pathfinder monsters that aren't fun for their CR


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A cr10 Warrior/20 is probably an overpowered encounter, if you want to really go by the rules. He's probably carrying more wealth then the whole party.

==Aelryinth

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Weird, HeroLab calculates its CR as class levels +2.


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Aelryinth wrote:

A cr10 Warrior/20 is probably an overpowered encounter, if you want to really go by the rules. He's probably carrying more wealth then the whole party.

==Aelryinth

Not if you're following the bestiary method (which is how you arrive at CR 10). In which case he has equipment for a CR 10 NPC and stacks up with CR 10 creatures pretty well. The only exception perhaps being that if you throw Dazing Assault on him, he is going to wreck all the non-Paladin faces in melee.


Trimalchio wrote:

Sorry if I upset you Nearyn, taking 20d10 energy damage to the face isn't fun for anyone I guess.

Average of 110 damage? Maybe as a finisher it is ok, because 110 damage wont kill anyone at the level you will be fighting this thing.

Lets all 4 pcs fail their reflex save, and you went first and opened with this. Next round, you lose as the pcs own you?


When a PC can cast Mass Heal, 110 damage to everyone isn't the worst thing that can happen.

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Ratguard wrote:

I strongly believe that the Festrog can potentially be a horrible CR1 Encounter.

First, it can charge up to whoever is in the back, with it's 100 foot charge, then trip them using his Charging trip power, giving him a +8 to the trip roll, on top of the bite from the charge. He then feeds on them, assuming the people hanging in the back are weaker characters, or wearing light armor, he has a +6 to hit, meaning more than likely he does make contact.

After he had fed he now has 14 HP, and it is now time for initative, with his temporary hit points he should be able to survive a couple good jab, which is a very very bad thing, for the more hits he takes, the more chances his Diseased Pustules can take effect, causing 1d4 con damage a day, admittedly only with a 11 Fortitude save, it can still pose a problem for classes with slow fort saves.

On top of that, if he survives to go on his next turn, he can do many things, a first level party has no way of catching him if he runs, unless they have gathered enough money to purchase a horse by now. And if he does not run, he can get a rather nifty full attack, with Bite +4 (1d6+3) And 2 claws +5 (1d4+3) And if his bite does land, he gets more temporary hit points,

And to make matters worse, these things can come in pack, using their Charging Trip power to trip most of the party, forcing them to either bite a -4 or get up provoking and attack.

I think it's actually a quite fun monster.

Keep in mind that it's only moving that fast when charging, which means when it can go to its target in a straight, unhindered line. If the wizard in the back left himself open to that, he had it coming.

However, it's got a decent shot at rushing melee guys, or archers who underestimate how fast he's gonna close to melee damage (and foolishly stayed in the front line).

Its AC isn't that high, and neither are his HP. However, his to-hit is decent and he's got a good chance at biting to feed. So although PCs whaling on him get good results, they're still a threat that might last for multiple rounds.

If you compare this thing to a ghoul, I think it's a way nicer fight. It doesn't take people out of the action (paralysis) or raise questions about whether the GM should coup de grace. It hits hard and fast, but a serious tank character can withstand them, and even mediocre melee characters can hit it effectively.

The diseased postules, alongside the charge attacks, to me scream "fight this thing with polearms, not animal companions!" So it's a creature that requires more specific tactics than "just hit it really hard".

I love it.


Ashiel wrote:
The rules actually use a ring of invisibility in the example which is both a specific item that does not rely on item chart abilities, nor does it use a standard pricing formula.

Is it? Items like celestial armor belong to a "specific items" list. I don't see ring of invisibility in such a list.

EDIT: Mistake with quotes

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The Ring of Invisibility has been repeatedly mentioned by devs as an example of an item that ignores the normal pricing guidelines (it's more expensive) because at-will invisibility is unusually strong for an at-will level 2 spell.

So IMO it counts as a specific enough item. Arguably, all rings are specific items.

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John John wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
The rules actually use a ring of invisibility in the example which is both a specific item that does not rely on item chart abilities, nor does it use a standard pricing formula.
Is it? Items like celestial armor belong to a "specific items" list. I don't see ring of invisibility in such a list.

Yeah, if only there was a book that listed "specific items" and called out how they follow the normal upgrade rules...


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Matthew Downie wrote:
When a PC can cast Mass Heal, 110 damage to everyone isn't the worst thing that can happen.

You can't really assume that will be available, though, when you're assigning a CR. Not every party has a cleric or even an oracle.


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Ian Bell wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
When a PC can cast Mass Heal, 110 damage to everyone isn't the worst thing that can happen.
You can't really assume that will be available, though, when you're assigning a CR. Not every party has a cleric or even an oracle.

When designing for the game, you assume the traditional 4 roles. Individual party strengths or weaknesses are up to the party to deal with. By that level, you should have methods of healing anyway, even if it's because you have a planetar hanging out with you ready to drop a mass heal via a scroll.


110 hp is not really a big problem even without heals forthcoming. A full party will still be largely functional and ready to massacre the daemon.


Sissyl wrote:
110 hp is not really a big problem even without heals forthcoming. A full party will still be largely functional and ready to massacre the daemon.

True this. It's worth noting that a wizard with a +7 Con modifier should have about 72.5 base HP + 140 bonus HP = 212 HP. That's also not counting any spells like false life or vampiric touch.


Ashiel wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
110 hp is not really a big problem even without heals forthcoming. A full party will still be largely functional and ready to massacre the daemon.
True this. It's worth noting that a wizard with a +7 Con modifier should have about 72.5 base HP + 140 bonus HP = 212 HP. That's also not counting any spells like false life or vampiric touch.

+7 con modifier??? OMG. What was that? A Scarred Witch Doctor?


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@Aeric Blackberry: Naw man, a wizard. It says so, right in the text you're quoting.

-Nearyn


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Aeric Blackberry wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
110 hp is not really a big problem even without heals forthcoming. A full party will still be largely functional and ready to massacre the daemon.
True this. It's worth noting that a wizard with a +7 Con modifier should have about 72.5 base HP + 140 bonus HP = 212 HP. That's also not counting any spells like false life or vampiric touch.
+7 con modifier??? OMG. What was that? An Scarred Witch Doctor?

A wizard that started with a 14 Con. +6 enhancement from an item, +4 or +5 from inherents being you to Con 24-25, which is a +7 modifier.


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Nearyn wrote:

@Aeric Blackberry: Naw man, a wizard. It says so, right in the text you're quoting.

-Nearyn

Indeed. This brings me to an observation that probably needs to be addressed.

People don't understand/know high levels or what is just part of the regular game on a casual basis. By casual basis I mean just using existing spells and such as they are presented. Things that are major buffs back at 9th level are your junk spell slots today. Death ward and freedom of movement are using spell slots 5 levels lower than your party's highest level slots.

Likewise, your wealth is so great at these levels that you can access most any consumable that you need. And if you don't have the cash on hand it's just a matter of time vs effort (you could go do lower level adventuring things to stock up on cash quickly, or just use one of many downtime methods to make money between adventures).

And your ability scores are different. You have 4-5 floating points to dump into your scores, +6 from items, and another +5 from inherent modifiers that are gained either through things like djinn or from overpriced magic shwag, which returns us to the previous paragraph where monetary cost at this point is a timesink not a limitation.

EDIT: At this level, 18 is your low ability score and your top-end is usually around +10 to +12.


Aeric Blackberry wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
110 hp is not really a big problem even without heals forthcoming. A full party will still be largely functional and ready to massacre the daemon.
True this. It's worth noting that a wizard with a +7 Con modifier should have about 72.5 base HP + 140 bonus HP = 212 HP. That's also not counting any spells like false life or vampiric touch.
+7 con modifier??? OMG. What was that? A Scarred Witch Doctor?

On a side note, you should see a barbarian that's bothered to spec Constitution. They have HP for days.

Base of 135 HP
+180 HP With a 28 Constitution (16 base, +2 levels, +5 inherent, +6 item)
Mighty Rage adding another +8 Con when raging for another +80.
395 HP before temporary HP, size modifiers, etc.


Indeed. There is this impression I get, every now and again, that some people either don't understand, or they underestimate, what adventurers can employ in terms of ressources. Class-based or otherwise. I mean, I cannot remember the last character I had, past level 13, who didn't make a point of carrying scrolls of time-stop. Yet I constantly see comments like "this seems like Schroedinger's <X>", when in fact it is merely a character equipped as you would expect, from a person who has litterally fought creatures from other planes of existence, mighty monster warlords from the deep mountains, and many other things both vile and villainous.

-Nearyn


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I think it's pretty clear that not every runs around with +5 inherit bonuses even at level 17, sure maybe in your game you allow chain binding of wish granting genies but that clearly is not how everyone plays and based on WBL guidelines and the cost of inherit tomes it seems also clear the game suggests that those who do play that way are likely playing in the deeper end of the power pool.

As mentioned death ward is 1 minute a level, and as at level 4 it is the sort of buff you likely can only give everyone once or maybe twice depending on how many cohorts etc there are in play, since it is single target touch getting it up during combat can be problematic. It is also pretty common for players not to _always_ know what they are going to fight, even at high levels, maybe they prepared for a pit fiend or a dragon but got a daemon instead, stuff happens.

False life is a common buff but also often the first buff that gets taken down during the typical 5 encounters per day adventuring life.

I get something closer to 150 hp for a wizard at level 17, still likely not to get dropped by a single blast if the wizard is at full health when it happens.

If encounters are requiring the burning of 9th level mass heals and 9th level time stop scrolls I'm not sure if that qualifies as a walk in the park on a pleasant Sunday afternoon.


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How many times do we need to talk about how Paizo was specifically queried about the wish binding thing and chose to

* Nerf wish instead
* and use it in their own adventures

...instead of removing it? Seriously. It's not even hard to figure out, Efreeti are right in the first bestiary. I'm more surprised by groups that don't notice and use it than groups that do.

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Having played a couple 3.0/3.5/PF campaigns up into the low 20s, I can say that, while we were not quite at the extremes Ashiel proposes, there is a big paradigm shift in how ability scores go.

It's easy to have +6 enhancement to everything at level 20, so even your dump stats are a 13. Even without planar binding/gate/simulacrum craziness, your important scores are going to get inherent bonuses. Probably +5 to your mainstat, but +2-3 to other important stats as well.

So a wizard who at first level had S9 D14 C14 I19 W12 Ch7
Has at level 20 something like S15 D22 C24 I35 W20 Ch13

That sort of array really isn't tough to pull off at 20. That set isn't even particularly minmaxed; that's just sort of what stats at super high levels end up looking like.


Trimalchio wrote:


If encounters are requiring the burning of 9th level mass heals and 9th level time stop scrolls I'm not sure if that qualifies as a walk in the park on a pleasant Sunday afternoon.

Time stop scrolls are pretty cheap yo.

Remember, I gave the monster the best possible situation to breathe. It isn't guaranteed he will hit all 4, or even go first.

It is ok to realize that 20d10 is not much vs high level characters, and some high level monsters are not actually very difficult to fight.


I find it more bizarre that most people who post here unerringly believe that they play the canonical RAW 'pathfinder' game and everyone who deviates or disagrees with them is wrong or not understanding something or inexperienced. Simply take the 15 point buy vs 20 point buy arguments that crop up on occasion.

3,825 gp doesn't qualify as cheap to me, WBL says 410k for level 17, that's nearly 1% of your total wealth, even if you are crafting it yourself that makes time stop one of the two spells you know, again unless level 9 spells are handed out like candy to every adventurer who asks nicely (some campaigns don't even have level 17 npc casters, much less a magic emporium shop in every city).

I fully appreciate there are plenty of people who play high level games where magic and wealth and wishes are abundant and essentially free who don't get off their demiplane in the morning for anything less than a cabal of pit fiends riding around on nightwave nightshades and great wyrm green dragons. I concede 20d10 may as well be fluff to such groups, but the 'CR' concept becomes rather moot as well.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Trimalchio wrote:
3,825 gp doesn't qualify as cheap to me

If you earn at least twice that much on average from a single encounter, it's cheap.


Trimalchio wrote:


3,825 gp doesn't qualify as cheap to me, WBL says 410k for level 17, that's nearly 1% of your total wealth

Another way to put this is that each one is less than 1% of your total wealth, making them a steal to craft and buy

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:
3,825 gp doesn't qualify as cheap to me
If you earn at least twice that much on average from a single encounter, it's cheap.

It depends upon your perspective. If you're burning half your gains from each encounter on a single good item - you aren't going to gain much.

Of course - much depends upon how you treat WBL. I've heard some argue on here that you should pop all sorts of buff potions like candy no matter their relative cost because your GM should give you more treasure to make up for it to keep you at WBL. To me that seems dumb.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
It depends upon your perspective. If you're burning half your gains from each encounter on a single good item - you aren't going to gain much.

This assumes you are using it every encounter. If that is the argument, then I misspoke.

Of course, even on Slow track a 20th level encounter earns 45000 split among the party.


Trimalchio wrote:

I think it's pretty clear that not every runs around with +5 inherit bonuses even at level 17, sure maybe in your game you allow chain binding of wish granting genies but that clearly is not how everyone plays and based on WBL guidelines and the cost of inherit tomes it seems also clear the game suggests that those who do play that way are likely playing in the deeper end of the power pool...

I have about 150 at level 17 also, but by level 20 there is enough of an increase in wealth to actually have the +7 modifier in constitution.

If I am crafting I can get closer to 200. If there are two crafters in the party things get more interesting.

Note the above is for the wizard/sorc.

However I also don't expect to be any closer than I have to be, so if I can tag the monster from 100+ feet out then I am doing that.


ryric wrote:

Having played a couple 3.0/3.5/PF campaigns up into the low 20s, I can say that, while we were not quite at the extremes Ashiel proposes, there is a big paradigm shift in how ability scores go.

It's easy to have +6 enhancement to everything at level 20, so even your dump stats are a 13. Even without planar binding/gate/simulacrum craziness, your important scores are going to get inherent bonuses. Probably +5 to your mainstat, but +2-3 to other important stats as well.

So a wizard who at first level had S9 D14 C14 I19 W12 Ch7
Has at level 20 something like S15 D22 C24 I35 W20 Ch13

That sort of array really isn't tough to pull off at 20. That set isn't even particularly minmaxed; that's just sort of what stats at super high levels end up looking like.

I generally agree except I don't know if I would spent the money for the +6 to str and cha and I also don't know if I would buy +2 inherent in dex and wis and a +4 inherent in con. It really depends on what you want to buy with your 880k.

For example a 20th level core fighter could be sth like this:

+5 shield 25k
+5 (+12) composite bow 51,2k
+5 sword 50k
+5 mithral full plate fortification(moderate) 74k
+6 str/dex/con 144k
+5 str 137,5k
ring of freedom of movement 40k
+5 cloak or resistance 25k
+5 ring of deflection 50k
+6 wisdom/int 90k
ion stone pale green 30k
bag of holding type III 7,8k
boots winged 16k
+4 dex inherent 110
+10 perception 10k

19,5k remain

I could see removing stuff like the bow, the +6 int and the winged boots to get some extra inherent bonuses or even a robe of eyes, robes of stars or luckstone. You can also save 22,5 k just by your wishes coming from the party's resident wizard.

Regarding the 110 breath weapon damage the issue here is the awesomeness of mass heal (and heal). It really is superior compared to other 9th level spells (except maybe miracle). Even in 3.5 with inherent bonus to con and 1d4 hit die mages had 150 hp at 20th level (so they would survive the breatgh weapon).


Ashiel wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
110 hp is not really a big problem even without heals forthcoming. A full party will still be largely functional and ready to massacre the daemon.
True this. It's worth noting that a wizard with a +7 Con modifier should have about 72.5 base HP + 140 bonus HP = 212 HP. That's also not counting any spells like false life or vampiric touch.

We were talking about a level 17 party, not a level 20 one, I think (or at least I was before), and your expectations for stats are a little out of line with what I typically see at my table regardless.

If we're talking about a CR 20 vs. a level 20 party, it's not meant to be a particularly challenging encounter anyway at that point.


I'm in an 8th level Mythic game where we're having some trouble finding wands of Cure Light Wounds for sale. Scrolls of Time Stop might not be on our horizon any time soon. In another current game the Ninja searched for around 6 levels to find a silver wakizashi since the DM didn't feel that silver weapons or especially wakizashis would be readily available in Cheliax. In another recent campaign my PC was practically drowning in magic items including an artifact weapon. When it comes to magic items expectations can vary pretty widely.


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Wakazashi unavailable in Cheliax? Chelexian Hellstalkers are essentially reskinned ninja that wield twin "Hellcat Fangs" which are a light saber that is mechanically identical to a wakazashi and even has the same stats and requires the same feat. the reason they don't list "Hellcat Fangs" as a weapon, is because they are a canon reskin of the Wakazashi designed to be used by the Reskinned "Ninjas" *Cough* i mean Hellstalkers. if you couldn't find Wakazashi, at least ask about the standard issue sabres used by hellstalkers.


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ryric wrote:

Having played a couple 3.0/3.5/PF campaigns up into the low 20s, I can say that, while we were not quite at the extremes Ashiel proposes, there is a big paradigm shift in how ability scores go.

It's easy to have +6 enhancement to everything at level 20, so even your dump stats are a 13. Even without planar binding/gate/simulacrum craziness, your important scores are going to get inherent bonuses. Probably +5 to your mainstat, but +2-3 to other important stats as well.

So a wizard who at first level had S9 D14 C14 I19 W12 Ch7
Has at level 20 something like S15 D22 C24 I35 W20 Ch13

That sort of array really isn't tough to pull off at 20. That set isn't even particularly minmaxed; that's just sort of what stats at super high levels end up looking like.

Ryric is right. And what's worse is that it shows that not doing this thing that supposedly "breaks the game" actually breaks the game.

Why? Because a caster is going to pump his stats one way or another. It might not be all of them, but it will be his important ones. Stuff like Int and Con are going to get the inherent modifier, one way or another.

Flip the coin around. What are the martials going to get, exactly? They need to get a +5 inherent modifier in Con, Dex, and Wisdom just to match the +5 that the wizard dumped into his own Int (using his own wishes if he wanted).

Massively unbalanced stats are bad for balance. It further enforces the caster/martial disparity issues, and makes magic more and more powerful relative to everyone else. The worst part? It's self inflicted.


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

What is in line at your table, and more importantly, why?


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

Cleric: Casts gate.

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

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


In the rocket tag world of high level play, it really isn't a question of wealth, but of action economy. Yes, you could drink potions in every combat... but that costs you a round of actions for a low-level buff that isn't going to matter in the combat you're facing. The truth is, anything that can improve your action economy is going to be a big help in difficult fights, and 4000 gp for something like a scroll of time stop is dirt cheap. A similar argument applies to healing. If you CAN deal with not healing, it will have to wait. It's not just theory, either. You find pretty soon what works and what doesn't.


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I feel like we're on a treadmill here. We keep having to have to go over the same things repeatedly. Here comes the discussion about the rocket tag myth again.


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I once had the great pleasure of fighting a hasted Wight with monk levels. If you thought energy draining creatures were annoying before.... hehe... nooooo~ you poor innocent fools.

-Nearyn


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

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

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

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


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

Cleric: Casts gate.

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

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

Heh. I forgot gate, maybe because I have put it in the dark place where planar binding and simulacrum dwell.

That said thankfully it does require 10k in gold to cast, so casting mass heal in not-boss battles is likely superior.


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

Gate.

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

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

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

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

And, I'll remind, all that is the back-up plan if and only if a GM doesn't like the fact that spell-likes require no material components so fabricate can, in fact, fabricate things ex nihilo.

So really, not that bad at all.

But even without all of that, it's not that bad. Sure, it's a third of what you'd win in a given battle (presuming roughly CL 17 v. CR 17), but it's a third of what you'd win in battle... and with a solar, you're really likely win unless something very odd is happening. So it's not a bad deal.

Silver Crusade

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

Cleric: Casts gate.

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

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

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

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

Not saying a solar wouldn't help you, but you don't direct it.


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Spook205 wrote:


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

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

You are extremely unlikely to have a caster level of 20 at level 20. Boosting caster level is not difficult: at a bare minimum you'll have CL21 from the ioun stone, and then it's just a matter of finding an extra +1.


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Sure you direct it :) It's far too intelligent to not let itself be directed.

Imperius the Solar: "Whew, oh-kay that was a long fight yesterday. Not easy being the ultimate weapon of justice, but someone needs to do it and I'm happy for the.... wait... what's that? Sounds like someone is calling across the planes. I guess I should, WHOAH!! What the heck is... is... is that a gate?! Wow, it is. And it's leading to the material plane. Been awhile since I saw one of those, and now the call is so much clearer. Okay, well it looks like I'm checking this out."

*willingly steps through the gate*

ItS: Oh me oh my. This place certainly looks violent. Okay Imperius, get your game-face on, you're in the pressence of mortals

"IMPERIUS OF THE RADIANT HALLS ANSWERS YOUR CALL, MORTALS. WHY DO YOU BESEECH THE HIGHER PLANES FOR AID?"

Caster: "We need healing, fast! Then help us defeat this thing!"

ItS: Such urgency, I wonder what's wrong that heOHWHOAWAITJUSTASECOND! is that... is that what I think it is? Sweet Arqueros on a stick, what in the name of the divines is a host of daemons this powerful doing on the prime material?! That's an Olethrodaemon right there, how in the name of the Inheritor were we not informed that one had crossed over?! Well, the mortals have obviously been engaged here longer than I so...

"THE LIGHT OF THE HEAVENS INVIGORATE YOU..." *casts mass heal on the party*

"AND YOU! XERXACHTOASYPHOS ALSO CALLED THE CLOUDCALLER OF OBLIVION! SCOURGE OF LIFE! I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU FOUND YOURSELF HERE, BUT YOU SHALL NOT BE PERMITTED TO STAY A MOMENT LONGER! LEAVE! PLUMMET BACK INTO THE BLACK VORTEX THAT SPAWNED YOU, VILE CREATURE, OR BE BURNED BY THE FIRES OF JUSTICE!" *Joins the battle on the party's side*

-Nearyn

EDIT:

As opposed to

Caster: "We need healing, fast! Then help us defeat this thing!"

ItS: "YOU DON'T COMMAND ME!" *crosses arms indignantly*
"NOW YOU AND I ARE GONNA STAND HERE AND TALK UNTIL YOU'VE EXPLAINED THE SITUATION TO ME! THEN I'LL DECIDE IFAAAARGHBLAWRRGHLRRRYWAL!! HEY! THAT HURT! WHO DID THAWHAAAAAAAATTHEHECK IS SUCH A HIGH-RANKING DAEMON DOING HERE?! OKAY, MORTAL HERE'S YOUR ... OH.... Ooooooh I'm sorry little guy... that blast killed you, didn't it?!... sssssssssshugar, that's bad. ummm... *ahem* UM! OKAY! WHO'S ALIVE?!"


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What's an even better idea is for a crafter cleric to make stuff that exceeds the solar's "price" by gate (and is better than the solar's standard equipment), to better aid it in it's fight against evil, and keep calling said solar over and over again.

You know, using all those profits for a few at-will anti-evil magic items. A nicer armor. Better weapons. A magic gewgaw (probably an invisible ioun stone) that grants at-will prestidigitation. Stuff like that.

Makes the profit-margins for the solar to be definitively "worth it" when evil is shaken to it's core. Seriously, the heavens couldn't do better than to allow a cleric (preferably with a wizard, but that's just icing) with their own flowing-time demiplane working with a solar to actively make mini-solars and [good]-aligned magic items, to the point of practically flooding the celestial market with 'em.

(It'd be even better if said cleric was a lich. Just sayin'.) >.>

Man, could you imagine a solar that's actually kit'd out "properly"? That would be an encounter that's not fun for it's CR.
You... you see what I did there, right? I totally brought this back around to the actual topic. See? See that? Right? So, we can get onto unfun CR monsters again, right? Right? Guys?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Just making its +5 armor celestial gives it a +4 boost to AC.

Drop an amulet of +5 Nat AC on it, a nice stat boosting belt, use its own miracles to grant itself inherent bonuses...

Yeah, a solar could get wicked strong, really fast. Basically, you'd be giving it pre-buffs before it buffed itself.

Oh, and its spell list should be updated with newer spells. That Cha to Saves would come in handy.

==Aelryinth

Silver Crusade

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To return to the original point of this thread..

Hamatulas.

I've never seen anybody want to fight these guys.

Greater teleport. +22 grapple and a 34 CMD.

Also their grapple shennigans involve you getting spiked.
You hit them? You're getting spiked.
And a DC 20 fear effect.
And hold person as a spell like.

Also they're one of the few monsters to get Combat Reflexes, which means more grapple-shennigans.

As a DM I dislike running hamatulas because they're so monumentally grapple focused. They're essentially save-or-suck the monster.

Sovereign Court

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They're fairly nasty, but are they really above the curve?

I'm not entirely sure how to parse its Impale ability;

Quote:
Impale (Ex) A barbed devil deals 3d8+9 points of piercing damage to a grabbed opponent with a successful grapple check.

It can mean one of two things;

#1 Whenever a hamatula succeeds at grabbing or keeping hold of an enemy, it does this damage.

#2 When a hamatula makes a grapple check against a creature it's already grappling it does this damage.

I'm leaning towards #2, in which case it's painful but not unreasonable. If it's #1 then you get into the whole grab-release shenanigans, and it's pretty nasty.

I like the synergy between a grabby monster and punishing people for making close-combat attacks. That'll stop wrestler-PCs from feeling too much smarter than the reach PCs and vice versa.

However, this monster has one large weakness: it's not nearly as good against Large+ enemies, because it can't Grab them. Also, its Barbed Defense doesn't help so much against attacks using reach. (I'm assuming that a 10ft natural reach creature using a longsword also avoids them.) And by the time CR 11 is appropriate, it should be doable for PCs to get Enlarge Person.

Silver Crusade

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Ascalaphus wrote:

They're fairly nasty, but are they really above the curve?

I'm not entirely sure how to parse its Impale ability;

Quote:
Impale (Ex) A barbed devil deals 3d8+9 points of piercing damage to a grabbed opponent with a successful grapple check.

It can mean one of two things;

#1 Whenever a hamatula succeeds at grabbing or keeping hold of an enemy, it does this damage.

#2 When a hamatula makes a grapple check against a creature it's already grappling it does this damage.

I'm leaning towards #2, in which case it's painful but not unreasonable. If it's #1 then you get into the whole grab-release shenanigans, and it's pretty nasty.

I like the synergy between a grabby monster and punishing people for making close-combat attacks. That'll stop wrestler-PCs from feeling too much smarter than the reach PCs and vice versa.

However, this monster has one large weakness: it's not nearly as good against Large+ enemies, because it can't Grab them. Also, its Barbed Defense doesn't help so much against attacks using reach. (I'm assuming that a 10ft natural reach creature using a longsword also avoids them.) And by the time CR 11 is appropriate, it should be doable for PCs to get Enlarge Person.

Above the curve? Nope.

Have I ever had a player who was like 'Wow, that hamatula encounter was fun! They don't make me angry at all!' Not so much.

To have a hamatula do its thing, it has to be a really annoying jerk, or alternatively, it grapples and then gets sack beat.

Its not an issue of insurmountability, its an issue of the thing being a pain to fight.

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