Thanks again, everyone for letting your collective brain power loose on my frustrations.
I’ve just come home from your weekly game and I’m happy to report that the Summoner had rebuild his eidolon to focus less on AC, and the earthy monk/druid seemed to keep his AC boosting down as well.
Talking to my players did help – as did reviewing the Eidolon (as a lot of you guys suggested).
The players got roughed up quite a lot when they camped basically on the bad guys doorstep – one PC dead, one PC paralyzed and a couple of PC’s with single-digit dexterity. In the next combat encounter, the summoner ended up deep in negative hp territory with his Eidolon long gone.
The review of the rebuilded Eidolon turned up quite a few mistakes. Most of which, I’m sure also existed in the high-AC Eidolon.
The Eidolon had been build with at least 3 evolution points too many (+1 due to misreading the table, +2 due to him having the Eidolon take Extra Evolution as it’s feats – something that I know that I had talked to him about earlier, but that he seems to have forgotten or ignored).
The player were also applying Augmented Summoning on the Ritual-called Eidolon as well as having misunderstood the entry for Bite (he applied +1/2 strength bonus on damage) and also had an unsupported opinion on how much damage the Gore attack gives when used charging.
So I won’t be dropping the ban-hammer on the Summoner class. Not now, at least (even though the player feels like I just dropped a hammer on his toy).
I think that we’ve broken the negative Optimization loop for now, and I surely will be reviewing that darn Eidolon at every twist and turn.
And TBH if a GM doesn't have time to prepare anything he shouldn't be GM-ing.
True. Everyone in our group really want to play – but none of us really has the time required to prep to the level that we would like. It’s not an ideal situation, but it probably will get better in about 20-25 years when we start hitting retirement-age.
I'm not saying nobody likes challenging combat. I'm saying sometimes there's more to gaming than challenging combat, and theres definitely more places in a pathfinder campaign to find fun than 'exclusively' in...
Part of the premise of an AP is that the PC’s should be winning. PC’s overcomes encounters and keeps the campaign rolling forward – with the occational setback to keep the illusion of failure as an option.
I have played in gritty games where it felt like we were going nowhere. Every session started with trying to overcome the setback that we had ended the last session with. One step forward, just to experience being pushed back into the same, muddy trenches. That’s not really the kind of game that I want to GM.
Several of you have suggested that I should just let the players optimize and then work around their strengths and hit their weaknesses. Present them with challenges that cannot be solved by their optimizations (AC, in this case).
I guess that my situation is that I feel that the ”high AC” optimizations did take out too many of the (combat) challenges described in the AP.
Yes – the 25 pt point buy is much too generous. It’s our first Pathfinder campaign – and I wanted to give the players options to explore the new rules and classes. So far, I do agree, however, with the poster that stated that the high point-buy helps the other PC’s in keeping up with the Eidolon.
Yeah – we’re a danish gaming group – so playing the Jade Regent thru’ The Land of the Linnorms and later the artic regions is a blast.
Again: Thanks for your support and suggestions – it has been much appreciated and has already had a positive effect on our group.