Hello again. This time, I wanted to talk a little bit about the Nobiran Wonderworker.
First off, I want to communicate that I think I understand the intention behind this class. As rare, anointed masters of mystical power, these guys and gals are intended to be members of a rare, elite class that is intentionally more powerful than basic mages and clerics. I don’t believe that perfect balance is always the most important thing, especially in games like ACKS which adhere to an old school aesthetic. I am not interested in making wonderworkers into a “balanced” class. They should remain elite.
That being said, there is a problem whereby the wonderworker flat-out duplicates and then adds to the functionality of mages and clerics (Well, priestess might be a better comparison than cleric, as the divine clothie-type, but the point stands).
I understand that the “balancing” mechanism for the wonderworker class is meant to be somewhat slower leveling, two lost levels at the end of progression as well as difficult-to-meet stat requirements. However, consider playing from 1st level as a mage in a party that also includes a wonderworker PC. It would probably be unpleasant to spend most of your adventuring career with another character than can flat out do everything that you can do as well as having full divine spellcasting and a bevy of special abilities. It is true that the wonderworker levels somewhat more slowly than the mage, but this just means that for part of each level, the mage is one level ahead. For the bulk of the time they are both the same level, though, and the wonderworker is doing everything the mage does and a whole lot more besides.
I believe that the wonderworker should remain elite and, overall, more powerful than a mage or priestess. But I also think it is harmful to the game to have one class that totally duplicates the abilities of another for most of the leveling process, as well as adding a bevy of additional functionality. What is the solution?
Proposed Fix: Give the wonderworker 2/3 progression in both arcane and divine spellcasting, but change nothing else. Keep the stat requirements and all of the special abilities. As a 2/3 progression spellcaster, the wonderworker maintains the majority of the spellcasting ability of two different classes, while adding a bunch of cool special abilities. Players will still jump at the chance to play a nobiran wonderworker on those rare occasions that the dice provide the necessary stats. However, a basic mage, cleric or priestess PC will at least have a slight edge on the wonderworker when it comes to their particular branch of magic. The Wonderworker remains better than the other casters overall, but other spellcasting classes at least have a little room to shine in their home domains.
Again, thanks for indulging this feedback.