Clerics, shields, and the limitations of only two arms


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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James Jacobs wrote:

And the one time I wasn't able to do this (because of what I still maintain to be a grossly unfair ambush that got me killed before my initiative got to me)... the lack of healing in combat resulted in a TPK.

That sound like a very interesting ambush.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Nicos wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

And the one time I wasn't able to do this (because of what I still maintain to be a grossly unfair ambush that got me killed before my initiative got to me)... the lack of healing in combat resulted in a TPK.

That sound like a very interesting ambush.

I would say very unfair and the type of encounter that makes entire parties essentially quit a campaign, but the word "interesting" also works, depending on how you pronounce the word! ;-P


James Jacobs wrote:
Nicos wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

And the one time I wasn't able to do this (because of what I still maintain to be a grossly unfair ambush that got me killed before my initiative got to me)... the lack of healing in combat resulted in a TPK.

That sound like a very interesting ambush.
I would say very unfair and the type of encounter that makes entire parties essentially quit a campaign, but the word "interesting" also works, depending on how you pronounce the word! ;-P

I made the commentary hoping you release some more details, but it did not work :p


Nicos wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Nicos wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

And the one time I wasn't able to do this (because of what I still maintain to be a grossly unfair ambush that got me killed before my initiative got to me)... the lack of healing in combat resulted in a TPK.

That sound like a very interesting ambush.
I would say very unfair and the type of encounter that makes entire parties essentially quit a campaign, but the word "interesting" also works, depending on how you pronounce the word! ;-P
I made the commentary hoping you release some more details, but it did not work :p

I second this notion. I want details. :)


Yeah, dying before you have a chance to act is pretty much un-fair, as it is un-fun. I feel that a PC's death should be at least partly his fault, and "well you didn't roll a high enough init" is hardly a "fault".

Happened to my dwarf sorc. I wasn't happy. Mind you, with the same DM (with have three rotating parties) I had two deaths where they went out heroically, so just dying isn't the issue.

My other "unfair" PC death was a new PC for a campaign, brought in around 7th level. Much backstory, much background, pre-game emails to establish connections with others, rolling for certain back ground things, character sketches, painted figure etc. First combat, first round, go hit with a 20 back by a 20 which was in that campaign a insta-kill. Wow, two weeks of PC setting up for two minutes of play-time.

I do find it interesting the concept of these games where the PC's can blow down the foes in 2-3 rounds, especially if the arcanists don't use blasting spells as those are "sub-optimal" also. I just can't see it happening very often, but apparently it's standard in some games. Maybe with 25pt buy + 3.5 stuff + high magic vs low ecls? Our combats have the "round per level" buffing spells run out during combat as often as not, and plenty of healing is needed and used.


DrDeth wrote:
I do find it interesting the concept of these games where the PC's can blow down the foes in 2-3 rounds, especially if the arcanists don't use blasting spells as those are "sub-optimal" also. I just can't see it happening very often, but apparently it's standard in some games. Maybe with 25pt buy + 3.5 stuff + high magic vs low ecls? Our combats have the "round per level" buffing spells run out during combat as often as not, and plenty of healing is needed and used.

It's conceivable.

Most of the top DPR olympics builds will take down well over half of an APL-CR opponent's HP, which means that when they're in encounters where their tricks work an offensively optimized party using the elite array should be taking down opponents should be taking out opponents in 2-3 rounds by high-mid levels if conditions permit them to all engage effectively.

Some GMs don't let that happen. Some clearly do. Some probably let it happen only part of the time. Some groups don't build that kind of party in the first place.

Combats can go on forever if everyone has cold dice, but that shouldn't be the norm.


So, if the arcanist is not going to cast any damage causing spells, just battlefield control, how would this "DPR" heavy party work?


DrDeth wrote:

So, if the arcanist is not going to cast any damage causing spells, just battlefield control, how would this "DPR" heavy party work?

If you have a 4 person party against 3 CR=APL foes (an APL+3 encounter as a whole) and each of the 3 non-wizards can kill a CR=APL foe in 2-3 rounds if they get to full attack on 1-2 of them then all the wizard has to do is keep the enemies from running away. Maybe he slaps a silent image of a wall of iron in front of the only other exit to the room and spends 12 seconds concentrating. Maybe he grabs someone who needs to melee full attack and dimension doors him next to the caster-ish looking enemy in the back. Maybe he tosses out a multitarget debuff to reduce return damage. Maybe his familiar UMDs a wand of ill omen and he neutralizes an enemy in one round with a save or die. Maybe he just spends 18 seconds twiddling his thumbs because he's saving his spells for later encounters. Whatever.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
To be fair... I probably have a much greater insight into what's more and less common than most GMs, since I've worked at Paizo for 10 years, and for WotC for 5 years before that. I've been exposed to quite a lot of gaming style market research information, as a result.

Indeed. DrDeth, on the other hand, I imagine cannot say the same.

Or rather, he obviously can make such claims, they're just not as valid as yours. ;)


True. Altho I have been playing longer than James* (since 1974 in my case), my "dev" days are long past and I never worked at any major gaming companies. James has much greater breadth of experience that I have.

To put it another way, James is a legend in the industry. I am merely a footnote.

* I am also older, however. I just turned 60.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Atarlost wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
I do find it interesting the concept of these games where the PC's can blow down the foes in 2-3 rounds, especially if the arcanists don't use blasting spells as those are "sub-optimal" also. I just can't see it happening very often, but apparently it's standard in some games. Maybe with 25pt buy + 3.5 stuff + high magic vs low ecls? Our combats have the "round per level" buffing spells run out during combat as often as not, and plenty of healing is needed and used.

It's conceivable.

Most of the top DPR olympics builds will take down well over half of an APL-CR opponent's HP, which means that when they're in encounters where their tricks work an offensively optimized party using the elite array should be taking down opponents should be taking out opponents in 2-3 rounds by high-mid levels if conditions permit them to all engage effectively.

Some GMs don't let that happen. Some clearly do. Some probably let it happen only part of the time. Some groups don't build that kind of party in the first place.

Combats can go on forever if everyone has cold dice, but that shouldn't be the norm.

And how viable are those DPR Olympics characters when things don't go their way?

When they need to do something that isn't doing maximum DPR with their chosen weapon?
When they haven't reached the level at which they deal their maximum DPR?

It is like using a Formula One car as a reference for the time needed to commute from home to work. It is the fastest car in the right conditions, not in all conditions.


Exactly my qestions. I'd still like to see a 5th level party that wipes out their foes in two rounds with the arcanist casting nothing but battlefield control spells, and the divine caster nothing but buffing.


Mage stops the targets. Priest boosts the Parties Damage output. Warrior pounds their foe into submission. Thief is probably Flanking and dealing Sneak Attack Damage to increase the damage the enemy is taking.

Now it might be anywhere from 2-5 Rounds based on the size of the encounter, but it is still pretty fast.


You know, I'd accept, with good teamwork, one round per foe after the intial round.

So five rounds? OK.

But I'd be shocked if the rogue or tank didn't need healing by round 4 or 5 or drop the next round.


DrDeth wrote:

You know, I'd accept, with good teamwork, one round per foe after the intial round.

So five rounds? OK.

But I'd be shocked if the rogue or tank didn't need healing by round 4 or 5 or drop the next round.

That depends on defenses of said Rogue and tank.

A smart player has compound defenses (not just good AC) like miss chance, etc because enemy can always roll a Nat 20.


You also have to remember that some effects that the Mage causes would help out with that as well.

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