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Help My Sorcerer Player


Advice

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I'm quite tired and just spent like 30mins reading most of this long discussion so forgive me if I'm off on anything or repeat others.

I think you've come at this from the wrong angle, casters are strong either in blasting, utility or summoning. Rebalancing every spell is too much work for most people I recognise you've enjoyed rebalancing within never winter(love it myself) but your players may not see your logic and the micro management of house rules makes a complex game(yes like this 3rd edition of 3rd edition is simple this game has a lot of baggage)

I'd change tactics for example fireball is rubbish if the bad guys are spread or in amidst the party. Disintegration is rubbish if they can't​ tell who the boss is or if you just drop fog over the battlefield and reduce sight, then they burn spells clearing those with dispels or some other clever thinking.

Just feels like you focus on the fireballs and not on the rock paper wombat logic of the game if they 'cheese' some spell don't just give it to an NPC bad guy to punish them just make it worthless for an encounter ambushes or just multiple battle fronts in battle set can go a long way. Push them for a longer adventuring day, spells are finite fireball three rooms and go to bed, make it more imperative they manage there spells.

In regards to what damage you want this sorcerer to do it's never mattered as a GM I just balance a fight against my party not my party against my fight. You as a GM just need to manage your side of the table more than theirs.

Pathfinders main appeal to me is all the books, the classes, the archetypes and prestiges, you can make a million different characters and to restrict that just misses(for me at least) the real draw of the game system. Let them build what they want just be inventive and you can keep them on their toes and hopefully have fun too, it's not a competition you should one some level always want them to win and see the end of your story and now and then let them feel like badasses who can clear hordes with single spells coz you know he's a wizard not a greengrocer.

There are tighter more balanced and logical game systems than pathfinder/3.5 but as you can see with all the arguments about point buys and house rules above there are so many ways to alter this game it's probably more sensible and easier to fudge it behind a GM screen than rewrite the rulebook.

P.s sorry for the wall of text but I'm late for bed nn.


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Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:


OP, seriously, I've never had a single blaster either in my game nor that I have actually played even come close to one shotting anything. The characters that have put out enough damage to nearly kill a creature has always been martials.

To be honest, my BlockBuster Wizard once almost one-shotted a boss.

spoiler to RotRL:
it was when fire dragon/giants attacked sandpoint.
I made my Knowledge check so I knew that dragon was vulnerable to cold.
It was cold-admixtured intensified empowered specialised fireball.
He failed the save and I was awarded with "F@#$ You!" praise from my DM when I rolled the damage.
Dragon survived that blast and tried to escape, but died round or two later due to lingering Icy Prison damage.

But, honestly, the most deadly tools of that wizard were Icy Prison and Mydriatic Spontaneity.


Fedorchik1536 wrote:
Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:


OP, seriously, I've never had a single blaster either in my game nor that I have actually played even come close to one shotting anything. The characters that have put out enough damage to nearly kill a creature has always been martials.

To be honest, my BlockBuster Wizard once almost one-shotted a boss.

** spoiler omitted **
But, honestly, the most deadly tools of that wizard were Icy Prison and Mydriatic Spontaneity.

I had a paladin crit the evil Aasimar at the end of the first book of rise of the runelords... smite Evil outsider and x4 crit weapon, one shot her. So martial can do it too, one shots happen just be clever and fudge it so it won't happen to often.


That cleric TPK'd our party....

Except for my catfolk rogue, who escaped over the palisade and dived into the waters below. Climb speed, baby!


I now haunt all future and current parties with the threat of my presence.

It's not my fault I avoid punishment! I'm just that slippery after all. >:3c

Oh, and doors? Doors are really hard for dogs. And aasimar.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Balkoth wrote:
I saw a level 6 Sorcerer toss out Fireballs for 10d6+20 damage (that's 55 average). That one-shots the average CR5 mob. He wiped out 3-4 encounters per day (or took out like 75% of the enemies in one spell, at least). Felt like there wasn't much point for the rest of us to be there.

Do you have a build for this sorcerer? I'm guessing Orc or Draconic bloodline plus cross-blooded or blood havoc, spell mastery and varisan tattoo, but that only gets CL up to +3 with fireball. Is there a trait that ups the CL of a specific spell by +1?

I'm asking because I'm a bastard and the idea of throwing a bunch of 'puny' level 6 sorcerers who way out-punch their rank at my cocky group of 6 level 13 PCs in the game I'm running makes me giggle a bit.


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Xexyz wrote:
I'm guessing Orc or Draconic bloodline plus cross-blooded or blood havoc, spell mastery and varisan tattoo, but that only gets CL up to +3 with fireball.

Spell Specialization, not Spell Mastery. Cross-blooded in this case, though Blood Havoc would also work (and you could have both at level 7 I believe).

Xexyz wrote:
Is there a trait that ups the CL of a specific spell by +1?

Yep.

Xexyz wrote:
I'm asking because I'm a bastard and the idea of throwing a bunch of 'puny' level 6 sorcerers who way out-punch their rank at my cocky group of 6 level 13 PCs in the game I'm running makes me giggle a bit.

Here's another amusing idea:

A level 3 Wizard with NPC wealth is CR2.

16 CR2s is only CR10 overall.

If all of them get off a Magic Missile that's 112 damage per round. No save, force damage. And your PCs are level 13, so you could increase those 16 wizards to 48 and it'd still only be a CR13 encounter. Even if the PCs kill half of that wizard mob the first round before any of them act...that's still 168 damage incoming from the remaining 24. More if you have any kind of damage bonus (Admixture Wizard would add 1 per spell, Orc Bloodline Sorcerer would be similar and add 2 per spell, etc).

...and that's not even counting Spell Specialization (bumps from 2 missiles to 3). Or add in Mage's Tattoo/Gifted Adept to make that four missiles per cast (or 14 average damage WITHOUT any damage bonuses) as a level 3 Wizard/Sorcerer.

Would I ever run this encounter? No. But if you want to be legally evil there's some food for thought.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Balkoth wrote:


Spell Specialization, not Spell Mastery. Cross-blooded in this case, though Blood Havoc would also work (and you could have both at level 7 I believe).

Yeah, that's what I meant, spell specialization. And yes, you could go cross-blooded plus blood havoc for extra cheese but from a PC perspective you're one-trick ponying yourself even more. Cross-blooded just sucks so bad.

Balkoth wrote:
Yep.

Thought there was a trait like that, thanks.

Balkoth wrote:
Would I ever run this encounter? No. But if you want to be legally evil there's some food for thought.

I think though, it kind of illustrates why I don't really have a problem with a PC like that level 6 sorcerer you described. That character has put all his eggs in one basket and mostly capped out at level 6. His gimmick doesn't even come online until level 6, so until then he's not out of line. Then at level 6 he's already topped out the damage of a base fireball, so to get more damage he levels up he's always going to have to use metamagic feats. So then he's taking full-round actions in order to use his gimmick - hope he doesn't have to ever move! Fire is the most commonly resisted element, so he's going to have to find a way around that hurdle; likely a rod of lesser elemental spell, but that has its own limitations. He could always just take the feat, but that costs a valuable feat and an extra spell level.

Then there's spell resistance, which is also something he's going to have to deal with. He'll probably be able to spare a slot for spell penetration, unless he was planning on boosting the DC of his fireball, in which case pretty much all his feats have been spoken for.

Then there are tactical considerations. How many fireballs is he going to be able to cast per fight? Once the melee PCs engage the enemies is he going to fireball his own teammates? Also, fireball is a lot less appealing option when the enemies are spread out to begin with.

These are just my thoughts. I've just never felt that optimized blasting was such a big problem in my game (I also have the same house rule as you where PCs and NPCs/monsters have max hit points per hit die, except for summoned creatures); I've always worried more about casters who specialize in SoS spells who completely neutralize an opponent with a single spell.


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Christopher Dudley wrote:
Balkoth wrote:
Magic Missile doesn't have an electricity descriptor, it won't benefit from the bloodline.
But if you change it to electricity damage with the elemental spell feat, doesn't it gain the electricity descriptor?

No, which is the mistake I made earlier in this thread, too -- and then caught. And houseruling that Elemental Spell changes the descriptor as well as the damage opens up Rimed Elemental (cold) Fireballs, which would be terribly nasty. See my post here for quotes.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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Balkoth wrote:

@Christopher Dudley

Nope. Just the damage type.

OK, in that case, that feat doesn't benefit the draconic bloodline for any spell, correct?

I would think that changing a fireball to a lightningball would give +1 damage per die to the blue-draconic sorcerer, but it doesn't, by this reading. Because:

elemental spell wrote:


Benefit: Choose one energy type: acid, cold, electricity, or fire. You may replace a spell’s normal damage with that energy type or split the spell’s damage, so that half is of that energy type and half is of its normal type.
Draconic bloodline wrote:


Bloodline Arcana: Whenever you cast a spell with an energy descriptor that matches your draconic bloodline’s energy type, that spell deals +1 point of damage per die rolled.

Fireball has the fire descriptor even if you change it to a lightning ball. So the spell does normal damage. So Elemental Spell is useless for Draconic Sorcerers.

In which case, the feat is ONLY useful to target an elemental vulnerability of a monster, which might be useful once or twice in your adventuring career, unless you're in a campaign that specifically focuses on monsters with that vulnerability. This makes no sense.


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Skimmed most of the walls of text but the impression I'm getting is

Sorcerer does X damage 4 times a day = bad
Martial does X/2 damage all day long = okay
Because of Neverwinter Nights computer game...

Advice.
Leave major rules rewrites adjusting the game to how you perceive balance and use books as written.

I played a campaign with a wizard and the GM pulled the same tricks, upping numbers, adding templates, doing stuff to make a CR9 encounter against a group of 4x 9th levels grind and grind to the point of tedium. It is the only game I have walked away from because the GM thought that a CR9 encounter should somehow be a hard fight for a group of 4x 9th levels when it should be nothing more than a speed bump.

A CR13 encounter should be tough but shouldn't result in a PC death unless of bad luck/poor tactics.

GMs come unstuck when they allow 15 minute work days so groups of PCs blast through reusable resources and then rest/recharge. They become unstuck when the PCs have all the time in the world to buff.

I do see the OPs view (kind of) but the ways to counter it isn't a pile of houserules but a little tactical thinking from the GM and not allowing 15 minute work days.

EDIT: Sorry if this sounds snarky, I don't mean any offence. Its tricky getting ideas/thoughts down in flat text in a few short sentences.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Christopher Dudley wrote:


Fireball has the fire descriptor even if you change it to a lightning ball. So the spell does normal damage. So Elemental Spell is useless for Draconic Sorcerers.

In which case, the feat is ONLY useful to target an elemental vulnerability of a monster, which might be useful once or twice in your adventuring career, unless you're in a campaign that specifically focuses on monsters with that vulnerability. This makes no sense.

I think exactly the opposite, for exactly the reason you state.

Changing the damage type but not the spell descriptor allows your draconic bloodline sorcerer to get around elemental resistance & immunities while still getting the bonus damage from their bloodline arcana.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

bitter lily wrote:


No, which is the mistake I made earlier in this thread, too -- and then caught. And houseruling that Elemental Spell changes the descriptor as well as the damage opens up Rimed Elemental (cold) Fireballs, which would be terribly nasty. See my post here for quotes.

Interesting. I see the problem, but I don't really think it's a huge problem. You're talking about using a 5th level spell slot to entangle someone for 3 rounds. If you have a 5th level spell slot, you could do this effectively with a first level spell and save your 5th level slots for good 5th level cold spells.

That made me look for other cold spells. Here's another weird wrinkle with the elemental descriptor.

Ice Storm wrote:


School evocation [cold]; Level bloodrager 4, druid 4, magus 4, shaman 4, sorcerer/wizard 4, witch 4; Domain water 5, weather 5; Elemental School water 4
CASTING

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M/DF (dust and water)
EFFECT

Range long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Area cylinder (20-ft. radius, 40 ft. high)
Duration 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes
DESCRIPTION

Great magical hailstones pound down upon casting this spell, dealing 3d6 points of bludgeoning damage and 2d6 points of cold damage to every creature in the area. This damage only occurs once, when the spell is cast. For the remaining duration of the spell, heavy snow and sleet rains down in the area. Creatures inside this area take a -4 penalty on Perception skill checks and the entire area is treated as difficult terrain. At the end of the duration, the snow and hail disappear, leaving no after-effects (other than the damage dealt).

The spell has the cold descriptor and does a total of 5d6 damage per round. So by RAW, the bloodline gives you +5 damage on that roll. But only 2d6 is cold. So shouldn't it be +2 instead?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Xexyz wrote:
Christopher Dudley wrote:


Fireball has the fire descriptor even if you change it to a lightning ball. So the spell does normal damage. So Elemental Spell is useless for Draconic Sorcerers.

In which case, the feat is ONLY useful to target an elemental vulnerability of a monster, which might be useful once or twice in your adventuring career, unless you're in a campaign that specifically focuses on monsters with that vulnerability. This makes no sense.

I think exactly the opposite, for exactly the reason you state.

Changing the damage type but not the spell descriptor allows your draconic bloodline sorcerer to get around elemental resistance & immunities while still getting the bonus damage from their bloodline arcana.

So you're saying the blue dragon sorcerer should learn lightningbolt and elemental spell to make fire-damage lightning bolts and get +1 per damage die for it? Also interesting, and I see what you're saying, but again, I feel it's more limited in application than I feel a metamagic feat should be.

Edit: apologies for the threadjack.


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Xexyz wrote:
Christopher Dudley wrote:


Fireball has the fire descriptor even if you change it to a lightning ball. So the spell does normal damage. So Elemental Spell is useless for Draconic Sorcerers.

In which case, the feat is ONLY useful to target an elemental vulnerability of a monster, which might be useful once or twice in your adventuring career, unless you're in a campaign that specifically focuses on monsters with that vulnerability. This makes no sense.

I think exactly the opposite, for exactly the reason you state.

Changing the damage type but not the spell descriptor allows your draconic bloodline sorcerer to get around elemental resistance & immunities while still getting the bonus damage from their bloodline arcana.

using the elemental spell metamagic the descriptor doesn't change but if they were doing it say with admixture school it would which is why my soc with black dragon bloodline uses admixture school to change fireball to acid damage instead of elemental spell


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Spacelard wrote:

It is the only game I have walked away from because the GM thought that a CR9 encounter should somehow be a hard fight for a group of 4x 9th levels when it should be nothing more than a speed bump.

A CR13 encounter should be tough but shouldn't result in a PC death unless of bad luck/poor tactics.

CR = APL maybe shouldn't be a hard or a long fight, but it certainly shouldn't just be seen as a speed bump either. I don't have the book to hand, but I seem to recall that these should soak up ~25% of the group's resources - hardly the definition of a speed bump.

And an APL+4 fight should certainly have a reasonable risk of PC death - which increases if people don't bother to use tactics.


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More later, but wanted to touch on one thing quickly...

dysartes wrote:
And an APL+4 fight should certainly have a reasonable risk of PC death - which increases if people don't bother to use tactics.

Yeah, an APL+4 fight is the same CR as a mirror match. Clone the PCs and make them fight the clones. That's APL+4. Comes down to tactics, preparation, and luck. So if both sides have equally good tactics and each side has the same amount of preparation, it should literally be a 50% chance of either side winning.


Balkoth wrote:

More later, but wanted to touch on one thing quickly...

dysartes wrote:
And an APL+4 fight should certainly have a reasonable risk of PC death - which increases if people don't bother to use tactics.
Yeah, an APL+4 fight is the same CR as a mirror match. Clone the PCs and make them fight the clones. That's APL+4. Comes down to tactics, preparation, and luck. So if both sides have equally good tactics and each side has the same amount of preparation, it should literally be a 50% chance of either side winning.

Nope. If you totally clone your player characters than it would be at least APL+5 encounter, because PC Wealth is CR+1 modifier, and PC-level abillity array is also at least CR+1 modifier.


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

I agree, that the CR should go up by +1 each, but to say it should go up by at LEAST +1 I think is a bit of a stretch.

Higher ability scores are great, but you're talking about what? A +1 or +2 modifier difference most likely? That's not worth a +2 CR under any circumstances.


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Fedorchik1536 wrote:
Nope. If you totally clone your player characters than it would be at least APL+5 encounter, because PC Wealth is CR+1 modifier, and PC-level abillity array is also at least CR+1 modifier.

The interesting thing is that your reasoning here is completely correct -- but you have a flawed premise that results in an incorrect conclusion. Per the Gamemastering Rules...

Let's start with a level 10 Warrior. He has NPC class levels with NPC ability scores along with NPC wealth. He's CR 8:

"A creature that only possesses non-player class levels (such as a warrior or adept) is factored in as a creature with a CR equal to its class levels –2."

But let's say we give him PC classes and ability scores -- he's now a level 10 Fighter and CR 9:

"A creature that possesses class levels, but does not have any racial Hit Dice, is factored in as a creature with a CR equal to its class levels –1"

And then we could give the level 10 Fighter PC wealth and make him CR 10:

"A classed NPC encountered with no gear should have his CR reduced by 1 (provided that loss of gear actually hampers the NPC), while a classed NPC that instead has gear equivalent to that of a PC (as listed on Table: Character Wealth by Level) has a CR of 1 higher than his actual CR."

PC Wealth and PC levels/ability scores DO increase CR by one each...but without those you start at level -2. Meaning a level 10 PC is actually CR 10. And four level 10 PCs are a CR 14 encounter -- or APL+4.

But hey, don't take my word for it. Read more here.

Lord Monty wrote:
now and then let them feel like badasses who can clear hordes with single spells coz you know he's a wizard not a greengrocer.

The question is "how powerful are creatures if the PCs are facing a horde of them?"

Xexyz wrote:
I think though, it kind of illustrates why I don't really have a problem with a PC like that level 6 sorcerer you described. That character has put all his eggs in one basket and mostly capped out at level 6. His gimmick doesn't even come online until level 6, so until then he's not out of line. Then at level 6 he's already topped out the damage of a base fireball, so to get more damage he levels up he's always going to have to use metamagic feats.....I've always worried more about casters who specialize in SoS spells who completely neutralize an opponent with a single spell.

Unless/until I start running a campaign that simply ends if there's a TPK said PC might die and get replaced by an PC optimized for a higher level. Or that might happen if that PC only dies in such a way he cannot be (true) resurrected. You also have the issue of someone leaving for whatever reason and recruiting a replacement who comes in at the current party level. Or even the original PC simply getting tired of the character and wanting to play something new. That's why I don't really buy the "But he's optimized for that level and then gets weaker!" argument.

He also can still cast things like Glitterdust, Grease, Color Spray, etc just fine.

Also, he can fling around Intensified Fireballs at level 6 or above and at level 8 he can start flinging around Empowered Fireballs. At level 10 he gets Intensified Empowered Fireballs.

Finally, I think it's fair for me to worry about both casters one-shotting (or close to one-shotting difficult encounters) AND encounters neutralizing opponents with a single spell. It's not either/or.

Spacelard wrote:

Sorcerer does X damage 4 times a day = bad

Martial does X/2 damage all day long = okay

GMs come unstuck when they allow 15 minute work days so groups of PCs blast through reusable resources and then rest/recharge. They become unstuck when the PCs have all the time in the world to buff.

The sorcerer doesn't do X damage 4 times a day. He does X damage times Y mobs...and it becomes a lot more than 4 times a day pretty quickly. That's the concern.

Also, I don't allow 15 minute workdays. Nor do I allow all the time in the world to buff for many encounters (but I do allow it when it makes sense).


For somewhere around the 10th time he is casting lightning bolt, his AoE potential is s%*& and if changes his element to match the fact he is fighting demons he should change to force, not fire.

Stop predicating your argument of how big and scary fireball is he is not using that spell. (its not scary by the way, the same character could optimize spells that ignore hit points all together.)

EDIT: In fact letting the player do a battering blast build would probably answer most of your objections.

obviously other than your irrational dislike of newer books.


Christopher Dudley wrote:
Xexyz wrote:
Christopher Dudley wrote:


Fireball has the fire descriptor even if you change it to a lightning ball. So the spell does normal damage. So Elemental Spell is useless for Draconic Sorcerers.

In which case, the feat is ONLY useful to target an elemental vulnerability of a monster, which might be useful once or twice in your adventuring career, unless you're in a campaign that specifically focuses on monsters with that vulnerability. This makes no sense.

I think exactly the opposite, for exactly the reason you state.

Changing the damage type but not the spell descriptor allows your draconic bloodline sorcerer to get around elemental resistance & immunities while still getting the bonus damage from their bloodline arcana.

So you're saying the blue dragon sorcerer should learn lightningbolt and elemental spell to make fire-damage lightning bolts and get +1 per damage die for it? Also interesting, and I see what you're saying, but again, I feel it's more limited in application than I feel a metamagic feat should be.

Edit: apologies for the threadjack.

Continuing gaily with the threadjack, Elemental Spell is an incredibly valuable metamagic feat given that it only requires a +1 level increase. Well worth taking, if not as a feat, then at least in rod form!

And red draconic sorcerers can benefit from Elemental Spells all they want. They get Fireball as their base damage spell, with its highly applicable shape (especially once you get Selective Spell). This player's problem is the shape of Lightning Bolt.

{EtA to explain again: I say this because, to stay on par with a martial, the sorcerer has to be able to get 3 foes per blast. Very occasionally, three or more will line up and beg for a lightning bolt, but far more often, they won't. It's practically impossible in most circs for a group of three or more to stay out of a 20-ft-radius of each other. Assuming the GM is kind enough to make sure he doesn't run single-villain encounters all the time.}


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

For somewhere around the 10th time he is casting lightning bolt, his AoE potential is s+*! and if changes his element to match the fact he is fighting demons he should change to force, not fire.

Stop predicating your argument of how big and scary fireball is he is not using that spell. (its not scary by the way, the same character could optimize spells that ignore hit points all together.)

EDIT: In fact letting the player do a battering blast build would probably answer most of your objections.

obviously other than your irrational dislike of newer books.

like color spray that can effect over 20 hit die and has a 20+ dc which some casters can do :)


Balkoth wrote:


The interesting thing is that your reasoning here is completely correct -- but you have a flawed premise that results in an incorrect conclusion. Per the Gamemastering Rules...

Let's start with a level 10 Warrior. He has NPC class levels with NPC ability scores along with NPC wealth. He's CR 8:

"A creature that only possesses non-player class levels (such as a warrior or adept) is factored in as a creature with a CR equal to its class levels –2."

But let's say we give him PC classes and ability scores -- he's now a level 10 Fighter and CR 9:

"A creature that possesses class levels, but does not have any racial Hit Dice, is factored in as a creature with a CR equal to its class levels –1"

And then we could give the level 10 Fighter PC wealth and make him CR 10:

"A classed NPC encountered with no gear should have his CR reduced by 1 (provided that loss of gear actually hampers the NPC), while a classed NPC that instead has gear equivalent to that of a PC (as listed on Table: Character Wealth by Level) has a CR of 1 higher than his actual CR."

PC Wealth and PC levels/ability scores DO increase CR by one each...but without those you start at level -2. Meaning a level 10 PC is actually CR 10. And four level 10 PCs are a CR 14 encounter -- or APL+4.

You forgot about Ability Score increase.

Normal NPCs have elite array for abilities, which corresponds PB15. Generally, PCs have higher abilities - 20 or 25. (20 being the norm)
So, unless you are playing PB15 or lover compaign, your PCs should have another +1 CR bump for exceptional ability scores.


Fedorchik1536 wrote:

Normal NPCs have elite array for abilities, which corresponds PB15. Generally, PCs have higher abilities - 20 or 25. (20 being the norm)

So, unless you are playing PB15 or lover compaign, your PCs should have another +1 CR bump for exceptional ability scores.

That's interesting. I wouldn't have thought that +2 to one ability, which is what a 20-pt buy generally provides, would amount to +1 CR.

In one of the campaigns I'm running, I'm using homebrew advanced races, that have, among other features, Advanced racial ability score bonuses: a +2 bonus to all of one type of scores, a +4 bonus to one score of the other type, and a –2 penalty to one other ability score of the other type. So if a standard race would have +2 Str & +2 Int & -2 Wis, the advanced version gets +2 to Str, Con & Dex, and +4 to Int, along with -2 to Wis. Now that's worth +1 CR, no question!

Or are you saying it's worth more????

PS: Along that line, for base ability scores, I used a simplified 15-pt buy. Each ability score point costs 1 pt, but you have to have scores between 10 & 16 before racial mods. (My husband Debnor & I were creating the campaign largely for my sister, who is a complete novice to Pathfinder or D&D. We didn't want a lot of weaknesses, or extraordinary strengths -- and I had a wary eye on that +4 racial bonus!) I figured that amounted to a 20-pt buy. How would you assess it for CR bumps?

Of course, I also give my sister's character -1 CR for her general lack of system mastery, and my own GMC -1 CR for being designed to take a back seat. (I may have to change the latter; she's been hiding a lot less at the first sign of trouble, now that there's been so many of them, LOL!)


Fedorchik1536 wrote:

You forgot about Ability Score increase.

Normal NPCs have elite array for abilities, which corresponds PB15. Generally, PCs have higher abilities - 20 or 25. (20 being the norm)
So, unless you are playing PB15 or lover compaign, your PCs should have another +1 CR bump for exceptional ability scores.

A 20 point buy is usually +1 to maybe two ability modifiers.

On the flip side, the Advanced Template is +2 MODIFIER (or +4 score) to ALL abilities on top of 2 extra AC. It's also a +1 CR template.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be claiming a party of four level 10s should be considered CR 11 mobs but the APL should be 10? That's not how it works -- if the party has other advantages it actually raises their APL. If they have disadvantages it lowers their APL.

"Note that these encounter creation guidelines assume a group of four or five PCs. If your group contains six or more players, add one to their average level. If your group contains three or fewer players, subtract one from their average level."

And we also see that...

"3 Creatures CR +3
4 Creatures CR +4
6 Creatures CR +5"

So four CR 11 mobs is a CR 15 encounter, six are a CR 16 encounter, and three are a CR 14 encounter. Just like the rules for the size of the party.

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