On the summon natures ally 5 list, there is the cyclops. I looked at the summon monster spell and I found that they are allowed to use their flash of insight ability.

A 13th level druid with Augment Summoning and Superior Summoning is very common among character builds. If he decides to burn a 7th level for 1d4 + 2 Cyclops, he has an instant assasinate.

If he roles a 2 and summons 4 cyclops, they all use their flash of insight ability with power attack around the BBEG, then he dies. The damage is a little too much. They start with Great Axes (3x Critical) and on a non confirmed critical they each deal on average (3d6+16) = 26.5 damage. 26.5 x 4 = 106. If only one of the four cyclops confirms his critical then the total damage is on average 26.5 x 6 = 159.

That means this one seventh level spell is able to one round bosses way to easily, not to mention sticking around to handle mooks with Cleave and Great Cleave.

The reason I bring this up is because it is becoming a common tactic for the Druid of my party that has broken the last straw. I know that Druids are considered OP and I should take that into account. I know that, at high levels, casters are considered more powerful and I should take that into account. Despite all this he really outshines my character. I play a 13th level halfling TWF ninja with invisible blade, ghost step, celestial mail, pumped will saves, and a decently optimized build. Over time the Druid has slowly taken over almost all possible characters roles.

Scouting: Wild Shape + Spells + Thousand Faces vs Ghost Step + Invisible Blade

Battle Field Control: Wall of Thorns + Summoning vs. nothing

Area Damage: Fire Strom + Flamestrike + Spells vs. nothing.

Single Enemy Damage: Cyclopinate. vs. Hasted Ki Pointed Full sneak attack

For the longest time I have been significantly more efficient than his character is dealing with a single BBEG while he handles the mooks. His new ability to take care of that role has left my character feeling incredibly underpowered beneath his versatile might.

What should I do?

For starters, you can be glad your friend isn't a Goliath druid with the destruction domain, because then the cyclops would auto confirm all of their critical threats

other than that, if you are level 13 you theoretically have a sneak attack value of 7d6, spend a bunch of gold and get a level 15 caster level wand of fiery shuriken (you are a ninja, so its even thematic sort of). at caster level 15 a fiery shuriken spell gives 8 touch attacks each doing 1d8, if you uses your invisible blade talent, they can all be sneak attacks, which will give you a standard action that does 232 fire damage on average. granted, fire resistance screws your damage, but keeping in mind that you should have higher initiative than your druid friend, you should be able to get two uses off in combat before they can attack with their summoned monster. (unless the gm is forgetting it takes a full round to cast summon nature's ally, not just a full round action)

Of course, this is just starting an arms race, and if you do go this route, bosses will be even less fun.

You just reminded me why I love Pathfinder.

Anyway, maybe the GM would extend the protection of Protection from Evil to include manufactured weapons. Or maybe the GM should start targeting the druid during his 1 round (not full round action) casting time. Or maybe the cyclopes are being summoned into a space that's too small for them. They are, after all, large, and dropping 4 of them around the BBEG is eating up 16 grid squares.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Or the BEEG will have heard of this tactic and use magic circle against evil, so the summoned evil cyclops can't approach him.

The druid is NE? After all he is routinely casting a spell with the evil descriptor.

Why the BEEG is always in a position where the druid can place 4+ cyclops around him? They are large creatures.

A decent DR stop most of the damage.

As already said it is fairly simple to beat it damaging the druid while he is casting.

How many 7th level spells has your druid, if he is using it in every encounter?

To sum it up, this tactic is hardly foolproof, but the GM let it work flawlessly, maybe you should speak with him.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:

Or the BEEG will have heard of this tactic and use magic circle against evil, so the summoned evil cyclops can't approach him.

The druid is NE? After all he is routinely casting a spell with the evil descriptor.

It's only an evil spell if the cyclops have the evil descriptor, which they don't.

Per the spell, they share the druid's alignment. A true neutral druid can ignore this tactic completely.

You might want to take a look at the numbers. Cyclops are great for triggering effects that need a natural 20 and ensuring they get a single hit in. They're not actually all that powerful with that hit, or great at getting more hits.

Standard cyclops attacks at +11, PA is -2, Augment Summoning would be +2. The average AC for a CR 13 (an even fight, not a boss fight) is 27. So in order to confirm against an equal level opponent, the cyclops needs to roll a 16 or higher. CR 15 (hard fight) they'd need a 19 or better. CR 16 (boss fight) they'd need a real natural 20. From this table.

From the same table, the minimum HP for a CR 13 creature is 129, or enough to take the cyclops without a crit. The average is 178.8, or enough to take it even with the crit (which would happen about 1/4th the time). And, again, this is presumably equal level opponents. Higher CR creatures like bosses would have even more HP.

Summoning is still a 1 round action, so the druid is effectively taking up two turns to do it (they don't lose the second turn, the cyclops bomb just doesn't go off until the second turn).

With a semi-optimized ninja you should be looking at four attacks (maybe five with haste) at 7d6 sneak attack on each. You know, plus weapon damage, stat mod, the usual stuff. 4*7d6 averages out to 98 damage, or pretty close to the no-crit cyclops. With the added weapon and stat damage you'd probably equal their numbers. And that's something you can do every battle as long as you have ki, as compared to the druid's... 1 7th level spell a day? Probably 2 because of high enough stats. You have way more invisibility than the druid has cyclops.

As for losing to the versatility... sorry, just how it goes. Druid is actually the king of this, though most spellcasters tend to do this at higher levels. Wizard actually requires a good player to steal the rest of the party's thunder though, druid gets so many random benefits you can replace pretty much any nonmagical party member. Accidentally even.

Forgot to mention a few things:

We are playing Kingmaker, so spells per day is rarely a problem for the Druid and it is often not that hard for us to get the jump on the enemy BBEG. Sometimes the BBEG is a wizard, he has been scrying on us and he his ready, at which point this isn't as one sided and kind of becomes a Dispel Magic War (Which my ninja just kind of waits for the wizards defenses to be dispelled then kills him).

I still maintain dominance over the role of Party Face, which I forgot to mention.

We are still trying to work together, and battles end up being me sneaking up invisible, all buffed up, waiting for 4 cyclops to appear, they deal 100 damage, then I deal another 150. It used to be me doing all the damage while he handles mooks.

Since Cyclops have reach, they kind of need to be pretty far away, taking up even more space. I think I will talk to the GM of having enemies prepared for this tactic through either spell defenses or small surrounding space.

I've seen this on multiple occasions one-shot encounters that are CR=APL+3 or more. It really robs anyone else in the party of any action at all (which is my main complaint). One way as a GM I tried to mitigate it was to say that simply declaring your roll a 20 was not the same thing as a "natural" 20 on the attack -- hence no crits. This didn't make any difference, 4 cyclopses were still destroying any BBEG in one round. Every time. While every other character had nothing to do.

In future games I've gotten draconian and simply removed giants from the summon nature's ally list. They're humanoids in PF anyway, it doesn't really make a ton of sense and I suspect it's a holdover from 3.x. As a player, even if I play a druid (which I seldom do for exactly this reason), I will do the other players the courtesy of not robbing them of action in every combat.

Of course, that's just a house rule and a personal play style choice, and I'm sure that plenty of people would disagree, but that's the only solution I've got. If your druid player doesn't care, there's not a lot you can do about them dominating the game, especially in the later stages.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

With a thread title like that, I thought maybe you were trying to hustle weird prescription drugs....

Scarab Sages

Full-round casting time means focus all firepower on that caster to disrupt the spell. Especially if the tactic has been used multiple times.

Sadly (and not sadly), we play the game in a incredibly cautious fashion with intense scouting and preparation. Rarely are we ever jumped and we almost always get the jump on our enemies. This means the casting time doesn't really matter as combat begins when the cyclops's appear. The good thing (and not good thing) is, they rarely ever confirm but still deal on average 106 damage. I usually end up finishing off the boss and watching as the cyclops's kill everything else.

Scarab Sages

This honestly sounds like a GM issue. If they allow you to have a free round all the time, then alpha strikes become more powerful. Your groups playstyle of paranoid scouting should work sometimes, but not all of the time.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Cyclopinate? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.