What are some good ways to attack swarms?


Advice

51 to 80 of 80 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

thanks for the advice.

Sovereign Court

Ecaterina Ducaird wrote:

However I am intrigued by the concept. I THINK in the dark sun days there used to be an ability that bards could get that allowed them to apply poison to things like smoke sticks to generate clouds of poisonous smoke. Potentially, poisons that are flagged as 'Ingested' could be amusing as well as (most likely) said swarms are biting you. Anything that targets strength and isn't injury here is what your after. Tiny animals aren't known for their bulging biceps.

I am however most amused by the idea of hitting a swarm with (say) azure lilly pollen and watching what happens when a few thousand bees are nauseated for a minute. Do bees vomit? Am I the only one who wants to know? And most importantly, should it disturb me that I am curious?

With the Smoke Bomb and Poison Bomb Ninja tricks, a Rogue or Ninja can infuse a smoke bomb with any inhaled poison.

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Wow; didn't realize so many people had such a problem with swarms. They're pretty annoying when you aren't prepared, but not anything unbeatable.

I use them at least once per adventure, but I make sure to provide clues to avoiding them if at all possible. I also make sure to throw in a few methods for handling them, too. A few flasks of alchemist's fire here, a scroll of burning hands there, a wand of gust of wind now and again.

I have one player that cringes anytime he hears scuttling feet or a buzzing drone, but then he's nearly died due to swarm attacks more times than I can count. The mere mention of a possible swarm can send one of his characters running for a bucket of lamp oil and a torch.

Unfortunately, magic is usually the fastest way of dealing with a swarm. AoE spells are the win button against them. For the mundanes, you're going to either need a way to access magic [via UMD or a specialized magic item], or you're going to have to haul around some specialty gear. Alchemical items provide for AoE damage, as do flasks of oil. Vermin Repellent can help keep vermin-type swarms off your hands for 4 hours at a time.

In any case, while I am a strong advocate for the creative use of swarms, they can easily be abused by a careless or cruel GM, and that's no fun for anyone. Talk with the GM, explain your concerns, and try to work out a mutually acceptable solution. Players and swarms can learn to live in harmony . . . until the PCs kill them with large amounts of fire. Sweet, beautiful fire.


my favorite (just for the visual): conjure an air elemental! hee hee hee...

Silver Crusade

ohako wrote:
my favorite (just for the visual): conjure an air elemental! hee hee hee...

I've taken care of a swarm as a druid by picking them up in a whirlwind (was already wildshaped as air elemental) and dumping them off a cliff/in a hole. Had to take swarm damage every round, and doesn't work with the flying ones, but it worked wonderfully.


One of the hidden benefits of the Starsoul bloodline is that the 1st level n/day power is a 5' AoE attack. You don't even need to spend spells to fry bugs. It's worth the die size drop (D4 rather than D6), and a Reflex save required (which is 10+Caster Level+CHA mod) just for that.


Figure out which character has the largest shoe size. Start stomping.

Grand Lodge

Lockgo wrote:
Long story short, I thought this was just going to be a phase, but its effectiveness against the party shows that he shouldn't stop. He keeps throwing swarms at us. I tend not to want to carry around 50 pints of oil, alchemist fire/acid flasks, but he just keeps using swarms on us every fight, and at this point 1d6 fire/acid damage ain't gonna cut it at level 11+. On top of the other crazy things he gives these swarms.

Buy a necklace of fireballs. Its the higher level equivalent of alchemist fire and practically necessary as a good bailout tool for martial characters.

And as far as the DM goes i have a feeling he's having a hard time challenging you guys, hence the swarms to have something able to bypass your guys's AC. If you notice that you guys insta-gib or are nigh invulnerable from certain encounters give your DM a hint that instead of swarms he could use an encounter of X creatures to challenge you.

Or even better how about you run a one off adventure where the DM gets to play your guy and show him an encounter with swarms and then some encounters that you come up with that are more fun. I think you both will see what's up a little better.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think your advice to Lockgo may be a year or two late...


gustavo iglesias wrote:
james maissen wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:


This won't work. Swarms are inmune to anything that does not do area damage, and Flaming Swords don't do area damage.

Curious, is this a change from 3.5?

-James

Not really, in 3.5 "A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind." This includes effects that do +1d6 fire damage.

No, in 3.5 as well as PF " A swarm made up of Tiny creatures takes half damage from slashing and piercing weapons. A swarm composed of Fine or Diminutive creatures is immune to all weapon damage. " So Tiny swarms can be killed with weapons.

Oddly both sets of rules infer that splash weapons are good vs swarms, but from what I have seen ruled, the "hit" centter part of the alchemist fire does no damage at all, and the 'splash' only does 1pt, since 1X 1.5= 1.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Downie wrote:
I think your advice to Lockgo may be a year or two late...

<facepalm>Haha, ya, i hope it worked out for him...chuckle.

<img of gandalf looking around meme>
Now how in the heck did i get in this thread...


Lockgo wrote:
... at level 11+.... ...magical mithril full plate armor and +5 shield...

Holy cow you have a +5 shield at level 11?

Gauss wrote:
Wand of Burning Hands: 3750gp for 5d4*1.5damage against swarms.

1.5 x damage?

gustavo iglesias wrote:

This won't work. Swarms are inmune to anything that does not do area damage, and Flaming Swords don't do area damage. The fact it is energy means little, as swarms are inmune to Scorching Ray as well.

EDIT: Melisa said it before. I should read the whole thread before I reply... :P

Not true if the swarm is made up of anything other than fine or diminutive creatures

edited-- just now noticed this is a necro thread... doh!


Serisan wrote:
You may hate to hear this, but start adapting your character to the encounters. Maybe a level or 2 of Alchemist could be of assistance. The party make-up is, honestly, missing the arcane caster slot.

This.

The clear solution is find a friend who wants to play a sorcerer, and suggest he take a little known spell called "fireball."

Alternately, you could take the leadership feat and get yourself a sorcerer cohort.

Or even a hireling.

Or splash one level in an arcane class and buy a fireball wand.

Shadow Lodge

Umbranus wrote:

At low levels snapdragon fireworks is nice vs swarms.

Not a big zone of collateral damage.

By the way the rules are unclear if swarms can damage swarms as far as I remember.

At higher level (unless they have the stuff from UE) all the martials can do is try to survive while the magic users kill the swarms.

meh not true:

-monks have a cone effect that deals unarmed damage.
-ninja trick for acid damage in a 10 foot square (i think)
-barbarians have some thing, i cant remember off the top of my head, i want to say ground breaker, but i dont think thats it.
-fighters have DR + a swarm suit and sit there whistling.

then they have that brooch that lets you attack swarms as normal.
they have a few other solutions that elude me ATM.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'd suggest Sleeves of Many Garments from Ultimate Equipment. Then you can create the swarmsuit on the fly when needed, as it normally imposes a 50% movement loss while worn. Or, for a bit more, make it a tear-away swarmsuit so it can be removed quickly if the 1/2 movement penalty is getting in the way.


Lots of great anti-swarm tactics here. I'm going to try to intercept some of this great feedback. I have a sandbox world where I imagined that it would be a semi-frequent occurrence for swarms of wasps to be caught in the winds coming off the plains and dropped over the coastal trade routes. I was all excited to include this encounter as an 'Introduction to Swarms' but I couldn't think of a single thing the Captain, who was to be their swarm fighting mentor, could do against a swarm with his deck full of rowers (swarm food), norse raiders (can't hurt it), and lvl 2 bard drummer (what, sleep a swarm?), all the traditional methods involve Lighting His Own Ship On Fire. I'd love this to be a seasonal hazard to coastal trade ships, but how can a Captain counter this on a lvl 4-6 npc budget?


Quote:
how can a Captain counter this on a lvl 4-6 npc budget?

Give the bard a high Use Magic Device rank and a fireball wand.

In fact, that very thing is quite common in my highly seafaring centric campaign.

Scarab Sages

Liquid Ice. At 40 GP a bottle it's more costly than Alchemist Fire or Acid, but it won't destroy the boat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A roof and closable portholes?


This makes me think of a sessions i was watching at a local comic shop where they were playing a mythic campaign and they were fighting i think it was like 3-4 swarms at once in a desert. the fire mage droped superior Metor and basically glassed the desert to get rid of them cause he didnt want to have to deal with them all.


Wrong John Silver wrote:
A roof and closable portholes?

This was how we handled swarms on my boat, when anchoring off the Florida panhandle.

Have someone in your campaign invent a "screen."


The fireball wand skips the budget, but flaming hands or equivalent works.

I was definitely looking it the Everyone In The Cargo Hold, Tar The Cracks, tactic. But we'll, that is boring for players and doesn't really introduce them to swarm mechanics... But it does reinforce the not everything has to be killed playstyle, and reminds them that swarms are a thing.

Silver Crusade

Anyone concerned about swarms with both a 3000 gp budget and access to a magic store should buy a Swarmbane Clasp. Many mentioned it above. There's the link.


Well, if your character's AC wasn't so high, the GM might not feel compelled to throw so many swarms at you. The GM probably isn't having fun when they can only hit your character when they roll a '20'. If you look at any of the multiple posts by GMs complaining about characters with high AC, one of the easy solutions is to use more swarms.

Once you get good at defeating swarms, I'm guessing the GM will change tactics. Do you want the game to have real challenges? Or do you want to automatically win because you built a well designed character?

Edit: Oops, just noticed this is an old thread that was brought back to life. Moral of the story: if your character has really high AC, expect to see some swarms and plan accordingly, but don't blame the GM for trying to challenge you.

Silver Crusade

Ross Byers wrote:
I removed a post. I'm getting really sick of these 'your GM must be incompetent/evil/whatever because they don't run the game the same as me' posts.

How do you remove other people's posts if you don't work for Paizo?

If you do work for Paizo, where it that little Pi symbol next to your name?


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
I removed a post. I'm getting really sick of these 'your GM must be incompetent/evil/whatever because they don't run the game the same as me' posts.

How do you remove other people's posts if you don't work for Paizo?

If you do work for Paizo, where it that little Pi symbol next to your name?

Check the date stamp on that post.

Silver Crusade

BigDTBone wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
I removed a post. I'm getting really sick of these 'your GM must be incompetent/evil/whatever because they don't run the game the same as me' posts.

How do you remove other people's posts if you don't work for Paizo?

If you do work for Paizo, where it that little Pi symbol next to your name?

Check the date stamp on that post.

Yeah, saw that too late. : )


DM Livgin wrote:
Lots of great anti-swarm tactics here. I'm going to try to intercept some of this great feedback. I have a sandbox world where I imagined that it would be a semi-frequent occurrence for swarms of wasps to be caught in the winds coming off the plains and dropped over the coastal trade routes. I was all excited to include this encounter as an 'Introduction to Swarms' but I couldn't think of a single thing the Captain, who was to be their swarm fighting mentor, could do against a swarm with his deck full of rowers (swarm food), norse raiders (can't hurt it), and lvl 2 bard drummer (what, sleep a swarm?), all the traditional methods involve Lighting His Own Ship On Fire. I'd love this to be a seasonal hazard to coastal trade ships, but how can a Captain counter this on a lvl 4-6 npc budget?

Your Bard gets 1st level spells, which include the Sleep spell.

This is an area effect spell, and can affect swarms. Not sure you get the 1.5* on the affected target, but the swam is counted as a single creature for HD, and any seasonal hazard to shipping should not be killer. Unfortunately, the standard Wasp Swarm is 7HD. They are also forest dwellers. So, you can create a plains variety that is 4HD worth, and stoppable by the Sleep spell.

As a GM, you also have the option to use smoke to calm them. Works for real life bee keepers. Smoke sticks are an available mundane item that is cheap. Pass around the boat, and light em up, and you now have a smoke screen that lasts a minute. Let the lack of victims cause the swarm to leave after 7 rounds. [Leave the PC's worried for a while, while the Captain tells 'em not to worry.]

Another option is the Feather Token(Fan) for 200gp.

If you use UMD, a wand of Alter Winds or Gust of Wind can be used.

/cevah


Barbarian has rage powers from the hive totem that can easily negate the effects of swarms, for that barbarian. This barbarian should have a swarmbane clasp for 3000gp that allows him to use his primary weapon to mop up the swarm. The rest of the party needs swarm suits, read up on them, they are standard issue for our group players. Then blast with area affect damaging spells. Done! Tell ur GM see ya next Saturday!


TheJoeShow wrote:

Barbarian has rage powers from the hive totem that can easily negate the effects of swarms, for that barbarian. This barbarian should have a swarmbane clasp for 3000gp that allows him to use his primary weapon to mop up the swarm. The rest of the party needs swarm suits, read up on them, they are standard issue for our group players. Then blast with area affect damaging spells. Done! Tell ur GM see ya next Saturday!

Who knows, seven years ago he might've been helped by your reply. :-D

51 to 80 of 80 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / What are some good ways to attack swarms? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.