How to deal with grappling PC's without breaking "run as written"


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5/5

Worst thing for a grapple build to face is multiple competent enemies.

Hey Bruno, don't forget about swarms.

Silver Crusade 2/5 *

Kyle Baird wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Maybe not master tactic, but I'd say easily 75% of BBEG just fail against a good grappler. Straight up owned.
I've seen several recent BBEG's have freedom of movement up or available lately. One simple spell can make an entire character build useless.

Okay. Haven't seen that. Maybe in higher level stuff? Doesn't help the 1-9 experience any. And that "simple" spell is 4th level, chief.

5/5

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David Bowles wrote:
And that "simple" spell is 4th level, chief.

Had no clue its was 4th level. Thanks for being so helpful. /s

Silver Crusade 2/5 *

Tetori grappling is very, very strong in PFS. To pretend otherwise is pretty silly.

"Worst thing for a grapple build to face is multiple competent enemies."

Good thing this is PFS. From what I've seen, Season 5 has actually regressed in this area a bit.

Also, it's just not the grappling. It's the squeezing practically anything to unconsciousness in one or two rounds tops. It's like getting grabbed by E. Honda from Street Fighter on max difficulty.

Dark Archive

Bruno should be on a magic carpet and take blindfighting; those are requirements for being a high-level grappler.

Mid-40s? How? I'm specced to hell, and am "only" +30 to grapple @ level 9, and I've pulled out tricks Tetoris can't do (Manuever master wis bonus, splashing lore warden for strict bonus).

And at level 9 I've now faced 2 flying freedom of movemented enemies; they are out there :). Being a non-archer non-caster starts to suck at mid-to-high levels.

4/5

Thalin wrote:

Bruno should be on a magic carpet and take blindfighting; those are requirements for being a high-level grappler.

Mid-40s? How? I'm specced to hell, and am "only" +30 to grapple @ level 9, and I've pulled out tricks Tetoris can't do (Manuever master wis bonus, splashing lore warden for strict bonus).

And at level 9 I've now faced 2 flying freedom of movemented enemies; they are out there :). Being a non-archer non-caster starts to suck at mid-to-high levels.

He was saying when CMDs are in the 40s. Bruno's currently rocking somewhere around +31 unbuffed, I believe.

Silver Crusade 4/5

@thalin Bruno is at +31 Grapple CMB. That before raging, enlarging or party buffs (Haste, Inspire Confidence, Blessing of Divine Fervor). Bruno assume things like those buffs and smart tactical play will get Bruno into mid/upper 30s, meaning Bruno has 50/50 chance of landing grapple on creatures with mid/upper 40s CMD. If it a must-land grapple, Bruno use ioun stone with true strike stored in it. Bruno also has winged boots and elixir of spirit sight...

@kyle Bruno has 2 step approach to grappling swarms. 1) Step behind wizard. 2) Keep wizard between Bruno and swarm.

Silver Crusade 4/5

@redward Bruno also rocking a very bad amount of Lissala mojo....

Grand Lodge 5/5

Garble get +4 from his extra grabby teeth. OM NOM NOM

5/5 5/55/55/5

Thalin wrote:

Bruno should be on a magic carpet and take blindfighting; those are requirements for being a high-level grappler.

Can you put 4 posts and rope on a magic carpet...

Grand Lodge 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Thalin wrote:

Bruno should be on a magic carpet and take blindfighting; those are requirements for being a high-level grappler.

Can you put 4 posts and rope on a magic carpet...

That is a question which I feel must be redirected to Zarta for a serious (?) reply.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 5/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8

Kyle Baird wrote:
Thalin wrote:
(looking at those CMB 37 dragons that I've randomly had to face)
39 ;-)

Pssh, higher than that. What Bairdian dragon doesn't fight defensively when it has like a +30 to hit? None that I know of.

5/5

The CMD of the BBEG in RftRK Pt 2 was 47 :-)

Dark Archive 4/5

Majuba wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

Mathwei,

You've seen GMs hand a problem player a blank Chronicle sheet? What's the point to that? What was the result?

Speaking as a local coordinator for Mathwei, I am fairly certain that he has not seen this done. However many times we wanted to hand him the sheet, we held back.

So. Um. Where do you guys coordinate so that I never attend cons in your area? Because ill never ever spend a dime to travel and play PFS with either of you or any cons youre associated with and should you go to Gen Con or Origins I shall go out of the way to not sit or associate with you.

You both gave entirely bad form, and this comes from someone with a reputation of killing characters. I may not pull punches but I make sure everone has a right to sit down and play their own characters without fear of being shunned because of their playstyle.

Dark Archive

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Nice way of saying it:
I dislike how easy some games end but I want to give back to the community so I have stepped up and GMed around 25 games in the 3+ years I have been involved in the society. I kind of think of it as taking one for the team. I correct players when I catch them cheating. If they have a legal feat, spell, archetype, whatever, they are entitled to play it even if it is not my personal flavor of style.

The blunt way for those who still do not get it:
If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Please get something straight. Society is not your private game, not when it is an open game for people to sign up. In your private games, you may ban grapple, slumber, gunslingers, ninjas, save or suck spells, ext. In society play, the campaign administration determines what is banned, not the GM. If you cannot agree to GM the legally built by campaign rules characters who show up, stop pretending you are a society GM. Admit that banning or cheating against the above examples makes you a private GM with personal house rules and no business pretending to run Society games.

You do not get to dictate what is fun for everyone. Not every player wants to face death every roll of the die. Many martials appreciate the teamwork of a save or suck or grapple setting up the kill so the martial does not have to pray that he out damages/races the enemy. Just because it is not your personal style does not make it wrong, cheesy or cheating. Your opinion that fights should be long drawn out melee slug fests is nothing but your personal opinion, not a universal truth. No matter how many people share your view, your opinions are no more valid than the players who enjoy the legal options you dislike. Even volunteering to GM gives you no extra say in the matter in Society play, only private games extend that way.

I do not think it is fun to waste my money or time traveling to.a convention or game night with an expected campaign list of rules have the carpet pulled out from under me and be told no, you cannot play that because my personal opinion of it is bad. Please stop drafting unknowing players who spent their money and time travelling to the event to be deceived into your private game of personal house rules/restrictions while pretending you are running a society game.

If you really hate those options so much, please spend your time convincing campaign leadership to ban those options instead of prepping your private house rule/restricted games disguised as society games. Please do not return to GMing until you can except legal options are welcome weather you like them or not and are finally willing to take one for the team like I do every time I judge a game.

I sometimes get frustrated when people falsely accuse about how broken something is when they complain about corner cases and fail to acknowledge how often the same PC will be in the muck of things up to his eyeballs in so many other typical situations.

Scarab Sages 1/5

Well said Mr. Lambert. Well said.

Many of the attitudes expressed in this thread are simply toxic.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 **

On the other hand, your hyper optimized gunslinger/magus/grappler/magus/whatever is just likely to keep me from wanting to play at your table as a hostile DM is.

Ultimately, it's up the players to improve the culture. The campaign staff has no interest in fixing the problem and, realistically, cannot.

Silver Crusade 2/5 *

No, the GMs can improve their game as well.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 **

Can they?

What can they do when they're faced with the hyper optimizer and the more measured player that just wants a chance to play the game?

The optimizer wants to one-shot encounters. He planned his build from day one to do so. His fun is valid and he's not breaking any rules.

The other guy wants a chance to play. He doesn't follow class guides or calculate his DPR. He just wants a chance to show off his favorite rogue talent and roll some dice.

There's no real good answer here. In PFS the DM isn't free to modify things to rein the optimizer in or buff encounters. The Other Guy will likely never get to take an action in combat.

Silver Crusade 2/5 *

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Feral wrote:

Can they?

What can they do when they're faced with the hyper optimizer and the more measured player that just wants a chance to play the game?

The optimizer wants to one-shot encounters. He planned his build from day one to do so. His fun is valid and he's not breaking any rules.

The other guy wants a chance to play. He doesn't follow class guides or calculate his DPR. He just wants a chance to show off his favorite rogue talent and roll some dice.

There's no real good answer here. In PFS the DM isn't free to modify things to rein the optimizer in or buff encounters. The Other Guy will likely never get to take an action in combat.

I'm finding this is less of a problem in tier 8-9 and 10-11. The hyper optimizers I've seen are saving a lot of lives in these tiers. The issue is that many builds that have levels 10+ in mind have to start building up early. This means that early on they look crazy, but since NPC HD scales faster than PC level, they end up being more reasonable in these tiers.

GMs can step up their games by making sure they are running what's written and not what they *think* is written or not what they *want* to be written.

5/5

Feral wrote:
The optimizer wants to one-shot encounters.

That's (not) just an optimizer, that's a jerk. There are plenty of min/max optimizing powergamers who don't try to run through every encounter at the rest of the table's expense. It's the job of the GM to identify this when it happens and deal with it accordingly.

If the player doesn't see the problem with what's going on, and it's clearly a problem for the rest of the table from your perspective, you have the right to remove that player from the table. It shouldn't ever have to come to this, but I'm certain there are individuals out there who will say, "just because my character is so strong, doesn't give the GM the right to say not to play them to their fullest potential."

Shadow Lodge 4/5 5/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8

Kyle Baird wrote:
Feral wrote:
The optimizer wants to one-shot encounters.
That's (not) just an optimizer, that's a jerk. There are plenty of min/max optimizing powergamers who don't try to run through every encounter at the rest of the table's expense. It's the job of the GM to identify this when it happens and deal with it accordingly.

Well said.

5/5

Walter Sheppard wrote:
Well said.

Not really, the grammar was horrible!

Silver Crusade 2/5 *

Kyle Baird wrote:
Feral wrote:
The optimizer wants to one-shot encounters.

That's (not) just an optimizer, that's a jerk. There are plenty of min/max optimizing powergamers who don't try to run through every encounter at the rest of the table's expense. It's the job of the GM to identify this when it happens and deal with it accordingly.

If the player doesn't see the problem with what's going on, and it's clearly a problem for the rest of the table from your perspective, you have the right to remove that player from the table. It shouldn't ever have to come to this, but I'm certain there are individuals out there who will say, "just because my character is so strong, doesn't give the GM the right to say not to play them to their fullest potential."

As I said, this seems largely self-correcting by tier 8-9/10-11. I can't imagine anyone complaining about a CR 13 demon getting one-shotted.

Silver Crusade 2/5

No one complained when I plane shifted a titan centipede on round 1. ;)

Silver Crusade 2/5 *

Offensive plane shift is full of win.

3/5

David Bowles wrote:
As I said, this seems largely self-correcting by tier 8-9/10-11. I can't imagine anyone complaining about a CR 13 demon getting one-shotted.

I've had the opposite experience, but to each his own. I'm glad that you've never seen CR 13 encounters one-shotted like I have.

-Matt saw the King of the Storval Stairs get one-shotted.

Silver Crusade 2/5 *

Mattastrophic wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
As I said, this seems largely self-correcting by tier 8-9/10-11. I can't imagine anyone complaining about a CR 13 demon getting one-shotted.

I've had the opposite experience, but to each his own. I'm glad that you've never seen CR 13 encounters one-shotted like I have.

-Matt saw the King of the Storval Stairs get one-shotted.

Well, I was with a battle oracle that dropped the thing in one round, but that was after three rounds of buffing and one PC death. And most of the rest of the group couldn't hurt it effectively.

The issue is that PC effectiveness has a much greater standard deviation the higher level you go. The number of point of failure increase with every feat selection. About CR11+ the HD and damage output of even generic NPCs ramps up quickly, and so margins for error decrease. Benny the Bard with a haphazard assortment of feats becomes very vulnerable very quickly.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

David Bowles wrote:

Well, I was with a battle oracle that dropped the thing in one round, but that was after three rounds of buffing and one PC death. And most of the rest of the group couldn't hurt it effectively.

Well I knew I was going to be The Load in that one. :-) If either of Ksenia's tricks had worked...

(And Justin's Halfling just likes to die to those things.)

Silver Crusade 2/5 *

It wasn't just you. I've told arcane casters this over and over; don't bother loading nukes when you go into the World Wound. Load utility and buffs.

Grand Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento

Speaking as Benny the Bard... (well bard alchemist)

Benny better darn well *know* he is a squishy meat sack and stay far away from where the hurting is. His job is to make the hyper optomised fighter even more hyper and optimized and let *him* risk death and gory*.

We also server who sit behind cover and buff.

*not a typo.

Silver Crusade 2/5 *

At higher levels, there ceases being a "behind". Intelligent foes, if allowed by tactics, will dissect the buff mongers first.

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