need help dealing with stupid pc combos


Advice

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so im running the shattered star ap and im having a problem with 3 of my Pc's trivializing every encounter. i got a sorcerer that is full into CC spells, a nature oracle that went for the mount and got feats to make it a lvl 8 celestial horse with dragon style (they are lvl 5) and then a fighter with mounted combat. what effectively happens is the sorc casts web making a giant area of difficult terrain and then the fighter riding the horse charge in, the fighter does minimum 70 damage and the horse deals minimum 18 on that charge. then if anything actually survives that, the horse does 5 attacks the next round dealing at least 12-15 damage with each hit and the fighter deals at least 20 with two attacks. at this point i don't know what to throw at them that isn't an auto kill or that they wont steam roll it is stupid to have a horse just charge though dungeons ignoring terrain.


1) How many PCs total?
2) What are their builds and what character building rules?


5 pcs

basicaly anything from the core books


Fighter
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuXhcwzKI0yCdE1KcXJEWmFvbGtTQk lZdmdtWjZzaWc#gid=0

Oracle
http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=466919

Horse
http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=571004

Silver Crusade

Danit wrote:
so im running the shattered star ap and im having a problem with 3 of my Pc's trivializing every encounter. i got a sorcerer that is full into CC spells, a nature oracle that went for the mount and got feats to make it a lvl 8 celestial horse with dragon style (they are lvl 5) and then a fighter with mounted combat. what effectively happens is the sorc casts web making a giant area of difficult terrain and then the fighter riding the horse charge in, the fighter does minimum 70 damage and the horse deals minimum 18 on that charge. then if anything actually survives that, the horse does 5 attacks the next round dealing at least 12-15 damage with each hit and the fighter deals at least 20 with two attacks. at this point i don't know what to throw at them that isn't an auto kill or that they wont steam roll it is stupid to have a horse just charge though dungeons ignoring terrain.

There are no feats that will let your mount be a higher level than you are. So be sure to check that out.

The fighter's horse is basically 1st level and will soon become a non-issue as enemies start to one shot it and end his mounted combat fun.

If they are charging into a Webbed area then the Web spell affects them and their mounts. Also, web itself provides cover for those inside the area of effect.

It feels like you are not quite up to speed on the game mechanics so I would recommend that you take the time to carefully audit your players PC feats and to carefully read the spells your sorcerer is using.


Huntmaster does


Horses can't charge over difficult terrain.


and dragon style allows him to charge over terrain

Silver Crusade

Danit wrote:

Fighter

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuXhcwzKI0yCdE1KcXJEWmFvbGtTQk lZdmdtWjZzaWc#gid=0

Oracle
http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=466919

Horse
http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=571004

Your oracle took the Huntmaster feat which is only for humans and she is an assimar. I am not seeing any feats that would make her mount a level 8 reincarnated paladin.

Silver Crusade

Danit wrote:
and dragon style allows him to charge over terrain

The horse does not have the required 3 ranks of acrobatics to take the Dragon Style feat.


he also took scion of humanity
allowing him to take human feats, and its not actually a paladin he just calls it that.

Silver Crusade

Danit wrote:

he also took scion of humanity

allowing him to take human feats, and its not actually a paladin he just calls it that.

I don't see that on the character sheet.


The oracle has 4 feats on level 5. works only with human but not assimar.
(if it has also have scion of humanity as you say, otherwise huntsmaster would not be allowed)

How does the fighter get 22 strength? His stats are way above average...

The horse is the AC of the oracle, but the fighter rides it? Why???
The horse doesn't have a single trick, that means they have to push it every time (DC 25)

And remember: the animal companion is a NPC. You control it.


The Horse has +6 int making it fully sentient and capable of following vocal commands.

I imagine the fighter has a +2 strength item otherwise the max would be 21.

I don't see why the fighter can't ride another pc's AC if the other PC is ok with it.


karkon wrote:
There are no feats that will let your mount be a higher level than you are. So be sure to check that out.

I'm assuming that the Oracle took the Aasimar favored class option to add 1/2 level to the Animal Companion revelation. I've never been able to determine if that's actually legit, since nothing else lets an animal companion exceed the level of their master.

But yes, the horse is missing the required ranks in Acrobatic for Dragon Style.

Also, if the Horse is using Unarmed Strike as one of its attacks, then all of its Natural Attacks become Secondary Attacks (-5).

So a Full Attack should look something like
Unarmed Strike +11 / Bite +6 / 2 x Hooves +6 / Unarmed Strike +6

Unless the Horse is Awakened, I think it also needs Tricks in order to do anything. And the Fighter or the Oracle has to make Handle Animal checks to make the Horse do those Tricks.

Finally, they may be overreaching on what Dragon Style can do:

Dragon Style wrote:
You ignore difficult terrain when you charge, run, or withdraw

You can't 5-ft step with it. You can't take a single move with it. Charging, running, or withdrawing only. It also doesn't make you immune to Web:

Web wrote:
Anyone moving through the webs must make a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check as part of their move action, with a DC equal to the spell's DC. Creatures that fail lose their movement and become grappled in the first square of webbing that they enter.

Nothing in Dragon Style lets you avoid that.


Those characters need some serious auditing.

Also, how did you do character creation? Those stats vary alot between characters.


Huntmaster only grants one level to the Oracle for the purpose of the animal companion but I assume he's using his Aasimar favored class bonus on that particular revelation to bring the thing to level 8. A valid way of getting a high level mount.

Anyhow:
- Anyone moving through the web effect has to make a Combat Maneuver check or an Escape Artist check in order to not be grappled by the webbing. Does the fighter and mount have Freedom of Movement or something?

- Web grants cover after 5 ft to the opponent and total cover after 20. You can't charge if you don't have line of sight to the opponent (which total cover would grant)

- The horse needs 3 ranks in Acrobatics for Dragon Style.

- The horse is the bonded companion of the Oracle. Why does it let the human ride it all the time? I believe the intent is for it to be the Oracle's mount, not some other persons. Now I suppose the character and mount could "allow" this but it's effectively giving the class feature to the fighter which is the main problem here.


stats are from random roll

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Narrow hallways.


You're letting players use any product (a common error), with randomly rolled stats (a surprisingly common error), and they're cheating (since you're not auditing their sheets and don't know the rules they're using; see first point). Of course you're going to have problems.

Don't use the AP's encounters directly. DMs generally buy APs because they have an interesting story, but the encounters are rarely as good as what the DM can produce. More importantly, the AP writers don't know who is in your party.

Have enemies with Dispel Magic. Often. Search the bestiary for monsters that have that as a spell-like ability and use those. And if you can't find any, make or edit a template. PCs are customizable; so are NPCs and monsters.

Have enemies spread out. Anyone in the middle of the Web can't be targeted by the PC's melee attacks (unless the PCs go into the Web).

Scarab Sages

Without any strength enhancing item the 22 is still out of reach, unless the random roll was made by some uncommon method.


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Danit wrote:
stats are from random roll

There is your problem. Make them point buy with 20 or 15 points. Problem solved.


I know this may be a really easy question to ask but how is the horse mount actually managing to negotaite the dungeons/caverns? How does it get up and down stairs etc.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I am curious about the squeezing.


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1) Rolling for stats is not an error, it's a play style.

2) OP, you need more system mastery. You seem to have players who know the rules better than you and they are using that against you.

3) Running a game is more than just plopping down an adventure path and following it like a checklist. You must make allowances for your party composition and modify as needed.

Dark Archive

More issues with the Horse

1. The player is Incorrectly applying the Celestial Template Hit Dice do not change as part of the template, meaning it should still have Xd8 HD not D10's, as an NPC it shouldnt be rolling HP it should get average rounded down which is (4.5x7 + 21 = 49 hp not 68)

Survival is not a class skill for animal companions (although this isnt as big an issue).

From the GM side allowing nature oracles with huntmaster, the aasimar favored class bonus and celestial servant was probably a bad idea, consistantly enforce the animal companion rules as the oracle can actually fail if the horse is injured.


I see 3 approaches:

1) Don't worry about it. If players are having a good time, don't love so much your minions. There will be time when the horse don't fit to the dungeon / its neutralized by magic

2) More & stronger enemies. This what I use. However its not within the guidelines of PF. I just add advanced templetes etc to monsters & radically increase their numbers (if I count encounters they are APL +7 - APL +9 ; I don't usually) & add more encounter per day. I don't powerup magicusers, just mooks ; also no very, very big monsters which one shot players. I don't give them extra XPs over the normal encounter guidelines, because it just increases problems. I have discussed this with my players and they like it. Evolution from 1st edition to PF has constantly been easing up encounters. ... ah well actually James Jacob said to use advanced templates in such cases, so its not totally far fetched. Erm... and add enemies & their strength gradually.

3) Try to use system guidelines to create difficult encounters. This is worst option I think. If you constantly put them in a narrow pass where horse don't shine & archers are on the top of the mountain shooting arrows (out of fighters reach). The players will just start thinking other ways to create characters that could handle those situations. Also its annoying to player when s/he takes multiple feats which s/he never will be able to use, because GM tailors encounters such way. So I see this way needing most of the GM time for tailoring encounters & also the most annoying to players.


AP's are not made to challenge optimized characters. You will have to make adjustments. I have always had to make changes when I have used them.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Use lots of weaker opponents. Doing 70 points of damage isn't that bad if the mook has 10 hit points....and there are 11 other mooks waiting to take its place. And use lots of Teamwork feats on your mooks, like the +4 for flanking, etc. etc.


Question does an animal companion get skill ranks


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Danit wrote:
stats are from random roll

Yeah ... don't do that. Point buy all the way.


Caderyn wrote:

More issues with the Horse

1. The player is Incorrectly applying the Celestial Template Hit Dice do not change as part of the template, meaning it should still have Xd8 HD not D10's, as an NPC it shouldnt be rolling HP it should get average rounded down which is (4.5x7 + 21 = 49 hp not 68)

Survival is not a class skill for animal companions (although this isnt as big an issue).

From the GM side allowing nature oracles with huntmaster, the aasimar favored class bonus and celestial servant was probably a bad idea, consistantly enforce the animal companion rules as the oracle can actually fail if the horse is injured.

According to the celestial template it makes it a magical beast which gives it the 1D10 and full bab

Dark Archive

An aasimar Oracle of nature using favored class bonus treats her mount as if she was level 30 if she is actually level 20 if she using the mount revelation. A level 30 mount is equivalent to a lvl 20 fighter.


Web requires two firm anchor points, like trees and walls and such, or even a ceiling and floor combo.

"These masses must be anchored to two or more solid and diametrically opposed points or else the web collapses upon itself and disappears"

The players and horses both have to save when they enter it, being immune to difficult terrain isn't enough to completely ignore web.

"Anyone moving through the webs must make a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check as part of their move action, with a DC equal to the spell's DC. Creatures that fail lose their movement and become grappled in the first square of webbing that they enter."

If they are attack into the web with reach weapons:

"If you have at least 5 feet of web between you and an opponent, it provides cover."

Shadow Lodge

Make NPC monsters that can fly and have energy resistance to the sorcerer's favored energy damage Maybe DR5/- too. Then just kill the mount, pluck off the Oracle then unload spell-like abilities on the fighter and make them start over for cheating the game and keep a close eye on them.


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ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
Make NPC monsters that can fly and have energy resistance to the sorcerer's favored energy damage Maybe DR5/- too. Then just kill the mount, pluck off the Oracle then unload spell-like abilities on the fighter and make them start over for cheating the game and keep a close eye on them.

Gotta disagree. This is a player problem, and should be dealt with on the player level. Talk to them, tell them what the problems are, and work together on ways to fix it. Punishing the characters is just treating the symptoms, not the cause.


darkwarriorkarg wrote:

1) Rolling for stats is not an error, it's a play style.

A group could take turns having the player whose turn just ended punch the next player in order right in the crotch every round. That too would be a play style.

Just like random rolling for stats it would be a painful, most often pointless, and an often unfair playstyle... but yes it would be a playstyle, not an error.

That said, if a GMs having encounter problems with APs, point buy is a simple, easy fix to restore some balance, and make keeping encounters in line easier.

[Also, between the two groups I'll take the crotch punching one. Harder for munchkins to cheat at and not get caught.]

Liberty's Edge

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Danit wrote:
According to the celestial template it makes it a magical beast which gives it the 1D10 and full bab

I was unable to find that...all I found is this link. Could you point out that rule?

.
I would like to bring your attention to these passages under the Druid section regarding Animal Companion feats:
Animal companions should select their feats from those listed under Animal Feats. Animal companions can select other feats, although they are unable to utilize some feats (such as Martial Weapon Proficiency)...Animal companions with an Intelligence of 3 or higher can select any feat they are physically capable of using.

As a GM, you should be weighing the player's choices as they advance their characters. If you let them run with it...some players will push the envelope beyond common sense. Personally, I would have laughed my a** off when the player said they would have their mount learn Improved Unarmed Strike, let alone Dragon Style Feat. The visual of a martial arts master teaching a horse is a little too Kung-fu Panda for me. :)

If you aren't involved with the leveling process of the characters, you will get side swiped like this again. There is also nothing wrong with asking your players how they plan to build their characters and mounts so that you can correct problems before they happen or be better prepared when they do come up with good, legal combinations.


Danit wrote:
According to the celestial template it makes it a magical beast which gives it the 1D10 and full bab

Templates don't work that way. Look up any celestial creature in the Bestiary. They have d8 hp/level, based on the original animal Hit Dice.

This is because a template only gives what it says it gives. The template does not modify the original creature's BAB, hit points or most ability scores, so those do not change.

This is an example of a lack of system mastery :( Any DM needs to learn the rules. Obviously errors will occur; I'm pretty sure when a Paizo writer DMs a game, they still make some mistakes. But in your case, you have players who are taking advantage of this lack of rules knowledge to cheat.


Dungeons and caverns. Mounts become instantly useless.

Also, anyone entering a Webbed area is subject to the web effect. Unless they can fly or go incorporeal, there is no such thing as immunity to Web.


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ShoulderPatch wrote:
darkwarriorkarg wrote:

1) Rolling for stats is not an error, it's a play style.

A group could take turns having the player whose turn just ended punch the next player in order right in the crotch every round. That too would be a play style.

Just like random rolling for stats it would be a painful, most often pointless, and an often unfair playstyle... but yes it would be a playstyle, not an error.

That said, if a GMs having encounter problems with APs, point buy is a simple, easy fix to restore some balance, and make keeping encounters in line easier.

[Also, between the two groups I'll take the crotch punching one. Harder for munchkins to cheat at and not get caught.]

Point-buy is perfectly fine, but often it can lead to the tendency to repeatedly make similar characters. Rolling stats once in a while is a good way to challenge yourself.


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Calybos1 wrote:

Dungeons and caverns. Mounts become instantly useless.

Also, anyone entering a Webbed area is subject to the web effect. Unless they can fly or go incorporeal, there is no such thing as immunity to Web.

Freedom of Movement


These are 5th-level PCs, they won't be casting Freedom of Movement.

Shadow Lodge

If you suspect your PCs are cheating, Look up their character stats and if they are cheating force them to make new characters. If they are making gameplay less fun for you, then since you are the DM, try to influence them to take different classes or raise the CR to account for how much their apl has effectively raised.


Kimera757 wrote:
These are 5th-level PCs, they won't be casting Freedom of Movement.

If they managed all that other stuff, I wouldn't put it past them...


Assuming the Fighter's belt of giant strength is +2, which is all a 6th-level ought to be able to afford, that means she has a 55 point buy, unless she took the racial trait that allowed her a +2 on two abilities, in which case it's a 50 point buy. That's way higher than the AP is designed to work with.

The oracle isn't as bad, assuming this is an angelkin aasimar, is around 25 points. Still higher than the AP is designed for.

So, ok, they rolled. Did they roll in front of you? What method were you using? 5d6 drop lowest 2? 6d6 drop lowest 3? 2d6+6? 1d6+12? The fighter's average stat is about 15.5, which is what I'd expect from one of those higher-level rolling methods. If you asked for a lower rolling method, like 2d6+6, or 4d6 drop lowest, and didn't require her to roll in front of you, I'm going to say outright that she probably cheated. The Aasimar is a little more reasonable, with an average roll of 11. I'm guessing he's just good at optimizing, but who knows -- maybe he just cheats more believably.

This is why point buy works well - you can't cheat at it.

I would recommend requiring rebuilding using, maybe, 25 point buy at most. I would recommend 20. If they object, point out that it's either everyone does a small amount of rebuilding now, or you have to rebuild EVERY encounter.

Further looking at the sheets -- how did the fighter get 8 feats? She should get 1 from her human race, 3 bonus feats, and 3 regular feats at level 5. That's 7. She's got one more than appropriate.

I'm not seeing any errors on the Oracle's sheet, but I don't think the horse's BAB and HD become full and d10, as others have mentioned. The Celestial template doesn't do that.

I would also be very negative towards the idea of the Oracle's Bonded Mount allowing someone else to ride it. It's supposed to be a feature for the oracle, not the fighter! That oracle should be using the lance and getting charge attack bonuses. If he wants, he could take 1 level in fighter to get weapon focus and power attack on the lance.

Finally, much of Shattered star is a classic dungeon crawl. Remember that horses are Large. They can only fit into a small space by squeezing, which slows them down and causes penalties to AC and attacks. This would also prevent charging. In many cases, it would be nearly impossible to bring the horse with you into the dungeon.


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Even the shenanigans aside APs are made for a 4 person 15-20 point buy group and even then are on the easy side. With rolled scores and a 5 person party of course APs are going to be VERY easy.

In fact even with a group made for it APs tend to have flat poorly designed encounters. Like single target boss fights. The ppl writing this stuff really need to knock that off. Anyway with a shred of system mastery knows that's just stupid.


The Bonded Mount has an Int of 6 and isn't an Animal. It's only Mike Brock that s&$!s all over the PF rules(*) and demands that magical creatures as smart as a Fighter derp around and need to be micromanaged with Handle Animal, and that terrible, terrible ruling shouldn't be used in a home game.

(*)Ranting about Int 3+ animals

Spoiler:
From the Bestiary:
Animal Type:
Intelligence score of 1 or 2 (no creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher can be an animal).

From the Core Rulebook, about intelligence:
Animals have Intelligence scores of 1 or 2 (no creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher can be an animal).

If you want characters with ACs to use Handle Animal, you could just ban +1 Int from the stat gain.


I would kill the game. The PCs are abusing your system. They will do this no matter what, no matter when, and no matter how. Forever.

Historically, I'd say it's a 3.5 thing, but 4e, Pathfinder, I'm sure every system is nerfed by this style of play. It's not the books, the Core is so easily broken as well.

I would find new people to play with. I know players like this,obvious poisin, people "hate" them, and they usually impress newbies day one.

I think it's just another grey area of the game I love. But think "bragging rights and attention", Roll-play versus Role-play. It's a pissing contest.

After reading the previous posts up until now, I now know where my group is getting these "new-to-me" broken ideas.

Every character should be audited.

I would state the problem openly, the point buy stuff is a waste, I'm sure you might be friends with these people or married to the spellcaster. I'd start over. But Power gamers can only be stopped by power gamers. I think that the writings on the wall, you knew this group was broken, and if they DM they will do the same in a non-Society game no matter which side of the screen they sit on.


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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

Assuming the Fighter's belt of giant strength is +2, which is all a 6th-level ought to be able to afford, that means she has a 55 point buy, unless she took the racial trait that allowed her a +2 on two abilities, in which case it's a 50 point buy. That's way higher than the AP is designed to work with.

The oracle isn't as bad, assuming this is an angelkin aasimar, is around 25 points. Still higher than the AP is designed for.

So, ok, they rolled. Did they roll in front of you? What method were you using? 5d6 drop lowest 2? 6d6 drop lowest 3? 2d6+6? 1d6+12? The fighter's average stat is about 15.5, which is what I'd expect from one of those higher-level rolling methods. If you asked for a lower rolling method, like 2d6+6, or 4d6 drop lowest, and didn't require her to roll in front of you, I'm going to say outright that she probably cheated. The Aasimar is a little more reasonable, with an average roll of 11. I'm guessing he's just good at optimizing, but who knows -- maybe he just cheats more believably.

This is why point buy works well - you can't cheat at it.

I would recommend requiring rebuilding using, maybe, 25 point buy at most. I would recommend 20. If they object, point out that it's either everyone does a small amount of rebuilding now, or you have to rebuild EVERY encounter.

Further looking at the sheets -- how did the fighter get 8 feats? She should get 1 from her human race, 3 bonus feats, and 3 regular feats at level 5. That's 7. She's got one more than appropriate.

I'm not seeing any errors on the Oracle's sheet, but I don't think the horse's BAB and HD become full and d10, as others have mentioned. The Celestial template doesn't do that.

I would also be very negative towards the idea of the Oracle's Bonded Mount allowing someone else to ride it. It's supposed to be a feature for the oracle, not the fighter! That oracle should be using the lance and getting charge attack bonuses. If he wants, he could take 1 level in fighter to get weapon focus and power attack on the
...

1. Don't dismiss the ability to roll high. I've played in games with 4d6 drop lowest where we saw a first level PC roll a lowest stat of 16. 3 of his stats were natural 18's. Just because someone is high does not make them a cheater and even making them circumspect is pushing into an area you might not want to go without something more substantial.

2. The dragoon archetype gives mounted combat and skill focus ride in place of your first level feat. So he has 8 if he took that archetype.

3. There is nothing anywhere ever that even suggests someone else can't ride someone elses AC.

4. Most chambers in the dungeon crawls I've seen designed in APs and such run with 2 by 2 corridors. Allowing a horse to fit without squeezing.

And thats pretty much it :P I see nothing wrong with these characters.

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