Inquisitor With +38 AB At Level 12?


Advice

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To answer OPs question about WoW, I think it was around Cataclysm's release. And yes, ultimately it just felt like a slog playing. And that sounds like that was the crux of the game. OP just said the party would prefer fewer tougher fights, but the issue then becomes ensuring the fight doesn't become a slog. And if your one "fewer" fight is the party against twelve tough enemies, then it's not REALLY fewer. This happened to me last night actually. Fight was in danger of becoming a slog to the party, so I lowered AC by 1 or 2 points which was enough for more hits to start landing, and the fight ended just when it should have I think.

And more broadly, I think the issue became that harder became "arms race of AC and damage" rather than a wider variety of challenges (that's just my hunch, I haven't seen evidence one way or the other).

One of my favorite battles that I DMed was a sorcerer under the influence of the Fey Queen. The party was in a forest at night and it was raining, and the party and the enemy ended up dropping five area effect spells that I had to draw on the battle map. It was glorious confusion, and the sorcerer had access to primal magic blasts that were quite dangerous or amusing (can't remember what started falling out of the sky as a result of a miss on his part).

The players loved it and they're going to get a redux when they finally face the Fey Queen's lieutenant in about a month. Best part was that the party was level 3, maybe level 4, but it was still an amazingly epic game.


swoosh wrote:

I'm trying to figure out what the OP wants out of this thread. It's ostensibly an advice thread about a character with a really high attack bonus causing problems, but almost all of his replies just seem to be dismissive or mocking toward pretty much everything anyone else in the thread has suggested or thought. What was the goal here?

Hell, maybe the root problem here isn't the OP's houserules or the player's attempts to optimize or core failings of the systems, but this general attitude as a whole.

How on earth would the general attitude of a thread be the problem that caused the creation of said thread.

That’s cyclical nonesense logic.

OP created the thread because there is a problem, it’s either the player or his game, those are the factors at play.

This thread was not created because of a problem caused by the attitudes of people in this thread. Obviously. We aren’t 4th dimensional beings tripping through time.

The attitude in the thread comes from numerous users of these forums being familiar with the OP and the many, many, many threads he has made here with similar issues.

Normally following one of a few patterns

Player found a thing OP perceives as a problem, leads to, should OP house rule it away
Or
Player can’t make thing work, turns out OP house ruled key element away as he perceived it to be a problem, should OP house rule a new element in.

It’s honestly quite formulaic at this point.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
How on earth would the general attitude of a thread be the problem that caused the creation of said thread.

I think you completely missed swoosh’s point.


TomParker wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
How on earth would the general attitude of a thread be the problem that caused the creation of said thread.
I think you completely missed swoosh’s point.

I think you’re right, this is what comes of reading threads after the midnight work shift.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:
We can use a naked level 6 Fighter versus a Tiger or Hydra for the same "are these really the same difficulty fight" comparison. Honestly, I'm probably always going to choose "naked guy who needs gear to fight" over "fully kitted and ready to murder monster".

Well, I meant they were edge cases in three ways.

1, level 20 tends to make problems worse as you noted

2, Fighter itself is an edge case -- I don't think any other class gains 6-8 AB and 8-10 damage at high levels solely based on having the right type of weapon. Nor do they have class features like spells, animal companions, or abilities like Lay on Hands. I think even a rogue without gear might be better off.

Even giving a fighter 17 gold for a Spear and Hide Armor means he has AC 16ish, AB of probably +10/+5, damage of 1d8+6, and HP of 58 ((6 + 3) * 6 + 4). Possibly better. And that's assuming the wrong weapon with no feats for it, of course.

Compare that to a bear or boar and it's quite respectable despite not having magic gear or even just the proper weapon/armor you could have by level 2.

3, the tiger is way stronger than other typical CR4 enemies (no matter if you go by comparing it to the table or comparing it to other CR4s).

As an aside, also keep in mind that 1 CR is a 42ish% power increase. So something can be 35% better than something else and still be in the same CR range, for example.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
A Balor Fighter 10 versus a Balor Cleric 20 is a more extreme example but still not an edge case (as everything inbetween has the same "a bunch of Cleric levels gives better BAB, saves, and spellcasting"). I even said "The higher level the monster the worse it gets.", which is almost literally the opposite of an edge case.

Those are now both CR30 creatures that are more powerful than most demon lords, so I would think it's definitely an example of an edge case. And clearly they tried to do that rule since a CR30 creature with level 10 Cleric spellcasting would be massively underwhelming -- it just so happens to "break" the game if the GM tries to use it to maximize creature melee power (also I don't think they envisioned most high CR creatures getting more than a handful of levels).

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
As for the last example, what? Like, seriously, what? Zombies (or something staggered) don't come up in games? The ability to cause the entangled condition never comes up in games? What exactly is the rare situation that only occured in my game that you're saying is happening here?

Well, in the Strange Aeons AP I played in I think zombies might have come up once. Not even sure about that. The undead we encountered were typically something else. Zombies tend to be reserved for low level threats.

And having a low level threat with no intelligence, slow movement speed, and no alternative combat modes (like the ability to pull out a ranged weapon of any kind) would be an edge case, I think.

Entangled is another matter...but no, actually, I've very rarely seen entangled come up as a player or GM. Obviously if you built a character around it and tried to have a ranged party to exploit it you'd probably do very well against a lot of enemies.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
That's... well, not very helpful. Did any of them have other defenses? Miss chances? Damage reduction? Flying? Burrowing? Even if I'm not including the special abilities (and you definitely should be) there are other defensive things that need to be included (and they affect different builds different ways).

No to all of the above.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
That tells me almost nothing useful about the combat.

It was 10 CR6 typical archers, 20 CR6 run of the mill soldiers with greatswords, one elite CR10 archer, one CR10 elite soldier, and one CR10 cleric as I recall. Can give more info if you want.

swoosh wrote:
I'm trying to figure out what the OP wants out of this thread. It's ostensibly an advice thread about a character with a really high attack bonus causing problems, but almost all of his replies just seem to be dismissive or mocking toward pretty much everything anyone else in the thread has suggested or thought. What was the goal here?

There wasn't really a goal, I was just initially flabbergasted by the number.

Then after some more thought I realized that a Fighter could have 28 AB baseline, 34 after Outflanking with Menancing, and 38 after a Divine Favor wand and Fate's Favored...just like the Inquisitor. So the problem was my perception of player power -- I expected it to be high but still less than that.

It wasn't my intent to be dismissive or mocking of anyone who was attempting to help -- could you point out some examples?

JiaYou wrote:
To answer OPs question about WoW, I think it was around Cataclysm's release.

Cataclysm came out late 2010 so I doubt that -- did you get a powerful ability at level 10? If not, it was prior to Cataclysm.

WoW suffered initially from some of the same issues of D&D/Pathfinder -- designed worried about players cherry-picking abilities by multiclassing or the equivalent and thus locked good abilities until higher level.

JiaYou wrote:
One of my favorite battles that I DMed was a sorcerer under the influence of the Fey Queen. The party was in a forest at night and it was raining, and the party and the enemy ended up dropping five area effect spells that I had to draw on the battle map. It was glorious confusion, and the sorcerer had access to primal magic blasts that were quite dangerous or amusing (can't remember what started falling out of the sky as a result of a miss on his part).

Sounds fun. Here's a segment of the battlefield from last session. Lots of stuff going on.


Balkoth wrote:

Well, I meant they were edge cases in three ways.

1, level 20 tends to make problems worse as you noted

2, Fighter itself is an edge case -- I don't think any other class gains 6-8 AB and 8-10 damage at high levels solely based on having the right type of weapon. Nor do they have class features like spells, animal companions, or abilities like Lay on Hands. I think even a rogue without gear might be better off.

Even giving a fighter 17 gold for a Spear and Hide Armor means he has AC 16ish, AB of probably +10/+5, damage of 1d8+6, and HP of 58 ((6 + 3) * 6 + 4). Possibly better. And that's assuming the wrong weapon with no feats for it, of course.

Compare that to a bear or boar and it's quite respectable despite not having magic gear or even just the proper weapon/armor you could have by level 2.

3, the tiger is way stronger than other typical CR4 enemies (no matter if you go by comparing it to the table or comparing it to other CR4s).

As an aside, also keep in mind that 1 CR is a 42ish% power increase. So something can be 35% better than something else and still be in the same CR range, for example.

So level 20 may be the edge of the cases (in that classes don't go beyond that) but it's not an edge case. The problem is also true at 19, 18, 17, and a whole bunch of levels below that. It is where the problem is worst, obviously, and if I was trying to argue about the severity of the disparity it would be an edge case. But all I'm trying to say is that CR is not a very accurate measure of power, which is true at most levels of "naked Fighter vs some monster".

I honestly only picked Fighter because it's always been the classic martial but you're right, it might lose the most with no gear (I would say Gunslinger is the worst off though). That being said, I'm pretty sure naked Gunslinger, Rogue, Barbarian, Slayer, Swashbuckler, Alchemist, and Paladin compare (un)favorably to the Fighter as examples. Most have actual class abilities but most still need a weapon and armor to function (outside specific builds). Alchemist is special in that its class features require items to function. And giving them weapons and armor completely misses the point. Without "no gear" they just go back to their normal CR, at which point you might as well give them full NPC gear, at which point I would have to argue the relative merits of one class versus another. There's already like a million threads fighting on that (and little agreement), I'm not going to do that. But hopefully everyone can agree a naked Fighter is not worth -1 CR over a full kitted Fighter.

...how is the Tiger stronger than the Hound Archon? Or the Schir Demon? Or the Barghest? It does have a slightly higher attack than it's CR... and a much worse AC. And no DR, regeneration, auras, spells, or anything else that would mitigate that. And using the Grizzly is problematic because it has lower attack and AC than the table. Dire Boar is less AC than the table as well. You can't discount Tiger for being too strong and then cherry-pick the weaker monsters to compare. Even with that, I'd still fight a naked Fighter over a Grizzly or Dire Boar. +9/10 attack for 1d3+3/4 nonlethal? Sad. Also you complain about the Tiger but not the Hydra? More AC, more HP, fast healing, greater reach, and it also has pounce.

Balkoth wrote:
Those are now both CR30 creatures that are more powerful than most demon lords, so I would think it's definitely an example of an edge case. And clearly they tried to do that rule since a CR30 creature with level 10 Cleric spellcasting would be massively underwhelming -- it just so happens to "break" the game if the GM tries to use it to maximize creature melee power (also I don't think they envisioned most high CR creatures getting more than a handful of levels).

My first example was a Cave Giant. At every step between Cave Giant and Balor a big beefy bruiser gets more attack and saves from Cleric than Fighter. Again, Balor is almost the edge of the cases (there are higher CR monsters) but it's not an edge case. I'm not arguing how severe the problem is, just that the problem exists. And the problem exists at CR 6, 7, etc. up to at least 20. That's not an edge, that's 75% of the list.

Balkoth wrote:

Well, in the Strange Aeons AP I played in I think zombies might have come up once. Not even sure about that. The undead we encountered were typically something else. Zombies tend to be reserved for low level threats.

And having a low level threat with no intelligence, slow movement speed, and no alternative combat modes (like the ability to pull out a ranged weapon of any kind) would be an edge case, I think.

Entangled is another matter...but no, actually, I've very rarely seen entangled come up as a player or GM. Obviously if you built a character around it and tried to have a ranged party to exploit it you'd probably do very well against a lot of enemies.

One AP does not an entire game make. Low intelligence and no ranged attack describes the entire Animal type and low speed isn't actually a requirement. Entangle drops their speed by half. The standard 40/50 feet of an animal drops to 20/25, enough for most characters to get away.

As for the sources of entangle, nobody ever bought a tanglefoot bag? Net? Lasso (okay, I admit this one is a little out there)? Bomb, shot, or arrow? The spell of the same name? And that's honestly just my specific circumstances. Difficult terrain does the same thing (just usually not as long). And then there's the stuff that actually immobilizes them. Paralysis, grapple, stuff like that. And Slow turns everyone into a zombie (along with a few other abilities).

And honestly, that doesn't really matter. What's important is that it is entirely possible for certain builds to completely shut down certain enemies. Monsters with a single attack (T-rex). Monsters with no ranged attacks or way to ground flyers (also T-rex). Monsters with some specific weakness (Golems and Glitterdust). A level 1 Strix can solo a T-rex but it's not because the Strix is too powerful.

Balkoth wrote:
It was 10 CR6 typical archers, 20 CR6 run of the mill soldiers with greatswords, one elite CR10 archer, one CR10 elite soldier, and one CR10 cleric as I recall. Can give more info if you want.
I don't actually care what the fight is. My point, as I said last time, was:
Bob Bob Bob wrote:
You list your combats as "CR 10". That tells me almost nothing useful about the combat. The AC is a little more information but I could still find or make a dozen enemies that match those criteria, all of whom vary wildly in power from each other. Even the ones who might come in at the same overall power level might fare wildly differently against different builds (bad saves, no ranged weapons, etc.).

I'm not here to analyze the fight. I'm here to say that calling a fight "a CR 12" and asking what went wrong is like saying you had a sandwich for lunch and had a bad reaction. Unless you start telling us what was in the sandwich there's absolutely no way we're going to be able to help.

...that being said, you pitted a horde of minions against a well built martial character. Of course the player tore through them like tissue paper. 6 CR lower is about -10 AB/AC on the table. 2 CR lower is about -3 AB/AC. If your minions are just meatshields (only good for attacking with weapons) then they're just bags of free EXP.

Honestly, that battle really seems to prove my point. Those CR 6s were worthless. They were not a threat, they were punching bags of free EXP. But the system told you that they weren't.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:
...that being said, you pitted a horde of minions against a well built martial character. Of course the player tore through them like tissue paper.

Er...yeah? There seems to be a misunderstanding here, my concern isn't the Inquisitor (or any level 12 PC) being able to tear through CR 6s. Like you said, they're supposed to do that.

My concern is the Inquisitor never missing a CR20.

Two very different things.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
One AP does not an entire game make.

Never seen it in any other campaign or module I've played either. YMMV.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Monsters with no ranged attacks or way to ground flyers (also T-rex).

Sure. That's one of the reasons I strongly dislike flying in Pathfinder, even the designers of Paizo APs fail to account for stuff like that.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
At every step between Cave Giant and Balor a big beefy bruiser gets more attack and saves from Cleric than Fighter

I get that. My question do you is, how would you handle that instead? Again, the designers seem to have done that to ensure the Cleric's CASTING ability is relevant...and due to the design of the Cleric chasis, the BAB/saves is an issue.

A CR16 Frost Giant Fighter (7 levels) makes sense. A CR16 Frost Giant Cleric (7 levels) is a joke of a cleric. Are 14 cleric levels too much? Possibly, but coming up with consistent rules to get like 10-12 caster level might be tricky because it has to work for all levels.

I guess my question here is -- what's your concern precisely? That the GM will "abuse" the situation and basically turn a Cleric into a better Fighter? The GM can already change whatever stats he wants and put whatever creatures he wants into a fight.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
But all I'm trying to say is that CR is not a very accurate measure of power

If you go from Ogre to Cyclops to Hill Giant to Frost Giant to Fire Giant to Cloud Giant and so on it seems to be fairly reasonable, no (excluding the Cyclops ability potentially)? It's obviously not perfect.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Without "no gear" they just go back to their normal CR, at which point you might as well give them full NPC gear, at which point I would have to argue the relative merits of one class versus another.

Nah, NPC gear would give them 4650 gold. That's enough for something like a +1 full plate, a MW weapon that feats apply to, and another magic item or two, which then gives something like +6 AC, +3 AB, and +3-4 damage. That's definitely enough of a difference to bump up the CR by 1 compared to Hide Armor and a Spear or whatever.

If we interpreted it in your manner then a wizard would have no spellbook and thus be unable to cast anything.

17 gold worth of item falls within the spirit of no gear mentioned there.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
And using the Grizzly is problematic because it has lower attack and AC than the table. Dire Boar is less AC than the table as well. You can't discount Tiger for being too strong and then cherry-pick the weaker monsters to compare.

Grizzly Bear does 25.5 if all hit vs 16 expected, hence falls into this statement:

"A creature with higher than normal attack bonuses will often deal lower damage, while a creature with lower than normal attack bonuses will often deal higher damage."

I literally just looked at two other CR4 animals randomly, if I cherry picked was a fluke. And stuff like the two beetles and the bison seem to be in the same ballpark.

Hydra might have reach but it attacks at +6 for 7.5 average damage on AoOs. Would it beat animals that don't know how to sever heads and apply fire/acid? Sure. Weird stuff will do that.


Meh, use milestone XP and forget that the CR system even exists.


Balkoth wrote:

There seems to be a misunderstanding here, my concern isn't the Inquisitor (or any level 12 PC) being able to tear through CR 6s. Like you said, they're supposed to do that.

My concern is the Inquisitor never missing a CR20.

Balor, CR20, AC 36, HP 370, DR 15/cold iron and good

What matter is not "can he hit it?", it's "can he kill it?"

Though unless you're trying to make a level 12 PC fight a CR20 enemy, it doesn't matter if he can hurt it or not.

In a more reasonable encounter, he can hit a CR16 enemy 95% of the time. This increases his DPR about 35% compared to a typical martial PC who can only hit it 70% of the time. Not such a big deal.

Against a CR 10 enemy, he'll be hitting 95% of the time while a typical martial PC will be hitting it 95% of the time; no advantage whatsoever.


Balkoth wrote:

I get that. My question do you is, how would you handle that instead? Again, the designers seem to have done that to ensure the Cleric's CASTING ability is relevant...and due to the design of the Cleric chasis, the BAB/saves is an issue.

A CR16 Frost Giant Fighter (7 levels) makes sense. A CR16 Frost Giant Cleric (7 levels) is a joke of a cleric. Are 14 cleric levels too much? Possibly, but coming up with consistent rules to get like 10-12 caster level might be tricky because it has to work for all levels.

I guess my question here is -- what's your concern precisely? That the GM will "abuse" the situation and basically turn a Cleric into a better Fighter? The GM can already change whatever stats he wants and put whatever creatures he wants into a fight.

My concern is the same thing it's always been. CR is a not a good rule. Anything that refers to opponents just by their CR is basically worthless. You mentioned the inquisitor always being able to hit a CR 20. That statement is wrong. Published monster statistics for the AC of a CR 20 monster range from 25 to 42 (according to the spreadsheet). NPCs could easily be much lower if they're made poorly. The AC 42 could actually be higher (spellcaster with Quicken Spell and Shield). The inquisitor can hit specific CR 20s all of the time (well, 95% of the time). Not all of them. And, again, not getting into all the abilities monsters might have (miss chance, DR, auras) that would stop the inquisitor from hitting or doing damage.

Balkoth wrote:
If you go from Ogre to Cyclops to Hill Giant to Frost Giant to Fire Giant to Cloud Giant and so on it seems to be fairly reasonable, no (excluding the Cyclops ability potentially)? It's obviously not perfect.

And yet you just refered to generic "CR 20s" like there's not a huge difference between monsters in each CR.

Balkoth wrote:
17 gold worth of item falls within the spirit of no gear mentioned there.
No it doesn't. The rules are quite explicit.
Core Rulebook pg 399 wrote:
A classed NPC encountered with no gear should have his CR reduced by 1 (provided that loss of gear actually hampers the NPC)

Not less gear, not worse gear, no gear. A Fighter who trades in their magic weapon for their backup weapon is not hampered.

Again, while I have problems with CR (and ways to fix them myself) my issue in this thread is that you refer to monsters by CR alone. That's not useful information. That's like saying you had a "beverage" with dinner. A milkshake? A soda? Threw a hotdog in a blender with some raw eggs? Metal shavings in hydrocloric acid? Liquid iron? You already said you made a CR 10 creature with 36 AC, surely the CR 20 version would have more?

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