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RPG Superstar 2015

80 AC with no armor or shield by level 20


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Dedicated Voter 2013

Mauril wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

In the handful of high level games I've been in, it's almost always been stock.

I take it that's not the norm?

I'm running a high level now. I modify every encounter. The other GM who I am working with runs pretty much everything stock. We tend to plow through his encounters.

The same here, high level, high point buy, high loot values & a roster of 6 player characters with 3 or 4 cohorts in tow = really REALLY nasty foes. Not all of them, just the key foes. ;)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Ironically, the encounters this guy needs to fear are the fights against large numbers of lower-level opponents; against a battalion that makes 30 attacks per round with a +15 bonus on each, AC 90 is no better than AC 35.


Turin the Mad wrote:
Mauril wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

In the handful of high level games I've been in, it's almost always been stock.

I take it that's not the norm?

I'm running a high level now. I modify every encounter. The other GM who I am working with runs pretty much everything stock. We tend to plow through his encounters.
The same here, high level, high point buy, high loot values & a roster of 6 player characters with 3 or 4 cohorts in tow = really REALLY nasty foes. Not all of them, just the key foes. ;)

...that sounds identical to my games. Minions are stock because, well, they are minions. Encounters designed to soften the PCs up before important fights are often stock, or really close to stock (switch a feat or two, maybe some prepared spells for natural casters, etc.) but any key battle has been highly customized and equally suped up. Elite Array is almost always added to monsters, often class levels, always PC-level wealth and gear and feats, skills and spells are always rebuilt from the ground up. Sometimes I'll include completely customized or type-swapped enemies (red dragon stats + elemental monster type, for example). Since we adhere to strict WBL between levels (with variance only coming between the start and end of a level) all this extra gear given to baddies doesn't pose a further balance problem.

Plus, I just love customizing monsters.


Ravingdork wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


A buffed dragon can hit a 60 IIRC.

Which one? Looking at the ancient red and gold dragons (considered by many to be the most powerful) they get up to about 55 to hit with a natural 20, and don't seem to have bull's strength or anything of that nature on their default spell list to increase it.

If you're implying that you can modify their spell list to make it possible to hit AC 60, that's fine, but my statement still stands (as I said no "published" creature, as opposed to a modified one).

Red Dragons have limited wish as published. They also have haste. Righteous Might can be cast with limited wish.

Someone else covered Solars.


Ravingdork wrote:

In the handful of high level games I've been in, it's almost always been stock.

I take it that's not the norm?

For me it depends on how much the group optimizes. If they make really powerful characters I start swapping feats and spells.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mauril wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

In the handful of high level games I've been in, it's almost always been stock.

I take it that's not the norm?

I'm running a high level now. I modify every encounter. The other GM who I am working with runs pretty much everything stock. We tend to plow through his encounters.

And how does everyone fair against yours?


Ravingdork wrote:
Mauril wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

In the handful of high level games I've been in, it's almost always been stock.

I take it that's not the norm?

I'm running a high level now. I modify every encounter. The other GM who I am working with runs pretty much everything stock. We tend to plow through his encounters.
And how does everyone fair against yours?

It takes better tactics, often someone dies (speed bump at level 18) and expensive resources are used up. For stock encounters, I usually expect about two hours per fight (sometimes a little more). For customized encounters, I expect it to take the majority of the evening. We usually game for about 4 hours at a time, and a custom encounter gives enough time to set it up, fight it, and move to the next logical break point in the adventure.

Because of the party power (over geared, cohorts, custom magic items), I consider anything APL +1 to be an "easy" fight. ACs for those that bothered on it are around 40, saves are between +20 and +30 (more for the paladin) and everyone has evasion and miss chances. Everyone flies and most have some neat encounter-altering tricks up their sleeves. The two-handed fighter is pretty much auto-hitting on even his third attack against stock monsters and almost nothing saves against the wizard's SoDs.

Modifying the monsters makes high level play not a cake walk, which isn't what the players seemed to want. They wanted epic, badass powers and they wanted to have to use them to defeat important encounters. Sometimes they just want to mow through mid-level stock mooks and sometimes they genuinely want to fear for their lives from the sorcerer shaitan (crossblooded primal-water and rime-blooded) and her div cleric (crusader, lust domain) companion and their asura ninja-monk friend.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Sub_Zero wrote:

Ok, first off, I know that AC isn't the be all end all of defense. Especially at higher levels, it's spells not attacks that are hugely damaging. However, I have this fighter/duelist/monk build that get's me a insane AC for 20th level. Now I also have the best possible gear to max this out, so it isn't realistic, but I did think it was funny. Ok now that I've acknowledged that this isn't the most effective build, or even a realistic expectation by level 20, here it is.

25 pt buy (18 dex, 14 int, 14 wis) lvl3 monk (Master of many styles, Monk of the Sacred Mountain), lvl 7 fighter (free-hand fighter), lvl 10 duelist. Halfling.

+10 base
+13 Dex (18 base, belt, lvl increases, wish spell)
+7 Intelligence (14 base, headband, wish spell)- duelist abliity
+7 wisdom (14 base, headband, wish spell)-
+2 monk robes
+4 fighting defensively (crane style feat, plus acrobat bonus)
+2 dodge (fighter, free-hand fighter)
+1 dodge (feat)
+3 dodge (duelist)
+6 combat expertise
+5 defending rapier (agile)
+8 bracers of armor
+5 natural armor amulet
+1 natural armor (monk)
+5 ring of protection
+1 size
80 AC

Again, that's an 80 AC without any shield or piece of platemail. This also means my Touch AC is also pretty untouchable.

thoughts? mistakes on my part?

Edit: Alexander has pointed out that I could also permanently reduce myself, take the underfoot racial trait, and add +2 dex via wand of alter self, to an actual total of 83.

His flat footed AC here is +9 Monk +Robes, +8 Armor, +6 Nat AC, +5 Ring for a 38 AC. Still impressive. His touch AC is only going to be 14 less then his normal AC, assuming combat has begun.

Keep in mind, however, that his base +19 BAB +13 Finesse = +32 to hit, and he's taking -1 from fighting defensively, -6 from Expertise, and gets no bonus from his sword because he's using it for AC, resulting in a 20th level fighting character with +25 to hit.

There are various luck, insight, sacred and haste bonuses to AC he didn't lump in there, either.

I've seen AC scores in the 100+ range over on the 3.5 boards, but some of those resulted from triple stacking constitution and the like, and getting massive nat AC from shapechanged forms.

==Aelryinth


38 flat footed AC? Then the invisible solar hits on a 2.


Mauril wrote:
38 flat footed AC? Then the invisible solar hits on a 2.

yeah, it's pretty important that I'm not caught off guard, since a huge chunk of my AC comes straight off dodge/dex.

as far as lower level opponents I actually fair ok still.

I can use riposte to ignore hits, and the crane feats allow me to ignore the first hit.

For instance if I give up my first 2 attacks against I can realistically expect to block 3 attacks per round. Since They need 20 to hit me, they'll need to put up 80 attacks to hit once.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Plenty of ways to make sure you are flat footed against the enemy, from blindness on you, to darkness or fog all around, to blink spells, to simply fighting you at night.

CR 20 opponents should be able to find some of those ways.

==Aelryinth


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My year-old fighter build doesn't really have much problem being caught flat-footed.


Thing is your in a 20th level games that means super smart bad guys and Demi-gods, I GM high level games and tell my players "Munchkin if you like but be careful what you fish for."
Now that PC 80AC Monk hes happy thinking he has the combat side of life down pat, and hes all seat on the road to Enlightenment, But whats this and old master has come and has must be looked after by the Monk. He has an AC of 8!! hes and old master of WHAT! then? But Lawfull obligations and all that, NOW whats he doing Pocking that Dragon with his walking stick and telling it off for being smelly!! NOO! And that knowing smile all the time wile saying things like "Our Obsession with the material is just an illusion" "Some time to we need to understand that our bodys are just shells holding back our spirits from Enlightenment", Yet the old fart never seems to get hit ever? HOW what why?

Sorry but I would drive that PC nuts.


Sub_Zero wrote:
Azten wrote:
Aratrok, I doubt any Wish coming from an extraplanar creature is going to be free.
Lol, well it'd be free for me maybe, my wizard buddy on the otherhand who had to contract out the deal.... ;)

Shouldn't the wizard be taking that out of the monk's hide? Just saying :)


Ravingdork wrote:
My year-old fighter build doesn't really have much problem being caught flat-footed.

Because of the level 17 Detective Bard in the group, several of the low Dex characters actually have better flat-footed ACs than normal ACs. Careful teamwork is a weird ability...

Regarding higher attack bonuses, I can get a Draconal Agathion to +63 using its base bite (+36), bless (+1 morale), divine favor (+3 luck), beast shape II (+2 from +4 size bonus to strength), true strike (+20, luck domain), guidance (+1 competence). So he's hitting on a 17+ and has miracle to grab any other cleric spell to give him additional bonuses.

A Pleroma Aeon makes a +45 touch attack (+25 base, +20 true strike) vs the PC's 66 touch AC, and it could use its wish SLA for an 8th or below wizard spell or 7th or below non-wizard spell for the +2 (or more) to not need a crit.

A great wyrm red (according to the one I brought up in Hero Lab) starts with a +37 to hit with its bite and claws. This is before spells. Looking at the ancient red (the highest one printed) greater invisibility (+2 to attack rolls, attacks Flat Footed AC), haste (+1 to attack rolls) and true strike (+20 to one attack roll) are listed, in addition to limited wish which can give it more. So we are looking at a at least +60 to a flat footed attack roll (vs AC 66).


90 AC? No problem.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mauril wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
My year-old fighter build doesn't really have much problem being caught flat-footed.

Because of the level 17 Detective Bard in the group, several of the low Dex characters actually have better flat-footed ACs than normal ACs. Careful teamwork is a weird ability...

Regarding higher attack bonuses, I can get a Draconal Agathion to +63 using its base bite (+36), bless (+1 morale), divine favor (+3 luck), beast shape II (+2 from +4 size bonus to strength), true strike (+20, luck domain), guidance (+1 competence). So he's hitting on a 17+ and has miracle to grab any other cleric spell to give him additional bonuses.

A Pleroma Aeon makes a +45 touch attack (+25 base, +20 true strike) vs the PC's 66 touch AC, and it could use its wish SLA for an 8th or below wizard spell or 7th or below non-wizard spell for the +2 (or more) to not need a crit.

A great wyrm red (according to the one I brought up in Hero Lab) starts with a +37 to hit with its bite and claws. This is before spells. Looking at the ancient red (the highest one printed) greater invisibility (+2 to attack rolls, attacks Flat Footed AC), haste (+1 to attack rolls) and true strike (+20 to one attack roll) are listed, in addition to limited wish which can give it more. So we are looking at a at least +60 to a flat footed attack roll (vs AC 66).

In the time it takes him to use all those buffs, my fighter may well have torn him apart. I didn't even count true strike with other monsters (such as the aforementioned dragons) because it limits you to one attack every other round. If my fighter is adjacent, most such monsters will die before they can pull off that combo.


True strike is a bad idea if you can get multiple attacks off otherwise.

As for the dragon buffing I don't think he will do it in combat, at least I hope not anyway.


wraithstrike wrote:

True strike is a bad idea if you can get multiple attacks off otherwise.

As for the dragon buffing I don't think he will do it in combat, at least I hope not anyway.

Come from high in the air, buff, land on someone head.


Void Munchkin wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

True strike is a bad idea if you can get multiple attacks off otherwise.

As for the dragon buffing I don't think he will do it in combat, at least I hope not anyway.

Come from high in the air, buff, land on someone head.

Didn't dragons had access to Quicken Spell, they can very well buff themselves in combat.


YawarFiesta wrote:
Void Munchkin wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

True strike is a bad idea if you can get multiple attacks off otherwise.

As for the dragon buffing I don't think he will do it in combat, at least I hope not anyway.

Come from high in the air, buff, land on someone head.

Didn't dragons had access to Quicken Spell, they can very well buff themselves in combat.

They can, but that is an action they are not using to hurt the party, and you can only cast one quickened spell a round. While the dragon is doing that the party normally has at least 2 casters buffing or worse, and the damage dealers are attacking the dragon. They should have range weapons at that stage in the even if they can't fly.

I normally have my bad guys know the PC's are coming either through a minion or by use of the alarm spell. They are buffed before the PC's ever come up to them.

PS:Many time I set up two alarm spells in case the PC's find one. It normally means they won't look for a second one, even though no PC has never found the first one.


Ravingdork wrote:
Mauril wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
My year-old fighter build doesn't really have much problem being caught flat-footed.

Because of the level 17 Detective Bard in the group, several of the low Dex characters actually have better flat-footed ACs than normal ACs. Careful teamwork is a weird ability...

Regarding higher attack bonuses, I can get a Draconal Agathion to +63 using its base bite (+36), bless (+1 morale), divine favor (+3 luck), beast shape II (+2 from +4 size bonus to strength), true strike (+20, luck domain), guidance (+1 competence). So he's hitting on a 17+ and has miracle to grab any other cleric spell to give him additional bonuses.

A Pleroma Aeon makes a +45 touch attack (+25 base, +20 true strike) vs the PC's 66 touch AC, and it could use its wish SLA for an 8th or below wizard spell or 7th or below non-wizard spell for the +2 (or more) to not need a crit.

A great wyrm red (according to the one I brought up in Hero Lab) starts with a +37 to hit with its bite and claws. This is before spells. Looking at the ancient red (the highest one printed) greater invisibility (+2 to attack rolls, attacks Flat Footed AC), haste (+1 to attack rolls) and true strike (+20 to one attack roll) are listed, in addition to limited wish which can give it more. So we are looking at a at least +60 to a flat footed attack roll (vs AC 66).

In the time it takes him to use all those buffs, my fighter may well have torn him apart. I didn't even count true strike with other monsters (such as the aforementioned dragons) because it limits you to one attack every other round. If my fighter is adjacent, most such monsters will die before they can pull off that combo.

I'm not suggesting that this is an effective way to play these creatures (attack the squishies first is probably much better). Actually, for these guys, slinging spells first would probably be the way I'd play them, only resorting to melee attacks when necessary.

I was just trying to figure if there was a way for things in the bestiaries to buff themselves high enough to hit that 80 AC without having to change anything listed. Turns out it's possible.

Slipping a Time Stop into any of these creatures spell lists makes this buffing not an issue and quickened True Strike allows for True Strike every round (if you really wanted). These are all CR 20+ creatures, so using all their 5th level slots isn't a huge hindrance.

Dedicated Voter 2013

Many of the high-end evil outsiders have stuff like blasphemy and word of chaos tucked into their abilities with a decent CL. Remember too that they often have a pile of treasure besides what's listed ... at this kind of CR range, +1 CL ioun stones and strands of prayer beads are going to make things interesting.

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