Pathfinder RPG How to deal with high AC PCs - Page 5


What's on your mind?

+ Log in or register to post
Page 5 of 9 FirstFirst 123456789 LastLast
Results 41 to 50 of 85
  1. #41
    Registered User
    Enchanter (Lvl 12)



    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Downtown Toronto
    Posts
    7,487
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ° Ignore (Psi)SeveredHead
    My communities:

    Make a new feat. "Penetrating Blade" or "Armor Crushing Blow" that can be given to PCs or NPCs. (In other words, let the PCs know about this.) For a modest penalty to hit (-2? -4?) the incoming attack acts like a touch attack.

    Someone has heavy armor? Well, someone has an adamantine maul (and that feat) to try to smash them in. That's actually based on real life. While knights always carried swords, that was mainly a dueling/caught by surprise weapon. They often used poleaxes or shortened lances in actual combat. The former being to go through armor, in multiple formats too. (The spike for visors, for instance.)
    If your D20 Modern PCs don't fear guns, use a bigger battlefield! Smaller battlefields are melee friendly. Cool battlefields in the Forest and Woodlands section of http://www.angelfire.com/rpg2/dungeonsunlimited/
    You cannot spend more power points on a psionic power than your manifester level. The metacap is there for balance reasons.
    XPH errata: You can only use a mindfeeder once per day.
    Random map generator by TogaMario: http://www.enworld.org/showthread.ph...24#post2379924
    D20 Modern/DnD/T20 NPC wiki: http://d20npcs.wikicities.com/wiki/Main_Page

 

  • #42
    Registered User
    Enchanter (Lvl 12)

    The Little Raven's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    4,363
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ° Ignore The Little Raven
    Quote Originally Posted by Friend of the Dork View Post
    Uhm... sounds like you broke the game. You won. Game over.
    No, I didn't break the game. I made ONE defense (out of FOUR) impossible for him to hit using perfectly legal game elements he allowed.

    He broke the game by not using his brain and thinking "Wow, he's got a weak Will, Reflex, and Fortitude. Which of those three should I attack, instead of focusing on his strongest point?"

    Maybe I have high standards, but I expect more from a DM.
    If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him... and take his stuff.

    We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are.

  • #43
    Registered User
    Lama (Lvl 13)

    gamerprinter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ottawa, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    2,584
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ° Ignore gamerprinter
    My communities:

    Quote Originally Posted by Friend of the Dork View Post
    Alright, if it works in your group it works. My players love making stuff, customizing their gear etc. - might be because they have a long history of playing wizards and other spellcasters all the way from AD&D (some even 1st ed). Thus any wizard worth his salt will make or try to buy items that increases Intelligence (headband if intelligence, etc), and enchanting up armor is a no-brainer. They also love to make special items, or rare ones, it's not all about just boosting some stats or bonuses.
    Although 3 out 6 of our group started playing together 20 years ago with AD&D 2e, the same 3 started with 1e originally, but not together. The other 3 are half the age of the older members, so have only been playing with us since 3x.

    One of us old guys always (always) plays psionicists, another always plays gish classes (or multiclass) and is more of the casting fighter, and never crafts, me I play any class that takes my fancy at the moment, and almost never wizards. With PF I play half-casters mostly.

    Some people are into making their own items and that's great, but our group, not so much.

    I actually prefer to GM, and I like making monsters, new classes, and magic items (but not crafting them as a player.)
    Last edited by gamerprinter; Saturday, 3rd November, 2012 at 09:47 PM.
    Michael K. TUmey
    http://www.gamer-printshop.com
    support@gamer-printshop.com
    Free monthly newsletter: Gamer Resource

  • #44
    Quote Originally Posted by N'raac View Post
    Just like the PC's target the enemy spellcasters first. If so much of the character's resources have gone to AC, he's unlikely to be the high damage team member, so ignoring him to focus on the softer targets with higher damage potential makes sense. It is what the PC team would do, so why should NPC's be tactically stupider? Once the others are out of the way, teamwork like Aid Another against this guy becomes much more practical.

    There are an array of abilities against which armor is less useful, as already cited by others.

    Ultimately, I would WANT this PC to feel awesome in his defensive ability pretty regularly. If he had instead focused all his character resources on higher damage, he'd get to be the guy who cleaves through the opponents before they even get an attack and feel Awesome. He spent his resources on defense, so he should be Awesomely defended.

    At 8th level, these guys should feel pretty powerful, so having town guards be a limited threat really doesn't bother me. If they're abusing that power, the town would logically take the same approach most game worlds do - hire some heroic adventurers to deal with these powerful brigands!



    To start, maybe you need your scenarios to feature more investigation and NPC interaction. That seems highly likely to be this guy's weak point, since everything he has is combat-focused. Let the PC's who invested resources in non-combat abilities shine there, and he can shine in combat.

    With Combat Expertise, he's taking a stiff penalty on attack bonuses to get defense bonuses. I always thought of Combat Expertise as a replacement for Fighting Defensively, but I see nothing in the rules that prevents using both. That's a -7 penalty to hit, though (-3 from Expertise and -4 from Defensive Fighting). Why not throw in some high AC opponents and make him reconsider those bonuses? I assume he's not getting much mileage from iterative attacks.



    So it's low magic when the player wants to complain about his weaknesses coming into play, but not when he wants to commission a very specific item for his character. Somehow, that sounds less than fully reasonable. Especially if the characters' power has also come with some fame. If enemies know this guy is almost unhittable in combat, but easily affected by mind-affecting spells, they would be pretty stupid not to hire someone who can target his weaknesses - and you've established spellcasters aren't tough to hire, right?

    Hey, if he wants a bonus to Will saves, all he has to do is Rage...and suck up the AC drawbacks. I'd also suggest this organization they are up against should have an idea of the characters' capabilities (not just his PC) and the ability to equip their minions in an equally focused manner. So maybe they should start sending in, say, some Net and Trident warriors to oppose this guy. No reason they can't have feats to enhance attack bonuses with their nets. His Touch AC is pretty good, but removal of armor and shield bonuses drops him to a much more hittable range.

    Net fighters staying 10' away, probably with decent AC's so he has to choose between a decent touch AC and a decent chance of hitting them (Defensive and CE being a much bigger part of his Touch AC) changes the game a bit, I suspect.
    You have some good points. Although I'm already doing some of these things, and the player is considering changing his character because of it. My missions have been mostly investigation combined with combat - about 50% each. As for CE+FD, he seldom uses this anymore, and he used to routinely miss enemies at the lower level because of his extreme cautiousness.

    I think you misunderstood something about my campaign - spellcasters are not dime a dozen. Only major organizations can even hope to bring in several spellcasters, and the party is working for the government of the most powerful empire in that game world. The spellcasters they have met so far has been from an opposing city-state which is almost unique in the world by having an actual school of magic (the Empire doesn't).

    Also, most spellcasters are of the non-adventuring type in my games. It doesen't make sense to send such a rare resource out to die when they can stay in base and do valuable magical research, scrying, long-range communications, item crafting for operatives etc. Also the party's spellcasters are putting their time in as well, crafting items for NPCs when asked for no additional price.

    In every major encounter the... enemy spellcasters are there to mess up the party.

    The character has been dominated once (for several days, killed a party member), Held 2-3 times, blinded 3 times (glitterdust), Feared 3 times.. probably more I forget. Many of his enemies have realized he has this weakness, but his party has helped him out every time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbrrd View Post
    I am curious in what you and your players want to do with the campaign. Looking at the current state of it, it doesn't look like it's very viable.

    When I mentioned core, I was thinking of 3.5 (I am not familiar with pathfinder specifics) and to me that was the PHB. Might you think of core as a wider variety of books or is pathfind really that broken?

    Anyway, the question isn't really what you can do, bute more of a question of what you and your players want to do with the Campaign. We usually discuss things like this before creating characters. Sometimes we go for "go as broken as you want" and sometimes we go for "avoid powergaming too hard". Where are you and your players in this?

    My players do know when they have found a combination that's good enough to "break" the game and because of the social contract we have they either approach me with it or just don't use the loophole.

    Like the player who found the "Blinding spittle" spell gave a +4 ranged touch attack to blind the foe until he managed to wash it out. I let him use it if just used it occationally and agreed that it wouldn't work against dragons and such.
    The campaign is far from broken, I just miss having lower level enemies to be a somewhat reasonable threat. Even Conan gets taken down when faced with overwhelming numbers.

    Pathfinder isn't broken, but it makes more powerful characters than 3.5 generally speaking. In the case of AC PF easily gives 2-3 more points from boosted armors and feats, but lacks the outrageous balance issues in some 3.5 material.

    Power gaming: The group isn't bad on this is general, and actually I was surprised as that one player generally makes far less effective characters - his last character in PF was a completely useless cleric/wizard.



    Quote Originally Posted by The Little Raven View Post
    No, I didn't break the game. I made ONE defense (out of FOUR) impossible for him to hit using perfectly legal game elements he allowed.

    He broke the game by not using his brain and thinking "Wow, he's got a weak Will, Reflex, and Fortitude. Which of those three should I attack, instead of focusing on his strongest point?"

    Maybe I have high standards, but I expect more from a DM.
    You really think AC is the same as the saves? This isn't 4th edition. AC is what is attacked by at least 80% of the enemies, and is also far easier to get high. You're basically saying that the DM is only allowed to use spellcasters or monsters with SPA's against the group because you somehow managed to make a character that has a completely overpowered AC? If the game system allows broken combos, don't blame the DM when you abuse that fact.

  • #45
    Registered User
    Enchanter (Lvl 12)

    The Little Raven's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    4,363
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ° Ignore The Little Raven
    Quote Originally Posted by Friend of the Dork View Post
    You really think AC is the same as the saves? This isn't 4th edition. AC is what is attacked by at least 80% of the enemies, and is also far easier to get high. You're basically saying that the DM is only allowed to use spellcasters or monsters with SPA's against the group because you somehow managed to make a character that has a completely overpowered AC? If the game system allows broken combos, don't blame the DM when you abuse that fact.
    Plenty of monsters have spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities that target saves. Using them while still using AC-targeting monsters against my allies isn't really that difficult.

    It's the DM's job to figure out how to challenge the characters, not the player. If his solution is "You can't play a character you made by the guidelines I set," then he has failed.

    And I know it isn't 4e. That's why I don't play it anymore.
    If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him... and take his stuff.

    We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are.

  • #46
    Registered User
    Defender (Lvl 8)



    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Kongsberg
    Posts
    1,744
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ° Ignore Blackbrrd
    Quote Originally Posted by Friend of the Dork View Post
    The campaign is far from broken, I just miss having lower level enemies to be a somewhat reasonable threat. Even Conan gets taken down when faced with overwhelming numbers.
    Ah, I see where you are coming from with that comment.

    It's one of the things that I think can be interesting with 5e - the flattening of to-hit/AC math. Low level mobs will probably hit for small amounts of damage and miss a bit more often, but they won't be useless. Something one assumes in basically every work of fiction but isn't the case in DnD.

    I am also thinking of running a version of 4e where skills, to-hit numbers, ac and non-ac defenses and magical items don't scale by level. That would mean I could use all premade 4e monsters that have a wide variety of cool powers and only adjust the to-hit numbers, skills and AC.

    This way I can have monsters like goblins that are a constant threat for a large level range if the number that appear grows as the characters level. For instance at low levels they might just meet a little scouting party the later run into a warband and even later the whole tribe. It also makes city guards and such not completely useless.

    The reason I am contemplating 4e again is that I actually enjoyed the combat system but thought the leveling process with "mandatory" magical items and very steep scaling was completely not my style. What I have seen of 5e so far looks interesting, but I really think they have to do something about the monsters. So far they do seem quite bland combat wise. The claw/claw/bite attack routine has gotten a bit old. On the other hand - it's simple and leaves more time for role playing. I will have to see what how 5e turns out.
    One-page auto calculating 4th edition character sheet
    4e character sheet v3.xls
    4e rogue.xls (example)
    4e fighter.xls(example)

  • #47
    Registered User
    Scout (Lvl 6)

    Cadence's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    US
    Posts
    598
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews
    Pathfinder

    ° Ignore Cadence
    Have you tried having mooks use nets against him? Ranged touch attacks should really lower his AC. The nets would probably have to be stronger than the usual so he didn't automatically get right out of them, but even the usual net takes a full round action to get out of. Have the other end of the rope tied to a horse, or a bunch of people pull him towards something unpleasant...

    Alchemists fire and acid already been used a lot too, or too rare? (Are there other annoying ranged touch attacks... big bag of sneezing powder?)

  • #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
    Have you tried having mooks use nets against him? Ranged touch attacks should really lower his AC. The nets would probably have to be stronger than the usual so he didn't automatically get right out of them, but even the usual net takes a full round action to get out of. Have the other end of the rope tied to a horse, or a bunch of people pull him towards something unpleasant...

    Alchemists fire and acid already been used a lot too, or too rare? (Are there other annoying ranged touch attacks... big bag of sneezing powder?)
    Hmm more alchemical items could work, as they haven't been used that much yet (had npcs with smoke pellets and tanglefoot bags last adventure, but they hardly used it).

  • #49
    Registered User
    Gallant (Lvl 3)



    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    K°benhavn
    Posts
    661
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ° Ignore monboesen
    My communities:

    Maybe part of the problem is the fact that the character seems to be positively loaded with magic items for a low-magic campaign.

    I have lots of DM experience with low-magic 3ed. Low-magic in the sense that players had 1-2 magic items at level 10. To keep it low-magic item crafting feats were not eligble for players. And the stuff they had focused on interesting items rather than stat increasing items. Thus your dude would maybe have the boots, but none of the other stuff.


    Keeping magic items that rare really affects character power greatly. AC for instance doesn't really improve after the character can afford the best mundane armors. Unfortunately it affects non-spellcasters more than spellcasters, a bad thing as spellcasters in general already are more powerful at higher levels. To keep pc spellcasters in rein in such a campaign, you might rule that only half their total level can be in a spellcasting class.

    Guess I'm rambling a bit here. But the point I'm trying to make is this: If you want lower level enemies to be relevant in your mid-level low-magic campaign, then the campaign needs to be low-magic for both enemies and players. Right now it seems to be low-magic for npc's but not at all for the pc's.

    Take a look at that character without his magic stuff, he would have an AC of 20 (+5 armor, +2 shield, +3 dex). That is a number that a 3rd level warrior will hit often, heck even a 1 level orc will be able to hit that. And his attack bonus would be +13, so using expertise to increase AC would really cut down his chance to hit (as it should).

  • #50
    Quote Originally Posted by monboesen View Post
    Maybe part of the problem is the fact that the character seems to be positively loaded with magic items for a low-magic campaign.

    I have lots of DM experience with low-magic 3ed. Low-magic in the sense that players had 1-2 magic items at level 10. To keep it low-magic item crafting feats were not eligble for players. And the stuff they had focused on interesting items rather than stat increasing items. Thus your dude would maybe have the boots, but none of the other stuff.


    Keeping magic items that rare really affects character power greatly. AC for instance doesn't really improve after the character can afford the best mundane armors. Unfortunately it affects non-spellcasters more than spellcasters, a bad thing as spellcasters in general already are more powerful at higher levels. To keep pc spellcasters in rein in such a campaign, you might rule that only half their total level can be in a spellcasting class.

    Guess I'm rambling a bit here. But the point I'm trying to make is this: If you want lower level enemies to be relevant in your mid-level low-magic campaign, then the campaign needs to be low-magic for both enemies and players. Right now it seems to be low-magic for npc's but not at all for the pc's.

    Take a look at that character without his magic stuff, he would have an AC of 20 (+5 armor, +2 shield, +3 dex). That is a number that a 3rd level warrior will hit often, heck even a 1 level orc will be able to hit that. And his attack bonus would be +13, so using expertise to increase AC would really cut down his chance to hit (as it should).
    Hmm yes you may be right about this. I chose a low(er) magic setting than normal, and then inserted a high-magic style campaign into it, giving the PCs too easy access to magic and money while the majority of the world lacks it.

    Your numbers are off though, since this is Pathfinder. I wanted to post this in a PF only forum, but that seems to have been merged.

    The same character without magic stuff:
    Breasplate +6, Dex +3, Dodge +1, Shield Focus +1, Heavy shield +2 = 23 normal, 26 with Combat Expertise. A 1st level orc warrior has about +4 to hit, and will only hit on a 19+ normally, or on 20 if he uses expertise. Average human warriors only hit on 20.

    PC attack bonus would be +13 as you said, so could easily hit that orc (but might struggle against a well-equipped human warrior who can easily push AC into 20-22 levels.

    The problem with a real low-magic campaign is that:
    1. Enemies with resistances become almost unbeatable (especially noncorporeal creatures).
    2. Spellcasters such as Clerics and Wizards become even more unbalanced compared to the fighter types, as they can buff themselves with "temporary magic items."

  • + Log in or register to post
    Page 5 of 9 FirstFirst 123456789 LastLast

    Similar Threads

    1. Replies: 2
      Last Post: Thursday, 9th August, 2012, 08:29 PM
    2. Replies: 287
      Last Post: Tuesday, 14th September, 2010, 01:04 AM
    3. Replies: 8
      Last Post: Monday, 8th December, 2008, 04:03 PM
    4. Wilderlands of High Fantasy - Wots...Uh The Deal?
      By elijah snow in forum General RPG Discussion
      Replies: 77
      Last Post: Wednesday, 30th August, 2006, 04:35 AM
    5. High Magic, High Power, Big Guns ... or Common Lands?
      By Wombat in forum General RPG Discussion
      Replies: 10
      Last Post: Tuesday, 2nd December, 2003, 05:36 PM

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •