Good Player person in my group but loves being the powerful fighting hero (GM needs Help)


Advice

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Cevah wrote:
At levels >= 10, you are considered legends. Common people know who you all are.

[citation needed]


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Ultimatums aren't really "passive" aggressive. Pretty sure we just call those aggressive. Passivity requires a certain level of beating-around-the-bushness.

I agree, and I guess I wrote in a way that could be misunderstood.

Passive-aggressive is having NPC's target the Warpriest in ways that don't make in-game sense, or setting up encounters to specifically weaken the Warpriest, and the like.

I was saying I'd prefer an ultimatum to that, preferring "aggressive" to "passive-aggressive," although since the Warpriest isn't really a munchkin, I don't know if even that is fair.


Oly wrote:
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
Froth Maw wrote:
The way my DM would handle this would be to have the enemies gun way harder for the stronger character. Let's say you've got an enemy with three natural attacks. When you attack the war priest, you go full attack on him, but if you attack your comic relief guy, just hit him with one attack. Or if your players wind up scattered and fighting different enemies 1v1 or 2v2, send any extra guys you have over to fight the war priest. It'll probably work out fine since he wants to fight and everyone else wants to do whatever people who build underpowered characters see as their end goal.
I like this. Agreed. If someone wants to act like Superman, he is going to draw the enemy attacks more than the rogues and other spell casters (unless they cast a spell that draws attention). Good advice:) thanks.

I strongly disagree. That's passive-aggressive GMing. Rather than discussing the matter with the player, you just have the NPC's use better tactics against his character than against other characters.

I almost replied with something about that when someone said an ultimatum was the worst thing a GM can do. I'd much rather be issued an ultimatum than have the GM intentionally discriminate against my character.

Given the damage levels mentioned, if the player in question is trying to power-game, he isn't even power-gaming that effectively.

I dislike extreme minmaxing power gaming, and as a GM would call someone out on that, but even if this player is trying to do that, he's not doing the kind of damage that one can do if it's done well.

Outside of true minmaxing (which is a bad thing IMO), I'm bothered by a trend on the boards that players should be told, "You're playing too well! Stop!" But...being told that is less bad than having the GM discriminate against your character.

To me, it's like how two players can play at different difficulty levels in certain video games while still playing together. If the enemy goes for your noobie, he fights at noobie level to even it out. I was on the other side of this the first time I tried to build a barbarian (ok barbarian surrounded by useless teammates) and I didn't mind catching a little extra heat. It'll give him more suspense and more guys to chop up. The DM just has to remember not to be TOO heavy handed.


Froth Maw wrote:

To me, it's like how two players can play at different difficulty levels in certain video games while still playing together. If the enemy goes for your noobie, he fights at noobie level to even it out. I was on the other side of this the first time I tried to build a barbarian (ok barbarian surrounded by useless teammates) and I didn't mind catching a little extra heat. It'll give him more suspense and more guys to chop up. The DM just has to remember not to be TOO heavy handed.

If the Warpriest's player agrees to it, as one would agree to play a game with someone else at different difficulty levels, that would be okay. If the GM just does it regardless (worst of all, if he doesn't even say he's going to do it), it's unfair to the Warpriest's player.

I don't think it's fair to punish someone for just building and playing competently, just because others in the group haven't been able to. If the Warpriest were a true munchkin, it's a different story, but he really isn't.

Scarab Sages

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First thing to remember...there are 7 people at the table. You as GM should be having fun too.

Sometimes players forget how much work a GM puts in Before, during and after each session. In your case, one player is putting additional stress on the GM and the rest of the table. It certainly needs to be addressed.

You did not mention what classes that make up the party, and that gives us more info when trying to help you adjust things in-game.

So, the troublemaker (so to speak) is a Warpriest. Try creating situations that will take him out of encounters early on, i.e. Saves against conditions or spells, bad guys that have been pre-buffed before initiative begins, etc. not ALL the time, but enough that he begins to appreciate the strengths and abilities of the others.


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DominusMegadeus wrote:
Cevah wrote:
At levels >= 10, you are considered legends. Common people know who you all are.
[citation needed]
Legend Lore spell wrote:
As a rule of thumb, characters who are 11th level and higher are "legendary," as are the sorts of creatures they contend with, the major magic items they wield, and the places where they perform their key deeds.


Quemius wrote:


You did not mention what classes that make up the party, and that gives us more info when trying to help you adjust things in-game.

Actually, he did. Among them are a Sorcerer, a Cavalier, and a ranged-sepcialist Rogue. I don't recall the others.

Quemius wrote:
So, the troublemaker (so to speak) is a Warpriest. Try creating situations that will take him out of encounters early on, i.e. Saves against conditions or spells, bad guys that have been pre-buffed before initiative begins, etc. not ALL the time, but enough that he begins to appreciate the strengths and abilities of the others.

Except, he's not a legit troublemaker, which is why it's horribly unfair to him to penalize him for being *gasp* competent.


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Bob Bob Bob wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
Cevah wrote:
At levels >= 10, you are considered legends. Common people know who you all are.
[citation needed]
Legend Lore spell wrote:
As a rule of thumb, characters who are 11th level and higher are "legendary," as are the sorts of creatures they contend with, the major magic items they wield, and the places where they perform their key deeds.

So if someone casts Legend Lore, they can know about you and your abilities. Does everyone in the world cast Legend Lore everyday?

EDIT:

Legend Lore wrote:
These may be legends that are still current, legends that have been forgotten, or even information that has never been generally known.

It's possible the things Legend Lore tells you about 11th+ people is not known to anyone ever. Still 'legendary' as the game term, not common knowledge or even known at all to anyone.

Liberty's Edge

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Oly wrote:
Quemius wrote:


You did not mention what classes that make up the party, and that gives us more info when trying to help you adjust things in-game.

Actually, he did. Among them are a Sorcerer, a Cavalier, and a ranged-sepcialist Rogue. I don't recall the others.

Quemius wrote:
So, the troublemaker (so to speak) is a Warpriest. Try creating situations that will take him out of encounters early on, i.e. Saves against conditions or spells, bad guys that have been pre-buffed before initiative begins, etc. not ALL the time, but enough that he begins to appreciate the strengths and abilities of the others.
Except, he's not a legit troublemaker, which is why it's horribly unfair to him to penalize him for being *gasp* competent.

Yeah, in most of the groups I play with, the cavalier would be racing the warpriest to see who can drop the most enemies, there would be no rogues, the arcanist wouldn't even care who did damage, and the cleric would probably either be as combat capable as the warpriest, or be using it's superior spellcasting to aid the party, possibly be summoning monsters to do their damage for them.

A warpriest who's best thing is cleave through with a falchion isn't really the problem here.


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Flynn Greywalker wrote:

My Pathfinder Brethern, I need some help after wracking my brain. I have been GMing Pathfinder for 19 months now (coming from D&D 3.5) and I finally have fielded a pretty great group. My players consist of:

1. The helpful team player.
2. The zealous RPGer
3. the teen hack slasher (my son).
4. The comic/role playing half distracted older player
5. The quiet but helpful older new convert from D&D
6. The friendly, funny, chatting Power Gaming, I'm the superman optimized fighting type battle machine leader.

My group has great synergy, are great to run and love having fun. However, I have a problem with my player 6. He is hooked on the warpriest and maximizing his character to get the most combat impact and win the combat feats/powers out of his character. He sees nothing wrong with this. However, some of the players are seeing that I am trying to amp up the CR of the adventure path and feats of the monsters and anti hero NPCs to make formats more even against the party.

Why?

No offense intended, I'd just like to understand precisely why. If you're powering up the enemy to account for the total number of players that's fine, but if PC 6 is optimizing because he wants a powerful character... making the enemies more powerful completely negates the entire point of all the effort and research he's put into his character's mechanical foundation. Sure the roleplaying is still there... but it isn't backed up by the mechanics anymore. He's weaker relative to what he's fighting than he expects to be.

Quote:
Their characters aren't able to take the monsters like he does.and have voiced their concern about him always wanting to play the powerful fighting types.

This isn't a problem with the powerful fighting type, nor is it a problem with the casual players.

It's a problem with having an Arms Race with a player. Please don't do that, it takes away the fun from everyone. You as the GM have to decide either to let him have his powerful character be powerful [my personal preference] or regulate his power. Powering up the enemies because of one or two party member's build decisions is [IMHO of course] Bad GMing.

Quote:
His response is that I should include more skill base role playing solve it situation that he won't have the skills for, use the hostage situations where the bad guys threaten with innocent hostages to make his character back down from violence to beat them and other similar situations. He isn't seeing anything wrong with his characters being superman like when they get to 7th level or higher. And, when I countered after a session saying I should use warpriest said to offset his power, he balked saying he might survive, but the other characters won't.

He's actually right here. If one character is more powerful in a fight than the others and you try to match it in power, you're punishing those who didn't optimize more than you're punishing him.

Quote:
What should I do to keep the APs challenging, but not so crazy the party will die?

Ramp up the numbers of enemies rather than raise their CR. I'd recommend doing this only based on the increased number of players you have, but you can also account for the Power Gamer's power level if you wish. This tends to be a much more fair way of powering up an encounter than ramping up the CR of its constituent creatures.

Quote:
I hate to see his warpriest end battles all the time in one round.

Have you tried changing up your tactics? If he's ending encounters in one round something is probably going wrong, a Warpriest is at its best as the encounter wears on and he gets more buffs up and running.

Quote:
And I don't know if his suggestions will solve the issues. He is a good friend and a good person. It's just his maximizing power play takes the fun out of an AP or adventure.

His suggestions will help [I'm assuming he's telling the truth about his character giving a s#$! about hostages, not all characters will] but they won't solve an adversarial GM/Player dynamic.

TLDR; don't worry about one character being more powerful than the others unless that fact in and of itself is disruptive among the other players. Instead, let him have his fun and attempt to challenge him in other arenas. Absolutely do not increase the CR of the enemy creatures to account for his power, either ignore his power entirely or add additional units to the enemy force.


DominusMegadeus wrote:
Cevah wrote:
At levels >= 10, you are considered legends. Common people know who you all are.
[citation needed]

In addition to Legend Lore, there are these Knowledge skills:

Know recent or historically significant event .. History .. 10
Know local laws, rulers, and popular locations .. Local .. 10
Know a common rumor or local tradition .. Local .. 15
Know current rulers and their symbols .. Nobility .. 10
Commonly known facts or rumors .. Diplomacy (Gather Information) .. 10

Adventurers are heroes. What they do is significant. The common people will talk about them. While they are not rulers, the deal with them. Maybe +2 DC.

Unless you are from far away [in time or space], or the bad guys are totally isolated, your characters are talked about.

/cevah

Liberty's Edge

Cevah wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
Cevah wrote:
At levels >= 10, you are considered legends. Common people know who you all are.
[citation needed]

In addition to Legend Lore, there are these Knowledge skills:

Know recent or historically significant event .. History .. 10
Know local laws, rulers, and popular locations .. Local .. 10
Know a common rumor or local tradition .. Local .. 15
Know current rulers and their symbols .. Nobility .. 10
Commonly known facts or rumors .. Diplomacy (Gather Information) .. 10

Adventurers are heroes. What they do is significant. The common people will talk about them. While they are not rulers, the deal with them. Maybe +2 DC.

Unless you are from far away [in time or space], or the bad guys are totally isolated, your characters are talked about.

/cevah

That's really up to the campaign if the PCs would he heroes or not. I've played in a campaign where all the PCs were assassins. I'd be very surprised if anyone on the street even knew who we (the guild) were, let alone being able to describe individual members.

As for most Campaigns, unless it's an urban campaign, I don't think townspeople would necessarily know who you were unless you bragged about your exploits everywhere you went.


In this particular situation, it sounds like a player/gm with an unclear understanding of the rules may be contributing to some of the problem PC's power.

Once those issues are cleared up, if the problem still persists, talk to the player and let them know that other people are having less fun because his character is trivializing the encounters. If he's willing to alter his character to accommodate, then you're all set.

Assuming he's not willing to alter his character, then you as the GM have a few options:


  • Award more gear that is tailored to the other characters and will increase their power level, bringing them more inline with the warpriest.
  • Carefully select enemies that more often play to the warpriest's weaknesses. If the warpriest is a melee monster, add in flying/ranged/teleporting attackers that he'll have a harder time getting to.
  • Add in enemies that can reduce the warpriest's capabilities in a temporary fashion (poisons, diseases, curses, etc.)
  • Reduce the effectiveness of the warpriest's attacks at certain times.

While some people will disagree with #4 above, keep in mind that everyone needs to be having fun. If one player is ruining the other player's fun, and he isn't willing to remedy the problem, then you as the GM need to.


Tormsskull wrote:

In this particular situation, it sounds like a player/gm with an unclear understanding of the rules may be contributing to some of the problem PC's power.

Once those issues are cleared up, if the problem still persists, talk to the player and let them know that other people are having less fun because his character is trivializing the encounters. If he's willing to alter his character to accommodate, then you're all set.

Assuming he's not willing to alter his character, then you as the GM have a few options:


  • Award more gear that is tailored to the other characters and will increase their power level, bringing them more inline with the warpriest.
  • Carefully select enemies that more often play to the warpriest's weaknesses. If the warpriest is a melee monster, add in flying/ranged/teleporting attackers that he'll have a harder time getting to.
  • Add in enemies that can reduce the warpriest's capabilities in a temporary fashion (poisons, diseases, curses, etc.)
  • Reduce the effectiveness of the warpriest's attacks at certain times.

While some people will disagree with #4 above, keep in mind that everyone needs to be having fun. If one player is ruining the other player's fun, and he isn't willing to remedy the problem, then you as the GM need to.

I actually disagree with all of those, but #4 the worst. "You're playing competently! You must be punished for it!" A twink/munchkin is a different story, but that's not what's happening here.

Edited to add: I also didn't see anything that stated the other players weren't having fun. Maybe I missed something, but maybe it's just the GM feeling frustrated to see the Warpriest ending fights so fast.

As others have said, adding a few extra mooks to opposing parties due to the size of the PC party would make some sense; but a GM's job is to create a world, come up with stories, and referee the game fairly, including calling out munchkins (but the player discussed isn't a munchkin). It is not to favor some players over others.


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If he has a legal build he should be able to play it. I hate to say it but this is a GM problem at this point.


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Considering what has been revealead about the character so far. Even the warpriest is by far suboptimal, not even sure I would call that build even if it was legal competent.

There are 2 major issues neither of wich are on the warpriest.

1) Rest of the party seemingly can't build a decent character to save their lives or just flat out don't care.
2) Published adventures are more or less cake walks with few and far between hard encounters. That is assuming certain level of competence in building characters.(and I am not talking some real optimization just the common stuff like barbarian wielding a falchion and using power attack) This coupled with more people in the party makes it even easier.

Solutions:

1) Allow retraining rules, give people some downtime and then as a group look at your characters, if needed look for aid online be that by starting threads or looking at some guides. Though remember that you need to take online advice with a big chunk of salt.
2) Modify the encounters, now as a rule of thumb making the creatures more powerful is not a smart idea, instead add in more enemies of the same or lower power level.


Regardless if the player created a suboptimal character, an average character, an optimized character, or a super-optimized character, if the rest of the group is not having fun because of it, it needs to be addressed.

You can have a group of five all suboptimal characters, and the group can have a blast. Then someone comes along with an average character, and that average character outshines all of the other characters.

If the players of the suboptimal characters enjoyment of the game is lessened because of this, the solution isn't to tell them they didn't build powerful enough characters and they all need to recreate them. Especially not with the player with the average character assisting them.

Short version, if you have six players, and one is causing the problem, address the one, rather than trying to get the five to create more powerful characters to compensate.


Tormsskull wrote:

Regardless if the player created a suboptimal character, an average character, an optimized character, or a super-optimized character, if the rest of the group is not having fun because of it, it needs to be addressed.

You can have a group of five all suboptimal characters, and the group can have a blast. Then someone comes along with an average character, and that average character outshines all of the other characters.

If the players of the suboptimal characters enjoyment of the game is lessened because of this, the solution isn't to tell them they didn't build powerful enough characters and they all need to recreate them. Especially not with the player with the average character assisting them.

Short version, if you have six players, and one is causing the problem, address the one, rather than trying to get the five to create more powerful characters to compensate.

So you tell someone, "Since you made an average character I'll punish you by nerfing him, because everyone else made crappy ones, so you must be crappy, too! Make your character crappy or I'll nerf you!" That's flatly unfair.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't think we have heard back since the rules elements have been straightened out.

If the war priest can't solo the module, then they need the other characters. Assuming that is the case, it is in their interest to spread some of the power around so that if they go down it isn't an automatic total party kill. Approaching it this way may be more effective since you have now pointed out a weakness -- something they can try to resolve.

Changing up some of the encounters is also likely to help. I'm not certain, but it sounds like the war priest is the least effective at range. Two or three groups of archers spread out over a battlefield is likely to give everyone a chance to shine. Make sure that the archers are spread out enough that it takes time to move from one group to the other.


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Tormsskull wrote:
Regardless if the player created a suboptimal character, an average character, an optimized character, or a super-optimized character, if the rest of the group is not having fun because of it, it needs to be addressed.

Could you please quote for me where in the OP the group isn't having fun because of the Optimizer's power level?

As far as I could tell, the OP clearly explains the group isn't having fun because the GM is ramping up the encounters to deal with the optimizer, not because of his power in and of itself.

Hence the advice to either A: ignore his power and provide encounters as normal for a 6 man party of that Level, or B: include a few extra enemy units due to his power.

I do agree with you on the note of including enemies the Warpriest has trouble with. In my experience GM's frequently get into a rut where they simply throw the same general type of encounter over and over and over again and in those scenarios the ideal character for those encounters is naturally going to blow them away.

However, a GM shouldn't focus on such encounters either, sprinkling them in a normal ratio is ideal.


BretI wrote:

I don't think we have heard back since the rules elements have been straightened out.

If the war priest can't solo the module, then they need the other characters. Assuming that is the case, it is in their interest to spread some of the power around so that if they go down it isn't an automatic total party kill.

This only happens if the encounters are ramped up according to the War Priest's power level. If you ignore his power level you don't get this problem.

Quote:
Changing up some of the encounters is also likely to help. I'm not certain, but it sounds like the war priest is the least effective at range. Two or three groups of archers spread out over a battlefield is likely to give everyone a chance to shine. Make sure that the archers are spread out enough that it takes time to move from one group to the other.

This is good, so long as it isn't overdone.


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As a minor suggestion, consider removing the critical hit deck. You're concerned about him being overpowered relative to the other players, the deck's game effects just add to that for his character since he's focused on getting as many crits as possible. If you want cool effects, use narrative ones that don't have additional in game consequences for him to capitalize on.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Flynn Greywalker wrote:
Tesailion wrote:
What is so strong about him?
He has cleave through, he gets his divine bonus on top of AC, Attack and damage. He also channels through his weapon. And, he took the feat that allows him DR/2 for every enemy he slays in that round (which stacks pretty high). He also has the Strike Back feat.

these... aren't that good

Grand Lodge

You're getting all kinds of advice. As you've noticed, it's becoming apparent that most of it is due to you and your warpriest player not understanding some of the rules that's allowing him to be overpowered. I suggest you post a copy of his character (as the GM you should already have this--if not get it asap) so we can take a look at how it's built. Also post the exact tactics he uses and we'll respond appropriately.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Could you please quote for me where in the OP the group isn't having fun because of the Optimizer's power level?

Not in the OP, but in another part of the thread the OPer said:

Quote:

However, two of the players have tried to talk about it with him twice (gently) and I have twice with the,. I have shared that I sought some advice on it. His response is that he is just trying to maximize and make the best character he can.

If the other players are talking with the player of the "overpowered" character, and his response is that he just trying to make the best character he can, it seems that:

A.) The other players are concerned with the power level of this "overpowered" character rather than simply the more difficult challenges (otherwise I would assume they would simply tell the GM they want normal encounters even if the "overpowered" character trivializes them)

and

B.) The player of the "overpowered" character is after a different style of game than the other players.


Tormsskull wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Could you please quote for me where in the OP the group isn't having fun because of the Optimizer's power level?

Not in the OP, but in another part of the thread the OPer said:

Quote:

However, two of the players have tried to talk about it with him twice (gently) and I have twice with the,. I have shared that I sought some advice on it. His response is that he is just trying to maximize and make the best character he can.

If the other players are talking with the player of the "overpowered" character, and his response is that he just trying to make the best character he can, it seems that:

A.) The other players are concerned with the power level of this "overpowered" character rather than simply the more difficult challenges (otherwise I would assume they would simply tell the GM they want normal encounters even if the "overpowered" character trivializes them)

and

B.) The player of the "overpowered" character is after a different style of game than the other players.

You're assuming the players haven't watched the arms race escalate and assume the Optimizer is at fault for the GM cranking the power up. It's fairly common for people to place the blame on their peers and not see the faults of the system over them.

If the players see cause-and-effect with their allies power and the power of their opposition, one possible reaction to that is to turn on him.

Now, it's totally possible that they are genuinely upset with the power of this character, but it's also totally possible their upset is with the power of opposition his presence is bringing them and they are funneling that frustration at him rather than the GM.


Leonhart Steelmane wrote:


also, maybe you're fighting a flying creature so this would be another place for the ranged members of the party to shine. having to take out the wings before they become grounded and the war priest gets his chance.

or maybe you can have a situation which the acrobats in your party are the heroes of the day. maybe in the big ballroom ambush the best way to take out the thugs is to drop a chandelier on them and only the rouge is dexy enough to make the jump to the ledge and cut the rope.

and perhaps you can overwhelm the party with grunts, and have to make use of

These are all good. But really the best idea is just to add a couple mooks to each combat. You have a large and powerful party, adding a couple CR-2 mooks wont change much but it will allow the others to contribute in combat.

That, and fixing how he uses his feats etc, will do the trick.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Now, it's totally possible that they are genuinely upset with the power of this character, but it's also totally possible their upset is with the power of opposition his presence is bringing them and they are funneling that frustration at him rather than the GM.

Sure, its also possible that the "overpowered" character isn't overpowered at all.

Its also possible that the other characters are dreadfully underpowered.

Its also possible that the GM just doesn't like that a character could be that strong.

Its also possible that the GM is completely wrong.

Its also possible that the player in question wants to trivialize encounters because that's what's fun for him.

There's a lot of possibilities out there. When someone posts a thread, other people read the post (hopefully,) then apply some assumptions based on their own interpretations and personal experiences, and then respond.

Pointing out that I'm making assumptions seems to be unnecessary as it should be obvious that that is what I am doing, because that's what everyone posting to the thread is doing.


I haven't read through all the suggestions, but I have a few options that may not have been brought up.

1) Buff his allies and opponents in combat (maybe giving him out of combat buffs to give some balance). For example if there is an archer add a good bow to the loot mix. Anyone who is struggling could use specific items that would improve them in battle. Feel free to make stuff up for this campaign. That way when you increase the challenge rating of the bad guys the rest of the team doesn't get overrun.

- Other ways to buff other players would be to give them bonus feats, companions, or bonus class abilities. There is always a lore based reason you can work in to give these bonuses to them.

2) Buff his opponents, but give them weakness to his allies. For example if he has a low touch ac and the monk in the group has high bring more guys in that have touch based attacks. Let players with touch attacks have targets to hit, same with X saves. If a player is focused on frost attacks then bring in a bad guy that is resistant to everything else.

3) Add more encounters per day. He has limited resources, if the other players are playing fighters/monks/rogues they wont run out of things to do. The warpriest will.

-Strikeback seems terrible. If used right I don't see how it's creating problems.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Oly wrote:
Tormsskull wrote:

Regardless if the player created a suboptimal character, an average character, an optimized character, or a super-optimized character, if the rest of the group is not having fun because of it, it needs to be addressed.

You can have a group of five all suboptimal characters, and the group can have a blast. Then someone comes along with an average character, and that average character outshines all of the other characters.

If the players of the suboptimal characters enjoyment of the game is lessened because of this, the solution isn't to tell them they didn't build powerful enough characters and they all need to recreate them. Especially not with the player with the average character assisting them.

Short version, if you have six players, and one is causing the problem, address the one, rather than trying to get the five to create more powerful characters to compensate.

So you tell someone, "Since you made an average character I'll punish you by nerfing him, because everyone else made crappy ones, so you must be crappy, too! Make your character crappy or I'll nerf you!" That's flatly unfair.

which I reply with, so?

the goal of pathfinder is to make a fun game not a fair game. If asymmetry makes the game funner then you have accomplished this goal.

Community Manager

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A reminder to keep it civil, please—not everybody has numerous years of 3.x or Pathfinder gaming experience under their belt to catch all the "gotchas" in the rules. We were all new GMs and players at one point—offer suggestions to help, not condemnations of play style.


We're playing Rappan Athuk with 4 brand new players and two of us with experience. I am a power gamer. I simply helped people build lethal boss characters and then played a Master Summoner (a no brainer OP character) so that my turns were really fast and I could help teach other players while we played.

If the players maul an AP and everyone is happy, then wins for all.

If one player mauls an AP and everyone else feels left out, loss for everyone.

As for managing him...

Have a large monster grab the warpriest and slam him onto spike, stunning him with a fort save, grappling him and dealing damage as he struggles to get free.

Or eat him with something like a purple worm.

Grapple + auto bite + auto eat is the end of nearly every melee in pathfinder.

Poison, paralysis, disease, ability damage...the frontliner takes the brute of all of this (violet fungii!!!).

Pathfinder is designed to stop frontliners, no matter how powerful.


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Tormsskull wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Now, it's totally possible that they are genuinely upset with the power of this character, but it's also totally possible their upset is with the power of opposition his presence is bringing them and they are funneling that frustration at him rather than the GM.

Sure, its also possible that the "overpowered" character isn't overpowered at all.

Its also possible that the other characters are dreadfully underpowered.

Its also possible that the GM just doesn't like that a character could be that strong.

Its also possible that the GM is completely wrong.

Its also possible that the player in question wants to trivialize encounters because that's what's fun for him.

There's a lot of possibilities out there. When someone posts a thread, other people read the post (hopefully,) then apply some assumptions based on their own interpretations and personal experiences, and then respond.

Pointing out that I'm making assumptions seems to be unnecessary as it should be obvious that that is what I am doing, because that's what everyone posting to the thread is doing.

I would suggest going back and reading the whole thread, since you don't seem to have all the info that the rest of us have.

The Warriest is using Cleave, and deals roughly 20-36 damage per round to any given target (At level 12...with all of the enemies they fight having 80-150 HP).

He has been misusing the Readied attack rules to use Cleave along with them, is what part of the problem is ( a combo of a Readied attack with Strike Back into Cleave Through giving him higher than usual mobility with Cleave), and not properly keeping track of how quickly a Conductive weapon eats through Fervor uses.

We know for a fact that the character isn't overpowered...it's not an assumption we're making. It literally does not meet the benchmarks of "average" for his level even with the misused rules.

Any advice saying to unfairly single out the character is wrong in ANY case, but especially so here when simply applying the proper rules and adjusting your expectations fixes all the issues.


Quote:
Any advice saying to unfairly single out the character is wrong in ANY case, but especially so here when simply applying the proper rules and adjusting your expectations fixes all the issues.

I disagree here. If one character is seriously controlling combat he is going to make a name for himself and the bad guys are going to adjust their technique/preparations for him. If he is carrying their team then smart baddies will know they need to take him out of the equation.

This is part of the role-play aspect of the game. If the character is going to make a name for himself in combat, and only in combat, and grossly outshine the other characters on his team, he needs to be ready for a backlash.


That's not the same as what Tormskull suggested (stuff like making his attacks half as effective arbitrarily).

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Flynn Greywalker wrote:

I don't have every feat memorized and every rule 100 percent down. And I played D&D 3.5 before Pathfinder for 15 years. It took me 7 to feel strong as a GM.

I love the banter in the threads, but sometimes the aloofness comes out. Like it is here. Remember, everyone on here isn't an expert.

I think part of the issue is that you want to address one problem and have gotten a lot of advice regarding the means by which you can fix a different problem.

You would like to know how to fix a social problem -- one of you wants to play a different kind of game than the rest of you. He wants to play in a mathy, games mastering way that you (and maybe some others) don't enjoy. The solution to that problem is really having an honest chat about how he does that. Some quick suggestions:

1) Push him to play something that is really good at making others better. Like a buffing bard with a designating gun.

2) Tell him his build isn't fun for YOU as the GM. Work together to rework his PC.

--------------------------------------------------------------

That said, the observers saying that the warpriest is simultaneously broken/poorly built/and maybe not that good are probably right. They are just solving a slightly different problem. Albeit, one that MIGHT be helpful when trying to solve your other problem.

It looks like his build is illegal in several regards.

It looks like his build, if it conformed to the rules wouldn't be all that good.

And, it looks like some of your expectations may be off.

Those are 3 different problems, perhaps with some shared solutions.

First, I would look at his rule issues. Show him that what he is doing is really not allowed.

Second, given his rules issue, work TOGETHER to build his PC. You can go spell by spell and feat by feat. Make sure you know how they work.

Third, make sure you know what to expect. You seem bummed by the fact that he dropped two CR 10 kytons in a turn. That isn't a crazy result. Nor does it indicate that he is crazy powerful.

Loose back of the envelope math:

Fighter starts with 16 strength. Adds +2 from leveling and another +2 from magic

He grabs a +2 greatsword.

He takes bog-standard feats: weapon focus, weapon specialization, greater weapon focus, improved critical, and power attack. He has weapon training 1 and 2.

His attack line at lvl 11 is: +20/+15/+10 2d6+23

The average damage (counting the possibility of crits) is ~75 against a sacristan kyton's AC of 22.

A core-only, no bells-and-whistles fighter will do ~75 damage per full attack to your CR 10 kyton (the sacristan, I assume). It has 126 HP, so it is likely to die in 2 rounds. If anyone in the party buffs him (e.g. someone casts haste) and he gets a little lucky, he may drop 2 in one turn. That is a bog-standard, no-frills fighter. Generally speaking, that represents competency and proficiency within a role. It is neither wildly expectation-breaking nor does it represent a character facing its favored foe.

If that's surprising, you may need to recalibrate your expectations and work with that. You want to run a game that differs from some core assumptions in the game. That's great, but it is a fact you need to know.


Flynn Greywalker wrote:
Seranov wrote:

Yeah, what? 30ish damage a round at level 11 is hardly what I'd call overpowering. Especially since he's splitting his attacks between various targets and/or making only one attack a round vs. something outside his reach.

Exactly what is the rest of your group doing that this guy is supposedly making them look bad? More and more it sounds less like he's absurdly strong and just that everyone else is just really, really poorly built.

Possibly. He critical hits a lot with his improved critical and keen falchion.

You can't stack improved critical with keen. Add in the feat Strike Back (which requires a +11 BAB) and I think that you're biggest problem is that people don't understand the rules.

That said, it sounds like you're around what, 10th level? It is trivially easy at that point to build a martial that is putting out a lot more damage than what you're showing. A ranged paladin smiting, an unchained goblin rogue, a gunslinger, almost any barbarian or fighter, a cavalier, etc., and you should do WAY more damage than that.

As an example:

An 8th orc cavalier (order of the cockatrice) with Spirited Charge, Power Attack, 26 strength (18start+4race+2levels+2belt), a +1 lance, Order ability, and Cavalier's challenge is going to hit at something like a +17 (+8 BAB, +8 str, +2 charge, +1 enhancement, +1 Weapon Focus, -3 Power Attack) and do 3d8+108 (1d8 lance+12 power attack+12 str+1 enhancement + 3 Cockatrice +8 challenge, all tripled) damage. Plus whatever the mount is going to do.

If my math is wrong, let me know, but it's a hell of a lot more than 30 points a round (which is rather horrible for a mid-level martial character).

Scarab Sages

What's his CMD like? When I run into damage dynamo characters in my game, I make ample use of trip, grapple, and dirty trick against them. It doesn't really work against Monks or pure fighters, who have massive CMD, but against something like a warpriest it might be an option. It won't stop him, but it might slow him down long enough for the other characters to feel like they're part of the fight.


Rynjin wrote:
I would suggest going back and reading the whole thread, since you don't seem to have all the info that the rest of us have.

I've read the thread carefully. What the difference seems to be is that when the GM of the group says the character is causing problems, says that two of the other players have talked to the "overpowered" character's player about the problem, I believe the GM rather than assuming that the forums know better than this GM at this GM's table.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, it doesn't matter what power level the character is. If the character is causing the group to have less fun, it is a problem.

Fixing up rules that the group has interpreted incorrectly is a good idea (and one I already suggested along with others.) Past that if it is still a problem, the GM should act to curtail the character's power, real or perceived.

Rynjin wrote:
We know for a fact that the character isn't overpowered...it's not an assumption we're making. It literally does not meet the benchmarks of "average" for his level even with the misused rules.

How incredibly arrogant. Benchmarks don't mean jack at the table. There isn't some average character power level that applies to every group.


Sounds like his character is pretty well built, but possibly has made some mistakes.

I would recommend going over ALL the characters with a fine tooth comb, give advice on optimizing to EVERYONE within their niche.

Commonly forgotten things:

-Favored class bonus (hitpoints and skills aren't the only option!)
-Max hitpoints for first level?
-Make sure AC is calculated correctly, help people tweak here (chain shirt is best armor if you wanna go light, or mithril breastplate if you can afford it).
-For the caster, suggest a variety of spells, or scrolls, 'just in case'

I often run into this problem myself, chances are you can bring the other characters up to his level, or at least close to it. They are likely missing something that could help their characters a LOT.

for the ranged rogue, for example, suggest maybe using obsidian daggers with the Splintering Weapon feat... it causes bleed damage!

Make sure everyone using bladed weapons (if you are nice, you will allow this on arrows and other piercing weapons) has whetstone. It's only one copper, but adds a point of damage on the first attack you make (until you sharpen the weapon again)-this is great for archers!

Generally, just sitting down and checking over the character sheets can help alleviate the situation. Whether or not the powergamers character is made correclty, chances are the other folks have missed something.

In-game, it's okay to add a couple extra opponents, and there is nothing wrong with making them target him a little more. Just don't make it too obvious, or constant, otherwise it gets unbelievable.

Yes, tactically it makes sense to go for the squishies first, but you could also argue it makes sense to take out the biggest threat...


Tormsskull wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
I would suggest going back and reading the whole thread, since you don't seem to have all the info that the rest of us have.

I've read the thread carefully. What the difference seems to be is that when the GM of the group says the character is causing problems, says that two of the other players have talked to the "overpowered" character's player about the problem, I believe the GM rather than assuming that the forums know better than this GM at this GM's table.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, it doesn't matter what power level the character is. If the character is causing the group to have less fun, it is a problem.

Fixing up rules that the group has interpreted incorrectly is a good idea (and one I already suggested along with others.) Past that if it is still a problem, the GM should act to curtail the character's power, real or perceived.

Rynjin wrote:
We know for a fact that the character isn't overpowered...it's not an assumption we're making. It literally does not meet the benchmarks of "average" for his level even with the misused rules.
How incredibly arrogant. Benchmarks don't mean jack at the table. There isn't some average character power level that applies to every group.

The point of bringing these up is to show that the problem isn't with this one "powergamer" but with everyone else, particularly the cavalier.

The original poster should sit down with the other characters and swap some stuff out. The cavalier needs to have spirited charge, a lance, and power attack. That alone will cure some of the ills. The rogues should probably be rebuilt with the unchained rogue class (available on the PFSRD). The healer should consider doing non-healer stuff in combat. The arcane character should either focus on blasting or save-or-suck spells and just stick with that preference. We don't need to be getting them to insane, super-optimized levels but at least getting them to mediocre (like the problem "powergamer") would be helpful to the group.


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@Tormsskull: There is a line somewhere that when you cross the idea of majority does not apply anymore. Not as you put it anyway. Naturally this is an opinion. But if there are 6 guys and 5 of them insist on using a wrench as a hammer while 1 is using an actual hammer, and they are working at construction. So due to construction at least over here is often paid by how much you get done, the one using actual hammer gets paid more. Now would the other 5 really have any justifiable reason to be jeolous of the guy using the hammer or more so demanding the union make the guy using a hammer to use a wrench too?

Though in this case it is more 5 people using toothpicks and one guy using a screwdriver to hammer the nails in.

Now while the goal of PF is to have fun you can still be bad at the game. And this is certainly what is happening, and due to the information gained it is not a case of simply casual vs. power gamer or even anything close. Only way the other people can be(incuding the warpriest) this horrible is that they do not put effort in at all regarding the mechanics of the game. Yes were all new at some point or another but this is the sort of level that I would have had to TRY to make that bad of characters when I sat down for the first time at a table.

I am sorry but this group should pick up the rulebooks and actually read them with some attention. Yeah that sounds harsh but it is true. PF is a very rules heavy system that has heavy emphasis on the game part of rpg and mostly combat at that. If the situation is like it is I can almost guarantee that their gaming experience will improve a lot when people actually understand the game they are playing.

Note: This is going by the information so far presented by the OP in the thread. Unless further info comes along I will base my messages on that information.


It's worth investing in Hero Lab to help audit characters to avoid these types of situations. I use Hero Lab to help audit all of my players and it definitely brings the problems to the surface where the rules may have been misinterpreted or even misremembered for the folks that have been playing since the 3.5 days or before.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Tormsskull wrote:


Rynjin wrote:
We know for a fact that the character isn't overpowered...it's not an assumption we're making. It literally does not meet the benchmarks of "average" for his level even with the misused rules.
How incredibly arrogant. Benchmarks don't mean jack at the table. There isn't some average character power level that applies to every group.

there is though when you're playing an AP.


Rynjin wrote:


We know for a fact that the character isn't overpowered...it's not an assumption we're making. It literally does not meet the benchmarks of "average" for his level even with the misused rules.

Since the OP hasnt posted the build, we really aren't sure. "Overpowered" is a relative term. But we have fixed a couple of errors about how feats, etc work, which should help. I do agree, after fixing those, it doesn't look like he's "Overpowered' anymore.


I'd match him with something on his level and fudge the threat so it went after him. The rest of the encounter could be filled with foes on level with the rest of the party.

Even just a set of enemies with mirror images would be enough to stop him from cleaving to the next target though.

Or hit him in the resistances. Like a glitterdust spell or something to blind him.

Bait him into situations too by placing enemies clustered and reveal something on another plane or that was invisible attacking him with 10-15 foot reach once he predictably walks into range.

Also grappling enemies might be a good idea. Give an enemy a scroll of summon monster V and throw multiple octopuses at him. You can't cleave if you can't move.


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Tormsskull wrote:


Rynjin wrote:
We know for a fact that the character isn't overpowered...it's not an assumption we're making. It literally does not meet the benchmarks of "average" for his level even with the misused rules.
How incredibly arrogant. Benchmarks don't mean jack at the table. There isn't some average character power level that applies to every group.

There is when you're running an AP. The AP doesn't magically get easier or harder based on the power levels of the characters in the game, just how easy or hard of a time they have handling it.

His character is so weak (and the others even weaker, apparently) that I'm surprised they managed to survive to level 12 in Carrion Crown.

Arbitrarily nerfing him because he's halfway competent is a hallmark of horrible GMing.


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One thing I would suggest, do away with individual XP, I just level the party all at once.

Trust me, it takes a lot of stress out of the game, and rewards everyone equally. If someone wants to play a 'useless pansy bard' who just follows the group around singing and healing, that's okay!

We abandoned XP years ago and have never looked back. Less book-keeping, less stress... people missing games no longer lag behind (they still show up because THEY WANT TO PLAY! Miss four games worth of xp and you are a level behind, why bother anymore?)

I wouldn't nerf the 'powergamer', just try to bring everyone else up to a level where they can compare.

They will thank you for it, and he can't complain if it's by the rules.


Rynjin wrote:


The Warriest is using Cleave, and deals roughly 20-36 damage per round to any given target (At level 12...with all of the enemies they fight having 80-150 HP).

I dont think so. "He does about in the 20-36 points on his first hit if he doesn't critical." Not "per round"- per hit. And he crits half the rounds= " critical hitting every other round" so he does more then. He also gets several hits per round, I think I read the Op as saying he is getting both Iterative and Cleave. That would be wrong but make sense. He'd then yes- crit every second round, and yes, do about 75 pts a round. Which can one-round-drop a foe at that level.

He's also apparently Level 10, not 12? "Bloodrager 2/warpriest 8". Not sure how that gives him a BAB of 11 for Strike back?

So, we need to see his complete build, not just have the OP deal out a stat once in a while.


Well, yes, but since we pointed out the rules issues to the OP, he now only ever GETS a first hit with Cleave, which translates to (per target) 20-36 damage per hit, barring a crit (which there's nothing he can do about...that's all hot dice unless he's cheating).

But yes, I agree seeing the full sheet would be very helpful.

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