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D&D 3E
Dumb question about prestige classes 
21st-Jan-2006 01:10 am
Ok maybe I am looking at this the wrong way so maybe some one here can help me out.

Is it me or do Prestige Classes seem to be a bit much (as in potentially unbalancing).
Forgive me for the way this question sounds, I am hardly a newbie to RPGs. I have played 2nd edition for so long and now that I am working on material for 3.5 and trying to play “catch up” Maybe I am just one of those people happy with the standard classes but I wanted to see what everyone else’s feelings were.
Comments 
21st-Jan-2006 06:58 am (UTC)
I don't really think they're unbalancing, although they are obviously quite powerful. The prerequisites for many of them plus the lost levels in the base class earn the tradeoff.
21st-Jan-2006 07:04 am (UTC)
Which one do you think is unbalanced?
21st-Jan-2006 07:23 am (UTC)
Yes, they are potentially unbalancing. But in the same way that a feat or a spell or a magic item or a special race or base class is potentially unbalancing. If made correctly, they're not too out of whack.

Prestige classes are intended to be more "powerful" than the base classes, with the trade off being that it takes effort to get into the PrC (like taking certain abilities, but also in having to pass some kind of test to get into a lot of them). As I understand it, PrC's are supposed to be a DM's tool for making elite organizations in a world. And in general, I think they do that pretty well, if used as such and not as a way to powergame. Remember, PrC's are optional in any game, and any character taking any PrC is totally at the DM's discretion.
21st-Jan-2006 08:08 am (UTC)
I have to agree with zionchild here. I don't particularly find them unbalanced, either. In a lot of cases (shadowdancer, for example) you're giving up some very powerful abilities from the base class (sneak attack, anyone?) for a handful of other abilities. In some respects, a base class, played right and with the right feats, is just as powerful as many of the official prestige classes.
21st-Jan-2006 08:32 am (UTC) - Yes and no.
Potentially they can be, but as people have said they mostly aren't. Some have prerequisites that someone would be unlikely to take otherwise. The ones I think are most likely to cause issue are the casting ones where the spells increase as if you'd continued in the base class; they seem to be straight better generally. The other problem I tend to have is the racial prerequisite(at least it being counted as a negative point in the class), although the race limits make sense, they are something that either entirely stops you or aren't an issue. As such I don't think they should be included in a prestige classes downside.

I've generally not gone into them myself (although I had one paladin go into templar, which seems like a very even trade off). The base classes are often better for open roleplay choices and don't have the limits imposed by being a member of a group, which many prestige classes should.

21st-Jan-2006 11:45 am (UTC)
Did you see this?
(via ).

Mechanically, the only quibble our group has had with them is the +2 that strong saves get at first level, which can get outrageous if you have multiple prestige classes with the same strong saves. Our DM is, I think, nerfing that to +1. Though in practice I'm not sure if that is enough compensation for how vulnerable your weak saves become.
21st-Jan-2006 03:30 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
I don't lalow prestige-dipping in my game. For a lot of them, especially if you're joining an Orger, or something, once you're in, you're in. The exceptions are usually the five- or three-level ones, which are jsut a kind of specialization, like Argent Savant, or Hulking Hurler.

If the players are allowed to "Take two levels of Hospitalier, three of Inquisitor, and five of Radiant Servant" or anything like that, it's the DM's fault for not telling them "No."
21st-Jan-2006 03:31 pm (UTC)
I don't lalow prestige-dipping in my game. For a lot of them, especially if you're joining an Orger, or something, once you're in, you're in. The exceptions are usually the five- or three-level ones, which are jsut a kind of specialization, like Argent Savant, or Hulking Hurler.

If the players are allowed to "Take two levels of Hospitalier, three of Inquisitor, and five of Radiant Servant" or anything like that, it's the DM's fault for not telling them "No."

PS -- sorry, forgot to log in.
21st-Jan-2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
I'd be fine with the two levels of Hospitalier, three of Inquisitor, and five of Radiant Servant if they were justified plot-wise.

Starting out as a Hospitalier and getting promoted to the duty of Inquisitor, eventually gaining enough favour to receive considering for the role of Radiant Servant, for example.
21st-Jan-2006 04:18 pm (UTC)
That's fair enough, but they'd have to do ssome prfetty fancy steppin' to get around me that way. Each is radically different in its function.
21st-Jan-2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, I would never say it was /easy/.

I pulled a Rogue/Shadow Thief of Amn/Telflammar Shadowlord scam one time.

I progressed as a mole in the former agency, grabbed a couple of levels and was exposed when I botched an assassination by leaving a witness, so I fled back to home territory and started advancing as a Shadowlord.

Was kinda fun, although some players who joined after the fact and peeked at my character sheet kept thinking I was scamming by joining two thieves guilds. :/
21st-Jan-2006 07:43 pm (UTC) - IMHO
Don't bring PrC into a game unless you're players are a little bit more experienced irl and in game, and unless you're willing to nudge up the overall difficulty of the quests.
21st-Jan-2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
PrC's are fine because people forget that there are NPC's that can take these too. The rule of thumb that we often use is if you take a PrC, you know that somewhere in the world, your foil is taking a PrC that is just as or more powerful than what you are taking. Granted, there are at least 300 + PrC's from many different companies, you can always restrict it to certain companies, like WotC or AEG or the like.

Never let your players feel rstricted beccuase then they will never feel like they are in control.
26th-Jan-2006 07:25 am (UTC)
New DMG has a chapter about PrClasses. They actually advise to use them, and not only use, but invent your own. A PrC and more a personally devised PrC helps character to fell.. em.. unique, maybe, player feels being special. People like to feel so.
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