Fighting Giants in Melee


Advice


Alright I am an half-elf unchained synthesist with an azata eidolon. My group is playing the giant slayer ap. We are almost done with the first book, but my group fought a giant during our last battle and I realized how hard it was to actually fight one directly in melee given that giants have such high str modifiers giving them pretty good bonuses to their attack roles as well as having a high pool of hp. My syntheist has a decent 21 AC right at 3rd lvl and it will go up 23 at 4th lvl and I could have a maximum of 28 AC at 5th lvl. This includes all my natural armor, the spell mage armor, 2 points in improved natural armor evolution, dex modifier, and the synthesist's shielded meld ability.

I was wondering if their was any other way to up my AC even more.
I know of the spell Shield that summoners get as a 1st lvl spell, but I will already be getting a shield bonus from the Shielded meld ability and it will not stack with the spell and the spell's duration is not that long either. I am limited on how many spells I can use a day and to me it is not worth it. I know of items like amulet of natural armor and ring of protection and will get both as soon as I have the chance.

Also what is the best way to fight a giant in close combat with out getting your butt handed to you after a few turns. I looked it up and about the best advice I could find was to fight them at a distance, one of my teammates has this covered because he is an archer paladin. But my role is to tank for the team, so I need advice for fighting giants close up.


Excellent defense is like a parfait, it has layers. You have mentioned the first two, AC and HP. But there are more to consider. Miss chances, like blur or displacement, will just negate the attack regardless of the attackers to hit, mirror image also fits here. DR and fast healing reduce the significance of the enemies hits, paladin lay on hands as well. Debuffing the enemies attack or damage are layers as well. You want to consider how many of these effects you, coordinating with your party, can bring to bear.

One of the best defensive debuffs to apply is death. If you can reduce your time to drop an opponent from 4 rounds to 3, you just increased your defenses by 25%.


Specific advise, barkskin is a good 2nd level AC spell for you, tbe duration is nice. Long arm or enlarge, or both, will help deal with reach. The big game hunter feat is quite nice for giant fighting.

Scarab Sages Developer, Starfinder Team

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On spells, Java Man has a strong point. Blur, burred movement, pro from evil, cat's grace, and invisibility all have potential widespread benefits for defense. Some of those are 2nd level, so you'd get access to them soon. When you get 3rd level spells, more options become available.

Long arm may also be useful, if you find you are taking a lot of AoO due to giant's reach. Lesser evolution surge might give you access to a useful defensive evolution.

Glitterdust can blind a foe, which makes it less likely they'll hit you.

A ring of protection, and much later a cloak if displacement, may also be helpful.


A strong Acrobatics skill can help avoid the AoO when closing with the target, but at higher levels, the target for the check (the giant's CMD) gets really high.

A reach weapon coupled with being enlarged can help a lot (assuming this is possible with the unchained synethesist summoner) with avoiding unnecessary pummeling while you're trying to get into position to attack yourself.

Like Java mentioned, miss chance spells are golden. Mirror Image works pretty well against most giants. Miss chance things are good, if you can avoid them yourself; for example, Obscuring Mist while you're wearing Fogcutting Lenses or Improved Blind Fight (but those are for later levels).

Glitterdust can blind your opponents on a failed will save, and giants have terrible will saves. That gives them a 50% miss chance against pretty much everyone.


giants are very tough combatants. They have good hit points, physical ability scores, weapons. Some of them are smart.
Generally they have low touch ACs, not good Reflex or Will saves.

Some simple things have good long term payoffs.
Steath. Staying at range (if you have good ranged attacks). Hit and run tactics. Maintaining cover. Concentrating attacks on a single target. Horses or mounts give you better movement rates and spare targets.
Speaking(understanding) giant.

Gravity Bow, Abundant Ammunition.
Blur, Obscuring Mist, Pyrotechnics, Stinking Cloud, Glitterdust, Blindness, various Invisibility spells, Illusions that create "obvious" targets (aka distraction), spells that create miss chances (above) or cover.


maybe look into getting alter race cast on you dwarfs get +4 ac against Giants


Also note - you're still a summoner. Sometimes it'll be better to throw disposable chaff at the giants via summon monster than to tank them yourself.


Your Eidolon, not you, is what should be up there fighting giants. Summoners are not built to take fights like that, at least not until later in the game, and even then I would not suggest it.

Dark Archive

He's a synthesist summoner, wraith. Not really an option...


There is a campaign trait - dwarf-trained that gives +2 AC vs giants. You can get more traits with the extra trait feat.


I somehow missed the synthesis part. In that case focus on pushing AC like you are doing. If you get hit it will hurt, but you should be able to avoid getting hit a lot. Also use spells that offer mischance as others have said.


If you're in there tanking the giant, your party should be backing you up with stuff like hold person (which actually works on giants in PF, since they're humanoids now), the feat Divine Interference, and other buffs and debuffs. After all, every point of damage that you don't take is one point that no one has to worry about fixing...and your combat capability falls off a cliff if your eidolon gets pounded off of you, right? That's everyone's problem, not just yours. If your party isn't thinking like a team, they're begging for TPK. :/


Wait, your 3rd level and fighting giants? Even one giant? Hope it was the boss fight for the end of the module. Damned bet that was rough.


Ogres count as giants, even though I am not sure he was talking about ogres.
Yeah I know they hit really hard also.


make sure your edolon is only getting natural armor boosts for you this allows you to stack with mage armor, make sure you cast shield on yourself too


Joey Cote wrote:
Wait, your 3rd level and fighting giants? Even one giant? Hope it was the boss fight for the end of the module. Damned bet that was rough.

Unfortunately, no it was not the last part of the fight/battle, we still have another couple of pages according to our GM We are playing part one of Giant Slayer Campaign, Battle of Bloodmarch Hill. We are at the part were orcs are raiding and laying siege to the town we are in.

It has been one drawn out battle, I lost my eidolon armor along time ago to three waves of orcs, around 12 orcs total. My PC took many hits like a champ, but my GM rolled and confirmed a critical for the last orc against me before it was killed by the rest of my party. My eidolon was dismissed because of 0 hp and I was knocked unconscious and stabilized later on. Since then I have relied on my 1st lvl spells like grease and my summon monster sla. During the battles with other orcs and the giant I have either been greasing, summoning meat shields, and shooting from the back with either a sling or a crossbow. After being told of some of the attack roll totals the giant was getting and how many hits it took to down, I started to realize how hard it is to battle a giant in direct melee. To make it even worse our GM told us after the battle, that the giant was wounded and was not at 100% because of the all the resolve points we earned by killing orcs, rescuing, and helping the people of the town we are in. He said the fight would have been much harder had we skipped alot of areas and not done the things we had done.

But shortly after we defeated the giant, one of the npcs told us that orcs had broken through a wall and found an entrance to something and ask us to pursue them. I couldn't help but groan considering that after the giant fight I had burned through all my 1st lvl spells and only have one use left of my summon monster ability. The rest of my party is in a similar situation, about the only one who is still just as effective as they were at the start of the battle would be our archer paladin, although he did use his only smite evil on the giant we just fought. I was hoping we would get a rest, but our GM said no. But to be fair he did allow us to lvl up during the event mid battle and use the additional spells and abilities we got from the lvl up. He also allowed a friend, a member of our previous pathfinder group from a couple years ago, to play a guest PC for the ap at our last session since he is leaving town soon, you know one last hooray. It was a life oracle with the burning hands curse. I helped build the character, and I must say it turned out more potent than I expected. He saved our four man group numerous times with his healing healing and also blew up alot of orcs with his burning hands because they were all carrying alchemist bombs and his fire set them off. At one point he almost blew himself up. That was a great session. I just hope our party survives this last part.


you might want heavy crossbows (50gp or MW 350gp) for everybody. Cock, lock and load, have ready for that first round of combat at range.

at low level having a war trained adv horse is a huge help for 326gp. It basically doubles your groups HP and combat ability and land speed goes to 50. So put a skill point in Ride at every level. You don't need it to attack, but if it is attacked it may attack back on its own.

Share spells will make some personal spells useful while wearing your eidolon. Mage Armor, Shield, Long Arm.

Augment summoning (after Spell focus Conjuration) is a great feat for summoners.

The Exchange

what is your characters con? you know you can negate some damage by taking it yourself.


What feats do you have so far? What are your ability scores?


Jeff Morse wrote:
what is your characters con? you know you can negate some damage by taking it yourself.

yeah, the fused link ability, which only kicks in when the temporary hits I get from the eidolon would reduced to 0. I used it a couple of times, its just on the last orc in the wave my gm rolled and confirmed a critical for around 24-28 at the time and that went through all the summoner's and temporary hp I get from the eidolon at the time. To be fair I enlarged my PC and took all the aggro for my team, which at the time we were at lvl 2. The rest of my group at the time stayed back and did range attacks. I think I went through a total of 15-17 attacks from the group of orcs with most of them missing due to my high AC at the time. I took one regular hit from one and then later on my gm got a confirmed critical hit on the last orc before it was killed. We have a druid with a big cat animal companion that helped with close combat, but was taken out even earlier than me because our gm confirmed a critical with 30 damage against it. It would have died had our gm not been generous and allowed the druid to use his only hero point to stabilize the big cat. Our GM has a way of criting at the worst times, but it makes the games fun and interesting.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The key to fighting giants in melee is "don't". If you have to, you need miss chances such as from obscuring mist, blur, displacement, even a smokestick. Only dedicated AC junkies are going to get high enough to have a chance of avoiding their melee attacks. If they have multiple attacks in a full attack, you want to deny them that as much as possible. In the higher levels, it is better to kite them and eat an AoO than stand next to them and take three attacks a round.


Devilkiller wrote:
What feats do you have so far? What are your ability scores?

My half-elf stats are:

STR 12 (17)
DEX 08 (13)
CON 12 (13)
INT 15
WIS 11
CHA 20

() represents those replaced with the eidolon's stats

Traits(our gm allowed us 3 traits total, 2 regular and 1 campaign)

1. Artifact Hunter (Giant Slayer trait)
2. Eleven Reflexes
3. Axe to Grind

The feats I have so far and will take in the future, I am 3rd lvl right now.

1. Scion of War, Skill Focus: Perception(half-elf bonus feat)
3. Arcane Strike
5. Power Attack
7. Spell Focus Conjuration
9. Augment Summoning
11. ??????


Please use spoiler tags if you're talking about the AP -- if you can still edit your description of what happened, you should do so.

As the others mentioned, layer your defenses and probably send in summons before armoring up to go toe to toe with giants. I know the one you fought; it's pretty representative of what you can expect. Fighting smarter is usually a better option than trying to go head to head with a giant.

As for specific Giantslayer advice, definitely learn to pace yourself appropriately. This AP can really push even an optimized party.


cavernshark wrote:

Please use spoiler tags if you're talking about the AP -- if you can still edit your description of what happened, you should do so.

As the others mentioned, layer your defenses and probably send in summons before armoring up to go toe to toe with giants. I know the one you fought; it's pretty representative of what you can expect. Fighting smarter is usually a better option than trying to go head to head with a giant.

As for specific Giantslayer advice, definitely learn to pace yourself appropriately. This AP can really push even an optimized party.

Alright, thank you for the advice, I will do spoiler tags in the future should I reference any specific part of an AP.


Good ways to fight a giant in melee with spells (you can probably get some of these as scrolls or wands):
Mirror image
Blur
Shield
Greater invis
False life
Vampiric touch
Stoneskin
Displacement
Barkskin
Lead blades

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