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In 5th Edition, how do you determine the caster level of a monster in 5th Edition if it isn't listed?
Is it based on CR? HD? Extrapolated from the highest level spell it can cast?
It really only matters when dealing with cantrips, but some abilities (like Legendary Actions) let some things cast multiple cantrips in a round, and that can get significant.
1. I think I read some or most of Hyperion. Didn't grab me. But his Kurtz (sp?) series of detective fiction is very good, and very very detailed about Buffalo, NY. :-D
2. Read it, I think all of them. Also their Han Solo novel, which is excellent.
3. Saw the movie.
4. I might check that out. Seems intriguing.
5. Otherland seems like quite the investment. Maybe when I'm not in the mood for fast paced excitement. :-D
I just finished Manners & Mutiny by Gail Calliger.
it ends with A LOT of kissing--some of it with a gentleman with an improperly tied cravat!!!!
I'm going to start Killing Pretty by Richard Kadrey, but I'm afraid I'll read it too fast before my library gets the other books I've ordered.
I want to re-read Perdido Street Station and check out Ancillary Justice, but they're on back order at the library. I've got Cold Fire by Kate Elliot on order too, and should get it by Saturday or Monday, but I may also need another emergency book.
Any ideas? I've been reading a lot of YA steampunk and urban fantasy lately, and should probably try to expand my horizons a bit, but still stay within the SF and fantasy genres.
Are any 3.5 materials allowed? They had weapon crystals that added the ability to crit and sneak attack lots of different creatures that are usually immune to crits.
Add to that, PF has a lot less creatures immune to sneak attacks.
If you REALLY want to sneak attack every single round, you might have to switch to 5th Edition. They also fixed Sneak Attack so you can snipe very effectively, multiply sneak attack damage on critical hits, and practically nothing is immune to sneak attacks and critical hits. You don't even need to flank; you can sneak attack (ranged or melee) if you have an ally threatening your target. There is no range limit to sneak attacks, so depending on the weapon you're using, you can sneak attack from hundreds of feet away!
Yeah, environments really help make a fight more memorable. A custom Wall of Force with invisible arrowslits would be a fun challenge, possibly.
Also, forcing the PCs to make significant decisions every round is exciting. Having multiple creatures (and multiple types of creatures) to target, non-Attack Roll options, different kinds of terrain to choose from, different paths to choose along the battle map, being able to assess different threats and acting accordingly, etc.
If you're going to do the ritual, maybe have a few different timed events that could go off. One making a portal, one corrupting or transforming another creature, one setting up a powerful buff for the enemies, one dispelling a powerful good outsider ally, etc. etc.
Morganstern has some great insight there. Selecting the NPC gear is key. And having the lich buff, debuff, and crowd control will probably extend its rounds of combat, since the PCs will have to concentrate on the crowd it is buffing.
You could probably even go wizard 3/cleric 3/mystic theurge 10 since it just increases versatility. Maybe even go sorcerer 4/oracle 4/mystic theurge 10 and use all of the Charisma! And as undead, it would add its Charisma modifier to Fort saves and hit points, and some oracle revelations even add Charisma to Reflex saves.
Admittedly, I'm out of practice with PF rules.
My group switched to 5th Edition, and the 5th Edition Rogue "plays like a rogue." They can only sneak attack once per round, but they pretty much sneak attack every round, especially after 2nd level when they get Cunning Action and can Hide or Disengage as a bonus action, so even ranged rogues can sneak attack practically every round.
I like the rogue, even in PF. The UC Rogue looks very fun. I like that it encourages tactical movement (which is why I LOVED the 3.5 Scout class.
I like that 3 or 4 levels of dipping into rogue add a lot to almost all combat characters: Sneak Attack, Skills, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, and 2 rogue talents, which can be bonus combat feats or provide other fun options. All for a -1 to BAB and maybe -4 hit points.
Maybe allow the lich to use a "sacrifice minion" reaction once per round (or even as a Legendary Action) that lets him auto-succeed an attack roll, saving throw, or skill or ability check, but it kills one of his minions; the lich also heals a number of hit points equal to the remaining hit points the minion had.
I can see that as useful for extending the existence of the lich (no instant death for it!) as well as a good way of saving the PCs if they are overwhelmed by the NPCs. It would make them have to split their focus between the lich and its minions, so they can't just focus all their firepower on the lich.
You can even make the minions monstrous cultists; just take a fun, low level monster that's easy to run, and add Adept and/or Warrior levels to it so it has some additional spells and/or hit points.
Another thing you can do is make killing the lich the beginning, not the end. It has horrible death throes and rises up as a dread wraith, its undead spirit is immediately corrupted into some kind of fiend. Or maybe the doomed PC decapitates the lich and it becomes a demilich, and immediate feasts on the PC's soul. Or maybe it possesses the PC, making it evil, and then sic the PC on his friends!!!!
Which character is the leaving player playing? Would it be fun for him to engage in some in-character PvP action without upsetting anyone at the table? While I generally advise against PvP stuff, under the right conditions, it can be really fun.
RotRL Stuff:Getting super amped (maybe given an evil easy Advanced Template) and then getting killed by the heroic PCs is a pretty cool way to leave a campaign!
Our group ran through a 5th Edition conversion of Rise of the Rune Lords, and at two points (our eldritch knight didn't learn from our mistake the first time we encountered those evil mirrors...) we got to fight evil clones of ourselves--and the DM let us run our evil clones against the party. It was a hoot! Sometimes we even had to fight ourselves against ourselves...
In play, I can see him as fun and helpful. Definitely focusing on melee, maybe even focusing on being a flanking partner for "more dedicated" melee-types, particularly rogues and other Sneak Attackers, or invest in Combat Expertise and Butterfly Sting and pass out critical hits to x3 and x4 critting bruisers.
Lord Snow wrote:
Mark Lawrence is really fun, if grimdark. It's a really fun series, but almost everyone is super evil or a victim.
I think you would just make it a custom "template."
I think it might be flavorful to give the minion the same augmentation that it provides.
For example, 5 mummies and give each mummy one of the following:
DR 10/- and Acid Resistance 20
Each mummy gives its "special defense" to the lich also. Kill the mummy, and the lich loses its "special defense" too.
Obviously, you may need to tweak the numerical amounts to make it fair and balanced--and most especially--FUN!
The slayer is another option.
Full BAB, Good Fort and Reflex, d10 HD, 6+Int skills, all martial and simple weapons, light and medium armor, and shields.
It gets Sneak Attack every 3 levels, a focused enemy feature, talents every even level (including ranger combat style feats), and some other stuff.
Just finished Cold Magic by Kate Elliot. It was a little erratic, pace-wise, but overall pretty good. Fascinating world building, the heroine/narrator was a little passive, and while the magic is interesting, it's very vague.
Going to start Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger tonight. Book the 4th of the Finishing School series, where the heroine is NOT passive at all! :-D
We did 6 5th Edition Level 13 PCs vs Karzaug, the blue dragon, and 4 rune giants.
My hill dwarf Life cleric 12 (lost a level through DM shenanigans)
It was a tough fight, but no permanent deaths (I think I used revivify once on the wizard, but the poor berserker got trapped in a cube of force for the last dozen rounds of combat. There was no save! We really needed more teleportation magic. The wizard used his 7th level spell slot for something else, and "wasted" his disintegration on something else too. The berserker had a cloak of the mountebank, but used it to close with Big K and his dragon in round 1. OOPS!
With Paragraph Breaks:
Karzoug started by casting silence on the squares where he knew the players would end up, wall of suppression (at 20th caster level because he took off his +1 caster level robes), and shape wall to make walls that separated them into each other (and the source severance). He then cast undead anatomy IV to become incorporeal and floated into the groud, then he cast soul jar to control his dragon.
Karzoug cast a number of buff spells before anyone ever showed up including control winds, anti-tech field, repulsion, greater invisibility, and mind blank (so no one could see through greater invisibility).
When they showed up he rolled a natural 20 on initiative and between Moment of Prescience and Heightened Awareness got a 51 initiative. He did a horrid wilting and outright killed the Arcanist and severally hurt the Barbarian/Dragon Disciple (who had gone in raging).
He cast time stop and used stone wall to trap two players (including the cleric with Source Severance) in a box just outside of the range of Source Severance. He then did hungry darkness and put a prismatic wall in front of all of remaining players.
Two players were in "a box" and couldn't walk through it, one was dead, one walked into it (the Gunslinger/Warpriest), one floated into the floor incorporeal and under it (without knowing it was there, just not wanting to be targeted by spells), and one realized something was there with blindscense and flew upward (the Barbarian/Dragon Disciple). It did turn the Gunslinger/Warpriest to stone.
The incorporeal Gunslinger/Monk snuck in the floor up to the throne to attach the rune giant in melee (I let him ignore the control winds since he was literally adjacent) and the Barbarian/Dragon Disciple got Mazed and couldn't get out (she has a bard scroll of Find the Path but couldn't get to it because her bag of holding had become a mundane bag). She stopped raging and died.
The Invisible Dragon Karzoug kept disintegrating the Gunslinger/Monk (who had a great touch AC, but not a great flatfooted touch, lol), but he kept barely managing to make the save (mostly with rerolls). He couldn't do much other than kill the rune giant though because he failed the save against repulsion and couldn't shoot at range.
Meanwhile the Rogue/Shadowdancer who was with the Cleric had an Adamantine weapon and finally got the cleric out of the box (who had cast a caster level 21 Angelic Aspect Greater to get wings to fly over the Prismatic Wall). It was too late to save the Arcanist, but the Cleric got outside of the Wall of Suppression and then cast Stone to Flesh and used the lunge feat to deliver it to the Gunslinger/Warpriest (yeah he actually had that feat just for delivering touch spells). A quick reading of the wall seemed to let him cast outside of the wall and touch people in it so I gave it to him and he got the Gunslinger/Warpriest back (in retrospect maybe I should have let him to that, but ohhh well.
Then they ran up to the Karzoug Dragon and used the Source Suppression to shoot him to death and push his body off the Runewell into the lava. Karzoug then possessed a giant and ordered the other giant to grapple the Cleric and jump into the lava. There was some debate about if that was possible in the game rules, but I eventually invoked the Rule of Cool (when was the last time a GM did that?) and did it. The cleric was then in a fight to out channel the 20d6 of fire damage every round (for which he did have 10 resist energy) and get away once the giant died. He did get away but the extra damage from the lingering Lava (half damage the next round) dropped him unconscious and he fell back in dying.
The Gunslinger/Monk, no longer affected by repulsion since the repulsion target was melted in Lava, flew down and grabbed the Cleric's body to save his magic items from melting, while the Gunslinger/Warpriest and Rouge/Shadowdancer fought the remaining Karzoug Giant.
They won and Karzoug possessed the Rouge/Shadowdancer.
He then dimension doored to the gate and used telepathy (which he had up earlier to push people into lava) to move his incorporeal body through the gate with him (I had changed the plot a little so he could escape if he killed enough of the PCs and added their Greed to his Runewell). The Gunslinger/Warpriest pursued while the Gunslinger/Monk stayed to destroy the Runewell. The Gunslinger/Warpriest managed to knock out the spell depleted Karzoug in a Rogue/Shadowdancer body and then destroy his actual body, screaming Baby Killer (a reference to earlier plot) while the Gunslinger/Monk destroyed the Runewell, destroyed the Demi-Plane, and brought everyone back to life.
Maybe give him a few semi-powerful minions, and each minion has a special defense they give to the lich.
For example, one gives the lich Fast Healing 20. Another gives him SR. Another gives him DR 5 or 10/-.
So the PCs have to kill the minions to remove the defenses, or when they concentrate fire on the uber-lich, they have to penetrate those defenses.
Also, you might want to take a page from 5th Edition and introduce Legendary Actions and Lair Actions, and maybe even Legendary Resistances.
Especially at higher levels, your weapon type doesn't really contribute much to damage, since most of your damage will be from Sneak Attack and it doesn't multiply on critical hits in PF.
However, if you're going crit-fishing and using the Butterfly Sting feat chain (basically you give your critical hit to an ally, who should be wielding a big two-handed weapon with a x3 or x4 critical hit multiplier), then kukris or wakazashi are your friends.
I meant D&D dwarves and elves.
Elves always seem to be very strict and stuck in their ways and holding traditional values. Dwarves often seem very fun loving and independent spirited, even if they give lip service to traditional values.
We played a 5th Edition conversion of RotRL from levels 1 through 13 (we got to 14th level after we beat Big K).
We really enjoyed the Legendary Action-using encounters. It kept us on our toes (since Legendary actions occur after a PC's turn, not during the monster's turn) and let us know it was an important encounter. They were also challenging without being TPKs.
I think the lowest CR critter in the MM that has LAs is the unicorn at CR 5. I
Just finished Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. I loved it and it was the first book I've ever read by this popular author. I'll likely start his Mistborn series at some point.
I'm glad you liked Elantris. I really struggled with it, and then gave up (it might have been due at the library before I could finish it).
I then made it through the first Mistborn novel, but decided not to continue the rest of it. I found it kind of hokey to name a slave race after a style of music (ska), and I had trouble telling a lot of the characters apart. It did have really great fight scenes. Like, really really great Marvel Universe cinematic fights.
AWESOME!!! Glad you had fun!
We played a conversion to 5th Edition. The spells are really different: Even uber-high level casters get one or two slots for each of levels 6-9. At least Karzaug could use a Legendary Action to regain a spell slot of level 1d8 each round.
Our party: my dwarf Life cleric, a human divination wizard blaster, an elf arcane trickster rogue, a human ranger hunter archer, a half-orc berserker barbarian, a human eldritch knight fighter.
Karzaug opened with a meteor swarm--our DM's favorite spell!
Then the berserker used his cape of the mountebank to teleport up to Karzaug and attacked the dragon. The berserker ended up jumping on the dragon's head and annoyed it so much that he got trapped in a wall of force for the rest of the fight. :-( No more teleport magic in the party.
My cleric buffed with bless, then dropped it almost immediately to try to banish some giants. I think I got one. I spent most of my actions healing and revivifying folk.
The ranger and rogue did a lot of archery, which whittled down some giants. The ranger used his Horn of Valhalla to call in a ton of allies, which locked down the dragon and Karzaug for a while. The wizard pretty much traded spells with Karzaug, and the eldritch knight used counterspell at a pretty clutch time. He then used two-weapon fighting and Action Surge to make 7 attacks--6 of them with his Flame Tongue (1d8+2d6+5 x6!).
Then it was over!
The homebrew campaign I'm working on has a dozen floating continents, so it's got technology levels from the Stone Age through Steampunk in the same setting. There is a trans-continental trading consortium that standardizes currency and language, so an Egyptian sky charioteer-type can talk to a French Griffon Knight-type or an airman from the Clockwork Caliphate-type or a Chthulu-esque jungle cultist. It's designed to be very cosmopolitan, with an "ideal" mixture of isolationism (each continent is stuck in the middle of the sky, so flying from continent to another is more difficult that walking, riding, or sailing between more traditional continents) and travel (airships, flying carpets, portals, winged mounts, teleportation circles, airwhales, magical chariots, winged sandals, magical pathways through an ancient primordial forest, leylines connecting standing stones, etc.) so there can be a fun mixing of cultures, but each culture will be unique. I basically want it to be like Planescape, but without the planehopping. Each continent will hopefully be as full of adventure as the average plane. The ideal party will have a ninja, a swashbuckler, a knight, a cultist, a witchdoctor, an alchemist, and a scholar from a variety of different races and backgrounds.
Quick question: When designing beasts, was there any thought put into how it would affect the druid's wildshape options? The Dogmole is CR 1, but has a decent AC, lots of HP, and a pretty nasty melee attack.
Also, I've seen several mentions of vermin that seem to refer to the PF vermin monster type, but there isn't a vermin monster type in 5e. Am I missing something?
And returning to the dogmole, it looks like its "Wormkiller" rage is based on the 3.5/PF rage mechanic, not the 5e's Barbarian's rage mechanic.
When we fought Big K, he trapped the barbarian in a Force Cage (no save), and we had no way to get him out, which made the epic final battle really boring for that player. That might be the fault of the 5e magic system, which severely limits the number of 6-9th level spell slots you get. My cleric had no dimension door or teleporting magic, and the wizard already used his teleport (7th level in 5e) and didn't have dim door prepped. The ranger, arcane trickster rogue, and eldritch knight fighter had no teleports or even misty steps available.
So I recommend not removing players totally from play. It's just not fun and very frustrating.
Maybe use Heightened murderous command or something?