I can't hit them !!! A DM in distress.


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

1 to 50 of 134 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Hello,

I am running the AP "The Mummy's Mask' part 4. Secrets of the Sphinx. The group of players are all ready a level lower then what the book discribes and still the PC are cutting through the monsters like butter. Normally i don't see any problems that the hero's defeat monster but this is getting ridiculous.

The biggest "problem" (wel it isn't a realy a big problem) is that one of the pc is a halfling swashbuckler/monk/inquisitor. He has the crane style and the blundering defense abilitys.

So in combat he has a AC of 40+ and his ally's next to him get a +4 on AC.

I don't want to kill the pc's but the adventure misses the excitement of a real adventure because there isn't danger of combating the monsters.

I all ready blessed my dice with holy water & beer but this din't work so i'm asking the all mighty paizo 'oracle' messageboard.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Hiz them with things that aren't attack rolls?

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Traps and Spellcasters targeting saves should still be a challenge. Additionally, you may want to double check that all your player's builds are actually legal and they haven't accidentally done something incorrectly on accident.

Grand Lodge

Let the enemies work out his weakest save and focus on that. Make him a magnet for auto-damage.

I regularly play with and GM for a friend who plays a paladin-oracle. Stupid saves, stupid AC. I understand your pain.


Save targeting may not be much more effective, depending on the monk. If he's swashbuckler enough for charmed life, and the scaled fist monk so he can focus heavy with cha, he's probably got some crazy solid saves when he wants.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Make sure that the Swashbuckler is correctly using parry/riposte. Each parry uses up panache and they can only riposte once per round since it uses up an immediate action.

Intelligent opponents could feint (removes Dodge AC), use tanglefoot bags, or grapple.

Spellcasters should look at ways to break up the formations (so people can’t be adjacent) or make it unhealthy to be too near the monk in question. Since they are likely trying to be tightly packed battlefield control spells like stone call, create pit, and confusion should break up the group.


the saves of the halfling are a problem :
reflex is + 18 (with evasion) will + 15 and fort +11
He also has twist away (make a reflex save instead of a fort)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

High AC PCs have you down? Couple pointers besides double checking their builds/bonuses. I'll also give some pointers based off reading the book(In the process of running Mummy's mask myself)

1)Maneuvers. Swap Dirty Fighting onto some of the enemies and go in for Trips and Grapples or even Dirty trick. AC buffs rarely tend to boost CMD

2)Magic. Start hitting them with auto strike spells or go after touch. Even if that isn't easy to hit, splash damage is still damage so keep that in mind.

3)De/Buffs. This ties into point 2 and is based on how sneaky your party is and/or how realistic you play. If they are loud and kick in the door, yeah the first group doesn't get to pop buffs but those in room 2 realize what's up, buff up, and walk in. Or you can half 1-2 charge, while another 1-2 buff behind. Could be cheap and make sure some people have True Strike prepared.

4) Ignore. So you have a 40 AC monster. Most smart foes would realize they can't hit this target and go for someone else. Make your "tank" have to do something about it besides stand there.

Now here's some more specifics about the Campaign, those looking to play I suggest you not click.

Campaign advice:

1) You're going to have Girtablilu to work with. Some tinkering and they can make for some pretty good trip/grapple experts.

2) Some of the human NPCs are Barbarians. Not bad but maybe swap their rage powers or make them into Skalds/Bloodragers. This group has largely been magic based/themed anyway.

3) When they actually hit the Sphinx, here comes a good amount of traps and magic. But some of the humans there are Monks(why?). Upgrade them to Unchained, Brawlers, or pick out an Archetype.

4) You'll also have access to foes that are Rogues(Upgrades to Unchained) and have access to Vanish. Flatfooted with Sneak attack damage, from flight no less. That's sure to HIT someone.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Step 1: Magic Missile.

Step 2: multiple casters

Step 3: Pray the halfling doesn't cast shield.

Step 4: ???

Step 5: Dead halfling.


Quote:
Hit them with things that aren't attack rolls?

This kind of advice isn't very practical because it requires you to rewrite all the opponents, and if you wanted to do that you probably wouldn't be running an adventure path in the first place.

Some options:
Ask the players to stop optimizing for AC.

Sunder their AC-boosting rings and amulets.

Add a 'fighting offensively' option that anyone can use. It gives a bonus to hit in melee in exchange for a penalty to AC.

If the players are OK with it, activate 'hard mode'. Just give all the monsters certain bonuses, the Advanced Template or similar.


How's the touch AC? I have a viciously defensive gunslinger who is a serious pain in the butt to pin down. But once I started targeting his touch AC and CMD to sunder his weapon he became pretty particular about how far he'd stick his neck out. And Crane Style means he does nothing but wait to get attacked. So make him stand there and wait like a moron until he realizes the monster doesn't care about the small thing who's not attacking, and has no problem punching him into the dirt when he takes a shot at him.

Also I would suggest creating hazardous terrain if all else fails. A room filled with poison gas doesn't care about your AC. Or having to fight things on thin surfaces and pray they have the right amount of acrobatics. You might also want to consider making them be completely ineffective. If someone is too powerful then remove their effectiveness and watch them wish they just got beaten on a little.

Bad touch Cleric (who can also channel positive), you say? Pallid Crystal.

Becomes a beast while adjacent to party members? Make the terrain shift under their feet each round at random.

Rapier is spearing the crap out of the badguys? Undead with 1/2 damage to piercing is usually a giant F-U.

Amazing saves? Give them a skill boost and watch them flail.

There are a lot of ways. Don't fight on their terms, fight around them. Make them fight the battles where their strengths are not suited to the encounter. A big fighter with a buster sword is about as useful as a bag of toothpicks if he's not able to close the gap reliably. So make the encounters entertaining.

Hell, if nothing else I'd throw in a rust monster and watch the swashbuckling midget drop his fudge when he loses his sword after going Errol Flynn on it without identifying it first.

P.S. Take a mythic template bad guy and slip him in if they get too cocky. Having a badguy teleport to avoid damage 10 times in a fight should give them a taste of the hell you could rain down if they decide to keep it up.

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I disagree with most of ExiledMimic's post. That seems far too antagonistic and GM vs player mentality for my tastes.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:
I disagree with most of ExiledMimic's post. That seems far too antagonistic and GM vs player mentality for my tastes.

I don't mean it to kill them. Just to make them sweat a little. You can make them wonder what will come next without going for the throat. But these fights should be a challenge and upping the stakes without upping the lethality can put some of that challenge back.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Don't punish the player for putting effort into what they are good at, but challenge them at things that they are not. If he has high AC, he earns it. Then challenge him at something else, save? Or terrains that he can overcome without thinking smart or help of others. It's like force a rogue to take damage from fireball when he already has high reflex and have improved evasion. A rogue with enough dex should be able to go through 10 fireball with no damage and put his knife by the wizard's throat and say that's enough, that's what this character design and made to be. That's when the player deserve to be badass at this.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I feel for you - and you are right in not wanting to nerf the characters, and insisting on being fair (that's how I read your post.)

But ...
It's hard to have an informed opinion, without knowing the builds:

Are they built with 15 points (Standard Fantasy and what the AP assumes?)

What level are the characters?
Is some of the AC from limited resource pools?


I've got a player in a campaign that's done something similar.

Without going into the build entirely, he typically has mirror image, then displacement, and also uses Snake Style with a high Sense Motive to make it difficult to hit him.

Unfortunately, the rest of the party is nowhere near as protected.

The party as a whole is discovering that very early in a fight (especially if fighting someone who knows anything about the party), the enemy martials focus their attacks elsewhere to try to thin the herd before before trying to gang up on this character. (Sort of like how people in MMO's clear out all the chaff before going for the boss monster.)

He's gotten his defensive buffs so high that he can no longer effectively serve his party function as "tank" unless he's in a choke point where he is the only character that can be attacked.


General advice for running PF APs with a group of non-core, medium system mastery:
- Max enemy HP
- Sometimes, double HP (like single entity encounters)
- Advanced Template on everything (about +2-+4 on all numerical things)
- Add 50% enemies if they are decent/could pose a challenge OR
- Decrease number of enemies and substitute/buff considerably
- Combine rooms of dungeons, enemy wise. APs have a million rooms that are unnecessary, nobody should be doing a cr2x4 at level 11, it's a waste of time. See above.
- Add henchmen to single entity encounters. Add some already cast buffs to these.

All of these intermix and eventually you get better at gauging what to change, even on the fly.

Your "Problem" pc. This guy has built to be a defense monster and as mentioned already, simply negating his build isnt a great move to pull.
However, allowing his build to shine is good. So, you have an encounter built for this party..but they are pretty strong. If you put an extra tough, hard hitting enemy there, perhaps this will allow your ACmaniac to stick to it and get its attention while the rest of the party deals with the rest/is safe because of this guy. Sure, you didnt hit the ACmaniac, but it is clear that if he wasnt there, perhaps this enemy would have posed a serious threat.

There ways to tackle these builds...but it becomes an arms race. As a GM, you can always win. I had a player that was paranoid about getting hit/taking damage, so every few sessions I'd throw a type of challenge that he hadnt thought about and got to him. This only made it so the next level/opportunity he'd buff up that defense. It ended with him being rather subpar, but rather disruptive for the right kind of enemy.

Mixing types of threats is good, many rooms in APs are standard challenges. Mix 2 of those rooms and put a trap/environmental threat.

Setting a win condition other than "kill these enemies" is also a healthy gameplay development. Think of skills or spells that the party members have an designed something for them. Imagine this MonkAC guy has the spiderclimbing power...now, they enter a room that is trapped and with enemies. To disable the trap someone has to fly or climb up the walls. Now they need to decide if MonkAcManiac stays to tank things or goes to hit the climb trap deactivation.

Good luck!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you have very optimised pc's they will crush most encounters in AP's which assume a very low level of optimisation for a PC. This happens to me all the time, my solution is that I pretty much rebuild all the npc's so they are comparably optimised to the pc's. You may not have the time and patience to do that, quick and dirty solutions are adding the advanced template to most npc's to give them a bonus to hit and damage, adding more npc's won't help much with hitting him.

As Saldiven says if the npc's know/realise they can't hit the halfling then have them go after everyone else, that might cause him to have to act more aggresivly and lower his AC . If not pressure on the other pc's will still make the fight challanging


JohnHawkins wrote:


As Saldiven says if the npc's know/realise they can't hit the halfling then have them go after everyone else, that might cause him to have to act more aggresivly and lower his AC . If not pressure on the other pc's will still make the fight challanging

This.

I have two high AC characters in the campaign I run, one is a paladin/monk with all saves 30+ in addition to a 40+ touch AC.

I usually don't leave things attacking him more than a round or so unless a) mindless or b) no feasible way to get to a softer target.

The fighter is slightly easier to threaten, but not by much.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Greater Dispel Magic Rod 3/dy AOE versus the groups magical items, Failed rolls for the items saves will cause all constant magical items to be 'turned off' for an hour. No Amulet's, Rings, Wonderous Items, Armors & Weapons.

Also be sure your check your halflings class bonuses to AC versus what they are wearing to make sure the AC is that high. I had no player that kept 'forgetting' that Armor bonuses from different sources don't stack along with multiple shield bonuses


GRuzom wrote:

I feel for you - and you are right in not wanting to nerf the characters, and insisting on being fair (that's how I read your post.)

But ...
It's hard to have an informed opinion, without knowing the builds:

Are they built with 15 points (Standard Fantasy and what the AP assumes?)

What level are the characters?
Is some of the AC from limited resource pools?

The PC are standard build.

It's a group of 5 PC all level 10. There is also a Paladin, a Cavalier, a Skald and a warpriest that acts as a Monk .

The AC has no limited resource pools. The only thing what comes to mind is that the halfling makes use of stacked dodge bonus. So a good feint
attack would be devastating (for him and the group).

Shadow Lodge

Swarms will also help with auto-damage, at least until they go to town and buy swarmbane clasps. But those require neck slots, so they'd have to give up any amulets they have.


Ok, the big thing to keep in mind about Dodge bonuses is that anything that denies a character their Dexterity bonus to AC also denies their Dodge bonus(s) to AC.

So, what denies Dodge bonuses?

Feint
Blindness
Invisible Attacker
Flat Footed
Stunned
Pinned
Paralyzed
Encumbered
Cowering
Squeezing
Variety of Feats like False Opening

Probably some other things, too....


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

AP-specific advice:
Add a non-combatant non-genie to room H6, have Kixexa's first action be to intimidate that non-combatant into wishing for something against the party.

Invisibility and moving after taking actions to force readied actions from PCs to address that condition. Humorously, Kixexa has Greater Invis 1/day for 15 rounds.

K11 will be fun for them. The opening banshee wail will likely feel pretty good for you.

K12 has a Greater Feint user rogue.

K27 has Spike Stones affecting the room. That's automatic damage based on movement. Feel free to have the Guecubus use earth glide + tremor sense to go under opponents and grapple them vs flat-footed AC.

Other than that, the great likelihood is that your best option will be to target anyone but the swash/monk/quisitor with some of the monsters. Book 4 is sort of a combat grind, particularly through Sightless Sphinx (area K, which is 43 rooms). Because of the vast number of encounters, a lot of them were intentionally under-CR'd. Consider removing some of the duplicate encounters to beef up some of the underwhelming ones, like the Cultists of Areshkagal - there are a ton of them, but they're put in as CR 9 encounters vs estimated APL 12. That's literally just HP bags against your party, albeit with Vanish affecting them for the first attack. Consolidate some of them into other encounters, leave others as their original state, but add the Advanced Simple template, etc.

Still, leave the majority of encounters as-is. The party should feel as though there is some reward to their standard tactics.

Lastly, ask your players if they are having fun with the current setup. If this is the type of game they want to play (i.e. where they roflstomp everything in sight because of numbers), that's a valid way to play. Take the opportunity to reduce total encounter counts somewhat to add time for storytelling.

Lantern Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I wish we knew the build as well. Generally high ac builds are suboptimal since they usually put out far less DPR.


I've been That Monk in a campaign, where my defensive-minded guy made it to where the GM could either design a bad guy that could definitely hit me (but mollywhop the rest of the party), or was a "proper" threat to the rest of the party but was untouchable to me. I can tell you from personal experience that it SUCKS if you go out of your way to try to set up bad guys that can threaten the one thing the player built around.

My thought: DON'T build around trying to overcome their AC, and, if targeting saves, make it make sense in context. I present, as evidence, my favorite fail moment of the character.

So the team is taking on a vampire and we managed to damage it. The vampire goes into gaseous form and flies away, with only our Fighter/Wizard (we were playing core only, so no magus) being able to fly. My monk decides instead to run and leap from rooftop to rooftop after the vampire. Eventually, it gets annoyed with being chased, stops, confronts the "magus" and I, and dominates us. No problem, I think... I just need to roll a 5.

3.

I turned to the "magus" with the wrong gleam in my eye and the fight suddenly became more interesting.

My point is that the encounter, while one that could target my character's "weakness" (if you can call it that) wasn't artificial. It didn't come off as the GM trying to shut me down.

Other similar ideas:

* Non-combat event resolution: This is your biggest, best option, and another one that the GM of the campaign ran with. You don't have to beat the big Wizard at the end; you have to destroy the sample of the uber-potion being used as a MacGuffin.

* Bad Guys that are a threat for OTHER reasons: The four good guys save the MacGuffin prince. They are then attacked by 40 mummies, which under regular conditions would be wiped apart by the PCs. The twist - you can NOT let the Prince contract Mummy Rot. NOW things have becomes interesting.


Have a look at spells that have an effect even if the PC passes the save, or have no save...

This is only one site: I'm sure others can recommend some more of these type of spells...

Debuffing Spells that either No Save, fatigue, stagger etc...

Also one of my personal faves: Wracking Ray

An encounter at level 10 and the bad guy may only have one of these spells, but being fatigued or staggered for a round, or a couple of points of attribute loss will bring those saves and ACs down to more manageable levels...


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Aid another can help, several minions aiding a boss to hit adds up really quickly.

also read over the things that are boosting his AC carefully.

the Monk bonus for example is gone if he becomes medium encumbered, so check his carrying capacity. He's a Halfling so it's lower than what is shown one the chart.

Crane Style is for fighting defensively only so make certain he is taking the penalty to hit and that he declares fighting defensively. Even if he says "I'm always fighting defensively" that's fine, it means he always has the penalty to hit. Also he can't fight defensively if he gets surprised, so Ambush drops his AC a lot.

Crane Wing applies to Melee only so his AC is less against Ranged attacks

A lot of his AC is Dodge bonus, there are various conditions where Dodge bonus does not apply. Like being Blind

As GM you need to know all the rules your players are using, because many of them only read up to the point where it says what they want it to say and then they stop reading before it tells them what the limits are.


Michael Talley 759 wrote:

Greater Dispel Magic Rod 3/dy AOE versus the groups magical items, Failed rolls for the items saves will cause all constant magical items to be 'turned off' for an hour. No Amulet's, Rings, Wonderous Items, Armors & Weapons.

Also be sure your check your halflings class bonuses to AC versus what they are wearing to make sure the AC is that high. I had no player that kept 'forgetting' that Armor bonuses from different sources don't stack along with multiple shield bonuses

Dispel Magic, Greater wrote:
Magic items are not affected by an area dispel.
kaisc006 wrote:
I wish we knew the build as well. Generally high ac builds are suboptimal since they usually put out far less DPR.

Depends on the level of optimization.

It is possible to have good DPR + good AC + good saves.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Unless the party is having problems then this isn't a problem. The party wants to walk around being unhittable and they took the means to do that. Having monster's ramp up accuracy is kinda saying you want to invalidate their build choices.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Saldiven wrote:


He's gotten his defensive buffs so high that he can no longer effectively serve his party function as "tank" unless he's in a choke point where he is the only character that can be attacked.

I cringe every time I see something like this mentioned. “Tank” is not a party function. That is a belief that comes from people playing MMOs where artificial constructs like aggro mechanics override NPCs actual reasonable tactics.

If you don’t present an actual threat to the NPCs, they should rightly ignore you. Now, there are multiple ways to keep the NPCs attention on you, but if you are trying to protect others, you have to do it by protecting -them- not by protecting yourself.

Trip maneuvers, large threat areas, even large amounts for damage can all serve to keep opponents focused on you, or to keep those you are trying to protect safer.

All the MMO “tank” mentality does is lead to people focusing on protecting themselves, and then getting upset when the NPCs -correctly- ignore them.

tldr; Never build a tank. Build a threat, if you are wanting to function as a protector.

To DMs... playing non mindless NPCs intelligently isn’t invalidating PC builds. If that alone invalidates their build, the simple fact is they built without thinking of the consequences.


Mummy's Mask Part 4 is... 10th-12th level. The highest sensible AC at these levels is 33-35 (past this, it's really diminishing returns). But yeah, look for attacks other than targeting normal AC.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chess Pwn wrote:
Unless the party is having problems then this isn't a problem. The party wants to walk around being unhittable and they took the means to do that. Having monster's ramp up accuracy is kinda saying you want to invalidate their build choices.

I think this is true to an extent, but not completely. Even if the party if totally fine with there not being any challenges, it could be not fun for a DM. I personally am not 'out to get' the party, but I do have more fun running the opposition of a challenging fight than one that is a walk through. If my opposition to the party is going to be totally ineffectual, I might as well not run the game at all, they can just assume that they win easily rather than bothering to roll the dice. That isn't to say I never give them an easy fight, but I wouldn't want just easy fights in a game I am running.

The DM not having fun is as much a real problem as the players not having fun.

I do certainly agree that the analyzing the problem in terms of what the real problem is is important though. Without doing that first step, it is unlikely that the correct solution will be found. Knowing who does and doesn't like the current situation, and seeing if any of the people actually participating in the game have ideas is the first step I would take. Once that was tried, then going to the board for additional ideas or advice on how to mechanically implement general ideas would probably be more fruitful.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
JAMRenaissance wrote:

Other similar ideas:

* Bad Guys that are a threat for OTHER reasons: The four good guys save the MacGuffin prince. They are then attacked by 40 mummies, which under regular conditions would be wiped apart by the PCs. The twist - you can NOT let the Prince contract Mummy Rot. NOW things have becomes interesting.

By RAW, 40 mummies would force you to make 40 Will saves or be paralyzed. Even with a 95% chance of passing each save, your chances of making all of them are slim. Coup de Grace beats high AC.


Congratulations, you have a munchkin in your party, and they are hard to deal with.

Depending on how far is the munchkin-party disparity increasing the encounters difficulty too much might cause trouble for the rest of the party members.

And if you focus on him he might feel 'attacked' in the worst case scenario (might as well feel proud, or both, who knows).

A minor suggestion nobody mentioned, Swarms can aslo do direct damage.


Swarms are probably the safest bet, what kind of mummy movie doesn't have a flesh eating scarab swarm trap. Replace some of the skeletons in a few encounters with a CR appropriate swarm and see how it goes.

Silver Crusade

I DM for a very high-AC dwarf cleric in my home campaign. It's 3.5 ruleset, but the same "problem" exists.

I don't really worry about it. He's the most defensive, most resilient character in the party. He's the only character that hasn't died or been retired. The player is happy in the role that he plays, and the rest of the players are happy having the PC around.

I don't pull any punches. I have beefed up some of the opposition as the campaign has gone on, because I've found that what I thought would be suitable when I was planning several levels ago won't hold up to what the party as a whole can throw around now. Generally this beefing up involves adding Hit Dice, class levels, or numbers of enemies. These changes don't invalidate player tactics, they're just intended to ensure that they are getting a fair challenge. I don't do this on the fly, I revise my campaign material in between sessions.

The high-AC character gets hit occasionally by physically powerful enemies, but otherwise he mainly takes damage from traps and AoE spells.

I find though that the biggest motivator for the high-AC character is threatening his allies. He knows he won't succeed at his quest on his own, and even if the chances of him being dropped by physical attacks is low, he still feels the frisson of danger when other party members are in dire peril.


A tripped monk that's flanked basically has 6 less AC. Sooner or latter that's going to happen and he will take damage.

Until then, have a few guys swing and miss and realize it's better to avoid him until later, as mentioned. Smarter opponents could recognize Crane Style and avoid at the start and less intelligent ones could keep trying.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

What level are these characters? 40+ AC generally requires a lot of money....


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The King In Yellow wrote:
Saldiven wrote:


He's gotten his defensive buffs so high that he can no longer effectively serve his party function as "tank" unless he's in a choke point where he is the only character that can be attacked.

I cringe every time I see something like this mentioned. “Tank” is not a party function. That is a belief that comes from people playing MMOs where artificial constructs like aggro mechanics override NPCs actual reasonable tactics.

If you don’t present an actual threat to the NPCs, they should rightly ignore you. Now, there are multiple ways to keep the NPCs attention on you, but if you are trying to protect others, you have to do it by protecting -them- not by protecting yourself.

Trip maneuvers, large threat areas, even large amounts for damage can all serve to keep opponents focused on you, or to keep those you are trying to protect safer.

All the MMO “tank” mentality does is lead to people focusing on protecting themselves, and then getting upset when the NPCs -correctly- ignore them.

tldr; Never build a tank. Build a threat, if you are wanting to function as a protector.

To DMs... playing non mindless NPCs intelligently isn’t invalidating PC builds. If that alone invalidates their build, the simple fact is they built without thinking of the consequences.

While this is true in the generic case, there is a no-save aggro draw in the game.

Meek Facade wrote:
The subject magically seems like a weak target, goading an enemy into attacking her. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject misses a creature with an attack (even if it’s part of a full attack in which she hits that creature with another attack). The enemy must attack no one other than the subject, and the subject gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC against the triggering enemy’s attacks. Both of these effects last for 1 round. The bonus to AC increases by 1 for every 5 levels the mesmerist possesses. This is a mind-affecting compulsion effect.

Mesmerist is best tank.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well it looks like the only area there could be an issue, is the Monk's AC bonus is dependent on not wearing armor of any kind. If the Halfling is, then their AC is Wisdom Bonus + Monk level bonus too high.

The build seems interesting, wish my GM had made past this book.

Also, meant an AOE Mage's Disjunction rod (AOE version of a rod of Cancellation, no permanent damage to magic items but it does knock them out of use for a bit)


Are there balance issues that need to be addressed? Are your PCs using 15 point builds for which the Paizo APs are designed? Are they close to their wealth by level or ridiculously above it? Is it a party of four or more?

If the answers are yes, then start adding +1 to their APL and adjust the CR of your encounters accordingly. You'll see changes sooner than you think as things even out.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

At level 10, 40 is a good AC but it shouldn't be unhittable--especially not if your bad guys have the option to work together.

So first, the obvious. As a monk, swashbuckler, Inquisitor, with a 40 AC and good saves, the character himself is going to be difficult to take out with attacks or with abilities that target saves. On the other hand you say, blundering defense gives his allies +4 for being adjacent to him. You can work with that. He may evade every fireball but that doesn't do anything for the guys stacking up next to him. And if they are stacking up next to him, you should be able to hit them all with area effects until they find a new strategy. When you're the last guy standing, 40 AC isn't nearly as useful as when you've got allies to actually deal damage.

Now, what else do you have to work with? His CMD is probably decent but is almost certainly not as unhittable--especially as his AC. So, trip and grapple are your friends and bullrush is nice if he's standing near a cliff. And if you can win a few grapples in a row, you can pin him, tie him up, and coup de grace him. No roll vs AC required. Other useful things: waves of exhaustion, scirroco, etc to reduce strength and Dex (lots of Dex monkey characters are only a few pounds from medium encumbrance and losing all those fancy sky high Dex bonuses to AC; 2 points from fatigue will often be enough to kill the AC bonus; 6 points from exhaustion will almost always do it). No save damage like sound burst and magic missile can add up too.


Um, what?

The average high to hit on a CR 10 monster is 18, or basically unhittable. You're looking at +5 or 6 cr before the mean high attack bonus gives the monster a 25% chance to hit. 40 is incredibly high ac at level 10 when compared to bestiary entries, and thats if the encounter is a single monster and not a group of slightly lower CR ones.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Getting a better idea of the build could be useful: ability scores, exact classes levels, feats, magic items, traits, houserules, etc?

You also mentioned they have an easy time hitting and damaging their foes?


Like I said earlier, diminishing returns. XD They're several points past where it's useful to raise AC, really.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

How good is his CMD?

Make sure you're keeping track of his immediate/swift actions.


All the info about the little problem called "the halfling"

Jean – Pierre De la Gruyère.
Halfling Lawful Neutral

HP 70

Swashbuckler (Inspired Blade) 6
Monk (Sohei) 2
Inquisitor (Heretic) 2

Str 5
Dex 24
Con 10
Int 12
Wis 18
Cha 16
Ac 24 (dex + 7, +1 size, +2 dodge, +4)
Touch 24
Flat Foot 15
Fort +11 Ref +18 Will +15
CMD +4
CMD + 27
Twist Away : As immediate action make Reflex instead of
Fortitude save, staggered until end of next turn
Evasion --- Fearless : +2 on saves vs. fear effects
Charmed Life : 4/day, add +3 to save as immediate action
Fighting Defensively : -2 on Attack rolls
+10 dodge bonus to AC vs. melee
+6 dodge bonus to AC vs. ranged
Total Defense : +9 dodge bonus to AC
Deflect one melee attack/round
+2 to CMD vs. being disarmed of a rapier
FEATS & FEATURES
Halfling : Fleet of Foot, Fearless, Halfling Luck, Keen Senses
Monk : AC Bonus, Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike, Evasion, Devo-
ted Guardian (Always act in surprise rnd, +1 bonus on Initiative)
Swashbuckler : Inspired Panache (Int+Cha as panache, replenished
with crit.), Inspired Finesse, Charmed Life, Nimble (+1 dodge to
AC), Rapier Training (+1 to att, +2 to dam, impr.crit.), Deeds
Inquisitor : Judgment (1/day), Stern Gaze (+1 on Sense Motive),
Hide Tracks, Lore of Escape (+Wis on Bluff and Stealth), Track,
Cunning Initiative (add Wis to Initiative), Detect Allignment,
Domain (Night)

*Trap Finder : +1 on Disable Device (also mag. traps and in class)
1) Bonus Swashbuckler : Weapon Focus (Rapier)
Bonus Swashbuckler : Weapon Finesse (Rapier)
Fencing Grace
2) Bonus Monk : Improved Unarmed Strike
Bonus Monk : Combat Reflexes
3) Bonus Monk : Dodge
Crane Style (Swift action to enter a fighting style)
5) Twist Away
6) Bonus Swashbuckler : Cautious Fighter
7) Bonus Swashbuckler : Improved Critical (Rapier)
Crane Wing
8) Bonus Inquisitor (Night Domain) : Blindfight
9) Blundering Defense : Adjacent allies gain a luck bonus to AC and
CMD equal to 1/2 the dodge bonus you gain from the def. action

*****
Int + 14
Proficiencies
Simple and Martial Weapons + Monk bonus weapons
Light and Medium Armor, Shields, + Hand & Repeating Crossbow
weapons & attacks
Rapier (normal, one-handed, other hand free) + 19 / + 14 (1d4 + 10 (+6) crit 15 – 20
Rapier (fighting defensively, one-handed, other hand free) + 17 / + 12 (1d4 + 10 (+6) crit 15- 20
Acid splach
Unarmed strike
Flurry of blows
MAGIC ITEMS
Belt of Dexterity (+4) Headband of Wisdom (+2) Rapier (+1) Sleeve of Many Garments (change appearance of her current garments) Everburning CoinCloak of Resistance (+2) Agal of ComfortWrist Watch of CommunicationPotion of Cure Serious WoundsEyes of the Eagle (+5 Perception)

Swashbuckler Deeds :.
- Derring-Do (Add 1d6 to Acrobatics,Climb,Escape Artist, Fly, Ride and Swim after check; on a 6 add another 1d6 , on a 6 add another, ...)
- Dodging Panache (As immediate action move 5' when attacked, add Cha bonus as dodge bonus to AC)
- Opportune Parry and Riposte (Give up 1 AoO if attacked make attack roll with -2/size, if higher than opposing attack roll, attack misses)
- Kip-Up (Stand up from prone as move without provoking an AoO, if you use a panache point it becomes a swift action)
- Precise Strike (Add level as precision damage to attack if not immune to sneak or critical hits, not x2 on Crits, use 1 panache to double this)
- Swashbuckler Initiative (+2 to Initiative)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think the best approach is to just sit the players down and be frank with them. Super-optimized characters aren’t much fun to play with or GM for. Ask them how they’d like to solve it (choosing a solution that doesn’t create a huge amount of work for you).


Pretty much agree with most advice given in the thread. The only caveat is to use the right tactic against the PCs in moderation. As both a player and DM no players likes to be the repeated target of a attack specifically designed to target their weakest save, defense etc.. The other issue is that (to me at least) it's a design flaw carried over from 3.5. in that it's pretty easy to make a strong character with decent defense legally especially as levels up imo. I'm not sure if that's what the op wants to hear yet being a DM I ran into the same problem. It's easy for it to happen without the least amount of optmization. The problem with sitting down with the players is that they might not even be optimizing just choosing most bread and butter feats for their classes. I cannot and will not punish a player running a Fighter who takes the right feats to bolster his will save. It's not the player optimizing it's the player boosting a weak class save.

1 to 50 of 134 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / General Discussion / I can't hit them !!! A DM in distress. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.