Why does the math in pathfinder "break down" at higher levels?


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The challenge in those examples are exactly the point in playing for said rogue. So the rogue can't do it straight up statistically as you say at 15th level. The challenge is figuring out how to overcome it through the course of playing the game. In the old days of gaming a 10ft pole, some flammable material, flint/steel and a mirror would get you out of more jams than I can count. The scenario you posit is a fantastic one to encourage creativity on the part of the players in a difficult situation. Perhaps I'm a bit of an RPG dinosaur.


Cubic Prism wrote:
The challenge in those examples are exactly the point in playing for said rogue. So the rogue can't do it straight up statistically as you say at 15th level. The challenge is figuring out how to overcome it through the course of playing the game. In the old days of gaming a 10ft pole, some flammable material, flint/steel and a mirror would get you out of more jams than I can count. The scenario you posit is a fantastic one to encourage creativity on the part of the players in a difficult situation. Perhaps I'm a bit of an RPG dinosaur.

Sort of. It really depends on how you run the game at that point. The guy who flat out tries to wrestle the giant is in trouble. The guy who poisons the giant with lethargy root and greases himself up to make himself harder to catch is in a good position. Combat unfortunately isn't a problem solving endeavor like that in most cases. There isn't much you can do with a 10 foot pole to save you from a DC 18 will save, though there might be for an awesome action sequence or to mess with the trap that forces it on you.

I still use my 10 foot collapsible pole in pathfinder regularly. Among other toys.


I wasn't meaning to imply that a 10 foot pole is the answer to wrestling the giant. The answer rather is being creative in how you play. If you can't go at it head to head, try from the side or behind as a cliche way of approaching things.


Cubic Prism wrote:
I wasn't meaning to imply that a 10 foot pole is the answer to wrestling the giant.

Didn't say you were. Said I liked that style of gameplay when I could but it wasn't always applicable.


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Cubic Prism wrote:
The challenge in those examples are exactly the point in playing for said rogue.

Nope. The challenge in those examples is doing it with the grapple monk; the grapple monk can reasonably expect to cobble together a reasonable set of modifiers to pull off something dramatic. A few well-placed buff spells, a few hero points, and perhaps getting the stone giant drunk enough that he starts to take some penalties, and you've done it.

Even drunk, the stone giant rips the arms off the rogue.

Quote:
So the rogue can't do it straight up statistically as you say at 15th level. The challenge is figuring out how to overcome it through the course of playing the game.

There are some things that simply can't be overcome; if you don't have the right kind of high level character, the only way to "solve" the puzzle is to throw yourself on the mercy of the game master.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
There are some things that simply can't be overcome; if you don't have the right kind of high level character, the only way to "solve" the puzzle is to throw yourself on the mercy of the game master.

That's probably the wrong way to look at it, but I cannot articulate why.


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Yes, situations come about that you can't win. However, do you assume because you know the stats of a giant that you can't win? Or do you play the game and trust that your DM isn't a prick who's throwing encounters at you that are flat out impossible and only geared to kill you?

Look at clash of the titans. Kill the BBEG. Impossible, it's a CR 20 Kaiju! Wait, research and story happens. Ok, we kill the Medusa. Hmm, that's a CR 10 monster with a death attack! Impossible! Hmm, ok we go get a shield to counter the death attack. Toe to toe, character sheet to monster sheet, it's impossible. Playing the game, experiencing the story and using out of combat activities to supplement a combat made the encounters possible. Is that the story being told, or the DM saving the group?

Lets look at another farcical encounter. Our trusty rogue, after overcoming the giant through guile and some hard dwarven liquor feels invincible. Despite learning that he's needed to help so and so down in the kingdom from the bbeg that he's been fighting for 15 levels, he decides he wants to get rich. Filthy rich. So, he goes hunting for a great wyrm dragon to kill it and steal its horde. He leaves his group behind and goes & finds a dragon. Then, sneaking up on it, he stabs the dragon. Then he dies.

Both at first glance appear to be unwinnable situations. On the one hand, the first example would have the players and DM in harmony telling the cooperative story. Despite seemingly impossible challenges, they are overcome. The second example is a pretty black and white example of a player out of harmony with the group and DM, doing something absolutely dumb and dying for it.

My train of thought and comments come from assuming that the DM and players are in harmony, telling a cooperative story, and that the encounter IS balanced despite the mechanical disparity. So overcoming the challenges are not dependent on the DM hand waving and breaking story. It's based on creativity, paying attention, thinking outside the box etc in addition to mechanics. PnP RPGs aren't black and white stat block vs. stat block.


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Marthkus wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
There are some things that simply can't be overcome; if you don't have the right kind of high level character, the only way to "solve" the puzzle is to throw yourself on the mercy of the game master.
That's probably the wrong way to look at it, but I cannot articulate why.

Well, I obviously disagree.... but let me articulate further.

From a game-design viewpoint, these challenges are typically set up for an entire party. In Skull and Shackles, for example, there are a number of piratical challenges that "the party" is expected to undertake, such as disarming Inigo the Spaniard, the Master Swordsman, or outdrinking Grog McBeerStein, et cetera. The further expectation is that the party will pick a specific person to compete, so the person who enters the drinking contest is more likely to be the high Constitution dwarven fighter with the huge Fort save. The contest parameters are set appropriately to make this challenging.

If for some reason you decide that the low-Con elf Wizard should compete instead, he's essentially giving away something like five points of attribute modifier difference and another 3-4 points of saving throw modifier, so you've just shifted the odds significantly.

Any modifier you try to apply -- poison his beer with ipecac, cast Resistance surrepititiously on the elf -- could just as easily be applied to the dwarf. So all you've really done with this decision is dig yourself into a much deeper hole. And if the encounter was supposed to be "easy" to begin with (i.e. you're expected to win and set yourself up for some plot advancement), you've now turned it into a challenge that will derail the plot when you more than likely fail. If it was supposed to be "challenging," you may well have made it impossible.

That's one of the reasons, for example, that the various Player's Guides to the Adventure Paths exist. Because if you pick the wrong type of character, your strengths will be completely useless and may even be harmful to you. If you're about to enter the Crypt of Endless Undead with a party consisting of an Intimidation-specialist bard, a fey druid, a social rogue, and an enchanter wizard, you're probably going to get stomped. On the other hand, a paladin, two clerics, and a necromancer would probably do well and have fun. The difference, of course, is that the game designer assumed that the party would read the title of the module and come with appropriate abilities, and designed the module to be a challenge for an undead-capable party. But that "challenge" would be a slaughter for a different party.


Cubic Prism wrote:
Look at clash of the titans.

To be perfectly fair, clash of the titans isn't DnD.


Well, if you're dealing with a group encounter and you send in the fighter to take part in a spell casting challenge, I don't think you're in a scenario that's impossible.

I disagree that there is a right and wrong character for AP's. Certain combos will make it harder, or even trivialize it. But right and wrong? I'll agree to disagree here.


MrSin wrote:
Cubic Prism wrote:
Look at clash of the titans.
To be perfectly fair, clash of the titans isn't DnD.

True, however I trust the point is understood despite my reliance on the ol' Ray Harryhausen epic.


Cubic Prism wrote:
I wasn't meaning to imply that a 10 foot pole is the answer to wrestling the giant. The answer rather is being creative in how you play. If you can't go at it head to head, try from the side or behind as a cliche way of approaching things.

The problem here is that high level casters don't have to rely on cliche's or cleverness to accomplish any of those things. They actually *CAN* out wrestle a giant (effortless I might add, you'd be surprised how a caster can get their STR if you think any listed STR in the Bestiary is high). A high level caster can also out climb a giant lizard with monk levels and dive deeper then anything without magical protections can. To add insult to injury, a high level caster can do all three of these things in a given a day (some preparation may be required, but high level casters have ways to cut down that prep time to very low.)

They can also end the Kraken's existence as a standard action for good measure. High level casters are playing a completely different game then the "regular" Pathfinder game.

@ Orfamay Quest: To expand on the problem, at high levels, caster is always the correct choice, even when what your looking for a is a damage dealer or tank and can trivialize many more encounters.


Cubic Prism wrote:
Yes, situations come about that you can't win. However, do you assume because you know the stats of a giant that you can't win? Or do you play the game and trust that your DM isn't a prick who's throwing encounters at you that are flat out impossible and only geared to kill you?

I make no such assumptions; half the modules we play are written by a person who doesn't even know the DM at my table. They're written by a professional writer who, yes, knows what the stats of a giant are, and put in enough magical goodies to enable our heroes to face the challenge, assuming reasonable competence on the part of the party.

Quote:


Look at clash of the titans. Kill the BBEG. Impossible, it's a CR 20 Kaiju! Wait, research and story happens. Ok, we kill the Medusa. Hmm, that's a CR 10 monster with a death attack! Impossible! Hmm, ok we go get a shield to counter the death attack. Toe to toe, character sheet to monster sheet, it's impossible. Playing the game, experiencing the story and using out of combat activities to supplement a combat made the encounters possible. Is that the story being told, or the DM saving the group?

It's a story being told, which makes it, bluntly, a pretty piss-poor RPG session. Very few groups appreciate stories that are locked that much on rails. Perseus didn't defeat the final boss, the MacGuffin he won in the second reel did that for him, and the only reason he was able to get that MacGuffin was because of an earlier one he received directly from the gods. And there's no real success because there's no possibility of failure, because ANYONE could have used the shield to kill the gorgon Medusa.

Frankly, that style of RPG fell out of fashion about at the time of the Tomb of Horrors. It makes an acceptable movie, but only because movies are NOT interactive and NOT cooperative.

Quote:


My train of thought and comments come from assuming that the DM and players are in harmony, telling a cooperative story,

But nothing about that example is "cooperative." It's about the DM railroading the players into telling the story that he already planned out; the players have no option but to follow his script.

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So overcoming the challenges are not dependent on the DM hand waving and breaking story. It's based on creativity, paying attention, thinking...

I disagree entirely. There's no room for creativity in what you described. Clash of the Titans is 100% about DM handwaving; the only thing you have to "think" about is how to pay attention to be able to follow the bread crumbs to the next fixed encounter.

Compare that to something more modern like the Skull and Shackles Adventure Path. There is actually room for creativity in the drinking game; the author put lots of options in for how to adjust the odds in the game to more in the player's favor. If you've got stats that are high enough, you can simply win it straight up, but otherwise, there are dozens of options to shift the odds if the players think of them. But none of the options are instant winners, and the odds are far enough against you from the start, even taking all of them might not be enough.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Cubic Prism wrote:
Yes, situations come about that you can't win. However, do you assume because you know the stats of a giant that you can't win? Or do you play the game and trust that your DM isn't a prick who's throwing encounters at you that are flat out impossible and only geared to kill you?

I make no such assumptions; half the modules we play are written by a person who doesn't even know the DM at my table. They're written by a professional writer who, yes, knows what the stats of a giant are, and put in enough magical goodies to enable our heroes to face the challenge, assuming reasonable competence on the part of the party.

Quote:


Look at clash of the titans. Kill the BBEG. Impossible, it's a CR 20 Kaiju! Wait, research and story happens. Ok, we kill the Medusa. Hmm, that's a CR 10 monster with a death attack! Impossible! Hmm, ok we go get a shield to counter the death attack. Toe to toe, character sheet to monster sheet, it's impossible. Playing the game, experiencing the story and using out of combat activities to supplement a combat made the encounters possible. Is that the story being told, or the DM saving the group?

It's a story being told, which makes it, bluntly, a pretty piss-poor RPG session. Very few groups appreciate stories that are locked that much on rails. Perseus didn't defeat the final boss, the MacGuffin he won in the second reel did that for him, and the only reason he was able to get that MacGuffin was because of an earlier one he received directly from the gods. And there's no real success because there's no possibility of failure, because ANYONE could have used the shield to kill the gorgon Medusa.

Frankly, that style of RPG fell out of fashion about at the time of the Tomb of Horrors. It makes an acceptable movie, but only because movies are NOT interactive and NOT cooperative.

Quote:


My train of thought and comments come from assuming that the DM and players are in harmony, telling a cooperative
...

Also if Perseus had been a high level caster (around lets say 11 or so) he could simple kill the Kraken for daring to be uppity in his presence.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
There are some things that simply can't be overcome; if you don't have the right kind of high level character, the only way to "solve" the puzzle is to throw yourself on the mercy of the game master.
That's probably the wrong way to look at it, but I cannot articulate why.
Well, I obviously disagree.... but let me articulate further.

I didn't expect that to elect a response.

I think it is possible to make well rounded charaters.

For example a feint rogue has trouble against mindless undead, but those same undead are probably dumb enough to be easier to flank.

For a better example, a conjurer wizard is hard pressed to find situations where they completely suck.

For an even better example, a well rounded druid is always effective regardless of the situation (within reason).


Cubic Prism wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Cubic Prism wrote:
Look at clash of the titans.
To be perfectly fair, clash of the titans isn't DnD.
True, however I trust the point is understood despite my reliance on the ol' Ray Harryhausen epic.

Right, but a story works as a narrative without many mechanics attached to it, unlike dnd. You can work with narrative without using a lot of numbers, but pathfinder works mostly with mechanics that involves quiet a bit of number crunching. Also what's fun with narrative may not work too well as a gaming concept. Save or dies for instance are cheap and anti-climactic and can feel unfair as a PC, but a story's characters are owned by one guy and highly expendable by comparison and whether he lived or died wasn't luck, it was whim.


You make some good points about the Clash of the Titans example. I'll chalk up that poor example to it being past midnight here.

With your Skull and Shackle example, if everyone had low drinking stats (haven't played the AP), to me that parallels your example about the rogue and giant.


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True and high level play devolves into rocket tag as a consequence of the way offense outscales defenses, unless you are a caster*. At the upper levels, a melee damage dealer should be killing in the Bestiary in a single full attack or less and casters should be tossing out either similarly high damageto multiple enemies, competely crippling the enemies action economy, or throwing out Save or Die/Save or Loses with DC's that outscale most characters defenses excepting casters* again.

*Magical defenses at this level of play become layered webs of immunities and other abilities that negate opponents combat tactics and the winner of these engagements tends to be the caster who thought of more things in advance. Those without access to these layered buffs have to resort to spending to gold to shore up these defenses and even then cannot reach parity.


Cubic Prism wrote:


I disagree that there is a right and wrong character for AP's. Certain combos will make it harder, or even trivialize it. But right and wrong? I'll agree to disagree here.

Of course, you're correct that the "right" character is one that you and everyone else at your table have fun playing.

So if your group thinks it's fun to be unable to affect the bad guys in any meaningful way, and if you all enjoy the resulting total party kill, then of course you picked the right characters.

That's also a somewhat unusual group. Most players don't consider abject impotence and humiliating pseudo-death to be fun, and most module designers work hard to make sure that the adventures they write are challenging-but-winnable, that being the rough "Goldilocks zone" where most people enjoy the game the most. An overoptimized group of characters can trivialize that module -- but that's not fun. A poorly planned group can turn it from challenging to impossibly unwinnable, and that's generally not fun, either. And one of the key things that the designer needs to figure out how to do is how to hit that zone.

And, getting back to the original point, that's hard to do with a wide disparity in capacities; an encounter that challenges a high-level specialist in her niche will likely be impossible to a generalist.


Clash of the Titans was all about DM intervention

Perseus kept picking up items that allowed him to take one the next reels and earn the next mcguffins

it wasn't Perseus that killed the kraken

it was the severed head of medusa, which was only gained, due to a series of divine artifacts he received from Zeus a reel before

Perseus did none of the work, he merely followed the trail of bread crumbs his father left before him and picked up the mcguffins his father left him for the taking

Perseus, was one of Zeus's Many sons throughout history, and like all the other sons, was spoiled with artifacts and mcguffins by daddy god king.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Most players don't consider abject impotence and humiliating pseudo-death to be fun

Except for the ones who play Call of Cthulhu. ;)


mkenner wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Most players don't consider abject impotence and humiliating pseudo-death to be fun
Except for the ones who play Call of Cthulhu. ;)

because call of Cthulu characters are meant to die, go insane, or suffer all sorts of consequences that can be considered game over for that character.


Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
The argument was that a low ability score is less of a weakness than was claimed. Especially if you take steps to minimize the weakness.

Warning, anecdote ahead.

Over 15 levels of campaign so far (STAP with sidequests), no spellcaster has ever been incapacitated due to Strength damage, nor has any spellcaster ever taken enough Strength damage to have incapacitated them if they had had only 7 Str as far as I can recall (though neither of ours does). My memory is not an absolute guide, but I cannot think of any such occasion.

Characters have taken more than 7 Str damage, but not casters. Our two primary meleers tend to absorb by far the lion's share of the ability damage, since unlike a wizard who can frequently rely on abjurations, illusions, battlefield control, or just not having to stand next to the monster, they have no particular defenses against it other than a high score.

(for example, in our penultimate fight of the last adventure, against a bunch of enemies including assassins with poison and Crippling Strike, our meleers suffered a combined 17 Str damage, while the wizard and sorcerer suffered a combined 1 Str damage)

That said, neither of the tough guys have ever been incapacitated by Str damage either, they tend to just be debilitated by it. Way back in the low levels one of the previous mundane types did go down to mental score damage, but that had more to do with the inability to cure a persistent disease contracted by meleeing a bunch of mutants. He hadn't dumped his mentals.

If I had to eyeball a general estimate, I would say that our casters have proven to be between three and six times less likely to suffer ability damage in any given adventure than others. They still do take small amounts sometimes, but between defenses, tactics and inherent characteristics it is notably more rare.


Coriat wrote:
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
The argument was that a low ability score is less of a weakness than was claimed. Especially if you take steps to minimize the weakness.

Warning, anecdote ahead.

Over 15 levels of campaign so far (STAP with sidequests), no spellcaster has ever been incapacitated due to Strength damage, nor has any spellcaster ever taken enough Strength damage to have incapacitated them if they had had only 7 Str as far as I can recall (though neither of ours does). My memory is not an absolute guide, but I cannot think of any such occasion.

Characters have taken more than 7 Str damage, but not casters. Our two primary meleers tend to absorb by far the lion's share of the ability damage, since unlike a wizard who can frequently rely on abjurations, illusions, battlefield control, or just not having to stand next to the monster, they have no particular defenses against it other than a high score.

(for example, in our penultimate fight of the last adventure, against a bunch of enemies including assassins with poison and Crippling Strike, our meleers suffered a combined 17 Str damage, while the wizard and sorcerer suffered a combined 1 Str damage)

That said, neither of the tough guys have ever been incapacitated by Str damage either, they tend to just be debilitated by it. Way back in the low levels one of the previous mundane types did go down to mental score damage, but that had more to do with the inability to cure a persistent disease contracted by meleeing a bunch of mutants. He hadn't dumped his mentals.

If I had to eyeball a general estimate, I would say that our casters have proven to be between three and six times less likely to suffer ability damage in any given adventure than others. They still do take small amounts sometimes, but between defenses, tactics and inherent characteristics it is notably more rare.

You know in a way your dm is metagaming in the players favor.

I'm guessing you guys are 15th level from your statement. If your opposing NPC's were real people, ie they played like PC's they would immediately go for the casters and ignore the melee types. I mean a 15th level character with class levels is going to know the score. He isn't going to go "Hmmm this must be one of those wizards I have heard so much about. I'll be sure to be careful dealing with him, after we take care of this dangerous, highly armored fighting man."

Not to say a caster doesn't have 50 million ways to get out of that situation if it happened, but just saying. Even if they couldn't get into flanking position, taking move actions away from the front liners (to avoid giving full attack opportunities), and hurling a poisoned missile weapon at the casters would have been more useful than concentrating on a fighter or other tankish sorts.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'm pretty sure that in those times that the enemy focused on the casters, the fighters of Coriat's group stomped them into the ground thanks to the opening provided by not being the enemy's focus.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'm pretty sure that in those times that the enemy focused on the casters, the fighters of Coriat's group stomped them into the ground thanks to the opening provided by not being the enemy's focus.

Maybe so. But all the little tricks players use to optimize situations are fine for the dm to use as well.

Be kind of interesting to run, oh 4 assassins against an equal number of pc's. Or six, what have you.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'm pretty sure that in those times that the enemy focused on the casters, the fighters of Coriat's group stomped them into the ground thanks to the opening provided by not being the enemy's focus.

Pretty much. I play a caster in that game.

sunbeam wrote:

You know in a way your dm is metagaming in the players favor.

I'm guessing you guys are 15th level from your statement. If your opposing NPC's were real people, ie they played like PC's they would immediately go for the casters and ignore the melee types. I mean a 15th level character with class levels is going to know the score. He isn't going to go "Hmmm this must be one of those wizards I have heard so much about. I'll be sure to be careful dealing with him, after we take care of this dangerous, highly armored fighting man."

Not to say a caster doesn't have 50 million ways to get out of that situation if it happened, but just saying. Even if they couldn't get into flanking position, taking move actions away from the front liners (to avoid giving full attack opportunities), and hurling a poisoned missile weapon at the casters would have been more useful than concentrating on a fighter or other tankish sorts.

Consistently the focus of the castery types as been battlefield control and buffs so the fighters can murder-face everything they run into. In terms of reputation I don't think it's unfair to say that on the whole the two fighters are regarded as the more personally dangerous by those that know of the party.

This may have changed a little bit in the last adventure when the casters had a chance to drop lots of nukes on low level enemies, but as a rule the fighters are the killers in the group. Generally speaking the casters have provided support to the martials, rather than the other way around. Tactics in general typically revolve around "how can I get Einar or Heinrick into melee to murder this enemy".


Anzyr wrote:


2) Having read the rules of Planar Binding I can assure its quite safe assuming you make you sure to off the outsider before the service expires. The spell states: "The creature might later seek revenge." To pretend that suddenly other creatures will come looking for you would actually go outside the rules. So prove to me that summoning then offing the outsider isn't safe RAW.

Wouldn't the same apply to killing the king in front of his guards? There is no rule stating the guards of a king will attack someone who kills the king...


sunbeam wrote:
You know in a way your dm is metagaming in the players favor.

Oh, am I?

sunbeam wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'm pretty sure that in those times that the enemy focused on the casters, the fighters of Coriat's group stomped them into the ground thanks to the opening provided by not being the enemy's focus.

Maybe so. But all the little tricks players use to optimize situations are fine for the dm to use as well.

Be kind of interesting to run, oh 4 assassins against an equal number of pc's. Or six, what have you.

How about ten to fifteen assassins? Prebuffed? With about forty mooks to provide distractions and flanking? Style feats to reduce melee threats? And a wizard to rain down artillery support from above? Let's throw a time limit on it for good measure.

I call it "The battle right before the real boss fight."


Kain Darkwind wrote:


How about ten to fifteen assassins? Prebuffed? With about forty mooks to provide distractions and flanking? Style feats to reduce melee threats? And a wizard to rain down artillery support from above? Let's throw a time limit on it for good measure.

I call it "The battle right before the real boss fight."

That is a good chalenge for a wizard level 20


sunbeam wrote:

You know in a way your dm is metagaming in the players favor.

I'm guessing you guys are 15th level from your statement. If your opposing NPC's were real people, ie they played like PC's they would immediately go for the casters and ignore the melee types. I mean a 15th level character with class levels is going to know the score. He isn't going to go "Hmmm this must be one of those wizards I have heard so much about. I'll be sure to be careful dealing with him, after we take care of this dangerous, highly armored fighting man."

Not to say a caster doesn't have 50 million ways to get out of that situation if it happened, but just saying. Even if they couldn't get into flanking position, taking move actions away from the front liners (to avoid giving full attack opportunities), and hurling a poisoned missile weapon at the casters would have been more useful than concentrating on a fighter or other tankish sorts.

It isn't necessarily metagaming to go for the softer targets first, and if you are a shadow or a crippling strike assassin using invisibility for your sneak attacks, or whatever, the meleer with the low touch AC or the lack of see invis or whatever is probably actually the softer target to you.

I'm not sure the arcanists actually got targeted by fewer assassin attacks in that fight, proportional to the seventeen times less Str damage suffered, they just tended to be getting missed due to images, or due to see invis meaning the assassins were lacking invisibility benefits against them, or whatever other stuff they had going.

I can check this, though.

*log dive*

...Yep.

Indicated in the IC logs are 14 serpent assassin attacks (including ranged attacks with poison darts, in an attempt to avoid the standoff issue) against our two arcanists, compared to 26 against our two meleers. While this is an imprecise count (in particular, misses are not always indicated by number IC), it likely suffices for a rough estimate. While a roughly two to one ratio of drawing attacks does indicate that the arcanists' function as standoff characters played some role, it is clearly not alone sufficient to explain the 17-1 ratio of Str damage. Which suggests that the answer is, instead, the combination of factors I suggested earlier resulting in the casters being overall, actually the significantly tankier targets.

Coriat wrote:
Our two primary meleers tend to absorb by far the lion's share of the ability damage, since unlike a wizard who can frequently rely on abjurations, illusions, battlefield control, or just not having to stand next to the monster, they have no particular defenses against it other than a high score

Shadow Lodge

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
So is the argument, it is fine to have weaknesses because only a jerk DM would ever target them?

Only if that weakness belongs to a wizurd.

Shadow Lodge

Umbriere Moonwhisper wrote:
mkenner wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Most players don't consider abject impotence and humiliating pseudo-death to be fun
Except for the ones who play Call of Cthulhu. ;)
because call of Cthulu characters are meant to die, go insane, or suffer all sorts of consequences that can be considered game over for that character.

I regularly "win" when I play Call of Cthulhu. In that my characters, regardless of their own life or sanity, help to stave off the Earth being overtaken by whatever eldritch horror is threatening it.

If you define "winning" in Call of Cthulhu by using the D&D standard (kill people/monsters and take their stuff), yeah, you can't "win". That's why it's a different game. I could easily apply a different game's definition of winning to D&D and declare it impossible to win and therefore no fun.


I can´t see a wizard cornered after been able to cast spells like contingency.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
I can´t see a wizard cornered after been able to cast spells like contingency.

What about after his contingency is expended?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
I can´t see a wizard cornered after been able to cast spells like contingency.
What about after his contingency is expended?

Then your miles away and someplace extra safe?


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A wizard with a teleport contingency might save himself, but doom the rest of the party. I think a defense buff is better.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
MrSin wrote:
Then your miles away and someplace extra safe?

Ah, so the plan is to run away from the battle and forfeit the stakes.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Then your miles away and someplace extra safe?
Ah, so the plan is to run away from the battle and forfeit the stakes.

I find it hard to play dead characters. Unless we're playing ghostwalk, deadlands, or zombies and zenomorphs anyway.

Also wasn't a serious answer. Neither is this one, ofc.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Then your miles away and someplace extra safe?
Ah, so the plan is to run away from the battle and forfeit the stakes.

Who are you and what have you done with TOZ?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thenobledrake wrote:
A final note: AD&D 2e followed 1e before it in providing no absolute limit to level advancement for characters with "unlimited" level in a class... at least, until the book DM's Option: High Level Campaigns was released. That book set an absolute maximum level at 30th, and presented rules that made high level characters far more potent than they already were.

This is a misconception. AD&D 2E did have a limit on how many levels characters could earn; it was just a "soft limit" at first, rather than a hard one.

I say "soft limit" to indicate that rather than having an express prohibition, the AD&D 2E PHB simply didn't present the information necessary for gaining levels beyond 20th.

AD&D 1E class tables all had (notwithstanding the assassin and druid) a final row that listed "+X" number of experience points that were the amount necessary to gain a level beyond the ones listed previously; that is, if it cost "+300,000 XP" to gain a 13th level of fighter, then it would cost that to also gain a 14th level of fighter, a 15th level of fighter, a 16th level, etc. (I don't know if that was the actual amount, since I don't have my books at the moment.) This also indicated how many more experience points were gained with each such level (e.g. "+2 hp").

AD&D 2E, by contrast, had no such final line listed. There were 20 levels listed for each class, and that was it. No listing was given for how many experience points were necessary for any subsequent levels; no hit points that would be gained at those levels were listed either.

In other words, AD&D 2E didn't allow for unlimited level advancement by simply not giving you the material to keep advancing. It was only later that it began to gradually expand the levels available (first in Dark Sun's Dragon Kings hardback, which had expanded class tables for up to 30th level, and then - quite a bit later - DM's Option: High-Level Campaigns did that more generically. That's not counting Arcane Age: Empire of Netheril's 45th-level limit!), and finally offered the aforementioned "hard limit" on post-30th level advancement in DMO:HLC.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
I can´t see a wizard cornered after been able to cast spells like contingency.
What about after his contingency is expended?

One contingency should be enough to make the time the wizard need to deal with the encounter, after that the wizard cast contingency again.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
One contingency should be enough to make the time the wizard need to deal with the encounter, after that the wizard cast contingency again.

Yes, as long as everything goes as it should...


Peter Stewart wrote:
Who are you and what have you done with TOZ?

Think of it like phases of the moon...


I finally made it to the end of this thread. In generally I do not prefer high level play and I think it less of the the casters are gods and more of lack of options in presenting challenges to the PCs and how little each role seams to actually matter since they seam to all needs 20s are 1s to make a difference.

As a thought how many rolls are needed for a party to win an typical encounter at 3rd level? 7th? 13? 17?

I would guess that the number get small as you go up in levels and that the outcome of each roll is more likely to be decisive. The problem with that is that initative should be important but not actually determine the outcome of the fight.


Spellcasters at the low levels, are very Fragile, but towards the time they cast 5th level spells, they typically have a list of universal defenses they can apply as needed, defenses that make shadows far less dangerous to them than they are to a dex based rogue or monk


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
One contingency should be enough to make the time the wizard need to deal with the encounter, after that the wizard cast contingency again.
Yes, as long as everything goes as it should...

Your are the high level wizard...you are almoste a second GM. ;P

Shadow Lodge

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Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
Your are the high level wizard...you are almoste a second GM. ;P

'Almost' being the operative word.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Then your miles away and someplace extra safe?
Ah, so the plan is to run away from the battle and forfeit the stakes.

What you mean your entire party *isn't* capable of casting Contingency?

@Ilja - The difference is one is specified by a Spell. If there was a spell that said "The King you attack with it may seek revenge." I might indeed argue that.


Ilja wrote:
Anzyr wrote:


2) Having read the rules of Planar Binding I can assure its quite safe assuming you make you sure to off the outsider before the service expires. The spell states: "The creature might later seek revenge." To pretend that suddenly other creatures will come looking for you would actually go outside the rules. So prove to me that summoning then offing the outsider isn't safe RAW.
Wouldn't the same apply to killing the king in front of his guards? There is no rule stating the guards of a king will attack someone who kills the king...

it's called common sense

kill the king in front of his guards, the guards will retaliate

kill a powerful outsider, other powerful outsiders of the same faction, will investigate their disappearance and avenge their death

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