fighting a Solo and being in a situation where you need to spend an action point. If you spend a lot of feats to boost inevitable shot, then you're even worse off vs. Solos. And Inevitable Shot in many ways is similar to Orb of Deception - an Illusionist Wizard is often going to have something very similar in effect to Inevitable Shot.



That strikes me as more like poor encounter design. Solo's aren't actually much fun when they go solo. A few minions or a couple of extra monsters make things much more fun by making the encounter a little more dynamic.


 

Parks of Light?



[stuff i said]



It's basically just the same thing that happened with 3.xE.  As the developers get more used to the system, they're better able to make classes that work in it, and are more willing to take risks with whacky mechanics.  Sometimes they fail, and sometimes they result in stuff that make the earlier classes look boring and weak in comparison.


But with the Power Source books and Dragon articles, they now have the ability to eventually go back and fix the earlier classes to get them up to par with the new stuff.




i really see something of that nature as new classes are coming out. one of the things that we're dealing with at my table is a recently converted player that wishes his wizard still had so many spells from his 3.5 spellbook to fill out his range of arcane awesome. [sleep is first level, okay. daily? wtf?]


but, i guess that i've got to reread the class a bit after reading some more comments. i myself was hoping for a ranged weapon primal user. i didn't expect that the primal spirits would take such a notable form however. i was thinking of something more like a barbarian in that the primal spirit would come over the character and direct the accuracy or damage.


[snip]


[snip]


[stuff i said again]



I don't think the Rogue or the Ranger are going to suffer in popularity (okay maybe the rogue will, but that may wane after the "Ooooo... Shiney!" effect wears off on the Assassin). The ranged Ranger is just an awesome force of destruction. The Seeker though is lower in damage and accuracy, but makes up for it in control. They feel different enough, although I do fear the Elf Ranger|Seeker hybrid...


PHB1 Classes are very strong and fill their niches just fine. If anything, the new classes that have come since are just different takes on the archetypes that were established in the first PHB.




i think this will push rogue players in two directions, toward the trapsmith or toward the assassin. i'll be glad to see that sort of distinction. so in that sense, i'm glad to see the rogue appear more of a benign class that has versatile skills and fantastic weapon training, while the assassin really just kills things.


i'll have to simply playtest the seeker a bit to see where it compares to the ranger. the limited options of the preview do give the appearrance of pushing the ranger into the camp of a skilled field archer rather than an uncommonly good hunter. maybe that means that it will get some love at those martial academies written about in the two fighter articles. the previous ranger article gave it some woodsy flavor. a more military flair in a future article could help to establish that position among the martial.


but, i agree that it doesn't truly take the place of another class. after looking it over more i can see where the control elements are out of league for a ranger.



[stuff i said a third time]




I have to disagree with this.  Is it "cooler?"  Sure, in as much as I read the class concept and went "Cool!"    Is it cooler than an Archer Ranger?  I don't think so.  I find a highly skilled "Legolas-type" archer just as cool as a "Kikyo-type" mystical miko style archer.

To be fair, had the "base" classes not been released first you may very well have seen them when released and said "Cool!"  As it is, the "base" classes were released first.  Later classes will deviate away from those in their own way and there will be a coolness factor to those deviations.  Who wants a bunch of new classes to come out that are meh?





yes, to be fair i do get a "cool" feeling all over when i read thru the next splat book and play around with creating characters in the CB. so i guess that is simply bound to happen.

i think that a 'wish' for the future would be to have the classes all defined simultaneously and published simultaneously in one big group. then make future publications offer increasing options rather than offering some new classes at intervals.htat is a huge wish, but other gamers might be workign through campaigns much faster. maybe they are ready for the new materials at intervals and it doesn't cause such an interruption.


to some other thoughts, if this is meant to be the mystic hunter, why is he pulling so many conditions and mass attacks? i'm a hunter. i focus on one animal and i expect that one single shot of ammunition will be the killing strike. i don't at all want to poison the meat. though, instantly freezing the meat has potential. [sorry, who wants realism to infect their game world? right?]

I actually kinda like this class.  I think it's neat to finally see a weapon-based controller class, even if it is primal instead of martial.  It's actually the first time a controller class has made me sit up and say, "Wow, I'd really like to give that a try in-game."


I also really like the whole concept behind making certain encounter and daily powers count as a ranged basic attack to allow them to be used with inevitable shot and the crimson hunter's paragon path features.  It's the first time I can think of off the top of my head where I've looked over power choices and actually seriously considered not taking the power I have the rider for.

But with the Power Source books and Dragon articles, they now have the ability to eventually go back and fix the earlier classes to get them up to par with the new stuff.


Interesting take on the situation... with the exception of the barbarian (and on the other side of the fence, the warlock), I'd be more likely to say 'they have the ability to eventually go back and fix the later classes to get them up to par with the original stuff', lol.

I glanced over it on my CB, I like the idea and actually want to try one

but, i guess that i've got to reread the class a bit after reading some more comments. i myself was hoping for a ranged weapon primal user. i didn't expect that the primal spirits would take such a notable form however. i was thinking of something more like a barbarian in that the primal spirit would come over the character and direct the accuracy or damage.

It might be hard with only half the class, but once we get the full class, and certainly after it gets expanded in Primal Power 2 it should be possible to create such a seeker.  I know from trying that it's already reasonably possible to create a warden that doesn't seem overtly mystical.

to some other thoughts, if this is meant to be the mystic hunter, why is he pulling so many conditions and mass attacks? i'm a hunter. i focus on one animal and i expect that one single shot of ammunition will be the killing strike. i don't at all want to poison the meat. though, instantly freezing the meat has potential. [sorry, who wants realism to infect their game world? right?]

Wrong kind of hunter.  Seekers don't hunt wild game, at least not as a function of their class.  They hunt defilers of nature.

I realize that with the Bloodbound build we got in this preview, it has a lot of abilities to avoid melee attacks or opportunity attacks.  Which is probably a good thing since it doesn't really have anything to defend itself if someone gets too close.  But it seems that their area of effect never go beyond burst 2.  They're more for controlling a pinpoint area.


It's possible that the Spiritbound build might be better able to handle itself if someone gets too close, only because most thrown weapons can also be used as melee weapons.  Though it's a moot point with magic thrown weapons, I wonder if they'll be able to have mundane thrown weapons magically return to them.


It's possible that the Spiritbound build might be better able to handle itself if someone gets too close, only because most thrown weapons can also be used as melee weapons.  Though it's a moot point with magic thrown weapons, I wonder if they'll be able to have mundane thrown weapons magically return to them.




Probably not.  This was often discussed for the Artificer during playtest and how artificers were annoyed that they had to carry multiple thrown weapons at low levels (one for each target).  This was when 4th edition first came out, so people were still pretty new to the rules, but it was clear you needed one thrown weapon for each target.  I don't think they ever changed that, but the system's been out for long enough that most people don't even care and just tweak it for the one build it totally screws over.  (That and most Weaponificers use some kind of bow)


In short - they didn't change it for the Artificer, nor for the Prescient Bard, I doubt they are going to change it for the Seeker.

The seeker, like someone suggested, feels to me, like an archer ranger that has been tweaked to work as a controller rather than a striker.  I love that.  The powers do really feel like they fit into the primal power source, if you believe that primal isn't a subset of martial, which is something that I'm not completely decided on yet. 


Arguably, the barbarian and the warden don't necessarily feel greatly slanted toward the primal power source against the martial power source.  The barbarian really feels like a fighter who trades the stickiness for higher damage output.  To me, the warden feels like its a str/con warrior that lost the heavy armor for higher hp pools.  That said, I love the classes.  They play a little different, which is what is important.  The seeker will play different than an archer ranger built for control in giving the player playing the seeker a whole lot more choices than the control archer ranger.


But to say that the Martial Controller concept lacks traction within R&D makes me wonder why.  If R&D's goal in making new classes is to do the same kinds of things in new ways, a martial controller really will open up whole new concepts on a particular playstyle.  The discussion laid out for PHB 3 said that, moving forward, the barriers will be shaken up, or alltogether torn down.  Maybe one of the new ideas that has to be looked into is whether the constraints R&D has placed upon either the martial power source, the controller role, or how a character's turn should behave can't be shaken up to appease niche players and open up new concepts to the game. 


One common flaw people have in their homebrew martial controllers is the idea that weapons shouldn't be expended, or that combat shouldn't require setup time (these issues are prevalent for the trapsmith, alchemist and grenadier style controllers).  The problem with the first concept is that an archer ranger must expend ammunition to make an attack.  The problem with the second is sometimes, a party could very concievably be prepared for combat in such a way that the preparations are the pivital factor.  Its a serious design flaw to think that a party will never be able to prepare a combat area in such a way that the terrain, the placement of traps and the arrangement of combatants that favors themselves.


But to say that the Martial Controller concept lacks traction within R&D makes me wonder why.  If R&D's goal in making new classes is to do the same kinds of things in new ways, a martial controller really will open up whole new concepts on a particular playstyle. 




I wouldn't say that the concept lacks traction within R&D. As I point out in the commentary, there are a number of us interested in the concept. And by concept I mean the idea that the game has room for a martial controller and even some ideas of what that controller would look like. Rather, none of the treatments that we've seen or brainstormed have gained traction enough to find their way in a book as of yet.


We're  more than a little choosey about what finds its way into published material. It takes a great deal of energy, deliberation, and brainpower to design, develop, and edit a class. Then there is the fact that it has to fit with whatever product mix we have on the schedule.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland Pathfinder RPG Designer



But to say that the Martial Controller concept lacks traction within R&D makes me wonder why.  If R&D's goal in making new classes is to do the same kinds of things in new ways, a martial controller really will open up whole new concepts on a particular playstyle. 




I wouldn't say that the concept lacks traction within R&D. As I point out in the commentary, there are a number of us interested in the concept. And by concept I mean the idea that the game has room for a martial controller and even some ideas of what that controller would look like. Rather, none of the treatments that we've seen or brainstormed have gained traction enough to find their way in a book as of yet.


We're  more than a little choosey about what finds its way into published material. It takes a great deal of energy, deliberation, and brainpower to design, develop, and edit a class. Then there is the fact that it has to fit with whatever product mix we have on the schedule.




Just curious, but do you follow the various "brainstorm a martial controller!" threads that pop up from time to time? While I understand that there's a lot of garbage to wade through, a few ideas, such as thhe Dreadnaught, seem pretty well developed.

Oh, okay.  I got the impression that R&D pretty much decided that there will not ever be a martial controller for 4th edition.  Although your post doesn't say that there will be, it also doesn't say that there won't be.  If there comes a time when martial again shows up as a power source in a PHB, that might be the time we see such a class, I suppose, as Power books are explicitly for new builds/options for existing classes...  The reason I mentioned it was just that while some of the people in R&D acknowledge the plausibility, it seemed like R&D has decided that working on a viable martial controller is a wasted effort; it seems like one of the best ways to keep expanding the possibilities would be trying to make something that seemingly can't be done.





But to say that the Martial Controller concept lacks traction within R&D makes me wonder why.  If R&D's goal in making new classes is to do the same kinds of things in new ways, a martial controller really will open up whole new concepts on a particular playstyle. 




I wouldn't say that the concept lacks traction within R&D. As I point out in the commentary, there are a number of us interested in the concept. And by concept I mean the idea that the game has room for a martial controller and even some ideas of what that controller would look like. Rather, none of the treatments that we've seen or brainstormed have gained traction enough to find their way in a book as of yet.


We're  more than a little choosey about what finds its way into published material. It takes a great deal of energy, deliberation, and brainpower to design, develop, and edit a class. Then there is the fact that it has to fit with whatever product mix we have on the schedule.




Just curious, but do you follow the various "brainstorm a martial controller!" threads that pop up from time to time? While I understand that there's a lot of garbage to wade through, a few ideas, such as thhe Dreadnaught, seem pretty well developed.




Actually, depending on how far the R&D can massage the rules or the massage the concept of a turn, a lot of options seem rather viable.  The dreadnought is a pretty well designed one, but a scout, or a lancer/dragoon type controller that behaves a bit like a defender, all seem like they could be viable.


Just curious, but do you follow the various "brainstorm a martial controller!" threads that pop up from time to time? While I understand that there's a lot of garbage to wade through, a few ideas, such as thhe Dreadnaught, seem pretty well developed.




The Dreadnaught is by far the best of the Martial Controllers I've seen.  It has it's own niche while still filling the controller role.  It and the Archivist are the only two classes from the forums I allow in my home games.


I wouldn't say that the concept lacks traction within R&D. As I point out in the commentary, there are a number of us interested in the concept. And by concept I mean the idea that the game has room for a martial controller and even some ideas of what that controller would look like. Rather, none of the treatments that we've seen or brainstormed have gained traction enough to find their way in a book as of yet.


We're  more than a little choosey about what finds its way into published material. It takes a great deal of energy, deliberation, and brainpower to design, develop, and edit a class. Then there is the fact that it has to fit with whatever product mix we have on the schedule.




Real quick note; Thanks SRM for being responsive and part of the discussion. It's great seeing staff responding to us on these boards, even if you have to put up with our ramblings. Maybe you guys do post here more often than it appears to some of us since we may not see all the threads, so it may just be an issue of perception, but it's nice to not have to go to some other forum to hear back from the staff.


Thank you!


Real quick note; Thanks SRM for being responsive and part of the discussion. It's great seeing staff responding to us on these boards, even if you have to put up with our ramblings. Maybe you guys do post here more often than it appears to some of us since we may not see all the threads, so it may just be an issue of perception, but it's nice to not have to go to some other forum to hear back from the staff.


Thank you!




Agreed. Many thanks.


Probably not.  This was often discussed for the Artificer during playtest and how artificers were annoyed that they had to carry multiple thrown weapons at low levels (one for each target).  This was when 4th edition first came out, so people were still pretty new to the rules, but it was clear you needed one thrown weapon for each target.  I don't think they ever changed that, but the system's been out for long enough that most people don't even care and just tweak it for the one build it totally screws over.  (That and most Weaponificers use some kind of bow)


In short - they didn't change it for the Artificer, nor for the Prescient Bard, I doubt they are going to change it for the Seeker.





Actually, the artificer has a specific clause that throw weapons used with their powers act as if they were magic and return- on another note if you surveyed the boards I can guarentee most DMs don't require players to keep track of arrows expended of archer characters.  Consuming your weapon is just not viable in the game wealth model.

SRM (you really do have a long name), I appreciate u as a dev engaging the D&Di forums.


The Seeker looks like its gonna be popular class.


For me, the PH3 is a must-have because of the Psionic power source, but the Seeker shows itl be a well-rounded solid book. Cant wait to play one.


Real quick note; Thanks SRM for being responsive and part of the discussion. It's great seeing staff responding to us on these boards, even if you have to put up with our ramblings. Maybe you guys do post here more often than it appears to some of us since we may not see all the threads, so it may just be an issue of perception, but it's nice to not have to go to some other forum to hear back from the staff.


Thank you!





My pleasure. We really do try to reply to the boards, but there are so many of you and so few of us! And we do spend a lot of time cooking up the D&D, and in our free time we try to play the game as often as we can. There is a reason my wife wears a "gaming widow" shirt. Laughing
Stephen Radney-MacFarland Pathfinder RPG Designer


SRM (you really do have a long name)





Don't I know it. Laughing
Stephen Radney-MacFarland Pathfinder RPG Designer

 


Don't have much to add, just wanted to take a sec and say that I like the seeker.  I always seem to have trouble expressing why I like certain classes.  I'm a very hands on player, I s'pose.  I'm anxious to give the seeker a run.


I'm not usually a fan of ranged combatants (say, archer rangers), preferring in yer face brawlers with the occassional tactic thrown in for good measure  ;).     


Real quick note; Thanks SRM for being responsive and part of the discussion. It's great seeing staff responding to us on these boards, even if you have to put up with our ramblings. Maybe you guys do post here more often than it appears to some of us since we may not see all the threads, so it may just be an issue of perception, but it's nice to not have to go to some other forum to hear back from the staff.

Thank you!




I also agree.  I'm aware of other big 'uns (like EN World) but the WotC/DnD boards are the only ones I take time to frequent.  So, it is nice to hear responses from the designers and staff occassionally.  The perception of course, is that they spend their board time elsewhere ;).


 

/\ Art



Just curious, but do you follow the various "brainstorm a martial controller!" threads that pop up from time to time? While I understand that there's a lot of garbage to wade through, a few ideas, such as thhe Dreadnaught, seem pretty well developed.




The Dreadnaught is by far the best of the Martial Controllers I've seen.  It has it's own niche while still filling the controller role.  It and the Archivist are the only two classes from the forums I allow in my home games.




 


Le gasp. I really need to work my tamer out more. The changes to the boards kinda made me go "meh" because i had to spend so much time going back reformating while coming up with furthered ideas.


I've got several ideas now, that make it more into a kick ass class. Once i finish with it, I hope you'll let it in your game. I do need to find some new powers though, as one of them (kip up) was released in the skill powers. (stand up from prone as a minor action)

I'd get along more with people if they didn't jump onto a hyberbole every single time you say something they don't understand.
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