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Culinarian Changes?
#1
Hello, fine folk of FFD20.  I've been running a game in your Pathfinder version for a little while now, and recently a player has decided to run a Culinarian.  Now, of course I can homebrew a system that's already a massive homebrew, but I thought the problems with this archetype worth mentioning, as a lot of classes are very overpowered, and I'm not looking to break the Culinarian but instead maybe make it a little more consistent and less disappointing.  Chemists already lose a lot versus the Pathfinder class they're based on, and while the Culinarian does offer some back up healing and support options, combat wise it falls flat.  Here's a few suggested ideas to help just give the archetype a little push.

1. Full BaB.  While Chemist have 3/4ths BaB because they target Ranged Touch attack with their most important abilities, the Culinarian uses Chef Weapons and is very melee oriented.  It should really be a full BaB archetype.  I know it's a rare thing to change the BaB of a class in an archetype, but this one kind of needs it.  Turning a mid-range class into a melee class inherently makes it worse than it was before, and no, the recipes don't make up for losing Infinite Bombs.  They're nice, but unlike the bombs they're not infinite, and to make the most of them the Culinarian needs to hit in melee, so again the 3/4ths BaB really hurts.

2. Weapon Spec for Chef Weapons.  Culinarians should be treated as Fighters for the purpose of Chef Weapons.  Or, since Fighters in FFD20 are a little different from their counterpart in Pathfinder, Culinarians should get Chosen Weapon for Chef Weapons.  Whichever flavor suits the rules better.

3. Meals.  The main ability of the Culinarian is ... underwhelming.  Yes, the ability is really good... when it triggers, 3 or 5 rounds into the fight.  That is an incredibly long time to wait.  Also I noticed Meals has three options for a 3 Course Meal, but Appetizer has no payout listed.  Even so, if I'm understanding it right, the Payout happens after 5 rounds, and yes they do get their Recipe bonus while building to the Payout, but the tradeoff is they can't use their recipes in a flexible manner.  If they're serving a meal, they need to serve the elements in the specific order or they get no Payout and the meal is ruined and they lose their class feature for the day.  So it's a one time ability that takes time to activate, restricts options, and is only good for one fight.  This needs an overhaul.  It's just not good enough for everything a Culinarian gives up.

Now I realize the other way to read the Meal is that as long as you're serving the meal you get the bonus listed on all three or five attacks, which is phenomenally better, but then there's no payout at the end, and the way the ability- and the word Payout itself- implies the effect comes at the end of the meal, so if this is the intention the feature needs significant rewording to reflect the intention.

Anyhow, I plan to implement most of these changes in my game, but I really thought they were worth bringing up as it could reflect future ways in which we think about balancing an archetype that completely flips what the class does.
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#2
I know ever since I brought this up this has been at the top of everyone's thoughts, for sure.  So to put minds at ease I did a little more experimentation and ... converted Culinarian to Fighter!  Yes, cooking is delicious chemistry, but the Chemist class just doesn't really work for this.  So I did some work and comparison and came up with this:

1st    Chosen Weapon, Recipes, Iron Chef, Limit Breaks
2nd  Fighter Talent, Iron Stomach
3rd   Meals
4th   Fighter Talent, Using the Good Silver
5th    Gourmet Cooking, Weapon Guard
6th    Fighter Talent, Robust Physique
7th    Backswing, Fullfilling Snacks
8th    Fighter Talent, Secure Weaponry
9th    Feast of the Damned, Tenacious Grip
10th  War Cry, Fighter Talent
11th   Retaliation, Autonomic Grasp
12th  Fighter Advanced Talent
13th  Weapon Unity
14th  Fighter Advanced Talent
15th  Complex Recipes, Combat Composure
16th  Fighter Advanced Talent
17th  Instant Meal, Flawless Technique
18th  Fighter Advanced Talent
19th  Leftovers, Assured Strike
20th Fighter Advanced Talent, Top of the Food Chain

It's a Fighter archetype now, so Fighter BaB and Saves.

I cut two abilities without replacements.  The first is Always Full.  It feels very tacked on- like why would a class whose whole thing is about making food and eating not have to eat.  Also a first level ability that's a slightly less good Ring of Sustenance is kind of ridiculous.

And the other ability I didn't replace was Piledriver.  It barely made sense for Fighter and it's just not necessary with this build.  You can see the emphasis on the weapons, it's more effective as a full BaB that further buffs itself- all round it's been a big improvement and a more fun build for the character without being overwhelming.

Still kind of a debate on the meals/Payout.  On one hand the class is already more combat capable so having the Payout trigger on every attack feels like a very Limited Rage effect on top of the recipes, but on the other hand Meals are still kind of underwhelming.  But overall it's a big improvement.
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