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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
I want the players to have effective characters, characters that can do more than stand there and not be hit.
Sure, a monster will attack the high AC character, but unless the monster is mindless, the monster moves on to easier targets.
The main point I am trying to make, is that as the GM, I try to persuade the players not to make a character with obscenely high AC, letting them know the monster's attack will scale upwards if they do so, and that it will just make the others in the group more vulnerable in comparison.
A character built solely to have an unhitable AC is not a 'good character'. So much of Pathfinder is based on AC, that such a character breaks the game, making the game pointless.
Without a challenge, there is no game, and there is no fun, at least for me. It would be like playing a video game in 'god mode', it would be fun for a few minutes, but then you would get really bored with it. As a GM, or a player, I don't want to play in 'god mode' all the time, it isn't fun or challenging, and there would be no sense of accomplishment.
When I GM, I bump up the attacks of the more challenging monsters so they can, at the very least, hit the highest AC character in the group on a roll of '18' or higher. Then I have those monsters ignore the high AC character, and attack the squishier targets.
I let the players know in advance that I will do this, and it tends to discourage the creation of characters with obscenely high AC.
Give the Boss levels in Magus, and have him cast Mirror Image on himself, while keeping a full attack. For added bonus, buff with Displacement and Shield. Re-cast Mirror Image, when too many images are lost.
Have the group first meet a Boss 'stand in', some inconsequential chump made to imitate the real Boss. Have some miscellaneous treasure guarded by a few mundane traps, that will have the group pass the time after the fight. Then 15 minutes later, when the group's buffs have worn off, the real Boss shows up, all buffed to the gills with potions like Bark Skin, Bull Strength, and so on.
Wolf seems like a fairly vanilla animal companion, I'm not sure why that would be a problem myself, or be out of the context of a pirate game. I've seen a lot of cheesy things in Pathfinder, but a ranger with a wolf pet doesn't seem like a problem. Pirates are supposed to have exotic animal pets, along with their eye patches, peg legs, and hooks for hands.
But, if you decide to take away the character's option to have a wolf companion, you should offer a suitable replacement animal companion that you deem acceptable and appropriate, while having about the same power level.
Personally, I think you have some other problem with this player, as the wolf companion 'issue' seems a bit weak.
Clandestinely sell a treasure map that leads to a distant dungeon to a group of adventurers. The journey is long, so they will need horses. Sell them horses.
Then for bonus profit, have an accomplice outside the dungeon waiting for the adventurers to enter the dungeon. The accomplice then steals the horses that the adventurers left behind.
Alternatively, the accomplice could pose as a henchman offering to "watch" the horses for a nominal fee, while the group goes into the dungeon.
With a high enough bluff skill, one could possibly scam the same group of adventurers multiple times, each time selling them the same horses.
A swarm of orphans descends on the shop. One of them steals something, and the other 24 orphans are distractions. They scatter in different directions.
Someone buys everything in the shop, paying with bars of gold. Too bad the bars are gold plated lead (or they used a Fools' Gold spell).
A respectable customer claims that one of the items for sale is theirs, and that it was stolen from them. They call for the town guard to apprehend the group.
A dubious character buys an apparently innocuous item, as they leave the shop, they are over-heard mumbling, "Finally, I will be able to complete the ritual! No one will stop me this time."
Someone offers to buy something, but they want to trade in barter. The offer is an exceptional deal, but the trade goods will prove difficult to sell.
Adventurers come in and want to sell their items at 50% of value, of course they were stolen from someone powerful who is using magic to track them down.
Adventurers come in and want to sell their items, when they can't sell their items at 100% value, they set up shop next to the group, and slightly undercut their prices, but take away all of their business.
If the ranger put lots of points into WIS, which wouldn't help to maximize their archery damage, then they deserve to make their Will save. Now a Zen archer can maximize Wisdom and Archery damage.
Dominate won't kill the character who gets dominated. It would be more of a problem for the remaining characters who are about to be filled full of arrows. So dominate wouldn't work for GM ego revenge.
For GM ego revenge, I suggest a room jam packed with first level sorcerers who only know Magic Missile. A CR 13 encounter has 25600 XP, so that is 128 level 1 sorcerers at 200 XP each. If they all cast magic missile at the same target, they would do 128 x (1d4+1) = 448 damage.
Thinking on the original subject, I'm guessing the bard and cleric spend the first round buffing, the ninja moving into position, and the archer making a full attack for lots of damage. So it makes sense that the archer is the target. Either the rest of the group needs to be more of an immediate threat, or the archer needs to spend a round or two self-buffing so they are not the primary target.
Advice for the GM who needs to deal with the Ranger Archer: Cast Dominate Person on the Ranger, and then force the Ranger to mow down the party. Rangers have weak Will saves, so even if they get a +2 bonus for doing something against their nature, they have a good chance of failing. Make sure the 'bad guy' is true neutral, so Protection from Evil won't thwart this tactic.
Play a character who is cowardly and manipulative. Try to get others to do the dangerous stuff, while you stay safe. A character who can summon monsters of some sort, can send them in to the danger to sacrifice themselves for your ends. Don't play a good character, helping others will just get you killed.
Look at what got your previous characters killed, and take steps to prevent it from happening again. Are other players having their characters killed, or is it just you?
Mirror Image. Cast this the first round of every combat, if you don't already have it up. If you get down to only one image, cast it again, or retreat.
Get a follower who can heal. Ideally, get them to cast Shield Other on you, effectively doubling your hit points.
Have an escape plan. This could be as simple as an invisibility potion. You need a way to escape when things get bad.
Be really paranoid. Overly super paranoid. Take lots of precautions. Always assume someone is watching or following you. People pretending to be friendly, are out to get you.
Take defensive feats like Dodge and Toughness, don't worry about not being effective, just worry about survival.
When I play a character, I try not to metagame, but instead play the character based on the character's personality, and what they know. So, my character would have gone along for the ride, similar to how the other characters acted. Also, good aligned characters shouldn't be killing everything on sight, especially creatures that present themselves as friendly.
As a rule, I don't play characters without darkvision, so the lack of light wouldn't have been a problem, although I can see why the night blind characters would want to turn back.
I'm not sure why you are calling your adventure a 'flop'. It sounds like it would have been fun.
Enforcer feat is nice. Your unarmed attacks count as light weapons that can do nonlethal damage, if you choose. So it lets you get a free chance to apply the Shaken condition with Intimidate.
Then combine with the spell Frostbite for extra damage and debuffing.
A 4th level Bard with the Voice of the Wild archetype can know how to cast a single second level Druid spell. Would knowing this singular second level divine spell count as "being able to cast second level divine spells"?
The intent would be to qualify for the Divine Protection feat as a 4th level bard, multi-classed with one level of oracle, and taking 5 ranks of KS Religion.
Since you will be in dark dungeons a lot, I'd go with owl. You don't want to travel in the desert by day, it's cooler at night, so owl wins there too.
Initiative bonus familiar lacks the utility of a flying scout. And if you fail your perception check, you won't be going first, regardless of your initiative.
Specialize in Conjuration: Teleportation. This gives a swift action multi-use dimension door supernatural ability that you can use to get out of grapples, escape from jail cells, or just get out of combat reach so you can cast your spell without interruption. As a supernatural ability, it does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and can be used while you are grappled.
For opposed schools, take Abjuration and Necromancy.
Since you will be exploring the wilderness a lot, a familiar that can fly would help you with scouting and seeing whats up ahead. A hawk would be good for scouting during the day. But, I'd probably take an owl to watch over me at night when camping/sleeping outdoors.
Meh, put a potted plant in with 'em. That'll give 'em oxygen, for, like...a while...
When plants are not exposed to light, they convert their sugar reserves to energy, and when they do so they convert O2 into CO2.
So you would need some sort of continual light spell to supply the plants with light. Too bad Continual Light isn't a spell anymore.
The babies don't have an alignment yet, and if you allow them to be raised by humans, half of them will become evil. Unfortunately, you don't know which half will turn out to be evil.
The solution is to have the babies raised by wolves (or some other mammal animal other than humans, like bears, foxes, etc.) Then all the babies will grow up to be feral and have a neutral alignment, similar to wild animals. This way none of babies will become evil, and you didn't have to kill any of them.
Interesting thread. It makes me want to play a character whom attempts something like this.
The attitude improvement from diplomacy only lasts 1d4 hours, unless the GM rules otherwise, so Hypnotism is certainly an improvement.
It would work as a permanent 'love potion' as well. If your character is interested in things other than ruling the world.
People don't always play the way you want them to. Maybe it is about expectations on how the game should be played, or maybe it is about not wanting to be railroaded into doing something they don't want to do.
I'd suggest in character negotiations, such as, "If you help us in the tunnels, we will help you follow those tracks in the graveyard."
Not every player is a combat murder-hobo. Some players have characters that are either grossly sub-optimal, or spend the whole fight self buffing and moving into safe positions. Some players read a book or play on their phone, unless someone tells them to roll some dice. It sounds like it wasn't a TPK, so I don't see the problem with her being sub-optimal. If the GM is one to balance encounters, then they should take into account that her character is not an over-optimized DPS machine.
Considering she was hiding behind an illusionary wall, yet still got attacked by summoned monsters, you can't blame her for being paranoid.
Do you like spending time with this person? If so, work things out. If you just plain don't like her for some reason, than stop hanging out with her.
Magus have high DPR and good defense with spells like Mirror Image. With a pocket full of Pearls of Power, they can Intensified Shocking Grasp all day long. Zen archers are also pretty good at DPR and have good saves and CMD. Paladins smiting evil are very potent too. All 3 of these have good will saves.
A rogue or fighter is just going to suck in comparison, especially when a monster casts dominate, confusion, or some other save or suck spell requiring a Will save.
Let the players who now realize their characters are grossly inferior have the option of rebuilding their characters, or possibly playing new characters with equal wealth and experience.
Maybe your players would rather RPG My Little Ponies and talk about how pretty their characters are, rather than face a very minor challenge. They sound like a bunch of whinny care bears. Feel free to quote me on that.
I don't think you are going to be able to make these players happy. Let someone else GM, and roll up your own elite character.
Maybe the cohort falls in love and wants to take his money and settle down. Retire from the adventuring life. (The player should be allowed to retrain their leadership feat to something else.)
I wouldn't kill off his character or cohort, just because the other players are jealous.
If your group has a lot of players, you may want to restrict things like cohorts, animal companions, eidolons, and summoned monsters, as they take time from the other players.
A doppelganger conspiracy where important people are being replaced one by one.
Alternatively, important people are tricked into wearing 'brain slugs', so they fall under the collective mind. The brain slugs are hidden by hats or helmets, of course.
Gelatinous cubes find their way out of the dungeon and are eating everything in the local forest. Soil, trees, shrubs, fuzzy bunnies, all fall victim to their hunger. Given their new nearly unlimited food source, the gelatinous cubes are exponentially multiplying and growing out of control. Soon they will consume all organic matter, ending life as we know it. Alternatively, have just one gelatinous cube, but have it large enough to swallow an entire village, and it is still growing.
Hmm, I've gamed with someone for 10+ years who occasionally cheats on his rolls. I guess I never felt the need to kick him from the group. I wouldn't kick someone to the curb, if their only flaw is an occasional episode of cheating. As a GM, it is fairly easy to compensate to negate a single person's cheating.
Specify strict procedures for rolling dice. Like, the dice must be clearly readable, and all rolls must be witnessed by another. Make a dice rolling pen for the center of the table, and rolls only count if they are done in the pen. Define procedures for 'cocked' dice, and so on.
The population density of New York City is 26000 people per square mile, but this is using high rise apartments. If you figure apartment buildings are about 30 stories tall in NYC and you want your fantasy city to be about two stories tall, then change your population by a factor of (2/30) to be about 1700 people per square mile.
So a city with a population of 17000 would encompass about 10 square miles, or have a diameter of about 3.5 miles.
A "wealthy" city would have a lower population density, while a "poor" city would pack the people in. Higher population densities mean more disease, crime, and unrest.
If the caster is flying and has 6 mirror images, is Step Up going to be helpful?
If your goal is to defeat a caster as a martial character, I think you are better served by playing an archer. You can full attack the flying caster without needing to move, Step Up, or fly. The best way to stop a caster from casting a spell is to take away all of their hit points.
Well, if a particular fight is going really well for the players and the monsters don't stand a chance, you can just say that the players win, without tediously rolling it out.
Locations can add to the excitement, along with environmental factors. Say the bad guys ambush the group at a tavern, but before they rush in to attack, they light the building on fire. There would be panicking villagers and smoke and fire to contend with, in addition to the fight at hand.
A narrow bridge over a deep chasm is always fun. Have the big bad guy say 'None shall pass'.
For Aasimar, Ifrit, Sylph, Gnolls, and Elves, the favored class option for Oracles is "Add +1/2 to the oracle's level for the purpose of determining the effects of one revelation."
Apply this to the Oracle's revelation that grants an animal companion, and the animal companion's level can be 50% higher than the oracle's level.