13th level one shot against a CR21 - how can I counter?


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Over the holidays, our group is doing a Pathfinder one-shot game that's going to close with a fight against a CR21. I don't know exactly what type of BBEG, but I do know the AC is going to be in the 35-40 range, the SR is over 30, and it has epic DR.

Now, here's the thing...I've been out of the PF min-max game for a few years, but I'm our group's declared optimizer and I know I'm going to be the one that has to probably carry most of the weight in terms of actually having a strategy to win the fight. (The other players in my group are fantastic roleplayers, but they're very far from being optimized character builders.)

So, my question is, what can I do to counter this kind of fight? 13th level, I rolled fairly so-so stats (15, 15, 13, 11, 9, 8), anything first-party is open, and I can probably get third-party stuff approved if I ask nicely.

My general thoughts were:

1) Focus on consumables since this is a one-shot game.

2) Focus on casters since I can nova with spells (again, a one-shot, although there will be multiple encounters during the session.)

3) I was thinking maybe some kind of blaster with crossblooded sorcerer, but getting around SR seems pretty difficult. Plus at 13th, I'd have to give up 7th level spells to go with a dip or a spontaneous caster.

Any ideas? Maybe I should go melee and just focus on big, accurate attacks?


If you want to nova with a blaster, and don't want to worry about Spell Resistance, be a Kineticist.

If you want to win without question, be a Monster Tactician Inquisitor... especially if you have a Bard/Evangelist/Sensei in your party.


I don’t know why but this screaming dragon to me for some reason.

If you wanted to blast and it was just for a one shot I would say go orc blooded Sorc with bloodline mutation blood havoc and focus on battering blast. Force damage, touch AC. focus on raising caster level.

But in your case I wouldn’t do that because SR is going to be a nightmare to get through without Spell perfection.

Your caster level 13 even if you took both spell pen feats, mages tattoo and spell specialisation you’re at 20 meaning you’re gonna fail more than succeed. You can use piercing spell meta magic but you’re already going to want to be empowering your spells and potentially using a rod of lesser quicken spell too. That’s a lot of meta magic to juggle.

In theory though you could get

6x 5D6+10x1.5 force damage, hitting touch. So reliably 247, if you could find a way to get one Empowered battering blast and one quickened Empowered battering blast through the things SR.

With the feats I described and spell pen meta magic you’d be at +25 to beat SR. I suppose with an elf you could hit +27 which is pretty good.

Hat aside what I would recommend is going all in on a bomber alchemist.

With fast thrower, haste and rapid shot you could throw out 4 bombs each hitting touch AC for 7D6+int mod damage. Assuming int of say 24. That’s 136 damage a turn.

Take discoveries that change damage type to ensure you can hit the guy hard whatever he happened to be resistant to, but pray he’s weak to frost. Forcing 4 fortitude saves per turn, failure means they’re staggered,

Or rely on madness bombs, in one turn you should be able to reliably drop their wis by 6 and 4 on the following turn. Pretty quickly putting them in save or suck range for an ally. But that brings the problem of SR again for your ally.


VoodistMonk wrote:

If you want to nova with a blaster, and don't want to worry about Spell Resistance, be a Kineticist.

If you want to win without question, be a Monster Tactician Inquisitor... especially if you have a Bard/Evangelist/Sensei in your party.

A kineticist using an energy blast still has to beat SR if I’m not mistaken.

And one using a physical blast has to beat the ratings AC.


As already mentioned SR is the bane of casters. If you want to go the caster nuke route you're going to need to push it through the ceiling. Possible ways to boost it include:

* Greater Spell Penetration (+4)
* Dweomer Essence (+5)
* Blood Piercing (+Cha)
* Orange Prism Ioun Stone (+1)
(Note that I'm not including Elf since you obviously want to go Sorcerer with a Cha focus)

Since you'll have 13 caster level and presumably +9 Cha, this gets you to an effective 32 on your caster level checks to beat spell resistance. This should be enough to hit fairly reliably.

Battering Blast is probably your best spell option. With spell specialization, either intensified spell or blood intensity, blood havoc, and orc bloodline you can get 21d6+42 (avg 115.5) damage as pure force damage. You can apply the Empowered Spell Metamagic to bring that up to 173 average damage, and with the aid of a lesser metamagic rod you can quicken it to hit twice per round.

Now, I wouldn't write off a martial, either. Martials are much easier to buff than casters, and if you buff heavily you can get a 13th level martial to around +40 to hit. Some back of the napkin math on a naive greatsword barbarian suggests that with proper pre-buffing it can deal around 100 DPR to AC 40. With a more optimized build you should be able to match a battering blast caster while having much more durability.


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Okay, requested minmax? Here's a template:
>Take something that does truckloads of martial damage, doesn't matter exactly what, pouncing barbarian, spirit warrior fighter, whatever
>Take everything you can to buff your damage, and ignore your accuracy
>Take VMC (variant multi class) Magus
>At level 9 or later, use Extra Arcana to pick up Accurate Strike, which does this: "The magus can expend 2 points from his arcane pool as a swift action to resolve all of his melee weapon attacks until the end of his turn as melee touch attacks. The magus must be at least 9th level before selecting this arcana."
>Not all, but most high CR creatures have a pretty terrible touch AC, and with a flat Int 10 you'll have enough for one basic enhancement (either a flat +3, a stack of Flaming/Frost/Shock if it resists none of those, since you don't need accuracy, or Speed if for some reason no one brought Haste) and 2 full rounds of battering the CR21 target's touch AC

This approach itself can be countered, but with 3 attacks +1 for Haste you can hit 200 damage per round and triumph or die before you run out of gas.


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Dasrak wrote:

As already mentioned SR is the bane of casters. If you want to go the caster nuke route you're going to need to push it through the ceiling. Possible ways to boost it include:

* Greater Spell Penetration (+4)
* Dweomer Essence (+5)
* Blood Piercing (+Cha)
* Orange Prism Ioun Stone (+1)
(Note that I'm not including Elf since you obviously want to go Sorcerer with a Cha focus)

Since you'll have 13 caster level and presumably +9 Cha, this gets you to an effective 32 on your caster level checks to beat spell resistance. This should be enough to hit fairly reliably.

Battering Blast is probably your best spell option. With spell specialization, either intensified spell or blood intensity, blood havoc, and orc bloodline you can get 21d6+42 (avg 115.5) damage as pure force damage. You can apply the Empowered Spell Metamagic to bring that up to 173 average damage, and with the aid of a lesser metamagic rod you can quicken it to hit twice per round.

Now, I wouldn't write off a martial, either. Martials are much easier to buff than casters, and if you buff heavily you can get a 13th level martial to around +40 to hit. Some back of the napkin math on a naive greatsword barbarian suggests that with proper pre-buffing it can deal around 100 DPR to AC 40. With a more optimized build you should be able to match a battering blast caster while having much more durability.

A battering blast Sorc doesn’t need to focus Cha to the hilt because it doesn’t have a save to pump so they can afford elf, also the Dex helps with the ranged touch attack.

Also I don’t think intensify does much here cause bblast doesn’t have a cl cap


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
A battering blast Sorc doesn’t need to focus Cha to the hilt because it doesn’t have a save to pump so they can afford elf, also the Dex helps with the ranged touch attack.

This is true; you could make Elf work if you want, although since Blood Piercing is Cha-based you only net out 1 point ahead vs SR. Still definitely a viable choice.

Chromatic Durgon <3 wrote:
Also I don’t think intensify does much here cause bblast doesn’t have a cl cap

It does:

Battering Blast wrote:
On a successful hit, you deal 1d6 points of force damage per two caster levels (maximum 5d6)

Both intensified spell and blood intensity allow you to increase the maximum number of damage dice you can roll.

Intensified Spell wrote:
An intensified spell increases the maximum number of damage dice by 5 levels.
Blood Intensity wrote:
Whenever you cast a bloodrager or sorcerer spell that deals damage, you can increase its maximum number of damage dice by an amount equal to your Strength or Charisma modifier, whichever is higher.


Blood Intensity is going to provide more bang since you get cha mod in dice instead of a 5 level increase. The 5 level incease from Intensify Spell is only an extra 2d6 per blast, you get your full Cha mod in extra dice from Blood Intensity.

Though if the sorcerer can't push his caster level above 14 it won't matter.

You can use traits to push CL on individual spells, but going beyond 1 is difficult. Most of the feats are in the same categories as the ones that reduce meta magic costs and you generally want both. If you can use campaign traits from other published work the Outsider background trail from RoTRL is particularly good.

Orange Ioun Stone is good for a +1.

Spell Specialization is another +2. Varisian Tattoo for another +1. Honestly not sure if the OP can afford all of these feats. This would be better with Spell Perfection doubling the bonuses, but that is off the table.

Theoretically if you take extra talent you could get +2 to CL on Battering Blast, then +2 from Spell Specialization and +1 from an Orange Ioun Stone. That is CL 18 which will produce 3 7d6+14 blasts with Intensify Spell or 9d6+18 with Blood Intensify. That is assuming you went Orc Bloodline with Blood Havoc blood mutation for the +2 damage per dice. If you Empower these it goes to 10d6+30 and 13d6+39 respectively.

If you can somehow get your CL to 20 you would not only gain an extra 1d6 damage from Blood Intensity, but all versions of Battering Blast cast would go from 3 blasts to 4 blasts. Unfortunately I can't think of any practical method to get an extra 2 CL for a sorcerer.


Dasrak wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
A battering blast Sorc doesn’t need to focus Cha to the hilt because it doesn’t have a save to pump so they can afford elf, also the Dex helps with the ranged touch attack.

This is true; you could make Elf work if you want, although since Blood Piercing is Cha-based you only net out 1 point ahead vs SR. Still definitely a viable choice.

Chromatic Durgon <3 wrote:
Also I don’t think intensify does much here cause bblast doesn’t have a cl cap

It does:

Battering Blast wrote:
On a successful hit, you deal 1d6 points of force damage per two caster levels (maximum 5d6)

Both intensified spell and blood intensity allow you to increase the maximum number of damage dice you can roll.

Intensified Spell wrote:
An intensified spell increases the maximum number of damage dice by 5 levels.
Blood Intensity wrote:
Whenever you cast a bloodrager or sorcerer spell that deals damage, you can increase its maximum number of damage dice by an amount equal to your Strength or Charisma modifier, whichever is higher.

Oh s&*! I never realised you could increase the cap on each individual orb, I was just thinking that you can get as many orbs as you can pump CL.


Meirril wrote:
Blood Intensity is going to provide more bang since you get cha mod in dice instead of a 5 level increase. The 5 level incease from Intensify Spell is only an extra 2d6 per blast, you get your full Cha mod in extra dice from Blood Intensity.

Elf is worth +2, whereas going with a Cha-boosting race increases your Cha modifier by +1, so going with Elf is still a small net gain in this regard.

Meirril wrote:
Though if the sorcerer can't push his caster level above 14 it won't matter.

You could reasonably hit CL 16, maybe 18 if you want to really push it. This gives Blood Intensity 1-2 extra damage dice over Intensified Spell. However, Blood Intensity is limited to 3 uses per day so you could potentially run through those even in a single combat encounter. I mentioned both as viable options because I regard both as viable options.

Meirril wrote:
If you can somehow get your CL to 20 you would not only gain an extra 1d6 damage from Blood Intensity, but all versions of Battering Blast cast would go from 3 blasts to 4 blasts. Unfortunately I can't think of any practical method to get an extra 2 CL for a sorcerer.

It's very unreliable, but there is the Stone Warder archetype (which, conveniently, allows Orc as one of its few compatible bloodlines), and would give another +3 caster level. It's ludicrously strong, but it only functions in limited kinds of terrain.


Someone check me on this. Dust of Chocking and Sneazing isn't a spell or spell-like affect so SR has no effect? If you had a familiar, animal companion, homoculus, poppet, cohort or follower run up and activate this cursed item it would stun most creatures for 5d4 rounds. It would also stun anyone else within 10' radius.

Cost wise its cheap, should be the same price as the Dust of Appearance you normally try to make instead of the cursed item. The major downside is its a self-destruct kind of item even when you use it intentionally. And it is extremely cheesy. Also it won't work on all sorts of creatures, so this really should be a disposable 'maybe', but at least it is cheap.

And so for a character idea that abuses magic items. The basic idea is to use a cyclopse helm to give you an automatic critical hit, assuming you can back it up.

To make a single hit count as much as possible, lets go for a lance. To get as much from it as possible, lets try a Mammoth Lance. This only helps with damage, but its fun, right? Getting a Mastodon with a permanent Reduce Animal cast on it would be cool.

But you can do better than shrinking it. Pay for a Polymorph Any Object to be cast on it, and turn it into...a medium sized Mammoth Animal Compaion. This will definitely be a permanent duration. If you want to push your luck ask the GM about the duration of transforming a Mammoth into a dragon horse or even a medium sized dragon. Actually go for a medium sized dragon, since the duration should be 7 days and hopefully your adventure would be done by then? One of the big benefits of using Polymorph Any Object is that depending on the form chosen the Mammoth gains new powers and abilities on top of changing size and if you make it large, it gains strength instead of reducing it!

If you go for a medium sized mount there is no reason to be medium sized yourself. Go for a small race. Or not. You sort of still need to be strength based for your to hit bonus. Though...if a lance is a one-handed weapon when mounted, would it qualify as a one handed piercing weapon for Swashbuckler? Crusader has a lot of bonuses for being a mounted warrior, but it isn't an automatic choice of class. Still, for AC you might want to go crusader and use a shield and lance.

Considering that you are paying for a mount, you don't have to be a crusader. Consider going fighter, swashbuckler, ranger or even paladin (with the weapon bond). Fighter seems especially good since you can use advanced weapon training to let you enchant your weapon with Bane a few times per day. You'd need at least 10 levels of fighter to do that.


May be relevant if you are getting access to mythic given Epic DR, but you can also overcome epic DR with a +6 weapon bonus, which isn’t commonly achievable but I think Bane from Inquisitor, Shaman, etc can get you there.


Inquisitor sure, but Magus/Occultist can easily do it. Transmutation Occultist gets Legacy Weapon, which can drop Bane on a weapon as an enhancement. A level 13 Bladebound Magus has a +4 Black Blade by default, PLUS you have an arcane pool that can add +4 of various enhancements. Unfortunately dipping one level of Occultist drops the value of the arcane pool and the black blade by 1, but you can still get a +5 weapon with +1 remaining for enhancements and Bane on top of that. You also would lose heavy armor proficiency, but not sure you'd care about that. You'd lose 5th level spell access, which might hurt more.


If you're allowed to use 3rd party, I'd recommend going with a Dread with a Brilliant Energy Weapon (if you can afford it) and Cornugon Smash/Shatter Defenses, that way you're almost always guaranteed to hit and get to make some juicy Intimidate checks each time you hit. Dreads have the same thing that Anti-paladins get, which is an Aura of Fear that removes any fear immunities, and then have extreme facility in putting their target into a shaken/frightened/panicked state forever.

Dreads make really good use out of pumping up Intimidate, so it's almost a "Must-have" to get Intimidate as a Signature Skill because you're going to be doing some pretty hefty Intimidate checks. You get a natural +1/2 level to Intimidate from Fearful Insight, and Dreads are Cha-based on everything, so let's assume your Cha is a 7 Modifier, you're looking at an Intimidate check of 7 Cha + 13 skill ranks + 3 class skill + 6 Fearful Insight + 6 Skill Focus (Intimidate) + 10 Elixir of the Thundering Voice = +45 to Intimidate. The DC to beat is going to be 10 + Target's HD + Wis Mod, so that's 10 + 21 HD + Wis, so that's DC: 31+ w/e the BBEG's Wis is. So, it's safe to say you'll be doing some serious work with those Intimidates. Anywho, if your Intimidate check defeats the DC by 10 or more with Signature Skill, your target is PANICKED for 1 round, and there's a pretty decent chance you're going to be able to keep him panicked for a majority of the fight. Dreads can choose from a list of Terrors, which they can use 1x per day equal to Cha Mod + Dread Level, so if your Cha mod is 7, you should have 20 Terrors per day that you can use. Use the Weakening Fear Terror to Fatigue him, and use the Maddening Fear Terror to reduce the BBEG's Wisdom by -2 every time you hit, and he'll be a cowering mess in no time.

As for Dread powers, make sure you get Offensive Precognition and buff yourself with this prior to combat for +5 to hit for 13 pp. Your main goal shouldn't be to cause damage, but rather to just get as many hits as possible. Because each time you hit, you get an Intimidate check from Cornugon Smash, and whenever you defeat the DC by 10+, he's panicked.

Also, if this guy has a 30+ SR, it's probably from the spell Spell Resistance, which can be defeated by one or two Greater Dispels. You should buy a Necklace of Fireballs VII for 8700gp, because if you can remove his SR, chuck a Necklace of Fireballs at him and cast Spark (or some other fire spell) on the necklace as it lands on him. That's 58d6 fire damage right to the face, save for half for each individual fireball (nine total).


And if you're asking why a Dread instead of an Inquisitor, it's because Dreads have Aura of Fear, which removes any immunities to fear. So it won't be possible for your DM to say "Oh, he's immune to fear, sorry you can't Intimidate him..."


Meirril wrote:
Dust of Chocking and Sneazing

No sane GM would allow it. That stuff is no-save-insta-death.

Meirril wrote:
And so for a character idea that abuses magic items. The basic idea is to use a cyclopse helm to give you an automatic critical hit, assuming you can back it up.

That actually reminds me of this thread which was focused around dealing the most damage in a single round as possible at 6th level. With maximum prebuffs it was actually getting more than a little bit obscene towards the end. Lots of really good ideas to raise DPR in that thread.


The best I could come up with is a Permanent Reduced Person Kitsune Earth Kineticist with Vulpine Pounce, Weapon Finesse, Kinetic Blade, Magnetic Infusion, Boots of Speed, Belt +6 and Tome +2 and assuming you could start the combat with 1 point in your internal buffer.

7d6 + 109 damage at +30, +34, +29 to hit (also, assuming that you hit the first strike, but the chances are in your favor)


A gun build might work well. Touch AC with potentially good damage.


@OP

How many players are in your party and what classes/archetypes are they playing?


Melkiador wrote:
A gun build might work well. Touch AC with potentially good damage.

Yeah, Gunslinger would be great vs. a high level BBEG. Witch would be good too just for the debuffs.


Ryze Kuja wrote:

@OP

How many players are in your party and what classes/archetypes are they playing?

6 total. I know we have a cavalier, a bard, and an alchemist. Other details I don't know. I'm sure they'll contribute, but they aren't the optimizing types.


Renchard wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:

@OP

How many players are in your party and what classes/archetypes are they playing?

6 total. I know we have a cavalier, a bard, and an alchemist. Other details I don't know. I'm sure they'll contribute, but they aren't the optimizing types.

Are you allowed to use Psionic Classes? What did you think about what I posted earlier about the Dread class?


To be fair in the alchemist has fast bomber they don’t really need to optimise. It’s a very constant , reliable, low effort damage stream.


Bard will do well because a significant amount of their abilities and spells can be used on the group, Cavalier is going to struggle to hit AC 35-40 though.


Ryze Kuja wrote:
Renchard wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:

@OP

How many players are in your party and what classes/archetypes are they playing?

6 total. I know we have a cavalier, a bard, and an alchemist. Other details I don't know. I'm sure they'll contribute, but they aren't the optimizing types.
Are you allowed to use Psionic Classes? What did you think about what I posted earlier about the Dread class?

I can run it by him, yea. I've played a DSP soulknife before, but that was a different DM. I've usually defaulted to casters in 3.5/PF because, why would't you, so I don't know a ton about Intimidate builds using Cornugon Smash.

Edit: He said he'd rather not use 3rd party stuff for this game. Ah well.


Renchard wrote:


Edit: He said he'd rather not use 3rd party stuff for this game. Ah well.

Well, fooey.

If you're looking at playing casters, maybe try a Witch? They get Greater Dispel and Enervation, which would be really good for leveling the playing field considering your BBEG is CR21 and has SR 30+; a couple of Greater Dispels can remove his SR plus anything else he might be bufing himself with, and a couple of Enervations could knock him down a peg or two. As a level 13 Witch, that's access to lvl 7 spells. Waves of Exhaustion could really take the wind out of the BBEG's sails, No save. Power Word: Blind could be a nice "seal the deal" spell. As soon as you think he's under 200 hp, pow, let him have it. Also no save. Umbral Strike and Harm are decent damage dealing spells, but both of them have a save.

Also with a Witch, you get those lovely hex things. All your Hexes are Supernatural (Su) so they aren't affected by SR, counterspell, or dispel magic. Evil Eye still affects your target for 1 round even if he saves, and then Misfortune him so he has to roll everything twice, and then if you take Persistent Metamagic, you can make the BBEG roll 4 times on a save.

OR! One of my favorites, take Spell Hex at level 11! Make Beguiling Gift into a Spell Hex so now your level 1 spell is using your beefed up Hex DC, then go buy a cursed item like a Scarab of Death or Necklace of Strangulation and hand it to the BBEG with Beguiling Gift and break out the lawn chair and popcorn.


Ryze Kuja wrote:
Renchard wrote:


Edit: He said he'd rather not use 3rd party stuff for this game. Ah well.

Well, fooey.

If you're looking at playing casters, maybe try a Witch? They get Greater Dispel and Enervation, which would be really good for leveling the playing field considering your BBEG is CR21 and has SR 30+; a couple of Greater Dispels can remove his SR plus anything else he might be bufing himself with, and a couple of Enervations could knock him down a peg or two. As a level 13 Witch, that's access to lvl 7 spells. Waves of Exhaustion could really take the wind out of the BBEG's sails, No save. Power Word: Blind could be a nice "seal the deal" spell. As soon as you think he's under 200 hp, pow, let him have it. Also no save. Umbral Strike and Harm are decent damage dealing spells, but both of them have a save.

Also with a Witch, you get those lovely hex things. All your Hexes are Supernatural (Su) so they aren't affected by SR, counterspell, or dispel magic. Evil Eye still affects your target for 1 round even if he saves, and then Misfortune him so he has to roll everything twice, and then if you take Persistent Metamagic, you can make the BBEG roll 4 times on a save.

OR! One of my favorites, take Spell Hex at level 11! Make Beguiling Gift into a Spell Hex so now your level 1 spell is using your beefed up Hex DC, then go buy a cursed item like a Scarab of Death or Necklace of Strangulation and hand it to the BBEG with Beguiling Gift and break out the lawn chair and popcorn.

Will dispel magic be effective if the SR is innate? I get the feeling from what the DM has hinted that the bad guy is more of a Bestiary type, not a NPC with spells and magic items.


Renchard wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
Renchard wrote:


Edit: He said he'd rather not use 3rd party stuff for this game. Ah well.

Well, fooey.

If you're looking at playing casters, maybe try a Witch? They get Greater Dispel and Enervation, which would be really good for leveling the playing field considering your BBEG is CR21 and has SR 30+; a couple of Greater Dispels can remove his SR plus anything else he might be bufing himself with, and a couple of Enervations could knock him down a peg or two. As a level 13 Witch, that's access to lvl 7 spells. Waves of Exhaustion could really take the wind out of the BBEG's sails, No save. Power Word: Blind could be a nice "seal the deal" spell. As soon as you think he's under 200 hp, pow, let him have it. Also no save. Umbral Strike and Harm are decent damage dealing spells, but both of them have a save.

Also with a Witch, you get those lovely hex things. All your Hexes are Supernatural (Su) so they aren't affected by SR, counterspell, or dispel magic. Evil Eye still affects your target for 1 round even if he saves, and then Misfortune him so he has to roll everything twice, and then if you take Persistent Metamagic, you can make the BBEG roll 4 times on a save.

OR! One of my favorites, take Spell Hex at level 11! Make Beguiling Gift into a Spell Hex so now your level 1 spell is using your beefed up Hex DC, then go buy a cursed item like a Scarab of Death or Necklace of Strangulation and hand it to the BBEG with Beguiling Gift and break out the lawn chair and popcorn.

Will dispel magic be effective if the SR is innate? I get the feeling from what the DM has hinted that the bad guy is more of a Bestiary type, not a NPC with spells and magic items.

No, unfortunately, it won't. If that's the case, then you've got a long road to hoe. You might want to just focus on Hexing then.


That AC doesn’t seem too terrible for that level. Assuming generic bonuses for that level 13.

BAB=13
Ability Bonus +7
Class bonus +3
Item bonus +4
Feat bonus +2
Rough total +29

So it’s not like you’re never going to hit.


Melkiador wrote:

That AC doesn’t seem too terrible for that level. Assuming generic bonuses for that level 13.

BAB=13
Ability Bonus +7
Class bonus +3
Item bonus +4
Feat bonus +2
Rough total +29

So it’s not like you’re never going to hit.

Yea, right now I'm leaning in the direction of just getting a hard-hitting martial. It will synergize better with any spells the other PCs cast, and overcoming SR seems to require some fairly specific build requirements.


Renchard wrote:
Yea, right now I'm leaning in the direction of just getting a hard-hitting martial. It will synergize better with any spells the other PCs cast, and overcoming SR seems to require some fairly specific build requirements.

'

An easy way to circumvent SR would be to rely on the Greater Gift of Consumption Hex, although you can only use spells targeting Fortitude. So either you or an ally casts their SR: Yes spell on you and it's transformed into a supernatural ability targeting the BBEG.
You could go full Witch, or just dip one level and take Extra Hex. So it would work on a mundane martial, allowing your allies to cheat SR by targeting you instead.

Witch 1 / Gunslinger 5 / Fighter 7:
Depend on allies for the spell, but make even 1st level spells lethal by combining Overwatch Vortex and Weapon Trick to inflict a -16 penalty to the BBEG's saving throw. And with your good Fort save you'd probably succeed on the save, so that's an additional -4 penalty from Greater Gift of Consumption.

Witch 1 / Cyclopean Seer Oracle 12:
Use the Doomsaying revelation to inflict a -12 penalty on the BBEG's next saving throw just before you throw the fortitude save on it. Either depend on an ally for the spell, or let your familiar hold the charge of a touch spell you cast earlier to use the combo in the same round (needs Boon Companion). A bit more customization than the martial build.

====

It would technically work with Coup de Grace but the designer said no. Had a friend try to pull this off, but they forgot that undead are immune to fortitude saves and it backfired spectacularly. The funeral was beautiful, though.


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2h Slayer with Cornugon Smash/Shatter Defenses and Furious Focus would do pretty well vs. a high AC target. Get some Boots of Speed for Haste for an extra full BAB attack.

+13 BAB
+7 Str
+3 Studied Target
-0/-4/-4 Power Attack
+1 Weapon Focus
+4 Enchantment
+1 Haste
= +29/+29/+20/+15 rough estimate

With Inspire Courage from Bard, that's +3 competence bonus
Spell or Potion of Greater Heroism for +4 morale bonus
Spell or Potion of Greater Invisibility and all your attacks have a +2 bonus.
Spell or Potion of Enlarge Person will give -1 to attack for size, but +2 Str size bonus, so + to attack remains the same, but your weapon damage increases by one step and your Str mod becomes 8, so you’ll do +12 dmg instead of +10 dmg.

so that's +38/+38/+29/+24 with GHero & GInv and Inspire Courage, and hopefully you Shaken him with the first hit so you can Shatter Defenses with your bonus attack from Haste, and then the rest of your attacks should have a better chance of hitting him (unless he's all Natural Armor and no Dodge/Dex).

If you can make the monster flat-footed to your attacks with Shatter Defenses, you'll start doing 4d6 SnA damage too, so that's a nice bonus.

So that’s 3d6 (large-sized greatsword) + 8 str + 4 2h str + 8 pa + 4 2h pa + 4 ench + 3 inspire = 3d6+31 dmg = average dmg of 41.5 dmg per hit

Take Improved Critical or put a Keen Enchant on a greatsword for 17-20(x2) critical range.

So vs. a 40 AC target, considering +38/+38/+29/+24 and not Flatfooted, average DPR should be roughly: (.75)41.5 + (.20)83 + (.75)41.5 + (.20)83 + (.30)41.5 + (.20)83 (.05)41.5 + (.20)83 = 31.125 + 16.6 + 31.125 + 16.6 + 12.45 + 16.6 + 2.075 + 16.6 = 143.3 DPR

.

Things you can do to increase + to Attack:

Flank (either with Cavalier or Summons from allies) +2 bonus
Attack from High Ground +1 bonus
Charge +2 bonus

Things you can do to reduce Target's AC:

Blind him -2 AC
Pinned or Prone -4 AC
Stunned -2 AC


I did that DPR calc wrong, I didn't account for Critical Confirmation and forgot about +3 bonus damage from Studied Target :(

3d6 (large-sized greatsword) + 8 str + 4 2h str + 8 pa + 4 2h pa + 4 ench + 3 inspire +3 Studied Target = 3d6+34 dmg = average dmg of 44.5 dmg per hit

Vs. 40 AC target and not Flat-Footed, should be:

(.75)44.5 + (.95)(.20)89 + (.75)44.5 + (.95)(.20)89 + (.30)44.5 + (.50)(.20)89 (.05)44.5 + (.25)(.20)89 = 33.375 + 16.91 + 33.375 + 16.91 + 13.35 + 8.9 + 2.225 + 4.45 = 129.495 DPR

If you are able to get him Flat-footed, and assuming his AC remains 40 (because I don't know BBEG's dex/dodge):

(.75)44.5 + (.95)(.20)89 + (.95)14 + (.75)44.5 + (.95)(.20)89 (.95)14 + (.30)44.5 + (.50)(.20)89 + (.50)14 + (.05)44.5 + (.25)(.20)89 + (.25)14 = 33.375 + 16.91 + 13.3 + 33.375 + 16.91 + 13.3 + 13.35 + 8.9 + 7 + 2.225 + 4.45 + 3.5 = 166.595 DPR

.

So this calculation is based on kinda worse-case scenario. If you can get Flanking bonus, Stun/Blind/Prone the target, or if BBEG's AC can be reduced by being Flat-Footed to your attacks, then your DPR should be higher.

Your BBEG is CR21, so let's assume all max rolls on a 21HD d12 HP target and a Con Mod of 10, so that's 21HDx1d12(max roll 12) + 21(10Con) = 252 + 210 = 462 HP, so let's round up to 500 HP. Theoretically, if you can get nothing but Full-Attack Actions, you could kill it by yourself in 4 rounds even if you cannot get it Flat-Footed.


Ryze Kuja wrote:
+29/+29/+20/+15 rough estimate

Furious Focus only applies on the first attack. I guess you added Haste after that and forgot?

Ryze Kuja wrote:
Spell or Potion of Greater Invisibility and all your attacks have a +2 bonus.

Gonna assume that anything over CR 20 can beat invisibility with their special senses.


Quote:
Invisible: Invisible creatures are visually undetectable. An invisible creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against sighted opponents, and ignores its opponents' Dexterity bonuses to AC (if any). See Invisibility, under Special Abilities.

Even if a creature has other senses to detect an invisible person, it still suffers penalties if it also has sight. Which makes sense when you consider how weird it is for your senses to both tell you that a creature is and isn't there. The exception is "blindsight", which specifically says it ignores invisibility. And creatures with blindsight are fairly rare, with seemingly half of them being oozes who have terrible AC anyway.


Don’t dragons have it though? I still feel like this thing is a dragon and I don’t know why lol


Most dragons have "blindsense", which means they know where you are, but still take the penalties. Dragons are also spellcasters though, so could very well have anti-invisibility spells. Fighting a prepared dragon can be very deadly.


Wonderstell wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
+29/+29/+20/+15 rough estimate
Furious Focus only applies on the first attack. I guess you added Haste after that and forgot?

Yes I did, good catch.

Wonderstell wrote:
Ryze Kuja wrote:
Spell or Potion of Greater Invisibility and all your attacks have a +2 bonus.
Gonna assume that anything over CR 20 can beat invisibility with their special senses.

Yeah, that's probably true. But like others said, he could just have Blindsense and not See Invis. It does scream Dragon now that I think about it. If that's the case, hit it with a Touch of Gracelessness because it probably only has a dex of 6.


Melkiador wrote:
The exception is "blindsight", which specifically says it ignores invisibility. And creatures with blindsight are fairly rare, with seemingly half of them being oozes who have terrible AC anyway.

Dunno, feels like anything that's meant to be a challenge runs around with constant True Seeing.

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Don’t dragons have it though? I still feel like this thing is a dragon and I don’t know why lol

It is a holiday adventure though. I'm gonna bet on a person-shaped creature, either Santa or the Grinch.


Oh it’s totally f%@#ing Krampus. Duh don’t know how I forgot that.

Bestiary 6, CR21.

He does indeed have see Invisibility.

Ac37, touch 19, flat footed 27

Fort +19, Ref +23, Will +20

SR32


An Elysian Titan wearing a Santa outfit, using a huge bag of toys as a weapon (it's just a reskinned Maul of the Titans).


Regardless of what you do, stock up on some cockatrice grit, if the creature is big odds are it won't have very high dex and a few hits from cockatrice grit will petrify it real quick


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If this CR21 holiday one shot with AC between 35-40, epic DR, SR30+ Creature isn’t krampus I’ll eat my Xmas tree.


Assuming it is Krampus, then we should be able to make a plan of attack. I think your first priority would be getting everyone potions of enlarge person or some other way to increase size. That regression ability can really mess you up.

Silver Crusade

fearcypher wrote:
Regardless of what you do, stock up on some cockatrice grit, if the creature is big odds are it won't have very high dex and a few hits from cockatrice grit will petrify it real quick

Krampus:
Krampus is immune to ability damage. :)

Increasing your size is absolutely paramount if you're fighting Krampus.

A weapon, preferably a ranged weapon, with Phase Locking will keep him from using his at will Dimension Door. Although he will probably arrive in a snowstorm. A Phase Locking reach weapon in the hands of someone who has Teleport Tactician could be useful.

If your Bard is an Arcane Duelist, he can get Teleport Tactician at level 11. A longspear and banner of Ancient Kings works well with this. Really helps fight fear/charm effects, too.

I could see a Warpriest with the Liberation Blessing being a solid option for fighting Krampus. Warpriest would also be an easy way to get past his Damage Reduction.

He is not immune to being blinded or deafened.

A Spell Sunder Barbarian can beat the Air Walk and See Invisibility out of him.


Alchemist with fast bomber could put a serious dent in him seriously quickly.

Assuming rapid shot, haste, heroism. Starting Dex of 16+4 from belt+ from mutagen

18/18/18/13

Hits on 2/2/2/6

All those buffs an alchemist could provide for himself and all but haste are long term. With a bard in the mix you might not even need them all. He could be hasting for you.

Assuming the bard is willing to haste and inspire courage you could make a pretty terrifying archer Inquisitor.

Assuming a pre cast heroism (very achievable).

Turn 1 activate judgement (judgement and justice) and cast divine power (with fates favoured)

Turn 2 activate bane and full attack

You need rapid shot and multi shot. Also clustered shot to bypass DR.

Assume 18 base Dex, +2 from level up, +4 str and Dex belt. +3 composite longbow with a strength requirement of 16. Assuming a starting strength of 12. So now 16 str.

To hit equals

9(BAB) + 7 (Dex) + 5 (divine power) + 3(judgement) + 3 (inspire courage) +3 (enhancement bonus) + 2 (Bane) +1 (haste) - 2 rapid shot. Total = 31

Attack sequence

31/31/31/26

Damage

5 (judgement) + 5 (divine power) + 3 (inspire courage) + 3 (enhancement bonus) + 2 Bane + 4D6 (Bane) + 1D8 (bow)

1D8 + 4D6 + 19, with double damage on the first shot to hit.

Hitting on 6/6/6/11

That’s all conservative numbers. Given you could have higher Dex and higher strength.


Krampus isn't immune to Blind or Nauseate. If I were you, I'd make a Dirty Tricks Master Brawler and debuff him into oblivion. He can't do any of his really scary stuff while he's blind, and he'll be trading Standard Actions every round to remove the Blindness. Any time he lets his Blindness stay on, Sicken/Nauseate him to reduce his actions to Move actions only (can't remove blindness anymore).

Also, get a Dagger or something with an Anchoring Enchantment so he can't Air Walk away from you or Move, and like VoodistMonk said, get someone with a Phase Locking weapon so he can't dimension door away.

Now he's a sitting duck.


I considered offering a dirty tricks build too, but his CMD is 58. I'm not aware of a way to get your CMB high enough at level 13 to reliably overcome that CMD.

All things considered, I think paladin will be the best martial for this fight. Smite Evil will be very helpful for bypassing that 15 epic damage resistance. And the paladin's aura of courage will be handy against that frightful presence ability.

If not going for paladin, then you will want to have a weapon that can overcome DR Good and Mythic. To overcome DR/epic, you will need a total enhancement bonus of 6 or higher, which will require some ability like bane to push the weapon over the usual limit of 5 for enhancement bonus. Overcoming DR/Good should happen by default as that only requires an enhancement bonus of +5.

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