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


Advice

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So first of all, I get that we're not talking about a full caster and by that logic anything martials do isn't overpowered and so on. But let's lay that aside because right now I'm looking at balance within martial characters.

The campaign is limited to CRB/APG/ACG with everything else per approval.

The character in question is a Beastmorph Vivisectionist. The player said he wanted to play a Beastmorph Alchemist and that Vivisectionist is the only other archetype he could that gave up bombs to boost melee ability. 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.

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.

But...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. Hell, even a Rogue could UMD a level 5 wand of Monstrous Physique and get much the same (qualifying for Multiattack is in theory even more of a question).

But maybe part of the problem is also just how natural attacks work. A Vivisectionist with daggers (or some other weapon, doesn't matter) would be attacking at AB -2 twice (so something like +20/+20 just to make up a number). A Vivisectionist with Feral Mutagen on the exact same character would be attacking at +22/+22/+22 -- so 50% more attacks and no -2 AB penalty per attack. This problem just gets worse when you add in another six attacks all at +20 in this case -- the same base AB of the dual-wielder.

It's still early and I haven't had any coffee, so I'm not sure I have any real conclusion here other than this whole thing seems very problematic compared to other martial characters which are supposed to be comparable.


How is he getting sneak attack damage on every bite of his attack?


From Context I'm guessing the character is level 7?

The first thing that looks questionable to me is, if I understand correctly the player is trying to stack multiple polymorph effects.

Magic: Polymorph wrote:
You can only be affected by one polymorph spell at a time. If a new polymorph spell is cast on you (or you activate a polymorph effect, such as wild shape), you can decide whether or not to allow it to affect you, taking the place of the old spell. In addition, other spells that change your size have no effect on you while you are under the effects of a polymorph spell.

So, they have to pick between the two claw attacks and the bite or the 6 bite attacks.

The 2nd thing that I wonder about is, how is the character achieving their sneak attack? Do they have a flanking partner or is something else going on? There are lots of ways to get an attack to qualify for sneak attack. Some of them only let one of your attacks qualify even if you make multiple.

As for multi-attack. I don't think taking the multi-attack feat is a problem since the character has a class ability that would allow them to assume a form with multiple natural weapons. It seems reasonable to me that a druid with wildshape can take multi-attack even if they are a race that normally doesn't have any natural weapons. The character simply doesn't benefit from the feat when they don't meet the pre-reqs.

As a DM you could certainly require that the character has to have knowledge of a creature before it can become one. This means that in order to become a Euryale the character would either need to have experienced one 1st hand or make a knowledge nature check DC 30, unless such creatures are rare in which case it's a DC 35 at minimum. While not fool proof it makes it more difficult for characters to turn into things with a CR far above their own level.


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Yeah, there's some nasty monstrous humanoids which did not exist when the monstrous physique spell line was created and, well, they break it. Though you're well within your rights as a PF GM to say that the spell component pouch does not contain a piece of a CR 20 euryale even if that has no listed price, and to disallow the multiattack feat because it's a monster feat.


No where in Monstrous physique does it say you gain the natural attacks of the creature. He also needs a piece of the monster is going to form into, meaning his characters has to have encountered a CR20 monster and lived somehow.

Also sneak attack can only work if they are flanking, otherwise it works for only the first attack through invisibility.

It sounds like your player is trying to lie through his teeth about not creating a broken mess. Tell him he can remove the vivisectionist from his alchemist since he is only trying to break combat and not actually do anything thematic with it.


Natural attacks are unbalanced in pathfinder. Polymorph effects are too if you allow players to claim they have bits of CR20+ creatures in their material pouch.


Actually they do get the natural attacks, check under the magic / polymorph rules SorrySleeping.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

He could be a Popobala for 5 attacks or a Deathsnatcher for 6 and fly.

Also, he doesn't actually gain the downside of the bites being secondary, since that's not a thing included in monstrous physique and RAW bite attacks are primary attacks.


Balkoth wrote:
I know Vivisectionist is banned in PFS for just being a better rogue

If one would actually want to ban everything that's "being a better rogue", the end result would be like only half a dozen classes remaining. It's not hard outclassing an NPC class, after all!

Balkoth wrote:
the player promised not to make a natural attack monstrosity (...) So...first combat with the new character he uses Monstrous Physique (...)

Yeah... do I have to point it out?

You could make a ruling about unusual attacks because those lack information, but this wouldn't really change much - Deathsnatcher (or Wytchwyrd) would actually be a better polymorph form, anyway. I'd look closely at the Sneak Attack issue, and if the character is actually problematic (i.e. diminishes someone's fun), talk to the player and remind him of his promise.

Balkoth wrote:
he claims that he should be able to take Multiattack.

RAW, he can because nothing says he can't. Look here for an overview on aviable official information on the topic.

LordKailas wrote:
if I understand correctly the player is trying to stack multiple polymorph effects. So, they have to pick between the two claw attacks and the bite or the 6 bite attacks.

Feral Mutagen is not a polymorph effect.

SorrySleeping wrote:
No where in Monstrous physique does it say you gain the natural attacks of the creature.

"In addition to these benefits, you gain any of the natural attacks of the base creature, including proficiency in those attacks." CRB pg. 212

SorrySleeping wrote:
He also needs a piece of the monster is going to form into, meaning his characters has to have encountered a CR20 monster and lived somehow.

Actually, extracts don't use regular material components: "Creating extracts consumes raw materials, but the cost of these materials is insignificant—comparable to the valueless material components of most spells." Comparable means it's not the same, so you don't need to have a piece of the creature. Of course, the rules do say that everything without a value is in the component pouch, and the Eschew Material and False Focus feats do exist, so these were never real limitations anyway.


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In the end, yes being able to combine lot of natural attacks with sneak attack can be too powerful.

Turning into the monster the player specifically did is questionable, since how would the character even know about this rather rare high level monster, let alone obtain a piece of it. It's within your purview as a GM to say "No, you don't have a piece of that monster". However, there are other monster that provide almost as many attacks and are more reasonable to turn into. So going that route doesn't get you much.

The best thing to do is talk to them and say, "This sort of behavior was exactly what I was worried about when we talked about a beastmorph vivisectionist in the first place. I thought we had an understanding that you wouldn't do this sort of thing, and that's exactly what you did. Do you think you could pull it back a bit?"


Balkoth wrote:
The campaign is limited to CRB/APG/ACG with everything else per approval.

Going to be that guy and point out that the Euryale isn’t in any of those sources. But more seriously, if you’re limiting to those sources, you should probably limit to the bestiary 1 and 2 as well.


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Forget the specifics of the class/archetype/spell/etc. The problem here is that the player is being dishonest with you. Talk to the player about that. If they can't be honest with you then you can't trust them. If you can't trust them then any agreement is worthless, and it's going to be difficult to game with them.

I would allow a full-respec of their character (if they want to change to another race/class/etc that's fine), but tell them that they have to be up-front and honest about what they're bringing to the table or they won't be welcome.

This should be true of everyone in your gaming group, and more broadly of everyone in your life. If people are intentionally deceiving you you're not going to want them around.

With this specific scenario I'd let them keep their character if they want to, but tell them they can't assume a form with more than 3 attacks (since that's what they said their character was going to be). You could alternatively tell them that they can't assume any forms they haven't asked you about in advance ("advance" meaning enough time to read over it thoroughly before you get together to play).


I played a ratfolk beastmorph/vivisectionist and it's a broken combo. I always flanked the target my familiar attacked due to a ratfolk feat and thus had sneak attack on every attack. I didn't even bother with monstrous physique, just bite/claw/claw/tail/horn.


Seems about right for the shenanigans casters at level 7 can do sure it will nuke a single target, maybe 2 but 1) you have to be able to full attack to pull it off and 2) there are plenty of things in the game to punish natural attack builds already.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
doomman47 wrote:
Seems about right for the shenanigans casters at level 7 can do sure it will nuke a single target, maybe 2 but 1) you have to be able to full attack to pull it off and 2) there are plenty of things in the game to punish natural attack builds already.

For once I agree with you.

Let them fight anything with the adhesive ability (like a mimic) or anything that hurts when you attack it (like a remoraz)


In general, anything with DR will be tough. In this case, tack on sneak attack immunity.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, early on natural attacks are nasty, but as you go up in levels DR hurts more and more as there are no where near as many ways to bypass this as there is with weapons.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
How is he getting sneak attack damage on every bite of his attack?

Flanking.

LordKailas wrote:
From Context I'm guessing the character is level 7?

New character at level 12, but from looking at what he's doing this would have been possible since level 7.

The first thing that looks questionable to me is, if I understand correctly the player is trying to stack multiple polymorph effects.

LordKailas wrote:
As a DM you could certainly require that the character has to have knowledge of a creature before it can become one. This means that in order to become a Euryale the character would either need to have experienced one 1st hand or make a knowledge nature check DC 30, unless such creatures are rare in which case it's a DC 35 at minimum. While not fool proof it makes it more difficult for characters to turn into things with a CR far above their own level.

There's an arcanist in the group who can take 10 and hit that DC35 check, I'm sure they'd argue that someone like the arcanist would have told him about it and the alchemist would have studied it.

Arcanist is also a Brown Fur Transmuter who polymorphs other PCs so would legitimately make sense for him to know this kind of stuff (since he'd polymorph the Alchemist into the same shape if the Alchemist couldn't I'd image).

avr wrote:
Yeah, there's some nasty monstrous humanoids which did not exist when the monstrous physique spell line was created and, well, they break it.

Do other people agree with this statement? I only started playing like 2-3 years ago.

Derklord wrote:
Balkoth wrote:
the player promised not to make a natural attack monstrosity (...) So...first combat with the new character he uses Monstrous Physique (...)
Yeah... do I have to point it out?

Yeah, well, in all fairness I was thinking something like a race that added extra natural attacks + Helm of the Mammoth Lord + other stuff. I just didn't realize a polymorph like this even existed.

MrCharisma wrote:
Forget the specifics of the class/archetype/spell/etc. The problem here is that the player is being dishonest with you.

As mentioned, the main PC is what I expected. I didn't say anything about polymorphed forms, and frankly given there's a Brown Fur Transmuter in the group even if the Alchemist hadn't polymorphed himself the Arcanist would have done it for him.

Melkiador wrote:
In general, anything with DR will be tough. In this case, tack on sneak attack immunity.

I'd rather not screw over actual Rogues/Slayers/etc who aren't abusing natural attacks.


Beastmorph bonuses/benefits are alchemical, even though they are from the Beast Shape (polymorph) spell descriptions. They stack with any one polymorph. Multiattack is not in CRB/APG/ACG either. Monstrous Physique and Euryale are not critical components of the cheese once you are allowed beastmorph vivisectionist; beast shape ii for an octopus will do fine. Might want to dip a level for Scout archetype rogue so you always have your sneak dice on your pounces, but I have trouble imagining a player running a beastmorph vivisectionist is a non-ridiculous manner.


Lelomenia wrote:
Multiattack is not in CRB/APG/ACG either.

But it is in bestiary 1 which nearly all groups use.


Lelomenia wrote:
Beastmorph bonuses/benefits are alchemical, even though they are from the Beast Shape (polymorph) spell descriptions.

Sorry, yeah, the line "The first thing that looks questionable to me is, if I understand correctly the player is trying to stack multiple polymorph effects." is a quote from someone else earlier in the thread. I screwed up while quoting people, basically. And can't edit it now.

Lelomenia wrote:
but I have trouble imagining a player running a beastmorph vivisectionist is a non-ridiculous manner.

He presented it to me as just wanting something other than bombs, so I figured it'd be Claw/Claw/Bite plus Hasted attack, which would be powerful but probably reasonable enough.

I feel like I'm regretting allowing Monstrous Physique -- originally said "fine" because the Monk at the time was getting turned into a Huge beast anyway and using his unarmed damage. Seemed like the monk didn't care about being a beast or monstrous humanoid since he didn't wear armor and didn't use a manufactured weapon. But there's apparently a lot of other crazy things Monstrous Physique can do that Beast Shape can't...


Balkoth wrote:
MrCharisma wrote:
Forget the specifics of the class/archetype/spell/etc. The problem here is that the player is being dishonest with you.
As mentioned, the main PC is what I expected. I didn't say anything about polymorphed forms, and frankly given there's a Brown Fur Transmuter in the group even if the Alchemist hadn't polymorphed himself the Arcanist would have done it for him.

My point here was this:

- You were worried about them doing X for balance reasons.
- They promised they wouldn't do X
- First combat they do X a slightly different way.
- Your worries about balance all seem justified now that you've seen it in action.

I'd talk to the player. Tell them if they do this every combat (even every session) there's going to be a problem. If they want to whip out this spell every now and then to show off that's fine, but if this becomes their main combat tactic you're going to retire their character for them. As you said they can still claw/claw/bite all day long, but getting 9 attacks is a different story.

They can still use Monstrous Physique to get other abilities (scent/flight/swim/climb/whatever), but going a combat monster all day every day is the problem you were worried about.


Balkoth wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
Beastmorph bonuses/benefits are alchemical, even though they are from the Beast Shape (polymorph) spell descriptions.
Sorry, yeah, the line "The first thing that looks questionable to me is, if I understand correctly the player is trying to stack multiple polymorph effects." is a quote from someone else earlier in the thread. I screwed up while quoting people, basically. And can't edit it now.

Yeah, I'm the one who said that. I wasn't sure if the alchemist ability was a polymorph effect or not. Hence why I said it was questionable rather then making a statement of it being valid or not.

I'm not sure if it makes a difference or not, but in doing additional research I did notice the following: (Mainly from me trying to replicate/improve upon the build).

1. Until the character hits 14th level, realistically the mutagen can't be used every fight unless the fights are back to back or have at least an hour of uninterrupted downtime between them.

2. Depending on interpretation of polymorph effects the monstrous physique spell would temporarily remove the effect of the mutagen regardless of it being a polymorph effect or not.

Magic: Polymorph wrote:
While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

I can see this going two ways.

A. While you lose natural attacks due to the polymorph spell, because mutagen and sorcerer bloodline abilities "still function" you can use said abilities after the spell has been cast. So, in our example drinking the mutagen after getting polymorphed allows it to have full effect, while using polymorph after drinking the mutagen will cause the mutagen effects to be suppressed for the duration of the polymorph.

B. Because abilities like the sorcerer bloodline and mutagen "still function" they are an exception and don't go away when the spell is cast and so the order of the effects doesn't matter.

Since both seem like valid interpretations to me, its clearly a situation that the rules state as being a DM call.

Given the level of the characters, what you're describing will be difficult to curtail at best. The gap between optimized builds and non-optimized builds becomes more noticeable the higher level you are. In my current game for example, we are 15th level and the arcane archer and bard are noticeably more powerful then the paladin and dragon PCs thanks to optimization. FWIW I see people whine on here that sneak attack builds are pointless after a certain level because everything is immune to sneak attack. Certainly, its an approach you could take. But if you don't want to completely hose sneak attacks you could just give enemies varying degrees of fortification. Alternatively, since the character's sneak attack relies on positioning, have the enemies move/position themselves to prevent flanking. In this way you're not nerfing the build, you're just making the players work to get into ideal positioning.

Having smaller fights that are spaced apart with the intention of depleting resources also tends to weaken nova builds since they can't just blow everything and then rest to get it all back, often referenced as 15 min. adventuring days.


doomman47 wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
Multiattack is not in CRB/APG/ACG either.
But it is in bestiary 1 which nearly all groups use.

I do not think "I can shapechange into something with 3 or more natural attacks" lets you qualify for multiattack though.


SorrySleeping wrote:
No where in Monstrous physique does it say you gain the natural attacks of the creature.

It does not have to. The general rules for polymorph spells state:

Polymorph wrote:
In addition to these benefits, you gain any of the natural attacks of the base creature, including proficiency in those attacks. These attacks are based on your base attack bonus, modified by your Strength or Dexterity as appropriate, and use your Strength modifier for determining damage bonuses.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I do not think "I can shapechange into something with 3 or more natural attacks" lets you qualify for multiattack though.

There are no time requirements on multi-attack; no requirement that the attacks be permanent or x hours/day.

To the best of my knowledge, the only thing that has a 24 hour requirement is counting temporary stats as permanent after 24 hours for purposes of feat qualification. Everything else, even limited usage qualifies. You just won't be able to use the feat when you don't have a natural weapon available.

Spoiler:
Monks treat unarmed strikes as natural weapons. A one level dip qualifies the character 24/7, plus he gets to benefit from the saves, bonus feats, and potentially the WIS or CHA to AC.


Nothing in the rules asks for temporary anything (ability scores or other things) for feat prerequisites. It was always at best a presumed rule (admittedly, the CRB wording for temporary ability scored seems to hint at such a thing, although that should be a thing of the past with the FAQ). I've linked a fairly recent discussion thread where I collected the aviable official information in my first post. Which, appparently, no one has read. *sigh*

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Monks treat unarmed strikes as natural weapons.

No they don't, they treat their US as manufactured and antural weapons "for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons." That's a huge difference. Not that US would be more than one natural attack, anyway.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
Multiattack is not in CRB/APG/ACG either.
But it is in bestiary 1 which nearly all groups use.
I do not think "I can shapechange into something with 3 or more natural attacks" lets you qualify for multiattack though.

A synthesist summoner can take it, but it only takes effect while they fulfil the requirement(90% of the time that means having your eidolon suit) so I see little issue with some one else getting a similar boon also having access to the feat.


doomman47 wrote:
A synthesist summoner can take it, but it only takes effect while they fulfil the requirement(90% of the time that means having your eidolon suit) so I see little issue with some one else getting a similar boon also having access to the feat.

A synthesist can get multiattack because you can wear your Eidolon Suit 24/7 if you want. A beastmorph would only have these natural attacks when they use their mutagen, though, and those run out in less than 4 hours.

So I would only allow a PC to take multiattack if their natural form has 3 natural attacks, or they are able to maintain an effect which grants them 3 natural attacks indefinitely and continuously.


Monstrous physique is minutes per level

I believe mutagen lasts and hour and then you to spend a good chunk of time brewing another

Sneak attack activated by flanking according to yourself

So we have two buffs, one uses a spell slot, one is a single use and then rebrew, which unless they’re mid dungeon is only gonna be up for one fight.

Both buffs are standard actions, so either thing doesn’t come online for two turns or the Arcanist is helping him and someone else is providing flanking.

This therefore is a resource heavy nova that takes in combat prep time or 3 separate players to pull off.

For three players working together and two resources being used (one particularly expensive and difficult to re-aquire) this doesn’t seem monstrously overpowered. It’s killing one thing a turn tops.

Lots of melee/archery/blasting builds can one shot a target a turn with team work and prep time, that isn’t remarkable. Good blasters or control casters one shot more than one enemy a round,

The fact this build one shots by more than some others because of sheer weight of attacks doesn’t matter, overkill doesn’t exist in pathfinder, frankly it sounds like the player maybe over novaing and wasting resources on overkill. Because big numbers are cool.

Plus there are ways around it, like hurting those who natural attack, sneak attack immune creatures, DR creatures, ranged enemies. He gave up his bombs, which is how alchemists would normally fight all those things.

The fact the creature is CR20 and rare doesn’t matter, there are other things he could turn into which are almost as good, just as good or better which are less rare.

Sovereign Court

Balkoth wrote:
I've heard horror stories about the combo and I know Vivisectionist is banned in PFS for just being a better rogue,

Pretty sure it was banned for the fluff actually. Dissecting a creature while it is still alive (Vivisection) is a bit far down the torture meter for PFS. Granted, Alchemist Discoveries are generally more powerful than Rogue Talents and pseudo-spellcasting with extracts is more useful than evasion/uncanny dodge/etc.

Mutagens last for 10 minutes/level (hour/level at 14) and take an hour to brew. When you brew a second mutagen the first becomes inert, but it isn't very clear if it is talking about the dose of mutagen, or effects of a mutagen already imbibed. I've taken the stance that it the rule is there only to prevent you from brewing up a dozen on a downtime day, not to stop you from taking an hour in a dungeon to recharge and not have your buff when surprise ambushed.

Melkiador wrote:
Balkoth wrote:
The campaign is limited to CRB/APG/ACG with everything else per approval.
Going to be that guy and point out that the Euryale isn’t in any of those sources. But more seriously, if you’re limiting to those sources, you should probably limit to the bestiary 1 and 2 as well.

Yeah, just go with not available source. However, since he listed no Bestiary at all in the available rules, no summoning or polymorph should work at all. /nitpick

Additional thoughts:
Throw in some DR Silver/Cold Iron/etc and the damage tanks. Its hard to bypass Metal type DRs on natural attack builds. There are ways around it, but frankly the easiest is to simply up the damage.

Oozes, with split. Throw a Greater Verduous Oooze or something similar at the party. The Alchemist bites the thing 9 times, deals no damage but takes 9d8 acid damage, and now the party is facing 10 oozes (with the HP appropriately split between them). Granted, the Arcanist will likely follow up with a Fireball, but thats what the Gunpowder Oozes are for.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
A synthesist summoner can take it, but it only takes effect while they fulfil the requirement(90% of the time that means having your eidolon suit) so I see little issue with some one else getting a similar boon also having access to the feat.

A synthesist can get multiattack because you can wear your Eidolon Suit 24/7 if you want. A beastmorph would only have these natural attacks when they use their mutagen, though, and those run out in less than 4 hours.

So I would only allow a PC to take multiattack if their natural form has 3 natural attacks, or they are able to maintain an effect which grants them 3 natural attacks indefinitely and continuously.

If the party really wanted to they could spend enough spell slots/other resources to make them count as having 3+ natural attacks for 24 hours enough to take the feat the point is mute.

Scarab Sages

Multi-Attack is a Monster feat. It’s perfectly reasonable for a GM to rule that a PC cannot take a Monster Feat. This isn’t a RAW question. It’s for a specific game where the GM has indicated they must give approval for anything that isn’t in the CRB, APG, or ACG. Multi-attack isn’t in those books. So don’t approve it if you don’t want PCs using it.

Same answer for Bestiary 6 and the Euryale. Bestiary 6 in particular added several high CR medium monstrous humanoids. I’d start with “As GM, I’m not allowing anything from Bestiary 6.” Really, with as restricted as the base sources are, limiting it to Bestiary 1 will cut down on most of the ridiculousness. They’ll no doubt find something they can turn into that’s still powerful. Just not that powerful. Gargoyle, most likely, but that would only add 1 attack since the claws and bite won’t stack.

Why limit the sources if you aren’t going to overrule options you view as overpowered from outside those sources?


I'm pretty sure the GM was hoping that with such few books, there wouldn't be overpowered options like this and things would be simpler.

From the sounds of it, the GM probably has dealings with one guy making a super munchkin while the rest of the party makes whatever.


I think it's natural attacks in general. They tend to be weaker, but you can get quite a few and it all builds up. I recommend using the eidolon max attacks column for all characters just to keep things under control.


SorrySleeping wrote:

I'm pretty sure the GM was hoping that with such few books, there wouldn't be overpowered options like this and things would be simpler.

From the sounds of it, the GM probably has dealings with one guy making a super munchkin while the rest of the party makes whatever.

Yeah there is a pretty common miss conception hat sticking to the early books stop broken characters.

A shame really, when the highest proportion of broken options come from the earliest books and the more balanced ones in the later books.


Derklord wrote:


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Monks treat unarmed strikes as natural weapons.
No they don't, they treat their US as manufactured and antural weapons "for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons." That's a huge difference. Not that US would be more than one natural attack, anyway.

Multiattack is an effect that improves natural weapons by lowering the attack penalty on natural weapons used as secondary attacks.

All characters can make at least two unarmed attacks/round using untrained TWF. The monk counts both as natural weapons. There are countless ways to pick up a 3rd, through race, class, gear and feats. Some of the options that add additional natural attacks are usable while polymophed (e.g. a Helm of the Mammoth Lord would continue to grant the extra gore attack while using Monstrous Physique).


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
SorrySleeping wrote:

I'm pretty sure the GM was hoping that with such few books, there wouldn't be overpowered options like this and things would be simpler.

From the sounds of it, the GM probably has dealings with one guy making a super munchkin while the rest of the party makes whatever.

Yeah there is a pretty common miss conception hat sticking to the early books stop broken characters.

A shame really, when the highest proportion of broken options come from the earliest books and the more balanced ones in the later books.

Yeah, I'm not really sure why people think that, but I think it might be because that was the case with the old D&D game that Pathfinder is based on.


Melkiador wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
SorrySleeping wrote:

I'm pretty sure the GM was hoping that with such few books, there wouldn't be overpowered options like this and things would be simpler.

From the sounds of it, the GM probably has dealings with one guy making a super munchkin while the rest of the party makes whatever.

Yeah there is a pretty common miss conception hat sticking to the early books stop broken characters.

A shame really, when the highest proportion of broken options come from the earliest books and the more balanced ones in the later books.

Yeah, I'm not really sure why people think that, but I think it might be because that was the case with the old D&D game that Pathfinder is based on.

I personally think its more to do with the idea of power creep, ie that stuff progressively gets more powerful/broken the later in a game's lifecycle it is. It's true to an extent (lord knows PF's introduced some mind-bogglingly dumb things later on) the problem is PF was already a fundamentally broken game from the start at least regarding balance. Cest la vie.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:


Yeah, I'm not really sure why people think that, but I think it might be because that was the case with the old D&D game that Pathfinder is based on.

In many cases, it's less an issue of stopping broken characters than having well-known expectations of exactly how they'll work. Yeah, we know wizards and clerics are pretty potent. That's news that's more than 30 years old.

An alchemist using a creature from Bestiary 6 as a template for breaking things... that's a newer one.


SorrySleeping wrote:

I'm pretty sure the GM was hoping that with such few books, there wouldn't be overpowered options like this and things would be simpler.

From the sounds of it, the GM probably has dealings with one guy making a super munchkin while the rest of the party makes whatever.

Have you seen his house rules? The party needs to optimize to utter hell and back in order to deal with them everything is x10 or more hp and has 15 or more ac above the average of their cr.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Melkiador wrote:


Yeah, I'm not really sure why people think that, but I think it might be because that was the case with the old D&D game that Pathfinder is based on.

In many cases, it's less an issue of stopping broken characters than having well-known expectations of exactly how they'll work. Yeah, we know wizards and clerics are pretty potent. That's news that's more than 30 years old.

An alchemist using a creature from Bestiary 6 as a template for breaking things... that's a newer one.

Its not actually the alchemist that is casting that transformation though, he is receiving the buff from someone else.


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!


doomman47 wrote:
SorrySleeping wrote:

I'm pretty sure the GM was hoping that with such few books, there wouldn't be overpowered options like this and things would be simpler.

From the sounds of it, the GM probably has dealings with one guy making a super munchkin while the rest of the party makes whatever.

Have you seen his house rules? The party needs to optimize to utter hell and back in order to deal with them everything is x10 or more hp and has 15 or more ac above the average of their cr.

No I haven't, as he hasn't posted anything in this topic about them. It also depends on how many enemies the OP is using. I like to send waves of enemies against my group, but that can be a ton of work. One big bad in a fight isn't overwhelming.


doomman47 wrote:
SorrySleeping wrote:

I'm pretty sure the GM was hoping that with such few books, there wouldn't be overpowered options like this and things would be simpler.

From the sounds of it, the GM probably has dealings with one guy making a super munchkin while the rest of the party makes whatever.

Have you seen his house rules? The party needs to optimize to utter hell and back in order to deal with them everything is x10 or more hp and has 15 or more ac above the average of their cr.

OP does a lot of very weird things in the name of balance. It kinda comes across like he doesn’t mind things being powerful, as long as he wrote it and gave it to the player himself.

I remember a thread about how broken flying animal companions were and I may be miss remembering, but possibly another about the system braking feat that is point blank master /s.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
SorrySleeping wrote:

I'm pretty sure the GM was hoping that with such few books, there wouldn't be overpowered options like this and things would be simpler.

From the sounds of it, the GM probably has dealings with one guy making a super munchkin while the rest of the party makes whatever.

Have you seen his house rules? The party needs to optimize to utter hell and back in order to deal with them everything is x10 or more hp and has 15 or more ac above the average of their cr.

OP does a lot of very weird things in the name of balance. It kinda comes across like he doesn’t mind things being powerful, as long as he wrote it and gave it to the player himself.

I remember a thread about how broken flying animal companions were and I may be miss remembering, but possibly another about the system braking feat that is point blank master /s.

What's wrong with point blank master? All it does is make you not provoke when making ranged attacks.


doomman47 wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
SorrySleeping wrote:

I'm pretty sure the GM was hoping that with such few books, there wouldn't be overpowered options like this and things would be simpler.

From the sounds of it, the GM probably has dealings with one guy making a super munchkin while the rest of the party makes whatever.

Have you seen his house rules? The party needs to optimize to utter hell and back in order to deal with them everything is x10 or more hp and has 15 or more ac above the average of their cr.

OP does a lot of very weird things in the name of balance. It kinda comes across like he doesn’t mind things being powerful, as long as he wrote it and gave it to the player himself.

I remember a thread about how broken flying animal companions were and I may be miss remembering, but possibly another about the system braking feat that is point blank master /s.

What's wrong with point blank master? All it does is make you not provoke when making ranged attacks.

Nothing in almost everyone’s opinion, apparently including yours :)


Ferious Thune wrote:
Why limit the sources if you aren’t going to overrule options you view as overpowered from outside those sources?

Quite possibly I should.

He kinda didn't tell me what he was turning into ahead of time or else I might have said that.

That said, others here are claiming there are other forms either more powerful, as powerful, or nearly as powerful so I'm not sure that would really fix the problem.

SorrySleeping wrote:
I'm pretty sure the GM was hoping that with such few books, there wouldn't be overpowered options like this and things would be simpler.

Or less overpowered things, at least. Something I'm finding a lot in Pathfinder is that sometimes a lot of things are individually maybe a bit stronger but not gamebreaking but then you combine them and boom massive problems.

I mean, if he didn't have Sneak Attack and all of the bites were just secondary weapons for half strength damage, I doubt we'd be having this conversation. It might still be above par, but not the "holy cow what just happened" level.

SorrySleeping wrote:
From the sounds of it, the GM probably has dealings with one guy making a super munchkin while the rest of the party makes whatever.

Yep. Though his influence has now spread to 2 other people it seems (one of those two people being the alchemist). The guy in question joined at level 9.

Bill Dunn wrote:
In many cases, it's less an issue of stopping broken characters than having well-known expectations of exactly how they'll work. Yeah, we know wizards and clerics are pretty potent. That's news that's more than 30 years old.

Certainly true.

Also, stuff like Quick Dirty Trick, Clustered Shot, Tetori Monks, etc are all from Ultimate Combat IIRC. Things that seem significantly above the power level of prior equivalent options (even if all three are still technically weaker than Wizards or something).

I can plan around Wizards and Clerics. Planning around all of this other crazy stuff is much harder.

Also, it's a very widely repeated piece of advice on GM blogs, Paizo forums, Reddit, and beyond.

doomman47 wrote:
Have you seen his house rules? The party needs to optimize to utter hell and back in order to deal with them everything is x10 or more hp and has 15 or more ac above the average of their cr.

The party last fought a small army of CR6s led by some CR10s. The highest HP in the fight was 220 and the highest AC was 36 (people with shields who traded out offense, I'd point out).

Also, you have the cause and effect backwards.

Enemies have higher stats BECAUSE players are apparently capable of being this powerful.

I started out just using enemies straight from the bestiary.

doomman47 wrote:
Its not actually the alchemist that is casting that transformation though, he is receiving the buff from someone else.

No, the Alchemist is the one casting it. But even if he couldn't the Brown Fur Transmuter could.

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

How about the rules on Eidolons?

"Slam (Ex): The eidolon can deliver a devastating slam attack. This attack is a primary attack. The slam deals 1d8 points of damage (2d6 if Large, 2d8 if Huge). The eidolon must have the limbs (arms) evolution to take this evolution. Alternatively, the eidolon can replace the claws from its base form with this slam attack (this still costs 1 evolution point). This evolution can be selected more than once, up to the number of the eidolon’s limbs (arms) evolutions."

Seems pretty clear that slams are intended to be exclusive with claws.

SorrySleeping wrote:
No I haven't, as he hasn't posted anything in this topic about them. It also depends on how many enemies the OP is using. I like to send waves of enemies against my group, but that can be a ton of work. One big bad in a fight isn't overwhelming.

There's literally been two enemies in a level 12 campaign with super high HP. One boss with 273 HP at level 6 and one boss with 1200 HP at level 11.

doomman47 wrote:
What's wrong with point blank master? All it does is make you not provoke when making ranged attacks.

It eliminates what's supposed to be a core weakness of what's considered the most powerful combat style. And is widely available to Fighters, Rangers, Slayers, Warpriests, and possibly more, it's not some class unique trick.


Balkoth wrote:

How about the rules on Eidolons?

"Slam (Ex): The eidolon can deliver a devastating slam attack. This attack is a primary attack. The slam deals 1d8 points of damage (2d6 if Large, 2d8 if Huge). The eidolon must have the limbs (arms) evolution to take this evolution. Alternatively, the eidolon can replace the claws from its base form with this slam attack (this still costs 1 evolution point). This evolution can be selected more than once, up to the number of the eidolon’s limbs (arms) evolutions."

Seems pretty clear that slams are intended to be exclusive with claws.

Ignoring the fact that Eidolon stuff is far from being general rules, nothing in the description of slam evolution prevents an eidolon from having both claws and slams on their hands. Indeed, the replacement option is presumably for those who want to build something without claws.

Regarding your problems: Talk to the player! You seem to be having problems with super powerful characters all the time, and from the number of threads you started, your 'solution' just isn't working. Talk to the players, explain to them that you don't want a rocket tag game, and ask them to tone it down.

Quite frankly, if your players want to dominate every encounter, let them!. Maybe they like playing in god mode (how old are the players?). Just use vanilla combats at no more than +2 CR. Then, when they're utterly bored (probably after the first session), explain to them that they either have to chose between boring fights, or simply not over-optimizing their characters. I still think a good part of their optimization is in response to you arms-racing them.


The eidolon slam appears to be on its arms, but there are creatures without arms that still have slams, so that is not a general rule.

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.


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)?

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