pathfinder monsters that aren't fun for their CR


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Spook205 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
John John wrote:
issue here is the awesomeness of mass heal (and heal). It really is superior compared to other 9th level spells (except maybe miracle).

Cleric: Casts gate.

Solar: "S'up boss?"
Cleric: "First, heal,"
Solar: Casts mass heal.
Cleric: "Second, kill,"
Solar: *crackes knuckles*
Cleric: "Who wants popcorn?" :D

I'm amused that a cleric has to get to 11th level before becoming good at healing, then 17th level to become great at it, then it's suddenly so much better than everything else (it's really not >_>).

Point of order. Gate only calls a solar. Unless you're level 22, you can't command it.

Pathfinder PRD wrote:
If you choose to call a kind of creature instead of a known individual, you may call either a single creature or several creatures. In either case, their total HD cannot exceed twice your caster level. In the case of a single creature, you can control it if its HD does not exceed your caster level. A creature with more HD than your caster level can't be controlled
Not saying a solar wouldn't help you, but you don't direct it.

A core-only cleric will probably have a CL of 25 when he gates the solar because of his karma bead and ioun stone. At your option you can dump another 22,000 gp to keep the Solar around for 25 days of service, for a grand total of 32,000 gp. Which is again less than the treasure gained from a single CR 19 encounter on the slow progression. At which point you have a 20th level angel-cleric as your loyal retainer who can incidentally use any equipment you want to give him (what with his weapon and armor proficiencies) during his or her stay.


Ashiel wrote:
Ian Bell wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
110 hp is not really a big problem even without heals forthcoming. A full party will still be largely functional and ready to massacre the daemon.
True this. It's worth noting that a wizard with a +7 Con modifier should have about 72.5 base HP + 140 bonus HP = 212 HP. That's also not counting any spells like false life or vampiric touch.
We were talking about a level 17 party, not a level 20 one, I think (or at least I was before), and your expectations for stats are a little out of line with what I typically see at my table regardless.
What is in line at your table, and more importantly, why?

I find that in actual gameplay lots of inherent bonuses being tossed around is very rare, for one thing. My current party, close to level 18 now, is a paladin, an inquisitor, a hedge witch, and a non-spellcasting ranger. They have a lot of holes in their spell list, and this isn't really unusual for the groups I've been in. Pathfinder has a lot of classes that can handle each role, and when you've been playing for decades people tend to branch out rather than play another wizard in my experience.

Also, as groups hit the high end levels, they're also usually hitting the 'end' of the campaign and are feeling some time pressure due to story issues. This means that they tend to run out of time to spend on customized crafting, etc. Most of the time the last big downtime break people get when you're running an AP, for example, is before the last volume (if then), not during, and homebrew storylines usually accelerate to the end as well IME.

Combine these two things and I think the idea that people will be able to fully customize their gear to mostly be a myth, at least at my table and the tables I play at, outside of the occasional episodic rather than epic storyline.


Tacticslion wrote:

I have to say, in my experience, the higher the levels, the less likely "rocket tag" actually is.

At that point, I think it's less "they can do 300 damage a round" and more "what immunity do they NOT have that I can use to end this fight with a single failed save?".


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Ian Bell wrote:
I find that in actual gameplay lots of inherent bonuses being tossed around is very rare, for one thing. My current party, close to level 18 now, is a paladin, an inquisitor, a hedge witch, and a non-spellcasting ranger. They have a lot of holes in their spell list, and this isn't really unusual for the groups I've been in. Pathfinder has a lot of classes that can handle each role, and when you've been playing for decades people tend to branch out rather than play another wizard in my experience.

I'll agree PF has a lot of classes. I'm not really sure that they can fill the same roles however. At least, I know all the witch NPCs in reign of winter sure couldn't. :P

Quote:
Also, as groups hit the high end levels, they're also usually hitting the 'end' of the campaign and are feeling some time pressure due to story issues. This means that they tend to run out of time to spend on customized crafting, etc. Most of the time the last big downtime break people get when you're running an AP, for example, is before the last volume (if then), not during, and homebrew storylines usually accelerate to the end as well IME.

Seems kind of campaign specific but I've found that it doesn't take very long to cap out your magic items since you don't have to make them from scratch. Since you're likely using the same items you had way back at low levels, only slowly upgraded for price difference. I mean, sure a 36,000 gp magic item takes 36 days to craft from scratch, but if you've already got 25,000 gp worth of abilities, you only need to add 11,000 gp worth of abilities which is 11 days. You can speed up your crafting by increasing the DC by +5, resulting in about 6 days.

Given that 3/4's of your example group can craft magic items if they desired to, it's something that's definitely do-able. In a core game it's even more likely since the vast majority of core characters can craft magical items without the abomination that is Master Craftsman.

Quote:
Combine these two things and I think the idea that people will be able to fully customize their gear to mostly be a myth, at least at my table and the tables I play at, outside of the occasional episodic rather than epic storyline.

If a group of characters lack staples set out in core, it's their responsibility to make up for the difference. You technically don't need any magic items costing more than 16,000 gp to do well in the game, and a party with the 4 roles should be able to make up the difference with spells like greater magic weapon, magic vestment, and so forth in times of need (which just means buying or crafting low-level pearls of power).

Then there's the fact that you're expected to be able to find most any ol' magic item in a metropolis if it's worth less than 16,000.01 gp. So being able to purchase some emergency consumables should be a none-issue at that level, especially since you can use spells like greater teleport to travel around quickly.

And again, exactly how much rushing are you talking about? I mean unless you're completing an Adventure Path over a span of in-game days...

Day 1. Complete book 1.
Day 2. Complete book 2.
Day 3. Complete book 3.
Day 3.5. Complete book 4.
Day 4. Rest for once.

I guess this might be a table variance thing. I know in most of the campaigns that I've played in or GMed for, downtime is a thing. A rather major thing, in fact. It's usually when we get to do something other than stick swords in monsters. :P


Rise of the Runelords spoiler:

Spoiler:

Well to give just one example of how high-level adventures tend to throw a wrench into things, nearly the entire last book of RotR is located in an area where you can't easily travel via magic, and it covers a couple levels of progression. So greater teleporting here and there to buy gear or crafting materials becomes less of an option at that point; there's also the looming possibility that the badguy will finish his plan, and while the module basically leaves the timing of that up to the GM, the *players* don't know that. So given that they could be stranded for a couple days trying to get back via magic, they haven't taken the risk.

I ended up tossing an imprisoned mercane into the adventure just to give them one last opportunity to do a little shopping, but as the module is written they'd more or less be going from 15-18ish with little to no opportunity to do anything with their gear other than find stuff.


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Arbane the Terrible wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

I have to say, in my experience, the higher the levels, the less likely "rocket tag" actually is.

At that point, I think it's less "they can do 300 damage a round" and more "what immunity do they NOT have that I can use to end this fight with a single failed save?".

That's nice, but... meh? I keep hearing this, but improved great fortitude (and ~ lightning reflexes, and ~ iron will) all say "hi!" as well as the myriads of save-boosters, and other interesting things people've got.

I mean, yes, sure, if you only have a single boss with no back-up and terrible understanding of their own abilities and options, I'm sure it'll end pretty quickly. And sometimes at our table it does exactly that. But a lot less quickly than at low-level.

I mean, at low-level, you've got color spray. When that doesn't work, you've got charm person, sleep, shocking grasp, cause fear, and enlarge person - much worse than those, though, at the same level, you've got mage armor and infernal healing. Beyond that, glitterdust, a well-known combat-ending spell. That's as a wizard, of course - other casters have their own things.

But low-level combat is dangerous, deadly, and is, by nature, practically "rocket-tag".

By later levels, the immunities are nice, but not really as common as people seem to think. Don't get me wrong - there are a lot of immunities. They're just not quite as common as they're touted. And most of those that have lots of them (generally bosses) can be resolved with a dispel or disjuction effect.

The "end in one round" doesn't really tend to happen much (in my experience) with a goodly number of creatures played to their intelligence... unless a GM or players want it to happen that way.

I know for both my wife and I (and a number of my players, previously), at least, we feel an immense sense of relief whenever we hit level two, and an increasing "safety" thereafter, because of our increasing hp, increasing saves, and increasing options to keep ourselves alive.

EDIT: added quote for clarity


Ian Bell wrote:

Also, as groups hit the high end levels, they're also usually hitting the 'end' of the campaign and are feeling some time pressure due to story issues. This means that they tend to run out of time to spend on customized crafting, etc. Most of the time the last big downtime break people get when you're running an AP, for example, is before the last volume (if then), not during, and homebrew storylines usually accelerate to the end as well IME.

Combine these two things and I think the idea that people will be able to fully customize their gear to mostly be a myth, at least at my table and the tables I play at, outside of the occasional episodic rather than epic storyline.

I'm sorry, but this I do not understand. Of course, we all know that you having less time at the end depends on the campaign, I don't think you'd dispute that... but even so... how are you having LESS time in the end-game? Demiplanes man! DEMIPLANES!

Unless the entire 3rd act of the campaign is spent as a perpetual encounter, while running against a doomsday-clock, why not toss 2 greater demiplane spells down and make sure your stuff is in order? Aren't you about to save the world? Why go off half-cocked?

-Nearyn

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Arbane the Terrible wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

I have to say, in my experience, the higher the levels, the less likely "rocket tag" actually is.

At that point, I think it's less "they can do 300 damage a round" and more "what immunity do they NOT have that I can use to end this fight with a single failed save?".

I find the high levels become less rocket tag because the enemies don't have rockets, so it's just a question of 'when do the PCs obliterate this thing?'

Silver Crusade

Nearyn wrote:
Ian Bell wrote:

Also, as groups hit the high end levels, they're also usually hitting the 'end' of the campaign and are feeling some time pressure due to story issues. This means that they tend to run out of time to spend on customized crafting, etc. Most of the time the last big downtime break people get when you're running an AP, for example, is before the last volume (if then), not during, and homebrew storylines usually accelerate to the end as well IME.

Combine these two things and I think the idea that people will be able to fully customize their gear to mostly be a myth, at least at my table and the tables I play at, outside of the occasional episodic rather than epic storyline.

I'm sorry, but this I do not understand. Of course, we all know that you having less time at the end depends on the campaign, I don't think you'd dispute that... but even so... how are you having LESS time in the end-game? Demiplanes man! DEMIPLANES!

Unless the entire 3rd act of the campaign is spent as a perpetual encounter, while running against a doomsday-clock, why not toss 2 greater demiplane spells down and make sure your stuff is in order? Aren't you about to save the world? Why go off half-cocked?

-Nearyn

I always argue that DMs should maintain a pretty good tempo to avoid the warehouse wizard.

But. Folks.

*motions vaguely to the thread title*

We should be complaining about hamatulas and pugwampi and sea anemones and other crazy monsters.

You know, stuff like...

Erinyes who engage you on open terrain at level 7 with their flaming composite bows, at about range increment 2-3 and then greater teleport away when you start getting close to them.

Or

Naunet Proteans and their confusion tentacles.


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A monster that would not be fun... hummmmm... A Shining Child who'd taken the vital-strike feat chain?

-Nearyn

EDIT: I always argue that the line between "maintaining a pretty good tempo" and "subjecting your players to a constant case of 'fashionably late'-syndrome" is hair-fine. :P


Tacticslion wrote:

I have to say, in my experience, the higher the levels, the less likely "rocket tag" actually is.

At level one? One hit and I'm dead, you're dead, we're all dead.

At level twenty? Three sets of 110 damage, and two heal spells, and the battle continues.

(That and summons. My word, the summons.)

Rocket tag is not about killing in one hit, but fact that whoever goes first in combat either ends the fight in the first round or has it close enough to being over, that it is basically academic.

As an example you might take the barbarian's full round attack, but will your survive his full round attack coupled with a quickened ____ follows by an empowered maximized ______....


Nearyn wrote:

A monster that would not be fun... hummmmm... A Shining Child who'd taken the vital-strike feat chain?

-Nearyn

Add to that any of the one hit wonder monsters like the Ankylosaurus with a the Giant creature template(+0 CR) and good feat selection(namely improved natural attack + vital strike). +15 to hit for 3d6 -> 4d6 -> 4d6 -> 8d8 + 15 = 51 damage on average at CR6 when vital striking, and can move and attack without really losing any punch. The save or stun is just icing on the cake. A level 5 fighter with a 14 con is only going to have around 50 HP with a > 75% chance to fail the fortitude save and get stunned. His attack will basically one shot anyone who isn't a frontline fighter, and has a good chance to drop even a raging barbarian. Oh, yeah, don't forget the 20 foot reach...


wraithstrike wrote:
Rocket tag is not about killing in one hit, but fact that whoever goes first in combat either ends the fight in the first round or has it close enough to being over, that it is basically academic.

No, I get it. I really do. In my experience, however, it's usually the other way: quickened X plus empowered maximized Y, [enemy, often being healed by whatever and moving into bad positioning for the party], and then the barbarian (survived + healing from minions), and so on.

Added to all the summoned creatures, the allies and assistants, and more... no, it doesn't go that long.

Contingency, plus minions (or a well-developed party) covers a large multitude of sins.

The APs are often not built with this structure in mind.

The other end of the coin is all those folks who don't play an optimized game and don't focus on ending things quickly often end up well-balanced against the standard creatures.

The trick is that many optimize without realizing it. The GM's job is to adjust things (within the CR range) according to the group to make it fun. Whether that fun is rocket tag (it can be) or is not up to the group. But, as I said, the lower the level, the more rocket-tag-like it is.

wraithstrike wrote:
whoever goes first in combat either ends the fight in the first round or has it close enough to being over, that it is basically academic.

... is the very essence of low levels.


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I tend to find the number of rounds that go by goes down as level goes up but the time it takes to play out each round goes up more.

For my players the fill like they failed if their plan to take the bbeg has not reached completion before he acts. This happens sometimes and at those levels it usually means a PC dies or the BBEG runs for it. It is actually fun for us but then my PCs like to plan every thing out in advance and more then half the session can be spent on prep and tactics.

Our high level games are like shadowrun and that is okay but APs are not geared for that and take massive adjustment.

The rush to the end can make getting all those high level items and bonuses difficult. That can be good.


Charender wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

A monster that would not be fun... hummmmm... A Shining Child who'd taken the vital-strike feat chain?

-Nearyn

Add to that any of the one hit wonder monsters like the Ankylosaurus with a the Giant creature template(+0 CR) and good feat selection(namely improved natural attack + vital strike). +15 to hit for 3d6 -> 4d6 -> 4d6 -> 8d8 + 15 = 51 damage on average at CR6 when vital striking, and can move and attack without really losing any punch. The save or stun is just icing on the cake. A level 5 fighter with a 14 con is only going to have around 50 HP with a > 75% chance to fail the fortitude save and get stunned. His attack will basically one shot anyone who isn't a frontline fighter, and has a good chance to drop even a raging barbarian. Oh, yeah, don't forget the 20 foot reach...

Giant Creature is a +1 CR adjustment. Monster Advancement


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Mathius wrote:

I tend to find the number of rounds that go by goes down as level goes up but the time it takes to play out each round goes up more.

For my players the fill like they failed if their plan to take the bbeg has not reached completion before he acts. This happens sometimes and at those levels it usually means a PC dies or the BBEG runs for it. It is actually fun for us but then my PCs like to plan every thing out in advance and more then half the session can be spent on prep and tactics.

Our high level games are like shadowrun and that is okay but APs are not geared for that and take massive adjustment.

The rush to the end can make getting all those high level items and bonuses difficult. That can be good.

D&D: the game where three weeks of exploration takes 12 seconds and a 12 second combat takes three hours.

I can't remember where I heard that but I think it's a pretty apt description.


Mathius wrote:

I tend to find the number of rounds that go by goes down as level goes up but the time it takes to play out each round goes up more.

For my players the fill like they failed if their plan to take the bbeg has not reached completion before he acts. This happens sometimes and at those levels it usually means a PC dies or the BBEG runs for it. It is actually fun for us but then my PCs like to plan every thing out in advance and more then half the session can be spent on prep and tactics.

Our high level games are like shadowrun and that is okay but APs are not geared for that and take massive adjustment.

The rush to the end can make getting all those high level items and bonuses difficult. That can be good.

I think it definitely can be this way. I don't think it always is. Either can be good, depending on the group playing it. :)


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GURPS has it down to three seconds of combat in four hours...


Voadam wrote:
Charender wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

A monster that would not be fun... hummmmm... A Shining Child who'd taken the vital-strike feat chain?

-Nearyn

Add to that any of the one hit wonder monsters like the Ankylosaurus with a the Giant creature template(+0 CR) and good feat selection(namely improved natural attack + vital strike). +15 to hit for 3d6 -> 4d6 -> 4d6 -> 8d8 + 15 = 51 damage on average at CR6 when vital striking, and can move and attack without really losing any punch. The save or stun is just icing on the cake. A level 5 fighter with a 14 con is only going to have around 50 HP with a > 75% chance to fail the fortitude save and get stunned. His attack will basically one shot anyone who isn't a frontline fighter, and has a good chance to drop even a raging barbarian. Oh, yeah, don't forget the 20 foot reach...
Giant Creature is a +1 CR adjustment. Monster Advancement

Looks like it. Still, Even at a CR7, this creature is either a complete joke(heavy ranged party), or rocket tag(melee heavy party)


Tacticslion wrote:

... why would it cost 10k? In the end, I mean.

Gate.

I mean, yeah, it cost 10k to cast it, however, a solar has miracle as a listed prepared spell, and wish as a spell-like ability, along with 28 strength.

Fabricate to generate pretty much anything within the volume limits (spell-like abilities need no material components, hence... free stuff), and, should a GM arbitrarily shut that down by going outside the rules (which is, I'll note, a reasonable ruling, if a house ruling), miracle allows you true creation, which, with a wish for blood money, means 26 STR used for 13k value. His at-will lesser restoration and three-per-day heal means it's not really dangerous.

Of course half of 13 isn't 10, it's 7.5 - however, the cost is (at the end) driven down by 2.5k, making it less expensive. Of course, again, if you pay him 22k (grand total of 32k), you can net 7.5k value of stuff per day, meaning you pay for it in five days, and the remaining 12 days he's on-hand is pure 7.5k profit per day. (78k, by the way, or 7.8 castings of gate).

Incidentally, this is entirely non-hazardous for the reasons I mentioned, meaning that it could be argued (though a GM would be within their rights to deny) the idea that it's "non-hazardous" for the purposes of pay, meaning that it's only 500 g/HD or 11k. Again, however, that's subject to GM interpretation. (It's even less hazardous if you provide the lesser restoration and cure light wounds it'd take each day to...

That's part of the reason I place Gate in that dark place. The root of the problem is that spell like abilities ignore material components. In my houserules of 3.5 I had this removed and replaced it with a general "they either need to provide components or the spell like must be used in special ways like a glabrezus wish".


Continuing with tough monsters

Forgot to include ghouls in my last post.

Ghouls CR 1 3 attacks that cause paralysis, they are undead, +7 perception and stealth

Golem Clay CR 10 its dr 10/adamantine and bludgeoning, its cursed wounds need a dc 26 caster level check to be overcome has a free action tiny haste 1/day. Disintegrate can slow it.

Golem Ice CR 5 just because it has 5/adamantine

Golem wood CR 6 because it has dr 5/adamantine and once every 1d4+1 rounds in 20 ft burst as free action can deal 6d6 damage, dc 14.

Intellect devourer CR 8 scary only because it has stealth +29, invisibility, and wants to coup de grace you. In a real combat he can deal solid damage if he can use his sneak attack but nothing impressive. Still it has dr/ 10 adamantine and magic, sr 23, very impressive resistances, perception +19, initiative +10, cure moderate wounds and globe of invulnerability 3/day. He is treated like an outsider vs protection from evil.

Leech swarm CR 4 an aquatic swarm that automatically deals con and str damage and also poisons people.

Linnorm Crag CR 14 initiative+8, true seeing, regeneration 10 cold iron, freedom of movement, immunity to mind affecting spells, sr, has fly and swim speed, a poison that deals con drain, a strong breath weapon and combat reflexes with big reach. A big disadvantage is its intelligence of 5.

Dire Lion CR 5 it pounces, it grapples and it rakes.

Werewolfs and wererats CR 2 can be very hard to deal with if you haven't bought silver weapons.

Mites CR 1/4 only mentioned as enablers and directors for one of the most annoying creature types of all; swarms.

Morlock CR 2 ok this isn't that tough but still wanted to include it. Normal stats but with, +8 initiative, darkvision 120 ft, spider climb (in non smooth surfaces), Jump attack that doesn't provoke and ability to share space with others of its kind and count as flanking if it does, sneak attack 1d6 and +12 stealth. Has light blindness, but seems like an interesting monster to face.

Mummy CR 5 perception +16, stealth +11, will dc 16 1d4 rounds paralyzation aura, strong slam attack, dr 5/-, undead, mummy rot that has an onset of 1 minute and deals 1d6 and 1d6 cha damage. Thankfuly it has int 6 and you need to roll only once vs its aura.

Naga, Dark CR 8 perception+18, stealth +19, 7th level sorcerer casting, dc19 sleep poison, weak full attack and few hp. Spells include shield, cats grace and displacement.

Naga, Guardian CR 10 perception +23, 9th level sorcerer/cleric casting, strong poison that may be delivered by a ranged touch attack. Spells included mage armor, divine favor, greater invisibility and divine power.

Neothelid CR 15 maybe I shouldn't include it but it can be pretty dangerous, blindsight 100ft, strong acid breath weapon, dc 25 will save or -1 hp, even if you save become sickened for one round (and probably target of his quickened confusion) and take 6d6 hp. Its a sucky flyer, has 20 ft reach, can grabble and swallow whole, teleport and it can follow creatures teleporting away with its own teleport.

Nymph CR 7 dc 21 permanent blindness if you look at her, can target a creature with a dc 21 stun for 2d4 rounds, 7th level druid casting that includes barkskin (for ac 26) and summons nature ally IV, 1/day dimenison door, excellent saves, dr 10/ cold iron. Extremely weak full attack.

Ochre jelly CR 5 very alike the black pudding, and dangerous for the same reasons

Orc CR 1/3 has a +4 (2d4+4/18-20) attack and only 6 hp but with a con 12 ferocity.

Phase spider CR 5 these can be hard to deal with, even with readied actions, they have a a strong attack and poison. Also have grab and strong grapple but it doesn't combine with their tactics.

Phoenix CR 15 init+11, see invisibility, perception +37, has regeneration, sr, reach 20 with combat reflexes, greater dispel magic at CL 18 and 3/day quickened wall of fire, firestorm and heal. The real kicker though is it can self ressurect once per year. Full attack seems weak but improved critical, critical focus and blinding critical buff it up a bit. Of course this will normally mean that it will flee combat after you it dies.

I am thinking maybe there should be sth like a guide with the strongest monsters in the bestiaries. Maybe even split into very hard, hard and tough categories.


Not sure if it's been mentioned before, but burning skeletons are rather frightening for a low level party. No save fire aura, and they explode when killed. DR 5/bludgeoning makes them hard to dispatch from range. Hope you brought a channeling cleric...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kryptik wrote:
Not sure if it's been mentioned before, but burning skeletons are rather frightening for a low level party. No save fire aura, and they explode when killed. DR 5/bludgeoning makes them hard to dispatch from range. Hope you brought a channeling cleric...

A rare QFT from me.

Reign of Winter spoilers:
The "freezing skeletons" in the hunting lodge during Snows of Summer (same things, but with cold damage instead of fire) were very nearly responsible for a TPK when I played through it. Get caught between a couple of them and see how long a 1st level character lasts - because it's not like the burning/freezing aura stops hitting you just because you fell down...


On topic:

Basically anything that hits reasonably hard with a x4 crit weapon, which I feel like Paizo has a history of over-representing on boss monsters in their adventures. The random splat factor really adds nothing fun to an encounter. It doesn't make monsters harder or more challenging really, and doesn't do much for combat tension, just makes things more random in a way that can be really adventure-derailing.


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Most of the monsters on this list are OP! :P


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I'm sure specters have already been mentioned on this list, but after an encounter with 2 of them, a 10th level necromancer, a CR10 anti-paladin, and a bunch of wights my Monk 2 / Dirty Fighter 8 can think of little else besides how to raise his incorporeal touch AC (and maybe his poor Will save). Taking 2 negative levels every time you get hit by a monster you can only do half damage to does not produce a fun feeling, especially when those negative levels start making you fail a lot of saving throws. My PC survived but now has to limp out of the dungeon with a -6 on most rolls. That might make the Fort saves to get rid of the negative levels pretty tough, and if I fail those I'll need to make a pilgrimage to someplace with a powerful Cleric and pay lots of gold (plus maybe agree to some quest) to get those levels back. Ouch!!!

@Ian Bell - I have to disagree with your assessment of potentially PC ending crit capabilities on a boss monster. My groups all play with the Crit Deck, and folks tend to feel a little more tension when they know that getting critted by the big boss could end their night right then and there. I personally don't like challenging encounters as a player and prefer to just breeze through adventures roleplaying and talking in funny voices, but there really is a certain thrill that comes with facing sudden death (or at least sudden 2 hero point loss)


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Leech Swarms... CR 4 my ass!

Pretty much every aquatic creature can be freaking terrifying in their natural environment.


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Just cast Burning Hands on that leech swarm...oh...right...ouch...

Well, maybe pour some acid on them...or...uh...I know, Lightning Bolt...except you don't have it yet...hmm...

Don't enter water until you're at least 5th level!


Can't believe I forgot Nabasu demons.

Nabasu are terrifying for their CR.


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Lemmy wrote:
Pretty much every aquatic creature can be freaking terrifying in their natural environment.

Amen. :P

The Exchange

This thread makes me wonder why anyone would adventure ever!

Back in 3.5, the humble house cat was one of the deadliest creatures alive!

@Lemmy, salt kills leaches. If you're going swamping or water exploring, buy a bag of salt and throw it into that swarm. As DM i'd give it the same impact as a alchemist fire. But then I'm not your DM.

@Devilkiller, mage armour works agains incorporeal attacks. Its a force effect.


I know about Mage Armor, and I'll probably buy the party Witch a 1st level Pearl of Power when I'm able and maybe pitch in a little gold for a Lesser Rod of Extend Spell too. I've got my UMD modifier up to +11, so it shouldn't be long before using low level wands like Shield during combat becomes more practical.

We've been a little short on gold so far, and magic items aren't always readily available for purchase. I also need to make some investments to help cover my Will save since my PC has turned on the party at least 3 times so far in the campaign. That probably sounds pretty terrible, but we have a TWF Ninja with an even worse Will save than mine. The 3rd PC is a Barbarian 2 / Scarred Witch Doctor 8 with a Charisma of 5, and she's mute. We have some problems from time to time...


Devilkiller wrote:


@Ian Bell - I have to disagree with your assessment of potentially PC ending crit capabilities on a boss monster. My groups all play with the Crit Deck, and folks tend to feel a little more tension when they know that getting critted by the big boss could end their night right then and there. I personally don't like challenging encounters as a player and prefer to just breeze through adventures roleplaying and talking in funny voices, but there really is a certain thrill that comes with facing sudden death (or at least sudden 2 hero point loss)

The Crit Deck makes crits a bit less deadly overall, in my experience, especially for the x4 guys, so I'm not too surprised that your results have been different.


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Any incorporeal creature fought underwater. We met 3 spectres in a sunken ship recently. Having most of your melee doing one quarter damage means it takes a long time to down them.

Dark Archive

I have always hated stirges. One particularly 'fun' campaign basically ended on account of a small group of stirges. We were a well made 5th level party and got ambushed. It wouldn't have been too bad, myself or the wizard were planning to AOE everyone to kill them and then I could have healed us. Except one triple 20'd my undead lord cleric and unleashed my 4 burning/bloody hell hound skeletons On the party Before either of us got a turn. The paladin smited one of the skeletons.....they in turn ate him. The bard fled the fight but was chased down also also eaten. The Wizard reversed his plan to Fireball and instead shadow stepped away. My xx number of burning bloody hobgoblin skeletons wiped the village I had left them to protect also....... so the wizard went to another town....found a Tavern.....and 3 new heroes joined hiM on his quest to go loot 3 dead level 5 characters bodies ;)

Also well made npc enemies with class levels make terrifying opponents for their CR. Some of that is for how most monsters add 1/2 class levels to cr even if it adds something crazy.

Ex. Succubus Antipaladin 2. Succubus sorcerer 1+. Juju zombie xx anything.....

Also any enemy using a spellstoring weapon and true strike.

Sovereign Court

Meh - any character with a solid dex and combat reflexes is practically invulnerable to stirges unless there are a dozen+. They have to get in your square to attack you - so you get an AOO.


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Wrath wrote:
@Lemmy, salt kills leaches. If you're going swamping or water exploring, buy a bag of salt and throw it into that swarm. As DM i'd give it the same impact as a alchemist fire. But then I'm not your DM..

Yeah... I don't see any of my GMs letting me get away with that. Nor would I let my players do it. How much salt do you need in order to successfully to deal damage to creatures that are submersed on water? I know it's supposed to work, but... How do you throw salt at creatures underwater?

But even if it did work... Every round you're dealing 1d6 "salt damage", the swarm is causing 1d3 points of Str and Con damage to everyone in the area... Yikes.

If the swarm is on dry land... Well, then the point is moot. You can just walk around it, have a picnic, paint a fence, do some house gardening and then leave before it catches up to you.


shadows, stirges, leeches and the like require very specialized investments of resources few level appropriate parties are going to have to have the resources to afford in a game that disallows the purchase of partially charged wands or disallows the crafting of cheap low level consumables

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Salt's real effect on a leech swarm would be to 'break up' the swarm, as all the leeches scatter in different directions to get out of the salty water before they die.

Not sure how you'd rule that, though.

==Aelryinth


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Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
shadows, stirges, leeches and the like require very specialized investments of resources few level appropriate parties are going to have to have the resources to afford in a game that disallows the purchase of partially charged wands or disallows the crafting of cheap low level consumables

I'm concerned about pointing this out but I feel like I must.

Potions of magic weapon at 50 gp. Potions of lesser restoration are 50 gp. Potions of delay poison are 50 gp. Most parties can afford a couple pre-2nd level. They're also commonly available in every community (from thorpe to metropolis).

This game is hard but it's not quite as hateful as it could be. :)


Potions of lesser resto are 150, not 50.

Don't say "b b b but paladins though"


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CWheezy wrote:

Potions of lesser resto are 150, not 50.

Don't say "b b b but paladins though"

To bad. But Paladins. They have the lowest caster/spell level and thus they're priced at 50 gp. Not exactly unfairly either since it's 50 gp to restore 1d4 damage to a single ability score. They're like CLWs for shadows.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Costs of potion are by caster, not by lowest cost maker. THus, only potions made by Paladins are going to cost that. Potions are actually variable depending on the maker!

Thus, the 300 gp is probably the better price, since there will be very, very few paladin brewer-casters, and they'll likely sell at the higher price point since there's no reason not to. If they don't, then the merchants will buy up the potions and resell them at the higher rate themselves, as caster level has no effect on lesser restoration.

Meh. It's more likely a paladin potion maker will sell cheap to friends and associates, and then at market rates to anyone else. It's not like its a high demand item outside the adventurer set.

==Aelryinth


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Aelryinth wrote:
Thus, the 300 gp is probably the better price, since there will be very, very few paladin brewer-casters

I'd like a rules citation saying how few Paladin brewer-casters there are.


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Aelryinth wrote:

Costs of potion are by caster, not by lowest cost maker. THus, only potions made by Paladins are going to cost that. Potions are actually variable depending on the maker!

Thus, the 300 gp is probably the better price, since there will be very, very few paladin brewer-casters, and they'll likely sell at the higher price point since there's no reason not to. If they don't, then the merchants will buy up the potions and resell them at the higher rate themselves, as caster level has no effect on lesser restoration.

Meh. It's more likely a paladin potion maker will sell cheap to friends and associates, and then at market rates to anyone else. It's not like its a high demand item outside the adventurer set.

==Aelryinth

paladins probably brew potions and craft wands as a means to sell affordable magic to the public in a form the impoverished can easily afford, with the ulterior motive they use the funds from their cheap lesser restorations in preparation for fighting evil.

Shadow Lodge

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Lemmy wrote:
Wrath wrote:
@Lemmy, salt kills leaches. If you're going swamping or water exploring, buy a bag of salt and throw it into that swarm. As DM i'd give it the same impact as a alchemist fire. But then I'm not your DM..
Yeah... I don't see any of my GMs letting me get away with that. Nor would I let my players do it. How much salt do you need in order to successfully to deal damage to creatures that are submersed on water? I know it's supposed to work, but... How do you throw salt at creatures underwater?

It's in the stat block.

Leech Swarm
Weaknesses: susceptible to salt (see giant leech)

Susceptible to Salt (Ex)
A handful of salt burns a giant leech as if it were a flask of acid, causing 1d6 points of damage per use.


Paladins taking Brew Potion and Craft Wand is a good argument in defense of all those monsters that are "too easy" for their CR. :P


Weirdo wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Wrath wrote:
@Lemmy, salt kills leaches. If you're going swamping or water exploring, buy a bag of salt and throw it into that swarm. As DM i'd give it the same impact as a alchemist fire. But then I'm not your DM..
Yeah... I don't see any of my GMs letting me get away with that. Nor would I let my players do it. How much salt do you need in order to successfully to deal damage to creatures that are submersed on water? I know it's supposed to work, but... How do you throw salt at creatures underwater?

It's in the stat block.

Leech Swarm
Weaknesses: susceptible to salt (see giant leech)

Susceptible to Salt (Ex)
A handful of salt burns a giant leech as if it were a flask of acid, causing 1d6 points of damage per use.

I know. But how do you throw salt at something that is underwater?

The Exchange

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Lemmy wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Wrath wrote:
@Lemmy, salt kills leaches. If you're going swamping or water exploring, buy a bag of salt and throw it into that swarm. As DM i'd give it the same impact as a alchemist fire. But then I'm not your DM..
Yeah... I don't see any of my GMs letting me get away with that. Nor would I let my players do it. How much salt do you need in order to successfully to deal damage to creatures that are submersed on water? I know it's supposed to work, but... How do you throw salt at creatures underwater?

It's in the stat block.

Leech Swarm
Weaknesses: susceptible to salt (see giant leech)

Susceptible to Salt (Ex)
A handful of salt burns a giant leech as if it were a flask of acid, causing 1d6 points of damage per use.

I know. But how do you throw salt at something that is underwater?

Rock salt, bag of salt poured out on surface, bag of salt that breaks on impact, if surrounded by leaches then pour salt around you while you're in water, summon salt using presdidigitation, summon salt with a food cantrips, summon a saltwater water elemental.


Rabbiteconomist wrote:

The Remorhaz. It's CR 7, but they can easily TPK an unprepared party. Huge, immune to fire and cold, causes 8d6 fire damage when touched (once it's angry - not hard), DC 19 fort save to avoid your weapon taking for damage, swallow whole (2d6+9+8d6 fire), CMB+21 grapple. The person who gets bit/swallowed first need to hold on while the party kills it - super rough.

This monster has inspired terror in my parties for years. That's why I made intelligent spellcasting civilisation-building versions for my homebrew. *evil laughter*

Edit:forgot the 20 ft burrow speed and tremorsense. They get the drop on pc's, pretty much guaranteed. They suck to fight.

Remorhaz's and a few other monsters are DM tools for punishing parties. Rust monsters are often too obvious. Behir are in this category too.

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