Are my players overpowered?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Ashiel wrote:
Tom S 820 wrote:

6) Control crafting by controlling gold and time to craft.

a) Keep the wealth 75% of Average Wealth per Character level.
b) Avoid long stretches of down time with money in there hands.

7) Avoid giving the perfect item to help PC build. Ie Stat Items, Wands, Pearls of power, Ring of Protection, Scroll with new spell in wizard book. Bond item is huge power.

11) Think of way use/give conditions to all the party in prefight, fatigued, shaken, and sickened.
Running before battle Fort save DC 10 +1/2 APL +1 fatigued for 1d4+1 rounds
Wolves howling Will save DC 10 +1/2 APL +1 for shaken 1d4+1 rounds
Sewer stench Fort save DC 10 +1/2 APL +1 Sicken for 1d4+1 rounds...

Whatever you do, don't follow any of the above advice.

Why?


I'm sure this has been answered, but just use 15-20 point buy. Your situation with the starting stat rolls is typical of what I've experienced.

In fact, the last few times I've played stats rolling has produced some form of drama:

Once half the party was effectively 30 point buy, the other half was 10 point buy. It averages out to 20 point buy, but it's clearly not fair that some players are SO MUCH better than others. So as GM I had to do all kinds of clunky ad-hoc things to balance it out.

Another time a group member convinced the GM (I was a player) to use a ridiculous system to do stats. Once that guy was called out on the system being mathematically BS, the GM still let him keep his stats. The GM allowed other people to use the same method, but they didn't get anywhere near his stats by random luck (even though on average they should have done much better).


Tom S 820 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Tom S 820 wrote:

6) Control crafting by controlling gold and time to craft.

a) Keep the wealth 75% of Average Wealth per Character level.
b) Avoid long stretches of down time with money in there hands.

7) Avoid giving the perfect item to help PC build. Ie Stat Items, Wands, Pearls of power, Ring of Protection, Scroll with new spell in wizard book. Bond item is huge power.

11) Think of way use/give conditions to all the party in prefight, fatigued, shaken, and sickened.
Running before battle Fort save DC 10 +1/2 APL +1 fatigued for 1d4+1 rounds
Wolves howling Will save DC 10 +1/2 APL +1 for shaken 1d4+1 rounds
Sewer stench Fort save DC 10 +1/2 APL +1 Sicken for 1d4+1 rounds...

Whatever you do, don't follow any of the above advice.
Why?

For one, a lot of is outright arbitrary and not needed. The restrictions on crafting, wealth by level, and so forth aren't needed to challenge PCs. In fact, they NEED that junk to survive. 3.x/PF is a harsh mistress my friend. The GM toolkit is filled with so much nastiness that we're trippin' over ways to inflict murder-death-kills on the party.

Arbitrarily barring items that are useful from the party is neither helpful, nor particularly useful, and just makes it frustrating for the party. Better to actually explain what all this stuff does, and how it works within the game, rather than suggesting that someone ignore it.

And the worst offender — oh my god the worst offender — is suggestion 11, where the party is arbitrarily afflicted with nonsensical problems and status ailments for no other reason than just to inflict them with problems. The mechanics behind it are terrible as well. DC 10 + 1/2 their level + X? So the DC gets HARDER as you gain levels? What sort of b^))$#!+ is that?

Seriously, his entire party can be slaughtered by an equal CR pack of kobold warriors. All of the quoted advice does literally nothing to help the problem, creates new problems, includes bad mechanics, and frankly just seems to be an instruction as to how to be a bad GM.

Man, I'm still gagging over the idea that wolves howling in the woods is somehow getting scarier as you gain levels. Especially since you can probably butcher and skin a wolf alive by the time you're 5th level, bare handed, using only one hand. Wolves themselves aren't even fear-inducing.

It's just arbitrary nonsense.


The game is set up to a party of 4 PC. This party has 7 which is 175% greater than base line balance point. All this is to get closer of not to strong and not to weak.
You want the fight to not kill every one ie TPK on one hand but, not be "walk over what did we do" no challenge at all.

Large amounts gold and down time make crafter gods. Way stronger than they supposed to be. I did not say not let craft. But keep it balanced

“ 7) Avoid giving the perfect item to help PC build. Ie Stat Items, Wands, Pearls of power, Ring of Protection, Scroll with new spell in wizard book. Bond item is huge power.”

Let them craft it do not give it to them for free. Do not make it common or mundane.

“11) Think of way use/give conditions to all the party in prefight, fatigued, shaken, and sickened.
Running before battle Fort save DC 10 +1/2 APL +1 fatigued for 1d4+1 rounds
Wolves howling Will save DC 10 +1/2 APL +1 for shaken 1d4+1 rounds
Sewer stench Fort save DC 10 +1/2 APL +1 Sicken for 1d4+1 rounds”

The DC low but still a threat the duration fair and the result is basically -2 on D20 rolls not huge or -2 STR and DEX.

These are all basically 1 level spell with scaling DC, low duration.

Make the party little weaker or eat up there action to get read of it.

Look at haunts, traps, poison, and disease.


Tom S 820 wrote:

The game is set up to a party of 4 PC. This party has 7 which is 175% greater than base line balance point. All this is to get closer of not to strong and not to weak.

You want the fight to not kill every one ie TPK on one hand but, not be "walk over what did we do" no challenge at all.

Large amounts gold and down time make crafter gods. Way stronger than they supposed to be. I did not say not let craft. But keep it balanced

The rules are fine. Telling him how to not become familiar and comfortable with the rules as they are written before venturing into house rule territory is not good advice for a newbie.

Quote:

“ 7) Avoid giving the perfect item to help PC build. Ie Stat Items, Wands, Pearls of power, Ring of Protection, Scroll with new spell in wizard book. Bond item is huge power.”

Let them craft it do not give it to them for free. Do not make it common or mundane.

It isn't free. You're spending feats on it, and you're spending your treasure on it. Likewise, this is railroading. I'm not sure what sorts of games you are expecting, but unless their is a serious pressing issue that the PCs must deal with right this minute, then there's nothing stopping them from just taking a few days off to do what they want. Be it crafting items or getting stupid at a brothel.

Quote:

“11) Think of way use/give conditions to all the party in prefight, fatigued, shaken, and sickened.

Running before battle Fort save DC 10 +1/2 APL +1 fatigued for 1d4+1 rounds
Wolves howling Will save DC 10 +1/2 APL +1 for shaken 1d4+1 rounds
Sewer stench Fort save DC 10 +1/2 APL +1 Sicken for 1d4+1 rounds”

The DC low but still a threat the duration fair and the result is basically -2 on D20 rolls not huge or -2 STR and DEX.

These are all basically 1 level spell with scaling DC, low duration.

Make the party little weaker or eat up there action to get read of it.

Look at haunts, traps, poison, and disease.

None of which should get harder as you level, nor be so arbitrary. So what if a wolf howls, a bear craps in the woods, or an owl hoots for the heck of it. The idea that the DC would go up as you level is just stupid, and makes no sense.

See, check this out. Filth Fever is a disease. It's a disease that's probably a bit too easy to get infected with. It has a DC 12 Fortitude save, unless it's a particularly potent strain carried by certain creatures. The 1st level PCs getting stuck by the nasty goblin arrows have to make a DC 12 save. The save doesn't magically rise to DC 22 because the PCs are 20th level.

Likewise, the sewer stench thing is pretty dumb. Why does it only wait until you get into combat to make you sickened? Ok, so it stinks like Troglodyte down here. 1d4+1 rounds after entering the cesspool, you've gotten somewhat used to it. It's gross, disgusting, whatever, but why would it suddenly wait for you to get into combat? Why would a PC be fine up until getting into combat and then suddenly go "You know, we've been wandering in here for a while, but I just now suddenly realize that it smells like a wet ox was rung out inside of an old boot filled with rotten eggs and sun dried before being mixed in a stew of otyough semen and troglodyte sweat".

These mechanics were in fact so bad, that I felt compelled to try to dissuade any newbie from pursuing them out of principle.

Traps, poison, and disease do not work this way at all.


And the worst offender — oh my god the worst offender — is suggestion 11, where the party is arbitrarily afflicted with nonsensical problems and status ailments for no other reason than just to inflict them with problems. The mechanics behind it are terrible as well. DC 10 + 1/2 their level + X? So the DC gets HARDER as you gain levels? What sort of b^))$#!+ is that?

That is basic scaling DC that game is built on 10+1/2 Charicter level + Stat.
So the DC do get HARDER as you gain levels you fight bigger and better things at level 10 you not fighting level 1 goblin warroirs but CR 8 Stone Gains are the jobers.

And as far as the Condition most can be contered with first level spell. Or flank /aid other action(+2 for -2 mathicly). It just eat up someone action for turn to get rid of it. With that DC it basicly 45% chance if it you good save. And last about half the fight.

Or put the advanced template on every thing to raise up the monster by +2 on every. Or you can lower the PC by -2 the math is the same.

The Exchange

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
..if I'm in a game and the GM throws a rust monster at us, my immediate reaction is going to be "oh. how original."

My immediate reaction is going to be "Kitty!"


Flying Rust Monsters.
With Rust Lasers.


Look at Burning hand trap CR 2 vs Destruction Trap CR 20

Same math

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/environment.html

fith fever (low) vs Demon fever(higher)

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/glossary.html#wyvern-poison


Tom S 820 wrote:

And the worst offender — oh my god the worst offender — is suggestion 11, where the party is arbitrarily afflicted with nonsensical problems and status ailments for no other reason than just to inflict them with problems. The mechanics behind it are terrible as well. DC 10 + 1/2 their level + X? So the DC gets HARDER as you gain levels? What sort of b^))$#!+ is that?

That is basic scaling DC that game is built on 10+1/2 Charicter level + Stat.
So the DC do get HARDER as you gain levels you fight bigger and better things at level 10 you not fighting level 1 goblin warroirs but CR 8 Stone Gains are the jobers.

And as far as the Condition most can be contered with first level spell. Or flank /aid other action(+2 for -2 mathicly). It just eat up someone action for turn to get rid of it. With that DC it basicly 45% chance if it you good save. And last about half the fight.

Or put the advanced template on every thing to raise up the monster by +2 on every. Or you can lower the PC by -2 the math is the same.

ABILITIES are 10 + 1/2 HD + key ability. That's why I pointed out that diseases are static unless they are particularly potent based on a creature that carries it. The rest of the world, such as stinky sewers, howling wolves, and so forth isn't going to get stronger this way. There is nothing in the rules that back this up, there is nothing in the rules that support this extension.

I don't care if the effects are equivalent to a 1st level spell. You are arbitrarily debuffing the PCs for no reason other than just to do so, using bad and arbitrary mechanics to do so, and even noting that it is akin to giving all the enemies the Advanced Template, except that would mean all enemies are worth +1 CR worth of experience points.

No. Just no. It's lazy, it's crude, and it's horrible advice. I'd rather play Baldur's Gate on the PC than play in a game where the GM was so incompetent as to have to rely on nonsense like this to challenge the PCs, when GMs already have to stay their hand to not slaughter the party using entirely mundane methods.


nitpicking

Tom S 820 wrote:
The game is set up to a party of 4 PC. This party has 7 which is 175% greater than base line balance point...

Incorrect, 11 PC would be 175% greater than baseline.

The 7 PC's is 75% greater than base line.
Or you could state it as 175% of the baseline.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled flamewar.


Ashiel wrote:
Tom S 820 wrote:

And the worst offender — oh my god the worst offender — is suggestion 11, where the party is arbitrarily afflicted with nonsensical problems and status ailments for no other reason than just to inflict them with problems. The mechanics behind it are terrible as well. DC 10 + 1/2 their level + X? So the DC gets HARDER as you gain levels? What sort of b^))$#!+ is that?

That is basic scaling DC that game is built on 10+1/2 Charicter level + Stat.
So the DC do get HARDER as you gain levels you fight bigger and better things at level 10 you not fighting level 1 goblin warroirs but CR 8 Stone Gains are the jobers.

And as far as the Condition most can be contered with first level spell. Or flank /aid other action(+2 for -2 mathicly). It just eat up someone action for turn to get rid of it. With that DC it basicly 45% chance if it you good save. And last about half the fight.

Or put the advanced template on every thing to raise up the monster by +2 on every. Or you can lower the PC by -2 the math is the same.

ABILITIES are 10 + 1/2 HD + key ability. That's why I pointed out that diseases are static unless they are particularly potent based on a creature that carries it. The rest of the world, such as stinky sewers, howling wolves, and so forth isn't going to get stronger this way. There is nothing in the rules that back this up, there is nothing in the rules that support this extension.

I don't care if the effects are equivalent to a 1st level spell. You are arbitrarily debuffing the PCs for no reason other than just to do so, using bad and arbitrary mechanics to do so, and even noting that it is akin to giving all the enemies the Advanced Template, except that would mean all enemies are worth +1 CR worth of experience points.

No. Just no. It's lazy, it's crude, and it's horrible advice. I'd rather play Baldur's Gate on the PC than play in a game where the GM was so incompetent as to have to rely on nonsense like this to challenge the PCs, when GMs already have to stay...

Tom, using environmental dangers is a great idea, but Ashiel is right that your systems are clunky. That kind of threat shouldn't scale. A sewer is a sewer; a wolf is a wolf. Also, most of your other advice, while well intentioned, is just going to give the OP headaches.

Ashiel, you said something like: "Harder monsters is never the answer; playing the monsters smarter is." You're right of course that playing monsters smarter increases their difficulty. But honestly, it doesn't matter how smart you play them if your players' just straight up outclass them. Also, it is frequently inappropriate to play monsters (many of which are supposed to be dumb to average) so cleverly, and it diminishes the impact of monsters who should be played that way (like some demons, dragons and so on). If you mean things like giving the monsters home court advantage or favorable terrain, well, that kind of thing ought to be factored into the encounter level anyway.

Joe the Bear, you basically have two options.

1. Reduce the PCs power (sooner rather than later, as one poster suggested). Even if you do this, you still need to consider them one or two levels higher since there are seven of them.

2. Increase the CR of encounters and act as though you were running for a party of four 4th-5th level characters (or in other words, when calculating CR, count the PCs as 2-3 levels higher).

In the first case, you will have to deal with annoyed players. In the second, you will have to watch out for potentially overpowered enemies, at least until the PCs reach 4th or 5th level individually, after which it should be a lot less of a problem. You still have to do a little more work than usual balancing encounters, but frankly that is unavoidable in the situation you're in. This is by far the simplest, easiest to implement advice on the thread, and it will fix your problem.

Silver Crusade

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Finn, OK, I can accept the idea that rust monsters are a sort of "doomsday weapon" created by a mage that somehow got loose and now roams the world. That at least provides a plausible reason for their existence. But that doesn't change the fact that they were originally conceived and created for exactly the reasons I listed, which is still something I find unsatisfying.

A campaign that explored the concept of magically engineered creatures designed for specific purposes by a super powerful mage with the ability to create actual lifeforms like rust monsters would be pretty cool. And rust monsters would definitely make sense in such a campaign, but then I would like to see more such creations.

Which makes me wonder... is there a way using the rules to create engineered creatures, or would we be talking about ancient super-powerful mages similar to those who created artifacts (another thing PCs can't do.)

You've provided a very plausible way to incorporate rust monsters into a campaign. If you presented me with a world like that, I would be fine with your rust monsters. ;)

I've always hated things being in the game without a plausible reason for their existence. I find that sort of thing unsatisfying too. :) (thus, I've always come up with reasons for the magical/unnatural critters to exist, before I've used them).

I don't know if there are any good rules sets for PCs to create engineered creatures, but maybe there should be. I'm getting an idea for a vaguely demented Druid, trying to breed new defenders for an endangered forest region... A GM can simply plug them in, same way as you design and fit in any new monster idea-- same explanation we give for artifacts, as you point out above. The default so far has been to declare that they were the creation of ancient super-powerful mages, but that does have its limitations as a satisfying story concept.

Kind of like the feeling that when PCs get to tip-top peak character powers at the end of a long campaign, maybe they should be able to create an artifact themselves, y'know? And maybe leave it buried somewhere, to trouble the next generation of characters...


@Finn, I make custom monsters all the time, but up until now I haven't really used the concept of an uber-powerful mage having created them for specific purposes...

This conversation has just opened up a new thread in my ongoing campaign world. Frankenmage the great!


Make 3 of them play intelligent horses and 1 of them play a servant named patsy. They will have a blast.


This might sound strange...I pretty much agree with Ashiel. There are plenty of tools available without having to introduce new things that will actually confuse the players. The rules are meant for consistency and bringing in house rules that are only in play sometimes and poorly play tested for higher levels, will only make the game that much less fun.

For now, if the OP isn't going to use more monsters, or more varied encounters (this can actually slow down play), then I suggest giving the monsters full hit points and maybe a free trait. This would give them a boost but not make them a higher CR.

Whatever you decide to do, it must be simple enough to implement and reuse but powerful enough to make a difference without a TPK.

As for crafting, just follow the rules. They will have a hard enough time finding the time to craft the more powerful items if you keep them busy. This will be especially true if the party has only one crafter. Just crafting a cloak of resistance +2 for every member will take 2 weeks of uninterrupted work. This is something to keep in mind. The size of the party will reduce how much crafting they want to do in the first place. If the crafter wants to make some scrolls and potions as well, then add one day for each item.

Crafting, if you use the rules, shouldn't be an issue.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
This might sound strange...I pretty much agree with Ashiel.

I <3 you too Bob. :3


14 is 14 it dose not matter if you raise up one side to get there or lower the other. You guy getting hung up to much on “narrative” of why if a sewer or wolf, or dire wolf, advanced dire wolf ect The point is to eat up action cause 7 pc and maybe 3 pet is a lot of folks . Look at action economy threads # of action you can take is very strong.

Crafting is can be abused. It given to much money or time. Side note it only take 2 days to craft Cloak of Resistance +2 not a week. Crafting double your money plane and simple. If you get a few folk with crafting feats in group of 7 PC you could start pumping magic items out like a factory.

I have seen this happen I kingmaker game we have 8 PC and 2 Animal Companions and 2 familiar. Actions out the but large chucks of down time between books a whole country to tax for crafting. Most of the casters have 15 or more pears of power l-3 level every one 2 stat items +6 to 2 stats. Shield +5 Armor +5 Weapon +5 at level 11. The GM has taken to Advanced template and full HP and 3 time number of things and we still walk all over it.

Bottom line Big party’s + a lot magic = long hard day for GM to make it fun for the PC.


Tom S 820 wrote:
14 is 14 it dose not matter if you raise up one side to get there or lower the other. You guy getting hung up to much on “narrative” of why if a sewer or wolf, or dire wolf, advanced dire wolf ect The point is to eat up action cause 7 pc and maybe 3 pet is a lot of folks . Look at action economy threads # of action you can take is very strong.

Which is why we suggested increasing the encounters appropriately.

Quote:
Crafting is can be abused. It given to much money or time. Side note it only take 2 days to craft Cloak of Resistance +2 not a week. Crafting double your money plane and simple. If you get a few folk with crafting feats in group of 7 PC you could start pumping magic items out like a factory.

Yeah, so? Also, it takes 4 days to craft a +2 Cloak of Resistance. That's the better part of a week. If you wanted to craft one for every member of the team, that would cost 14,000 gp of combined gold, and take a minimum of 28 days, or about a month. Now if you have multiple craftsmen, then you end up with multiple people doing what PCs are supposed to do. The only difference is you have more PCs. Not rocket science.

Quote:
I have seen this happen I kingmaker game we have 8 PC and 2 Animal Companions and 2 familiar. Actions out the but large chucks of down time between books a whole country to tax for crafting. Most of the casters have 15 or more pears of power l-3 level every one 2 stat items +6 to 2 stats. Shield +5 Armor +5 Weapon +5 at level 11. The GM has taken to Advanced template and full HP and 3 time number of things and we still walk all over it.

I should probably play Kingmaker, but 11 years of experience tells me that something funny is going on here.

Quote:
Bottom line Big party’s + a lot magic = long hard day for GM to make it fun for the PC.

Factually false. I'm living proof of that.

EDIT: Just to drive home the point. I've posted stories on this forum about an online game I ran as a favor to someone. It included a party of 13th level characters, armed to the teeth, and optimized with a lot of 3.5 splat material (including a shadowcraft mage, and somebody was playing a planar shepherd). The party was 9 members strong. One of the party members (the shadowcraft mage, actually) was slain in the first encounter against enemies who weren't even individually strong enough to grant XP for (by the rules).

Later the entire party was devastated by a 15th level PF Lich-Wizard and a pair of advanced CR 8 allips. All but one player was forced to retreat from the fight, and the last player and the lich ended the fight in a draw and talked out their problems, and then the PC went home.

Another game I ran had a party of about 8 players (it began as a group with 3 players, but they were talking about the game in the server lobby and it seemed like we ended up with a couple more every night) who were at the mercy of 4 CR 1/4 kobolds. 4 of them! Haha. It's good to be the GM. XD


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I have a group of seven players who always travel with 2-3 NPCs.

Pump the number of minions in an encounter by x2-x3 and add 2 character levels to any leaders or solo encounters.

If the encounter calls for 3 goblins with a level 4 Druid try 8 goblins and a level 6 druid. Solo encounter with a Troll? Give the troll two fighter levels with all the feats.


Rolling for stats should have gone the way of the Dodo a LONG time ago.

Now hopefully I can say that I have been roleplaying D&D et al since the days of monochrome gazettes and 'Chainmail' without getting any blowhards calling me a liar.

That would be nice....

The point being that I have never seen an iteration of 'd20' which really benefitted from random stat generation.

It's like saying;

"OK guys, the game is FULL of very random outcome generation, but no matter how well you roll after today, your character's life will be either considerably easier or harder for those of you who roll extremes THIS ONE TIME."

Throw it out with the garbage, or better yet, do a statistical study of the correlation between dice rollers who are in the habit of quickly picking up said dice and claiming a timely crit against those with 'honestly rolled' high stats.

You will love the predictable results....

On the issue of 7 players.......... erk.......... did it ONCE - never did it again, and you have to twist my arm till something cracks to make me run a game for 6 players.

It is too many - d20 combat is slow enough without hoovering up entire game sessions with crowded battlemats, too many players and one big fight.

Of course you are there on high stats and too many players already!

Just learn from the experience and do things a little differently next time.

For now - difficult terrain, the odd surprise 'levelled' goblin, a few open pit traps to make moving in formation a pain, intro with a crude rockslide which kicks up dust AFTER the surprise round volley and have mildly poisoned arrows from a local widely available plant.

You will be amazed how 'bad' the Goblins can be....


Do you want your fights to be Difficult, or do you want your fights to be Good? The two are not always the same.

Experiment with what your strengths as a GM are. If you are very creative and make memorable NPCs, play to that. The party encounters bizarre fights- an all-rogue acrobat troupe that moves, sneak attacks, and never provokes attacks of opportunity. Half of them retreat and disappear up the curtains/rafters/walls and into the night with bits of gear that was stolen mid-fight. Their leader, a dementedly alluring bard creating a cult-of-personality. It doesn't have to be insanely hard or deadly (once they find the leader, he can end up a pushover), but make it memorable. They will have fun.

If you love strategy and run combats well, then skew things in that direction. PCs might be put in commando raids or defending locations. The stories of Tucker's Kobolds might inspire- tons of traps and "home field advantage" as people point out. I've not really gone this route, it ends up using several times the amount of grunt numbers work as the previous method, even for most posters' "ideal" party. I also personally dislike how one mistake in an encounter tends to TPK, ending the story.

I'd much rather have the fight be steamrolled and try again later than TPK and be left with either retconning or starting anew.

Someone already pointed this out, but I'm reposting it because it is that good.
Revisiting Encounter Design

One of the things I enjoy about "easy" fights- you can do several a session! And as a bonus, the party doesn't stop to rest like scrawny engineers with narcolepsy on a nature hike.

In short, a fight doesn't have to be hard or overly deadly to be good. People can have very fond memories of one-hitting the recurring villian with a polymorph spell to turn it into a farm animal.


I should put you in touch with my DM. He runs a party of 6 PCs at 14th level that are built with between 55 and 75 point buy.


Peter Stewart wrote:
I should put you in touch with my DM. He runs a party of 6 PCs at 14th level that are built with between 55 and 75 point buy.

Urk...wow. That's like...

18, 18, 18, 18, 15, 10. :P

The funny part is, it's true that it makes less difference than most would care to admit. It's generally only a difference of +1 to +3 in secondary or tertiary stats.

Those would be some nice scores for a Fighter. :P


Ashiel wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:
I should put you in touch with my DM. He runs a party of 6 PCs at 14th level that are built with between 55 and 75 point buy.

Urk...wow. That's like...

18, 18, 18, 18, 15, 10. :P

The funny part is, it's true that it makes less difference than most would care to admit. It's generally only a difference of +1 to +3 in secondary or tertiary stats.

Those would be some nice scores for a Fighter. :P

Yeah. We rolled using a rollbox, so you weren't able to pick exactly where the stats went but you had good scores all around. We've actually got fighter's that aren't man children. One started with an 18 charisma.

It's been an interesting game. While I actually prefer something lower across the board (I don't need a 16+ in every stat) I do appreciate having unusually high stats in scores I don't really use. Our bard has something like a 22 wisdom. Not particularly useful to a bard, but very interesting in terms of character because it makes her intuitive. Our fighter's 18 base charisma doesn't actually make him stronger in combat, but fleshes out the character.

Part of the intent was, I think, that we were supposed to be playing people that were a cut above even other adventurers, because the endpoint of the game is supposed to be a planar showdown with the prince of demons.


Peter Stewart wrote:


Yeah. We rolled using a rollbox, so you weren't able to pick exactly where the stats went but you had good scores all around. We've actually got fighter's that aren't man children. One started with an 18 charisma.

It's been an interesting game. While I actually prefer something lower across the board (I don't need a 16+ in every stat) I do appreciate having unusually high stats in scores I don't really use. Our bard has something like a 22 wisdom. Not particularly useful to a bard, but very interesting in terms of character because it makes her intuitive. Our fighter's 18 base charisma doesn't actually make him stronger in combat, but fleshes out the character.

This is one of the benefits of actually using uber point buys. It can actually make the game more balanced between the players. Suffering from multi-ability-dependeny isn't really an issue in this case. As you point out, a Fighter with an 18 Charisma isn't really any stronger than a Fighter with a 7 Charisma, at doing Fighter-things. Just like how a sorcerer with an 18 Strength isn't really much better than a sorcerer without. The benefit gained is very small for those classes compared to the investment.

Expert optimizers will tell you, that there's not much difference between a wizard on a 3 point buy and a wizard on a 25 point buy, but there is a killer difference between a monk on 3 point buy and a monk on 25 point buy. :P


All of which is a roundabout way of getting to the point I want to make here - namely that I don't think the base stats are the problem. The issue probably has more to do with encounter creation (throwing CR 1/4th goblins at the party) and the party size. More actions do a lot more to make a party strong than stats that are a point or two higher (AC, attack bonus, damage, ect).

In many way higher stats are actually sort of a boon to the DM, as it means the PCs are a little more resilient if you misjudge an encounter's strength, and it means the differences between classes in terms of power are less noticeable.


Caliburn101 wrote:
... do a statistical study of the correlation between dice rollers who are in the habit of quickly picking up said dice and claiming a timely crit against those with 'honestly rolled' high stats...

We have a guy like that in my group.

He is very eager in combat and often starts rolling his dice before his turn.
However, if you watch closely, you will notice that if they are bad rolls he doesn't say anything and rolls his attack when his turn comes around. If you try to call him on it, he wasn't really rolling his attack he was just messing around while waiting for his turn.
I find it mildly annoying being the player next to him. Listening to him crow about how 'hot' his dice are tonight. One time I actually wrote down his stated rolls for a combat heavy evening. His average d20 was about 14.
He is otherwise a pretty good guy. And I honestly don't think he feels he is cheating.


I call players who roll in advance and announce the roll on their turn if it's good or pick up the dice and reroll if it's bad "pre-rollers."

Luckily I think my current groups are pretty honest.

In my 4e campaign it is not at all unusual for my ranger to only miss on a "1" so my group has taken to assuming anything I roll except a 1 is a hit. I rolled a 3 and announced a miss last session and the GM had me recheck my bonuses just to be sure it was actually a miss.

Turns out it wasn't. I had missed a situational modifier based on a daily power.


Joe The Bear wrote:


Cleric's has 18 AC, Paladin has 18 AC, Barbarian has 18 AC.
Wizard, Ranger, Bard, Cavalier and Wizard. Any advice on buffing monsters? Specific monsters to use? More Traps? Anything can help.

Have you thought about some non-traditional encounters?

- Attack them relentlessly if the scenario allows for it. Make sure the spell-casters get no proper rest.

- Non-traditional settings such as deserts, seas, arctic could make a difference.

- Have you considered the enemy strengths and weaknesses? A level three archer can technically fire off two arrows with up to +9 to hit, dealing a d8 (or d10 with armor piercing arrows)+8 damage. If they do this on a horse, they get full movement as well. Now imagine a troop of 3-5 archers and 3-5 cavaliers (ride-by attack), backed up by a low level cleric or wizard. They will know whom to take out early, and how to strike from a possible ambush.

- Terrain. Have you thought about how a very dense forest would affect players with large weapons? What about an urban settlement with 2-3 story buildings?

- Paladin, Barbarian, Cavalier..look up Grease spell and see how scary it really can be depending on the setting it is used in.
- Cleric, Wizard...again look up Grease spell combined with a specialized conjurer NPC.

There is a time and place for everything. I prefer for my enemies to act according to their intelligence. A level 4 wizard of INT 16+ wont jump a large group of adventurers, but will run for his life. Instead he might just go and hire 20 henchmen (Lvl 2 warrior cost something like 3-4 silver a day) and then decide to go after the group. (Lets see...lets hire 20 half-orcs who can see in darkness, and attack during the night.) 20 axes/spears gets thrown in surprise round (+3-6 to hit, damage d6+3-4), and then they charge in.
The wizard keeps 2-3 of them as a bodyguard, but also tries to go for a sleep spell on the barbarian or someone he knows has a bad save, or will use Grease to hinder spell-casters from getting up. So most of the players will not have armor on, they will be at minus to hit due to darkness. Expect the hired soldiers to run off if half gets incapacitated. Suddenly it has turned into a very deadly encounter.
If you wish to be extremely mean, hire 20 half-elf archers for the same task. Probably +5 to hit, D8 damage, probably 2 arrows each. Yeah, a D8 wont kill your players initially, but when 40 missiles come flying in, the players have no armor, and the enemy keeps moving around in the darkness, things can get ugly fast.

Want to work it further? Use poison. One salvo of arrows, then run off. Let the poison work its course. Rinse, repeat.

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