Cloak of Resistance


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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In my current level 17 game the players have

- bard: no resistance rune, 10 wis
- barbarian: +1 resist, 12 wis
- rogue: +1 resist, 12 wis
- alchemist: +1 resist, 10 wis
- ranger: +2 resist, 18 wis

A no downside effect for fort/will would be bad imo, and a property rune would be too universally applied imo. A cloak as an item that sits in a slot that can't be doubled up on is a better approach.

I know people don't want to hear it, but this isn't needed for balance reasons or even to allow for MAD builds. This is more for folks who don't like feeling vulnerable, which is fine, but gotta be honest about it rather than suggesting it is a hole in the design.

Same deal with a cleric player when I ran Abomination vaults, they had 10 less AC than the fighter with a shield raised for a chunk of the adventure and 8 less for the rest.
Common sense on this forum dictates that they died instantly and swat teams came and killed them in their house for being so far below the rest of the party in AC. Reality is, they avoided being in places where they would be in danger, the party helped out when they did get crit hard and just planned around it.

I don't recommend it and it was suboptimal, but he wanted to play an old man and designed the character around that concept.

I would probably just weigh up the wants of a player if they asked for an item like this though. I am not against it, but I can't say I am for it either.

The best solution imo is to have a good session 0 and make it clear you would rather a less threatening campaign.
A possible houserule could be to just have the minimum ability bonus to saves be +3 and increase if you go over that... or you could key it from your class stat.
Less vermisimilitude, but that isn't really the goal of this anyway.

Double clarifying, not suggesting anyone play a character with AC as low as my cleric player did. He was happy with how it informed his RP mechanically and it was extremely memorable (especially as he was the note taker and wrote them in character, had a full deckard cain voice and everything). But the downside is real, just not as dire as people make it out to be in all cases despite it being a worst case example.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

In my current level 17 game the players have

- bard: no resistance rune, 10 wis
- barbarian: +1 resist, 12 wis
- rogue: +1 resist, 12 wis
- alchemist: +1 resist, 10 wis
- ranger: +2 resist, 18 wis

Your party seems extremely weird. Only one caster, no proper equipment for their level, I wonder how they ended up like that. What are you playing with them?

Sovereign Court

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So here's a sketch for a skill feat to address Will;

Confounding Mantra
Skill feat level 2 / Expert Arcana

As a 1 minute activity you can set up a mantra to run in your mind that provides mental defenses. While the mantra is active you treat your Wisdom modifier as +2 for your Will save vs mental effects. If you're a master in Arcana, treat it as +3 and if you're legendary, +4. Running the mantra takes some of your attention and you take a -2 status penalty to Initiative checks. If you become unconscious, the mantra ends, but you can restart it again by taking another minute.

---

Notice that this does trail behind an actual high Wisdom score. The point is to raise the floor, not to touch the ceiling.

It doesn't strictly require a high Intelligence but it does have some synergy with it, because you'll get more value out of high Arcana if you also have good Intelligence. It also plays nicely with taking a wizard multiclass (which requires you to have a certain proficiency rank in Arcana to take follow-up feats).

I went with soft-coded Intelligence to parallel how Bulwark is a "hard" option for the normally "soft" Dexterity; Intelligence is also a bit like the hard rational answer to Wisdom's soft touch.

---

For Fortitude I was thinking of something similar with Charisma, perhaps applying to Poison and Disease effects, keeping a stiff upper lip and blurring the boundary between pretending it's not so bad and actually shrugging it off.


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

In my current level 17 game the players have

- bard: no resistance rune, 10 wis
- barbarian: +1 resist, 12 wis
- rogue: +1 resist, 12 wis
- alchemist: +1 resist, 10 wis
- ranger: +2 resist, 18 wis

A no downside effect for fort/will would be bad imo, and a property rune would be too universally applied imo. A cloak as an item that sits in a slot that can't be doubled up on is a better approach.

I know people don't want to hear it, but this isn't needed for balance reasons or even to allow for MAD builds. This is more for folks who don't like feeling vulnerable, which is fine, but gotta be honest about it rather than suggesting it is a hole in the design.

Same deal with a cleric player when I ran Abomination vaults, they had 10 less AC than the fighter with a shield raised for a chunk of the adventure and 8 less for the rest.
Common sense on this forum dictates that they died instantly and swat teams came and killed them in their house for being so far below the rest of the party in AC. Reality is, they avoided being in places where they would be in danger, the party helped out when they did get crit hard and just planned around it.

I don't recommend it and it was suboptimal, but he wanted to play an old man and designed the character around that concept.

I would probably just weigh up the wants of a player if they asked for an item like this though. I am not against it, but I can't say I am for it either.

The best solution imo is to have a good session 0 and make it clear you would rather a less threatening campaign.
A possible houserule could be to just have the minimum ability bonus to saves be +3 and increase if you go over that... or you could key it from your class stat.
Less vermisimilitude, but that isn't really the goal of this anyway.

Double clarifying, not suggesting anyone play a character with AC as low as my cleric player did. He was happy with how it informed his RP mechanically and it was extremely memorable (especially as he was the note taker and wrote them...

Based on my count, the Bard, Barbarian, and Rogue all have the same Will Save modifier of +25, since Bard has Greater Resolve, and the Barbarian and Rogue both have Resolve/Slippery Mind. The Alchemist is 1 lower at +24 since they only cap at Expert Will Saves, and the Ranger actually has the most, at +28, with Expert Will Saves and having 7 boosts to it. This would actually be +30 with Canny Acumen, which is 100% recommended for a Ranger at this level, since they already get Improved Evasion and Juggernaut, plus Legendary Perception. That being said, besides the Ranger, those values are very low compared to even on-level threats, especially since those classes are meant to be at-least competent in those saves.

A Banshee by itself would be a relatively difficult encounter for this group as-is, given that half the party would fail against their Will Save effects, and if they're Frightened, they're very likely to critically fail and burn entire turns down the drain. Throw in some level-1 or level-2 mooks, and this party is set to TPK against this encounter. Bonus points with the Bard applying Inspire Courage getting countered whenever the Banshee strikes their allies as well, something I didn't notice until after properly evaluating the statblock.

I'm very curious what is going on with the gear and the stat boosts with this group, since those values are very atypical for characters of their level.


+1

Bulwark Armor (Reflex)
Resistant Cloak (Will)
Hardy Amulet (Fortitude)

???


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I don't get why saves weren't done as:

Fortitude: Str or Con
Reflex: Dex or Int
Will: Cha or Wis

Then it's impossible to have bad saves unless you're dumping paired stats; and at that point, I'd say it just makes sense for that character to have such a flaw.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

So here's a sketch for a skill feat to address Will;

Confounding Mantra
Skill feat level 2 / Expert Arcana

As a 1 minute activity you can set up a mantra to run in your mind that provides mental defenses. While the mantra is active you treat your Wisdom modifier as +2 for your Will save vs mental effects. If you're a master in Arcana, treat it as +3 and if you're legendary, +4. Running the mantra takes some of your attention and you take a -2 status penalty to Initiative checks. If you become unconscious, the mantra ends, but you can restart it again by taking another minute.

---

Notice that this does trail behind an actual high Wisdom score. The point is to raise the floor, not to touch the ceiling.

It doesn't strictly require a high Intelligence but it does have some synergy with it, because you'll get more value out of high Arcana if you also have good Intelligence. It also plays nicely with taking a wizard multiclass (which requires you to have a certain proficiency rank in Arcana to take follow-up feats).

I went with soft-coded Intelligence to parallel how Bulwark is a "hard" option for the normally "soft" Dexterity; Intelligence is also a bit like the hard rational answer to Wisdom's soft touch.

---

For Fortitude I was thinking of something similar with Charisma, perhaps applying to Poison and Disease effects, keeping a stiff upper lip and blurring the boundary between pretending it's not so bad and actually shrugging it off.

Today I've been thinking about a similar potential general feat.

Mental Ward
level 7 general feat
Requisites: 16 INT or CHA
Either through intense study or sheer strength of character, you are able to set up a mental barrier against hostile effects. You can treat your Wisdom modifier as +1 against Will saves with the mental trait. At level 12, you can treat it as +2 and at level 17, as +3.

Reasoning is, a general feat seems like a good investment to me (more commitment than a single level 2 class feat) and INT or CHA requisites are a good way to ensure people don't use this to go nuts on physical stats early on (it is also good flavor wise IMO). I would prefer to keep an effect like this between +1 and +3 so it never gets to the point on competing with the WIS of someone who boosted WIS every chance they got (starting with both 10 or 12 WIS max out at +4).


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roquepo wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:


Confounding Mantra
Skill feat level 2 / Expert Arcana

As a 1 minute activity you can set up a mantra to run in your mind that provides mental defenses. While the mantra is active you treat your Wisdom modifier as +2 for your Will save vs mental effects. If you're a master in Arcana, treat it as +3 and if you're legendary, +4. Running the mantra takes some of your attention and you take a -2 status penalty to Initiative checks. If you become unconscious, the mantra ends, but you can restart it again by taking another minute.

Today I've been thinking about a similar potential general feat.

Mental Ward
level 7 general feat
Requisites: 16 INT or CHA
Either through intense study or sheer strength of character, you are able to set up a mental barrier against hostile effects. You can treat your Wisdom modifier as +1 against Will saves with the mental trait. At level 12, you can treat it as +2 and at level 17, as +3.

Reasoning is, a general feat seems like a good investment to me (more commitment than a single level 2 class feat) and...

I like this one better. It's a bit harder to get to, it has higher opportunity costs as a general instead of a skill feat, and I agree a lot that it shouldn't be better than a PC that raises Wis.


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General feat idea is good. Prevents it from being a necessary item and has a reasonable cost to it.

Liberty's Edge

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And now this evolving from a thread begging for the return of a Big Six Magic Item staple into one where folks are appealing for the return of what would essentially be a mandatory Feat Tax?

A HUGE part of the stated design goals for PF2 was to eliminate both of these things. Making impactful decisions about how you build your character is supposed to have lasting and permanent consequences that you're not intended to be able to just slap a one-time band-aid over.


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Themetricsystem wrote:

And now this evolving from a thread begging for the return of a Big Six Magic Item staple into one where folks are appealing for the return of what would essentially be a mandatory Feat Tax?

A HUGE part of the stated design goals for PF2 was to eliminate both of these things. Making impactful decisions about how you build your character is supposed to have lasting and permanent consequences that you're not intended to be able to just slap a one-time band-aid over.

That "stated design goals" was a failure right off the bat. All you have to do is look at Heavy armor giving out Bulwark. You see begging while I see people looking at Bulwark and wondering why Dex gets a special exemption on the "stated design goals" and Wis and Con get the shaft.


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We're still on topic about the issue of mad concepts. What's bugging me mostly right now is the strength inventor. If you want to boost strength and intelligence as the class requires, one of your save stats has to suffer, unless you get heavy armor. Is it intended that you don't boost intelligence past 18 just to afford the save stats?


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Feat Tax? Not really at the strength some are talking about. Is Fleet, Improved Initiative or Toughness a Feat Tax?


Yeah, a good majority of characters are gonna end up with fleet, toughness, canny acumen, and incredible initiative.


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Gortle wrote:
Feat Tax? Not really at the strength some are talking about. Is Fleet, Improved Initiative or Toughness a Feat Tax?

Yes. Anything that is so good as to punish players who take other options is a tax and good design would eliminate as many such taxes as possible.

Silver Crusade

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Gortle wrote:
Feat Tax? Not really at the strength some are talking about. Is Fleet, Improved Initiative or Toughness a Feat Tax?

Most characters seem to end up with at least a couple of those, so while its not quite a feat tax its pretty close.

Of course, a big part of that isn't so much how powerful these feats are as how meh most general feats are.


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pauljathome wrote:
Gortle wrote:
Feat Tax? Not really at the strength some are talking about. Is Fleet, Improved Initiative or Toughness a Feat Tax?

Most characters seem to end up with at least a couple of those, so while its not quite a feat tax its pretty close.

Of course, a big part of that isn't so much how powerful these feats are as how meh most general feats are.

Or how very few of them actually exist, much less come up in actual play. Breath Control, for example, might be useful in a combat scenario if you get eaten, but usually that just means you'll be dying from the passive damage of being eaten, not because you run out of rounds and start suffocating, so you're really just trading one bad thing for another with this feat. There are otherwise very few instances where being able to hold your breath for long periods of time is something helpful to the adventure. But it's cool that certain characters can undergo training or learn tips and tricks to maintain their breath in situations that call for it, or you get characters like Lizardfolk that earn it automatically, and want it to show for...well...something.

I mean, maybe Paizo decided that General Feats shouldn't have too many options, especially since you can always take a Skill Feat in place of a General Feat, so my guess is that they don't want players to have decision paralysis? But that becomes more and more apparent with each release of content that adds feats, spells, etc. Most won't be super good or break the mold a whole lot, but there can be (and have been) exceptions to those molds, and that's what we need more of to shake things up a bit.

But really, I am in agreement that the reason those feats appear to be "feat taxes" is because there are very few reasons to take other feats compared to those ones, even if all those ones do is boost numbers by adding HP, move speed, Initiative, and your choice of Perception/Fortitude/Reflex/Will saves. The other General feats are so few and so bad that there's really no comparison.

Maybe a feat like the ones proposed would actually shake the "meta" up some. General Feats, like Armor, are very bland and have little to no decision-making behind them, which is why they're honestly pretty lame number-boosters. They're even more lame than abilities like Resolve and Evasion, and that's kind of sad.

Silver Crusade

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
there are very few reasons to take other feats compared to those ones,

Adopted and Ancestral Paragon are both very useful for some builds. But you're pretty much spot on.


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Gortle wrote:
Feat Tax? Not really at the strength some are talking about. Is Fleet, Improved Initiative or Toughness a Feat Tax?

I would argue these look more like feat taxes than the feat I wrote.

I've been wanting for ages any reason to not pick any of those general feats because there is something else to choose from. We need more good general feats in general.


pauljathome wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
there are very few reasons to take other feats compared to those ones,
Adopted and Ancestral Paragon are both very useful for some builds. But you're pretty much spot on.

The only build I really know of that benefits from Adopted is the Flickmace Sword and Board, which is about as cheesy as it gets half the time; it's even more cheesy than these feat tax abilities. As for Ancestral Paragon, I'm not quite familiar with how good that would be for a given build. Unless you have a lot of 1st level Ancestry feats that you want, but either don't want to wait to unlock them all, or don't have enough Ancestry feats to unlock all the ones you want, I'm kind of at a loss. But I'm more than happy to chalk that up to "I didn't bother researching this enough to see where it would be really beneficial compared to what I already know can work well," more than "I don't think this is good at all compared to what we already have."


Yeah there's a few general feats outside of the major 4 that can serve builds very well. Any sort of prerequisites to get stuff earlier are pretty relevant. Armor proficiency is pretty good if you can find a place where you delayed sentinel and for prerequisites to get heavy armor with sentinel.


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Themetricsystem wrote:

And now this evolving from a thread begging for the return of a Big Six Magic Item staple into one where folks are appealing for the return of what would essentially be a mandatory Feat Tax?

A HUGE part of the stated design goals for PF2 was to eliminate both of these things. Making impactful decisions about how you build your character is supposed to have lasting and permanent consequences that you're not intended to be able to just slap a one-time band-aid over.

You're confusing "feat tax" with "build enabler". If you're raising wisdom the feat is pointless. Was Effortless Lace a tax?

Liberty's Edge

The closest to an item you need to have whatever your build, except for the fundamental runes, are the Healer's gloves.

Hardly broken IMO.


The Raven Black wrote:

The closest to an item you need to have whatever your build, except for the fundamental runes, are the Healer's gloves.

Hardly broken IMO.

Returning rune is pretty important if you want a throwing build.

Liberty's Edge

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graystone wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

The closest to an item you need to have whatever your build, except for the fundamental runes, are the Healer's gloves.

Hardly broken IMO.

Returning rune is pretty important if you want a throwing build.

Hence why I said "whatever your build" ;-)


The Raven Black wrote:

The closest to an item you need to have whatever your build, except for the fundamental runes, are the Healer's gloves.

Hardly broken IMO.

Fundamental runes were a mistake and are the worst thing in the game.


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Fundamental runes are a decent compromise between people who would rather progress solely through levels and use items as build enablers and sidegrades (myself and, presumably, you) and people who want to get bigger and fancier magic swords throughout their campaign (enough survey respondents that Paizo wasn't going to ignore them).


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Fundamental runes are a decent compromise between people who would rather progress solely through levels and use items as build enablers and sidegrades (myself and, presumably, you) and people who want to get bigger and fancier magic swords throughout their campaign (enough survey respondents that Paizo wasn't going to ignore them).

They really aren't any compromise though as they are *more* required than any single item in PF1 was. You could get by with a set of +1 weapons of various materials in PF1 because an extra +4 to hit and damage were often merely cherries on top of what was actually pumping your attack and damage rolls. For armor, you could get by with whatever gave you the best fortification you can afford.

PF2 swung and missed with that and ABP isn't integrated enough to be an easy default option for most APs.


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I Ate Your Dice wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Fundamental runes are a decent compromise between people who would rather progress solely through levels and use items as build enablers and sidegrades (myself and, presumably, you) and people who want to get bigger and fancier magic swords throughout their campaign (enough survey respondents that Paizo wasn't going to ignore them).

They really aren't any compromise though as they are *more* required than any single item in PF1 was. You could get by with a set of +1 weapons of various materials in PF1 because an extra +4 to hit and damage were often merely cherries on top of what was actually pumping your attack and damage rolls. For armor, you could get by with whatever gave you the best fortification you can afford.

PF2 swung and missed with that and ABP isn't integrated enough to be an easy default option for most APs.

Afaik either ABP or just a complete lack of fundamental runes was the original design intent behind the game, but they received some negative feedback and decided to add them as they are now.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
roquepo wrote:

Today I've been thinking about a similar potential general feat.

Mental Ward
level 7 general feat
Requisites: 16 INT or CHA
Either through intense study or sheer strength of character, you are able to set up a mental barrier against hostile effects. You can treat your Wisdom modifier as +1 against Will saves with the mental trait. At level 12, you can treat it as +2 and at level 17, as +3.

Reasoning is, a general feat seems like a good investment to me (more commitment than a single level 2 class feat) and INT or CHA requisites are a good way to ensure people don't use this to go nuts on physical stats early on (it is also good flavor wise IMO). I would prefer to keep an effect like this between +1 and +3 so it never gets to the point on competing with the WIS of someone who boosted WIS every chance they got (starting with both 10 or 12 WIS max out at +4).

Wisdom as a +1 at level 7 would be pretty rough as you've got that feat currently, as that really only opens up one boost out of 8 that are completely floating. Definitely a solid option by level 17, but it'd probably be reasonable to just give +3 Wis on saves at a default and even reduce the feat's level to 3.

Spending a 3rd level general feat to specifically help builds with low-Wis and high-Int or Cha defensively seems impactful enough to be taken while not an automatic include or default to build around. That it doesn't take up an item is a huge benefit as an implementation in my mind.


I'm glad ABP exists. So much more convenient for both players and gms.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Your party seems extremely weird. Only one caster, no proper equipment for their level, I wonder how they ended up like that. What are you playing with them?

They have proper equipment for their level, they just chose to spend the gold elsewhere, because again... Not essential to them in their eyes.

As for one caster, the alchemist may not be a caster but it fills a demi caster roll imo. I agree that a second caster would be useful for the party but they played what they wanted to play, I am not sure how weird that is... And isn't diversity and people not being forced into specific play kinda the point of this discussion anyway?

They are playing Age of Ashes.

Oh I should mention the Bard lacks a rune because their armour was outright destroyed by a bad acid rune crit and they decided that their and the party's money was better off spent elsewhere. It will probably be replaced with looted runes at some point, but is unlikely to maxed out given what I know of their future purchase plans.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Based on my count, the Bard, Barbarian, and Rogue all have the same Will Save modifier of +25, since Bard has Greater Resolve, and the Barbarian and Rogue both have Resolve/Slippery Mind. The Alchemist is 1 lower at +24 since they only cap at Expert Will Saves, and the Ranger actually has the most, at +28, with Expert Will Saves and having 7 boosts to it. This would actually be +30 with Canny Acumen, which is 100% recommended for a Ranger at this level, since they already get Improved Evasion and Juggernaut, plus Legendary Perception. That being said, besides the Ranger, those values are very low compared to even on-level threats, especially since those classes are meant to be at-least competent in those saves.

The actual saves are

- Bard: 25 fort, 25 ref, 25 will
- Rogue: 26 fort, 31 ref, 25 will
- Ranger: 28 fort, 32 ref, 27 will
- Barbarian: 31 fort, 26 ref, 26 will
- Alchemist: 28 fort, 28 ref, 22 will

As for alchemist, 0 wisdom + 4 expert + 17 level + 1 item. So not 24 :P

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

A Banshee by itself would be a relatively difficult encounter for this group as-is, given that half the party would fail against their Will Save effects, and if they're Frightened, they're very likely to critically fail and burn entire turns down the drain. Throw in some level-1 or level-2 mooks, and this party is set to TPK against this encounter. Bonus points with the Bard applying Inspire Courage getting countered whenever the Banshee strikes their allies as well, something I didn't notice until after properly evaluating the statblock.

I'm very curious what is going on with the gear and the stat boosts with this group, since those values are very atypical for characters of their level.

While wisdom targeting foes are a threat to some degree and a banshee is a bad time for them to a point.

I know for a fact the party would quickly just down a bunch of serene mutagens, the barbarian is a spirit barbarian, the alchemist keeps quick alchemy slots open and can get some rounds out with bombs even if they had no idea undead were popping up, the rogue denies reactions via debilitations, the bard will almost certainly lead with spirit song + true target (I think haste + true target is a better initiation but that is separate)... The party is almost certainly using dust of disappearance very early on to guarantee flatfooted and force it to have flat check miss chance on the strikes. Oh the bard has a wand of manifold missiles which will be nice chip damage even if he hasn't geared up with two of them yet.

Hmmmm, I can't see it posing much of a problem even with critical failures. Yeah the banshee has 37 ac while flatfooted (which they can force in a lot of ways, most without enemy input), banshee will save isn't good enough to guarantee crit saves vs synesthesia meaning 1 round successes are fine in the party's eyes... meaning a likely 34AC... bard giving out concealment ignoring reroll on strike to the party, the barbarian likely getting aided on at least one of their attacks (which bypass the weaknesses)... 34AC vs +31 attack modifier base, likely 34 or 35 after aid, with a reroll.

The flurry ranger would suffer a bit vs the resistance 12, but 5 attacks after being hasted (they have potions of haste as well as the bard being able to give it out) the first two combine to overcome damage +31 to attack vs 37AC even without synesthesia leaves her attacks 3-5 hitting on a 10+.

The rogue would hate the fight lacking sneak attack damage and would probably spend the majority of it just maintaining debilitations and aiding.

Alchemist would likely run out of effective bombs quickly, dread ampoules would be used with dual thrower to get past a bit of the resistance (combines) and apply frightened but 24 resistance hurts. Bottled sunlight would be great but that is too new and they don't own it, ghost charges however would be a couple of rounds of damage. Outside of that they would probably major healing elixir dispense.

If the party knows they are going to be in an area where undead are likely to appear, it could even die in the first round depending on dice luck. I would probably rule against the ranger being able to imob it with the crit spec of the bow unless it had ghost touch... But even then.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

The actual saves are

- Bard: 25 fort, 25 ref, 25 will
- Rogue: 26 fort, 31 ref, 25 will
- Ranger: 28 fort, 32 ref, 27 will
- Barbarian: 31 fort, 26 ref, 26 will
- Alchemist: 28 fort, 28 ref, 22 will

So, a single Elder Cauthooj using its DC 34 Warbling Song will Confuse on average 2 members of the team every round, and will even have fun attacking with one of them. 2 of them will disable on average 3 members of the team (to be precise, 3.165 on average). Considering that we are speaking of level -3 monsters using 120 feet range abilities, I think it's an easy TPK for the actual monsters that will obliterate your party in the meantime.

In my opinion, this party is doomed to TPK at some point unless you are super nice with information.

Liberty's Edge

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The likelihood of them encountering multiple Rare creatures from a completely different adventure path aside, the only person in that party at risk of being confused is the alchemist, and only if they roll a natural 2.

Looking at the stat block again, you might actually make the encounter less dangerous by adding a second elder cauthooj, as they don't seem to be resistant or immune to each other's abilities.


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Losonti wrote:

The likelihood of them encountering multiple Rare creatures from a completely different adventure path aside, the only person in that party at risk of being confused is the alchemist, and only if they roll a natural 2.

Looking at the stat block again, you might actually make the encounter less dangerous by adding a second elder cauthooj, as they don't seem to be resistant or immune to each other's abilities.

That's not especially important compared to level 17 characters failing a save against a -3 creature on a 12. Going to be laughs all around when

Spoiler:
the end boss of AoA opens with a DC 48 miracle->overwhelming splendor (or other will-based incapacitate) to incapacitate the party after crippling them with a DC 45 fear aura. It'll be a will based one too because the boss is hyper intelligent and wise (+8) and it'll see the party as 3 mooks with weapons and armor, one with a bomb and one obvious caster. Even if you assume a full +10 over their current saves (3 from level, +2-+3 from item, +4 status from critical success anima ritual, maybe +1 from a wis boost at 20) they've set themselves up for failure. Serene mutagen into the +4 boss can give you some extra leeway but taking an extra -1 to attacks into a severe +4 fight with that party comp is laughably bad even if you don't adjust upward for a 5 man party.

I missed the incapacitation tag :-)

It may be the reason why it's fine for them, it looks like Will save spells have the Incapacitation tag, so it works only if the creature is of higher level and at that level higher level creatures are not the main danger.

Liberty's Edge

SuperBidi wrote:
I missed the incapacitation tag :-)

It makes fools of us all, especially folks who have them in their repertoire from a spellcasting archetype.

At any rate, I wouldn't be worried about that party. They've made it to level 17 in an AP that has a (mostly deserved) reputation as a meat grinder, and they seem to be having fun. The party I'm running it for has some PCs that, on paper, aren't built terribly well, but good use of tactics and prepwork has seen them through pretty gnarly encounters (like triggering almost every encounter at the mine in volume 2).


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SuperBidi wrote:

I missed the incapacitation tag :-)

It may be the reason why it's fine for them, it looks like Will save spells have the Incapacitation tag, so it works only if the creature is of higher level and at that level higher level creatures are not the main danger.

Less Will save spells, more spells and abilities that remove control from the target in some way.

Liberty's Edge

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Losonti wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
I missed the incapacitation tag :-)

It makes fools of us all, especially folks who have them in their repertoire from a spellcasting archetype.

At any rate, I wouldn't be worried about that party. They've made it to level 17 in an AP that has a (mostly deserved) reputation as a meat grinder, and they seem to be having fun. The party I'm running it for has some PCs that, on paper, aren't built terribly well, but good use of tactics and prepwork has seen them through pretty gnarly encounters (like triggering almost every encounter at the mine in volume 2).

This reminds me of the MtG tournament where I couldn't find my big 4 defensive cards and replaced them with more offense. I went to the finale because my deck was so much faster on the offense. And was then soundly thrashed by a control deck I had no more defense against.

Big gap in defenses is big gap in defenses.

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