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View Full Version : Is this DM fiat, or just a very melee-unfriendly boss encounter?



ShippoWildheart
2010-01-10, 04:19 AM
Hi guys. New user here. I'm adequate in DnD knowledge, but not at the levels most of you guys are. :smallbiggrin:

I wanted to ask a question because I just finished up an AIM DnD session and the whole thing just bothered me. I hope some of the experts here can shed some light on this. I apologize if it's a bit messy, because I'm copy-pasting a rant I made on a different forum (changing a little of course). They are not so DnD-savvy, so I figure I should post it here where you guys DO know the right answers to just about anything. Also, I apologize my first post is so long. I'm normally not this chatty. :smalltongue:

*For the rolls than I mention, I can't remember them clearly but they are around those values. Also, I know what I did was unoptimized and so is the make-up of the party, but the DM doesn't want to learn new times (ie Core-only stuff), and just the fact I''m afraid of pulling any gamebreakers on my druid so I purposely limit him (black bear instead of Fleshraker, no Complete Divine Quill Blast, no Wild armor, no scrolls. The only thing that I did so far that seemingly gives him a headache was pulling spells from the Spell Compendium, CD, PHBII, and even a couple spells straight from the WoTC site). It also doesn't help that my DM placed an arbitrary rule that I need to spend 1-2 weeks observing an animal in order to learn a new Wildshape form. I tried to force a new Wildshape form by saying in the 2ish weeks of downtime that I was observing a Megaraptor inside a natural habitat (think Jurassic Park. Incidentally the place was watched over by an epic leveled orc druid) that was inside the orc capital. He flat out said I didn't learn the form. He also kept denying me from buying a new wand of Cure Light Wounds/Vigor or a Healing belt. :smallmad:*


Anyway, the scenario.

This was a 9th level party, where we were investigating a mysterious fog created by apparently a vampire so we stormed the fort he was in.

Group party:
DM: Cleric, Monk (I'll call him MonkA)
Me: Druid + Black Bear companion
Friend: Cleric/Fortune's Friend/Fighter
DM's friends: Monk (I'll call this monk MonkB), Bard

*My bad on the slash. I didn't know people here saw it as a mutliclass; I thought the fact I said friends instead of friend was enough. The DM's friends were a Monk, and a Bard. :smalleek:*

So we passed through a dark room, found out there was an illusionary wall. Bard used Inspirational Boost and Inspire Courage before we encountered the boss. We met up with the vampire, in which it proceeded to level drain my friend twice (4 negative levels), gazed into the eyes of MonkB and dominated him and started to tie up and bound the bard. The cleric wasn't doing much, and the DM's monk futilely tried to attack it with it's Kamas to no avail. MonkB has some fascination, because he was mind-controlled, to keep grappling and pinning the bard, maybe to fulfill his perverted needs (Bard is female, as is the cleric). It took my friend's character, the cleric, and MonkA to stop him. In the meantime, I was trying to use what was left of my spells to try to end it.

1. Kelpstrand. 3 strands of kelp to entangle and grapple the vampire. Only one made it after a total touch attack of 14/17/15. The vampire turned to Gaseous form and escaped out of the strand of Kelp that was entangling him

2. Summoned a Thoqqua (I call it a lava worm) for a flanking bonus

3. Blinding Spittle. I blew 3 re-rolls using some houseruled items (DM calls it a toffee. Allows either a reroll, or a maximized Aid spell effect) to get a 29 touch attack to blind it (rolled an 18). I attempted to attack it with my bear while it was blinded (should have grappled/tripped him instead). Next turn,he started casting a spell and had both my bear and the lava worm attack in opportunity so to try to interrupt the spell. I got a total of 23 for Bearsy, and the 23 somehow missed. Whoop dee freaking doo the Vampire casts Create Water and washed his eyes so he can see again.

4. Unveiled for the first time my most powerful buff spell on my spell list, a shared Bite of the Weretiger (+12 STR, +4 DEX, +6 CON, +5 natural AC, Grants Blind-fight/Power Attack/Multiattack) but things went to hell when the vampire hit my AC of 24 (touch of 14) and drained 2 levels from me and healed for 29 HP thanks to that and Vampiric Touch.

By this point I was screwed, because while everybody else tried to stop MonkB from gagging the Bard, my friend's character was unfortunately attacked by MonkB, and was killed thanks to having -20 HP from 4 negative levels (he would have survived the wrath of MonkB otherwise). By fighting defensively the vampire had an AC of around 33. By this point I was seriously in my head calling foul. Unfortunately, I couldn't just stop the game right there to point out technicalities on the vampire. I can do that when I go to his house or talk to him on AIM about it. I had to roll along with it.

Managed 2 full attacks from my druid in raptor form and Bearsy did a full attack too, but with rolls of 21/24/25/31/27 and 21/Fumble/31 it didn't even touch the dang vampire. The bard finally got free and snapped MonkB out of his state, but not after he killed my friend's character. It was only when I was ranting how we were all going to die that the DMs cleric, in tears that a party member died, suddenly went up to the vampire, grabbed him, and used some holy spell on it, in which the vampire supposedly had his skin "bubbling like water" from the spell and disappeared in front of the whole party cursing the party with some last words. This is just ridiculous because I know a vampire isn't supposed to die like that, and HOW did the cleric managed that without invoking an Attack of Opportunity? Even more, WHY did the cleric finally did a useful thing now, instead of earlier?

My druid was angry at MonkB for killing my friend's character, and had my bear (who didn't get hit) felt his anger and wanted to bull-rush MonkB since my druid was too level drained to do anything serious. Unfortunately, MonkA stepped in and somehow stopped my bear (with a buffed STR of 33/+11 mind you), saying in-fighting won't bring his character back to life. The only thing I could do was place his corpse on top of my bear so we can carry him out of the fort when our objective is done and the orc empire we are currently helping (think Persians empire from 300, except the Spartans are the Persians in terms of sheer numbers :smallyuk:) will be more than willingly enough to resurrect him for free.

As we assessed damages, we left the room and went to the roof of the fort to supposedly find a fog machine, and that's where we ended for today.

I asked the DM the stats of the vampire, and what he gave me was ludicrous.

Stats of the Vampire?

Class: Wizard 7
HP: 40
AC: 29 (WHAT THE HECK?!)
STR: 12
DEX: 20
CON: -
INT: 22
WIS: 16
CHA: 14
Template: Whatever goodies vampires get.
Known spells casted: Vampiric Touch, Scorching Ray, Fireball

What is this? How in the 9 levels of Hell does a vampiric Wizard have an AC of 29??? He nevered answered whether that's buffed or unbuffed. Even compared to a character in full-plate armor with a tower shield, that doesn't even come close to 29 AC! How does a feeble wizard class who wasn't wearing anything get 29 AC!? Even more, when I found out the spell used to "kill" the vampire was a level 4 cure spell, that's even more insane. The only Cure spell of that level is Cure Critical Wounds, and that only does 4d8+9 points of healing damage. Assuming the vampire should have a rather decent Will save, that wouldn't have killed it. No, not when it drained so much HP and gained so much Temporary HP during that (it drained a total of 8 negative levels). This seems like such a DM fiat that it's plain stupid. I told him that I planned to use Bite of the Weretiger the week before we got to the vampire, which would imply he seriously fudged some numbers to get an AC of 29. Even morese, everything we fought before then didn't have an AC of higher than 22. It's as if he used knowledge of my spell to meta-game his vampire so it can't be touched.

I'm sure he ran the numbers and saw my raptor druid with his buffed +16/+14 attack bonus and my bear with a buffed +18/+16 attack bonus BEFORE flanking as a serious threat his boss encounter. Even if he didn't he probably figured out my total attack bonus would be somewhere in the mid to high 10s region, probably a number that he didn't want.

I don't know. I can simply be upset at the fact he made my druid useless for that whole encounter, or I'm mad that he didn't make his DMPC cleric do anything sooner, or even the main fact he made a boss that simply made the entire party useless. It didn't help I ran out of spells either. My only damage spell left was Energy Vortex, and I can't cast that in a room full of party members.

Was there some serious DM fiat going on, or am I just being unhappy that the fight didn't go as planned/smoothly?

Twilight Jack
2010-01-10, 04:32 AM
Vampires get a flat +6 to natural armor as part of their template. Couple that with the +5 from a Dex of 20, and you're already rocking a 21. So the question becomes: how does a 7th level Wizard gain an additional +8 to AC?

The answer is: pretty easily. Greater mage armor and any one of a number of spells to provide a +2 to either natural armor, deflection, or some other type of bonus gets you there handily.

Reading your post, I won't say for certain that there weren't some shenanigans going on, but the AC is certainly plausible for a vampire wizard expecting a fight. Vampires are more powerful than liches pound for pound. Only the vampire's various weaknesses and the various ways that PCs have of exploiting those weaknesses, coupled with the lich's ability to hide its phylactery, put the lich over the top as an adversary.

Crow
2010-01-10, 04:35 AM
Mage Armor + Shield

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-10, 04:42 AM
Nat Armor doesn't apply to touch attack. However, if you're aware of some of the many known ways to optimize druids, I'm surprised you don't know the same for vampires. For starters, Scintillating scales provides natural armor to touch AC (becomes a deflection bonus)

Let's assume a 25 Dex (with a level boost, a racial bonus (more if an elf/halfling), and a Cat's Grace spell, it can easily be this.

+7 Dex.
+5 Nat Armor
=22 AC
Amulet that boosts nat armor by 1? 23 AC

6 more is attainable, but I'm AFB. Haste, for example, would be another +1.

It's doable. No, much of it seems to spring from play error.

Wild shape does require familiarity, without defining it. It's reasonable for a DM to supply clarification to such rules. It's also reasonable for him to restrict access to new forms, just as he can restrict access to new spells, and new magic items.

All of the above are reasonable for a DM.

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-10, 04:43 AM
^--- To above: Because I spent time researching my class to see how to make it better. Also, I don't really research the undead, because I'm not a big fan of fighting/encountering them. After hearing many horrible stories involving level draining/status effects/save-or-suck, which undead seemed to be fond of, I simply never found a reason to check out what kinds of tricks or cheese they can do.



Hmmm, okay. That definitely answers the insanely high AC. What about the fact that the vampire disappeared after what is supposedly a Cure Critical Wounds was used on him despite probably having HP in the triple digits after all that delicious energy draining and Vampiric touching? :smallconfused:

Zincorium
2010-01-10, 04:45 AM
So, the DM...

...specifically rendered a character useless. Okay, it happens, but this isn't a good practice.

...had his DMPC kill the vampire. Red flag.

...in a way that shouldn't have worked, and apparently wouldn't have worked had a PC done it. Hoo boy.


If the guy doesn't acknowledge that there is something wrong when you bring this stuff up, it's never going to get better, and there's a high likelihood of it getting much worse.

Frankly, you're kind of lucky not to get dropped from the group. You're optimized way outside of the parameters everyone else is playing in. I know you're saying you're toning it down, but it's still clearly too much for the guy. As a DM, I'd probably ask nicely for you to tone it down twice, and then just kick you.

But that doesn't excuse the rest of the stuff that happens.

Mystic Muse
2010-01-10, 04:45 AM
That's probably DM Fiat but I'll let somebody more experienced answer that question.

also, DMPCs are a very bad sign.

tyckspoon
2010-01-10, 04:51 AM
Seems to me like your DM under-estimated what his boss would do to your party and needed some semi-plausible reason to not kill you all, and clamped on to the idea that his Cleric (incidentally, you've got the DM running almost half the party. That's.. usually not a good thing, even if he is doing it fairly.) might actually be able to help (he should have been of much more help, especially if you had time to prep spells assuming you were going to deal with a Vampire.. at just 40 HP the average damage of a single CL 9 Searing Light would dust it, and the whole party should have been covered with Prot. From Evil to help deal with the domination.) I would expect to see that Vampire again.

Twilight Jack
2010-01-10, 04:52 AM
Hmmm, okay. That definitely answers the insanely high AC. What about the fact that the vampire disappeared after what is supposedly a Cure Critical Wounds was used on him despite probably having HP in the triple digits after all that delicious energy draining and Vampiric touching? :smallconfused:

Are you certain that the spell was cure critical wounds? You had said it was some sort of holy spell in your initial post, but I don't see where it was confirmed that it was cure critical. Once again, I'm not saying that shenanigans weren't in play, just that it's very hard to pin it down when we don't have all the information.

On the other hand, it's just bad form to have the DM's character one shot the villain that's been booping up the rest of the party wholesale. If the DM was trying to avoid a TPK, a solid debuff would have worked every bit as well, and let the rest of the party feel like they'd accomplished something.

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-10, 04:53 AM
Are you certain that the spell was cure critical wounds? You had said it was some sort of holy spell in your initial post, but I don't see where it was confirmed that it was cure critical. Once again, I'm not saying that shenanigans weren't in play, just that it's very hard to pin it down when we don't have all the information.


He said it was a level 4 "Cure" spell, and that's all I was able to interpret from that.



Frankly, you're kind of lucky not to get dropped from the group. You're optimized way outside of the parameters everyone else is playing in. I know you're saying you're toning it down, but it's still clearly too much for the guy. As a DM, I'd probably ask nicely for you to tone it down twice, and then just kick you.


Funny you should mention that. It's just the fact that when I'm limited to Core I simply got not much options. I had a rogue in the group before, but he got killed rather fast. Fighters/Monks are meh. I hate Paladins after trying to play one as my first character. Bards/Rangers were interesting, but not interesting enough. Wizards/Sorcerers were obviously something I didn't want to dice into unless I open up a can of worms from the DM. Barbarian also didn't intrigued me enough. It was below a rogue, but at least more than the Bard.





I tried to ask playing a Warblade as a step down from a druid, and since it's not core that was pretty much a "no" from him. I even offered to show him the class if I play a live session with my friend as DM. :smallannoyed:

Mystic Muse
2010-01-10, 04:58 AM
Not core doesn't mean not balanced. in fact Core is probably one of the least Balanced books.

Warlblades are really just a better version of the fighter and they're two tiers below the druid.

Pharaoh's Fist
2010-01-10, 05:02 AM
Wizards/Sorcerers were obviously something I didn't want to dice into unless I open up a can of worms from the DM.



What's going on here?

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-10, 05:03 AM
Not core doesn't mean not balanced. in fact Core is probably one of the least Balanced books.

Warlblades are really just a better version of the fighter and they're two tiers below the druid.

I wanted to play a Warblade because I pretty much fell in love with the flavor text talking about the class, the class features, and all the moves (manuevers) they can do. It pretty much seemed like a melee class made fun.

I did try out a Crusader for a few hours in a pick-up campaign that my friend DMed instead of my current DM (he was a player). I loved the fact Crusaders are a tank that can actually tank, and not just so *splat* after taking one too many hits.

Anyway, before I get too off-topic I'd like to thank everyone who posted for all these answers to my questions. You guys are of great help. :elan: I'm definitely going to ask some questions about the vampire's "death" as well as the unexplained "kill" by the cleric. Further input on this weird encounter is definitely appreciated.

Twilight Jack
2010-01-10, 05:07 AM
Anyway, before I get too off-topic I'd like to thank everyone who posted for all these answers to my questions. You guys are of great help. :elan: I'm definitely going to ask some questions about the vampire's "death" as well as the unexplained "kill" by the cleric.

Don't get too into it. It sounds to me like the DM may have meant well, and merely overbalanced the encounter. He was looking to avoid a TPK and quickly jumped in to end the fight by fiat. He just did it in a clumsy way.

If he makes a habit of slapping the group around only for his DMPC to save the day, then call him on it; if this is a one-off occurence, I'd give him a pass.

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-10, 05:19 AM
Don't get too into it. It sounds to me like the DM may have meant well, and merely overbalanced the encounter. He was looking to avoid a TPK and quickly jumped in to end the fight by fiat. He just did it in a clumsy way.

If he makes a habit of slapping the group around only for his DMPC to save the day, then call him on it; if this is a one-off occurence, I'd give him a pass.

Well if it helps I can mention 2 previous "boss" encounters. The party (level 6, I wasn't introduced yet; merely spectated) fought a red dragon, probably wrymling or Very Young, I forgot) and killed it, with my friend's character, a Savant, barely alive (was poisoned) and everybody else around 25%-35% health.

Then when I had my druid in the party and my friend was a multi-classed PC (later as a level 8 party), we fought a green Juvenile (I'm very sure of it) dragon, where we were all relatively fine throughout the fight thanks to my druid prepping loads of buff spells before we started (Mass Resist Energy, Acid for the whole party/shared Bear's Endurance/Bite of the Wererat/Barksin on the 2 meatshields). The breath acids did barely any damage, and the only real damage was being made to the melee by the dragon's full attack. In fact, the the closest the dragon got to killing a party member was incidentally me when I got grappled in it's jaws and dragged me into the water (we were fighting it in it's natural home, a swamp/bog). If it wasn't for a Giant Crocodile that I summoned who knows if I would have made that out alive? Anywho, the green dragon ended up using Fog Cloud and got away, so we failed a mission despite technically winning that fight (the dragon probably had a good 20 HP left while everyone save me were pretty much at ~75%-90% health).

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-10, 05:20 AM
^--- To above: Because I spent time researching my class to see how to make it better. Also, I don't really research the undead, because I'm not a big fan of fighting/encountering them. After hearing many horrible stories involving level draining/status effects/save-or-suck, which undead seemed to be fond of, I simply never found a reason to check out what kinds of tricks or cheese they can do.



Hmmm, okay. That definitely answers the insanely high AC. What about the fact that the vampire disappeared after what is supposedly a Cure Critical Wounds was used on him despite probably having HP in the triple digits after all that delicious energy draining and Vampiric touching? :smallconfused:

Temp HP don't stack.

Vampiric Touch or energy Drain. And no stacking multiple energy drain effects.

Likely, the Vampire gained the most (19) from the Vamp Touch. That's it's Temp HP. Add in base (7d12, or 44hp), and this vampire likely had about 63 HP. Less if any attacks successfully landed after the Vampiric touch.

A 9th level cleric with a 4th level cure spell can do 4d8+9 without buffing it. Average 27, max 41 (2/3 of the vamp's total HP available).

With DMM Empower? 6d8+9. Average 36, max 57.
With DMM Maximize? 41.
With both DMM Maximize and Empower? 41+ 2d8. Average 50, maximum 57.

There are other tricks, as well. With healing domain, add +1 to all of the above. With Karma bead, add 4.

There are other ways to make healing more effective, as well (but I'm AFB).

Bottom line: It's suspect. DMPC's are rarely good news, and while I could pull that off RAW, it would require design for that (granted, if I DMPC'd a cleric, it would be set up for healing focus, and would attempt to stay in the background).

Likely, he made the encounter too hard without realizing it, and stepped in to bail things out. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to inexperience, rather than DMPC gloryhogging, unless this is typical.

EDIT: As for the No AoO? Concentration allows you to cast defensively and avoid an AoO, and attacking with a spell counts you as armed. No AoO for that.

nyjastul69
2010-01-10, 06:14 AM
There are certainly some red flags here. DMPC is one of them. DMPC saving the day is another, in addition to being a deus ex machina. These things generally are not good for the game.

It's not entirely clear to me about the megaraptor issue. It's entirely within the DM's right to limit you to forms you're familiar with. It's vague and it's meant to be. Did you study the megaraptor during the actual down time(during the session the DT happened) or did you claim 'that's what I did last session'?

When you say you were in raptor form did you mean a deinonychus? I'm not familiar 3e raptor. If he let you change into a deinonychus it's reasonable to let you change into a m-raptor but shouldn't be assumed.

If the vampire had 40 odd hp's plus some from level drain it's not impossible a 4th level divine spell could slay it. It does seem odd though.

Why did bearsy attack a PC?

Limiting the spells a PC has access to is well within the DM's purview. You mentioned Vigor spells and a Belt of Healing those are not necessarily core rules. Whether they are or are not he is still within his rights to limit those.

It kinda sounds like you both wanted to have a win button. That's never good. The fact that you feel you were useless in the battle is the biggest problem. It seems to me that you guys/gals need a serious discussion about everyones expectations.

There are definitely things to be concerned about here but nothing that can't be fixed with a frank and honest discussion.

BTW welcome to the boards. I shoulda said that first, sorry. There is no winning condition in D&D. It's only about having fun.

Gamerlord
2010-01-10, 06:21 AM
1. Am I misreading your post or are there 5-8 people in your party?
2. DMPC=bad.
3. It is a wizard, wizards tend to have this kind of defensive magic.
4.It is a vampire, etc,etc.

Darcand
2010-01-10, 06:34 AM
Has it been considered yet that it was part of the plot for the vamp to flee when he reached half hp (or some other predetermined amount) and the entire fight was just to set the party up with a reoccuring villian?

Mystic Muse
2010-01-10, 06:43 AM
If that were the case The DM would have let the Vamp get away rather than saying the Cleric killed him. It's not hard to fudge die rolls.

Runestar
2010-01-10, 06:45 AM
Heh, if the wizard had thrown in greater mirror image and displacement...:smalltongue:


Temp HP don't stack.

They do if they are from different sources. So the temp hp from vampiric touch will stack with false life, but not with a 2nd vampiric touch.

mikej
2010-01-10, 07:01 AM
Sounds awfully like a DMPC to me. I have seen my fair share of them enough to spot one out.

From what I gathered from the "raptor" part, I can see that maybe your DM is a little threatened by your Druid. Both Kelpstrand & Blinding Spittle are really powerfull spell options for a Druid. Ask your DM how he feels about your Druid in game.

I'm not going to say tone it down since I don't like doing that myself. Just another opinion on why your current DM is doing this.

nyjastul69
2010-01-10, 07:11 AM
Heh, if the wizard had thrown in greater mirror image and displacement...:smalltongue:



They do if they are from different sources. So the temp hp from vampiric touch will stack with false life, but not with a 2nd vampiric touch.

That is certainly the way I've always ruled it. After re-reading the rules, and this board for quite awhile; isn't there an argument that could claim they are same named bonuses? I think it's a weak argument but I'm not sure it can't be made.

Eldariel
2010-01-10, 07:24 AM
You could definitely reach similar levels of AC yourself should you feel so inclined, and with some work, so could most of the party (well, maybe not the Monks...). But yeah, Vampires are pretty tough. That said, you walked in unprepared and paid the price. Did you know you were going to be fighting a vampire?

You needed Protection from Evil/Magic Circle against Evil - that blocks mental control. You should've prepared at least one-two Death Wards and used 'em with Readied Actions; that blocks negative levels. Really, a party with that much divine casting power should be a Vampire's worst nightmare. The only thing that could make it worse would be by having a Wizard in your ranks.


At any rate, washing Blinding Spittle away shouldn't really work since he's already been blinded by it. He'd need some much more powerful magical tools for that. The Cleric blasting it into oblivion; well, as has been said, it seems awfully appropriate in a sense, but is most likely just a clumsy attempt to save your keisters. Though that should only return it into Gaseous Forms and force it to return to its coffin, as your Cleric's Knowledge: Religion should tell you.

GoC
2010-01-10, 07:41 AM
Was there some serious DM fiat going on, or am I just being unhappy that the fight didn't go as planned/smoothly?
The second.

Saph
2010-01-10, 07:42 AM
Likely, he made the encounter too hard without realizing it, and stepped in to bail things out. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to inexperience, rather than DMPC gloryhogging, unless this is typical.

This.

Also, two other points that have been touched on by the other posters in this thread:

Point 1: Your character is WAY overoptimised by the standards of the rest of the party. You're playing a druid with Blinding Spittle and shared Bite of the Weretiger, the other PCs are playing a Cleric/Fortune's Friend/Fighter and a Monk/Bard. I'll repeat that once again. You're playing an optimised Druid. The rest of the party is playing multiclass fighters and monks. (And don't give me the "I'm holding back" stuff - just because you could optimise something more doesn't mean it's not optimised.) Power-wise, that's one of the most unbalanced parties I've ever seen. This is a recipe for trouble.

Point 2: Reading between the lines, it sounds as if you're not being the easiest player for the DM to manage. Complaining about having to spend time to learn a Wild Shape form (which is a perfectly valid interpretation of the rules, BTW), "ranting" about the difficulty of the encounter (your words, not mine), complaining about opponents having a high AC (I've played PCs with a far higher AC than that, and in any case what do you expect with a character as powerful as yours?), and playing a character which is at least two tiers of power above the rest of the party, and more likely three.

Now, nothing you've said gives any suggestion that you're trying to cause trouble, and the fact that you're posting this here as a question suggests that you did this all in good faith. But looking at the story you've told, without any further information, my reaction would be that this is just as much your fault as the DM's. This is exactly the kind of thing that happens with massively unbalanced parties - you get weird encounters and DM interventions all over the place.

I'd suggest talking to your DM and discussing the issue. Ten gets you one he'll bring up the first problem - he's having trouble challenging your Druid while still providing level-appropriate encounters for the rest of the party. There are various solutions to this, but most of them involve some sort of agreement with the DM, which is in your hands rather than ours.

Pharaoh's Fist
2010-01-10, 07:44 AM
Monk/Bard?

It's not Multiple Attribute Dependency, it's Every Attribute Dependency.

At least it gets UMD as a class skill.

Bayar
2010-01-10, 07:48 AM
Monk/Bard?

It's not Multiple Attribute Dependency, it's Every Attribute Dependency.

At least it gets UMD as a class skill.

Yeah, but you have to spend skill points in perform as well...

AslanCross
2010-01-10, 08:21 AM
I have to agree that the worst part here is actually the DMPC being the DM's failsafe when he realized the party couldn't do a darn thing to the monster.

IonDragon
2010-01-10, 08:25 AM
I refrained from posting earlier, because this is a difficult situation. However, I agree with Saph at least 90%. And, as she said the best solutions begin with talking to your Gm about the problem and coming to some sort of understanding.

My personal recommendation, from having dealt with a similar situation, is to find another group. It was the least painful solution. Hopefully, speaking with your GM will prove more fruitful that the conversation I had with mine.

(I seriously can not believe there is a Monk/Bard. Period. Anywhere. EVER.)

mikej
2010-01-10, 08:30 AM
I seriously can not believe there is a Monk/Bard. Period. Anywhere. EVER.

I can believe it. With so many people in the world playing this game I'm sure it's bond to come up eventually. I've played in game before with a CW Samurai/Pyrokinesist.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-10, 08:31 AM
That is certainly the way I've always ruled it. After re-reading the rules, and this board for quite awhile; isn't there an argument that could claim they are same named bonuses? I think it's a weak argument but I'm not sure it can't be made.

The issue is: Temporary HP aren't bonuses. The defined definition of a bonus is a positive modifier applied to a die roll, as well as other things explicitly laid out as bonuses.

Thus, temporary hp are not bonuses, because they don't state that they are, and don't fall under the bonuses rules.

That includes the stacking rules.

There's an argument for it going both ways.

However, there are only two ways to rule it, RAW, that I see.

Temp HP don't stack (only the greatest apply).
Temp HP do stack (regardless of source, so 2 castings of Aid would get you double, 3 would get you triple, etc).

There's simply no RAW to treat Temp HP under the rules for bonuses. They're not. (Source: PHb 146, SRD, Modifiers (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/theBasics.htm#modifiers)).

Pharaoh's Fist
2010-01-10, 08:31 AM
Only Dragon Disciple may have a shot at redeeming the Monk/Bard.

Superglucose
2010-01-10, 08:32 AM
At least it gets UMD as a class skill.
So basically it's a full caster?

Grumman
2010-01-10, 08:43 AM
(I seriously can not believe there is a Monk/Bard. Period. Anywhere. EVER.)
Maybe he's going for Fochlucan Lyrist? A level of Druid, a level of Sublime Chord, then spend the next 9 levels advancing everything at once.

Runestar
2010-01-10, 08:45 AM
The issue is: Temporary HP aren't bonuses. The defined definition of a bonus is a positive modifier applied to a die roll, as well as other things explicitly laid out as bonuses.

It has been covered in the FAQ.

Do temporary hit points from two applications of the same effect stack? What about from different effects? If I have temporary hit points from multiple sources, how should I apply damage?

Temporary hit points from two applications of the same effect donít stack; instead, the highest number of temporary hit points applies in place of all others. Temporary hit points from different sources stack, but you must keep track of them separately.

For example, imagine a character who gained 15 temporary hit points from an aid spell. After taking 8 points of damage, she has 7 temporary hit points left from the spell. If another aid spell were cast on the same character granting 12 temporary hit points, this total would replace the other spellís total, meaning the character would now have 12 temporary hit points (rather than 19). If the character then cast false life on herself, she would add the full benefit of that spell to the temporary hit points from the aid spell.

This also applies to temporary hit points gained from energy drain and similar special abilities. Each successful attack counts as one application of the effect (meaning that an attack that bestows 2 or more negative levels still counts as only one application of the effect). For example, a wight gains 5 temporary hit points each time it bestows a negative level with its slam attack. If it bestows another negative level while it has 2 temporary hit points remaining from the first attack, the new temporary hit points would replace the old ones.

Temporary hit points are ďfirst-in, first-out.Ē Damage should be taken off the oldest temporary-hit-point-granting effect first; when that effect is exhausted, apply damage to the next oldest effect. For this reason, you must track each supply of temporary hit points separately.

That said, I am not sure if the player's druid being too strong is the real issue. Considering that even he was having problems against the vampire, without him, it would probably have been a veritable TPK, since the rest of the players are evidently too weak to pull their own weight. Monk/bard? Is that even legal by the rules?

Unless the DM made the vampire stronger to counter the druid (thus inadvertently screwing the rest of the players as well). Otherwise, I feel it is the rest of the party who needs to optimize better, rather than the OP weaken his character.

And of course, there is nothing stopping him from simply playing his druid at a mere fraction of his power.

Mystic Muse
2010-01-10, 08:50 AM
yeah, Monk Bard isn't even rules legal since Monks have to be lawful and Bards have to be Chaotic.

Zen Master
2010-01-10, 08:50 AM
I was kinda wondering: How could you find AC 33 impossible to hit?

Druid 9 is +6 BAB. Add to that a further +4 from the strength bonus of your raptor, +2 for flanking, a further +2 for Bulls Strength - without even counting the bite of the were tiger, you should hit on close to half your attacks.

And ... on top of that might be further buffs, magic items, and so on.

Grumman
2010-01-10, 08:52 AM
yeah, Monk Bard isn't even rules legal since Monks have to be lawful and Bards have to be Chaotic.
Neither ex-Monks nor ex-Bards lose any of their abilities by changing to an invalid alignment, they just can't continue to advance in the class.

Mystic Muse
2010-01-10, 08:59 AM
ah. never mind then.

Runestar
2010-01-10, 09:01 AM
I was kinda wondering: How could you find AC 33 impossible to hit?

Druid 9 is +6 BAB. Add to that a further +4 from the strength bonus of your raptor, +2 for flanking, a further +2 for Bulls Strength - without even counting the bite of the were tiger, you should hit on close to half your attacks.

And ... on top of that might be further buffs, magic items, and so on.

Umm...That gives you only +14 to-hit, he would need a 19+ to hit...:smallyuk:

Bear in mind that bite of weretiger would not stack with bull's strength either.

Even a 9th lv fighter (+9bab, +5str, +4feats, +2weapon, +2flank/charge) hits on a 11+ (normally should be auto-hit). Don't expect his iterative to connect. If you can get haste...

I am guessing that the DM deliberately stacked the AC buffs to fend off what he considered to be a powerful melee opponent (the wildshaped druid+animal companion).

In this case, you probably should have switched tactics. Dispel magic to get rid of his buffs (you actually have the edge here in terms of caster lv). Maybe go blasting or something.

Sliver
2010-01-10, 09:22 AM
boss encounter stories

And.. What is actually wrong with these battles?

nyjastul69
2010-01-10, 09:26 AM
The issue is: Temporary HP aren't bonuses. The defined definition of a bonus is a positive modifier applied to a die roll, as well as other things explicitly laid out as bonuses.

Thus, temporary hp are not bonuses, because they don't state that they are, and don't fall under the bonuses rules.

That includes the stacking rules.

There's an argument for it going both ways.

However, there are only two ways to rule it, RAW, that I see.

Temp HP don't stack (only the greatest apply).
Temp HP do stack (regardless of source, so 2 castings of Aid would get you double, 3 would get you triple, etc).

There's simply no RAW to treat Temp HP under the rules for bonuses. They're not. (Source: PHb 146, SRD, Modifiers (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/theBasics.htm#modifiers)).

I agree entirely. I neglected to look up the definition of a bonus. It's on pg. 21 of the DMG. The rules for temporary hps are on pg 146 of the PH and mentions Aid but it's really not much help. Combining magical effects on pg 171 of the PH brings it all home. Two aids can't stack but temp hps from different effects should. I was just trying to think outside the box.

I don't know what the FAQ says as I can't open a java link and that's what the spoilers seem to be.

Zen Master
2010-01-10, 09:37 AM
Umm...That gives you only +14 to-hit, he would need a 19+ to hit.

Look - it's right there in my post, ok? The list is hardly complete, there's loads of other buffs and items to provide further bonuses. As far as I can tell, that was a party literally full of buffers.

Greater magic fang, bardsong, bless, aid ... also, there are lots of ways to lower the vampires ac. Really - 33 is nowhere near impossible to hit.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-10, 09:39 AM
It has been covered in the FAQ.

So have numerous contradictions. FAW is just as official as any other source unsupported by actual RAW.

That is, it's not.

Kish
2010-01-10, 09:41 AM
Are there six players (druid, cleric, fortune's friend, fighter, monk, bard) or three (druid, cleric/fortune's friend/fighter, monk/bard), or somewhere in between (druid, cleric/fortune's friend/fighter, monk, bard)?

Without talking to the DM or any of the other players, I can't really judge, but, it sounds like you and the rest of the group have different expectations where optimization is concerned. (Unless the DM would be hammering the group if you were a rogue, in which case you and the DM may have similar expectations, but the others in the group don't--but unless he fudged the vampire wizard's rolls or abilities, it shouldn't have been that tough. Of course, the fact that your party's only arcane spellcaster is a possibly multi-classed bard, and your cleric might be tri-classed, changes the definition of a challenge somewhat. But it, ah, sounds like the first boss battle you mentioned, with the red dragon, was "just right," the second one, with the green dragon, "too easy," and the last one "too hard.")

What's a Fortune's Friend, anyway? Certainly not core...*googles* Oh, Complete Scoundrel. What's one doing in a core-only game?

Lamech
2010-01-10, 10:24 AM
Hmm... yeah I would guess there were shenanigans going on there. First off a 0th level spell should not be removing blind. Anymore than create water should be taking out vampires. I'm also really confused as to how people get "does not stack" from this
Certain effects give a character temporary hit points. When a character gains temporary hit points, note his current hit point total. When the temporary hit points go away the characterís hit points drop to his current hit point total. If the characterís hit points are below his current hit point total at that time, all the temporary hit points have already been lost and the characterís hit point total does not drop further.

When temporary hit points are lost, they cannot be restored as real hit points can be, even by magic. Which means there is no way the cleric killed the vampire. And the fight was totally borked in terms of balance if the top melee combatant had so much trouble hitting it. And of course the vampire should still live.

That said... You guys did not go in there correctly at all from what I read. (May have missed some things.) Vampire's should be countered by liberal use of their weaknesses. They throw dominates at everyone, that means protection from evil for all. Also decanter of endless water? Hey the vampire has three rounds to live.

So I'm guessing that DM planned for the vampire to lose, and probably had the cleric save your life via fiat. Although, as seen here, its always a good idea to say, at least if asked, that you shifted things the parties way.

Jack_Simth
2010-01-10, 10:47 AM
It also doesn't help that my DM placed an arbitrary rule that I need to spend 1-2 weeks observing an animal in order to learn a new Wildshape form.

He's putting numbers in to a section of the PHB where the books says "must be familiar with" without defining what that means. He's doing his job, there.


Group party:
DM: Cleric, Monk (I'll call him MonkA)
Me: Druid + Black Bear companion
Friend: Cleric/Fortune's Friend/Fighter
DM's friends: Monk/Bard (I'll call this monk MonkB)

This is a significant portion of the problem. You're playing the only full caster in a group of decidedly sub-optimal characters - Multiclass cleric/Fighter/PrC, multiclass bard/monk, + DM NPC's. You're significantly above the party's power curve, which makes things a LOT harder on the DM, in that he'll have difficulty both challenging you and not wiping the floor with the rest of the party. Alternately, if he makes it a reasonable challenge for the rest of the party, you'll wipe the floor with it. Bear this in mind when he seems to do something to you that's unfair.


So we passed through a dark room, found out there was an illusionary wall. Bard used Inspirational Boost and Inspire Courage before we encountered the boss. We met up with the vampire, in which it proceeded to level drain my friend twice (4 negative levels), gazed into the eyes of MonkB and dominated him and started to tie up and bound the bard. The cleric wasn't doing much, and the DM's monk futilely tried to attack it with it's Kamas to no avail. MonkB has some fascination, because he was mind-controlled, to keep grappling and pinning the bard, maybe to fulfill his perverted needs (Bard is female, as is the cleric). It took my friend's character, the cleric, and MonkA to stop him. In the meantime, I was trying to use what was left of my spells to try to end it.

1. Kelpstrand. 3 strands of kelp to entangle and grapple the vampire. Only one made it after a total touch attack of 14/17/15. The vampire turned to Gaseous form and escaped out of the strand of Kelp that was entangling him

2. Summoned a Thoqqua (I call it a lava worm) for a flanking bonus

3. Blinding Spittle. I blew 3 re-rolls using some houseruled items (DM calls it a toffee. Allows either a reroll, or a maximized Aid spell effect) to get a 29 touch attack to blind it (rolled an 18). I attempted to attack it with my bear while it was blinded (should have grappled/tripped him instead). Next turn,he started casting a spell and had both my bear and the lava worm attack in opportunity so to try to interrupt the spell. I got a total of 23 for Bearsy, and the 23 somehow missed. Whoop dee freaking doo the Vampire casts Create Water and washed his eyes so he can see again.

4. Unveiled for the first time my most powerful buff spell on my spell list, a shared Bite of the Weretiger (+12 STR, +4 DEX, +6 CON, +5 natural AC, Grants Blind-fight/Power Attack/Multiattack) but things went to hell when the vampire hit my AC of 24 (touch of 14) and drained 2 levels from me and healed for 29 HP thanks to that and Vampiric Touch.

By this point I was screwed, because while everybody else tried to stop MonkB from gagging the Bard, my friend's character was unfortunately attacked by MonkB, and was killed thanks to having -20 HP from 4 negative levels (he would have survived the wrath of MonkB otherwise). By fighting defensively the vampire had an AC of around 33. By this point I was seriously in my head calling foul. Unfortunately, I couldn't just stop the game right there to point out technicalities on the vampire. I can do that when I go to his house or talk to him on AIM about it. I had to roll along with it.

Good call. You don't want to disrupt the game for something like that.

This is just ridiculous because I know a vampire isn't supposed to die like that, and HOW did the cleric managed that without invoking an Attack of Opportunity? Even more, WHY did the cleric finally did a useful thing now, instead of earlier?

DM realized he misjudged the encounter badly, and fiated it to avoid TPK.

Yes, it was a Deus Ex Machina.


My druid was angry at MonkB for killing my friend's character, and had my bear (who didn't get hit) felt his anger and wanted to bull-rush MonkB since my druid was too level drained to do anything serious. Unfortunately, MonkA stepped in and somehow stopped my bear (with a buffed STR of 33/+11 mind you), saying in-fighting won't bring his character back to life. The only thing I could do was place his corpse on top of my bear so we can carry him out of the fort when our objective is done and the orc empire we are currently helping (think Persians empire from 300, except the Spartans are the Persians in terms of sheer numbers :smallyuk:) will be more than willingly enough to resurrect him for free.

Or, you know, as a Druid-9 (or even a Druid-7, if you blow both Fort saves), you could Reincarnate him tomorrow, if you can go shopping for some oils. It'll only cost 1k from you.


As we assessed damages, we left the room and went to the roof of the fort to supposedly find a fog machine, and that's where we ended for today.

I asked the DM the stats of the vampire, and what he gave me was ludicrous.

Stats of the Vampire?

Class: Wizard 7
HP: 40
AC: 29 (WHAT THE HECK?!)
STR: 12
DEX: 20
CON: -
INT: 22
WIS: 16
CHA: 14
Template: Whatever goodies vampires get.
Known spells casted: Vampiric Touch, Scorching Ray, Fireball

Easily doable, as many others have pointed out. Vampire gets a lot of racial boosts, Wizard gets a lot of things that'll buff his AC. At least he wasn't using things like Greater Mirror Image and Displacement.

Was there some serious DM fiat going on, or am I just being unhappy that the fight didn't go as planned/smoothly?
Some of both. The Vampire died a Fiat-death when the DM realized the encounter wasn't going well, and you're unhappy that things didn't go well.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-10, 11:08 AM
Hmm... yeah I would guess there were shenanigans going on there. First off a 0th level spell should not be removing blind. Anymore than create water should be taking out vampires.

From the spell "Blinding Spittle":You spit caustic saliva into your targetís eyes with a successful ranged touch attack. A Ė4 penalty applies to the attack roll. The subject is blinded until it can wash its eyes with water or some other rinsing fluid, which requires a standard action
Provided the level 0 spell provided water or some rinsing fluid, that's exactly what should happen. Given the target was a wizard, it's not unreasonable to say the spellcraft could have been made, and this been known. The reason this spell functions this way is that it's Save: No.


I'm also really confused as to how people get "does not stack" from this
True. By that interpretation, however, I could cast 5 Virtue spells, and 5 Aid spells, at level 7, and get 80 temp HP. The other interpretation, that non-bonuses don't stack unless called to, prevents these things from working.


Which means there is no way the cleric killed the vampire. And the fight was totally borked in terms of balance if the top melee combatant had so much trouble hitting it. And of course the vampire should still live.

That said... You guys did not go in there correctly at all from what I read. (May have missed some things.) Vampire's should be countered by liberal use of their weaknesses. They throw dominates at everyone, that means protection from evil for all. Also decanter of endless water? Hey the vampire has three rounds to live.

So I'm guessing that DM planned for the vampire to lose, and probably had the cleric save your life via fiat. Although, as seen here, its always a good idea to say, at least if asked, that you shifted things the parties way.
In fairness, the vampire wasn't used optimally, either. Hide, Move Silent, Spot, Listen, shapeshifting? They're natural spies/stalkers. The optimal time for a party member to know that a vampire's been encountered is when they went to take a pee before assuming watch, and ended up staring into a Dominating gaze.

Vampires are enemies that, played well, can take days and days to track down and kill, all the while being harried by dominated townspeople, other adventurers, and more. They are well played as minionmancers, and, were the DM going for brutality, it would have been supplemented with summon monster 3 and 4, cast while invisible.

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-10, 01:50 PM
Woke from from my sleep, and I'm sorry I got so many confused on the Monk and Bard thing with the "slash" mark. There was a MonkB, and there was also a Bard. The dominated Monk spent nearly the entire fight grappling and gagging the party Bard, and near the end of the encounter killed my friend's level drained PC. :eek:



yeah, Monk Bard isn't even rules legal since Monks have to be lawful and Bards have to be Chaotic.


Are there six players (druid, cleric, fortune's friend, fighter, monk, bard) or three (druid, cleric/fortune's friend/fighter, monk/bard), or somewhere in between (druid, cleric/fortune's friend/fighter, monk, bard)?


My bad on this. There was a MonkB and a Bard.

This was the party composition, numbered to clarify:
1. DMPC Cleric
2. DMPC Monk (Monk A)
3. Monk (Monk B)
4. Bard
5. Cleric/Fighter/Fortune's Friend
6. Druid + Black Bear



It's not entirely clear to me about the megaraptor issue. It's entirely within the DM's right to limit you to forms you're familiar with. It's vague and it's meant to be. Did you study the megaraptor during the actual down time(during the session the DT happened) or did you claim 'that's what I did last session'?

I made my druid do nothing else significant during the downtime than studying a megaraptor. There was no munchkin-ing "oh, I spend some time studying a megaraptor and now I know how to become one"

Why did bearsy attack a PC?

I was roleplaying my character being angry towards the fact a PC died. More importantly it was my friend's PC so I decided to make him especially angry. Since I wanted to shove MonkB away from my friend's dead character but couldn't from being severely borked from 4 negative levels, I decided to roleplay that my bear felt my emotions, and appropriately (with 33 STR and only minor penalty to BAB instead of a severe -4) try to bull rush him away. I would have seriously imagined the monk flying away and hitting a wall at that point.

It kinda sounds like you both wanted to have a win button. That's never good. The fact that you feel you were useless in the battle is the biggest problem. It seems to me that you guys/gals need a serious discussion about everyones expectations.

One of the things I saw for my druid is that he needs to have some forms of IWIN buttons because the party may get wiped otherwise. When I made my druid not only did I wanted to have some fun, I wanted to see to it that he's the group's Batman, although in druid flavor. Even moreso, I didn't go abusing my most powerful spells at normal battles. My normal method of fighting is lobbing Produce Flames from a distance or charging in in wildshaped form and claw faces, while my Bear would attack or stay back. In fact, the monk (MonkB) was the one dealing the most damage (I and Bearsy would be a close 2nd/3rd); I seriously restrict myself because I try to save my spells for more important matters (bosses/powerful enemies).

As for using a save-or-suck like Blinding Spittle, this is only the third time I used Blinding Spittle in the whole campaign. My first one failed on a Gargoyle, my 2nd one made it on a Girallion that was probably going to kill someone.


Answers in bold


But yeah, Vampires are pretty tough. That said, you walked in unprepared and paid the price. Did you know you were going to be fighting a vampire?

Nope. I DID know we were encountering a few vampire spawns beforehand, so I had some idea but didn't think we'd come across the BBEG in the state we were in. Unfortunately we were also fighting Mockery Bugs (Think Resident Evil Cephalo parasites) so I needed some blasting spells since a full attack from them hurts and so do their spines. It also didn't help I pretty much used up most of my spells by the time we got to the vampire in forms of killing Mockery bugs and healing myself after a near fatal encounter with the same bugs.

At any rate, washing Blinding Spittle away shouldn't really work since he's already been blinded by it. He'd need some much more powerful magical tools for that.

I don't think he really needed a Spellcraft check rather than a common sense check. Oh, my eyes are burning? I should try and wash that off. That is, incidentally, also how Blinding Spittle is resolved. My other problem was I didn't expect the vampire to also be an caster with really high AC. My bear could have fizzled out that Create Water otherwise.

Answers in bold




What's a Fortune's Friend, anyway? Certainly not core...*googles* Oh, Complete Scoundrel. What's one doing in a core-only game?

Only through repeated convincing/explaining did the DM allowed Fortune's Friend for my friend to use. The Bard had Imspirational Boost, which is a Spell Compendium spell, but mainly the DM doesn't want non-core classes because he doesn't want to go through the trouble of figuring out what they are capable of. As for spells, I need to ask if I can use them. The only spell he didn't allow me so far was Spider Hand from Books of Vile Darkness, because he considered it non-aesthetic. Me? I considered the idea awesome.





I am guessing that the DM deliberately stacked the AC buffs to fend off what he considered to be a powerful melee opponent (the wildshaped druid+animal companion).

In this case, you probably should have switched tactics. Dispel magic to get rid of his buffs (you actually have the edge here in terms of caster lv). Maybe go blasting or something.

Well the problem with fending me off was he screwed over everybody else then.

For Dispel, I unforunately didn't prepare it for the day because I didn't expect a boss. In normal circumstances I would have never needed a reason to dispel in a mook encounter.

The darnedest thing was my friend's PC has a Rod of Cancellation, which he used to dispel a barrier that was keeping us from advancing in the fort. Incidentally, the DM said that the rod had one more charge left. I suggested to my friend maybe this was that one instance the rod was meant for (dispelling the vampire's buffs), but he said maybe it's not. Now that people mentioned that the vampire had Mage Armor and Shield up I can't believe he let himself die instead of dispelling the vampire's buffs. If he did... that would have ended the fight right there because even leveled drained hitting an AC of 21 would have been super easy and even with DR 10/ Silver and Magic that 40 hit points would have gone down in no time. Speaking of that I felt stupid for not preparing Silvered Claws. My bear is wearing a Wyrmfang amulet which already grants the Greater Magic Fang effect and Silvered Claws would have also mean a game over for the vampire. But alas, without scrolls to cover more obscure/less used spells I simply didn't have the spell slots to have covered my bases. :vaarsuvius:

Quellian-dyrae
2010-01-10, 02:31 PM
Provided the level 0 spell provided water or some rinsing fluid, that's exactly what should happen. Given the target was a wizard, it's not unreasonable to say the spellcraft could have been made, and this been known. The reason this spell functions this way is that it's Save: No.

I wouldn't bet on him having too high a Spellcraft. If he did, he might have known that Create Water is a cleric spell.::Grin::

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-10, 02:39 PM
I wouldn't bet on him having too high a Spellcraft. If he did, he might have known that Create Water is a cleric spell.::Grin::

:roy: Oh wow. Thanks for pointing that out. This could be interesting then.

Hold on, could it have possibly been a Prestidigitation instead? I would like to make sure there wasn't any other way for a Wizard Vampire to have made "water erupt from his hands" as the DM described it as other than munchkin-ing a Create Water spell for a Wizard.

tyckspoon
2010-01-10, 02:44 PM
:roy: Oh wow. Thanks for pointing that out. This could be interesting then.

Hold on, could it have possibly been a Prestidigitation instead? I would like to make sure there wasn't any other way for a Wizard Vampire to have made "water erupt from his hands" as the DM described it as other than fiat-ing a Create Water spell.

It shouldn't have been- Prestidigitation is specifically barred from replicating another spell- but it might be passable if you stretch the boundaries of 'clean something' a bit.

Kish
2010-01-10, 02:46 PM
Well the problem with fending me off was he screwed over everybody else then.
And if he aimed things at the rest of the party, you'd walk all over them.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-10, 02:47 PM
I wouldn't bet on him having too high a Spellcraft. If he did, he might have known that Create Water is a cleric spell.::Grin::

There's about a dozen ways to get a non-sorceror/wizard spell on your spell list.

Why you'd do it for Create Water?

Now that's a good question.

Prestidigitation could, in theory, do it, with the clean something (choose: your eyes), but that's definately stretching it.

More reasonable, it could also create water, but not to anywhere near the level of the actual create water spell, and that water would disappear at the end of an hour.

Creating 1 gallon for every 5 levels would be fine, IMO. Now it's not duplicating another spell's effects.

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-10, 02:54 PM
You chose your spells based on purely metagame considerations?

I had Dispel regularly prepared before, but I soon forgot about it because there was nothing to Dispel. Essentially because I never got a chance to use Dispel Magic, I eventually stopped preparing it. Everything we fought so far in the campaign were just physically dangerous monsters save for that green dragon, unless there's such thing as Dispelling their wisdom/intelligence away. :smallwink:

I pick spells based on how all-around usable they are for the encounters we face. I don't have a sling so I substitute that with Produce Flame. Buff spells are a staple, some forms of battlefield control, and I always pack a few blasting spells for everything else. If we were regularly encountering casters I would have prepared Dispel Magic; that was not the case and I left Dispel Magic back on the proverbial shelf, so it threw me off our boss had Wizard levels.

vampire2948
2010-01-10, 03:23 PM
:roy: Oh wow. Thanks for pointing that out. This could be interesting then.

Hold on, could it have possibly been a Prestidigitation instead? I would like to make sure there wasn't any other way for a Wizard Vampire to have made "water erupt from his hands" as the DM described it as other than munchkin-ing a Create Water spell for a Wizard.


Prestidigitations are minor tricks that novice spellcasters use for practice. Once cast, a prestidigitation spell enables you to perform simple magical effects for 1 hour. The effects are minor and have severe limitations. A prestidigitation can slowly lift 1 pound of material. It can color, clean, or soil items in a 1-foot cube each round. It can chill, warm, or flavor 1 pound of nonliving material. It cannot deal damage or affect the concentration of spellcasters. Prestidigitation can create small objects, but they look crude and artificial. The materials created by a prestidigitation spell are extremely fragile, and they cannot be used as tools, weapons, or spell components. Finally, a prestidigitation lacks the power to duplicate any other spell effects. Any actual change to an object (beyond just moving, cleaning, or soiling it) persists only 1 hour.

I don't think he can use prestidigiation as a Create Water.

PairO'Dice Lost
2010-01-10, 03:29 PM
I don't think he can use prestidigiation as a Create Water.

I'd say it would be reasonable to use the "clean stuff" aspect of prestidigitation to clear his eyes and simply flavor it as washing them out with water...but something tells me that's not what the DM had in mind.

vampire2948
2010-01-10, 03:34 PM
I'd say it would be reasonable to use the "clean stuff" aspect of prestidigitation to clear his eyes and simply flavor it as washing them out with water...but something tells me that's not what the DM had in mind.

It would make more sense to fluff it as 'An invisible force wipes away whatever it is that is in the vampire' eyes'.

But I think that something that is talking to you is right.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-10, 04:50 PM
I don't think he can use prestidigiation as a Create Water.

By that logic, he couldn't create anything, as Major creation is a spell effect. However, the spell allows for item creation, but restricts its magnitude (weak, shoddy items, not suitable for most practical use).

By the same logic, it should be able to create water, without replicating Create Water, simply by restricting the magnitude.

Duration: 1 hour. Water doesn't stay.
Quantity allowed: Drasticly reduce.

There, now it's not duplicating the effects. It's creating a much weaker effect, with a similar overall theme.

Much like creating a obviously fake gem compared to creating a very valuable one.

olentu
2010-01-10, 06:09 PM
By the by the rules compendium says roughly this about temp HP as I recall

Temp HP gained from multiple applications of the same effect donít stack. The highest number applies.

If one has temp HP from several different sources that stack track amount and time since application for each. Damage removes temp hp from oldest application first.

PhoenixRivers
2010-01-10, 06:23 PM
By the by the rules compendium says roughly this about temp HP as I recall

Temp HP gained from multiple applications of the same effect donít stack. The highest number applies.

If one has temp HP from several different sources that stack track amount and time since application for each. Damage removes temp hp from oldest application first.

Thank you. As I am not availed of the Rules Compendium (not one of the ones in my library), I don't get to play with all the cool rules.

Tyndmyr
2010-01-10, 11:59 PM
It doesn't look terribly fiated. I mean, there's a few troubling things about the encounter, but most things look more like innocent mistakes or possible to achieve with the right build, meh.

Also, high AC casters describes vamps pretty well. They can be nasty buggers. I wouldn't fault your DM for making you spend time studying forms before learning them...it's reasonable. The only reason I ever skip that is to avoid having the party sitting around in the woods waiting for the druid.

I would be a bit concerned about the DM playing half the party, though. That can be a bit awkward.

Zincorium
2010-01-11, 12:21 AM
A few things:

As a DM, you should NEVER play characters that the party doesn't need. I can see having an NPC wizard, or rogue, but as is the DM isn't doing anyone any favors. Playing two characters in combat is a challenge without also playing all of the monsters at the same time.

If you don't want to DM, don't DM. I don't understand why people would want to hand over control of the world to someone who'd rather be playing.

Making sure you're in the same power range as everyone else is massively important. As Shippowildheart said without realizing the irony of it, making the vampire a challenge for him screwed over everyone else, which really means that Shippo is screwing over everyone else by making a character that's as strong as he was.

You can't beat the DM. You can only piss them off. Building the biggest and the best character is pointless if no one wants to play with you.

Lastly, I thought all of the above was a natural outgrowth of common sense and maturity. I may be wrong.

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-11, 12:51 AM
Just talked with the DM. Supposedly the wizard vampire researched water and weather related spells, as well as some druid spells. Thoughts on that?

Also, he said when he made the vampire boss and the fort we were in, he said it was to point out weaknesses in the group. I'll post the quote, bolded is omitted/changed to preserve names:

DM: "About the AC: You guys need to kinda get used to the thought that I'm not always going to throw creampuffs at you. The Party, outside of *Fighter who recently joined but stopped showing up* (Who's a douche for missing the last couple sessions), lacks a character who specializes in actual combat. The entire fort was a demonstration of all your weak points. The Door was trapped and *Multiclassed PC* had to knowingly spring it because you don't have a Trap expert. You have trouble handling mobs because you lack a dedicated Arcane Spellcaster. Without *Bard*, you all lose signifigant traction in battle. You have no ability to counter against an arcane spellcaster. You can't fight invisible opponents. And you come about thaaaat close to dying if I throw a creature with a degree of intelligence."

To the "actual combat" thing, supposedly the Fighter could have taken on the vampire if buffed up. :smallconfused: This is the fighter's character sheet: http://www.thetangledweb.net/forums/profiler/view_char.php?cid=32030




Still awaiting word on the cleric ending the fight with one supposed "Cure" spell.

*He won't say about if the vampire died or ran away. Said that that'd be metagaming. I'm placing bets it ran away in Gaseous form.

*He actually admitted to the fact the vampire could have dropped next turn (implies the vampire ran out of spells). Awaiting response on why the cleric didn't wait another turn then. He said he made the cleric end the fight because he said it would make no sense in-game to do nothing after a party member just died. In a way I can't decide now if it was a fiat or not. I didn't keep track of the vampire's hit points so maybe he WAS close enough to death that a Cure Critical Wounds was enough to make him run away.

He said the vampire was actually at 29 HP when the cleric casted Cure Critical Wounds, which definitely falls in the range of at least KO-ing the vampire to the point it needed to run away.

Tyndmyr
2010-01-11, 12:54 AM
Just talked with the DM. Supposedly the wizard vampire researched water and weather related spells, as well as some druid spells. Thoughts on that?

Still awaiting word on the cleric ending the fight with one supposed "Cure" spell.

My bet is that the real reason is "Damn, I forgot that was a druid spell". Which, tbh, does happen. People make mistakes.

But in general, I find it reassuring when they admit to mistakes or problems they're having. It's vastly easier to solve things that way.

Kallisti
2010-01-11, 01:25 AM
Intelligent and articulate analysis of the situation.

This. Your DM is saying core-only, but it sounds like your insisting on pulling in non-core spells and items. And there's little reason a high-level NPC druid would keep something as obscure as a raptor as a pet.

Still, your DM's solution to the encounter's imbalance was...not the best one...and DMPCs are always a bad sign. Also, him not letting you buy a wand of cure light is suspect, but it sounds like he has every reason to be suspicious of something your druid is doing, even buying a relatively innocuous wand.

EDIT: Just read the part where your DM 'fesses up to the fort being his way of proving the party has some weaknesses. That's a major jerk move on his part. And the fact that the vampire was SUPPOSED to hand you your asses makes his DMPC saving the day a lot less innocent. Still, playing an optimized druid who ignores the DM's core-only ruling in the same party as a HALF-ELF fighter hardly constitutes holding back on the powergaming. What powergamers in an unoptimized group should usually do is play a support character. A Batman-type wizard with a good toolbelt full of buffs and debuffs can contribute massively to combat without overshadowing everyone else.

taltamir
2010-01-11, 01:41 AM
OP, there seems to be a lot of DM fiat here. Although I wouldn't necessarily say its malicious.

I recommend you try to get the DM to read this:
http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1002.0

it explains the tiers. A common nerf for druids is to either lose spellcasting (they can only shape shift and have animal companion), or lose companion and shapeshift. suggest that you take one of those and that monks get a serious boost, full BAB at least (recommend unarmed swordsage). Rather then doing stealth nerfs like "you failed to learn raptor form" (although restricting some forms is acceptable; he should be upfront about it and say it is just too powerful for a character of your power... suggest that he just put level limits... aka, you need to be druid X before taking certain forms).

It seems to me like this is a pretty problematic game. The DM seems to be trying to compensate for vastly differing power levels of classes (monks with tier 1 classes) and instead gets unstoppable bad guys or bad guys who unfairly target specific characters.

That the cleric kill the thing is unbeleiveable, that it hit the touch AC of the damn thing no less amazing. I think the DM just panicked and didn't want to have a TPK, since honestly, you are the only person in the group who even knows what he is doing and the vampire was built specifically for you apparently.

It is obviously a houseruled custom vampire, that can be a good thing... having every creature pulled out of the MM makes things boring. But I suspect he might have fudged things against you... no proof really.

But the fact that the custom vampire has been built the way it was, makes it way way way too strong for your party. that was a failure on the DMs part, I think he just doesn't really know how to balance for certain classes.

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-11, 01:48 AM
The thing that makes me raise an eyebrow now is just the fact he didn't say anything about me stepping the toes of the party (also I didn't steal the spotlight). He also didn't say that my druid was causing problems when he has encounters in mind. I don't think he's being overly nice because he does like to be sarcastic from time to time whenever the party goofs up (in a hilarious way).

As for how he makes encounters, this was what was said:
Me: Is it troublesome creating appropriate encounters with my druid in mind?

Me: ie Do you sometimes end up with the dilemma of making it either make it
too easy, or too hard, and a middle group is hard?

DM: to be honest, I don't actually create anything with any of you in mind. My encounter making process is "What do I think would be fun for me to throw at you that you could reasonably be expected to kill/defeat?"

Me: Well okay. I wanted to check because I didn't want to have been indirectly causing you problems playing a druid to his strengths, which to some on the DnD board believed to be too much power for a group of monks, a bard, and a mainly healbot cleric.

DM: Which is why I don't throw things like, beholders at you. Because 1 shot kills suck ass

DM: both for players, and for me

taltamir
2010-01-11, 01:54 AM
DM: to be honest, I don't actually create anything with any of you in mind. My encounter making process is "What do I think would be fun for me to throw at you that you could reasonably be expected to kill/defeat?"

how can he create something that the party can be reasonably expected to defeat if he doesn't have any of you in mind? he should keep in mind all the powers of all the players...
the monks shouldn't even be counted, they are a joke. heck, they equal the grapple ability of a bard... a fighter outgrapples them... they can only expect to grapple wizards, but those have spells that make them immune to grapple.

btw, I am deeply disturbed by the whole "and then the vampire mind controlled the monk to grapple the bard because she is a woman"... that is just wrong in so many levels.

there was something else, but I can't quite recall what it was.

Sliver
2010-01-11, 06:07 AM
So.. He creates battles without having any of you in mind.. But makes a whole session that targets your party's weaknesses? :smallconfused:

A campaign shouldn't focus on stuff the party can't handle.. How is "You don't have a trap-monkey" the players' fault? He can throw in some things you didn't cover so you need to think about another way to pass it, but to focus an entire game around that? It's like requesting everybody to play monks in a no-magic world and throw around ranged fliers.. Fun for all!

Vizzerdrix
2010-01-11, 06:11 AM
his DMPC cleric

Kill it. In the Face. With Holy Hell Fire. Then slap the DM. With a chair

lord_khaine
2010-01-11, 06:28 AM
the monks shouldn't even be counted, they are a joke. heck, they equal the grapple ability of a bard... a fighter outgrapples them... they can only expect to grapple wizards, but those have spells that make them immune to grapple.


That only apply to badly build monks, you really cant say anything without seeing the char sheet.

IonDragon
2010-01-11, 06:46 AM
Kill it. In the Face. With Holy Hell Fire. Then slap the DM. With a chair

It is a common practice around these parts to immediately and unquestioningly kill any and all GMPCs. But, I don't see that solving your problems.

Vizzerdrix
2010-01-11, 06:47 AM
It is a common practice around these parts to immediately and unquestioningly kill any and all GMPCs. But, I don't see that solving your problems.

It may make him feel better at least:smile:

Tyndmyr
2010-01-11, 09:38 AM
Kill it. In the Face. With Holy Hell Fire. Then slap the DM. With a chair

This is actually pretty rough when the DMPCs make up half the party, and he's willing to use fiat at will.

Yeah, if he designed the vampire to walk all over you, then one shotted it with his DMPC via fiat....that's a really bad sign. I'd say, talk to him about both the fiat and the DMPCs.

ShippoWildheart
2010-01-11, 07:40 PM
Kill it. In the Face. With Holy Hell Fire. Then slap the DM. With a chair

As funny as it sounds, I won't be holding any hard feelings against the DM. I do admire the fact the entire campaign of his is homebrewed. While it seemed rather coincidental that the DM Cleric made the vampire run away, he said he had a different reason.

The DM Cleric went into a Heroic BSOD (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HeroicBSOD) much earlier in the campaign when someone died. Incidentally, my rogue was brutally injured in the same round the party member got killed (the dead party member got crit from a charging minotaur gore attack for over 40 hit points of damage; the DM was shocked at the roll as well) and was at -9 HP. Because the cleric was in the fetal position right after seeing a party member get splattered into chunky spleeny bits I bled to death from not getting medical treatment to at least close the wounds.

Since this time another party member died, he said that he made her do what she did because she became more proactive around party member deaths (she didn't want anymore people to die from the vampire), the fact she didn't go into BSOD mode this time and actually did something. While still probably a fiat, I came to accept that type of reasoning. As a cleric, she's like a doctor. A dead person around her that she could have saved would be a very traumatic experience (most likely her first witnessed death as well). The fact a cleric is supposed to save lives, seeing someone she cared about die in front of her would suck hard. He admitted me, my bear, and monkB would have been able to finish him off in the next turn (Told me the vampire was at 29/40 HP), but it just so happened the dominated monk chose to kill a party member that the DM made his cleric react to that in her next turn with a Cure Critical Wounds (4d8+9).

As for how the DM usually handles the cleric, normally the cleric would just stay in the back and fire from a crossbow, occasionally summoning a celestial bison. Getting buffs without asking for them is rather rare, but the DM does make sure to apply the Cure line spells if we either roleplay our characters as dying or bleeding badly, or simply state our HP is x/Max HP. As for his DM Monk, he just stands in the back usually, either doing nothing or offering useless/mundane banter.

taltamir
2010-01-11, 07:52 PM
That only apply to badly build monks, you really cant say anything without seeing the char sheet.

Eh, thats charop monks only... also those are single class monks, not monk dips with other classes.

in this case, monk A failed to do anything. Monk B got mind controlled by the BBEG, tried to grapple the bard, and got beat up by the bard. the bard won the grapple and tied up the monk.


This is actually pretty rough when the DMPCs make up half the party, and he's willing to use fiat at will.

Yeah, if he designed the vampire to walk all over you, then one shotted it with his DMPC via fiat....that's a really bad sign. I'd say, talk to him about both the fiat and the DMPCs.

exactly... I don't see how you could ever kill (in game) a DMPC that one shots BBEGs via fiat.