D&D 5E Best Way to Challenge this Sorcadin, without high level spells

Stalker0

Legend
I'm running a 10th level campaign, and one of my players finally did it, they went a Sorcadin.

So I have a character with a 27 AC with shield, +3 add to all saving throws (but often its a +5 to saves to due to 2 other paladins in the party, which also includes resistance to spells). They also have a really high grapple check so they use that to throw down on a lot of the monsters. And throw in some silvery barbs and absorb elements for even more resistance and chaos bringing.

Now here's the trick, this particular game is low magic (no spells higher than 2nd level). I can have some monsters with higher magic because that's how the monster rolls, but I can't have dungeons with high level spells, npcs casting wall of force, etc etc.


Anyone have any good recommendations on good traps, npcs, or monsters to use against this kind of character?

And lastly, lets not get into any debates about changing shield, multiclassing, etc. The character is build has been running for a bit now, I don't want to go back and make new houserules.
 
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MarkB

Legend
Shield is a reaction, so maybe see if they can be tempted to use their reaction on something else first, i.e. opportunity attacks.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
  • Auto-Damage Environments: heat near lava, swarms of biting locusts, acid rain of Minauros, etc.
  • Debuff Monsters: Rust monsters, gray oozes, black puddings, most incorporeal undead, fomorians, etc.
  • No save/attack Low-level magic: Darkness, Heat Metal, Cloud of Daggers, Magic Missile, etc.
  • Isolate/Capture Traps: That's great you have impenetrable defenses, too bad your friends and monsters are on the other side of the stone wall. That's great you have massive melee smite damage, too bad the sucking swamp or masterwork caltrops have you moving like molasses.
  • Reflective/Redirecting: Mind control, Spell Reflection (spectator), Redirect Attack (goblin boss), Psychic feedback/shared damage to attacker, evil mirror version of PC, etc.
  • Hidden Threats: Dangerous things to touch (e.g. Mimic's stickiness, contact poison with severe damage on even failed save, illusion over lava) that don't seem dangerous at first.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
What Quickleaf said, plus you control the monster's stats. You can give your monsters a +17 to hit if you want. Give them an effect that has a DC35 save.
 

Adding to this, Contested Ability Checks. The Sorcadin is going to have either low strength, low dex, or both; contest those with various creatures by grappling them to throw them into traps or hazards. Basically, get physical with them.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
What Quickleaf said, plus you control the monster's stats. You can give your monsters a +17 to hit if you want. Give them an effect that has a DC35 save.
I always forget that GM can just do this.

If you chaff against the idea @Stalker0 – I know I struggle with "justifying" such numerical inflation sometimes, silly, but there it is – you can use things like Pack Tactics, Help action, or other stuff but apply a +3 to +5 bonus instead of advantage. Still within the rules, more or less, but you've got a clear narrative you can lean on to explain what's happening.

I recall skeletons helping to shove a 12th level paladin PC into lava in my old ToA game. Sorry, Yargle, you will be missed.

Adding to this, Contested Ability Checks. The Sorcadin is going to have either low strength, low dex, or both; contest those with various creatures by grappling them to throw them into traps or hazards. Basically, get physical with them.
The Sorcadin has a "really high" grapple check.

But the idea of using other contested checks could be interesting and open up some creative design space for challenges.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I always forget that GM can just do this.

If you chaff against the idea @Stalker0 – I know I struggle with "justifying" such numerical inflation sometimes, silly, but there it is – you can use things like Pack Tactics, Help action, or other stuff but apply a +3 to +5 bonus instead of advantage. Still within the rules, more or less, but you've got a clear narrative you can lean on to explain what's happening.
I vastly prefer to keep things in the fiction, but custom monster stats to compensate for power gaming or absurd builds is 100% okay with me and completely within both the letter and spirit of the rules. The point is to provide a fun and engaging experience to the players. This player seems to want to optimize all the danger and risk away from their character. Optimize the fun and drama out of the game. That's no fun. Even for the player.

Worst case you laugh and say they won D&D. They beat the game. Time to retire the character and make a new one. Best case you find all their weaknesses and hit them there. Not to punish them but to keep things fun and interesting. A never harmed, never hurt, perfectly invulnerable character is about the most boring thing I can imagine.

Another approach is to basically ignore that PC entirely. Have a monster or two tank that PC and lock them down in melee while the rest of the encounter plays out around them. Melee and ranged monsters attack and focus fire the rest of the group. Just because the player built a brick wall doesn't mean you have to slam your face into it.

Another is to hit them in the things they care about. NPCs, other PCs, items, gear, etc. Trouble with this is, typically, a player who wants to build this kind of character will also intentionally not care about anything.
 

I always forget that GM can just do this.

If you chaff against the idea @Stalker0 – I know I struggle with "justifying" such numerical inflation sometimes, silly, but there it is – you can use things like Pack Tactics, Help action, or other stuff but apply a +3 to +5 bonus instead of advantage. Still within the rules, more or less, but you've got a clear narrative you can lean on to explain what's happening.

I recall skeletons helping to shove a 12th level paladin PC into lava in my old ToA game. Sorry, Yargle, you will be missed.


The Sorcadin has a "really high" grapple check.

But the idea of using other contested checks could be interesting and open up some creative design space for challenges.
I don't like "Skills" impacting opposed checks in combat, like with 2014 grappling rules. It is too easy for numbers get too disparate between PCs and monsters. Whether it is the PCs min-maxing, or just some monsters being unescapable by some PCs due to their own size and specialization, I like when the chances are more appropriate, like with Saving Throws and DCs.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Non magical aoe’s that target dex saves.

Anything that makes maintaining positions and isolating PCs hard. (Command, Fear, Entangle, Grease, Etc).

Ranged attackers with skirmish tactics.

Mages with magic missile.

strong and mobile opponents that can grapple and drag the paladins away from each other.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
I don't like "Skills" impacting opposed checks in combat, like with 2014 grappling rules. It is too easy for numbers get too disparate between PCs and monsters. Whether it is the PCs min-maxing, or just some monsters being unescapable by some PCs due to their own size and specialization, I like when the chances are more appropriate, like with Saving Throws and DCs.
Gotcha.

I'm just "playing the ball where it lies" with Stalker's player running a sorcadin PC with inflated AC, Saves, and Grapples.

Ideally, yeah absolutely concur with you.

In the muck of actual play with imperfect rules and players being players, yeah, got to help Stalker make do with some alternative strategies that work.
 

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