Power Level for PFS


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Shadow Lodge 4/5

nosig wrote:

Whenever I read a thread like this, it kind of troubles me.

People, this game is not all about the combat. It's not just a dungeon crawl - where you go from room to room fighting monsters. (though some Judges & Authors persent it that way.) It's also about the Rogue who insures we don't fall in that pit, about the fighter who just happens to also be a carpenter - because he likes to build things, not just brake them. It's about my matchmaker dwarf trying to fix up the barbarian PC with "this little lady down in the Puddles district, you should meet her!" It's about a bunch of people sitting around a table having fun.

One of the worst things I ever heard at a table (because it's often true) is when an "old hand" explained to a "young kid" that he should put his skill points into combat skills - cause the Judge is going to give you the other information anyway. "if you need to find the bandit camp, just wonder around in the woods - the Judge wants to play too, and the only way we get a fight is when we find the bad guys". (Sarcasm alert: Kind of made me feel good about my Divination Wiz. ) And to him this game was all about the fight. You know, the kind of guy who is "only there for the fights", and spends the rest of the game in his phone APPs.

I can recall something I heard at a table a long time ago. A Max Damage player was complaining that in his last scenario they had spent almost 30 minutes "chatting up the bar-maid" and had cut into "his fight time". At that time, I resisted pointing out that he had just taken 30 minutes "dancing with the mooks" and had cut into my bar-maid chatting time. It wouldn't have done any good you see, 'cause to him, this game is all about rolling dice and splatting monsters. The challanges he sees are all combat related. That's where he get's his fun. To him that's all there is...

Sure, you can have a character who dominates combat. I like playing with those kind of PCs! If you kill the beasties in 0.666 melee rounds, it'll give me more bar-maid time. And I'll try...

...and yet another person who completely missed the point of this thread. Of course PFS is not all about combat. BUT, the rules don't matter very much outside of combat. That's the fun free-form part where everyone just talks and the numbers on your character sheet don't matter that much. But PFS is not all about roleplaying either. There is always at least one mandatory fight in every game. Those fights set a bar that every player must be able to overcome, otherwise you die and don't get to play the game.

This thread has nothing to do with arguing about role playing vs roll playing. The point of this thread was to discuss how high the combat bar is. As a player, I like my character to be only slightly taller than the bar. That way the adventures are challenging without being impossible, and by not towering over the bar, I can spend that extra on "character" and fun stuff.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Had you read your thread in its entirety, you'd know he already responded to the topic, several times in fact.

The post you are quoting is just an aside, or maybe a part of the natural progression of messageboard threads. Well, topics change.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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Sorry, I just get tired of seeing you're talking about rules therefore you must hate RP responses. I love role-playing, that's why I play these games. I also like rule systems and discuss these things separately.
Maybe I should have used a different title. The word power I guess is too associated with "powergaming"

Shadow Lodge 4/5

I know where you are coming from, believe me. Most of us are just tired of the efficiency talk. Not that you had that in mind, mind you, just that there's some bad blood here over character competence, scenario difficulty and lots and lots of strawmen.


One of the funnest games I ever played was a season 1 mod recently. With 4 power characters that could solo each fight in the mod. (As one of the players said the to the GM, you season 1 is no match for our 4 years of power creep). I had a blaster wizard and the only thing I did damage to was a door. I ran around and bickered with the other players the entire combats.

My characters all have intricate story lines. Huge depth and such. I give them all quirks and such to avoid towering over the combat. Although if the need arises and the party needs someone to step I can.

Now as a DM I would allow players if they were creative and with the right resources to win a fight/bypas an encounter without combat. Maybe not all DMs would, or player that want that.

But I honestly do not see a difference between combat and noncombat portions in related to roleplaying.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Cascade wrote:
I've considered making a tengu with claws as a rogue but the damage is sooo low and circumstantial, it just goes against the grain of wanting to succeed and not having the abilities.

I encourage you to reconsider.


gnoams wrote:
The point of this thread was to discuss how high the combat bar is.

Years ago, I started a similar thread, asking about the baseline combat prowess asked for by PFS. I didn't get much response to that question, probably because it's very easy to make big numbers on a single PC, but very hard for many people to consider the intricate details of every scenario's encounters. It's a tough question to answer.

But, the character I made, an aristocrat without armor, weapons, or spells, was so entertaining that I slow-tracked the character as often as I could.

-Matt

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

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I keep seeing this thread and think that people are asking for nightmare or hell runs in exchange for forges or something.... darn you Diablo 2.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Jiggy wrote:
Have a look at the Monster Stats by CR table on this page.

Just to see what would happen, I ran a few of my characters through this. I don't consider myself an optimizer, and I enjoy role-play, however, I increasingly find myself having to optimize just to remain useful in combat. So let's see what happened:

Character 1: Mariko Kagashima Ninja 9:
This character began as a rules mastery challenge for myself. I'd only been playing Pathfinder for a few months, and my previous two characters were all over the place and unfocused. I also like strange builds, so I decided to see if I could make an effective character that uses fighting fans. While she began as a rules experiment, she also has developed the most personality of any of my characters, and she's the most useful out of combat, being a Ninja with a decent Charisma and lots of skill points. She is built around TWFing with two Fighting Fans and using the Feint Maneuver to get sneak attacks. I call her an "in your face" ninja, because instead of sneaking around and using Vanishing Trick, she runs up to the enemy and faces them head on.

Character 2: Rasmarr, Nagaji Qinggong Monk 7:
I got a nifty Nagaji Boon from the first convention I GMed at. I didn't want to make a Nagaji Paladin (the obvious choice) and I didn't want to go with the Naga Aspirant archetype and run a Druid. The concept behind Rasmarr is that he was a slave to the Dark Naga, who was rescued by a group of Andoran Pathfinders. So, yes, he's a LN Monk in Andoran, which occasionally poses some problems. Mechanically, it took a little time to find the right combination, but he's working towards being a high-AC mobile Monk who uses Snake Style and Snake Fang to get of a lot of attacks in a round. I did not, however, take Master of Many Styles, so he won't realize that build until 9th level. He's also built around a certain neck-slot boon item I won't spoiler, so he uses the Bodywrap of Mighty Strikes instead of the Amulet.

Character 3: Taurnil, Elven Ancient Lorekeeper, Black-blooded Oracle of Bones 5/Warpriest of Pharasma 2:
My most complex build, and far from optimized. I liked the Black-blooded archetype and wanted to try making a negative energy based character, who was not an animate dead necromancer. Thus, worshipping Pharasma. His basic story is that he was raised to be a Lorekeeper amongst the elves, but Pharasma had different plans for him, making him closer to the Undead so that he can fight them better. He's troubled by dreams, and all he knows is that he must destroy the Undead, and that Pharasma wants him to be in the employ of Zarta Dralneen. Why this is important, he doesn't know. Mechanically, he began as an Oracle/Fighter, but when the Warpriest was introduced, it solved a lot of the issues with the build, and it made more sense from a character development perspective, so I retrained his level of Fighter to Warpriest, then took a second level of Warpriest to get Fervor. He's decently useful out of combat, thanks to an 18 CHA and skill ranks in Diplomacy and several Knowledge skills.

Jiggy wrote:

Look at your level.

Imagine you're fighting a monster with a CR about 2 higher than your level (you almost always are).

Do you focus on making attack rolls? Look at the AC value, and make sure you're hitting more than half the time.

Mariko:
Mariko is a 9th level Ninja. In a typical full-round attack, she will spend her first attack performing a Feint at +21 (using Two-Weapon Feint, Improved Two-Weapon Feint, Bluff +14, +2 from the Fighting Fan, and +5 from the Mask of Stony Demeanor, which she only wears when expecting combat). Assuming that is successful, she'll get 3-4 more attacks, depending on if she spends a Ki.

I haven't taken the Weapon Focus Ninja Trick yet, but will often burn a use of Forgotten Trick to pick it up for an important combat, so I've included it in these number.

Against CR 11 opponent, AC 25 (the chart doesn't give flat-footed AC, so I'll stick with this).

Primary Hand 1: Used for the Feint

Off-Hand 1: +12 to hit vs Flatfooted AC. Dmg 1d4+4(Half Dex on +1 Agile Weapon)+5d6 Sneak Attack.
Hits on a 13 or better without help.
Chance to hit 8/20=40%
Avg Dmg per hit: 24hp

Primary Hand Iterative: +7 to hit vs Flatfooted AC. Dmg 1d4+5d6 Sneak Attack (Mwk, but non-magic fan).
Hits on an 18, 19 or 20 without help.
Chance to hit 3/20: 15%
Avg Dmg per hit: 20hp

Off-Hand Iterative: +7 to hit vs Flatfooted AC. Dmg 1d4+4+5d6 Sneak Attack.
Hits on an 18, 19 or 20.
Chance to hit 3/20:15%
Avg Dmg per hit: 24hp

Not so great. She's helped tremendously by having a chance to flank, which frees up an extra attack and increases all chances to hit by 10%.

Rasmarr:
On an unarmed Flurry, without Power Attack, he looks like this:

CR9 opponent AC 23

Flurry 1: +10 to hit. Dmg 1d10+6.
Hits on a 13 or better.
Chance to hit 8/20 = 40%
Avg Dmg per hit: 11.5

Flurry 2: +10 to hit. Dmg 1d10+6.
Hits on a 13 or better.
Chance to hit 8/20 = 40%
Avg Dmg per hit: 11.5

Flurry 3: +4 to hit. Dmg 1d10+6.
Hits on a 19 or 20 or better.
Chance to hit 2/20 = 10%
Avg Dmg per hit: 11.5

Still about the same, but at least I'm consistently under optimized.

Power Attack would greatly help his average damage per hit, but it greatly lowers his chance to hit. Still, I usually try it, because math and stuff. He can also spend a Ki for an extra attack at full bonus

Taurnil:
Fights with an Elven Curved Blade. His optimization greatly improved with the switch to Warpriest, and also I picked up a Cracked Green Prism Ioun Stone and added STR +2 to his belt. All of those tricks only did so much, though. He also has Furious Focus, and I'm considering taking Vital Strike at 9th (when he finally hits +6 BAB), since his Iterative stands little chance of hitting most of the time. Divine Favor has been factored in, since now as a Warpriest, he can cast it as a swift at the start of every combat. Unfortunately, he's only CL2 with it, and he won't get to CL6 for the extra +1/+1 for a while.

CR 9 opponent AC 23

Primary Attack: +12 to hit. Dmg 1d10+13
Hits on an 11 or better.
Chance to hit 10/20 = 50%
Avg Dmg per hit: 18.5

He'll potentially start getting an Iterative with the Elven Curved Blade (his Sacred Weapon) next level, but I might take another level of Oracle first so he can get third level spells.

So, finally, one of my characters hits the magic 50% mark without flanking or help from someone else. But man, I feel like I had to scrounge every book and find every source of a bonus to hit to get there. And he still only does 18.5 points of damage on average. Hardly a lot for a 7th level character fighting a creature with 115 hit points per the chart. His weapon should become Keen sometime soon, so the 15-20 threat range will help his DPR some, assuming he can hit what he's fighting on a 15.

Jiggy wrote:
Spend a lot of time in melee? Look at the High Attack value, and make sure you're getting hit half the time or less (or look at the High Average Damage and make sure you're comfortable with how many rounds your HP will allow you to last).

Mariko:
CR 11 High Attack: +19

Base AC is 23, so she gets hit on a 4 or better. Ouch!
Buffed AC 27, so hit on an 8 or better, if she stops to cast Shield (from a UMD'ed wand or a Spell Storing Ioun Stone)
Highest AC Achievable: 32, so hit on a 13 or better, if she's buffed with Shield, and she hits that opponent with a Sneak Attack using Offensive Defense.

HPs: 66

Needless to say, despite my "in your face" Ninja approach, she doesn't try to Tank if there's another option. She fares much better with distracting a single, lower CR opponent.

Rasmarr:
AC is his thing, though he's got to be buffed to do it. His buffs are easier to pull off, though, since they have long durations. He'll usually have Barkskin for +3 and Mage Armor from a Wand for +4 to AC.

CR 9 opponent high attack: +17
Unbuffed AC: 19, gets hit on a 2 or better.
Buffed AC: 26, gets hit on a 9 or better.
With Shield Cast: 30, gets hit on a 13 or better (He can do this once per day, from his Cloak of the Hedge Wizard)
Spending a Ki on AC: 34, gets hit on a 17 or better.
Against an AoO during movement: 38, only hit on a 20. (He has Mobility).

Assuming he can convince the opponents to take their AoOs against him, that part of the build seems to work. Running around with his "normal" AC 26, he's still getting hit an awful lot.

HPs: 62

He's a much better front-liner than the Ninja, and he will typically use his 60 foot speed to get in the face of any casters or big opponents in the first round. Once he has Snake Fang, he'll hopefully be hitting a few people on the way.

Taurnil:
He typically uses the Bone Armor Revelation, which I've used my Favored Class Bonus to boost to effectively 7th level (+6 Armor Bonus) For all practical purposes, that's up during a scenario. He also casts Defending Bone, which grants DR 5/bludgeoning.

CR 9 opponent high attack: +17

Base AC: 19, gets hit on a 2 or better.
With Shield of Faith AC: 21, gets hit on a 4 or better.
With Shield (From Ancient Lorekeeper): 25, gets hit on a 7 or better.

Front-lining, he takes a lot of punishment. But the DR helps against a lot of opponents (unfortunately, there are quite a few slam and bite attacks out there), and now he has Swift action healing through Fervor. Black-Blooded gives him Negative Energy Affinity, so he also uses the Death's Touch revelation to heal out of combat. And he wears a Shawl of Lifekeeping in case he goes down. HPs aren't great. Toughness is probably in order at 9th level.

HP: 53

Jiggy wrote:
Are you a save-based caster? Look at the Good/Poor save values and see how often a good save is succeeding and how often a poor save is succeeding.

Doesn't apply to these test cases. Although, if you want a laugh, the DC on Rasmarr's Stunning Fist is 16, against a CR9 +12 Good Save (as Fort is for most).

Jiggy wrote:
Do you focus on damage (whether magical or weapon-based)? Look at the expected HP and see how many rounds it'll take you to take him out (remember to factor in some of the above about attack bonuses, save DCs, etc).

See the numbers above. Many, many rounds, in most cases. Occasionally my Ninja will roll exceptionally well, while getting a flank, and spending a Ki on an extra attack, and do over 100 points of damage in a round. But that's rare. It happened in Port Godless, and the GM seemed surprised. So was I.

Jiggy wrote:
Don't neglect your own saves, either; look at the save DCs and see if you can make those saves (especially Fort and Will) more than half the time.

Mariko:
CR11 Primary DC: 20

Fort: +7 Ref: +14 Will: +6 (Those are with a +3 Cloak, and without a penalty to any stat. Ouch.)

Rasmarr:
CR9 Primary DC: 18
Fort: +7 Ref: +7 Will: +8 At least we're talking 50/50 here.

Taurnil:
CR9 Primary DC:18
Fort: +6 Ref: +2 Will: +7 At some point I'm probably going to have to give up the Shawl of Lifekeeping and just get a Cloak of Resistance.

Jiggy wrote:
Basically, whatever you're doing, make sure you can do it successfully more often than not against a critter of CR+2.

I hear what you're saying, but all three of my characters fail that test in most categories. It's hard to keep pace with those numbers without buying the same magic items on every character, or always starting with a 20 in your primary stat. The highest starting stat for any of these characters was an 18 STR on the Monk, who is also the only character to dump a stat (two, actually, with an 8 INT and a 9 CHA), and an 18 DEX (now at 22, soon at 24) on the Ninja. The Oracle was MAD because of being in Melee (and not Finessing the ECB, or dumping any stat), so he started with a 16 CHA (Now 18) as his highest stat.

All three characters are fun to play, and to role-play, and they can contribute to combat, but I still feel like I'm behind the curve most of the time.

EDITED to correct a minor stat error. The Oracle has an 18 CHA, not 16.

4/5

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

remember that many characters have tricks or special abilities that can help keep them effective even with lower stats.

gunslingers, for example, will be hitting TOUCH much of the time. So sure, your Summoner/Gunslinger gnome may not have a great to hit but with the right weapon and good maneuvering (a flying mount = great maneuverability and likely full attacks even while moving around the battlefield btw) means he should be hitting against touch a lot of time. Which should make him quite effective.

Plus guns are x4 crit weapons - at higher levels when you get a Keen gun and other tricks gunslingers can truly dish out obscene amounts of damage (especially if you take a gunslinger archetype like musketmaster - though the gnomish racial archetype has a lot of great flavor and some nifty features)

barbarians and alchemists get rage or mutagens that often can help them considerably make up for weaker stats

(also don't forget that gnomes get a size bonus to hit which can really help - and gunslinger is a full BAB class so with even a halfway decent DEX a gunslinger can hit quite effectively - and hitting touch will always mean a gunslinger gets a lot more hits than many characters)

my gnome in an AP I play is a Dragon Disciple - in a level he will be sporting a 20 STR and usually all day ant haul (so a gnome that can literally lift a giant off the ground should he want to).

I think the most fun characters both to play and run tend to have focused on a concept first while still having a number of ways to be effective contributors (which doesn't always mean they can hit anything at all - they may be great at buffing and healing with the occasional providing a flank and attacking to aid another). My PFS barbarian for example has an 8 STR (he's an urban barbarian so is a a DEX based barbarian). Definitely plays against type but he's a ton of fun to play (his name is John "Doc" Smith...)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ferious Thune wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Have a look at the Monster Stats by CR table on this page.

Just to see what would happen, I ran a few of my characters through this. I don't consider myself an optimizer, and I enjoy role-play, however, I increasingly find myself having to optimize just to remain useful in combat. So let's see what happened:

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **...

Wow, now you've got me curious about my own characters; those guidelines I posted were kind of just off-the-cuff guesstimates at benchmarks.

Let's see how one of my favorite characters - my cleric of Iomedae, Thomas the Tiefling Hero! - stacks up against my own hastily-compiled guidelines; kinda hoping I fail, just for the laugh. :D

He's 9th level, so we're looking at CR 11.

Monster AC: 25
Unless I have reason to think I'll not be in melee long for some reason, my default is to cast divine favor on round 1. With the Heroism domain, I either have heroism pre-cast or I activate it as a swift-action aura; thus, I'm pretty much never attacking without it.
So! Starting on round 2 and including Power Attack, Thomas attacks at +16/+11. That's a 9 to hit with the primary (phew, just barely broke 50/50) or a 14 to hit with the iterative.

Monster HP: 145
Yikes, that's a daunting number. Well, with Power Attack I'm hitting for 1d8+15, which means about 8 hits (and from above, that probably means 8 rounds + 1 round of buffing = 9 rounds to KO). If I two-hand my longsword (losing 4 AC from my buckler and taking -1 to hit) I can add another 4 damage per hit, but I usually don't find myself doing that.

High attack: +19
Thomas' unbuffed AC is currently 32, so they need a 13 or better to hit. I typically carry a domain shield of faith that would take him to 34 (15+ to hit him) but I couldn't tell you the last time I cast it.

High damage: 50
Oof. That's rough. I've got 75 HP. Of course, that damage figure is if all attacks hit. Since they're hitting just under half the time, it's more like 25/rd, so I'm KO'd after about 3 rounds of attacks (with the number of attacks per round affecting how consistent or variable that average is). Good thing I'm not trying to solo!

Primary DC: 20
Like I said earlier, I almost always have heroism running (except before my turn on an unexpected fight), so I'll include it:
Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +13
I love cleric saves. :) Still, might be time to take that cloak to +2.

Offensive casting isn't really Thomas' thing, so I'm not too concerned about his save DCs (highest is a DC 19 plane shift, which fails on a 6+ from a monster's good save).

Overall, not too bad! I met most of my benchmarks, though I might want to boost saves and/or HP.

Ferious Thune wrote:
It's hard to keep pace with those numbers without buying the same magic items on every character, or always starting with a 20 in your primary stat.

Is that so? Because my cleric, who is apparently keeping pace, started with 16/14/13/12/15/10 after racial adjustments. (That's right, my battle cleric has 12 INT, and all those stereotypes can suck it!) He also has the most detailed backstory of all my PCs and is my most fun PC to roleplay. :D

Scarab Sages 4/5

Jiggy wrote:
So! Starting on round 2 and including Power Attack, Thomas attacks at +16/+11. That's a 9 to hit with the primary (phew, just barely broke 50/50) or a 14 to hit with the iterative.

I'm curious where the bonuses come from. Not that I doubt it's accurate, but I'm clearly missing something. My Ninja, for example, who is single class with the same BAB progression, is only at +12, which breaks down as:

BAB: +6
DEX: +6 (22 DEX and Weapon Finessed Fighting Fan)
Weapon: +1 (+1 Agile Fighting Fan)
Weapon Focus: +1 (Most fights, activated as a swift with Ki)
Two-Weapon Fighting: -2

Total: +12

Clerics have buff spells that aren't necessarily readily available to a Ninja. You're +3/+3 from Divine Favor, and -2 from Power Attack, so you're at least at +15 without both of those things, and I'm at +14 without TWF. But then that's on a single attack, not the style that the fits the character.

Heroism and Divine Favor are the difference between our characters, and without them, I'm actually a little ahead. I suppose I could start dropping 375gp per scenario on a scroll of Heroism. Her UMD is high enough to pull it off (+15), but increasingly Season 5 scenarios seem to be longer than an hour adventuring day, so it may not be a constant. I could also invest in a Wand of Divine Favor, which she'd only fail to use on a 4, but in the opening rounds when I'm not trying to get a sneak attack off, I generally spend it casting Shield from her spell storing Ioun Stone, because I need the AC as much as the to hit.

Granted, I know I need to up my Belt of Dexterity to +4, I don't have the Cracked Green Prism Ioun Stone, and I had to go Agile instead of +2 on the weapon. She's got a little over 6,000 gold now, so I should probably just go with the Belt increase, which would put her at +15 (+13 TWF). I could probably have scrounged money or bought the Ioun Stone instead of Sandals of Quick Reaction, or cost myself some utility by skipping the Ring of Ki Mastery (which brings Forgotten Trick down to 1 Ki, which is what lets me have Weapon Focus every fight), but I guess that's my point. It seems like, with a 3/4 BAB class, if you don't spend your money on the exact sequence of items, you don't keep pace. Deciding which items to purchase is a form of optimization as well.

I'll also be exceeding my armor's Max Dex (Mithral Chain Shirt +1) when I upgrade the Belt and I need to start saving for Celestial Armor. I've forgone buying a second magic weapon, and even without that cost, there just isn't enough gold for everything she needs and for the items I wanted that fit the character (the Sandals, the Ring, a Pathfinder Pouch, an Origami Swarm that was used to great effect in Way of the Kirin, and the general expendables she needs by not being an Aasimar that can cast Daylight or a race with Darkvision or a caster class with Fly).

Silver Crusade 3/5

Based on Jiggy's post above, here are some reasonable benchmarks to aim for by level.

Attack Bonus, AC, Saving Throw Bonuses, and Offensive Abilities are all based on the assumption that you want the dice to fall in your favor 50% of the time. Hit points are simply the number of hp a fighter with Con 14 would have at that level with no other feats or boosting items (this seems like a good middle ground to aim for). Average attack damage is 1/4 the total expected hp of a monster whose CR is 2 higher than your level. I added Skills; this is a good benchmark for one of your better skills at this level.

The benchmarks assume that is your character's schtick. Obviously, a wizard is probably not going to worry as much as a barbarian about how many hp he has.

I have also included analyses of several of my characters as examples.

Level 1
Attack Bonus +4
Average Attack Damage 8
AC 17
hp 12
Saving Throw Bonuses +3
Offensive Ability DC 17
High Skills +7

Anik, Half-Orc Paladin 1:

Attack Bonus +5
Average Attack Damage 10 (+)
AC 18
hp 18 (++)
Saving Throw Bonuses +5/+3/+1 (+/0/–)
Offensive Ability DC NA
High Skills +2 (–)
Bottom Line Overall, Anik is a somewhat powerful character in combat. Not surprising given that he is a paladin at first level. His future levels will all be in sorcerer, so his combat power will drop in the mid levels. He would probably be much more powerful as a straight paladin, or at least with level 2.

=======================================

Level 3
Attack Bonus +7
Average Attack Damage 14
AC 21
hp 27
Saving Throw Bonuses +4
Offensive Ability DC 19
High Skills +10

Zrinka, Cleric 1 / Bard 2:

Attack Bonus +5 (–)
Average Attack Damage trip (–)
AC 17 (–)
hp 21 (–)
Saving Throw Bonuses +0/+5/+6 (a real weakness in Fort)
Offensive Ability DC 17 (This is her schtick; shows how hard it is to get to a benchmark of 19)
High Skills +17 (+++)
Bottom Line Zrinka appears to be a weak character, and in combat she is. She shines in diplomatic situations and has a lot of strong skills. What is not reflected in these benchmarks are her very strong buffing abilities.

=======================================

Level 5
Attack Bonus +9
Average Attack Damage 21
AC 24
hp 42
Saving Throw Bonuses +6
Offensive Ability DC 21
High Skills +13

Boomer, Alchemist 3 / Barbarian 1 / Gunslinger 1:

Attack Bonus +11 or +9/+8, or +8 touch (+)
Average Attack Damage 15, or 11 (–)
AC 21 (–)
hp 51 (++)
Saving Throw Bonuses +10/+7/–1 (Very weak in Will)
Offensive Ability DC NA
High Skills +15 (+)
Bottom Line Boomer is a bit of an oddball. He is very much a generalist, which I think is very well reflected in this analysis. He always has some way to contribute something at every moment of the game, both in combat and out (except for diplomatic situations—no, I did not dump Cha...I dumped Wis :P).

=======================================

Level 7
Attack Bonus +12
Average Attack Damage 28
AC 28
hp 57
Saving Throw Bonuses +7
Offensive Ability DC 23
High Skills +15

=======================================

Level 9
Attack Bonus +14
Average Attack Damage 33
AC 30
hp 72
Saving Throw Bonuses +8
Offensive Ability DC 24
High Skills +17

Sparrow Sundance, gunslinger 1 / paladin 5 / fighter 1:

Sparrow is level 8, but I will compare her to the Level 9 benchmarks. She is my first PFS character and she is somewhat overbuilt.
Attack Bonus Nova +15/+15/+10 (all vs touch). Normal +10 touch (++)
Average Attack Damage Nova 83. Normal 16. (++)
AC 21 to 32 depending on buffs/smite. (–/+)
hp 57 (glass cannon, she is about one level behind in hp)
Saving Throw Bonuses +16/+13/+9 (++, her weakest save is Will, but she is immune to fear)
Offensive Ability DC NA
High Skills +16 (diplomacy, right on target for a level 8 character)
Bottom Line Sparrow is a DPR machine. But that is to be expected from a gunslinger/paladin. Overall her defenses are good. Her biggest weakness is in hp, but as a ranged character it has worked out okay for her so far.

=======================================

Level 11
Attack Bonus +17
Average Attack Damage 45
AC 33
hp 87
Saving Throw Bonuses +10
Offensive Ability DC 27
High Skills +19

This was both fun and educational for me!

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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My main character, Kal-Yik, is a 13th level Tengu Rogue.

His Claw/Claw/Bite routine is at +18 to hit. Versus a CR 15 with an AC of 30, I'm hitting 60% of the time, which means roughly two of my attacks land each round.

His AC is only 24, and a CR 15 has an attack bonus of +24 (yikes!), but he has Snake Style with a modifier of +27, so I'm getting hit just under 50% of the time, so long as it's only one attack.

His damage without Sneak Attack is 1d3+11, which if I'm hitting twice a round is only 26 damage, versus a target of 220 hit points.

But, toss in Sneak Attack, and it shoots up to an average of 75 damage/round. That's still just 1/3 of my target, though, so let's look at how long I'd last.

LOL, he only has 94 hit points, and the average high damage of a CR 15 is 70. Wowza. Guess I know where I need to focus on after Eyes of the Ten!

His saves are only Fort +11, Reflex +18, and Will +10, whereas the Primary Ability DCs I'll be facing are 23. I'd call that a wash.

That was fun! I wonder where the other people in my Eyes group stand.

EDIT: Oh, and his Perception is +42 vs. Traps, and his Disable Device is +36, so FWIW, there's that, too. Most of his skills are around +30ish.

2nd EDIT: I'm totally retraining Improved Initiative into Toughness during our next session. This little test was a total wake up call. Thanks, Jiggy!

Silver Crusade 5/5

gnoams wrote:

I'm interested in other players' takes on what is required for combat in pfs. I have yet to play or GM a scenario without at least one mandatory combat. Therefore, as a pathfinder, one must be able to handle themselves in a fight. If you cannot, then you just don't cut it for a field agent. There are positions within the pathfinder organization besides field agent, but they aren't PCs.

Library of the lion is only optional fights. Every single fight in that scenario can be avoided.

gnoams wrote:
I don't think PCs should be only about combat, but everything else they can do is optional. A group of skill-less characters may fail at the missions an get no pp, but they'll survive to try again. A group of characters who can't fight will get killed. Fighting is the only thing you are forced to be able to do, so that is why I'm interested in the combat requirements. For RP and character, I'm happy to do whatever I feel fits, I don't need limits or numbers to RP.

Honestly, I'm not quite sure what your argument or complaint is here. Or for the thread in general. Some character concepts simply don't work out that well but there are a lot of concepts that do. It sounds like to me is that you want a thematically rich character who is primarily thematically rich and cinematic in combat. I think we also differ on the definition of what makes a character viable in combat or not. You don't have to be the biggest and hardest hitting character to be viable. The argument that if you can't succeed on a mission because you nerfed your own character on everything outside of combat doesn't carry weight. You can try again all you want but if you don't have the skills to complete a mission you will always fail it no matter how many times you have survived the combat in it. Also then you are "That Guy" the player who always shows up and the only thing they ever do is combat and they are a bump on a log the rest of the time, half the time they don't even know what is going on because they are just sitting there looking off into space waiting for someone to tell them to roll initiative.

gnoams wrote:
By power level, I mean that different campaigns have different assumptions of the combat abilities of the players. I'd like to meet that power level. I've played with many players who go over, and that trivializes the challenges. Similarly I've played with many players who go under, and the rest of the party has to carry them through the fights. I don't want to be either of those players, hence the discussion of power level.

Again you are using combat at the measure on which a character has value. "Going over" and compared to "going under". Well if you have already determined what either of these categories looks like then you, by logical conclusion, know what an appropriate power level looks like without posing the question to others.

I also would have gone beast master ranger (or druid)/gunslinger as summoner and the rules for eidolon don't lend themselves to being mounts very well. Eidolon are really designed, thematically and mechanically, to do the fighting for the summoner with the summoner playing support and buffer.

What you describe is doable but just not at low level. Start designing characters on a 10 level stretch to figure out what you need and where you need it to make what you want happen.

Are all big enough for a gnome to ride and fit the image you are describing.
Dire Bat
Giant Mantis
Pteranodon
Giant Wasp

(A druid/ranger gunslinger could be figuring out how to better utilize nature to invent things instead of relying purely on unnatural and manmade things) It may not fit your exact original idea but it is still useable and if you really are about role play as you have stated over and over again then you should be able to back up your character concept in game through what you say/do/behave.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Well that does make for interesting comparisons, thanks. How are you calculating the average attack damage. Is it assuming all your attacks hit or what?

The level+2 bar seems a little high imo. Fighting one monster is fairly rare. Much more often you get 2-6 enemies per fight, level+2 will only be for some end bosses. Boss fights should be tough, so being a little under is fine by me. Maybe level+1 is better.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Looking back over my post from last night, it comes off as a bit negative. Sorry about that. I blame lack of sleep.

This has been a useful exercise, and I now have some targets to improve as well. I'm going to go ahead and buy the upgrade to my Belt of Incredible Dexterity to make it a +4. That puts me at +13. The Feint maneuver is probably worth at least +1 on average, which puts me right at 50%.

My Monk is overdue for a STR Belt. He currently has a Belt of Mighty Constitution +2, and I'm trying to decide if I'm better off adding STR to that, or waiting one more session until I can afford to sell that Belt of Con and buy a Belt of STR +2 and the Con Ioun Stone. That would let me upgrade the STR belt to +4 sooner and aim for a +6 STR Belt, though it's a hit overall in wealth (4,000 gold now, more later if I decide to switch back to a Belt of Physical Might instead of pumping STR to +6. I've already decided he's going to buy a Snakeskin Tunic to get a +2 Dex boost, because of the flavor of the character.

My Oracle/Warpriest just did a bunch of upgrades to get where he is. I'll see how that works out, and then probably concentrate on AC items or the Cloak of Resistance for a while.

Thanks, too, Jiggy, for pointing out that chart!

@Nefreet: Doesn't a +18 against a 30 AC mean you hit on a 12 or better, or 45% of the time, not 60%? In case that affects your decisions. Or were you saying 60% of the time, at least one of your attacks will hit?

Silver Crusade 3/5

gnoams wrote:
Well that does make for interesting comparisons, thanks. How are you calculating the average attack damage. Is it assuming all your attacks hit or what?

Yes. I believe that is how the Monster creation chart calculates it as well.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ferious Thune wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
So! Starting on round 2 and including Power Attack, Thomas attacks at +16/+11. That's a 9 to hit with the primary (phew, just barely broke 50/50) or a 14 to hit with the iterative.
I'm curious where the bonuses come from. Not that I doubt it's accurate, but I'm clearly missing something.

No problem:

+6 BAB
+4 STR (yeah, belt is only +2 and I haven't put level bumps there)
+4 divine favor (Fate's Favored trait boosts the luck bonus)
+2 heroism
+2 greater magic weapon (which, painfully, is 4th level for clerics)
–2 Power Attack
----------------
+16 Total

So it takes me a 4th-level spell, multiple slots of a 1st-level spell, a 3rd-level spell/8th-level domain power and a trait; but I can get there. :D

Quote:
Heroism and Divine Favor are the difference between our characters

Yep, the ninja/rogue is one of the few 3/4 BAB classes without class features to make up the gap.

Clerics/oracles have efficient buff spells.
Inquisitors have judgment and bane (and some buff spells).
Magi can enhance their weapons as a swift action.
Bards have Inspire Courage.
Alchemists have mutagens.
Etc.

I don't get too much into all the "class X is better than class Y" crap, but I do think the above is an issue (though the ability to spend a ki point for an extra attack certainly helps).

Of course, you also get like a bajillion skill points to my 3. :)

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Again, not trying to define my characters by combat, not trying to be the heaviest hitter. I'm trying to get a good gauge on the combat requirements. That monster stats by cr is exactly what I was looking for.

Didn't think about animal companions, nature priest is kind of the opposite of mad scientist inventor, but it might work. Can you teach an animal companion how to shoot a gun or crossbow though?


mswbear wrote:
Library of the lion is only optional fights. Every single fight in that scenario can be avoided.

Yes, but only if you have a team with the right skill set. When I played it, my group happened to have two people that had the somewhat obscure skill required by the module. We both had it maxed, and even then we mainly passed because our dice rolls were consistently high. Our team also had folks who were maxed in the other required skills. We had a blast and spent the extra time roleplaying instead of fighting, but for us it was HUGE accomplishment to get out there without a fight. Most groups aren't going to have the skill combo, luck, and cautiousness required to pull it off.

But even then, Library is the only scenario where that's possible... versus how many scenarios that are almost pure dungeon crawls after the briefing? I think the OP has a valid point.

(Though if John Comptom, Kyle Elliot, or any other scenario writer are paying attention, Library was AWESOME! More scenarios like that, please!!!)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

gnoams wrote:
The level+2 bar seems a little high imo. Fighting one monster is fairly rare. Much more often you get 2-6 enemies per fight, level+2 will only be for some end bosses. Boss fights should be tough, so being a little under is fine by me. Maybe level+1 is better.

Well, I did just sort of pull it out of my arse. ;)

Let's math!

Last I heard (this could have changed), encounters for any given subtier are based on the higher of the two levels. That is, for subtier 6-7, encounters are looking at APL 7.

The CR system also assumes a party of 4 PCs, while current scenarios instead assume 6 PCs; I'm going to guess this comes out to a +1 to the final CR.

And it's been my (entirely unscientific) observation that (even back when scenarios assumed 4 PCs) most encounters' CR was around APL+2 (with the occasional +1 or +3).

So if I'm reasonably close on most of those things, then most encounters these days will have a CR of APL+3, where the APL is the higher of the two levels of the subtier. So in subtier 8-9, you can expect to have at least one CR 12 encounter.

If the encounter is more than one creature (let's assume equal creatures for the moment), then subtract the number of creatures from the CR and you get the CR of each creature. That is, for a CR 12 encounter, it could be a pair of CR 10 creatures, or three CR 9 creatures, etc.

So in subtier 8-9, you may well be facing two CR 10 creatures or three CR 9 creatures. You might be 9th level (making those creatures =lvl or 1+lvl), but you might be 8th level (making those creatures 1+lvl or 2+lvl). And if you're playing up, from 7th level? Now you're looking at +2 or +3; same if it's supposed to be a hard fight.

From looking at that, 1+lvl and 2+lvl might be similarly valid baselines.

Keep in mind, though: those benchmarks are about succeeding half the time. Do you want your contributions to be a coin flip in the hard fights, or the normal fights?

5/5

gnoams wrote:

The level+2 bar seems a little high imo. Fighting one monster is fairly rare. Much more often you get 2-6 enemies per fight, level+2 will only be for some end bosses. Boss fights should be tough, so being a little under is fine by me. Maybe level+1 is better.

PFS scenarios are chock full of fights against single enemies but if anything they tend to be easier than fights against multiple opponents as the single enemy loses to the action economy deficit.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Ok so now I'm really curious, going to look through some season 5 scenarios. Leaving out the names to protect those who haven't played them yet.

listing: tier. encounter level (total CR for the fight). # of creatures & individual creature cr.

first scenario is a 1-5:

1st fight. tier1-2. EL3. 4 cr1/2
tier 4-5. EL6. 4 cr2

2nd fight. tier1-2. EL2. 1 cr2
tier4-5. EL5. 1 cr5

3rd fight. tier1-2. EL3. 4 cr1/2
tier4-5. EL6. 4 cr2

boss fight. tier1-2. EL4. 3 cr1
tier4-5. EL7. 3 cr4

second scenario is 3-7:

1st fight. tier 3-4. EL6. 3 cr1/2, 3 cr1, 1 cr3
tier 6-7. EL9. 6 cr1/2, 4 cr3, 1 cr6

2nd fight. tier3-4. EL6. 4 cr1/2, 2 cr1, 1 cr4
tier6-7. EL9. 6 cr1/2. 3 cr3. 1 cr7

3rd fight (optional). tier3-4. EL5. 1 cr5
tier6-7. EL8. 1 cr8

boss fight. tier 3-4. EL7. 4 cr1, 1 cr5
tier6-7. EL10. 3 cr5, 1 cr8

third scenario is 7-11:

1st fight. tier 7-8. EL10. 1 cr7, 1 cr9
tier 10-11. EL13. 2 cr9
2nd fight. tier 7-8. EL10. 2 cr6, 1 cr8
tier 10-11. EL13. 6 cr6, 1 cr10
3rd fight. tier 7-8. EL10. 4 cr6
tier 10-11. EL13. 8 cr7
4th fight. tier 7-8. EL10. 3 cr2, 1 cr9
tier 10-11. EL13. 4 cr2, 3 cr10
boss fight. tier 7-8. EL11. 1 cr11
tier 10-11. EL14. 2 cr10, 1 cr12

So it looks like at low levels (1-5 scenarios). normal fights EL is tier+1 for groups of monsters and tier+0 for single monsters. Boss fight EL is tier+2

for higher levels, normal fights EL is tier+2 for groups and tier+1 for single. Boss fight EL is tier+3

Looks like single monster fights are easy because their CR is one lower than group monster fights.

5/5 5/55/55/5

The thing is unless your build suddenly has a growth spurt you almost need to roflcopter 1-5's to be good for the 7-11's.


Ferious Thune wrote:

My Ninja, for example, who is single class with the same BAB progression, is only at +12, which breaks down as:

BAB: +6
DEX: +6 (22 DEX and Weapon Finessed Fighting Fan)
Weapon: +1 (+1 Agile Fighting Fan)
Weapon Focus: +1 (Most fights, activated as a swift with Ki)
Two-Weapon Fighting: -2

Total: +12

When you play a Rogue or Ninja, you're basically on Hard Mode, so you need to push a lot harder than, say, an Alchemist or Summoner to hit that minimum required level of combat effectiveness.

If you'd like, hit me up on Personal Messages. I was in your exact situation, playing a two-weapon rogue, and I've found ways out of this trap.

-Matt

The Exchange 5/5

longwinded wall of text - avoid it if you want - it doesn't really say much:

gnoams wrote:
nosig wrote:

Whenever I read a thread like this, it kind of troubles me.

People, this game is not all about the combat. It's not just a dungeon crawl - where you go from room to room fighting monsters. (though some Judges & Authors persent it that way.) It's also about the Rogue who insures we don't fall in that pit, about the fighter who just happens to also be a carpenter - because he likes to build things, not just brake them. It's about my matchmaker dwarf trying to fix up the barbarian PC with "this little lady down in the Puddles district, you should meet her!" It's about a bunch of people sitting around a table having fun.

One of the worst things I ever heard at a table (because it's often true) is when an "old hand" explained to a "young kid" that he should put his skill points into combat skills - cause the Judge is going to give you the other information anyway. "if you need to find the bandit camp, just wonder around in the woods - the Judge wants to play too, and the only way we get a fight is when we find the bad guys". (Sarcasm alert: Kind of made me feel good about my Divination Wiz. ) And to him this game was all about the fight. You know, the kind of guy who is "only there for the fights", and spends the rest of the game in his phone APPs.

I can recall something I heard at a table a long time ago. A Max Damage player was complaining that in his last scenario they had spent almost 30 minutes "chatting up the bar-maid" and had cut into "his fight time". At that time, I resisted pointing out that he had just taken 30 minutes "dancing with the mooks" and had cut into my bar-maid chatting time. It wouldn't have done any good you see, 'cause to him, this game is all about rolling dice and splatting monsters. The challanges he sees are all combat related. That's where he get's his fun. To him that's all there is...

Sure, you can have a character who dominates combat. I like playing with those kind of PCs! If you kill the beasties in 0.666 melee rounds, it'll give me more

...

...and yet another person who completely missed the point of this thread. Of course PFS is not all about combat. BUT, the rules don't matter very much outside of combat. That's the fun free-form part where everyone just talks and the numbers on your character sheet don't matter that much. But PFS is not all about roleplaying either. There is always at least one mandatory fight in every game. Those fights set a bar that every player must be able to overcome, otherwise you die and don't get to play the game.

This thread has nothing to do with arguing about role playing vs roll playing. The point of this thread was to discuss how high the combat bar is. As a player, I like my character to be only slightly taller than the bar. That way the adventures are challenging without being impossible, and by not towering over the bar, I can spend that extra on "character" and fun stuff.

bolding mine

I fear I have failed to articulate my view clearly. I really shouldn't try, but I am a sucker for trying to get people to understand my view...

let's see if I can be clearer with some examples from your post...
"BUT, the rules don't matter very much outside of combat. " - actually, the rules for things outside of combat are what I am talking about. If my PC can use a Diplomacy roll (or a single spell) to avoid the combat - did I defeat the Combat? How does a +45 Dipolomacy skill relate to "power level"? You are dividing the game into combat challanges and non-combat challanges, and assuming that every player needs a PC that is effective in one type (combat) but not in the other (non-combat).

"But PFS is not all about roleplaying either." - no, it's about what is FUN for the players. " It's about a bunch of people sitting around a table having fun." If they enjoy silly voices and pretending to be something weird - whatever that is - that's what it is about for them. I like to think it's about having fun with friends, as a group, but maybe not so much for some people... but let's avoid them, they are not as much fun in groups. Anyway - I tend to run PCs that are not very combat centered. I realize that other players do play for the combat... so I try real hard to let them do that. I find those combats for them. My PC will "Gather Info" so that they fight the correct monster - and to it well. I run the PC who does all the little things that thier PC can't, because they built for the combat.

This thread appears to be to be about trying to determine what is the "power level" of PCs in combat... correct? but that is dependant on a number of things. Amoung those things would be the "power level" of the other PCs, the "power level" of the challange (enemies), the abilities of the other players and the abilities of the judge running the scenario. It is the only part of the equation that you really have much control over, but it is only a small part. You would have more control always playing for the same judge, with the same group of friends, and thus controlling some of the other parts of the equation (but where's the fun in that? then you're just back in a home game).

When I am sitting down at a table and meeting a group of PCs for the first time, I check to see if we have someone "built for combat". Does the team have the "Power Level" for this game? If not, I'll pull one out and I'll be the Combat Specialist. If there is one (or as often happens, three) why would I worry about it? It's the other guys JOB. It's what that player wants to SHINE doing... and so I select someone who does something else.

I played Race for the Rune Carved Key with a non-combat PC. I was in a huge ballroom, at one of 10 or 15 tables. When I sat down I asked the other players if they cared if we "bypassed most of the fights"... and with their agreement and help we did just exactly that. Our judge had to pause our game several times, once taking a half hour brake, so that we would not get too far ahead of the other tables - 'cause they were fighting thru all the encounters that we "talked" our way past (with rules). "get XXX from a group of armed men" - spells and diplomacy, a good bluff roll and the Mooks loaded XXX on a wagon for us and sent us on our way. "get YYY from a guarded villa" - A Face PC to distract the guards, and the rogues in the party slipped in the back and found out what we needed to know. Etc. All skill rolls done OUTSIDE OF COMBAT, using the rules, and with PCs built to do that.

"This thread has nothing to do with arguing about role playing vs roll playing." I was not saying it was! in fact, I was saying that there is roll playing outside of combat... For example, "I would like to avoid this fight, I have a 45 Diplomacy roll... can we avoid this?" is more of a Roll Playing stunt right? In fact, I have encountered Judges who respond to this sort of tactic with "I don't care what the rules say, your not going to ruin encounter!"... so yes, sometimes there is just going to be a fight. That's when I step asside so the player who builds PCs for that can step up and shine!

"As a player, I like my character to be only slightly taller than the bar." - why? As a player, I like my team to be taller than the bar, for ALL types of challanges. I don't care which of us defeats the challange - or even how it is done. If you have a PC that coverts all the enemy mooks into your mind slaves and sends them after the BBE - I'll see about buffing your thralls before the final fight. To do this, I don't need a +X to hit, or a save of +Y, I just need something that works...

"That's the fun free-form part where everyone just talks and the numbers on your character sheet don't matter that much. " - do you really beleave this? I ... can't even respond to this.

Those fights set a bar that every player must be able to overcome, otherwise you die and don't get to play the game. And I am trying to explain that this is not true! I have played them all (10 more scenarios left), many with PCs that most people would consider "non-combat viable". I have found that during combat, if you are not a drain on resources, and don't interfer with the Combat Specialist, anything you do to help him is gravy (as in it adds flavor). It's like the Gather Info roll we had to do to get here, the Knowledge roll to know what to bring (silver weapons?), the Disable Device roll to bypass the alarm (so we got a surprise round), and the healing to put things back together... all challanges, and not one is being addressed by checking "Power Level".

so... I'll just continue letting the guys who "play for the fight" have their fun. And I'll ensure they get it - and do it well. And not compete with them for the spotlight they have chosen... They can continue striving for the maximum in "Power Level", the ability to handle the part of the adventure they are here for... and I am not.

Hope that helps understand my position... But it's ok if you don't understand too.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Nosig, not every player has multiple characters at every tier to have the choice of a combat specialist a, a face and a healer.

Liberty's Edge 4/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nosig, not every player has multiple characters at every tier to have the choice of a combat specialist a, a face and a healer.

They don't?!

Silver Crusade 4/5

That is unfortunate.

Silver Crusade 4/5

Well, not everyone has a team like us.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

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Now I want to play this game with my character!

Quote:

Level 11

Attack Bonus +17
Average Attack Damage 45
AC 33
hp 87
Saving Throw Bonuses +10
Offensive Ability DC 27
High Skills +19

Rukk just hit level 11, so I'll use Fox's benchmarks.

Attack Bonus +19/+19/+19/+19 to hit, which jumps to a +21 when pouncing. (++)
Average Attack Damage 71. Assuming all four attacks hit, of course. He also only has the equivalent of a +2 weapon, so he rarely bypasses a creature's DR. (+)
AC 8 or 6 when charging. Rukk is built to take hits, not avoid them. (---)
HP 270ish when greater raging. Every possible way to maximize this number has been used in his build, so I'd hope it's well above recommended for his current level. (+++)
Saving Throw Bonuses +21/+2/+9 He's slow, but tough. This number be higher if he had a cloak of resistance but I like keeping that slot free--maybe someday he'll get those juggernaut pauldrons (+/-)
Offesnive Ability DC NA
High Skills +12 Intimidate, +12 Handle Animal, +8 Survival. Rukk doesn't do skills well... but he does have a smattering of trained knowledges as a +0-1, so that's something I suppose. (--)
Bottom Line He serves the frontline role I built him for very well, and has actually come in handy for dealing some damage now and then. Also, when he hits level 13 and picks up Raging Brutality, I imagine his damage number will jump up to the point where DR won't be as much of a hindrance.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Quote:
juggernaut pauldrons

I know what Kurik is picking up somewhere during Eyes of the Ten.

Silver Crusade 3/5

Walter: who needs a Reflex save with 270 hp?

The Exchange 5/5

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nosig, not every player has multiple characters at every tier to have the choice of a combat specialist a, a face and a healer.

Lol... I am trying to resist the flippant response... something like "why not" or "like some PCs only have one weapon?"

But that is the point of this thread right? to try to figure out what the "power level" requirements for ALL PCs is - what is the minimum to hit, AC, etc. that ALL PCs have to have?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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The Fox wrote:
Walter: who needs a Reflex save with 270 hp?

The target of create pit?

The Exchange 5/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Fox wrote:
Walter: who needs a Reflex save with 270 hp?

someone with no climb skill when the caster uses Acid Pit on him... "Wow! It's going to take a long time to digest this..."

;)

(doh! ninja'd by Jiggy!)

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Jiggy wrote:
The Fox wrote:
Walter: who needs a Reflex save with 270 hp?
The target of create pit?

That's more of a question for Bob Jounquet than Walter I think.

Silver Crusade 3/5

You guys don't think Rukk has a means to fly?

Even max damage on acid pit is 72. He has 270.

The Exchange 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Walter Sheppard wrote:

Now I want to play this game with my character!

Quote:

Level 11

Attack Bonus +17
Average Attack Damage 45
AC 33
hp 87
Saving Throw Bonuses +10
Offensive Ability DC 27
High Skills +19

Rukk just hit level 11, so I'll use Fox's benchmarks.

Attack Bonus +19/+19/+19/+19 to hit, which jumps to a +21 when pouncing. (++)
Average Attack Damage 71. Assuming all four attacks hit, of course. He also only has the equivalent of a +2 weapon, so he rarely bypasses a creature's DR. (+)
AC 8 or 6 when charging. Rukk is built to take hits, not avoid them. (---)
HP 270ish when greater raging. Every possible way to maximize this number has been used in his build, so I'd hope it's well above recommended for his current level. (+++)
Saving Throw Bonuses +21/+2/+9 He's slow, but tough. This number be higher if he had a cloak of resistance but I like keeping that slot free--maybe someday he'll get those juggernaut pauldrons (+/-)
Offesnive Ability DC NA
High Skills +12 Intimidate, +12 Handle Animal, +8 Survival. Rukk doesn't do skills well... but he does have a smattering of trained knowledges as a +0-1, so that's something I suppose. (--)
Bottom Line He serves the frontline role I built him for very well, and has actually come in handy for dealing some damage now and then. Also, when he hits level 13 and picks up Raging Brutality, I imagine his damage number will jump up to the point where DR won't be as much of a hindrance.

and we combine that with one of my "non-combat ready" PCs. I cast invisibility on my PC then each round after Rukk attacks I move next to him and use a wand of Vanish - giving things a 50% miss chance when they swing on him and each round he doesn't need to worry about AOOs when they have reach, he get's +2 to attack (invisible) and his first swing they don't get their dex to AC.

And we make Ruk shine even more! (pretty good for a "non-combat ready PC")

The Exchange 5/5

The Fox wrote:

You guys don't think Rukk has a means to fly?

Even max damage on acid pit is 72. He has 270.

wall of stone to cap it... and a second (and third) pit... Sorcerers get a bunch of spells at 11th level...

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Jiggy wrote:
The Fox wrote:
Walter: who needs a Reflex save with 270 hp?
The target of create pit?

I remember a time when not too long ago when Rukk was diving into create pit spells created by the party wizard, because that's where the enemies went.

The GM was nice enough to have the troll at the bottom take damage like Rukk was a falling object when he landed on him. Good times.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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The Fox wrote:
Walter: who needs a Reflex save with 270 hp?

Someone who doesn't want to be stuck in a forcecage.

Silver Crusade 3/5

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nosig, that is similar to my bard/cleric of Calistria that everyone here likes to play with. God forbid she get into a fight by herself, but her "lucky back rubs" (Luck domain Bit of Luck) are greatly appreciated by archers and barbarians throughout the Society.

Silver Crusade 4/5

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Bruno grapple monster creation chart.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
The Fox wrote:
Walter: who needs a Reflex save with 270 hp?
Someone who doesn't want to be stuck in a forcecage.

Boy that would suck. But most 7th level spells do.

Good thing he has that inherent 5% auto-succeed on saves that all characters do ;)

Shadow Lodge 4/5

I get where you're coming from nosig. And in a normal home game I would agree with you. But in organized play, it's possible to sit down at a table and descover that everyone has non-damage dealing ways of contributing to the fights, therefore you can't actually kill anything. It rare for this to happen and usually when it does, someone will swap out to play a different character. But not everyone who plays PFS has 8 characters.

this became a giant wall of text too =P:

I played the confirmation where the players were a debuffer witch, an enchanter sorcerer, a "support" druid, and a pro wrestler. We had lots of crowd control, but the only person that did damage in the party was the wrestler, and only on the 3rd round (grapple, pin, then damage). We had two tables of the game going, the other table finished two hours earlier than we did. It was a really fun game, but the fights took so long. I don't think we could have gotten away with a group like that in a 7-11 scenario.
The end fight was kind of terrifying. We got unlucky and the minotaur one shot the npc bard first round. We ended up all dog piling on the minotaur, wrestled it to the ground, tied it up and carried it back to Absalom as a trophy.

As for the whole out of combat not mattering. What I mean is that I don't think the rules for non-combat situations matter so much. Combat is pretty much rules with some tactical strategy. Out of combat is role playing with a smattering of rules to support it. The rules only support the roleplaying, but the rules are the combat.

With the aforementioned confirmation game, the biggest reason it was so much fun was that we sat around talking for two hours where no-one touched a single die. Yes, there are occasions where you can avoid fights with a skill roll, but imo unless we are running short of time, I'd rather play through the content instead of rolling one die and saying I win. Now if you roleplay through the confrontation, that's great. Just too often I see players who want to substitute one diplomacy roll for what should be a 20min encounter (weather that is roleplaying or combat). I'm also a big believer in creativity. There's more than one way to get around a challenge. I don't mean that having skills isn't important. I mean that you aren't forced to always take a certain skill set. You cant specialize in whatever you want and find ways to use those skills to overcome the obstacles you encounter. One player sneaks past, one bluffs and a third climbs the wall.

Also, these to hit numbers, ACs, etc. are mostly focusing on characters that rely upon weapons in combat. It's a lot harder to quantify for the varied nature of spell casting. The monster saves on that chart does give a good target to shoot for though.

Also, I don't mean to say it has to be your sword smacking the monster in the face for you to be contributing to defeating an encounter. There are other ways, like with buffs (bard song, haste, etc) you are vicariously dealing damage through your teammates and thus contributing your share. The only downside to that route is you are relying upon other players being able to take advantage of your abilities.

5/5 5/55/55/5

nosig wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nosig, not every player has multiple characters at every tier to have the choice of a combat specialist a, a face and a healer.
Lol... I am trying to resist the flippant response... something like "why not" or "like some PCs only have one weapon?"

Because you don't need to have been in PFS for a year to have multiple weapons. Some people (the ones MOST likely to look for advice like this) only have the one character, or have a few characters and none of them have made the break into the 7-11s. By the time someone can hide behind the pile of dead bards they already know the answer to this question.

Quote:
But that is the point of this thread right? to try to figure out what the "power level" requirements for ALL PCs is - what is the minimum to hit, AC, etc. that ALL PCs have to have?

Your assumption though is that you can be happy sitting at the minimum. That strategy is dangerous if you sit at a table where EVERYONE is doing the same thing. If you're playing through for the first time/going to the higher levels for the first time this is incredibly dangeous and you don't have an escape clause in the form of a back up character because its your first time playing at those levels.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

And if anyone feels like commenting on it. Here's the build I came up with for my gnomish tinkerer

Spoiler:

Alina Rosemay, Cheliax
gnome summoner 2

Init+4
S7 D16 C14 I14 W12 Ch14
AC 18 (+4armor +3dex +1size)
CMD 11 (+1BAB -1size -2str +3dex)
fort +2 (+0base +2con)
ref +3 (+0base +3dex)
will +4 (+3base +1wis) +2 will vs fear & despair, +2 vs illusions
hp 19

cmb -2
light xbow +6 (1d6/19-20)
PB +7 (1d6+1)
dagger +0 (1d3-2/19-20)

ride +8 (2r+3 +3dex)
perception +3 (+1wis+2gnome)
know engineering +6(1r+3+2int)
know local +6 (1r+3+2int)
disable device +11 (2r+3+3dex+2tools+1trait)
craft alchemy +8 (1r+3+2int+2gnome)
stealth +7 (+3dex +4size)
UMD +6 (1r+3+2cha)

pb shot
common, gnome, sylvan, draconic, dwarven
obsessive, keen senses, low light, illusion resistance
eternal hope +2 will vs fear & despair, re-roll a nat 1 on any d20 1/day
gnome magic: prestidigitation, dancing lights, ghost sound, speak with animals, +1 illusion dc
vagabond child +1 disable device & class skill, reactionary
cantrips, eidolon, life link, summon monster I, bond senses

spells per day: 3
concentration +4
0- detect magic, light, mage hand, mending, open/close
1- feather fall, rejeuvenate eidolon lesser, shield

mwk repeating heavy xbow, mwk light xbow, chain shirt, mwk thieves tools, dagger
Bronze Serpent (Eidolon)
serpentine
speed 20/climb 20
S13 D17 C13 I7 W10 Ch11
AC17 (+3 dex +4nat)
CMD 16(+2BAB +1str +3dex)
fort+1 (+0base +1con)
ref+6 (+3base +3dex)
wil+3 (+3base +0wis)
hp 14

bite (reach) +3 (1d6+1), tail slap -2 (1d6+1)
heavy reapeating xbow +6 (1d10/19-20)

acrobatics +10 (2r+3+3dex+2tail)
climb +14 (2r+3+1str+8racial)
perception +13 (2r+3+8racial)
swim +6 (2r+3+1str)

darkvision, link, share spells, evasion

exotic reapeating heavy xbow proficiency

evolutions:
bite, blimb, reach, tail, tail slap
mount, limbs arms, skilled perception

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Walter Sheppard wrote:
Good thing he has that inherent 5% auto-succeed on saves that all characters do ;)

And that inherent 5% auto-fail too.

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