Glass Cannons in PFS


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5/5

Taking the "I'm not going to pay for your mistake [by chipping in gold to your raise dead]" stance is not something I see being successful at the table. I've been at multiple tables with deaths where the player of the dead PC or the GM demanded everyone else toss in gold for a raise, no discussion.
And good luck pulling the "I don't have enough gold on this character" when everyone knows you have a minimum of what's on the chronicle sheet that just got handed to you.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

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TheFlyingPhoton wrote:

Taking the "I'm not going to pay for your mistake [by chipping in gold to your raise dead]" stance is not something I see being successful at the table. I've been at multiple tables with deaths where the player of the dead PC or the GM demanded everyone else toss in gold for a raise, no discussion.

And good luck pulling the "I don't have enough gold on this character" when everyone knows you have a minimum of what's on the chronicle sheet that just got handed to you.

The GM does not get to demand that, and the dead PC certainly does not. Players "Can (and are encouraged to) pool their resources to remove conditions." They are not required to. Demanding that they do so, or worse using GM fiat to declare that they do so, constitutes bullying.

In practice, past 4th level I try to always have enough for a raise (Usually in the form of PP.) I certainly wouldn't ask other people to chip in to raise a level 3 or lower character (well, unless I was playing up with a boon character, but I go to great lengths not to play up with boon characters.) I typically chip in a little on other people's raises, but unless they sacked their life to save the party, I usually do not do an even split.


I've been successful in keeping my own gold. And I've been successful in chipping in gold to fix up a party member. It's very situation dependent. I generally help unlucky, but not foolish.

As for the bard, bards have one poor save, and it's Fortitude. And as you move up in levels, that matters more than the hit points. It doesn't matter how good your casting stat is if all you can do is vomit into your own sandals for the round.

Personally, I play PFS so I can PLAY, so I tend toward versatile characters with a balance of offense and defense. And that improves the experience I have at the table.

Others may have different fun, and that's fine. If that 10 Con bard stays with levels 1-5, it may work out, but it'll get harder and harder as higher levels are reached.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

I've been successful in keeping my own gold. And I've been successful in chipping in gold to fix up a party member. It's very situation dependent. I generally help unlucky, but not foolish.

As for the bard, bards have one poor save, and it's Fortitude. And as you move up in levels, that matters more than the hit points. It doesn't matter how good your casting stat is if all you can do is vomit into your own sandals for the round.

Personally, I play PFS so I can PLAY, so I tend toward versatile characters with a balance of offense and defense. And that improves the experience I have at the table.

Others may have different fun, and that's fine. If that 10 Con bard stays with levels 1-5, it may work out, but it'll get harder and harder as higher levels are reached.

Yep...

Wait, I'm level 11.2 and still only a 10 CON.... When's it get harder again?

;)

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

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Katisha wrote:
Anonymous Visitor 163 576 wrote:

I've been successful in keeping my own gold. And I've been successful in chipping in gold to fix up a party member. It's very situation dependent. I generally help unlucky, but not foolish.

As for the bard, bards have one poor save, and it's Fortitude. And as you move up in levels, that matters more than the hit points. It doesn't matter how good your casting stat is if all you can do is vomit into your own sandals for the round.

Personally, I play PFS so I can PLAY, so I tend toward versatile characters with a balance of offense and defense. And that improves the experience I have at the table.

Others may have different fun, and that's fine. If that 10 Con bard stays with levels 1-5, it may work out, but it'll get harder and harder as higher levels are reached.

Yep...

Wait, I'm level 11.2 and still only a 10 CON.... When's it get harder again?

;)

When your luck runs out.

;)

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I *was* strongly considering buying a Constitution belt for my bard.

Given how much apparent animosity there is towards someone who doesn't, though, I'm not sure if I want to become part of that mindset. Have two more missions before it becomes a potential issue, we'll see what happens.

The Exchange

I had a Tengu Monk with a Con 10. His first round in his first combat (an interactive) went first, ran forward, and was immediately hit by three dogs dropping him to -9 hp. Haven't had as bad of scares since then, though I made him a Zen Archer later so he stays away from combat now. Also usually wears a fully charged Shawl of Life.

5/5

Jared Thaler wrote:
TheFlyingPhoton wrote:

Taking the "I'm not going to pay for your mistake [by chipping in gold to your raise dead]" stance is not something I see being successful at the table. I've been at multiple tables with deaths where the player of the dead PC or the GM demanded everyone else toss in gold for a raise, no discussion.

And good luck pulling the "I don't have enough gold on this character" when everyone knows you have a minimum of what's on the chronicle sheet that just got handed to you.

The GM does not get to demand that, and the dead PC certainly does not. Players "Can (and are encouraged to) pool their resources to remove conditions." They are not required to. Demanding that they do so, or worse using GM fiat to declare that they do so, constitutes bullying.

In practice, past 4th level I try to always have enough for a raise (Usually in the form of PP.) I certainly wouldn't ask other people to chip in to raise a level 3 or lower character (well, unless I was playing up with a boon character, but I go to great lengths not to play up with boon characters.) I typically chip in a little on other people's raises, but unless they sacked their life to save the party, I usually do not do an even split.

I know what the rule is supposed to be. In practice, at almost every table I've played at where the dead player doesn't have enough prestige (and doesn't refuse to be raised), there's an announcement of "everyone mark off [Raise Dead Cost/number of players] gold for Raise Dead," without discussion. Every once in a while, we get [(Raise Dead Cost - gold dead PC has without selling anything)/number of other players at the table]. Once, at a con, the GM wrote the gold expenditure for the Raise Dead on everyone's chronicles without a single word spoken on the matter, not even verifying the player didn't have enough prestige (he didn't; the level/tier we were at, it would have been very unlikely that he would).

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Actions like that should probably be reported to the event organizer, both to correct the chronicle sheet (assuming you do not want to contribute) and to discuss the issue with the GM. No GM is empowered to force a player to spend resources on another player's character, regardless of the circumstances. If the event organizer does not take action, the issue should be escalated to the Venture-Officer team for review.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Actions like that should probably be reported to the event organizer, both to correct the chronicle sheet (assuming you do not want to contribute) and to discuss the issue with the GM. No GM is empowered to force a player to spend resources on another player's character, regardless of the circumstances. If the event organizer does not take action, the issue should be escalated to the Venture-Officer team for review.

+1


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
There's also no point in maxing out a caster stat when your main role is buffing.
It can be if you keep a couple of sparsely used, but extremely useful spells that allow saves. Cacophonous Call is an example. My bard may spend 97% of his time buffing, but when the need arises to whip out "the call" I want to make sure it is effective. Not all buff characters are strictly buff. Many also de-buff and most of those controller-type spells allow a save.

Do note that cacophonous call is illegal for the aforementioned Core Campaign bard to learn or cast, of course.

It's one thing if the gold cost is a drop in the bucket. It's something totally different if, as the OP mentioned, it would literally drain every gold piece from every character in the party. In the first case, a GM still can't REQUIRE you to pay for someone else's raise dead, but can certainly look at you with "really?" eyebrows if you refuse. In the second case, a quick cost-benefit analysis probably indicates that unless the dead PC is simply the most useful party member ever and the reason he died was that the GM grudge'd him for single-handedly making every encounter look like its 5 CR lower than actual, it's probably time to roll up a newbie.


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gatherer818 wrote:
but can certainly look at you with "really?" eyebrows if you refuse.

Becareful with this type of attitude. Shaming another player into paying wrecks their fun.

A Dm should be neutral in this part.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


I *was* strongly considering buying a Constitution belt for my bard.

Given how much apparent animosity there is towards someone who doesn't, though, I'm not sure if I want to become part of that mindset. Have two more missions before it becomes a potential issue, we'll see what happens.

Do you like stinking cloud? I personally hate being sidelined for 1d4+1 rounds because I failed a fortitude save. But it's a favourite spell for dretches (low-level adventures) and wizards on all levels.

You're not buying the belt to satisfy other people. It's nice because it means you get to play more.

Scarab Sages

5 Con is entirely PFS legal. Personally, I'd never play a character with so little Con, but I wouldn't judge a person to be wrong for doing it. I also don't think lacking Con is definitively tied to glass cannon builds.

As for glass cannons, I think they are fine as long as they role-play it right. In this case, role playing refers to acknowledging their glass cannon role, by making sure they only engage in battles where they can quickly achieve victory without chance retaliation.

The classic MMORPG party is 1-3 DPS, a healer, and a tank. Those DPS characters are typically glass cannons. Glass cannons can be useful, but they need to understand their role behave responsibly.

As for expecting people to pay for it, that is a matter of alignment and should be handled in character. If my character is neutral, and you die, don't expect me to pay a cent for your resurrection unless I feel that your death upsets the balance.

Although PFS allows it, player characters are not required to pool resources to raise any PCs, no matter how useful they are to the group.


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There are somethings that are subjectively irresponsible. My willingness to assist a player depends partly on how responsible they are. Bad luck happens, but if reasonable steps could have prevented their death, then I'm far less inclined to help them out.
10 con falls into that area for me. It isn't badwrongfun, but it is taking an unnecessary risk, and it will affect my decision whether to help bail them out of the consequences of that choice.

Ofcourse, how engaged/fun/useful and a dozen other factors re:the player and their character influence that decision. It certainly isn't cast in stone that if you rock up with 10con and die = I'm going to say something nice at your funeral.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

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Murdock Mudeater wrote:

The classic MMORPG party is 1-3 DPS, a healer, and a tank. Those DPS characters are typically glass cannons. Glass cannons can be useful, but they need to understand their role behave responsibly.

Except in most MMOs the tank can force the bad guys to attack him and the badguys run on a computerized script. Where as in PFS, the badguys are controlled by an inteligent human being, and often have tactics like "attacks lightest armored target"

also, in pathfinder one often runs into situations where you don't get to pick whether you engage or when.

Dark Archive

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Sometimes those tactics include things like "Color spray the most heavily armored opponents" too. At which point, should your 'tank' fail the save, well, you don't have a tank. Good luck not getting hit.

Other times it doesn't matter how high your AC is. Having more con is a very good thing when you get engulfed in a swarm or two. Especially bat swarms. Yikes are those nasty.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

More often than not, in my experience, it's more about how proficient the player is an how confrontational the GM is. My bard with AC is level 8 and never been at immediate risk of death. Course I also never do direct damage and focus on buffing with the occasional rebuff. Tends to make you much less a threat than the wizard with fireball, the sneak attacking rogue, or the meat tank swinging a great sword in your face.

I have been tempted to challenge myself with an elven wizard with a 5 Con to see if I can pull it off


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Thank you for reminding me to take a mental note in fights to have the GM-run opponents roll a Perception check to see who is injured to single out for targeting.
I'm quick to remind GMs that it's a move action, myself.
PRD wrote:


Action: Most Perception checks are reactive, made in response to observable stimulus. Intentionally searching for stimulus is a move action.
I've always played it that if someone has half their skin burned off from a fireball while another person was barely singed, it's clearly visible and so would be a (free) reactive Perception check. But then, I also always tell PCs what level of wounds the bad guys have in my narration of the effects of their attacks. The DC to notice a visible person is 0, and I think "notice" covers a lot more ground than "recognize the existence of". The PCs benefit from this approach much more than the bad guys do, due to the shear number of bad guys they wound.*

I don't know that I would automatically rule that someone being grievously wounded by a fireball (or anything) is automatically showing clearly visible wounds that can be instantly assessed. I think it might be a very good policy to require a move action for a perception check specifically looking for the most wounded character among a group.

Liberty's Edge

I've chipped in 2 or 3 times to raise characters and 3 or 4 times as a GM I have given the option to the table to chip in. Generally speaking characters die due to bad luck rather than bad builds. I strongly suggest a CON of 12 for PFS, but that is just a suggestion. 2 build points aren't much, but it's your choice.

Local practice: Chip in for the Raise Dead, the 2 negative levels are the character's responsibility.

It really comes down to whether I like the person, not whether I like the character. The times I have chipped in, the money has come from the chronicle and I still consider it worth the cost. I can only think of one player for whom I would not have chipped in, if pressured by the table I would have insisted all of his stuff be sold for 1/2 price and then split the remaining cost amongst us.

Scarab Sages 4/5

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A 10 Con is nor more selfish than making a melee type with a 10 wisdom or 7 thur 9 Cha. The frail wizard is a fixture of literature. I have coughed up 3-5 grand to help out as many (if not more) fighter types than caster types.

I find it intensely selfish to judge one player by the yardstick you're playing it. You want a minimum Con score for your characters that is okay. Don't push others to your rules though.

That being said.. 4 grand or whatever is okay. You aren't MANDATED to toss in every copper piece to help out. That is your call.

My glass cannon, who survived all the way to 13.2, could hit for some hellishly good hits (the standing record is a 108 hp fireball and a 140-ish shocking grasp) but she also saw about preparing for her own survival. (Glamered Silken Ceremonial Armor +4, Greater Plague Rat's Belt, Extended and/or Empowered (Greater) False Life and standbys like contingent emergency Force Sheild,gaseous form and such.)

I also alternated between hellishly heavy hits and buffing the party with communal spells (cause who doesn't like 4 stoneskins in one spell casting), Haste, Windwall and other fun.

The OP has a valid complaint in that a 10 (or the rare 8-9 con) is a bit squishy. but so is the 12 Con wizard when facing things that do like 2d8+LOTS with vital strike (or worse)

Some classes, barring HUGE investment in FCB, Feats, items and such.. are gong to go squish against the big critters. Not everyone can get to 140+ hp at 12th level. Not everyone can easily stabilize at -9.

Simply put, peoples play styles differ. I get twitchy when I have a stat with a negative bonus. I have a few that do but more often than not, I try to play around that weakness and fill it when I can.

Please don't demand anything of other players though. I have made suggestions to other players in the past, but demanding is a no-no.


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Well to a player I highly suggest players have a higher than 10 con.

Most players that died in games I ran were 10 con. Infact I ran a game where I warned a player that 10 con is dangerous. He gaffa'ed me. So I ran a 1-2 game, since he had the highest perception he was leading and sure enough the first monster gets surprise, grabs him, beat him in initiative, and finally put him dead exactly. An 11 con would have saved his life as the monster died in the next round he would have easily been saved.

I advise people to always have a higher than 10 con, but I respect anyone's informed choice.

The Exchange 5/5

Finlanderboy wrote:

Well to a player I highly suggest players have a higher than 10 con.

Most players that died in games I ran were 10 con. Infact I ran a game where I warned a player that 10 con is dangerous. He gaffa'ed me. So I ran a 1-2 game, since he had the highest perception he was leading and sure enough the first monster gets surprise, grabs him, beat him in initiative, and finally put him dead exactly. An 11 con would have saved his life as the monster died in the next round he would have easily been saved.

I advise people to always have a higher than 10 con, but I respect anyone's informed choice.

My experiences do not match this.

Most PCs I have seen die to HP damage have had >12 CON, but below "average" AC.

But let's check it with posters....

Have you had one of your PCs die of HP damage? What CON did it have? (And what DEX/AC)?

My only death was on my 14th level PC, in the game he improved his CON to 14, the last game he played.

Silver Crusade 5/5

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Wait, most people are going to have different experiences than mine? I thought everyone was supposed to have the exact same experience as me! Huh, guess I shouldn't automatically assume my experiences will apply to others.

Scarab Sages 3/5 Venture-Agent

My only death was a Rogue with an 18 Dex and 12 Con. It was on a bad Fort save vs petrification. Thank god there was enough basilisk blood to go around. This was just bad luck on the roll though. I couldn't have had a Con score high enough to make the save on my roll. It was a 2 IIRC(same on the re-roll.)

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My 5 deaths:

Tengu Rogue with 12 Con.
HP damage: had to solo the BBEG.
Found out that GM ran encounter incorrectly.

Wayang Witch with 14 Con.
HP damage: several breath weapons.
Our party was ill-suited to handle the encounter.

Life Oracle with 16 Con.
HP damage: 2 lightning bolts, 2 failed saves.
Both happened before I acted in Initiative.

Same Oracle a second time.
HP damage: party Barbarian was dominated.
Targeted because I had the ability to fix him.

Same Oracle a third time.
HP damage: critical hit, slay living.
Thought I was safe, but BBEG earthglided behind us.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Nevada—Las Vegas aka kinevon

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Many of my PCs have died, usually at a high enough level to afford raise dead. My 5th level Bard, due to dying not long before, was only raised due to the party donating for it.

Many of the deaths have been to having to tank or making a priority target of my PC. My 8th level Rogue died due to being the only one to hit and damage an enemy during the surprise round, but not having enough AC to prevent the last attack from confirming a crit, when he was down to 3 hit points.

My worst death, as a GM, was when a new player built an Elf Witch, and spent no points on Con, then moved up to try and save an ally who was unconscious with a CLW, but got crit by the enemy, going from uninjured straight to Con dead.

Equally, my archer, having to frontline an encounter in a 5-9, was hit by a threat from the leader of a band of enemies, saved from a confirmation by the enemy rolling a 4 (a 5 would have confirmed, only to have the damage be something of an anticlimax, 1d4.

@nosig: Katisha has been extremely lucky, IMO, not to have gone down multiple times. AoEs are a thing, targeting the PC who is healing is a thing, targeting the least armored, or a certain race is a thing. That archer Ranger with Favored Enemy Human, who deliberately targets human PCs, with Rapid Shot, in a 1-5 scenario, is real.That Magus using a keen rapier, with Shocking Grasp[, out of invisibility, against a probable squishy, is a thing.

We won't even go into things like enemies with "see in darkness" who also get Deeper Darkness as an at will SLA, and have sneak attack...

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

My Con 12 paladin has been on the edge of death (-11 hp) so often I almost retired the character in disgust. As for actual deaths:

- My Con 12 inquisitor flew into an ambush, got blinded, then hit by four maximum-damage hits by a harpy archer with a lot of strength. My mistake, I made a serious tactical error there.

- My Con 14 L5 investigator died playing up in My Enemy's Enemy. That 4-player adjustment was a joke, and later we found out we could've played down instead (mustering mishap). That encounter was IMO not CR 10 but more like CR 12 (perfect NPC gear for this precise encounter, advantageous terrain).

- My L3 Con 14 slayer died in God's Market Gamble trying to fend off the BBEG with the rest of the party all at 1-6hp, had the BBEG at 0 hp, when she got a maximum damage hit with a greataxe. I got a very generous donation from the other players that allowed me to get Raised. That scenario is unusually deadly for an 1-5.

Dark Archive

And there's other times when things just don't go right. For example, two bat swarms and the only people capable of hurting them... keep rolling 1. The wizard panics and casts Magic Missile at one of the swarms... killing a single bat out of hundreds. Someone pulls out a flask of alchemist's fire and throws it at one of the swarms, misses, and it hits the wooden bridge most everyone is standing on instead. then as everyone on the bridge runs into the next room in a panic... The barbarian panics even further and runs into a fireball trap, nearly causing a party wipe.

You just can't predict when such things will happen. What you can do is maximize your chance to survive them. More hit points and a higher con can go a long ways towards surviving those FUBAR chain of events. At the very least because it gives you more time before you die horribly for someone to pull your rear out of the proverbial or literal fire. Go with 10 or less con if you want, but you need to realize that's taking a potentially very risky gamble.

If you can pull it off, epic. But if the dice gods aren't smiling upon you even once, it could be death. Or at the very least embarrassing dismemberment.


Lau Bannenberg wrote:
My Con 12 paladin has been on the edge of death (-11 hp) so often I almost retired the character in disgust. As for actual deaths:

Hey nosig a 10 con may have died here.(the points elsewhere "could" have made a difference.)

Dark Archive

Isn't that the way things often go? Many times you're fine, just getting nickle and dimed. Especially if you aren't a front line combatant. Other times you get smacked HARD for one reason or another. Although even getting hit with many small hits can lead to moments where you're worriedly looking at what your con score is.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Had quite some deaths, all against 14 CON characters. Can't remember them all, but some highlights:

- Level 1 Inquisitor walked into a room not knowing there were Goblins with horsechoppers there (curtain obscured the view). Provoked from two Gobbos. Both critted. It was unlikely, but I saw the rolls. Put me from 11 HP to -40.
- (Barely) level 3 Halfling Cavalier playing up in a 4-5 tier. Was foolish enough to stand on the frontline. This was my fault, really.
- Level 7-ish Inquisitor with decent AC took an AoO to flank. Enemy critted.
- Same Inquisitor at barely level 3 or 4, with four-player adjustment in My Enemy's Enemy. Ascalaphus already explained why. Got down to 4 HP in the surprise round, didn't last for long afterwards.
- Level 11 Druid. Took some friendly fire because I was dragged over the ground by a mammoth during a chase, then landed prone right in front of an invisible high-level Rogue. I survived the first attack. Then I advised the mammoth to trample over and around me, to at least deal some damage to the Rogue. I failed my save, ended on 5 HP, stupid Rogue of course had Evasion and didn't take anything. Second attack from that Rogue put me at -50. Ironically enough I took Toughness at level 11, so without it I would've been down, but no longer a target.
- Level 3 or 4 Occultist, who ironically died due to too much HP. Very defensive-focused character, uses Mind Barrier pretty much every round. Archer with three attacks put me at exactly 0 with two attacks, then rolled max damage and killed me exactly at -14. If I hadn't used that Mind Shield, I would've gone down at -4 or so and be out of the fight, but not dead.
- Gibbering Mouther on a low-level Rogue. Thing had a surprise round and I scouted ahead, so party couldn't reach me in time.

One GM has a reputation for being very kind and having only two kills on his name, both are me. The two deaths in question were the last two I listed.

Some deaths were certainly my fault, but others were just bad luck.

Silver Crusade

The views are certainly interesting. I never viewed having low CON as bad behavious. I tell every new player "Look, I play this game a bit longer than you do and believe me, you WANT to have at least 12 CON as a new player, or even 14."
If they refuse, they have been warned.
Personally, if I pick 10 CON on a character (and I don't think I've ever done that, though most of my characters are melee anyways) I am quite aware that he could die horribly, though I never considered the effect on the rest of the group. I might have to think about that in the future.

That said, I have seen quite a few utterly suicidal characters. A player (as far as I know the only one had multiple character deaths at my lodge) was unaware the age rules do not apply in PFS play, so her concept was an old (or even venerable?) cleric. The character was fixed, but even then she had little to no CON and still wore padded armor because before the fix everything else was too heavy for her STR.
Characers like these have a big "PUT ME OUT OF MY MISERY PLEASE" printed on their forehead. If a goblin has no trouble hitting you (as a cleric!) and can screw you over even without crits you have a problem.

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

I've not had a character die yet *knock on wood*, but I always try to have the cost of a raise handy as soon as I can.

I do have some kills on my name as a GM. Most of those, it would not have mattered how high a CON score would have been. Multiple attacks, then rend? That'll get you.
The shocking grasp magus from invis? Only reason a played did not die there was not his CON, but because he was a thiefling. His 5 electricity resistance saved his butt.
Greataxe crit at lvl 1-2-3? Only one time I've seen that a higher CON would have saved a character, and that was on the lvl 3 character which had quite good HP, but max damage on a greataxe crit is not something to laugh about.
There are a couple more, but the circumstances are hard to remember.

Silver Crusade

Lets see...
My support Cleric died in Waking Rune. Swapping his 12 dex and 16 con wouldn't have changed that.

My Alchemist died in a situation where the group (APL 5.5 playing up in a tier 3-7) fought 6 CR 6 creatures (3 were summons, not that we knew that) and due to the cramped quarters I provoked two attacks for every attack I made. My super high AC couldn't save me.

My Magus died to a fellow magus' shocking grasp crit (I got dominated). My super-high AC should have stopped it from confirming, but no such luck.

My Summoner got crit by a ghost, failed the fort save. I was already down a bit of hp from an earlier encounter, so took somewhere around 16d6 and died. This one was my fault because I spent several rounds trying to talk to the ghost before the ghost got fed up and attacked me. Later, I bought a jingasa.

My Sorcerer got death-attacked by an assassin and died (Failed the save AND the reroll with my at the time 4 stars!). Initiative roll was poor enough that swapping my 7 dex and 16 con and toughness for improved initiative still wouldn't have beaten the assassin on initiative.

My 16 dex, 16 con fighter survived being crit by a X4 trap a devious GM used a monster's ability to push me into. Not having toughness or having a slightly lower con would have killed me.

My Tank Alchemist with 12 dex and 16 con survived being crit by a X4 trap that took him from full hp to -2. If I had only had a 12 con I'd have been dead.

Watched an ally's summoner with a 10 con die to a slay living from full HP. He was in the right tier, just didn't have the HP. Dude survived when the GM later realized that we should have been playing with the 4-player adjustment and the monster that had slay living would have been removed.

Watched an ally's sorcerer with a 10 con die in the first round of the first encounter by an "AOE" that rolled average damage (for that AOE) with a reflex save DC of 31. The character was 8th level in a 7-8 scenario. He didn't make any tactical mistakes, but would have survived if he had put just a little more effort into his HP. My sorcerer (the same one who got death-attacked a few scenarios earlier) easily survived and D-Doored far enough from the party so the monster couldn't "AOE" him again, and I'd have taken that sorc with me if he'd have been alive.

If another PC dies at a table I'm at, I will almost certainly put up my fair share of gold to get the PC raised (the exception being if its a TPK), even on my characters that are complete jerks. But if you play poorly or ignore survivability I won't go any higher.


I'll always invest some resources in a wand of CLW, and offer to use it on other PCs if they don't have one yet or if they are running low. I wouldn't do that if I thought I were enabling an attitude of "Invest everything in offense; someone else will always offer to heal you." There's a huge difference between offering to help out and being expected to. One is cooperation, one is enabling selfishness.

My cleric has a wand of Prot Evil and offers to use it on low-Will save characters. I wouldn't do that if I thought I was enabling an attitude of "Dump Wis for Str and expect somebody else to cast Prot Evil." Some characters have low Wis, sure; but if the player is doing it and recommending it specifically expecting that somebody else will always offer to expend resources to cover that weakness, that strikes me as unfair. At least a modest effort on your own (Iron Will, a trait, your own wand, whatever) is appreciated.

Similarly, I'll always invest some resources in AC and HP, and often magical defenses, and I'll normally offer to take the front line if my character is among the toughest. It seemed reasonable to divert attacks away from weaker members. Until I heard the advice "Dump HP for offense and expect somebody else to take the hits for you." That's what it means to base your strategy around "not getting attacked"; somebody else will get attacked. (That's something to consider when picking defensive spells for a caster, like Invisibility vs Mirror Image. Negating attacks is much better than redirecting them.)

My character in this scenario was a Core Rogue, probably the weakest PC class in the game. He has decent HP and AC so he can withstand his fair share of attacks and maybe a little bit more, but that's it. And he's been kept standing just by his Con bonus HP multiple times. He can't force enemies to attack him, and even if he could it would be unreasonable for you to build your character on the expectation that I would always have him do so.


Well I have a Lvl 10 Dwarf Wizard with a 23 Con (Belt+4) and 122 HP
18 Int with a +2 Heaband...so he uses more Buff Spells for the party...Fly, Haste, etc and more no save spells Magic Missile, etc rather than Save or Suck high DC spells.
I had Illusion as an opposition school so no access to Invisibility, Mirror Image, etc...my reasoning was if he can't avoid a hit then be able to take one.
He's been a blast to play and as some of my friends can attest to he has saved their butts but sucking up AOO's to drag them to safety

On of my pet peeves is the 5 Str whatever showing up at the table and expecting the higher strength characters to carry their stuff so they're not encumbered...I absolutely refuse to do so and tell them the only thing of theirs I will carry is their dead corpse out of the dungeon


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber

T_T my 5 Str just needs to get to level 4 so he can carry his own backpack (Telekinetic Haul, he'll be able to carry his own gear plus the fighter's... plus the fighter.)


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Murdock Mudeater wrote:

The classic MMORPG party is 1-3 DPS, a healer, and a tank. Those DPS characters are typically glass cannons. Glass cannons can be useful, but they need to understand their role behave responsibly.

Pathfinder play isn't a classic MMORG. You can't rely on a character to "hold aggro" to anywhere near the same degree. You can try to position yourself, and there are a few limited aggro directing effects, but thinking in terms of playing Pathfinder like WOW is a good way to a new character.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:


Pathfinder play isn't a classic MMORG. You can't rely on a character to "hold aggro" to anywhere near the same degree. You can try to position yourself, and there are a few limited aggro directing effects, but thinking in terms of playing Pathfinder like WOW is a good way to a new character.

Well, yeah. My limited experience of trying to do the 'tank' type thing is that the GM deliberately moves everything away from the 'tank' unless the party is in 'fireball formation' and can't do that.

*Every* *single* *time*

Almost like there's an unspoken rule to target all the 'weak' characters at the table...

Silver Crusade

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:


Pathfinder play isn't a classic MMORG. You can't rely on a character to "hold aggro" to anywhere near the same degree. You can try to position yourself, and there are a few limited aggro directing effects, but thinking in terms of playing Pathfinder like WOW is a good way to a new character.

Well, yeah. My limited experience of trying to do the 'tank' type thing is that the GM deliberately moves everything away from the 'tank' unless the party is in 'fireball formation' and can't do that.

*Every* *single* *time*

Almost like there's an unspoken rule to target all the 'weak' characters at the table...

I find that happens when the tank makes their AC too high and their damage too low. Make yourself a more important threat (and watch your positioning!) and the GM will go after you more.

It doesn't help when the casters first turns tend to be very eyecatching. A moster will go after a fireball caster, healer or Save or Suck caster before they go after a buffer, or someone who only hurt one guy for a reasonable amount.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

It's a balance thing. I could have something like 39 AC on my stonelord but that would run the risk of enemies foregoing me as a target because they can't hit me and I'm not really putting out any kind offence(shield in one hand, fighting defensively, etc). Everything else is a juicier target.

Silver Crusade 5/5

The Many Deaths of UndeadMitch:

My -2 almost died from a carnivorous blob, would have been dead without 12 con.

My -3 took a Destruction right on the chin, that sucked, but since I was partying with some A+ individuals they helped me out with the cost of the True Res.

My -4 perma-died during a TPK at level one during The Godsmouth Heresy fighting that thing that comes up out of the pit.

My -5 perma-died during a TPK in First Steps I, thanks to Color Spray and Ledford.

My -6 perma-died during a TPK during In Wrath's Shadow, this was mainly due to playing up with my Thassilonian Evoker Ifrit after being encouraged to play up for the [REDACTED] on the cert. The entire scenario was a cluster. We had someone that didn't remember that he had played this until after the first fight that then dropped, leaving us with four (three sevens and my third level). We TPK'd in the final fight, I was dropped before I even got to act because surprise round.

My -9 took a flaming burst greataxe crit to the face, way past dead from full.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

I'm on character number 25. I've retired 2, with 4 more in the upper tier. Most of them are melee builds. Only 2 have Cons over 12.

I've had exactly 1 character death, and that one was hit by an invisible attacker who critted with an intensified shocking grasp with sneak attack, and the GM rolled near max damage. The character went from unhurt to 10 below dead in one shot. That character had a 14 Con.

YMMV.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

I would have killed a warpriest once, at level 9(?) he had only a two handed weapon and got grappled by a grapple focused ooze with a contact damage effect.

His options:

Try to break grapple and roll a 20 and hope the ooze rolls all ones next round.

Hit the ooze and deal 1d4+str damage and take (IIRC) 2d6 damage in return.

Sit there and die.

4/5

Since we're counting character deaths ...

One paladin taking a 200 foot fall. At L7 20d6 could easily leave you SOL unless you have a very high Con.

One dwarf magus taken to the bottom of Absalom harbor and drowned because he didn't have the CMD to escape a devilfish. He had a 16 Con, which isn't bad. He also had the devilfish down to single digits before dying.

Same magus caught in black tentacles, cloudkill, and (Most importantly) silence. The last effect negated the boots of escape I specifically bought to get out of that type of situation. When he finally got out with very few HP remaining, the surviving bad guy lightning bolted him.

One elf rogue failing both phantasmal killer saves. In my defense, this was at about 3 AM and I was no longer thinking straight on tactics or I might have approached the final encounter differently.

Note that only one of these (the rogue) had a 10 Con.

As said above, YMMV.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Lives lost on the field:

4961-3: Failed every attack against a spider swarm and got eaten. Con 14 would have saved him, funnily enough.

4961-4: Took something like 50 damage after a crit and some sneak attacks from an invisible stalker hiding in a hedge maze. Con 14 but no fave class bonus. Fortunately this was before the module rules were finalized so her death didn't stick.

4961-5: Vescavor enema + poison + 3 negative levels + confused alchemist force coning everything. Bigger fort save would have saved me.

4961-7: Ended up prone next to 2 large earth elementals. A bit more hp would have been preferable.

4961-10: Bonekeep 2's boss. Failed every save. 66 hp wasn't enough!

My dice hate me. They hunger the blood of player characters and mine are no exception.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Tineke Bolleman wrote:
I've not had a character die yet

I will talk to Auke about that and see if we can't correct that little oversight ;-)

4/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:


Pathfinder play isn't a classic MMORG. You can't rely on a character to "hold aggro" to anywhere near the same degree. You can try to position yourself, and there are a few limited aggro directing effects, but thinking in terms of playing Pathfinder like WOW is a good way to a new character.

Well, yeah. My limited experience of trying to do the 'tank' type thing is that the GM deliberately moves everything away from the 'tank' unless the party is in 'fireball formation' and can't do that.

*Every* *single* *time*

Almost like there's an unspoken rule to target all the 'weak' characters at the table...

It really depends. In a lot of cases, creatures are mindless and will hit the first target they see, but there are also many cases where there's no tactics printed or they're smart enough to see that trying to hit 25 AC with a +8 doesn't work, and they'll move on to different targets.

Dark Archive

And as mentioned, sometimes the tactics outlined for the group in the scenario specifically calls out their preferred targets. Which may or may not be "person with the heaviest armor".

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