Characters that push the envelope just a bit too much


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


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Okay, so as a new group to pathfinder, a bunch of guys decided to make a pathfinder group, GMed by my buddy bioboygamer. Well, most people made some pretty generic characters. We had our elf ranger, our drunken dwarf fighter, our gnome wizard, and...me.

Being me, I couldn't have a generic character. I dislike anything to do with generics, so I decided to make a character with a killer backstory, pulling out everything I could.

So I made an Ifrit sorcerer with the elemental (primal fire) bloodline, with a high stealth and...a baby phoenix on his shoulder constantly.

My GM allowed this, as the only mechanical purpose that Nix (her name) served was the occasional bit of healing (1/day tears, 1D6) and sometimes lighting the occasional arrow on fire. We worked out that Nix would level up at half the normal party rate, and would gain some small abilities like phoenii as she did so...

What my GM didn't realize at the time was that while the Ifrit didn't appear particularly powerful on paper, he quickly became our party's rough equiv of a "send in the deus ex machina". He burned through encounters like nothing (although that WAS partially our GMs fault), had an ungodly initiative, and largely was overshadowing everyone. After a few hours of tinkering, we realized that I'd goofed during creation, breaking the rules accidentally more than once, but even after the rebuild, he still blasted through everything.

Eventually our GM stepped aside because he felt he wasn't doing a good job, especially when people did things he wasn't expecting, and I took over for a campaign. After that campaign, Daijhunna (by popular request) was retired as a character.

Anyways, tell me about your outrageous characters that snuck past your GM. Preferably without breaking the rules like I inadvertently did, but all are welcome. Tell me about your broken characters, the ones that made your GMs cry.

The tears taste so sweet

Wildfire


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Broken characters that make GMs cry?

Pretty sure Wizard 20 is that.

Or 3.5 CoDzilla.

Silver Crusade

Magus, Hexcrafter.

With Enforcer, Combate Reflexes and Rime Spell feats, Frostbite and a few Hexes, the battles kinda fell too easy for the party. Damage? For what? I was just swinging my whip all around like crazy.


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This was back in the days of 3.5 where size growth stacking was a thing. Character was mid-levels.
Had a GM I didn't care for. Built a silly character expecting him to state "nope, go home".
He did not.
Sat down at the table.
GM had a face full of grins and began telling a tale about how he made this dungeon to dominate, torment and destroy all the "god mode builds from the internet."
Monologue stops, game starts.
He finishes setting up the scene, we arrive at the dungeon of terror.
I grow comically huge, take my trusty unbreakable adamantine shovel and start digging.
To this day, he hasn't answered the question "how much damage does a shovelful of terror dungeon do to the boss when dropped on his head from 200ft?"


It was a team effort but a friend of mine made a wizard who took the wyrmgrafter feats and applied a few grafts to my MoFW from the prison plane if Carcerie (spellckeck) took improved critical and found a magic item from 3.5 that increased my multiplier to x3. Took flying kick and round about kick. Had an AoMF with the impact quality and the dragon style tree. Got pounce from Aspect Master...was averaging about 14 attacks a round plus a quickened Pyroclastic dragon breath on a 1000ft flying charge


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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Making GMs cry just reduces the GM pool.

The closest I've come is a witch with three mythic tiers who's specialized in countering and dispelling. I'm not the beat-stick (although a good slumber hex still happens from time to time) but I do try very hard to shutdown the enemy's magic and take down their buffs. I've got a few feats like destructive dispel, but I didn't take dispel synergy because the save penalty doesn't seem to apply to hexes. And if we've got an intel on what the enemy casters are fond of casting, I try to have that prepared myself. That way, I can counter with no caster level check. GM didn't like that the first time I did it.

Oh, look, our ranger can't hit that bad guy because he's mirror-imaged ? Oh, look, the images are gone and he's sickened or stunned.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I had a 3.0 barbarian 2/fighter 2 (working to be a frenzied berserker) who got boots of springing and leaping and I think a ring of jumping, and when fighting a bunch of monsters that had Daern's Instant Tower, and while enlarged, I jumped on top of it and sundered myself a trap door into it. Then slaughtered the inhabitants. This was with a +1 frost greataxe I disarmed from an ice balor. Which was a balor with some kind of ice template. At level 4. The DM put us against a balor at level 4. We killed it, it blew up, killed us all, and DM's pet NPC true rezzed us all. But I had already stolen the axe, so I got to keep it. Ridunkulous!


I had an Eldritch Knight that managed an arcane version of Barkskin. At level 9 I had an AC of 38 self-buffed. My GM was pissed. His fault, though. He loved splat.


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I had a first level Barbarian with a +17 sleight of hand check. I stole from enough NPC's that the GM got unhinged and stopped rolling dice and started just straight nerfing.


It's not cry-worthy because everyone including myself as GM has fun, but my party has an archer paladin that basically cannot be stopped. Though I at least got some levity with a recent enemy crop that had among their number tower shield users with Missile Shield.

I was not ready for the Oracle to finally get good spells, though. I need to prepare...

Shadow Lodge

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Elderitch knight shooting antimagic fields on everything.

My sensei 16/ ninja 2 that let all the martials get true strike and 3 extra standards every turn. Not to mention all the other crap he could do.

Or my tetori who grappled a colossal red dragon and pinned him from 200ft up in the air. 20d6 falling damage followed by a group curb stomping.


A friend of mine dug through a few 3.5e splat books for a high powered game. He had an ability that let him pounce from a fall, an ability that let him pounce as a standard action, and an ability that gave him an extra move action per round. I checked my character sheet, thinking my Huge-sized claws with Feral Combat Training and Dragon Style was pretty good up until I saw he was getting 3 full-attacks per round for upwards of 100 points of damage per hit before crits.

That did nothing to faze the DM though. What got him was my ability to hurl fireballs (10d6+10) that exploded all over his ogres and throwing their spears back at them using telekinesis (15d8 total, give or take a few missed rolls).


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Bard, Perform (Oratory), Disguise Spell

DM asked me not to play bards anymore.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:

Bard, Perform (Oratory), Disguise Spell

DM asked me not to play bards anymore.

What did he do? Disguise himself as a bigshot and start a revolution?


Disguise Spell feat.


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A 3.5 Bard/Sublime Chord (12th level) as a guest PC in another GMs campaign where the GM (and his group) assumed that Bards were useless.

They hadn’t read the rules properly and believed that Inspire Courage needed two-hands for a musical instrument whilst maintaining it required a standard action. I was told “Bards are rubbish, so do what you want” as a 12th level PC with wealth by level. So I ran run my existing Bard/Sublime Chord with a few tweaks using all of the splatbooks including character retraining.

In the first round of the first combat I sang to give the entire party +12D6 electrical damage through Inspire Courage. In the second round I sang again to also give them +12 to hit. This mostly came from a few magic items which boosted Inspire Courage and the feats Words of Creation (Book of Exalted Deeds) and Dragonfire Inspiration (Dragon Magic). Needless to say this turned every member of the party into a killing machine.

When I waded into melee I turned out to be the second most effective combatant. I was Two-Weapon Power Attacking with Longsword and Shortsword where the feat Snowflake Wardance gave me an extra +12 to hit due to CHA (34 CHA thanks to being a Star Elf and using spells like “Inner Beauty” from Fiendish Codex I). The bad guys found it almost impossible to hit me as I had cast Greater Mirror Image (only an immediate action) and I also had a spell running which added CHA to my armour class.

Things got worse when I started summoning Lantern Archons, all of which were benefiting from the +12 to hit and +12D6 electrical damage. After a few rounds they were the D&D equivalent of an AC-130 gunship, putting out something like 500 damage per round with ranged touch attacks which bypassed damage reduction.

I had taken advantage of the feat retraining rules in PHB2. Since Elves gained six weapon proficiency feats in 3.5, whereas all other races had weapon proficiencies, all six feats had been retrained to something useful such as Lyric spell and several Extra Music feats which effectively gave you a pool of levels with which to cast spells.

Bards were never quite the same for that group :-)


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:

Bard, Perform (Oratory), Disguise Spell

DM asked me not to play bards anymore.

Why? This seems relatively harmless.


Ive been playing an Arcanist with the Occultist archetype. We just hit level 6, but already he has nicknamed my character the Pit Master (Create Pit). He asked me kindly not to pick up Mad Monkeys, because between pits and Elementals that last minutes instead of rounds he was already having issues. We have been fighting tons of mooks and wolves. Combat usually went like this.

1. Summon 1d3+1 Water or Earth elementals
2. Create Pit at choke point
3. Color spray anything that wasn't in the pit or dealing with elementals
4. If facing a BBEG... Grease his weapon.

Now that I have hit 6th level I can throw in Haste(No Mad Monkeys though :(


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Our biggest "make the DM cry" moment turned into a make the DM laugh day. We were playing PFS and this was the retirement scenario for few characters at the table. Our DM knew to expect shenanigans. Our DM was Jason Avery, a VL in Virginia. I started off the shenanigans by magic jarring into a skeletal champion, placing my body in a casket and dominating a couple orcs to dig a hole, bury the casket with my body in it and gaurd it. We then proceeded into a fortress, well kind of. Our monk in the group was a fan of jumping and would be retiring that scenario, we all worked together through buffs and spells to get him the 100+ jump check needed to jump up to the roof of the third floor. He began to trigger all of the encounters up there. I then walked in the front door and went up to the second level like I owned the place, because, being in a skeletal champion's body, I did look like I owned the place. I triggered a fight on the second level. The rest of the party then followed in the front door. We had a guy with a build that boosted the AC of everyone near him. What resulted was a bit of a log jam on the first floor until someone threw a dwarf behind the bad guys. Our poor DM was left running 3 simultaneous fights over 10 or so pages of the scenario. Kudos to him as he did a great job and the session lives on in PFS Virginia lore.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

For fans of Disguise Spell, the PF feat Spellsong does something very similar. I don't leave home without it.

The Exchange

I've DMed for my party for about twenty years. In the last five I've also DMed other groups too, some for organised events, others to help get folks started.

I've yet to cry from a character build. As DM I can adjust encounters with impunity to ensure the challenge suits the group.

The two times I had players deliberately try something to "break the game" I used my GM powers to have things not work out the way they expected. One tried the classic genie wish machine factory. had a group of Genies follow his next genie minions and kill him. They warned his friends not try the same thing.

I don't even remember the other one. The consequence was perfectly reasonable within campaign restraints and that character died too.

I guess I can see inexperienced DM's getting upset by legal character builds, but those who've been around the blocks for a while learnt o run with it and adjust accordingly.

Mostly I find threads where folks talk about their character that broke a GM's spirit are from folks not interested in co operative play but are more about big ego's trying to show the others how uber they are.

Admittedly, the odd gem like MichaelCullens post above shows how you can co operatively smash things with a GM who's happy to play along.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:

Bard, Perform (Oratory), Disguise Spell

DM asked me not to play bards anymore.

Arturus Caeldhon wrote:

Why? This seems relatively harmless.

If you missed it, here is my earlier post:

Tacticslion wrote:
Disguise Spell feat.

What it does: allows you to make a perform check to hide the fact that you're casting a spell.

What this means: by making an oration (i.e. by "talking" to get someone to pay attention to you - a fairly standard use of "talking") you can cast spells that, so long as they don't emanate from you in some obvious way and aren't being stared at by a high-wisdom spellcraft-specialist, are effectively unnoticeable.

The application: choose a bunch of innocuous-looking but potent spells (the charm spells, suggestion, the non-visible self-buffs, etc), and feel free to cast them without the notice of most.

EDIT: to clarify what the post actually meant (I realized after-the-fact that it might be confusing) and to note that I edited the post (which is what I usually try to do, but I just forgot this time).


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Wrath wrote:
Mostly I find threads where folks talk about their character that broke a GM's spirit are from folks not interested in co operative play but are more about big ego's trying to show the others how uber they are.

I'm not entirely sure you've read most of the replies.

Giovanni Henriksen specifically augmented his party as well as himself.
(He was also told that his class was "rubbish" before he started playing.)

Critical Quit noted that, as GM, he had fun.

SmiloDan has a weird story about using the things the GM put into the game.

SlimGauge specifically notes that "Making GMs cry reduces the GM pool."

Oakbreaker specifies that it was a team effort between himself and another.

Marcus Steelfeather explicitly notes that his build did no (or little) damage, but instead made it easy for the party to mop up.

The specifically combative ones?

The OP (sort of - it can be read either way), Treefolk, Arturus, mmaaaaaybe Gregory (though this isn't typically his posting style), mmaaaaaaybe Dragonamedrake (though he directly acquiesced to the GM's request).

TheSideKick might be included in this, insomuch as his post was all about the builds' abilities, but that is kind of the OP's request. Durgunn simply noted a two-piece combination after which he was asked not to play bards.

My own contributions have been to point out links to Durgunn's feat to those who don't get how potent it is, Kalindlara simply noted a similar feat in PF.

So, at most, seven out of 16 (including yourself, 15, if not) could be seen as "folks not interested in co operative play but are more about big ego's trying to show the others how uber they are" and I'm reasonably certain that some of those do not actually fall into that category either.


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And that concludes "Tacticslion sums up".


Dang you're messing with the numbers OSW! MESSING WITH THE NUUUUMMMMBBBEEERRRSSS~~!


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Pretty sure my post doesn't count.

Most of my characters push the envelope by being magnificently underpowered but amazingly interested in making sure every other character is interested in the interesting things that are there to be interested in, even if that happens to be that there isn't really anything interesting to be had right now.

Not sure if that is co-operative play, big-ego based ("look how much I paid attention to how interesting things aren't right now!"), neither or both.

So shove that in your numbers pipe, TL , and notch it up to ELEVUHNNNNNNNNN!!!! ;P


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Tacticslion wrote:
Dang you're messing with the numbers OSW! MESSING WITH THE NUUUUMMMMBBBEEERRRSSS~~!

I played a zen archer 12/synthesist 8 in a campaign based in demon taking over the world story. I used the archer levels for damage and the synthesis levels for utility & armor class and effectively had an answer for anything he dished out.


Ohohoh this really depends on what makes the GM cry. I have never tried a "make you GM cry" moment, but I have experienced several moments with a certain GM of mine (or former), who was beyond anything a control freak. He hated it when his players didn't do as he wanted them to; when the road said go right, we decided to burrow down and tunnel our ways instead (not really, but you get the idea). If your character was stronger than what he threw at you, he would get irritated, because you killed his encounter super easy. So he wasn't all that fun to play with. He was all too strict for us to make the campaign fun.
I have played on the same team as people who really know how to optimize the out the wazoo.

But yeah, this GM just couldn't handle it if we, as his players, strayed just a teensy bit from what he had written should happen that particular day... And in all honesty a GM like that kills the fun in playing a campaign.

As said before I am sorry that I can't contribute with a character build that made my GM(s) cry. Either I simply can´t remember, or I honestly didn't know the character was optimized.


evil_diva wrote:

Ohohoh this really depends on what makes the GM cry. I have never tried a "make you GM cry" moment, but I have experienced several moments with a certain GM of mine (or former), who was beyond anything a control freak. He hated it when his players didn't do as he wanted them to; when the road said go right, we decided to burrow down and tunnel our ways instead (not really, but you get the idea). If your character was stronger than what he threw at you, he would get irritated, because you killed his encounter super easy. So he wasn't all that fun to play with. He was all too strict for us to make the campaign fun.

I have played on the same team as people who really know how to optimize the out the wazoo.

But yeah, this GM just couldn't handle it if we, as his players, strayed just a teensy bit from what he had written should happen that particular day... And in all honesty a GM like that kills the fun in playing a campaign.

As said before I am sorry that I can't contribute with a character build that made my GM(s) cry. Either I simply can´t remember, or I honestly didn't know the character was optimized.

So basically created a pc instead of an npc. Gotcha.


I had one where it wasn't the DM that was crying, it was the party! What happened was one guy had a Barbarian/Warhulk/Frenzied Berserker. Of couse the DM would target him for damage, he's fail the will save then go berserk and kill the party. Repeatedly. The worse part was that the DM was the one making the character, the player was using it. I ended up leaving the game as it annoyed me too much.


@tacticslion
Thanks for pointing out that mine was a team effort. IMHO optimizing for complimentary players is far more fun than solo optimization. Alas, since college I have yet to find a group that I am close enough to or with enough players to function as such. The monk in question was part of a group of 8 and the wizard and I had to form a symbiotic relationship due to the Oracle and Fighter being so bloody close that us getting healing was unlikely and the other four were busy trying to garner the Oracle's favor. Our goal was to kill before it had a chance to hit us...it worked for up to 23 levels


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@Tacticslion

Not what I normally do, but it was an unusual situation. Everyone in the game was annoyed with the GM for his bad behavior in previous games. The other players rolled up a slumber witch, an evil orc fighter and a charm cleric. All four of us made the GM cry and it was on purpose. Not the best behavior, but it was a toxic group that needed to break up for many reasons. The game was actually not all that bad aside from when the GM added in a paladin (PC, someone joined late, wasn't there for previous games) to a group of NG, NE, CN, CN and then started a bunch of moral arguments. I should also mention that the other four characters were all connected and the new guy wasn't. That GM would make a really good author, and we loved chewing the scenery of his custom built world, but he just couldn't bring himself to let the dice determine anything of any importance.


I hear ya, man. I've seen you post 'round here - hence I mentioned it doesn't seem like your style under normal circumstances. :)


I have a group I game with maybe once every two months (not my normal weekly group). But we actively try and make the most broken and busted characters possible.

My addition to the party was a 3.5 Goliath Barbarian/fighter who swung a monkey gripped giant sized two handed sword doing something along the lines of 4d6 +18 per swing before power attacking.

When he enraged he grew a size category so his giant sized weapon no longer had penalties and had reach. His cleaves were out of control taking down entire swaths of foes.

Included in the party was a couple characters from the absolutely broken D&D 3.5 Book of 9 Swords.

I think we got up to level 9 when the GM tapped out. He just could not challenge us so a new vict...err GM was selected and we made new characters to torment them with.

It's all friends, it's not very often, beer is involved and most importantly fun is had by all.

-MD


I made one a while back that was unexpectedly great. That group was 3.x forever, then both 3.x & PF for a while, then finally switched over to almost completely PF. I don't remember exactly when it was, so I don't know if it was a 3.x or PF build.

I made a fighter/barbarian. Just enough fighter levels to quickly get a bunch of grappling feats. Put quite a few ranks and some of my magic items into stealth. So he had a reasonable chance of sneaking into charge grapple range of the boss.

It really wasn't a hugely powerful build... Except in that particular campaign. A lot of squishy casters that didn't have any escape spells and only fort save spells prepared. A lot of martials with large weapons. Virtually nothing too big or otherwise unable to grapple. A really basic tactic shut down almost every fight.

The GM would scale things up for the party being powerful. But he always did it by 'more of the same' rather than re-writing encounters. I think he did not trust himself to keep the same feel or not punish the players or something. So he would add 50% to 100% more mooks, add more levels to a martial boss, or up the CL of a caster boss.

None of those did anything to stop my grappler. I remember a couple specifically:
A six armed skeletal fighter wielding 3 scimitars. All the scimitars were magical and it had a bunch of feats for dervish dancing wielding scimitars. The GM gave it like 6 more fighter levels with a bunch of improved whatever to be even more deadly with scimitars. Yeah sure, it got a couple of decent hits while I closed. But you can't use a scimitar in a grapple, it couldn't escape, so it had to drop the scimitars and scratch me with d3 claws on a dex build when I was at DR 2/-. I could survive that for hours.
Some 3pp dance caster APL+4. I snuck close enough to charge grapple. Without the dancing it couldn't cast worth crap.

I eventually said I rolled a '1' to fail a fort save vs some death spell just because I was bored with the character.

Liberty's Edge

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I wouldn't call it broken but I remember a distinct time when the GM wanted to smack me.

I was playing a Saurian Shamn, we had a hard day of battles (we just hit level 7) to the point where we were really low on resources. Though I had saved up both of my level 4 spells.

Anyways, we got to the room which was basically set up so the BBEG was in the back (some sort of Wizard) surrounded by Clerics with several brutes guarding the way to them.

I dropped 2 Augmented Young Ankylosauruses (over 2 rounds) who flanked the BBEG while threatening basically all of the Clerics. Big boss literally never got a turn from being dazed and the Clerics failed almost all of their casting checks.

To be fair to the GM, I hadn't done that before and he hadn't realized I could drop the Ankylos. Encounters have definitely shifted a little bit since then.

Like I said, it was far from broken, but I took a certain amount of pleasure from my dinosaur assault (my Allosaurus AC also performed admirably, having recently grown up).

The Exchange

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I made an average-optimization 6th-level Grapple fighter with a barbarian dip, whose life goal was to become an Owlbear, so he eventually managed to ally himself with a level 10 or so Mystic Theurge. Basically he had one of those chests that float in the Ethereal Plane, and he happened to be in possession of a scroll of Polymorph Any Object, so I got turned into an Owlbear. My GM let me use the Mythic Owlbear stat block rather than the basic one.
Level 6 PC with lowball WBL, that had:
21 Str, 25 when raging
Pounce > Claw (Grab) / Claw (Grab) / Bite
A rage power that lets him make a bite attack whenever makes a grapple check, before the grapple check is resolved.
+20 grapple CMB (I didn't realize, but it would've been +24 because my claws had the Grab special feature)

Round 1:
Charge, Claw(d8)/Claw(d8)/Bite(2d6) [not sure if that was exact damage dice]
Make a Bite, then a Grapple check for each claw that hit. (hit with bite=+2 on grapple against target for 1 round)
Round 2:
Maintain Grapple to damage twice. As part of the action to maintain the grapple, make a Bite attack (hit with bite=+2 on grapple against target for 1 round)
Then make your Grapple checks, and deal Bite damage if succeed.
I never did make DPR calculations, but you can tell what a beast I was just from this.


I mostly DM so, when I create strong builds its normally deadly NPCs.

The only time GMs got annoyed with my build was when I played a 3.0 Shifter abusing all kinds of Wildshape forms.

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