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View Full Version : Need help about agressive player in Pathfinder campaign.



Discipol
2011-01-24, 05:02 AM
Now he is not violent, but he is controlling a Wizard and overriding all my dungeon's things with "cheats".

For example, I made a Gate so they could pass through one side and not back, or travel to the plane of negative energy and die there. He took the rogue's adamantine dagger and cut a tunnel through the wall, on the other side of the Gate.

I put some walls of force there, he cast Disintegrate on them and continued with the wall.

Another was a room they where underleveled to go into but wanted to. So i locked the door with an epic spell. He wanted to dispel it but couldn't, so they went back and intimidated wizards to come and dispel it. Core book says no, the services are at the wizard's shop. So the rogue/assassin paralyzed the wizard and took him there by force. Forcing him to actually take 20 on casting Greater Dispel magic.

I don't want them to leave the dungeon until the task is complete, and to stop them from free-walking in the dungeon, where as I want them to have a linear path, at least for a while. They have Disintegrate, dispel and adamantine dagger. They have a 12 wizard, 12 druid, rogue2/assasin 10, Fighter 12 and another pure Rogue 12.

The system is Pathfinder, core book only, latest version.

kamikasei
2011-01-24, 05:21 AM
Is the one player you mention the only one giving you grief, or is he just the leader or most successful? It sounds like more than just one of your players are chafing under your restrictions.

I don't want them to leave the dungeon until the task is complete, and to stop them from free-walking in the dungeon, where as I want them to have a linear path, at least for a while.
It sounds like you want a style of game that doesn't interest your players. You might want to a) save that game for a different group and run something your current players will enjoy instead, b) talk to them and see if they can cut you some slack in this regard and scratch their itch later in the game or in the next / a parallel campaign.

kco_501
2011-01-24, 05:27 AM
I think the problem is that your player(s) are having a somewhat allergic reaction to the "rails" in your dungeon. I think either you or the players must change the attitude regarding advancing in the dungeon because I doubt mechanical solutions will help. The best thing to do in my opinion is to talk to your players out of game. In-game solutions are liable to turn into a spiral of frustrations for both sides...

Discipol
2011-01-24, 05:29 AM
Yes there are two griefers. The wizard and the assasin. One is abusing spellcasting, which is broken in both 3.5 and pathfinder. The other oneshots all my bosses.

I did talk to them and they accused me as being a weak DM, and roleplaying the character they did with the powers at their disposal.

The initial intention for the campaign was to learn about Pathfinder. We are all curious and so far satisfied with its improvements over 3.5. So I made a rather linear dungeon designed to go through all the game mechanics.

Needless to say, with their main skills at 40+, traps, locked doors and surprise rounds are absolutely no challenge for them.

Personally I do the same thing to other DMs, but I like to enjoy the game more than taunting the DM. This group consists of students just out of their exam period, so none of us can go to another campaign, and none of us feels like DM, so as the host of the event, I took the mantle.

What would help me now is a way to nerf the assassin and wizard from the dungeon's side, not their class's abilities.

Sillycomic
2011-01-24, 05:53 AM
Is this your homebrewed campaign? If so, you have got a bunch of ways to stop players from doing something if you don't want them to do something.

But, at the same time... as a player if I came across a door I couldn't open... well, I would want to open it. That's worse than a Chekov's gun, putting a locked door in a dungeon. Of course they're going to want to open it, and anyone who knows they're way around a core book can find a way.

Besides, at level 12 there's no lock that is going to stop a group of adventurers from opening that door. At level 12 you are looking at demigods running around adventuring. If you want to hide something put it on another plane... not behind a locked door.

You should let them figure out the dungeon their way. If they feel kidnapping a high powered wizard will help them through this dungeons, go for it... I mean, after all, at this point they just have a high powered wizard who is very angry at them and knows exactly where they are. I'm sure as a GM you could easily find some fun with that little plot hook they gave you.

A good way to nerf a wizard is to make him use his spells effectively. You want the bad guys to come in large groups, low level mooks and higher powered mini bosses as well. They should have different tactics (some running and charging, some holding back). Some should be flying. This means the wizard can't take them all out in one spell, so he'll need tactics and several different spells to take these things out.

Plus, send smaller groups of mooks at them in waves. Guys who aren't all that powerful, but can't just be killed in one hit. This makes the wizard think before he casts his spells, unsure if he should waste precious spells on a simple encounter. Ahh, but then you've got your wizard just sitting at the back with a crossbow, holding out for the big fight so he can nova... or you've got him wasting precious spells as he gets closer and closer to the boss.

Also... up the CR of everything. You said so yourself, these are optimized players. I'm not sure about the rest, but you've got 2 players who know what they're doing with their classes, so up the bad guys as well. More damage output, better AC. Toughness for everyone! Potions of invisibility drunk just before the door is opened.

Also random hostages here and there? The wizard will think twice about area effect spells.

Plus, get rid of stuff like locked doors and traps. That's only fun adventuring for one character, the rogue. And you said so yourself, all of his main skills are in the 40's. At that point you're just wasting everyone's time watching the rogue roll a needless check to open a needless door to get to the next room.

Escheton
2011-01-24, 05:54 AM
You fail to mention their lvls. But seeing they have prestiges it's reasonably high. High enough it seems that the standard restrictions that world normally holds on a character (doors are the only way in/out of a room, you have to eat and sleep, it takes months to travel the world) no longer applies to them.
And they treat dungeons the same way. This is normal for high lvl characters.
It just seems that you the DM are having trouble adapting to the many options your players have.
It seems they called you on this and simply said you where a weak DM.
This could possibly be mended with experience.

For now though you would need to deal with their powerlvl, so you can control them better. (btw, this kind of control is usually considered a bad thing)
Start them off as lvl 4-8 instead. Beyond this point is where their powers start to be fun uhm...getting out of hand.

Discipol
2011-01-24, 06:03 AM
You fail to mention their lvls.

You fail to read the post entirely :)

Sending minions is a great ideea! the one shotting assassin would have little to do. But the wizard is still a problem.

kco_501
2011-01-24, 06:04 AM
Well... as a GM I have a pretty strong grip on my game. Don't be afraid to say NO. When asked why "because god says so". The simplest solution is to just rule 0 away your problem. Example:" I don't care what your Strength is. You're not swimming 100 feet upwards in full plate with a tower shield and a bag of loot using only your feet."
I can understand though that not everyone is comfortable with the "my house, my game, my rules" philosophy.

Why do you not simply expand the dungeon to cater to the needs of your players? This is probably the best way to avoid conflict... But if the players are determined to annoy there is little you can do.

To shoot down the mage... dead magic zones... to shoot down the assasin.. bright lights? true sight? But i don't think that is the right way to go.

Discipol
2011-01-24, 06:10 AM
I used to play at another campaign, it was so homebrew and the rule 0 was so often invoked, we all walked out from the campaign, leaving him very upset. So thats a negative.

ZeroNumerous
2011-01-24, 06:10 AM
It really seems like you just want to stymie creativity and force the players along your rails. Since they don't wanna take the train to Plot-town, you shouldn't be forcing them to. The DM's job is to provide the plot, but it's the player's job to choose which plot to pursue.

Discipol
2011-01-24, 06:14 AM
The rate of their progression is so high, I might just say. You win. Game over.

LansXero
2011-01-24, 06:17 AM
how did they carve through solid rock with a piddly dagger and have nothing happen during all that time while in an, admittedly, dangerous dungeon?

How can someone take 20 while under coercion? I thought you needed to 'not be under pressure' for that to happen. Why didnt the, admittedly able to cast Greater Dispel spellcaster who wanted to get out of there cast Teleport / Dimension Door / etc. ?

Aidan305
2011-01-24, 06:26 AM
Welcome to the wonderful world of GMing.

Players will act as players. They'll use the abilities they have in many new and interesting ways, none of which occurred to you and every one of which will break the scenario you're running.

Your players aren't the problem here. What you've failed to do is take them in to account when designing your scenario. Look at your notes again and work out, not how you can stop them, because that way lies madness and annoyance, but how to use them. Let them go through the dungeon at their own pace, not the speed you want them too.

I can understand how frustrating it can be to watch all your best laid plans be thrown aside, but consider that your players are finding it fun to play this way. Capitalise on that and all will be well.

true_shinken
2011-01-24, 06:28 AM
Rogue 2/Assassin 10? How is that possible?

Eldan
2011-01-24, 06:52 AM
The "problem" here is this:

Your players are moderately creative with their powers. Really, the first thing you need to do as a DM is read what your players can do. Get a copy of their character sheets, all the books in question, and read through everything. If they have disintegrate, walls are no longer an obstacle by themselves. If the assassin can deal enormous HP-damage, making a tank-boss is not an option anymore, in most cases.

Also: your players are adventurers. They are supposed to go where no man has gone before and lived (tm). A locked door won't stop players. Quite the opposite: in my experience, the harder you look a door, the more your players will think there's something absolutely awesome behind it. More work = more reward. Throwing obstacles at them doesn't make them say "Oh, that's too high level for us." They will see it as a challenge. And, I think, it should be. Reward them for their creativity.

And finally: if you give your players obstacles they can never overcome, they will get frustrated. An absolutely indestructible fortress will, in most cases, have them throw all their resources at it, then try and get more resources. If that still doesn't work, players usually get annoyed: here's a shiny thing, and they can't have it.

Caliphbubba
2011-01-24, 09:44 AM
Along with everyone else is saying I suggest you start using lots and lots of Illlusions. Hide that door instead of lock it. Hide it several ways. have Illusionary foes and obstacles. Illusionary walls, corridors, floors. I think it could really be the sort of "force multiplier" you're looking for.

and when they catch on, and start to get complacent...mix it up with real versions of your previous illusions.

Target them the same way they target your obstacles, Dispells/Disinigrates.

You control the verticle and the horizontal.

DeltaEmil
2011-01-24, 09:51 AM
Do they actually want to be rail-roaded in a dungeon-crawl? Or even more important, do they need to be rail-roaded in a dungeon-crawl?

Zherog
2011-01-24, 10:25 AM
Rogue 2/Assassin 10? How is that possible?

It's not possible. It requires 5 ranks of Stealth, so the character would need at least 5 levels prior to taking the prestige class.

While it's a problem, though, it's not the cause of this problem.


Do they actually want to be rail-roaded in a dungeon-crawl? Or even more important, do they need to be rail-roaded in a dungeon-crawl?

This, however, does seem to be the cause of the problem.

Well before level 12, a linear progression is only possible if your players allow it to be possible. They can teleport, dimension door, passwall, and so forth to get where they want to go, rather than where the corridors take them.

My advice? Don't fight it. Use it. Set up scenarios where they have teleport or otherwise use planar travel. Set up scenarios where they have to use their adamantine dagger to carve through stone -- except add distractions: mooks attacking, spellcasters slinging spells, etc. Anything to make the required task more difficult.

(Also, LansXero had great points about the time to carve through a solid wall with a dagger as well as the fact the wizard couldn't take 20 in that situation.)


Needless to say, with their main skills at 40+, traps, locked doors and surprise rounds are absolutely no challenge for them.

I have a hard time believing all the PCs have 40+ in Perception (as an example). Just because the rogues make their Perception check and aren't surprised doesn't mean the enemies don't get a surprise round on the wizard or druid. Just because the rogues have 40+ in Stealth doesn't mean the wizard successfully sneaks up on the guards.

I'm also curious how they got to 40+ in all these skills without you allowing it to happen. Call it 12 ranks, +3 for a class skill, +6 for ability score and we're at +21. They can certainly get another +20 through magic and/or masterwork tools -- but you have to allow that to happen.


It sounds to me as though you aren't prepared to run mid- to high-level adventures, to be frank. I have a hunch -- and it's just that -- that the PCs are all above wealth-by-level by a significant margin. And I also have a hunch that the players - at least some of them - are a bit more experienced in the rules than you are.

My advice is to start over. And, as much as folks rant about them, try one of Paizo's adventure paths to start. Now, that won't completely solve the railroading issues, since an adventure path by it's nature assumes some railroading. What it will do, though, is give you a peek at building a campaign step by step. You'll see the progression of what the bad guys can do, how they're built, and so forth. Even if you go off the rails after the first adventure, that's OK - you've still gained some valuable experience.

LansXero
2011-01-24, 10:36 AM
About adventure paths and railroading: I find them to work best if you use them as a skeleton/ framework of sorts. The rails are there, you start with them. Now instead of working on those rails, you get to work on everything else you wouldnt have had time for because you were being busy drawing the rails :D

Renegade Paladin
2011-01-24, 10:41 AM
Now he is not violent, but he is controlling a Wizard and overriding all my dungeon's things with "cheats".

For example, I made a Gate so they could pass through one side and not back, or travel to the plane of negative energy and die there. He took the rogue's adamantine dagger and cut a tunnel through the wall, on the other side of the Gate.

I put some walls of force there, he cast Disintegrate on them and continued with the wall.

Another was a room they where underleveled to go into but wanted to. So i locked the door with an epic spell. He wanted to dispel it but couldn't, so they went back and intimidated wizards to come and dispel it. Core book says no, the services are at the wizard's shop. So the rogue/assassin paralyzed the wizard and took him there by force. Forcing him to actually take 20 on casting Greater Dispel magic.

I don't want them to leave the dungeon until the task is complete, and to stop them from free-walking in the dungeon, where as I want them to have a linear path, at least for a while. They have Disintegrate, dispel and adamantine dagger. They have a 12 wizard, 12 druid, rogue2/assasin 10, Fighter 12 and another pure Rogue 12.

The system is Pathfinder, core book only, latest version.
Okay, several things occur that should have been bloody obvious to you.

Carving through several yards of solid rock with a dagger takes lots and lots of time. Time in which to attack them. On a similar vein, unless they have ranks in Knowledge (architecture and engineering), which I doubt, then they don't know how to dig a structurally stable tunnel, so you should have had it collapse when they get a few feet in. This would be much more practical than walls of force, as it looks like a natural consequence rather than you making something up on the fly to stop them.

They went and kidnapped a wizard of a much higher level than them and hauled him back to the dungeon. Think about that for a second. Why didn't his defenses obliterate them for even making the attempt? :smallconfused: A wizard that powerful is not only personally capable of destroying the entire party at will, but in his own residence will have magical defenses and probably allies enough to make sure of it.

Furthermore, you can't take 20 on greater dispel magic, as there's a consequence of failure, namely losing the spell. The only way to take 20 would be to prepare it 20 times.

Really, you dropped the ball here in several pretty obvious ways, and resorted to equally obvious rear-end-pulling to try and make up for it rather than doing something that made sense, which has your players annoyed because you made your rails obvious.

Zherog
2011-01-24, 10:50 AM
About adventure paths and railroading: I find them to work best if you use them as a skeleton/ framework of sorts. The rails are there, you start with them. Now instead of working on those rails, you get to work on everything else you wouldnt have had time for because you were being busy drawing the rails :D

Excellent point.

You can also talk to your players and ask if they're willing to be railroaded for the first session or so, just to get the game rolling.

Take notes, things like which NPCs they seem to like, which they dislike, conversations with NPCs that held their attention, and so forth. These can be used as motivation points later on.

Do you require your players to give their PCs a background? If so, it's a great tool for you as the DM. Just a real quick example. I'm running my group through the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, because I lack time to build something entirely from scratch. One of my players has a background where her older brother murdered her father then disappeared into the night. She's been trying to track him down since. I grabbed hold of that and ran with it. I tweaked it a bit, so that her brother became embroiled with the cult. The player now isn't sure if her brother did it out of cold blood, was compelled through magic, or was brainwashed (magical or otherwise), but she's even more hell bent on finding him and getting to the truth -- and even more interested in extracting justice.

Do you require characters to have mentors, either for base classes or prestige classes? That style isn't for everybody, but again it gives you a great way to easily motivate a character when you need it.

Any of those items allow you to take the pre-designed adventure and tweak it so that your players (and their characters) become interested. It also gives you places to look where they might go off the rails and do something different.

Vladislav
2011-01-24, 11:02 AM
There seems to be a disconnect between "players want" and "DM provides". I suggest you have a sincere chat with your players out of game.

Ask, What kind of game do you want to play?

It's possible a brief discussion will resolve everything, with both sides being clear on their intentions. It is also possible, unfortunately, that their response is going to be something you cannot accommodate for. Not every DM can, or wants to, run any kind of game.

If that is the case, explain to the players, politely but firmly, that you can't run the kind game they want, and maybe, would it be possible, for everyone's mutual enjoyment, that they accepted for a while the kind of game you are running.

Tael
2011-01-24, 12:25 PM
Eh, it just seems like your players are more creative than you thought they would be. Their behavior is completely normal, they're just using all of their considerable resources smartly. I mean, if you do have a way to easily solve an encounter, why wouldn't you use it? Are you seriously suggesting that your players should just ignore their abilities, or play stupidly intentionally?
It sounds like you just need to design your dungeons with more care, at least at higher levels. That kind of challange will work for levels 1-6, and probably higher, but above that you need to plan a lot more.

NichG
2011-01-24, 02:15 PM
While I do think that one needs to take into account that the game at that level is a different sort of beast than at lower levels, there is fault on the players too. They want to both have their cake and eat it.

What I mean is, on the one hand they're pulling stunts like mining with an adamantine dagger, something that works by the rules but is nonsensical with respect to the internal realism of the game world. I don't mean realism in the sense of 'magic isn't real, so it can't be realistic' but in the sense that this is something that people in the game world would go 'huh?' about unless its a rigidly RAW world with all implications. Basically, even if a knife cuts through rock like butter or air, a short knife will take longer than 2 minutes to carve a person-sized hole in a 5ft cube of rock. Treating walls as bags of hitpoints breaks that sort of immersion that these are not beings that are conscious they're in a game.

But thats okay. Some people like playing that way, so if thats your group you either say 'no, thats not how my game is going to be' or 'fine, I'll run that for you and you can make the Tippyverse if you want'.

The problem is they then find a door they can't open with their tricks, so they try to wheedle NPCs to come in and help them with it. That's something the RAW explicitly forbids (services only at the shop) but which in a realistic world they could provide enough incentive to do. The problem is, they've already said by their actions 'we don't want a realistic world, we want you to follow the rules'. Well in that case you don't get to intimidate, wheedle, etc a Lv20 wizard to break the door down for you - no matter what you do, he will die before providing services outside of his shop!

I'd say take the players aside and say 'I'm having trouble DMing for you guys since you're taking the rules literally to the point where I'm losing my own feeling of immersion and besides I can't actually make challenges for you guys without getting very metagamey and directly targetting your abilities or picking things that are highly optimized but flavor-wise stupid to stand against you. So I want you to cut back on some of the silliness, and it simply won't work if you try it, or tell me that you want me to run a no-holds-barred me vs you type of game.'

If they say 'okay, we'll tone it down', then you're set.

On the other hand, some players actually like adversarial gaming - these tend to be the sort that go in for the Dungeon Crawl Classics stuff, tournament play, and the like. But if you have that sort of player and agree to run in their style, you do have to stay away from arbitrary smackdowns and nerfs.

So if they say 'challenge us by the rules, not by your common sense' ask them if they're sure and warn them again that you'll be merciless, and if they agree then either run that for them - optimize all your encounters, use cheesy things like swarms of dire weasels for unresistable Con damage, have all your casters wearing crafted contingencies and using temporary spells to emulate permanent items rather than having any loot, the works - or say that you can't run that sort of game and ask them to go elsewhere for it.

They might also say 'we want all of our powers to work, but we don't want you to be adversarial' then that can also be done, but its harder. Basically at that point you could warn them 'okay, but my side of things is going to be entirely homebrew stuff, and you won't get warnings on how new things work until you've dealt with them in character'. Then sure, they can cut through stone dungeon walls with their dagger and disintegrate your walls of force and the like. That's fine, and it will make them feel like they're winning - they bypassed your trap, etc! Just keep in mind that they will do so, and put them there as resource drains. In fact, don't be afraid to put things that they can only get through by exploiting their powers - its what they're currently enjoying doing, so it'll make them have fun, and thats fine.

But they'll also occasionally encounter something that the rules just don't seem to have much traction on, like a place where the walls when cut through appear to lead back into the same room but at crazy angles, or a place where a mischevious entity (that they could meet and interact with) is subtly messing with them, creating new wings of the dungeon to be discovered dynamically when they go off the rails in order to test them like rats in a maze, etc. Maybe there's a room with a time loop effect, so they keep running into their doubles when they try to enter, and wounds they deal to bash through their double end up appearing on themselves. If they cut tunnels around it, they find that the exits lead to different places or times than the tunnels they carved lead to. Those things will keep them adapting, so they can't just use the same trick over and over. They'll use rules cheese to deal with them when they figure out the trick, but that's also fun for them, and then the room has served its purpose as a puzzle.

Tyndmyr
2011-01-24, 02:35 PM
I don't want them to leave the dungeon until the task is complete, and to stop them from free-walking in the dungeon, where as I want them to have a linear path, at least for a while.

This is what's known as railroading. It sounds like your players aren't fond of it. At level 12+, it's fairly hard to do it plausibly, and saying "epic spell" everywhere they don't want to go gets fairly unrealistic fast.

As players get to higher levels, they will gain powers that explicitly allow them to do more things. I suggest either not playing at this level, or changing the format of your game to match the players.

Worira
2011-01-24, 02:42 PM
While I do think that one needs to take into account that the game at that level is a different sort of beast than at lower levels, there is fault on the players too. They want to both have their cake and eat it.

What I mean is, on the one hand they're pulling stunts like mining with an adamantine dagger, something that works by the rules but is nonsensical with respect to the internal realism of the game world. I don't mean realism in the sense of 'magic isn't real, so it can't be realistic' but in the sense that this is something that people in the game world would go 'huh?' about unless its a rigidly RAW world with all implications. Basically, even if a knife cuts through rock like butter or air, a short knife will take longer than 2 minutes to carve a person-sized hole in a 5ft cube of rock. Treating walls as bags of hitpoints breaks that sort of immersion that these are not beings that are conscious they're in a game.



So... they took a few minutes to carve a small niche around the gate. Bypassing a two-dimensional obstacle in a corridor doesn't need a whole lot of rock moved.

Lurkmoar
2011-01-24, 02:43 PM
If you don't want them to leave the dungeon before the task is complete, give them a deadline. Say, they take longer then twenty four hours to finish the job they were supposed to. If they don't the big bad gains a level and extra minions(or more homebrewed spells, whatever strikes your fancy).

Worked out for me, last I did it my players were shocked that the bad guy army won the campaign because they took so damn long doing anything.

And digging through a stone wall should have taken a heck of a lot longer...

Dvandemon
2011-01-24, 02:45 PM
For dungeon bypassing problems, try invoking rule 0. Or RFPD :smallbiggrin:

Waker
2011-01-24, 02:51 PM
Well, many others have said what I would have said, but I'll reiterate a few of the more important points.
1. Multiple encounters are supposed to the be the norm. A party isn't meant to fight one battle per day. Make them waste their abilities over the course of a day.
2. Not all fights start with everyone together. Have reinforcements arrive a few rounds later. It's hard to wipe out all the enemies with one big spell if they aren't all together.
3. Enemies don't have to be stupid. They can use tactics, target dangerous enemies, hit-and-run or lead the party into ambushes/traps.
4. Enemies do not have to be subject to the parties strength. Oh no Mr. Assassin, you can't Sneak/Death Attack these undead. That Disintegrate would have certainly been nasty, it's a good thing that pane of glass got in the way.
5. A locked door does not always equate to treasure. Sometimes it could be a jail for a nasty monster. Or the door could be fake, did you have fun digging through a wall for an hour? Or the door is a trap and the room they want into so badly is actually filled with acid.

Now you don't have to use these kinda things in every encounter and in fact you probably shouldn't. The point is that you need to keep the party on their toes. In my opinion, the single most important thing that a GM needs in any game is to be adaptive. If you can't learn to do things on the fly, a disruptive player can ruin an entire session/campaign.
Also it should be noted, as others have said, that you need to keep an eye out for munchkin behavior. You can't take a 20 on Dispel Magic and getting +40 in a skill, let alone multiple skills at that level is questionable.

Tyndmyr
2011-01-24, 03:01 PM
Needless to say, with their main skills at 40+, traps, locked doors and surprise rounds are absolutely no challenge for them.

Locked doors, by themselves, are never a challenge. Either the party can open the door, or they cannot. Unless there is a reason for them to open that door in a hurry, it's really just a matter of rolling.

Most traps are also not inherently challenging. A good rogue will be handling them. Either he makes the DCs or he does not. If he does not, it's a resource tax. If he does, it goes away. The exception is when the trap is an encounter or part of an encounter in it's own right. "Fight off the orcs while avoiding the whirling blades and leaving the room before the ceiling grinds to the floor" is a challenge. "roll a search check for the pit trap" is not.

Surprise rounds should be a bad thing if the whole party is surprised. If not, it's generally not so bad. At higher levels, it's pretty hard to surprise the entire party. That's normal.

CapnVan
2011-01-24, 03:40 PM
For example, I made a Gate so they could pass through one side and not back, or travel to the plane of negative energy and die there. He took the rogue's adamantine dagger and cut a tunnel through the wall, on the other side of the Gate.

That, unfortunately, is simply underestimating the creativity of players. (Although, I do wonder how they knew, before entering the room, that they wouldn't be able to get back, but that's besides the point.) If you create an obstacle which can be bypassed, clever players are going to find a way to bypass it. That's a given.


Another was a room they where underleveled to go into but wanted to.

I'm not clear what you mean by "underleveled" here you mean that they would have had their butts handed to them by an encounter beyond their ability? How, exactly would that be a problem, particularly for a party that's already outsmarting you?


So the rogue/assassin paralyzed the wizard and took him there by force.

I'm sorry wha'? The 12th level PC "paralyzed" the epic wizard? Who just happened to be hanging around for the party to find? First off, epic-level wizards don't hang out at the local magic shoppe, waiting for adventurers to come by they're the most powerful individuals in the entire world. Second, what epic wizard is going to allow someone he doesn't know into any kind of situation in which he could ever be endangered, on his own territory?

Others have made this same point *it sounds like you're not quite up to dealing with this kind of game as a GM.

You're not anticipating the players' cleverness and creativity, and you're not being creative, or frankly, even following basic tactics, with regards to your NPCs. An epic wizard shouldn't be threatened in any way by a 12th level party the idea that they could capture him and compel him to be a mobile knock spell is laughable.

If you want your players to not have access to a particular area, then simply make it impossible *no door, illusions, it's on a bizarre demiplane that only connects to the dungeon at certain times, etc.

And if they want to get into an encounter in which they'll certainly die, and you've provided them fair warning, then yes, let them die. Hard.

Final point: I would concur with others if you want to see if you like Pathfinder, try out a module or two, or even an AP. The designers, at least, understood what they were creating, and what would present a reasonable challenge.

It sounds like you're trying to do it on your own, without having the basic underpinnings that you need to do so. That's not meant as an attack, but a suggestion for the best outcome.

NichG
2011-01-24, 06:02 PM
So... they took a few minutes to carve a small niche around the gate. Bypassing a two-dimensional obstacle in a corridor doesn't need a whole lot of rock moved.



For example, I made a Gate so they could pass through one side and not back, or travel to the plane of negative energy and die there. He took the rogue's adamantine dagger and cut a tunnel through the wall, on the other side of the Gate.

I put some walls of force there, he cast Disintegrate on them and continued with the wall.


Doesn't sound like a small niche around a gate. It sounds like full tunneling through the adjacent 5ft section that is significantly thick since it had an inner wall section.

Generally there are a handful of things to watch out for that parties use that make dungeons impractical environments for a game without all sorts of silliness specifically designed to shut these things down: flight, teleportation, tunneling, divinations (Detect Secret Doors defeats all secret doors, Augury is bad for puzzles, but Find the Path is worse), knock, infinite summons (lets see if this corridor is trapped).

Also, with groups that abuse these things do NOT include super-expensive counters like adamantine walls, etc. They will carve them out and sell them.

If I seriously want to run a dungeon crawl campaign I'd generally just house rule most of these things away or strictly limit them to save the headache of meta-design. Otherwise, the dungeon environment just isn't appropriate.

Kaldrin
2011-01-24, 06:54 PM
I'd say if your players are doing something creative, reward them. Don't come here and ask us how to beat them at D&D.

Akal Saris
2011-01-24, 08:32 PM
Rogue 2/Assassin 10? How is that possible?

My guess is that it's a mis-reading of how skills translate from 3.5 to PF.

That said, it would be kind of cool if you could swap rogue levels for assassin like an ex-paladin can for blackguard.

For the DM, I think it might be good to loosen the leash a little for your players. It sounds to me like they don't really want a linear dungeon crawl to 'learn the rules', so maybe plane-hopping or something would be more fun for them.

Honestly, I ran Tomb of Horrors and my players also used adamantine handaxes to cut around doors - that's just part of the game. Rather than telling them it wouldn't work, I just took it into account (hey, they spent 5K of gold for the tactic anyhow), and noted to myself that locked doors without time constraints were no longer a challenge for the party to overcome.

Yahzi
2011-01-24, 10:23 PM
he is controlling a Wizard and overriding all my dungeon's things with "cheats".
Your players are being creative, and you're complaining?

Kaldrin
2011-01-24, 11:40 PM
My guess is that it's a mis-reading of how skills translate from 3.5 to PF.

That's probably it.

The class skills receive a +3 bonus, not bonus ranks. Easy mistake to make when you're just skimming rules like most people do when switching between very similar rule sets.

Chuckthedwarf
2011-01-24, 11:51 PM
I'd say if your players are doing something creative, reward them. Don't come here and ask us how to beat them at D&D.

Pretty much that.

Although the wizard part is a bit iffy, I think, a real high level wizard wouldn't be a chump like that - hanging out on some different plane, and almost certainly with powerful defensive spells always ready, contingencies included. Even if someone somehow managed to catch him (or her) defenseless, unless killed for good, the wizard will be pretty pissed and possibly demolish your players the moment he's free. But then again, he probably could have a good chance of getting away with even rudimentary spells when the players tried to force him to dispel magic.

Otherwise I'm with the players completely.

Unless players agreed to be railroaded, do not attempt to railroad them completely. There's always the subtle art of suggestion to help you with that - sure, you don't HAVE to do it the way I want you to, but in some cases the consequences can be dire.