How to avoid getting one rounded...?


Advice


As a wizard with d6 hp/lv. GM denied access to Emergency Force Shield spell. So in a group and attacked by a NPC group with a rogue and/or ranged opponent. Any NPC knows to take out the wizard first, especially lv 9+.

So as a wizard, what do you do to avoid getting one rounded by the rogue hitting you for three sneak attacks in a round at +5d6 x3 (or more) per hit? And lets face it, Ac wise a wizard is running around with an unbuffed ac of 16 (mage armor lasting 1hr/lv) and no dex since you are flat footed. Or against the ranger with favored enemy human hitting you with three shots a round (or more) with favored enemy bonus?

I understand at high enough level there is the contingency and its ability to teleport you out of Dodge when you reach 20% hps but prior to that, what do you do to keep from dying one round into the go?


The way I see it, you have a few options.

1. Mock Armor from Ultimate Equipment. It looks like armor, but it has no benefits or penalties. This way you wouldn't look like a target from a distance.

2. Illusion spells, and lots of them.

3. Cast Invisibility when you suspect an ambush is coming. This way, the ambusher either A. Doesn't think there is a caster (all the more fun when you fireball them), or B. Knows you are there, but not where you are.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi.

Hurm not sure what is going on? Need more information.
Wealth available?
Gear?

Why does not your GM allow long-term buffs?

What is your build?

What is your party build?

Why are you totally isolated from the rest of your party?

Do you always lose init?

What is the rest of the party doing while every bad guy is focusing on you?

What kind of game, setting, ???


1. Reconnaissance
2. Tactics

Shadow Lodge

Mage Armor+extended Shield+Dex+Mock Armor+Carry a greatsword. Everyone will think you are a fighter or something (guy in armor with a greatsword), you will have a +8 to your flat-footed AC, higher when not flat-footed (dex). Also, if rogue sneak attack is the big issue, try getting fortification (as high as you can) on bracers of armor for ignoring those precision damage thingys.


Flying? To be honest I haven't played with a dm that has opponents go for the wizard everey time. Really though 2 hats of disguise and then you and the fighter switch clothing.

Sovereign Court

First, make sure the rest of the party is trying to keep you alive. It they are not helping out, withdraw.

Second, go first. Take Improved Initiative and the Reactionary trait. Wizards have moderately good DEX.

Third, worship Torag. The Religious trait Defensive Strategist means you are not flat footed at the start.

Fourth, beef up. Take Toughness to give you an extra HP per level. Always take your favorite class HP. Your starting CON should be at least 12 or 13.

You may need to use the Extra Traits feat. Being Human gives you an extra feat.


invest in constitution

cast blur ASAP. blur makes you immune to sneak attacks

wear fortified silken ceremonial armor or fortified mithril kikko

Silver Crusade

Mage armor, mirror image, overland flight, wind wall, illusion spells to change your look, stoneskin.. the beat goes on. You are a level 9+ wizard you have many options


Taason the Black wrote:
So as a wizard, what do you do to avoid getting one rounded by the rogue hitting you for three sneak attacks in a round at +5d6 x3 (or more) per hit? And lets face it, Ac wise a wizard is running around with an unbuffed ac of 16 (mage armor lasting 1hr/lv) and no dex since you are flat footed. Or against the ranger with favored enemy human hitting you with three shots a round (or more) with favored enemy bonus?

You move ten feet, cast a spell.

Rogue moves ten feet, loses all but one attack. If you're higher than 5th level, there is no way his 6d6+Str damage is going to drop you in one round before your allies murder him.

I've GMed this game for years and I've always considered my NPCs lucky when the wizard was dumb enough to allow a full attack through.

Also, mirror image. And blur. But mainly mirror image.


In addition to the above suggestions a high perception score to avoid being caught by surprise always helps.

Level 9 wizard:
9ranks +0 Wisdom +3class +1trait +5 Eyes of the Eagle = +18.

Level 9 NPC Rogue:
9ranks +5 Dexterity +3 class = +17.

While there could be additional modifiers (feats such as skill focus, alertness etc) this should show that the Rogue will not automatically surprise the wizard.

Note: Ultimate Campaign came out with a universal (fits just about any adventurer) Perception trait.

- Gauss


So... is this a case of GM wants to kill you? Because in that case your going to die no save. Omnipotent power abuse and whatnot do weight quiet a bit in that equation.

Beyond that, you can always pretend not to be a wizard. Mock armor examples aren't the only way, you can also just dress in a way other than robe and wizard hat. Putting on a haramaki or silken armor with armor spikes or a mithral shield with spikes or carrying around weapons is cost effective and makes you look different than the robe and hat guys.

Another thing beyond spells is putting some oomph in your con. A wizard with 14 con has roughly the same average hp as a fighter with 10(though I'd hope the fighter is higher...) Anyways, I wouldn't dump that. A good health pool and fort is a good thing to have after all.


You can just use illusions to not look like a wizard.

In 3.5 (very similar) I found the False Life spell (it's core) to be very handy. It doesn't give a lot of hit points, but I found it gives "just enough", and it lasts a really long time. It kept me alive when a dire tiger mauled my wizard PC for two rounds.

Once combat starts, I'm willing to spend a single round casting defensive spells. That's usually Mirror Image. (Or if I want to be cheesy, Greater Invisibility.) An opponent might have an attack bonus 20 points higher than your AC, but it makes little difference if they don't know which "you" to attack.


All good answers. However consider this:

A rogue should go first always with all things considered. High dex and initiative traits/feats.

If you lose initiative, you arent casting. Shield, stoneskin, mirror image and similar buffs are 10/lv or 1/r level. You cant have those up all the time.

Think of the ranger or similar ranged attacker. Full attack first round. Say you survive his barrage. you are still nearly dead and spending your rounds hastily trying to cast self defense buffs to find a way to avoid getting killed the next few rounds. Effectively he has taken you out of the fight.

I realize that Im reaching here. I just see the wizard as being very vulnerable in fights when he doesnt see it coming and have a round or two to prepare. And even if you arent targeted at the very first, you are spending rounds of self surviving buffing which means you arent helping your party get rid of the threats.

Losing Emergency Force Shield really sucked. It took a lot of chance to survive the oh crap moments out.

Shadow Lodge

Just wear a Monk's Outfit (Cheap and you don't look like much of a ranged threat or an incredible melee threat either, just a weak monk) or Mock Armor (but you risk looking like a melee threat if there is no other arcane caster). Also, if built carefully, you can be all but invisible as a rogue (or with minor/major magic talents, vanish) and just stalk up to the PC's unseen.

Silver Crusade

In the case of taking too long to cast spells, have you considered extend spell (1hr/lvl with extend at level 9 is 18 hours, or almost all day). Also, Quicken spell allows two spells in a round, though using a rod of quickening might be preferable, so you don't use up the huge spellslot requirement.


Taason the Black wrote:
A rogue should go first always with all things considered. High dex and initiative traits/feats.

No, time oracles with noble scion, improved initiative, and eldritch heritage always go first, that's something where you might give up hope. Your a wizard though. You have +4 from your familiar alone, and improved initiative is on your top list of feats to get. Does every rogue you fight have 22 dex, improved init, and reactionary?

Taason the Black wrote:
If you lose initiative, you arent casting. Shield, stoneskin, mirror image and similar buffs are 10/lv or 1/r level. You cant have those up all the time.

Quicken rod is a nice thing to have, but expensive. There are also quiet a few defensive spells that are 10m/lvl or 1 hour/lvl, and extend rod isn't that expensive(nor is blessing of ferver, if you have access).

Taason the Black wrote:
Losing Emergency Force Shield really sucked. It took a lot of chance to survive the oh crap moments out.

Why did he remove it? Does he just not like you or something? I mean, if he's full attacking you with rangers who have you as their favored enemy that's not exactly screaming nice things.


MrSin wrote:


Quicken rod is a nice thing to have, but expensive. There are also quiet a few defensive spells that are 10m/lvl or 1 hour/lvl, and extend rod isn't that expensive(nor is blessing of ferver, if you have access).

BOF still takes a round to get off. And honestly, any spell you cast during combat should last the combat even at 1r/lv so that isnt the issue. I guess the issue is that if you arent one rounded, you have to spend rounds self buffing to stay alive which means you are effectively out of the fight for a chunk of the fight.

Taason the Black wrote:
Losing Emergency Force Shield really sucked. It took a lot of chance to survive the oh crap moments out.
Why did he remove it? Does he just not like you or something? I mean, if he's full attacking you with rangers who have you as their favored enemy that's not exactly screaming nice things.

I dunno. I dont think he ever really recovered from Dragonlance and 3.5 where wizards were godlike. He seems to deny most "wow" spells


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I've GMed this game since 1st edition where a Magic-User (wizard) got 1d4 HP and had to have a 15 CON to even get a +1/level bonus.

So you should feel lucky...

To the OP's question, don't you ever fight animals, beasts, magical beasts, insects, elementals, golems, low-intelligence brutes, or anything else that doesn't have the knowledge or the intelligence to recognize a wizard and kill him first? Those fights shouldn't be a problem, right?

So, yeah, intelligent monsters who know what a wizard is should usually target the obvious wizard. But that is probably only some of the time, right? And they don't always have ranged attacks. And they don't always win initiative.

Right?

So sometimes, you get to go first. Sometimes you're protected by your fighters and other group members to keep the enemy away from you.

The rest of the time, you should ask yourself what you could have done differently. Why didn't you scout ahead or scry ahead and know the enemy was there so you could surprise them and maybe even pre-buff before battle? Why wasn't your rogue/ranger/barbarian/druid scouting ahead 50 or 100 feet so he would spring the ambushes before the enemy even had a chance to see you? Why aren't you invisible pretty much all the time (invest in a ring)? Why isn't your AC higher (Mage Armor or bracers, DEX, ring, amulet, they're all pretty easy to get as you level up, plus walk right behind your cleric so that you have +4 AC from soft cover against enemy archers - that could easily get your AC well over 20 so that while you still might get hit, it won't be that every arrow from every full attack always hits).


Buy the belt of stoneskin, 24 hour duration DR10 shield that eats 100 points of damage a day.
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/a-b/belt- of-stoneskin


Deadalready wrote:

Buy the belt of stoneskin, 24 hour duration DR10 shield that eats 100 points of damage a day.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/a-b/belt- of-stoneskin

Good stuff.


Is the Contingency Spell not available? Like, how about a Contingency Displacement/Stoneskin? That should keep you covered.


DM_Blake wrote:
To the OP's question, don't you ever fight animals, beasts, magical beasts, insects, elementals, golems, low-intelligence brutes, or anything else that doesn't have the knowledge or the intelligence to recognize a wizard and kill him first? Those fights shouldn't be a problem, right?

No matter the intelligence of the creature, it is given perfect tactical decisions by an all knowing, ever present, god like being (the GM). That is a factor you can never remove.

This is why you will see enemies target the wizard over the crane style monk, despite the fact that both have a lack of armor. Properly roleplaying nonhuman entities requires a lot of roleplaying experience and dedication that many players never get to develop. Some of the disguising tricks might help alleviate the problem though since he has to stretch his BS further into metagaming to pull this off.

Anyway, from the sound of it, ranged martial characters seem to be the major problem for you. I actually have a question: do a lot of these kinds of encounters happen on the road? Would it be feasible to buy a horse and carriage to get around? It should provide partial to total cover (I think Paizo has rules for vehicles, but I have little experience with it). Not entirely useful when you are going into dungeons and buildings, and it can limit what you can do with touch ranged buffs and such, but it could help a bit.


Taason the Black wrote:

All good answers. However consider this:

A rogue should go first always with all things considered. High dex and initiative traits/feats.

Wizard has pretty good dex, can take a familiar that gives an initiative bonus (scorpion) and can take those same traits and feats. Its good to go first as a wizard whether or not you are being attacked by a rogue meant to one shot you.

Quote:

If you lose initiative, you arent casting. Shield, stoneskin, mirror image and similar buffs are 10/lv or 1/r level. You cant have those up all the time.

True. Make sure you have a good perception and are cautious about moving into risk situations without any buffs up (scrolls and wands for things like blur or mirror image are great for this).

Quote:


Think of the ranger or similar ranged attacker. Full attack first round. Say you survive his barrage. you are still nearly dead and spending your rounds hastily trying to cast self defense buffs to find a way to avoid getting killed the next few rounds. Effectively he has taken you out of the fight.

If you have to cast more then one or two buffs to be survivable something is wrong. You probably want to look into some magical gear to add to your defenses. After all untill mid levels, there isnt a huge amount of items for you to spend your money on besides defensive items.

Quote:

I realize that Im reaching here. I just see the wizard as being very vulnerable in fights when he doesnt see it coming and have a round or two to prepare. And even if you arent targeted at the very first, you are spending rounds of self surviving buffing which means you arent helping your party get rid of the threats.

Losing Emergency Force Shield really sucked. It took a lot of chance to survive the oh crap moments out.

Yea there is actually a downside to being a wizard. And there probably should be given all the upside. You could always take some feats that add to your survivability, as well. Toughness(and/or using a hit point on your favored class bonus) and a good con are also not the word idea in the world


A single attack of sneak attack is not enough to kill an equal level wizard nine times out of ten.

What's missing from the OP's analysis is movement.

The wizard at all levels has superior options for choosing their location on the battlefield. The rogue is middling at best in maneuverability.

I disagree that the rogue has any appreciable advantage in initiative, but presuming for a moment that he does, if he cannot move in to one-round the wizard on the first round, the wizard will simple move and then blind him with a low level spell.

Chances are good that a mid-high level wizard will move somewhere the rogue cannot reach at all, or cast something horrible on the rogue.

It's not a win button. There are possible points of failure for the wizard, and a well played rogue might prevail. But the OP's thread title implies that the odds are against the wizard, and I assure you, unless the rogue is already on top of the wizard when initiative is rolled, the wizard will survive for at least two rounds, during which they can maneuver and cast.

Now, if the rogue's much higher level, then we're talking. But the rate of Sneak Attack dice increase is literally half the rate of the wizard's hit dice increase, and Con adds to every die. Multiple flanking rogues would also make it a one-round situation, but really, multiple flanking rogues /should/ be bad news.

The Exchange

lemeres wrote:
No matter the intelligence of the creature, it is given perfect tactical decisions by an all knowing, ever present, god like being (the GM). That is a factor you can never remove.

True. Of course, the GM him/herself is supposed to be checking the Int score of these enemies before he starts his tactical planning. I don't have much respect for any GM who says, 'The gelatinous cubes deliberately move to flank you.'


Add extra hitpoints to achieve a survivability base:

+9+1d10 hitpoints from False Life (9 hour duration)
+9 hitpoints from a Belt of CON +2
+9 hitpoints by upgrading to a +4 Belt of CON
+9 hitpoints from the Toughness feat

Work on your base AC:

+4 AC from Mage Armor
+4 AC from +3 Mithril Buckler
+2 AC from +2 Ring of Protection
+2 AC from +2 Amulet of Natural Armor
+2 AC from DEX
+2 AC from Reduce Person (can be permanent)

Use spells pre-emptively to bolser defenses:

- Ablative Armor (hour per level)
- Stoneskin (10 minutes per level)
- Mirror Image (1 minute per level)
- Elemental Body I (1 minute per level)

Against the complete surprise situations, having Ablative Armor and False Life up is a really good boost to survivability. Add in +9 to +18 hitpoints from other sources and you should be in great shape.

Against situations where you are approaching danger in an area, Stoneskin is simply amazing. Yes, you spend some gold, but it makes you very, very survivable.

Against situations where you are approaching known combat, Mirror Image lasts 9 minutes at level 9. Apply this vigorously more and more often even for a "chance" scenario. You are at the stage where you'll have more and more spells to "waste", so waste a few if needed.

Sovereign Court

First, Contingency for Blur/Displacement/Greater Invisibility/Mirror Image on "when I get attacked" helped me out of a lot of trouble. Getaway is the spell you want for emergency telprots.

Second, it sounds to me like you specifically have a problem with ranged ambush full attacks. Allow me to share with you one of the first things my wizard crafted: the Gloves of Arrow Snaring. (only 4 easy payments of 1000GP!)
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/e-g/glove s-of-arrow-snaring

Of course, those only function when you aren't flat footed. But it seems to me that if your 9th level wizard is constantly being surprised by enemies, something is going wrong. Unless you're routinely attacked by the Super Stealth Ninja Stealth Super Squad, someone in your team should have enough perception to see things coming.

Failing that, Divination is your friend. Enemies have magic stuff? A Permanency'd Detect Magic should give you some warning unless they went out of their way to hide their item's magic auras (at which point the GM is just being mean). Prying Eyes lasts an hour a level and gives you a dozen little scouts to fly out in every direction and constantly report back to you. Detect Thoughts gives you a 60ft cone in which you can detect any creature with an intelligence score. A permanent Alarm spell can let you know if hostiles come within 20 feet.

Failing all else, just keep a Dimension Door handy, and you can always teleport a couple hundred feet straight up to get your bearings. And maybe chuck a few boulders you've been holding onto with Shrink Item, if that's your style.


cast false life and mage armor in the morning, with lesser rod of extend if you have it, and then stand in a square that can only be threatened by moving through your party and getting AoO's. (I suggest right behind an enlarged fighter.) Use prying eyes to scout, use mirror image for more defense if you need it, use invisibility (spell or ring) and levitate, fly, or slippers of spider climb to be hard to get to.

In round 1 of the battle, blast the crap out of the bad guys with a debuff or a nuke or a control or whatever you do well and throw them on the defensive.

Basically, you should only be in trouble if the GM is intent on mauling you, and then you can make that so hard that the rest of your party is able to slaughter the foes that are wasting actions focusing on you.

Also a 9th level diviner should have somewhere around +15 to initiative and the ability to pre roll a d20 to use for a concentration check or discard or whatever at their leisure.

Finally, a ring of the ram with like 9 charges is a great cheap magic item that gives you a "Get out of my face" ability.


Assuming the OP is refering to emergency force sphere, the spell is from Chelix Empire of Devils book. It is not unreasonable that your GM has denied access to this spell as it is very powerful in terms of defense, and also not from the "core" selection of books. What it measn is you must develop some new player muscles in order to keep your wizard almighty.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Having played an invoker for quite a few years and as DM Blake mentioned, the d4 hp/level was playing on a knife's edge for most encounters.

I was really happy to see PF up the HD to d6. For much of my invoker's life the illusion school was barred (along with conjuration) and so I had to find other means of survival.

1) Dexterity is almost as important as intelligence. Not only for your AC and reflex save, but mainly for initiative. Acting first in any battle puts you in control (Perception is obviously good for this as well), a wizard or sorcerer has the most ability to control and setup the battlefield. Improved Initiative is one of the most important feats for this reason.

2) Active defensive spells you should have up most of the time (getting an extend rod or the extend feat is very good): False Life, Mage armor, Stoneskin. If you think you'll be going into a fight soon, Blur, Cat's Grace, Mirror Image, Invisibility and Shield are excellent.

3) Items: Ring of Protection, Bracers of Armor, Cloak of Displacement, Hand of Glory, Ring of Freedom of Movement, Belt of Stoneskin. Get yourself a Ring of Wizardry II, your second level spells are some of the best in the game for all around defense and the more you can cast per day (at least up to 12th or so level) the better.

3a) One thing that I would beg my DM to allow is a custom item that has a permanent Shield spell in place on it (theoretically this should cost only 4000g but the stacking shield bonus along with negation of magic missiles is the best 4k gold I've ever spent in a game, and I'm SO glad shield no longer has a facing.)

4) Play smart and tactical, use others to shield yourself and assume that you'll be targeted first for every encounter's alpha strike, if you do that, you'll (hopefully) never be caught with your pants down.

Liberty's Edge

As stated above; Cloak of Displacement Minor is your best bet. Makes Rogues cry ... Gives you constant 20% miss chance and foils most rogues sneak attacks.

Vs Ranger well missing 1 arrow out of 5 is always nice.

You should be able to make one for 12k.

Sic


lemeres wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
To the OP's question, don't you ever fight animals, beasts, magical beasts, insects, elementals, golems, low-intelligence brutes, or anything else that doesn't have the knowledge or the intelligence to recognize a wizard and kill him first? Those fights shouldn't be a problem, right?
No matter the intelligence of the creature, it is given perfect tactical decisions by an all knowing, ever present, god like being (the GM). That is a factor you can never remove.

If this is happening in your game, then you need to have a serious talk with the GM. I mean it.

I hope you're just being sarcastic.

Each creature should use perfect tactics based on its intelligence, abilities, and inclinations and nothing else. Creatures should not use the GM's metagame knowledge. Ever. That's just awful GMing right there. Beyond awful.

lemeres wrote:
This is why you will see enemies target the wizard over the crane style monk, despite the fact that both have a lack of armor.

It could be more than just a lack of armor. An obvious adventuring party that has two guys in street clothes, one looking like a slightly feeble middle-aged librarian and the other one looking like a young healthy wrestling champion, in a world where those feeble librarians can and often are spellcasters (especially in an obvious adventuring party), and the choice is still very clear to any intelligent observer. Even moreso if the librarian guy has a gnarled old walking stick and only a dagger and a couple wands in his belt, while the wrestling champion has a temple sword, a pair of sai, and a bandoleer full of shuriken.

lemeres wrote:
Properly roleplaying nonhuman entities requires a lot of roleplaying experience and dedication that many players never get to develop.

GMs should develop this before they begin GMing. Or at least immediately after. Or when their players speak up and say "Hey, dude, there's no way those wolves would run right past several tasty humans to attack one specific human in the back. Get real, play right, or let someone else be the GM until you learn how."


DM_Blake wrote:
It could be more than just a lack of armor. An obvious adventuring party that has two guys in street clothes, one looking like a slightly feeble middle-aged librarian and the other one looking like a young healthy wrestling champion, in a world where those feeble librarians can and often are spellcasters (especially in an obvious adventuring party), and the choice is still very clear to any intelligent observer. Even moreso if the librarian guy has a gnarled old walking stick and only a dagger and a couple wands in his belt, while the wrestling champion has a temple sword, a pair of sai, and a bandoleer full of shuriken.

For some animals, I would think the only distinction would be whether they are armor or not, in the same way I would value a meal whether it was on a plate or in a tin can (assume I have no can opener). Since most humans are close to level 1, the amount of weapons they have would be relatively low on the radar (remember, we are talking about things like owlbears here. They have terrible knowledge (local) checks). Also, librarians tend to be stringy. heh.

And I was not so much speaking from experience, but from all the bad mouthing I tend to hear of GM's on the board. On the same token, I hear a lot of bad mouthing of players too. I just dislike how some times these discussions tend to be played purely like you were dealing real animals, and ignoring the elephant in the room of the GM. People are all imperfect, and we all make mistakes. And it is not like there is a training program in tabletop gaming to insure everyone plays the "right" way. We play, we discuss, and we learn.

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