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Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 02:49 PM
As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a bit stumped on how to make my game work out with this character about. I'm the DM of a group of about 7-8 people, and in general I am very happy with the campaign so far, except for one issue which I'm having a hard time finding a fair solution for.

One of my players made a half-giant psychic warrior with a spiked chain, you know the type. He has powerful build, knockdown, improved trip, and expansion (the power), and the end result is a 20 foot reach, combat reflexes, and something like +13 on trip checks. (+8 size, +5 strength)

The campaign has mostly medium sized humanoids as the main opponents, but this guy's character absolutely rips them to shreds, anything he gets his sight on is prone, and very very dead in about 1-2 rounds, tops.

Most of the time this is no issue for me, since they're fighting groups of soldiers, who have larger constructs, aberrations, summoned creatures, etc that spice up the fight and mean that while he goes to town on about half the enemy force, the other 6 people still enjoy themselves handling what he can't take.

However, I'm wondering if anyone knows of any good solid counters to trip for a melee type character, or ways to make it less of an issue. The concern I have isn't for the majority of fights, but sometimes I do like to have a more challenging fight, or a single strong enemy for the group to fight, but it just doesn't work out as is.

I've considered enchanters and other such save-or-suck methods to help deal with him, but I feel like while effective, I'd prefer to find a method of challenging this character without simply removing him from the fight entirely, which I imagine would be quite boring for the player involved.

This isn't an issue of powergaming, as an aside, most of the characters in the group are about as solidly built, and my encounters are quite tough, it's just the tripping method that I'm having trouble finding ways around.

I looked at freedom of movement, but it doesn't apply to trip, AC doesn't help because it's a touch attack, concealment helps somewhat, but has limited applications when he's a melee opponent. I try to build terrain to help the opponents, which helps somewhat, but only does so much.

The character given has no issues tripping reliably anything smaller than size Huge, and while I could simply throw nothing but huge sized ogres and giants at them, it really doesn't seem like a good solution, so I turn to you all.

Has anyone else run into this issue and found a way around it? I'm more or less stumped. I guess what I'm really looking for is a reasonable method of making a more normal, "realistic" character very resistant or immune to tripping, without themselves being a clone of his character. Currently, I can't use any enemy that doesn't have this sort of resistance at all, since the tripper crushes them so horribly.

arkol
2009-06-15, 02:52 PM
Flyers. Quadrupedes. Humanoids with... bows! Or spells.

A better triper then he.

Worira
2009-06-15, 02:52 PM
Giant Dwarves.

Telonius
2009-06-15, 02:54 PM
Rust Monsters. Incorporeal foes. Enemies with miss chance. Mirror Image.

AmberVael
2009-06-15, 02:56 PM
Characters with tumbling can easily bypass attacks of opportunity, and if you have characters using reach or ranged weapons with significant enough length, they can use the Prone Attack feat to smack at him and instantly get back up even if they are tripped.

A DC 35 tumble check can also make standing up from prone a free action.

valadil
2009-06-15, 02:58 PM
Reduce person. I had a boss fight start out with mass reduce and sculpted black tentacles a while back. Worked pretty well and it should cut a tripper down to size.

TheThan
2009-06-15, 02:58 PM
Countering spiked chain trippers is not that hard.


A combatant gets a +4 bonus for every size category he is larger than Medium or a -4 penalty for every size category he is smaller than Medium. The defender gets a +4 bonus on his check if he has more than two legs or is otherwise more stable than a normal humanoid. If you win, you trip the defender. If you lose, the defender may immediately react and make a Strength check opposed by your Dexterity or Strength check to try to trip you.

Clearly large, multi-legged creatures are the way to go, monstrous spiders are nice, centaurs are good if you want something sentient. (Not to mention a centaur uber charger sounds nasty).

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 02:59 PM
Alright, maybe I should be more clear, although I appreciate the responses so far.

To give an example, lets say I have a human warrior type that is in conflict with the party. What kind of abilities, magic items, powers, classes, would help in this situation.

As I mentioned earlier, most of the enemies in the game are in fact human or humanoid, so while they can and do summon ghosts and wraiths to harry them, or construct large golems to fight the party, just ceasing to use humanoids isn't a feasible option for me, hence the difficulty. I do plan on using flyers and mounted opponents against them, since they do have at least some resistance to tripping, but I can't just make every opponent they find mounted, flying, or otherwise abnormal.

lsfreak
2009-06-15, 02:59 PM
Casters should be smart enough to realize that he's a huge threat. Rays of Exhaustion, a druid summoning 6 wolves to eat up his attacks. There's a... swordsage maneuver, I believe, that keeps you from making AoO's for a round. Ways of making him flat-footed, stunned, or dazed for a round without taking him out completely but keeping him from tripping whoever runs at him. The commander being smart enough to send in a wave of guys large enough that he can't possibly trip them all. Rogues with super-high Dex and blur/cloaks of displacement.

Deepblue706
2009-06-15, 02:59 PM
The solution doesn't lie in pitting things against his strength, but rather his weaknesses. You don't want to outright deny him the ability to use his special techniques, but at least put him in an environment where the same ol' stuff doesn't work.

Although he has impressive reach and smack-down abilities, a group of trained bowmen might ruin his day. You can take a page from the Mongol book of war, and have them ride around on horses, attacking and retreating as he struggles to keep up.

You could make use of some other lockdown feats found in supplements like Complete Warrior, like Ranged Pin. Although less effective as a PC choice, sending enemies that stick him into trees is going to temporarily cramp his style.

If you narrow the range of monsters involved in the campaign, however, you're only going to limit your ways of dealing with the problem. Some monsters are more resistant to tripping than others (quadrapeds like Centaurs), meanwhile others can't really be tripped at all (Gelatinous Cubes).

Innis Cabal
2009-06-15, 02:59 PM
They don't have to get up. Sure they get a penalty but hey, they still attack

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 03:05 PM
Sorry for double post, but let me clarify on his tactics a bit.

A typical 30 ft move speed human while tumbling will be able to reach him with a move action, true, but only if they start at exactly 20 ft out. Also, that gives them a single attack versus his character, which is all well and dandy for large groups of mooks, but the trouble is that on his next round he uses his spiked chain to trip them, and then moves 20 ft off, leaving the enemy prone and badly hurt.

If the enemy tries to stand up, they get AoOed, and now their tumble speed isn't enough to bring them back to the tripper. If they dont' tumble, on the other hand, he gets in 1-2 AoOs as they move up and the enemies are just prone again. (The party is level 2, so lots of options for enemies aren't present yet.)

I'm aware of the fact that more abnormal monsters can bypass the trip problem entirely, but throwing nothing but ghosts, pixies, centaurs, and dragons at the party isn't a possibility, since the main foes of the party at present are humanoids, constructs, and undead.

To the comment about prone attacks, yes, they can attack him if they are adjacent, but he just moves away once their prone, so it's good for one attack if they are lucky. (Rules question: Do enemies threaten as normal while prone?)

lsfreak
2009-06-15, 03:06 PM
Oh, and there are also ways of standing up without provoking... I think there's a skill trick that lets you do it. If it's some kind of organization that he's going up against, you can bet they'd learn about it and start training a way to counter it. It doesn't lock him out completely since skill tricks are just once per encounter.

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 03:07 PM
Ah, I'll look into the skill trick, and the ranged pin/disarm things sound like a good idea as well.

Suppose I'll just start putting more casters, archers, and otherwise controller type characters into the mix to combat him.

arkol
2009-06-15, 03:09 PM
Ranged attacks, ranged atatcks and also ranged attacks.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-15, 03:11 PM
Ways of boosting speed are pretty common. Barbarian 1, Monk(bleh), Scout, various traits, and of course magic items/spells. And the DC to tumble at full speed is only 25. Not hard to hit, depending on level and whether you use PC or NPC classes.

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 03:12 PM
I think I have a pretty good idea of ways for groups of foes to challenge the party now, but while I'm in the thread, on a smaller more specific scale, one of the big bads they are up against is a human warblade with access to a lot of resources, what could he do to render himself less vulnerable to the tripping?

He's a melee opponent, which makes things harder for me.

Ah, Sstoop, the party are level 2-3, so lots of things are just too high CR or would be too valuable if they went into the party's hands to use, so DC 25 tumble checks are a bit out of the range of the ability of most things they can fight so far. DC 15 works at this level though.

AmberVael
2009-06-15, 03:12 PM
A tumbler can take a -10 penalty to tumble at full speed. DC 25 tumble check will allow them to make it up to him without attacks.

I also see nothing in the rules about using Tumble during a charge, which you could either combine with the DC 25 tumble check to charge-tumble at twice speed, or with a DC 15 check to charge-tumble at normal speed.

If you are worried about their effectiveness against him, as they only get 1 attack, I suggest you either allow them some form of Pounce (lion totem barbarian), or give them martial maneuvers from Tome of Battle.

Edit: A Warblade can negate this almost entirely. Stonefoot stance, Charging Minotaur, Roots of the Mountain... just look at all the Stone Dragon stuff.

#Raptor
2009-06-15, 03:14 PM
Giant Dwarves.

I think Duergar have Enlarge Person as a SLA 1/day... not to mention invisibility.


A DC 35 tumble check can also make standing up from prone a free action.

And theres some skilltrick in Complete Scroundrel that lets characters stand up from prone for free.
Should be available a bit earlier than the DC 35 tumble check.

Plus, I think anything with more than 4 legs is completely immune to being tripped.

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 03:15 PM
I'm seeing a lot of reference to ToB here, and I think that might well be one of the better solutions.

I hadn't been using it much so far since I don't currently let the PCs take classes from it and I felt it was maybe a bit unfair, but for lack of other options maybe I'll start throwing more ToB at them.

I looked at that white raven maneuver from earlier that stops AoOs and it looks to be the sort of thing that is quite what I'm looking for, but it's only 1/encounter. Is there anything else like it?

Wait, things with 6+ legs are immune to trip? One of my local rules-lawyers informed me that "Being more stable than normal gives a +4 bonus" but the giant insects they were fighting weren't immune to it, as I had thought.

Aha, I just looked up the knockdown feat and it is from a book I disallowed, so that makes my job a little easier. Was an oversight on my part, he likes to take his builds from the internet, and doesn't check sources a lot of the time.

AmberVael
2009-06-15, 03:17 PM
Even if you don't allow classes, your NPCs can take Martial Study to gain certain strike attacks against him, which will be much more effective as single attacks than a regular attack would be.

Also, edited in my advice for the warblade. Stone Dragon all the way. Trippers can't touch Stone Dragon.

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 03:18 PM
Ah, that's heartening, this particular warblade does indeed focus on stone dragon, so maybe I just didn't read very carefully. I'll go back and redo his maneuvers then.

Cespenar
2009-06-15, 03:19 PM
Apart from tumbling rogues and archers, plain cavalry can simply use Ride-By Attack.

A 4th level fighter (which would be a boss/miniboss since the group is at level 2) can close by with Spring Attack and Improved Disarm the chain out of his hands.

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 03:21 PM
Yes, I like the idea of disarming that chain of his, since he has no backup, or maybe even sundering it. Does ride-by attack stop AoOs, or would I have to combine it with that white raven maneuver?

Another issue is that the enemy in particular has been heavily scouted out by the party who are conducting hit and run raids to weaken their resources, and they have very limited cavalry, so I'd have to use what they have carefully.

Of course, does to powerful build and expansion, a 20 strength, and a huge sized two handed weapon, this guy is going to have, if I understand it correctly, a (+4 large, +4 huge, +4 two handed, +5 strength) +17 to his disarm checks.

How the heck do I make a human beat that? :smalleek:

arkol
2009-06-15, 03:21 PM
Have a rogue steal his chain in the middle of the night! :smallbiggrin:

Cespenar
2009-06-15, 03:23 PM
Ride-By Attack:


When you are mounted and use the charge action, you may move and attack as if with a standard charge and then move again (continuing the straight line of the charge). Your total movement for the round canít exceed double your mounted speed. You and your mount do not provoke an attack of opportunity from the opponent that you attack.

Addendum: A 4th level fighter with 18 strength, a two handed weapon, Improved Disarm and Potion of Enlarge Person can match him, though not guaranteed, of course.

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 03:24 PM
Heh, tried the rogue, actually, the guy sleeps with the thing, and they keep a very close watch. They're super paranoid, with good reason.

Thanks, Cespenar, that solves that little issue, so mounted opponents seem to be a good plan in many ways. Maybe I'll have some reinforcements arrive with horses.

As for the disarm... Gaaaah!

So so far what I've gotten:

-Mounted horseback archers
-Mounted opponents with Ride-By-Attack
-Archers with ranged disarm/pin/sunder, maybe mounted archers with the above if I feel cruel.
-Spellcasters that charm/grease/glitterdust/sleep etc
-Ability damage to dex to lower number of AoOs
-Tome of battle is my friend, especially white raven and stone dragon
-Ghosts and fairies and centaurs, oh my
-Other trippers

Anyone have anything else to add?

Cespenar
2009-06-15, 03:30 PM
Happy to help. Horseback warfare usually tends to get overlooked.

Teln
2009-06-15, 03:34 PM
Move the campaign into a mountainous area. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0216.html)

Justin B.
2009-06-15, 03:38 PM
Don't forget simple things. A skilled fighter with a pole arm can simply swing into the guys swooping chain and stop it in it's tracks (more or less). Anyone who sees it coming can jump over it.

Make him use a few attacks inbetween trip attempts using these relatively simple tactics.

only1doug
2009-06-15, 03:40 PM
Edit: Terrain choice can help (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0216.html) dang ninjas

Ironguard spell (spell compendium pg 125) makes metal objects pass harmlessly through the creature touched (L7 spell).

Simply have your BBEG have his minion buff him (If L7 spells are above the caster level of your Bad guys then possibly from a scroll if your NPC's have heard of the prowess of this PC and are aware he is coming)

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 03:44 PM
Heh, Irondoug, thanks, but the party is level 2. Guess I'll keep the spell in mind, though, for later. Yeah, terrain is a big one that I use already, mountains, walls, lava, traps, you name it, but not every fight can use crazy terrain, players like to surprise me.

TSED
2009-06-15, 03:44 PM
Sunder, disarm.

Flying speeds (what do you mean I can't trip the Stirge? ... ... oh, right) or levitate.

But yeah, the mounted combat looks like your best bet for now.

Deliverance
2009-06-15, 03:45 PM
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0216.html

Seriously, if somebody is cheesy enough to go for a large race spiked chain combo, he deserves to be regularly spanked by situations where his one (or two) great tactics just won't work or won't work as well. Have him fight in narrow quarters, restrict his mobility, harass him with spells or arrows, break his legs, or have kobolds eat his damn silly weapon, which is a weapon that ought to be close to useless in close quarters, and have him face a spiked-chainless future for a time.

You say that it is not an issue of powergaming, but let's face it, that is a powergaming build.

If an assassin comes up close and personal at him with a dagger in a constricted space, will you rule he can fight back using a spiked chain? (Or any other two handed weapons, for that matter)

arkol
2009-06-15, 03:47 PM
Also, if the party is lvl2 and he has a +1LA race that means he only has one HD. Besides the obvious fact that his saves/bab/hp are less then normal, there should be a way to take advantage of this... someone?

Asgardian
2009-06-15, 03:49 PM
I could be remembering it wrong but a scout with enough movement, hide skill and cover could be a problem for him if they have spring attack and the tripper has a lousy spot check

Scout doesn't incur AoO during the spring attack, gets his skirmish damage and then hides at the end of its movement

(didst see that they were level 2 before- the above probably wont work)

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 03:49 PM
Well, the party is mostly level 3, and he bought off the level adjustment so he actually has 3 class levels at present. Yes, though, for the first two levels or so I made extra sure to abuse his whole 8 HP. He got knocked out quite a lot, but it's not working any more, since he has more than most of the other party members. His real weakness is a low AC due to only light armor that he's wearing.

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 03:53 PM
Well, the spiked chain can be used against adjacent opponents, by the PHB rules, and he has backup weapons, but yeah, I've tried using extremely cramped quarters before with good effect against him, (On board a cramped ship in a storm, in a tight corridor in a crypt versus spiders) but while it solved his problem it seemed to make the game a lot less enjoyable for the other party members as it became a stagnant slugfest, nobody could move around, and I didn't feel the trade-off was worth it, so I try to make rooms and encounters in more open spaces now.

Say, does anyone know the name of that regional feat from one of the Forgotten Realms sourcebooks that gives Powerful Build? I could reflavor that and give it to some of the melee opponents to even the tide a bit.

Set
2009-06-15, 03:58 PM
Overspecialized builds like this cry when the requirement for their uber-attack is taken from them.

Sunder or Disarm become very effective maneuvers, in this case.

Characters with feats that optimize them against Larger opponents, such as the CharOp I'm Tiny, but You're Dead (http://forums.gleemax.com/wotc_archive/index.php/t-793912) build.

If the character is proving very effective against the soldiers of a specific foe, it is completely reasonable for the BBEG to hire some 'specialists' to deal with the problem (see Darth Vader hiring bounty hunters to get specific targets, or the evil King in Dragonheart hiring dragon hunters, etc.). Competitive sorts might be drawn out of the woodwork as well, some for cash rewards, some for the challenge of pitting their kung-fu (and DC 35 tumble checks) against the gatling chain-tripper, who appears to have also consulted the CharOp forums for optimal chain-trippery, and so should be ripe for a little DM CharOp retaliation.


But here's the imporant part;
Ideally, if something is becoming problematic, it should be dealt with out of game, and not in an 'arms race' between player and DM, which never ends joyfully. "Yeah, Bob? A spiked chain tripper isn't bad. A psychic half-giant isn't bad. Both at the same time is breaking stuff. Pick one. Or something else. And don't visit the CharOp forums to find an UberCharger or Diplomancer or other rules-monstrosity."

TSED
2009-06-15, 04:01 PM
Oh yeah, by the way - you realise you only get one AoO for a guy moving a round, right? Sure he has 20' reach but he can attack them once at 20' and if it misses, the guy's in.

TheCountAlucard
2009-06-15, 04:01 PM
There's a low-level spell in Book of Vile Darkness that compels the target to hand you something.

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 04:01 PM
The problem isn't a power issue here, the rest of the party is just as optimized and that's absolutely fine by me. This is more a problem of me having a hard time coming up with good tactics than one of munchkins breaking the game.

TSED: He has combat reflexes, which is giving him the extra attacks, he gets one every time the enemy leaves a threatened square up to his dex bonus.

Asgardian
2009-06-15, 04:02 PM
Well, the party is mostly level 3, and he bought off the level adjustment so he actually has 3 class levels at present. Yes, though, for the first two levels or so I made extra sure to abuse his whole 8 HP. He got knocked out quite a lot, but it's not working any more, since he has more than most of the other party members. His real weakness is a low AC due to only light armor that he's wearing.

low ac? Hit him with a tanglefoot bag and glue him to the ground/ cut his movement by half.. then the tumbling works

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-15, 04:06 PM
TSED: He has combat reflexes, which is giving him the extra attacks, he gets one every time the enemy leaves a threatened square up to his dex bonus.Movement only provokes once per round. The enemy provokes for leaving the 20' square, but after that they can dance in circles around him.

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 04:11 PM
Sstoop: If that's true, it would help greatly with the problem, do you know where I can find that rule in the book, so I can point at it when it comes up?

arkol
2009-06-15, 04:12 PM
Can you quote a page somewhere on that Sstoopidtallkid?

only1doug
2009-06-15, 04:13 PM
Heh, Irondoug, thanks, but the party is level 2. Guess I'll keep the spell in mind, though, for later. Yeah, terrain is a big one that I use already, mountains, walls, lava, traps, you name it, but not every fight can use crazy terrain, players like to surprise me.

Ah, L2... hmm.

This won't help much for the same reason but there is a lesser version of the spell (L5) that has the same effect but magical weapons defeat it.

Edit: Hmm, how much would a L5 scroll cost? maybe not totally beyond a BBEG's budget, if one were to be aware that he was going to need it (desperately).

Hmm. Overwhelmingly BBEG caster (master villain for far in the future of your campaign) casts contingent Ironguard on some of his more important minions so as to keep his plans from failing. Not a thing to overuse but every now and again it could make a fight much harder than otherwise.
(Minions ordered not to use it unnecessarily so generally only use at 1/2 hitpoints unless finding themselves constantly tripped).
Contingency triggered by speach "Alucard aid me now" (or whatever master villain name you choose).

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-15, 04:14 PM
Sstoop: If that's true, it would help greatly with the problem, do you know where I can find that rule in the book, so I can point at it when it comes up?Not sure on page, but in the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/attacksOfOpportunity.htm#combatReflexes):
Combat Reflexes and Additional Attacks of Opportunity
If you have the Combat Reflexes feat you can add your Dexterity modifier to the number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round. This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a given opportunity, but if the same opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you, you could make two separate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity). Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round doesnít count as more than one opportunity for that opponent. All these attacks are at your full normal attack bonus.

lsfreak
2009-06-15, 04:16 PM
Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round doesnít count as more than one opportunity for that opponent.
From the SRD page on AoO's.
EDIT: Ninja! And I fail at tags.
EDIT2: Which is one of the reasons a really high-dex guy might work. A catfolk rogue is running a touch AC for 15 or 16 at ECL2, especially if supported by a caster with blur, giving him a really good chance of punching through unscathed.

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 04:19 PM
Ah, thank you.

Darrin
2009-06-15, 04:28 PM
Say, does anyone know the name of that regional feat from one of the Forgotten Realms sourcebooks that gives Powerful Build? I could reflavor that and give it to some of the melee opponents to even the tide a bit.

Jotunbrud (Races of Faerun, p. 166). Read it carefully, because it's not the same as Powerful Build. It treats you as large for opposed checks and for improved grab/swallow/envelope, but it doesn't allow you to wield larger weapons. Jotunbrud + Strongarm Bracers (MIC, 6000 GP) is the equivalent of Powerful Build.

Some other tactics you should add to your list:

-Illusions such as mirror image and silent image means he has to waste his trip attacks and AoOs on illusions. A handful of 1st level kobold sorcerers with wands of silent image could ruin this chaintripper's day.

-Obscuring mist, fog cloud, horn of fog, smokesticks, noxious smokesticks to block LOS. He can't trip what he can't see. Creatures with blindsense (desmodu bats, dire bats as mounts) or tremorsense (monstrous scorpions, ankheg, xorn) can ignore the fog/smoke.

-Summon Monster/Summon Nature's Ally, mostly for large numbers of multi-legged vermin. Surround him with annoying stuff that soaks up his AoOs and prevents him from getting closer to the important enemies.

Eldariel
2009-06-15, 04:39 PM
There's this wonderful Stance in Stone Dragon called "Roots of the Mountain". +10 to resist Trip, Grapple, Disarm, etc. Then there are Steadfast Boots in Magic Item Compendium. Dirt cheap (something like 1500; about as much as a Full-Plate) and +4 to the opposed checks.

Other than that, yeah, negating attacks of opportunity - Tumble, Douse the Flames [White Raven maneuver], Covering Strike [White Raven boost], various swift action short range teleportation abilities (Chronocharm of the Horizon Walker is 750gp, Anklets of Translocation are also quite affordable; both in Magic Item Compendium) to avoid his threatened area and to basically get up for free.


And then the opponents' composition; if they're summoning Wraiths and building Golems, they should really be a mixed bunch of spellcasters and melee types. Spellcaster with Ray of Enfeeblement on him, for example, would knock that Trip-check a ton. Dispel Magic (given Magic - Psionics Transparency) should be able to dispel his Expansion with a decent chance.

And yeah, the opposition should be a mix of ranged and melee-types. Some throwers can do nasty damage, and archers with proper feat composition can also be very efficient (or high Str+Dex in general). But casters are even more frightening as they can operate well at range, use illusions and teleportation to avoid the tripper altogether while debuffing the party to all hell. Using low-level casters to e.g. Benign Transposition [Spell Compendium] the fallen frontliners back while getting a fresh troop in works just fine too. Glitterdust or other stuff that blocks his vision can be used to deny him AoOs too.


Shooting from range and using Skirmish/Sneak Attack-based archers with Crossbow Sniper, Ranged Skirmisher or such to operate from ~60' reach works pretty well. Use these tactics with focused ranged warbands that are composed solely of skirmishers/snipers or similar style with their whole gameplan being to stay out of reach, maybe with a caster or two to use teleportation and prepare Anticipate Teleport to defend the skirmish warband from the party teleporting melee types into their midst.


I know most of this has already been said, but adding bits and pieces where they belong would result in a huge quote-monster so I'm instead just typing it all up from scratch; so most has been said and I'm just reiterating those parts.

AslanCross
2009-06-15, 04:42 PM
Throw a Behir at the party and grapple him. :D "You want Special Attacks? I'll give you Special Attacks."

EDIT: Oh, the party's level 2. o_O

Send swarms against them, or have small creatures attack from very high up (say about 50 feet or so).

Curmudgeon
2009-06-15, 04:45 PM
You tried a Rogue to steal the weapon. How about a Rogue to instead fight the tripper?

Complete Adventurer has rules to use a Balance check to resist being tripped. Once you get into the double digits of class level this can make for a nearly untrippable opponent, because skill ranks increase much faster than trip modifiers. Max ranks in Balance and Tumble do most of the job. Add in one level of Shadowdancer for Supernatural Hide in Plain Sight, and the inevitable Spring Attack (because once you've got Shadowdancer you also have the prerequisites for the feat) and you'll have a character that can slip through the tripper's reach area, attack (unSpotted) for sneak attack damage, and slip away to be unseen and out of range. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

paddyfool
2009-06-15, 04:53 PM
To disarm him: Jotunbrud + Ranseur + Improved Disarm.

To sunder the chain: A couple of mounted Barb 1/Fighter 2s with Weapon Focus, Improved Sunder, and any two-handed weapon (a greataxe would seem appropriate). Rage, charge, break the chain, go wild.

To turn the horror of his cheese on the party: Sneaky bard diplomancer (cheese vs cheese!), perhaps with Confusion, Lesser, Hideous Laughter, or Cause Fear as an escape strategy.

jmbrown
2009-06-15, 04:53 PM
Terrain is the foe of every reach weapon fighter and it's surprising how little DM's come up with imaginitive terrain. The real world isn't a solid plane. Bring up rubble, undergrowth, objects that give cover, objects that conceal characters, etc.

Second, remember tactics. Since its invention, the bow has been the weapon of choice before charging into combat. There should be no excuse why enemies don't pelt a team of heavy warriors with bows before closing in. Also, since your guy relies on movement to get out of range, have enemies make pincer attacks or flank.

Third, traps. They don't have to be elaborate, just something like "badguy A rolls a rock down a hill" or "you step in a snare and are now immobile."

There. No magical monsters, just straight up intelligent play. If you were fighting a guy that would turn you to paste if you approached him, wouldn't you fight with bows and guile over brute force?

herrhauptmann
2009-06-15, 05:17 PM
If you send a flying creature like a griffon at him, one which has to close to melee to hit him, remember they can also be tripped. It's in teh Rules Compendium.
If he trips them, they stall and begin to fall. A few rules determine whether the flier takes damage or not.

Oozes and slimes and rustmonsters oh my! All those are enough to make even the most munchkined character cry. Especially at this level when he can't afford everbright or blueshine.

Gnomes with anti-giant tactical feats (Com War). They gain a +4 dodge vs giants and as a large creature after expansion, he'll count as a giant.
Also throw in some dwarves with levels in teh dwarf paragon class. Boots of dwarvenkind, etc.
Throw a fang dragon at him. +4 for size category, +4 for legs, +X str, they're deadly. Even if he can hit the touch ac, he's going to have a hard time pulling it down. And if he pulls it down, he'll still have a hard time getting through it's AC to deal damage.
Hope he doesn't take vexing flanker and adaptable flanker (PHB2). Or leveldip to rogue and take feat Vae school.

TheThan
2009-06-15, 05:26 PM
Well ok if donít want to throw oddball monsters at him.

That still doesnít make him all that hard to defeat. One thing I would do is throw some flying creatures at him, wizards with fly, mounted warriors on Pegasuses (whatís the plural on that?).

Another option is to simply stay out of his reach; trained bowmen can do that nicely as a composite bow has 120 ft range, so itíll take at least 2 turns before heís in reach of his weapons. Make sure your archers are capable of backpedaling so they donít easily get caught in his reach.


Since heís only level 2ish, you can swarm him with multiple guys. He can only make one trip attack per turn, and if heís busy making AOOs, then heís not trying to avoid the others that are bearing down on him. sure he might knock a few over, but the rest will get to him before heís able to escape.

Darrin
2009-06-15, 05:41 PM
Throw a Behir at the party and grapple him. :D "You want Special Attacks? I'll give you Special Attacks."

EDIT: Oh, the party's level 2. o_O

Send swarms against them, or have small creatures attack from very high up (say about 50 feet or so).

Any grappler should work as an effective countermeasure. Crocodiles have improved grab, but for a few HD more brown bears are some of the best grapplers in the game. Grappling eats up his AoOs, he no longer threatens, he has to waste an action/round to get out of the grapple, and he becomes susceptable to sneak attack.

I like the swarm idea, but a word of warning, particularly against low-level parties: unless the party has access to fairly reliable energy damage, or if they're familiar with fighting swarms, be careful. Swarms against a low-level party could turn into a TPK.

Here's another tricky tactic from the Call of Cthulhu playbook, but it should only be used as a last resort, BBEG fight, or a truly dramatic moment. When one character is overshadowing every other player in the combat department, possess them. The Formian Taskmaster has Dominate Monster ability with a pretty scary Will save at DC 17. A 7th level cleric can get ahold of one with a Lesser Planar Ally spell (or a 7th level wizard with Arcane Disciple: Summoner domain). Turn that chaintripper into the party's worst nightmare.

OMG PONIES
2009-06-15, 05:51 PM
In this case, I think a few concepts could help level the playing field without making him feel like he's being ripped off. Consider the following scenarios (mostly all inspired by previous, cooler posts):

1. A battle along a fortification like a city wall, fortress, etc. This incorporates the archers that others had mentioned, nicely positioned just out of his range (a 30-ft high wall, say). His teammates can focus on them while he takes out the mooks at ground level, or you can provide him a way up to the wall to take out the archers while the party stays at ground level. Single-file archers makes his tripping a bit less harmful (since I think soft cover prevents AoOs). If they focus fire on him, it's decent damage. If a few archers have ranged pin or ranged disarm, even better. He's still going to be strong against the opposed rolls, but provides a chance that they might slow him down a bit.

2. Indoor battles in crowded, cluttered spaces. Cover can be good, since I'm pretty sure it blocks AoOs and limits how many people he'll be tripping per round.

3. Take a regular encounter and toss in another tripper (like the centaur mentioned by someone). A large quadruped with beefy STR should be a good challenge, and could provide an awesome clash of the titans. While the party deals with mooks, the trippers go head-to-head.

4. Corner him with tactical movement. Enemies closing in from multiple angles will lower his movement choices, and keep in mind that 5-foot steps don't usually provoke attacks of opportunity. If he allows himself to get squeezed into a corner, it might put him at a disadvantage since it seems like his strength is not entirely tripping, but also staying out of melee combat by keeping foes out of range.

5. Cheesy magic items and/or abilities. A rogue with Boots of Agile Leaping (I think), allowing him to stand from prone as a swift action without provoking attacks of opportunity. A wizard with Abrupt Jaunt who teleports just out of range as an immediate action when your tripper draws near.

6. Give him a reason not to trip. While it might be the cheesiest, what if they go against a baddie who has a valuable item (either cool treasure or plot device) dangling from his hand near, say, a pool of lava? You could warn him that tripping this foe may result in him dropping said treasure and losing it forever. Risk vs. reward.

Coidzor
2009-06-15, 05:56 PM
ranged skirmishers who don't allow him to lock them down, instead forcing him to move to get to them. I believe in one of the Red Hand of doom threads some nasty skirmisher variants on just plain old Goblin Warg-riders were developed... I think it was either kjones or Azlancross's thread... the Eberron setting one at any rate.

Trippers don't make for good uberchargers, right?

Things which are good at grappling and can do so at range also might make for an approach. Possibly in conjunction with skirmishers so that when he advances he eats up a grapple-lock-down readied action orgy attempt from multiple opponents (say by using a variant of spiked chain that allows for ranged grappling and constriction instead of an advantage in tripping)

Animefunkmaster
2009-06-15, 06:09 PM
Well, first you should note the following:

Cover and Attacks of Opportunity

You canít execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with cover relative to you.

and


A tower shield can instead grant you cover.

The big stupid fighter can walk right up to the spiked chain tripper and give him a hug. I was a spiked chain tripper and let my dm know this so he didn't go crazy. An interesting thing he came up with was a rogue who used a mount for cover.


Cover DC 15

You can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside your mount, using it as cover. You canít attack or cast spells while using your mount as cover. If you fail your Ride check, you donít get the cover benefit. This usage does not take an action.

Otherwise certain movement just doesn't provoke, spring attack (and all the other versions of it) allow someone to walk right into the tripper, granted that's before thicket of blades.

Smart enemies won't get into the fray with a spiked chain tripper, especially one that is expanding, instead they might retreat for an ambush later when they have a terrain advantage. Instead, like others say, ranged attacks, spells, and the like should keep him busy. In addition, certain things just can't be tripped.

Edit: I too just noted the party is level 2-3 and am finding it difficult to believe this person has built the way you describe.

So he must be a half giant LA+1 Psywarrior1
Feats:
1) Exotic Weapon Prof Spiked Chain
Psywarrior1) Combat Expertise

Feats not accounted for:
Improved Trip
Knock Down (not that this is important*)
Combat Reflexes

He would need a to be Psywarrior2/Fighter1 to make this work. Note he can't actually buy off his la till he gains 3 class levels normally (i.e. level 4 for everyone else, then he still needs to earn back the xp). So his build is in error.


Does the fighter with the Knockdown feat get a free
attack from Improved Trip against a creature that he
trips due to a knockdown?
No.

Also remember that in order for knockdown to work its a regular attack roll that he deals 10 or more damage on (not saying that's difficult, it just not a sure thing, and not as easy as a normal touch).

Powers and Powerful build:
Expansion and powerful build generally don't stack, if you are letting them, swell. However you should note it is a standard action to cast and lasts a single round with a ml of 1. If he is ml2, then 2 rounds isn't too long to wait to get in close with your own reach weapons.

Powerful build doesn't grant you the reach of a large creature under normal circumstances. If its homebrewed different, cool. Even so he can only make a single AoO per person per round.

So going back up to the grappling warrior might be a good thing, wait till his power wears down (which won't take long) and then use the towershield for cover, walk up and initiate a grapple. He will still have a size bonus from powerful build, but the lack of bab will make things a little less onesided. Also disarm attempts could be interesting (since the player is relying so heavily off of size and has no bab to speak of).

Edit2: One last note:

A flat-footed character loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) and cannot make attacks of opportunity.

There are various ways to make the target flatfooted. The neraph from the planar handbook have some especially interesting ways (and are in feat form, same book). Otherwise anything that would make him flatfooted (like a grease spell) will shut his AoOs down.

snoopy13a
2009-06-15, 06:19 PM
As a goofy solution, how about halfling rogues?

Since they are powergamers, it wouldn't be too out there to give the halflings a Dex of 18.

A level two halfling could have a +13 modifier to the hide skill which would make it difficult for party members to spot them. You can even give them the Stealthy feat to make it +15. Additionally, they'd have a +9 modifier to their Tumble skill which would make the chances of avoiding a AoO fairly well against a DC of 15 (only problem their would be that they only have 10' normal movement while Tumbling).

Anyway, if a halfling rogue is hiding and ambushes the half-giant within 30', they'd have a fairly good chance of hitting their sneak attack with a javelin or sling. Especially with a dex of 18, the +1 size modifier (and the -1 AC mod for the giant), and the +1 thrown weapon/sling bonus. Sure, they won't do high base damage, but there will be the 1d6 sneak attack bonus.

Each javelin hit would be 1d4 + 1d6 damage. If you have 5 halfling rogues (you have seven party members, right?) and they all hit, that would be on average 30 damage.

Viv
2009-06-15, 06:26 PM
I might also consider a potion of greater invisibility.

Quaff that, and the whole attack of opportunity thing becomes way less certain. The way I interpret things:

Listen checks to pin-point? Probably not at that level. Yeah, he technically gets the attack of opportunity -- but he's got to pick the right square. And with his reach, he's got a lot of squares to pick from. Even then, 50% miss chance.

The benefit to this is that it doesn't mean you have to customize the BBEG to defeat your tripper. Just load him up with a potion that any warrior might reasonably choose to carry, and off you go. And it's not even all that expensive -- Spell Level (4) * Caster Level (>=7) * 50gp.

paddyfool
2009-06-15, 06:27 PM
Another way to let the party feel your pain: a level 3 Psion manifesting Id insinuation (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/idInsinuation.htm). It would probably be worth the cost to snare whoever's standing next to him too - just make sure the Psion's hard to spot/get to ;-)

Fuzzy_Juan
2009-06-15, 06:59 PM
Don't know if anyone mentioned this yet since i didn't read all 3 pages...but spring attack is just fine and good. The target of your spring attack does not get an AoO against you. Don't know if any specific rule prevents this from functioning against reach, but seems to work on the surface.

snoopy13a
2009-06-15, 07:25 PM
So he must be a half giant LA+1 Psywarrior1
Feats:
1) Exotic Weapon Prof Spiked Chain
Psywarrior1) Combat Expertise

Feats not accounted for:
Improved Trip
Knock Down (not that this is important*)
Combat Reflexes

He would need a to be Psywarrior2/Fighter1 to make this work. Note he can't actually buy off his la till he gains 3 class levels normally (i.e. level 4 for everyone else, then he still needs to earn back the xp). So his build is in error.



I was thinking along those lines but the character probably has flaws or something.

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 07:37 PM
His character build is half-giant psychic warrior 3, but if as you mentioned you need to reach -character level- 3 and not just ECL 3 to buy off that LA, then he is a psywarrior halfgiant 2. That's a good catch, although I suspect I missed my opportunity to quench that one, as there were others that bought off their LAs at this level.

His feats, to clarify:
1: Combat expertise
Psywarrior1: Combat Reflexes
Psywarrior2: Improved Trip
Flaw1: Knockdown
Flaw2: Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Spiked Chain
3: He hasn't picked yet, he was still 2 while we played.

Knockdown I'm forcing him to change since he took it from a barred book without consulting me, so that's not an issue any more, and this last page of replies brought me many, many good ideas to bring him down to size, thank you.

I'll note though that Powerful Build explicitly stacks with powers like expansion, though.

Edit: Heh, I just realized that as a scythe wielder, he's eligible to use trip right back at the guy, that works out nicely.

holywhippet
2009-06-15, 08:05 PM
1) Have someone toss a tanglefoot bag at him - that will reduce his attack bonus.

2) Tower shields can provide complete cover in exchange for losing your attacks for that round. As such, someone moving up behind one can get into melee range.

3) Monks. A monk with 16 dex and 16 wis has an AC of 16 - and a touch AC of the same. Add a dodge feat and a buffing consisting of cats grace and owls wisdom for an AC and touch AC of 21. Monks are very good with tumbling as well. Once they get into range, monks are good with sai which have bonuses to disarm.

Aneantir
2009-06-15, 08:27 PM
3) Monks. A monk with 16 dex and 16 wis has an AC of 16 - and a touch AC of the same. Add a dodge feat and a buffing consisting of cats grace and owls wisdom for an AC and touch AC of 21. Monks are very good with tumbling as well. Once they get into range, monks are good with sai which have bonuses to disarm.

Actually, sai are terrible for disarming, since they're a light weapon they take more penalties than they gain.

Darrin
2009-06-15, 10:26 PM
Knockdown I'm forcing him to change since he took it from a barred book without consulting me, so that's not an issue any more, and this last page of replies brought me many, many good ideas to bring him down to size, thank you.


Huh? Barred book? Knock-down is in the divine section of the SRD. (Without the 3.0 errata, too, which should be ignored anyway.)

Mephisoth
2009-06-15, 10:37 PM
As far as knockdown I was under the impression that those divine feats were for deities, not for PCs, based on the description and the like, and the other printed version of it was in S&F.

Eldariel
2009-06-15, 10:44 PM
As far as knockdown I was under the impression that those divine feats were for deities, not for PCs, based on the description and the like, and the other printed version of it was in S&F.

The "Divine"-feats listed with the [Divine]-tag are like that; the General feats are just feats that happened to see print in Deities & Demigods, which makes them OGL (legal for online publication) contents and are thus listed amongst the others.

herrhauptmann
2009-06-15, 10:52 PM
As a goofy solution, how about halfling rogues?

Heck, whispergnome rogues. A fifth level whispergnome with an 18dex and no magic can gain a +20 to hide and +16 to move silently.

Viv, isn't there a limit to what spell levels can be placed in a potion, same as with a wand? Like third level spells?

Eldariel
2009-06-15, 10:54 PM
Wands are 4th, Eternal Wands are 3rd, Pots are 3rd.

Animefunkmaster
2009-06-15, 11:14 PM
Feats

Deities can obtain the feats described here, in addition to any standard feats.

One last RAW note: it clearly says dieties can take these feats in addition to other feats, it doesn't say non deities can take these feats. And while I agree the feat should be able to be ok to take, since things not updated from 3.0 are legal in 3.5, saying that the 3.0 clarification doesn't hold because it is "updated" in the srd is in error, otherwise it wouldn't be available.

And before the argument goes toward the psionic feat section


Psionic feats are available only to characters and creatures with the ability to manifest powers. (In other words, they either have a power point reserve or have psi-like abilities.)

You will note that a psionic feat is a descriptor to a feat, much like general and the later described in that section metapsionic. Because there is no "deities" descriptor the raw clearly states that section is only for dieties.

But again, the feat should be fine since it wasn't updated in 3.5 and therefore fine to take. However the rules clarification still applies, which makes the feat not all that good realistically.

Eldariel
2009-06-15, 11:35 PM
It's worth noting that all of those feats have been printed in other sources without stating "Only deities may take them". They were merely reprinted in D&D for convenience's sake, since WoTC finally realized Core doesn't include near-enough feats to equip high level characters and Deities needed to be workable with that book alone.

quick_comment
2009-06-15, 11:40 PM
The best way to deal with a tripper is oozes. Oozes with hats of disguise that look like normal humanoids.

derfenrirwolv
2009-06-15, 11:45 PM
Spellcasters: They make concentration checks to avoid the attacks of opportunity

Tumble: Avoids the attack of opportunity

Cover: .. this is an overlooked one. The spiked chain functions as a reach weapon. You can't take attacks of opportunity against an opponent with cover. That includes monsters standing behind each other.

High touch ac , displacement, mirror images

Incoporeality through spell or being a ghost

Dwarves

Dwarves with enlarge person.

Multible opponents : How many attacks of opporunities does he have?

ericgrau
2009-06-16, 12:02 AM
One note on mounted techniques: dismounting someone is a trip attempt.

Otherwise solid tips. Tumble in. Disarm: In spite of lower modifiers, this tactic may still be worth it if opponents have greater numbers. Fight from range. Use invisibility/blindness. Attacks give away your position, as does a listen check with +20 to the DC, so the tripper can still fight with a 50% miss chance, just not make AoOs. Use strategic terrain for cover. Catch him in a surprise round and get in melee. If you do get tripped in melee (only 5 feet away), just eat the -4 and keep fighting vs. losing a lot of attacks and giving away an attack by getting up. Dispel psionics (or whatever the power is). Send in a tripper; if the other guy's trip attempt fails then that's a free attempt to counter-trip or force him to drop his weapon (at the spiked chain guy's option).

koldstare
2009-06-16, 12:05 AM
There are various ways to make the target flatfooted. The neraph from the planar handbook have some especially interesting ways (and are in feat form, same book). Otherwise anything that would make him flatfooted (like a grease spell) will shut his AoOs down.




With this feat, you may also make attacks of opportunity while flat-footed.


As you can see a character with combat reflexes can make AOs against a target while flat footed.

Talic
2009-06-16, 12:17 AM
Methods of challenging a tripper?

Ok.

Creatures that can't be tripped, for one. Oozes? Swarms? Not a regular thing, but occasionally.

Next? Tome of Battle. Charging Minotaur. A charging minotaur with improved bull rush and a potion of enlarge person can be effective. Follow up with Douse the Flames, and the followup group can charge him too.

Next? Caster. Evard's Black Tentacles. Summoned monsters. etc. Now he's spending his actions to deal with summoned spells. Or Dispel magic to get rid of expansion.

Next? Tumblers, Stealth Characters, characters with the Kip Up ability.

Invisibility + Disarm specialist, or a sunderer (if the weapon's not magical).

Stage the fight in an area with extensive cover (Attacks of opportunity can't be executed if the provoking person has cover). Better yet, if the passage is 5 feet wide, it's hard to expansion.

There are a lot of ways for dirty tricks to work. Some make the fight tough without invalidating the character. Some take the fight out of the tripper. Your call.

sofawall
2009-06-16, 12:33 AM
I believe there is a feat in Complete Warrior that might help.

Viv
2009-06-16, 01:40 AM
Viv, isn't there a limit to what spell levels can be placed in a potion, same as with a wand? Like third level spells?

(1) Yes.
(2) He's the DM.
(3) It's been established that the characters are not only heavily optimizing, but they're fudging the rules on top of it. I don't see why a DM wouldn't be justified in slightly doing the same to bring things back into line.

Talic
2009-06-16, 01:53 AM
There's a forgotten realms PrC that gives 9th level spells in potion form.

Incorrect
2009-06-16, 04:49 AM
You mentioned that fighting in confined spaces made it hard for the rest of the party to contribute.
Did you consider just lowering the roof?
Say, a 5 ft roof would make it hard on the poor expanded fella.

Talic
2009-06-16, 05:05 AM
Spaces don't need to be confined. Pattern a lot of pillars in a room, so that it's easy to get cover.

Ultimately, you may be asking for too much.

If you want a perfect solution that makes the one player challenged, unable to fully take advantage of his attack method, yet not feel nerfed, without unduly affecting the rest of the party in any way... Then that's not possible.

If the character is causing that much disruption, then get rid of it.

Fixer
2009-06-16, 07:01 AM
Living Spells

Ooze type
Magical effects
Do not normally require being close

...and customizable!

riddles
2009-06-16, 07:17 AM
glitterdust and grease might be a good low level option.

his will save should be ok if he has good wisdom for power points, but his reflex shouldn't be amazing.

duo31
2009-06-16, 10:09 AM
how about Turdtle: Grey Dwarf(psi-variant) Fighter 3 (bought off level adj, just like pc)
1 [Shield Spec (Heavy)]
F1 [Shield Ward]
F2 [Combat Focus]
3 [Combat Stability]

Boost to touch ac
+4 dodge bonus to ac vs half-giant
+4 Shield bonus to touch ac (+1 Hvy Shield)

Resist Trip
+4 Dwarven stability
+4 Combat Stability
+4 Shield Ward
+4 Expansion

Go for heavy armor and this guy is hard to hit, and will give the psi-warior an pretty even challenge. Save the invis to run away, and you have a decent nemesis.

Arakune
2009-06-16, 10:35 AM
what are his flaws?

Mephisoth
2009-06-16, 11:11 AM
IIRC, he has the one that gives him a penalty on ranged and the one that lowers his initiative, which amuses me to no end when he complains about going last.

Rasilak
2009-06-16, 11:29 AM
Hm, he's the group's fighter and has to move to be effective? Chase him away from his friends and have them get beaten up. You'll probably not have to do this too often because he'll get quite some flak for not doing his basic job of protecting the squishy team members. It also makes a lot of sense from the enemies' point of view.
Also, have the enemies go Tucker on him. Arrow slits and murderholes are too small to attack through with a spiked chain, but using ranged weapons or even spears/lances should be possible (for the enemies). Pit traps and similiar nasty stuff on the battlefield can also be total hell for characters who have to move a lot.
And (already said, but bears repeating): Tower shields ftw. Especially in formations. Have multiple enemies close to melee range - he can only reliably keep one down.

Arakune
2009-06-16, 11:45 AM
IIRC, he has the one that gives him a penalty on ranged and the one that lowers his initiative, which amuses me to no end when he complains about going last.

Why he gain something from a flaw if he never intents to use it in the first place?

skeeter_dan
2009-06-16, 11:59 AM
If he took a flaw that penalizes his ranged attacks, attack him from range! If he complains, point out the extra feat he's getting out of being terrible at range...

only1doug
2009-06-16, 01:29 PM
I don't know if you noticed the edit to my earlier post, an idea for occasional BBEGs who are all working for the same Master villain (campaign focus)
[spoiler]
Hmm. Overwhelmingly BBEG caster (master villain for far in the future of your campaign) casts contingent Ironguard on some of his more important minions so as to keep his plans from failing. Not a thing to overuse but every now and again it could make a fight much harder than otherwise.
(Minions ordered not to use it unnecessarily so generally only use at 1/2 hitpoints unless finding themselves constantly tripped).
Contingency triggered by speach "Alucard aid me now" (or whatever master villain name you choose).[spoiler]

Other ideas:
Solid Fog (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/solidFog.htm) - reduce movement to 5' and visibility to 5' (L4 spell)

Fog Cloud (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/fogCloud.htm) - reduce visibility to 5' (L2 spell).

If he can't see it, he can't AoO it.

Draz74
2009-06-16, 01:44 PM
I don't know if anyone said this already (didn't read the whole thread), but my favorite anti-Trip precaution is the Boots of Agile Leaping from the MIC. They only cost 600 gp, so adding them to other magical boots is only 900 gp. Their best function only works if you have 5 ranks of Balance, but they let you stand from prone as a swift action and without provoking an AoO.

Two skill tricks also duplicate these functions somewhat: Back on Your Feet and Nimble Stand.

Jeristo
2009-06-16, 04:18 PM
Just looking at basic spells, there are about 10 or so spells that are level 2 or below that will disable his tripping ability at least temporarily (or at least disables the massive range that's threatened). Something that causes blindness, paralysis, charm, fear, paralysis, etc. You could use command and just make him drop his weapon for a round while a more melee type closes in during that period.

I personally like the idea of being a little more sneaky about everything. Could have an enemy bard in disguise (or not if they have no idea who it is), and "held hostage". When the PCs rescue them, the bard could offer to help, and do so well, for a while. In an important battle, you could have the bard charm the tripper and tell him that another party member must be stopped because something bad will happen to them if they fight. Tripper would need to keep the party member down in order to protect them. Could effectively disable two party members in one go, and have the rest of the party be a little less fond of the optimizing tripper in the process. Could have the bard throw around a few more subtle spells at the rest of the party if it seems reasonable at this point, or just have him hang out with the tripper, "assisting". If he was a whisper gnome, then you could always throw down your silence after these effects are in play so that the other PCs can't do a lot to convince the tripper to stop... With a bard that has decent stats, shouldn't be too hard to overwhelm the trippers resistances. With the long lasting effects of charm you could even attempt it a little before the fight to see how well that goes/attempt it again if necessary. A lot of this is just pieced together at random, so some of it may not work, but it's something to think about.

I'd personally have the guy be the target of any will based saves, since he should have really crappy will/ref saves based on the class levels provided.

Edit: Oooh! and Backbiter from spell compendium. Could have the caster use that on his chain and then have the melee type engage. The instant he tries to use his AoO, he gets hit instead (automatically), and his AoO is wasted...on himself. Melee enemy proceeds to prod him a little bit with very sharp things.

Fitz10019
2009-06-16, 04:18 PM
If you make a build that can disarm him, how about casting Animate Rope on his momentarily unattended chain? 1st level spell, medium range, and he'll be entangled by his own weapon. A wiz/sor/bard could ready the spell for when a disarmer succeeds. Admittedly, it's a bit of stretch to say a chain is a 'ropelike object.'

paddyfool
2009-06-16, 04:29 PM
@Jeristo,

There's a reason I left Charm Person off the list of cool stuff a bard diplomancer could do to this particular hulking munchkin: he's a half-giant (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicRaces.htm#halfGiants), type giant, so you'd need Charm Monster instead. Luckily, not every low-level mind-affecting spell or manifestation is blocked in this way... a 3rd level Psion or Wilder (EDIT: a wilder would have to be level 4 - go with Psion) with Id insertion and Deja vu could really have fun, especially if you gave them the chance to escape and maybe strike again later. However, this could be construed as evil dm-ing.

artaxerxes
2009-06-16, 04:42 PM
Combat Expertise requires INT 13, and so anything that removes that - even temporarily. Poison, Touch of Idiocy, Alcohol!

Just hand out magical items for all the other players... to bring them up to a higher encounter level - though not so obviously as that! Then he will be matched with the encounters without having to concentrate on him.
Also - rust monsters!

woodenbandman
2009-06-16, 05:03 PM
Well, first you should note the following:

Powers and Powerful build:
Expansion and powerful build generally don't stack, if you are letting them, swell. However you should note it is a standard action to cast and lasts a single round with a ml of 1. If he is ml2, then 2 rounds isn't too long to wait to get in close with your own reach weapons.



Not true, Expansion increases your size, and powerful build allows you to count as being a size category larger than you actually are.

You don't need to enlarge to get a +13 on a trip check. Max strength + combat Expertise + Improved Trip = 5 + 4 + 4 = 13. Hell, make that 17 if you can push 18 charisma and a level of Marshal.

You are right about the reach, though.

EDIT: Besides, what is actually the problem here? If the problem is that the guy is making encounters easy and the party doesn't like it, that's a problem, but this doesn't seem to be the case. You can toss a lot of things at the guy that will be a challenge to him: halfling rogues with shurikens, archers, spellcasters, mounted guys... this guy was meant to handle the mooks, so let him handle them, and let the other party members worry about their stuff. It's not like he's going to bother the wizard by tripping him.

Dagren
2009-06-16, 05:14 PM
Combat Expertise requires INT 13, and so anything that removes that - even temporarily. Poison, Touch of Idiocy, Alcohol!Feeblemind? I'm pretty sure Ray of Enfeeblement/Exhaustion have already been mentioned, but if not it's worth noting that one has no save and the other only saves for partial.

VirOath
2009-06-16, 06:11 PM
In keeping with the design and flavor of the campaign:

Dwarves. This means anything from rowdy dwarven pirates to... whatever. Everything is just better with Dwarves.

Anything that increases the bonuses Dwarves get against Bullrushes, Trips, and Overruns.


Or a single Feat. Prone Attack.

Prerequisites: Dex 15, Lightning Reflexes, base attack bonus +2.
Benefit: You can make an attack from the prone position
and take no penalty on your attack roll. If your attack roll is
successful, you may regain your feet immediately as a free
action. Opponents gain no bonus on melee attacks against
you while you are prone.
Special: A fighter may select Prone Attack as one of his
fighter bonus feats.

Or throw a Wizard that summoned a Chain Devil.

ChaosDefender24
2009-06-16, 06:23 PM
wizards.


At this level, they can glitterdust. Or even color spray, sleep, or perhaps grease, using invisibility to close in. Or go invisible and summon stuff right next to him over and over, using the standard action summoning ACF so that the creature pops out before the guy hears him casting a spell for 1 round and whacks him. Let it be a conjurer so that abrupt jaunt is on the table just in case.

The best part is that so many of their tactics for shutting him down are very effective in general that he can't really accuse you of going after him specifically. The whole party might grow to hate you though, but this *is* a high-powered game.

erikun
2009-06-16, 06:49 PM
To challange him, or to beat him?

Beating him is relatively easy, if you think about it. Grease on either the ground or his weapon, Sleep, Color Spray, and several others will disable him quickly. Archers, especially skirmishers, give him no end to trouble. Small races with dodge-giant defenses, or other half-giants with a reach weapon + Improved Disarm will shut him down quite quickly. Dwarves, mounts, or dwarves mounted on Gelatinous Cubes are not tripping easily.

On the other hand, this gets annoying quickly. Plus, you end up with the same problem the rogue has - either you kick everything's butt, or you're useless in the fight. Rather than beating him, why not play up his strengths? Have the group surrounded by a dozen orcs - the tripper can pin down half of them, but the rest of the party still has to deal with the other six. Perhaps the party runs across a Duragear chain-tripper, who enlarges himself and tries the same tactics against the party - the party's Half-Giant tripper will be the best match against him. Perhaps his unique abilities can be used in other ways, such as enlarging to peek over a 20' wall, or using the chain as leverage to pull off a rusted-stuck grate. Don't treat the character as a problem; treat him as a reason to throw problems at the party.

Dagren
2009-06-16, 07:03 PM
...Perhaps the party runs across a Duragear chain-tripper, who enlarges himself and tries the same tactics against the party - the party's Half-Giant tripper will be the best match against him...And if someone else in the group manages it, pay attention! :smallbiggrin:

Lycanthromancer
2009-06-16, 07:08 PM
To challange him, or to beat him?

Beating him is relatively easy, if you think about it. Grease on either the ground or his weapon, Sleep, Color Spray, and several others will disable him quickly. Archers, especially skirmishers, give him no end to trouble. Small races with dodge-giant defenses, or other half-giants with a reach weapon + Improved Disarm will shut him down quite quickly. Dwarves, mounts, or dwarves mounted on Gelatinous Cubes are not tripping easily.

On the other hand, this gets annoying quickly. Plus, you end up with the same problem the rogue has - either you kick everything's butt, or you're useless in the fight. Rather than beating him, why not play up his strengths? Have the group surrounded by a dozen orcs - the tripper can pin down half of them, but the rest of the party still has to deal with the other six. Perhaps the party runs across a Duragear chain-tripper, who enlarges himself and tries the same tactics against the party - the party's Half-Giant tripper will be the best match against him. Perhaps his unique abilities can be used in other ways, such as enlarging to peek over a 20' wall, or using the chain as leverage to pull off a rusted-stuck grate. Don't treat the character as a problem; treat him as a reason to throw problems at the party.

This. At least one enemy (but usually more, to give him mileage out of Combat Reflexes) in most encounters should be tailor-made to keep him busy. Give the rest of the party stuff they can handle (and have some of the collateral damage spill over on him fairly frequently). Also, while Mr. Tripper is Trip-Trip-Tripping Along, have snipers and skirmishers taking pot-shots at him (as well as the others), so he'll have to take terrain and tactical movement into account.

Basically, have one part of the encounter with a big red KICK TRIP ME! sign on its back, and have the rest of the encounter endanger him somewhat (so he can't just ignore it).

Jeristo
2009-06-16, 11:18 PM
@paddyfool - Ohhhh....Yeah, forgot about that part. Makes a lot more sense now, thanks.

Stormthorn
2009-06-17, 01:06 AM
SO what we need is some combination of big, high speed, flying, four+ legs, its own trip attacks, holding ability, and charming/geas/dominating powers?
...
Zelekhut

just give it less or more HD as needed.

tmaru
2009-06-17, 11:06 PM
I'm a member of the campaign in question and have informed the member in question. He'll be ready. Thank you for your time. It's a little bit unfair as teh two(maybe three) casters will balance out with the member in question, even if he is a bit munchkined.