High AC and encounters

WarpedAcorn

First Post
The last campaign I ran (admittedly only to level 8) had the lowest AC in the group be 18 unbuffed. As a DM it does feel frustrating if you are not hitting your players and providing them with "suspense" or "danger". My own character is level 8 with an AC of 22 unbuffed, and with the Lucky Feat (you wouldn't believe how many natural 20's I've had the DM reroll to avoid Critical Hits).

But yeah, I would follow your instinct and not design encounters just the screw with the player. That being said, I WOULD use the opportunity to mix up the combat a little bit. Instead of just Goblins with shortbows and swords, through in a little Shaman to spam cantrips like Poison Spray, have the Gnoll get frustrated and attempt to Grapple, or push passed him and attack squishier targets. There are a lot of things to do, but definitely don't crap all over him. As previously suggested, let the player's character shine in the field he was built for.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Dausuul

Legend
Throw lots of mooks at the party who can't touch the guy. Let him stand in front of the mooks and scoff as their attacks bounce off his armor. (Bonus points if you, as DM, theatrically moan and groan about his ridiculous AC.) Pre-calculate each monster's THACoC* so rolling all those attacks won't slow down the game.

Meanwhile, back up the mooks with boss monsters that have a) high attack bonuses or b) magical attacks that bypass armor.

Thus, the player gets to feel awesome and cool, and you still give the party a challenge.

[SIZE=-2]*THACoC: To Hit AC of Cleric.[/SIZE]
 
Last edited:

Hmmh. My first group also had high AC PCs. The eldritch knight was especially hard to hit. Modifying the rests so he had to sometimes save up some spell slots helped. Also targetting weak defenses and grappling helped a lot.
 

Thus, the player gets to feel awesome and cool, and you still give the party a challenge.

QFT. As a GM, part of your job is to be a champion of the characters. Give them moments to shine. Let the player feel badass.

Most of the time.

For a few encounters, hit them where it hurts. Show them the downside of their badassness. Let other players shine (like the cleric with bless stopping the fighter from being charmed, or the mage with force wall saving the party).

- Use the help action. 6 goblins surround the fighter but 3 of them help the others.

- Use hold person, charm, and other things that target INT, WIS and CHA, the typical dump stats for big strong characters in heavy armour.

- Use heat metal. But just once, because it is really mean.

- Use rust monsters. But just once, because they are evil and unfair and can ruin friendships. For bonus evil, use an encounter consisting of rust monsters and arumveroxes (they eat precious metals), xorns (they eat gems) and maybe some swarms of moths (eating cloth) for extra punishment.

- If the foes are smart (which not all of them will be) then archers will target the squishy casters. Now the meleers have to make a choice - stay and fight the nearby foes or breakthrough and go for the archers. Choices are always good.

Let the foes use tactics that make sense. This means that players can now for encounters. If goblins are always sneaky little beggars, using help and prone and drag, then when the players know goblins are around then they can plan for it (and feel badass when their plan comes together).

This also makes the world feel more "real". It makes sense that wild animals will always target the biggest foe, that undead target the closest foe, that umber hulks won't prioritise spellcasters but wraiths will.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
Out of curiosity, if the DM had the monsters give up on attacking him and switch to beating up the less-armored wizard or rogue, would that qualify as "embracing it" to you?

I can't speak for [MENTION=2629]jgsugden[/MENTION], and I won't try to. However, his post really sums up my opinion on the OP's question. Therefore, I feel at least partially compelled to answer your question. Perhaps my answer will be similar to that of [MENTION=2629]jgsugden[/MENTION], since his post really resonates with my response to the OP.

For me, I feel that the monsters giving up on attacking the PC they can't hit wouldn't infringe on embracing the cleric being good at what he/she's invested their resources in. Let the monsters waste a couple rounds of attacks trying to hit the cleric. These wasted attacks against the forge cleric gives the rest of the party a couple free rounds to whoop on their enemies, helping everyone contribute in their chosen manner. Then, when the monsters realize they can't hit the cleric and switch to other softer targets, the monsters challenge the cleric's ability to support his/her allies (which is a basic function of the cleric class and which the character should be good at, though perhaps not as good as other domains specializing more on support).

In other words, in those first couple rounds of the monsters missing the cleric, those missed attacks effectively take the place of the monsters hitting the cleric's allies and then those allies being healed by the cleric. It's an indirect form of support. And then a direct form as the monsters switch targets.
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
That it's a high-AC cleric makes it doubly hard on the poor thinking monsters. They figure out he's too hard to hit, so try to degrade the party's force by switching to focus fire on the clothies, only to find that the 'tank' heals them right back up, so they have to switch back to grinding down the source of bandaids, or hope they can overwhelm his whole day's worth of healing by pouring damage onto his wimpiest allies.

Some days it just doesn't pay to step out of the lair.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I can't speak for [MENTION=2629]jgsugden[/MENTION], and I won't try to. However, his post really sums up my opinion on the OP's question. Therefore, I feel at least partially compelled to answer your question. Perhaps my answer will be similar to that of [MENTION=2629]jgsugden[/MENTION], since his post really resonates with my response to the OP.

For me, I feel that the monsters giving up on attacking the PC they can't hit wouldn't infringe on embracing the cleric being good at what he/she's invested their resources in. Let the monsters waste a couple rounds of attacks trying to hit the cleric. These wasted attacks against the forge cleric gives the rest of the party a couple free rounds to whoop on their enemies, helping everyone contribute in their chosen manner. Then, when the monsters realize they can't hit the cleric and switch to other softer targets, the monsters challenge the cleric's ability to support his/her allies (which is a basic function of the cleric class and which the character should be good at, though perhaps not as good as other domains specializing more on support).

In other words, in those first couple rounds of the monsters missing the cleric, those missed attacks effectively take the place of the monsters hitting the cleric's allies and then those allies being healed by the cleric. It's an indirect form of support. And then a direct form as the monsters switch targets.

What if the monsters didn't attack the cleric at all? That adventurer's wearing heavy armor and is dodging. So they opt for another target.

Concept realized? Or player robbed?
 

the Jester

Legend
Out of curiosity, if the DM had the monsters give up on attacking him and switch to beating up the less-armored wizard or rogue, would that qualify as "embracing it" to you?

...

What if the monsters didn't attack the cleric at all? That adventurer's wearing heavy armor and is dodging. So they opt for another target.

Concept realized? Or player robbed?

Speaking as another DM on the same page as [MENTION=2629]jgsugden[/MENTION], I think that's fine. However, if every monster always automatically skipped past him to attack softer targets, that would be different.

Again, speaking only for myself, I try to choose targets for my monsters that they would choose. I use, or try to use, the targeting methodology that they would use. So, for instance, a kobold is probably going to target the easiest looking enemy. An orc warlord will probably engage the toughest looking warrior, but might lose interest after a couple of rounds of trading zero damage. An ooze will probably attack the closest creature; a wolf is likely to strike at an enemy with its pack mates surrounding it, and a zombie will probably try to hit whatever hit it last.

Sometimes there's more to drawing fire than just standing there dodging. The cleric in the OP is more likely to draw fire if he moves into the enemies' formation, if he shows that he's a threat instead of just dodging, if he uses an action to insult his foes. There are lots of ways, at least in my game and my experience, to increase the odds that you'll be the target of choice of the baddies.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
What if the monsters didn't attack the cleric at all? That adventurer's wearing heavy armor and is dodging. So they opt for another target.

Concept realized? Or player robbed?

Occasionally? Or as a consistent thing? Frequency matters.

Occasionally: no problem. Some monsters might be fully aware they can't reliably beat heavy armor with their weapons. Or they might go after other PCs for other reasons. For example, animated dead might mob the rogue who opened a small chest in a crypt, thereby defiling their place of rest.

Consistently: I'd see that as a problem.
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
What if the monsters didn't attack the cleric at all? That adventurer's wearing heavy armor and is dodging. So they opt for another target.
Concept realized? Or player robbed?
He's not taking any damage, is he? He's free to cast Bless with no worry of his concentration being interrupted, for instance....
 


AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Upcoming Releases

Top