Combat balance in mythic gameplay - Ongoing campaign coverage


Wrath of the Righteous

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Eh, I find it more interesting if they have to knock in doors like that by themselves. :p


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Session of August 18th 2014:

Not much to report on the combat front today. Five players in attendance.

Aside from leveling up the party to level 13, they got to Alushinyrra, where they proceeded to meet all sort of grotesque characters and avoid so far getting into a fight (given my newfound preference for few big encounters per module, I am especially loath to run random encounters).

Next week they very probably will visit Battlebliss. I am wondering a bit if there is any chance to make Gelderfang a single boss who will do anything but die messily in one or two rounds.

Anybody got some interesting encounters with normal and bizarre creatures/persons written up for Alushinyrra? I've done well so far, but of course I'd love to get some help... I want to leave a permanent impression on the group of the sort Sigil had in Planescape.


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I ran a solo campaign there for 9 months or so.

I had set up Vellexia to be a social rival to another succubus that my PC was involved with. That revolved around a hezrou crime boss that was diverting trade from Jubilex and the Undersump. I also through in a fallen angel of sorts that Nocticula saved and converted. Most PCs also wanted to save an enslaved tiefling guide to the city that didn't really want to be freed.

I'd also work on Battlebliss being more of a series of combats rather than one solo. I know you dislike throw away encounters but if they're tough enough to use resources up he might not be so squishy.


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Yeah, I'll definitely will have to spruce Battlebliss up.

I wonder what Scorpion is doing over in his campaign. I better ask him, he should be around the same point as I am now. :p


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Session of August 26th 2014:

Six players in attendance, although one had to leave before the other showed up. ^^

So, today the Paladin beat a Balor to death with a dagger.

I'm not sure if I even should add anything to that, but I probably should. :p

Okay, we spent the first hour of this session discussing our next campaign, which will be a homebrewn urban campaign in Oppara. I set out the basic concepts, the people who already had thought up basic character concepts talked about them with the rest of the group and then we established some of the mechanical stuff, like if we want to use hero points, point-buy or rolled stats and so on.

At the end of the hour one player had to leave and the rest of us started out on the session. The group had a random encounter with... a merchant! Since the guy playing the Samurai had to leave so quickly, we put in a pre-assumption that that merchant sold him everything he would still have not spent in the last three sessions (which he had missed due to holidays).

After getting a rumour that Minagho was looking for them and had hired an assassin to take care of them, the party arrived at Battlebliss.

I had planned for a six on three fight, with the party on one side and Gelderfang, a Goristro Thug (from Scorpions document) and a Vavakia on the other. Since two players were not present at the moment (and, importantly, the other player missing so far was the Ranger archer), I decided that Gelderfang would take on the party alone. Of course at that point the player of the Ranger arrived and so the Vavakia joined with Gelderfang.

Well, to make it short, the Vavakia didn't even get its turn and Gelderfang died at the very start of round three, although he very nearly killed the Cleric (who has turned himself into someone who is very hard to hit and to damage). Oh, well.

After the fight was over, the Paladin, who did not get to do more than cast Greater Angelic Aspect on himself and who was quite frustrated at not doing anything more in the fight put out an open challenge to the spectators. And it was answered by a non-mythic Balor.

After exchanging full attacks for a round, the Balor entangled the Paladin with his whip. The Paladin got out a +2 dagger he had on his person and the race was on if the Paladin could kill the Balor before it could decapitate him. I threatened a crit 5 times during the next eight rounds, but never got the confirmation roll. The Balor cast Blasphemy at the Paladin, who made his save but was paralyzed for one round, but since he luckily had taken the corresponding Mercy, he got out of that before the Balor could coup-de-grace him next round (Yes, I know it is debatable if you can Lay on Hands on yourself when you are paralyzed, but whatever. It seemed appropiate to me).

The Ranger, btw, had not run away to a save distance in anticipation of the death throes of the Balor and did not make her save, so she was banished to the black hole material plane, coming out in the Stonewilds in the Worldwound, paralyzed and all. She was rescued by the Cleric and Sorcerer, who went back and scried her... after a successful Knowledge: Local the Sorcerer recognized the area and they teleported to her before she could be found by any Siabre druids. ^^

In any case, the Paladin finished off the Balor while entangled in a flaming whip and that got the party another ten notoriety. With the next session they should get noticed by Nocticula, since they will meet the assassin and probably kill Minagho. I hope very much that the meeting with Nocticula will be a good roleplaying moment and that the players are of the mood to be polite... which could be quite helpful if they want a chance of redeeming her at the end of the campaign or at least setting that scenario up.


I allow abilities that can be used to clear abilities that take away actions to clear those conditions...otherwise, what's the point? The cleanse spell is a prime example. It can clear the nauseated condition, but you can't use it while nauseated. So why bother putting it on the list? The worst offender is the Samurai Resolve ability which allows the removal of the nauseated condition. Once again you can't use the action to get rid of it, so why put it on the list. I'm still unhappy that creatures immune to stun are not immune to daze. Dazing effects become more powerful than stun, nausea, or hold effects because they work on everything and effectively accomplish the same task as hold or stun effects. They make encounters trivial. Yet it has not been addressed by the game developers making the exploit a problem at higher level. Done with that little rant. I support your decision to allow the paladin to remove a negative condition that normally doesn't allow the appropriate action if he spent resources to get it.

I'm about to start running a crazy mythic campaign. Looks like it will be an experience. I'm going to have to put a ton of work in to make this work. Mythic characters are insanely powerful. It seems like the advantage towards the PC is far greater than regular Pathfinder. I imagine that is how it should be when you're playing Hercules and Gilgamesh.


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In the case of the Samurai, I think that specific rules text (You can get rid of nauseated with a standard action) overrules general rules text (you can only make a move action if you are nauseated).


I think you turned on easy mode allowing lay on hands when paralyzed!

----------
Timid Toad


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If that makes you happy, go ahead.


I'd allow it too, otherwise it's not as beneficial to the paladin.


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yeah, whats the point of being a conduit for all that divine energy if you can only release it thru your hands, if that were the case i suspect there would be a lot more handless retired Paladins walking around:)


>.>


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Alot wrote:
>.>

You wanna be next? i have a heretical Inquisitor that can be there in like no time at all!

:)


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Session of September 2nd 2014:

Five players in attendance. Player six is really starting to miss a lot of the sessions lately and barely can stay two of the four hours for the others. :-/

Anyway, the group did quite a lot today. They entertained Vellexia, did not try to talk to Shamira when she passed them by with her retinue (a wise decision, since she probably could still kill them easily at this point) and took the deal Nezzerius offered them, losing out on about 100k of treasure (loot from Nezerrius and also the 50k bribe they gave the assassin). They easily smushed Minagho (the Ranger did about 332 damage in one turn without any crits, then the Sorcerer first used an empowered consecrated enervation on her for six negative levels and then a mythic disintegrate), which was enough to put them over the top of the needed notoriety threshhold to get noticed by Nocticula.

Nocticula contacted them and they went to her meeting place. I did not put the useless encounters before them there, just had them meet Missus N. The meeting went very well, with me playing Nocticula as an extremely courteous and reasonable being, helping them with no strings attached. Even the normally pretty brash Paladin player was just as courteous in return. Of the five present players, three took gifts from her, but the Paladin and Sorcerer politely declined, which will reap heavy dividends for them later in the campaign. The player of the Samurai might go either way, we'll see.

The session ended with the party stepping into the transportation pool Nocticula provided for them to Colyphir.

The little combat this session wasn't really a challenge at all, given how the party got the drop on Minagho. Given that they invested 100k gold for that, it was a deserved easy win. Even with Scorpions statblocks, the opponents lose out on the initiative rolls all the time, AC 40 is just not enough anymore and even maximised hitpoints don't help.

I'll just do two big fights to finish the module. Next session it'll be Kestoglyr, his bodak cohorts, the abyssal harvester and Melazmera the umbral dragon, then probably the next session the entire rest of the mine, including Hepzamirah. I'll have to enlarge the area in the mine itself or they confront the party in the top level in the big empty area.

Anyway, I'm getting this AP done as quick as possible without missing out on the story. The normal combat is beyond pointless by now, only those mega-encounters have a chance of denting those guys.


I've been doing my pre-game preparation calculations using expected min/maxing by my players, it seems next to impossible to follow the rules and challenge mythic characters. I think I'm going to go way outside the Pathfinder rules to challenge them in mythic, while not killing them. I'm going to write up abilities for monsters myself that will give them a chance, especially big brutes.


captain yesterday wrote:
yeah, whats the point of being a conduit for all that divine energy if you can only release it thru your hands, if that were the case i suspect there would be a lot more handless retired Paladins walking around:)

Good point and true. Cutting off a paladin's hands would be like cutting out a wizards' tongue. Do it every time you get the chance.


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Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
I've been doing my pre-game preparation calculations using expected min/maxing by my players, it seems next to impossible to follow the rules and challenge mythic characters. I think I'm going to go way outside the Pathfinder rules to challenge them in mythic, while not killing them. I'm going to write up abilities for monsters myself that will give them a chance, especially big brutes.

And I am already using Scorpions upgrades, which include vastly superior abilities than the regular ones (Nezirrius Improved Shadow Doubles, for example, which I am kinda sorry that I could not use). The main problem for the villains are that a.) their initiative sucks compared to the party ; b.) the martials can reliably hit even the enhanced AC's Scorpion has provided ; c.) the damage output of the party is enough to kill or heavily damage opponents before they get their turn. The players position themselves well enough that I can't get to the Sorcerer and Ranger easily, too.


magnuskn wrote:
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
I've been doing my pre-game preparation calculations using expected min/maxing by my players, it seems next to impossible to follow the rules and challenge mythic characters. I think I'm going to go way outside the Pathfinder rules to challenge them in mythic, while not killing them. I'm going to write up abilities for monsters myself that will give them a chance, especially big brutes.
And I am already using Scorpions upgrades, which include vastly superior abilities than the regular ones (Nezirrius Improved Shadow Doubles, for example, which I am kinda sorry that I could not use). The main problem for the villains are that a.) their initiative sucks compared to the party ; b.) the martials can reliably hit even the enhanced AC's Scorpion has provided ; c.) the damage output of the party is enough to kill or heavily damage opponents before they get their turn. The players position themselves well enough that I can't get to the Sorcerer and Ranger easily, too.

I have a pouncing barbarian, an archer paladin, an arcanist, a swashbuckler, a slayer archer, and a life oracle. The damage output for this group is insane pre-mythic, using mythic I can't challenge them by the rules.

My general feeling is that Pathfinder has reached a point where certain choices are so far superior to others as to have created an environment a DM cannot balance using the rules. Mythic has only made that worse.

Your thread only confirms my suspicions that Mythic Adventures is not viable as written. The enemy design was poor as is usual for Pathfinder. I have no choice but to come up with my own methods for challenging the PCs because the game is so far slanted in the players favor at this point as to have created an environment where the DM presides over a bunch of players patting themselves on the back for exploiting an easily exploitable game. The number and ability inflation is beyond control. The game developers have created an environment that is antagonistic between the DM and players as DMs try to reign in the overly numerous rule combinations that make the game unplayable, while players argue with DMs for doing so. For myself, I believe Pathfinder has jumped the shark. I will run this Wrath of the Righteous because I agreed to do it. I'm not sure I even want to any longer given Mythic Adventures did not bother to provide quality challenges for mythic PCs.


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Yeah, although normal adventures are hard to balance at high levels, at least I got the background of having played and GM'ed 3.0/3.5/PF since it came out, so I can adjust things. Since my next campaign will be homebrewn, adjustments will be much easier than with a published adventure, too.

Mythic is broken as hell and it is almost impossible to adjust, because since this is the first time I run it and I don't fully understand where the breakpoints are. One thing is clear, the developers never ever ever played a single high-level encounter with mythic opponents and an appropiate party before publishing Mythic Adventures and this AP. Otherwise it could simply not have escaped them how badly mythic opponents would fare against PC's. It's really highly disappointing and has led to me losing a lot of confidence in the developers lately (together with some stuff from the ACG).


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Might I suggest using the Mythic Variant Feats I created? I believe there is a link elsewhere in this thread, and it can also be found in the WotR messageboard. There are around a dozen different "unique" Feats (in that they don't enhance existing Pathfinder feats) that have a fun and interesting feel to them (I would rule they can be used once per combat). They aren't broken (at least in my eyes) but do have a sufficiently mythic feel to them (I mean, turning one arrow into a dozen arrows that auto-hit anyone in the area of effect (for 1d8 damage per two tiers) is fairly awesome, or at least I think it would be).

My opinion is that with a couple small fixes (like having the spellcasting Hierophant and Archmage meta-abilities be Standard Actions and that Champion/Trickster ability to attack while moving be a Move instead of a Swift action) you can reduce the broken nastiness of Mythic while still having a fun and enjoyable game.

I still do need to create some unique Mythic spells; I like the idea of Mythic spells being unique to Mythic rather than "enhancements" that can be quite broken at times (like Mythic Magic Missile or Mythic Fireball).

BTW, magnuskn, what in the Advanced Class Guide do you consider broken?


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Divine Protection, of course. There is some other stuff which isn't really designed very well (the whole dexterity-to-damage thing comes to mind). All in all, I like the book, but I am incapable of understanding the thought processes which went into writing Divine Protection and it then getting through the editorial process.

Silver Crusade

magnuskn wrote:

Session of September 2nd 2014:

Five players in attendance. Player six is really starting to miss a lot of the sessions lately and barely can stay two of the four hours for the others. :-/

Anyway, the group did quite a lot today. They entertained Vellexia, did not try to talk to Shamira when she passed them by with her retinue (a wise decision, since she probably could still kill them easily at this point) and took the deal Nezzerius offered them, losing out on about 100k of treasure (loot from Nezerrius and also the 50k bribe they gave the assassin). They easily smushed Minagho (the Ranger did about 332 damage in one turn without any crits, then the Sorcerer first used an empowered consecrated enervation on her for six negative levels and then a mythic disintegrate), which was enough to put them over the top of the needed notoriety threshhold to get noticed by Nocticula.

Nocticula contacted them and they went to her meeting place. I did not put the useless encounters before them there, just had them meet Missus N. The meeting went very well, with me playing Nocticula as an extremely courteous and reasonable being, helping them with no strings attached. Even the normally pretty brash Paladin player was just as courteous in return. Of the five present players, three took gifts from her, but the Paladin and Sorcerer politely declined, which will reap heavy dividends for them later in the campaign. The player of the Samurai might go either way, we'll see.

The session ended with the party stepping into the transportation pool Nocticula provided for them to Colyphir.

The little combat this session wasn't really a challenge at all, given how the party got the drop on Minagho. Given that they invested 100k gold for that, it was a deserved easy win. Even with Scorpions statblocks, the opponents lose out on the initiative rolls all the time, AC 40 is just not enough anymore and even maximised hitpoints don't help.

I'll just do two big fights to finish the module. Next session it'll be Kestoglyr,...

Sounds like an enjoyable evening. Regarding the normal encounters, weren't those already pointless in other APs?(I guess the point of depleting party resources is moot with mythic recuperation, which changes APL greatly +2 for that fact alone). Anyway, this seems to be a working way for you to finish the adventure path, with minimum of headache for you.

Silver Crusade

Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
I've been doing my pre-game preparation calculations using expected min/maxing by my players, it seems next to impossible to follow the rules and challenge mythic characters. I think I'm going to go way outside the Pathfinder rules to challenge them in mythic, while not killing them. I'm going to write up abilities for monsters myself that will give them a chance, especially big brutes.
And I am already using Scorpions upgrades, which include vastly superior abilities than the regular ones (Nezirrius Improved Shadow Doubles, for example, which I am kinda sorry that I could not use). The main problem for the villains are that a.) their initiative sucks compared to the party ; b.) the martials can reliably hit even the enhanced AC's Scorpion has provided ; c.) the damage output of the party is enough to kill or heavily damage opponents before they get their turn. The players position themselves well enough that I can't get to the Sorcerer and Ranger easily, too.

I have a pouncing barbarian, an archer paladin, an arcanist, a swashbuckler, a slayer archer, and a life oracle. The damage output for this group is insane pre-mythic, using mythic I can't challenge them by the rules.

My general feeling is that Pathfinder has reached a point where certain choices are so far superior to others as to have created an environment a DM cannot balance using the rules. Mythic has only made that worse.

Your thread only confirms my suspicions that Mythic Adventures is not viable as written. The enemy design was poor as is usual for Pathfinder. I have no choice but to come up with my own methods for challenging the PCs because the game is so far slanted in the players favor at this point as to have created an environment where the DM presides over a bunch of players patting themselves on the back for exploiting an easily exploitable game. The number and ability inflation is beyond control. The game developers have created an environment...

You have 6 players, with pretty well designed classes, the enemy design has (due to compatibility issues with 3.5) not advanced sufficiently, and as Magnuskn mentioned in the playtest, high level monster hp have no way to compensate for the multitude of damage increases, from bane weapons to exploding critical damage.

The fact that adventures seem to be written for decidedly average players doesn't help, since you can destroy adventures with CRB only options.

My advise is to beef up the AP significantly, so the players can enjoy their time as super powerful heroes, fighting against insurmountable odds - this pretty much means you will have to change a lot, and since the PCs can refresh themselves so often, every combat can be APL +4-5.

Silver Crusade

magnuskn wrote:

Yeah, although normal adventures are hard to balance at high levels, at least I got the background of having played and GM'ed 3.0/3.5/PF since it came out, so I can adjust things. Since my next campaign will be homebrewn, adjustments will be much easier than with a published adventure, too.

Mythic is broken as hell and it is almost impossible to adjust, because since this is the first time I run it and I don't fully understand where the breakpoints are. One thing is clear, the developers never ever ever played a single high-level encounter with mythic opponents and an appropiate party before publishing Mythic Adventures and this AP. Otherwise it could simply not have escaped them how badly mythic opponents would fare against PC's. It's really highly disappointing and has led to me losing a lot of confidence in the developers lately (together with some stuff from the ACG).

Yeah, I really can't defend that one, since I was part of the playtest like you and Matrixdragon. The system MIGHT work for low level / low MR games, but only if the players are decidedly bad at min maxing. Once problem here, is that some of the cool powers are simply ways to weak, and straight improvements.....

magnuskn wrote:
Divine Protection, of course. There is some other stuff which isn't really designed very well (the whole dexterity-to-damage thing comes to mind). All in all, I like the book, but I am incapable of understanding the thought processes which went into writing Divine Protection and it then getting through the editorial process.

I think the process was something like "I am sick of all those paladin threads, apparently people like the class framework, but have problems with the LG bit. Lets just give divine grace to all those divine casters and call it a day..."

I think you could still fix the feat by tinkering with the requirements and maybe limiting the feat to max +2 to all feats, or your CHA mod to a single save.

But yeah, as written, just too damn good.


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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Sounds like an enjoyable evening. Regarding the normal encounters, weren't those already pointless in other APs?(I guess the point of depleting party resources is moot with mythic recuperation, which changes APL greatly +2 for that fact alone). Anyway, this seems to be a working way for you to finish the adventure path, with minimum of headache for you.

Yeah, I am not doing pointless mini-encounters anymore, aside from story relevant stuff, like Minagho yesterday. I hope to get it done in a few months.

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Yeah, I really can't defend that one, since I was part of the playtest like you and Matrixdragon. The system MIGHT work for low level / low MR games, but only if the players are decidedly bad at min maxing. Once problem here, is that some of the cool powers are simply ways to weak, and straight improvements.....

Moreover, the majority of mythic feats are upgrades to existing ones and there are some staple feats about every martial (and caster) character will take in a non-mythic game. Now, which mythic feats happen to be the most overpowered ones? OH, RIGHT, the ones which are the upgrades to the staple core feats which almost everyone takes! >.<


Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Divine Protection, of course. There is some other stuff which isn't really designed very well (the whole dexterity-to-damage thing comes to mind). All in all, I like the book, but I am incapable of understanding the thought processes which went into writing Divine Protection and it then getting through the editorial process.
I think the process was something like "I am sick of all those paladin threads, apparently people like the class framework, but have problems with the LG bit. Lets just give divine grace to all those divine casters and call it a day..."

Warpriests.

This is my theory. People were hoping Warpriest was going to be the "Paladin for all alignments" or some such back during the playtest, right? It seems pretty logical, from a certain point of view, that this feat was created specifically so Warpriests (and Clerics, and Oracles, and any other Divine Caster with an inkling of a reason to put some stat points into CHA) could be made into "Paladins for all alignments" and given one of the most signature Paladin abilities.

Heck, take the right Blessing/Domain/Mystery and getting something similar to Smite Evil is fairly easy.

And it worked... a little too well, I think.


Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
I've been doing my pre-game preparation calculations using expected min/maxing by my players, it seems next to impossible to follow the rules and challenge mythic characters. I think I'm going to go way outside the Pathfinder rules to challenge them in mythic, while not killing them. I'm going to write up abilities for monsters myself that will give them a chance, especially big brutes.
And I am already using Scorpions upgrades, which include vastly superior abilities than the regular ones (Nezirrius Improved Shadow Doubles, for example, which I am kinda sorry that I could not use). The main problem for the villains are that a.) their initiative sucks compared to the party ; b.) the martials can reliably hit even the enhanced AC's Scorpion has provided ; c.) the damage output of the party is enough to kill or heavily damage opponents before they get their turn. The players position themselves well enough that I can't get to the Sorcerer and Ranger easily, too.

I have a pouncing barbarian, an archer paladin, an arcanist, a swashbuckler, a slayer archer, and a life oracle. The damage output for this group is insane pre-mythic, using mythic I can't challenge them by the rules.

My general feeling is that Pathfinder has reached a point where certain choices are so far superior to others as to have created an environment a DM cannot balance using the rules. Mythic has only made that worse.

Your thread only confirms my suspicions that Mythic Adventures is not viable as written. The enemy design was poor as is usual for Pathfinder. I have no choice but to come up with my own methods for challenging the PCs because the game is so far slanted in the players favor at this point as to have created an environment where the DM presides over a bunch of players patting themselves on the back for exploiting an easily exploitable game. The number and ability inflation is beyond control. The game

...

I rewrote the mythic template. I'm beefing this up as I've never beefed it up before. I don't mind mythic characters tearing apart non-mythic opponents. That is the point of mythic. I was reading an excerpt in Roman history describing Hercules casually wrestling a Cyclops to the ground and killing it because it took his lamb. I think mythic characters should be able to do things like this.

When a mythic character fights a mythic enemy, it should be like watching a legendary fight that you will remember for ages. The kind of fight like the end of Lone Wolf and Cub, Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor fighting the Midgard Serpent. It should be the kind of fight where lands are destroyed and the battle rages for what seems like hours as two amazingly strong opponents square off in a battle of [b]MYTHIC[/I] proportions. Not the mythic creatures shows up, the party wins initiative, the wizards disables, and the physical damage dealers kill it in 6 to 12 seconds with little to no difficulty. It was like watching them beat an orc. That is how Mythic Adventures is currently designed.

I calculated a battle between lvl 20 characters and a CR 28 mythic demon lord. They were able to kill it with minimal damage to themselves within two rounds. I always get the "Make it bring friends argument. Even when I do, the entire party ignores them and focus fires the demon lord killing it. Then they kill his friends. This is because a party has multiple actions each adding up to 4 to 8 actions and 15 to 20 attacks if they expend Mythic power to one or two actions and maybe 6 to 8 attacks, all of them doing less damage than the PCs. DR would help, but there are so many ways to circumvent that they might as well not even add it to the stat block.

As far as doing all this design work myself, I shouldn't have to. The Paizo game developers do this for a living. They get paid to do this all day. If that is the case, why would I pay for a game that is becoming less and less viable? Where enemies aren't properly tested for scaling and players are allowed to abuse rules that aren't clarified or well thought out. It's very frustrating. I wish gaming companies had better quality control when it comes to rule design.


Orthos wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Divine Protection, of course. There is some other stuff which isn't really designed very well (the whole dexterity-to-damage thing comes to mind). All in all, I like the book, but I am incapable of understanding the thought processes which went into writing Divine Protection and it then getting through the editorial process.
I think the process was something like "I am sick of all those paladin threads, apparently people like the class framework, but have problems with the LG bit. Lets just give divine grace to all those divine casters and call it a day..."

Warpriests.

This is my theory. People were hoping Warpriest was going to be the "Paladin for all alignments" or some such back during the playtest, right? It seems pretty logical, from a certain point of view, that this feat was created specifically so Warpriests (and Clerics, and Oracles, and any other Divine Caster with an inkling of a reason to put some stat points into CHA) could be made into "Paladins for all alignments" and given one of the most signature Paladin abilities.

Heck, take the right Blessing/Domain/Mystery and getting something similar to Smite Evil is fairly easy.

And it worked... a little too well, I think.

It certainly did. Oracles with Divine Protection have even higher saves than paladins. Of course a paladin needs strength and con. Whereas an oracle only needs con and cha.

Silver Crusade

magnuskn wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Sounds like an enjoyable evening. Regarding the normal encounters, weren't those already pointless in other APs?(I guess the point of depleting party resources is moot with mythic recuperation, which changes APL greatly +2 for that fact alone). Anyway, this seems to be a working way for you to finish the adventure path, with minimum of headache for you.

Yeah, I am not doing pointless mini-encounters anymore, aside from story relevant stuff, like Minagho yesterday. I hope to get it done in a few months.

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Yeah, I really can't defend that one, since I was part of the playtest like you and Matrixdragon. The system MIGHT work for low level / low MR games, but only if the players are decidedly bad at min maxing. Once problem here, is that some of the cool powers are simply ways to weak, and straight improvements.....
Moreover, the majority of mythic feats are upgrades to existing ones and there are some staple feats about every martial (and caster) character will take in a non-mythic game. Now, which mythic feats happen to be the most overpowered ones? OH, RIGHT, the ones which are the upgrades to the staple core feats which almost everyone takes! >.<

Yeah, as you might have seen, I took some time with hero lab and stated iconics with mythic levels here Mythic Iconics. They are based on the NPC Guide stats, and I tried not to powergame overly much.

They are good, and I suspect strong enough to destroy that adventure.

I still hold the position, that you could fix mythic characters with a 2-3 page errata document, and once I find a respectful effective way to ask for it ... I shall do so.

Orthos wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Divine Protection, of course. There is some other stuff which isn't really designed very well (the whole dexterity-to-damage thing comes to mind). All in all, I like the book, but I am incapable of understanding the thought processes which went into writing Divine Protection and it then getting through the editorial process.
I think the process was something like "I am sick of all those paladin threads, apparently people like the class framework, but have problems with the LG bit. Lets just give divine grace to all those divine casters and call it a day..."

Warpriests.

This is my theory. People were hoping Warpriest was going to be the "Paladin for all alignments" or some such back during the playtest, right? It seems pretty logical, from a certain point of view, that this feat was created specifically so Warpriests (and Clerics, and Oracles, and any other Divine Caster with an inkling of a reason to put some stat points into CHA) could be made into "Paladins for all alignments" and given one of the most signature Paladin abilities.

Heck, take the right Blessing/Domain/Mystery and getting something similar to Smite Evil is fairly easy.

And it worked... a little too well, I think.

I agree, that intention seems very realistic, of course the end result is a feat that makes oracles, and aasimar sorcerers unreasonably tough.

There is no way, that all those effects were intended.
And frankly, this is one of those circumstances, where point buy is really relevant.

Silver Crusade

Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
I've been doing my pre-game preparation calculations using expected min/maxing by my players, it seems next to impossible to follow the rules and challenge mythic characters. I think I'm going to go way outside the Pathfinder rules to challenge them in mythic, while not killing them. I'm going to write up abilities for monsters myself that will give them a chance, especially big brutes.
And I am already using Scorpions upgrades, which include vastly superior abilities than the regular ones (Nezirrius Improved Shadow Doubles, for example, which I am kinda sorry that I could not use). The main problem for the villains are that a.) their initiative sucks compared to the party ; b.) the martials can reliably hit even the enhanced AC's Scorpion has provided ; c.) the damage output of the party is enough to kill or heavily damage opponents before they get their turn. The players position themselves well enough that I can't get to the Sorcerer and Ranger easily, too.

I have a pouncing barbarian, an archer paladin, an arcanist, a swashbuckler, a slayer archer, and a life oracle. The damage output for this group is insane pre-mythic, using mythic I can't challenge them by the rules.

My general feeling is that Pathfinder has reached a point where certain choices are so far superior to others as to have created an environment a DM cannot balance using the rules. Mythic has only made that worse.

Your thread only confirms my suspicions that Mythic Adventures is not viable as written. The enemy design was poor as is usual for Pathfinder. I have no choice but to come up with my own methods for challenging the PCs because the game is so far slanted in the players favor at this point as to have created an environment where the DM presides over a bunch of players patting themselves on the back for exploiting an easily exploitable game. The number and ability

...

So if I get this right, you want mythic fights have the potential to devastate large areas, feel epic and give the players a credible challenge.

So in essence you want the boss fight, rather than the trash mobs.

That seems entirely reasonable, after all what sounds better:

"You are attacked by a large army of demons, the amalgamated mass roll towards the city. Now fight 3 CR 9 Demons, 10 undead cannon fodder, several cultists. Roll for initiative"

OR

"As you look towards the west, you see creature of truly gargantuan size walking towards the city. Unthinkingly it crushes hamlets, mountains and forests in its walk towards your city.
The creature is empowered by 5 rays of darkness, that snake their way through the darkening sky.
The old wizard clears his throat, and tries to steady his nerves before saying:
"Those ebon rays come from places of true evil, that were created over more than a 1000 years. Each location was defiled by acts so vile, that they defined the generation of people living in these dark times.
Now each of these scars upon our land, is guarded by malevolent manifestations, that thrive on suffering and empower the great beast.
Steele your hearts heroes, for only you have a chance to avert this catastrophe, while our soldiers are brave, they have not a chance to harm the creatures. Indeed, the their deaths might further damn us all"

Followed by a selection of unique encounters and challenges, and the final fight against the massive creature. All spiced with unique effects and plenty of staying power.

In other words rather than investing time in a number of lesser encounters, a lower selection of handcrafted complicated challenges would be more rewarding.

You and others might hate me for it, but in this case we can learn from games like World of Warcraft, they are good at creating interesting encounters.

Here is an old post of mine, on how I would redesign the encounter with the Storm King in Book 6:

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

After reading this again, I come to the conclusion that I cannot add that much to it. It's really that comprehensive. :)

Oh, there is one thing: As I did for the finale of my Carrion Crown campaign, maybe other GM's can crib a bit from MMO design and introduce non-standard encounter mechanics which are necessary to kill a boss enemy. I.e. that enemy is only susceptible to X type of damage in his sanctum and even then only takes Y amount of damage per round. Or have the boss have multiple forms, which are unlocked when he takes a certain amount of damage or other types of conditions are met.

Of course that would mean rewriting extensively, which many of GM's who run AP's would like to avoid in the first place. ^^

Yeah, I may add a little bit more later, but I fear, that this talk about the published adventures will bleed over in the general area of GM advice.

Adding nonstandard tactics on the fly is a GM skill I am trying to hone myself. I got the idea from the complete Kobold guide to game design (A book I can, and have suggested to everybody My review ), trying to say Yes (rather than No) when my players want to attempt something outside the options outlined in the adventure. It doesn’t always work, but my players tend to find it quite rewarding.

Scripted boss battles like the ones world of warcraft uses, can be rewarding and entertaining, but the players will need some ways to learn these mechanics (knowledge skills seem like the way to go).

For example here is a version of the fight against the Storm King:

As written in the adventure, but when the players come outside to confront him, they seem him killing one of this subordinates (a demon that is covered in glowing runes)by touching him his bare hands (looks like lightning grasp) seconds later, he explodes in a shower of spark and guts (as detonate reflex DC 25, 20d8 electricity damage).
Damage from this ability...


Very nice, Mr. Hirsch. I like the imagery and some of the ideas. I'll post some of my own when I'm done.

We're definitely of like mind. I want epic fights worthy of becoming legends in the world. Myths like we read when Hercules beat the Lernean Hydra or when Thor lifted the Midgard Serpent. Fights and feats so unbelievable that when you hear them, you have trouble believing they are true. Yet in the Pathfinder world, they are recorded history become myth.

Silver Crusade

Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:

Very nice, Mr. Hirsch. I like the imagery and some of the ideas. I'll post some of my own when I'm done.

We're definitely of like mind. I want epic fights worthy of becoming legends in the world. Myths like we read when Hercules beat the Lernean Hydra or when Thor lifted the Midgard Serpent. Fights and feats so unbelievable that when you hear them, you have trouble believing they are true. Yet in the Pathfinder world, they are recorded history become myth.

Please just Sebastian, no one even calls my father Mr. Hirsch^^

As Magnuskn has described in great detail, the problem lies with numbers not necessarily with the window dressing. If you have the time, you can make any fight epic, but it won't feel that way if the enemy is reduced to dust in 6 seconds.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Session of September 9th 2014:

4 players in attendance.

A total rout for the opposition. :-/ Non-mythic enemies seem more and more pointless by now. The fight was the party against Kestoglyr, 3 Bodak companions, the The Defiled One and Melazmera. The Abyssal Harvester was also supposed to help out, but since nobody got near the runestone until the fight was over, I decided that it would think caution to be better than valor and just not attack those obviously insanely powerful beings which were just obliterating the other very powerful beings they fought.

To be a bit more precise, the party arrived on Colyphir, although I did not pull the childish prank the book wanted me have Nocticula pull... it seemed out of character against the extremely reasonable personality she had during their face-to-face meeting.

I won't bother with doing a detailed rundown of the fight, but the relevant part basically was that Critical Master, together with the other standard feats/path abilities/Foe Biter allows crazy damage. The Paladin critted both the Defiled One and Melazmera for 508 damage, which instantly put them down. Kestoglyr also exploded on a critical hit by the Samurai. The other three were easily put down by the rest.

Of course I was completely using Scorpions upgraded versions, which by now seem to have still been wildly optimistic in their assessment of how tough the players would turn out to be. They are still excellent, but the mythic rules outpace them easily.

At this point, running this AP is more about me not being ready by far with my homebrewn campaign and the sick fascination of seeing how insane things will still get. Oh, well.

Silver Crusade

Soooooo, does pathfinder need a damage limit....final fantasy 7 does have one..... 9999 seemed a ridiculous... but .....^^

Now I have to admit "I have the sick fascination of seeing how insane things will still get." is some explanation I will steal for my campaign^^.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think we cap at around 1000 damage in one hit, although I am sure I will be disabused of this notion quickly by someone here or in practice by one of my guys later on. :p


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The sad thing is, even with Scorpions enhanced stat-blocks, aside from Baphomet himself there is not one opponent in the next module which won't be one-shotted by a critical hit from the Paladin (or the Samurai, come to think of it).


magnuskn wrote:
The sad thing is, even with Scorpions enhanced stat-blocks, aside from Baphomet himself there is not one opponent in the next module which won't be one-shotted by a critical hit from the Paladin (or the Samurai, come to think of it).

Methinks everyone needs Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier. Once per day anti-crit!


Try my crazy mythic template magnuskn. See how well it stands up in a fight.

Mythic Template

If you decide to give it a shot, let me know how it does.

Silver Crusade

magnuskn wrote:
I think we cap at around 1000 damage in one hit, although I am sure I will be disabused of this notion quickly by someone here or in practice by one of my guys later on. :p

Clearly the top priority is to get some rules for mist dissipation, since if you are realistic, that is all that will remain from some enemies. ^^

I wonder if you can get some nasty allergies from breathing in powdered demon lord.

magnuskn wrote:
The sad thing is, even with Scorpions enhanced stat-blocks, aside from Baphomet himself there is not one opponent in the next module which won't be one-shotted by a critical hit from the Paladin (or the Samurai, come to think of it).

Well block attacks and fortification could help.

Tels wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
The sad thing is, even with Scorpions enhanced stat-blocks, aside from Baphomet himself there is not one opponent in the next module which won't be one-shotted by a critical hit from the Paladin (or the Samurai, come to think of it).
Methinks everyone needs Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier. Once per day anti-crit!

Awesome idea, from a gameplay stance, it makes sense that such a cheap effect is available to more creatures, and since Magnuskn's group played in that neck of the woods in the corresponding adventure path....

Ok Magnus, just give all the demons those fancy hats, kimonos and katanas (or similar weapons). This already plays like a samurai movie... with all the killing and the criticals, why not change the set dressing to .... .... .... .... I just realized that listening to the Kill Bill soundtrack for 2 hours does nice things to my brain ^^.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:

Session of September 9th 2014:

4 players in attendance.

A total rout for the opposition. :-/ Non-mythic enemies seem more and more pointless by now. The fight was the party against Kestoglyr, 3 Bodak companions, the The Defiled One and Melazmera. The Abyssal Harvester was also supposed to help out, but since nobody got near the runestone until the fight was over, I decided that it would think caution to be better than valor and just not attack those obviously insanely powerful beings which were just obliterating the other very powerful beings they fought.

To be a bit more precise, the party arrived on Colyphir, although I did not pull the childish prank the book wanted me have Nocticula pull... it seemed out of character against the extremely reasonable personality she had during their face-to-face meeting.

I won't bother with doing a detailed rundown of the fight, but the relevant part basically was that Critical Master, together with the other standard feats/path abilities/Foe Biter allows crazy damage. The Paladin critted both the Defiled One and Melazmera for 508 damage, which instantly put them down. Kestoglyr also exploded on a critical hit by the Samurai. The other three were easily put down by the rest.

Of course I was completely using Scorpions upgraded versions, which by now seem to have still been wildly optimistic in their assessment of how tough the players would turn out to be. They are still excellent, but the mythic rules outpace them easily.

At this point, running this AP is more about me not being ready by far with my homebrewn campaign and the sick fascination of seeing how insane things will still get. Oh, well.

Is the Paladin getting lucky to crit every round like he seems to, or does he have enough attacks/large enough crit range to make it likely? It feels like every 'this wasn't even a challenge' moment was due to a crit. (Also, how were the melee combatants able to reach the Dragon and the Defiled one? I assume they were staying at range. Air Walk?)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I know that its too late, but for others, don't be afraid to tell your PCs no. Limit abilities that keep adding to damage. At about the same level my PCs best crit was around 150-180 damage. Still enough to slaughter most things as printed but not with greatly buffed abilities. I also started using the critical hit cards by suggestion. Those are more enjoyable and no x5 damage either.

Also it doesn't take much luck, or any, to swing a sword 4-5 times a round with a 20% crit chance to crit often.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes, I can always nerf the mythic rules (...even more than I already have), I can pump up HP x20... I really don't care that much anymore. I want this AP done and do something which isn't hampered by Paizo's limited capability of building decent high-level encounters or roleplaying focused AP's. :-/

As for how Paladin, Samurai, Barbarian and Cleric got to Melazmera and Kestoglyr, the Sorcerer cast Mythic Fly twice with Abundant Casting, so they all had the movement they needed. The Ranger is an archer. And the party got a bit lucky with their crits, grantedly. We roll openly (well, they do :p), so they were legit rolls.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Its easy to finish the AP quickly, just tell the PCs how it ends :) Ultimate RPing!... there's a sarcasm font in there somewhere.

That's likely how it will end anyways.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That would put me in the awkward position of having to scramble to get a homebrewn campaign off the ground very soon, which would be somewhat disastrous. I need more time to write up a decent plot and build the first three to five levels before I begin there.

Hence, I'll keep up with the insanity for a few months more and still try to get every module done in four to five combats each.

Scarab Sages

Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
It certainly did. Oracles with Divine Protection have even higher saves than paladins. Of course a paladin needs strength and con. Whereas an oracle only needs con and cha.

Both of my oracles would strongly disagree with you.

Both have strength as their primary stat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

With all the work I had to put in to modify WotR to make it playable, I wouldn't have had any time to plan and create an entire setting. Good luck!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have the advantage of having Scorpions statblocks available. The majority of the work comes from having to decide how to pull five or six encounters together into one. :p


Artanthos wrote:
Piccolo Taphodarian wrote:
It certainly did. Oracles with Divine Protection have even higher saves than paladins. Of course a paladin needs strength and con. Whereas an oracle only needs con and cha.

Both of my oracles would strongly disagree with you.

Both have strength as their primary stat.

I'm sure your guys does ok. I'm talking high level optimized casting oracles. Not oracles attempting to be match martial types.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am curious as to how the Paladin is doing 1000hp damage with a single critical, doing the maths for the Paladin in my party at 16th level I am looking at nearer 350. It seems I am missing something (I have included Smite, Mythic Improved critical, Foebiter, Mythic Power attack) I would like to know what it is to make sure my players don't think of using it.

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