pathfinder monsters that aren't fun for their CR


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

151 to 200 of 661 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Serum wrote:
John John wrote:
Ashiel if you look at everything from an optimizers perspective the higher you go at levels, the more optimizing is possible, the strongest the monsters must become, which in turn requires everyone to optimize, which in turn turns everything in nuclear weapon rocket tag. Not everyone enjoys nuclear weapon rocket tag.
Ashiel generally argues that if the PC party is competent, the game doesn't turn into rocket tag, regardless of what the DM throws at the PCs.

Damn skippy! >:D


12 people marked this as a favorite.
John John wrote:
This thread should focus on creatures as printed by paizo, if you start adding levels to things or if you start optimizing levels added to stuff monsters become ridiculous pretty easy, even making sure every dragon has mage armor, shield, heroism etc makes for under cred monsters. Maybe a different thread could focus on ways to optimize monsters.

That's be a pretty cool thread as long as the goal was clearly noted to optimize them for gameplay, not make "CR 5" pit fiends (Stringburka rules all :P).

Quote:
Ashiel if you look at everything from an optimizers perspective the higher you go at levels, the more optimizing is possible, the strongest the monsters must become, which in turn requires everyone to optimize, which in turn turns everything in nuclear weapon rocket tag. Not everyone enjoys nuclear weapon rocket tag.

Yeah, I sure don't. Fortunately high levels largely rail against rocket tag (outside of mythic because mythic is stupid). The sheer amount of defense that you can squeeze into a PC at high levels is astounding, and monsters aren't too far behind (many having the effects of many staple magic items like energy resistances baked in).

When I see someone complaining about rocket tag, I see someone who doesn't know how to optimize. If you're throwing all you have into offense, you're going to get roflstomped by any decent encounter and/or character who's invested into defense.

Quote:

Regarding Cthulu it depends on wether you optimize with the mythic rules, if you use foebane, mythic power attack and so on it would be easy for the 20/10 mythic fighter to one shot anything especially when supported from other optimized pc's.

That said I think as a monster Cthulu is amazing and interesting if you look at its abilities and tactics, it just near impossible to create sth that challenges an optimized 20/10 party without it having crazy numbers.

Mythic rules are dumb. That aside, no, Cthulu really isn't that interesting. What exactly makes him special? Tentacles? No. A save or die aura? Eh, maybe? A smattering of SLAs? They're not really anything special. Greater starflight? It has greater teleport (anywhere on the same plane of existence) at will (so it's redundant and not really interesting anyway).

Cthulu is just a brute. And not even an interesting brute. He exemplifies my biggest beef with overly high CR enemies and such. It's almost all just big numbers, never anything that really screams "I'm awesome!", never anything worth godlike-quality, never anything that is really going to change the way you fight it. Cthulu is dealt with in the following fashion: "Throw your martial at it". The end.

It's not even worth it's CR. You can ****ing tank it's full attack at 20th level on a competent martial and he can't grab you either (freedom of movement and yes it's a staple). A 20th level martial can survive its full attack for several rounds without much issue (assuming the odd heal / mass heal thrown in to take care of the odd chip damage). The only thing that makes it scary is the DCs on its abilities are really high for 20th level PCs to have to deal with. As for it actually being an interesting monster that promotes an interesting encounter...it fails miserably.

If you're going to be greater than CR 23, you'd better do something that's going to change the way a party approaches you. You need to be the equivalent of a small roving band of pit fiends or a pair of solars or god forbid...CR 30 man, that's supposed to be equivalent to 12 Solars. Do you realize how ridiculous that is? 12 Solars! A solar is effectively a god in its own right (by any rational definition of godlike).

This was the problem with the Deities and Demigods book back in 3.0. Lots of big numbers and lots more suuuuck. If you want to drop in a CR 25+ creature, by golly give me something like this:

A Long Time Ago, on a Thread Far Far Away:
Ashiel wrote:

On a side note, Hecate was my favorite patron goddess in Age of Mythologies: Titans. What amuses me the most about the rebuttal is that it seemed to strike a nerve. What amuses me more is the fact that, again, forcing the deity to flee or waste actions swatting gnats. Since the deity in the statblock had no special sensory abilities listed, simply flying through the ground until in roughly the correct area would pretty much allow them to swarm her. Being incorporeal means that you can get attacked in 3 dimensions from every possible angle. Only six need to strike her to kill her, statistically. It's kind of funny, actually.

Really, her statistics are inflated and for seemingly no reason. She's not scary, she's not interesting, and she's not very special, except she has big numbers. Big numbers mean very little in the grand scheme of things. I'd much rather see a CR 25 deity that was competent and could shirk such paltry attempts at deicide as laughable (in much the same way that a carpet bombing of shadows is not a serious threat to a good party of high level PCs). The shadow scheme wouldn't function vs a Solar (a creature that would assuredly be worshiped as a god in reality), yet it would force that "Hecate" into fleeing the scene at least to keep from dying to a buncha CR 3 enemies. It's "lolzy". :P

If you're going to give deities deity-specific powers, at least make them interesting. Not much is more boring than "Harhar, I haz more numbers than j00". I'd much rather see a "Hecate" that was more along the lines of a CR 25 creature, except perhaps with more interesting abilities such as:

Trivia Form (Su): As a move action Hecate can create two copies of herself: Hecate of the Past and Hecate of the Future. These copies are identical to Hecate except that they lack this ability and have two negative levels (these negative levels cannot be removed in any way). While the copies exist Hecate gains two negative levels which cannot be removed until the copies are destroyed or she dismisses them (as a free action). Hecate and her copies all share the same mind. Mind-affecting effects that affect one affects the others, though this state grants a +6 bonus on Will saving throws against mind-affecting effects. At any time (even when it is not her turn) Hecate can choose one of her copies to become the real Hecate (instead of a copy) and her original body to be treated as a copy instead (allowing her to dismiss it as desired). Though this ability is a supernatural one, the copies are not (nor is the option to allow a copy to become the real Hecate) and thus they continue to exist where supernatural abilities do not function (such as in an antimagic field).

Hounds of Hecate (Su): Once per round as a free action, Hecate can summon a pack of hounds to her aid as if by a summon monster spell except that the range is long (400 ft. +40 ft. / level) and she may summon as many as she likes as long as their combined experience value is CR 16 or less (for example, Hecate could summon eight CR 9 Nessian Hell Hounds or one CR 16 26 HD huge nessian hell hound). The type of hounds that Hecate can summon with this ability are Hell Hounds, dogs, riding dogs, wolves, dire wolves, worgs, and winter wolves (and advanced versions of any of these). She typically favors calling two CR 14 22 HD nessian hell hounds each round.

Paired Torches (Su): Hecate has two torches that hover around her. One a white flame casting a powerful light radius and another a black flame that fills an area with darkness. The light torch functions as if under the effects of a 9th level continual flame spell while the darkness torch functions as if under the effects of a 9th level deeper darkness spell. Once each round as a free action Hecate can decide which of the two torches is dominant (light or dark). In either case Hecate can see in the radius of these torches as if under the effects of true seeing. Hecate may dismiss or recall these torches as a free action (even if the torches have been destroyed).

Robe of Spells (Su): Hecate is empowered by her magic in ways that others cannot fully comprehend. Hecate gains a circumstance bonus to all attacks, saves, and checks equal to the highest level spell she can cast (typically a +9 bonus, included in her statblock). If Hecate would fail a saving throw she may expend a spell or unused spell slot to re-roll the saving throw with a bonus equal to the level of the expended spell or spell slot.

Limitless Magic (Ex): Hecate can any 1st through 6th level spell she has prepared at-will as a spell-like ability, and any 7th-9th level spell she has prepared 3/day as a spell-like ability. Hecate may apply the benefits of feats that modify spell-like abilities (such as Quicken Spell-like Ability) to new spell-like abilities each day.

^ The above special powers on a CR 23-25 creature would be WAAAAAAY more interesting (both from a stylistic perspective and for a battle) than bigger numbers. Assuming she had theurgic casting between druid and wizard spells (which would be appropriate for Hecate) then she would be wickedly versatile, flood the field with minions each round on the round (possibly requiring people to continue to dismiss or wipe her trash mobs each round to avoid getting overcrowded), and she has some powerful defensive abilities, and can split herself into three of her (literally tripling her action economy at the cost of 2 negative levels).


Ashiel. I don't know if I'll be able to use that any time in the next several years. But at some point I'm stealing that Hecate.

And now I'm going to play Age of Mythology. Hecate was indeed the best Mythic Age goddess for Atlanteans.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
kestral287 wrote:

Ashiel. I don't know if I'll be able to use that any time in the next several years. But at some point I'm stealing that Hecate.

And now I'm going to play Age of Mythology. Hecate was indeed the best Mythic Age goddess for Atlanteans.

PM me sometime and I'll toss ya my Steam ID. I've got Age of Mythologies on Steam recently. Maybe we can play sometime when I'm not busy with work, writing, D&D/PF, or modding. :)

Also, glad you liked that. It was born out of a need for an example of what I was talking about. D&D/PF is good on top-end power. Wizards are literally gods by 20th level so we really don't need bigger and bigger numbers. However, for truly incredible individuals, we need to think about how we want the encounter to go as we create them. When I wrote the stuff for Hecate, I was visualizing how a battle with such a being would go and how it would play, and I was getting excited. :o

If I were to do something with Cthulu, I'd probably really try to play up the madness and horror aspects with aberrations, illusions, and phantasms all over the place, and try to come up with some abilities that represented the idea of a warped reality. Of course I'd also peg him around CR 25-ish and try to make him less of a chump. >_>


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Cthulhu got is ass kicked by a boat being rammed into him and went back into his hole to take a nap and lick his wounds. CR 30 is insanity for statting him up, and I think 25 is still overkill.


That was clearly in a low-magic campaign.


countchocula wrote:
err back to the topic vargouilles I hate them with a passion flying a medium to hit that has an annoying poison a evil scream and hopefully it never kisses you

Ooohhh yeah. My group (of three adventurers) came one failed save away from a TPK from _one_ of these things. (edit: AND a swarm of some sort of OTHER evil flying heads) That was scary.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Mighty Khan wrote:

Vampire template. +2 CR to any living creature with 5HD. Pick a base creature with more than one natural attack, preferably with naturally low Con and high Cha.

Example: Wyrmling Sea Dragon

You end up with a CR 6 with great saves, 27 AC, and 3 Energy Drain attacks at +10. Energy Drain only triggers once a round, but at least one of those 3 attacks is bound to hit each round for 2 negative levels and decent damage.

I once built little girl Changeling Vampire triplets all named Suzy. They were a Ninja, a Freebooter Ranger, and a Sensei Monk, each with two claw attacks. They were wonderfully creepy and almost TPK'd. The Freebooter would pick a PC for her bane and they'd say

"Kill that one, Suzy!"
"Sounds good, Suzy!"
"Let's get him, Suzy!"

The Ninja would use Vanishing Trick and they'd say

"Where's Suzy?"
"You'll see, Suzy!"

Dotted. For, , , reasons.


Regarding cthulu, I am not sure if his numbers are ok because I haven't created any 20/10 mythic characters to see how their numbers stack up even if you avoid using obviously broken stuff.

But is really cthulu just a brute?

Awesomeness wise I really like the fact that you are punished if you use true seeing by becoming insane. Also if he dies and you are within 40 ft of it you have to make a fortitude dc 45 save or become nauseated for as long as you remain in the area+1d10 rounds, in 2d6 rounds cthulu appears again and you have to destroy him within 2d6 rounds (in which he is staggered) of his appearance or he resurrects again and again and again. I can imagine a party that doesn't know about these effects would have problems dealing with them. (Again I know you could just meteor swarm him or full attack him for 2000 damage but that's some wierdness from mythic rules.)

Tactics wise Cthulu has also mythic wish which helps a lot. Mythic control weather might be useful against archers, though easily dealt with a Disjunction it is an at will Thunderstorm or Fog. He can also choose any target within his 300ft telepathy for a DC 40 insanity or insane effect and has a 30 caster level greater dispel magic.

Also if he power attacks and all his attack hit (at +35 attack bonus) he deals 366 damage on average ( I assumed tentacles powerful blows also affects power attack), easily enough to kill a 20 level fighter. Note I don't take into account criticals.

Regarding star flight I have no idea if it can be replaced by greater teleport. I guess he has star flight for clarity reasons since greater teleport is kinda confusing when applied to interplanetary travel, or at least it is now Interplaneary teleport exists.

I really think paizo's “mistake” isn't making high 25+ CR creatures boring but making some mythic abilities unbalanced.


Goblins.

"Whaaaaaaaa?" you may say. It's not just goblins, but low-level combat drags when enemies are way above target AC.

By the guidelines in the Bestiary, goblins should be around AC 11. Instead, because they're built as characters, it's 16.

More on tone with the rest of the thread: CR 5 skavelings with their area of effect stun and paralysis fly-by attack. I hope you don't like taking actions.

Cheers!
Landon


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Goblins: the stealthy murderers of unholy doom, by Ashiel.


Ashiel wrote:


When I see someone complaining about rocket tag, I see someone who doesn't know how to optimize. If you're throwing all you have into offense, you're going to get roflstomped by any decent encounter and/or character who's invested into defense.

Optimizing brings to mind offensive monsters like Musketmaster Gunslingers, Guide ranger archers, Dazing spell and Icy Prison. I guess there are broken choices from a defensive point of view Scarred Witch, Oracle divine grace feat or Imrpoved Stalwart with Invulnerable rager. But picking a from the offensive options doesn't necessary mean you have a weak offense. The rocket tag happens when the dm is forced to throw higher and higher cr monsters to keep things challenging, which beyond making xp aquisition faster thus putting a pressure on the pace of the story is dangerous in the sense that higher Cr monsters vs optimized parties make more wonky and swingy battles than normal. The other solution of building the monsters or npc's takes lots and lots of time, and begs the question why not less optimizing from the players and more time for the dm?

Its more complex than that actually, and the kind of optimizing is improtant. Its ok in my games to play a greatsword beast totem invulnerable rager barbarian (though just barely) , but not the same with superstitious and improved stalwart.
I know this seems like I don't allow for defensive optimizing but that's just an example. It has nothing to do with superstitious and stalwart being defensive abilities.


I think that the baobhan sith from kingmaker (2 or 3) is dumb. She has an aoe daze effect that can not be broken except by killing her. And it is a DC 19 will save on a CR 6 creature.

Our whole party failed the save, then blew two hero points each to get +8 and a reroll. The paladin still failed her save both times (a 1 on the reroll I think). It was a really hard fight.

Sovereign Court

That baobhan sith looks like a typical Frog God Games monster; slightly broken. If you replaces "dazed" with "fascinated" it'd be a perfectly reasonable monster, because fascination breaks when attacked (but not when allies are attacked).


The Baobhan Sith (I always thought it was Sidhe before following the link) really was a painful encounter. Anything which hits the entire party with a SoL effect like that can easily cause a TPK. Of course some folks like TPKs. I guess those of us who don’t can use hero points, but I’d rather see more SoL effects nerfed anyhow. Offering a new save every round or starting after a number of rounds would iron out a lot of the problems IMO. In our games we’ve recently started offering new saves on the Fear spell to reduce the condition to shaken. That way you run for a few rounds and come back debuffed instead of just cowering and dying.

I thought Mythic would probably be pretty stupid, but the one Mythic game I’m involved in hasn’t been marked by excessive PC power levels so far. Then again, we’re only 2nd mythic tier at 8th level, so maybe time will tell. My impression so far has been that Mythic gives more of a boost to martial PCs though perhaps that’s just because our party doesn’t have any full casters. I doubt we’ll fight Cthulhu though the fact we have a couple of Viking themed PCs in the game does mean we tend to spend some time at sea.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
John John wrote:
Optimizing brings to mind offensive monsters like Musketmaster Gunslingers, Guide ranger archers, Dazing spell and Icy Prison. I guess there are broken choices from a defensive point of view Scarred Witch, Oracle divine grace feat or Imrpoved Stalwart with Invulnerable rager. But picking a from the offensive options doesn't necessary mean you have a weak offense. The rocket tag happens when the dm is forced to throw higher and higher cr monsters to keep things challenging, which beyond making xp aquisition faster thus putting a pressure on the pace of the story is dangerous in the sense that higher Cr monsters vs optimized parties make more wonky and swingy battles than normal.

On Offense: Pathfinder characters are geared towards offense naturally, which allows them far more leeway for defensive measures. Very rarely does squeezing out a few more DPRs mean much of a difference in how the success of your character goes. DRP measurements have shown that unless your DPR is leaps and bounds higher than someone else's, it will rarely make a meaningful difference vs similarly CR'd opponents (do you both still kill it in 2 rounds? If yes, then done).

On Defense: Speccing defense is highly encouraged by the game. There are a multitude of ways to add into your AC, saving throws, resistances, immunities, and so on. So much so in fact that without even really trying, a wizard is slouching if his AC is less than 40 at 20th level, while most martials can comfortably hit AC 50, and druids can get ACs up to 60-70. Meanwhile, you also have things like concealment (cloak of displacement), resistance bonuses to saves, energy resistances, and fortification stopping incoming damage. Spells like death ward and freedom of movement are trivial-level spells by end-game (being 4th vs 9th level casting). Mind blank lasts 24 hours.

The big difference between offense and defense is...defense has a very noticeable benefit. In fact, the more dangerous and/or harrowing the encounter, the more benefit you are going to get out of things like a high AC, DR, good saves, resistances, immunities, and more. Want to be optimized for D&D? Make sure you'll live through the adventure. :o

Have you seen a high level encounter? The way encounters are built in PF, a well optimized encounter has more monsters, not higher CRs. I look at Cthulu and I see a putz. He makes a stinky cloud when he dies and has an irritating aura and then big (mostly in the save DCs) numbers. His AC, Hp, and attack routines aren't even that big (a 20th level PF martial would shove his face into a sidewalk and jump on it).

Quote:
The other solution of building the monsters or npc's takes lots and lots of time, and begs the question why not less optimizing from the players and more time for the dm?

Making decent encounters is a start. If the design focus of the encounter begins with "One day, this lone monster was wandering along..." then it's already failed. It's rare that you need to level up the monsters in the Bestiary (at least the Bestiary I) to make good encounters, and such customization can be left for special individuals (though swapping a few feats or spells around wouldn't hurt since some monsters seem to have been dropped on their heads as children, at least judging by their spell selections).

Quote:
Its more complex than that actually, and the kind of optimizing is improtant. Its ok in my games to play a greatsword beast totem invulnerable rager barbarian (though just barely) , but not the same with superstitious and improved stalwart.

Wut? What's wrong with a rage-lance-pounce-tank barbarian? You don't even need to go out of the normal bestiary for that. If someone sat down with one at the table, I wouldn't bat an eyelash if they sat down with literally every rage power/feat you mentioned. Heck, I'd even recommend adding Eater of Magic and Spell Sunder to that mixture and Ghost Rager (or whatever that thing is that adds Superstition to your touch AC). It wouldn't even affect the challenges and/or way I planned to run the game. :|

...I'm an elitist jerk. :<


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You've got to be one of my favorite elitist jerks, though! :D

EDIT: I'm trying to say you're one of the people I like 'round here.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tacticslion wrote:

You've got to be one of my favorite elitist jerks, though! :D

EDIT: I'm trying to say you're one of the people I like 'round here.

Thanks. That really means a lot to me. :)

EDIT: Don't worry, I got it. ^_^

Sczarni

3 people marked this as a favorite.

If we're talking about things that are unfun for their CR, I'd like to add the Quasit.

Quasits aren't terribly dangerous. Their melee attacks do 1d3-1 and 1d4-1 respectively, and as listed they don't have a ranged attack. They do have a 1/day Cause Fear, but not much else. I would argue that that's part of the problem.

The problem is the sheer amount of defensive abilities they have. DR/5, immunity to some energy types and resistance to several others, a fly speed, invisibility at will, AND fast healing?

And this is all at CR 2. The fighter doesn't have a magic weapon yet, so he's taking a -5 to damage rolls without Weapon Specialization. The wizard doesn't know Glitterdust yet, so at-will invisibility is a serious problem. The ranger probably doesn't have Precise Shot yet, so the quasit being IN another player's square mean he's at a -8 to hit a Tiny creature with good Dex. The rogue can't effectively flank it, since it'll be sharing a square with a PC (seriously, how does that work?)

And even if the party finds a good strategy, fast healing and a fly speed mean that the quasit can just go invisible as an SLA, retreat to the rafters for a few rounds, and heal up while the party either burns resources healing or scrambles for another tactic. This, combined with the pathetic damage that the quasit itself deals, means that fights against a quasit are likely going to turn into twenty or thirty rounds of the PCs and the GM staring at each other, neither one able to actually DO anything of consequence.

Ironically, fighting multiple quasits would probably be easier, since that would push the CR of the encounter up to the point where the PCs would be level 3 and actually have the tools to get around the quasits' smorgasbord of defenses.


Silent Saturn wrote:

If we're talking about things that are unfun for their CR, I'd like to add the Quasit.

Quasits aren't terribly dangerous. Their melee attacks do 1d3-1 and 1d4-1 respectively, and as listed they don't have a ranged attack. They do have a 1/day Cause Fear, but not much else. I would argue that that's part of the problem.

The problem is the sheer amount of defensive abilities they have. DR/5, immunity to some energy types and resistance to several others, a fly speed, invisibility at will, AND fast healing?

And this is all at CR 2. The fighter doesn't have a magic weapon yet, so he's taking a -5 to damage rolls without Weapon Specialization. The wizard doesn't know Glitterdust yet, so at-will invisibility is a serious problem. The ranger probably doesn't have Precise Shot yet, so the quasit being IN another player's square mean he's at a -8 to hit a Tiny creature with good Dex. The rogue can't effectively flank it, since it'll be sharing a square with a PC (seriously, how does that work?)

And even if the party finds a good strategy, fast healing and a fly speed mean that the quasit can just go invisible as an SLA, retreat to the rafters for a few rounds, and heal up while the party either burns resources healing or scrambles for another tactic. This, combined with the pathetic damage that the quasit itself deals, means that fights against a quasit are likely going to turn into twenty or thirty rounds of the PCs and the GM staring at each other, neither one able to actually DO anything of consequence.

Ironically, fighting multiple quasits would probably be easier, since that would push the CR of the encounter up to the point where the PCs would be level 3 and actually have the tools to get around the quasits' smorgasbord of defenses.

This. A thousand times this. I have been on both sides of the table with one of these little buggers at level 2. And let me assure you, IT IS NOT FUN. It's long, tedious, and a pain in the ass. It extends for round after round of the players simply holding their actions and waiting for the little bugger to attack. As players, we would gladly throw ourselves at an army of orcs rather than deal with one quasit. Hell, the orc army would probably go down easier!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

You might want to look at imps. They're almost identical to quasits in form and function. :)


Ashiel wrote:
You might want to look at imps. They're almost identical to quasits in form and function. :)

Yeah, but I had experience fighting quasits. So irritating. On the other hand, I've never met an imp that didn't want to "bargain" somehow (outside of familiars)...

EDIT: except in Neverwinter Nights, I suppose, when Invisibility kind of sucked...


Heh. I meant the post of Cthulu as a joke, not as a serious contender for CR. I'm finding haunts are a royal pain in the ass for groups that don't recognize them, like the group I just ran for today. They were investigating the haunted house of the Foxgloves in Rise of the Runelords (2012 Pathfinder Anniversary Edition), and got hit by at least two haunts. If you don't make your perception check, then boom, the haunt goes off and you get hit by the effect. Or even if you do, you may not realize what it is. The group left after one character thought he was the mother of the halfing bard due to failing a will save from a suggestion spell, and grappled him and carried him out through the door, running into the swarms of carrionstorms (ghoul tainted undead ravens). Fortunately the cleric in the group managed to destroy 4 storms, and the other 4 storms were entangled in a web spell, which I just now found out wouldn't have worked since you can't grapple a swarm. But it was a good idea at the time. They got so fed up at the house that they decided to go to Magnimar and try to search for Aldern Foxglove there, which should be hellaciously entertaining since he never goes back to Magninmar, but uses the haunted house as his main base. So he's started knocking off NPCs in Sandpoint and leaving some of them as ghouls to bring more terror to the town. It should be fun to see how many ghouls get created as the PCs take a wagon owned by the dwarf fighter and driven by giant goats to Magnimar, and if there are even anyone left after the PCs come back.

Grand Lodge

Lilica Fancygirl wrote:
Silent Saturn wrote:

If we're talking about things that are unfun for their CR, I'd like to add the Quasit.

Quasits aren't terribly dangerous. Their melee attacks do 1d3-1 and 1d4-1 respectively, and as listed they don't have a ranged attack. They do have a 1/day Cause Fear, but not much else. I would argue that that's part of the problem.

The problem is the sheer amount of defensive abilities they have. DR/5, immunity to some energy types and resistance to several others, a fly speed, invisibility at will, AND fast healing?

And this is all at CR 2. The fighter doesn't have a magic weapon yet, so he's taking a -5 to damage rolls without Weapon Specialization. The wizard doesn't know Glitterdust yet, so at-will invisibility is a serious problem. The ranger probably doesn't have Precise Shot yet, so the quasit being IN another player's square mean he's at a -8 to hit a Tiny creature with good Dex. The rogue can't effectively flank it, since it'll be sharing a square with a PC (seriously, how does that work?)

And even if the party finds a good strategy, fast healing and a fly speed mean that the quasit can just go invisible as an SLA, retreat to the rafters for a few rounds, and heal up while the party either burns resources healing or scrambles for another tactic. This, combined with the pathetic damage that the quasit itself deals, means that fights against a quasit are likely going to turn into twenty or thirty rounds of the PCs and the GM staring at each other, neither one able to actually DO anything of consequence.

Ironically, fighting multiple quasits would probably be easier, since that would push the CR of the encounter up to the point where the PCs would be level 3 and actually have the tools to get around the quasits' smorgasbord of defenses.

This. A thousand times this. I have been on both sides of the table with one of these little buggers at level 2. And let me assure you, IT IS NOT FUN. It's long, tedious, and a pain in the ass. It extends for...

Funny thing, in PFS my party absolutely wrecked a quasit because we jumped it after it tried stealing our Swashbuckler's Rapier.


Yeah, my paladin eventually managed to kill it by throwing flower everywhere, jumping on top of it, and missing, but having the rogue jump on top of it and miss and the paladin jump on top of it and hit, and then wringing the little thing's neck until it stopped squirming.

By that point I was so furious, I was also repeatedly hitting it's head into the floor demanding, "Stop hitting yourself!"

>.>

<.<

... my paladin miiiiiiiiight should have fallen for that, but, uh, I convinced the GM that the taunting was out of character.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
thegreenteagamer wrote:
Browman wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
Half red Dragon trolls.
that is brilliantly evil, I approve.

I actually put together a combat of two half-dragon trolls, one red, one black, each with a ring of resistance vs the energy they're not immune to.

Then, after the battle is complete, and the party is blown away by how hard that fight was, the look on their face when I give them the piddling exp for their surprisingly low CR will be the greatest gift of all...

Oh, man, if my wife weren't asleep next to me right now, I'd be laughing malevolently. I'll have to settle for a Burnsian "excellent..." for now.

half-dragon trolls (With a ring of resistance ) are CR10 or CR11(based on the NPC wealth table) creatures right?


Catprog wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
Browman wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
Half red Dragon trolls.
that is brilliantly evil, I approve.

I actually put together a combat of two half-dragon trolls, one red, one black, each with a ring of resistance vs the energy they're not immune to.

Then, after the battle is complete, and the party is blown away by how hard that fight was, the look on their face when I give them the piddling exp for their surprisingly low CR will be the greatest gift of all...

Oh, man, if my wife weren't asleep next to me right now, I'd be laughing malevolently. I'll have to settle for a Burnsian "excellent..." for now.

half-dragon trolls (With a ring of resistance ) are CR10 or CR11(based on the NPC wealth table) creatures right?

CR 8. 5 for being a troll, +2 for half-dragon, +1 for having PC wealth.


The erinyes used to be pretty scary in 3,5. I don't know if she still adds up to the archery horror she used to be.


Sissyl wrote:
The erinyes used to be pretty scary in 3,5. I don't know if she still adds up to the archery horror she used to be.

Eh, she's CR 8 with 3 ranged attacks a round at a slightly-lower-than-average attack bonus for very low damage. Especially if the PCs knew to get resist fire beforehand for whatever reason. They don't even have darkness spam to take advantage of their sight, and they lost at-will charm monster from 3.5e. Minor image is abusable, but illusions are victims of table variance.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tacticslion wrote:

Yeah, my paladin eventually managed to kill it by throwing flower everywhere, jumping on top of it, and missing, but having the rogue jump on top of it and miss and the paladin jump on top of it and hit, and then wringing the little thing's neck until it stopped squirming.

By that point I was so furious, I was also repeatedly hitting it's head into the floor demanding, "Stop hitting yourself!"

>.>

<.<

... my paladin miiiiiiiiight should have fallen for that, but, uh, I convinced the GM that the taunting was out of character.

My half-orc alchemist split the thing in half down the middle as our inquisitor throttled it. He now keeps it as a puppet to mock foes he defeats. The "talking" motion entails the entire head coming apart down to the neck. He debates whether or not he should just take to referring to it as Splitzy.

I did however have a cold iron greataxe.


Silent Saturn wrote:

If we're talking about things that are unfun for their CR, I'd like to add the Quasit.

Honestly, every time I look at them, they seem overbuilt to me. Still, do your parties not all carry a spare golf bag full of cold iron morningstars?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ipslore the Red wrote:
Catprog wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
Browman wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
Half red Dragon trolls.
that is brilliantly evil, I approve.

I actually put together a combat of two half-dragon trolls, one red, one black, each with a ring of resistance vs the energy they're not immune to.

Then, after the battle is complete, and the party is blown away by how hard that fight was, the look on their face when I give them the piddling exp for their surprisingly low CR will be the greatest gift of all...

Oh, man, if my wife weren't asleep next to me right now, I'd be laughing malevolently. I'll have to settle for a Burnsian "excellent..." for now.

half-dragon trolls (With a ring of resistance ) are CR10 or CR11(based on the NPC wealth table) creatures right?
CR 8. 5 for being a troll, +2 for half-dragon, +1 for having PC wealth.

Very vulnerable to a charm monster spell.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I should probably bookmark this thread to reference it whenever I get to do a homebrewn campaign or want to throw in some extra monsters. To, ahem, know what, errr, "not" to use. ;)

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

With regard to tiny creatures;

CRB wrote:
Tiny, Diminutive, and Fine Creatures: Very small creatures take up less than 1 square of space. This means that more than one such creature can fit into a single square. A Tiny creature typically occupies a space only 2-1/2 feet across, so four can fit into a single square. 25 Diminutive creatures or 100 Fine creatures can fit into a single square. Creatures that take up less than 1 square of space typically have a natural reach of 0 feet, meaning they can't reach into adjacent squares. They must enter an opponent's square to attack in melee. This provokes an attack of opportunity from the opponent. You can attack into your own square if you need to, so you can attack such creatures normally. Since they have no natural reach, they do not threaten the squares around them. You can move past them without provoking attacks of opportunity. They also can't flank an enemy.
CRB wrote:

Ending Your Movement: You can't end your movement in the same square as another creature unless it is helpless.

(...)

Square Occupied by Creature Three Sizes Larger or Smaller: Any creature can move through a square occupied by a creature three size categories larger than itself.

(...)

Accidentally Ending Movement in an Illegal Space: Sometimes a character ends its movement while moving through a space where it's not allowed to stop. When that happens, put your miniature in the last legal position you occupied, or the closest legal position, if there's a legal position that's closer.

As I understand it, a Tiny quasit is only two sizes smaller than a human, so he can't stay in the human's square. He moves into the square (provokes), and then after its turn ends he's nudged out of the square by whatever mysterious force enforces the grid rules.

Going by an (overly) rigid reading of the rules, the quasit wouldn't even be allowed to make an attack, since he gets shoved out of his square as soon as he finishes moving, before he attacks. We'll let that slide. But the fact is that a human and a quasit are apparently too big to stay in the same square for more than an instant.

---

Anyhow, my preferred tactic for critters like quasits and imps is to Delay until they decloak, and then grapple them. Their lack of reach means they don't even get an attack of opportunity against that, and they tend to have lousy CMD.

I think it's often worthwhile to keep grappling in mind as a tactic, even if you have no specialized skill in it whatsoevewr. During Carrion Hill my ranged alchemist grappled, pinned and bound a spellcaster four levels higher than him. That same alchemist has grappled a quasit too, during a certain season 5 adventure.

Obviously grappling doesn't work against every kind of monster, but quite a few enemies are even less prepared against it than the PCs.

Sovereign Court

Landon Winkler wrote:

Goblins.

"Whaaaaaaaa?" you may say. It's not just goblins, but low-level combat drags when enemies are way above target AC.

By the guidelines in the Bestiary, goblins should be around AC 11. Instead, because they're built as characters, it's 16.

Goblins... the level 1-2 encounter than makes two-handed power attackers grumpy, characters that built for defense happy, and manuver characters really happy.

I always thought of goblins as the way to teach new players about manuvers - especially once I give them better gear for better AC :P.

(And few things are at exactly target AC - especially NPCs. If they were - it'd be 4th edition, where there is no variety as every monster of the same CR has all defenses within a point or two of every other monster of that CR.)


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Quasits are FUN. In my current campaign, I had one just follow the party everywhere while invisible and scream out the party's location for all to hear while randomly insulting them. It drew arrows on walls, ceilings, and floors showing the direction that the party was going. It made stealth impossible and ensured that all enemies had their buffs up before facing the PCs. It also made it difficult for the party to rest. The PCs HATED that damn quasit.

Much more fun than simply attacking. :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Pugwampis..teamed up with any other monster that has save or have a bad day abilities...someone casting invisibility on a couple pugwampis..even worse.

Low level swamp witch with a couple this little fellows..makes for unhappy players. ( as a low level encounter.)


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Ashtathlon wrote:

Pugwampis..teamed up with any other monster that has save or have a bad day abilities...someone casting invisibility on a couple pugwampis..even worse.

Low level swamp witch with a couple this little fellows..makes for unhappy players. ( as a low level encounter.)

This reminds me of my NPC Captain Scurvy the Pygmy Pugwampi Pirate and his band Scurvy's Sea Dogs (his gnoll crew), who would ride atop his warf-rat Skitters, as he lead his crew to glorious plunder.

He was simultaneously loved and despised as an antagonist. A sort of honorable pirate if you will, he was much prone to buckling his swashes and then makin' off wit' da booty while shoutin' things like "Better luck next time fellas! See ya again when ya run out ah luck!" or "T'is been fun mates, but we got places t'go, merchants t'rob, y'understand!"

A little about Captain Scurvy: Scurvy was the runt of his litter but with no doubt had the greatest ambitions of them all. He wanted to see the world and though he lacked any sort of formal schooling he was quite the cunning little fellow, and before long he had hatched a plan that would get him a ship and a literal boatload of riches. He explained his plan to a group of gnolls he knew of who were down on their luck as none were all that tough as far as gnolls were concerned and weren't doing so hot on land. With them as a crew and Scurvy as the brains, they'd become pirates!

The lot of 'em snuck off with a fishing boat of fair size that could cruise around the coastline. While his gnoll crew prepared to set out and await on the waters, Scurvy snuck up into a small merchant ship that looked like an easy mark. A few guards and some sailors. It wasn't hauling a particularly valuable cargo, but Scurvy wanted the ship itself, which would be able to make sea voyages. Once he was onboard, he remained hidden while bringing a terrible run of luck to the inhabitants of the ship. Later during the night, Scurvy signaled his crew with a tiny bullseye lantern and the raid was on. The gnolls scrambled up the side of the sailing ship and everything just seemed to be going wrong for the defenders. Even the guards who were better trained than these band of misfit gnolls found themselves quickly overpowered, and for whatever reason the sailors couldn't seem to out maneuver the smaller vessel. Before they knew it, Scurvy and his Sea Dogs were the proud new owners of the Golden Minnow, and well on their way to fame and fortunes.

Now Scruvy's not much for bullying, you see. Being the runt of his litter he was on the receiving end of the joke more often than not, and it left him with a healthy disrespect for throwing your weight around. He and his gnolls tossed the mostly unharmed crew into their former fishing vessel to get back to land before sailing off with the booty.

Today Scurvy owns quite a few ships commandeered in much the same way, but he and his Sea Dogs have become better at what they do. Scurvy's even turned into quite the competent warrior, preferring to ride around on skitters while shooting his enemies with his +1 flaming shortbow nicknamed "Southwind" and joyously bantering along as he does, often enjoying to have a rousing game of cat and mouse with would be presuers while crackin' wise. Most of their bounty is unloaded to a black market organization run by an Oni Shogunate at a little hangout for pirates.

Here's the condensed statblocks for Scurvy and Skitters from my notes:

Quote:

Captain Scurvy the Pygmy Pugwampi Pirate CR 4 (1,200 XP)

Diminuitive Fey ranger 6; Init +6; Senses darkvision 120 ft., lowlight vision; Perception +11; AC 22, touch 21, flat 16 (+2 armor, +6 dex, +4 size); Hp 29 (1d6+6d10-6); Fort +5, Ref +14, Will +7; DR 2/cold iron; SR 13; Speed 30 ft.; Melee mwk dagger +12/+7 (1d2-3/18-20); Ranged +1 flaming shortbow +9/+9/+4 (1d2-3 + 1d6 fire/x3); Ranger Spells Prepared 1st – longstrider , pass without trace; Special Attacks favored enemy (humans +4, animals +2), Unluck Aura; Str 5; Dex 22, Con 9, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 8; BAB +6; CMB +3; CMD 19; Feats Point Blank Shot, Precise ShotB, Deadly Aim, Rapid Shot, Improved Precise ShotB, Boon Companion; Skills Acrobatics +13, Perception +11, Profession (Sailor) +12, Ride +16, Stealth +31, Survival +11; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth, -4 Perception when listening; Equipment diminuitive mwk dagger, +1 diminuitive flaming shortbow , diminuitive arrows (100), +1 diminuitive leather armor , +1 cloak of resistance , Scurvy's Sails (sailing ship)

Skitters, Scurvy's Pygmy Dire Rat CR (see owner)
Tiny animal; Init +6; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +10; AC 23, touch 19, flat 14 (+2 size, +6 dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural); Hp 27 (6d8); Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +3; Defensive Abilities evasion; +4 vs mind-affecting; Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.; Melee bite +10 (1d3-1 plus disease); Special Attacks filth fever (Bite— injury; save Fort DC 13; onset 1d3 days; frequency 1/day; effect 1d3 Dex damage and 1d3 Con damage; cure 2 consecutive saves.); Str 10, Dex 23, Con 10, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 4; Feats Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack; Skills Perception +10; SQ link, share spells, devotion


Ashiel wrote:


do you both still kill it in 2 rounds? If yes, then done

Though this IS partially true, it still a very specific approach to measuring the effectiveness of damage. You are not gonna be full attacking an equal to your level Cr monsters every time. For example two PCs might be kill the same cr monster in two rounds, but one of them could kill a lower cr monster in 1 round while the other wont. To complicate matters more against multiple monsters a PC might be able to throw some of the remaining attacks to another monster after felling the first one, while another pc with less dps might not.

Ashiel wrote:


The sheer amount of defense that you can squeeze into a PC at high levels is astounding, and monsters aren't too far behind (many having the effects of many staple magic items like energy resistances baked in).

So much so in fact that without even really trying, a wizard is slouching if his AC is less than 40 at 20th level, while most martials can comfortably hit AC 50,

It's rare that you need to level up the monsters in the Bestiary (at least the Bestiary I) to make good encounters,

Without intense optimizing a normal 20 level great weapon fighters AC will be sth like this.

AC: 10+5 enchantment+9 armor+5 dex+ 5 deflection+5 natural armor = 39 (maybe 41 with a tome of dex).

I guess if you scour non core sources a +10 to ac won't be impossible.

Also a CR 20 monster certainly does not have AC on the range of 50. Most have ac in the range of 36-38, with the typical exception of dragons or monster with access to mage armor and shield.

Note the higher you go at levels the more optimization skews the assumed balance. Its easier to out class the stats of higher level monsters of your cr for this very reason and also to be able to one shot monsters at high levels. Since these monsters are one shoted stronger ones with a bigger difference from your cr will be used by the dm. This can result in monsters that tear through the pc's defense very easily and more swingy battles.

Main Issue: Maybe it is possible to raise PC's ac to levels where they can withstand optimized DPS, but monsters generally don't have that (unless sorcerers level with mage armor+shield) so the nuclear rocket tag begins. I think that in this situation team monster has less ability to withstand damage and team PC's less ability to withstand the high save dc's.

Ashiel wrote:


The way encounters are built in PF, a well optimized encounter has more monsters, not higher CRs.

I think you mean a fun and tactically interesting encounter. A boss monster encounter can destroy a 15 level party if its cr is 20 on the other side due to action economy the party could destroy the monster by taking little damage. A well optimized encounter will just have optimized monsters to counter the power of optimized players. (Unless you mean optimized as in optimized experience, which a rare use of the word optimized in these forums)

In my experience you need multiple opponents with different roles in team monsters to challenge the party in a way that the battle isn't very swingy. However if players aren't optimizing too much boss battles can work too.

Also I am confused by your general logic regarding cthulu. On one side you say he is a brute and just has big numbers. (Which is untrue as I proved in my post) and on the other side you say a 20 level melee can tank him, thus claiming his numbers aren't really that big. (Again true only if the melee player optimizes his ac)
I feel our discussion is missing the point. I can accept the statement “I Just don't like cthulu infinite resurrections ability, his insanity aura and the non euclidean geometry trap to true seeing.” and “I think they could have thought of much much better and cooler powers for him.”

I simply don't agree with optimizers who demand stronger monsters or bigger numbers to deal with their optimizing and on the other hand I believe there are some monsters that are extremely problematic at least when introduced at the pc level +2 CR range. (Thankfully few are so if introduced at the players level.)


Christopher Rowe wrote:
The Asura from Bestiary 3 are all kind of edgy, I think.

OMG, Asuras are reaaaaaally evil....

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ashiel is including buffs and maxing out Dex bonuses, among other things.

Haste is +1. A Jingasa is another +1. Heroism can grant another +2. Dex should be optimized to a 24 or so, for +7. If you can add on additional luck or insight bonuses, you climb higher, or acquire a natural Armor Class bonus by one means or another.

That's in addition to something like an Uber shield, which can add +7 to +12, and another +4 vs missiles if you're using 3.5 rules.

So the range is probably closer to a base 45 then 40, with a SHield on top of it.

===Aelryinth

Sczarni

@Ascalaphus: This is valuable info to have, but I'm not convinced it makes Quasits any less "un-fun", as it just means they have even less ability to hurt you while you can barely even hurt them. It also doesn't help much with the one Quasit new players are most likely to be introduced to...

Spoiler:

The one from the Rise of the Runelords campaign (name escapes me), who actually HAS a ranged weapon and also can summon Wrathspawn to do her fighting for her while she camps out on the ceiling (where she has concealment due to shadows to supplement her massive Stealth bonus) and snipes you.

@Celanian: That would be fun indeed, because then you aren't FIGHTING them. Which means it doesn't really matter what CR they are, or even which monster you use for the job-- any little fey or outsider or whatever known for being smart enough to talk will work.

@RJGrady: At level 2? Most martial types spend most or all of their starting cash on their armor and their main weapon-- there usually isn't room in the budget for a backup cold iron weapon until level 3 or 4. I honestly suspect that quasits may have been built for the specific purpose of hammering it into PCs heads that they NEED weapons of special material at some point.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Silent Saturn wrote:


@RJGrady: At level 2? Most martial types spend most or all of their starting cash on their armor and their main weapon-- there usually isn't room in the budget for a backup cold iron weapon until level 3 or 4. I honestly suspect that quasits may have been built for the specific purpose of hammering it into PCs heads that they NEED weapons of special material at some point.

A cold iron morningstar costs 16 gp and counts as cold iron, bludgeoning, and piercing. It's a simple weapon that can be wielded one-handed, or as a one-handed weapon wielded in two hands. There is ALWAYS room in my budget for a cold iron morningstar.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Incorporeal monsters are kind of all like this for the most part. The witchfire in particular can cause a lot of problems since it combines incorporeality and flight with a ranged attack that has a rider that makes subsequent attacks hit harder - most incorporeal creatures at least have to get into melee range at some point. If you don't have a way to give yourself fire resistance on demand, it's completely brutal at mid-levels.

Plus it comes with everyone's favorite will'o'wisps!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Incorporeal monsters have been made slightly less annoying by the relatively recent ruling that abilities that let attacks count as magic for the purposes of DR, such as monk punching at level 4 and inquisitors with the smiting judgement, also do half damage to incorporeals like magic weapons do.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
John John wrote:
Ashiel wrote:


do you both still kill it in 2 rounds? If yes, then done
Though this IS partially true, it still a very specific approach to measuring the effectiveness of damage. You are not gonna be full attacking an equal to your level Cr monsters every time. For example two PCs might be kill the same cr monster in two rounds, but one of them could kill a lower cr monster in 1 round while the other wont. To complicate matters more against multiple monsters a PC might be able to throw some of the remaining attacks to another monster after felling the first one, while another pc with less dps might not.

A few things.

1. If you're talking singular, non-full attacks, the gap is even less since the difference of a few HPs worth of damage is nigh meaningless if you're not doing things like shoveling it out in droves and/or burst crits.

2. The latter is pretty niche as it requires you to kill an enemy one attack roll prior to your competition, which given the amount of damage per hit vs the HP of monsters in the same general CR range, is not something you can rely on (especially when you account for things like positioning, threatened space, etc).

Quote:
Ashiel wrote:


The sheer amount of defense that you can squeeze into a PC at high levels is astounding, and monsters aren't too far behind (many having the effects of many staple magic items like energy resistances baked in).

So much so in fact that without even really trying, a wizard is slouching if his AC is less than 40 at 20th level, while most martials can comfortably hit AC 50,

It's rare that you need to level up the monsters in the Bestiary (at least the Bestiary I) to make good encounters,

Without intense optimizing a normal 20 level great weapon fighters AC will be sth like this.

AC: 10+5 enchantment+9 armor+5 dex+ 5 deflection+5 natural armor = 39 (maybe 41 with a tome of dex).

I guess if you scour non core sources a +10 to ac won't be impossible.

Lazy martial is lazy. At 20th level, having a 24 Dex is trivial. It's 13 base, +5 inherent (from your casters), +6 magic item = 24 Dex, and 26-28 is where a lot of martials are likely to land (anyone who invested around 14-15 Dex and maybe dropped a level increase into it).

Meanwhile, if Core Only (as in just the core rulebook) you've got...
+5 Celestial Armor (+11 AC)
+5 Small Shield or Buckler (+6 AC)
+5 Amulet of Natural Armor (+5 AC)
+5 Ring of Protection (+5 AC)
+7 or +8 Dex (+7-8 AC)
Ioun stone (+1 AC)
That adds up to AC 45-46 pre-buffs. Once you start adding buffs that are staples at that level, you're going to see ACs upwards to low 50s, and this is assuming you have no actual natural armor, isn't accounting for dodge bonuses, or anything else of the sort. If you're a druid, you're going to hit ACs in the 50s easily and possibly low 60s (thanks to Wild Shape + Wild Armor).

Outside of Core Rulebook only, most front-liners are going to go in for the plate version of celestial armor for another +3. As Aelryinth mentions, there's even more and more ways of pushing AC without getting gimmicky about it.

Quote:
Also a CR 20 monster certainly does not have AC on the range of 50. Most have ac in the range of 36-38, with the typical exception of dragons or monster with access to mage armor and shield.

Yes. Absolutely unbuffed and naked. However, such monsters typically have buffs and/or the magic items (which PCs will later loot) that substantially improve upon their base. A pit fiend with a naked AC of 38 has an at-will self buff that brings it to 42. An amulet of natural armor +2 (something you would expect to find in a pit fiend's possession) brings it to AC 44. If the pit fiend bothers to drink a potion of mage armor, his AC becomes 48. Unless you encounter the pit fiend so naked that he can use his dongle for an unarmed stike, then you're probably going to see a much more respectable AC.

Dragons are like this. Virtually all outsiders are like this. In fact, most every high-CR enemy has massive ACs and/or special defenses once you include their game-given options. >_<

And it's not even "optimized" as you seem to think of it. It's just strait forward practicality. It's not shoveling a ton of their resources into being really good at a thing, it's just giving them the crap they have anyway. Do you think a pit fiend is just holding 134,000 gp worth of treasure between its butt cheeks while it fights the party?

Nope. He's likely wearing it (specifically about 50 lbs of it) in the form of crazy-cool magic items you'd expect to be adorning a lord of hell. He might be wearing that kickass amulet of mighty fists the druid's wanted, or wielding a massive battleaxe that the barbarian would drool for, or a +1 mithral buckler of fortification ripped from the corpse of the last adventurer who tried to mess with him (whose soul he keeps in a jar on his nightstand).

Again. Core-only. If your lord of hell is anything other than:

"Hey guys, this is my sweet dongle, isn't it big and pretty? Oh by the way, I have 164,000 gp worth of shwag hidden under the matress in my bedroom, consisting of various magical trinkets and/or mighty artifacts from ages since passed, however despite my plethora of weapon proficiencies and superhuman Intelligence, I decided to engage you in battle using my fell-dongle. Have at thee!"

Then this is the natural result of it not being stupid. :|

Meanwhile, this isn't a problem for PF heroes because they can hit those ACs (again, in CORE). Most of the martials in PF have MASSIVE to-hit routines at that level. Seriously, we're talking +20 from BAB, +5 from weapon, +4-14 or so from class features, +5 or so from staple buffs, +8-13 or so from ability scores, auto-critical confirmations, and god help you if they have a bard in the party (another +5 to everyone, yay!). That's a +42 attack on the low end, upwards to about +63 if you're really trying.

If you include non-core material, a courageous weapon alone kicks it up another +2, and class-material like instant enemy and furious weaponry allow you to more reliably get more out of your class features, and Paladins get in-house access to divine power which can carry them fine when they're fighting an enemy who isn't smite-bait.

Again, these aren't difficult things. These aren't even obscure things. These aren't things pulled from lots of different splat books, but instead just Core or Core + APG. >:(

Quote:

Note the higher you go at levels the more optimization skews the assumed balance. Its easier to out class the stats of higher level monsters of your cr for this very reason and also to be able to one shot monsters at high levels. Since these monsters are one shoted stronger ones with a bigger difference from your cr will be used by the dm. This can result in monsters that tear through the pc's defense very easily and more swingy battles.

I think you mean a fun and tactically interesting encounter. A boss monster encounter can destroy a 15 level party if its cr is 20 on the other side due to action economy the party could destroy the monster by taking little damage. A well optimized encounter will just have optimized monsters to counter the power of optimized players. (Unless you mean optimized as in optimized experience, which a rare use of the word optimized in these forums)

Bad GMing is bad.

Quote:

Also I am confused by your general logic regarding cthulu. On one side you say he is a brute and just has big numbers. (Which is untrue as I proved in my post) and on the other side you say a 20 level melee can tank him, thus claiming his numbers aren't really that big. (Again true only if the melee player optimizes his ac)

I feel our discussion is missing the point. I can accept the statement “I Just don't like cthulu infinite resurrections ability, his insanity aura and the non euclidean geometry trap to true seeing.” and “I think they could have thought of much much better and cooler powers for him.”

Please Pay Attention As I Spell This Out

1. I said Cthulu lacks interesting and/or really meaningful abilities that would change the way you fight him. He does. This makes him just another brute with big numbers.

2. I said that even as far as big numbers go, he's not even very impressive in that regard since a 20th level martial can both tank and spank him as long as he's not going to get wrecked by his save DCs in the 40s (a Paladin will utterly obliterate the poor sod). Which means that I see him as a failure on both fronts.

3. Applying both 1 and 2, I arrive at point 3 wherein I think Cthulu is a big putz for his CR. An inflated puff-ball that serves little to no purpose other than to say "Look, we have a CR 30 monster, oooh, ahhhh" that would actually be a joke to a 27th level party. The fact that most of his abilities are mediocre is irrelevant and I actually like some of them, they just have little impact on how you would actually engage him in the first place (a fight with a dragon or major outsider will probably be more climactic).

Quote:
I simply don't agree with optimizers who demand stronger monsters or bigger numbers to deal with their optimizing and on the other hand I believe there are some monsters that are extremely problematic at least when introduced at the pc level +2 CR range. (Thankfully few are so if introduced at the players level.)

Yet you're the only one who's saying that optimizers demand stronger monsters and/or need bigger numbers. I've explicitly said the opposite. That you don't have to optimize very hard to be very capable at 20th level, and monsters in the Bestiary I work just fine with no leveling up required.

You're asserting a claim as being true and then telling me how wrong I am for believing it (which I don't).

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly on the unfun realm I've had to say a lot of creatures with the animal type often fall into this category for me since in a lot of published materials they feel more like they are treated as bags of walking hp and set in these tiny fight rooms rather than actually presented as animals. In most cases I get something like a deinoychus, crocodile, or say a bison and it's treated like a dungeon roadblock stuck in the middle of a small space and not presented with either a way to slip around and escape fights like an animal naturally would or with special abilities that might make the fight feel more interesting than dealing with a monster with a built in knife.

It kind of echos some of the sentiments Ashiel mentioned where the fights can just often feel uninteresting or uninspired which is a shame considering how terrifying real encounters with things like lions can be and with all the actual information we have on them and many other creatures these fights should be just as terrifying if not more so. Also it gives a lot of room to really expand on some questions like how do lions, crocs, and wolves fit into worlds where dragons, manticores, and pegasi also fight with them for ecological niches or hell what about things like undead or even giants and aberrations that could wander their worlds?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
doc the grey wrote:

Honestly on the unfun realm I've had to say a lot of creatures with the animal type often fall into this category for me since in a lot of published materials they feel more like they are treated as bags of walking hp and set in these tiny fight rooms rather than actually presented as animals. In most cases I get something like a deinoychus, crocodile, or say a bison and it's treated like a dungeon roadblock stuck in the middle of a small space and not presented with either a way to slip around and escape fights like an animal naturally would or with special abilities that might make the fight feel more interesting than dealing with a monster with a built in knife.

It kind of echos some of the sentiments Ashiel mentioned where the fights can just often feel uninteresting or uninspired which is a shame considering how terrifying real encounters with things like lions can be and with all the actual information we have on them and many other creatures these fights should be just as terrifying if not more so. Also it gives a lot of room to really expand on some questions like how do lions, crocs, and wolves fit into worlds where dragons, manticores, and pegasi also fight with them for ecological niches or hell what about things like undead or even giants and aberrations that could wander their worlds?

I generally enjoy using animals, though admittedly I find them most amusing as pets for NPCs in most cases. However, a little wild safari is a ton of fun now and then and a lot of things like crocodiles, big cats, and other such beasties make cool enemies who may either lie in wait or stalk a party for a meal. I try to keep animal encounters fun and have watched some documentaries for inspiration (for example, Tigers of the Sundarbans, but I try to keep in mind that they are animals and are easily spooked and/or will very rarely fight to the death (unless there's a cub or something involved, don't play with the baby bears yo).

Animals are also fun to use as exotic mounts and/or warbeasts for NPCs. For example, having goblins riding on boars or lizardfolk who ride atop giant crocodiles and/or frilled lizards. They can very easily share a sort of symbiosis with intelligent creatures as they can provide both a sort of alert system (thanks to things like scent) as well as powerful support or shock troops (a tiger is kind of like a teeth-missile) and if used in clever ways can greatly enhance an encounter or the environment of an encounter.

For example, if you need to sneak into an area, distracting a large guard animal (or merely opting to wait until it's asleep) can change how someone approaches an encounter from a stealth perspective (such as using food or the scent of food upwind to get an animal to leave its post to find the source may buy an opportunity to slip past or eliminate the sentry quietly).

Animals can also be a lot of fun for painting a scene. When animals are spooked the players will take notice. If animals are skittish around an area, players will wonder why. If a player is undead or is otherwise considered an unnatural creature, it will make them feel more odd/special/otherworldly when untrained animals refuse to attack or get near them.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ashiel wrote:
Lazy martial is lazy.

Paizo Sins?

I understand the idea of the thread. But as somebody who runs waaaaay more than I play. I'm going to say for it's CR and long term use I love the pugwampi.

It has good enough stealth that I can use it against PCs that would normally stomp it's CR when combined with other monsters. It's ability to screw up d20 rolls even makes monster that are of a Cr so low they would otherwise be useless against players viable again. Awesome.

I also really like swarms for this. The low CR monster that is worth using longer.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Animals are kinda weird in that most animals shouldn't be fighting a normal party of PCs.

PC parties tend to average 5 people plus maybe an animal companion. All of them looking fairly healthy. (Even the wizards tend to have positive Con modifiers, and walk in the middle of the group.) The 2H weapon warriors are probably exuding Dominance and Danger.

That is not the kind of group that a predatory animal would normally target, not for hunting. It might do so defend its young, if it's startled or cornered. But a normal healthy predator would go after far easier prey.

And come to that, the build of many predatory animals is very focused on maximizing the value you get out of a surprise attack. If they can't drop their prey in 1-2 rounds AND chase off the rest of the herd, they're done for. They might be able to mess up a PC a bit, but they're not gonna win the encounter, and they know it. (Because that's basically what predators do: select viable prey.)

So, on the one hand the stats for many animals are fairly plausible, they make lousy enemies for a normal PC band. Now, a PC that steps away for a bit to take a leak, that's an entirely different story.

151 to 200 of 661 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / pathfinder monsters that aren't fun for their CR All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.