pathfinder monsters that aren't fun for their CR


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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The Exchange

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A note on monster treasure.

The monsters are written as base stats. You can in fact give them more gear than the base stat allows, however the advice for DMs is to adjust the encounter CR based on changes to the book as presented. That includes extra gear or different conditions in which you fight.

Ashiel is arguing that you spend the treasure allotment on gear that the baddy uses. Fair enough. However, it can be read the other was as well. The gear they have as loot is obviously not useable by them, therefore generate it appropriately.

No where in the rules does it say that you equip the monsters with their treasure value. If you do so, you are making a DM adjustment. This means you have now modified the encounter from how it was balanced by the designers. This means you should adjust the CR if you wish to keep using the system as it was designed.

The exception is NPCs, which have specific values from which you should equip them.
If your making a monster as an NPC, then you dump its original equipment and then purchase gear for them to the required NPC wealth. Then you calculate the CR using rules published for monstrous creatures etc.

Ashiel's way is not the only way. It's not the official way either. It is however a very commonly used method. It's certainly a method used for things like dragons to make them formidable and intelligent opponents.

It should still be done with care to adjust difficulty and CR too. All the APs where I've seen creatures given extra gear that makes them tougher than base stats have their CRs adjusted.


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It's pretty official that you aren't going to be increasing the CR of a creature meaningfully unless you increase the amount of wealth they get as well.

Having the wealth of a PC of a given level instead of standard NPC or creature (which is lower than NPC wealth) wealth increases CR by +1. An amount that's a fraction of that self evidently doesn't.

Aside, unrelated to the rules, as a player I reserve the right to mock enemies that hoard cash and useless items instead of using it for some purpose. And probably get my immersion dented by their inexplicably suicidal and unwise decisions.

EDIT: That said, yes, your point is valid and I don't mean to degrade that. If a creature is set up in such a way that a particular item pushes them over the edge, there might be problems. Something to be aware of when you build loadouts.


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I'm reminded of a conversation with Wraithstrike wherein it was revealed that a Ghaele Azata is pretty much the same CR whether she's wielding a club, her +4 greatsword, or a variety of different trinkets.

Monster treasure is in fact so very flexible that the bestiary actually expects you to adjust their equipment depending on whether you're running a slow, medium, or fast XP progression appropriately. For example, in a slow-XP game, a ghaele azata cannot afford her +4 item, while in a fast-XP game she instead can afford a +5 weapon instead. Naturally the CR doesn't change.

That's probably quite telling since the WBL of players doesn't change, the CR doesn't change, but the amount of gear monsters have DOES.

Bestiary - Monster Introduction wrote:
In cases where a creature has specific magical gear assigned to it, the assumption is a medium game—if you play a fast or slow game, you'll want to adjust the monster's gear as appropriate.

At least we're not talking about dragons wearing studded leather armor. *snickers*

The Exchange

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Yes Ashiel, you do indeed adjust gear as needed for different tracked games. However it is balanced by the fact that you also need to survive different number of encounters per level.

Fast track - more gear per encounter, monsters will be harder but you fight less to level. Possibly no need to adjust CR.

Slow track - less gear per critter, but you fight lots more of them to level. CR probably not needed to be adjusted.

The problem comes when you kit them out with more gear than listed in their stats but keep the xp progression the same.

Honestly, you can put gear on an enemy that makes it no different in abilty or danger whatsoever. CR not needing adjustment.

However, if you equip a creature with equipment that makes fighting it harder than normal for a creature of its type, then CR needs to be adjusted. Classic example is a troll with ring of fire resistance, or a potion of said spell for even cheaper. Now the fight is harder than normal since one of its common weaknesses has been negated to an extent.

The same needs to be said for party composition. If your party is mostly built for ground assault, but secondary weapons are air, when you throw a formidable air opponent at them, it's CR for that group might be considered higher. I don't do that particular one, as I feel groups need to learn versatility. But it is fully justifiable to do so if you think the situation warrants it.

The Exchange

Aratrok wrote:

It's pretty official that you aren't going to be increasing the CR of a creature meaningfully unless you increase the amount of wealth they get as well.

Having the wealth of a PC of a given level instead of standard NPC or creature (which is lower than NPC wealth) wealth increases CR by +1. An amount that's a fraction of that self evidently doesn't.

Aside, unrelated to the rules, as a player I reserve the right to mock enemies that hoard cash and useless items instead of using it for some purpose. And probably get my immersion dented by their inexplicably suicidal and unwise decisions.

EDIT: That said, yes, your point is valid and I don't mean to degrade that. If a creature is set up in such a way that a particular item pushes them over the edge, there might be problems. Something to be aware of when you build loadouts.

Valid points Aratok. It's more the giving gear that changes the challenge I'm talking about. CR balance is more art than science in this game. Particularly true when you play around with gearing critters yourself.

On a side note, if I've been too busy to calculate loot before an encounter, I often get the players to do the random rolls. Sometimes stuff comes up that we think the critter would have worn. If it's an issue for a player, I use that to create story reasons why it wasn't using it. A hated enemies cloak, hung as a trophy but never to be worn, a ring of such vile design that it repulsed the wearer despite its bonuses, a weapon who's hilt is cut in such a way as to be impractical for the current owner since it's hands are heavily clawed, a crown of power so heavily associated with an evil from the past that wearing it in the monsters society would have it branded heretic.

It's fun to give gear to players sometimes that have those properties too. That way it becomes more than another plus to said stat.


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Wrath wrote:
Yes Ashiel, you do indeed adjust gear as needed for different tracked games. However it is balanced by the fact that you also need to survive different number of encounters per level.

This is really all that matters. Notice it's not a different number of encounters per day, or at a lower WBL or anything. The power of the PCs does not change over the course of the level and honestly the power of the NPCs doesn't change enough to warrant a CR adjustment.

Quote:

Fast track - more gear per encounter, monsters will be harder but you fight less to level. Possibly no need to adjust CR.

Slow track - less gear per critter, but you fight lots more of them to level. CR probably not needed to be adjusted.

The problem comes when you kit them out with more gear than listed in their stats but keep the xp progression the same.

Agreed 100%. It doesn't cause a problem with their CRs though, it causes a glitch in the PCs' wealth by level. They'll generally end up either too poor for their level or you'll end up with a Monty Haul game where everyone's carrying five holy avengers to use as toothpicks. :P

Since the value of treasure for NPCs changes with the XP progression (or the fantasy level) you don't ever have to worry. NPCs will always have the "correct" amount of treasures for their statblocks.

Quote:

Honestly, you can put gear on an enemy that makes it no different in abilty or danger whatsoever. CR not needing adjustment.

However, if you equip a creature with equipment that makes fighting it harder than normal for a creature of its type, then CR needs to be adjusted. Classic example is a troll with ring of fire resistance, or a potion of said spell for even cheaper. Now the fight is harder than normal since one of its common weaknesses has been negated to an extent.

The rules say that only extreme adjustments in wealth (PC wealth) or extreme examples of circumstantial advantage (an encounter with creatures with blindsight in a perpetually dark environment that magically suppresses light) warrant a +1 CR. A potion is neither.

Quote:
The same needs to be said for party composition. If your party is mostly built for ground assault, but secondary weapons are air, when you throw a formidable air opponent at them, it's CR for that group might be considered higher. I don't do that particular one, as I feel groups need to learn versatility. But it is fully justifiable to do so if you think the situation warrants it.

Um, no. Awarding more XP because a party is more inept than another doesn't really make sense, so good on you for not doing that. One of the worst players I ever saw seemed to expect this nonsense actually. Back when I was co-GMing a persistent-campaign online, another of the GMs was running a high level game and a few players naturally jumped on the bandwagon. One such player was a Ranger who somehow miraculously made it to this level (mostly from a combination of GMing rewards and/or RPing rewards due to policies of that RPG community). During the high level game the ranger encountered a powerful flying enemy and ended up throwing a fit because it was "unfair for the GM to use a flying enemy when none of the classes in the party had fly as a spell".

>_>

<_<

>_<

As for the troll, that's probably a pretty good idea. I'd definitely expect a troll with access to said potion to have said potion. If the troll was the muscle in a group or something. It wouldn't change it's CR at all (but it might mean the PCs will have an easier time if they prepared dispel magic or have some cheap acid flasks or just brute force their way through the resistance, since resist 10 doesn't actually stop fireball or scorching ray most of the time).

I mean, would you raise the CR of the troll if someone casts resist energy on it (such as a orc adept)? No, of course not. Would you raise the CR of human for using a potion of resist energy? They're just as vulnerable to fire as trolls are (trolls don't actually have a vulnerability to fire, merely they lose an advantage when subjected to it).

I mean, you just said that you wouldn't raise the troll's CR if the party didn't bring fire with them. The troll is no harder than it would be for "not having fire" (still easier, actually) by having some resistance to it because of its loadout.

Sovereign Court

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I don't believe the CR of bestiary monsters is supposed to factor in the use of their treasure, other than what their stats say they're using. I'm fairly sure the CR is based on the actual written stats.

That said, I do think monsters should be using their treasure, because not using it would just be dumb. Does that mean I'm gonna mentally adjust their CR?

Yes and no. We have "math" for calculating APL based on having more or fewer than 4 PCs, but we don't have math for adjusting APL based on how experienced or clever players are, or how specialized they are against certain foes, or a variety of other "soft" things that make a party more or less effective.

There's a group of people I occasionally play PFS with, and we're pretty good at working together. We curbstomp scenarios that give us trouble if we're playing with other people/characters. When we have to play up it's generally tough but fun. If we play at our own tier or down it's anticlimactic.

So for a group like that, I think it's a good thing to juice up enemies a bit by letting them use their gear. Gear tends to make monsters tougher "horizontally"; it makes them more efficient at the things they already do. It doesn't give them many new above-their-level abilities that level-appropriate PCs can't cope with yet.

I think that's a better-scaled solution than just picking a higher CR monster.

Silver Crusade

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I generally take a different tack on this.

I hate using the golden mean, but I tend to the old ethic of random treasure generation and then giving the monsters the stuff from the pile that might be useful.

I'm not a fan of using treasure to 'pay for' upgrades for the monster's gear.

So if say I have a mummy cleric and his hobgoblin cleric companion and I roll up an amulet of fire resistance, shoes of spider climb, plate mail +1, a lyre of building, 250gp, and a +1 anarchic siangham, well...

The plate is going on the cleric, the amulet's going on the mummy. The lyre, siangham and shoes are probably going in a chest.

PCs don't wear/use everything they pick up. Nor do they liquidate it immediately as it 'might be useful' like say the lyre above.

Now, for the CR thing, will I up the CR on the mummy? Probably not. It increases his capabilities (it mitigates his vulnerability), but not by the huge margin that say fully kitting him out like a PC would.

Now if I made the mummy and said gave him +2 fire resistant plate armor, a ring of mummy improvement +1 (increases your mummiosity!), +3 mummy whalloping stick, a full compliment of mummy potions and maybe like masterwork burial robes then I might boost his CR.

I don't mean to be a jerk Ashiel but when I see your suggestions (which I mostly agree with) I keep thinking of corner cases that make it fall apart. Like...if you encounter a series of NPCs, does that mean they get to double-dip from the loot and upgrade themselves to PC level?

What if I'm a baddie who lives in a complex full of oozes.

Oozes have no treasure, but the treasure advancement charts insist in cases like that, you just increase a latter windfall. Does that mean the principle baddie now inexplicably has like piles of equipment on him?

I think the random generation and then having the baddies cherry pick the good stuff is a much better solution then equipping the baddie while using the treasure chart as a sort of WBL-for-monsters.

To return to the original topic sort of though, can anyone think of other weird magic item combinations that might skew a monster's effectiveness? Like acid resistance rings on a troll for example.

Sovereign Court

I like Spook;s idea a lot. Except I would totally user the spider climb shoes. Drop-mummies from the ceiling would be something my players will be talking about later.

I suppose it's actually nicer if enemies have (apart from the obviously useful stuff) some quirky magic items that give them a nonstandard tactical option.

Silver Crusade

Ascalaphus wrote:

I like Spook;s idea a lot. Except I would totally user the spider climb shoes. Drop-mummies from the ceiling would be something my players will be talking about later.

I suppose it's actually nicer if enemies have (apart from the obviously useful stuff) some quirky magic items that give them a nonstandard tactical option.

This is why I like the random treasure generation option better then the 'hobgoblin goes shopping' ideal.

While a guy with a bag of tricks probably won't be as interesting, its going to be a weird encounter when the kobold breaks out the wand of wonder, or the dungeon is full of silent images that the incompetent orc sorcerer put everywhere.

From an Evil DM Perspective, I've also found the party reacts with rage when they know the monsters are consuming 'their' consumables.

I had an erinyes encounter where the erinyes would teleport to a room where there was a chest with healing potions, kick a few down and come back to the fight relying on devil telepathy to vector themselves in to the best effect.

The party's response was 'Damn fiends are drinking our loot!!"


A few questions for Ashiel

If using treasure for monsters is standard then why does it not seam to happen in most published material?

If wishes are expected standard then why do most published stat blocks not include inherent bonuses? I mean there comes a point when even the fighter can get it done and your typical party can by scrolls of planar binding by 7th or 8th level.

Maybe because they do not is why most APs are really easy.

In most of my games I turn the BBEG into caster or give him access to to one. The reason for the dungeon is to give the BBEG a chance to buff up. The PCs have 10 rounds from time alarm goes until the BBEG comes looking for them.

This definitely makes things fun since the PCs always want info before the go in and then they smash through as fast as they can. Skipping foes does have the down side of they tend to come up behind you and reinforce the leader if you let them. Wall of stone helps with this.


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Ash, you offered to write up an adventure.

I would love to see something for 12th characters that featured wyrm white dragon as the BBEG and enough exp to take them through to 14th level.

This allows the PCs the come in with 6th level spells down in down time and maybe use 7th level spells depending on class and the dragon gets 6th level spells.


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Grappling quasits and imps has been mentioned a few times. It isn’t a bad idea, but getting them grappled and keeping them that way can be surprisingly tough for level 1-2 PCs. The PC with the highest CMB is also likely to be the one who would be best at beating the imp’s DR5. Moving your damage dice down to 1d3 doesn’t help with that. Keeping the imp from disappearing is probably worth it, but he'll probably have about a 1/4 chance of breaking free anyhow.

When I mentioned this thread to my girlfriend she insisted that I also must post that Quasit Summoners are very nasty. I don’t think that is necessarily true, but I did once use a Quaist with 15 levels of Summoner as a monster, he did surprise the party, and one PC did get killed by summoned fiendish dire tigers. After a barrage of mostly touch attacks from the party that Quasit didn’t last long though.

Regarding wish farming with Planar Binding, I’ve never run or played in a game where it was even attempted. I think there’s a pretty common idea across many groups that the DM will either reject wish farming outright or punish the PCs harshly for attempting it. You can only stack another +2 to +3 on your modifiers via wishes anyhow though, and a lot of PCs would likely pick up this bonus on their favorite ability score anyhow (dare I call it the “prime requisite”?)

As a DM I’ve sometimes equipped monsters with gear according to their NPC WBL or even PC WBL when adding +1 CR. That caused some player complaints, particularly when I had a creature wear armor wich made it tough for folks to hit with Power Attack or had something like an Ogre Mage buy some low level wands for use with UMD. The Ogre Mage in the book has a +14 UMD modifier, and wands of Shield are dirt cheap. Mirror Image or CMW wands can be nice too though they’re a little more expensive. Buffing enemy AC can be fairly effective at frustrating the already frequently frustrated low optimization martials. The more serious killers often have ways to bypass AC though.


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Ashiel wrote:
many contributions of value

I couldn't agree more regarding building NPC's and monsters correctly. I for a long time had grappled with rocket-tag problems. The action economy is extremely important, and even a tough solo creature can lose easy. The answer is more mooks, and more than one encounter per day as the rule rather than the exception.

Here's some fun things with the limited use/gear column in the CRB.

Basic level - limited use (gp)
1 - 40
2 - 40
3 - 80
4 - 100
5 - 300
6 - 450
7 - 600
8 - 800
9 - 1,050
10 - 1,250

This amount can be use for alchemical items, potions, partially used wands, poisons, and scrolls. Here are some items that all cost less than 100 gp each.

Acid - 10
alchemist fire - 20
Tanglefoot bag - 50
Thunderstone - 30
iron pellet grenade - 50 (that's 50 gp for 3d6 damage!)
Net - 20 (even with a -4 non-proficiency penalty, it's a touch attack. A few level 1 dudes with these can eat up rounds on any character)
Drow poison 75 - knock foe unconscious on failed save.
1st level spell wand, CO 1, 6 charges - 90 gp (armor, shield, shield of faith, cure light wounds, true strike, MM, ray of enfeeblement, enlarge, reduce, entangle, charm person/animal, magic weapon, sanctuary, expeditious retreat, divine favor)
1st level potion CL 1- 50 (for non casters)
1st level scroll CL 1 - 50 gp for casters

That's the short list

Silver Crusade

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Equipping a monster can make it tougher then expected.

The thing that needs to be kept in mind is there's no quick and easy thing for this. The CR+1 for PC equipment thing is a quickie abstraction. Generally, past a certain point, you need to abandon CR as anything but a guideline.

In general...

AC gets beaten out by Attack the higher you go.
DCs get beaten out by saves.

At low levels though, the simple expedient of having the orc warlord /wear/ the plate mail in his horde makes him a damn near insurmountable foe to deal with in melee.

It however, doesn't stop you from roasting him with burning hands or shooting him with rays or a dozen other solutions though.

CR is an abstraction based on the encounter of the monster in 'neutral terms' by a four man party of a fighter, cleric, wizard and rogue. An encounter on APL is expected to eat up approximately 1/4 of the party's resources (abstracted for HP, charges, spells, etc).

Challenge Rating's ability to accomodate the party's capabilities is somewhat amazing in that it usually ends up somewhere in the right ballpark, but changing any of those factors can result in huge swings.

Like if I'm fighting a 5th level orc (CR 4) outside at a range of 500 feet in bright sunny conditions and my fourth level party consists entirely of rangers and zen archer monks, that orc is going to get absolutely annihilated at next to no cost, not '1/4 of the party's resources.'

Its why a DM should take time to look at the numbers.

The Encounter design mechanic, in my opinion, overweights some ratings. Some NPC groupings get rated at a CR of 9 or so, and I've seen 9th level parties who the component NPCs couldn't even /hit/. But the math works out.

I've also seen monsters who synergized so well as to make situations ridiculous (lightning elementals paired up with flesh golems).

That synergy isn't represented by the CR.

But, what I think this thread is about is monsters that the game thinks we should be able to be that 1/4 that ends up being horrifically dangerous. Cockatrices, gorgons, medusae, things that inexplicably do horrific damage. Even the common bog-standard orc with his damnable falchion.


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Ashiel wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Can I just subscribe to Ashiel's posts?

Can I subscribe to your favorites? :D

Casts Ashiel's Happy Huggles at everyone!

I think that might cause a feedback loop.


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Ashiel acts like a nice guy... But he's admitted to shoveling dozens of corpses in his family's property.

Summer 2012 - Never Forget.


The best thing about Spook's method is that there is a high degree of internal logic involved, especially where intelligent opponents are concerned.

I mean, has nobody ever wondered why the Orc Chieftain they just defeated wasn't wearing the +1 Half Plate and using the +2 Great Axe that was in the chest instead of his chain shirt and morning star?


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Mathius wrote:

Ash, you offered to write up an adventure.

I would love to see something for 12th characters that featured wyrm white dragon as the BBEG and enough exp to take them through to 14th level.

This allows the PCs the come in with 6th level spells down in down time and maybe use 7th level spells depending on class and the dragon gets 6th level spells.

I'll get started on it right now. EDIT: While listening to adventure inspiration music. :3

Grand Lodge

thorin001 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.

Grapple the little bastards. They are much easier to manage after that.

That is how my party managed to get my half-orc alchemist his personal Mr. Splitzy puppet.


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Mathius wrote:

A few questions for Ashiel

If using treasure for monsters is standard then why does it not seam to happen in most published material?

It depends on quality of the published material and the writer. Using Paizo as an example, their NPCs run the gamut. Some of their APs are riddled with errors (Reign of Winter springs to mind, but there are some errors in Jade Regent that I recall) while some aren't (I don't remember a lot of statblock errors in Curse of the Crimson Throne).

I had the pleasure of running the module Flight of the Red Raven for my brother and his friend Mandy and sure enough the NPCs capable of wielding gear tended to do so. Without spoiling anything, I can say that there was a djinn that you are expected to fight with no class levels that carries a mwk warhammer, two potions of cure serious wounds, torque of health +2 (as amulet), a vest of endure elements (*gasp* a custom magic item!), and three large-sized gold rings (worth 35 gp each).

Mind you, the warhammer gives the djinn a better attack routine than a naked djinn, and the amulet gives him more HP, and the potions combined with his at-will invisibility and perfect flight means he is harder to kill (because each time he drinks one of those potions he's getting back roughly 1/3rd of his total HP).

Meanwhile in Seven Swords of Sin, the previously mentioned sorceress has inherent modifiers because she's bound an efreeti.

Though not published by Pathfinder, James Jacobs wrote the Red Hand of Doom adventure path that was published by WotC and the NPCs therein use their equipment to great effect. The rank and file villains carry potions, scrolls, and use a lot of teamwork. In one of the early encounters in the game the party comes up against a lot of villains in an ambush-type situation and the NPC cleric is actually written to use consumable summon monster items to add to the fight, and for added emphasis this scroll of summon monster III is a higher level than the NPC itself can cast (and it reminds you that there is a trivial CL check involved to do so). This adventure is also regarded as one of the most high-quality adventures WotC ever had its name on (in the odd chance James is reading this, props man).

Quote:
If wishes are expected standard then why do most published stat blocks not include inherent bonuses? I mean there comes a point when even the fighter can get it done and your typical party can by scrolls of planar binding by 7th or 8th level.

Exactly. Your typical party. However most NPCs aren't usually expected to have a network of high level caster friends and/or access to such things. But they can if they do (like with the sorceress).

Also, yes, you absolutely can do it earlier with scrolls and a successful CL check. I've had players do it pre-11th level with just such a method (one of the PCs was a pretty good face and instead of strong-arming the efreeti, he just asked nicely to do some wish-trading) and the funny thing is I didn't need to up my encounters at all (seriously, the inherents only add a +2.5 modifier to stuff).

I reiterate from earlier, I do in fact tend to use stock monsters and the treasure values of most NPCs is not that stellar. For example, here's a loadout for an ogre-magi from my blog:

Quote:
Treasure: Double [chain shirt, greatsword, composite (+7) longbow, +1 amulet of natural armor (2,000 gp), +1 ring of protection (2,000 gp), +1 cloak of resistance (1,000 gp), oil of magic weapon x3 (150 gp), bag of 25 quartz gems (0.5 lbs., 250 gp), assorted jewelry such as rings, piercings, and armlets (250 gp), 500 silver pieces (10 lb., 50 gp)]
Quote:
Maybe because they do not is why most APs are really easy.

It's easier to add than subtract. The majority of rank and file monsters in APs don't even have treasure when they books say they should. For example, there are a lot of NPCs who aren't even using their NPC gear values but have like a single melee weapon, some armor, the end (which I feel kind of cheats the players but I imagine that either they didn't care to worry about it or they were saving space on statblocks). In some cases (such as with the bestiary) they might leave the lion's share of it in the GM's hands (for example, kobolds and orcs have NPC gear with a few basic items and "other treasures", and they haven't scratched the 260 gp worth of shwag they are supposed to have).

Quote:
In most of my games I turn the BBEG into caster or give him access to to one. The reason for the dungeon is to give the BBEG a chance to buff up. The PCs have 10 rounds from time alarm goes until the BBEG comes looking for them.

Sounds like good BBEG policy. :P

Quote:
This definitely makes things fun since the PCs always want info before the go in and then they smash through as fast as they can. Skipping foes does have the down side of they tend to come up behind you and reinforce the leader if you let them. Wall of stone helps with this.

A desirable outcome. Your party is acting like heroes and weighing their options and using abilities to achieve success and cut their foes off.


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Ashiel wrote:
Casts Ashiel's Happy Huggles at everyone!

Woo! What level is that? Is there a martial maneuver which accomplishes something similar?


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For those that care, here's the prologue for the adventure for you guys.

Vengeance Best Served:
Many years ago, a young white dragon named Seliex held dominion over a modest sized rural community called Kallid's Bay, where she occasionally hunted livestock and robbed travelers of their coin. Copper by copper, Seliex grew her horde and enjoyed her life as a dragon.

However it was not to last. The small community of Kallid's Bay, tired of being in the shadow of the young dragon, pooled their money and hired a team of adventurers to make their way to the dragon's lair on the side of the mountain overlooking the valley and put an end to her.

Seliex, young and foolish, never considered that the humanoids would attempt to attack her in her own home, and the naive dragon's meager traps (mostly consisting of pits she dug) and guardians (a few outcast yetis placated with shelter and food brought by the dragon) were of little match for the seasoned adventurers invading her lair.

What followed was a ferocious battle with a frightened Seliex under attack by humanoids she could not bully. Truly, she felt bullied and over powered by these monsters with flesh of steel and incantations of what felt like hell's own fire. With what seemed the killing blow, the warrior Galson slashed one of her eyes with his axe and threw her over the side of a underground fissure, where she fell into the frigid waters of a subterranean lake.

Seliex's meager horde was pillaged by the team and they returned to Kallid's Bay with the riches of the dragon as heroes. All that Seliex had made for herself was gone in an instant and fueled the revelry and success of her assailants.

Little did they realize that the blow that rended the dragon's left eye had not not slain her, and the frigid waters in the dark expanse were as a mother's breast to the young wyrm. She drifted to the shore of the great underground lake, and as she lie their battered, broken, and weeping, she swore one day she would have vengeance against those that would have stolen her life. She would have her retribution, and it she would make them suffer as she had suffered.

That was a long time ago, but the wound was never forgotten. Seliex never forgot the fear and horror of that day, and now she is older, wiser, and ready to serve her recipe for vengeance.


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137ben wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Casts Ashiel's Happy Huggles at everyone!
Woo! What level is that? Is there a martial maneuver which accomplishes something similar?

It's a cantrip and can be replicated by a grapple check from a kobold on a caffeine high. :P


If I may one day play this, dare I click the link?


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Legacy of Fire:
I'm not sure I recall correctly, but isn't one of the major parts of the metaplot of that path, that someone abused the snot out of high-powered wishcasting?

-Nearyn


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Tacticslion wrote:
If I may one day play this, dare I click the link?

The prologue tells a short story about a white dragon and why she's ticked off. It could be seen as a spoiler since it gives some insight into why the BBEG is the BBEG before you meet said BBEG, but it shouldn't ruin anything. :p


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AAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWSOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMME~!


Nearyn wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

-Nearyn

That is correct. In fact, it's the BBEG.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Ashiel, when the fellow was talking about modifying magic items, he specially said 'named items', not 'general magic items'.

i.e. there's no true formula down for Celestial Plate, so you can't modify it to +5. Likewise, adding powers to some of the other named items with special powers that don't fall into standard enhancements and the like.

Which doesn't excuse the fact that you can mithral celestial armor, unless you take the 'silver and gold' as being of a specific metal and thereby being essential to the crafting.

But technically, +5 Celestial armor is not possible by the rules.

===
What's really funny about Legacy of Fire is that you end up working with another wishcaster, and you can counter/cancel that efreet's wishes towards completing his goal faster then he can get them made, since he has to use some as bribes and you don't have to do so.

==Aelryinth


IIRC Ultimate Campaign actually had a few paragraphs dedicated to figuring out how to price upgrades to specific magic items, and making them out of different types of weapons/armors or materials.

Barring that, there's always magic vestment anyway (if you've got a cleric, oracle, inquisitor, or paladin with Unsanctioned Knowledge in your party).


Ashiel wrote:


As Nearyn pointed out, this is what efreeti are for. The potential "abuse" was pointed out during the development of PF. The devs said they would look into it. What we get is an efreeti with a very low CL for wish and a much nerfed wish spell. There are also instances of Paizo published adventures where efreeti are used for exactly this purpose.
And no, it's not unbalanced and it's not gamebreaking.

That's not what they are for. And if you are talking about legacy of fire and Nefeshti's wishes you are surely mistaken. In the case of Nefeshti you are against a timer to stop sth very bad from happening and wasting these wishes on inherent bonuses is a tactically very bad idea. In the last part of the Crimson Throne the wishes are used against the players.

So yeah the game pretty much doesn't assume players will have +5 inherent bonus on every stat by level 11.

Ashiel wrote:


Sorry, you're just wrong.
Core Rulebook wrote:
Sometimes, lack of funds or time make it impossible for a magic item crafter to create the desired item from scratch. Fortunately, it is possible to enhance or build upon an existing magic item. Only time, gold, and the various prerequisites required of the new ability to be added to the magic item restrict the type of additional powers one can place.
The cost to add additional abilities to an item is the same as if the item was not magical, less the value of the original item. Thus, a +1 longsword can be made into a +2 vorpal longsword, with the cost to create it being equal to that of a +2 vorpal sword minus the cost of a +1 longsword.
If the item is one that occupies a specific place on a character's body, the cost of adding any additional ability to that item increases by 50%. For example, if a character adds the power to confer invisibility to her ring of protection +2, the cost of adding this ability is the same as for creating a ring of invisibility multiplied by 1.5.
Here the rules explicitly demonstrate the process using a specific magic item, the ring of invisibility and a ring of protection +2.

Weird a +1 longsword, a ring of protection +2 and a ring of invisibility aren't named items.

Also by your former logic you can't enchant a mithral chain shirt in pathfinder society.

Ashiel wrote:


I never said that you were, but against a top-tier monster, you are a fool if you do not devote some effort into buffing. Further, at high levels your buffs are either rapidly appliable or have very long durations (mind blank lasts 24 hours, death ward lasts 20 minutes, freedom of movement lasts 3.33 hours, greater magic weapon and magic vestment last 20 hours, heroism lasts 3.33 hours, and even minute/level buffs last 20-ish minutes, which means that the number of rounds you need to apply specific buffs are few (since your general buffs are fire and forget). In a similar fashion, NPCs will generally need to buff (the ancient dragon can keep mage armor up without issues but shield is a "Those meddlesome fools will be here within the next twenty minutes or so," territory).
It works both ways.

I am not saying don't buff if you have the chance and I have yet to see any dnd party reaching high levels not almost becoming obsessed with buffing (and with good reason).

It does work both ways as in 20th level its easier to have your buffs up because you have more slots , bigger durations and a multitude of ways of controlling the pacing of combats (like teleport, scrying etc), but on the other side in a good campaign the environment and the unpredictability of such high level plots should put a monkey wrench in the partys plans.

In my actual experience its easy to have hour per level and even 10 min per level buffs up in the beginning of combat but despite my best efforts I have been tricked out of my 1 min per level buffs, even up to level 16.

Ashiel wrote:


I didn't say they did. In fact, I noted that I hadn't counted them in the AC of the creatures but noted that with dodge bonuses the AC will shoot even higher. And it will.

Fighting defensively and full defense are generally used when a monster has already considerably damaged the PC and he can't be healed fast enough to withstand further attacks. I don't see how full defense and fighting defensively is fair game in an argument about a melee of 20th level tanking (or spanking?) cthulu, since for cthulu to attack him he must be a threat.

Ashiel wrote:


But Paizo did take into account a lot of the rules published by itself. My only concern with your argument is that A) Repeating "3.5" over and over doesn't make something OP, and B) "For non-Core campaigns allowing Paizo Publishing Pathfinder Material, this item is pretty nifty" isn't really pushing anything, it's not even enough to get an eyelash batted most of the time.

Including choices from 3.5 is gonna make the PC's more powerful. A barbarian with access to celestial plate is generally going to be more powerful than one with no access to it. Overpowered is on a continuum and the more choices you allow the stronger pc's you will have.

Then again I can see that if you consider infinite wishes fair game then you certainly won't bat an eyelash at allowing material from 3.5.

Ashiel wrote:


Except that you kind of are. It's the same thing. And I don't have a problem with Crafting. You're saying it's unbalanced, but you keep saying a lot of stuff is unbalanced. A lot of stuff that isn't. Again, I think you are creating the problems that you are perceiving. And no, you're not going to get OP characters by combining things like a lesser cloak of displacement and a cloak of resistance, and to argue against taking a +3 armor (celestial armor) and increasing the enhancement to +5 (something explicitly called out as a thing you can do) is just silly.

I explained why it is unbalanced. You are going to get OP characters in the sense that CR apropriate challenges will start being not enough or less challenging to the party. That's a mathematical fact, more items equals stronger pc's which equals easier challenges.

Ashiel wrote:


Factually false. The treasure values are part of the monster and the rules explicitly say that you need PC WBL to add +1 CR to it from gear.

In theory yes, in practice results are varied. A cr 1 creature could gain zero benefit from pc' wealth while 19 level creature could easily gain enough bonuses to make the advanced template (CR +1) look like a joke.

Ashiel wrote:


Not all monsters of the same CR have the same general ACs. This has never been true. If all the monster statistics looked the same and had the same strengths and weaknesses the game would be utterly boring. There is a lot of variation based on individual creatures and what they excel at themselves.
For example, let's take a break from the CR 20 demigods and look at...Tigers. A CR 4 creature with 14 AC. It's AC is pretty awful for its CR. In fact, it's worse than quite a few CR 1 and 2 creatures. But that's okay, because it has a lot of abilities and different focus than that. AC is just not it's thing. It's not the linnorn or shoggoth's either, they have their own stuff.
PS: Freedom of movement allows you to move normally and/or not have issues with making melee attack rolls. It doesn't grant you a swim speed though or deal with any environmental snafus like cloudy water.

No one claimed that all monsters of the same CR have the same AC.

You claimed “However, such monsters typically have buffs and/or the magic items (which PCs will later loot) that substantially improve upon their base. "
And I proved that “monsters don't typically have buffs that substantially improve upon their base, at least ac wise".
Also its apparent at least in the first two Bestiaries that ac is closer to 37 than to 42.

Again you might face an aquatic monster near water and cloudy water could be a problem for the Linorm itself. Also doesn't freedom of movement allow you to move equal to your land speed?

Ashiel wrote:


Power within its predetermined limits. It is like trying to argue that 1.2 rounds up to 2. Not so much. We've already covered that PC Wealth = +1 CR. Wealth = assigned treasure value = CR +0.

A point 0.2 increase in CR is still an increase in CR, even if it gets rounded up to 0 on paper.

Its also a question of scale, if the items on the pit fiend provide benefits greater than the advanced template then you are clearly gaming the system, if they provide benefits close to those of the advanced template (like a 0.9 increase in CR) and you still treat the monster as its original cr you are pushing the system to its limits (especially considering the pit fiend is a relatively strong monster for its CR).

Ashiel wrote:


Flexibility is power (see Wizard). And yes, generally speaking creatures with high treasure values tend to be harder to fight than the simpletons with no treasure. That's kind of a natural gameplay mechanic since they are also less rewarding to fight. It would be exceptionally lame if you could kill a tiger and it burst into a dragon's horde or puked up a +2 lifedrinker instead of having to pry it from a demon's cold dead hands.
It's a feature, not a bug (fun fact, monsters with less treasure are good for low-treasure/WBL games, yeah?).

Flexibility is flexibility, the wizard is flexible AND powerful. As you yourself said “Most monsters without treasure have nasty things that they can do that offsets their need for treasures ,or are balanced by the fact they're a little easier but also less rewarding to fight "

I mainly agree with "most monsters without treasure have nasty things they can do" part. I wouldn't call a clay golem weaker than a fire giant or a retriever weaker than a devourer just less flexible. Thinking about it only dragons consistently support your claim, but I really think its just some weird tradition that they are on the top tier of their cr and roleplaying reasons they have triple treasure. I believe you are trying to see sth where there is no evidence or maybe circumstantial evidence. Unintelligent monsters have no treasure mainly for rp reasons and for the same reason a tarn linorm has triple treasure, because its a “dragon” and dragons have lots of treasure.

Again my main point is that if you turn the monsters treasure to items you make them stronger than their poorer counterparts.

Also I don't understand your comment about the tiger. If you kill a tiger you can either search its stomach for some stuck magic items or whatnot or track its lair where its treasure is. If you do neither of these things you wont get any treasure.
Note that there is the solution of its treasure being added to final horde in the adventure.

Ashiel wrote:


Generally speaking because it's more convenient for them to do so. Like I noted, carrying lots of coinage and stuff on your person is kind of dumb for most NPCs, especially NPCs who are going to be in a situation where PCs are going to loot them (unless the PCs are looting them on the way back from the ATM machine), and doubly so for creatures like most evil outsiders who can't carry more than 50 lbs. on their person (a pit fiend can only carry 50 lbs. of shwag before it can't teleport anymore, and a practical way to carry less than 50 lbs. worth of 134,000 gp is in the form of magic items).
Side Note: Meanwhile, magic items are created from things with value. It might even be that things with value are valuable largely in part because of their usefulness in magic. When you have to use 3,000 gp worth of materials to create a magic item, why not use a crown adorned with topazes as the main ingrediant?

Monsters don't need to carry their treasure on their person. It can be in somewhere near by, or it can be in the form of very valuable gems.

I am confused by your side note. Are you saying it would be cool to use items with high gp component as the “magical supplies” mentioned in item creation?

Ashiel wrote:


Nope. Just reflecting what you are describing. You seem to have a hatred for well balanced characters, ban or disallow things like beast totem + superstition, seem to hate item creation and/or ignore the standardized rules and their assumptions of it, continually repeat this mantra of "Party vs 1 Enemy" when you're talking about encounters (like when you were talking about rocket tag and optimizing and 15th level parties vs a single CR 20 enemy), insist that monsters using their treasure is somehow not normal (despite the fact pit fiends and the like are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and stuff), and don't ever seem to expect party members (be they PC or NPC) to buff each other with common staple buffs.
What do you expect me to think? Just review what this sounds like. It's doubly silly sounding because you're ignoring, twisting, changing, or condemning various mechanics on various levels and then insisting that X, Y, and Z are over/underpowered/not-normal/rules lawyering/cheese/whatever. Again, from where I'm sitting it looks like user error, because it looks like a mess.

Where is this hatred of balanced characters you describe?

I explained what the problem with item creation is.
There are instances where the party will be facing one big enemy in a boss battle. Not all boss battles should contain multiple enemies, maybe most, but not all.
Yes monsters cashing in their treasure for magic items isn't normal. Also if they don't, it sure doesn't mean they should act stupid, not use their abilities or what have you.

Ashiel wrote:


Quote:
What I have said that if you optimize you force your dm to use higher CR opponents.
No, you don't.
Quote:
This turns into a rocket tag game for the very reason that optimization isn't as always balanced offensively and defensively.
No, it doesn't.
Quote:
Maybe in your games you manage the players choices and you work with every monster and encounter to the point the gameplay flows well.
Not sure what you mean. Managing what? Working with what?
Quote:
But you can run an equally good game by having players that don't especially optimize, using monsters as they are from the book and creating tactically interesting battles. As a plus you also won't need to do all the work of creating dong fiends.
Agreed. Which is why I use the same monsters regardless of the level of optimization that the PCs are using. Dongle-fiend is just the poster-child of silly. I don't need to optimize them.
Quote:
I understand that you might find such “work” to be fun and you are probably good at it, but not everyone likes doing it.
What "work" are you talking about?

So you are basically saying that an am barbarian with item crafting double slot items and inherent bonuses from wishes with an equally optimized party beside him is challenged normally with appropriatelly cred monsters?

Ashiel wrote:


Wizards have stuff like clone which means upon being slain they just wake up with a couple of negative levels (which they can then wipe away via one of many methods) and then greater teleport back into the fight for round 2 (possibly after casting time stop and collecting his loot off his own corpse).
For example:
Round 1 - Wizard is slain (or has a heart attack from eating too many twinkies)
Round 2 - Wizard wakes up in his cloned body, wishes he didn't have a magic hangover, his Djinn complies, casts timestop.
Round 2.1 - Wizard greater teleports to his corpse and says "Damn, my doctor was right, I needed to lay off the twinkies".
Round 2.2 - Wizard grabs his corpse and equipment and takes it somewhere out of combat for a bit (plane shift to his own demiplane is a good dressing room).
Later - Wizard seeks revenge vs the twinkies and creates a worker's union.

That's a neat trick.

Several complications:
50% chance of loosing a spell could be a problem.
You have to end the time stop and use a ready action to grab your body. Not a real problem, since the readied action will be “I touch the body and teleport (or plane shift)”.
You party might still be fighting the enemy and they won't be able to use breath of life and heal on you.
The off chance of anything grabbing your body before your turn.

Ashiel wrote:


Example 2:
Liches resurrect themselves in a few days after their destruction. The lich's phylactery is hidden in a permanent private sanctum on a distant moon on the other side of the galaxy, in a location that is generally perpetually freezing and devoid of oxygen. He's kind of a dick to kill.

Doesn't the lich need interplanetary teleport for that and isn't the regenarating lich found by discern location?

Ashiel wrote:


Save vs insanity! Heal, mass.
He teleports! Dimensional anchor.
He doesn't die easily! Wizards, ghosts, tarrasques, regenerating creatures, liches, etc.
Pretty strait forward stuff.
Now a white dragon? Those things are fun to fight. <(@o@)>

The insanity effect must be saved again every round.

You don't know he will teleport or that he has teleport.

His resurrection ability is superior to that of every creature you mention.

Also you didn't adress my points at all.

Blizzard is hard to deal with I guess. For some reason in my 1st tough monsters post I forgot that the white and brass dragons can use their blindsense through their freezing fog and sandstorm respectively. Out of curiosity, any tricks you can pull off with ice shape beyond making every surface made of ice?

Ashiel wrote:


Or simulacrum.

So the answer is yes.

I have to say I have no idea what a party of 20 level pc's including a paladin, that has infinite wishes from planar binding and simularcum, uses crafting and double item slots can do. I have never experienced this style of game. I am pretty condifent that after level 11 though lots of things will start looking like putzes (unless they have caster levels you can optimize, treasure you spent or are used at a relative high cr).

Ashiel wrote:


If you don't invest in defense, you are going to get wrecked. If you're not allowed to take defensive abilities if you take offensive ones too, you're not allowed to take a hit. Seems reasonable enough.
A "hit" in this case also includes magic. Kind of like how Fighters suck at fighting. Barbarians don't have to suck at fighting.

Well they do have better saves than the fighter thanks to rage and the funnily enough they actually are worse than the fighter in a core only game.

Ashiel wrote:


You're really stuck on this celestial plate thing aren't you? I make a post detailing what you can do in core, and as an aside note that in a typical expanded environment it's a pretty good staple.
And yes, I do think a loooooot of the posts, especially early in the thread, feel like it's just anything and everything that you have to fight in an unusual way or actually adapt to.
As for AM BARBARIAN, yeah, I would allow it. There's nothing that concerns me as a GM about AM BARBARIAN. I wouldn't need to change my game at all. I'd still just be using the same NPCs (most of them out of the Bestiary I). And yes, not banning large segments of the core game game that are explicitly defined as things you are expected to be able to do out works pretty well. I don't have to butcher the game and make problems that I then have to fix by running naked monsters. Odd, I know.

I don't understand what you are saying. Are you saying a lot of the posts seem to be implying that anything and everything that forces you to change your tactics is unfun?

I read the first and second page and found almost no evidence of this. There was a lot of check X its badass or too much. I personally don't like the threads title, but the posts in first 2 pages seemed ok.

I would strongly oppose the notion that having infinite wishes is one of the things you are expected to do.
I would also argue against crafting combined with double slot items and enchanting named items.

One could also say you create problems that you fix by running dressed monsters.

In any case, do know that for people who don't game they way you do, the power levels of monsters will seem much higher (especially at high levels).


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I'm pretty sure that the intent of the "standard" treasure listed in the Bestiary is not that it is meant to be freely spendable on monster gear without (potentially) changing the CR of the creature. Any changes to the stats beyond the base Bestiary entry should be checked against the monster creation rules table to determine if the CR has to change, IMO - unlisted treasure is not really part of the stat block, what determines the CR is the actual combat stats.


Shimnimnim wrote:


A lower CR thing is clerics. An evil cleric can fire off a ton of that channel negative energy. And while the damage might not seem like much, it adds up quickly, specially since medium armor is pretty good protection and the cleric probably isn't alone. Channel negative energy also runs the risk of killing already unconscious PCs who just so happen to be in range. And a cleric can use cure light wounds to heal herself, which is very frustrating in early game where weapons hit less than half the time.

Oh yeah, this. Every time I've come close to tpking a party it's been with an evil cleric of the same level as the party and a small retinue of ghouls, skeletons, or whatever appropriate undead. The poster didn't even mention hold person, fear, and all the other just horrifying bits of hell a well made cleric can bring on a party.


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@John John
"No, you're wrong and I'm right and I don't need to bother explaining why in detail" is not an effective method of delivering your points.

You should seriously consider stepping back from the discussion and taking a look at what you're arguing for, why, and what the system's math actually produces under conditions where all players are taking advantage of their options (sans line item bans by a GM).

As far as I can tell from your posts, you're arguing that a bunch of problems exist in the game, but it seems evident that those problems are a direct result of banning or ignoring already available options that solve them or preclude their existence.


I forgot that dragons have blindsense, so in the first post I pick tough monsters the white and brass dragons can use it through freezing fog and sandstorm respectively.

Devil, Bearded CR 5 greater teleport, dr 5/good or silver, sr, resistances, wields a glaive that causes bleed and also has claws.

Devil Bones CR 9 perception+19, fear aura dc 19, 10/good dr, constant fly, invisibility at will which means he can use his wall of ice and major image at will, also has quickened invisibility 3/day and dimensional anchor, stealth +14, his full attack seems kinda weak though.

Devil Horned CR 16 his normal attack forces a dc 27 check to avoid being stunned for 1d4 rounds, has magic circle against good at will which can boost its ac to 37, has stealth +22 and persistent image at will

Devil Pitfiend CR 20 his unholy aura ensures an ac of 42 and very good saves, also has a pretty scary poison.

Dinosaur ankylosaurus CR 6 a normal brute animal but his +14 attack can cause daze for 1 round if a dc 23 save is failed.

Dragon turtle CR9 has a breath weapon with good aoe and 12d6 damage, good full attack, stealth +15

Eel giant Moray CR 5 it can grab and deal average 25 damage in the first round and it seems it can continue dealing this damage every round. Wording is confusing though and it needs to make two +11 attacks.

Elemental air CR 5-11 Large to Elder The greater and elder ones can create a dust storm and then use perception to approach targets. Its kinda hard to deal with this, since it has total cover and superior mobility. Also has high ac, dr, initiative and stealth. Its full attack is mediocre

Elemental earth CR 5-11 good attacks, dr and tremorsense,

Genie shaitan CR 7 tremoresense,can burrow, earth glide through stone, dirt, crystal or metal!, at will soften earth and stone, 3/day quickend gliterdust, stoneskin!, wall of stone! And ofcourse 1/day trans mud to rock and rock to mud. Those are some good spell likes. His full attack is ok and do note his earth mastery.

Giant Stone CR 8 he basically does what every other giant does, plus he can throw stones relatively better. Also has stealth +12 in rocky terrain.

Giant storm CR 13 compared to a galbrezu he might seem underwhelming, but he has his uses. His full attack is really impressive as is his standard action attack of 12d6+21/17-20 damage. Has combat reflexes and big reach, and actually is real threat underwater due to his constant freedom of movement and water breathing. Note that he is normally encountered along remote coastlines and islands.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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John John, in a core only campaign, the barbarian is MUCH better then the fighter in every role a combatant can play, EXcEPT pure archery...because archery is so feat intensive.

he makes a better champion, guardian, hunter, and soldier in pretty much every case you can pick. He definitely makes a better adventurer.

==Aelryinth


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Aelryinth wrote:

Ashiel, when the fellow was talking about modifying magic items, he specially said 'named items', not 'general magic items'.

i.e. there's no true formula down for Celestial Plate, so you can't modify it to +5. Likewise, adding powers to some of the other named items with special powers that don't fall into standard enhancements and the like.

Which doesn't excuse the fact that you can mithral celestial armor, unless you take the 'silver and gold' as being of a specific metal and thereby being essential to the crafting.

But technically, +5 Celestial armor is not possible by the rules.

===
What's really funny about Legacy of Fire is that you end up working with another wishcaster, and you can counter/cancel that efreet's wishes towards completing his goal faster then he can get them made, since he has to use some as bribes and you don't have to do so.

==Aelryinth

Why would we need a formula for the cost of Celestial Plate to modify it? Mind, it's easy enough to derive the cost of the 'Celestial' enchantment, but we'd only need that if we wanted to apply it to a different type of armor. For upgrading it to +5? Celestial Plate Armor is +3 Full Plate (plus other bonuses). Ignoring the other bonuses, since they're already paid for, +3 Full Plate costs 5325 to make. +5 Full Plate costs 13325 to make. Thus, it costs 8,000 GP to make a +3 Celestial Plate into +5 Celestial Plate, or 16,000 if you're paying an NPC to do the enchanting for you. Buying +5 Celestial Plate outright would cost 41,000 gp--16,000, plus the 25,000 base price for regular Celestial Plate.


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I have never actually had a player use any of the planar binding spells in my experience. I haven't ever explicitly give my NPC's wishes after the fact (now seems like the right way to build high level villains), but I do sometimes just generate NPCs with normal stat rolls that wild out them above the heroic NPC block, because heck yeah. I max out the hit points of major foes (keeping the added difficulty in mind) because it would make the villain more memorable.

Back on point, foes with mythic surge are tough.
"Haha you failed your save versus death."
*dm rolls a d6*
"Nope saved by MYTHIC SURGE! NOW IN STORES AFTER BEING BANNED BECAUSE IT WAS TOO EXTREME OF A SOFT DRINK!"


I've said it before and I'll say it again, seugathi.
Mind for combined with an aura of madness. Throw it in a cave and u got a tpk, or at least a really annoying encounter.


At Ash THANKS. MSG with stuff when you can and I love the opening.

I look forward to see the adventure. I GM and I rarely enjoy running books 5 and 6 of an AP since I know my players are going to just find ways to skip, naturalize or ignore most of the material and I need to make so many changes that the AP rarely saves me anytime at all. I have always wonder how good high level play works.

The stat bonuses are just numbers. That use of wish is easy to counter.

It is the free 20 HD simulacrums that are bothersome. 1 bound genie makes 33 simed genies. That can get multiplied by 3 every round. Maybe you some slowage for logistics but it easy to get thousand in a day.

From their commune eventually get you all info and then just wish yourself to BBEG and be done with it. Mind blank helps but I do not see it used in APs. I guess I just do no want to have to rewrite so much to use published works.


Even Nancy Reagan knew how to stop players from making a thousand genies.

The Exchange

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Devilkiller wrote:
Even Nancy Reagan knew how to stop players from making a thousand genies.

Paizo put together a great article about wish economy in the legacy of fire campaign. It's about balancing things, and it suggests there are groups that monitor it all to make sure it all works out.

Even better, the city of Brass is made from a metal called living brass. It is created by merging the souls of those who used the Genies wishes and were tricked or corrupted by them. In a way, it is a means of determining power as it allows you to build greater palaces. So there is an inherent reason for Genies to deliberately trick and destroy the people using their wishes. Tackle with care.


Bestiary 5 just needs a completely vicious inevitable in charge of slapping down wish abuse. I won't complain if it is unfun for its CR...


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Ian Bell wrote:
Bestiary 5 just needs a completely vicious inevitable in charge of slapping down wish abuse. I won't complain if it is unfun for its CR...

How about magic abuse in general? Greater dispel magic, mind fog, and banishment at will, as well as a permanent feeblemind aura. Quicken SLA, too, just for funsies. Oh, and a selective antimagic aura/permanent aroden's spellbanes.


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Aelryinth wrote:
Ashiel, when the fellow was talking about modifying magic items, he specially said 'named items', not 'general magic items'.

Yes. And in the example it uses a specific magic item, the ring of invisibility as an example. It never makes any exceptions. Magic items are magic items. As Revan points out, it's not some grand mystery.

John John wrote:
In theory yes, in practice results are varied. A cr 1 creature could gain zero benefit from pc' wealth while 19 level creature could easily gain enough bonuses to make the advanced template (CR +1) look like a joke.

The advanced template is already a joke.

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Also doesn't freedom of movement allow you to move equal to your land speed?

It allows you to move normally. It does not provide a swim speed.

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Then again I can see that if you consider infinite wishes fair game then you certainly won't bat an eyelash at allowing material from 3.5.

You could at least read my posts before you reply to them.

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So you are basically saying that an am barbarian with item crafting double slot items and inherent bonuses from wishes with an equally optimized party beside him is challenged normally with appropriatelly cred monsters?

Yes.

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Doesn't the lich need interplanetary teleport for that and isn't the regenarating lich found by discern location?

No. Greater teleport has an infinite range on the same plane of existence. Specifically, on a plane of infinite size, greater teleport can still take you anywhere in it. Thus you can use greater teleport to go to the moon, or Mars, or Pluto, or into a neighboring galaxy.

Interplanetary teleport has some extra tricks (like safety-devices to keep you from murdering yourself by accidentally mistaking a star for a planet or something) but liches needn't worry about that anyway.

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I have to say I have no idea what a party of 20 level pc's including a paladin, that has infinite wishes from planar binding and simularcum, uses crafting and double item slots can do. I have never experienced this style of game. I am pretty condifent that after level 11 though lots of things will start looking like putzes (unless they have caster levels you can optimize, treasure you spent or are used at a relative high cr).

I agree, it's quite clear that you have no idea how any of it works. I agree with Aratrok.

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Well they do have better saves than the fighter thanks to rage and the funnily enough they actually are worse than the fighter in a core only game.

I agree with Aelriynth. Fighters are awful in core and Barbarians, Rangers, and Paladins are in a much better place.

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I don't understand what you are saying. Are you saying a lot of the posts seem to be implying that anything and everything that forces you to change your tactics is unfun?

Yes. That was the feeling I got from a number of the posts.

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I would also argue against crafting combined with double slot items and enchanting named items.

You would be wrong. Also there is no such thing as a "named item". I think you're thinking of artifacts, because it's true that you cannot create/modify artifacts.

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One could also say you create problems that you fix by running dressed monsters.

You seem to assume that all monsters are dressed up. I promise you will see no tigers in tutus in my games. :)

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I am confused by your side note. Are you saying it would be cool to use items with high gp component as the “magical supplies” mentioned in item creation?

Yes.

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Blizzard is hard to deal with I guess. For some reason in my 1st tough monsters post I forgot that the white and brass dragons can use their blindsense through their freezing fog and sandstorm respectively. Out of curiosity, any tricks you can pull off with ice shape beyond making every surface made of ice?

Since I don't have time to explain it (submitting an application for a writing gig, working on some stuff like the adventure w/ the white dragon for everyone in the thread), I'm trying to keep this brief.

White dragons have enough options, movement forms, and tricks that in their lairs the entirety the the combat's focus and tempo can change from round to round.


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Mathius wrote:
At Ash THANKS. MSG with stuff when you can and I love the opening.

You're welcome.

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I look forward to see the adventure. I GM and I rarely enjoy running books 5 and 6 of an AP since I know my players are going to just find ways to skip, naturalize or ignore most of the material and I need to make so many changes that the AP rarely saves me anytime at all. I have always wonder how good high level play works.

I hope you enjoy it. :)

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It is the free 20 HD simulacrums that are bothersome. 1 bound genie makes 33 simed genies. That can get multiplied by 3 every round. Maybe you some slowage for logistics but it easy to get thousand in a day.

Yeah, simulacrum is goofy. I rewrote it for Wraithstrike because it's really super OP as written. Limited wish->geas is really lame too. The things you can do with simulacrum are pretty terrifying (toss in magic jar for really goofy stuff).

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From their commune eventually get you all info and then just wish yourself to BBEG and be done with it. Mind blank helps but I do not see it used in APs. I guess I just do no want to have to rewrite so much to use published works.

I find myself having to rewrite stuff in Published Works a lot unfortunately. In Jade Regent there's a wight that's wearing broken plate armor but has no adjustments to its stats at all (no penalties, no bonuses), and when Aratrok showed me a tiny fraction of the revisions he had to make to Reign of Winter just to fix statblock errors (wrong spell levels) and rule errors (especially concerning environment stuff) it was mind-blowing. Last I heard from him on the subject, his revisions were getting pretty thick. :P

I'll try to make sure you needn't revise this adventure much. :)


About the price for +5 celestial plate, no. You ignore the "other bonuses", saying they are already paid for. However, that is only possible if you assume they are bonuses with a fixed price. Put "other bonuses" as a +-equivalent, and you get a far higher price for a +5 celestial plate. Pricing special items is not an exact science.


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Ipslore the Red wrote:
Oh, and a selective antimagic aura/permanent aroden's spellbanes.

That spell needs to die in a fire. :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We know they aren't plus-equivalent abilities, because they are not on the list of plus-equivalent abilities, and do not conform to the price structure of plus-equivalent ability. If they did, Celestial Plate could not cost 25,000 gp, since that is the *base* price of +5 Armor. If the Celestial bonuses were equivalent to a +2 bonus, it would cost 26,650; if it was equivalent to any other plus-bonus, it would cost more or less than 25,000.

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