PSA: All-champion (or all-champion-multiclass parties) are terrifying catch-22s


Advice

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Simply as a PSA, it is worth noting that all-champion (or all-champion-multiclass parties) are terrifying catch-22s. Champion's Reaction can respond even if the ally being damaged has Champion's Reaction themselves, so if multiple party members have Champion's Reaction, they can really entrap enemies in nasty catch-22s.

The absolute silliest hypothetical scenario is wherein everyone is a flickmace Ranged Retribution paladin champion, or maybe a 6th-level character multiclassing into paladin champion for flickmace Ranged Retribution, thus ensuring that the enemy side gets pounded with Retributive Strikes.


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How is this party going to take down a storm lord? Or a level 5 wizard with fly? Or even a level 1 lantern archon in a friendly contest?


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Colette Brunel wrote:
they can really entrap enemies in nasty catch-22s.

HIT ME


CyberMephit wrote:
How is this party going to take down a storm lord? Or a level 5 wizard with fly? Or even a level 1 lantern archon in a friendly contest?

Champions have serious issues against ranged/flying opponents, it is true. Champion's Reaction applying only out to 15 feet can be a serious limitation in anything but cramped dungeons.

Presumably, though, one of them is a fighter multiclassed into champion, for Sudden Leap and Felling Strike at 9th. Failing that, one of them is a bard multiclassed into champion for fly at 7th.


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Draco18s wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
they can really entrap enemies in nasty catch-22s.
HIT ME

I love it.

When everyone on the opposing party starts flashing obscene gestures religious items and shouting, 'come at me bro'. Maybe you should re-think things a bit.


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Colette Brunel wrote:
CyberMephit wrote:
How is this party going to take down a storm lord? Or a level 5 wizard with fly? Or even a level 1 lantern archon in a friendly contest?

Champions have serious issues against ranged/flying opponents, it is true. Champion's Reaction applying only out to 15 feet can be a serious limitation in anything but cramped dungeons.

Presumably, though, one of them is a fighter multiclassed into champion, for Sudden Leap and Felling Strike at 9th. Failing that, one of them is a bard multiclassed into champion for fly at 7th.

Alternatively, they all carry a backup shortbow. Not as dramatic, perhaps, but they are all trained in it.


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Someone post the comic meme of Sam and Dean twisting themselves around each other to protect the other from an attack...


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*Goblin dodges Champ attack, hits Champ back*

Other Champs: You riposted in the wrong neighborhood


This idea makes me think also of a cordon of Fighters, you run down the aisle to reach the Wizard and get slammed. XD


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"So that's why we've decided to make an all champion team!'

GM nods, confused, and just notes down "Use spells, I guess?" in his notebook.


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They cannot be damaging spells, in that case, since Champion's Reaction triggers off damage.


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It's a catch-22 only if you have a group that does does roleplay equilevant of memes.

Which is luckily a minority and not /really/ an issue.

Silver Crusade

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*adds shortstack Calistrian squad to list of NPC ideas*


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I mean, it makes sense that they made the bodyguard class good in a military formation with other bodyguards. Something feels right about that.

It for sure is a nasty combination, even with just two champion frontliners, but it does have enough weaknesses that it's not a no-brainer.

Interestingly, for those like me who have always enjoyed the offensive focused paladin image, two PF2 paladins diving into enemy lines now makes a WHOLE LOT more sense.


Sounds like the most boring party ever that nobody in these forums will ever see in practice (unless they specifically plan it out for Lulz).


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I love how the title of this thread uses the term catch-22 when literally NOTHING about thus setup or scenario is a catch-22. Colette clickbait at its finest.


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And is anyone terrified?


Xenocrat wrote:
And is anyone terrified?

Positively quaking. (/sarcasm)


Colette Brunel wrote:
They cannot be damaging spells, in that case, since Champion's Reaction triggers off damage.

Most spells have more than a 15 foot range...


Of course, after everyone Retributive Strikes or Enfeebles the attacking monster, wasting a lot of resistance in the meanwhile because it doesn't stack, that's when the rest of the enemies have a good laugh and do as they please.


I kinda want to run a PbP arena game vs Colette's Avengers :)

It is situationally strong I'll grant that much; but doesn't look unbeatable by a standard AP encounter spread.


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Edge93 wrote:
I love how the title of this thread uses the term catch-22 when literally NOTHING about thus setup or scenario is a catch-22. Colette clickbait at its finest.

"a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions."

This would seem to be a fitting definition, given the presence of multiple Champion's Reactions.


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Just have at least 1 person multiclass into Barb and take the Come At me Bro feat to bait them in.


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Colette Brunel wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
I love how the title of this thread uses the term catch-22 when literally NOTHING about thus setup or scenario is a catch-22. Colette clickbait at its finest.

"a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions."

This would seem to be a fitting definition, given the presence of multiple Champion's Reactions.

Not to be a pedant, but what are the conflicting or dependent conditions here? If I hit the enemy, I get hit; but I need to hit the enemy to win?

I'm siding with Edge here that this is definite misuse of "Catch-22," and also a weird use of PSA. Public Service Announcement: This one weird build will astonish GMs! Melee creatures hate him! (See how that's not a PSA?)


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I ran an all paladin campaign in PF1, and they likewise were daunting in a different way. By about 8th level, thanks to Selective Channeling and one PC with Channel Ray, plus everyone having the ability to lay hands on themselves as a swift action, trying to deal damage was a Sisyphean task.

I got used to it. But when the group capped out at 18th level, I recall an encounter where the aasimar paladin with angel wings got caught by surprise by a pit fiend who full attacked him. Before said PC got to his turn, he was healed back to full by the rest of the party, and then the PC activated his boots of haste, smote, and made I think 7 attacks. It died that turn.


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Haha, champion battle-buddies. Nice. Now I want to see how viable I can make a party of six champions, two of each alignment, each multiclassed differently... XD


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Colette Brunel wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
I love how the title of this thread uses the term catch-22 when literally NOTHING about thus setup or scenario is a catch-22. Colette clickbait at its finest.

"a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions."

This would seem to be a fitting definition, given the presence of multiple Champion's Reactions.

Any ranged attack or non-damaging spells. Tanglefoot bags. There's a lot of escapes. This only works if you rush a group of huddled up people. Playing bad is a catch-22.


Ruzza wrote:
Not to be a pedant, but what are the conflicting or dependent conditions here? If I hit the enemy, I get hit; but I need to hit the enemy to win?

You want to hit someone and be as effective as possible. If you hit Paladin A he will take reduced damage and Paladin B will hit you. Therefore it makes more sense to hit Paladin B, but in that case he will take reduced damage and Paladin A will hit you. That the downsides in each case in your decision making scenario are identical doesn't make it not a catch 22.

Silver Crusade

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vagabond_666 wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
Not to be a pedant, but what are the conflicting or dependent conditions here? If I hit the enemy, I get hit; but I need to hit the enemy to win?
You want to hit someone and be as effective as possible. If you hit Paladin A he will take reduced damage and Paladin B will hit you. Therefore it makes more sense to hit Paladin B, but in that case he will take reduced damage and Paladin A will hit you. That the downsides in each case in your decision making scenario are identical doesn't make it not a catch 22.

It does when you’re assuming only melee attacks exists.


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Rysky wrote:
vagabond_666 wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
Not to be a pedant, but what are the conflicting or dependent conditions here? If I hit the enemy, I get hit; but I need to hit the enemy to win?
You want to hit someone and be as effective as possible. If you hit Paladin A he will take reduced damage and Paladin B will hit you. Therefore it makes more sense to hit Paladin B, but in that case he will take reduced damage and Paladin A will hit you. That the downsides in each case in your decision making scenario are identical doesn't make it not a catch 22.
It does when you’re assuming only melee attacks exists.

Vacuum white room combined with the worst case scenarios that never happen is the name of the game.


Perhaps the biggest issue with the champion class is that it is made to fight in tight, cramped, indoor spaces (e.g. a typical Paizo premade adventure dungeon). Champion's Reaction really, really does not work too well in set piece battles with larger maps, and it is unreasonable for a champion to ask their allies to constantly stay within 15 feet.

Is it a catch-22? Absolutely. Can the catch-22 be circumvented? Yes, much like many catch-22s.

Silver Crusade

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Catch-22 wrote:
a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

If it can be circumvented, then it's not a Catch-22.


Rysky wrote:
It does when you’re assuming only melee attacks exists.

I was responding to the claim that it was a total misuse of the term catch-22, which it clearly isn't. If you want to insist it be phrased as "it's a catch-22 for monsters that have nothing but melee attacks" that's not a conversation I'm interested in participating in.


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Just throwing this out there, but a catch-22 is being trapped or forced into a situation by contradictory rules.

You're proposing that "Creature A can't attack anything because doing so would mean he gets attacked all the same," implies that those are his only actions. He's not trapped, there's an escape, he's not forced into attacking.

In a world where creatures are video game monsters programmed to only follow the coding, opening them up to exploits, I could maybe see the argument. This is just, "One neat trick!" as I mentioned before.


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Colette Brunel wrote:

Perhaps the biggest issue with the champion class is that it is made to fight in tight, cramped, indoor spaces (e.g. a typical Paizo premade adventure dungeon). Champion's Reaction really, really does not work too well in set piece battles with larger maps, and it is unreasonable for a champion to ask their allies to constantly stay within 15 feet.

Is it a catch-22? Absolutely. Can the catch-22 be circumvented? Yes, much like many catch-22s.

A circumvented catch-22 is as much of a catch-22 as a safe with it's door missing a closed container.

Catch-22 wrote:
A catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules or limitations.

I think the biggest issue is making up scenarios where a silly thing might make sense. Like if two trolls punch each other each round, none will die, ergo trolls are immortal.

The champion ability can be dealt with at range, and if a few of them stack, it's just makes everything easier because aoe is a thing.


Ruzza wrote:
Just throwing this out there, but a catch-22 is being trapped or forced into a situation by contradictory rules.

By this logic the catch-22 in the novel catch-22 isn't a catch-22, you can always just commit suicide or go to military prison rather than fly the missions.


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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
The champion ability can be dealt with at range, and if a few of them stack, it's just makes everything easier because aoe is a thing.

The lich looks down at the champion formation, their gnomish flickmaces dangling from their hands, each spaced perfectly to protect each other.

"Wow, guys," he says. "Really impressive." Casts Cloudkill into a quickened Chain Lightning. "I mean, just... wow."


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vagabond_666 wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
Just throwing this out there, but a catch-22 is being trapped or forced into a situation by contradictory rules.
By this logic the catch-22 in the novel catch-22 isn't a catch-22, you can always just commit suicide or go to military prison rather than fly the missions.

I think those definitely count as "not options." I mean, for instance, a goblin could grapple one of the champions. A bugbear might trip them. A lizardman might disarm them.

I'm not saying, "Haha, you dummies, you could just commit suicide. Then you're escaping the riddle!" I'm saying, it's not a catch-22 when you have numerous ways out of the "trap."


A 6th-level champion and a 6th-level fighter multiclassing into champion flank an enemy. Both of these characters have Ranged Retribution and Attack of Opportunity. The enemy's choices have been severely constricted here, due to the various reactions that both characters can throw up. That sounds like a catch-22 to me.

Shutting down that enemy's turn to, for example, tripping and shoving is a severe hindrance.

Just because a good and synergistic combat strategy has its weaknesses does not mean it is not a good and synergistic combat strategy. It certainly has its payoff compared to a more "generic" tag-team combo.


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Colette Brunel wrote:
A 6th-level champion and a 6th-level fighter multiclassing into champion flank an enemy. Both of these characters have Ranged Retribution and Attack of Opportunity. The enemy's choices have been severely constricted here, due to the various reactions that both characters can throw up. That sounds like a catch-22 to me.

"The goblin grapples the champion. His goblin allies hit the other one with sticks." Look, you can say it's an interesting or neat trick, but it isn't a catch-22.


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It is a good and synergistic combat strategy against SOME enemies in SOME places but far from all of them and I doubt it's even majority. Calling it a "terrifying catch-22" implies that it somehow trivializes every difficult encounter which it doesn't quite pull off.

Silver Crusade

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Again, "I have less options" is not a Catch-22

Silver Crusade

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vagabond_666 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
It does when you’re assuming only melee attacks exists.
I was responding to the claim that it was a total misuse of the term catch-22, which it clearly isn't. If you want to insist it be phrased as "it's a catch-22 for monsters that have nothing but melee attacks" that's not a conversation I'm interested in participating in.

I'm not.

A situation that you have less, but still plenty of options is not Catch-22.


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Ruzza wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
The champion ability can be dealt with at range, and if a few of them stack, it's just makes everything easier because aoe is a thing.

The lich looks down at the champion formation, their gnomish flickmaces dangling from their hands, each spaced perfectly to protect each other.

"Wow, guys," he says. "Really impressive." Casts Cloudkill into a quickened Chain Lightning. "I mean, just... wow."

The brave 300...no wait, they got gassed and electrocuted. The 300 dumbasses.

The champion phalanx moves through the dungeon corridors, sure that the tactic sent from their god Katch Tenty-To was perfect. Aals they were gassed, electroctured and then skewered by a few penetrating shots. The last to die raises his fist towards the sky and sputters a bloody curse. "Pox upon you Katch Tenty-to!"


Ruzza wrote:
"The goblin grapples the champion. His goblin allies hit the other one with sticks." Look, you can say it's an interesting or neat trick, but it isn't a catch-22.

Is this situation actually that practical for the enemies? The only goblin with decent Athletics in the bestiary is the goblin commando, who has to drop their horsechopper to attempt this. Even then, being grappled does not actually stop Champion's Reaction.


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
The champion phalanx moves through the dungeon corridors, sure that the tactic sent from their god Katch Tenty-To was perfect. Aals they were gassed, electroctured and then skewered by a few penetrating shots. The last to die raises his fist towards the sky and sputters a bloody curse. "Pox upon you Katch Tenty-to!"

Tight, confined spaces are actually where champions (and champion multiclasses) work best. It is open spaces and large, set piece battles where they have the most trouble.


Colette Brunel wrote:
Tight, confined spaces are actually where champions (and champion multiclasses) work best. It is open spaces and large, set piece battles where they have the most trouble.

Uuuuuhhh... guys is Colette okay? Did we break them? Is this just a thing they do, or what?


Colette Brunel wrote:
Is this situation actually that practical for the enemies? The only goblin with decent Athletics in the bestiary is the goblin commando, who has to drop their horsechopper to attempt this. Even then, being grappled does not actually stop Champion's Reaction.

Okay, so it's officially a catch-22 if the enemy is a goblin commando versus 4 champions with fighter multiclass dedications, is that what you're saying?

Seriously, I'm using simple examples to show to you that this is not a catch-22. It's okay to admit that your verbage was wrong. Then you can use the rest of the time to tell everyone about your neat 4 champion combo.

EDIT: It's okay to be wrong some of the time.

Silver Crusade

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Colette Brunel wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
"The goblin grapples the champion. His goblin allies hit the other one with sticks." Look, you can say it's an interesting or neat trick, but it isn't a catch-22.
Is this situation actually that practical for the enemies? The only goblin with decent Athletics in the bestiary is the goblin commando, who has to drop their horsechopper to attempt this. Even then, being grappled does not actually stop Champion's Reaction.

Yes that would be practical in that situation.

And it does stop it, unless they're a CG Champion.

Silver Crusade

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Oh and Tumble is still a thing.

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