Is the Chararacter Overpowered, the Polymorph Overpowered, or Natural Attacks Overpowered?


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Easy house rule, just say that you can't change into a creature greater than your CR+x and set x where you feel is fair.

Derklord wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Also, to be clear, the eidolon can have slam and claws on the same limb. They just can’t attack with both of them as part of the same action.
Where does it say that (presuming with action you mean full-attack action)?

It's almost an unwritten rule, because there aren't any regular creatures that actually have this problem, but you can see the intent here.

combat wrote:
You can make attacks with natural weapons in combination with attacks made with a melee weapon and unarmed strikes, so long as a different limb is used for each attack. For example, you cannot make a claw attack and also use that hand to make attacks with a longsword. When you make additional attacks in this way, all of your natural attacks are treated as secondary natural attacks, using your base attack bonus minus 5 and adding only 1/2 of your Strength modifier on damage rolls. Feats such as Two-Weapon Fighting and Multiattack can reduce these penalties.

Well, we all know how weird the rules for hand usage for manufactured weapons are. I wouldn't presume to guess any intent how thay translate to natural weapons...

Seriously, punching someone and than scratching them when drawing the hand back is totally something I can see being doable. At least in, you know, the realm of weird magical plethora-of-natural-attacks abominations.

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Derklord wrote:

Seriously, punching someone and than scratching them when drawing the hand back is totally something I can see being doable. At least in, you know, the realm of weird magical plethora-of-natural-attacks abominations.

But by that token, you'd think a creature could drag their teeth along after a bite as well and get another attack out of that form, dragons batting at PCs with their wings and the claws at the ends of the wings, etc, ad infinitum. And that way lies madness. Literally nearly every monster in the Bestiary that has claws would be listed as having not just the claws but also a potential "slam" from those clawed limbs if that were the way the rules worked.

If a limb (or maw) is directly involved in an attack, it has done its job and isn't doing any other. So if the slams come from arms and a mutation grows claws on those arms, the claw attacks takes the place of the slams. You get one or the other, not both.

Getting multiple attacks out of the same appendage comes from rate of attacks. Character types get them with held weapons, some animal companions get them if sufficiently advanced.

And, note, all of this comes without assuming some kind of "hands of effort" unwritten rule. That way, also, lies madness.

Understand that some of these rules exist more for balance and mechanics than for realism. Some aspects of Pathfinder combat are necessarily unrealistic.

Shadow Lodge

Well, so everything's relative. Your player promised not to make a beast of a shapechanger and he didn't, just a really good one. I played a metamorph/barbarian, which at level 7 had +17 to hit with all those same attacks (from monstrous physique) and +14 damage (or +20 with a 2hander). So they could just be standing there and dishing out 100+ damage/round instead of having to maneuver into flanks or any other issues with sneak attack. Not that comparing op with a little more op really helps. There isn't any good fix aside from not doing it. I ended up retiring that character for being too powerful.

Just wanted to point something out that you may not have considered, but PFS does not always ban material based solely on balance. Some bans are to restrict certain RP-related Prestige/Archetypes to Boon completion (Insert certain Wizard Archetype and Paladin Archetype here*). Additionally, many archetypes are banned due to Evil Fluff, including many "questionable but not restricted to" Evil fluff.

Insert certain Wizard Archetype and Paladin Archetype here*:
Thassilonian Specialist Wizard and Oath of the People's Councel Paladin

The definition for Vivisection is "A surgery conducted for experimental purposes on a living organism, typically animals with a central nervous system, to view living internal structure." - it has been strongly implied that the Vivisectionist in Pathfinder does not restrict their study to animals.

TL:DR - Vivisectionist was banned because it was an evil flavored Archetype, not because it was an overpowered archetype.

Balkoth wrote:
So...first combat with the new character he uses Monstrous Physique and turns into the form of a CR20 Euryale. So he now has Bite/Claw/Claw at full BAB and then *six* more Bites at a -2 penalty...since he claims that he should be able to take Multiattack. That's 9 attacks independent of items or race and is available as early as level 7.
Euryale: Snake Independence (Ex) wrote:
A euryale’s snakes are independently intelligent and can attack even when she doesn’t. No matter what action the euryale takes, she can still always make all six snake bite attacks on her turn. Even when she doesn’t attack with any other weapons that round, her snake bites always count as secondary attacks.

The snake bites are NOT natural attacks. They are Ex.

Derklord wrote:

Well, Witchwyrd from Bestiary 2 would have 9 primary attacks (nothing prevents claws and slams on the same hand*), so it's not exactly a new thing (unless you count "exists for over 7 years now" new). With added in pounce at 10th level to boot (as Greater Beastform Mutagen is shockingly not a polymorph effect).

*) Please don't quote that one rules section that only deals with mixing manufactured and natural weapons!

Witchwyrd wrote:
Melee ranseur +11/+6 (2d4+4/×3), 2 slams +6 (1d4+1 plus grab) or 4 slams +11 (1d4+3 plus grab)

Clearly two slams are competing with the two-handed weapon. Therefore, even with claws, they compete for the same attack as the slam or polearm.

You get 4 primary attacks and the mutaget adds a 5th with the bite.


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Removed posts and replies. The heated and hostile language, including profanity, used in the discussion does not contribute to providing constructive advice.

Balkoth wrote:

I've heard horror stories about the combo and I know Vivisectionist is banned in PFS for just being a better rogue, but I've given rogues some major buffs and looking at the Vivisectionist figured it might be okay. Plus, the player promised not to make a natural attack monstrosity, said he'd have Bite/Claw/Claw from Feral Mutagen.

but...thinking about it, it's not necessarily that character specifically. Any Alchemist can transform like that at level 7 apparently, and secondary Bites aren't all that impressive. The problematic part is adding in Sneak Attack per bite.

I actually have a character who can do something similar, albeit a lot less intense, because she's an Arcane Trickster.

I think that what you have here is a perfect storm of factors coming to make something that seems horrific at first glance. I think the nuanced answer is that it appears more OP than it is, but is still OP (for your game), and is also (probably) dishonest:

* polymorphing is good, on semi-martials
* sneak attack gets better the more attacks you have
* this archetype combo has full-progression SA and polymorphing on a chassis with natural attacks and 3/4 BAB.
Hence this archetype combo has a lot of potential for SA mauling. Now, whether that's "OP" or not is basically dependant on context - the game that you run is different from the game other people run and hence the level of appropriate damage optimisation in your game is also different. There are doubtless games of PF out there where this wouldn't stand out as a problem. However you also said this overshadowed Martial characters, so you think it's OP in the context of your game.

Then we add in:
* this is a resource-using approach that requires pre-buffing and therefore should be impressive when it works.
* this is an approach that requires a specific battlefield setup to work, and therefore should be impressive when it works.
Someone already pointed this out, but though you can start doing this at L7, it isn't going to be every fight. Like my arcane trickster: in theory from L7 she can pre-buff to have five attacks with +3d6 SA, and in theory she can also have other buffs running, and in theory she can rage and get +d6 fire on every attack... but in practice that never happens, because how often do you spend three rounds buffing?
Also, if you gotta kill a whole bunch of mooks, having a bunch of weak attacks with SA on them isn't actually great, because if you flank one and murder them utterly, you probably don't have SA on the rest even if you have the reach to hit them. This SA approach shines vs one not-very-mobile boss monster, where you can flank and spank.

Finally there's the "player is not necessarily someone you want to game with" component:
* this player is doing something dodgy by using the Euryale as a polymorph form without checking that's okay
* this player is insisting they can use Multiattack, which is a monster feat and therefore entirely at GM discretion
* this player is doing something dodgy because the Euryale's hair-snake attacks aren't natural attacks (could be an honest mistake, still wrong though)
* this player is acting in bad faith (because he said he wouldn't build a natural attack monster and did)
At the kindest possible interpretation, you have a significant communication failure here. At the least kind, this player is a problem.

So I'd say you actually have multiple problems. I think your biggest is that you have this one player optimising far harder than the others, and with some dubious stuff going on. IDK whether this player needs reining in or chucking out, but it seems like it's one of those.
Your second problem is that you haven't understood the limits on this situational tactic.
Your third problem is (probably) one of communication, both when you set the game up and ongoing: if you want your game to be low optimisation, that's completely cool. But PF is complicated and you do need to specify that. When you have a skilled player with more build mastery than the rest of the group, you need to tell them to only optimise as much as the other players... or to optimise for support so they don't overshadow others.

If it helps, four players (Me and the alchemist included) have dropped out of Balkoth's game. The problem has been solved since there is no longer a problem. There is some interesting conversation going on here in this thread which you can keep having but I thought I should update the thread with what is happening now.

Thank you, everyone, for your input on the matter. Sometimes the best choice is to split because people want different things.

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