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Difficulties finding opponents for my party..


Advice

51 to 78 of 78 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Silver Crusade

Turin the Mad wrote:
How do they get the caster level so far over character level?

Wow! Ninja'd by nearly two hours!

This is what I'd like to know! How does a level 11/12 sorcerer have a CL of 16/18?

Silver Crusade

Sorcerer: flanked by four mooks, each of whom has Combat Reflexes and carries an object with silence cast on it.

Sword Lord: unbeatable AC and saves? Don't target his AC or make him make saves! Unless a spell has an effect on a made save. Ignore him and let him do his piddly DPR.

Rogue: blindsense, creatures immune to crits, environments with no cover, Uncanny Dodge.

You should only rarely do nerf all three PCs in the same encounter, as it will seem unfair and it would be unnatural for these circumstances to constantly happen, but you can do it at least this once! : )


Salvator wrote:
We have a Sorcerer, who while still doing all the good caster battle-field control, also throws out +2 damage per die CL 18 empowered intensified fireballs.

This guy is the problem. Why are his fireballs CL 18? V tattoo (+1), Spell specialization (+2), Gifted Adept (+1). That’s +4 CL.

How are you supposed to give them an EL level encounter when he fireballs everything for 122 damage per fireball?

Salvator wrote:
Varisan Tattoo + Spell Specialization + Trait +1 CL + Trait -1 metamagic level + One of the buff-characters figured out a way to grant him another +2 bonus to CL, from like, morale bonus or something

Trait bonuses don’t stack, so he can only use 1.

I still don’t understand what gives him another +2-4 CL. Whatever it is, is part of the problem.

What spell gives +2 CL (besides Death Knell)? Maybe you should look it up.

Maybe you made too many options available and now you’re in this crisis? Either your PC doesn’t affect the EL correct mob, or it destroys it. Did you let all PCs take a lot of 3rd party Pathfinder feats or classes? That might be the problem, but I don’t know.

There’s lots of ways to take spellcasters out. Grappling, Feeblemind, high damage (ambush). The best way is to have the enemy ready an attack (ranged or spell) whenever the sorcerer casts a spell, therefore forcing them to make a (10+damage) concentration check or lose the precious Fireball.

Salvator wrote:
We have an Aldori Swordlord/Monk, who has an AC in the mid 30s (when he's not doing his fight defensively at no penalty for extra AC), and the ability to negate one attack on himself per round, combined with crazy good saves.

Good defenses, but I’m guessing his damage isn’t super high, so he isn’t a problem per se. High AC characters can still get affected by many things, like grappling or any combat maneuvers (Monks have BAB CMB, but not CMD).

Salvator wrote:
We have a rogue, who has an unbeatable stealth check(+38 I think it is?), and generally does about 150-ish damage when he gets the jump on his foe. Which is every single fight.

Rogues are ridiculously easy to shut down. Anything with Scent or Blindsense will know they’re there. 2 levels of Barbarian and the creature has Uncanny Dodge, so sneak won’t work if not flanking.

The best shut down is when the opponent has concealment, such as Deeper Darkness or a simple Blur spell.

You might not know, but the official way that Stealth works, it really sucks. If there’s any line of sight to your rogue (without darkness), it’s broken, doesn’t work and he’s detected.

Also, why is everything a straight up fight? Can’t the enemy setup an ambush, use illusions, be tricky?

Salvator wrote:
The other two players spend all their time buffing, healing, and condition removal, but are otherwise harmless and easy targets. One's a healing/crappy spell/reduntant and sub-par rapier Godling, the other is a healing/crappy archetype bard who is about as deadly as a commoner offensively.

Smart enemies will take them out of the fight (Ex. A wall spell), damage the crap out of them (to force allies into non-optimal tactics), or separate them from the others. You can’t target enemies (or allies) that are in darkness that you can’t see.

You could try some Pathfinder Society scenarios, like “Rats of Round Mountain 1” or “King of Storval Stairs”. If you can’t challenge them with that, you’re doing something wrong.

I find a lot of the challenge comes from how well the GM can manage the material given. The same module or scenario can be easy or insanely hard depending the GM only. And I don’t mean cheating, I mean knowing how to use sandbox type monsters to the best of their ability.

You might want to try some of the older Adventure Paths like Shackled City, Age of Wurms. I understand they were difficult.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Whenever I've had a super powerful party, I used to try to make 1 big bad meanie for them to fight.

That was a trap.

Instead, I've learned that several lower CR mooks coordinating their tactics works a lot better, and is a lot more fun.

Some rogue 3/wizard 3/arcane trickster 2s using blink and wands of acid arrow and flame blade could be be fun. Just max UMD. Good mix of defense and offense, some utility, not a lot of hit points to track, and at CR 7, you can mob a party of five 12th level PCs with 6 or 7 of them. Just keep them spread out, and use the action economy to your benefit. Magic missile super AC and super saves guy. I'm thinking Transmutation school specialists.

II, WFin, Toughness, Skill Focus Use Magic Device or Dodge. Give them each a W of CLW, and they can use hit and run tactics to keep it an extended fight if you want, or it can be quick and brutal if you want to go that way.


SmiloDan, that depends on the nature of the super powerful party. Unfortunately, the group I am GMing mostly have ACs in the neighborhood of 35 at level 12. They are virtually untouchable except by the big bads. Even a couple of APL-2 guys usually need 18s or better.

The problem is the spell Barkskin. For 5000gp (Pearl of Power 2, 1/3 of a Lesser Rod of Extend Spell) each person is getting 4hours of +5Natural Armor per casting. for 15,000gp each they are getting 12hours (pretty much a whole adventuring day) out of it. In short, a 35,000gp savings which they can then spend on other things. All from a cleric memorizing Barkskin as her domain spell. And yes, I have heard of 'well hit them while they sleep!'. It doesnt work when they hole up in a Rope Trick for the other 12hours. I do occassionally find ways to nail them but those are few and far inbetween.

- Gauss


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Mirror of Opposition


Guys this has been a lot of fun, but we have reached the point where I can no longer challenge you. I will make some epic last battle for you guys, and we end this campaign. Then lets start a new one. This time, since you guys make such uber characters, lets go with a 15 pt build.

If all else fails that is where I would go


Jason S wrote:
Trait bonuses don’t stack, so he can only use 1.

One of them is for reducing metamagic costs, not improving CL.

As for that last +2, it's kinda moot (with CL 16 he already maxes out at 15d6+30 x1.5), but he gets it from the Godling, who sunk pretty much all of his specialization into this power that grants +2 morale to CL to anyone with a fire-type bloodline/mystery/domain within 60 ft.


half-red or half-good dragon templates, red dragon "boss", takes care of the primary AoE 'softener' in the group.

Make it nasty, have a half-white dragon template on the red.

*grins*


A Brass Golem CR14 would be another good option to by-pass the magic.

Other CR14 offerings include...

Demilich - what's not to like about playing a Demilich!

Div, Sepid - After 45d6 damage over 3 rounds to soften the PC's this guy has a nice array of Sp to make things interesting.

Worm that Walks - Great for messing with those low Will saves.


Salvator wrote:

Yeah.. The players are new, so, while they are each very, very good at their niches, they have very obvious weaknesses. What I want is something that can challenge their specialties without making them useless, as the other two players would be helpless to assist.

For example, if I wanted to kill the party without them being able to do anything about it, it would be very easy to do, with just a Succubus. The rogue has a will save of +3, for example.

The problem is that I'm having difficulty finding anything that can survive the party without completely negating its powers.

Don't be afraid to kill the party members. Resurrection spells are plentiful at their level and it would hammer home the point that you can't just ignore defenses.

Edit: also, I tend to double the hit points of most enemies. I find the in game monsters are simply too fragile, particularly boss mobs.


Salvator wrote:
Any advice on how the Dragon should handle CL 16ish Icy Prison? The sorcerer noticed the trend toward fire resistance and picked this up on his last level up.

Icy prison gets melted by the dragons fire aura or shatters when the dragon falls to the ground.


Give the dragon some minions to whittle away spells and other items that the party might be using.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Gauss wrote:

SmiloDan, that depends on the nature of the super powerful party. Unfortunately, the group I am GMing mostly have ACs in the neighborhood of 35 at level 12. They are virtually untouchable except by the big bads. Even a couple of APL-2 guys usually need 18s or better.

The problem is the spell Barkskin. For 5000gp (Pearl of Power 2, 1/3 of a Lesser Rod of Extend Spell) each person is getting 4hours of +5Natural Armor per casting. for 15,000gp each they are getting 12hours (pretty much a whole adventuring day) out of it. In short, a 35,000gp savings which they can then spend on other things. All from a cleric memorizing Barkskin as her domain spell. And yes, I have heard of 'well hit them while they sleep!'. It doesnt work when they hole up in a Rope Trick for the other 12hours. I do occassionally find ways to nail them but those are few and far inbetween.

- Gauss

Flame blade is a touch spell.

Also, if the PCs are untouchable, don't try to touch them! Use opponents with breath weapons, spells, magic missile wands, gaze attacks, hexes, telekinesis, create pit, combat maneuver specialists, lots of dispel magic, truestrike enhanced traps, magi using that magus arcana that resolves attacks as melee touch attacks (OK, so that would be an attempt to touch them...), swarms, psionics, incorporeality, etc. etc.

EDIT:

A corollary of this is, if the PCs can hit AC 40 with ease, don't try to make opponents with AC 41 or 42 or 50. Just throw AC 20 mooks with lots of hit points or other defenses (fire shield, retribution hex, concealment, blinking, tons of exotic DR, fast healing + hit and run tactics, splitting, weapon damage immunity (swarms), incorporeality, etc. etc.)

Basically, acid breathing incorporeal swarms of death!!!!!


So, you basically have 1 super-specialized AOE characters, and one super-specialized single-target damage dealer, and one tank. Everybody else seems alright.

Instead of providing you with specific solutions, which will work for like 1 encounter, I'd like to provide you with a general plan, which will work for almost any set of monsters.

Get some enemies (7 or more).

Spread them out. Don't let a fireball hit more than 2 of them.

Have 2+ of them go fight the Aldori Swordlord guy, so he can feel like a badass and not take damage.

Have the rest go fight everybody else. STAY SPREAD OUT.

For bonus points:
Have some of these guys have evasion (That fireball still has a bad save, by virtue of it being a level 3 spell, and 0% of a lot of damage is still 0).
Have some ranged enemies who aren't grouped up.

----------------
Here's how these combats will go:

Your sorceror will annihilate a few guys at first.
Your rogue will probably obliterate 1 guy.

You will have 5ish guys left. Your rogue and sorceror proceed to get bullied. Because these 5ish guys aren't super high level or anything, they're not going to kill the party, but they're going to do more damage than people are comfortable with. Mix in some grapplers, barbarians, something that's generally unpleasant at close range. Make your ranged attackers useful with some AOE damage, etc.

Basically, having a bunch of dudes mitigates the rogue, and SPREADING OUT mitigates the sorceror, leaving you with a reasonably balanced fight.

-Cross


give those barbarians vicious weapons to really give them a scare.


I'm glad to see that Fireball is still the greatest spell ever! It sounds like the campaign is based on the machinations of Devils though. It strikes me that Devils are immune to fire...

In fact, some of them are immune to cold too. This should put a serious damper on the Sorcerer's damage output. The fiendish template can be nice for reducing elemental damage on non-devils. Devils in general are quite smart and very organized, so it wouldn't be unreasonable for them to have a Barbed Devil grapple the Sorcerer. Grapple makes Sorcerers go away.

Regarding Icy Prison, it can be a rather annoying spell for DMs. One viable counter I've found to it is to have low level melee mooks simply attack the ice to free their master. Low level barbarians with bardiches can do a lot of damage to both PCs and Icy Prisons.

If the Aldori Swordlord is Good aligned maybe you can confront his AC directly using a Succubus Anti-Paladin with Weapon Finesse. With Charisma in the mid-30s adding to her attack bonus on smite attacks she shouldn't have any trouble hitting AC40.

Andoran

Chaos beasts, perhaps? I also enjoy swarms of weird things like dismembered hands.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

I second everything SmiloDan said. Multiple bad-guys is the way forward.
I freaked out my 13th level, 6-membered uber-party with CR 7 and 8 Bullywugs.

A pair of Clerics spamming Book of Vile Darkness spells and Dispel Magic, three (mighty comp) longbow-specialized fighter-rogues, and two spiked-chain-specialized fighter-rogues.

The party first destroyed a passing CR16 gulguthydra without breaking a sweat, and the flames were spotted. Potions were doled out. The group of invisible, hasted, flying, blurred, Bullywugs struck from the air and from all sides! All focused fire on the wizard, every single round. One cleric readied dispels to mess up his casting of defensive spells.

The party were great at offense, less so at defense AND healing AND counter-attacking. The hasted spiked-chain dudes readied partial charges to intercept the party's fighters, tripping and disarming them from a safe distance, with flanking and sneak attacks for good measure.

The archers did 4 shots per round of flaming burst arrows, at +19/+19/+19/+14 for 1d8+9 (mighty composite)+1d6 fire. They also had 2d6 sneak attack occasionally, plus evasion from the rogue levels.

It was touch and go at one point, though I did roll very well :-)

I still have the statblocks somewhere - but definitely - multiple enemies and interesting tactics is the way to go. My troglodyte earth-gliding, green slime-wielding ninja-clerics were great fun too :-D

Shadow Lodge

Want an easy way to make a balanced encounter? Just make an NPC party of your own, each character having the same level and class as his opposite, though different specifics. Good fun, good roleplaying, and almost guaranteed to be balanced!

If you really want to utilize that idea for some good plot, then you could make an entire party of rivals with backstory's tied to their opposite!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Is your uber-fire wielder still casting 3rd level fireballs? If so, try using druids that use Improved Counterspell and flamestrikes to cancel out the fireballs. (I did this as a druid against rakshasa once--very effective).

A whole party of NPCs can be a bit difficult to run--you're essentially playing 5 or 6 different full-fledged PCs. 1 or 2 (or 3 at most!) different builds are a lot easier to run than 5 or 6!!!

The same goes for monsters. A mix of 2 or 3 monster types is a lot easier than 4 or 5. I also like to customize monsters, from using different equipment, feats, skills, and spell selection, up to and including designing brand new monsters.

I also like to use custom magic items. For example, I ran a fun encounter of rogue/swashbuckler kenkus in 3.5, wearing cloaks of flicker (Tome of Magic shadowcaster mystery that lets you teleport short distances as an immediate action). Swashbucklers AND kenkus (proto-tengu) had abilities that boosted flanking attack rolls by +2, so they got +6 to attacks when flanking, and could reposition themselves each round as an immediate action, allowing them to full attack (and sneak attack!) each round. They also had that Daring Outlaw feat, so swashbuckler levels stacked with rogue for the purposes of determining sneak attack dice. I think they were rogue 3/swashbuckler 9, so they had a BAB of +11 and 6 attacks a round. To balance all this out, I dumped their Con scores, so only one or two hits would drop them, but they had great mobility and evasion and other defenses, so it was fun. Also, the PCs expected them to be tough, so they thought something was up when the bad guys dropped pretty easy.


Dunno why people keep saying it's about devils when I keep saying the party's goal is to prevent a ritual from freeing Rovagug. The devils are completely ok with somebody achieving that. They negotiated a truce. (The party is becoming more evil. A previously CN character took a dive into CE after burning down an entire district, starting with a nunnery to find a shielded box. And he locked the doors first.)

They get along pretty well with the devils, in all honesty.

~~

Anyway, turned out the party spent the entire session on two encounters I had left over from previous sessions, didn't even get to any of the stuff I prepared with you guy's help.

A Wave Striking, Combat Patroling, Samurai/Ranger with some mook guards gave the Aldori Swordlord, Bard, and Godling a good time with near death, epic victories, and a timely crit to win the day. As the rogue and sorc weren't there, their abilities that would have made the battle into a 1 round affair was not an issue.

The next fight the party didn't really stand much of a chance. Level 15 sorcerer had half the party down before they got a turn (dominate rogue while scouting, order to sneak attack sorcerer, then dominate healer from invis). But, the sorcerer was only interested in killing their NPC patron and then replacing that person as their patron, so no deaths.

Qadira

C'mon guys. He's given several clues... +3 will save on the rogue.

So, here's how a super intelligent dragon would do it.

Setup a company of mooks.. the party fights them - the dragon merely observes, invisibly.

Sees the vanishing rogue, sees the sorceror.

Next encounter - perhaps while they sleep. Charm the rogue.

3x5 card to rogue - stay next to the sorceror without drawing suspicion.

Next encounter at the start of the encounter - the fight starts with the rogue given instructions to backstab the sorceror - max effectiveness. Or coup de gras him if they are sleeping.

now that sounds like fun!


Salvator wrote:

The party is level 11/12.

Here are the problems.

We have a Sorcerer, who while still doing all the good caster battle-field control, also throws out +2 damage per die CL 18 empowered intensified fireballs.

We have an Aldori Swordlord/Monk, who has an AC in the mid 30s (when he's not doing his fight defensively at no penalty for extra AC), and the ability to negate one attack on himself per round, combined with crazy good saves.

We have a rogue, who has an unbeatable stealth check(+38 I think it is?), and generally does about 150-ish damage when he gets the jump on his foe. Which is every single fight.

The other two players spend all their time buffing, healing, and condition removal, but are otherwise harmless and easy targets. One's a healing/crappy spell/reduntant and sub-par rapier Godling, the other is a healing/crappy archetype bard who is about as deadly as a commoner offensively.

So, I'm trying to prep an adventure by tomorrow, and I'm running into difficulties finding level appropriate challenges in a hurry, that can survive a single round against our characters, without completely negating their attacks.

Any suggestions? Wouldn't mind shelling out some cash if there's a highly recommended module you think might work.

Well, Below I have listed a link to a rather brutal encounter I created. At level 11/12 it could be ok.

Feel free to grab it and change it up as required.

Encounter


somebody mentioned the spell level (3rd) of fireball: sounds like a (lesser?) globe of invulnerability is waiting to happen.

high ACs are usually higher than touch AC: alchemist mad bomber to the rescue!!! (with rider effects to hamper those who are missed directly/who survive the damage)

try Acidic Spray from Ultimate Magic:
60 foot line of acid d6/level (up to 15d6 normally), but 'continues to burn for 1 round' dealing d6/2levels (both have saves, first halves, second negates) but if the 2nd isn't passed that counts as CONTIUOUS DAMAGE, and a decent amount of it, which makes CASTING rather difficult... this spell being a line effect is rather targetted as well, so you don't need to be hitting the weaker party members...


grave knight with heavy fortification armor fire immunity/ cols imunnity and 75% chance to negate a SA/crit, what's not to like?


Run, Just Run wrote:
grave knight with heavy fortification armor fire immunity/ cols imunnity and 75% chance to negate a SA/crit, what's not to like?

should be cold not cols.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you get the chance google "Tucker's Kobolds" for some ideas on whipping your parties keister.

I ran an encounter where about 12 goblins with a total of sixteen NPC levels walked all over my players with cleaver use of terrain and abilities. Seven players all about level six with couple level sevens.

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