Player vs DM. Are there winners?


Advice

Sovereign Court

Hi

Me and my group started our first high level campaing. I don't particulary hate high level although it might get a little bit complicated but with this campaing I'm really puzzled.

The rule of our game was:
"We play who we want."

Which means all options are available and we dont have a set amount of starting money for the equipment.

One of the players who I don't know very well but apparently he researched a lot about this game made a Drow Noble Ninja 20 lvl with +60 sneak and a set of two very deadly close combat weapons and AC which reaches 50 or 60.

I skimmed through Beastiary 1 and 2, looked at the SRD. I didnt find anything which would be able to fight with him on a even ground. I tried to reason with him but it would mean that I dont allow him to play what he wants. I also tried to get deep into details about how sneak actually works in combat but I lost it. Is it possible to hide after an attack if the fight takes place in the dark/smoke/mist or if the attacker is invisible?

Please help


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

wait so all options of any kind were open and there was no restriction on the value of magic items the characters started with, you are level 20 and you think there is something in the bestiary that is going to be able to deal with that?

I believe the name of this campaign is doomed to failure from the start. This is pathfinder, wealth == power. If you allow unlimited wealth as well as any option the player can find and start at level 20, nothing in the bestiary is going to challenge them.

Also, in regards to the stealth question, yes of the character has cover or concealment they can hide after an attack at a penalty.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I see no point to your game besides number crunching and build testing.


Its beyond hope for help. Sorry sir. =( Basically when this happens, its a well meaning DM, but ultimately it will just backfire. Its incredibly labor intensive to create encounters for PCs like this, and I beleive most people will echo me on that once you get rid of Wealth per level and certain lines are crossed, it ends up in a realm of pure entropic imagination....

Anyways to answer your immediate question, it is possible to hide if you have concealment, so yes, dark/smokey/mist would apply. And being invisible does grant sneak attack every attack. (I'm not sure about the blog play test rules however) Suggestions I have for fights are: Great Wyrm Dragons, with blind sense, (even if he's invis normally, or has concealment, it doesn't matter they can still attack and target him) but make sure they have a couple levels of barbarian or fighter to augment their strength and BAB to be able to hit him. (Don't forget to equip them with +5 mithral full plate and a slew of magical gear.) Other suggestions are demon (devil, qlippoth (sp?) and Daemon) lords with class levels, and a slew of the extra soupy special abils. Unfortunately when you have a player like this to really even the playing field you need a mastery of the rules to pick the cheesiest options to be a challenge.


CE Chef wrote:
Unfortunately when you have a player like this to really even the playing field you need a mastery of the rules to pick the cheesiest options to be a challenge.

Or you can also take copies of all their characters, and essentlially use them against themselves. Just enhance then all by changing their races to powerful monsters.

Shadow Lodge

Grandmikus wrote:

Hi

Me and my group started our first high level campaing. I don't particulary hate high level although it might get a little bit complicated but with this campaing I'm really puzzled.

The rule of our game was:
"We play who we want."

Which means all options are available and we dont have a set amount of starting money for the equipment.

One of the players who I don't know very well but apparently he researched a lot about this game made a Drow Noble Ninja 20 lvl with +60 sneak and a set of two very deadly close combat weapons and AC which reaches 50 or 60.

I skimmed through Beastiary 1 and 2, looked at the SRD. I didnt find anything which would be able to fight with him on a even ground. I tried to reason with him but it would mean that I dont allow him to play what he wants. I also tried to get deep into details about how sneak actually works in combat but I lost it. Is it possible to hide after an attack if the fight takes place in the dark/smoke/mist or if the attacker is invisible?

Please help

the fun of dming is realizing that you have unlimited resources. you can throw level one orcs at the group until the get whittled down by 1 hp damaging strikes. or in the case of the ninja a ton of aoe spells fired off until he catches on fire lol. basically what im saying is that you should get inventive on how you deal with the party, make them sweat, the entire point in epic levels is going up against insane monsters that no normal adventurer could survive. terrisque anyone? 10 terrisques anyone muhaha :) and throw a couple ancient dragons in there while you're at it.

P.S.
oh and dont let the ninja BS you into believing that tremor sense dosent bypass the level 20 ninja ability. the text clearly stats the invisibility can not be bypassed by anti invisibility spells... that means explicitly spells that would counter invisibility in name and effect(true sight), not as a secondary effect like tremor sense.

oh and one more dm trick i learned, mages disjunction as a contingent on npc's when they die lol. now you dont have to worry about magic items falling into the hands of PCs, heavy fortification anyone?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

The Drow Noble is a step above normal races, which would be a problem, but not as much as unlimited wealth. I like games that allow everything 1st party, but you still need to use a reasonable wealth. You can give some extra wealth if you want, but unlimited is really shooting for the stars. And not all races are equal, if a monster race has more than net +2 to ability scores is an easy way to tell that it is superior.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

If he wants to use unlimited wealth to get super-powered, either make your own unlimited wealth super-powered character or make him go up against something bigger than him. If he gets to play whoever he wants, you can make him fight whoever you want. It's only fair. Make him go up against the Tarrasque. Alone. Advance it's hit dice, too.

That's how I handle the super-high ability score gestalt campaigns I love running. Sure, you get a really power character, but the bad guys are just as strong.


Give him a level 3 npc (perhaps a sister or brother?) to take care of and give him the quest to keep him alive.... then send 20 lvl 3 combatants their way and see how he deals with it.

Find his weaknesses: will save? CMD? I bet these two areas have taken a hit.

Maybe you shouldn't be looking at the Bestiary... perhaps this is the best thing to throw his way.Mirror of Opposition
Teehee!

Sovereign Court

TheSideKick wrote:


the fun of dming is realizing that you have unlimited resources. you can throw level one orcs at the group until the get whittled down by 1 hp damaging strikes. or in the case of the ninja a ton of aoe spells fired off until he catches on fire lol. basically what im saying is that you should get inventive on how you deal with the party, make them sweat, the entire point in epic levels is going up against insane monsters that no normal adventurer could survive. terrisque anyone? 10 terrisques anyone muhaha :) and throw a couple ancient dragons in there while you're at it.

P.S.
oh and dont let the ninja BS you into believing that tremor sense dosent bypass the level 20 ninja ability. the text clearly stats the invisibility can not be bypassed by anti invisibility spells... that means explicitly spells that would counter invisibility in name and effect(true sight), not as a secondary effect like tremor sense.

oh and one more dm trick i learned, mages...

Isnt there a ninja feat that allows to fully negate every effect that can be negated by a reflex check?

And thanks for the tips. They made me think more about not playing by the rules.

btw. I thought the mages were severly depowered in pathfinder. I never gave them a closer look. I think I should start now.

TheFace wrote:


If he wants to use unlimited wealth to get super-powered, either make your own unlimited wealth super-powered character or make him go up against something bigger than him. If he gets to play whoever he wants, you can make him fight whoever you want. It's only fair. Make him go up against the Tarrasque. Alone. Advance it's hit dice, too.

That's how I handle the super-high ability score gestalt campaigns I love running. Sure, you get a really power character, but the bad guys are just as strong.

but what if they start fleeing?

I mean I tought about realy powerful creatures but I also encountered the problem of such items as boots of teleportation and retreating.

players often confront me with logic that it would be riddiculus if they encountered insanely powerful foes on dialy basis. I even play in Faerun to somehow balance the fact that there are many high level heroes and villans wandering here and there.

Matthias_DM wrote:

Give him a level 3 npc (perhaps a sister or brother?) to take care of and give him the quest to keep him alive.... then send 20 lvl 3 combatants their way and see how he deals with it.

Find his weaknesses: will save? CMD? I bet these two areas have taken a hit.

Maybe you shouldn't be looking at the Bestiary... perhaps this is the best thing to throw his way.Mirror of Opposition
Teehee!

I talked about it with the player. I came up with the feint manouver and he was suppriesed that something like that existed and it would certainly kill him without fail.

I do not enjoy seeing people faces when their characters die from a ruling mistake so I pointed it out to him. One of the players made a very accurate remark that there is a very thin line between victory and death because most of the characters are made so that if they don't win, it means that I prepared the encounter so that they would die.

After that the game athmosphere is quite tense. I don't want to fail those players who are here just for the roleplay so im looking for this thin middle line to challenge them.

PS: Thats the coolest magic item I have ever seen.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I wouldn't worry about your players' "logical" arguments. At their level, low level challenges should be beneath their notice. They should probably have minions that deal with those types of concerns. After all, at level 20 they should be ruling a kingdom, plane jumping and/or dealing with gods. Only high level challenges, like the Tarrasque, would be worth their time.

If you're struggling for creatures, you could try to get a copy of the old 3.0 Epic Level Handbook. There were some crazy (often unbalanced) high-level creatures in there that could probably be used in your Pathfinder game without too much adjustment.

Sovereign Court

Larry Lichman wrote:

I wouldn't worry about your players' "logical" arguments. At their level, low level challenges should be beneath their notice. They should probably have minions that deal with those types of concerns. After all, at level 20 they should be ruling a kingdom, plane jumping and/or dealing with gods. Only high level challenges, like the Tarrasque, would be worth their time.

If you're struggling for creatures, you could try to get a copy of the old 3.0 Epic Level Handbook. There were some crazy (often unbalanced) high-level creatures in there that could probably be used in your Pathfinder game without too much adjustment.

Ive ordered one, a week ago. Never really bothered to take my 3.0 campaigns there. I heard there is a lot of really funny stuff in that book, in a bad way.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Grandmikus wrote:
Larry Lichman wrote:

I wouldn't worry about your players' "logical" arguments. At their level, low level challenges should be beneath their notice. They should probably have minions that deal with those types of concerns. After all, at level 20 they should be ruling a kingdom, plane jumping and/or dealing with gods. Only high level challenges, like the Tarrasque, would be worth their time.

If you're struggling for creatures, you could try to get a copy of the old 3.0 Epic Level Handbook. There were some crazy (often unbalanced) high-level creatures in there that could probably be used in your Pathfinder game without too much adjustment.

Ive ordered one, a week ago. Never really bothered to take my 3.0 campaigns there. I heard there is a lot of really funny stuff in that book, in a bad way.

It can be bad, but based on your campaign rules (unlimited wealth, level 20, etc.), you may find that some of the "broken" creatures actually balance out with your PCs...


Grandmikus wrote:

Hi

Me and my group started our first high level campaing. I don't particulary hate high level although it might get a little bit complicated but with this campaing I'm really puzzled.

The rule of our game was:
"We play who we want."

Which means all options are available and we dont have a set amount of starting money for the equipment.

One of the players who I don't know very well but apparently he researched a lot about this game made a Drow Noble Ninja 20 lvl with +60 sneak and a set of two very deadly close combat weapons and AC which reaches 50 or 60.

I skimmed through Beastiary 1 and 2, looked at the SRD. I didnt find anything which would be able to fight with him on a even ground. I tried to reason with him but it would mean that I dont allow him to play what he wants. I also tried to get deep into details about how sneak actually works in combat but I lost it. Is it possible to hide after an attack if the fight takes place in the dark/smoke/mist or if the attacker is invisible?

Please help

Hitting an AC or 50 or 60 is possible at level 20. What I do in such cases is use the monster's treasure value to buy equipment to make the monster better. You can't use stock monsters against optimized character's.

I think dragons have a +30ish to hit at level 20.
Righteous might gives at least a +2 to hit from the strength modifier.
Divine power(?) gives a +6 if the dragon has a scroll from a 20 level caster.
Arcane strike should work also. That is another +4 or 5.
Amulets of might Fist for another +5

That dragon will at least have a +48, and that is just off the top of my head.

PS:A belt that give that +6 bonus to strength is another +3 to hit. Dropping the advanced template on a dragon is another +2 to hit.
Giving one the fiendish template is just nasty since the dragon's hd are added to all of its attacks to damage, and its charisma is added to the attack rolls.

Now we have at least a +60 to hit.

The Exchange

In answer to your question at the very end, yes, you can use Stealth to hide in mid-battle when concealment or cover are available. If you're attacking and then hiding in the same round, you suffer a -20 penalty (which is obviously nothing to your player's character.) Also, I feel pity for you, so I'll just say "Good luck!"


Lincoln Hills wrote:
Also, I feel pity for you, so I'll just say "Good luck!"

I agree. You can't really hand out unlimited wealth and power without expecting it to be used. As a GM it is your job to put the caps in place.

PS:Even with restrictions in place level 20 is hard to control.

Sovereign Court

You were all right.

This ninja nearly made me eat my copy of the core book.

The story and the fun and enagaging but after the game I felt frustrated and empty.

The game was entierly non-combat but each time I tried to introduce a nasty plot element, some kind of magical mumbo jumbo nailed me good. It was more frustrating when I realized that everything was because of that acrused shadow warrior and his arsenal of "No you don't".

If this game had any combat it would easily become a game of "Butchers and Butched" whith sides changing rapidly like in a ping pong match.

If I want them to win , they win. If they are challenged, they are slaughtered.

I quit the game just after the second session had ended. The players told me that I am that sort of DM that only thinks of how to kill them and doesn't enjoy the story at all, even though I set everything up myself, and that the game ended because I couldn't cope with playing on their level.

I am only sorry for those players who made their characters only to experiance some good roleplay. It is sad that now as we are deep into an engaging story with several twists and cliffhangers we have to end it in such a way. Like a cancellation of a good TV show.

Thank you for your advice till now. I will stay away from high level campaigns with this level of power from now on.


I like to use elementals against optimized sneak attack rogues since elementals are not subject to sneak attack. Combine that aspect of elementals with combat on their native ground, which can represent another obstacle like drowning or burning, and the encounter typically proves challenging.

The Exchange

Whenever a player says "you can't cope with playing on our level," back away slowly and find another group.

Seriously, don't feel like you were to blame on this one. You gave them their little wish-fulfillment marathon and got tired of granting wishes before they got tired of making them. Although it's true that high-level campaigns can involve a lot of fun story, it's very difficult to generate that story when the campaign starts out at ludicrous levels.*
That doesn't mean you won't do well running a campaign at more reasonable experience and $ levels.

*Except Amber.


Grandmikus wrote:


One of the players who I don't know very well but apparently he researched a lot about this game made a Drow Noble Ninja 20 lvl with +60 sneak and a set of two very deadly close combat weapons and AC which reaches 50 or 60.

50+ AC is expected at level 20.

The game is balanced around level 20 50 being common.
Look at AC of Balor/Pit Fiend:
Balor AC: without Magic Items 36.
It should have NPC wealth minimum by then (123,000 gp). So it could have Dex boosts for more AC or Necklace of NA, Ioun Stone Dusky Rose (+1 insight), etc. That NPC wealth boost her to up to 52 AC or higher.

Pit Fiend is Dex boosts for more AC or Necklace of NA, Ioun Stone Dusky Rose (+1 insight), etc.
That NPC wealth boost her to up to 50 AC or higher.

Really, I'm confused if no one remember NPC wealth for updating their monsters.


Grandmikus wrote:

Hi

Me and my group started our first high level campaing. I don't particulary hate high level although it might get a little bit complicated but with this campaing I'm really puzzled.

The rule of our game was:
"We play who we want."

Which means all options are available and we dont have a set amount of starting money for the equipment.

One of the players who I don't know very well but apparently he researched a lot about this game made a Drow Noble Ninja 20 lvl with +60 sneak and a set of two very deadly close combat weapons and AC which reaches 50 or 60.

I skimmed through Beastiary 1 and 2, looked at the SRD. I didnt find anything which would be able to fight with him on a even ground. I tried to reason with him but it would mean that I dont allow him to play what he wants. I also tried to get deep into details about how sneak actually works in combat but I lost it. Is it possible to hide after an attack if the fight takes place in the dark/smoke/mist or if the attacker is invisible?

Please help

If you have infinite wealth why not just buy a int con str dex wis cha belt +1000000, then just get a bow and shoot at things miles a away with distance enchantments and such?

The Exchange

Starbuck_II wrote:
...Really, I'm confused if no one remember NPC wealth for updating their monsters.

Perhaps they no remember because a pit fiend isn't supposed to have the gear of a 20th-level NPC. It's supposed to have treasure equal to two EL 20 encounters - which means it'll mostly be cash and jewels, with only a handful of fairly major - but randomly rolled - items. I'm not saying that having the pit fiend invest all its treasure in optimized magical items isn't a good idea - I'm just saying that in the RaW, you don't just assign optimal gear to a monster based on its CR.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Gods don't have stat blocks because they're omnipotent.
The GM is in charge of Gods
So unless you're PC was smart enough to purchase a ring of gamemaster control (best magic item ever IMHO), then you can have a god show up and force reincarnate the drow as a 1st edition AD&D half-orc cleric assuring that he'd never ever rise above 4th level. As a neat side effect, as he tried to get better armor, his AC would actually get worse and he'd die of frustration attempting to use THAC0.

Still, player might get really lucky and roll 00 for psionics. But, if it happened to Job...

That's probably how I'd handle it.
The rest of the player will love you for it too. I promise.
Players whose characters are over the top optimized to break the game, make the game least fun for other players. That's why it stinks for the GM, because the GM sees all the other players having no fun, and ultimately a good GM wants the most players to have the most fun.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Grandmikus wrote:

Hi

Me and my group started our first high level campaing. I don't particulary hate high level although it might get a little bit complicated but with this campaing I'm really puzzled.

The rule of our game was:
"We play who we want."

Which means all options are available and we dont have a set amount of starting money for the equipment.

I find that unless a lot of things are in the right slots as far as players, DMs, and especially an established history between the people in the playing group, leaving no boundaries is actually a disservice for all.

Limits serve another thing besides keeping players in line. They provide a form and structure to a campaign. And those are valuable assets.


AM NO WINNER IN PLAYER VS DM.

UNLESS SOMEONE PLAYING BARBARIAN. BARBARIAN AM ALWAYS WINNER.

UNLESS DM KILL BARBARIAN. THEN AM DIRTY FIAT.

Grand Lodge

The only winner of GM vs Players, is the guy sitting in the background throwing peanuts at the GM and players involved in such a game. I tried for most of a year to get one of my friends to stop playing in this GM vs players game (3.5e) he was in, especially when the GM basically gave up, and stole my friend's build, and then added levels to it.

He constantly complained about it, eventually I gave up, and just started carrying a sign saying "I told you so", simply so I could stop repeating myself.

Once upon a time that GM wasn't an arrogant jerk, he could run a pretty good game, but that time has long, long, long, etc. since past. I figured this out in the second game of his I played, when I built a character, that wasn't even a particularly powerful character, it just had some inordinately high saves while having no magic items, and it was thrown out before the next game. I was not amused.


I would not lose hope, sir. High level Pathfinder is a harsh forest to navigate...only made more harsh by your characters having anything they want.

Part of the only control you have as GM is player gear...when you throw that out...well...Baby with the bath water and all that.

Grand Lodge

LagunaWSU2 wrote:

I would not lose hope, sir. High level Pathfinder is a harsh forest to navigate...only made more harsh by your characters having anything they want.

Part of the only control you have as GM is player gear...when you throw that out...well...Baby with the bath water and all that.

Except the fact that the GM basically controls everything, you just have to learn to say "no" not that hard really, it's one syllable, two letters.


Kais86 wrote:
LagunaWSU2 wrote:

I would not lose hope, sir. High level Pathfinder is a harsh forest to navigate...only made more harsh by your characters having anything they want.

Part of the only control you have as GM is player gear...when you throw that out...well...Baby with the bath water and all that.

Except the fact that the GM basically controls everything, you just have to learn to say "no" not that hard really, it's one syllable, two letters.

This. As a GM, I HATE saying no, and I try to reach compromises with the players as much as I can so that I don't have to, but there is a point where the law must be laid down and something outright forbidden for the good of the game. At the end of the day, YOU are in charge, not the players. Being open-minded and tolerant with what you allow is a great way to play the game, but there have to be limits. Otherwise, what's the point of even having rulebooks?


AM BARBARIAN wrote:

AM NO WINNER IN PLAYER VS DM.

UNLESS SOMEONE PLAYING BARBARIAN. BARBARIAN AM ALWAYS WINNER.

UNLESS DM KILL BARBARIAN. THEN AM DIRTY FIAT.

What happens when AM BARBARIAN fights AM BARBARIAN. Who wins?


Starbuck_II wrote:
AM BARBARIAN wrote:

AM NO WINNER IN PLAYER VS DM.

UNLESS SOMEONE PLAYING BARBARIAN. BARBARIAN AM ALWAYS WINNER.

UNLESS DM KILL BARBARIAN. THEN AM DIRTY FIAT.

What happens when AM BARBARIAN fights AM BARBARIAN. Who wins?

AM BARBARIAN.


If there's no restrictions placed on the players then perhaps you shouldnt restrict the DR system. Start them off with 5 valor lords mounted on fiendish great wyrm red dragons. If they can handle those it's time to dust off 3.5, bring on the paragon hecatonchieres and pseudonatural force great wyrm.

The dm can always win if he wants

Shadow Lodge

I always win.


Grandmikus wrote:

Hi

Me and my group started our first high level campaing. I don't particulary hate high level although it might get a little bit complicated but with this campaing I'm really puzzled.

The rule of our game was:
"We play who we want."

Which means all options are available and we dont have a set amount of starting money for the equipment.

One of the players who I don't know very well but apparently he researched a lot about this game made a Drow Noble Ninja 20 lvl with +60 sneak and a set of two very deadly close combat weapons and AC which reaches 50 or 60.

I skimmed through Beastiary 1 and 2, looked at the SRD. I didnt find anything which would be able to fight with him on a even ground. I tried to reason with him but it would mean that I dont allow him to play what he wants. I also tried to get deep into details about how sneak actually works in combat but I lost it. Is it possible to hide after an attack if the fight takes place in the dark/smoke/mist or if the attacker is invisible?

Please help

The AC looks fishy to me but that doesn't seem so bad as what is required for a rogue to survive at LEVEL 20. The only enemies that could beat him are casters but that's because casters beat everyone, and hiding is really best against mundanes.

Basics have your boss types and other people you don't want to be instana gibbed have tremorsense, blindsense or something else. It is possible for casters to just force cage him and win right there, but forcecage is sort of anti-fun; so just have them glitterdust him, giving a -40 to stealth checks and by level 20 everyone should have at least 1 if not more people with +20 perception.

You could even turn it into a sort of infiltration mission from rts's with stealth units. To be at max efficiency he needs to learn how to kill the "detector" units and remove stealth debuff spells (glitterdust, faerie fire, a mundane bag of flour, the list goes on)from himself.

Don't make it an arms race, make it a strategy race.


Starbuck_II wrote:
AM BARBARIAN wrote:

AM NO WINNER IN PLAYER VS DM.

UNLESS SOMEONE PLAYING BARBARIAN. BARBARIAN AM ALWAYS WINNER.

UNLESS DM KILL BARBARIAN. THEN AM DIRTY FIAT.

What happens when AM BARBARIAN fights AM BARBARIAN. Who wins?

AM NO PVP IN CAMPAIGNS BARBARIAN AM IN. AM NOT SURE. AM PRETTY SURE WINNER AM BARBARIAN, THOUGH.

Sovereign Court

Once more thanks a lot guys for the advice.

I won't isolate myself and my players from high level adventures just because of one very nasty encounter.

Officialy I am now a burned out, retired DM as some people from the previous group called me. Apparently retirement is a funny way of saying that powergamers and mid-maxers should stay away from my games.

My new found reputation worked wonders as I got myself an invitation to DM a game of my choosing, from the remaining players.

We played it today and had a blast.

I will try to mature and help them mature in order to play high level campaigns the way they intended to be. More fun less power struggle.


Grandmikus wrote:

Once more thanks a lot guys for the advice.

I won't isolate myself and my players from high level adventures just because of one very nasty encounter.

Officialy I am now a burned out, retired DM as some people from the previous group called me. Apparently retirement is a funny way of saying that powergamers and mid-maxers should stay away from my games.

My new found reputation worked wonders as I got myself an invitation to DM a game of my choosing, from the remaining players.

We played it today and had a blast.

I will try to mature and help them mature in order to play high level campaigns the way they intended to be. More fun less power struggle.

I would suggest playing up to 20 without the "no restrictions" clause. If the players refuse restrictions refuse to GM, once you get back to GM'ing again.


Lincoln Hills wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:
...Really, I'm confused if no one remember NPC wealth for updating their monsters.
Perhaps they no remember because a pit fiend isn't supposed to have the gear of a 20th-level NPC. It's supposed to have treasure equal to two EL 20 encounters - which means it'll mostly be cash and jewels, with only a handful of fairly major - but randomly rolled - items. I'm not saying that having the pit fiend invest all its treasure in optimized magical items isn't a good idea - I'm just saying that in the RaW, you don't just assign optimal gear to a monster based on its CR.

Really though that makes no sense. Why would a balor have a randomly rolled longbow +4 when he uses spells for ranged attacks and duelwields a sword and whip in melee? Instead of gold minted by any material king his currency is soulgems. He only has armor that wouldn't be burned by his aura and it should be armor he can use damnit, not something sized for medium creature.

In short random treasure that monsters don't use and exists solely for player loot is stupid and illogical.

"No I have no idea why these random animals are carrying 148 gil and a magic fire ring"

Scarab Sages

Not like he might still be holding some of the valuable crap that the last foolish group of bodies... err... adventurers... dropped in the last failed bid to kill him :D

Or gear to pass to underlings at some point.

Or any other number of reasons. Random loot doesn't mean purposeless loot :D

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