What can a solo P2E character be expected to take on?


Advice


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

Been trying to get a better idea of NPC/monster power levels vs PC power levels as of late.

It seems to me that a single solo character could probably take on a single enemy of his level - 2, with a reasonable chance of success. The same character would have a hard time against a level - 1 enemy, and would get totally trounced more often than not by an equal leveled enemy.

What has been your experience/observation?


Yeah, enemies at-level usually have slightly higher stats because they have simpler combat options. To compete, the player has to make up for that by using their more advanced/versatile set of combat options to create advantages. In a stand-still slugfest the player will lose more often than not.

I haven't actually played combats with one PC so can't speak to what exactly would be a trivial/average/severe encounter equivalent.


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

Kind of makes you wonder how anyone becomes a hellknight.


Ravingdork wrote:
Kind of makes you wonder how anyone becomes a hellknight.

Strategy and luck.

Edit: Actually I'm not seeing the explicit requirement to fight a devil 1 on 1 to take the dedication feat, am I missing it?

In PF1 you definitely had to fight a devil head to head, is that actually still required?


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Ravingdork wrote:
Kind of makes you wonder how anyone becomes a hellknight.

Careful study of the rules and the identification of loopholes that will skew the fight heavily in your favor.

Lawful evil FTW!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Claxon wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Kind of makes you wonder how anyone becomes a hellknight.

Strategy and luck.

Edit: Actually I'm not seeing the explicit requirement to fight a devil 1 on 1 to take the dedication feat, am I missing it?

In PF1 you definitely had to fight a devil head to head, is that actually still required?

The dedication feat for both Hellknight and Signifier explicitly state that you must pass the Hellknight Test.

The test is described as follows in the same book:
The Hellknight Test is simple: an armiger must best an immortal champion of Hell whose power in combat mirrors her own. The test’s specifics differ subtly between orders, but for all of them, the official test is a somber ritual conducted twice each year. A high-ranking officer oversees the test, a signifer administers it in conjuring the devil, and every available member of the order stands witness.

After a lengthy introduction, the armiger in question enters a clearly marked arena. The signifer then conjures the devil, and the two fight to the death. If the armiger prevails, they recite their vows immediately after the battle, as long as their injuries aren’t life threatening. If the armiger dies, the test is over and they fail.

By decree of the Measure, there is one alternate way to achieve knighthood. An armiger can defeat a qualifying devil in single combat outside of the ritual ceremony, but doing so requires a sponsor. If a Hellknight in good standing bears witness to the feat and vouches for them, the armiger can become a member of the order.

Power in combat mirroring one's own is a bit subjective though. Some GMs might pit you against a threat equal to your level, whereas GMs who are aware that, that is for a 4-person party, will likely put you against something below your level, which actually does have equivalent stats.


The brute-force abilities of monsters are within the range of PCs. At lower levels, PCs typically have an advantage w/ a d12 weapon or sword/shield or if they have a useful Reaction in that circumstance. Even getting plate mail ASAP gives you an advantage (though monsters often have superior mobility so beware cunning ones using that against you.)

I'm not say "well within range", but rather "barely within range" as in you need 18 Str & 16 Con for a Fighter w/ Toughness and possibly a Barbarian Dedication too (for h.p. & +2 damage), as well as the best equipment for your level, including damaging weapon runes (like Flaming) for higher levels. That's to keep even.
This naturally makes teamwork and ability synergy important against at-level opponents. It's also why you can't throw 4 at-level opponents at a party of 4 like you could often do in PF1. Not all the PCs will be at that brute-force max, though admittedly Heal does balance fights A LOT!

A few creatures, i.e. Vrocks, seem a touch above the curve, but it's nothing a good or cold iron weapon couldn't solve. And by solve, I mean return you to even-ish odds. Monsters are tough in PF2!
(And I like it!)

When monsters get that brute-force level alongside a comparable level for a special ability or spellcasting, then it's outside what a PC can accomplish. Yep. Hopefully the PC has even more breadth (even if of lesser ability) as well as a greater depth of resources (like consumables). And strategies. And friends. So yes, there are monsters who can swap between roles and remain at maximum power for their level. This can be an issue when you want to make an NPC wizard BBG and find it's way behind the curve. It's likely better to build them w/ monster rules instead of PC rules, i.e. the Bestiary's Lich.

Then you get odd case like Trolls or other creature w/ DR or weaknesses where the proper tool (or lack thereof) swings the odds a lot.
A Fighter w/ a Flaming weapon or a Red Dragon Instinct Barbarian should defeat a Troll at level. A warrior w/o fire, or at least acid,...not so much. It's practically a requirement for a party to have access to fire in combat.

Cheers


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This is the guidance given in the monster building rules for constructing NPCs using the PC rules:

Quote:
If you do choose to build an NPC fully using the PC rules, your NPC should likely end up being an appropriate challenge as a creature of their level. They will likely have lower statistics in some areas than if you had built them using the creature rules, but more options due to their full complement of feats and class features.

So, Creature Level = Character Level, as far as the system is concerned. Against any creature lower than their own level, a PC is at a significant advantage (though a lucky level-1 could probably give them a run for their money), and against any creature of their level or higher their odds of success aren't meant to be greater than 50%, assuming a fair fight.


In P1E a PC-class, PC-wealth character was treated as a CR equal to their levels, so they will be an "average" CR challenge for a party of such PCs (average = "The party almost certainly wins, but takes a few scratches").

I believe this dynamic persists into P2E. A single CR = party level enemy is an "average" fight for a typical 4-PC party, and it gets harder as you subtract PCs from the party, until at 1 PC it's a mirror match/coin toss.


The hellknight test is supposed to be deadly, I'd say 50% is a pretty decent pass rate.
On the other hands, the armigers know exactly what they will be up against and train for it for years. I don't think it would be a stretch to say that they come prepared with anti-devil gear and take a feat or two that helps them in single combat.

I just whipped up a generic level 5 fighter/armiger in Pathbuilder. It has 83 HP, 24 AC + reactive shield, and +16 to hit for 2d6+4 silver. I think he's got a chance against a bearded devil.


Ravingdork wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Kind of makes you wonder how anyone becomes a hellknight.

Strategy and luck.

Edit: Actually I'm not seeing the explicit requirement to fight a devil 1 on 1 to take the dedication feat, am I missing it?

In PF1 you definitely had to fight a devil head to head, is that actually still required?

The dedication feat for both Hellknight and Signifier explicitly state that you must pass the Hellknight Test.

The test is described as follows in the same book:
The Hellknight Test is simple: an armiger must best an immortal champion of Hell whose power in combat mirrors her own. The test’s specifics differ subtly between orders, but for all of them, the official test is a somber ritual conducted twice each year. A high-ranking officer oversees the test, a signifer administers it in conjuring the devil, and every available member of the order stands witness.

After a lengthy introduction, the armiger in question enters a clearly marked arena. The signifer then conjures the devil, and the two fight to the death. If the armiger prevails, they recite their vows immediately after the battle, as long as their injuries aren’t life threatening. If the armiger dies, the test is over and they fail.

By decree of the Measure, there is one alternate way to achieve knighthood. An armiger can defeat a qualifying devil in single combat outside of the ritual ceremony, but doing so requires a sponsor. If a Hellknight in good standing bears witness to the feat and vouches for them, the armiger can become a member of the order.

Power in combat mirroring one's own is a bit subjective though. Some GMs might pit you against a threat equal to your level, whereas GMs who are aware that, that is for a 4-person party, will likely put you against something below your level, which actually does have equivalent stats.

I was looking on Archives of Nethys, which seems to be lacking this part. Or at least doesn't have an easily accessible link for. Or rather, I had trouble locating it if it does exist.

From PF1 I was aware of the general requirement, but couldn't find it on AoN.


Artificial 20 wrote:

In P1E a PC-class, PC-wealth character was treated as a CR equal to their levels, so they will be an "average" CR challenge for a party of such PCs (average = "The party almost certainly wins, but takes a few scratches").

I believe this dynamic persists into P2E. A single CR = party level enemy is an "average" fight for a typical 4-PC party, and it gets harder as you subtract PCs from the party, until at 1 PC it's a mirror match/coin toss.

That dynamic actually has not exactly persisted - a single creature of the same level as the party is worth 40 xp, which is a trivial threat encounter for a standard party. An average (moderate) encounter is two creatures of party level (80 xp).

Additionally, a moderate/average encounter probably isn't intended to be an even 50/50 odds fight, as PCs are expected to win the majority of fights (character adjustments down to 2 party members put the maths more in the 50/50 zone, but anything else has equal level enemies in the multiples being an average encounter)

It is simultaneously both more and less confusing than the "1 level 1 enemy is sort of an average fight for 4 level 1 characters" thing that pf1 has.


Going by the adjustment rules for bigger or smaller parties, the XP budget for a trivial/low/moderate/severe/extreme encounter with a single player is 10/15/20/30/40 XP. That also corresponds to the XP reward for a single monster with level - 4/3/2/1/0. That means a single at-level enemy is extreme, which makes sense because a 50/50 shot at ending your career should be reserved for campaign-ending bosses, otherwise the game wouldn't be very fun.

Applying these adjustment rules at face value is stretching a bit though, as a single character doesn't always have the tools to fight a specific monster, and some classes like rogue, champion, or bard are significantly weaker without allies while others like druid or ranger fare better solo. So the answer depends a lot on character build, more so than normal.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BellyBeard wrote:
Going by the adjustment rules for bigger or smaller parties, the XP budget for a trivial/low/moderate/severe/extreme encounter with a single player is 10/15/20/30/40 XP. That also corresponds to the XP reward for a single monster with level - 4/3/2/1/0. That means a single at-level enemy is extreme, which makes sense because a 50/50 shot at ending your career should be reserved for campaign-ending bosses, otherwise the game wouldn't be very fun.

Arm chairing the numbers, I'd say it's more like 20/80 or even 10/90 in favor of the monster, rather than 50/50.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CyberMephit wrote:

The hellknight test is supposed to be deadly, I'd say 50% is a pretty decent pass rate.

On the other hands, the armigers know exactly what they will be up against and train for it for years. I don't think it would be a stretch to say that they come prepared with anti-devil gear and take a feat or two that helps them in single combat.

I just whipped up a generic level 5 fighter/armiger in Pathbuilder. It has 83 HP, 24 AC + reactive shield, and +16 to hit for 2d6+4 silver. I think he's got a chance against a bearded devil.

It could be a good fight, looking at the Bearded Devil. With Reach, Attack of Opportunity, a push on hit, and causes bleed.

Its AC is kind of trash for going against a +16 to hit though. Most of its survivability must come from the reach.

Strike once, dimension door away so the armiger has to use most of its move to get close, attack of opportunity with reach to push it away, and repeat until the bleed kills it is probably the best way to get an aspiring Hellknight, but I think the fighter will still win.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
CyberMephit wrote:

The hellknight test is supposed to be deadly, I'd say 50% is a pretty decent pass rate.

On the other hands, the armigers know exactly what they will be up against and train for it for years. I don't think it would be a stretch to say that they come prepared with anti-devil gear and take a feat or two that helps them in single combat.

I just whipped up a generic level 5 fighter/armiger in Pathbuilder. It has 83 HP, 24 AC + reactive shield, and +16 to hit for 2d6+4 silver. I think he's got a chance against a bearded devil.

I'm too lazy to look up in my copy of Path of the Hellknight right now to quote passages, but as per that bit about studying you are totally spot-on. A prospective Hellknight is allowed to go into The Test with any and all tools at their disposal, including silver/holy weapons, potions, and other magical gear. I think it may even be encouraged.

Not for nothing do all Armigers in PF2 get Hell Lore. Good little Hellknights do their damned homework. Or homework on the damned, as it were.


Ravingdork wrote:
Armchairing the numbers, I'd say it's more like 20/80 or even 10/90 in favor of the monster, rather than 50/50.

Again, highly depends on the character and the enemy. If you're a giant instinct barbarian with a sword against an at-level splitting ooze, for example, you'll probably lose, unless you use out of character knowledge or this is a particularly studious barbarian. On the other hand, if it's something you're particularly equipped to deal with, like a good cleric fighting fiends with prior knowledge of their abilities and weaknesses, it might be more in your favor.


Indeed.
Odds are tied to a wide number of things.

The character
The enemy
The character equipment ( gogo drink everything )
The order initiative
The environment
Etc...

Not to forget rnjesus


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

Yeah, no doubt. Even an extreme encounter becomes pretty easy when they have no ranged options and you can fly.


-A solo PF2 PC can expect to take on an at-level opponent that they've been built to take on. Dice may disagree, so this should be an abnormal encounter.
-A PC cannot be built to take on all types of opponents, and sometimes opponents might even be chosen to exploit PC weaknesses/oversights.
-Therefore diverse parties, teamwork, and a breadth of resources (as well as fighting mostly opponents below level!) are necessary.


Eventually you could even fake the encounter, by fighting a friend of yours morphed into a devil.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
K1 wrote:

Eventually you could even fake the encounter, by fighting a friend of yours morphed into a devil.

Except for the facts that A, the devil is summoned by a neutral third party and B, the fight is too the death. And Heaven help you if anyone in the orders found out you cheated. You'd probably wish you'd fought and lost come the finish.


Perpdepog wrote:
K1 wrote:

Eventually you could even fake the encounter, by fighting a friend of yours morphed into a devil.

Except for the facts that A, the devil is summoned by a neutral third party and B, the fight is too the death. And Heaven help you if anyone in the orders found out you cheated. You'd probably wish you'd fought and lost come the finish.

Yeah, I thought the same thing when I'd read this earlier today.

People watch you fight, to the death. If you win and the monster doesn't poof away at the end like summoned creatures do, it will be very obvious.

So even if you can get a friend to pretend to be the summoned devil, and somehow convince the "summoner" to go along with the plan, everyone watching you will still know whats up when the body doesn't disappear.


Guess there are way to poof away, like teleports and illusions.

The only real issue here could be the fact that the Demon is summoned by a neutral third party.

And I say could, because it is true that some people are not corruptible.

Then you would have to kill him and replace him with somebody else who act the same way.

And when you have to take Control on something, the more the factors your have to take care of, the higher thr possibility that somebody messes up.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

How lawful a character are you if you want to cheat yourself into the ranks of the Hellknights?

At that point, would it not be easier to bluff being a Hellknight of a lesser known Order?


Franz Lunzer wrote:

How lawful a character are you if you want to cheat yourself into the ranks of the Hellknights?

At that point, would it not be easier to bluff being a Hellknight of a lesser known Order?

It was a joke ;) ( even if could just be a Kick in the back for the hellknight, which doesn't know everything has been set up. Possibilities are infinite ).

While it seems to be true that 99% of hellknights or champion dedication are only interested in the full plate proficiency.

At least this is what I understood by reading on the forum.


Tender Tendrils wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:

In P1E a PC-class, PC-wealth character was treated as a CR equal to their levels, so they will be an "average" CR challenge for a party of such PCs (average = "The party almost certainly wins, but takes a few scratches").

I believe this dynamic persists into P2E. A single CR = party level enemy is an "average" fight for a typical 4-PC party, and it gets harder as you subtract PCs from the party, until at 1 PC it's a mirror match/coin toss.

That dynamic actually has not exactly persisted - a single creature of the same level as the party is worth 40 xp, which is a trivial threat encounter for a standard party. An average (moderate) encounter is two creatures of party level (80 xp).

Additionally, a moderate/average encounter probably isn't intended to be an even 50/50 odds fight, as PCs are expected to win the majority of fights (character adjustments down to 2 party members put the maths more in the 50/50 zone, but anything else has equal level enemies in the multiples being an average encounter)

It is simultaneously both more and less confusing than the "1 level 1 enemy is sort of an average fight for 4 level 1 characters" thing that pf1 has.

Thank you, I stand helpfully corrected.

P1E has 5 given encounter ratings, which corresponded to:
>Easy (APL -1):
>Average (APL): 1 same-level PC
>Challenging (APL +1):
>Hard (APL +2): 2 same-level PCs
>Epic (APL +3): 3 same-level PCs

For 4 same-level PCs, you went off the scale at APL +4.

P2E also has 5 ratings, but they're offset backwards by 1:
>Trivial (40 or less): 1 same-level PC
>Low (60):
>Moderate (80): 2 same-level PCs
>Severe (120): 3 same-level PCs
>Extreme (160): 4 same-level PCs

This is assuming PC level = creature level, which I think is the case but can't source at this minute.


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

If you're looking to cheat your way into the Hellknights, you don't need to pass the test.

By decree of the Measure, there is one alternate way to achieve knighthood. An armiger can defeat a qualifying devil in single combat outside of the ritual ceremony, but doing so requires a sponsor. If a Hellknight in good standing bears witness to the feat and vouches for them, the armiger can become a member of the order.

You just need to trick a lone hellknight in good standing into believing you slew a devil, and you need to do so, SO thouroughly that they would vouch for you to become a member of the order.

Seems like a simple hallucination spell might accomplish that.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A Barbazu is pretty beatable by a 5th level LN Fighter (Good and Evil ones will have more trouble).

Assume a 5th level Fighter with a Silvered Glaive and Align Weapon Oil. He'll have +16 to hit for what's effectively 2d8+4 +1d6+5 (total average 21.5) vs. AC 22, and thus a DPR of 21.5 on the first attack, and on AoO.

The Fighter will likely have 44 to 54 HP, to the Devil's 60, but the Devil has only +15 to hit for 1d8+7 (11.5 damage) vs. an AC of 24. The Devil will also do 1d6 Bleed damage, but that's almost irrelevant given the likely short length of the fight.

Now, that involves specialized equipment...but not that specialized (one consumable and a silvered Reach weapon).


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Now, that involves specialized equipment...but not that specialized (one consumable and a silvered Reach weapon).

And since you're not just stumbling into this fight (you're definitely going to know what you're fighting and when it's going to happen) it's very reasonable to think you need to prepare for this fight in the best way possible, including making some purchases to give you an edge.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

A Barbazu is pretty beatable by a 5th level LN Fighter (Good and Evil ones will have more trouble).

Assume a 5th level Fighter with a Silvered Glaive and Align Weapon Oil. He'll have +16 to hit for what's effectively 2d8+4 +1d6+5 (total average 21.5) vs. AC 22, and thus a DPR of 21.5 on the first attack, and on AoO.

The Fighter will likely have 44 to 54 HP, to the Devil's 60, but the Devil has only +15 to hit for 1d8+7 (11.5 damage) vs. an AC of 24. The Devil will also do 1d6 Bleed damage, but that's almost irrelevant given the likely short length of the fight.

Now, that involves specialized equipment...but not that specialized (one consumable and a silvered Reach weapon).

Yes, the Devil is relying much on that DR/Silver, which is why it has fewer hit points than the Fighter who should have more than your estimates.

Elf Fighter 5 w/ 8 Con has 51 h.p.
Human Fighter 5 w/ 14 Con has 68 h.p.
Dwarf Fighter 5 w/ 18 Con & Toughness has 85 h.p.
(And 104 h.p. if a Raging Barbarian!)

Also note that Aligned Oil is a 9th level item which is very expensive for a 5th level PC, though it being a pivotal fight it could be a justifiable purchase. With the AC, damage, & h.p. differences, it's not necessary except you are alone and dice are fickle and that stupid beard doesn't take MAP.

The Barbazu really highlights the difference between having the right equipment and not. And how being Good can hurt!


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

Generally you can't purchase things above your level. If your group uses the lump sum rule like mine does, you can't even purchase equipment equal to your level during character creation.


K1 wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:

How lawful a character are you if you want to cheat yourself into the ranks of the Hellknights?

At that point, would it not be easier to bluff being a Hellknight of a lesser known Order?

It was a joke ;) ( even if could just be a Kick in the back for the hellknight, which doesn't know everything has been set up. Possibilities are infinite ).

While it seems to be true that 99% of hellknights or champion dedication are only interested in the full plate proficiency.

At least this is what I understood by reading on the forum.

While the heavy armor prof is nice, my real draws are the order abilities. Those look pretty dang fun. I especially like the combination of a hobgoblin Hellknight of the Chain with the Leech-Clipper and Remorseless Lash ancestry feats in conjunction with the Order of the Chain's abilities to trip people with flails. I may be building a character to try that out soonish.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Perpdepog wrote:
...in conjunction with the Order of the Chain's abilities to trip people with flails.

Did you mean to say grapple rather than trip? I see no trip options under the Order of the Chain.


Ravingdork wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
...in conjunction with the Order of the Chain's abilities to trip people with flails.
Did you mean to say grapple rather than trip? I see no trip options under the Order of the Chain.

I certainly did. I think I got them muddled because flails have the trip trait. With those feats you can disarm, trip, grapple, or hobble an opponent all with the same weapon, which seems pretty awesome to me.

Now to figure out a way to throw them and turn your flails into bolos, too.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ravingdork wrote:
Generally you can't purchase things above your level. If your group uses the lump sum rule like mine does, you can't even purchase equipment equal to your level during character creation.

Purchasing items in game (as opposed to during character creation) have no restrictions based on your level. Your only constraints are if you have the gold and a place that actually stocks that particular item.

By contrast, I'm led to understand Starfinder prevents you from being able to obtain licenses for items above your level to buy.

In practice, you may not be able to afford many items above your level, which might have been what you meant by "generally." But I'd rather people not get the wrong impression either way.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
Purchasing items in game (as opposed to during character creation) have no restrictions based on your level.

Core Rulebook, page 271: Each item has an item level, which represents the item’s complexity and any magic used in its construction. Simpler items with a lower level are easier to construct, and you can’t Craft items that have a higher level than your own (page 243). If an item’s level isn’t listed, its level is 0. While characters can use items of any level, GMs should keep in mind that allowing characters access to items far above their current level may have a negative impact on the game.

It seems you are correct.


Captain Morgan wrote:
By contrast, I'm led to understand Starfinder prevents you from being able to obtain licenses for items above your level to buy.

I think it's more that it is strongly encouraged to do something like that more than it is an assumed part of the game, and the book does make it plain that you are reasonably expected to be able to purchase items 1 level above your own, or even 2 in a large enough settlement.

I also think this mostly applies to weapons and armor and that you can get a fair bit more lax with things like technology and magic items.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Advice / What can a solo P2E character be expected to take on? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.