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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by nedz View Post
    There are a number of issues here. The one being discussed is party balance.
    The newbies have brought along their BMX bandits, and the experienced player has brought along an Angel Summoner.
    No. Angel Summoner can explicitly solve every problem on his own and that makes BMX Bandit feel small in the pants.

    I think you'll find that if Angel Summoner GOT MURDERED every time BMX Bandit wasn't there, BMX Bandit would have much less of a problem if he got murdered every time angel summoner wasn't there.

    Synergistic is not the same as 'doesn't need you whatsoever'.

    Without people to buff, a buffer sucks.

    Without buffs, the people the buffer is buffing sucks.

    THEY BOTH NEED EACH OTHER.

    That is the difference.


    And before the inevitable 'but he is a wizard he could just stomp all the encounters' well no, actually, if he is focused on buffing he would have extreme difficulty 'stomping' all the encounters, at least assuming the encounters are not stupidly easy to stomp (one drunk orc in a room), and he will have to waste lots of spells flailing like a madman to defeat the encounter (if he defeats it at all).

    This guy is not playing a gorram incantatrix. He's playing a regular wizard focused on buffing spells with a high initiative. Yes if he dumpster dives for stupid spell combos (vortex of teeth + solid fog, say) he could indeed defeat encounters by using a bunch of high level spells all at once. But even if he DID do that he'd be able to defeat one, maybe two encounters per day before he was tapped out of his higher level spells - in the meantime, with lower level buffs and a party he can wipe out those encounters with great ease.

    Not every wizard is an uberoptimized snowcaster doom wizard. Please learn this.

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    Devil's advocate here: how about level 18 mailman sorcerer with Fighter 18 using Monkey Grip to wield a large fullblade and Monk 18 using a quarterstaff, along with Scout 3/Ranger 15 with Swift Hunter, travel devotion etc, and good favored enemies?

    Or, more to the point, how about the difficulty of combining such an encounter, taken in isolation, with a planned-out storyline? It's not impossible, but it's not trivial either.
    Ugh, I did say 'any party', didn't I. One of the things I DO have problems with is parties with wildly, wildly different levels of optimization.

    Well, for that group, I would probably sit down and rebuild the monk and fighter using one of the fixes that are floating around that I like. Possibly Tome Monk and Art of War Fighter. But if for some reason I couldn't do that, here is a sample fight that I would throw them against;

    Mob Boss Cabreliosce(wiz5/Master Specialist 4/Planar Binding Prc 6) is cornered in his downtown waterdeep lair.

    With him are his two main enforcers, Joe 'Pronto' Miraz (Rogue/Duelist/Invisible Blade, with the spell deflecting ACF from complete mage) and Benny 'Scaramanga' 'The Nose' Fitch (Diviner/Binder/Anima Mage, binding Zceryll)(Both the wizards have relatively poor spell selection, and are lower level than the party).

    After fighting their way through the various lesser lieutenants in the city, busting through the security up above, and being wrongfully accused of murder and dark magic, the party breaks in for the showdown.

    Main room 120' by 60', the 'main hall' of the lair, throne at far end, mob boss on it, enforcers flanking him. Doors open, 8 of them, and start spitting out monsters(spell traps of Summon Monster, summoning 1d4+1 flying things with some form of attack that hurts the players in some way, each round).

    Four pits open in the floor, revealing a latticework of metal struts, and from each pit a greater elemental(CR 15 or so) (planar bound earlier) steps out, one for each quasi-elemental plane. Behind the party, the stairway collapses into rubble, and further booms indicate the entire structure collapsing on top of the entrance. A deadly latticework of red lines burns into place in the air and ground, promising fiery pain for anyone moving incautiously or being bullrushed or thrown, and with a yell of 'It's you or me now, boyos!' Cabreliosce throws a solid fog down in the middle of the room, leaving the only non-solid fogged way through the pits of mud, steam, magma, and ice. His ally lays down a Wall of Stone secretly in the centre of the Solid Fog as a bit of a surprise for anyone with Freedom of Movement.

    Then the fight begins.


    Breakdown; I literally thought of this on the fly. Writing it down took much longer than thinking it up. It's possibly a bit deadly for that party, but given the fight itself is essentially in two stages, it should be fine.

    The biggest thing about this fight is that it's logical and thematic. The 'Mob Boss underestimates plucky heroes and they overcome his trap for them and kill him/capture him' is a great trope in adventure tales/games. And it's logical that a summoner wizard would want to trap the party and let his summons wipe them out.

    Ofc this lets the party fight off the summons without him shooting them with magic as effectively as he would otherwise, but hey.

    The hardest point was thinking of something in a fight like this for the monk and fighter to do that wasn't 'hit for negligible damage'.

    With the pits providing a method of access that is reliant on skill checks and not flight or freedom of movement, the monk can actually get to the enemy wizard as soon as or sooner than the mailman (who will probably be blasting tiny flying creatures anyway). There, and because I allow a reflex save for forcecage and I haven't optimized these wizards (no save DCs in the high 40s, for example) the monk actually has a decent chance of annoying the enemy enough for them to waste spells (and he can feel epic doing it). So while he's going toe to toe with zceryll's summons(none of which have a super high to-hit, so his relatively low AC isn't probably a problem, even if he.. sigh.. doesn't have bracers of armour) and dodging fireballs and saving against Finger of Death, the rest of the party can catch up through the laser beams, solid fog wall of stone, and elementals + swarming creatures.

    Elementals are great because they have lots of hitpoints and immunities, but they are vulnerable to HP damage. So the fullblade fighter can hit them. He can hopefully also attract the attention of the swarming flying things by being in front (low int creatures) and tank their attacks with his.. AC? hitpoints? Something. When/if he gets through the solid fog or whatever, he can ideally get to hit something because there will be a bunch of summoned pseudonatural creatures, a duelist with spell parrying and mage slayer running up in everyone's faces, and the wizards will be buffed largely against spells and arrows (as they understand that the major threats of the party are the archer and the mage).

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    For example, the power to do amazing jumps at low speed?
    All that AND more.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    ThiagoMartell's Avatar

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    No. Angel Summoner can explicitly solve every problem on his own and that makes BMX Bandit feel small in the pants.

    I think you'll find that if Angel Summoner GOT MURDERED every time BMX Bandit wasn't there, BMX Bandit would have much less of a problem if he got murdered every time angel summoner wasn't there.

    Synergistic is not the same as 'doesn't need you whatsoever'.

    Without people to buff, a buffer sucks.

    Without buffs, the people the buffer is buffing sucks.

    THEY BOTH NEED EACH OTHER.

    That is the difference.
    Except he is a wizard. He is not only able to buff. He can just end a encounter with battlefield control. After you cast black tentacles (a staple of Batman builds), the other characters just have to mop up. The encounter is basicallyt already over. A wizard does not need the other characters. God/Batman wizards just pretend they do so. The nomeclature of the God wizard handbook is telling enough.

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Evard's Black Tentacles is a 4th level spell.

    It comes online, at the very earliest, at 7th level.

    The tentacles grapple at +15 to grapple.

    So let's take a look at a CR 7 foe. The Aboleth, say. (say because it is first in the list)

    It has +22 to grapple. It only fails if it rolls 7 below the roll the tentacles get.

    I can use any of it's 'psionics' abilities, or Enslave, so it doesn't actually mind being grappled for a round that much.

    Aboleths are pretty hardcore, though. So what about the next in line Huge Air Elemental?

    +24 to grapple, so it needs to lose the roll by 9 points.

    It can get out of the grapple by turning into Whirlwind form at any time.

    Gargantuan Animated Object? +31 on grapple checks. It needs to roll a 1, essentially.

    And even if it gets grappled for a round, with 15' reach it can STILL probably hit you, since it is a closet troll.

    6th level Astral Construct? +22 to grapple, and it could have a construct ability that would help it - that said, this is the closest black tentacles has come to 'shutting down' an encounter.

    Dire Bear has +23 to grapple.

    Black Dragon has +16 to grapple, but whatever, it also has a +8d6 breath weapon, and shouldn't be anywhere near the ground at any point.

    Black Puddings have +18 to grapple, but they're a puzzle monster anyway.



    Evard's Black Tentacles is a great spell. As a 4th level spell, i'd HOPE it was this effective against stuff.

    But it's only really effective against either hordes of much lower level opponents (against a bunch of ogres it would probably be neat-o), or relatively rare monster types (fey,... uh.. dunno what else), or NPCs with class levels built poorly (with no defense against grappling and no way to dispel).

    Sounds to me like you've just read treantmonk's G.O.D. wizard guide and a) didn't understand it and b) have never actually seen a wizard in play that used BFC.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by dascarletm View Post
    My long time friend, best man at my wedding, and I now live close enough to play DnD. I'm joining a game in progress (lvl 5) and I asked him if I could play a wizard. He said that was cool. So I'm building a wizard and writing a backstory as I'm tying my abilities to the story and telling him my build he starts laughing.

    He tells me that I optimize and min-max too much. My characters are too powerful. I don't think I go crazy on optimization.

    Here is my build.
    I never post builds so I'll just give the bulletpoints.
    Wiz5
    Elven racial substitution for level 1, 3.
    Hummingbird familiar
    Feats: Colegate Wizard, Improved Initiative, Extend Spell.

    He says that since I get a +12 to initiative I'm a cheesemaster.

    Idk what to do.

    He is also the guy that has banned metamagic rods since they are "way too overpowered."

    I would like to build a competent character. I don't plan on making the other players feel useless since well they are new to DnD. I was going to focus on buffs and BC.

    What do yall think I should do?
    Well, I need to agree with the guy a bit, because Initiative is one of the most important things for wizards and +12 Initiative is quite high.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Man on Fire View Post
    Well, I need to agree with the guy a bit, because Initiative is one of the most important things for everyone and +12 Initiative is higher than average because it only scales with dex normally.
    Because it is, seriously.

    I don't see what the big deal is. Everyone's jumping on the guy for wanting to play a wizard, acting like he wants to destroy the countryside and rule over it in a flying fortress with a glowing neon sign that says "TIER 1" floating on the side. When so far, it just seems like he wants to play a caster that sits around buffing his allies He's not even taking the annoying stuff. He never said he was gonna start off every battle with some crazy combo that makes everyone useless, he didn't mention polymorphing into a dire tortoise so he can be ready for any attempts to stop him or anything.

    Just let the dude have his initiative so he can cast Protection From Energy on the fighterguy when they're suddenly surrounded by fire elementals. Seems more like what it's there for than anything anyone else is suggesting.
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Terazul View Post

    Just let the dude have his initiative so he can cast Protection From Energy on the fighterguy when they're suddenly surrounded by fire elementals. Seems more like what it's there for than anything anyone else is suggesting.
    But, but... now the DM can't kill TPK them!
    Last edited by 2xMachina; 2012-11-03 at 10:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Sounds to me like you've just read treantmonk's G.O.D. wizard guide and a) didn't understand it and b) have never actually seen a wizard in play that used BFC.
    Thanks for the insults, welcome to the ignore list.

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    Beholder

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by dascarletm View Post
    My long time friend, best man at my wedding, and I now live close enough to play DnD. I'm joining a game in progress (lvl 5) and I asked him if I could play a wizard. He said that was cool. So I'm building a wizard and writing a backstory as I'm tying my abilities to the story and telling him my build he starts laughing.

    He tells me that I optimize and min-max too much. My characters are too powerful. I don't think I go crazy on optimization.

    Here is my build.
    I never post builds so I'll just give the bulletpoints.
    Wiz5
    Elven racial substitution for level 1, 3.
    Hummingbird familiar
    Feats: Colegate Wizard, Improved Initiative, Extend Spell.

    He says that since I get a +12 to initiative I'm a cheesemaster.

    Idk what to do.

    He is also the guy that has banned metamagic rods since they are "way too overpowered."

    I would like to build a competent character. I don't plan on making the other players feel useless since well they are new to DnD. I was going to focus on buffs and BC.

    What do yall think I should do?
    pardon my ignorance, but what is and where do i read about racial substitution. As i was reading this I had no clue of why it was optimized cause i had never heard of most of it.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue1005 View Post
    pardon my ignorance, but what is and where do i read about racial substitution. As i was reading this I had no clue of why it was optimized cause i had never heard of most of it.
    It's in Races of the Wild, page 157. It is not optimized with the hummingbird (from Dragon Magazine) basically because it does not work with the hummingbird familiar.
    The bonus on skill checks, saves, or hit points granted by the familiar doubles.
    A initiative check is not one of those.

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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Racial sub:

    Means... if you're say, Elf, and a Wizard, you can take the Elf Wizard racial sub lvl1. You get some certain modified class features instead of the normal Wiz 1 class features.

    How good a racial sub is, depends on which it is. Some are good, some are meh.

    There's a number of them, like classes, so... a bit hard to see them all. It's like wanting to see a Crusader, you kinda need the book to see what it says.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    What were the elven Alternative class features you picked up at 1 and 3 ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grollub View Post
    What were the elven Alternative class features you picked up at 1 and 3 ?
    Elven Generalist and Natural link.

    Elven Generalist gives you a bonus spell slot and an additional spell learned at each level

    Natural link doubles the effectiveness of the familiars, but hummingbird is kinda cheesy depending on whether your DM considers Innititive to be a skill check or not, which i dont think it is.

    Imo, the only good sub of the 3 levels is the first one, and that is because of how much it adds to wizard, on top of being a Grey Elf, who has a +2 int bonus. I prefer having an octopus who can use his jet ability to turn a touch spell into a 200' reach ray.


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    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    Elven Generalist and Natural link.

    Elven Generalist gives you a bonus spell slot and an additional spell learned at each level

    Natural link doubles the effectiveness of the familiars, but hummingbird is kinda cheesy depending on whether your DM considers Innititive to be a skill check or not, which i dont think it is.

    Imo, the only good sub of the 3 levels is the first one, and that is because of how much it adds to wizard, on top of being a Grey Elf, who has a +2 int bonus. I prefer having an octopus who can use his jet ability to turn a touch spell into a 200' reach ray.
    Hmm, don't think so. Init is an ability check based on Dex. Factotum's Brain over Brawn only works due to it calling out Dex (and Str) checks in addition to Skill checks based on Dex (and Str)

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Thanks for the insults, welcome to the ignore list.
    Saying that I don't think you understood the purpose of the guide is an insult now?

    I guess this explains everything that is wrong with our society.


    Fakeedit: I also like the post with exciting italicized text that shows that you didn't actually read my earlier post you were responding to in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by rejakor
    Although Hummingbird doesn't work with Elven Generalist, btw. It's not an ability save or skill check or hitpoints, elven generalist specifically lists those as the things it doubles.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by dascarletm View Post
    anyway. I am also the guy that "scours all the books to make broken super OP characters." Like the time we played and epic campaign and I used a rod to get 2 9th levels off in a round, or the time I played a standard fighter that happened to have good synergy for taking out orcs in our orc fighting campaign. You know because dipping classes and keeping your cha at 10-12 is being a munchkin.
    Wait wait wait... This guy got mad at you for quickening a spell in epic? Don't know what to tell you, it sounds like anything more "optimized" that writing feat names on a dartboard is going to be too much for him.

    If really want to be a buffing wizard, try Focused Specialist banning Conjuration, Evocation, and Necromancy and plan on going War Weaver. Show the DM that by doing that, you have very few good offensive options (especially without Conjuration) to use instead of the buffing you want to do, and that you'll even be losing a caster level just to become better at buffing.

    Also drop Improved Initiative and just have the hummingbird to improve your check, because big numbers are apparently a problem.
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Is high initiative only problem the DM has with your character? If it is so just take a familiar giving some other bonus. As suggested you could ask DM to refluff familiar as humming bird (because you like 'em).

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Ugh, I did say 'any party', didn't I. One of the things I DO have problems with is parties with wildly, wildly different levels of optimization.
    Yeah, hence my choice of devil's advocate party.

    [...] here is a sample fight that I would throw them against;

    Mob Boss Cabreliosce(wiz5/Master Specialist 4/Planar Binding Prc 6) is cornered in his downtown waterdeep lair.[...]
    Well done, sir. I must confess I had doubts you could pull it off as well as that. There are probably some lingering imbalances (for example, the mailman has no particularly high chance of death, while the fighter is fairly likely to succumb), but those could be glossed over, as long as the pattern is not obvious to those most affected by it.
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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Also am I LITERALLY the only person who when faced with extreme offense of a dnd party just ADDED MORE ENEMIES? Like, seriously guys. They don't need to be ****ing twinked dragons. You can just, y'know, HAVE SOME MORE ORCS. Or ogres. Or gray renders. Or whatever the party is fighting. Or hell, mix it up. Why not a gray render AND a lava elemental. Name ANY party of ANY level, and I will spin a random fight off the top of my head and it will be challenging but not insta-lethal.
    Against my party, a Druid and a Wizard both human. I throw up something I expect them to be able to take out in a single round and they end up wasted in two rounds struggling to pick themselves up when they finish the fight, their opponents' body parts splattered all around them. Yet, when I try to hurt them, they're a serious threat.
    I dare you to challenge my players a level 5 Druid with a Hawk companion and a level 5 Wizard. I seriously dare you.
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    The rules shouldn't just be a tool for making a character that's awesome at everything and never fails. Neither should they just be a tool for the DM to tell his epic story with no player input.

    It's not just the DM's story and it's not just the players' story, it's everybody's story and a way to have a good time.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Threadnaught View Post
    Against my party, a Druid and a Wizard both human. I throw up something I expect them to be able to take out in a single round and they end up wasted in two rounds struggling to pick themselves up when they finish the fight, their opponents' body parts splattered all around them. Yet, when I try to hurt them, they're a serious threat.
    I dare you to challenge my players a level 5 Druid with a Hawk companion and a level 5 Wizard. I seriously dare you.
    Ah, the old easy fight trick.
    I've seen more PCs die in these than almost anything else, until high level anyway. Its usually caused by player error because they don't take the situation seriously, or something like that ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedz View Post
    Ah, the old easy fight trick.
    I've seen more PCs die in these than almost anything else, until high level anyway. Its usually caused by player error because they don't take the situation seriously, or something like that ?
    Yep, and in yesterday's session I had them both against a Lich and decided to be nice to my Druid by letting him stack the damage for his Full Attack. (because come on, Lich was ECL13)
    Lich ended up on 2HP and I spent all the Wizard's turn hoping he wouldn't use Magic Missile, he'd already used Flaming Sphere. (his favourite Spell)
    He went with Dispel Magic so he could neutralize the Lich's buffs (it spent the whole fight buffing). So the Lich escaped.
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    The rules shouldn't just be a tool for making a character that's awesome at everything and never fails. Neither should they just be a tool for the DM to tell his epic story with no player input.

    It's not just the DM's story and it's not just the players' story, it's everybody's story and a way to have a good time.

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Well the first thing I noticed about those two encounters was that one had multiple enemies ('opponents') and the other had only a single enemy. The Action Economy is totally a thing, and one enemy versus multiple PCs will get far fewer actions.

    Liches are also very vulnerable without buff spells, as they have far fewer HD than most undead of their CR (and thus very few hp) as well as not having some innate natural armour bonuses or whatever that would make them hard to hit without buffs.

    I'd prefer to know the level of op of your group, as a wizard can be nigh useless (magic missile the darkness!) or a god of war (arcane thesis: ROCKET LAWNCHAIR), and although a hawk companion tells me things about your druid, it probably isn't enough for a full analysis.

    That said, I would probably go heavy on the setpiece fights, and light on the ambushes.

    So an ambush by 12 orc archers and 2 War Dogs even though that's below CR 5, would be appropriate.

    But a setpiece battle against an unbuffed ogre mage, two trained giant monitor lizards, and 20 kobold tribesmen, despite being well above CR 5, would be appropriate.

    I.e. these two top tier classes, with prep, could wipe out many things. But if taken unawares, as there's only two of them, and they're relatively easy to take down without buffs/being a bear, they could be TPK'd be a CR appropriate ambush.

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    (arcane thesis: ROCKET LAWNCHAIR),
    I demand to know what book this spell is in. In before someone thinks I'm asking about Arcane Thesis.
    Last edited by Sith_Happens; 2012-11-05 at 12:51 AM.
    Revan avatar by kaptainkrutch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    That's how wizards beta test their new animals. If it survives Australia, it's a go. Which in hindsight explains a LOT about Australia.

  23. - Top - End - #83
    Gunslinger in the Playground Administrator
     
    Roland St. Jude's Avatar

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    Default Re: Don't know what to do about my "new" DM

    Sheriff: Locked for review.
    Headless Roland by Chris the Pontifex
    Now gauging interest for Still Flyin' a potential PbP game using the new Firefly RPG.

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