Optimized or Impossible


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Jhaeman wrote:
...using grenades because at least they’ll hit AC 5.

Heavy weapons with the explode special property are more cost effective.


The Ragi wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:
...using grenades because at least they’ll hit AC 5.
Heavy weapons with the explode special property are more cost effective.

We get it Ragi, you've got a noob tube. :P

Teasing. I was going to say, I even had trouble hitting AC 5 just due to poor luck. "All I need is to not roll a 1. *throws the dice* Son of a-!"


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:

First off - the OP's GM is doing it "wrong". Actually he's doing exactly what the book says, but that's advice that's more true in Pathfinder in Starfinder. What goes "wrong" is:

* The GM calculates APL by averaging the party, and adding +1 for 6 PCs. So with the party one level behind, they seem to have the right APL for the adventure because there's a lot of them.
* The GM takes the XP for each encounter and divides it equally among all PCs. As a result, they lag behind about 1 level.

So he's following the advice of the CRB, but it's not really good advice, because it's missing a crucial detail. You give the +1 to APL because the PCs' greater number of actions is supposed to give them an advantage. But they only have the advantage if those actions are useful. So if the enemy has really high AC, then more attacks don't really help.

Now, because of the math behind both games, CR+3 in Starfinder is probably more comparable to CR+5 in Pathfinder, so the solo bosses in the AP are really quite extreme. If you're underleveled in Starfinder, then having lots of you won't really make it better. (Yes, you could hide behind the mountain of dead technomancers, but who does that for fun?)

The solution for balancing a 6-player party should NEVER EVER EEEEEVER be for the solo boss to be stronger. Because that's math that you can't get right. It should always be a matter of giving the enemy better action economy: terrain that makes it harder for the PCs to all heap up on him, or minions.

My best practice for GMing for more than 4 players
* Ditch actual XP. Use the milestones written in the adventure for when people should level up.
* For each extra PC in the party, increase the encounter's "XP budget" by 25%.
* The extra budget can NOT be spent on bumping the numbers of the boss. It should be spent on things that even out the action economy. These can be circumstances or mooks.
* Circumstances should be stuff that reduces how many actions the PCs can focus on the boss, by about 25%. So "someone...

While you make some good points the, GM didnt do it right comments are in regards to the encounter scaling you mention. IF you scale up those encounters for a large party and increase CR where appropriate then the XP they earn vastly increases as well. In my games case it results in them being regularly over leveled not under leveled and this is why I would comment that something in regards to how the GM is scaling the encounters is off.


Isaac Zephyr wrote:

We get it Ragi, you've got a noob tube. :P

Teasing. I was going to say, I even had trouble hitting AC 5 just due to poor luck. "All I need is to not roll a 1. *throws the dice* Son of a-!"

Just spreading the good word, trying to save one more soul from the hell that is grenade lobbing.

... and having to hit such a low AC, you can always fight defensively and get an extra +2 to your AC. With a little planning, you'll only miss on a 1! Call now!

^;_;^

Unless you're fighting an operative or a mob with evasion, than you are screwed.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
HammerJack wrote:

Well, yes. It is self evident that when everyone is in the back row, that really means they're all in the front line.

Fights without a front liner get interesting, you play the bennyhill music as people without AC try to avoid full attacks by something that can hit them on a 2

Have they considered "hard cover and staying out of melee range"? Especially the hard cover, if the enemy doesn't have line of effect, their full attack bonus is irrelevant. Sure, it will be tricky to still do stuff, but "tricky" is supposed to be the name of the game when facing a vastly superior opponent.

Which, relatedly. . . how, exactly, are you facing an opponent that can hit you on a 2 with a full attack? NPCs have higher attack bonuses on average, but not *that* much higher. Are your PCs routinely ignoring armor improvements? Are they routinely using Dex as a dump stat? Are the enemies not level-appropriate?


Metaphysician wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
HammerJack wrote:

Well, yes. It is self evident that when everyone is in the back row, that really means they're all in the front line.

Fights without a front liner get interesting, you play the bennyhill music as people without AC try to avoid full attacks by something that can hit them on a 2
Have they considered "hard cover and staying out of melee range"? Especially the hard cover, if the enemy doesn't have line of effect, their full attack bonus is irrelevant.

Unless they have a Line weapon...


Metaphysician wrote:


Which, relatedly. . . how, exactly, are you facing an opponent that can hit you on a 2 with a full attack? NPCs have higher attack bonuses on average, but not *that* much higher. Are your PCs routinely ignoring armor improvements? Are they routinely using Dex as a dump stat? Are the enemies not level-appropriate?

partially snark.

partially I have really bad luck so i took a look at where I can spend my money and what I would get out of it. Calden cayden brand healing potions by the keg and augmentations are more cost effective than pumping AC.

Metaphysician wrote:


Which, relatedly. . . how, exactly, are you facing an opponent that can hit you on a 2 with a full attack? NPCs have higher attack bonuses on average, but not *that* much higher. Are your PCs routinely ignoring armor improvements? Are they routinely using Dex as a dump stat? Are the enemies not level-appropriate?

partially snark.

partially I have really bad luck so i took a look at where I can spend my money and what I would get out of it. Calden cayden brand healing potions by the keg and augmentations are more cost effective than pumping AC.

Even with good AC you're realistically looking at being hit on.. what? a 5? a 7? against a boss. In a four round fight you have a reasonable chance of getting hit every single time.

(which means my black cat into a mirror keister is getting hit every time)

So you have to build for those times anyway.


Jhaeman wrote:
I’m late to post. but I’ll just chime in to say my experience has been similar to the OP: my Envoy can’t hit enemies without a natural 20 and enemies never miss unless it’s a natural 1. It’s frustrating. I’ve taken to just rolling full attacks to hope for a 20, and using grenades because at least they’ll hit AC 5.

What level are you at? I don't ever see this kind of dichotomy unless it's very high level play AND you are not optimized for your particular brand of combat. Envoys at higher level should be either Clever Attacking or Improved Get 'Em!-ing or both, and if you still can't hit after a swing like that I think your GM has been secretly waterboarding your character when you weren't looking.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Calden cayden brand healing potions by the keg and augmentations are more cost effective than pumping AC.

I hadn't given it much thought before, but you might actually be right about it.


Dracomicron wrote:


What level are you at? I don't ever see this kind of dichotomy unless it's very high level play AND you are not optimized for your particular brand of combat. Envoys at higher level should be either Clever Attacking or Improved Get 'Em!-ing or both, and if you still can't hit after a swing like that I think your GM has been secretly waterboarding your character when you weren't looking.

I would guesse having too much charisma and not enough of their to hit stat.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So much to-hit stat does an envoy need at any given level?

Sovereign Court

Vexies wrote:
While you make some good points the, GM didnt do it right comments are in regards to the encounter scaling you mention. IF you scale up those encounters for a large party and increase CR where appropriate then the XP they earn vastly increases as well. In my games case it results in them being regularly over leveled not under leveled and this is why I would comment that something in regards to how the GM is scaling the encounters is off.

Yeah, it's a bit of a seesaw thing, but not a good one.

At first, 6 level 1 PCs overwhelm an encounter written for 4 PCs. They divide the XP 6 ways instead of 4 though, so at some point they are still level 1 while a 4-player party would have been level 2 by now, so the next encounter gets harder.

If you don't change any encounters, then each PC will be at about 66% of the XP the encounter was written for (because all XP is split 6-ways), which causes you to be one level behind.

This seems to match well with the "6 player groups should be challenged as APL+1" doctrine from the book. The problem is if it's against a single enemy that is now relatively stronger, to the point where PCs have trouble hitting it/forcing hard enough saves and conversely having trouble not getting hit/making saves/coping wit the damage.

So basically, by not making things harder in the beginning (keeping encounters the same) the GM made things harder later on (keeping encounters the same, for more PCs).

---

If instead, the GM consistently increases the XP budget of all his encounters by 25% per player over 4, and spends that budget on additional enemies (not one uber-enemy), then things work out better:

* The total XP divided by number of players remains the same, so each PC actually receives the amount of XP the adventure was written for.
* Early in the campaign, difficulty is not reduced due to the PCs superior numbers
* Later in the game the difficulty is not increased due to PCs being under level
* Actual encounters should properly challenge the PCs' actual advantage, superior numbers, with increased numbers of monsters.

Sovereign Court

Metaphysician wrote:
Which, relatedly. . . how, exactly, are you facing an opponent that can hit you on a 2 with a full attack? NPCs have higher attack bonuses on average, but not *that* much higher. Are your PCs routinely ignoring armor improvements? Are they routinely using Dex as a dump stat? Are the enemies not level-appropriate?

* Have only 12-14 dex because nobody gets all that many build points

* Lag behind a bit in armor. Nobody can afford to buy new armor every level, the resale value of loot/obsolete armor (10%) is too low for that. It seems okay to go from Mk 1 to Mk 2 to Mk 3 on a particular brand, like going from Lashunta Ringwear Mk 2 (level 5) to Mk 2 (level 8) to Mk 3 (level 11). But that means at some levels you're behind.
* Spend too much of your wealth on weapons instead of armor. I've gotten better results with low-level weapons and high-level armor than the other way around.
* Face a creature selected as CR = APL+3, like a bossfight.
* Do that while the party is actually one level lower due to XP being split among more than 4 people.


Ravingdork wrote:
So much to-hit stat does an envoy need at any given level?

I prefer starting at 16 and then prioritizing it over charisma for upgrades


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thanks BNW.

Ravingdork wrote:
So how much to-hit stat does an envoy need at any given level?

Seems I left out an important word there.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
So much to-hit stat does an envoy need at any given level?
I prefer starting at 16 and then prioritizing it over charisma for upgrades

My melee Technomancer made the mistake of using his Mk. 1 personal upgrade on Intelligence. He's level 5 now with 16 Strength and 20 intelligence; when I hit level 6 I'm definitely putting the Mk. 2 personal upgrade into Strength, which should certainly put me back into the running for combat effectiveness.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Which, relatedly. . . how, exactly, are you facing an opponent that can hit you on a 2 with a full attack? NPCs have higher attack bonuses on average, but not *that* much higher. Are your PCs routinely ignoring armor improvements? Are they routinely using Dex as a dump stat? Are the enemies not level-appropriate?

* Have only 12-14 dex because nobody gets all that many build points

* Lag behind a bit in armor. Nobody can afford to buy new armor every level, the resale value of loot/obsolete armor (10%) is too low for that. It seems okay to go from Mk 1 to Mk 2 to Mk 3 on a particular brand, like going from Lashunta Ringwear Mk 2 (level 5) to Mk 2 (level 8) to Mk 3 (level 11). But that means at some levels you're behind.
* Spend too much of your wealth on weapons instead of armor. I've gotten better results with low-level weapons and high-level armor than the other way around.
* Face a creature selected as CR = APL+3, like a bossfight.
* Do that while the party is actually one level lower due to XP being split among more than 4 people.

I find running for more than 4 and still using experience to be a lot more enjoyable for all to add a monster or two to several ecounters. It ups the danger in a lot of fights, but my players enjoy it. They're built well, but it also keeps them on the level recommended in dead suns.

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