Discordant Voice and Inspire Courage is way over-powered


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Matthew Downie wrote:
It adds +15% chance to hit. If your chance to hit before was 15%, your chance to hit with the extra +3 is 30%. (Which would increase DPR by 100%!)

That's true if -- and only if -- you're not at either end of the RNG. If your attack bonus is +10 and you're attacking AC 40, the +3 grants you a +0% chance to hit. Likewise, if your attack bonus is +10 and you're attacking AC 10, the +3 to hit isn't doing much for you. So the +10% estimate is actually probably pretty close -- closer, in fact, than your "corrected" value.


+15% is only incorrect at those extremes, which isn't not normally the case. Obviously it doesn't apply when you only fail to hit on a 1 or can only hit on 20 (even after the bonuses).

Anywhere else, and it adds a 15 absolute percent to your chance to hit.

So no, it's not actually closer than the corrected value, it just needed the correct limits to be stated, and those limits would still apply to the statement the original person made.

Liberty's Edge

I never said it wad a wrong answer. Just that imo the DC to identify a caster should vary depending on one being obvious at casting a spell. One that goes out of his way to remain hidden or subtle the DC should be much higher. Of course a player can metagame and insist both are casters. Even if one attacking from range and/or hidden

Given most fantasy rpg campaign they have tendancy to make caster obvious such as Forgotten Realms and Golarion. That is not the case in home brew campaigns. The payer might rwaluze its a caster. The chatacter being played at least for the first few levels should not know its a caster


With so many martials, who almost always benefit from multiple attacks, the spell Slow could help things from getting too out of hand in tough fights.


memorax wrote:
Just that imo the DC to identify a caster should vary depending on one being obvious at casting a spell.

This is patently ridiculous, though.

We're not identifying casters as a caster. We are identifying the caster as the person in the adventuring party who is not wearing armor. The conclusion that the unarmored person is a caster is a conclusion, not an identification, and a conclusion based on an assumption that number of people on this thread have (correctly) identified as reasonable but not ironclad.

So what's the DC to know that an unarmored person is probably a caster (and, more specifically, a wizard, arcanist, or sorcerer)? Bear in mind that the other two major choices are "monk" or "idiot." Even brawlers typically wear light armor.

Liberty's Edge

I guess we will have to agree to disagree. Magic being versatile a caster can either use illusion or a disguise to himself. Someone using magic can be a Cleric, Bard, Druid, or any other casting class. I tend to buy a wand of Silent Image so that i can confuse enemies. While using a decoy might not be the best or cost effective option is a option. I guess my characters and npcs tend do do more than advertise their presence to the players.


With the PCs close together (not too unusual I guess) spells like glitterdust could cause blindness on failed will saves in a 10' radius. Probably enough to effect about 3 players I guess.

Different wall spells could temporarily keep one or more PC out of a fight temporarily.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Java Joe wrote:
+3 adds about 10% chance for every attack to hit.
It adds +15% chance to hit. If your chance to hit before was 15%, your chance to hit with the extra +3 is 30%. (Which would increase DPR by 100%!)
That's true if -- and only if -- you're not at either end of the RNG. If your attack bonus is +10 and you're attacking AC 40, the +3 grants you a +0% chance to hit. Likewise, if your attack bonus is +10 and you're attacking AC 10, the +3 to hit isn't doing much for you. So the +10% estimate is actually probably pretty close -- closer, in fact, than your "corrected" value.

In general, 15% is a pretty significant underestimate of your increased hit % from +3 attack.

If you normally hit on a 19 or 20, +3 to hit increases your hit % by 150%. You used to hit 10% of the time. You now hit 25% of the time. Out of 100 hits, you now on average land 25 instead of 10. That's not a 10% increased chance to hit (which would be landing 11 hits on average), which is the common meaning of "increases your chance to hit by 10%".

Even if you normally hit on a 5, it's actually a 20% increase in your hit rate to get a +3 attack bonus.

You are correct that at the far extremes of 'AC - attack bonus,' there is no benefit. But in region where there is any non-zero effect to adding attack bonus, the average benefit is about +60% chance to hit. In the more common region where players need 10 or less to hit, it's about a +25% increase in chance to hit.

Claxon gets around it to an extent by talking about '15 absolute %,' but even that's pretty misleading. It's like a bank increasing the interest rate on your loan from 1% to 2% and saving "the interest rate was increased by 1%." Your interest rate was increased by 100% (doubled). Your interest rate was increased by 1 "percentage point."

Describing +3 to hit as a '+15% chance to hit' is ambiguous at best, and (probably accidentally) muddies the waters in terms of the effect the buff has on the performance of a party.


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memorax wrote:
While using a decoy might not be the best or cost effective option is a option.

Yes, but it's also a tactically stupid option and one that the party need not take seriously.

Here's an example for you to mull over.

Your opponent -- a single opponent, for simplicity -- is a male halfling, wearing a chain shirt, and wielding a pair of Small short swords. One of the swords is flaming (in other words, obviously magical). At his hip, but not wielded, is a small hand crossbow. What do you assess his role and tactical options to be?

My analysis:

* Male is irrelevant; Pathfinder is a gender-neutral system.
* Halfling suggests not-a-frontline fighter; between the smaller weapons and the reduced CMD, he would have a hard time keeping the baddies away.
* Halflings are high-Dex, high-Charisma races, suggesting that he'd make a good Dex-based skirmisher just from native talent.
* Chain shirt (light armor) again suggests that he's not a frontliner. If he's expecting to take hits, he should be wearing more metal.
* Chain shirt also flatly rules out druid, as that would ruin spellcasting. The absence of a pet supports this.
* Chain shirt probably rules out monk, too. Too many class features lost.
* Paired light weapons suggests a two-weapon fighter. This is supported by the fact that he's a halfling (high-Dex).
* One magic weapon suggests that he's not a complete newbie, and therefore he knows what he's doing. On the other hand, it also means he could afford better (heavier) armor if he wanted it, so he's probably capped at light. This rules out almost all of the classes with medium armor proficiency or better.
* Hand crossbow is not a weapon one sees very often, suggesting that it's an exotic weapon. This means he's got feats (or class bonuses) to spend on improving his mundane combat capacity. Two-weapon fighting supports this, as this is a feat-heavy combat style.
* A primary caster would not have wasted two feats on exotic weapons and TWF; a primary arcane caster would need to add armor proficiency to that list. There are better things for a Sor/Wiz/Psy to spend feats on, so... not a sorcerer, wizard, or psychic. Indeed, most of the occult classes can be ruled out.
* No obviously accessible holy symbol, despite being very important for clerics and similar divine casters. Probably not a cleric, not likely to be another divine caster.
* No spell component pouch supports the idea of not being a caster. Bard is an outside possibility.
* No instrument argues against bard, but not strongly, because bards can sing. However, bards also generally have better things to do with their feats than TWL and exotic weapon proficiency.
* So what's left? We're dialing into rogue, aren't we? Brawler is another possibility, but brawlers are seriously handicapped by a lack of CMB/CMD. A bard who doesn't care about casting is another possibility, but in that case, he's still tactically a skirmisher, not a caster. Slayer might work, but they get medium armor -- ditto ranger. So I'm thinking he's almost certainly a skirmisher, probably a rogue.

Which part of that was supposed to be something that wouldn't be known by any competent adventurer?

Now, of course, you're right. It might be a really stupid cleric. It might be a clever illusion cast by an invisible caster. It might be a doppleganger. I'm not going to believe that my particular line of reasoning is ironclad. But when I make my own plans for dealing with him, I'm going to leave "doppleganger" as plan D or E, and go with plan A initially.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
As for picking out a "wizard" he could be an arcanist or even a witch, but really it doesn't matter. You know he is the magic guy who is causing problems so he needs to die. The point is that certain people do certain things, and it is not difficult to make an educated guess as to what they do if PC classes are around enough for people to know about them, and since there are spellcasting services and "fighter kits" it makes sense that people have some idea that people are trained to have certain skill sets.
If it's a common enough tactic to target NPC dressed and/or acting a certain way, then surely enemies would exploit this to distract and draw attention by using decoys, no?

Not necessarily. Who are you going to get to be the decoy? You will lose more in tactical positioning and in survivability by stripping the front-line paladin down to his scanties and putting him twenty feet back than you will gain from the attacks he will draw.

Are you familiar with (American, gridiron) football? There's a concept in that game of a "trick play" or a "gadget play," where you do something unusual precisely to get your opponent, for example, to focus on the wrong person. These plays can be very effective from time-to-time. They can also backfire horribly, because the structure and rules of the game, as well as the laws of physics, strongly suggest playing in a conventional manner. That's why "trick plays" are typically used sparingly, and only by the team that is trailing at any given time.

You also need to be careful about what kind of "trick" you pull. While it might distract the opposing football team to have the quarterback play offensive tackle and an offensive tackle play quarterback,.... well, the quarterback isn't strong enough and doesn't have the skills to play in the line, and the tackle can't run or throw worth toffee. I don't see how the distraction will turn into an actual advantage, like, points on the board, when the OT...

I'm mostly talking about tactics for larger groups of NPCs.

You have a bunch of orcs, with some real bruisers up front, but you stick a bunch of scrubs in back pretending to be bards/witches/etc... and you might get the party to focus on them, making them attack through cover, obstacles, and maybe even difficult terrain. All while getting pounded on by the bruisers.

For example.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
memorax wrote:
While using a decoy might not be the best or cost effective option is a option.

Yes, but it's also a tactically stupid option and one that the party need not take seriously.

Here's an example for you to mull over.

Your opponent -- a single opponent, for simplicity -- is a male halfling, wearing a chain shirt, and wielding a pair of Small short swords. One of the swords is flaming (in other words, obviously magical). At his hip, but not wielded, is a small hand crossbow. What do you assess his role and tactical options to be?

** spoiler omitted **...

Why would an example of when a decoy wouldn't work well suggest that, in general, using decoys would be a bad tactic?


_Ozy_ wrote:


Why would an example of when a decoy wouldn't work well suggest that, in general, using decoys would be a bad tactic?

Because decoys are, almost by definition, playing out of their role. Put a wizard or a druid into full plate and they stop being effective casters. Take a fighter or a paladin out of full plate and they stop being effective damage sponges. Give a zen archer a pair of short swords and his ability to deliver damage drops immensely, but the TWF rogue with a longbow has the same problem.

Now, if you've got useless wastes of space, you don't lose much by putting them somewhere and hoping that someone confuses them for combat effectives, because there's not much there to lose. But by the same token, those won't be particularly effective decoys, because they'll be destroyed so quickly. And in that case, why are you carrying useless wastes of space around with you in the first place?


Orfamay Quest wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:


Why would an example of when a decoy wouldn't work well suggest that, in general, using decoys would be a bad tactic?

Because decoys are, almost by definition, playing out of their role. Put a wizard or a druid into full plate and they stop being effective casters. Take a fighter or a paladin out of full plate and they stop being effective damage sponges. Give a zen archer a pair of short swords and his ability to deliver damage drops immensely, but the TWF rogue with a longbow has the same problem.

Now, if you've got useless wastes of space, you don't lose much by putting them somewhere and hoping that someone confuses them for combat effectives, because there's not much there to lose. But by the same token, those won't be particularly effective decoys, because they'll be destroyed so quickly. And in that case, why are you carrying useless wastes of space around with you in the first place?

Glamered armors and weapons could be particularly effective here. Nothing says that full plate and a greatsword can't look like normal clothing and a rod (until you attack with it and that is suppressed for 1 min). Similarly, spell component pouches don't necessarily look all that different from other belt pouches, which are common equipment.

That wouldn't likely won't be effective for the whole combat (because the character will be acting wrong and in the wrong positions), but it could help confuse the enemies initially, which is often enough to gain a tactical advantage.


Cheburn wrote:


Glamered armors and weapons could be particularly effective here.

Glamered armor, yes. Glamered, though, is an armor property, not a weapon property, so by RAW it's not available. Glamered armor starts to add up quickly, though. Not only are we dealing with the 2700 gp cost of the enchantment itself, but we also need to pay for the base +1 enchantment on the armor and for the masterwork component as well. It's going to start being really expensive to kit out all of your minions that way.

Quote:


That wouldn't likely won't be effective for the whole combat (because the character will be acting wrong and in the wrong positions), but it could help confuse the enemies initially, which is often enough to gain a tactical advantage.

It could help, yes. Gadget plays often do. But they also often blow up it your face. Essentially, you're trading for the possibility of a tactical advantage brought on by confusion, but you're offering the dead certainty that you'll be out of position and out of role, which are a tactical disadvantage. In the long run, I can't help but feel that trading a guaranteed problem for a possible edge is a bad trade.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Glamer is actually now also a weapon quality. :-)


captain yesterday wrote:
Glamer is actually now also a weapon quality. :-)

Is it? I didn't know. Well, that just makes it even more expensive to kit out all my minions. I think I'd be better off with potions of disguise self,... except that still doesn't address the 100% chance of disadvantage vs 50% chance of advantage issue.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:


Why would an example of when a decoy wouldn't work well suggest that, in general, using decoys would be a bad tactic?

Because decoys are, almost by definition, playing out of their role. Put a wizard or a druid into full plate and they stop being effective casters. Take a fighter or a paladin out of full plate and they stop being effective damage sponges. Give a zen archer a pair of short swords and his ability to deliver damage drops immensely, but the TWF rogue with a longbow has the same problem.

Now, if you've got useless wastes of space, you don't lose much by putting them somewhere and hoping that someone confuses them for combat effectives, because there's not much there to lose. But by the same token, those won't be particularly effective decoys, because they'll be destroyed so quickly.

Not if they are difficult to get to, but draw attention anyways. It focuses the party's attention on that task while ignoring the more effective threats that are an immediate danger.

Quote:
And in that case, why are you carrying useless wastes of space around with you in the first place?

You go to battle with the CR-rated orc squad you have, not the orc squad you wish you had.


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_Ozy_ wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
And in that case, why are you carrying useless wastes of space around with you in the first place?
You go to battle with the CR-rated orc squad you have, not the orc squad you wish you had.

So.... wait a minute. I've got the CR-rated orc squad I have, but somehow I am supposed to be getting glamered weapons and armor out of the supply sergeant for them?

How about I swap a 5000 gp magic sword for a couple dozen ogres?


Orfamay Quest wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Glamer is actually now also a weapon quality. :-)
Is it? I didn't know. Well, that just makes it even more expensive to kit out all my minions. I think I'd be better off with potions of disguise self,... except that still doesn't address the 100% chance of disadvantage vs 50% chance of advantage issue.

To clarify, I was posting in a hurry and was discussing using a decoy in the party, rather than in a group of NPCs. Glamered weapons or armor are too expensive for most NPCs, though proper use of Illusion spells can mislead parties pretty effectively.


Cheburn wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Java Joe wrote:
+3 adds about 10% chance for every attack to hit.
It adds +15% chance to hit. If your chance to hit before was 15%, your chance to hit with the extra +3 is 30%. (Which would increase DPR by 100%!)
That's true if -- and only if -- you're not at either end of the RNG. If your attack bonus is +10 and you're attacking AC 40, the +3 grants you a +0% chance to hit. Likewise, if your attack bonus is +10 and you're attacking AC 10, the +3 to hit isn't doing much for you. So the +10% estimate is actually probably pretty close -- closer, in fact, than your "corrected" value.

In general, 15% is a pretty significant underestimate of your increased hit % from +3 attack.

If you normally hit on a 19 or 20, +3 to hit increases your hit % by 150%. You used to hit 10% of the time. You now hit 25% of the time. Out of 100 hits, you now on average land 25 instead of 10. That's not a 10% increased chance to hit (which would be landing 11 hits on average), which is the common meaning of "increases your chance to hit by 10%".

Even if you normally hit on a 5, it's actually a 20% increase in your hit rate to get a +3 attack bonus.

You are correct that at the far extremes of 'AC - attack bonus,' there is no benefit. But in region where there is any non-zero effect to adding attack bonus, the average benefit is about +60% chance to hit. In the more common region where players need 10 or less to hit, it's about a +25% increase in chance to hit.

Claxon gets around it to an extent by talking about '15 absolute %,' but even that's pretty misleading. It's like a bank increasing the interest rate on your loan from 1% to 2% and saving "the interest rate was increased by 1%." Your interest rate was increased by 100% (doubled). Your interest rate was increased by 1 "percentage point."

Describing +3 to hit as a '+15% chance to hit' is ambiguous at best, and (probably accidentally) muddies the waters in terms of the effect the buff has on the...

This is why I assumed everyone always talked about absolute percentage, because it would be impossible to talk about relative percentage unless we knew the specifics of a build and the target they are attacking.

And absolute percentage is only misleading if you don't understand how absolute percentages versus relative percentages are calculated.

I actually feel that relative percentages are the misleading ones, because it's not looking at the chance to succeed at an individual attack, but rather a comparison of how much more likely you are to succeed now than you were before. However, it's dependent on a lot of variables that one simply can't know unless you're there at the table at the moment. So it just doesn't really make much sense to discuss in my opinion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

The question isn't whether decoys could or couldn't be effective, but rather whether is is "metagaming" to make a set of working hypothesis base on observations of what the opponent is doing/wearing/etc, and then determining an effective counter measure. Should your average PC be able to make reasonable inferences? You see someone cast a spell, you can probably safely assume he/she is a spellcaster. It could be an illusion and you could be being duped but I think I'll take the bait and try to stop the caster taking actions. Could a bunch of orcs really be ogres with an illusion spell on them? Sure but I'm going to assume they are orcs until I know differently. The guy singing in the back may or may not be a bard. In a world of magic, classes, and well defined roles for those classes, it just doesn't seem unreasonable to make that any PC should be capable of making those kinds of assessments with or without a skill check. They may be wrong but so what.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
And in that case, why are you carrying useless wastes of space around with you in the first place?
You go to battle with the CR-rated orc squad you have, not the orc squad you wish you had.

So.... wait a minute. I've got the CR-rated orc squad I have, but somehow I am supposed to be getting glamered weapons and armor out of the supply sergeant for them?

How about I swap a 5000 gp magic sword for a couple dozen ogres?

Wtf are you even talking about?

I'm talking about taking some low CR scrubs, handing them a flute or some robes, and have them stand in back pretending to be a bard or witch or something.

If the party takes them seriously, then they will try to get to them, through the bruisers, through cover, through obstacles, over difficult terrain, and make the encounter more difficult than if they had ignored them.

That's called tactics, and your insistence on scoffing at this relatively simple, and perhaps sometimes effective use of tactics makes me wonder whether or not you ate your Wheaties this morning.

Liberty's Edge

I see it as a differences in styles. One person msy think decoys are a waste of time. Some like myself dont think its a waste of time. Either position i think is valid.


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memorax wrote:
I see it as a differences in styles. One person msy think decoys are a waste of time. Some like myself dont think its a waste of time. Either position i think is valid.

I think this is something that could be objectively determined. Try it on a party of PCs and see how well it works.

If they spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get to the decoys, then it is an objectively good tactic. If the decoys routinely get ignored, then it is only a good tactic if you switch things up and put a real bard in, who also gets ignored because they think it's a decoy.

Seems to me the tactic only sucks if the players are always 'in the know', somehow, and act accordingly.

Liberty's Edge

_Ozy_ wrote:


Seems to me the tactic only sucks if the players are always 'in the know', somehow, and act accordingly.

It seems some want their characters to always be "in the know". Which to me is the definition of metagaming imo. I think players forget that what they know their character should not in some cases. I had players who knew I ran the Rise of the Runelords AP then was a player. Some at the table get trying to get information about the AP. As the DM I knew what to expect. I refused to metagame. Even if it meant costing the lives of my character and others.

At the same time I'm not saying players should be cluesless either. Espcially if they took the time to roll Knowledge Checks and roleplay by studying the enemy. Or if they fight the same enemy over and over they get to know what a band of Orcs can do and who are the Bards etc..


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Well sure. The flipside is the DM always making sure that the players are fooled, no matter how smart or tactical they try to be. That's no good either.

A good balance makes for more interesting and enjoyable play for everyone.


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_Ozy_ wrote:
memorax wrote:
I see it as a differences in styles. One person msy think decoys are a waste of time. Some like myself dont think its a waste of time. Either position i think is valid.

I think this is something that could be objectively determined. Try it on a party of PCs and see how well it works.

If they spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get to the decoys, then it is an objectively good tactic. If the decoys routinely get ignored, then it is only a good tactic if you switch things up and put a real bard in, who also gets ignored because they think it's a decoy.

Seems to me the tactic only sucks if the players are always 'in the know', somehow, and act accordingly.

I think the viability of decoy tactics also depends a lot on stuff like party composition. If the group has a dedicated archer, a couple decoy CR 1/3 guys in the back row just means that his first couple arrows kill them instead of knocking some HP off one of the frontliners. Even worse if the group has someone like an evoker who'll just AoE damage everyone regardless of shenanigans.

By the same token, there are definitely times when the tradeoff for decoy tactics is pretty small. If someone's running a monk, having the guy wear robes and a wizard hat instead of monk robes isn't exactly a huge problem.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:

"Wizards wear robes" is a declarative mostly-true statement, like "birds fly," or "mammals bear live young," or "cows say 'moo'." Yes, penguins exist, and so there are isolated exceptions, but the simple statement that "birds fly" is known to every four year old, even when there are no birds in sight.

And knowing this particular fact does not depend in any way on the situation at the time, or even the presence of a wizard.

You're not wrong, but monks also wear robes and most tactics that work on a wizard get monks to knee you in the groin.

Sixteen times.

In one round.

Because monks.

Liberty's Edge

Chengar Qordath wrote:


I think the viability of decoy tactics also depends a lot on stuff like party composition. If the group has a dedicated archer, a couple decoy CR 1/3 guys in the back row just means that his first couple arrows kill them instead of knocking some HP off one of the frontliners. Even worse if the group has someone like an evoker who'll just AoE damage everyone regardless of shenanigans.

The archer is still wasting his actions taking out the decoys. Granted easily but it's less attacks on the primary target. I agree about someone with AOE style spells. Decoy or not they are still getting affected.

Chengar Qordath wrote:


By the same token, there are definitely times when the tradeoff for decoy tactics is pretty small. If someone's running a monk, having the guy wear robes and a wizard hat instead of monk robes isn't exactly a huge problem.

Agreed and seconded.

_Ozy_ wrote:

Well sure. The flipside is the DM always making sure that the players are fooled, no matter how smart or tactical they try to be. That's no good either.

It's not a good thing I agree and as you said a good balance needs to be found.


Add +1 APL and adjust your CR accordingly until it is no longer a problem.


_Ozy_ wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
As for picking out a "wizard" he could be an arcanist or even a witch, but really it doesn't matter. You know he is the magic guy who is causing problems so he needs to die. The point is that certain people do certain things, and it is not difficult to make an educated guess as to what they do if PC classes are around enough for people to know about them, and since there are spellcasting services and "fighter kits" it makes sense that people have some idea that people are trained to have certain skill sets.
If it's a common enough tactic to target NPC dressed and/or acting a certain way, then surely enemies would exploit this to distract and draw attention by using decoys, no?

That is a corner case, and how will this happen?

Also even if someone can fake being the arcane caster I will take my chances, and be right mow of the time. So my point still stands. I would also think that the real arcane caster, if there is one, can will do more dangerous stuff so he will still get targeted even if he delays it for a round.

edit: It is not common until the GM makes it common in a game, just like using antiscrying spells to prevent scry and fry from happening is not common until the GM starts to use it to prevent the tactic.

Going back to the example of the decoy it just eats into the CR, and makes the battle easier if it is a common thing to do so eventually it just goes back to it not happening more than it does happen.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
memorax wrote:
While using a decoy might not be the best or cost effective option is a option.

Yes, but it's also a tactically stupid option and one that the party need not take seriously.

Here's an example for you to mull over.

Your opponent -- a single opponent, for simplicity -- is a male halfling, wearing a chain shirt, and wielding a pair of Small short swords. One of the swords is flaming (in other words, obviously magical). At his hip, but not wielded, is a small hand crossbow. What do you assess his role and tactical options to be?

** spoiler omitted **...

I wouldn't try to guess, not based on clothing alone. He could be any number of classes. Once I see what he does I will form a threat assessment and then respond.


wraithstrike wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
As for picking out a "wizard" he could be an arcanist or even a witch, but really it doesn't matter. You know he is the magic guy who is causing problems so he needs to die. The point is that certain people do certain things, and it is not difficult to make an educated guess as to what they do if PC classes are around enough for people to know about them, and since there are spellcasting services and "fighter kits" it makes sense that people have some idea that people are trained to have certain skill sets.
If it's a common enough tactic to target NPC dressed and/or acting a certain way, then surely enemies would exploit this to distract and draw attention by using decoys, no?

That is a corner case, and how will this happen?

Also even if someone can fake being the arcane caster I will take my chances, and be right mow of the time. So my point still stands. I would also think that the real arcane caster, if there is one, can will do more dangerous stuff so he will still get targeted even if he delays it for a round.

edit: It is not common until the GM makes it common in a game, just like using antiscrying spells to prevent scry and fry from happening is not common until the GM starts to use it to prevent the tactic.

Going back to the example of the decoy it just eats into the CR, and makes the battle easier if it is a common thing to do so eventually it just goes back to it not happening more than it does happen.

How does it make the battle easier if a non-threat that is difficult to engage attracts the players attention and actions until it is dealt with? I don't understand the logic here.


_Ozy_ wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
As for picking out a "wizard" he could be an arcanist or even a witch, but really it doesn't matter. You know he is the magic guy who is causing problems so he needs to die. The point is that certain people do certain things, and it is not difficult to make an educated guess as to what they do if PC classes are around enough for people to know about them, and since there are spellcasting services and "fighter kits" it makes sense that people have some idea that people are trained to have certain skill sets.
If it's a common enough tactic to target NPC dressed and/or acting a certain way, then surely enemies would exploit this to distract and draw attention by using decoys, no?

That is a corner case, and how will this happen?

Also even if someone can fake being the arcane caster I will take my chances, and be right mow of the time. So my point still stands. I would also think that the real arcane caster, if there is one, can will do more dangerous stuff so he will still get targeted even if he delays it for a round.

edit: It is not common until the GM makes it common in a game, just like using antiscrying spells to prevent scry and fry from happening is not common until the GM starts to use it to prevent the tactic.

Going back to the example of the decoy it just eats into the CR, and makes the battle easier if it is a common thing to do so eventually it just goes back to it not happening more than it does happen.

How does it make the battle easier if a non-threat that is difficult to engage attracts the players attention and actions until it is dealt with? I don't understand the logic here.

Because a resource(the enemy) used improperly is not as effective. It is like a flea flicker play in football where the running back is throwing the ball. It might work once or twice, but most of the time it results in interceptions.

You also have to account for the fact that this trick is not going to always work, and the resource expenditure put into trying to cause what might be a 1 round delay is not going to be in the favor of whoever tries it most of the time.

Now if you can trick someone for several rounds consistently that is different, but myself and the players I gave gamed for won't be fooled so easily. <-------admittedly anecdotal evidence.

I guess how well someone expects for this to be a good ongoing tactic will depend on their gaming experience.


Claxon wrote:
Cheburn wrote:
Describing +3 to hit as a '+15% chance to hit' is ambiguous at best, and (probably accidentally) muddies the waters in terms of the effect

This is why I assumed everyone always talked about absolute percentage, because it would be impossible to talk about relative percentage unless we knew the specifics of a build and the target they are attacking.

And absolute percentage is only misleading if you don't understand how absolute percentages versus relative percentages are calculated.

I actually feel that relative percentages are the misleading ones, because it's not looking at the chance to succeed at an individual attack, but rather a comparison of how much more likely you are to succeed now than you were before. However, it's dependent on a lot of variables that one simply can't know unless you're there at the table at the moment. So it just doesn't really make much sense to discuss in my opinion.

It's always hard to talk about this stuff because even the minority of people who understand probability and percentages often use ambiguous language. I have no idea what the average person would think I meant if I said "a ten percent increase in accuracy".

Note that my original comment gave both an increase (absolute) in hit rate and a (relative) increase in DPR.

If the group's average hit rate before was 60% (iterative hit rates of 85%/60%/35% sound vaguely plausible to me), then with the buff the hit rate becomes 75%. This is an absolute increase of 15%, and a relative increase of 25%. To me the relative increase is the probably the more significant one, because that's what how much your DPR will improve. A buff that gives the entire party +3 to hit will (for this situation) increase the party's martial DPR by 25%. If the buff also increases their damage per hit by 10%, then those two bonuses effectively multiply. Total DPR increase: 37.5%.


Kill the bard? If he is within 30 feet of the melee attackes, he is within 30 feet of enemies, that is mostly a move action away from being attacked.


wraithstrike wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
memorax wrote:
While using a decoy might not be the best or cost effective option is a option.

Yes, but it's also a tactically stupid option and one that the party need not take seriously.

Here's an example for you to mull over.

Your opponent -- a single opponent, for simplicity -- is a male halfling, wearing a chain shirt, and wielding a pair of Small short swords. One of the swords is flaming (in other words, obviously magical). At his hip, but not wielded, is a small hand crossbow. What do you assess his role and tactical options to be?

I wouldn't try to guess, not based on clothing alone. He could be any number of classes. Once I see what he does I will form a threat assessment and then respond.

<Shrug>. Then you're a poor tactician. "Once I see what he does" implicitly surrenders the initiative to your opponent and deprives you of an opportunity to control the terms of engagement.

Yes, he "could be" any number of classes, but are you seriously worried about the possibility that a dual-wielding halfling in a chain shirt is a druid? Medical students have an aphorism for just this occasion: "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras." In medicine, these "zebras" can cause serious problems, even death, because of the delay they cause in taking common-sense actions. [Wikipedia, for example, describes how "necrotic skin lesions in the United States are often diagnosed as loxoscelism (recluse spider bites), even in areas where Loxosceles species are rare or not present."]

In Pathfinder, these zebras can also cause serious problems, even death, because while you're worrying about while the guy in robes in the back of the party might be a paladin-out-of-armor and waiting for him to take an action, the wizard is actually casting a standard-action summon monster XVII and you're now facing a pit fiend's elder brother.


Here is a basic problem with decoys tactics. One, the enemy has to know why the decoys present a threat, and two, they have to be tempting enough to worth the risk.

_Ozy_ wrote:
How does it make the battle easier if a non-threat that is difficult to engage attracts the players attention and actions until it is dealt with? I don't understand the logic here.

Why? Because:

1. If is a non-threat, how would it attract attention?
2. If is difficult to engage, why bother?

Thus, it stop being a good decoy and only a target for later.

Decoys, metagaming (on classes and monsters) and DMs always trying to fool the party are all valid tactics. None of those are going to work all the time; they all have the same problem. When you realise that what you know is not reliable any longer, you would change your tactics.

And for the OP, there are hundreds of ways to start a fight that would solve your problem without relaying in "silence". A wolf, with an int of 2, may never (if it can avoid it) attack a bear... 5 wolves, might... and 10 positively. Now, what do you think a party of creatures with an int higher than 6 might do? What actions might they take when they realise that they are being butchered?


wraithstrike wrote:
Because a resource(the enemy) used improperly is not as effective. It is like a flea flicker play in football where the running back is throwing the ball. It might work once or twice, but most of the time it results in interceptions.

Yeah, this. Standard tactics are standard because they work. If non-standard tactics worked, they would quickly become the standard. There's a reason, for example, why the magus who specializes in shocking grasp is so boringly omnipresent; it's a tactic that works well. Specializing in ray of enfeeblement would certainly be a surprise,... but it would also not work as well.

As a general rule, the only reliably good tactics are orthodox ones, because the unorthodox tactics that are reliably good quickly become orthodox. Similarly, the orthodox tactics that don't work stop being orthodox.

Quote:
You also have to account for the fact that this trick is not going to always work, and the resource expenditure put into trying to cause what might be a 1 round delay is not going to be in the favor of whoever tries it most of the time.

Again, yeah, this. As I wrote earlier, you're using your own resources less effectively 100% of the time in order to give yourself an edge 50% of the time. As your opponent, I will gladly buy dollar bills from you for fifty cents as often as you care to make that trade.

Liberty's Edge

Why is it being a poor tactician. I think some here confuse what they know as a player to what their character actually knows. If the group encoumters a Troll for the very first time should they all know thry have a weakness to fire. No they should not imo. Not unless the group either makes the right Knowledge check. Or the group has someone who is lucky enough to have someone whosr character background is either to be a dedicated Troll slayer or something along those lines.

Otherwise its meta gaming pure and simple imo. You can make up all the excuses and reasons to hide that your metagaming but imo it is. No to mention people in this hobby plsy the game differently. Calling them or whatever tactics they want to use is rude and limely to grt you booted out at many tables.


Jose Hernandez 622 wrote:
Here is a basic problem with decoys tactics. One, the enemy has to know why the decoys present a threat, and two, they have to be tempting enough to worth the risk.

Ironically, the only way to "know" that the decoys present a threat is to do what everyone insists cannot and should not be done -- by making inferences based on standard tactical expectations.

I'll give Ozy his best-case scenario here. He puts one of his first-level warrior orcs behind a hedgerow wearing a robe with pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers on it, wielding a stick to which someone has hot-glued the hood ornament of a Lincoln Continental (e.g., a "magic staff").

Seeing a clothie with an obviously ineffective but highly symbolic weapon, I do what everyone insists cannot be done, and infer that this orc is not a warrior, but a wizard, and so I waste an arrow or two on him -- and, incidentally, waste him as well, because he's not in armor. Congratulations, you've just successfully drawn a full-attack action from me. As I said, this is basically Ozy's best-case scenario.

Now, what else could we have done with that first level orc warrior? Well, he's behind cover and he's in a perfect place to provide counter-fire with his bow, which could actually hurt me. And if he were kitted out as an archer, he'd have his own armor which would help keep him alive and effective for more rounds. So even in Ozy's best-case scenario, he's making poor use of one of his combatants and ends up at best breaking even.


memorax wrote:
Why is it being a poor tactician.

Because you're selling me dollar bills for fifty cents.

Liberty's Edge

That's your opinion and it might be wrong. Just like my use of decoys may not work. You might get your point across in a better manner if you were not so stuck on proving that your way and yours alone is the right way and everyone else is garbage.

Or are we know supposed to ask forum members permission on what we can or cannor allow at our own tables.


memorax wrote:
That's your opinion and it might be wrong.

It might be, but you haven't actually explained why it might be or provided any examples suggesting a realistic scenario where it is. So since I have logic, reason, and evidence behind my opinion, and you have moral indignation behind yours, I will continue in my own opinion, thank you.

Liberty's Edge

We have given you answers. You keep ignoring them becaude the answers given are not to your liking.

All im seeing from you is not logic. You want to be able to meta game 24/7 at every table you play at. No tactics should be able to counter that. Not because they are not because their not good tactics. You think they are useless even if on some situations they are not imo

- Diguise its a crap tactic it never works us it might get in the wsy of metagsming

-Decoys c


Jose Hernandez 622 wrote:

Here is a basic problem with decoys tactics. One, the enemy has to know why the decoys present a threat, and two, they have to be tempting enough to worth the risk.

_Ozy_ wrote:
How does it make the battle easier if a non-threat that is difficult to engage attracts the players attention and actions until it is dealt with? I don't understand the logic here.

Why? Because:

1. If is a non-threat, how would it attract attention?
2. If is difficult to engage, why bother?

Thus, it stop being a good decoy and only a target for later.

Decoys, metagaming (on classes and monsters) and DMs always trying to fool the party are all valid tactics. None of those are going to work all the time; they all have the same problem. When you realise that what you know is not reliable any longer, you would change your tactics.

And for the OP, there are hundreds of ways to start a fight that would solve your problem without relaying in "silence". A wolf, with an int of 2, may never (if it can avoid it) attack a bear... 5 wolves, might... and 10 positively. Now, what do you think a party of creatures with an int higher than 6 might do? What actions might they take when they realise that they are being butchered?

1) Because the players are 'tricked' into thinking it is a threat. If they aren't tricked, the ploy fails.

2) What, you think you have a summoner hiding in an alcove you just leave him be? Or a buffing bard? The whole point is to make it difficult, but possible, so that the players waste their actions.

If you are insisting this is an impossible scenario, I'm not sure how to convince you.

Liberty's Edge

We have given you answers. You keep ignoring them becaude the answers given are not to your liking.

All im seeing from you is not logic. You want to be able to meta game 24/7 at every table you play at. No tactics should be able to counter that. Not because they are not because their not good tactics. You think they are useless even if on some situations they are not imo

- Diguise its a lousy tactic it never works us it might get in the way of metagsming

-Decoys whose going to waste money on that its a lousy tactic us it gets on the wzay of meta gaming

-magic or magic items same as the above

Im mot saying my tactics are perfect and won't work more than once or twice. Especially on a experienced group. Neither are they doomed to failure.

Sorry for the double post


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Jose Hernandez 622 wrote:
Here is a basic problem with decoys tactics. One, the enemy has to know why the decoys present a threat, and two, they have to be tempting enough to worth the risk.

Ironically, the only way to "know" that the decoys present a threat is to do what everyone insists cannot and should not be done -- by making inferences based on standard tactical expectations.

I'll give Ozy his best-case scenario here. He puts one of his first-level warrior orcs behind a hedgerow wearing a robe with pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers on it, wielding a stick to which someone has hot-glued the hood ornament of a Lincoln Continental (e.g., a "magic staff").

Seeing a clothie with an obviously ineffective but highly symbolic weapon, I do what everyone insists cannot be done, and infer that this orc is not a warrior, but a wizard, and so I waste an arrow or two on him -- and, incidentally, waste him as well, because he's not in armor. Congratulations, you've just successfully drawn a full-attack action from me. As I said, this is basically Ozy's best-case scenario.

Now, what else could we have done with that first level orc warrior? Well, he's behind cover and he's in a perfect place to provide counter-fire with his bow, which could actually hurt me. And if he were kitted out as an archer, he'd have his own armor which would help keep him alive and effective for more rounds. So even in Ozy's best-case scenario, he's making poor use of one of his combatants and ends up at best breaking even.

Wow, that's the best case scenario? You either do me little credit, or have no imagination. Ever hear of cover? A bard can be effective even behind total cover, as can a summoner, or even a conventional wizard occasionally 'peeking out', or using improved cover. Not hard to set up a situation where someone is fairly well shielded from missile attack, forcing someone to approach and engage in melee combat.

Now, you throw in the caltrops and other difficult terrain...

Also, decoys, by definition, should be much lower level than their compatriots so that they don't significantly boost CR compared to their effectiveness. So that 1st level orc archer is surrounded by 5th level orc bruisers, and his bow shots aren't going to attract your attention nearly as much as if you think he's boosting is buddies with a high level inspire courage, or similar.


memorax wrote:
If the group encoumters a Troll for the very first time should they all know thry have a weakness to fire. No they should not imo.

I guess if everyone in that group trained inside a cave with no world interaction, I would agree that they should not know.

Have I fought a lion before? No. Do I know that my super kicks and amazing punches would do nothing against it? Probably; I may be a bit crazy, though.

When you are being trained to be a fighter, a wizard, a monk, or a normal living being in a world where dragons, trolls and so on exist, I bet that they would know that information 95% of the time. That is the kind of information that save lives and towns. Well, that is if you think that the world in which your character lives is a realistic one.


_Ozy_ wrote:

1) Because the players are 'tricked' into thinking it is a threat. If they aren't tricked, the ploy fails.

2) What, you think you have a summoner hiding in an alcove you just leave him be? Or a buffing bard? The whole point is to make it difficult, but possible, so that the players waste their actions.
If you are insisting this is an impossible scenario, I'm not sure how to convince you.

About 2). Is not if they are tricked, is how they are tricked and what value do the target has over the guys in front of them.

If the buffing bard is making everyone a threat, I would not bother with the bard if I don't have the means to deal with it in a swift poof. I would just adjust my team to deal with the bigger, buffed, threats. From there is quite simple if you ask me. Did I start the battle? If I started the battle I just retreat; it is my field, I have the home advantage and plans B to D. If I didn't start the battle (or is not my field), I would pray for the best and that my guns are bigger than yours.

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