Pathfinder 1E How to deal with high AC PCs

monboesen

Explorer
Ahh well, I'm not that familiar with Pathfinder.

But AC 23 would still be far more acceptable, though the poor orc might need combat advantage to make an impression. But in numbers and spending actions to aid another a group of lower level enemies will at least have a chance at hitting.


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."

Well changing the expectations of a game system will always lead to unwanted effects. As to point 1 either treat such enemies as a higher CR than their value or change the resistances. The positive aspect is that such enemies become truely terrifying to the players.

Point 2 can be partly solved by the proposed solution of limiting PC's to take only half their levels in spellcasting classes.
 

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Ahh well, I'm not that familiar with Pathfinder.

But AC 23 would still be far more acceptable, though the poor orc might need combat advantage to make an impression. But in numbers and spending actions to aid another a group of lower level enemies will at least have a chance at hitting.




Well changing the expectations of a game system will always lead to unwanted effects. As to point 1 either treat such enemies as a higher CR than their value or change the resistances. The positive aspect is that such enemies become truely terrifying to the players.

Point 2 can be partly solved by the proposed solution of limiting PC's to take only half their levels in spellcasting classes.

Half only.. .that is harsh. I am however considering making pure spellcasters to follow the slow xp progression while letting non-magic user use the fast one.

You can see the difference here:
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/character-advancement

That would make spellcaster less attractive, but still very powerful with enough xp.
 

N'raac

First Post
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.

Sounds like he has a major strength with a significant drawback. Seems balanced to me.

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).

So how can the PC's pick and choose a customized set of magic items exactly matching their desires - in this PC's case, focused on AC maximization? Seems like they have an advantage the rest of the world largely lacks, so why would you expect threats lacking that advantage not to fall behind?

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.

So why don't the enemy have similar access to spellcasters to craft magic items for them? Starting to sound very little like a "low magic world", just one where most spellcasters make items rather than risk their own skins.

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.

Again, not seeing the unbalance. He's very effective against mooks and otherwise not so effective, so how is it fair to take away his advantage in the one area where he really shines?

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.

Conan doesn't get dominated once (for several days, killed a party member), Held 2-3 times, blinded 3 times (glitterdust), Feared 3 times. He's not focused on AC and defense against mundane opponents, like this character. He also doesn't have half a dozen or so magic items custm built for his specific needs. He lives in a truly low magic game (where spellcasters are not PC's).
 

N'raac

First Post
Half only.. .that is harsh. I am however considering making pure spellcasters to follow the slow xp progression while letting non-magic user use the fast one.

You can see the difference here:
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/character-advancement

That would make spellcaster less attractive, but still very powerful with enough xp.

When is the chart used determined? If the character is a W3 and decides to take L4 as a rogue level, which chart does he follow and how much xp does he need to advance from L3 to L4? What about half casters? Medium chart? Do paladins and rangers count as casters?
 

monboesen

Explorer
Half only.. .that is harsh.

Another option it allow only half their level in the same spellcasting class. Thats gives more breadth (and plenty of spells per day) but still less power (as the character never gains high level spells and needs more than 1 good attribute).
 

Option One: Throw Tanglefoot bag at high AC PC
Option Two: Use magic that forces Will Saves
Option Three: Use mooks! Even one flank buddy who used Aid Another add +4 to hit!
Option Four: Use Sunder :p
 

jpmg90

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

+2 Breastplate - 4000 gp
+2 Heavy Shield - 4000 gp
+1 Adamant Longsword - ~5000gp
+2 Ring of Protection - 8000gp
+2 Amulet of Natural Armor - 8000gp
Boots of Striding and Springing - 5500gp

Total cost of listed Items: 34500gp

Level 8 Suggested wealth for level 8 : 33000gp

Assuming he has no other equipment, has never spent any money on consumables(potions, scrolls, etc), and has never had to bribe or hire anyone then your still a bit over

Sure its just a suggestion, but it's also there for player balance when taking magic items into account.
 

Sounds like he has a major strength with a significant drawback. Seems balanced to me.

And it has been, for some time. The problem is challenging him in the area he is good in, not finding something he sucks in and just exploiting that weakness as much as possible. That's not fun for the player.


So how can the PC's pick and choose a customized set of magic items exactly matching their desires - in this PC's case, focused on AC maximization? Seems like they have an advantage the rest of the world largely lacks, so why would you expect threats lacking that advantage not to fall behind?

Item Creation feats of course. The party can make everything they have, except items containing Mithral or Adamantium (these have been found fairly late).

I give whatever items I like to the NPCs too - which has a tendency to end up in the player's inventory. They don't generally have so much of course, because I base it off NPC wealth, but there have been exceptions.


So why don't the enemy have similar access to spellcasters to craft magic items for them? Starting to sound very little like a "low magic world", just one where most spellcasters make items rather than risk their own skins.

They do. And the campaign is low magic only compared to normal D&D where it is assumed any PC can get any item worth 100k gp or less in a major city. In my game they have to make it themselves or find someone to do it for them.

Again, not seeing the unbalance. He's very effective against mooks and otherwise not so effective, so how is it fair to take away his advantage in the one area where he really shines?

He is invulnerable to mooks, he is very effective against tough enemies, and he is the only one able to stand up to the really tough melee monsters (the rest would be crushed fast). He's (almost) doing his role as a tank (can't draw enough aggro because of high AC and meh damage).


Conan doesn't get dominated once (for several days, killed a party member), Held 2-3 times, blinded 3 times (glitterdust), Feared 3 times. He's not focused on AC and defense against mundane opponents, like this character. He also doesn't have half a dozen or so magic items custm built for his specific needs. He lives in a truly low magic game (where spellcasters are not PC's).

Conan lives in an extremely low-magic setting. He gets dominated occasionally, but always manages to beat it off in the end because he is the hero. He's blinded a few times, both mundane and otherwise. He is Feared.. nah Conan knows no fear. Conan often fights unarmored, and manages to parry almost everyone, so he is definitely good at AC (probably uses the Defense bonus house rule from unearthed arcana ;) )

When is the chart used determined? If the character is a W3 and decides to take L4 as a rogue level, which chart does he follow and how much xp does he need to advance from L3 to L4? What about half casters? Medium chart? Do paladins and rangers count as casters?

The idea was that you choose one at the beginning of the game that limits you to a certain class. Paladins and Rangers (and Bards) counts as half casters, using medium chart).

Option One: Throw Tanglefoot bag at high AC PC
Option Two: Use magic that forces Will Saves
Option Three: Use mooks! Even one flank buddy who used Aid Another add +4 to hit!
Option Four: Use Sunder :p

Option 0: Check to see if you have anything new to contribute.

+2 Breastplate - 4000 gp
+2 Heavy Shield - 4000 gp
+1 Adamant Longsword - ~5000gp
+2 Ring of Protection - 8000gp
+2 Amulet of Natural Armor - 8000gp
Boots of Striding and Springing - 5500gp

Total cost of listed Items: 34500gp

Level 8 Suggested wealth for level 8 : 33000gp

Assuming he has no other equipment, has never spent any money on consumables(potions, scrolls, etc), and has never had to bribe or hire anyone then your still a bit over

Sure its just a suggestion, but it's also there for player balance when taking magic items into account.

Hmm haven't been keep that careful track. It should be noted we just slowed down the campaign to slow xp progression, so he should be level 9 already (meaning he would be below reccomended wealth), but now I need to hold it off for awhile for that character.

Still he's been wanting a Mithral Full-plate since level 5. They don't get anything they want.
 

jpmg90

Villager
It should be noted we just slowed down the campaign to slow xp progression, so he should be level 9 already (meaning he would be below reccomended wealth)

It shouldn't matter if it's fast or slow progression, Wealth charts are there to balance equipment with enemy CR's (which is your problem at the moment b/c a character's AC is too high b/c of a +2 Armor, shield, ring and Amulet that YOU gave him)

Also nothing to do about it now, but consider having these items specifically tailored to the players that buy them if you are having them purchase them (and not just find them) Have a stat or race requirements so you dont have PC's purchasing other PC's equipment for them especially if you are 'cutting off' this particular PC from even more equipment.
 

It shouldn't matter if it's fast or slow progression, Wealth charts are there to balance equipment with enemy CR's (which is your problem at the moment b/c a character's AC is too high b/c of a +2 Armor, shield, ring and Amulet that YOU gave him)

Also nothing to do about it now, but consider having these items specifically tailored to the players that buy them if you are having them purchase them (and not just find them) Have a stat or race requirements so you dont have PC's purchasing other PC's equipment for them especially if you are 'cutting off' this particular PC from even more equipment.

I didn't give him those per se, and he could have afforded that anyway. The Ring was "meant" for other PCs who needed to improve their ACs, but he whined about it till he got it.

Not sure what you mean here.. tailored how? There are race requirment for some items (like the Elven chain). But nothing for a +2 armor or shield. PCs are enchanting items for other PCs, not purchasing them.

Only the party can cut off other PCs - im fairly certain the character in question is far down the priority line just now.
 

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