Thing is, I don't think that's the case (and as an aside, I really don't pay much attention to tiers, but the cavalier seems a solid class, so I don't know why you have it so low).
That's not my tier system, DQ, that's the one that the min/maxers have come up with. You can feel free to argue with them, but there have been many discussions, and this is what we've got. These are the guys who sit around for hours on end figuring out, sometimes to more than one decimal, just how much damage a particular build can put out.
I mean, I don't think, based on Frustrated's initial posts, that Wizard and Oracle and player were even all that "good." Let alone "Really good."
I believe at one point, he specifically referred to them as both the most intelligent and the best players he has. Whether from an objective standpoint they're "really good" is something that none of us can answer. I can only go with the info I have.
Wow, did this thread get overly complicated, even after the OP bailed.
Look, it's really not that complicated. We have:
Wizard — Tier 1, really good player
When looking at a group, I also consider the player's ability.
You're left with:
Color me shocked! The party is unbalanced?!
Even if the OP has bailed: When faced with a situation like this, you *have* to nerf the high tiers. There's just no other way. No kidding, the other 3 feel like they're not contributing — Tier 0 & 1 can do everything they can do, and do it better, and it only gets worse at higher levels!
If you're going to game with a group like this, as a DM, you've got to take the initiative and tell your best players, "Hey, nothing above Tier 3. If you try it, I'm just gonna smack you down."
If you haven't yet, your whole group should be taking the time to sit down and work out your group's tactics, both what each prefers to use, and what won't work with your group dynamics.
Yes, obviously, obscuring mist, cast over the entire battlefield, won't work for you, or almost anyone else, for that matter. Total concealment kind of ruins ranged attacks. There's a time and a place for the spell, and heading into melee isn't it.
And, as BigNorseWolf points out, every caster should have templates for their spells. But that's really the casters' responsibility. I'd suggest that you make that point to everyone involved.
Those are all team dynamics — if I'm playing a bard, I like to have cards to pass around to remind the other players of their bonuses from inspire courage, so they don't forget to include them in their rolls. Etc.
Just part of being a team.
Also, if your summoner is hitting everyone in the party with haste on the first round of combat every fight, it means that your PCs are always walking around in Fireball Formation (which is to say, a formation in which they can all be struck by a single fireball). Since only the eidolon should possess evasion, this is definitely the spell to be having any enemy casters use.
And battlefield control spells as well. And area effect spells. A little bit of rogue and tumble gets some of your mobs beyond their tanks and into the "soft underbelly". As someone else mentioned, you've got a 5 member party, so feel free to increase the challenge level. Or, if you're using mooks, toss in a level or two for spellcasting — even a grease spell can make a difference. Let alone a daylight, even from a wand, at the right time.
One of your biggest concerns here is going to be forcing the party to expend resources... As always, make sure you aren't letting them get away with a 15 minute work day. At fifth level, your summoner should only have 2 to 4 second level spell slots to cast haste with, which means if you ensure they're running into 3 to 5 (or more) encounters in a day, at least one of those should be fought without haste. If your PCs pull the "we're going to rest cause we're out of haste" move, feel free to have them be attacked while they're rest/sleeping (hint: unless your summoner has invested in a very specific set of feats, he won't have his eidolon when you do this).
To add to expending resources — each haste only lasts 5 rounds. So use hit and run tactics to draw out combat encounters. Etc. How many rounds of inspire courage does the bard get? How many uses of prayer will the cleric have?
You could use a mook to make them buff up, and then draw out the encounter until the effects start wearing off. Are they going to buff up again? If they do, and they try to get out of it with a 10 minute workday, go ahead and hit 'em hard. At the very least, it will push them out of their comfort zone.
Josh M. wrote:
So, a lot of FR fans didn't like what happened in 4e. So, WotC is going back and making a sourcebook and supplemental material that covers the time before the Spellplague, essentially reviving that time those fans liked, and said fans are still upset. Wow.
Actually, I found a whole lot of what came out of the 3E Realms objectionable, too.
But to address your comment: Why on earth would I possibly believe that they're going to do any better job with the 5E Realms than they did with 4E (or 3E, for that matter)?
They're many of the same people, working with the same impulses, working for the same company — they decry high level NPCs, and then write all about them. They deplore RSEs, and then come up with more than ever were before.
I expect nothing good to come from it. I could be pleasantly surprised, but calling in an obscure Chinese video game company to help out doesn't exactly fill me with optimism.
Back in ma day, we had to get to school if the headmaster could make it to his office. And he lived on the grounds. And I carpooled with a kid who lived on a private road. At the end. All two hilly miles of it.
You ain't really lived until you've gone up a half-mile hill sideways.
Now I live in Africa. And man, is that pool calling.
In the form of an update, I've had two sessions cancelled due to player problems. We're next scheduled for the 2nd session on Jan 14. I deeply regret the missed sessions.
Good glavin! They can't even get their act together outside the game?
I worry that this group may not be sufficient challenge for you.
Simple and obvious question: Why would you go Eldritch Knight?
What does it possibly bring you? You lose a level of spell-casting. You get a bonus feat, but that's counteracted by needing to take Militia to qualify for EK (In fact, I don't think Militia is a core feat, so you don't qualify for EK, period, as a straight bard). You get no advancements in bardic abilities.
Core bard is basically a gish-in-a-can, so why toss in EK anyway?
As for any kind of two-weapon fighting: To be any kind of effective, it requires a whole slew of feats that you don't have the time for. Not to mention that shields don't do a whole lotta damage. TWF is generally considered sub-optimal.
I think you'll find that the Kyra example would be aimed at 13+. My 11 year old niece, who's neither particularly bright, nor particularly dumb, would probably have trouble with some of the vocabulary at this point.
On the other hand, it does need to be accessible to the "not-the-brightest" 13 year old, as well, right?
In short, I don't find it too simplistic. Basic, sure, but then, it's a Basic Set, as it were.
Edit: Let me add, I found it better than the sample chapter I read of the Abyssal Plague, which I thought was really simplistic.
Greetings to all. I have been offline for several weeks due to problems between my HOA and internet service provider. I'll work on the post for the game we had the last week of June, and we play again on July 23. ~KGM
I, for one, would greedily read the real life account of running an ISP through Tomb of Horrors.
You know, a reversal of fortunes type thing.
Turin the Mad wrote:
Sadly, butter, as anyone who has burned it in a pan will know, doesn't combust. It burns, badly, but... meh as a weapon.
On the other hand... it does take medium heat relatively well, and is sticky. And splattery, like most fats. As in, one PC goes splatting down in, and several other might be in the area of effect of a solid hot fat splatter, with its associated damage and effects on Concentration.
And, of course, we're ignoring the effects of combustibles added to a boiling crab/butter/water mixture: should one add, say, some spirits, perhaps a barrel or two to a pool, the evaporation of alcohol will cause, well, let's just say the entire room, to become a firebreather's dream.
...lastly, I will swap in 'Scorch' the dragon for the giant crab (having boiled the crab in the boiling geyser water, and then dipped him in a giant bowl of butter, and eaten him for good measure), who was the guardian of the trident Wave.
Keep in mind that rancid crab butter can take the place of both a grease and stinking cloud spell for additional battlefield control.
My thoughts exactly.
If you've got to go out, might as well go out on a high bodycount, err, note, I meant note!
Brother Faust the Elder wrote:
Well, revenge is a dish best served cold. Two weeks later is ideal.
I regret the delay in putting this latest entry together. I wish it would be more worthy of your wait, but alas… In Last Saturday’s session of the campaign classics campaign, there were Zero (0) Player character fatalities. It was a depressing day at the game table...
I continue to hope that this was an elaborate April Fool's prank from our favorite campaign.
Turin the Mad wrote:
I have let him know that his slavering fans are practically doing the "little kid GOTTA GO NOW dance" anticipating the next journal entries.
I'm without a group at the moment, and I have to admit:
I love reading about a DM who channels my favorite memories of D&D. Where the goal was simply to survive.
Not, "How shall my character's life arc play out?" but rather, "What the heck do I have to do to make it through this session?"
It's adventure, doggonit! It's supposed to be dangerous!
Now, KGM: lay the devastation upon us! And we shall mock them!
I find the TPK followed by sustained flogging acceptable.
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Of course, the main complaint about FR at the time was that it was overly detailed.
It's worth pointing out that Livingstone wasn't really an explorer. His motivations weren't to "discover" new lands — he was a missionary.
Of course, it's also worth pointing out that he wasn't particularly successful there — he had, apparently, only one convert, and he gave it up after Livingstone died.