So it seems clear but I just can't believe all the starting powers of a first level Gnomish Trickster so I want to clarify here.
A first level Gnomish Trickster casts Faerie Fire and Ventriloquism at 3rd level casting ability each once per hour. It also casts Mirror Image and Phantasmal Force, both 2nd level spells, each at 3rd level casting ability once per 8 hours. Once per day it can cast Chimerical Force, a 3rd level spell, at 3rd level casting ability.
So a first level Gnomish Trickster has the spell casting ability of at least a 5th level Mage. More, really, as the first level spells come back every hour. Sure, spell selection is limited but this seems incredibly overpowered despite that, so much that there is no way I would allow one of these in my campaign.
Am I missing something? Has this been errata'd? Do the Trickster only get the above abilities at certain levels?
You are not missing anything. I don’t believe there is errata for the Trickster; PC has limited errata, and depending on when you purchased, PDF or hard copy, you likely have the errata applied, as the book is years old at this point.
The Trickster is not for every campaign, and you could certainly decide they are not for your campaign. I’ve read a number of enjoyable accounts of them in play. They’ve only appeared as NPCs in my personal campaigns (but not because I disallowed them). How a Judge adjudicates Phantasmal and Chimeric Force is important to their relative power.
Thanks for the response. I like the character class idea, I'll just have to figure out a way to modify it so I'm comfortable with it if anyone wants to play one when (if) I eventually get my campaign off the ground.
I had a player run one for eight or ten sessions at the start of a campaign. I didn't find him over-powered. He was a superb scout because of his infravision, and his illusions allowed him to make a quick get away or "trick" baddies dead with an illusory cave-in. He took the quiet magic proficiency, and used most of his abilities to play pranks on the other PCs.
If you're really worried about it, you might spread out the spell-like abilities into a progression so that they are gained as the character levels up.