Should Ear piercing scream be nerffed?


Advice

The Exchange

I have a layer that uses Ear Piercing Scream constantly. He coverts the damage to fire so that his elemental bonuses to dc apply. Almost always he dazes a monster and that monster misses its next turn then the party gangs up on it nearly killing it.

Anyways in comparison to daze monster ear piercing is vastly superior and daze monster is a second level where as Ear Piercing is a first level. It's superior because

1) it's 1st level
2) it does dmg as well as daze, even if the save is successful it still does damage albeit half. Daze monster if the save is successful that's it spell done.
3) Daze monster has a HD cap. This is the biggest advantage eps has over Daze monster it doesn't have a HD cap.

So with that said should eps be nerffed?


No... what is this spell a problem? DC is pathetic at what... 13-14? And most monsters have a high fortitude save...

Daze monster also has a medium range.

Just have 2 monsters. Or an enemy cleric/oracle with a silence spell.

What's the player's build, what's the rest of the group?


How is the player converting the damage to fire, metamagic rod or metamagic feat? If it's a feat that ups the spell slot. EPS has a way shorter range than DM, and DM is a Will save whereas EPS is a Fort save. In my experience there a quite a few "monsters" that have much lower Will saves than they do Fort saves. Which means that DM should work more often.

Edit: Ninja'd by darkwarriorkarg


I'd say the daze aspect comes from the shout, so it doesn't get any fire related +DC benefits, but that might be wrong as it's description is altered as well. I assume he's a sorcerer, elemental or efreeti?

Oh god, I just realized, don't let him come up with the idea of using Intensified on it. With trait and intensified, at level 10th, you have 10d6 energy damage +daze as level one spell.


Guess he's elemental sorcerer.


I agree that ear piercing scream is a little better.

The longer range is not as good as the damage and no HD cap.

However, there do tend to be a bit more special things to up the DC of enchantments and compulsions than evocation spells.

Also, EPS is a fortitude save. I think there are more opponents with good fort saves than there are wih good will saves.

Overall, I would say that EPS is maybe a little better, but probably not enough that I would nerf it.

Scarab Sages

So? I have 4 toppling magic missiles at level 1 with a CMB +5 on the trip. It does potentially less damage, but wastes actions and gives free AoO´s.

Just think how many fire resistant creatures there are over time and how high most Fort saves are, it´s not so bad then. Always remember, a 1 level fighter or barbarian with a twohanded weapon could perhaps kill that creature with one hit.

Shadow Lodge

Corvo Spiritwind wrote:

Oh god, I just realized, don't let him come up with the idea of using Intensified on it. With trait and intensified, at level 10th, you have 10d6 energy damage +daze as level one spell.

Actually, Intensified only increases the maximum damage dice by 5 levels, meaning that the 'max level' would be 15. Since Ear Piercing Scream does 1D6/two caster levels, maxing out at 5D6 at level 10, adding five more levels would just make it 7D6 at level 14/15. So, it'd be annoying, but not worth it in the end.


If EPS is the worst problem in your game you really dont have to worry about balance issues:D


Something to keep in mind when playing this. Every time he casts it give every monster in the area a chance to hear the scream (it is a freaking scream after all). Now to kill one monster he has alerted a hoard of others that are either coming to hurt the party or are prepping for their approach. Daze monster doesn't make any noise as far as I can tell so it can be a big tactical advantage. Don't just access spells by the RAW think about how they would actually work in game.


Only the target can hear it!!!

Ear-Piercing Scream

School evocation [sonic]; Level bard 1, inquisitor 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, witch 1

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S

Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)

Target one creature

Duration instantaneous; see text

Saving Throw Fortitude partial (see text); Spell Resistance yes

You unleash a powerful scream, inaudible to all but a single target. The target is dazed for 1 round and takes 1d6 points of sonic damage per two caster levels (maximum 5d6). A successful save negates the daze effect and halves the damage.

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Chaos_Scion wrote:
Something to keep in mind when playing this. Every time he casts it give every monster in the area a chance to hear the scream (it is a freaking scream after all). Now to kill one monster he has alerted a hoard of others that are either coming to hurt the party or are prepping for their approach. Daze monster doesn't make any noise as far as I can tell so it can be a big tactical advantage. Don't just access spells by the RAW think about how they would actually work in game.

How does that work when you change the elemental damage to fire? Is there still a scream?

Though actually, it doesn't matter for this spell: "You unleash a powerful scream, inaudible to all but a single target. "


Also, undead and the like should all be immune from ear piercing scream, because they are immune to mind-affecting spells and spells with fort saves (i believe?). So start using those types of monsters.


The floor is lava wrote:
Also, undead and the like should all be immune from ear piercing scream, because they are immune to mind-affecting spells and spells with fort saves (i believe?). So start using those types of monsters.

It's not mind affecting.

The Exchange

Ok yes he is an Ifrit, fire elemental bloodline sorcere, with spell focus Evo, elemental focus fire, greater elemental focus fire, and 20 (22 with elemental affinity) That's a dc of 22 And he's 7th level so most of what they are fighting are around cr 6 or 7. If they were fighting a cr 8 stone giant the giant would fail 50% of the time. But the spell is mostly used on NPC for example a 9 th level rogue. Not the greatest of fort saves.


darkwarriorkarg wrote:
The floor is lava wrote:
Also, undead and the like should all be immune from ear piercing scream, because they are immune to mind-affecting spells and spells with fort saves (i believe?). So start using those types of monsters.
It's not mind affecting.

I understand this perfectly, I was making a blanket statement about what undead are immune to, which are mind-affecting spells and anything that requires a fort save, with the later being what is applicable to the spell, ear-piercing scream.


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Fire-immune creatures would give him problems. Other than that, though, it looks like he's invested a lot of feats to be very good at one specific thing, i.e. blasting. LET HIM BE GOOD AT IT!


I agree with Paladin of Baha-Fresh. This PC put a lot of effort into blasting things with fire, so let him. If combat is too easy, add a couple more guys. Alternately, you could add some enemy casters with Resist Energy or Heroism/Protection from X. I wouldn't throw that at the party all the time, but you could really shake things up for a boss fight that way.


I don't know if you are running modules, AP's, or home made. But I have found with a lot of the published stuff, there tends to be one badguy in each significant fight.
Fights that are 4-6 on 1 make a spell with an effect like dazing seem even more effective. If bad guy uses it on you he has a chance to reduce the incoming attacks by 16%-25%. Not bad, but not great. If you use it on bad guy you have a chance to reduce incoming attacks by 100%. Wow.
So I don't mess with all of them. But if I want a fight to be a bit harder I will replace a CR 7 bad guy with 2 CR 6 badguys. This takes away some of their action economy and gives one a chance to recover from something like daze since one is still up.
Also, don't make it so everything is just a kill the badguy scenario.
- Escort/protect X through town but don't make a scene.
- Keep Y alive through the battle, but make sure he comes out with everyone thinking he is the hero.
- Figure out why Z happened.
- Some one is setting you up for a crime, prove your innocence while staying alive and free.

Blasting (and dazing) can be useful in all of those. But they won't solve all the problems.


warpi9 wrote:
So with that said should eps be nerffed?

No, the huge amount of DC stacking should probably be nerfed if you want to nerf anything ... that's what is causing the problem.

I mean it's a single round daze, there are more devastating save or suck spells which would be more troublesome with the same level of DC stacking.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I think your DC is wrong. 10+ 1 (spell level)+ 1 (SF) + 2 (EF+GEF)+6 Cha = 20 not 22.

The Exchange

j b 200 wrote:
I think your DC is wrong. 10+ 1 (spell level)+ 1 (SF) + 2 (EF+GEF)+6 Cha = 20 not 22.

Yeah you're right.

And I am also using AP's.

But really I was a bit upset that my big baddie didn't make it out of the first 2 rounds.

But I also in my AP I have an alchemist with 4 arms and a bite attack. He basically wields a scythe in 2 arms, does 2 claws (vestigigial arms)and a bite. He kinda annoys me as well. But his claws and bite aren't nearly as devestating.


Early on in my DMing career I learned that a BBEG without support quickly went down to surround and pound, regardless of hit dice/abilities. I'd say your best solution is to present a couple different "strong" targets to force the group to split their efforts or have to take a beating from the one they are effectively ignoring. Also, you can have the BBEG come out halfway through the fight when his minions are tying up some of your group so that the blaster's daze is less devastating.


warpi9 wrote:
... But really I was a bit upset that my big baddie didn't make it out of the first 2 rounds...

Daze does not have any big affect on how long he lasts. It does not affect defenses at all. It just prevents him from taking actions. So unless your BBEG was going to be casting some phenom defense spells, daze should not make him go down any faster. It should usually only affect the amount of hurt he put on the party in those 2 rounds.


Ear-Piercing Scream is a very good spell, but part of the disparity is that you are comparing it to a very bad spell in Daze Monster. You shouldn't need to add two levels to a cantrip in order to add some additional things you can target.


warpi9 wrote:


But I also in my AP I have an alchemist with 4 arms and a bite attack. He basically wields a scythe in 2 arms, does 2 claws (vestigigial arms)and a bite. He kinda annoys me as well. But his claws and bite aren't nearly as devestating.

You (and the player) are aware that all those natural attacks will be secondary when he is also attacking with a weapon, right?

It seems to me you are a bit to precautios with the powerlevel of your characters. Neither of thse characters seems to powerfull to me. Characters should be able to do cool things. it is only a problem if the other characters in the party are feeling overshadowed, in this case the problems is just as much these difunctional characters as the well-functioning ones.

I also absolutely agree with the player above me. Daze monster is a terrible spell.

Sczarni

Converting sonic to fire damage is grey area honestly. While sonic count's as elemental, the bloodlines which convert it to fire damage weren't designed to do so with sonic. In this case, I wouldn't grant the player ability to convert it. He has plenty of other spell's to use, this is just cheesing it out to me.

Do note that Efreeti bloodline says "energy damage" not elemental damage. I don't know if sonic count's as energy damage since I never saw it mentioned in SRD description's before as such.


There's a specific feat for converting sonic to fire, called Fire Music, for bards.

IMO... and it may be ruled differently, the energy types that sorcerers convert are fire acid electricity and cold. those are the 4 elemental types, the 4 dragon types, and so forth. Sonic is not in that list in PF (although it was in 3.5, 4 elements and sonic could be used with the old energy substitution feat).

If you really need to nerf it, then your players are obviously not optimizing much, as that is by far the least troublesome spell available to a 7th level caster.

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