Magical exploits I hope PF2 erases from the game


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With heightening spells, they could also engage in a bit of unification. Say, at its lowest level Freedom of Movement grants the Slick armor property to the recipient; this is still good, but not auto-escape. Higher level versions then do more of the FoM effect, like acting normally underwater, and granting a bonus to defenses / saves against things like Entangle or Grapple landing in the first place so you don't have to take an action to escape.

Following with this unification, certain slippery creatures can also be specified as specifically having the Slick armor property, rather than ad hoc abilities. The Grease spell or a bottle of oil also put Slick on whoever they land on.

A master Grapple feat then can specify that you ignore the Slick property, wherever it comes from. It might still be harder for you to get your hands on someone with a higher level FoM going, but once you do grab them, it's going to be hard for them to escape.


I agree with the issues in the OP. But I'll offer two reasons that letting them be left to house rules is the better option.

First, a lot of people like playing with these elements as "features". Remove a feature from someone else' game just so I don't have to implement a simple house rule is not the nest option.

Second, the game is complex. When the rules try to get into ever weed like this, the unintended consequences will outweigh the value of the solutions.


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The Rot Grub wrote:
I wouldn't mind Teleport having a 10 minute casting, and during the last minute a visible light appears at the other end to warn people on the other side.

I think everyone is missing a very important use of teleportation that should not be nerfed: bugging out.

I'm all for nerfing the ability to teleport offensively ("Scry & fry"), but I think it's important not to remove the ability for the party (or villain) to teleport the heck out if they realize they're in over their heads.

I think the easiest way to accomplish this would be to only allow long-range teleportation to target specific sites, which you could justify by saying it's a matter of riding ley-lines, or requiring a teleportation circle on the other end, or whatever. This allows people to use teleport to get out, and to bypass a large degree of overland travel, but doesn't totally remove traveling as an issue.


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I agree that only being able to teleport to designated sites (Word of Recall triggers, teleportation circles, "fairy rings" and the like) is the best solution for the problems with long-distance teleportation. Even if the villain has a teleport circle of their own, it's not going to be in their bedchamber, it's going to be somewhere that can be more heavily guarded. It's still convenient to go there, but it doesn't cut the adventure out entirely, and learning the sigil key for said circle can be its own little sidequest.

Short-distance teleports like Dimension Door etc are never a problem, it's pretty much only long-distance that causes issues.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rogar Valertis wrote:


The Problem (Scry & Fry): This exploit works once the players get access to teleport and powerful divination magic. They buff up as wella s they can, the wizard scries the location of the BBEG and then teleports himself and the rest of the party into the final encounter avoiding all story progression and inevitable attrition. Obviously a GM has ways against this, chief among them stating that every dungeon/castle/cavern/war-camp/what-have-you is magically protected against scry and teleport magic (or just have the BBEG use said tactic himself... which usually ends in a TPK). This is an inelegant solution that often breaks suspension of disbelief and causes players who want to employ such tactics to "win" to feel cheated out of their "just reward" for their "cleverness".
Suggested solution: Make divination magic useful on smaller scale endeavours but not so much it easily breaks chronicle plots and easily revelas secrets supposed to be discovered during play. Make teleportation magic, slower to cast, riskier and more unreliable. Portals can bring you from point A to point B in space with little to no risks. Teleporting into an enemy lair and then out of it with pinpoint accuracy (unless you are really unlucky) is too much and risks trivializing encounters.

I am wondering how often this actually happens - I hear about it from time to time, but haven't yet really run across it.

A few questions:
Scrying:
You have to have a connections to the individual being scryied, other wise the spell does not work.
A vague name, like the Storm Tyrant is insufficient to locate said being (especially if the PCs are unsure of the race or name of that individual).
The target get's a saving throw. How many GMs make that roll (and including modifiers like +10 for no real knowledge of the subject)?

Does the GM give the bad guy a perception check to spot the scrying (DC = 20 + spell level)? Or anyone else in the room?

If the bad guy is a wizard, is there any reason why they don't cast Detect Scrying every day (24 hour duration)? Or have a spell caster minion cast it?

Teleport:
Does the GM roll the percentile dice to see if they actually teleport to the right place?

Is there any reason why the big bad hasn't invested a few thousand gold in teleportation protection for key areas? Teleport Trap can be made permanent for 7000 gp - pocket change for a big bad at those levels. If the big bad is a cleric, then the spell Forbiddance would be the spell to use - it is permanent. And both of these spells have the option to have some individuals (or items) bypass the teleport inhibition, so that the big bad can teleport away.


Have you looked at npc wealth my dude? you can do scry and fry at level 9 if you feel like it.
let's say the bad guy is level 11, So his total wealth is 16350 gp. I don't think 43% of your wealth is pocket change.

Also, yeah scry can fail, but then you can just try again until it works, that's not a big deal


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
CWheezy wrote:

Have you looked at npc wealth my dude? you can do scry and fry at level 9 if you feel like it.

let's say the bad guy is level 11, So his total wealth is 16350 gp. I don't think 43% of your wealth is pocket change.

Also, yeah scry can fail, but then you can just try again until it works, that's not a big deal

The NPC wealth is the gear that they are wearing/carrying.

Can you point me to an adventure/AP where the full value in a base is covered off by NPC wealth? Including the cost of building the base?
:)

And for the failed scrying, well, some buffs spells have expensive components (thinking of stoneskin).


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mistwalker wrote:

Can you point me to an adventure/AP where the full value in a base is covered off by NPC wealth? Including the cost of building the base?

:)

Not to mention the cost of hiring/summoning/outfitting all those minions. Custom uniforms in that shade of magenta aren't free you know.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
CrystalSeas wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Lead is fine as long as you aren't eating it.
Or breathing dust or absorbing it through your skin. Ingesting lead is not the only vector.
Lead cannot be absorbed through skin outside of a few organic compounds that contain lead in their molecular makeup. Lead powder, lead metal cannot.

Not really a safe assumption. It might be true that inorganic lead won't absorb through unbroken skin, but your skin isn't guaranteed to be unbroken, even if you aren't fighting PC parties often. And then on top of that, it is going to be flaking off the ceilings and walls and getting into the air, and then into your food. Wait -- maybe that's why so many villains are so bad at following the rules on the Evil Overlord's List . . . .

Mistwalker wrote:
CWheezy wrote:

Have you looked at npc wealth my dude? you can do scry and fry at level 9 if you feel like it.

let's say the bad guy is level 11, So his total wealth is 16350 gp. I don't think 43% of your wealth is pocket change.

Also, yeah scry can fail, but then you can just try again until it works, that's not a big deal

The NPC wealth is the gear that they are wearing/carrying.

Can you point me to an adventure/AP where the full value in a base is covered off by NPC wealth? Including the cost of building the base?
:)

And for the failed scrying, well, some buffs spells have expensive components (thinking of stoneskin).

I was going to say that giving NPCs only NPC wealth is probably unfair to the NPCs, but this is another good thought.


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The the logical consequences of the existence of teleport renders any game world impossible to run a game in.

What is stopping a level 15 evil wizard from using scrying and teleport to kill any good aligned adventuring parties from level 5-10? Why let them level up to be a problem. Just kill them and take their stuff. Not the most satisfying way from end an adventure.

Congratulations, you have routed the bandit lord and word is spreading throughout the land of your glorious deeds. You are greeted at the Friendly Dagon Inn by well wishers, eager to hear stories of your glorious deeds. You eat, drink and relax. Arrendil holds the crowd enthralled as he artfully unveils every detail of your heroic victory. The evening rolls on, more wine and meat as you splurge a small fraction on your newly won wealth to treat simple folk to a night they will not soon forget. Some people trickle out of the Inn, others collapse by the hearth. Then you the hear the a faint woosh sound as your soul and the souls of your comrades and wellwishers are torn out of their bodies.
The light from the hearth shows what would be a serene picture of merrymakers collapsed after a good night, save for the blood tricking out of their eyes. An invisible figure stalks the Inn, rummaging through the corpse for any valuable items. Then the mage steals away into the night with the knowledge that the world is just that little bit safer for him and his followers.

Thanks for playing everyone. Sorry about the ending. You did not have any scrying or teleportation protection, so...


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I think it is important to remember that the entire world of each game hinges upon the narrative armor and imagination of the game master interpreting the rules and world setting they are choosing or creating. What is and is not possible in that world fundamentally stops there because the truth is that this is a game in a fantasy setting that only needs to make as much sense as is necessary for everyone playing to have fun.

Some people have a lot of fun playing with scrying teleporting wizards that are a step a head of the opposition. Some people enjoy the mythic magic of high level play, others like grittier games. A big issue with PF1 is that high level play stops being fun for a lot of people relatively quickly, and people rarely pursue it. Fixing it probably means scaling back or at least changing some of the "big issues" of balance and the difficulty of telling a story with players capable of creating worlds (or at least demi-planes) on their own. I am all for the new system thinking about how to make high level play possible without this magic as an option, but I would also much prefer that the system is capable of balancing that magic so that it is more fun to play, without becoming an exercise in tracking massive amounts of ever changing data.

I personally don't want pathfinder to sacrifice all high level play because some players and GMs don't have fun playing with it.


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^On this I agree.

The playtest must put 20th level play to The Test for more than 1 combat encounter - at least 3, preferably enough for advancement to "21st level". The game engine has to be able to survive and thrive at its uppermost limits of play as-written. PF1 is, but it takes a lot of hands-on experience to pull it off without everyone at the table tearing their hair out.

Doing so should address the loss of sales of higher level adventure paths, modules, et al.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Heh, that's why the BBEG only has NPC wealth, he spent the rest of his money on his base.

Scry and Fry is easy to fix by making it explicit that scrying is not sufficient knowledge of a location to cast teleport.


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Malthraz wrote:

The the logical consequences of the existence of teleport renders any game world impossible to run a game in.

What is stopping a level 15 evil wizard from using scrying and teleport to kill any good aligned adventuring parties from level 5-10? Why let them level up to be a problem. Just kill them and take their stuff. Not the most satisfying way from end an adventure.

Congratulations, you have routed the bandit lord and word is spreading throughout the land of your glorious deeds. You are greeted at the Friendly Dagon Inn by well wishers, eager to hear stories of your glorious deeds. You eat, drink and relax. Arrendil holds the crowd enthralled as he artfully unveils every detail of your heroic victory. The evening rolls on, more wine and meat as you splurge a small fraction on your newly won wealth to treat simple folk to a night they will not soon forget. Some people trickle out of the Inn, others collapse by the hearth. Then you the hear the a faint woosh sound as your soul and the souls of your comrades and wellwishers are torn out of their bodies.
The light from the hearth shows what would be a serene picture of merrymakers collapsed after a good night, save for the blood tricking out of their eyes. An invisible figure stalks the Inn, rummaging through the corpse for any valuable items. Then the mage steals away into the night with the knowledge that the world is just that little bit safer for him and his followers.

Thanks for playing everyone. Sorry about the ending. You did not have any scrying or teleportation protection, so...

I did something similar to my Rise of the Runelords party in Fortress of the Stone Giants. They had been conducting daily raids against the fortess. They learned not to camp nearby, because the enemy would track them to their camp. Instead, at the end of their 15-minute workday the party wizard teleported them to a comfortable inn in Magnimar.

They did not set up any anti-scrying defenses. The enemy wizard in the fortress scryed them and learned their location. At breakfast one morning, before the party wizard prepared his spells, a four-person assault team teleported to Magnimar and attacked the inn. The enemy wizard was not in the team, so they were not fried. The enemies were 10th-level people just weak enough for the party to defeat, among them a sorcerer familiar with Magnimar who could read the teleport scroll and a true neutral mercenary to neutralize the party paladin.

I confess I did it out of boredom, because the last few game sessions had been too similar to each other. But I was also trying to play the enemy wizard intelligently.

Dark Archive

Huh.Limited wish is a level 7 spell.At that level Blocking teleport should be easy.Isnt there a spell that blocks teleport.Cant you just say BBeg casted it with permenancy and be done with.You can even set a trap for teleporting PC's.Why that spell is broken.

Hmm.Can scrying spells interact with illusions?If they dont then they dont get a save right?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Malthraz wrote:
What is stopping a level 15 evil wizard from using scrying and teleport to kill any good aligned adventuring parties from level 5-10?

If a 15th level foe wants to kill 5th level PC's badly enough that he's willing to do it himself, protection from scry-and-die isn't going to save them. A 15th level Rogue could quietly ask around town to find out where the PC's are staying, then kill them in their sleep. A 15th level Ranger could track them while they're traveling, then pick them off with stealthy sniping. The 15th level wizard can do it marginally more conveniently and with more style. Heck, even the most liberal scry-and-die protections won't save you here; all the villain needs to do is identify the town/city they're staying in and his teleport spell will get him close enough. The fundamental issue here is the GM pitting the PC's against a foe that's out of their league, and the logical consequence of that is that they're going to die if that foe takes them seriously.

Lausth wrote:
Isnt there a spell that blocks teleport

The best one is Teleport Trap, which guards one 40 ft cube / level, and will cost you about 8500 gp to make permanent. Especially with multiple castings, you could very easy protect an entire fortress complex with this spell. On the flipside, it's a 7th level spell so it's a minimum caster level 13 to get access to it.

Forbiddance is another option, which is only a 6th level spell and has a 60 ft cube / level area and comes as automatically permament, but the cost is much higher - roughly double that of a permanent Teleport Trap.

However, neither of these spells are useful for characters who are on the go. For PC's the only real option is to try and prevent scrying, and that's a losing battle. Spamming nondetection on the entire party (the false focus feat is good for this) is an option, but anyone determined enough will eventually get through.


Detect scrying is the same level as scrying, lasts all day, and gives you a chance to reverse scry your opponent. It is the bane of the diviner because it is one spell that does wonders for the party. It doesn't shut down scrying, but it lets you know when it is happening, that someone is looking for you and gives you very opportunity to be prepared, to move or to dispel the scrying attempt. Generally speaking, the defenses against Scry and Fry are much cheaper and easier than dedicating the resources to be good at scrying and frying.

Also remember scrying only shows a 10ft radius around the target. There are very few locations that can be identified by what you can see in that area. If you are in the woods or any place that is not incredibly unique, you can just take a rest for the duration of the spell(1 minute/level) and the enemy learns very little. It takes an hour to cast and if it is wasted, they have to burn another hour to cast it.
Greater scry is a different picture, but it is just as vulnerable to that detect scrying 4th level spell and getting dispelled.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
Detect scrying is the same level as scrying, lasts all day, and gives you a chance to reverse scry your opponent.

On this matter, it should be noted that a scrying spell creates an invisible magical sensor that sends you information ... A creature can notice the sensor by making a Perception check with a DC 20 + the spell level. So it's already possible to notice a scrying attempt without magical aid. With that said, the "counter-scry" effect of detect scrying is still very nice. It still won't prevent scry-and-die, but having forewarning can help.

Unicore wrote:
There are very few locations that can be identified by what you can see in that area

Again, that's not what the spell says. The spell does state that the clearer your mental image, the more likely teleport is to work. However, it then goes on to list that seeing a location once with scrying is sufficient to qualify for the "viewed once" category.

However small a location is defined by the 10 ft area you saw with scrying, it's still a unique area that you've seen once.


Dasrak wrote:


However small a location is defined by the 10 ft area you saw with scrying, it's still a unique area that you've seen once.

Sure, but this is where the GM has a lot of leeway, especially since the definition of a false location is so vague. As a DM, I require my players tell me where they are teleporting to in a geographical sense, and if they have no clue where that would be, then I rule it out.

This is somewhat backed up in the Ultimate Intrigue book where it says this about scrying:

"The 10-foot-radius visual requires the target to move in order to provide a clear idea of the layout of the destination, and the spell doesn’t directly indicate the location. The PCs must use contextual clues to figure this out, unless they already know where the target is."


Also an end boss that doesn't have a high enough Will save to make scrying difficult is probably at great risk of being taken down by a great number of other 4th level spells as soon as the wizard sees them. Very few wizards take spell focus divination (because so few of the spells even benefit from it) and those that do probably deserve for their scry effects to work 5% more of the time.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
This is somewhat backed up in the Ultimate Intrigue book where it says this about scrying:

This was discussed on the previous page, and as I said there, I'd give it more credence if the Teleport spell didn't say exactly the opposite. There are countless examples of rules texts from different books that contradict each other, and when that happens we go with the original version. This isn't a case of clarifying an ambiguity, either; the original version of the Teleport spell explicitly lists scrying as an example of how you can view an area prior to teleporting to it.

I've got nothing against people who want to run it differently at their table, but wishing really hard that the rules text says or means something different doesn't make it so. Scrying allows you to teleport to that location; the teleport spell explicitly says so.


Upon noticing the scrying sensor, any number of illusions could be deployed to mess with the scryer, along with something simple ... like deeper darkness.

What is impressive is how many forget that scrying permits a Will save to negate. Without the DC enhancing components ... good luck getting it to stick without burning off significant amounts of spell slots...


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I dont think teleportation breaks the game. In PF 1 the game changes as you level up. You get more options which leads to more ways to bypass problems. Many GM's want to use low level problems for high level characters. Other GM's enjoy the higher level gameplay because they get to use different challenges.

Just because the game goes to 20 that doesn't mean that everyone has to play to that high of a level.

It's perfectly ok to stop leveling at a point when certain options cause problems for you.

With regard to scry and fry the spell as written goes against what PF says in Intrigue. If Paizo wants to change it they should, but they shouldn't act like the rules never allowed for scry and fry to work when it's right there in the spell description.

It's about as bad as the "Take 10" FAQ and trying to pretend like it was always supposed to work that way.


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wraithstrike wrote:

I dont think teleportation breaks the game. In PF 1 the game changes as you level up. You get more options which leads to more ways to bypass problems. Many GM's want to use low level problems for high level characters. Other GM's enjoy the higher level gameplay because they get to use different challenges.

Just because the game goes to 20 that doesn't mean that everyone has to play to that high of a level.

It's perfectly ok to stop leveling at a point when certain options cause problems for you.

With regard to scry and fry the spell as written goes against what PF says in Intrigue. If Paizo wants to change it they should, but they shouldn't act like the rules never allowed for scry and fry to work when it's right there in the spell description.

It's about as bad as the "Take 10" FAQ and trying to pretend like it was always supposed to work that way.

This. Game progresses through spellcasting levels and scope of those spells, much more than through increasing modifiers of characters.

It's easier to remove the offending spell with house rules than to instate them in game when they don't exist. And most of them should exist if nothing as adventure ideas and GM tools.

On specific spells:

Scry&fry - as has been mentioned this has been retconned by paizo to mostly not work, thanks to clarifications from UI. I disagree and use old definition. Frankly when you reach teleport levels, you should change the way you design adventures, in effect you have to force PCs to use teleport and divinations or they have no chance to unravel the villains plot or catch him. If you are constrained by AP, all it takes is one time that the villain is ready for the teleporting party that they will reconsider using this tactic every time.

Blood money/simulacrum wish machines - this makes a great plot for a villain, but one of easier to house rule. And I'm certain that blood money will not exist (and it seems there will be no costs for spells), while simulacrum (and/&or efreet) will be revised/clarified not to allow wishes. We as a group haven't ever thought about using it, to be fair, we just didn't deem it necessary.

Spell comboes - the one you mentioned (limited wish-geas) is basically the only one I've seen as problematic, and if PCs start wrecking the campaign with it and refusing to stop, then they shouldn't be surprised if the NPCs start using it on them.

One of the biggest problems in play we found is none of these, but rather advanced minionmacy. Simulacrum as wish machines in bacgrounds are nothing compared to army of them in combat, hordes of undead or a ton of bound outsiders. Other than occasional summon we refrain from these. The breaking is not really in power level of the game, but rather the time it takes to resolve these thing in game.


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We used to use obsidian as a magic resistant material it repulsed magic so I could see having a building with obsidian in its walls and it keeps out scrying same idea as the lead really but with less poisoning plus obsidian looks cooler.


If the bad guy is a fiend, or one of many other types of high level creatures, the lead-poisoning is no concern!

Save or suck is not so much fun, being stunned for 6 rounds.


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wraithstrike wrote:

I dont think teleportation breaks the game. In PF 1 the game changes as you level up. You get more options which leads to more ways to bypass problems. Many GM's want to use low level problems for high level characters. Other GM's enjoy the higher level gameplay because they get to use different challenges.

Just because the game goes to 20 that doesn't mean that everyone has to play to that high of a level.

It's perfectly ok to stop leveling at a point when certain options cause problems for you.

Very well said

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

What about playing up teleportation being disorienting? Dimension Door already has rules along those lines.

Teleport could render you dazed for some number of rounds when you arrive at your destination (1? 1d4? etc). No big deal if you’re teleporting to your safe house, or a friendly city.

But, teleport into the evil tyrant’s throne room, and he’s got time to buff up, call for reinforcements, and/or obliterate a PC before the fight starts.


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Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

What about playing up teleportation being disorienting? Dimension Door already has rules along those lines.

Teleport could render you dazed for some number of rounds when you arrive at your destination (1? 1d4? etc). No big deal if you’re teleporting to your safe house, or a friendly city.

But, teleport into the evil tyrant’s throne room, and he’s got time to buff up, call for reinforcements, and/or obliterate a PC before the fight starts.

Nice, like Summoning Sickness!


Scry and fry is extremely fun and any high level game without a little bit of it will feel lacking to me. Of course, moderation in all things.

I played a high level game where we were hired as elite security for the transport of priceless cargo. We sat at the the client's fortress with a team of diviners observing the multiple (lower level) field teams transporting the the cargo (in secret). If any one of them were attacked, we would immediately teleport in to their defence. There were attacked, and teleporting in as this elite defence team felt super bad-ass.


I would not consider that as scry and fry tactic and honestly, my players would mostly feel like cheaters themselves if they did that.

I admit it is a somewhat valid tactiv. If they can find out enough data for the teleport, let them have it, once or twice...but if players play with me as gm they should not expect it to work on every other baddie around-


Seisho wrote:

I would not consider that as scry and fry tactic and honestly, my players would mostly feel like cheaters themselves if they did that.

I admit it is a somewhat valid tactiv. If they can find out enough data for the teleport, let them have it, once or twice...but if players play with me as gm they should not expect it to work on every other baddie around-

Yes, if it's some high level, everyone teleporting around campaign, the party should be prepared for fiends and what-not to be teleporting nightly into their bedchambers/campsite, etc, and attack them while asleep and vulnerable.


Dasrak wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:
-Scry & Fry tactics
I think the best way to handle this is to add more counter-measures. I don't have a problem with using scrying to locate someone and teleport to their location under peaceful pretenses, it only becomes an issue if it's an assassination attempt. In that sense, the problem is more that there's an attacker/defender asymmetry with regards to these high-level spell effects.

Easiest way is being able to teleport to specific places (teleport circles), including circles you create yourself with chalk and stuff.

Alternatively, teleport being a gate that requires a number of rounds to travel from 1 spot to the other. So you teleport instantly from where you are, a gate opens in the destination, then 1, 3, 5, whatever rounds later, you arrive. That way you save the instant travel aspect is teleport, but it is not an instant kill


Dasrak wrote:
Malthraz wrote:
What is stopping a level 15 evil wizard from using scrying and teleport to kill any good aligned adventuring parties from level 5-10?
If a 15th level foe wants to kill 5th level PC's badly enough that he's willing to do it himself, protection from scry-and-die isn't going to save them. A 15th level Rogue could quietly ask around town to find out where the PC's are staying, then kill them in their sleep. A 15th level Ranger could track them while they're traveling, then pick them off with stealthy sniping.

Um, I don't mean kill one party of 5-10s. I mean kill every good party on the planet. Based on spells available, you can probably kill 3-4 parties per day.

You would need a very good intelligence network to do that, but with permanency and telepathy you might be able to pull it off. You also have mind blank, so counter strikes are much harder.

Since adventures make up only a few percent of the population. I vaguely recall it being 2%. Assuming that you can kill 3 parties per day, maybe 20% of adventurers make it to level 10, a party has 4 people in it, good adventuring parties make up 40% of the adventuring population, and it takes 20 years for a generation of adventures. You can kill all the good adventurers of 10th level for a population of over 50 million people. Given the population of Earth with pre-industrial technology was 500 million. All you need is a cabal of 10 evil level 15 wizards and you can suppress the entire world's population of good adventuring parties in the area of level 10.

Now, since Pathfinder worlds seem far more dangerous than pre-industrial Earth, you are probably not even going to need 10 wizards.

Added to this the solo wizard assassin should also be making at least 300,000 gp per day.

Teleport (and scrying) is a problem.

Liberty's Edge

Malthraz wrote:

Um, I don't mean kill one party of 5-10s. I mean kill every good party on the planet. Based on spells available, you can probably kill 3-4 parties per day.

You would need a very good intelligence network to do that, but with permanency and telepathy you might be able to pull it off. You also have mind blank, so counter strikes are much harder.

This would last right up until someone scarier heard about it and decided you don't get to do that any more. At which point they will use a Wish to bring them to your location and casually murder you.

Frankly, even some seriously Evil people will dislike this. I mean, it makes the world more boring and that's something Baba Yaga would very possibly object to. Baba Yaga is CR 30 and deserves that CR.

In short, this is an awful strategy and anyone who does do it is likely to be dead inside a year. People powerful enough to do this know that and generally don't want to die horribly (and, in the case of Baba Yaga have your soul bound into a paperweight or something...Baba Yaga is terrifying), and will thus not do this.

Which is not to say I'm against something to limit 'scry and fry' but this example is just not gonna happen.


Malthraz wrote:

Um, I don't mean kill one party of 5-10s. I mean kill every good party on the planet. Based on spells available, you can probably kill 3-4 parties per day.

You would need a very good intelligence network to do that, but with permanency and telepathy you might be able to pull it off. You also have mind blank, so counter strikes are much harder.

[...]

Teleport (and scrying) is a problem.

An intelligence network able to perform surveillance on a population of 50 million?

And word would get out. As soon as celebrated heroes start getting killed, two things would happen:


  • High level good characters (possibly even celestials) would set traps for these scrying murderers
  • People would stop celebrating heroes, and would keep everything on the down-low, making the intelligence network much much harder.

Teleport (and scrying) is only a problem if the consequences aren't fully explored. They should remain part of the setting.

It's much easier to houserule something out than it is to houserule it in.


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Maybe it's just me, but this sounds like the most awesome Shadowrun influenced AP yet.

"Heroes have been dying in unexplained murders, all around the world. Can you find out why? And who is your mysterious employer?"


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Mekkis wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:
Wermut wrote:


Sorry maybe Im misunderstanding things, but how does this create more work? The worst case scenario as described is a GM without experience playing with experienced players (who ignore the GMs skill level) on a high character level. In that case even a martial character randomly attacking NPCs is a problem.

The reason why wish machines cause more work for the GM is the PCs become more powerful than they should be and gain the ability to "break the game rules". A GM has the tools to fix this, but as stated above it requires him to block actions, deflect requests, continuously rule on issues and build encounters taking in account access to infinite wishes. Much better not to allow them beforehand imo.

Scry and Fry and loophole exploits risk destroying a GM's work and they are actually meant as such. You built a dungeon with a story and several encounters tied to it? Well, you wasted your time, bt RAW PCs are allowed to just "win" by scying/teleporting and assassinate the final boss. Again, the GM can easily deal with this by making every lair impossible to teleport into but that kind of solution is (1) heavy handed and (2) inelegant in the extreme. Better to tone down teleport/scry while keeping them useful imo. The same goes for stuff like limited wish/geas.

Basically what I'm asking is for these loopholes not to be allowed anymore by RAW. If someone enjoys them and their GM agrees they can house rule them into the game, not the other way around.

Every time someone brings up exploits such as "Infinite wishes", it reeks of theorycraft. It just doesn't happen in-game. If it did, the game wouldn't last long. Likewise with limited wish/geas.

There are elegant means to prevent "scry and fry". The "final boss" can be an unknown. The "dungeon with a story and several encounters" could have an objective more complex than "assassinate the 'final boss'". There are several means to hinder or stop scrying or teleportation.

Pathfinder...

But one of the AP's has Infinite wishes as an in game thing that is allowed (the BBEG does it so we know it is).


Dread Moores wrote:

Maybe it's just me, but this sounds like the most awesome Shadowrun influenced AP yet.

"Heroes have been dying in unexplained murders, all around the world. Can you find out why? And who is your mysterious employer?"

that sounds actually pretty cool, but you could not pull it off with low lvl characters

BUt if made right it could be an adventure path


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Easiest way is being able to teleport to specific places (teleport circles), including circles you create yourself with chalk and stuff.

I strongly disagree with this. One of the most basic, straightforward, and completely unintrusive uses of teleport is "I teleport to that landmark we can see on the horizon". Literally a case of spending a spell slot to avoid hours of overland travel. Yes, we can hand-wave the travel OOC, but at such high levels it feels right to be able to literally hand-wave the travel IC. It keeps system mastery for overland travel low, since it's completely intuitive that teleportation is the way to travel quickly between point A and point B.

Malthraz wrote:
Based on spells available, you can probably kill 3-4 parties per day.

This isn't so much an issue with teleportation as it is with the power ecology of Pathfinder. High level characters and monsters are so much more powerful than their lower-level counterparts that it raises the question of how the lower-level characters and communities survive at all. How you choose to answer this (the most common being high-level characters/monsters keep each other in check) is up to you, but it's always going to be an inherent problem in the system.


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Dasrak wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Easiest way is being able to teleport to specific places (teleport circles), including circles you create yourself with chalk and stuff.

I strongly disagree with this. One of the most basic, straightforward, and completely unintrusive uses of teleport is "I teleport to that landmark we can see on the horizon". Literally a case of spending a spell slot to avoid hours of overland travel. Yes, we can hand-wave the travel OOC, but at such high levels it feels right to be able to literally hand-wave the travel IC. It keeps system mastery for overland travel low, since it's completely intuitive that teleportation is the way to travel quickly between point A and point B.

It is also one of the reasons why the adventure path developers need to be pulling constantly from their arse ad hoc "reasons" to explain why the PC can't simply teleport to Mount Doom and throw the friggin ring.

So there's that.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Malthraz wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Malthraz wrote:
What is stopping a level 15 evil wizard from using scrying and teleport to kill any good aligned adventuring parties from level 5-10?
If a 15th level foe wants to kill 5th level PC's badly enough that he's willing to do it himself, protection from scry-and-die isn't going to save them. A 15th level Rogue could quietly ask around town to find out where the PC's are staying, then kill them in their sleep. A 15th level Ranger could track them while they're traveling, then pick them off with stealthy sniping.

Um, I don't mean kill one party of 5-10s. I mean kill every good party on the planet. Based on spells available, you can probably kill 3-4 parties per day.

You would need a very good intelligence network to do that, but with permanency and telepathy you might be able to pull it off. You also have mind blank, so counter strikes are much harder.

One of the questions that I had about your premise that a high level wizard could/would kill all of the good parties while they were low level, is how would that wizard even know about the good party?

To scry on someone, you have to know something about them - you can't scry on "good adventurers".

How would this "very good intelligence network" work?
While Telepathic Bond can be made permanent, it can only do so between 2 creatures per casting of Permanency. Would this wizard have thousands of creatures telepathically bonded to him/her/it? If so, then sleep/rest to recover spells may be difficult, with all those people talking to them pretty much 24/7.
How does the wizard choose and control all of those thousands of telepathically bonded in the intelligence network?
How does the wizard remember the names of all of those thousands of bonded folks, to know where to teleport to?
The telepathic bonded folks - what level are they? How do they explain to others about the magic aura that they have all the time?

Hmm, what about the gods in all of this? You don't think that some of the good gods might point their champions at this wizard?

How is the wizard getting 300,000 gp per day? You example was an exploded and destroyed inn, with the wizard leaving immediately. Searching the ruins of that inn will likely leave witnesses and take time. Then you have to find buyers for all the gear - which is another way that others might locate/identify the murderer.

Teleport has a range of 100 miles per caster level - so not world spanning at all. If the wizard uses Greater Teleport (which will likely be 3 per day), then the range limit is gone, but all of those 7th level spell slots are used up for movement.

So, in short, your premise that a 15th level wizard could kill all of the low level good parties (before they became high level) seems to not be workable, or even really possible by the current rules.


Wermut wrote:

This isnt the first thread about a topic like that, simple solution how about talking with your players?

If you view pen and paper as a "race" between GM and player you have lost already. Declare that you want a challenge and speak about how that could be possible?

If your players or your GM insists on using homebrew rules instead of an agreement. Well maybe look for new players to play with? Its kinda toxic then anyway.

This post is right. Nothing needs to be changed.

As a GM, let them use any of those tactics. Announce they've won and 5 minutes later get up and leave. Go to a group that is interested in the story.

But seriously, magic is the answer to magic problems. As a GM you can do anything.

Your scry doesn't seem to work. You don't have to give a reason! It just doesn't work in this case.

Or you teleport - into an illusion and are crushed to death by a falling room trap. Oh, no roll needed, unless you are a giant.

Seriously, you should be able to clang off fun and interesting ways to deal with any party that wants to try stuff like this. In short, mess with them back.

From a story perspective, make it so that if they use tactics like that, they've missed critical information and have no done something that will be seen as a crime by X, y, z, pick something that will be fun.

Anyway, I understand the OP concern, but the game isn't the problem. In fact, fewer rules and specifics in these type of situations allow the GM to run the type of game they want (players like to use rules against GM's).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:
It is also one of the reasons why the adventure path developers need to be pulling constantly from their arse ad hoc "reasons" to explain why the PC can't simply teleport to Mount Doom and throw the friggin ring.

I strongly disagree with this particular approach. First of all, this is like complaining that your 10th level party is no longer challenged by goblins. Growing more powerful isn't just a matter of having bigger numbers or fighting bigger monsters, it's about gaining more tools and abilities to handle a wide variety of challenges. Overland travel is essentially a solved problem by 10th level, and lamenting that is no different than lamenting that fighting ordinary goblins is essentially a solved problem by 10th level.

The thing is, we already have a level range at which these sorts of stories are perfectly serviceable. You want to travel to Mount Doom? A 5th level party can have an adventure of it. But 10th level parties have solved that problem, they're on to more epic challenges than that. This isn't a bug, but a feature of the system. Removing those more powerful abilities doesn't add anything, since we already have a level range at which those stories work, but does remove the potential of stories that lean on the heroes having those greater abilities. That also doesn't mean you can't use goblins, and it doesn't mean you can't use overland travel, but you have to do a little more work to make it appropriate for a 10th level character. Maybe you're exploring for a lost city, so you don't know exactly where you're headed. Or maybe you're traveling across the planes. Or maybe you need to escort a very large group of allies that's too large to ferry with teleportation. All plausible means of complicating and adding an interesting twist to what is otherwise an easy task for a 10th level party.

Secondly, removing teleportation doesn't solve the Mount Doom problem, because the PC's still have all the other options available to 10th level characters. Those other options just don't get discussed much because they aren't very relevant in light of teleport. However, for parties that lack access to teleport it's entirely possible to get by with things like a magical pony express while using the Invisibility Sphere spell to avoid detection when moving through open areas. Having a single spell and/or ritual option that neatly encapsulates a task that shouldn't be a big deal at your level makes the system overall more intuitive. If we have to talk about some weird pony express combo that lets you travel 500 miles per day because free-roaming teleport isn't a thing, that does the opposite.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Malthraz wrote:

Um, I don't mean kill one party of 5-10s. I mean kill every good party on the planet. Based on spells available, you can probably kill 3-4 parties per day.

You would need a very good intelligence network to do that, but with permanency and telepathy you might be able to pull it off. You also have mind blank, so counter strikes are much harder.

This would last right up until someone scarier heard about it and decided you don't get to do that any more. At which point they will use a Wish to bring them to your location and casually murder you.

I think Mind Blank would probably protect you from my interpretation of "Mind blank even foils limited wish, miracle, and wish spells when they are used in such a way as to gain information about the target."

Anyway, it is a ridiculous examples.

The issue I really want to highlight is the problem that teleport can create in world creation for GMs. Because there is such a huge disparity in power between a couple of levels, and this appears to be increasing in PFe2, the power projection that teleport gives means that there is no reason why high level characters and monsters would not just dominate everything.

Without teleport, it takes way longer to go and do trivial things and generally powerful characters and monsters are not going to bother. This means that it is believable for low level characters to have challenges at their level that some higher level could not be bother doing anything about.

The most recent game I ran I banned teleport and it has been a more enjoyable game.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Malthraz wrote:

Um, I don't mean kill one party of 5-10s. I mean kill every good party on the planet. Based on spells available, you can probably kill 3-4 parties per day.

You would need a very good intelligence network to do that, but with permanency and telepathy you might be able to pull it off. You also have mind blank, so counter strikes are much harder.

This would last right up until someone scarier heard about it and decided you don't get to do that any more. At which point they will use a Wish to bring them to your location and casually murder you.

Frankly, even some seriously Evil people will dislike this. I mean, it makes the world more boring and that's something Baba Yaga would very possibly object to. Baba Yaga is CR 30 and deserves that CR.

In short, this is an awful strategy and anyone who does do it is likely to be dead inside a year. People powerful enough to do this know that and generally don't want to die horribly (and, in the case of Baba Yaga have your soul bound into a paperweight or something...Baba Yaga is terrifying), and will thus not do this.

Which is not to say I'm against something to limit 'scry and fry' but this example is just not gonna happen.

I think she is like the scariest creature stated in pathfinder imo anyways.

Liberty's Edge

Malthraz wrote:
I think Mind Blank would probably protect you from my interpretation of "Mind blank even foils limited wish, miracle, and wish spells when they are used in such a way as to gain information about the target."

"I wish to be right next to whoever did this right now." is not divination. It's the risky form of wish that doesn't directly duplicate an existing spell, but pretty low risk as such Wishes go.

Malthraz wrote:
Anyway, it is a ridiculous examples.

Well, yes.

Malthraz wrote:
The issue I really want to highlight is the problem that teleport can create in world creation for GMs. Because there is such a huge disparity in power between a couple of levels, and this appears to be increasing in PFe2, the power projection that teleport gives means that there is no reason why high level characters and monsters would not just dominate everything.

Uh...high powered monsters and characters do dominate everything. The average level of a ruler in Golarion is around 15. High level people and things rule most of the world.

Malthraz wrote:
Without teleport, it takes way longer to go and do trivial things and generally powerful characters and monsters are not going to bother. This means that it is believable for low level characters to have challenges at their level that some higher level could not be bother doing anything about.

Why in the world would you bother? It's very clear from the world lore that, for most people, rising in level is a process of years or even decades, and mass murder of this sort takes lots of time and effort and draws attention (of the aforementioned 'now you die' kind). Frankly, it's a deeply stupid thing to do as insurance against a problem that might develop a few years down the line, especially if your plan will be completed by then.

PCs and their tendency to level in months instead of years tend to throw a monkey wrench into this cost/benefit analysis, but they're also vanishingly rare in-setting. You'd need metagame knowledge that PCs will eventually target you for this to be a remotely good strategy, and villains don't (and shouldn't) get metagame knowledge.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I think she is like the scariest creature stated in pathfinder imo anyways.

Pretty much, yeah. Baba Yaga is a scary lady.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

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Dasrak wrote:
I strongly disagree with this particular approach. First of all, this is like complaining that your 10th level party is no longer challenged by goblins. Growing more powerful isn't just a matter of having bigger numbers or fighting bigger monsters, it's about gaining more tools and abilities to handle a wide variety of challenges.

Thank you for saying this! I wholeheartedly agree.

Once a party has access to things like teleport and scry you, as the GM, have to start taking that into account. You have to stop planning adventures that can be circumvented by those spells and, eventually, you have to start planning adventures that require them.


I'd conclude that as new content is released new powerful tools will be implemented. Things with sometimes less obvious side effects that could without awareness of the GM "break" the game. So "fixing" known issues shouldnt be the point. What one would like in such scenarios to have is a paragraph for GMs that covers such things. Because things like "Blood Money spells" and "AC30+Bird Ring of Shelyn" will always happen.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Malthraz wrote:
Without teleport, it takes way longer to go and do trivial things and generally powerful characters and monsters are not going to bother. This means that it is believable for low level characters to have challenges at their level that some higher level could not be bother doing anything about.

Why in the world would you bother? It's very clear from the world lore that, for most people, rising in level is a process of years or even decades, and mass murder of this sort takes lots of time and effort and draws attention (of the aforementioned 'now you die' kind). Frankly, it's a deeply stupid thing to do as insurance against a problem that might develop a few years down the line, especially if your plan will be completed by then.

A high level Paladin is not going to let mid level evil linger because it is 5 levels below her. "Oh no, I won't clear out the demon spawn in the swamp lands, the PCs need to do that to get some levels". What?!

High level creatures do dominate, with teleport it is incredibly hard to justify why they have not cleared out all of the adventure encounters from level 5-12. With teleport it is worth your time and effort. Without teleport it generally is not. Without teleport there is a niche for level 5-12 people to get their hands dirty.

Teleport leaves a world without mid level adventures.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

"I wish to be right next to whoever did this right now." is not divination.

That is exactly divination (plus some teleport).

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