#8-25: Unleashing the Untouchable GM Thread


GM Discussion

51 to 100 of 117 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
5/5 *****

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Man, it's people like us that give gunslingers a bad name. :)

Or Vector simply wasn't run to anything like what he is capable of. There are a surprisingly large number of moving parts to him and his allies, a number of which are not well spelled out by the stat block which inevitably shortens lots of stuff. He definitely benefits from people doing a lot of prep especially as he starts off knowing quite a bit about each PC.

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh

Just got to play after having run this previously and I feel bad for the GM--a dazing fireball aimed at his coterie failed to have much of an effect on them, but succeeded at dazing Vector instead. Poor guy never got an action. :(

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Runs out of mythic power fast as well. I had him blipping around on the party, and he got the barbarian erased for a couple rounds. But three big damage dealers were more than he could handle in the enclosed space. Two of them having 40+ ACs meant he wasn't able to do much to stop them.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

Observation: a bad roll on initiative plus a bad roll on a save means one dazing cold fireball can make your CR 17/MR 7 big bad do nothing for the whole encouhter....

Spoiler for Eyes of the Ten:

Three of the four had been through Eyes first. After showing their prowess on the Plane of (1/√2 Earth + 1/√2 Fire), and knowing what asshats at least half of the Decimvirate are/were, they should really have said, "Dudes, let's go clean house" and taken over the Society....

5/5 *****

rknop wrote:

Observation: a bad roll on initiative plus a bad roll on a save means one dazing cold fireball can make your CR 17/MR 7 big bad do nothing for the whole encouhter....

** spoiler omitted **

Why would you roll? For 1 mythic point he gets a 20 and goes on 35.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Dazing really is the worst...

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
andreww wrote:
Why would you roll? For 1 mythic point he gets a 20 and goes on 35.

That leaves him with 5 points left, right?

5/5 *****

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
andreww wrote:
Why would you roll? For 1 mythic point he gets a 20 and goes on 35.
That leaves him with 5 points left, right?

Yes, he uses 1 to create the simulacrum and mythic improved initiative costs him 1.

5/5 *****

I played this in high tier and ran it in low tier. I am due to run it at least twice more, in what looks like high and low tier.

Play through:
When I played we handled things fairly well. We had a full group of six including two paladins, a cleric archer, a lore oracle (me), a very high damage pouncing barbarian and a str based unchained monk. Five of us had the all for immortality part 2 boon which allowed us to become immune to fire for a scenario which we used.

The first encounter was largely fine. The troops did some damage but were largely dealt with pretty quickly. The giant elemental didn't last much longer. No-one had amulets of elemental strife but they could have helped. It helped that all of us had long duration flight or air walk.

The second encounter was slightly trickier. We may have overreacted to the cinderghosts and obliterated them quickly with ghost salt. The nightshade caused more problems and one of the paladins entered the column of fire with his celestial horse mount which died. The dragon got pounced and the nightshade was hit with too much damage to last very long. It inflicted a fair amount as most of our front line types were only around AC35.

We found and negotiated with Isah and easily disabled 3 of the devices. Page-bound epiphany is just too useful. We used a wish for one of them.

Vector could have been dangerous but none of us had neglected our saves and his correction and aura all failed to affect any of us. I beat him in initiative and a prismatic spray killed one of the acolytes outright and damaged the others. Our GM used some of Vectors abilities but missed others and having prepped this now the encounter could have been much nastier. The high tier acolytes can use time hope to move each other and/or Vector about with move actions. Two acolytes ended up dazed (dazing flamestrike) and Vector was stuck in a corner with the monk and barbarian hemming him in and no allies active so he fled.

Overall this was a lot of fun to play and we were only as successful as we were because of the sheer amount of preparation we did. Having that day to prep meant that extended hour per level buffs were all dropped the day before, leaving spell slots available for more offensive stuff.

GM Experience:
My GM experience was very different. This was a group of 4 players at the low tier. I had a caster focused druid 15, witch 12 with the extra hex feat 5 times, unchained monk 13 with snake style and lorewarden10/sentinel3 archer who hit very hard (1d8+25 per shot starting at +26, after deadly aim and rapid).

They had some available prep options, getting life bubble on everyone, resist fire 30 from the breath and a few others but there was much less cross buffing in this team.

The first encounter could have been awkward but they killed the fire elementals quickly (curse you point blank master!) and communal air walk was dropped making the earth troop a bit hopeless. I threw rocks at people but the DC is very low.

I hadn't though the second encounter would give them too much trouble but I was quite wrong. They found the entrance and took the underground route. The druid created a solid bridge across the gap so they didn't have to worry about the actual one but at the start of the combat their witch ended up permanently blind and was then bullrushed into the lava. He had the flight hex but was still flat footed when it happened so couldn't feather fall.

The strangers opened up (only 2 due to the 4P) and brought the archer quite low due to a lucky crit. He spent time trying to get away and survive. The mythic elemental has an inordinate number of swift and immediate actions so there are a lot of options there.

One I was not clear about was the smoke cloud. They create it in a 10' radius around them and it blocks line of sight completely. I wasn't clear if it moved with them or was stationary, I ran it as moving but any insights would be more than welcome. In hindsight I am not sure I would do that again.

The druid ended up in the lava and the monk was nearly dropped by a lucky crit. One stranger was dispatched and then the second was disarmed which renders them quite useless. He died soon after that.

They managed to finish things off and headed up into the main complex. They met and negotiated with Isah. Releasing him he gave them a run down of the different devices and I decided that would be enough to tell them what the primary and secondary skills would be. They used up all 3 wishes to shut down three pillars as they didn't have the largest range of skills. Their witch shut off the fourth.

The event happened, they briefly talked to Vector and then completed destroying the Opal. Vector arrived with his minions and this is where things started to go wrong. I used mythic improved initiative to make pretty sure he acted first.

I didn't place Vector close to the group and this did rather limit his first turn. Correction is a move action and quickened slow takes up his swift leaving him with one standard so I had him cast plane shift and hold the charge and activate mythic power attack. The archer got slowed, everyone else passed. No-one had haste (witch and druid, no boots) which was a pretty bad situation. The monk failed the correction save which would prove pivotal in the next turn.

The witch had hung around at the back which is where the enemy appeared and was nearly killed by one of the acolytes. The others dropped empowered orders wrath but there was only one chaotic and one neutral in the group. The druid tried, and failed, with greater dispel (assuming vector would have lots of buffs), the archer made his one shot and the monk charged into melee with vector (he had feather step active). Vector took a small amount of damage and he was up again.

He tried another correction on the monk who passed this time and then teleported adjacent to the archer and witch. With two standard actions available he hit the archer first, doing about 100 damage and plane shifting him. I decided to roll a d100, the higher the roll the worse the destination plane. With a 97 I sent him to the negative material plane. I allowed his faction to recover him fairly quickly after a number of saves, he ended up with just a couple of negative levels. I may have been feeling guilty.

His second standard action was another vital strike on the witch, doing nearly 90 damage and reducing him to about -40. The group decided at that point that things were very bad and they should flee. The druid popped out of the wall where he had been hiding using earth glide and breathed the witch back under negative con then used elemental might for another standard to drop a heal on him.

The witch teleported away taking Ranginori with him back to Lodehollow and the Monk dimension doored away. The druid fled with earth glide. By the end Vector had a single point of mythic power left.

I could have pressed things by using Vectors discern location SLA but it has a 10 minute activation time and I didn't think he would want to start a war with the Padishah Empire by invading their territory. It did cost the group some gold and their primary success but they survived and were victorious, sort of. Vector did end up with the remnants of the Opal.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed running it and am looking forward to further runs. The next group has 3 druids, a cleric a magus and one other so I imagine it will be a very different experience. My other group has a rogue, ninja, swashbuckler, cleric, wizard and hellknight so I do worry for them.

My players seemed to enjoy the experience although the fighter considered Vector to be really rather unfair. I do think using the same stat block for both low and high tier is a bit much and just changing up the mooks between the tiers although they do add a significantly different edge at high tier. I would have liked to see high tier Vector have more challenging DC's on some of his abilities and the low tier one have a slightly lower damage output, or at least less spiky, but overall I rate this one very highly.

More like this please.

Scarab Sages 4/5

I played the monk in Andrew's game this morning and thoroughly enjoyed it, despite never quite being successful with my schtick and not quite succeeding fully.

Playthrough:
Andrew gave a very good summary, so just some comments. First, it doesn't seem to matter what I do, I can't seem to boost my saves enough. Even with heroism and the elemental power bonus, still failed that first Will save in the final fight. I'm regretting not taking Improved Iron Will at 13th. Partly this was also a result of losing good will saves when he converted to Unchained. But I rolled low enough the extra +4 may not have mattered.

The troop fight was interesting. I was frustrated at first with the autohit, because a lot of the character is built around boosting AC, but realizing there was a reflex save if you forego the AoO improved the situation considerably as evasion/improved evasion came into play. It did neutralize snake fang, as there was no attack roll. Dealt some damage anyway, but the archer was really the heavy hitter in the group for pure DPR, so when he got full rounds off, things dropped quickly.

The middle fight was frustrating for other reasons. Another two failed will saves cost me a round (shaken, then taken to frightened for a round). I really need to figure out a solution for that. Mainly, though, it was the cloud around the elemental. If that hadn't been there, I'd have drunk a potion of fly and gone to engage him. Instead I tried to deal with one of the gunslingers, which again was a bit of a debacle. Snake style avoided one shot, but the crit hurt. Then the frightened hit. I finally did get some shots in on the elemental so I felt like I'd done something. All total, I took 133 damage in the fight, leaving me with 13 HPs at the end.

I didn't mind the skill check stuff, despite not having much to contribute other than Sense Motive. I did get to burn a 5 year old Evoking Day boon just so I could aid another Knowledge: Arcana on the final check to repair the forge. The witch rolled ridiculously high anyway, so it probably didn't matter, but it was nice to get some use out of my boons. The conversation with the trapped efreeti was a nice added bit of roleplaying, and my monk got to unchain the efreeti, which was good.

That final fight is brutal for low-tier 4-player. I don't think I would call it unfair, because the boost from the elemental lord helps quite a bit, but from what Andrew said, the 4-player adjustment is just removing one of the minions. From what he posted here, Vector is the same in both tiers? That's good to know, because it felt like we were a little underpowered to face him. Based off of the roll to identify him, he's at least a CR 17 or 18 by himself, possibly higher. Again, with the boosts, I didn't think it was unfair. But knowing he's the same both tiers and with the 4-player adjustment makes me feel like there's maybe something that could have been adjusted on him, even if it was just fewer mythic points. Essentially the adjustment for having potentially two fewer 13th level characters is removing one minion from the fight, and that feels a little off.

I'm regretting a little the decision to run, but I think it was probably the right call. We were down our heaviest hitting character thanks to the plane shift on the archer. I felt fine dealing with the minions, and hadn't taken that much damage. We did get the witch back to full hit points thanks to the heal from the druid. But one or two slams from Vector and the witch would have just been down again. Two slams (if they hit) and my monk would have been down. Once the witch left with the elemental lord, I thought about seeing if the Druid and I could take them, but ultimately I think that would have cost us more gold/prestige than we lost. I do wish I had thought about needing the shards of the opal, as I might have been able to get to them and grab them before using abundant step.

Having a higher level Druid who was run very well helped a lot. I feel for the group that goes through this without a good full caster. I felt limited as a martial without a ton of utility to contribute besides soaking up attacks/damage, but I expect that with a monk. I did get to contribute a cure blindness potion to help the witch. I also took Insightful Wisdom, which could have been extremely useful, but for all the big saves, it wasn't an option. I was either flatfooted (witch's failed save vs blindness, archer's failed save vs slow), or too far away (archer's failed save vs plane shift). I may have missed an opportunity to use it along the line, but other than saves vs damage from the troops, I can't think of one.

Overall, this was a very fun scenario and suitably challenging. My only real complaint is that 4-player and low tier adjustment in the final fight. But a successful save here or there instead of the failed ones, and I think we could have beat it. Losing the archer, first being hampered by the slow, then completely to the plane shift, really hurt.

I should be GMing this sometime in the next month or two, whenever we can pull a group together locally. I'm grateful to have an excellent run through from Andrew to help me prep, though I expect they'll be going high tier as all of the potential local players have been through Eyes of the Ten, and half of them through Aacdemy of Secrets as well. I definitely plan to spend some time prepping it right, and I'm sure I'll have questions once I pick up the scenario and give it an initial read.

5/5 *****

I think you got quite unlucky in the final fight. Failing the first correction save meant he took out two people on round two and slowed the archer from the off. Having almost everyone lose initiative to the acolytes as well meant the witch was well within death range from a single vital strike. It could have been different although with about 97hp he could still have been knocked out by a single blow.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Yeah, my main issue with the adjustment on the final encounter is not that it's possible to fail. I was good with that. It's that if a 4-player group does get unlucky, things go downhill very quickly. If a 6-player group loses two characters to Plane Shift and an unlucky initiative, they're still going to be fine, despite the additional acolyte. If a 4-player group loses two characters quickly, as we did, the two characters remaining are going to need to be very overpowered to succeed. Knocking Vector down even just a little would make those situations more even. But I'll see what the stat block looks like in a day or two, and it might not really matter that much.

I do want to say, this encounter in particular is one that I think the GM should roll individual initiatives for the acolytes instead of all at once. It's standard practice online, and I'm thankful you did that. We just got unlucky when they rolled two nat-20s and an 18. But in in-person games, I rarely see the GM roll separate initiatives, so that makes it 1 unlucky roll instead of 3 to create a bad situation for the PCs. I certainly intend to roll them separately when I run it.

We maybe should have considered using one of the wishes to summon something to help us as someone said they did upthread. That would have helped, and the witch probably could have made the Planes check easily enough without us using a Wish on it. I think we were all just focused on making sure we succeeded in freeing Ranginori and not really thinking about needing an extra body around if there was a fight.

5/5 5/55/5

andreww wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Man, it's people like us that give gunslingers a bad name. :)
Or Vector simply wasn't run to anything like what he is capable of. There are a surprisingly large number of moving parts to him and his allies, a number of which are not well spelled out by the stat block which inevitably shortens lots of stuff. He definitely benefits from people doing a lot of prep especially as he starts off knowing quite a bit about each PC.

How would you have used the Vector to defend against a Gunslinger that dished out 385 hit points of damage in one round? DR only applied once due to Cluster shot. Also had Inquisiter levels that added Bane Outsiders on each shot. He was also not the only threat in the party and the Gunslinger had not done that earlier in the scenario?

5/5 *****

roysier wrote:

How would you have used the Vector to defend against a Gunslinger that dished out 385 hit points of damage in one round? DR only applied once due to Cluster shot. Also had Inquisiter levels that added Bane Outsiders on each shot. He was also not the only threat in the party and the Gunslinger had not done that earlier in the scenario?

Vector starts off knowing about the members of the group and has a pretty good idea of what they are capable of.

Targeting the characters most dangerous to him is certainly something he can do. His correction ability staggers, his quickened slow staggers, plane shift simply removes the threat entirely as does temporal stasis.

At high tier he doesn't even need to use his own mythic power to teleport about, the acolytes can move him around with time hop. Its SU so his SR doesn't even apply.

5/5 *****

Ferious Thune wrote:
I do want to say, this encounter in particular is one that I think the GM should roll individual initiatives for the acolytes instead of all at once. It's standard practice online, and I'm thankful you did that. We just got unlucky when they rolled two nat-20s and an 18. But in in-person games, I rarely see the GM roll separate initiatives, so that makes it 1 unlucky roll instead of 3 to create a bad situation for the PCs. I certainly intend to roll them separately when I run it.

I pretty much always roll individual initiative, whether online or face to face. For in person games I will preroll all of my initiatives to save time.

I think this advice is particularly important for high tier where the acolytes are potentially much more dangerous.

5/5 5/55/5

andreww wrote:
roysier wrote:

How would you have used the Vector to defend against a Gunslinger that dished out 385 hit points of damage in one round? DR only applied once due to Cluster shot. Also had Inquisiter levels that added Bane Outsiders on each shot. He was also not the only threat in the party and the Gunslinger had not done that earlier in the scenario?

Vector starts off knowing about the members of the group and has a pretty good idea of what they are capable of.

Targeting the characters most dangerous to him is certainly something he can do. His correction ability staggers, his quickened slow staggers, plane shift simply removes the threat entirely as does temporal stasis.

At high tier he doesn't even need to use his own mythic power to teleport about, the acolytes can move him around with time hop. Its SU so his SR doesn't even apply.

"His correction ability staggers, his quickened slow staggers, plane shift simply removes the threat entirely as does temporal stasis. "

All 3 of these a save prevents effects. The entire party except one person made these saves so those effects were null.

Based on earlier encounters the Gunslinger did not come off as the most dangerous opponent in the party, so are you saying the GM should meta game to take down a Gunslinger? If so I don't agree.

.

Grand Lodge 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Vision allows the caster to learn things that have not been displayed in the scenario. It's like a knowledge check to identify abilities.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber
andreww wrote:
rknop wrote:

Observation: a bad roll on initiative plus a bad roll on a save means one dazing cold fireball can make your CR 17/MR 7 big bad do nothing for the whole encouhter....

** spoiler omitted **

Why would you roll? For 1 mythic point he gets a 20 and goes on 35.

Oops.

5/5 5/55/5

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Vision allows the caster to learn things that have not been displayed in the scenario. It's like a knowledge check to identify abilities.

OK, I'm running this 2 more times, gunslingers beware you are first to be targeted. It is assumed a Gunslinger is more dangerous then any other high level character class.

Even with that knowledge I don't think I could have stopped the gunslinger, he made his saves. There was a 15th level Witch that destroyed an entire encounter, a 15th level Paladin, and a 15th level Wizard in the battle. Both the Witch and the Wizard if they got through SR could create save or suck situation.

The Exchange 4/5

"Hon, that ain't no assumption, that's Besmara's own truth."

5/5 5/55/5

Anyway I have run this twice. One took 4 hours the second time it took 3.5 hours. Both played at upper tier.

The battle in question the Big Boss and his buddies teleported to the back of the party where both the Witch and Wizard were hanging out way behind the front liners, in hopes of taking them down quick. Only the Witch was taken out of the battle. Within one round other frontlines were in his face. He tried to erase them from time but they made their saves allowing the Gunslinger to buff get in place and unload. The 375 points of damage included 2 critical hits. That gunslinger normal damage was around 225 with a full round attack. With the gunslinger unloading the Big Boss was down in 3 rounds. The party also had a 15th level cleric rescuing anyone who got into hit point trouble. All aura saves were made except for the Witch.

The second party had 3 super strong front liners that each dished out over 150 hit points with a full round of damage. All party saves were made vs. stagger or erase from time. The boss just could not handle that much damage output. Assistants were hitting the party with Empowered Orders Wrath but with only 1 chaotic character in the party it did very little. They also tried their erase from time and all party members made their saves.

Neither party missed a single save vs. erase from time. Only one character in either party missed the save vs. the staggering aura. (it helps when you have a re-roll and stars, and lots of buffs up).

Both parties had more trouble in encounter area C. than in D.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, Isles—Online

As Andrews GM, I was most disappointed for vector to be going 2nd with a 35 !!

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Somehow I found the elementals to be mostly useless. I managed to get the barbarian of my party with the blinding gaze, and the initial volley of gunfire chewed up most of the PCs. The bard spent actions casting greater invisibility on the cleric and fighter while the wizard vanished himself. The bard used Snake Style to avoid some attacks, while the barbarian and viking soaked the damage and received healing from the cleric.

5/5 *****

Chris Manning wrote:
As Andrews GM, I was most disappointed for vector to be going 2nd with a 35 !!

I got very lucky on that initiative roll but to be fair all my prismatic spray did was kill a single acolyte.

5/5 *****

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Somehow I found the elementals to be mostly useless. I managed to get the barbarian of my party with the blinding gaze, and the initial volley of gunfire chewed up most of the PCs. The bard spent actions casting greater invisibility on the cleric and fighter while the wizard vanished himself. The bard used Snake Style to avoid some attacks, while the barbarian and viking soaked the damage and received healing from the cleric.

The group I ran for used far fewer buffs than we did when playing. They had one communal air walk which was used in the first encounter which let me punt two people into the lava during the encounter and ha expired by the time they got to the cave. The witch also ended up permanently blind but was fixed after the fight.

I ran the smoke cloud as travelling with the elemental when it used it but looking back I am far from certain that is right. Those elementals have a glut of immediate and swift actions, they can be quite awkward to run. The encounter is odd in that much of the damage in the encounter is from fire and the entire group will have resist 30.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Absolutely correct. There was also bard's escape to move everyone across the chasm (and right into point blank range for my gunslingers) but lack of see invisibility limited what I could do after that.

The Inferno counter to the wizards maximized snowball was fun, however.

5/5 *****

When I ran the druid created a rainbow bridge to cross the chasm which also gives a +10 to CMD against being bullrused off it. Sadly it wasn't enough.

5/5 5/55/5

How I ran this encounter (high tier) is both fire elementals started hiding in the Lavae. A couple of party members went before them so they would fly or run (avoiding the danger spots) toward the Pale Strangers. The fire Elementals would use their Gargoyle wings to fly out of the larvae and with a double move and land on the Bridge close to the entrance and would than use a swift action at the end of their turn. This split the party in 2. Everyone caught in the entrance had to fight the elementals first (not sure why there was never a dimension door or something similar was used). While the Pale Strangers would go after the players who already were on their side of the room. No one died but for both parties there was at least one person who passed the fire elementals who went down.

In one party a player ran into the middle of the room, on the next turn he cast a heightened holy word. Hitting almost all the Pale Strangers (5 of 6 in the radius), (and 2 party member who were not good) Effectively making the encounter a breeze for the party from that point on.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Regarding this:

Essentially the adjustment for having potentially two fewer 13th level characters is removing one minion from the fight, and that feels a little off.

It could be that it was different at GenCon or a misread from the GM, but in the release PDF, the 4-character adjustment at low subtier for the final encounter is to remove all four acolytes, not just one. At high subtier you remove two of them, leaving Vector with two remaining.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Damien_DM wrote:

Regarding this:

Essentially the adjustment for having potentially two fewer 13th level characters is removing one minion from the fight, and that feels a little off.

It could be that it was different at GenCon or a misread from the GM, but in the release PDF, the 4-character adjustment at low subtier for the final encounter is to remove all four acolytes, not just one. At high subtier you remove two of them, leaving Vector with two remaining.

I went ahead and bought the scenario so I can reference it while looking through the thread. It'll be a while before I run it, but it's one I'll want to read a few times.

Scenario wrote:

Subtier 12–13: Remove the Unwavering Path Acolytes.

Subtier 14–15: Remove two Unwavering Path Acolytes.

You appear to be correct. I actually think this is too much of an adjustment. The fight was winnable even with three of them there. It did seem odd that the adjustment wasn't slightly more. Anyway, you are correct at least based on the PDF I downloaded tonight. Whether it was a mistake or an earlier printing, these things happen. We could have done a lot of little things differently and still won, and I actually prefer things more on the challenging side.

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh

roysier wrote:
andreww wrote:
roysier wrote:

How would you have used the Vector to defend against a Gunslinger that dished out 385 hit points of damage in one round? DR only applied once due to Cluster shot. Also had Inquisiter levels that added Bane Outsiders on each shot. He was also not the only threat in the party and the Gunslinger had not done that earlier in the scenario?

Vector starts off knowing about the members of the group and has a pretty good idea of what they are capable of.

Targeting the characters most dangerous to him is certainly something he can do. His correction ability staggers, his quickened slow staggers, plane shift simply removes the threat entirely as does temporal stasis.

At high tier he doesn't even need to use his own mythic power to teleport about, the acolytes can move him around with time hop. Its SU so his SR doesn't even apply.

"His correction ability staggers, his quickened slow staggers, plane shift simply removes the threat entirely as does temporal stasis. "

All 3 of these a save prevents effects. The entire party except one person made these saves so those effects were null.

Based on earlier encounters the Gunslinger did not come off as the most dangerous opponent in the party, so are you saying the GM should meta game to take down a Gunslinger? If so I don't agree.

It sounds like you've cleared this up, but future GMs should make sure they are familiar with the vision spell. It is a quick-to-cast version of legend lore and Vector uses it as an SLA on every character prior to engaging in combat.

Quote:
When completed, the divination brings legends (if any) about the person, place, or things to your mind. These may be legends that are still current, legends that have been forgotten, or even information that has never been generally known. If the person, place, or thing is not of legendary importance, you gain no information. As a rule of thumb, characters who are 11th level and higher are “legendary,” as are the sorts of creatures they contend with, the major magic items they wield, and the places where they perform their key deeds.

I am not the author, but I can almost guarantee you that Vector's use of vision is meant to provide a way to metagame--to prepare for tactics that the PCs are especially good at in the hopes that you can make the fight last longer than a round.

When casting it, it is of course up to the GM (presumably you) what Vector learns. However, it would not be unusual for Vector to learn such things as "Solo the Gunslinger once slew a mighty dragon with a single shot from his rifle" or "Chie the Oracle is a powerful healer who has never lost an ally in battle." Perhaps he would learn that the Wizard's favorite spell is Fireball or the monk levels devastating blows at opponents that knock them off their feet.

With that information, a relatively high-int (16) opponent can certainly start formulating a plan. It is unlikely that Vector would know of any buffs or spells the party rarely casts, so if they set a trap for him in the two rounds he has between sending Sorri-not to meet with the party and gate-ing himself in he should probably fall for it. However, legend lore should absolutely provide information about what the party is good at, what they do, and what kinds of roles they might play in the party. If the gunslinger is known for taking down hard-mode BBEGs with single full-attack actions, his bad day earlier in the scenario doesn't matter--he would almost certainly know that the gunslinger is dangerous.

One other thing--Pathfinder is a game that offers a wide variety of options of different utility. As you write for higher and higher level PCs, the number of possible character options increases. As the number of options goes up, the possible range in the power of any character--from the most broken, overpowered characters to the weakest--will only become increase. A 400-dpr gunslinger could be in one scenario and in another a 40 dpr fighter might play.

Vector is, I suspect, intended to provide a challenge for upper-mid-powered characters as far as they can determine what that means in PFS. He seems to be built to be able to put the fear of Axis into the party with repeated mythic vital strikes, but as it's been pointed out a few times in this thread, he doesn't have much of a chance against a prepared party--particularly a full party of 6. He doesn't have the HP to withstand repeated hits and while his SR is high, it's not so high as to render the casters impotent if they release Ranginori. I'd hope that GMs come to terms with the idea that Vector's just not going to last that long. Try to scare your players and hopefully the combat will feel epic*.

*I still feel bad, rknop!

5/5 *****

Damien_DM wrote:

Regarding this:

Essentially the adjustment for having potentially two fewer 13th level characters is removing one minion from the fight, and that feels a little off.

It could be that it was different at GenCon or a misread from the GM, but in the release PDF, the 4-character adjustment at low subtier for the final encounter is to remove all four acolytes, not just one. At high subtier you remove two of them, leaving Vector with two remaining.

Oh b%+#+~&s, I seem to have totally misread this. I shall fix things when I get back from work tonight.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Starfinder Superscriber

Don't feel bad. You guys kicked ass, and it was good. Still took a couple of rounds to dispatch the minions.

I also liked your solution to the regenerating Phoenix....

Shadow Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

Re: the Vision spell. That would probably have pinged Elsi to be a threat. She's actually only had the one-round nova work on two bosses - Xiangnuer and Chorkak (and some powerful mooks), but has gotten rather legendary at my stores for it. (Her story often gets conflated with my other gunslinger, an old-style dual-double barreled pistolero who also nova'd things) Other bosses she's had to deal with in more traditional stand-up fights (but did get the kill shot on Krune).

5/5 5/55/5

There are other factors such as who is bunched up to receive the quickened Slow and how can the Vector stay away from full round attacks from front liners. So, simply trying to target one person may not always be the best tactic.

Also, if a GM is not familiar with the characters such as when run at a convention the Vision spell will likely be limited to what happens in the scenario and GM's personal views as to what classes are more powerful.

I'm still running this 2 more times, each time this gets more dangerous for the players.

I'm going to pinpoint characters as high threat or healers and low threat. And look at where they start in the final encounter.

I am going to change the Vector strategy where his minions are standing in from of him to block many chargers and provide some cover instead of randomly around him.

In part C. Bull rushing characters off the bridge seems like a much more dangerous way to handle the Mythic Fire Elemental than what I have been previously using them for, splitting the party and pinning the slower imitative party members in the entrance tunnel.

5/5 *****

roysier wrote:
In part C. Bull rushing characters off the bridge seems like a much more dangerous way to handle the Mythic Fire Elemental than what I have been previously using them for, splitting the party and pinning the slower imitative party members in the entrance tunnel.

This is part of their tactics. When I played we were all either flying or air walking. When I ran no-one was which I was quite surprised at. At this level I expect most characters to have some form of long duration flight.

5/5 5/55/5

I went back and read through the final encounter again. The biggest issue is all of the Vector’s cool abilities are negated with a saving throw. Both parties I ran were buffed to the max for this encounter, expecting something to happen when they tried to destroy the Opal. They had all 4 points of Raginori’s Might giving them +4 to saves, all had +4 or +5 Cloaks, plus buffs and base saves for 14th or 15th level characters. So there is very slim chance that a party member will miss a save.

The Vector has the same stat blocks for high and low tier so I suspect that he is much more effective at the lower tier where party saves are going to be lower.

Scarab Sages 4/5

I can see that being an issue. I had a +19 after the +4 bonus from Ranginori (only +3, because I already had a lucky horseshoe) and heroism. I made the save vs the slow, but I missed the DC 26 save vs the correction ability. I had already used my reroll, I think against the blindness in the second encounter (I can't remember, but it was early. I believe I rolled a 1), and all my boons only let me reroll attacks or skills, not saves. We were low-tier, and I was 13th level. At 15th level I'd only have been +20, so I don't think it would have mattered. But I'm a couple of points lower on saves than I should be, as I have a different cloak so used Ioun stones to get a +3 resistance bonus and a +1 competence bonus, then the lucky horseshoe for +1 luck bonus. Still +5 total, but it could be +7 with a cloak. Plus Iron Will. So as it turns out, still being a regular Monk would have actually made a difference, as Will would have been 4 higher (though I might not have taken Iron Will). I think I rolled a 3 or a 4 and had no way to boost it further.

I don't know what the Lore Warden/Sentinel's bonus was, but he failed both the slow (DC 20) and the Plane Shift (DC 24). I think he may have rolled a 1 on the slow. Even a 15th level Fighter/Rogue/other martial with a bad Will save and a generous 14 WIS is only going to be somewhere around +16 or so (+5 class +2 WIS +5 cloak +4 luck). Goes to +18 with Improved Will, +20 with heroism, so 25% chance to fail vs the correction, or 15% chance vs the plane shift without a reroll.

So definitely a little worse low tier, especially if you don't have the full luck bonus. A smaller, but not insignificant chance at high tier. Assuming he targets someone he knows likely has a low Will save, which of course he will thanks to the vision. Failing the slow was just getting incredibly unlucky, and I see now that really shouldn't happen for most groups.

5/5 *****

Yep, as I said in my run through, I would have liked to see Vector's DC's be a little higher at high tier and his spike damage lower at low tier. A vital strike crit is going to outright kill many level 12 or 1 characters, even with the full 40 temp HP from the buff. That also assumes they get all 4 bonuses which is far from certain.

2/5 *

Ferious Thune wrote:

I can see that being an issue. I had a +19 after the +4 bonus from Ranginori (only +3, because I already had a lucky horseshoe) and heroism. I made the save vs the slow, but I missed the DC 26 save vs the correction ability. I had already used my reroll, I think against the blindness in the second encounter (I can't remember, but it was early. I believe I rolled a 1), and all my boons only let me reroll attacks or skills, not saves. We were low-tier, and I was 13th level. At 15th level I'd only have been +20, so I don't think it would have mattered. But I'm a couple of points lower on saves than I should be, as I have a different cloak so used Ioun stones to get a +3 resistance bonus and a +1 competence bonus, then the lucky horseshoe for +1 luck bonus. Still +5 total, but it could be +7 with a cloak. Plus Iron Will. So as it turns out, still being a regular Monk would have actually made a difference, as Will would have been 4 higher (though I might not have taken Iron Will). I think I rolled a 3 or a 4 and had no way to boost it further.

I don't know what the Lore Warden/Sentinel's bonus was, but he failed both the slow (DC 20) and the Plane Shift (DC 24). I think he may have rolled a 1 on the slow. Even a 15th level Fighter/Rogue/other martial with a bad Will save and a generous 14 WIS is only going to be somewhere around +16 or so (+5 class +2 WIS +5 cloak +4 luck). Goes to +18 with Improved Will, +20 with heroism, so 25% chance to fail vs the correction, or 15% chance vs the plane shift without a reroll.

So definitely a little worse low tier, especially if you don't have the full luck bonus. A smaller, but not insignificant chance at high tier. Assuming he targets someone he knows likely has a low Will save, which of course he will thanks to the vision. Failing the slow was just getting incredibly unlucky, and I see now that really shouldn't happen for most groups.

Wait.. +4 luck? I had a + 14 with heroism and the +1 of luck. Not that bad for a martial. I had the half-elf alternate trait + 1 will trait. My error was not upgrading the cloak (done now)

----

I realise now that I hadn't understand that each point luck bonus was cumulative. I was so angry during the time about the disproportion. (+1 against a mythic vital strike with mythic power attack.) (it wouldn't have change the thing... I would have 23.)

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
roysier wrote:
The Vector has the same stat blocks for high and low tier so I suspect that he is much more effective at the lower tier where party saves are going to be lower.

Can confirm, 12-13 is pretty exciting. Thankfully he has little defense against Weird Words.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Gayel Nord wrote:
I realise now that I hadn't understand that each point luck bonus was cumulative. I was so angry during the time about the disproportion. (+1 against a mythic vital strike with mythic power attack.) (it wouldn't have change the thing... I would have 23.)

There's a lot of information in that handout. It confused more than just you. The Druid didn't realize he could trade a bonus for an extra standard until a couple of rounds in.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Terminalmancer wrote:
I am not the author, but I can almost guarantee you that Vector's use of vision is meant to provide a way to metagame--to prepare for tactics that the PCs are especially good at in the hopes that you can make the fight last longer than a round.

That's basically the idea. Vector knows the heroes' tricks, and it allows the GM to kind of set the table for an enemy that isn't going to be caught off guard by the nova the party's been holding on to, or the gunslinger who can shoot through schools, etc. That isn't to say it should be a hit-list, but Vector should definitely be more savvy than the usual inevitable.

What's amazing, reading this thread, is that both John and I were worried that Vector was too powerful, even at the highest tier. It's amazing to see what kinds of ability combinations people are able to pump out and the ways that teamwork can really change things.

5/5 5/55/5

I have now run this 4 times. 3 at high tier 1 at low tier. The low tier party was the only one that went the Zigurat direction. One player was re-playing it and steered the party that direction. Since the combats are about equal either way I didn't call shenanigans on it. he last

The 3 parties that went the Pale Strangers way all had a good scare when I would have them all take the full round action shot and target one player, dishing out lots of damage. No one went down in any of the fights but it did put a scare into them.

The last high level group I ran had far fewer spell casters and thus less buffs throughout. More of them were on the ground, more missed saving throws.

The last party was the only party that missed more then 1 saving throw in the final encounter. Thus, making the final encounter more effective. I learned to put the minions in front of the Aevurat so most party members had to go through them to get to the Aevurat.

Since I was tired of the earlier parties making all their saves I change the tactics of the Aevurat, he saved his swift/immediate actions for slipstream or mythic surge. And used his mythic vital strike. Since that is his only cool power that works without the need of a failed saving throw. He critical hit a character with that bring the character to -52 hit points and that character missed his save erasing him from time. Freaked out the player, but the party was able to revive him with 2 Breath of life spells when he came back into time (not sure if this was legal but we were running up to our store mandated hard stop, and had to wrap up and pack up within 5 minutes. )

The last combat was much more effective with less spell casters and far less buffs in place.

5/5 5/55/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I should add that there were many players at all 4 tables who said they really enjoyed this scenario most saying it was really fun. A few players said it was the best high level scenario/modules they have played.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta

In area A (the first fight), what's the point of the hazard? Unless the PCs have no fire resistance at all, it won't do any damage to them. There's mention of the consequences of falling in the crevasses but I can't see anything in the encounter that would cause that (e.g. no bull rush, etc.). Also, as far as I can tell, the avalanche legions have no fire resistance at all, so they will be affected by the hazard. Mechanically speaking, it seems like damage to the earth elemental troop appears to be the only effect of the hazard but it seems unlikely that this was the intention.

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh

Abraham Z. wrote:
In area A (the first fight), what's the point of the hazard? Unless the PCs have no fire resistance at all, it won't do any damage to them. There's mention of the consequences of falling in the crevasses but I can't see anything in the encounter that would cause that (e.g. no bull rush, etc.). Also, as far as I can tell, the avalanche legions have no fire resistance at all, so they will be affected by the hazard. Mechanically speaking, it seems like damage to the earth elemental troop appears to be the only effect of the hazard but it seems unlikely that this was the intention.

The party wouldn't have reached the border between the planes at this point, so they may not have fire resistance up yet. If they do, note the travel time between the start and A, and the equal travel time between A and B; most fire resistance will have run out by then and would need to have been recast. If casting from scrolls or drinking potions, the 6d6 hazard is quite likely to break through fire resist 10 and will probably do enough to get through resist 20. (Although the party at this point probably has access to either 10 or 30 and nothing in-between, barring multiclassing.)

With respect to bull rush, check out the ancient magma elemental in high subtier. +37 to bull rush into 20d6 fire damage plus greater bull rush (so it would provoke attacks of opportunities from the elemental's allies) is nothing to sneeze at. Although the elemental may well choose to sneeze instead, if the party stays in fireball formation.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta

Great points and I had completely missed the bull rush in high tier. Thanks.

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh

Abraham Z. wrote:
Great points and I had completely missed the bull rush in high tier. Thanks.

No worries--there's a lot going on with this one!

3/5 Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta

Should the PCs be told the troop rules or do they have to figure them out for themselves?

51 to 100 of 117 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Organized Play / GM Discussion / #8-25: Unleashing the Untouchable GM Thread All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.