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I’d love to know how this turns out if you don’t mind posting how the game goes. I’m in the process of re-booting a campaign that went on hold at 19th level, and may see what I can plan for a few mythic tiers. At the moment, I’m leaning toward having PC levels = Mythic Tiers for estimating CR.
Legacy of Fire spoilers:
Once the PCs have access to several wishes and powerful magic, some of the existing encounters aren’t much of a threat. For example, by the time they entered the final dungeon, the whole group was flying and invisible all the time. In that entire dungeon, there are only two enemies who have the ability to see invis; the Erinyes, and the BBEG.
I went off script a bit by having BBEG move his harem into the final room with him as he was watching the PCs mow over his minions. I also ignored the suggested tactics. So the PCs entered the final room to find, several Erinyes archers spaced about the large room, and BBEG who was itching to get in full attacks. It was an epic arial fight over the lava flow, but some poor tactics led to a TPK.
I’d love to play or DM a Paladin in this scenario.
You do need to make clear what will make the Paladin fall. For example, I wouldn’t rule that any of the actions so far would warrant a fall in one of my games. As long as he is pursuing a conversion or redemption of the antipaladin, this plotline can be a lot of fun.
I also don’t agree with screwing over the paladin either. For my tastes, I’d pursue scenarios where the paladin has to thwart her plans, and may even have to fight her, but he’s fighting non-lethal, and she’s outright trying to kill him.
IF he is able to turn her to the path of righteousness, the conflicts do not end either. Her former allies may not take such an act kindly, or may want to stop her from revealing more secrets. They may send high level assassins to wipe out such an embarrassment.
The BBEG may also have loved ones or items that are important to the anti-paladin to ensure her loyalty. If she were to betray him, a loved one may be targeted for death as well. So before she can leave her current organization, the paladin would need to secure the safety of such loved ones.
Something that irritates the snot out of me is this idea that a dragon's horde is just it's triple standard treasure. Such does not a horde make. It's triple treasure is probably just what it has on it at most times, because a dragon's "horde" should definitely be its own adventure and significantly more than than simply equivalent to killing three common enemies or 1.5 NPC-classed enemies.
I think I'm with you, but just to be sure.. . In other words, what I like to do when planning treasure (ie hoard), i'll factor in WBL for say the entire 2 to 4 levels of an adventure I'm planning. I'll then spread around the treasure accordingly, so the hyena pack encountered outside the blue dragons lair may have been an equivalent challenge, but all the coins are sitting inside the dragons cave. I'm simplifying, but is that the gist?
I understand this, but I've never really liked this line of reasoning. I've heard that applied to demons/devils/etc. Creatures that have been around for time untold should have some decent tactics when dealing with shorter lived races. Yes, demons probably spend most of their time fantasizing about murder etc, but even if they aren't 20th level warriors, they've had more time to figure out adequate tactics to deal with mere mortals.
I mean yes, it makes sense that the occasional villain/BBEG is so bad ass that he becomes complacent / let's his guard down / becomes soft/ leaves the good guy hanging over the pit of crocodiles without makes sure he's dead / leaves an obvious gap for a pilot to destroy the deathstar, but . . . I guess I feel lazy using that as a DM. They should at least have a well planned security system if they aren't going to keep up their skills.
Most dragons can't cast fickle winds until they are old or very old. What are they using to survive in the meantime?
In an AP or in a Homebrew?
In an AP they tend to be solo encounters, and I typically ignore the tactics as written. I'm sure the tactics I use are obvious (at least to you and most people on this board). They tend to use environment to keep foes at a distance, or fly. If the AP places them in a small room, they move and go to a place where they have more of an advantage. If an alarm has been raised, they always team up with allies if available (and if it makes sense).
Second Darkness spoiler:
The green dragon did not face the PCs alone. Once the alarm went up, the dragon moved to the biggest room available, and many of the drow rallied near it, especially when they say how easily the PCs were cutting them down. That fight was actually pretty memorable. If I recall correctly, the PCs were fighting it while an invisible drow mage made life difficult.
In my homebrew, dragons of any power tend to have slaves (smiths to create things, squires to tend them, sentinels to warn them, even slave body guards). They tend to live in "nests" with a great wyrm having several weaker dragons in its service. Younger dragons don't branch out unless they are rebelling, or feel they are strong enough to survive in a world that can easily match their power. In fact, I even keep dragons with armor as rather rare. A dragon wearing armor is most likely forced to do so my his/her queen wyrm. A ruling tyrant dragon most likely relies on other magic for protection. As well as layers of bodyguards, and systems to give her notice of any intruder or attack.
Thanks as I'm always looking for tips. Sometimes I wonder if I'm too stuck with old tactics. I also really need to fully read more of the books I have. I overlooked Fickle Winds.
Hmm. On this point, I may have been calculating CR wrong? At least in my homebrew, I've always used the creatures treasure to add to it's equipment where appropriate, and never adjusted the CR. I thought the monster creation chart was a starting point and appropriate WBL treasure was added after the fact without adjusting CR. I do try to stay within the guidelines for treasure percentages (25% for armor as an example).
I'm curious on this one. I "believe" I'm playing monsters intelligently. And I have to add that my group tends to play martials of some sort just because that is what they want. In most AP encounters though, it seems to me that the monster is also not optimizing their damage output unless they close for the full attack. Or if it is a monster that has ranged attacks, they really have a hard time staying away for more than a round or two. Of course this is assuming the monster is not flying, but even then my PCs never forget to have an adequate ranged response.
This may be a discussion for another thread, but I'm just curious on some of the tactics you may be using.
For me it depends on the perspective of the story. For my homebrew, I have dragons who rule city-states, and empires. They have minions who craft all sorts of things for them because they are often in conflict with giant kingdoms, immortals dwelling on the earth, and high level PCs.
If this is an AP, I wouldn't necessarily alter an encounter that much as it typically doesn't make sense (unless is were already in the AP).
However, in an AP I'm always trying to use better tactics than what is included to better challenge my group.
I also wouldn't have a problem with an ogre using potions for example, as long as there was a feasible way he learned to do so. For example, is he a minion of someone who showed him what the potion could do?
Neither would I have an issue with monster specific items as part of the treasure. Magical ogre hooks come to mind from one AP. The PCs can still sell the item and use the treasure for what they please.
I saw that too, which also made me think I was missing something. I was hoping one of you was going to write something like "Gray - open your eyes or have another cup of coffee then look on page.."
So I just got my copy of the ACG, and I didn't see a discussion on this yet.
Slayer Talents: I see that the Slayer can get some of the Rogue Talents. However, I don't see anything that would allow a Rogue to get Slayer talents. Did I miss something?
Feats: Some of the feat prerequisites seem odd to me. Kick Up, for example, has prerequisites of Dex 12, Acrobatic, Acrobatics 1 rank, Slayer level 1st or swashbuckler level 1st. This is also a combat bonus feat. So if I'm reading this correctly, this is only really available to Slayers and Swashbucklers. Those who wish to pick this as a combat bonus feat, would need to dip a level into one of these two classes. Correct?
has to stop. Either test what you are writing or don't write it.
Is paizo creating a product where faulty design puts someone's life at stake, like a car? Are they putting out a book on a language that has been spoken for hundreds of years such as French?
Or are they trying to be innovative and get some ideas to market like we see with video games, or even beta versions of software? Consumers continue to buy these products with their bugs and the products improve over time.
Let's see. Maybe I'm daft and just missing some big items here. Maybe your just messing with me, but it looks like your balance problems arrive way before mythic was applied. Here's what I see.
1. Your disarm CMD is off the charts for a 12th level PC. I'd never be that generous at that level. (+5 weapon and +14 from stats especially)
Sorry, I'm just saying mythic doesn't appear to be the first issue here.
Thanks, again. I've read through this whole thread, and took notes on some items. I may have skipped some posts or series by some posters, but I got the gist. I'll try to avoid some of the feats and abilities, though I'm aware my DM will TPK me if I limit myself too much. We're very good friends though and if something isn't working we'll adjust and be fine.
I know he won't take the time to tweak too many things. His schedule barely permits getting prepped for our game normally. If I can give him a formula for increasing the CRs accordingly, that may be easier for him. It wouldn't be too hard for me to assist on that either, since him telling me the CRs of the next encounters isn't really spoiling too much. At the end of the day we both want a fun game, and that takes both sides.
I've been avoiding your game thread only because it contains too many spoilers. This is the only one I've really dove into.
Thanks again, and good luck with your game.
Yes, that was it. Thank you.
In a way, I wish I had access to the books to play around with increasing the CRs on the encounters. I can imagine that the last books would be especially problematic. I may be wrong, but I believe the PCs end up at level 20 with 10 tiers for an APL of 25. If I treat tiers to equal class levels, that is then an APL of 30. It gets harder to add difficulty, if say the bad guy isn’t close to an appropriate CR.
I agree that increasing HP doesn't sound like a solution. I'd love your thoughts on what I proposed above without giving too many spoilers.
If the challenges are a better match, I think it would work for us, but your opinions thus far have been pretty reasonable and well thought out.
Otherwise, I'm about done following this thread entirely.
@ Raltus - your points seem good. I just can't comment as I don't have access to the AP. I'm more interested so I can give advice to my DM, who does not alter APs and doesn't read these boards.
@ Tels - I'm not trying to derail the topic by over analyzing your scenarios. However, if I can apply a formula of Tier = class level (approximately) then I may have a solution that will work for our group. It appears possible with some of your examples, but your APL 14 vs EL 22 is out there, even if it was a tough fight.
Another solution may be to do this in addition to the enhanced stat sheets mentioned earlier in the thread.
How exactly, did the monk disarm the mythic marilith? Her CMD is 47 to be disarmed. At 12th level, what is his CMB to disarm? Even disarmed, she can use Greater Infuse Weapons as an immediate action to apply the Dancing ability to her weapons. The monk should have been attacked all those rounds by dancing weapons as well as the mythic marilith’s slam attacks.
I can’t help but think I’m missing something here. At 12/tier 2, your group basically took on a CR 22 encounter. (Epic Marilith = CR 21, 2 Mariliths, 10 Vrocks, and 10 Succubi). I can’t think that mythic is that unbalanced.
the encounter with the Tarn Linnorm we were level 13/MT 3.
If I were to consider the group as 16th level, I could live with this, kinda.
This one is harder to reconcile. If I were to consider the group APL at 14, that's still too much of a disparity.
Sorry, I was just trying to get a grasp of the party level vs the encounters. My high level games tend to be crazy without mythic. I wouldn’t be shocked by a 17th level party dropping a Tarn Linnorn (CR 20) in one round of full attacks. If you were playing PCs who were 11th/ tier 1 at that point, then yes, I'm with you.
The other encounters don’t seem good challenges either. In an encounter with an epic marilith (CR 21), 10 vrocks and 10 succubi are basically just taking up space no matter if mythic is involved or not. The only other threats were the two other mariliths. Again, depends on what level you were at that time.
Against level 11/ tier 1 PCs, bodaks aren’t a big threat either at CR 8. The banshee is in range. Regular minotaurs are speed bumps, and even a mythic minotaur is still not close to a challenge for 11th level PCs.
What were the PC class and tier levels on these encounters?
How would it change the dynamic if the PC tiers were treated as class levels and encounters were adjusted accordingly?
You then have an encounter that was CR 22 consisting of 1 CR 20 and 3 CR 17. We now want to increase that to a CR25. So we’ll double the encounter (CR 20 x 2, CR 17 x 3 and add in a CR 21).
This would increase the enemy’s action economy and the overall challenge to the party.
As a side, I’m playing this sometime in the future. I’ve been avoiding spoilers, but this thread caught my attention. I know the DM pretty well, and I don’t see him adjusting stats. However, increasing or adding in some opponents to match the party may be a simple solution for us. I’m just wondering if this may be going too far.
My players don’t tend to enjoy real sandbox style play. Unless there is a clear goal, I tend to get a lot of “what am I doing? Why am I even here?” Being “adventurers” and just “adventuring” has never made much sense. So my style of railroading has been to make sure the PCs are part of some larger society or organization.
In my favorite longest running homebrew, the PCs were members of a human empire’s legion. They were part of a special unit that was sent on special missions. At low levels this meant reconnaissance, special guard duties, etc. As they gained power, they became more involved in politics, were given more freedom, and eventually led factions of their own against enemies of the empire.
Other groups have been free-mercenary units (like the Black Company), exploration and study teams sent to explore strange lands (Stargate-ish), or scholars from a university (Congo). While this may not seem like a railroad, having everyone start with the idea of being part of a larger goal or organization will make your plot hooks more attractive (if they would be of interest to that group). A rebellion has erupted in a frontier town? The special military unit probably wouldn’t need to be asked to investigate. The paid for hire mercenaries might decide to sit back. The scholars would most likely leave that to others to handle.
Once I know the type of group I’m working with then I plan a rough outline of the campaign, but I don’t plan details much further than 2 or 3 levels above where they are at. I’ve still been thrown by some of the groups decisions. For example, I thought the group would join a movement to lead a section of the empires citizens to safety and kinda had a big arc planned on how they would do it. Instead, they decided they’d rather die than give up territory to the enemy. That may sound minor but it was like rewriting 12 encounters.