Pathfinder 1E How to deal with high AC PCs

Ok alot of replies here, I can't go into each but here are answers for some of you.

Ghosts. They touch or possess through armor.

Ghost monks. They punch through armor.

Tentacle monsters that grapple.

Wizards that target their Will save, or grease the floor so the heavy armor just makes them fall on their clumsy asses.

Or use tactics that work in real life. A knight has full plate armor? Send in eight men to gang up and grapple him. Drag him to the ground, and one person slides a knife through the visor slit. 1st level warriors, attack bonus of +5 (1 base, 3 strength, 1 expertise), with 7 aid anothers equals +19.

Guns. Make touch attacks within 40 feet. Give those eight men pistols and see if the PC is so invincible.

Difficult terrain and archers. How well does the guy in plate armor climb up muddy slopes?

Put the party on a boat. Have it sink.

Bebiliths destroy armor.

Rust monsters . . . are Wizards of the Coast product identity. DON'T YOU DARE USE THEM!!!!

Many good suggestions here. I have used most of these already. the problems is what someone else said - it soon becomes obvious if every fight has someone with a ready "hold person" spell, a grapple monster, ghost, etc.

Counter-plate tactics doesen't work as well as this guy has 40-50' speed in medium armor and acrobatics skill. He is not your typical tank and has highish Dex as well (18 str 16 dex IIRC).

Guns won't work as they don't exist in the game world.

Aid another - maybe the single best suggestion here. However it is not so easy to set up - first of all they need to surround him, which may force some to provoke AoOs. Then he gets to act, taking down at least 2 of them. Then the rest of his party could deal with them easily (unless otherwise engaged).

But of course, if I have 10-12 guards to spare and they dare to attack this one combat monster "by themselves," then maybe they can get in one Combat Maneuver that can grapple him, as his CMD is a little lower than his AC (CMD around 30s). So it could theoretically work. But even if they manage this through sheer numbers, they still only have about 50% of the time, so he could take out many of them before they can restrain him. And why would he remain still? He can take out one or two, and then disengage, and then pick them off.

Thanks anyway for your suggestions.


Use attacks that don't target AC.

I had a DM who threw a fit because I built a 3.5 character that could not be hit on anything but a natural 20 by every monster, and instead of adapting, he demanded I change characters because he "can't handle it" and then canceled the campaign when the other players protested.

Instead of being that guy, just look at the character's weaknesses and target those. Hit him with Will, Fortitude saves. Do touch attacks. Area effects. Do everything but stab him with a sword, and maybe he'll get the idea that hyperspecialization just makes it easier to find a weakness.

Uhm... sounds like you broke the game. You won. Game over.

As for Security or City Guards, considering having the town require you to be in 'civilian' cloths and to leave 'weapons' at the gate, light armor and simple weapons only. This will give your generic guard that seemed to be an insect before, now able to put up a challenge.

As another mentioned you could also try to disarm shields and such, but also consider attacking armor directly. This can be difficult with magic armor, but say an enemy captain had a wand of Dispel Magic and cast it on the magic armor (temporary removing magic AC bonuses) and then focusing on 'breaking' the armor to again limiting this AC of the armor. This tactic would work well if it was done near the beginning of a dungeon or group of encounters, so that the high AC fighter has a debuffed AC until he can get back to town to get his armor repaired.

Hmm might steel the "no weapons and armor" rule for some of my cities - it doesn't fit all, but it fits the more peaceful and regulated ones. If the PCs really want to they might sneak in stuff (at 8th level it would hardly be a problem), but if they have little reason to do so they might just be nerfed a bit about this.

Having enemies attacking someones after just so that they might damage it so that some other monsters can finish him off? Sounds like a stretch.

I think a lot of good points have been made here. You don't need to made the encounters all about hitting the AC, neither do you need to only target the weak spots (i.e. Will saves) against the high AC fighter. You can vary the encounters with assortments of what the group is fighting, tossing in minions/mooks, tossing in ranged damage doers, and adding in terrain that makes it difficult for the high AC fighter to even move around in his platemail. That high AC fighter is pretty useless if you are staging hit and run tactics against the group utilizing cover, speed, terrain, and smart NPC's. You can basically ignore him all together and pick on his companions by putting another "tank" against him where they just bash on each other with little to no results while his teammates are being outflanked and out damaged by the opponents he'd normally try to face off against to protect them.

Se the first response, basically the character is very versatile. His only real weakness is Will Saves. And it gets old fast to target that on him every time, he has already complained about this. And my campaign is supposed to be somewhat low-magic so unless attacking wizard-backed enemies they are very unlikely to encounter them.

Having zero experience with pathfinder whatsoever, I've seen this problem in 3.5e as well. A lot of people are suggesting exploiting the character's other weaknesses, but you have to be careful about doing that too often or it becomes obvious to the player that you are just out to get him.

Perhaps these guards could use aid another, especially if there are feats that improve it. The mancatcher would be a good weapon to use as it targets touch AC.

Edit: I see Rangerwickett mentioned aid another already.

Upon further reflection, these sorts of things came up a few times in my 3.5 games. There was the dire-bear CODzilla, the warblade, the incanter, and a couple of others I can't remember any more. In every case the players were mature enough to work with me to houserule certain things to enable them to continue playing the character they want to without forcing me as DM to play the arms race metagame. I suggest talking with the player and seeing if he/she is even aware of the issue and the difficulty it's causing you.

Very good response, and you seem to see the problem for what it is. I have mentioned to him several times that this is a problem, and the rest of the group has acknowledged it. He is considering changing character. But it wasnt just about him that I asked, it was the system as a whole. The next highest AC in the group is 31, which is also very tough to hit. I managed to do so today with an invisible Bone Devils (CR 9), but can't always rely on that.

Yeah, I never allow my players to have any magic item they want. They can hand me a wish list, and I'll allow some items to be available or found in a dungeon treasure. No low level player can ever have an AC 34, at least not through magic items - it won't happen. No such thing as a magic shop in any of my worlds. If anything, magic is a controlled substance, there are laws and economics that prevent any magic item to be accessable for any character.

While not quite appropriate for low levels, ninja and assassin attacks bypass AC completely if they hit with their special attacks.

Many of the suggestions made above I can agree with heartily. Terrain can be great inhibiter of being in heavy armor - cliff ledges for example.

Almost none of our players (including PC fighters) ever where the heaviest of armors - mobility is the biggest reason for that.

Magic has been restricted in the world, but they are part of a governmental organization that has access to many spellcasters who can make magic items for them. This might change later, but for some time they have had access to some nifty ones. The rest have been looted from my NPCs, some of which has had some good items.

Do you ban item creation feats too?
 

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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Counter-plate tactics doesen't work as well as this guy has 40-50' speed in medium armor and acrobatics skill. He is not your typical tank and has highish Dex as well (18 str 16 dex IIRC).

Could you post a guess at his stats, main feats, and main magic items? It'd help in thinking up solutions... and in avoiding the problem in my own games.
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
Do you ban item creation feats too?

I don't ban anything. The absence of magic shops is a fluff issue of the settings we play, it's not an official ban per se. Though, only one player ever takes item creation feats and not with every character. In most campaigns the party is on the move and seldom stays in one place too long - opportunities to create items never fit their schedule. Note the players are determining their schedule, I don't corral them at all.
 


Razjah

Explorer
I think you are approaching this a little off. This is a fantasy war, right? Low magic, but still fantasy. So 6th level is the peak of normal human capability, your PCs are level 8, certainly beyond that. This is where you need special forces to combat the PCs.

The party should be known quantities in this conflict which means assassins, monsters, and squads trained to fight the PCs. It should be more like anime and movies, did the Spartans in 300 just fight grunts the whole time? No, they fought an elephant, the Immortals, those freaky experimented monstery guys. These are what should be combating the PCs right now, not grunt soldiers.

Also, how much magic is there? You said there aren't a lot of casters, does this mean there is also not a lot of magic gear? If so, consider sundering gear. A PC with broken equipment is a lot less frightening to fight.

Have you checked out the Heroes of Battle book? In it it suggests doing more with the party than just fighting on the front lines. Sure a 10th level fighter can rip through squads, but it would be better to pit her against the trolls that are pressing the archers, or holding a bridge from elephants while the demo team finished preparing to detonate the bridge. The party probably shouldn't be in straight fight anymore. In the Black Company books Croaker doesn't stick to the front, he gets sent on crazy missions to fight the Taken (well to ambush one, but it counts). The Black Company does fight in the war, but they lead assaults, command troops, prepare the siege, and hold the line against monsters that made normal troops flee. Try upping the challenge, or you may be doing your party a disservice.
 

Zustiur

Explorer
One suggestion which I haven't seen so far in this thread is:
Don't attack the tank.
Go around the tank.
Attack everyone else in the party.
Make the tank WANT to be hit.

Smart opponents are quickly going to realize that it's easier to take out the fighter's buddies than to take out the fighter. Safer for the opponents to reduce party numbers first, THEN deal with the tank.
 

Could you post a guess at his stats, main feats, and main magic items? It'd help in thinking up solutions... and in avoiding the problem in my own games.

It's been awhile since I looked at it but...
Hobgoblin Ranger 1/Fighter 6/Barb 1:
Str 18* Dex 16* Con 14 Int 13 Wis 8 Cha 7
Feats: Combat Expertise, Dodge, Shield Focus, Weapon focus, Weapon specialization and more.
(*he started with 16/16, but has gotten a belt of Strength, maybe Dex as well).

Items: +2 Breastplate, +2 heavy shield, adamantium +1 Longsword, Ring of Protection +2, Amulet of natural armor +2, Boots of Striding and Springing.

AC 30, 33 with Expertise, 36 with fighting defensively.
CMD 28 (31 with Expertise).

Speed 50. Stealth... enough. Acrobatics is good.

His will save is only +1 I think, which I have used against him in almost every big combat, however the party tends to focus on enemy spellcasters first as they also know how dangerous this guy is if he gets dominated (has already killed one party member after being dominated by an Aboleth).

I don't ban anything. The absence of magic shops is a fluff issue of the settings we play, it's not an official ban per se. Though, only one player ever takes item creation feats and not with every character. In most campaigns the party is on the move and seldom stays in one place too long - opportunities to create items never fit their schedule. Note the players are determining their schedule, I don't corral them at all.

Hmm thats odd, my players would insist of making some basic magic items if they had the money for it. They can make Wondrous items and arms/armor. It only takes a few days to make things, and some can be done "on the road" - surely your group has a few days downtime between major adventures? If not, they would probably be exhausted adventuring every day of their lives.

I think you are approaching this a little off. This is a fantasy war, right? Low magic, but still fantasy. So 6th level is the peak of normal human capability, your PCs are level 8, certainly beyond that. This is where you need special forces to combat the PCs.

The party should be known quantities in this conflict which means assassins, monsters, and squads trained to fight the PCs. It should be more like anime and movies, did the Spartans in 300 just fight grunts the whole time? No, they fought an elephant, the Immortals, those freaky experimented monstery guys. These are what should be combating the PCs right now, not grunt soldiers.

Also, how much magic is there? You said there aren't a lot of casters, does this mean there is also not a lot of magic gear? If so, consider sundering gear. A PC with broken equipment is a lot less frightening to fight.

Have you checked out the Heroes of Battle book? In it it suggests doing more with the party than just fighting on the front lines. Sure a 10th level fighter can rip through squads, but it would be better to pit her against the trolls that are pressing the archers, or holding a bridge from elephants while the demo team finished preparing to detonate the bridge. The party probably shouldn't be in straight fight anymore. In the Black Company books Croaker doesn't stick to the front, he gets sent on crazy missions to fight the Taken (well to ambush one, but it counts). The Black Company does fight in the war, but they lead assaults, command troops, prepare the siege, and hold the line against monsters that made normal troops flee. Try upping the challenge, or you may be doing your party a disservice.

Spellcasters are somewhat rare, but every nation has them and every major city spots several spellcasters of higher levels. Magic items are not sold in shops, but spellcasters can be hired for jobs and may have an occasional item or two. Magic is seldom used on a large scale in battles.


As for enemies, im not throwing a bunch of lvl 1 warriors against them - mostly they have been fighting lvl 7 warriors, spellcasters of 6th-9th level, golems of different kinds, and the occasional monster I can throw in without it being silly (they are fighting a human organization).

Their mission are generally spec ops type, not jobs that normal soldiers can do by themselves.

i just sometimes wish I they could be threatened by normal random soldiers - 8th level shouldn't be superhuman legendary heroes (think of that as the really high levels, 16-20), but of course they are formidable and should be.

I don't generally find a problem for this group to do though, and have a otherwise well-running campaign.

One suggestion which I haven't seen so far in this thread is:
Don't attack the tank.
Go around the tank.
Attack everyone else in the party.
Make the tank WANT to be hit.

Smart opponents are quickly going to realize that it's easier to take out the fighter's buddies than to take out the fighter. Safer for the opponents to reduce party numbers first, THEN deal with the tank.

I do this all the time, but they have to realize he is a tank first. But as the rest of the group show their potential for damage and/or magic, they are targeted instead. In the combat against the Bone Devil I mentioned (which quickly became 2 devils), the mage and rogue in the group were almost killed as they were Feared and chased. The Fighter mentioned was useless as he was Feared for 6 rounds and running almost to the next town :p

Devils, Demons and Dragons - The 3 D's that exist for the delight of the DM and the dread of the players ;)
 
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gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
Hmm thats odd, my players would insist of making some basic magic items if they had the money for it. They can make Wondrous items and arms/armor. It only takes a few days to make things, and some can be done "on the road" - surely your group has a few days downtime between major adventures? If not, they would probably be exhausted adventuring every day of their lives.

I think crafting stuff never seemed epic enough for them wanting to try. They seem plenty happy with the magic items they get now. Nobody in our group are overly optimal (no min/maxers per se). Sometimes I wish they would opt for something more than adventuring everyday, but it's what they prefer, and I campaign to keep them happy. It's not a problem.
 

I think crafting stuff never seemed epic enough for them wanting to try. They seem plenty happy with the magic items they get now. Nobody in our group are overly optimal (no min/maxers per se). Sometimes I wish they would opt for something more than adventuring everyday, but it's what they prefer, and I campaign to keep them happy. It's not a problem.

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.
 

Blackbrrd

First Post
In my current group we got tired of running games with all the supplements. Invariably there will be enough stacking in on direction or another (damage, ac, cc) that makes fights just boring and the DM will have to more or less custom make every opponent to make the encounters anything else than trivial.

Our solution to it was to just run with a small subset of the supplements. Typically the core books and one or two supplements to match the setting. The chance of getting combinations that go completely off the chart diminishes drastically and the DM can focus more on role playing aspects of the game than the mechanical part. As noted above it gets a bit obvious when every encounter has monsters that bypasses high AC.

To me, power gaming is fun to a degree, but when it gets so hard to challenge the characters that you waste lots of time trying to find something on the outskirts of the rules that will and every encounter is bizarre, it's gone too far.

If I were in the same situation I would sit down and talk it over with the player, since the character is obviously disrupting the game. Agree to removing some the AC boosting equipment and/or feats and so on. Get the AC down to a level where it's hard to hit, but not completely unlikely. If the player is reasonable it shouldn't be a problem.
 

monboesen

First Post
Well you have hit one of the 3ed snags that pathfinder didn't attempt to correct.


IMO there is no real solution within the system. You either handpick enemies to target weak areas/bypass him entirely, tailor tactics to an unreasoable degree or frustate him with terrain. To make matters worse, the problem will only increase as levels go by and magic gets increasingly out of control.

The nonsystem solutions is to either talk it out with your players and have them willingly remake the characters within more acceptable limits. The point being that the game is pretty boring without any real danger. Or straight out cheat and just hand enemies sufficient attack bonus to actually hit.

If i opted to cheat I would probably just count any unmodified attack roll of 12+ as a hit on the dude (monsters hit the character 45% of the time) and then choose a lower number for the rest of the characters.
 

In my current group we got tired of running games with all the supplements. Invariably there will be enough stacking in on direction or another (damage, ac, cc) that makes fights just boring and the DM will have to more or less custom make every opponent to make the encounters anything else than trivial.

Our solution to it was to just run with a small subset of the supplements. Typically the core books and one or two supplements to match the setting. The chance of getting combinations that go completely off the chart diminishes drastically and the DM can focus more on role playing aspects of the game than the mechanical part. As noted above it gets a bit obvious when every encounter has monsters that bypasses high AC.

To me, power gaming is fun to a degree, but when it gets so hard to challenge the characters that you waste lots of time trying to find something on the outskirts of the rules that will and every encounter is bizarre, it's gone too far.

If I were in the same situation I would sit down and talk it over with the player, since the character is obviously disrupting the game. Agree to removing some the AC boosting equipment and/or feats and so on. Get the AC down to a level where it's hard to hit, but not completely unlikely. If the player is reasonable it shouldn't be a problem.

I have done the same thing. In fact, the problem character has next to no non-core feats or equipment. CORE is broken enough. I do allow some from the splat books, but that is case by case only. So far that has not been very unbalanced, and the closest thing must have been to allow the Magus class.

Well you have hit one of the 3ed snags that pathfinder didn't attempt to correct.


IMO there is no real solution within the system. You either handpick enemies to target weak areas/bypass him entirely, tailor tactics to an unreasoable degree or frustate him with terrain. To make matters worse, the problem will only increase as levels go by and magic gets increasingly out of control.

The nonsystem solutions is to either talk it out with your players and have them willingly remake the characters within more acceptable limits. The point being that the game is pretty boring without any real danger. Or straight out cheat and just hand enemies sufficient attack bonus to actually hit.

If i opted to cheat I would probably just count any unmodified attack roll of 12+ as a hit on the dude (monsters hit the character 45% of the time) and then choose a lower number for the rest of the characters.

12+? That was what the Stone Golem did, the only enemy of appropriate CR to consistently hit him. If every smuck can do the same, it would break suspense and make that golem so much less imposing.

If I would impose such an arbitrary cheat, I would limit it at maybe 16+ for CR-appropriate enemies.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
In my current group we got tired of running games with all the supplements. Invariably there will be enough stacking in on direction or another (damage, ac, cc) that makes fights just boring and the DM will have to more or less custom make every opponent to make the encounters anything else than trivial.

Our solution to it was to just run with a small subset of the supplements. Typically the core books and one or two supplements to match the setting. The chance of getting combinations that go completely off the chart diminishes drastically and the DM can focus more on role playing aspects of the game than the mechanical part. As noted above it gets a bit obvious when every encounter has monsters that bypasses high AC.

In my last (4E) game, I didn't drop most of the supplements, but I was running FR, so I dropped Eberron, Dark Sun, Dragon Magazine, and some of the more recent supplements. I also dropped most of the races (mostly monstrous ones). Doing this did heavily cut down on how much combination synergy the PCs could acquire. Carefully controlling magic items on top of that allows the DM to control whether the game gets out of hand as well due to uber PCs.
 

S'mon

Legend
Do what I do - get rid of the critical hit confirmation roll, and have enemies who focus on high damage, x3 weapons. :D

I think it's important though to let the Fighters shine; let them be able to tank effectively. They certainly can't stand up to enemy spellcasters; leaving them unable to stand up to melee-brute monsters either just means they suck all-around.
 

S'mon

Legend
So how can a bunch of normal soldiers - War or Fi lvl 1-3 actually be any threat at all to a group where the lowest AC is around 25? (not counting Wizard who is invisible etc.).

Warrior-3 (+3) STR 16 (+3) weapon focus (+1) masterwork (+1) = +8, +2 for charging or flanking gives +10. Hitting on a 15+ looks pretty reasonable to me for 3rd level NPCs vs 8th* level PCs. Give them a decent damage weapon like greatsword for 2d6+4.

Edit: When I used to run 1e AD&D, 8th level was a big deal, and a party of 8th level PCs could take on a couple hundred mook NPCs. So you may want to think about what 8th level means in terms of your gameworld. 3e/PF doubled the expected adventuring levels from 1-10 to 1-20 but kept 1e-2e's approach to PC power, roughly doubling every 2 levels. If you treat 8th level as high level you'll find less of an issue.

*BTW my 2nd level Cleric has base AC 21: DEX 14 (+2), Dodge feat (+1), chain (+6) and heavy shield (+2). I could easily make it AC 24 in a level or so if I get some money - shield spec (+1) , +1 armour, +1 shield.
 
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Razjah

Explorer
Spellcasters are somewhat rare, but every nation has them and every major city spots several spellcasters of higher levels. Magic items are not sold in shops, but spellcasters can be hired for jobs and may have an occasional item or two. Magic is seldom used on a large scale in battles.


As for enemies, im not throwing a bunch of lvl 1 warriors against them - mostly they have been fighting lvl 7 warriors, spellcasters of 6th-9th level, golems of different kinds, and the occasional monster I can throw in without it being silly (they are fighting a human organization).

Their mission are generally spec ops type, not jobs that normal soldiers can do by themselves.

i just sometimes wish I they could be threatened by normal random soldiers - 8th level shouldn't be superhuman legendary heroes (think of that as the really high levels, 16-20), but of course they are formidable and should be.

I don't generally find a problem for this group to do though, and have a otherwise well-running campaign.

Well, this is a problem. The d20 system break out of normal by around 5th level. You want normal soldiers to be threatening? You need a different system. D20 was a pretty solid breakdown of capabilities at certain levels. 1-5 is normal, badass; 6-10 is heroic; 11-15 is wuxia; and 16+ is superhero/demigod. You're solidly in the heroic section, we're talking Hercules, Achilles, Beowulf, Gilgamesh, and other figures of legend. They aren't threatened by normal people unless there is some special circumstance (like a vulnerable heel).

Could you introduce non-magical boosts? Fighting in a unit give +1 to hit, a phalanx's spears deflect a lot of the incoming attacks granting DR 5 to the group, moral boosts from a leader, high ground bonus to hit, fighting with a standard gives an extra bonus.

Or exotic fighters (the 300 approach), pick some far away land with crazy exotic combatants. The enemy drafted them. So 4th level chain fighter. Feats:
Fighter 1-exotic prof, 2-focus, 4-specialization
Level 1 combat reflexes, 3 power attack

When the fighter closes on the group you get a bunch of AoO. Sure, most will miss, but the chance to hit goes up when you have ranks of chain wielding fighters.
 

N'raac

First Post
One suggestion which I haven't seen so far in this thread is:
Don't attack the tank.
Go around the tank.
Attack everyone else in the party.
Make the tank WANT to be hit.

Smart opponents are quickly going to realize that it's easier to take out the fighter's buddies than to take out the fighter. Safer for the opponents to reduce party numbers first, THEN deal with the tank.

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!

It's been awhile since I looked at it but...
Hobgoblin Ranger 1/Fighter 6/Barb 1:
Str 18* Dex 16* Con 14 Int 13 Wis 8 Cha 7
Feats: Combat Expertise, Dodge, Shield Focus, Weapon focus, Weapon specialization and more.
(*he started with 16/16, but has gotten a belt of Strength, maybe Dex as well).

AC 30, 33 with Expertise, 36 with fighting defensively.
CMD 28 (31 with Expertise).

Speed 50. Stealth... enough. Acrobatics is good.

Items: +2 Breastplate, +2 heavy shield, adamantium +1 Longsword, Ring of Protection +2, Amulet of natural armor +2, Boots of Striding and Springing.

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.

His will save is only +1 I think, which I have used against him in almost every big combat, however the party tends to focus on enemy spellcasters first as they also know how dangerous this guy is if he gets dominated (has already killed one party member after being dominated by an Aboleth).

Spellcasters are somewhat rare, but every nation has them and every major city spots several spellcasters of higher levels. Magic items are not sold in shops, but spellcasters can be hired for jobs and may have an occasional item or two. Magic is seldom used on a large scale in battles.

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.
 

Blackbrrd

First Post
I have done the same thing. In fact, the problem character has next to no non-core feats or equipment. CORE is broken enough. I do allow some from the splat books, but that is case by case only. So far that has not been very unbalanced, and the closest thing must have been to allow the Magus class.
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.
 

Hautamaki

First Post
This is a story I heard from a fellow gamer about another group he played with.

To make it brief, this player had a bunch of 3e supplementals that he cross-referenced to create an 8th level PC with the combat power of an 18th level fighter. It had insane AC, DR, attack bonus, all kinds of twinked out BS.

Anyway the DM at the time didn't realize right away how broken the character was, but after single handedly dominating the first 2 encounters without coming in the slightest danger himself or allowing anyone else to get into any danger at all, the DM adjusted the third encounter slightly. Instead of a party of hill giants or some such mundane monster, the DM had the party cross a river, at which point a trio of water trolls leaped out, grappled the invincible druid into the river, and drowned him. Their combined grapple check was something stupid like +35 or something and they did not need to get through his armour or his DR, they just held him under water until he drowned, though I'm sure they took a few bites out of his head to hurry along the process anyway.

And that was that for Twinky McBroken the invincible druid.
 

Blackbrrd

First Post
[MENTION=42219]Hautamaki[/MENTION] I have contemplated suggesting a similar action, but came to the conclusion that beating the character is never a problem for a DM. He can throw whatever monster he likes at a party. The core of the problem is in my eyes a character that makes a reasonable encounter trivial. It's why I suggested talking to the player(s) and in later campaigns, discussing the amount of twinking that's ok.
 

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