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The Exchange

Those of you who've taken note of my opinions (if there are any, har!) are well aware that I don't use Level 21+ in my game. I've detailed my reasons elsewhere and there's no point in rehashing 'em.

But I do want to point out a reason that many GMs are not particularly fond of Mega-Characters. I've used pre-fab worlds and I've created my own, and I have to say that a world is really a rather delicate thing. A 15th-level cleric or 17th-level wizard with the right spells can lay waste to an entire city in an hour (and still have plenty of lower-level spell slots left over): even non-casters can wipe out literal armies (or, if your PCs have really gone whack-a-doo, mobs of screaming civilians.) These leave dents in your campaign setting - to say nothing of the occasional volcanic eruption or key historical character getting killed.

Now take that up a notch, to casters who can not merely demolish a city but blast apart mountain ranges and drain seas. Warriors who use insane feat/item combos to kill those same armies in a round. Rogues who steal the sun. The players are still having fun, but the GM winds up A) rewriting an awful lot of his campaign setting, sometimes every single session, and B) hard-pressed to think of reasons why the most powerful NPCs in his world have not yet banded together in one last, desperate attempt to kill these Upstart Godlings. If any of you have read Wildstorm's old Authority comic (Kids: DON'T), you'll know what I'm talking about. (Even the cartoon Justice League Unlimited had a much more family-friendly arc about this problem.)

Not saying this happens in every Level 21+ campaign, but it is a major concern to me as a GM.


Lincoln Hills wrote:

Those of you who've taken note of my opinions (if there are any, har!) are well aware that I don't use Level 21+ in my game. I've detailed my reasons elsewhere and there's no point in rehashing 'em.

But I do want to point out a reason that many GMs are not particularly fond of Mega-Characters. I've used pre-fab worlds and I've created my own, and I have to say that a world is really a rather delicate thing. A 15th-level cleric or 17th-level wizard with the right spells can lay waste to an entire city in an hour (and still have plenty of lower-level spell slots left over): even non-casters can wipe out literal armies (or, if your PCs have really gone whack-a-doo, mobs of screaming civilians.) These leave dents in your campaign setting - to say nothing of the occasional volcanic eruption or key historical character getting killed.

Now take that up a notch, to casters who can not merely demolish a city but blast apart mountain ranges and drain seas. Warriors who use insane feat/item combos to kill those same armies in a round. Rogues who steal the sun. The players are still having fun, but the GM winds up A) rewriting an awful lot of his campaign setting, sometimes every single session, and B) hard-pressed to think of reasons why the most powerful NPCs in his world have not yet banded together in one last, desperate attempt to kill these Upstart Godlings. If any of you have read Wildstorm's old Authority comic (Kids: DON'T), you'll know what I'm talking about. (Even the cartoon Justice League Unlimited had a much more family-friendly arc about this problem.)

Not saying this happens in every Level 21+ campaign, but it is a major concern to me as a GM.

first of all level 21+ characters are not supposed to be limited to a world or planet, you have a lot of planes and dimensions with weird and monstrous creatures, you need expand you setting.

and second indeed as the GM you need to think why your NPC are allowing to that happen, I think that at least some god could get angry. And are you really sure that a Player level 15 can do that, because in my experience the most of the times is just misinterpretation of the rules and the powers like the Epic spell system (is not broken).

and yes is a lot of more work for the GM but worth it, and think that if exist more published material would be more easy to you and everyone else manage a setting like that.

Have you read the Infinite Gauntlet from Marvel, there you can see Thanos give you a good example that even with omnipotent power you can tell a great story.


Non-casters can by no means take on an army pre-Epic.

Let's say it's a really small army and only has 1000 archers. Let's further say that the PC's AC is high enough that the archers can only hit on a 20 and cannot crit. Further, let's be really, really generous and say that the PC can somehow kill 20 archers per round and wins initiative.

First round: PC kills 20 archers, reducing their numbers to 980. Archers retaliate; 49 of them hit (5% of 980), dealing an average of 4.5 damage each, for 220.5 average damage.
Second round: PC kills 20 more archers, reducing their numbers to 960. Archers retaliate; 48 of them hit, dealing a cumulative total of 436.5 damage.
Third round: PC, if not dead yet, kills 20 more archers, reducing them to 940. 47 archers hit, bringing the cumulative total of 648 damage.

So, by the end of the third round, our incredibly awesome level 20 PC has taken more damage than he could possibly absorb (level 20 barbarian with 44 con while raging, Toughness, and favored class in hp has 20d12+380, or a maximum of 620 hp).

EDIT: Meanwhile, casters can do it easily long before 20. Druids get control winds at 9th level. It's difficult to get to tornado conditions at that point, but at 12th level you only need strong winds to whip up a nearly 1,000 foot wide tornado that lasts for 2 hours.


Fozbek's point only stands if you completely discount the fact the possibility of DR which many martial specific classes have the means of getting.

The Exchange

edduardco wrote:
...you have a lot of planes and dimensions with weird and monstrous creatures, you need expand you setting... are you really sure that a Player level 15 can do that... yes is a lot of more work for the GM but worth it, and think that if exist more published material would be more easy to you and everyone else manage a setting like that... Have you read the Infinite Gauntlet from Marvel, there you can see Thanos give you a good example...

1. I concede that point. Getting the PCs to leave their plane is a good, solid (but usually temporary) tactic - I'm just pointing out what may happen if the PCs prefer to remain based where they've always been based.

2. A 15th-level Cleric can memorize earthquake, which is the example that first sprang to mind - although Fozbek's example of control winds is also excellent.

3. "A lot more work for the GM" is not automatically "worth it." Ever-increasing prep time is a nightmare for a GM who doesn't want to end up starting every episode with "The City of Townsville... is under attack by a giant monster! Again!"

4. I didn't read The Infinity Gauntlet, but I did read Sandman. Trouble with both examples is that Thanos and Morpheus are not PCs. They do what the plot requires them to do. Herding PCs who can blow up Golarion (or, which is rather more impressive, put it back together afterward) almost requires the GM to flat-out cheat incessantly just in order to keep the players mildly interested.

(Short version: I disagree but I do feel you raised some valid points.)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
Fozbek's point only stands if you completely discount the fact the possibility of DR which many martial specific classes have the means of getting.

That's what I was going to say. It also assumes that 1000 archers could all fire at one guy. Which seems a little silly.

Now, once you get that 20th level fighter into melee with the army, he's only got to worry about ~9 guys at a time. Then he can definitely grind the army into paste.

The Exchange

Fozbek wrote:
Non-casters can by no means take on an army pre-Epic...

(followed by an extended example full of sound statistical analysis)

Good math: bad example. First of all, no PC who's reached that level is going to engage these guys on an open field with absolutely no advantageous terrain. In fact, most of the time he'll wait til they're encamped before he starts his murder spree. Second, you're forgetting the items available to a non-caster PC (a potion of protection from arrows, hardly a game-breaking item, is just one of hundreds of inexpensive options: a hat of disguise is a more indirect but actually much nastier option.) Third, a PC is more likely to tear through the officers than the grunts (it saves time, and is usually better XP anyhow.) And fourth, I was comparing what a non-caster can do with a non-caster, and "slaying armies" was meant to be shorthand for "killing four or five guys every 6 seconds for 12 hours straight." Should I have said "depopulating cities" or something?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Lincoln Hills wrote:
Now take that up a notch, to casters who can not merely demolish a city but blast apart mountain ranges and drain seas.

As has already been shown in my How to Build the Pyramids thread, with the right magic item you can build the pyramids in 8 hours. I'm fairly certain all you need is a few well placed Gate spells to work on draining seas. I'm certain there is a creative way for a 20th level caster to blast apart mountains already.

All I can say is, my level 19 Pathfinder game has been a blast. I'd love to continue on after 20, but sadly we will be forced to retire.


Heaven forbid the non-caster has a reach weapon, whirlwind (or great cleave!) and lunge.

Instead of hitting 8~9 people he can now hit 40 people a round.


Lincoln Hills wrote:
edduardco wrote:
...you have a lot of planes and dimensions with weird and monstrous creatures, you need expand you setting... are you really sure that a Player level 15 can do that... yes is a lot of more work for the GM but worth it, and think that if exist more published material would be more easy to you and everyone else manage a setting like that... Have you read the Infinite Gauntlet from Marvel, there you can see Thanos give you a good example...

1. I concede that point. Getting the PCs to leave their plane is a good, solid (but usually temporary) tactic - I'm just pointing out what may happen if the PCs prefer to remain based where they've always been based.

2. A 15th-level Cleric can memorize earthquake, which is the example that first sprang to mind - although Fozbek's example of control winds is also excellent.

3. "A lot more work for the GM" is not automatically "worth it." Ever-increasing prep time is a nightmare for a GM who doesn't want to end up starting every episode with "The City of Townsville... is under attack by a giant monster! Again!"

4. I didn't read The Infinity Gauntlet, but I did read Sandman. Trouble with both examples is that Thanos and Morpheus are not PCs. They do what the plot requires them to do. Herding PCs who can blow up Golarion (or, which is rather more impressive, put it back together afterward) almost requires the GM to flat-out cheat incessantly just in order to keep the players mildly interested.

(Short version: I disagree but I do feel you raised some valid points.)

But still the question remain why the others NPCs of that and hither level allow something like that, and you really have had players like that or is just hypothetically?

Well at least for me worth it the satisfaction of completing a session of this kind is invaluable.

I don´t see Thanos necessarily as a PC (but why not) but rather as a NPC and the Players representing Adam Warlock, maybe I can find a better example, but the point is that at that power your agenda could be different as the living tribunal or something like impress a lady (poor Thanos I feel bad for him).

Letting the players have their owns plots is a way of manage high levels, now the players are truly the main characters. As I said before if you want play a level 21+ story (I want) the most published material that can help you would be better for you.

The Exchange

Hey, James Wilbur (the OP) asked who uses epic rules. I said "I don't." And I don't. No skin off my nose if other GMs want to keep increasing the stakes and the enemies indefinitely. Why not have a campaign where you discover that the gods have gods, and the gods' gods' have a Boss who is only an underling of a Mega Boss who is in turn answerable to a Nine-Headed Teapot, and they all start hurling black holes at your characters, who deflect them with their Deflect Singularity feats? S'fine with me, I got noooo complaints.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Wilber aka The Magus wrote:
I am hanging myself out in the minority again. I wish Paizo would spend their limited time and resources on things other than epic level rules.

With Pathfinder's changes to the rules, especially the feat advancements, I personally feel that levels beyond 12th are Epic. By the time you reach 20th level, you are spending most of your time micro managing your character's abilities and magic items, instead of "role playing".

I know there are those out there that love their Epic though (I'm not sure how many though), so thankfully the 3.5 Epic rules can still be used by them.

I would definitely prefer that Paizo focus their time and resources products that support the Adventure Paths and the current level 1 - 20 character rules.

But, I think it's time for another one of my classic polls to see what others think:

Click here for the poll


Abraham spalding wrote:
Fozbek's point only stands if you completely discount the fact the possibility of DR which many martial specific classes have the means of getting.

No, actually, it doesn't discount that. Give them DR 5/- and the archers still win, the melee character just kills more of them first.

deinol wrote:
It also assumes that 1000 archers could all fire at one guy. Which seems a little silly.

Not remotely silly when you consider than 1000 archers are concentrating their attacks on a single small area and 950 of them are missing. In other words, the math of the game already accounts for that.

Lincoln Hills wrote:
First of all, no PC who's reached that level is going to engage these guys on an open field with absolutely no advantageous terrain. In fact, most of the time he'll wait til they're encamped before he starts his murder spree.

You're moving the goalposts. First it was "non-epic non-caster characters can already defeat entire armies", now it's, "only if they attack when the army can't do anything to them".

Quote:
Second, you're forgetting the items available to a non-caster PC (a potion of protection from arrows, hardly a game-breaking item, is just one of hundreds of inexpensive options: a hat of disguise is a more indirect but actually much nastier option.)

Protection from arrows only prevents a maximum of 100 damage, and the character has to use at least a standard action for every one after the first (which can be pre-buffed), essentially stunlocking himself. Protection from arrows changes absolutely nothing at all except giving the PC perhaps one more round of killing. A hat of disguise gives maybe a round or two of confusion. It still doesn't change the math. Killing 20 per round, you have to survive 50 rounds of combat.

Abraham Spalding wrote:

Heaven forbid the non-caster has a reach weapon, whirlwind (or great cleave!) and lunge.

Instead of hitting 8~9 people he can now hit 40 people a round.

You might kill that many one round, but not every single round, and killing 40 rather than 20 just reduces the number of rounds you have to survive by 1.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
deinol wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Fozbek's point only stands if you completely discount the fact the possibility of DR which many martial specific classes have the means of getting.

That's what I was going to say. It also assumes that 1000 archers could all fire at one guy. Which seems a little silly.

Now, once you get that 20th level fighter into melee with the army, he's only got to worry about ~9 guys at a time. Then he can definitely grind the army into paste.

Trip attack with polearms on the army side, grappling and aid another to get the needed bonuses. He will have troubles decimating an army.

And that is staying within the basic rules. After he has been grappled and made helpless tie him up and let him starve to death even if no one in the army can damage him.

200 rounds of melee combat, doing full attacks? That guy will start rolling constitution checks for exhaustion well before he kill all of his enemies. [yes, that would be hoseruling]

Earthquake? The guy suggesting that should read the spell description, not only the name. AoE 80' spread. Sure, lot of damage, in a 50 meters circle.
So essentially you have destroyed the city cathedral. Sorry, the city is still there.

As soon as the 4.000 men army is backed up by a few 10th level guys your level 20 character life become very difficult.


If the average damage is 4.5 and the DR is at least 5/- then he's on average not taking damage.

Even with all eight people around him they aren't going to succeed on a grapple or trip attempt -- at worse he's got a ring of freedom of movement (good for the goose is good for the gander).

Here's the problem -- anyone can state 'well statistically' without actually running the numbers -- which is what has been done here. Those stating the non-casters have no chance haven't actually bothered to really run the numbers (not that I think they could successfully anyways) and with a half done job have declared their conclusions.

The Exchange

Fozbek & Diego:

Sure, whatever. You win. Hooray for you. Feel better now? Good.

Shadow Lodge

Lincoln Hills wrote:
Feel better now?

Do you?

The Exchange

I don't see how that's relevant. On with the show!

Shadow Lodge

Pssh, this thread hasn't been relevant for pages.


Abraham spalding wrote:
If the average damage is 4.5 and the DR is at least 5/- then he's on average not taking damage.

I don't have a stance on the larger issue, but averages don't work that way. The average of (1d8-5) is not the same as the (average of 1d8)-5, since rolls less than 5 do 0 damage not negative damage.

It's ((8-5)+(7-5)+(6-5))/8=(3+2+1)/8=0.75


thejeff wrote:
[QUO(TE="Abraham spalding"] If the average damage is 4.5 and the DR is at least 5/- then he's on average not taking damage.

I don't have a stance on the larger issue, but averages don't work that way. The average of (1d8-5) is not the same as the (average of 1d8)-5, since rolls less than 5 do 0 damage not negative damage.

It's ((8-5)+(7-5)+(6-5))/8=(3+2+1)/8=0.75

Correct of course, but as you were so nice to show it's much more than just a 'few points' -- it is such a multiplier of the fighter's hp that he really can make it through the 1,000 without dying.


Abraham spalding wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
If the average damage is 4.5 and the DR is at least 5/- then he's on average not taking damage.

I don't have a stance on the larger issue, but averages don't work that way. The average of (1d8-5) is not the same as the (average of 1d8)-5, since rolls less than 5 do 0 damage not negative damage.

It's ((8-5)+(7-5)+(6-5))/8=(3+2+1)/8=0.75
Correct of course, but as you were so nice to show it's much more than just a 'few points' -- it is such a multiplier of the fighter's hp that he really can make it through the 1,000 without dying.

Well, .75*1000*.05 = 37.5 hp. Using Fozbek's assumptions above, he'll still take ~900 hp before killing them all. And that's assuming he does kill 20/round. DR helps a lot, but by itself doesn't let him win.


Lincoln Hills wrote:

But I do want to point out a reason that many GMs are not particularly fond of Mega-Characters. I've used pre-fab worlds and I've created my own, and I have to say that a world is really a rather delicate thing. A 15th-level cleric or 17th-level wizard with the right spells can lay waste to an entire city in an hour (and still have plenty of lower-level spell slots left over): even non-casters can wipe out literal armies (or, if your PCs have really gone whack-a-doo, mobs of screaming civilians.) These leave dents in your campaign setting - to say nothing of the occasional volcanic eruption or key historical character getting killed.

In a game like this, you have to resign yourself to giving up some control. In fact, I would delegate the consequences to the players, ask them to formulate reasonable responses to their actions.

Then again, I'm a lazy DM, I make my players think of everything, I just add twists. This has the benefit of them engaging the kinds of stories/settings/etc that are exactly what they're interested in though, if they don't like the plot, it's their own damn fault!


thejeff wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
If the average damage is 4.5 and the DR is at least 5/- then he's on average not taking damage.

I don't have a stance on the larger issue, but averages don't work that way. The average of (1d8-5) is not the same as the (average of 1d8)-5, since rolls less than 5 do 0 damage not negative damage.

It's ((8-5)+(7-5)+(6-5))/8=(3+2+1)/8=0.75
Correct of course, but as you were so nice to show it's much more than just a 'few points' -- it is such a multiplier of the fighter's hp that he really can make it through the 1,000 without dying.

Well, .75*1000*.05 = 37.5 hp. Using Fozbek's assumptions above, he'll still take ~900 hp before killing them all. And that's assuming he does kill 20/round. DR helps a lot, but by itself doesn't let him win.

Add some displacement, say just 20% and it's down to 30 hp on the opening round, less after that. 50% would drop it to 18.75 on round 1. If you add any item that can summon a large fog, you further increase survive-ability of the epic character.

Of course any source of DR 10 would reduce damage to nothing in this case (UMD + a couple scrolls of Righteous Might).


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I still want to know how the thousand guys are lined up so they manage to have line of sight to one guy. Mass archer fire is great against masses of infantrry, where you know they will land near someone.

If you assume no more than 100 can target him at a time (quite generous) his survival time increases greatly. Of course, once he closes into melee far fewer guys will get to target him.


This of course all assumes that the non-caster is of the 'completely stupid' variety too.

Also the .75*1,000 doesn't work since only 1 in 20 are hitting on any given round, and even with 50 hitting around he's still going to be dropping in the range of 40 a round (as I pointed out) easily (since it's mostly an army they aren't going to have the HP to handle taking 42+weapon dice damage a hit), and that's assuming he only whirlwinds to hit people, and doesn't have any means of healing what so ever, or that he has no other defenses in place.


Abraham spalding wrote:
If the average damage is 4.5 and the DR is at least 5/- then he's on average not taking damage.

Math fail.

The average damage from an attack that deals 1-8 damage (longbow) against a character that reduces all damage by 5 is 0.75: (0+0+0+0+0+0+1+2+3)/8.


deinol wrote:

I still want to know how the thousand guys are lined up so they manage to have line of sight to one guy. Mass archer fire is great against masses of infantrry, where you know they will land near someone.

If you assume no more than 100 can target him at a time (quite generous) his survival time increases greatly. Of course, once he closes into melee far fewer guys will get to target him.

You're implying rules that do not exist in the game. Soft cover (a person being between you and the target) does not prevent line of sight or line of effect.


Abraham spalding wrote:
even with 50 hitting around he's still going to be dropping in the range of 40 a round (as I pointed out) easily (since it's mostly an army they aren't going to have the HP to handle taking 42+weapon dice damage a hit), and that's assuming he only whirlwinds to hit people, and doesn't have any means of healing what so ever, or that he has no other defenses in place.

How is he killing 40 people every single round? One round, if he appears in the center of the formation, sure. Every round after that? Not even remotely. He has to move, don't forget.


Fozbek wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
even with 50 hitting around he's still going to be dropping in the range of 40 a round (as I pointed out) easily (since it's mostly an army they aren't going to have the HP to handle taking 42+weapon dice damage a hit), and that's assuming he only whirlwinds to hit people, and doesn't have any means of healing what so ever, or that he has no other defenses in place.
How is he killing 40 people every single round? One round, if he appears in the center of the formation, sure. Every round after that? Not even remotely. He has to move, don't forget.

Yes because moving is such a hindrance:

Pouncing barbarian, Mobile Fighter, and the like don't exist at all.

Mobile fighter however is the easiest, and you didn't pay attention earlier apparently:

Reach weapon with lunge and whirlwind attack.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
From Cayden Cailean's description I doubt it was epic levels that won him godhood. He did it by accident, probably before 10th level. If anything, the Starstone is the epitome of GM fiat. You get to be a god because the story requires it, not because of some minmaxed combo that lets you blitz the test.

No one knows that the test is like. No one talks about it. Persuadably it is different for everyone. Thus GM fiat. What would be good as a small sub-section would be example of how to write and run a memorable "test of godhood". This doesn't have to be the Startstone itself. The 3e Deities and Demigod book even suggested a battle royal for "divine ranks", really there could be many different "challenges" one could make keep gaining godhood entreating.

2e in the DM Option High Level Play book suggested the player do some kind of great work, like building a content wide road network... by hand... and alone to get a current god to consider granting demi-god status.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Fozbek wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
even with 50 hitting around he's still going to be dropping in the range of 40 a round (as I pointed out) easily (since it's mostly an army they aren't going to have the HP to handle taking 42+weapon dice damage a hit), and that's assuming he only whirlwinds to hit people, and doesn't have any means of healing what so ever, or that he has no other defenses in place.
How is he killing 40 people every single round? One round, if he appears in the center of the formation, sure. Every round after that? Not even remotely. He has to move, don't forget.

Yes because moving is such a hindrance:

Pouncing barbarian, Mobile Fighter, and the like don't exist at all.

Mobile fighter however is the easiest, and you didn't pay attention earlier apparently:

Reach weapon with lunge and whirlwind attack.

Yes, actually, I did pay attention. I knew how you were getting 40 on the first round. Only the Mobile Fighter can move and Whirlwind Attack, though, and even then you won't get 40 on every round after the first unless the archers move next to you, because 40 requires you to be completely surrounded.


But at the same time the same army will of course stay grouped together so the wizard has easy pickings with his spells.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Actually, if he has something as simple as a vampiric blade powerstone or somesort of arcane equivelant, he can slice through the army all day.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Fozbek wrote:
deinol wrote:

I still want to know how the thousand guys are lined up so they manage to have line of sight to one guy. Mass archer fire is great against masses of infantrry, where you know they will land near someone.

If you assume no more than 100 can target him at a time (quite generous) his survival time increases greatly. Of course, once he closes into melee far fewer guys will get to target him.

You're implying rules that do not exist in the game. Soft cover (a person being between you and the target) does not prevent line of sight or line of effect.

I will admit that line of sight is poorly defined, so it is up to the GM to determine how many bodies it takes to block it. But do you deny that a mob of people will block line of sight?


I dug out a few of my super high level characters and of them only one would be killed by those archers. Ironically she is my ex-paladin/archer... The wizard/cleric has DR 10/magic, the straight wizard has wind wall spell which stops all arrows, and my rogue has an astral crossover device letting her walk unseen right into the middle of the archers, kill a few and fading back out... rinse and repeat several hundred times and the army dies. Ok the rogue may need a few energy drinks to make it through that.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lincoln Hills wrote:

Fozbek & Diego:

Sure, whatever. You win. Hooray for you. Feel better now? Good.

Yes.

When people try to talk against high level playing and show that their problem is that they don't know or don't follow the rules it irritate me.
If you don't like something it is you problem, if you try to convince Paizo to remove something you don't like and I like it is my problem too.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:

This of course all assumes that the non-caster is of the 'completely stupid' variety too.

Also the .75*1,000 doesn't work since only 1 in 20 are hitting on any given round, and even with 50 hitting around he's still going to be dropping in the range of 40 a round (as I pointed out) easily (since it's mostly an army they aren't going to have the HP to handle taking 42+weapon dice damage a hit), and that's assuming he only whirlwinds to hit people, and doesn't have any means of healing what so ever, or that he has no other defenses in place.

On the same tone, why they are conveniently stacked in a way that allow him to attack more than a guy each round?

Why they aren't using skirmish tactics: fire and move away?
After all they have only 1 attack every round and range penalties don't make a difference for them.

BTW: they will get 1 critical every 400 shots (2 nat 20s).

Abraham spalding wrote:
But at the same time the same army will of course stay grouped together so the wizard has easy pickings with his spells.

Where someone did say that? The wizard will have the same problem.

The characters are mostly build in a way that allow them to kill single big enemy. Sufficiently large groups of low level adversaries stay a problem. A smaller problem for a spellcaster, but still a problem.

Shadow Lodge

Diego Rossi wrote:

When people try to talk against high level playing and show that their problem is that they don't know or don't follow the rules it irritate me.

If you don't like something it is you problem, if you try to convince Paizo to remove something you don't like and I like it is my problem too.

Not wanting to remove stuff is one of the major reasons I do NOT want Epic/Mythic Rules. Because I see two routes to Epic Rules:

1. Pile them on top of the already precarious existing high level rules, and watch as the whole house of cards collapses into the same sort of mess as the 3.X epic rules.

2. Throw away everything that exists in Pathfinder above approximately 12th level, and try to build a better system that would actually support decent post-20th level play.

Neither option is very good. I think option 1 is the lesser of two evils, but I think it's a bad enough option that I'd say just quit at 20th, or use an e20 system.


Must! Have! Epic/Mythic/Legendary/Marmilade content!

The Exchange

Diego Rossi wrote:
Lincoln Hills wrote:

Fozbek & Diego:

Sure, whatever. You win. Hooray for you. Feel better now? Good.

Yes.

When people try to talk against high level playing and show that their problem is that they don't know or don't follow the rules it irritate me.
If you don't like something it is you problem...

Well, golly, thanks for setting me straight.


Diego Rossi wrote:


BTW: they will get 1 critical every 400 shots (2 nat 20s).

...I don't think that is right. Do you have a rules quote that says a natural 20 on a confirmation roll matters at all?

Edit: Nevermind the above question, the rules for critical hits clearly state that a confirmation roll is an attack roll.

Good call bringing that into the debate so that, should anyone actually try to do the math, things can get really silly.


Diego Rossi wrote:

Where someone did say that? The wizard will have the same problem.

The characters are mostly build in a way that allow them to kill single big enemy. Sufficiently large groups of low level adversaries stay a problem. A smaller problem for a spellcaster, but still a problem.

I would dispute the smaller problem for the spell caster, but it depends on what spell caster to a degree too -- a wizard that didn't know he's hitting an army today might be in a world of trouble, while a witch is going to lack for means to actually finish anyone off. The druid might be in the best shape.

The spell caster's problems is going to be his limited zone of engagement for each group and the fact that most the area of any spell he uses is going to be wasted. Even if he manages to hit 10 people each time he casts a spell he's going to need 100 spells to get the army finished off. I've yet to see a caster build with 100 spells available per day.

Which of course comes back to another huge question no matter who is taking the army on -- how much prep time is there.

As it stands we really cannot reach any conclusion since it's all too vague to give any answers.

Goes back to one of my least favorite situations on these boards:

Vague situations with a bunch of claims none of which can be substantiated until everyone agrees to the ground rules and the problem is approached systematically.

I have a very strong feeling that if done in such a way we will find the caster is going to have more problems than initially suggested and the non-caster is going to be able to accomplish the task just as well as the caster does (though I think both are really going to have trouble).

It's like the whole "D&D economy doesn't work" thing people keep spouting without actually trying it all out to see if it does (here's a hint -- it does) -- instead just instantly jumping to inferences that don't hold up when tested.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

Where someone did say that? The wizard will have the same problem.

The characters are mostly build in a way that allow them to kill single big enemy. Sufficiently large groups of low level adversaries stay a problem. A smaller problem for a spellcaster, but still a problem.

I would dispute the smaller problem for the spell caster, but it depends on what spell caster to a degree too -- a wizard that didn't know he's hitting an army today might be in a world of trouble, while a witch is going to lack for means to actually finish anyone off. The druid might be in the best shape.

The spell caster's problems is going to be his limited zone of engagement for each group and the fact that most the area of any spell he uses is going to be wasted. Even if he manages to hit 10 people each time he casts a spell he's going to need 100 spells to get the army finished off. I've yet to see a caster build with 100 spells available per day.

Druids can easily do it, but most anyone else will struggle. Druids have the most overpowered mass combat spells in existence (5th level control winds and wall of thorns) along with the ability to turn into a sparrow and fly while casting spells.

No other casting class has a wide enough area of effect to be able to really cover the ground needed to destroy an army. The army might not be able to destroy them (a flying cleric is going to be pretty much unbeatable) either, but unless you can get multi-hundred-foot diameter spells that deal enough damage to kill a soldier in one spell, you're not going to be able to defeat an army in detail as a spellcaster.

---

Of course, this whole debate is kind of pointless in an actual play sense. Armies traditionally rout after even 20-30% casualties, especially if those casualties happen quickly or spectacularly (as they would against a spellcaster).


thenobledrake wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


BTW: they will get 1 critical every 400 shots (2 nat 20s).

...I don't think that is right. Do you have a rules quote that says a natural 20 on a confirmation roll matters at all?

Edit: Nevermind the above question, the rules for critical hits clearly state that a confirmation roll is an attack roll.

Good call bringing that into the debate so that, should anyone actually try to do the math, things can get really silly.

With 1000 archers, there would on average be 2 crits per round. If the defender has DR 10, those would be the only 2 hits doing damage, with an average of 3.5 each, or 7 damage per round. DR 5 would mean 43 damage per round.

With DR 10, and consuming a Cure Serious Wounds potion every 3 rounds, it would take the archers 100 rounds to kill someone with 250 HP. Once the archers were reduced to fewer than 800, a potion every 6 rounds would completely offset the incoming damage.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:


I would dispute the smaller problem for the spell caster, ...etc

I agree with the whole post. Very well argued.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Irontruth wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


BTW: they will get 1 critical every 400 shots (2 nat 20s).

...I don't think that is right. Do you have a rules quote that says a natural 20 on a confirmation roll matters at all?

Edit: Nevermind the above question, the rules for critical hits clearly state that a confirmation roll is an attack roll.

Good call bringing that into the debate so that, should anyone actually try to do the math, things can get really silly.

With 1000 archers, there would on average be 2 crits per round. If the defender has DR 10, those would be the only 2 hits doing damage, with an average of 3.5 each, or 7 damage per round. DR 5 would mean 43 damage per round.

With DR 10, and consuming a Cure Serious Wounds potion every 3 rounds, it would take the archers 100 rounds to kill someone with 250 HP. Once the archers were reduced to fewer than 800, a potion every 6 rounds would completely offset the incoming damage.

In the meantime our hero would have killed 66 skirmishers staying 20' from each other (he would spend 1/3 of his time drinking potions).

Impressive ;)

BTW: (24-10)*1/512+(23-10)*3/512 ecc. don't give an average damage of 3.5
My math is off enough that I will not try to calculate it.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

(casting thread resurrection because I'm a bit of a masochist, I guess)

I'll be testing some of these theories soon. However, I know full well what I expect to happen when an epic party faces a standard army: the army dies. Quickly. I'm suspecting that armies don't fare so well against dervish fighters with over a thousand hit points, druids with tsunami that can turn into a Colossal red dragon, and archers who are dumping 13d6 skirmish damage per arrow or who can drop reality maelstrom or reverse gravity on their arrows.

Now, if the party were to encounter an army of something significantly more resilient, that might prove a challenge, but on a daily basis I'd say the PCs will be able to wipe the battlefield with any standard force. On the other hand, that's on an open plain of battle. Other places might be less advantageous for the party.

My plan is to use the simple rules from Kingmaker. We'll see how that goes within the next couple months. The actual skirmishes aren't the point anyways; it's the cause that's relevant for the PCs.

As an aside, I suppose you could make an army that would be designed to kill powerful creatures ... but that's really gaming the system as GM. In practice, I suspect an army powerful enough to take out a powerful single creature is going to be more expensive and more unwieldy than just hiring another single powerful creature.

Thus, barring exceptional circumstances, I don't see any reason to specially craft armies that will go after the Achilles heel of an epic party. Taking out armies is something they're just supposed to be able to do, why would I nerf that at the expense of versimilitude?

There are, of course, those exceptional circumstances I mentioned ...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:
Lincoln Hills wrote:

Fozbek & Diego:

Sure, whatever. You win. Hooray for you. Feel better now? Good.

Yes.

When people try to talk against high level playing and show that their problem is that they don't know or don't follow the rules it irritate me.
If you don't like something it is you problem, if you try to convince Paizo to remove something you don't like and I like it is my problem too.

Except no one is convincing Paizo to remove anything. Epic/mythic rules don't exist in PF. (And no, what came before in 3.x doesn't count.)

Some are advocating against the addition of something, not the removal.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
BPorter wrote:
Some are advocating against the addition of something, not the removal.

Or, to make the point even more explicit, we're asking Paizo to consider adding something else instead.

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