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Swarms are very difficult a low level but if the party will think to use burning oil or has access to spells like burn hands they can be dealt with. If the party lack AoO damage I would use catdragons idea. 3 of those with mama would make a good CR 3 encounter.
one thing to note is that a CR 2 encounter is not supposed to be all that challenging to even a 1st level party. A coin flip encounter does not happen until you reach average party level +4.
I recommend adding more monsters instead of beefing up solos. Solos either die fast or are immune to the party and curb stomp them.
The main reason I bring up my NPC conjurer is that my PCs will want the same latitude with planar binding that I give to my NPC.
I do like the idea that "follow all my orders" is not a task that can be given to bound outsider.
I am thinking about the unwishing an inherent bonus. If it is done by the orginal wish granter in can be done from anywhere with no save. Otherwise it is a short range spell that allows a will save. This way you have good reason to keep the genie that granted you the wish around and happy. Also genie granted wish end if the granting genie dies. That way you can not bind, wish and kill your way into the bonuses.
This is from a DMs perspective but I also have to remember that what is good for the gander is good for the goose.
My PCs are a 11th level and will be facing a NPC party that includes an 11th level conjurer.
What is a reasonable number of called creature for a conjurer to control?
Is follow my orders a reasonable task?
Should called creatures be able to call more creatures?
How should inherent bonuses be handled?
Any other thoughts?
If I am playing a 10th mutagenic mauler and I select feral mutagen can i take weapon focus (claws). If I do so and then go on to take feral combat training what is my damage die type? Do I add my str to damage (like an US) or 1/2 str (like secondary natural weapon)? Would this allow me to add the claws to brawlers flurry or simply replace attacks?
Is there a way that using natural attacks is better then just using brawlers flurry?
My PCs are about to take on the slanderers in hell harbor. I love the personalities but the sheets are so unoptimized that it is not funny.
All 11th level
tiefling blackblade Kensai magus, standard SG crit build for offense with an AC of 40
Dwarf Martial artist monk with dragon style, AC 30 gets buffed alot and grapples very well
Gnome prankster bard, not very optimized but but buffs the rest of the PCs decently
Teifling cleric, casts mostly also buffs the PCs a fair bit.
Were croc witch, lots and lots of will save or die hear. Some fort thrown in for good measure.
For my NPCs, I want a powerful martial character that uses unarmed strikes and is mostly not monk, a diva buffer bard that uses the fear song alot, and conjurer wizard.
Also what escape and back up planes would you have in place.
I house rule that the save feats get the improved version built into them and that planer binding has a HD limit of 2x your character level. creatures that match you alignment only count as 2/3s their HD for purposes of control.
Note that a single use of BC gets you 2 full ACs of any type all the way through 20. If you go that route you do not need to dedicate your character to your ACs and it will play much better at the table. Having crafter for all the extra items your ACs will need would help.
My I suggest an inquisitor (sacred huntmaster)?
Take the animal domain.
Take hunter (pack master) first and boon companion as needed. The rest is inquisitor with the animal domain.
This really starts to kick in at level 5
As an inquisitor you get free teamwork feats and all your ACs get them as well.
If you are willing to take AC from the beast rider list you can use this feat to add 2 to all of you ACs. At 7th that looks like 1/1/1/5/3=7/7/7/7/5.
If you go this route, give a mount to every PC in the group and let them control it. The pteranodon makes a nice flying mount for any for any ranged characters while several other make good chargers. The steg can works well with a trippers.
Thanks for both of your responses. I really like the idea of running it like the regatta or the party. That makes all the recruiting still important but it can be made up for if the PCs play ship smash in the final battle.
Going to have to read through and find out what would be max points and do a break down but that is far better then just hand waving the whole thing.
I am running SnS and fast approaching the fleet combat sections. I am posting here because this topic has not got much play in the AP threads.
Has any one used these rules before? If so do they work? Are they fun?
How do you explain fleets clashing in engagements that might last as long as any hour when there are mid to high level PCs on board?
My PCs would be far better served simply destroying the ships personally instead of with a fleet.
My monk can easily hole the bottom of boat, climb aboard and kill the crew. No 3rd level warrior is going to stand in his way.
The witch has several spells will simply kill the whole crew.
The cleric can bring in outsiders who go through crew like a hot knife through butter.
Control weather is a thing and i would guess that hurricane would make short work of the fleet as well.
Is there way to make the fleet battle itself mean something more then a backdrop for high level PCs to fight over?
Nice campaign outline.
I guess a big part of good high level game is preparing for it from the word go.
Mechanically how would keep those you interested in scryed on regularly? You need greater scrying and seams that that would cost a pretty penny to use regularly. I guess that commune could tell you the best time to look in on someone.
The other thing I would want to avoid it the mad dash to high level. It seams many APs take place in under 3 months of game time. How did you gain that much power that fast?
I guess this could be my issue then. I have never actually played in a well done high level game. I mostly GM and we start from 1. I can keep that style of play going strong until 10th level. With proper precautions and proper architecture I can at least force the PCs to spend significant resources to bypass encounters. When 6th level spells come on line the amount work required to make the prep dungeon is no longer worth the amount of time at the table they will take up.
I have mastered the fine art of low level play and am having trouble adapting to the needed mindset of high level play.
Tim is correct about the tactics errors that I have made when attempting a world threatening plot line. To be fair I think most mods do this as well.
I might even be able to come up with a group that does something the PCs do not like and this leads to an interesting set PC prep and then an encounter or 2. At lower levels this same thing takes many more encounters and we call that an arc. I am not sure how to turn a sequence or BBEGs into an arc or campaign.
Will look at the suggested mod.
That makes sense.
I wish there was system to simulate 2 groups using divination on each other. At 17th level, if a caster does not want to fight then it is unlikely that you can force him to do so. A good way to make the BBEG want to fight is the ruination of his plans if he does not defend them.
You can always go into the BBEG's base but that is often a really bad idea. At this level I am going to be in a demiplane so filled with traps and minions that even a 20th level party will simply die. of coarse the PCs likely have similar fall back meaning that they can only engage each other in the world somewhere.
Still how do write a campaign with those assumptions that is actually fun.
I can write an encounter string that is fun even at these levels but I am not sure how to turn 1-3 good encounters into a campaign.
And I know to never ever have have the BBEG be alone.
I have seen many threads out there with advice on high level games that mention that at this level it is not about what you can kill but how you can change the world.
I know from experience that a dungeon does not work at high levels. The PCs have to many ways to simply jump to the BBEG. Is there a way to fix this? Is an example published anywhere?
The rules of the game are primarily about combat. What kind of combats are actually fun at high levels? What expectations does the GM need to bring to the table? What expectations do the PCs?
What kind of story is worth telling when 9th level spells are the norm?
This assumes some rationally house rules that prevent infinite wealth and limit beings under your control to the point where the PCs are still the most important things on the board and can not simply point and army Solars at it.
I ask all of this because my players would like to play with the high level tool box but it is to easy for them to simply stomp the plot and go home. If instead the build then can easily build the best X anywhere in the setting.
Bestiary experts needed: trying to find low-CR fire monsters to replace goblins in Vault of Larin Karr
How long do the intend to take at the job. If they have a week and magic then they should be able to do it with no check at all. If they need to get it done in just a few hours I would break out the knowledge checks to speed things along.
Have they already dealt with the inhabitants of it?
My PCs ended up rounding up the whole village and forcing them to relocate. They leveled the whole place to make sure they would not come back.
The world is at stake kind of plot really does the beg the question of how casters with 9th level spells missed in in the first place.
I mean commune should pick it up.
Will the entire world be drastically altered in way that I do not like in the next year?
I think not even mind blank would cover you since you are asking about the world and not the mind blanked person.
That right there is a reason limit the number of big fish out there.
Ability Score Modification: Using this modification, a crafter can permanently increase one of the construct’s ability scores by +2 per modification. He cannot increase any abilities with a score of 0. The cost for permanently increasing an ability score is 5,000 gp.
Is this really a liner stat increase that can be repeated numerous times?
Can a humanoid construct use any magic item?
For all of these questions you need to know the frame the magic locks to.
Even if enlarge or reduce person does conserve momentum it not unreasonable for the spell to also assume the world is not moving. This is quite useful for many rule cool situations that try and take advantage of it.
As for feather fall, if he falls 60 feet or less then he is at the bottom of the mast. If it is more then that then the boat gets a turn and can sail out from under him. Falling happens on the turn you fall and is also completed then unless it is more then 500 (or 60 with FF) in the same turn. This makes no sense with physics but makes game play simpler.
It would not be at all far fetched to thing that the spell anchors the ship and you end up at the bottom of the mast even on 200 foot fall with starts and stops by the boat. Since flying creatures do not anchor to ship then I do not think that FF does either.
What if the ship is an animated object and has life bubble cast on it?
Did I break the thread?
Also want to see a write up of the skills. I would love to see them as relevant at high levels. I have seen PCs with a +70 in something but it never important how high it is past a certain level.
I just did a good deed by giving some money to a guy to help him replace the money he'd accidentally dropped and was picked up by someone else. He'd been crying because without the money he'd be stranded at the airport, so I withdrew some money from my checking account to help him, and his relief was palpable. He even hugged me! I know this was the right thing to do. So why do I find myself feeling guilty about it and trying to convince myself of that? In an RPG I'd do that sort of thing in a heartbeat. Why does it feel like I wasted money instead?
First off: Good for you with your selfless giving. Everyone should try and always help when they see a need and are able.
When one gives it is easy to try and base it on the worth of receiver then on the depth of the need. If you give do not worry if you scammed or if they money is well spent. The act of giving is the important point and you put good out in the world.
Cloth cleric is thing that is needed.
How are you handling neat class only things like wildshape or spell combat.
Feats? Class options?
If I can mix and match with more options in one class then it makes it raises the optimization ceiling and makes it easier to make a poor character.
Love the revision so far.
When I design encounters I wan the boss to be able to to down the tank with 1 full attack. Anything less then that and it it not enough of a threat to them. They almost always are successful in preventing the full attack from happening but the that expenditure often lets the caster get off a spell or two before dieing.
If the hydra gets a full attack it is very likely to down 2nd level character even if it is a tank. On the other hand it only has +3 will save. Color spray combined with CdG will end this one real fast.
A second level party might need a little warning in order to defeat a hydra but there are many ways 2nd level party can take this guy down.
It only has +6 to hit so a prepared tank can deal with him for long time.
It speed allows kiting.
It is only animal intelligent so you can lure it into a trap.
Its AC is low enough that a party of bruisers may be able to overwhelm it.
slumber is a great weapon at level 2. If you have that then it is worth it to put spell slots on defense and party buffs.
Do not try for bad touch spells. Wait for spectral hand or be a cleric.
Unseen servants can carry curtains or other objects that break line of sight and offer concealment. Cover might happen with peice of plywood but many GMs will nix that.
If you are outsite mounts are great.
Wow, your house rules sound awesome!
When can I start playing them?
Just a crazy a thought for the primal companion.
Feats: Evolved companion (pounce)
This grants a pool of 28 points for evolutions.
10 points for huge.
Every bite does str x2 damage.
Base Str 14 +16 huge +6 AC increases = 36
So far that is a 7 bites +34 (8d6+49) That works out to 539 HP average per round and only needing a 2 to hit a standard CR 20 monster. Power attack is -4 penalty for +12 damage. Some DMs might make it +16. That is either an additionally 84 or 112 damage.
Feat wise I like to increase int to make thing more available. I might invest 3 feats into heavy armor prof since dex is low anyway. Barding will really help to increase AC.
Like many bruisers his will save will be bad. At 20th level that often means 1 spell and he out of the fight.
I think that a sacred huntmaster with the chivalry inquisition grows as double level. That can be useful if you want to multi-class.
Does large AC with the large evolution become huge?
Well there is a reason P6 and P8 exist. It is really a question of 4th level spells.
Any way out the, the spells that really change the game start coming on-line at 5th level. Teleport and raise dead change the entire feel of the game once PCs can casually cast them.
For caster I find that 8 is enough to fully flesh them out in a fun ways while martials are good through about 11. I agree with PFS's decision to cap at 12.
Overall though 8 is where many many great things come on-line.
This is a place to post a moment when you as GM through the rules out of the window or as player your GM let you do something totally outside the rules.
Please describe the scene and then give us the ad hoc rules that determined success or failure.
I am DM a group 2nd level characters and tonight had an epic ending to a boss fight. The group ends up fighting a Doru. The group is on the second story of a house that has balcony around courtyard. The doru is flying over the drop while consistently failing to charm or suggest any one. The DR means the archer can not hurt it easily but she did crit for a few damage. The big bad melee canon has no good ranged and the casters are tapped.
The bruiser then gets an idea; swing the 40 pound rock on rope around and then hurl it at the darn thing. While doing this he cast true strike. He got real upset when the duro went invisible and hid. Unfortunately for the div, the hunter told his cat to grapple the thing. It found it with scent and ended standing on thing with the thing under its paws. The bruiser then hurled the rock under the cat and pulped it with good hit.
I declared he need at least a 20 str to try this but buffs had him at 22 for the moment.
Quite an epic win for them against a foe that would otherwise be quite hard to beat.
I agree with you Kayerloth. I just think that 'normal' will not involve large numbers of offensive troops. I think it will instead look like a bunch of superheros dealing with all the real threats. Only once they are subdued is an occupation force brought in.
I also think defenses would be targeted at dealing with mid level threats. High level threats can not really be defended against.
I like you neutrality thing. Maybe an exception is made for champions when forces appear balanced. That would be a fun way to use PCs.
I think that once 4th level spells come online you will be required to become neutral. The question becomes what breaks the neutrality. Does feeding the troops, info gathering, magic item creation? When does adventuring become warfare?
In my game I have a bard with about 60 to bluff and diplomacy when he really cranks it up. I let him make instant converts out people (he is a cult leader) with DC 40+5/HD. This takes 1 min to try. He takes a -20 to do it as full round action.
The magus is the group leader and he has an intimidate in the 40s. He wants to kill with a glance. I told him he can do intimidate-50 HP to a single target as full round action. He can keep going until he fails to do a HP. He likes being able to literally glare someone to death.
Those are very cool but they do not really help in combat.
The bard was quite happy recently when he convinced some outsiders that he is a god forced into mortal form and that they should give him the help due a god. He took a -50 on that bluff check but the nat 20 gave him 31. They outsiders had sense motive but not enough.
The monk has crazy levels of heal that he use to torture folks with out them dieing. He worships ZK and so do his loony followers. They see his work as art. Since he is so good at it followers from around the world seek him out. This one really does not help the PCs much since it also tends to attract paladins and the PCs find that inconvenient.
There is no real rules for this stuff but they understand it is not meant to allow a high skill to be a win button in combat. It does give them quite the narrative power.
Dracovar; if you can chuck high level control wind spells then whole nations will fall before you. They only thing that stops a high level caster is a high level caster.
They will run into the problem of occupying the country but they can certainly destroy it. A high level caster is a nuke. I think they meet that threshold when the gain 7th level spells.
I wonder if a non proliferation pact would form and those who can cast 7th+ spells would take measure to keep any one else from getting them. Killing them once they obtain 7th level spells and a bit of time becomes very difficult. Not sure if that applies to druids.
I have to agree with Claxon, there just to many easy ways to casually wipe out an army.
The can be useful as an occupation force but I see little value to them as an offensive force.
On the other hand they are quite useful on defense when paired with things like wands or staffs. Massed archer is nice as well. If they have arrow slits to fire out of they get evasion. They may slow down the offense long enough for the cities big boys to arrive.
What they will not be is useful in melee. They will also not be threat to anyone behind a solid defense.
It looks to me like a wand or staff with fireball in it would hold of an army far better then siege weapons.
Catapults are cheaper and their ammo is generally inexpensive but they are non-mobile, require crews, cover a much smaller area (often just 1 square), and can miss. They do have longer range.
On the other hand a guy with can wipe out 100 and it is rechargeable while a wand user might take out as many as 1000 soldiers.
A wand or staff user can be buffed massively for defense and then just fly out over the opposing army.
If catapult ammo in the form shrapnel was available and covered large are that make them better but the alchemist fire ammo costs almost as much as charge from a wand and does not do enough damage in the secondary area to remove 2nd level warriors.