How to deal with dominating ranged char in a group as DM?


Advice

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On the other hand, Animated Objects can be a lot of fun. Time for the Attack of the Gazebos!


A few non-specific suggestions:

- add some encounters where the party doesn't want to kill everything on sight (depending on your campaign this could be because they are innocents being forced to work for someone, or because the players need to take someone alive to question them etc - the archer can still contribute - but he may need to dial back and/or try different tactics)

- give the archer lots of targets (nooks, summoned creatures, enemies with common buffs like mirror image) and give the rest of the party stuff to do as well

- have non-combat tasks that need to happen while combat is aleo happening - i.e. an item needs to be recovered before it is destroyed in the midst of the battle, or a door/gate etc needs to be opened, or prisoners/innocents need to be moved to safety. All of this can keep the whole party engaged and contributing (including the NPC archeologist) while the archer mows down targets (this may also result in literally splitting the party - which would mean that the archer can't handle some monsters as he simply isn't even in that part of the map)

- have terrain features that fit the campaign but make archery while still effective ineffective against some enemies - this can be as simple an encounter that spans over multiple levels (say a balcony or alcove - folks who are below the balcony and literally underneath it would have total cover from folks up on the balcony - so a non-cheesy way to have enemies with total cover vs the archer. Or you can have tunnels that twist and turn etc. Or enemies in a city who are moving down alleys and behind buildings - the point is to have folks in motion and to let some of the party deal with one set of enemies while the archer handles others - but can't handle everything

- remember that some very low level spells could mess up the archer until he deals with the spells. Sure invisibility is of course an issue - but more subtle spells like various illusions could also do a lot - i.e. illusions that make it appear that there are walls where there are none may hide some foes or there are many other options. Spellcasters using spells like Create Pit can be very effective when used against an archer (hard to hit targets if you are down in a pit) - and that chain of spells isn't particularly high level or rare.

Similarly enemies facing an archer may use disarm or sunder maneuvers against the archer (which is why my PFS archers always have at least one backup bow). Particularly cruel but effect are enemies who can use the archer's own bow against him (one PFS scenario has harpies who use this specific tactic - disarm and then use the weapon they disarmed themselves)


Ughbash wrote:

So he gimped his archer by making it a ranger and you are complaing...

You further gimped his ranger by halving favored enemy bonuses and you are complaining....

I seem to be in a b!tchy mood today so I will just say be glad he did not build the character as a fighter.

Aye, your mood seems to be sour, because the favored enemy bonus was explained in detail, as its a hugely human-centric campaign so unchanged, it would not be RAI seeing how you have to pick a subtype on humanoid.

Also, I don't care about optimization, I also run a gestalt campaign that was running into epic levels. Powerful builds and abilities are all fine as long as EVERYBODY is powerful.

My problem is disparity of power within the group, and i am looking for ways by RAW to create encounters that limit his power without outright shutting him down.

As mentioned in the OP, he gets to utilize his optimization most of the time, but now and then, there's a need to get the other people to feel important in combat, too.

Short of taking away their own liberty and basically designing and leveling their characters FOR them, i need options that deal with this situation of a runaway leader in party power distribution.


MordredofFairy wrote:
doctor_marshmallow wrote:
Take one of these, and call me in the morning.

aye, thanks.

But as said, that shuts down completely, it's very nice to have but was looking for more intermediate ways(something that diminishes efficiency rather than an on/off switch.

It promotes teamwork to deal with the problem, Fickle Winds doesn't matter if you have a Dispel Prepared, and that's the point.


ElterAgo wrote:

First, any veteran player should be considerate enough to not build one of the highest tier damaging builds in a group with 3 new players to make them look bad. That's just rude and obnoxious. I'd have a talk with him about that.

Second, iteas:
- invisibility should be quite common at this level
- caster with pilfering hand to steal the bow from him (or improved sunder if you're feeling really mean)
- swarms
- wind wall (or some other walls)
- confusion (Our group encountered a band of bards who opened with a confusion from each of them. There were a lot of long faces when the archer failed his save and killed 2 of the other PC's.)
- narrow twisty corridors
- illusion of additional bad guys and/or all the bad guys look the same so he doesn't know who to shoot
- waves of hidden/invisible opponents, later waves know he is the danger to stop
- fast/hidden grappling creatures like mimics

thanks a lot. I definitely agree with your bold text. I think the issue is that he's a min-maxer by nature. We did have a talk about those things quite early in the campaign but I suppose it's somewhat against his nature to make suboptimal choices.

I understand that he does not exactly make a great addition to a group of new players but they are all friends, and I'm a friend of the two veteran players, so it's difficult from a social perspective.

most of the suggestions you make i already commented on in the thread, but aye, I guess i'll use stuff like veil and/or illusions more in the future so his target priorities get thrown off. Seems a reasonable tactic to emply while still allowing him to take part.
also hidden grapplers like mimics...it's hard as the group tends to stick together and tends to proceed very cautiously. (to the point of searching seemingly empty rooms...and yes, they do get penalized for that on spell durations and against smart enemies)


galahad2112 wrote:

Not sure how well this would work out, as it might be seen as cheesy, specifically targeted, etc. Anyway:

Hardness.

Hardness is NOT DR, therefore Clustered Shots don't work against it. Of course, it's not the sort of thing yo can bring out every encounter, but it's an option.

Of course, the Ranger can just pull out Adamantine arrows, but he probably doesn't have too many of those since he's got Clustered Shots, so why bother, right?

+Arachnofiend

Great Idea. Eric the Archmage animates the Gazebos :D Hardness is a very fine mechanic, and nay, he does not even have Adamantine Arrows.
Several Special Materials(including Adamantine) are not easy to come by in this world. Not impossible but they never really tried.

Very good suggestion for a encounter or three. Thanks!


doctor_marshmallow wrote:
MordredofFairy wrote:
doctor_marshmallow wrote:
Take one of these, and call me in the morning.

aye, thanks.

But as said, that shuts down completely, it's very nice to have but was looking for more intermediate ways(something that diminishes efficiency rather than an on/off switch.
It promotes teamwork to deal with the problem, Fickle Winds doesn't matter if you have a Dispel Prepared, and that's the point.

true that, but the end result would probably be that the sorcerer gets stuck on dispel duty while the ranger delays to pick off the guys that get dispelled.

So unless I don't make it worth dispelling it makes the problem more severe.
And if it's not worth dispelling, it's an off-switch for archery. I suppose a mixed encounter could work. Like enemy group protected by fickle winds, but including a guy summoning serious backup, then he can pick off the summons that threaten the party while the others have to deal with the human enemies.


Are you using single monster combats?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ughbash wrote:

So he gimped his archer by making it a ranger and you are complaing...

You further gimped his ranger by halving favored enemy bonuses and you are complaining....

I seem to be in a b!tchy mood today so I will just say be glad he did not build the character as a fighter.

You mean Zen Archer, didn't you? :) Although the Archer Fighter isn't something to sneeze at.


Rycaut wrote:

A few non-specific suggestions:

- add some encounters where the party doesn't want to kill everything on sight (depending on your campaign this could be because they are innocents being forced to work for someone, or because the players need to take someone alive to question them etc - the archer can still contribute - but he may need to dial back and/or try different tactics)

Been there, done that...it's one of the reasons he carries blunt arrows too. They are at a penalty at non-lethal but allow him to target both the stuff they want alive and target stuff that is immune to piercing.

Otherwise he just focuses on the stuff they WANT killed and leaves the subduing to the monk.

Rycaut wrote:
- give the archer lots of targets (nooks, summoned creatures, enemies with common buffs like mirror image) and give the rest of the party stuff to do as well

Aye, its one of the things i tend to do, but with a larger number of targets the group tends to overanalyze things. I cut them short sometimes saying it's 6-second rounds, they don't have time to discuss, everybody in initiative order needs to take an action now. Lets just say they tend to get bogged down in large encounters because then the "newbies" tend to ask questions even in the "need to take action now" scenario. I suppose more experience would help streamline this but it's something i can only pull out now and then.

Rycaut wrote:
- have non-combat tasks that need to happen while combat is aleo happening - i.e. an item needs to be recovered before it is destroyed in the midst of the battle, or a door/gate etc needs to be opened, or prisoners/innocents need to be moved to safety. All of this can keep the whole party engaged and contributing (including the NPC archeologist) while the archer mows down targets (this may also result in literally splitting the party - which would mean that the archer can't handle some monsters as he simply isn't even in that part of the map)

Good point. I had non-combat tasks that needed doing while combat took place to keep other people involved, but kind of always prevented actively splitting the party.

Partially because I had bad experiences with that as a player, with extended downtimes, especially in some other systems(e.g. shadowrun or world of darkness), but forcing a split in a combat situations and keeping initative order would probably keep everybody involved just fine.

Rycaut wrote:
- have terrain features that fit the campaign but make archery while still effective ineffective against some enemies - this can be as simple an encounter that spans over multiple levels (say a balcony or alcove - folks who are below the balcony and literally underneath it would have total cover from folks up on the balcony - so a non-cheesy way to have enemies with total cover vs the archer. Or you can have tunnels that twist and turn etc. Or enemies in a city who are moving down alleys and behind buildings - the point is to have folks in motion and to let some of the party deal with one set of enemies while the archer handles others - but can't handle everything

Yeah, I had those things too. People who stood up from behind total cover(move), took a vital shot(standard), then dropped(free) again.

Those kinds of suggestions is something i do where applicable. But you are completely correct with that suggestion.

Rycaut wrote:
- remember that some very low level spells could mess up the archer until he deals with the spells. Sure invisibility is of course an issue - but more subtle spells like various illusions could also do a lot - i.e. illusions that make it appear that there are walls...

Aye. I already gathered from the general tone of the suggestions that I need to use illusions to greater effect, which I will do. I do use illusions at times but seemingly not enough to fully utilize their potential. Thanks a lot for that remainder.


wraithstrike wrote:
Are you using single monster combats?

all kinds. Single strong enemy, outnumbering amounts of weaker ones, mixed. But ranged is very versatile there in general.


ElterAgo wrote:

First, any veteran player should be considerate enough to not build one of the highest tier damaging builds in a group with 3 new players to make them look bad. That's just rude and obnoxious. I'd have a talk with him about that.

Second, iteas:
- invisibility should be quite common at this level
- caster with pilfering hand to steal the bow from him (or improved sunder if you're feeling really mean)
- swarms
- wind wall (or some other walls)
- confusion (Our group encountered a band of bards who opened with a confusion from each of them. There were a lot of long faces when the archer failed his save and killed 2 of the other PC's.)
- narrow twisty corridors
- illusion of additional bad guys and/or all the bad guys look the same so he doesn't know who to shoot
- waves of hidden/invisible opponents, later waves know he is the danger to stop
- fast/hidden grappling creatures like mimics

First of all you should not be assuming he is doing to make anyone look bad because if you were to accuse me and I was that player I would kindly inform you that your mind reading powers are not working today.

Also if he gimps his character and the new guys are fast learners he might be stuck with a gimped character if the GM does not offer a chance to do a rebuild. The character has already been gimped by the GM, so his agreeing to have that done is already showing cooperation.


MordredofFairy wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:

First, any veteran player should be considerate enough to not build one of the highest tier damaging builds in a group with 3 new players to make them look bad. That's just rude and obnoxious. I'd have a talk with him about that.

...

thanks a lot. I definitely agree with your bold text. I think the issue is that he's a min-maxer by nature. We did have a talk about those things quite early in the campaign but I suppose it's somewhat against his nature to make suboptimal choices.

I understand that he does not exactly make a great addition to a group of new players but they are all friends, and I'm a friend of the two veteran players, so it's difficult from a social perspective.
...

What sometimes works with a serious optimizer is asking him to optimize a sub-par concept or a concept that helps others shine.

Examples: I've seen include a guy that fights with clubs, a gnome disarm/trip master (so everyone else did the killing), or a buff caster. With any of those you can pretty much optimize to your soul's desire and have a solid character that won't mess up the new players.

Another thing you can sometimes try is asking them to do something special to fit with the story. Long time ago I asked one of our players if he was willing to make an arcane trickster. A major part of the storyline really needed a 'magical thief' to make much sense and needed some of those abilities to be possible. He was willing to go with a request for something special. Then I made sure I wrote something special into the campaign so an arcane trickster could shine. Yet as most people will agree, the AT is definitely not a powerhouse. So in other parts of the campaign he contribute with out washing out the rest of the party.
.
.

wraithstrike wrote:

...

First of all you should not be assuming he is doing to make anyone look bad because if you were to accuse me and I was that player I would kindly inform you that your mind reading powers are not working today.

Also if he gimps his character and the new guys are fast learners he might be stuck with a gimped character if the GM does not offer a chance to do a rebuild. The character has already been gimped by the GM, so his agreeing to have that done is already showing cooperation.

You are correct, I shouldn't assume that. Although on the other hand it is hard to see how a 'veteran min-maxer' could pick one of the very highest damage type builds and not expect that to happen with a bunch of new players at the table.

I also never said he should 'gimp' his character. Reducing the favored enemy bonus against the almost constant opponent is not 'gimped' by the GM. He will still have a significant bonus in virtually every fight. One of the 'balancers' of the favored enemy bonus is that it was never intended to be an all the time thing. Well apparently it is here.
There is an awful lot of range between the very pinnacle and gimped. As a very easy example, he could have picked the versatile switch hitting ranger and had almost exactly the same build concept be nearly always useful, yet much less likely to show up the new guys in nearly every fight.


I find that splitting the party but keeping everything in initiative order (and splitting can be as "simple" as folks going up stairs or a around a corner) can make encounters more challenging for everyone - but still lots of fun, especially if you keep them moving.

I'd also suggest having some encounters with a lot of people (or monsters) but only a handful of which are acting as direct enemies - use the rest as crowds - they may act once as a crowd but don't require a full round of actions for each person.

(i.e. consider an ambush in a crowded bar - a few NPC's are fighting the Players, but there are also a lot of seemingly innocent bar patrons that have to dealt with as well - you don't have to roll initiatives and have stat blocks for all of them - just treat them as almost terrain features (that may crowd into squares or run in panic etc)

(of course one or two may be a disguised NPC using the cover of the crowd...)

It may confuse your players but you can also experiment with some of Pathfinder's alternative systems - a chase for example might involve everyone and be highly dramatic. The archer may still shine if attacking in the middle of the chase makes sense - but the rest of the party may get chances to shine as well.

You may also want to have some encounters that really let the archer shine - i.e. really long range encounters - as they could also let the other party members employ less frequently used tactics and abilities (a spell caster can use spells that are long range as the long range spells they are intended - a monk's speed may let him close before everyone else etc. I wouldn't do this too often but it also might require the Archer to really pick & choose targets carefully. As a player one of my most fun PFS moments was a very rare really large scale encounter where the archers got to use their full range increments, the spell casters let loose with fireballs at long range, the druid use air elemental form to close rapidly and my character got to cast a Wall of Fire using the full size he could cast it etc. All very gratifying after many many levels of nearly all very small scale map encounters.


LazarX wrote:

Encounter design is all about environment, tactics, and placement.

Obstacles are an important issue. If you have an encounter in the woods, make sure you map in trees large and small, as well as protruding rocks.

If the archer clearly is the one doing the bulk of the damage, the tactics of the enemy are going to shift towards nullifying him or his effectiveness. Obscuring Mist, Fog Cloud, the deployment of a stealthed character.. the archer can't shoot what he is not aware of.

Efficient quivers can only hold twenty arrows in the arrow slot. He can surely stuff arrows in the other two compartments, but they aren't going to be available to draw on in combat.

Do at least one survival campaign which does put your party out of resupply for long periods of time. He'll have to ration his arrow use then. And if he refuses to track his arrow use, you'll have to.

This is an awesome point. The one big advantage a bowman has over a sworder is that the bow doesn't need to move to full attack. So, take that away. Have enemies keep trees and boulders and upturned tables between themselves and the archer. Instead of difficult terrain (which hurts melee), stick in some big, target-obscuring bushes. Force the archer to move just as often as the meleer and things will balance out fast.


ElterAgo wrote:


You are correct, I shouldn't assume that. Although on the other hand it is hard to see how a 'veteran min-maxer' could pick one of the very highest damage type builds and not expect that to happen with a bunch of new players at the table.

I also never said he should 'gimp' his character. Reducing the favored enemy bonus against the almost constant opponent is not 'gimped' by the GM. He will still have a significant bonus in virtually every fight. One of the 'balancers' of the favored enemy bonus is that it was never intended to be an all the time thing. Well apparently it is here.
There is an awful lot of range between the very pinnacle and gimped. As a very easy example, he could have picked the versatile switch hitting ranger and had almost exactly the same build concept be nearly always useful, yet much less likely to show up the new guys in nearly every fight.

Another assumption. He may not be a min-maxer. No min maxer I know agrees to a nerf, and archery does not do more damage they many melee builds. They just dont have to worry about the moving in order to get a full attack. The GM still never said if he used single monster combats are not, and that may be the problem. If he is then the barbarian could be the one killing it before anyone can do anything. If there are multiple creatures then arrows dont generally have the per attack damage of melee weapons so I doubt he is killing 2 or 3 a round, so I dont see why the others dont have time to get attacks in.

Also even a switch hitter can put out the same damage and be more versatile. It only takes one non ranger feat to pick up power attack.

The problem can also be on the end of the newer players. They could have been given advice to do ____, and been stubborn about it. They could also have good builds, but poor tactics. I could keep going, but there are enough potential factors, and enough lack of information that to blame the veteran guy is very immature.


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To reinforce Kobold Cleaver's statement, spells can also be used to force the archer to move, denying the full attack. You don't have to drop Darkness on the Archer, just between him and his targets. Walls of Fire/Force/Stone/etc. force the Archer to move, even if he isn't totally walled off. Obscuring Mist/Fog Cloud/etc. accomplish the same end. Illusions of obstacles/terrain do as well.

Magic doesn't necessarily have to neuter the Archer, or eliminate him; just reduce his effectiveness.


MordredofFairy wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:

I stand by my question. How long does a typical encounter take? And how do you make them? Is it one big baddy or what. Archers can be great but if you have variation in your encounters. It can be very nice. Remember the fog wizard and that almost every spellcaster can do that at level 1. It sounds like you have nerfed his favored enemy ability that will be visible from next level when he normally would have instant enemy on every major threat.

Make interesting terrain and clever fun encounters and there should be room for the rest to shine as well.
And pehaps help some of the others, like the inquisitor, the barbarian and the sorcerer if they have suboptimal builds.

I answered the question above, i would say most encounters take 3-8 rounds, it differs. Sometimes its one big baddy, sometimes with backups, other times swarms of less powerful enemies. Sometimes it's a wizard with summoned backup and minions, other times an ambush with ranged guys, or a group of melee utilizing a invisibility sphere to get close.

@Favored Enemy: He knew it going in. It's a rather low-fantasy world and the prevalent population + enemies in terms of impending war + intrigue is humans. Plenty of other stuff exists and backplot has undead play a role too. But most people they meet, and many encounters they have are humans. Considering that allowing him to choose them as favored enemy unchanged(seeing how on humanoid you have to choose a subtype) and stack on the bonuses seemed rather against the intent and gamebreaking.
So he had the option of either treating the different nations as "subtypes" and get the full bonus, or choose all humans and get the half bonus on THEM.(Other favored enemy choices work all normal. If he had choosen e.g. mentioned undead and piled on boni there his instant enemy would have full power, no problem.)

Sorry ditent see the answer. I dont Think you need to nerf anybody if encounters take between 3 and 8 rounds.

I Think you Can do fun stuff with clever encounters. I meen encounters with several objectives. And help the not so experienced players with building there characters if they feel left behind.

Sovereign Court

Yeah - this problem is why my home group dooesn't allow Point Blank Master. It removes the primary disadvantage of the most powerful combat style. Without it archery is still really good - just with a bit of an Achilles Heel.


There are many ways to make archers less effective.

Some ways depend on enemy actions:

--targets concealing or covering themselves: fog cloud, smokesticks, tower shields, dropping prone, wall spells, etc.) Archers can take feats to negate some of these (e.g., Improved Precise Shot), but that's feats which aren't directly boosting damage output on all shots

--targets have means of disregarding arrow damage: DR/blunt or DR/slashing can be handy, Deflect Arrows (esp. on Multishot's doubled arrow), readied actions to dodge behind cover if anyone shoots at them

--enemies can strike preferentially at the archer: sunder/disarm on the bow or the bowstring or the quiver, focus attacks on the archer, someone runs into his face and attacks him, cast slow or create obstacles to deny him a full attack, etc. Slow also negates haste, and even a relatively low-level caster can spam it out there.

Some ways depend on the battlefield (though of course enemies can take advantage of it, or at high enough level create/modify the battlefield appropriately):

--terrain that blocks line-of-sight: trees, twisty corridors, enemies hiding behind arrow slits, etc.

--weather can make the archer less useful without nerfing him directly, both with ranged attack penalties for high winds, and with concealment (fog, etc.), or just increasing Perception penalties for distance.

Finally, there are plots and encounters which don't involve combat in some ways... can the archer help convince the princess NOT to run away with the dragon, for instance?


One thing I always get worried about is -
'Where's the rear guard?'

It always seems like all the big beefy tanks charge up in in front of the party. There's never anyone covering the rear where either some creatures with good stealth skills or fast movement can show up and tear up those squishes.

People/creatures skilled in stealth should have about equal or better stealth skills then the Ranger. Setting up a ambush should always give the ambushers a bonus to stealth checks and you as a GM are the one that can determines what that bonus is.
Also when making perception checks, don't forget the distance penalty. Way too many GMs forget to take this into account when the check is made.


wraithstrike wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:

First, any veteran player should be considerate enough to not build one of the highest tier damaging builds in a group with 3 new players to make them look bad. That's just rude and obnoxious. I'd have a talk with him about that.

Second, iteas:
- invisibility should be quite common at this level
- caster with pilfering hand to steal the bow from him (or improved sunder if you're feeling really mean)
- swarms
- wind wall (or some other walls)
- confusion (Our group encountered a band of bards who opened with a confusion from each of them. There were a lot of long faces when the archer failed his save and killed 2 of the other PC's.)
- narrow twisty corridors
- illusion of additional bad guys and/or all the bad guys look the same so he doesn't know who to shoot
- waves of hidden/invisible opponents, later waves know he is the danger to stop
- fast/hidden grappling creatures like mimics

First of all you should not be assuming he is doing to make anyone look bad because if you were to accuse me and I was that player I would kindly inform you that your mind reading powers are not working today.

Also if he gimps his character and the new guys are fast learners he might be stuck with a gimped character if the GM does not offer a chance to do a rebuild. The character has already been gimped by the GM, so his agreeing to have that done is already showing cooperation.

gimps his character? Because he CHOOSE to take the favored enemy against all humans over specific nations?

IF I had the campaign set as high-fantasy, with a nation of orcs, one of gnolls, one of gnomes, one of elves, one of humans etc., would you still expect a ranger to pick "favored enemy(humanoid)" without having to make a subchoice? Allowing him to pick "favored enemy(90% of your encounters)" at half regular power would be gimping him?

I fail to understand that logic.

By that same understanding, if i have a campaign on a ice planet with only humans as only living thing there, it's totally fine to have a ranger/rogue/horizon walker that picks terrain dominance and additional rogue talent=>terrain mastery to stack on boni and have +30 favored terrain bonus all game long, with that same bonus applying to his favored enemy stats? Because changing anything written is gimping characters no matter if it makes sense or not?


Can the rest of the party function underwater? If so try that a few times. Ranged weapons rack up massive penalties underwater.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Yeah - this problem is why my home group dooesn't allow Point Blank Master. It removes the primary disadvantage of the most powerful combat style. Without it archery is still really good - just with a bit of an Achilles Heel.

Aye, point blank master seems a little powerful for how early you can aquire it. In future rounds, i'll probably remove it too, let them worry about something too. Much as melee has a problem with out-of-reach stuff(wether a mage bombarding from far away, then dimension dooring out of harms way, or a flying ranged beast), and casters have problems with people sneaking up on them(perception? That wisdom thingie? Don't we have somebody else to do that?), preparing or being next to them(go ahead, cast, and I'll stab you), it seems ranged has no specific worries any more after point blank master(oh, guy next to me? I full attack).

It's all situations you can work around. Situations you can prepare for, situations in which you may need the party to work together(delay turn so somebody can get rid of the guy that will stab me if i cast), but that feat kind of removes the problem for ranged. not a good call imho. A party-based game should be just that, people should depend on each other in different situations.


MordredofFairy wrote:


gimps his character? Because he CHOOSE to take the favored enemy against all humans over specific nations?

IF I had the campaign set as high-fantasy, with a nation of orcs, one of gnolls, one of gnomes, one of elves, one of humans etc., would you still expect a ranger to pick "favored enemy(humanoid)" without having to make a subchoice? Allowing him to pick "favored enemy(90% of your encounters)" at half regular power would be gimping him?

Unless I misunderstood I thought the OP said the bonuses from favored enemy were cut in half.

from the OP wrote:
....knowing that due to the setting most enemies will be human(and the favored enemy bonus for them gets halfed as a result...that was agreed on though before we started).

I never saw anything saying the ranger did not have to choose humanoid(humans). If the ranger gets to apply the bonus against all humanoids then provide a quote. Now if this is true, then I admit it was not a gimp move, but that is not how I read it.

edit:Oh you are the OP. Now the question is, will they be fighting "humans" or "humanoids". That determines how good this deal is.


MordredofFairy wrote:
Claxon wrote:

The real challenge for melee to rival an archery build is being able to make full attacks every turn. The monk and the barbarian have obtained a method, in the form of pounce. As the GM, make it possible for those characters to pounce each round. A barbarian wielding a two-handed weapon with power will deal more damage than the archer. Why? Because the archer most likely has only a static +10 or so damage modifier. While the barbarian is probably rocking like a +20 or more. So the challenge is being able to make all the attacks.

Heck, if you want to make things better for all the melee types just change the rules and allow them to make a full attack after they move. It will drastically alter the game, but it will put everyone on more even footing. You would also want to allow the barbarian and monk to get rid of beast totem and pummeling style if those so choose, since those are the main features of those abilities.

Yeah, only the barbarian gets 3 attacks(one from haste, 2 iteratives) with 2 of the 3 at max attack rating., while the ranger gets damage for 5(one from haste, one from rapid shot, one from manyshot, 2 iteratives), with 4 of the 5 at max attack rating.

The Archer has, as listed above, an average of 20-25 damage per shot, and can pool them vs. damage resistance.
The Barbarian gets +25 static for ~30-35 damage per hit, and has to deal with damage resistance per hit.
So if last iterative misses for both, thats 2 hits at 35 for the barbarian - damage reduction*2, and 4 hits at 20 - damage reduction*1 for ranged. Even assuming NO damage reduction and almost double damage per hit for the barbarian, he comes out 10 points short there. Add in damage reduction and the gap widens against single targets.

No, not quite.

Firstly, rapid shot decreases chance to hit by 2 (on all attack) in exchange for an extra attack. It's good, but it's not at "full to hit". Manyshot is just straight up an extra attack. However, Deadly Aim only grows at 2 damage bonus for a 1 penalty to hit as opposed to power attack's (with two-handed weapons) 3 to 1. Also strength gets multiplied by 1.5 times, and is the main focus for both attack and damage. You're over inflating the damage values for the archer here, not including Favored Enemy. Beyond which, the GM has already halved the values so you're only looking at a maximum of +5 to attack and damage, but I'm pretty sure they're not 20th level so it's less than that.

My 15th level archer ranger was rocking about 1d8+14 damage per attack, not on FE. Deadly Aim gave +8 damage for -4 to hit. +3 damage from high strength. And a +3 weapon. A barbarian of the same level would probably have a strength of about 30. Giving a +15 to damage. Power attack adding in +12. Probably a +3 weapon. So were looking at 1d10 +30 damage per hit. Basically double the damage. And then, if were smart he's using a Nodachi with Improved Critical so that he has a 15-20 crit range, so a high chance of dealing double damage with it.

The barbarian has 3 attacks to the archer's 5. But the barbarian should also have things like reckless abandon, which negates the penalty to hit from power attack. Making virtually every hit guaranteed, except perhaps the last. By the same token, we can probably say the same for the ranger. So 2 successfully attacks for the barbarian and 4 for the archer. But we already found that the barbarian and the archer come out about equal it terms of damage. And that doesn't even take into account the barbarian's chance to double damage on a crit or the fact that haste would actually make the barbarian pull ahead since 30 * 3 is 90 versus 14 * 5 is 70 damage. FE will push things back more towards the ranger in terms of pure DPR, but that's about all the ranger can do while the barbarian can build towards other interesting options (like Spell Sunder). Sufficiently magical sword can negate the benefit of DR, or simply buying the right kind of weapon. However, if the campaign really is human-centric DR really shouldn't be a worry for either. And if it's showing up consistently it should be easy enough to get the right type of weapon.

And I think that sufficiently covers the "rivals" part.

The problem, then is ensuring that melee always gets a chance to full attack the enemy.

This is also why being a spell caster is so good. You get to do your shtick as a standard and/or a swift action. Leaving you a move action to move around the battle field without it affecting your "output". Whether it is damage or battlefield control or whatever.

The one group that really gets hosed is melee characters since they are all dependent on the full attack paradigm to keep damage consistent.


MordredofFairy wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
ElterAgo wrote:

First, any veteran player should be considerate enough to not build one of the highest tier damaging builds in a group with 3 new players to make them look bad. That's just rude and obnoxious. I'd have a talk with him about that.

Second, iteas:
- invisibility should be quite common at this level
- caster with pilfering hand to steal the bow from him (or improved sunder if you're feeling really mean)
- swarms
- wind wall (or some other walls)
- confusion (Our group encountered a band of bards who opened with a confusion from each of them. There were a lot of long faces when the archer failed his save and killed 2 of the other PC's.)
- narrow twisty corridors
- illusion of additional bad guys and/or all the bad guys look the same so he doesn't know who to shoot
- waves of hidden/invisible opponents, later waves know he is the danger to stop
- fast/hidden grappling creatures like mimics

First of all you should not be assuming he is doing to make anyone look bad because if you were to accuse me and I was that player I would kindly inform you that your mind reading powers are not working today.

Also if he gimps his character and the new guys are fast learners he might be stuck with a gimped character if the GM does not offer a chance to do a rebuild. The character has already been gimped by the GM, so his agreeing to have that done is already showing cooperation.

gimps his character? Because he CHOOSE to take the favored enemy against all humans over specific nations?

IF I had the campaign set as high-fantasy, with a nation of orcs, one of gnolls, one of gnomes, one of elves, one of humans etc., would you still expect a ranger to pick "favored enemy(humanoid)" without having to make a subchoice? Allowing him to pick "favored enemy(90% of your encounters)" at half regular power would be gimping him?

I fail to understand that logic.

By that same understanding, if i have a campaign on a ice planet with only humans as...

The favored enemy thing is very campaign specific in some games you will only figth every race once and in others it is like orcs in LotR. You have modificed the rules to weaken somthing that could have been a very good thing for the ranger. That is not in question. Weakening a character is a nerf.

But you May have done rigth i dont know. I still dont undestand really what the problem are. If your battles take 3-8 rounds and some of the PCs dosent manage to do stuff they need help. Will you come back next weak and ask how to handle the sorcerer? I think very often the answer is let the PCs be the heroes and if some players feel that they are behind help them make the character better. The ranger works like you described with several buff spells from his friends. If it is only you having a problem, let it go. If some of the other players feel the same tell them to make a post and we can help them boost there PCs. And dont go easy on the archer he is dangerous most bad guys will know that by round 2.


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Eh, Point Blank Master isn't really that good considering how easy it is to 5 foot step in most cases. The real problem feat is Improved Snap Shot.


ElterAgo wrote:
MordredofFairy wrote:


...

thanks a lot. I definitely agree with your bold text. I think the issue is that he's a min-maxer by nature. We did have a talk about those things quite early in the campaign but I suppose it's somewhat against his nature to make suboptimal choices.

I understand that he does not exactly make a great addition to a group of new players but they are all friends, and I'm a friend of the two veteran players, so it's difficult from a social perspective.
...

What sometimes works with a serious optimizer is asking him to optimize a sub-par concept or a concept that helps others shine.

Examples: I've seen include a guy that fights with clubs, a gnome disarm/trip master (so everyone else did the killing), or a buff caster. With any of those you can pretty much optimize to your soul's desire and have a solid character that won't mess up the new players.

Another thing you can sometimes try is asking them to do something special to fit with the story. Long time ago I asked one of our players if he was willing to make an arcane trickster. A major part of the storyline really needed a 'magical thief' to make much sense and needed some of those abilities to be possible. He was willing to go with a request for something special. Then I made sure I wrote something special into the campaign so an arcane trickster could shine. Yet as most people will agree, the AT is definitely not a powerhouse. So in other parts of the campaign he contribute with out washing out the rest of the party.

Aye. I SHOULD have seen it coming. And prevented it via this route. The problem is that I would not go the same way. If it was me in this group, I would also aim to have a potentially (for that round) game-breakingly powerful combo at hand. Only I wouldn't use it, lest the need is great.

My last char in a newbie group was a Sorceress with Draconic Bloodline, gimped by jumping into Dragon Disciple. Extra Strenght? Losing Caster Levels? Also not the most optimised combo. But i made sure to keep some spells available as serious melee-buffs. When applicable, supported the group with them.
The only time in the game I turned into a large dragon per dragonform(opened with mislead during a BBEG speech, so had time to buff up with some silent stuff, ending by transformation) it was really surprising (to the group and the then-DM) and saved the day.(not the strongest way to deal with things, especially as a caster, but it was quite fitting fluffwise and it can be a really nasty combo against unprepared enemies(they had observed us and prepared specific counters for our group. their counterspelling did them no good.)

Arcane Tricksters are also amazingly fun to roleplay/play in general. Definitely no powerhouse either, but oh so much fun. Love the concept.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Eh, Point Blank Master isn't really that good considering how easy it is to 5 foot step in most cases. The real problem feat is Improved Snap Shot.

Many many many(but not all) of my melee guys love spending a feat on step-up.

Tends to help them deal with pesky mages and archers who just take a step back before blasting their face.

Imho it's the sensible thing to do if you are melee-ranged and want to stay alive.


Back to what I was saying before.

If he can apply the ranger ability to all humanoid types but he fights humans specifically most of the time, and hardly ever sees the others then it is a nerf. If he sees a variety of humanoids, and that +1 applies to all of them then it is not so much a nerf but a change in the ability.

In the first case I would prefer to have my original bonus.


If humans are way more commonly seen than other monsters, having Favored Enemy (human) as-written would be extremely good. Kinda like taking Favored Enemy (undead) in Age of Worms—the bonus becomes everything but flat. I can see halving it under such conditions.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Narrow dungeons.

Monk enemies with Deflect Arrows.

Terrain. Weather.


wraithstrike wrote:
MordredofFairy wrote:


gimps his character? Because he CHOOSE to take the favored enemy against all humans over specific nations?

IF I had the campaign set as high-fantasy, with a nation of orcs, one of gnolls, one of gnomes, one of elves, one of humans etc., would you still expect a ranger to pick "favored enemy(humanoid)" without having to make a subchoice? Allowing him to pick "favored enemy(90% of your encounters)" at half regular power would be gimping him?

Unless I misunderstood I thought the OP said the bonuses from favored enemy were cut in half.

Aye, but only for humans, as its a low fantasy setting in those terms. Basically all the humanoids you are likely to encounter anywhere in the world are humans(with few specific exceptions that are rather rare and mostly in the lore so not to FORCE players to play human).

wraithstrike wrote:
from the OP wrote:
....knowing that due to the setting most enemies will be human(and the favored enemy bonus for them gets halfed as a result...that was agreed on though before we started).

I never saw anything saying the ranger did not have to choose humanoid(humans). If the ranger gets to apply the bonus against all humanoids then provide a quote. Now if this is true, then I admit it was not a gimp move, but that is not how I read it.

edit:Oh you are the OP. Now the question is, will they be fighting "humans" or "humanoids". That determines how good this deal is.

Oh, he could have choosen humanoid(orcs). Only that he would never in this world find any orcs. Could planeshift to someplace with orcs, i reckon.

He knew the lore of the world before he made the character, and the fact that humans make up 95% of the intelligent population of the world made him pick ranger for the favored enemy bonus, over other archery builds.
Since I considered that gamey and not RAI, I told him he EITHER had to subpick by nation(closest thing to different humanoid races in this world), or get half the bonus for them. As they did not know where they would go or end up, he didn't gamble and rather took the overall halfed bonus.
Still served him well enough to stack it up twice on subsequent picks.

So, if you want it laid out basic, yes, he picked up "favored enemy(humanoid)" for all practical purposes with a flat halfed bonus, knowing that a majority of the encounters in this world and campaign would be against humans which are a subtype of humanoids.
Hardly a gimp if you ask me, rather a boost.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I really don't the idea of creating houserules, just to mess with one player.

What is the race of these PCs?


blackbloodtroll wrote:

I really don't the idea of creating houserules, just to mess with one player.

What is the race of these PCs?

That is why I am looking for options to use per RAW.

Options to use without houseruling something.

In the end, they all picked human, the freely placeable bonus on top of point buy and extra feat were mostly responsible.

The other part was that they knew the lore of the world and that non-human player races were available(specifically to not force them to be human despite most of the world being so) but would stand out at times unless taking measures to prevent that(not that that would be THAT hard, they knew it was a reasonable option but people not noticing would have been rather against immersion if they were careless).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Darkness and lighting can be a factor.

Good Perception, or not, there is a limit to light sources.

A simple way for melee PCs to shine, is an attack at night, by creature that can see in the dark.


Ummm...If I was playing a campaign in which I knew, for a FACT, that over half of my enemies would fall into a single FE group, I would choose that EVERY TIME. Frankly, the DM is being VERY generous in allowing it to affect all Humans, rather than breaking it down by nation (which would be equivalent to picking normal subtypes).
That being said, it doesn't really matter whether he was "Nerfed" or not, he picked what he picked and it seems to be working out very well for him. He knew what he was getting into from Day 1. Also, the whole FE thing is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

To the OP:
Use the Web spell. Even when cast from a scroll, it's nasty. If he doesn't save, great. If he DOES save, that's fine, he's still got to move through a bunch of difficult terrain, making CMB checks, or he's grappled. Basically, worst case scenario, he loses a round. Best case scenario, he burns to a crisp when the Fireball drops next round.

Another nasty combo is to have an Arcane Archer imbue an arrow with Antimagic Field. That will drop some buffs quick, fast, and in a hurry.


Sacks of hit points with high DR. Earth elementals are yummy.


DR is meaningless when he has Clustered Shots. He'll be even less impacted than a melee fighter.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
DR is meaningless when he has Clustered Shots. He'll be even less impacted than a melee fighter.

10 hp a round isnt nothin.


Cap. Darling wrote:
MordredofFairy wrote:


gimps his character? Because he CHOOSE to take the favored enemy against all humans over specific nations?
IF I had the campaign set as high-fantasy, with a nation of orcs, one of gnolls, one of gnomes, one of elves, one of humans etc., would you still expect a ranger to pick "favored enemy(humanoid)" without having to make a subchoice? Allowing him to pick "favored enemy(90% of your encounters)" at half regular power would be gimping him?

I fail to understand that logic.

By that same understanding, if i have a campaign on a ice planet with only humans as...

The favored enemy thing is very campaign specific in some games you will only figth every race once and in others it is like orcs in LotR. You have modificed the rules to weaken somthing that could have been a very good thing for the ranger. That is not in question. Weakening a character is a nerf.

But you May have done rigth i dont know. I still dont undestand really what the problem are. If your battles take 3-8 rounds and some of the PCs dosent manage to do stuff they need help. Will you come back next weak and ask how to handle the sorcerer? I think very often the answer is let the PCs be the heroes and if some players feel that they are behind help them make the character better. The ranger works like you described with several buff spells from his friends. If it is only you having a problem, let it go. If some of the other players feel the same tell them to make a post and we can help them boost there PCs. And dont go easy on the archer he is dangerous most bad guys will know that by round 2.

I modified the rules for just one reason.

Imagine I create the world.
Nation 1: Orcs(reskinned as humans)
Nation 2: Gnolls(reskinned as humans)
Nation 3: Elves(reskinned as humans)
...
(repeat for all humanoid subtypes)
...
Then after a great war between the races the god that created this world uses his divine magic to make them all look exactly the same because he believed that would end the strife between them. Every single race of the humanoid subtype now LOOKS exactly like a human. Not magically transformed, it's permanent.
BAM.
Now each nation(consisting of a different humanoid that just looks like a human) needs to have their own favored enemy pick.

THAT was one of the options he could have taken.
But as ALTERNATIVE, he also got the option to have a lesser bonus on ALL of them.
So basically, for any fantasy world you want to imagine, he got to pick "favored enemy(humanoid)" rather than pick a subtype of humanoid as is RAW. But at half the regular bonus.

Once he levels up to Level 5 and increases this pick, he just got
Favored Enemy at its normal level for:
Humanoid (aquatic)
Humanoid (dwarf)
Humanoid (elf)
Humanoid (giant)
Humanoid (goblinoid)
Humanoid (gnoll)
Humanoid (gnome)
Humanoid (halfling)
Humanoid (human)
Humanoid (orc)
Humanoid (reptilian)
Humanoid (other subtype)
...
so he got 13 kinds of favored enemy(including his 5th level pick) at level 5, and you guys say he got weakened because it should be +4 for one and +2 for a second? I remind you that he got that option, he only would have had to pick a specific one from the list.

Every single nation has a different cultural heritage, fighting style, history, preferences, gods or political outlook. Per RAW, i could just say each nation consists of a different kind of humanoid.
The lore for the world, however, just says they are human. No fancy backstory for that.

I am tired of the rules lawyering in that regard. As said, If i make a medieval setting without any fantasy, no magic or other races, and there is only humans in the whole world, and its medieval europe with tons of forests in which the campaign takes place in its entirety, then RAW there is only one enemy type and one terrain type.
Anybody who still thinks that works as intended for the Ranger's favored enemy ability and there's no need for any changes in my book is not in touch with game mechanics(thats not meant as an insult, it's just pretty clear that the feature expects diversity as written, otherwise he could just get a flat +2 attack/damage/bluff/sense motive/perception/knowledge/survival bonus on levels 1,5,10,15 and 20, with another flat +2 initiative/knowledge(geography)/perception/stealth/survival bonus on 3,8,13,18)
So until Level 20 he would get permanent increases against everything worth +10 attack/damage, and +10 bluff, sense motive, knowledge(humans&geography) and stealth and +20 on perception and survival, all of which stack with everything else.
Oh, he also leaves no trace and gets to hide in plain sight everywhere, and everything he sees is a potential quarry.
Lets also pick up favored defense for a +5 CMD and +5 dodge AC against everything.

It's an extreme example but hopefully shows that if the world demands it, there is a point in adjusting abilities to be reasonable within it.

As for "come back next week and ask for help on the sorcerer", no. by all means, this has gone on long enough as is, and i only came here for some ideas, which were provided by helpful members of the community.

I said before and say again: I have no problem with powerful character builds by themselves. Thats fine, i can handle them. The problem I mentioned and have to deal with is that one player is superior to the others courtesy of ranged combat being a superior choice over melee in the pathfinder system and him aiming for an optimized build.
As said, next steps will be a large animal companion to ride on(where he can) for full attacks combined with a move, and the snap shot line.

Again, I don't have a problem with the ranger per se. The player is a friend of mine, he optimized, everything cool.
I had a problem of running out of encounter ideas that I can utilize to let the other party members shine, too. So by its very nature, it's a problem that the group hopefully did not pick up on yet, as I always tried to carefully craft encounters and situations in regular intervalls that favored them, too.
If they already FEEL they are just the support cast, then I failed.
The whole point of this request is to continue letting them feel like heros. The Ranger knows he is, and he gets plenty of screen time to show off. What I need is ideas that let the others show off, too.


And for a melee fighter, it could be 20-30 HP. Clustered Shots lets you pool your attacks and avoid that. There may be a melee counterpart, but if there is, I see it used much less—probably because it's less of a "must-have".

My point is that DR is meaningless in the aim of balancing encounters. If anything, you'll just make the archer more effective by contrast.


Start making use of battlefield control spells. Fog cloud, wind wall, wall of force, etc to break up his line of effect. Drop an entangle followed by a fog cloud to lock him down.

Try have them fight a squad of soldiers, the ones in front with tower shields using the ability to grand full cover and guys with bows or spellcasters behind laying down some damage.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Darkness and lighting can be a factor.

Good Perception, or not, there is a limit to light sources.

A simple way for melee PCs to shine, is an attack at night, by creature that can see in the dark.

thanks, yes, that is a favored tactic of the undead in my world. Especially since the group usually keeps light cast to see in the dark if on the move.

Makes for very nice targets from outside the visible area.


This might sound a bit sarcastic but: Isn't there a spell somewhere called protection from arrows?


galahad2112 wrote:

Ummm...If I was playing a campaign in which I knew, for a FACT, that over half of my enemies would fall into a single FE group, I would choose that EVERY TIME. Frankly, the DM is being VERY generous in allowing it to affect all Humans, rather than breaking it down by nation (which would be equivalent to picking normal subtypes).

That being said, it doesn't really matter whether he was "Nerfed" or not, he picked what he picked and it seems to be working out very well for him. He knew what he was getting into from Day 1. Also, the whole FE thing is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

To the OP:
Use the Web spell. Even when cast from a scroll, it's nasty. If he doesn't save, great. If he DOES save, that's fine, he's still got to move through a bunch of difficult terrain, making CMB checks, or he's grappled. Basically, worst case scenario, he loses a round. Best case scenario, he burns to a crisp when the Fireball drops next round.

Another nasty combo is to have an Arcane Archer imbue an arrow with Antimagic Field. That will drop some buffs quick, fast, and in a hurry.

thanks a lot for the support on that first paragraph.

also for the web. made me look it up.
thats the important part: "If you have at least 20 feet of web between you, it provides total cover", and its a 20-feet spread, so aye, forces a move.
Because i was pretty sure you only have to check for initial reflex and when you move, thinking he could just stay where he is and keep shooting(unless some fog-effect would get added). But that part basically forces him to chance moving.

Antimagic Field is a bit high level for their current APL. I used it in specific situations, with traps or whole dead-magic areas, but for the Arcane Archer to utilize it he would need to be quite a bit ahead of them.
It will come into use later in the campaign though, no worries there ;)


Goddity wrote:
This might sound a bit sarcastic but: Isn't there a spell somewhere called protection from arrows?

I hope it is sarcastic.

The warded creature gains resistance to ranged weapons. The subject gains damage reduction 10/magic against ranged weapons. This spell doesn't grant you the ability to damage creatures with similar damage reduction. Once the spell has prevented a total of 10 points of damage per caster level (maximum 100 points), it is discharged.

Seeing how that gets bypassed by a weapon worth 2k gold, it quickly fails to work against pretty much any hero party worth their name.

Scarab Sages

MordredofFairy wrote:


Oh, he could have choosen humanoid(orcs). Only that he would never in this world find any orcs. Could planeshift to someplace with orcs, i reckon.

He knew the lore of the world before he made the character, and the fact that humans make up 95% of the intelligent population of the world made him pick ranger for the favored enemy bonus, over other archery builds.
Since I considered that gamey and not RAI, I told him he EITHER had to subpick by nation(closest thing to different humanoid races in this world), or get half the bonus for them. As they did not know where they would go or end up, he didn't gamble and rather took the overall halfed bonus.
Still served him well enough to stack it up twice on subsequent picks.
So, if you want it laid out basic, yes, he picked up "favored enemy(humanoid)" for all practical purposes with a flat halfed bonus, knowing that a majority of the encounters in this world and campaign would be against humans which are a subtype of humanoids.
Hardly a gimp if you ask me, rather a boost.

Well, if I lived in a world where the majority of things that I will fight are humans (like we do), why wouldn't my character decide to focus on killing them versus Orcs which are imaginary in your world? It's like asking if the US Air Force has a dragon contingency plan.

I think in game targeting of characters when an enemy wouldn't necessarily know of their reputation or their abilities (no scrying, no visible religious symbols, etc) seems really cheesy, and really does tend to further shine the spotlight on that character and teach them how to overcome your tactics. I also don't like antagonistic GMing, where a GM's mindset is focused on shutting down players rather than telling a story.

I do understand that it can be frustrating when a PC can make most encounters trivial and that other players might not shine in battle. Lots of builds/classes have a tough time shining in combat (monks, rogues, investigators, etc.).

What I don't think I would have done is given the party the archaeologist NPC. Giving a group of 5 players (I could see doing it for a group of 3 players) an extra character that outshines them in all the Knowledges and Disable Device checks removes an arena in which actual players could have shined, and let them focus nearly all on combat, which will nearly always have a consistent DPS leader (if it wasn't the ranger it would be the barbarian probably).

I prefer having players build their PCs together and coming up with ways that they as a party can fill each of the roles (social, knowledge, traps, ranged combat, melee combat, healing, arcane magic, divine magic, etc). It's important to remember a lack of non-ranged combat can really shut down a party against flying/climbing foes (all PCs who can use a bow should carry one), which limits what a GM can throw at the party.


MordredofFairy wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
MordredofFairy wrote:


gimps his character? Because he CHOOSE to take the favored enemy against all humans over specific nations?

IF I had the campaign set as high-fantasy, with a nation of orcs, one of gnolls, one of gnomes, one of elves, one of humans etc., would you still expect a ranger to pick "favored enemy(humanoid)" without having to make a subchoice? Allowing him to pick "favored enemy(90% of your encounters)" at half regular power would be gimping him?

Unless I misunderstood I thought the OP said the bonuses from favored enemy were cut in half.

Aye, but only for humans, as its a low fantasy setting in those terms. Basically all the humanoids you are likely to encounter anywhere in the world are humans(with few specific exceptions that are rather rare and mostly in the lore so not to FORCE players to play human).

wraithstrike wrote:
from the OP wrote:
....knowing that due to the setting most enemies will be human(and the favored enemy bonus for them gets halfed as a result...that was agreed on though before we started).

I never saw anything saying the ranger did not have to choose humanoid(humans). If the ranger gets to apply the bonus against all humanoids then provide a quote. Now if this is true, then I admit it was not a gimp move, but that is not how I read it.

edit:Oh you are the OP. Now the question is, will they be fighting "humans" or "humanoids". That determines how good this deal is.

Oh, he could have choosen humanoid(orcs). Only that he would never in this world find any orcs. Could planeshift to someplace with orcs, i reckon.

He knew the lore of the world before he made the character, and the fact that humans make up 95% of the intelligent population of the world made him pick ranger for the favored enemy bonus, over other archery builds.
Since I considered that gamey and not RAI, I told him he EITHER had to subpick by nation(closest thing to different humanoid races in this world), or get...

It is still a nerf, the fact that the campaign is set up well for that class does not change that. Just like if someone goes with paladins and and I power down smites. A nerf is simply powering down a class, and yes I get your point that your reduction to the class may balance out the advantage it has.

With that aside this is a full BAB class so it is likely going to be hitting anyway, and it is an archer. Anything you do will to oppose him on every combat will be noticed, and unless you have a houserule it will also affect archers that the party faces.

What I don't get is why the other players are not getting to do anything. Assuming you are not just using one monster the barbarian should be able to run up and attack someone.

But let's explore the opening statement.

Quote:
That, in itself, would not be such a problem, but from Monk, Inquisitor, Sorcerer and Barbarian, only the Barbarian can consistently match the raw damage output, and definitely not the range.

Monks are not going to be able to match the output of most damage dealers unless the player has high system mastery. They are one of the weaker classes in the game. He can probably do more damage by being an unarmed (insert other melee class). Casters are not meant to do damage. I am not saying they can't, but it takes up most of their resources to do so. If the sorcerer is trying to do damage he needs to change classes also. The inquisitor can do a lot of damage after several buffs, but his main thing is not damage either. He is less combat, and more utility than a ranger is. The problem to me assuming this statement sums up your problem is people trying to do things with characters that dont fit the mold. It also does not help that the inquisitor is using a crossbow. If the inquisitor is concerned about damage allow him to rebuild because bringing the ranger's damage down will not bring the inquisitor's up, or you can give the crossbow a boost.

Monks and barbarians can take a feat to ignore difficult terrain when they charge. It is dragon style.

Dragon Style

The question here is this also.
Do you want a game where your choices really matter aka "If you choose a weaker option you have to deal with it".

OR

Choices should be more equal AKA "Crossbow users should complete with two-handers and ranged weapons even if that was not the intent"

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Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / How to deal with dominating ranged char in a group as DM? All Messageboards

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