Concerned About Archer Player Taking Point Blank Master


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Balkoth wrote:
What? It automatically avoids the AoO.

And so do the Improved Maneuver Feats.

Which is what we were comparing them to.

And you said that was fine because it didn't let them automatically hit CMD.

Balkoth wrote:
If Mobility just gives +4 AC to AoOs incurred while moving, why does PBM automatically AoOS incurred while firing a ranged weapon?

Because PBM is a more situational Feat with effects more easily replicated by a 5 ft. step, and has much higher level and class restrictions than Mobility.

Also because Mobility is bad.

Balkoth wrote:
If Mobility was "You no longer provoke AoOs while moving" and PBM was "You get a +4 AC bonus when you provoke an AoO in melee" what would you think?

I'd think "Hey, maybe I'll actually take Mobility for once that seems like it's worth two Feats now" and I'd forget PBM ever existed because now it's terrible.


Re: Mobility, the version that lets you cheese the world is called Escape Route and it works if you have a valet familiar or an animal companion with 3 int and a feat slot.


I think you have your weaknesses wrong. Archery's big weaknesses isn't "Low HP, Low AC, Provokes, doesn't Threaten, and less damage". It's big weakness is that there are so many ways to hinder it.

Archery has to gain tons of feats just to remove lots of negatives that other characters can use to just bump themselves up. Where an Archer has to go "Point Blank Shot (feat tax), Precise Shot (Remove penalty), Rapid Shot (two weapon fighting with bow), Improved Precise Shot (Remove cover penalties), and Deadly Aim (Power attack for bows)". A regular character with same number of feats can go "Two weapon fighting, Power Attack, Double Slice, Iron Will, and Dodge". I count two feats that exist just to help remove penalties for archery as well as a feat tax.

Ton's of environment conditions can and will hamper archery where melee is relatively untouched. Sight is often an issue for many archers. Darkness, Fog, etc. all cause serious problems for archery and are less effective (although still effective) against melee. And then there are spells designed specifically to hamper archers (windwall, fickle winds, etc.), not to include the spells that hamper all physical attackers (blur, displacement, etc.) There are feats and gear that stop archers (Deflect Arrows, Tower Shields). You have tons of options, just use them.

You keep mentioning "soft counter", but I don't know what you mean by that? What's the "soft counter" for a melee fighter?


I'm pretty curious, how commonly do the players provoke AoOs in your games (ones you run or play in)? It's pretty rare in games I'm involved in (Pretty much only happens when somebody in heavy armor wants to charge an enemy with reach), probably because there's a couple of people who like building "make a lot of AoOs" characters (there's a bloodrager in the game I'm running who can get reach out to 30').

The last time I played an archer, it was on a class who does not get extra feats (and I was nonhuman), so I didn't get manyshot until level 9, never considered taking PBM, and don't think I provoked a single AoO in that entire campaign.


Link2000 wrote:
You keep mentioning "soft counter", but I don't know what you mean by that? What's the "soft counter" for a melee fighter?

Flight.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Link2000 wrote:
You keep mentioning "soft counter", but I don't know what you mean by that? What's the "soft counter" for a melee fighter?
Flight.

How is that any different than the Wind Wall dilemma he presented earlier? Sounds like a big "F U" to anyone without flight or a ranged option.


Melee counters with a potion of fly (750gp) or a composite longbow (probably cheaper, but less effective). Wind Wall is countered by walking through it. Fickle Winds is either a Dispel Magic or, at absolute worst, a Cyclonic weapon. My level 8 occultist archer uses Legacy Weapon to get Cyclonic if he needs it, wasting just as much time as a melee using a fly potion. Given that Cyclonic is from RTT, it's not likely that OP allows it in his game.


Link2000 wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Link2000 wrote:
You keep mentioning "soft counter", but I don't know what you mean by that? What's the "soft counter" for a melee fighter?
Flight.
How is that any different than the Wind Wall dilemma he presented earlier? Sounds like a big "F U" to anyone without flight or a ranged option.

It was a semi-joke, pointing out that there isn't much of a difference between a hard and soft counter in this game. I know it wasn't an obvious conclusion to draw, but it's there.

I could've also said "magic," because melee fighters rely on it too much to be effective, but the same is true for ranged characters as well.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Link2000 wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Link2000 wrote:
You keep mentioning "soft counter", but I don't know what you mean by that? What's the "soft counter" for a melee fighter?
Flight.
How is that any different than the Wind Wall dilemma he presented earlier? Sounds like a big "F U" to anyone without flight or a ranged option.

It was a semi-joke, pointing out that there isn't much of a difference between a hard and soft counter in this game. I know it wasn't an obvious conclusion to draw, but it's there.

I could've also said "magic," because melee fighters rely on it too much to be effective, but the same is true for ranged characters as well.

Ah! Sorry! Thanks for clarifying that for me!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Looking at Archery vs THF, there are a few differences which become apparent. THF only really "need" Power Attack to function and the rest is gravy, so just about any class can do it with little investment. On the other hand, being good at Archery requires a much larger feat investment to be worth using - at least 4 feats I'd say (PBS, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, and Deadly Aim). Manyshot, Clustered Shots, and Improved Precise Shot are also very valuable picks, although I see Ultimate Combat isn't being used so Clustered Shots isn't available.

Archery has many direct counters (sunder, wind wall, Deflect Arrows, DR, being within threatened range, line-of-sight, and probably more) and nuisances (soft cover due to positioning, prone enemies, weather conditions, enclosed spaces, and others) to deal with, plus archers tend to have lower attack bonuses than their THF counterparts thanks to Rapid Shot. On the other hand, Archery deals more consistent damage, is generally more safe than other martials, can deal with flying enemies more easily, and benefits more from attack bonuses and static damage.

To deal with this, start using more DR and inclement weather, and have enemies use spells to debuff the archer's attack bonus. DR is very effective against enemies that have many lower-damage attacks and won't be too large an obstacle for the melee characters (especially DR / Slashing, since that's a common melee damage type). Weather can impose penalties on ranged characters and can be very cinematic, but doesn't often effect other characters. Using Rapid Shot and Deadly Aim gives him a -4 to attack, and while he can manage it his attack bonus should be lower than average (I'd guess +14 normally and +10/+10/+5 on a full attack, plus situational bonuses like PBS, Inspire Courage, and buff spells). Debuffing his attack bonus hurts him more than anyone else in the party (well, besides the monk) and should make his damage less consistent.

Hopefully some of that helps you.


Balkoth, you mentioned that archers don't have a down side right?

Sword and board trades damage for AC
2H trades AC for Damage
Archers trade AoO's for ranged attacks as they don't threaten any squares. (Unless they can kick or punch with a gauntlet but that damage is so non-stellar as to be moot... or you can take a bunch of feats to do the AoO at range.)

Long story short, you're overstating the value of PBM.

If you want to "mess" with him, sunder (magic missile) the bow string, keep track of his ammunition, warpword his arrows, use invisible opponents, use mirror imaged opponents, darkness, fog, Create pit him etc.


Balkoth wrote:
I humbly apologize, I'm new and have been making "class" enemies only from CRB classes. Didn't realize it was such a crime.

You asked the question don't be petulant for being given an answer.

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I want something that counters bows specifically, regardless of class. Just like shield users, 2H users, and dual-wielders have specific weaknesses.

You're complaining about a feat two classes can take which eliminates what you believe to be an important weakness of the combat style. But you want something that hampers all archers, not just the classes that can take the feat you're complaining about. That doesn't make sense.

We have already given you things that counter archers specifically and you said you didn't like it.

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Why do you think I'm targeting him "unfairly?" Is it unfair to have spellcasters which bypass the extra AC of a shield? Is it unfair to have high AB enemies which a 2H character can't stand against for long due to lack of shield AC?

I specifically said you were not and that, that was a good thing. So ... yeah.

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And, like I said in the original post, I'm looking for NON-direct counters. I'm looking for soft counters, not hard counters. Something that makes his life more difficult if he isn't careful, not stuff that cripples him.

Then run the cover rules properly that is what they are for. You buffed the style and complained it was to strong.

Or crazy suggestion run the odd character that does neutralize archery, they exist in the world already its not like you have to invest a great deal to cast wind wall if you're a caster who can have the spell, not every character should be able to but some could.

Or you know, just put up any wall at all they are arguably the most popular spell choice and an easy counter to archers.

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but exactly how much feat investment did such a melee character really make?

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So are you arguing that melee needs more feats to help them or that ranged needs some of those feats removed?

I'm pretty sure he is saying archery has more feats so should be stronger, not that either needs more or less feats.

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Do you really want to open that can of worms? For example, explain Seelah. And explain how a Mithral Heavy Shield is too heavy to use Lay on Hands while a Light Steel Shield *WHICH WEIGHS MORE* than the Mithral Heavy Shield is just fine.

why are you shouting at people about the rules? they didn't write them.

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If the feat was "You gain +2 Dodge AC vs AoOs when firing a ranged weapon" I'd be fine with that. But there's a reason Mobility isn't "You no longer trigger AoOs while moving" and Iron Will isn't "You are immune to Mind Affecting effects."

I'd also point out that one feat effectively negates the entire Step Up/Following Step/Step Up and Strike feat chain.

The feat your described is crap and if mobility did that it would be incredibly powerful PBM is not because 90% of the time archers should not be in melee anyway simply by virtue of battle field positioning.

it does not negate an entire feat chain because said feat applies to more than just archery.

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I don't mind characters that are very strong in one area as long as they have weaknesses to be careful about. I'd just prefer less drastic ways to "challenge" the archer than deflect arrows/wind wall/etc. Those are very binary.

Well you have wiped away the cover rules already so you are going to have to be willing to counter archery properly I'm afraid any wall or fog spell can block line of sight and are not specifically anti archery, use them.

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No, clearly I started playing Balkothfinder when I had PCs do max HP on level up. Then I was playing Balkothfinder even more when I gave everyone Weapon Finesse/Agile Maneuvers for free. Then I was REALLY playing Balkothfinder when I maximized healing spells out of combat. This is just the icing on the icing on the icing of the cake.

You can't play something more, you either play something or you don't, its an absolute. Anyway, you're consistently buffing classes and characters across the board and removing weakness. It just so happens you've bumped into a strong options now. I'm afraid you've removed the easy soft debuffs you'll have to come to terms with more binary options.

You've said no to DR already because it nerfs the monk as well. I'm afraid if you keep removing soft nerfs you will find you have no soft
nerfs.

Quote:

If the archer actually had to use the soft cover rules, their positions (and about how far apart they are) switch.

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Funny story, if you can freely full attack with a bow in the bad guy's face, he doesn't get soft cover.

If you stand in front of the big bad and full attack then he gets to attack you back on his round, a Big bad should do more than a single party member if he thinks he is fine to do this the big bad is too weak

Funny story, if you're rude to people who are giving your advice you'll quickly find these boards turning against you.

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It is. And I'll try to use that more. Though PBM reduces the need to reposition :P

just stand behind a wall, any wall.

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So...spellcasters. Joy.

you're playing pathfinder spellcasters are a thing. You could use Snatch Arrow for marshals but you complained about that already.

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Would completely screw over the monk doing 1d8+3 damage per hit. And the paladin also doing 1d8+3 damage per hit. Though the paladin could at least buff himself to 1d8+4!

A level 6 paladin should be doing more than that.

Moral of the story, you've defeated yourself and now you're being rude to people trying to help you running headlong into your house rules.

Stop houseruling willynilly or accept you are braking the combat style yourself. Or do the obvious thing and use straightforward counters occasionally.


I saw this

Balkoth wrote:
I don't mind characters that are very strong in one area as long as they have weaknesses to be careful about.

And I just laughed.

You should see some of the character's I've made. Most of my characters are built to have "no weakness"

I have a bloodrager 4/fighter 5
lv 9 with 8 wis. He has a +11 will save, +13 when raging. +23/+18 for 1d12+32 damage. AC 28, and 28 while raging, and has skill to use outside of combat. he has 121 HP raging, he'd have 153 under your rules.

I have a fist fighter lv8 brawler 2, fighter 3, bloodrager 2, monk 1.
he has AC 26 raging, 13 will save, 15 while raging, attacks of +20/+20/+15/+15 for 1d6+18 damage a hit. He has 85 hp raging, 112 under your rules.

Lv 8&9 cleric have a will base of 6, cloak +3, meaning they'd need wisdom of 18 to match my wis penalty character and wis 22 to match my other character in combat.

my friend has a sorcerer at lv13 Whose highest saves are 17/16/16

So when you see my "BSF" and think, their weakness is their will save. I laugh cause I'll have one of the highest if not highest will save in the party.

Like my "weakest point" is still usually above the average of the party. True weaknesses, is ignorance or a choice, not really something inherent in the system.


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Rylar wrote:
A two-handed fighter, should have no problem out damaging an archer in a standard game.
A level 6 Greatsword wielding fighter is doing less damage than this level 6 Longbow wielding fighter. I statted out both "versions" of the character fully (with more str/con for the greatsword guy). Manyshot, Rapid Shot, and Point Blank Shot are really powerful.

Are you also taking into account haste. It really comes online more at level 7, but should be factored into it. Is he doing more per hit? If so, there is something wrong.

Remember I'm not necessarily talking fighter. Take a barbarian getting +3 damage to every attack while raging into consideration.

Rylar wrote:
I need more details of the character to fully help you out, but if he doesn't have a way to get around damage reduction it is something that cripples archers until they do.
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He's doing 3 (Str) + 1 (PBS) + 1 (Weapon Training) + 1 (Weapon) + 2 (Weapon Specialization) + 4 (Deadly Aim) + 4.5 (average of a d8) = 16.5 damage per shot. Takes DR 10 to significantly slow him down...which would also screw over the monk.

Not really. DR/5 would cuts his DPR down by almost 1/3rd. This is significant without being a complete screw. As for hurting the monk more, the monk has other things to do in combat (stunning fists for example) and/or has ways around some damage reduction.

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Rylar wrote:
Lower their strength. An archer that is using a composite bow takes a penalty to attack when he is not strong enough to use it.
It's an Adaptive Bow. Yes, it's not CRB/APG/ACG. I didn't want him to have to go through the hassle of getting a new bow every time he got a new strength item.

Not following your own rules ;). This is still viable. Things like fatigue are still going to reduce str and dex. The hit from losing 4 str with 16 damage per hit is 2 per hit. multiply that by 4 hits and that lowers damage by 8 per round. meanwhile someone with one big hit is only taking the -2 penalty.

If your archer has 16 str, what are his other stats? I'm guessing they are high as well which is honestly part of the problem.


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...wait, so the Paladin has the same Strength as the archer? Or no, wait, the archer has a +1 weapon, so the Paladin has less Strength and you're worried they can't do much damage in melee combat? NO @#$%ing $%^&.

Your archer isn't the problem. The rest of your players are the problem. Your archer picked an easy style, either rolled or bought the right set of stats for it, and is currently doing fine. The rest of your party apparently selected the weakest styles (especially in Core), allocated their stats very poorly, and are not doing good. SHOCKING!

Any chance you can post the actual stats of the characters in question? I have a feeling they'll be all kinds of other problems showing up.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:
and you're worried they can't do much damage in melee combat? NO @#$%ing $%^&.

I...don't believe I ever said that. What I said was that using a bunch of enemies with high DR (especially neutral ones like golems) would affect the monk and paladin a lot more than the archer.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
...wait, so the Paladin has the same Strength as the archer? Or no, wait, the archer has a +1 weapon, so the Paladin has less Strength

The Paladin started with 14 Str, 10 Dex, 14 Con, 10 Int, 10 Wis, and 16 Cha (18 after racial modifier). He wanted to be Charisma focused for more saves, more Smite Evil AC, more uses of Lay on Hands, etc. Yes, it's "worse" than going higher strength than charisma. He's also clearly less experienced and knowledgeable overall than several party members.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Your archer picked an easy style, either rolled or bought the right set of stats for it, and is currently doing fine.

Let's introduce a new player into this equation, call him...Tim. Tim was originally in the campaign and wanted to play an archer character. I suggested a fighter and helped him set up his feats/stats. Tim then had to drop out after a few levels due to a shift in work schedules...and the current archer expressed an interest in "taking over" Tim's old character. So he kind of inherited my work which I did for Tim.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Any chance you can post the actual stats of the characters in question? I have a feeling they'll be all kinds of other problems showing up.

Which stats are you looking for?

Rylar wrote:
Are you also taking into account haste.

Yes, Archer wins even with Haste.

Rylar wrote:
Is he doing more per hit? If so, there is something wrong.

No, he just gets 2 extra attacks in effect which make up for less damage per hit.

Rylar wrote:
Remember I'm not necessarily talking fighter. Take a barbarian getting +3 damage to every attack while raging into consideration.

At level 6 a Fighter gets +3 damage as well -- 2 from Weapon Specialization, 1 from Weapon Training.

Rylar wrote:
Not following your own rules ;).

Let me put it this way: if archers are "balanced" around throwing away a ton of gold on buying new bows constantly, I'd rather just cut out the middle man and just give the archer less WBL and an adaptive bow to save him the hassle.

Rylar wrote:
If your archer has 16 str, what are his other stats? I'm guessing they are high as well which is honestly part of the problem.

16

18 (racial bonus)
12
12
10
7

20 point buy, half-elf.

Chess Pwn wrote:
You should see some of the character's I've made. Most of my characters are built to have "no weakness"

Your Bloodrager with 28 AC is going to have 4-6 less AC than a shielded fighter (or more). A CR 9 monster could easily have 17 AB which hits you 50% of the time...and hits the fighter 20-30% of the time. So you're taking about double the damage. Or more.

Also, if you're including Guarded Stance that does take a move action to activate. Not sure what you're using to "cancel" the rage AC penalty.

Will have to get to rest tomorrow, need to get to sleep.


You should probably help the other players as much as you have this one.

Your Paladin could easily retain that good of a Cha but have a better stat spread otherwise. Getting Power Attack alone would boost his damage by 6, as would 2Handing his sword.

Getting hit 50% of the time isn't much of an issue, by the by. That's expected math. And it only comes into play if your enemy GETS to hit you. If you liquidate them before they attack, you have 100% damage reduction that round.


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Balkoth wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:
and you're worried they can't do much damage in melee combat? NO @#$%ing $%^&.
I...don't believe I ever said that. What I said was that using a bunch of enemies with high DR (especially neutral ones like golems) would affect the monk and paladin a lot more than the archer.

Because they do less damage. How can you say "would be more affected by DR" but somehow divorce it from "because they do less damage"? I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just pointing out that this wouldn't be a problem if your other players weren't awful at doing damage. The archer isn't that out of line (I already posted a THF with similar DPR and more damage per hit). The Paladin and Monk characters are just bad at doing damage.

Balkoth wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:
...wait, so the Paladin has the same Strength as the archer? Or no, wait, the archer has a +1 weapon, so the Paladin has less Strength

The Paladin started with 14 Str, 10 Dex, 14 Con, 10 Int, 10 Wis, and 16 Cha (18 after racial modifier). He wanted to be Charisma focused for more saves, more Smite Evil AC, more uses of Lay on Hands, etc. Yes, it's "worse" than going higher strength than charisma. He's also clearly less experienced and knowledgeable overall than several party members.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Your archer picked an easy style, either rolled or bought the right set of stats for it, and is currently doing fine.
Let's introduce a new player into this equation, call him...Tim. Tim was originally in the campaign and wanted to play an archer character. I suggested a fighter and helped him set up his feats/stats. Tim then had to drop out after a few levels due to a shift in work schedules...and the current archer expressed an interest in "taking over" Tim's old character. So he kind of inherited my work which I did for Tim.

So you also made the character. Have you considered giving that same help to the other characters? Because it sounds like you've stacked the deck even more for the archer. Was the archer they made originally as powerful?

Balkoth wrote:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Any chance you can post the actual stats of the characters in question? I have a feeling they'll be all kinds of other problems showing up.
Which stats are you looking for?

I think I have enough. Your Paladin (built by someone else) took 14 Con. Your archer (built by you) took 12 Con. Was your Paladin aware that you gave max HP at every level before they built the character? Because that definitely changes the value of Con. And I know you knew about it.

Look, this just keeps looking worse and worse. Your players built some not very strong characters. You (presumably one of the more experienced players, since you're running the game) built a character for one of the players, the problematic character in question. You are directly responsible for the power disparity between the characters.

The feat the new player wants to take only covers one very specific weakness (shooting in melee) that already required opponents to have one very specific counter (Step Up) so the archer couldn't just 5-foot step back to avoid it. And that's after they run past the 3 melee allies the archer has. Again, why is Point Blank Master a problem? Point Blank Master doesn't give the archer any measurable bonus, it only prevents being attacked (not damaged, just attacked) in one very specific instance. The basically required feat (Step Up) you've admitted only comes up ~1/9th the time. So... they're preventing AoOs in at most 1/9th the battles. Again, why is that a problem?


It isn't :)


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Maybe it's a problem because the GM read somewhere that a character should have a problem 1 out of every 9 fights? I don't f!@#ing know...

But Mr. Bob^3 has it right; the issue isn't with the feat being chosen, it's with the fact that a character who is already buffed up by your GM experience (even though the other players were equally weak anyway) and system mastery is buffed up even more (albeit not much) by another player's equal or superior system mastery, and the other players are still using the same, crappy characters, and taking the same, crappy options (like Prone Shooter).

In short, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. You helped the "noob" archer player out (who is no longer there, and whose character was inherited by a much more skilled player), but you didn't help the other "noob" players who appear to equally require your help.

If you don't want the Archer to constantly outshine your PCs, then it's time for a Deus Ex Machina in relation to the other PCs. Create a scenario (no fighting, presumably) where an NPC "unlocks their potential," granting a one-time "rebuild" with your help, so that they aren't so far behind in comparison to the "problem PC." This way, it doesn't matter if the Archer PC took PBM, because the other PCs have received an equal (or greater) gain in power (and it actually gives you an excuse to buff up the monsters a little bit in comparison).


It seems like some of the non-archer characters may have made the classic mistake of prioritizing defense over offense, which is something the mathematics of Pathfinder do not favor. Defense is great, but there are six different defenses, and things like AC don't scale as well as "to-hit bonus". This is not to say that you can't build something with a really high AC, but if you're sacrificing "ability to remove enemies from combat" in favor of a "higher AC" this isn't going to work out for you or the party. Faced with a guy with a 70 AC that does terrible damage, smart enemies will just avoid that person in order to attack the squishier party members, and then attack that guy with touch attacks and spells.

At the higher levels, someone who is intending to get up and close has to be comfortable taking hits, and often the enemy's attack at their highest attack bonus will hit; the benefit of a high AC is to keep you from taking all of the iterative attacks to the face too.

Liberty's Edge

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Maybe it's a problem because the GM read somewhere that a character should have a problem 1 out of every 9 fights? I don't f!@#ing know...

But Mr. Bob^3 has it right; the issue isn't with the feat being chosen, it's with the fact that a character who is already buffed up by your GM experience (even though the other players were equally weak anyway) and system mastery is buffed up even more (albeit not much) by another player's equal or superior system mastery, and the other players are still using the same, crappy characters, and taking the same, crappy options (like Prone Shooter).

In short, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. You helped the "noob" archer player out (who is no longer there, and whose character was inherited by a much more skilled player), but you didn't help the other "noob" players who appear to equally require your help.

If you don't want the Archer to constantly outshine your PCs, then it's time for a Deus Ex Machina in relation to the other PCs. Create a scenario (no fighting, presumably) where an NPC "unlocks their potential," granting a one-time "rebuild" with your help, so that they aren't so far behind in comparison to the "problem PC." This way, it doesn't matter if the Archer PC took PBM, because the other PCs have received an equal (or greater) gain in power (and it actually gives you an excuse to buff up the monsters a little bit in comparison).

+1 This seems like an excellent idea. It is especially useful because after all of the house rules of the OP have been implemented, probably only he/she knows what is best.

I am still surprised the witch is underperforming. With the max hit points every level buff, you would think saves are the way to attack a typical character.

Please tell me they took slumber and accursed hex at level 1, right, and max'd INT at 20? They should be taking most non-immune enemies out of the fight the first round or two (unless coup de grace and/or slumber are illegal in your voluminous house rules...)


Balkoth wrote:

Your Bloodrager with 28 AC is going to have 4-6 less AC than a shielded fighter (or more). A CR 9 monster could easily have 17 AB which hits you 50% of the time...and hits the fighter 20-30% of the time. So you're taking about double the damage. Or more.

Also, if you're including Guarded Stance that does take a move action to activate. Not sure what you're using to "cancel" the rage AC penalty.

No guarded stance, just the feats and abilities I've chosen give me as much AC as I'd be losing when I rage.

So if my guy switched to sword and board lets see. Heavy shield +2, cause if my armor is only a +2 no way my shield would be more.

1) Power Attack +23 (1d12+32) ~ 39 a hit AC 28 saved 4000gp

OR

2) Power Attack +23 (1d8+23) ~ 28 a hit AC 32

CR 9 hp 115, AC 23, high attack 17, high damage 40
1) average dpr = 67.4, kill opponent in 2 rounds.
2) average dpr = 48.13, kill opponent in 3 rounds.

1) enemy DPR is 20, deals 40 damage before killed, barb is alive with 81 HP.
2) Enemy DPR is 12, deals 36 damage before killed, barb is alive with 85

So being hit slightly more often is only 4hp lost over having higher AC. With the 4000gp I saved I can buy 4 wands of cure light to have far more HP. Also, no shield means enemy died in 2 rounds instead of 3, so if there was something scary about them or they were targeting someone less durable they are alive for 1 less round. And I'm able to start killing a new guy round 3.

So lets say there are 2 enemies you're fighting.
1) 40hp, 40hp, 20hp, 20hp. I killed them both with 1 HP left.
2) 24hp, 24hp, 24hp, 12hp, 12hp, 12hp. Killed both with 13hp left.
So still, both can take on 2 guys at once and live. But if there are three enemies, and someone else is taking hits, two handed kills in 6 rounds, shield in 9.
That 6 rounds of rage spent vs 9 rounds of rage.
I have 16 rounds per day.
So I can do basically 3 of these fights with two handed or only 2 if I had a shield.

Now what about haste?
1) dpr = 105.88
2) dpr = 75.63

If my party contributes 10 damage the enemy drops in 1 round for two handed. The party needs 40 damage to drop the enemy in 1 round for shield user.

So I can spend more resources, more gold, and take longer to do my job and live, or I can not, use a two hand weapon, and do my job and live.

Yeah, I'm not seeing this "double or more damage received" anywhere in the math. Or anything really that the shield user is doing better than the two handed weapon user. Nor a weakness in the two weapon compared to the shield. Though I see a weakness in the shield that fights take longer to finish.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Balkoth wrote:

Your Bloodrager with 28 AC is going to have 4-6 less AC than a shielded fighter (or more). A CR 9 monster could easily have 17 AB which hits you 50% of the time...and hits the fighter 20-30% of the time. So you're taking about double the damage. Or more.

Also, if you're including Guarded Stance that does take a move action to activate. Not sure what you're using to "cancel" the rage AC penalty.

So being hit slightly more often is only 4hp lost over having higher AC. With the 4000gp I saved I can buy 4 wands of cure light to have far more HP. Also, no shield means enemy died in 2 rounds instead of 3, so if there was something scary about them or they were targeting someone less durable they are alive for 1 less round. And I'm able to start killing a new guy round 3.

You can actually buy 5 wants of cure light wounds... So... yeah, I like your math.

Edit: Not a Jab! I'm serious about how your way is better than trying to shell up a few extra AC.


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Worried about archers dominating your game? Be strict about accounting for ammunition, enforce the rules for breaking and losing arrows, and eliminate magical effects that provide endless ammunition, as well as durable arrows.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Worried about archers dominating your game? Be strict about accounting for ammunition, enforce the rules for breaking and losing arrows, and eliminate magical effects that provide endless ammunition, as well as durable arrows.

Annoying players isn't an effective form of balance IMO. So long as you can store a few hundred arrows on a horse (or a barbarian) easily then this is a non-issue.


avr wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Worried about archers dominating your game? Be strict about accounting for ammunition, enforce the rules for breaking and losing arrows, and eliminate magical effects that provide endless ammunition, as well as durable arrows.
Annoying players isn't an effective form of balance IMO. So long as you can store a few hundred arrows on a horse (or a barbarian) easily then this is a non-issue.

What you can carry into the dungeon however... is going to be a lot less.


avr wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Worried about archers dominating your game? Be strict about accounting for ammunition, enforce the rules for breaking and losing arrows, and eliminate magical effects that provide endless ammunition, as well as durable arrows.
Annoying players isn't an effective form of balance IMO. So long as you can store a few hundred arrows on a horse (or a barbarian) easily then this is a non-issue.

It's no less annoying than asking a spellcaster if he has his spell component pouch, his focii, and any expensive material components for the spells he possesses, in that they are written rules within the game.

To which point, I say "Suck it up."

Such players should be well aware of those consequences and requirements, and simply handwaving or ignoring those consequences or requirements without some sort of mechanical implication (such as having a bow with Endless Ammunition, or possessing the Eschew Materials feat) gives them a lot of leeway that they normally shouldn't have.

Since the OP's complaint could possibly involve not enforcing such issues, the advice isn't really as "annoying the player" as it is reinforcing the idea to actually playing the game how it was intended to be played.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
avr wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Worried about archers dominating your game? Be strict about accounting for ammunition, enforce the rules for breaking and losing arrows, and eliminate magical effects that provide endless ammunition, as well as durable arrows.
Annoying players isn't an effective form of balance IMO. So long as you can store a few hundred arrows on a horse (or a barbarian) easily then this is a non-issue.
What you can carry into the dungeon however... is going to be a lot less.

Unless the party is doing extended dungeon crawls with no chance to resupply and no bow-using enemies to loot, running out of arrows is unlikely to be an issue.

Not to mention making the archer run out of arrows and not letting him get any more is kind of a dick move, since it means the player can't have their character do what they're made to do. It's the same as never letting the caster cast spells, or making all enemies immune to melee damage.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
avr wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Worried about archers dominating your game? Be strict about accounting for ammunition, enforce the rules for breaking and losing arrows, and eliminate magical effects that provide endless ammunition, as well as durable arrows.
Annoying players isn't an effective form of balance IMO. So long as you can store a few hundred arrows on a horse (or a barbarian) easily then this is a non-issue.
What you can carry into the dungeon however... is going to be a lot less.

Depends on the presence or absence of barbarians or handy haversacks, and sometimes you can take a beast of burden with you, especially if it's an animal companion.

No, cheap material components aren't an effective limit on spellcaster power either Darksol. They're another irritation which has no real effect.

Dark Archive

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It's fun when you start reading a thread thinking, "Wow, what an articulate request for advice, I'll see if I can help." and end the thread thinking, "Wow, the guy doesn't actually want help, and insults people that make accurate and polite, suggestions about how his choices to ignore some rules would mitigate some of his problem."

There are a lot of Saints on the boards today that are willing to put up with that kind of attitude.

Thank you, to all the Saints.


avr wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
avr wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Worried about archers dominating your game? Be strict about accounting for ammunition, enforce the rules for breaking and losing arrows, and eliminate magical effects that provide endless ammunition, as well as durable arrows.
Annoying players isn't an effective form of balance IMO. So long as you can store a few hundred arrows on a horse (or a barbarian) easily then this is a non-issue.
What you can carry into the dungeon however... is going to be a lot less.

Depends on the presence or absence of barbarians or handy haversacks, and sometimes you can take a beast of burden with you, especially if it's an animal companion.

No, cheap material components aren't an effective limit on spellcaster power either Darksol. They're another irritation which has no real effect.

Cheap materials components? No. They weren't designed to be a hard limit, as evidenced by non-priced material components being covered through simply having a spell component pouch, though that doesn't mean you can just freely cast them (you need Eschew Materials for that), in the same vein you can't just freely shoot a bow because you have two hands.

Expensive material components, on the other hand, are, and you need the proper components (which means paying the proper gold for acquiring said components) in order to cast a given spell, usually because such spells shouldn't be (commonly) replicated.


I'm going to start by clarifying some things since there have been some...strange...accusations.

1, the point of this thread was to try to find some ways to challenge the archer without screwing him over. I don't hugely care if he's the strongest (or one of the strongest) party members as long as he has issues he needs the rest of the party to help cover. Until "now" one of the biggest issues he had was being vulnerable if enemies managed to reach him due to provoking AoOs. With PBM that would go away so I'm looking for alternative ideas.

2, everyone knew ahead of time that players got max HP on level-up. Incidentally, enemies get max HP as well.

3, everyone is aware that they are allowed to rebuild their character if they wish. That includes everything from ability scores to feats taken to items purchased. There's no cost or limit to this provided I don't think they're trying to take advantage of it ("Oh, skill heavy bit coming up, I want to swap all my weapon feats to skill foci!").

4, I've spoken to the paladin before about some of his issues...but he's happy with the build he's chosen and I'm not going to force him to play something else.

5, I'm inclined to side with avr and chengar -- balance shouldn't be a matter of annoying players.

Chess Pwn wrote:
Yeah, I'm not seeing this "double or more damage received" anywhere in the math.

Double or more damage received *per round.*

A level 9 Fighter with Full Plate and +2 AC items would have 32 AC "base," 33 with a trait, and 34 with either Dodge or Shield Focus. With 34 AC enemy DPR is 8 compared to the 20 for you. You'd be taking 150% more damage per round.

The other part you're missing is this is about party play. If it's just you vs the monsters and you can solo them without issues then yes, taking less damage in exchange for doing less damage isn't an amazing trade-off. But if you have something like an archer, reach weapon user, spell slinger, etc throwing in damage then things look a lot better.

This isn't WoW tanking -- no one is advocating you should stack constitution and have no battlefield presence or something. However, surviving longer gives other party members more time to contribute. Or do your GMs literally say "By my calculations you're only doing 28 damage per round when you COULD be doing 40 damage per round with a 2H weapon, I'm going to have all the enemies ignore you?"

nennafir wrote:
Please tell me they took slumber and accursed hex at level 1, right, and max'd INT at 20? They should be taking most non-immune enemies out of the fight the first round or two (unless coup de grace and/or slumber are illegal in your voluminous house rules...)

He's a Hex Channeler who also took Flight Hex. Coup de grace isn't illegal, but it is changed to a one round action (instead of a full round action).

PossibleCabbage wrote:
It seems like some of the non-archer characters may have made the classic mistake of prioritizing defense over offense, which is something the mathematics of Pathfinder do not favor.

The monk is Dex focused with Wisdom as his second highest stat. That said, I am altering some of the mathematics (such as the max HP) which means it's not as bad as it would be by default.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If you don't want the Archer to constantly outshine your PCs, then it's time for a Deus Ex Machina in relation to the other PCs.

My concern isn't whether the archer outshines the other PCs.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Because they do less damage. How can you say "would be more affected by DR" but somehow divorce it from "because they do less damage"?

Because number of hits matters. If the monk hits five times, each hit doing less isn't as big of a deal. Unless we're dealing with DR, in which case he's crippled.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
The basically required feat (Step Up) you've admitted only comes up ~1/9th the time. So... they're preventing AoOs in at most 1/9th the battles.

I said 1/9 of enemies had it, which is different than saying it comes up in 1/9 of battles. This is because most battles have a variety of foes -- say they're in a fight with some demon cultists. The cultists have a wizard, cleric, ranger, rogue, and fighter. Likely the only person who has Step Up is the Fighter...but the battle as a whole now has Step Up.


Balkoth wrote:
The monk is Dex focused with Wisdom as his second highest stat. That said, I am altering some of the mathematics (such as the max HP) which means it's not as bad as it would be by default.

The "My AC is stratospheric but I do terrible damage" monk is probably more hurt by the "more HP for all" standard than helped. Until they get an Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists (spendy!), dex monks are kind of bad in combat (and are still a feat behind when they get said amulet).


You're right, your concern is that the Archer has less threats to deal with because of a feat that, logically speaking, is useful only 1/9 of the time at best (and that's only including fights where you actually use Step Up, I imagine there are fights where you have Step Up and don't even get the opportunity to use it).

And as everybody has said before, the archer taking the feat is not much of a concern. Why? Because before, you stated the only counter you've found is Step Up, when there was much more you could throw at said archer, and that's not including spells, which means the threats you could've thrown at said archer, weren't being thrown, which means the reason you have to be mad at him for taking this feat are practically non-existent, since, based on your current encounter design, it doesn't make that much of a difference anyway. All it really means is you can stop wasting your time and giving every creature you throw at the PCs the Step Up feat. I'd try the Toughness feat, so that even with full HP, the monsters take more full attacks and such to kill, but as GM, you can more-than-easily tailor those feats to something more appropriate.

But no, seriously, even without the Archer taking PBM, the encounter designs were static and hardly varied. It's like the PFS GMs complaining that MoMS+Crane Wing was too overpowered, even though the PFS encounters in the levels where it was claimed to be overpowered were just stupidly designed with linear enemies that MoMS+Crane Wing extremely excels at. Either throw in encounters where MoMS+Crane Wing aren't so strong, or just ban the option/combination entirely. No need to make things difficult (like they did), but I'm digressing with that example.

I mean, where's your Reach Weapon Martials with Armor Spikes, getting in the Archer's face and making it so that even if he 5-foots or stays put, he's gonna pay for it? Where's your Large or Larger creatures likewise getting in the Archer's face, accomplishing the same goal? What about using their party members for cover, so that the archer accidentally shoots them?

There are so many things you can do, WITHIN THE RULES OF THE GAME, that can make the Archer second-guess his actions. That's not including making random s#!^ up that you, as the GM, can enforce on the spot (though I can understand why you wouldn't do that). And based on the fact you're saying that Step Up is the only real threat you can feasibly present, simply tells me that regardless of the fact the Archer is taking PBM, really tells me he's wasting his feat to counter a feat that may or may not be useful in 1/9 of the fights he participates in. In my book, that's a waste of a feat, compared to things like Power Attack, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Manyshot, which are useful in practically every fight.

It's like complaining you can't screw with a Wizard's spell component pouch because he took Eschew Materials as a feat. He took the feat because he doesn't want to rely on a spell component pouch in the event he's stuck without one (which should be never, but in the adventuring life, you never know). The fact that he's wasting 1/10th of his valuable character resource that is Feats for something that would come up 1 in a million times is just a silly choice to make (though if he's doing it for flavor reasons, then that's fine).

**EDIT** Engrish is hard...


PossibleCabbage wrote:
The "My AC is stratospheric but I do terrible damage" monk is probably more hurt by the "more HP for all" standard than helped.

At least some enemies actually live long enough to get off multiple full attacks. Which means his defenses actually help. Vs everything being obliterated in 2 rounds.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I imagine there are fights where you have Step Up and don't even get the opportunity to use it).

Sure, if the party plays intelligently. And I'd prefer they consider "melee reaching the archer" as actually something to worry about and take into consideration in their tactics.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Because before, you stated the only counter you've found is Step Up

Melee AoOs due to firing a ranged weapon is one of few counters I've found. Step Up is merely a way of generating those (Reach is another).

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Where's your Large or Larger creatures likewise getting in the Archer's face, accomplishing the same goal?

I guess you missed my comment earlier in the thread...but it wasn't Step Up that made him want to take PBM. It was the second time they faced Large creatures with reach.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Manyshot, which are useful in practically every fight.

He has all of those.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
It's like complaining you can't screw with a Wizard's spell component pouch because he took Eschew Materials as a feat.

I let them have Eschew Materials for free, I don't care about spell reagents unless they're of significant value.


It still is a concern, because the archer getting hit is still a problem that they don't want to deal with. It's just less of a concern because the archer took steps to lessen how much of a threat that really is in comparison to every other melee getting in range with other melee. Which, for the PC in question, is actually a fairly smart and prudent thing to do. How dare the player actually care and want his PC to do well with the thing that he's designed to do well at!

Deflect (and even Snatch) Arrows is another good counter. Being able to throw his arrows back at him is quite fun, and several melee builds (that don't even have to be monks) are quite good at it. There's also Missile Shield, which functions very identically, but with a shield instead. Not to mention, Grappling him, or Sundering/Disarming his weapons (the latter being less cruel) are also solid and worthwhile tactics for enemies to employ, and makes simply approaching the Archer a threat all on its own.

Maybe I did. All I really noticed is that you said Step Up was one of the few counters you're aware of, since that's what's being brought up constantly. Either way, facing Large (or larger) creatures is a regular occurrence in the higher levels, so preparing for such isn't really against the expectations of a higher level party, and reducing AoOs doesn't really detract from the real threat higher level (and larger-sized) enemies represent. After all, if you're in the melee reach of most giant and deadly creatures (dragons can be one good example of this, bonus points for using invisibility and sneaking onto the archer to effectively assassinate him), you're probably going to be torn to shreds in the following round due to the overwhelming attacks and damage said creature can accomplish within a full attack action.

Good for him. He took feats that will actually be relevant for every combat. Point Blank Master, on the other hand? It's good for maybe a few, especially if he's tactically sound. There's more use behind it if he's less tactically sound, but compared to feats like those, he still won't use Point Blank Master in every combat, and even then, Point Blank Master has extreme restrictions (most notably, requiring specific class levels) before it can be taken. It actually has a worse requirement than a feat like Shield Master, a significantly better feat (Core Only too, by the way), which Rangers can learn at the same time they'd learn Point Blank Master. The fact that it does something that you claim is gamebreaking is just testament to the fact that very few characters can actually acquire that feat (at least without extreme investment), of which the PC in question is one of them.

Eschew Materials is merely an example, even if it isn't precisely congruent to the topic at hand. Fact of the matter is, just because he took countermeasures to tactics that certain enemies employ doesn't mean that he should be punished or banned for it, especially when there are multitudes of other tactics that can be used to threaten his performance as an Archer.

All I can tell you is to be very thankful that he didn't wise up to the idea of picking up an Animal Companion he can ride through his Nature Bond, amp it up via the Boon Companion feat, and turn into a Mobile Siege Weapon of Death that he very well could be.


Balkoth wrote:
I'd also point out that one feat effectively negates the entire Step Up/Following Step/Step Up and Strike feat chain.

1)It doesn't negate the chain... just negates it against the archer. Honestly, I've tried building characters around that feat and found it KINDA sucks in general. I've also NEVER seen it used against ranged characters like archers. The most common use I've seen it used for, is to bother Spellcasters, Stop people from taking potions to save their lives, things of that nature. Opponents RARELY have that feat and usually go for something better. Putting all the hopes and dreams on Step Up is probably the first issue... ;)

2)Losing an AoO isn't the end of the world. It's not like you're not getting your NORMAL attacks. If your melee characters are able to get up to them and he DOESN"T run away, now YOU get to full attack him instead of chasing him down and getting that single attack.

3)Movement is key. You may not like the soft cover rules, they may not make sense, but they are there for a reason. It's the downside of having a game like this all codified. Sometimes rules don't make sense. I personally threw a fit when I found out that a snake animal companion was providing cover to a target... but that's how the game is meant to limit range combat. A good 5' step can get you a +4 to your AC... OR make the archer move to a better spot and only take one attack that round. That's the strategy. It also works for both sides of the conflict.

4)Honestly, I don't understand how the archer is always in melee... In all of our games, the archer stays in the BACK. If opponents come at him... He moves and fires, always keeping distance, and with a monk and a paladin in the group, they should be able to slow down any opponents getting to him. I'm just really surprised to hear this is actually an issue where you consider AoOs to be his main weakness??

5) Those paladin stats actually look okay to me. Decent strength (attack/damage), Con(Hp for the front liner) and Chr(a whole bunch of paladin stuff) look about the way I made mine.. I may have dropped the wisdom a bit (utterly useless) but Dex and Int were as low as could be without penalty... so yeah, Looks pretty similar to King Thaddeus and he made it to the end of Kingmaker... :)


Balkoth wrote:

I'm going to start by clarifying some things since there have been some...strange...accusations.

1, the point of this thread was to try to find some ways to challenge the archer without screwing him over. I don't hugely care if he's the strongest (or one of the strongest) party members as long as he has issues he needs the rest of the party to help cover. Until "now" one of the biggest issues he had was being vulnerable if enemies managed to reach him due to provoking AoOs. With PBM that would go away so I'm looking for alternative ideas.

And we promptly told you that the way to challenge him more without "Screwing him over" was to put back in soft cover. The other soft counter to archery, and TWF and natural attack builds, is DR. Two handed weapons do best against DR since they are the least effected. BUT since all your party does less damage than the archer you've crossed off that counter as possible for your party.

Other than that there isn't any "soft counter" to archery like there isn't any "soft counters" to shield user or two handed. But if you're throwing 10 enemies or so like it sounds like, having 1 or 2 of the enemies have deflect arrows or wind wall isn't "screwing him over" it's playing the game right. Not everything will let you use your best tactic against it. But apparently it seems like throwing any enemy that realistically would have a reason to counter archers is another thing you've houseruled not to do and thus gave another buff to the archer and removed another counter that archery has.

Enemies should go where they are effective. spellcasters take out low save opponents which generally are heavy armor users. weapon users should be going for light AC enemies, wizards, bards, rogues.
High AC targets with Good saves are the last enemies to drop. Also enemies should be working together to take out the highest threat enemies, not splitting up and fighting enemies one V one.

Balkoth wrote:

A level 9 Fighter with Full Plate and +2 AC items would have 32 AC "base," 33 with a trait, and 34 with either Dodge or Shield Focus. With 34 AC enemy DPR is 8 compared to the 20 for you. You'd be taking 150% more damage per round.

The other part you're missing is this is about party play. If it's just you vs the monsters and you can solo them without issues then yes, taking less damage in exchange for doing less damage isn't an amazing trade-off. But if you have something like an archer, reach weapon user, spell slinger, etc throwing in damage then things look a lot better.

This isn't WoW tanking -- no one is advocating you should stack constitution and have no battlefield presence or something. However, surviving longer gives other party members more time to contribute. Or do your GMs literally say "By my calculations you're only doing 28 damage per round when you COULD be doing 40 damage per round with a 2H weapon, I'm going to have all the enemies ignore you?"

How is your lv9 fighter in full plate +2 ac items reaching 32 AC? full plate, dex and +2 ac is 22.

also, while 150% more maybe might sound like a big change, when it's 150% of 8hp it's not really big deal. I take basically the same amount of damage per fight. And the only thing that matters is if you're alive at the end of a fight.

And you've just proved my point about the party. If I'm doing more damage the wizard gets to save a spell that he'd have needed to use if the fight is longer. If I'm doing better damage, then the party 1 rounds an enemy and then we 1 round the next and the next. So fighting 4 hard enemies will take no more than 4 rounds and 4 spells. If the party is all good damage than the fight lasts 3 or less rounds since the party can drop 1 enemy and do more damage per round. If my damage laggs then the party either need to do MORE damage to compensate or the fight takes longer, now it's 5 rounds or more to kill 4 enemies. That can mean 5 or more spells needing to be cast, that means less resources, and that means less fights before we'd want to rest.

Wow tanking? haha. but if I was your enemies I'd be ignoring your monk and paladin, especially after the first time they landed a hit and did like no damage. I'd ignore those two and just go straight for the biggest threat. That is seeming like it would probably be 8 man surrounding the archer, since it seems he's the biggest threat for your party, which if he takes PBM will do us a favor and come into melee with us. Your monk isn't a threat, and your paladin isn't a threat, but both are hard to hit, thus ignore them. The TWF rogue is either just as bad or a glass cannon, having just light armor armor and dex makes for lower AC for melee combatant, and the best target for the enemy to focus on. The bard is probably not a combat bard and doing little damage in combat, maybe worth a little focus to remove the party buff, but not super high priority unless slinging devastating spells somehow. And the witch seems to not be a threat, and/or it's harder to reach.

SO if you're having enemies stand and fight the monk and paladin for more than 1 round after they find that they are hard to hit AND are the smallest threats of the party, then the enemies are either low int animals that can't understand, or are being played like low int that can't realize how to win.

Silver Crusade

Have a mook throw a smokestick next to the archer.


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So I just read though this whole thread, and I really have to say...

OP, why do you make a post asking for advice and then challenge everyone who offers it? Especially when the ones offering it are pretty much in unanimous agreement?


Johnny_Devo wrote:
OP, why do you make a post asking for advice and then challenge everyone who offers it?

I didn't challenge everyone who offered advice. Just most people. And I challenged most people because a lot of their advice was stuff like "Fighters have weak will saves, target that" or "Use Fickle Winds so the archer has a 100% miss chance."

The problem with that advice is that I was looking for stuff that impacted archers specifically but not melee. And I also didn't want binary counters that just screwed over the player. In other words, a lot of the advice I was given was stuff I specifically already said I didn't want to do.

But there have been some people who have offered good and useful advice -- and I appreciate that. And I will use some of their advice going forward.

PCScipio wrote:
Have a mook throw a smokestick next to the archer.

Neat. Thanks.

Chess Pwn wrote:
And we promptly told you that the way to challenge him more without "Screwing him over" was to put back in soft cover.

Which...also just encourages him getting point blank with enemies. He gets +1 attack/damage, doesn't provoke due to PBM, and an enemy right next to him doesn't get soft cover.

Chess Pwn wrote:
there isn't any "soft counters" to shield user or two handed.

Shield users struggle more against enemies with touch attacks or attacks that bypass AC entirely since they've given up damage for more AC (which then doesn't apply). 2H users can run into trouble if swarmed or when facing someone with good melee attacks -- and they also will take more damage from energy archers while trying to approach. Both styles in general (turning it to melee vs ranged) also have soft counters in the form of terrain to maneuver through or around and having creatures blocking their path.

Chess Pwn wrote:
But apparently it seems like throwing any enemy that realistically would have a reason to counter archers is another thing you've houseruled not to do and thus gave another buff to the archer and removed another counter that archery has.

There's been a few encounters that had an enemy with Deflect Arrows. There's been an encounter with Wind Wall as well. But I'd rather not have 50% of fights involve those or something.

Chess Pwn wrote:
How is your lv9 fighter in full plate +2 ac items reaching 32 AC?

10 base

3 from Dex (Armor Training II)
9 from Full Plate
2 from Heavy Shield

That's 24. +2 items is another 2*4 = 8 so 32. Trait plus either AC feat is 34, could be 35 easily.

Chess Pwn wrote:
also, while 150% more maybe might sound like a big change, when it's 150% of 8hp it's not really big deal.

When there's more and/or tougher enemies it's the difference between dying in 2 rounds vs being able to last 5 rounds. And since presumably more enemies are dying or getting CCed in rounds 3, 4, and 5 it's realistically more like 2 rounds vs 6-7+ rounds since the damage incoming keeps reducing.

Chess Pwn wrote:
but if I was your enemies I'd be ignoring your monk and paladin, especially after the first time they landed a hit and did like no damage.

Monk still has reasonable AB and does 30 damage per round if all attacks hit (37.5 if hasted). A default CR 6 creature would die in 2-3 rounds.

Going by this spreadsheet ( https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CCxnAb8apicr3fOrSCEFNRwHlzRieMrXm6l d9-uLAFc/edit#gid=0 ) the monk is at green damage, green hit, and 1 short of blue AC.

That spreadsheet comes from this post: https://rpgwillikers.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/bench-pressing-character-crea tion-by-the-numbers/

Curious what you make of it.

Paladin also has a +1 holy longsword (they're a bit above WBL right now since they're going places where they won't get much stuff for the next few levels, it'll balance out soon) which means vs evil enemies his damage basically doubles.

Chess Pwn wrote:
then the enemies are either low int animals that can't understand

Precisely! The large creatures with reach? Trolls and then some large swamp creatures (gators and snakes). The creatures that actually will try to rush the archer if possible and have Step Up? Intelligent enemies like the cultists.

phantom1592 wrote:
I've also NEVER seen it used against ranged characters like archers.

That's interesting, because that's how I learned about the feat. My first ever character was a sword and board fighter. My first combat ever (a mock one to show me how stuff worked) was vs a Gnoll Archer. Who kept taking a 5 foot step back before shooting each time and I never got an AoO. After that experience I looked for ways to stop it and found Step Up.

phantom1592 wrote:
now YOU get to full attack him instead of chasing him down and getting that single attack.

Except losing the AoO is about a 33-50% damage decrease. And the enemy melee is generally weaker than the archer...who already has high HP and AC. Which means he can realistically just laugh and mow them down point blank if he has PBM if they're just exchanging full attacks.

phantom1592 wrote:
I don't understand how the archer is always in melee

He's not. He's careful about positioning to make sure he's NOT in melee the vast majority of the time. Which is what I'd like to see him continue to do, versus saying "LOL got PBM why worry?"

phantom1592 wrote:
Those paladin stats actually look okay to me.

He's not focusing on strength and isn't using a 2H weapon, so he's completely worthless. Completely. Worthless.

Note: the above is sarcasm, to be clear.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
How dare the player actually care and want his PC to do well with the thing that he's designed to do well at!

I'm not mad at the player for wanting to take the feat. I'm mad at Paizo for the feat existing :P Same with Snap Shot. Same with a bunch of power creep in newer books. All I've said to him when he mentioned he was considering the feat was something along the lines of "Oh, interesting."

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Deflect (and even Snatch) Arrows is another good counter....There's also Missile Shield, which functions very identically, but with a shield instead.

Doesn't really help vs Trolls or Gators, but yeah. I was trying to stick to CRB only spells/feats/classes for enemies, both for my own benefit and for the benefit of people even newer, so I was trying to avoid Missile Shield. There was a boss (Fighter/Rogue hybrid) who had Deflect Arrows, and could work in some enemy monks.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Not to mention, Grappling him, or Sundering/Disarming his weapons (the latter being less cruel) are also solid and worthwhile tactics for enemies to employ, and makes simply approaching the Archer a threat all on its own.

I'd rather Trip him, but yeah. If he goes with the feat I'll probably start using more combat maneuvers against him. Which I dislike since then it changes it from being HIS choice ("Do I fire and provoke or try to reposition, need to figure out what to do") to MY choice ("Well, the GM tripped me, crap").

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
most notably, requiring specific class levels

I don't really buy that logic. If Point Blank Master was "You gain 20 AB and 40 damage when firing within 15 feet" I don't think anyone would be saying "That's totally okay because it has very specific requirements."

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
All I can tell you is to be very thankful that he didn't wise up to the idea of picking up an Animal Companion he can ride through his Nature Bond

Since he's a Fighter that would be rather difficult...

>.>


Well, you obviously know better than everyone else in this topic does. May as well just ban the feat.


Balkoth wrote:
Since he's a Fighter that would be rather difficult...

Easy to do, just take Nature Soul, Animal Ally, Boon Companion.

Fighter can have PBS, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Manyshot, plus an animal companion equal to their level at level 7, with a feat to spare if they're human. Spend that extra feat on Mounted Combat, and at level 8 get Mounted Archery...


Already suggested that upthread. Why it hasn't been done already, we won't know.

@ Balkoth: Power Creep (or more accurately, bloat) in a system like this is bound to happen, since you're getting players that want more and more options to cover their vast imaginations of campaigns and characters. When players look at the existing options and say "Wow, I wish there was an X type of option," that's basically a green light for the publishers to create X option because there's a demand for it. Nobody's suggesting you have to use the feats or options being freshly created, only that they're there if you want to use them. Since you don't want your players to use the feat, then you should just ban it like you would your other options that you decided that need to be banned. I mean, you're the GM, you have every right to do that, and if the player doesn't like it, he's more than welcome to find a table that allows it.

Missile Shield is an APG feat, and is one of the sources you've explicitly allowed, so you should be A-OK to use it on any shield user, and is actually a decent feat. A Shield-based Fighter would actually take both that and Ray Shield, as it's a fairly solid feat.

Just because you trip him doesn't mean he can't shoot you on the ground, making it a not-so-good tactic. The only time I'd recommend it would be if the person tripping has Greater Trip (and therefore a successful trip provokes), and/or the archer is surrounded (and has nowhere to go but up, provoking 8 or so attacks of opportunity). Barring those circumstances, Disarm/Sunder/Grapple is much more devastating and serves as a better counter. Tripping an archer is only a minor inconvenience.

Changing what Point Blank Master says it does to try and create a counterargument is a strawman tactic. Point Blank Master doesn't do that, and it has never done that. The fact that I need to have Weapon Specialization, which requires 4 levels of Fighter to acquire (and is by no means a very powerful feat), in order to take Point Blank Master, already tells you that not everybody is going to be able to take this feat. At best, Fighters, certain Rangers, Brawlers, and certain Magi can take Weapon Specialization (and by relation, Point Blank Master). That's it. It's a very selective crowd of people, even though there are multitudes of other ranged-based classes that can equally benefit from it.

I thought the person in question was a Ranger. My bad. You should be thankful it's only a Fighter, since Rangers are much better at archery than a Fighter could ever be.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Just because you trip him doesn't mean he can't shoot you on the ground, making it a not-so-good tactic.

Huh? Am I missing something?

Prone: The character is lying on the ground. A prone attacker has a –4 penalty on melee attack rolls and cannot use a ranged weapon (except for a crossbow). A prone defender gains a +4 bonus to Armor Class against ranged attacks, but takes a –4 penalty to AC against melee attacks.

Standing up is a move-equivalent action that provokes an attack of opportunity.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The fact that I need to have Weapon Specialization, which requires 4 levels of Fighter to acquire (and is by no means a very powerful feat), in order to take Point Blank Master already tells you that not everybody is going to be able to take this feat. At best, Fighters, certain Rangers, Brawlers, and certain Magi can take Weapon Specialization (and by relation, Point Blank Master). That's it. It's a very selective crowd of people, even though there are multitudes of other ranged-based classes that can equally benefit from it.

Everyone keeps forgetting about the Zen Archer Monks, who get it at third level :D Your point still stands though, because the Zen Archers are a specific archetype of a class most people avoid anyway.


Balkoth wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Just because you trip him doesn't mean he can't shoot you on the ground, making it a not-so-good tactic.

Huh? Am I missing something?

Prone: The character is lying on the ground. A prone attacker has a –4 penalty on melee attack rolls and cannot use a ranged weapon (except for a crossbow). A prone defender gains a +4 bonus to Armor Class against ranged attacks, but takes a –4 penalty to AC against melee attacks.

Standing up is a move-equivalent action that provokes an attack of opportunity.

I forget that clause. Then again, I'm usually almost never tripped when it comes to making ranged attacks, so I never run into that issue.

Either way, Disarming, Sundering, and Grappling are also valid tactics to use, and are much more effective.


NewXToa wrote:
Everyone keeps forgetting about the Zen Archer Monks, who get it at third level :D Your point still stands though, because the Zen Archers are a specific archetype of a class most people avoid anyway.

For a while, the ZAM was one of the stronger archer builds. So I don't think it should be forgotten, and I don't know if people avoid monks (because a lot of people love the flavor) so much as "realize that they're pretty weak without some delicate system mastery."


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Easy to do, just take Nature Soul, Animal Ally, Boon Companion.

Looks like Nature Soul and Animal Ally would require not just the feats but additional books.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Already suggested that upthread. Why it hasn't been done already, we won't know.

I wanted to see if there were reasonable alternatives. And there have been some reasonable alternatives mentioned. But I'm not sure if the player involved wants me to start using those reasonable alternatives, I'll probably give him a choice of taking the feat but enemies upping their tactics in response or skipping the feat.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Changing what Point Blank Master says it does to try and create a counterargument is a strawman tactic.

I wasn't making a counterargument. I was pointing out that claiming "Well only X can do Y" isn't a valid argument for Y being balanced. Y could easily be something incredibly overpowered OR incredibly weak and still only be accessible to X.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Either way, Disarming, Sundering, and Grappling are also valid tactics to use, and are much more effective.

Sure, if my goal is to be effective I can make enemies who only wield 1 weapon with an open offhand (for Deflect Arrows) so they can disarm and then snatch the bow from the archer. Hahaha now the archer doesn't even have a bow. But that's more being a dick. Ditto Sundering (how many magical bows will the archer go through in this campaign? Find out next time!), somewhat ditto Grappling.

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