I can't hit them !!! A DM in distress.


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Can he wear all those magic items wi th out going into medium load at str 5? I doubt it


Snakers wrote:
Can he wear all those magic items wi th out going into medium load at str 5? I doubt it

This is a legitimate issue, potentially. Especially since it doesn't address any other non-magical equipment.

For a small sized character with Strength 5, his maximum light load is 12 lbs.

Even if we halve the weight for being small size, the lightest set of clothing weighs 1 lb (Monk's outfit). The rapier is 1 lb. The various wondrous items and potion come to about 3.5 lbs. We do not have any listing of any non-magical equipment he might have.

What's an "Agal of Comfort." I can't find it in a search. I assume "Agal" is an abbreviation or something.


Saldiven wrote:
Snakers wrote:
Can he wear all those magic items wi th out going into medium load at str 5? I doubt it

This is a legitimate issue, potentially. Especially since it doesn't address any other non-magical equipment.

For a small sized character with Strength 5, his maximum light load is 12 lbs.

Even if we halve the weight for being small size, the lightest set of clothing weighs 1 lb (Monk's outfit). The rapier is 1 lb. The various wondrous items and potion come to about 3.5 lbs. We do not have any listing of any non-magical equipment he might have.

What's an "Agal of Comfort." I can't find it in a search. I assume "Agal" is an abbreviation or something.

other Equipment

Thieves' Tools (+2 Disable Device)
Jewelry (2 earrings, 1 tie-pin)
Noble Outfit
Holy Symbol, Silver
Rapier.
Signet Ring
Beltpouch

Agal of comfort is homebrew. See armor of comfort.
Wrist Watch of Communication also. It just enable the PC to have permenant message with each other.
The theme there playing is secret agents.


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Twist Away

Make sure he is using Twist Away correctly. It leaves you staggered any time you use it and whatever you are saving against must have a reduced effect upon a successful save in order for Twist Away to work—it’s more like Evasion for Fort saves than it is “use your Reflex in place of your Fort”.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Str 5 on Small, limit of 12 pounds of equipment.

Many items get reduced weight for size small, but there are some that don't.

Thieve's Tools, 2 lbs. (not reduced)
Noble Outfit, 2.5 lbs
Holy Symbol (Silver), 1 lbs (not reduced)
Rapier, 1 lbs
Belt pouch, 1/4 lbs
Headband of Wisdom, 1 lbs (not reduced)
Belt of Dex, 1 lbs (not reduced)
Cloak of Resistance, 1 lbs (not reduced)
Sleeves of Many Garments, 1 lbs (not reduced)

I get 10 3/4 lbs.

A morningstar would put him over.

Anything with DR/Blunt or DR/Slashing is going to be a problem for him to hurt. Flyers must love him since he has no ranged attacks.


The swashbuckler will probably just put on some muleback cords if you start enforcing carrying capacity. That'd drop his saves a bit, but not a big deal.


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So how is he getting 40+ AC? It looks like he's capping out at 34 at 24 +10 with fighting defensively.


Make sure he isn't using fighting defensively and total defense action at the same time. Also make sure he is not threatening or making any attacks during a total defense.

I also don't see how he has such "high" to hit. Dex is +7, BAB is +8, weapon training is +1, is the rapier a +3 weapon?

Also fight fire with fire. Your swashbuckler can't hit himself without an incredibly high roll. Throw a few high a.c. enemies at your party that the party can handle.


SorrySleeping wrote:
I also don't see how he has such "high" to hit. Dex is +7, BAB is +8, weapon training is +1, is the rapier a +3 weapon?

19 - 8 bab = 11 - 7 dex = 4 - 1 size = 3 - 1 weapon focus = 2 - 1 swash training = 1 - +1 rapier = 0

So 8 bab, 7 dex, 1 size, 1 WF, 1 +1weapon, +1 training gives the +19


For what it's worth, +19 in the 10th-12th level range is rather reasonable, especially for a martial character. (22, 23, and 25 are the highest viable points, and where you really start to hit diminishing returns.)

Scarab Sages

God help him if anything--anything at all--weighs him down.

But yeah, allies only get his bonus if he takes total defense and does not attack. Which includes no parry? (you can't make opp attacks if you total defense)


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He also only has 4 Panache points. Make sure you keep a tally of when he spends and gets them back, which is different for Inspired Blade.

Inspired Blade wrote:
Unlike other swashbucklers, an inspired blade gains no panache from a killing blow. She gains panache only from scoring a critical hit with a rapier.

He will also only be able to do a lot of other tricks if he has one Panache left... (either to spend or in bank: see Kip Up and Initiative)

Flank him with minions and they will still get an AoO on him even if he "dodgy" Panaches...


Serisan wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Lastly, ask your players if they are having fun with the current setup. If this is the type of game they want to play (i.e. where they roflstomp everything in sight because of numbers), that's a valid way to play. Take the opportunity to reduce total encounter counts somewhat to add time for storytelling.

Actually, firstly.

If they are having fun, that is the purpose of the game.

You can just make the monsters a bit tougher, give them a small + to hit and double their HP. That should still be fun.

What is interesting is that this party has not much in the way of full spellcasters (Warpriest that acts as a monk?) and thus according to theorycrafters should be super weak. Gosh it has three martials. It should be nearly useless. ;-)

Lantern Lodge

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Thank you for posting his build!

I really don’t see a problem with this pc. He isn’t having much impact on the battlefield. His damage is horrible for that level. He is small and doesn’t threaten so enemies will just ignore him. Essentially all he is doing is giving +4 AC to allies within 5ft of him. If that is what the player finds enjoyable then let him. Throw a few attacks his way when necessary so his high AC can shine.

Silver Crusade

The saves don't look right to me. It looks like they include Charmed Life, which is not always available (it requires an immediate action). You can't use Twist Away and Charmed Life on the same save (both require immediate actions). If he has made a riposte on his previous turn, he can't use either (it also requires an immediate action).

I'll also note that it looks like he has a +7 dex bonus and +4 armor bonus, unless I'm reading the stat block wrong. I presume that your custom magic item has a larger than usual max dex bonus (a mithril chain shirt would only allow a +6 dex bonus).

Edit: I might have added up the saves wrong; maybe they don't include Charmed Life. Still, it's very important to properly track immediate actions.


PCScipio wrote:

The saves don't look right to me. It looks like they include Charmed Life, which is not always available (it requires an immediate action). You can't use Twist Away and Charmed Life on the same save (both require immediate actions). If he has made a riposte on his previous turn, he can't use either (it also requires an immediate action).

I'll also note that it looks like he has a +7 dex bonus and +4 armor bonus, unless I'm reading the stat block wrong. I presume that your custom magic item has a larger than usual max dex bonus (a mithril chain shirt would only allow a +6 dex bonus).

Its not armor its +4 from wis due to monk levels, he isn't wearing armor.

The riposte is valid but its far more likely he's just using crane style to slap away the one attack that manages to hit his crazy high for level AC each round.

Silver Crusade

Ryan Freire wrote:
Its not armor its +4 from wis due to monk levels, he isn't wearing armor.

OK, that's what I was missing.

Ryan Freire wrote:
The riposte is valid but its far more likely he's just using crane style to slap away the one attack that manages to hit his crazy high for level AC each round.

Post-errata, it's only automatic if he's on total defense.

FWIW, a single hit from a shadow has a 1/3 chance of killing him outright.


A Shadow would probably need a natural 20 to hit him, though...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Any magic that targets STR is going to be deadly to the hyperactive little bugger. You just need to up your game as a DM, not slap crazy bonuses on the monsters and evil NPCs the party has to face. Use a variety of attack modes, it'll seem very natural.

A single ray of enfeeblement could be devastating, since it's at least (1d6+1)/2 penalty to STR on a successful save. With a STR of 3 or less he's going to be heavily encumbered, losing many benefits. Sure, maybe they'll need a nat 20 to hit with that ray, but if you keep throwing in a few low-level cultists on each combat encounter, sooner or later it's gonna hurt.

Any spell that has negative effects even on a successful save will hurt.


I'd be enforcing Encumbrance on this PC. Penalize his speed and slap the -3 or -6 on his skills and attacks. I know that sounds punitive, but he's playing a Small sized character with a 5 Str; that kind of dangerously low stat shouldn't just fade into the background but rather be a defining characteristic of the build.

That being said if the build is legal and the player is having fun, there's really no need to modify the monsters in the AP. If however you do want to step up the difficulty level, consider spell buffs.

One of the easiest boost to your monsters to overlook are spells and SLAs. If you haven't memorized monsters ahead of time or the enemy spellcaster has their initiative beaten by the heroic PCs, these buffs mean nothing to the battle and are wasted.

If on the other hand you just pick one or two of the best buffs and simply apply them ahead of time, as if the monster(s) already had these spells or SLAs running before the party got there, this might go a long way to boosting the durability of the bad guys.

Consider swapping out a monster in the fights you've got ahead for an equivalent CR NPC spellcaster focused on buffs. If you swap out, say, a CR 7 monster you could add in maybe a Cleric 8 or an Adept 9 in their place. Suddenly you go from a bunch of melee threats on the ground to miles of Cursed Terrain and one of the monsters is rocking a +3 Deflection and +2 Resistance bonus on their other defenses that they can transfer as a Move action to someone else nearby.


A good GM/DM always varies their encounters. Some scenarios the PCs will cruise through while they may be deficient in others. There are things like swarms and troops that auto-hit regardless of AC.

That said, there's nothing wrong with PCs optimizing their builds. If they designed their PC to have a high AC, it is poor form to penalize them for it. Just make sure they are built correctly without errors or too high of a point build or any strange house rules that give them advantages, such as ignoring encumbrance.

I definitely think there's something screwy going on as I run a mythic game of comparable level which includes a high dex PC with AC in the 37 to 40 range. That's in MYTHIC, so I'm not sure what's going on here. I don't target him or try to nerf his build. I let the variety of encounters do that for me.

Liberty's Edge

People have crunched the numbers. He's well within his limits even as a 5 strength small character.

Carrying capacity really isn't a huge hindrance. I don't know where that myth came from. There's enough cheap slotless options that even in the rare cases where it does matter, low strength isn't a hindrance (masterwork backpack and anyhaul, I'm looking at you).

Silver Crusade

As others have pointed out, intelligent enemies should mostly attack the lowest defense, highest damage characters. This character is the opposite of that.


Honestly, those stats aren't that impressive. Even if they're completely correct, you really shouldn't have a problem.

Just stop playing the enemies into their hands. By level 10, most monsters and NPC's have alternate methods to be threatening to a player, besides brute-forcing attacks or save-or-suck spells.


I have this problem often (and one of the reasons I really dislike PFS). Since you're on an adventure path, an advanced, giant template, fighter/barbarian template or any combination can work wonders. I tend to rewrite most of the enemies in an Adventure Path, because I think they're too weak usually (and sometimes they thematically don't fit), but most people don't like putting in that much work. I am currently running a mythic campaign where I've starved the PC's for gear to some degree, which better let me gauge how to mix up the combats a whole lot. As a GM, I think it's important for both sides to have fun, and I generally don't try to penalize PC's for optimizing builds (I mean I literally gave a 25 point buy in a Mythic Campaign), but I don't give rerolls either... ever (unless you took a feat or it's offered as part of a piece of gear, etc.). Playing with the given enemy feats and tactics is also a good idea, or just increase the CR by 1, then 2, then 3 if they're having too easy a time (i.e. add extra monsters, or raise the CR with a thematically similar monster). One thing I really love is adding the advanced template to troops, that can get kind of savage, especially with multiple troops. It reminds players of their mortality.


Drs. R. H. S. P. Stuart-Mill wrote:

Str 5

Dex 24
Who in the party is carrying his gear for him?
Quote:

Swashbuckler (Inspired Blade) 6

Monk (Sohei) 2
Inquisitor (Heretic) 2

He doesn't have Uncanny Dodge (Swashbucklers won't get that for free until 11th level, and neither of his other classes are granting it).

-- Catch him flat-footed, and his massive Dex+Dodge bonus to AC and CMD evaporates.


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Yeah he's basically a few feint away from rethinking life choices.

But it's not terrible. I've built some characters with high A.C. that punish you for attacking them, and while I didnt go untouchable (I wanted to be attacked) I certainly knew what I was going to when I made it.


PCScipio wrote:
As others have pointed out, intelligent enemies should mostly attack the lowest defense, highest damage characters. This character is the opposite of that.

But how would they know? He doesnt look like a tank. It woudl take 2-3 good swings before they discover that.

And that party has no "squishies" at all, no guy in robes with a pointy hat with "Wizzard" on it in sequins.


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Another point to remember: Coins have weight. Every 50 gp is a pound.


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DrDeth wrote:
PCScipio wrote:
As others have pointed out, intelligent enemies should mostly attack the lowest defense, highest damage characters. This character is the opposite of that.

But how would they know? He doesnt look like a tank. It woudl take 2-3 good swings before they discover that.

And that party has no "squishies" at all, no guy in robes with a pointy hat with "Wizzard" on it in sequins.

Trial and error for sure. Most would have to swing a few times and say "well. Not this guy"

Silver Crusade

I’m sure he doesn’t look like a high damage character!


mourge40k wrote:
Another point to remember: Coins have weight. Every 50 gp is a pound.

That too.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Waves of Fatigue/Waves of Exhaustion

Affects the whole party, no save, and it hits the Swash in his AC, attacks, and damage (and that’s not even bringing encumbrance into it).


That's why I said Wracking Ray as Fort save, still does 1/2 damage to Dex and Str on a failed save (takes char to min of 1); one or two points of STR weakening....

Oh, plus you could put monsters in that don't take crits and he won't even get that Panache back...


Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

Waves of Fatigue/Waves of Exhaustion

Affects the whole party, no save, and it hits the Swash in his AC, attacks, and damage (and that’s not even bringing encumbrance into it).

Yes, but: how fair is the DM to bring this into play? Maybe sure, if the party had a foe who was able to research the party in advance and saw this as a weak spot.

Or, perhaps if the party runs into a Necro oriented spallcaster in a AP, who doesnt have that spell in the book, but might very well add it.


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That 5 on STR really triggered my inner alarm. I've never been lower than 8 and I tremble in fear every time a Shadow appears.

Wheldrake wrote:


A single ray of enfeeblement could be devastating, since it's at least (1d6+1)/2 penalty to STR on a successful save. With a STR of 3 or less he's going to be heavily encumbered, losing many benefits. Sure, maybe they'll need a nat 20 to hit with that ray, but if you keep throwing in a few low-level cultists on each combat encounter, sooner or later it's gonna hurt.
.

Quickened True Strike + Ray of Enfeeblement = goodbye my moon men


Swarms. Many, many swarms.


As a general rule in the PFS universe, small and smaller creatures are difficult to hit via AC.

Going against these kind of builds your monsters are going to fear AoO's less, and attempt to do other attacks more.

Intelligent monsters will be going for the real dangers - the squishies. Concede the AoO and move into the backfield.

Grapple.

Feints, dirty tricks. Denying this character dex (via blindness, dirty trick, feinting etc).

It takes a swift to go into a combat style. And to use Twist, and to parry ripost. track swift/immediate actions more careully. recall that an immediate action deprives a swift in the following.

Aid other.


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I have a hunch this character is making two to four swift actions per round....


I have this hunch too.
Just to clear things out.
A character can make a swift OR a immediate action / turn.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

DrDeth wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

Waves of Fatigue/Waves of Exhaustion

Affects the whole party, no save, and it hits the Swash in his AC, attacks, and damage (and that’s not even bringing encumbrance into it).

Yes, but: how fair is the DM to bring this into play? Maybe sure, if the party had a foe who was able to research the party in advance and saw this as a weak spot.

Or, perhaps if the party runs into a Necro oriented spallcaster in a AP, who doesnt have that spell in the book, but might very well add it.

Why wouldn't it be fair?

These are spells from the CRB, and broadly useful in combat (i.e., they're effective against lots of types of enemies, not just Swashbucklers).

Obviously you don't want to throw them out every fight, but that's more about varying encounters and avoiding monotony, rather than this being an unfair tactic.


My biggest pet peeve when running a game is someone who dumps a stat to hell and gone. It's munchkin and I refuse to do it myself because it's cheap. A racial reducing a stat is one thing, but personally dumping it into dirt? Nah.

However he doesn't do enough damage that I think he's worth his salt to begin with. You could flat ignore him and toss in a little DR/Slashing and he'd basically be about as useful as an armored cooking pot. Or, like I said before, sunder the weapon and watch him try to punch something with that 5 Str.

Honestly this little guy is a non-issue. I assumed he was damaging the world and unless he's your only source of damage, he's mild. Since you're on an AP train there's not a lot you could do besides toss some foil at them who has their number. Depending on where you are...

Spoiler Alert:
Heqet could wreck this guy's face if she targeted him with that opening salvo. If he's prancing around with his holy abilities and has his 'you can't touch me' going strong, then she'd drop the hammer on him the moment he got into range.

If he's flat footed he's boned. Every defensive he has requires him to be aware. If he's not: Hit him with a babau and rejoice as he parries because now he is out of immediate actions. One good molly-whop to the face and he might rethink his life choices. Destruction would be my choice because it's save partial, so even if he saves he still hurts. Not to mention Blasphemy being absolutely horrible for him (Weakened still happens on a will save).

I've also retooled some monsters in certain APs where they work together a lot to get teamwork feats. Watching a couple of monsters with Outflank get to work is interesting. Throwing hoplight soldiers who specialize in teamwork feats to fight in pairs is also a good tactic because it creates a need for tactics more than stats.

Either way you have the tools even in the AP. I think maybe you're afraid of seeming like you're picking on him, but you're not. Trying to kill him is bad. Trying to give him a few lumps is just business. I think maybe take into account that there are times when a monster will target him for being a cockroach and times he'll get ignored because they can bash another member.

Don't worry about upping the difficulty a little if they're having an easy time or even adding extra monsters if they can breeze through the 2-3 suggested. APs aren't made for every group in mind and to keep the challenge coming you need to make small changes here and there so they feel like they've accomplished something and sometimes to keep them from being flat-out murdered by some random ability.


Slim Jim wrote:
I have a hunch this character is making two to four swift actions per round....

How many natural twenties do you really suppose are getting rolled each round?

It needs 1 swift to enter crane stance at the beginning of the round. From then on by fighting defensively or being on total defense EQUAL CR monsters (not encounters, the monster itself) need nat 20's to hit. From there the pc can either reliably use parry and riposte on a low roll as one swift action, or slap an attack that actually hits away with crane stance. They should really very rarely need to even use the crane stance ability.

In the same way, how many fort saves do you reliably need to make in a round? Even then he's at +11 which is higher than his character level in the save, he has a decent chance of making the save against most anything module based thats coming at him at level 10.

How much can you force these issues without it becoming the GM white knuckledly and blatantly trying to murder this pc while appearing within the bounds of the rules?

To force him to USE swift actions requires things to actually hit him. He has many options for swift action use but that doesn't mean they're all being used every round.


Slim Jim wrote:
I have a hunch this character is making two to four swift actions per round....

That, and it kinda feels like the party is stacking Spells and items effects that don't stack.

Lantern Lodge

ExiledMimic wrote:


Honestly this little guy is a non-issue.

I definitely agree with this. Honestly it’s actually a horrible build. He dumped str so much as others point out it not only dips into munchkin territory but also makes death very easy. While I do find it interesting that he made a monk/swashbuckler into essentially a bard combat role to buff the party’s AC instead of offensive power, he is just so so much worse than a bard.

He is giving the party 4AC within 5ft. And doing nothing on his turn. I say nothing because he is either going total defense or fighting defensive. With how terrible his damage is he is basically doing nothing. Either way monsters will ignore him. Meanwhile a bard of his level could drop haste + song turn one for +3 to hit, +2 damage, +1 AC, and an extra attack to the whole party all the time. And that’s just off the class. If he optimized with items / feats he can do more. Subsequent rounds he could do other actions while still maintaining these bonuses. Heck just attacking with those buffs will probably outdamage the monk build.

But back to the current character. The player put a lot of thought into combining bonuses and making something unique (high dodge AC with a dodge AC buff to party) at the cost of essentially participating in combat. I really just think you let him do his thing, have a few attacks go his way (though I think 95% of the time monsters should ignore him). He will look like a kid running around the battlefield. Monsters will target the largest threats. It’s why the key to “tanking” in Pathfinder is not having a high AC but being a significant threat while maintaining your defense.


kaisc006 wrote:
Either way monsters will ignore him.

Why? Does he have a sign "Hard to hit, but doesnt do any damage"?


Drs. R. H. S. P. Stuart-Mill wrote:

I have this hunch too.

Just to clear things out.
A character can make a swift OR a immediate action / turn.

Sooooooooooorta. An immediate action taken when it's not your turn consumes the swift action from your next turn. You could swift action on your turn and immediate before your next, then use immediates for subsequent rounds.

Lantern Lodge

DrDeth wrote:
kaisc006 wrote:
Either way monsters will ignore him.
Why? Does he have a sign "Hard to hit, but doesnt do any damage"?

No when the other characters actually do something from casting an offensive spell to hitting for good damage they will have signs that say “hit me because I can kill you”


kaisc006 wrote:
DrDeth wrote:
kaisc006 wrote:
Either way monsters will ignore him.
Why? Does he have a sign "Hard to hit, but doesnt do any damage"?
No when the other characters actually do something from casting an offensive spell to hitting for good damage they will have signs that say “hit me because I can kill you”

Good thing he gives them all +4 to ac


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Drs. R. H. S. P. Stuart-Mill wrote:

All the info about the little problem called "the halfling"

Halfling
Str 5
Dex 24
Con 10
Int 12
Wis 18
Cha 16
Belt of Dexterity (+4)
Headband of Wisdom (+2)
...

Breaking this down...

I see +2 Dex stat from level (assumed)
+2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Str from race
+4 Dex, +2 Wis from magic

That means the original stat array (and points) was:
Str 7 --> -4
Dex 16 --> 10
Con 10 --> 0
Int 12 --> 2
Wis 16 --> 10
Cha 14 --> 5
For a total of 23 points

Given you stated the character only had 15 points, he is 8 points over budget.

So either I overlooked something, or his stats are too high.

/cevah

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