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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    @logic error:

    Simply stop and think about it. In the d20 system, the job of the Fighter is to focus on raw combat, be easy to be buffed-up and help enable the other members of a group to do their job, like providing flanking or "tanking" so the casters actually donīt have to waste spells on their own defense.

    WBL is a fixed part of the system and plays heavily into what CR can be engaged and won and what will be impossible. Now letīs talk about the "Solo Fighter" and what that means: We now have to decide between utility and focus on combat, because the Fighter has to provide the aforementioned buffs/cures with its own WBL now. Itīs bordering on the insulting that with the mindset thatīs displayed towards what a "mundane" should be able to do, youīve got to decide between "Boots of Speed" and "Boots of Flying", when the truth is that you can pack some wand of Flight and Haste and chose entirely different kind of footwear - the hit to WBL is still there to cover the additional "solo cost".

    But letīs take the "mundane" argument to the next step: The regular PF Fighter can get some of the Craft XY feats as bonus feats and use them with either Craft: Armorsmith or Craft: Weaponsmith in an entirely mundane way, so outfitting yourself with some Luck Blades and chain-crafting Candles of Invocation (both at the regular 50% discount for crafting) is a fairly plain option.
    You will also more or less automatically go into UMD, as that is a prerequisite for the "Item Mastery" feats, which help mundanes "pimp" their equipment.
    Lastly, WBL itself. Even when going for the real pricy items, like a Foesplitter as main, Luck Blade as backup weapon and wearing Lenses of True Seeing, itīs hard to cram more than 50% into pure equipment and maybe 20% into inherent boni (*)

    So, overall, using extremely powerful magic/spells in not tied to a specific class, itīs tied to the specific spell. Stuff like the "Zodar"-trick are open to anyone being able to get their hands on Shapechange, no matter if spell known or scroll.

    So please stop this specific version of the "guy at the gym"-fallacy.

    (*) And itīs just a sensible thing to set up your own contingencies, ranging from "wearing" a Cassian Angel to CLW you when dropping below zero hp and covering the fact that youīre actually wearing a Cap of the Free Thinker, to contracting a high-level outsider to "gate in and get me up to shape when I go down in battle within the next year".
    Last edited by Florian; 2017-06-23 at 11:31 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by logic_error View Post
    I will point out again what the OP is missing as an argument:

    That a NAKED Wizard 20 can beat a Pit Fiend just armed with class skills. A Fighter can not.

    A fighter needs support from all kinds of *magical* sources, including UMD which is for intents and purposes actually wizard spells, to beat a PF.

    To be clear: The argument isn't if a level 20 Fighter fully equipped with magical stuff can beat PF or not. The argument is that Fighter with his *class skills* alone can not.

    Why is this argument of this form? Because other classes that are NOT wizards can also do it, sometimes even better, such as Cleric or Druid. Even Rogues.
    Whether other classes can do something or not is immaterial to whether a core fighter can handle something or not with the assumed resources of his level. Also, if you go over who can and can not handle a pit fiend 'naked', I expect their to be almost as many classes who can, as those who can not.

    If we are expanding out of core I imagine a fighter might be able to handle the pit fiend with a boomerang or intimidation shenanigans.
    Last edited by Lans; 2017-06-23 at 11:25 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    After playing with Lans's build a bit I have a core halfling sniper fighter 20 that can eat Pit Fiends and many other big bads with good odds of success. Relative to Lans's build, the halfling has a much higher Hide & Move Silently while avoiding super-expensive ammunition, avoiding intelligent items, not doing any custom items, and using a 32 point buy for stats. The only caveat is that I'm using rules from other parts of the game implying that standard bonuses can be added to items (MIC) and armor enhancements can be added to bracers (A&E). The build takes some advantage of various core potions and oils at a burn rate which seems reasonable at 20th level.

    There are several levels of attack/defense starting with detection.
    Spoiler: Detection and Surprise
    Show

    The halfling sniper has a Hide of 51 which is 71 with invisibility (available all the time via the ring). Move Silently is only 45 although a potion of silence can make it effective infinity for a short time. The Pit Fiend never succeeds with Spot(29) and can only succeeds with Listen (29) 2.5% of the time.

    Both contestants have Darkvision 60'.

    In the other direction, the Pit Fiend can often Hide (25) vs the Halfling's Spot(19) although if the Pit Fiend tries to use Invisibility or other magic, the Halfling's Permanency Detect Magic will ping at 60' and give away the game.

    Overall, both contestants might miss each other, but the halfling has a huge advantage in tactical information gathering implying the Halfling almost always wins a surprise round. In a surprise round, the halfling can either snipe with an arrow at range (45 expected damage) or snipe with 4 arrows at close range using Manyshot for an expected 164 damage.

    It is very unlikely but possible the Pit Fiend wins a surprise round. In that case, the Fear Aura has only a 30% chance of success while the Pit Fiends best standard action option is unclear. A flat-footed Meteor Swarm at least inflicts ~30 damage with improved fire resistance quenching the fire damage. This is still not enough to make Power Word Stun viable.

    The surprise round is not completely decisive although it heavily favors the halfling. The first round on the other hand is usually decisive in favor of the halfling.
    Spoiler: First round
    Show

    The halfling has an initiative bonus of +20 while the Pit Fiend only has +12 so the halfling wins initiative 83% of the time.

    The halfling does a rapid hasted full attack with the bow using 6 arrows and doing an expected 244 damage against a Pit Fiend's full armor class. Against a flat-footed Pit Fiend or one within 30', it's of course even more damage.

    The Pit Fiend is stuck in a hope&pray situation against AC 53, Fortitude save 27, Reflex save 29+Evasion, and a Will save of 26 vs fear or Will 22 vs. spells with immunity to compulsions and charms (i.e. Power Word Stun or Mass Hold monster). Either Meteor Swarm (expected 20 damage) or Greater Dispel Magic (which strips some protections) are reasonable choices. But the best course of action for the Pit Fiend is typically to run away (via Greater Teleport) and find allies. If the Pit Fiend's combat is unexpected (which it generally should not be given the enormous stealth advantage) the fear aura or mass hold monster have at least a reasonable minority chance (30%) of getting through.

    Overall, the fighter can and likely will 1-round kill while the Pit Fiend can do little.

    The last important point to consider is range of engagement.
    Spoiler: Range
    Show

    The Pit Fiend can theoretically attack from a range of 1120' although that is severely limited by Spot checks.

    The halfling can attack from a range of 1650' with Far Shot on a composite longbow. Again, this is severely limited by Spot checks.

    The halfling can snipe at 190' hitting 95% of the time and always successfully hiding afterwards. Even at 30', the halfling can snipe with a powerful Multiattack and successfully hide 66% of the time.

    I'll post the details when I get a chance.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Iīve been fooling around with a PF version of Lansī archer.

    CRB only: I agree with Arrowhale, Halfing has the better options.
    PRD only: Fetchlings now open up more utility.
    All Paizo: Human.

    (Edit: Family came to visit for a weekend, so that limits my time for this)
    Last edited by Florian; 2017-06-24 at 12:37 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    It's funny how I've been complaining that fighters are incompetent in 3.5 (the insane amount of optimisation, specifically to fight pit fiends, which doesn't actually let you fight them reliably anyway, is a good example of this) and the consistent response is "But what about Pathfinder?" Well, what about it? It's no more relevant to the discussion than homebrew fighter fixes are. Less, even, because it's not even designed for the same system.

    EDIT: Also "And what about this obscure 3.0 rule which implies that you can maybe do this thing I want to do?"
    Last edited by Jormengand; 2017-06-24 at 03:44 AM.
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    You know, it would be really meta if I sigged this.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    "Bordering on insulting"

    This is what I am worried about. Your perception seems to be that I *hate* mundanes or something. No, not at all. All I am saying that the D&D 3.5 is biased towards casters. That *is* a problem and we need to acknowledge it so that it can be fixed. By continually asserting that this is not the case won't make your arguments look saner.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Haven't been following the weeks of discussion, but this thread by itself (a more manageable read) boils down to one point for me (which probably means I don't get it, but conversation is half of learning).

    "WBL can defeat a pit fiend, so any hero with access to WBL can also defeat a pit fiend."

    Two corrolaries of this: "is it fair to judge the fighter based on resources available to every character?" This essentially amounts to, "if you stick the same magic items on a commoner, can you tell the difference?"

    This says you can't learn anything useful about the fighter through their ability to use magic items.

    The other corrolary is like it:
    "Is it fair to judge them without resources that all characters were meant to have?"

    This says you can't learn anything useful about the fighter without considering their ability to use magic items.

    A supplemental point seems to be: the wizard can win even without WBL, demonstrating it is superior to the fighter.

    Have I got it right so far?

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    After playing with Lans's build a bit I have a core halfling sniper fighter 20 that can eat Pit Fiends and many other big bads with good odds of success. Relative to Lans's build, the halfling has a much higher Hide & Move Silently while avoiding super-expensive ammunition, avoiding intelligent items, not doing any custom items, and using a 32 point buy for stats. The only caveat is that I'm using rules from other parts of the game implying that standard bonuses can be added to items (MIC) and armor enhancements can be added to bracers (A&E). The build takes some advantage of various core potions and oils at a burn rate which seems reasonable at 20th level.

    There are several levels of attack/defense starting with detection.

    The halfling sniper has a Hide of 51 which is 71 with invisibility (available all the time via the ring). Move Silently is only 45 although a potion of silence can make it effective infinity for a short time. The Pit Fiend never succeeds with Spot(29) and can only succeeds with Listen (29) 2.5% of the time.

    Both contestants have Darkvision 60'.
    The Pit Fiend, like all Devils, has a racial see in darkness of infinite range. He can see your halfling from any distance. Balor's have True Seeing for 120ft seeing in Darkness and piercing invis which is your only grounds for making hide checks at all, Dragon's have blindsense, and Titan's have Invisibility Purge 100ft.

    Many of these monsters, including the Pit Fiend, have something like Persistent Image at will which allows them to have a defensive array of images that prevent you from successfully sniping the Pit Fiend, because you snipe something else you think you see instead.

    Also the Pit Fiend has a large army of Mummies and Morhgs around it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    In the other direction, the Pit Fiend can often Hide (25) vs the Halfling's Spot(19) although if the Pit Fiend tries to use Invisibility or other magic, the Halfling's Permanency Detect Magic will ping at 60' and give away the game.
    While a Pit Fiend will certainly be invisible at the start of any fight, there will be visible images for you to waste time attacking. Detect Magic requires one round of concentration to even tell you that magical auras are present at all, I doubt you are going around spending standard actions detecting magical auras with your standard action at all times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    Overall, both contestants might miss each other, but the halfling has a huge advantage in tactical information gathering implying the Halfling almost always wins a surprise round. In a surprise round, the halfling can either snipe with an arrow at range (45 expected damage) or snipe with 4 arrows at close range using Manyshot for an expected 164 damage.
    I hope you took into account the +4 deflection bonus to AC from Unholy Aura. But again, the halfing does not have any advantage in tactical information, he probably has a huge disadvantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    It is very unlikely but possible the Pit Fiend wins a surprise round. In that case, the Fear Aura has only a 30% chance of success while the Pit Fiends best standard action option is unclear. A flat-footed Meteor Swarm at least inflicts ~30 damage with improved fire resistance quenching the fire damage. This is still not enough to make Power Word Stun viable.
    If the Pit Fiend spots you before you make a surprise attack against an image, Targeted Greater Dispel Magic is probably the opening go to, since that allows his legion of mummies and morghs to attack you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    The halfling has an initiative bonus of +20 while the Pit Fiend only has +12 so the halfling wins initiative 83% of the time.

    The halfling does a rapid hasted full attack with the bow using 6 arrows and doing an expected 244 damage against a Pit Fiend's full armor class. Against a flat-footed Pit Fiend or one within 30', it's of course even more damage.

    The Pit Fiend is stuck in a hope&pray situation against AC 53, Fortitude save 27, Reflex save 29+Evasion, and a Will save of 26 vs fear or Will 22 vs. spells with immunity to compulsions and charms (i.e. Power Word Stun or Mass Hold monster). Either Meteor Swarm (expected 20 damage) or Greater Dispel Magic (which strips some protections) are reasonable choices. But the best course of action for the Pit Fiend is typically to run away (via Greater Teleport) and find allies. If the Pit Fiend's combat is unexpected (which it generally should not be given the enormous stealth advantage) the fear aura or mass hold monster have at least a reasonable minority chance (30%) of getting through.
    Uh... Wait, you aren't even immune to fear? How did you fair against the 20+ saves against Mummy Despair before even getting a chance to shoot at the Persistent Image of an enemy.

    But actually, the Pit Fiend can move over to within 40ft of you (absolutely no problem, because you apparently rely on your 60ft Darkvision) and then Blasphemy you, Dazing you for one round, and repeat infinitely while the Morghs/Mummies fish for crits to kill you.

    Although, he could summon another Pit Fiend, since he's invisible, and you just sniped an image, he probably won't, because so far you seem singularly unthreatening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    Overall, the fighter can and likely will 1-round kill while the Pit Fiend can do little.
    This looks like a 100% Pit Fiend Victory to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    The halfling can snipe at 190' hitting 95% of the time and always successfully hiding afterwards. Even at 30', the halfling can snipe with a powerful Multiattack and successfully hide 66% of the time.
    The halfing must have cover or concealment to hide, where are you getting this after you blow your invis sniping?

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    @pleh
    Yep. Thumbs up.
    Last edited by logic_error; 2017-06-24 at 06:24 AM.

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Where the heck did the Morhgs & Mummies come from? They're certainly not part of the Balor's stat block or his CR.

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    This essentially amounts to, "if you stick the same magic items on a commoner, can you tell the difference?"
    This is the correct test. The effectiveness of the Fighter with magic items should be assessed not on whether he can do stuff with them, but on whether he can do stuff with them that is better than what a Commoner can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagroth View Post
    Where the heck did the Morhgs & Mummies come from? They're certainly not part of the Balor's stat block or his CR.
    One assumes the Pit Fiend (not Balor) used its CL 18 create undead to make them. They are part of its CR because they are created with one of its abilities (and therefore do not count against CR per the DMG).

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    One assumes the Pit Fiend (not Balor) used its CL 18 create undead to make them. They are part of its CR because they are created with one of its abilities (and therefore do not count against CR per the DMG).
    I find that a little questionable, and if true, really sucks for people dealing with vampires, shadows and the like. So Source?

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    I find that a little questionable, and if true, really sucks for people dealing with vampires, shadows and the like. So Source?
    Quote Originally Posted by DMG, page 37
    Do not award XP for creatures that enemies summon or otherwise add to their forces with magic powers.
    The DMG is pretty clear that you don't bump up difficulty for beating something that has summoned a bunch of other things it has the ability to summon. And yeah, the designers seem to have forgotten that to some degree with some monsters. But in this case, mummies (CR 5) and mohrgs (CR 8) are both well into the range where they should be a speedbump for PCs. If adding some CR 5 enemies to a CR 20 one shatters your Fighter's strategy, that seems like proof it was too fragile to be legitimate (which I think is the point some people are making).

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagroth View Post
    Where the heck did the Morhgs & Mummies come from? They're certainly not part of the Balor's stat block or his CR.
    As noted, they come from his Create Undead at will, and are accounted for in his CR and statblock, and also, literally wouldn't increase the EL of an encounter for a level 20 party anyway, since the rules even say as much, even aside from the rules Cosi cited, since they say that huge collections of very much lower threats are not worth anything to PCs.

    And yes, the point is, that if a strategy relies on the Pit Fiend not using create undead, that strategy is no more viable than one that relies on him not using fireball, or not using invisibility, or not using Persistent Image.

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    I think it seemed rather clear that the DMG rule is only suposed to apply to summoned creatures with a finite duration.
    Because alternatively you could have an infinite horde of Wights that would only be the CR 3 of the initial wight that started the spawning snowball.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    The DMG is pretty clear that you don't bump up difficulty for beating something that has summoned a bunch of other things it has the ability to summon. And yeah, the designers seem to have forgotten that to some degree with some monsters. But in this case, mummies (CR 5) and mohrgs (CR 8) are both well into the range where they should be a speedbump for PCs. If adding some CR 5 enemies to a CR 20 one shatters your Fighter's strategy, that seems like proof it was too fragile to be legitimate (which I think is the point some people are making).
    The create undead ability isn't a summon ability though, and the pit fiend has no ability to control the undead it summons.

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    The create undead ability isn't a summon ability though, and the pit fiend has no ability to control the undead it summons.
    "or otherwise add to their forces with magic powers."

    But yes, he relies on his flying and invisibility to prevent them from attacking him. Or perhaps agreements about feeding them people.
    Last edited by Beheld; 2017-06-24 at 10:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    "or otherwise add to their forces with magic powers."
    If you want to get that technical though, then the Pit Fiend is not adding them to its forces. Each of them are created independently, and become their own force.
    Last edited by lord_khaine; 2017-06-24 at 10:56 AM.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Here's the Halfling Fighter 20 Sniper Build.

    Spoiler: Abilities and Feats
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    Strength 14 = 14-2 race -2 size +4 enhancement
    Dexterity 34 = 18+2 race +2 size +5 levels +1 inherent +6 enhancement
    Constitution 16 = 10 + 6 enhancement
    Intelligence 14
    Wisdom 16 = 10+6(enhancement)
    Charisma 8

    Fighter Bonus Feats:
    1. Weapon Focus(Longbow)
    2. Point Blank Shot
    4. Weapon Specialization(Longbow)
    6. Rapid Shot
    8. Greater Weapon Focus(Longbow)
    10. Precise Shot
    12. Greater Weapon Specialization(Longbow)
    14. Manyshot
    16. Improved Critical (Longbow)
    18. Improved Initiative
    20. Combat Reflexes

    Feats:
    1. Iron Will
    3. Skill Focus(Sleight of Hand)
    6. Stealthy
    9. Alertness
    12. Weapon Finesse
    15. Skill Focus(Move Silently)
    18. Skill Focus(Spot)

    Spoiler: Spending 760K gp
    Show

    Permanent items.
    • Neck: Hand og Glory, Constitution+6, Wisdom+6+Natural Armor+1: 82K
    • Arms: Greater Bracers of Archery: 25K
    • Shoulders: Cloak of Resistance+5: 25K
    • Waist: Strength+4: 16K
    • Feat: Boots of Speed+Boots of Winter: 15.75K
    • Eyes: Gem of Seeing + Eye of Eagle: 77.5K
    • Hands: Gloves of Dexterity+6 + Locking gauntlet + Silver Spiked Gauntlet+1: 38.333K
    • Body: Mithril Chain Shirt+2+Greater Silent Moves+Greater Shadow: 72.6K
    • Head: Hat of Disguise: 1.8K
    • Torso: nothing
    • Ring 1: Freedom of Movement+Deflect+1: 42K
    • Ring 2: Invisibility+Sustenance: 23.75K
    • Ring 3: Blinking: 27
    • Shield: Buckler+2: 4.165K
    • Weapon: Darkwood Composite (+2) Longow+1+Holy+Seeking+Flame+Frost+Shock+Merciful: 128.60375K
    • Backup Bow: Darkwood Composite(+2) Longbow: 0.30375
    • Slotless?: Masterwork tools of Move Silently, Hide, Sleight of Hand, and Spot .2K
    • Slotless: Obsidian Steed: 28.5K
    • Slotless: Luckblade (0 Wishes): 22.5K
    • Slotless: Handy Haversak: 2K
    • Slotless: Darkwood Tower Shield: 0.23625
    • Slotless: Manual Dexterity+1: 27.5K

    Expendables. The number of expendables for a one-shot is 1/5th rounded down or the number after the slash in special cases.
    • Arrows: 200 Cold Iron+Darkwood: 1.258K
    • Arrows: 90 Silver+Darkwood: 0.737K
    • Arrows: 30 Cold Iron+1+Axiomatic+Darkwood: 12.246K
    • Arrows: 30 Silver+1+Anarchic+Darkwood: 11.046K
    • Arrows: 30 Adamantium+Darkwood: 1.806K
    • Arrows: 30 +1+Unholy+Silver+Darkwood: 11.046K
    • Arrows: 30 +1+Bane[Magical Beast]+Darkwood: 4.986K
    • Oil of Greater Magic Weapon+5 5 15K
    • Dust of Disappearance x5: 17.5K
    • Fly 5: 3.75K
    • Protection from Evil Potion 5: 0.25K
    • Silence 5: 1.5K
    • Remove Fear 5: 1.5K
    • Resist Energy 30 potion 5: 5.5K
    • Good Hope Potion 5: 5.25K
    • Cure Light Wounds 25: 1.25K
    • Water Breathing Potion 1: 0.75K
    • Remove Disease 1: 0.75K
    • Remove Curse 1: 0.75K
    • Remove Blindness/Deafness 1: 0.75K
    • Neutralize Poison 1: 0.75K
    • Lesser Restoration 1: 0.3K

    Spellcasting Services
    • Reduce Person+Permanency: 2.95K
    • 5x Magic Mouth @CL10: 0.55K

    I avoided effects with a cost of >3K given that these are "not generally available". There are nevertheless some amazing ones including the classic Symbol of X on a Shield.

    Total spent is 759.804K and all equipment is a light load.

    Spoiler: Statistics
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    Armor Class: 30 = 10(base)+6(Dexterity)+6(Armor)+2(Size)+1(Dodge, boots of Speed)+1(Natural Armor)+1(Deflect)+3(Shield)
    + Invisibility

    Universal Save modifiers:+7 = +1(Race)+5(Resistance, cloak)+1(Luck, Luckblade)
    Fortitude: 22(Good Hope+2): 12(Fighter 20)+3(Constitution)+7(Universal)
    Reflex: 26(Evasion, Good Hope+2): 6(Fighter 20)+12(Dexterity)+1(Boots of Speed)+7(Universal)
    Will: 18(P from E +Immune Charm&Control Compulsion, Halfling +2 vs Fear , Remove Fear + 4 vs Fear, Good hope+2): 6(Fighter 20)+3(Wisdom) +7(Universal)+2(Feat)

    Bow Attack: +47+no dex to AC (Good Hope+2): +20(Fighter 20)+12(Dexterity)+5(Enhance)+2(Competence, Bracers)+2(Feats)+2(Size)+1(Haste, Boots of Speed)+1(Point Blank Shot)+2(Blinking)
    Improvised Bow Attack (melee): +32+no dex to AC(Good Hope+2): +20(Fighter 20)+2(Strength)+5(Enhance)+2(Competence, Bracers)+2(Feats)+2(Size)+1(Haste, Boots of Speed)-4(Improvised)+2(Blinking)
    Spiked Gauntlet Attack (melee): +36+no dext to AC(Good Hope+2): +20(Fighter 20)+12(Dexterity)+1(Enhance)+2(Size)+1(Haste, Boots of Speed)+2(Blinking)
    Bow+Arrow Damage: 42.75 (Good Hope+2): 1.75 (Tiny Arrows)+2(Strength)+5(Enhance+5)+7(Holy)+7(Anarchi c)+4(Feats)+2(Morale)+3.5(Frost)+3.5(Flame)+3.5(Sh ock)+3.5(Merciful)+1(Bracers of Archery, Greater)+1(Point Blank Shot)
    Improvised Bow Damage: 32: as bow+arrow except smaller dice, no Anarchic, no point blank shot
    Spiked Gauntlet Damage: 4.5: 1.5+2(Strength)+1(enhance)

    Attack Routine with Haste & Rapid Shot: +45/+45/+45/+40/+35/+30 Expected damage against AC 36: 252 (including criticals)
    Attack Routine with Manyshot: +39 with 4 arrows. Expected damage against AC 36: 168 (Including criticals)

    Universal Skill Modifiers: 13: 11(Fighter 20, Cross class)+2(Master work tool, Circumstance)
    Universal circumstantial: Good Hope+2
    Hide: 70: +13(Universal)+12(Dexterity)+8(size)+15(Competence , armor)+2(Stealthy)+20(Invisibility)
    Move Silently 47: +13(Universal)+12(Dexterity)+2(Race)+15(Competence , armor)+2(Stealthy)+3(Skill Focus)
    Spot 26: +13(Universal)+3(Wisdom)+5(Competence, Eyes of Eagle)+3(Skill Focus)+2(Alertness)
    Sleight of Hand 28: +13(Universal+12(Dexterity)+3(Skill Focus)

    Initiative: 16(Good Hope+2): +12(Dexterity)+4(Feat)

    Hit Points: 174.5: 114.5(Fighter 20)+60(Constitution)

    And here's an updated version of attack/defense taking into account small tweaks.
    Spoiler: Detection and Surprise
    Show

    The halfling sniper has a Hide of 50 which is 70 with invisibility. Invisibility is maintained continuously. The command word is "mumbled" as per sleight of hand rules for spellcasting in the Rules Compendium. According to the rules this is opposed by spot which is effectively impossible since invisibility is on. Even if we overrule this so that Listen opposes the Sleight of Hand check, the chance of the Pit Fiend pinpointing the location is nearly 0.

    Move Silently is only 47 although a potion of silence can make it effective infinity for a short time. The Pit Fiend never succeeds with Spot(29) and can only succeeds with Listen (29) .25% of the time.

    When the halfling chooses to run (-20 penalty to MS or Hide), Spot never works and Listen sometimes works but rarely pinpoints.

    The Sniper periodically checks for illusions with the Gem of Seeing and uses it every round of combat. In the other direction, the Pit Fiend can Hide (25) against the Halfling's Spot(26) only some of the time.

    Overall, both contestants might miss each other, but the halfling has a large advantage in tactical information gathering implying the Halfling often wins a surprise round.

    The surprise round is not completely decisive although it favors the halfling. The first round on the other hand is usually decisive in favor of the halfling.
    Spoiler: First round
    Show

    The halfling has an initiative bonus of +16 while the Pit Fiend only has +12 so the halfling wins initiative most of the time. Using the luckblade, the probability of winning initiative is 0.8125.

    The halfling does a rapid hasted full attack with the bow using 6 arrows. Since the halfling has and continually uses the ring of blinking, he attacks as if invisible, denying a dexterity bonus to the Pit Fiend leaving it with Armor Class 36. Since nearly all arrows hit, an expected 252 point of nonlethal damage is inflicted. This is followed up with a Coup de Grace the round after.

    Overall, the fighter can and likely will 2-round kill the Pit Fiend. For example, if you use the Luckblade to reroll inititiative on a 6- or to reroll a miss, the probability of knocking out the Pit Fiend with a full attack is 0.68.

    The last important point to consider is range of engagement.
    Spoiler: Range
    Show

    The Pit Fiend can theoretically attack from a range of 1120' although that is severely limited by Spot checks.

    The halfling can attack from a range of 1100' with on a composite longbow. Again, this is severely limited by Spot checks.

    In a worst-case situation, the Pit Fiend may be able to get attacks off, so it's important to have robust defenses.
    Spoiler: Pit Fiend Attacks
    Show

    Spoiler: Full attack
    Show

    If the Pit Fiend full attacks it suffers a 50% miss chance due to the ring of blinking and the AC is high enough that Power Attack 2 maximizes damage at about 55 + poison & disease which take effects with a probability 0.2 which becomes 0.02 after taking into account the luckblade and the miss chance.

    Spoiler: Full Disarm attack
    Show

    Each Disarm attack provokes an AOO which Combat Reflexes allows the Fighter to service. Using the bow as an improvised melee weapon plausibly (this requires DM interpretation) has an attack roll of:

    +32=20(base)+2(strength)+5(Enhancement)-4(Improvised)+2(size)+2(competence)+2(feat)+1(hast e)+2(invisibility)

    which hits against AC 36 and inflicts ~32-15 = 17 nonlethal damage 85% of the time.

    Of the remaining 15%, the disarm will miss half the time (blinking) and then the opposed Disarm resistance roll is plausibly:
    +46=20(base)+2(strength)+5(enhancement)-4(Improvised)+10(Locking Gauntlet)+2(size)+2(feat)+2(competence)+1(haste)+2 (invisibility)+4(Two-handed weapon)
    vs +38=30(base)+12(Tiny to Large)-4(Light Weapon)
    implying a 16.5% chance of successful disarm. Multiplying everything together, the odds of a successful disarm attempt is 1.2375%. This becomes lower for nonclaw attack so the odds of a successful disarm on a full attack is about 6% with a free helping of ~102 nonlethal damage to a Pit Fiend in the 94% failure case.

    Spoiler: Full Sunder attack
    Show

    Each Sunder attempt provokes an AOO as for disarm, but Sunder can continue despite doing damage. A +5 bow has a hardness of 15, so the optimal level of power attack is actually +9 inflicting an expected ~21 damage after taking into account the miss chance. The bow has 51 hp so this is inadequate.

    Spoiler: AOO
    Show

    The Pit Fiend has no AOOs for bow attacks because blinking attackers attack as if invisible.

    Spoiler: Grapple/Constrict/Improved Grab
    Show

    Grapple/Constrict/Improved Grab autofails due to the Ring of Freedom.

    Spoiler: Blasphemy
    Show

    Blasphemy has no effect since it's caster level 18 vs. 20HD.

    Spoiler: Create Undead
    Show

    Create Undead is stated by the SRD as having a casting time of 1 hour, but the Monster Manual plausibly states that it has a casting time of 1 standard action for monsters. Regardless of the rules, the created undead have negligible effect. They generally can't observe the fighter due to very high Move Silently/Hide, if they do observe they have a negligible chance of hitting, and if they do hit the paralysis effects are negated by the Ring of Freedom. Note that the Mummy's Despair(Su) effect causes paralysis so it is also negated by the Ring of Freedom.

    Spoiler: (Quickened) Fireball
    Show

    The fireball does ~9 expected damage due to Ring of Blinking and a 95% reflex save.

    Spoiler: Greater Dispel Magic
    Show
    A targeted greater dispel magic on the bow potentially suppresses both the oil on the bow and the bow itself. Since the oil is caster level 20 and there is a 50% miss chance due to the ring of blinking, the probability of suppressing the oil is 0.2. The bow has a much lower caster level, so it is suppressed with probability 0.4.

    An area dispel magic will almost certainly dispel one magic mouth but otherwise have no effect.

    Spoiler: Mass Hold Monster
    Show

    Mass Hold Monster has no effect due to the Ring of Freedom.

    Spoiler: Invisibility,Persistent Image
    Show

    Invisibility and Persistent Image can both be countered by the Gem of Seeing. Judicious use of the Gem of Seeing is important because we only have 300 rounds/day. Using the Gem when viewing a scene for the first time, whenever anything appears, and during rounds of combat sounds about right. Note that the Gem of Seeing is much more useful than True Seeing since it supports discontinuous use---the only more powerful effect is the always-on True Seeing which some monsters have access to.

    Spoiler: Power Word Stun
    Show

    Power Word Stun has no effect because the Fighter has more than 150 hit points.

    Spoiler: Unholy Aura
    Show

    Unholy Aura increases AC by 4, but there is no blinding effect due to the Fighter being True Neutral.

    Spoiler: Meteor Swarm
    Show

    This is a 1/day ability. Meteor Swarm is double nerfed by Blink since it is both targeted and an area effect. Expected bludgeoning damage is 8*3.5/2=14, and the expected damage from hitting fire is 12*3.5/2=21. For missing fire only 12*3.5/2/2=10.5. Altogether, this is just 45.5 damage.

    Spoiler: Wish
    Show

    This is a 1/year ability, but it could be used to replicate Antimagic Field or Control Winds, both of which significantly nerf the Fighter. Against Control Winds, the best attack mode of the fighter is an improvised attack with the bow as a melee weapon doing only ~102 nonlethal damage. Against AMF attacks do only ~70 nonlethal damage and many of the Pit Fiends physical attacks become more potent.

    Spoiler: Summon Devil
    Show

    Summon Devil grants access to Dimensional Anchor (which nerfs Blink if it hits) and Wall of Ice (which provides battlefield control) via Bone Devil. Summoning an Erinyes grants access to a weak charm monster (2.5% chance of success), and True Seeing. Other abilities appear unremarkable.

    Spoiler: Fear Aura
    Show

    The Fear Aura has a .3 probability (=.09 with a luckblade reroll) of affecting as a fear spell which institutes panic with a save for shaken. The probability of panic is .09 (or .0027 with a luckblade reroll).

    Of all these effects, Wish[Antimagic Field] seems the most detrimental since it shuts down attacks enough to buy another round where a Charge/Tail Slap/Improved Grab/Constrict proves nearly irresistable. Amongst at-will abilities, a targeted Greater Dispel Magic on the bow is potent although unlikely to succeed.

    An analysis of full attack damage vs. various creatures for the Halfling is below. These are generated by a simulator using 10^6 montecarlo full attacks. They take into account Silver(-1 damage), Bane(+2+2d6 damage, +2 to hit), Alignment & DR (assuming optimal arrow choice), regeneration (damage-regen), True Seeing or See Invisibility (no +2 to hit, no dex bonus to AC lost), critical hit immunity, nonlethal immunity, energy immunity if nonlethal immune, and long term AC bonuses (Mage Armor, Unholy Aura, etc...). They do not take into account flat-footed due to losing initiative, massive damage rules, or a luckblade reroll.
    Spoiler: Halfling Fighter Full Attack vs. MMI monsters
    Show

    CR Monster AC(modified) HP Damage/round
    21 Titan 38 370 212
    20 Pit Fiend 36 225 247
    20 Tarrasque 30 858 200
    20 Balor 41 290 236
    20 Black Wyrm 43 459 224
    20 Ancient Brass 42 387 201
    18 Nightcrawler 37 212 157
    16 Planetar 34 133 218
    16 Nightwalker 34 178 161
    16 Greater Stone Golem 27 271 149
    16 Horned Devil 28 172 261
    16 Archon Hound Hero 30 143 227
    16 Old Black 36 287 257
    16 Mature Adult Copper 34 264 223
    15 Marut 34 112 184
    13 Death Slaad 34 142 262
    11 Dread Wraith 17 104 224
    11 Air elemental 27 204 111


    Responding to some criticisms/questions:
    1. Low level undead is snipe-at-leisure fodder. Mummies can't even paralyze the Sniper due to Freedom of Movement.
    2. Sniping does require some way to hide so it does not work in all terrain. It does however often work.
    3. A commoner 20 is significantly subpar in the sense that expected damage is halved, principally due to a combination of -10 to hit and feat loss. Several other statistics get notably worse.
    4. Illusions are defeated by True Seeing.
    5. Beheld's Pit Fiend apparently wastes its action by casting Blasphemy. Everyone makes mistakes, but this is a fatal one.
    6. Beheld lists several other monsters. Those can generally be dealt with as well, but let's stick to one opponent at a time.


    Edit: I'm finding myself losing track of the wrong claims that have been made so I decided to make a FAQ.
    Spoiler: Fighter 20 is immune to Pit Fiend Blasphemy
    Show

    Beheld claimed that the Pit Fiend's Blasphemy power can daze the fighter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beheld
    ...the Pit Fiend can move over to within 40ft of you ... and then Blasphemy you, Dazing you for one round, and repeat infinitely while the Morghs/Mummies fish for crits to kill you.
    However, Blasphemy has no listed effect for a 20 HD creature (the halfling sniper) when cast at caster level 18.

    Spoiler: Sniping does not break hide
    Show

    Beheld claimed that sniping requires losing hide.
    Quote Originally Posted by beheld
    While we are talking about sniping rules, you get that no matter what you roll on a hide check they all see you right?
    This is wrong, because the 4th sentence of hide says:
    Quote Originally Posted by hide
    It’s practically impossible (-20 penalty) to hide while attacking, running or charging.
    implying that it is possible as long as you hide with a -20 penalty. Beheld further claimed this was not a rule.
    Quote Originally Posted by beheld
    Or you know, you could quote the actual rules..
    referring to the sniping section. However the sniping section does not say you are revealed when sniping---it just says that:
    Quote Originally Posted by hide
    ...you can make one ranged attack, then immediately hide again...
    which does not contradict the first rule---it just clarifies that an additional hide check at -20 is required. In particular it never states that you are revealed if the hide check is made. As a general principle nothing changes according to RAW unless it is stated as changing. DEMON provides further evidence.

    Spoiler: Cover from a boulder applies to a half-plane
    Show

    Beheld implies that cover from a boulder only applies if a large number of enemies line up.
    Quote Originally Posted by beheld
    ...if the mummies don't line up in a nice long line, and the Pit Fiend is in the air, then you probably don't have cover with respect to all of them from many locations.
    However the Cover rules state:
    Quote Originally Posted by cover
    If any line from this corner to any corner of the target’s square passes through a square or border that blocks line of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a creature, the target has cover...
    . Hence a small boulder can provide cover against all opponents on the other side (not just ones in a carefully arranged line) of a boulder since one corner of the square has LOE blocked for all opponents on the other side.

    Spoiler: Cover works more than 10 feet away
    Show

    Beheld apparently claims that cover and concealment only works within 10' of someone you hide from. After I point out that cover and concealment are common in natural settings he says:
    Quote Originally Posted by beheld
    Your contention that there is cover or concealment within 10ft of every enemy ever is silly.
    . This is simply an incorrect understanding of the cover rules---they apply at any range.

    Spoiler: Yes, it's really all just 760K gp
    Show

    Beheld claims that all expendables are 10 times more expensive than what is listed and hence that the build is far over allowed wealth.
    Quote Originally Posted by beheld
    Well I mean, for one shots, consumables are supposed to cost 10 times as much.
    I have no idea where this is coming from and no rule has been cited---maybe it's some house rule for tournaments that Beheld once played with. Update: Beheld was referring to one-shot rules in the DMG which say x5 rather than x10. I adjusted the consumables so they are all multiples of 5: you can get the number for a one-shot by dividing by 5 and rounding down.

    Spoiler: The halfling's move is 20 or more
    Show

    Beheld claims the the halfling's movement speed is 10.
    Quote Originally Posted by beheld
    ...my point was your halfling with a 10ft movement speed...
    . This is simply false as a halfling has a movement speed of 20 which can be enhanced to 50 with haste, 60 with a fly potion, or 90 with both. My best guess is that Beheld took Hide as a constraint and read the second sentence while missing the third and fourth sentences.
    Last edited by Anthrowhale; 2017-09-03 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Reduce inherent bonus to add robe of eyes + Swap Fire resistance for ring of spell storing+add FAQ+add Skill Focus+Swap detect magic for Gem of Seeing+Tweaks for one shot+locking gauntlet+ more damage
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    A commoner 20 is significantly subpar in the sense that expected damage is halved, principally due to a combination of -10 to hit and feat loss. Several other statistics get notably worse.
    Does that also take into consideration loss of attacks?
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Does that also take into consideration loss of attacks?
    It wasn't but the last 2 iteratives with a -12 (Fighter->Commoner + feat loss) to hit contribute very little to expected damage anyways (~11) so that doesn't change the conclusion.
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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    I think it seemed rather clear that the DMG rule is only suposed to apply to summoned creatures with a finite duration.
    Because alternatively you could have an infinite horde of Wights that would only be the CR 3 of the initial wight that started the spawning snowball.
    It's just so happens there's an item that let's a PC create this army for himself...and I'm sure it isn't the only way for a PC to create an (undead) army.

    It should be obvious going in this direction is just silly for both participants, as would be Leadership, or, say, making the Fighter a Kobold and...you know the story.

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    Have I got it right so far?
    Not entirely, as far as I see it.

    How to phrase that? Itīs easier to start with an example: Some time ago, I go into a harmless argument about "best archer builds" and proposed the Paladin, while another countered with Cleric. Comparing builds, it turns out that both builds churned out nearly equal numbers, because the Cleric build relied on copying each and every spell, feat and class feature used by the Paladin build.

    So, discussions like this always lead to an interesting triangle with basic class features - WBL - copying/infringing on other classes as the three cornerstones. Now that actually is interesting, as "downward"-infringing seems to be totally acceptable, but "upwards"-infringing is something to be frowned upon, bad WBLmancy and all that. To re-use the prior example, the Cleric is deemed to be intelligently played for being a fine archer and still having access to 9th level spells, while the Paladin, equipped to have better options than the basic chassis will most like be met with the question "why donīt you play a Cleric instead?".

    As I see it, Lans offered a very solid archer Fighter build in the OP and answered the "Fighter vs. Pit Fiend" question with it. Every try to use additional "what if?..." conditions or disclaiming that it can do it will get us closer to the "nuclear option" of infringing into full caster territory to get the job done.

    Edit: Exploring the axis "Totally self-reliant" <---> "Totally buff-reliant" simply will turn up the result that some things, especially spells, are self-contained, therefore powerful for whoever uses them, from Commoner to Wizard, from Shapechange, Freedom of Movement, Mind Blank to Wish, while others are reliant on the actual casting source, from Scroll to Item to actual caster to gain their real "oomph", from Dimensional Anchor to Baleful Polymorph to a full "Mailman" build.

    @Jormengand:

    You should actually be quite familiar with animosity making people blind and still step into that trap yourself. Reread the chart by emeraldstreak on page 1 of this discussion, look closely at row/colum1: No UMD? PF Wins? This I answered to, first by agreeing that the assessment of Lansī archer is right and than pointing out the differences in performance, amongst others that a direct port of the build will have roughly 20% more to hit and damage and negating the fear aura and blasphemy completely.
    Last edited by Florian; 2017-06-25 at 12:13 AM.

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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Not entirely, as far as I see it.

    How to phrase that? Itīs easier to start with an example: Some time ago, I go into a harmless argument about "best archer builds" and proposed the Paladin, while another countered with Cleric. Comparing builds, it turns out that both builds churned out nearly equal numbers, because the Cleric build relied on copying each and every spell, feat and class feature used by the Paladin build.
    Actually, I see this going the other way.

    When the cleric copies the paladin, it says:

    Paladin is best archer because they have X.

    Cleric is best archer because the have X + 9th level spells.

    Very similar to this discussion where we say:

    Fighter has WBL.

    Wizard has WBL + 9th level spells.

    Of course the character that has all the same advantages PLUS more powerful spellcasting is going to be superior to any given task, unless you can find something unique to the noncasting class that is superior to the caster's spells. Good luck with that, btw.

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    @pleh

    It is not just that. In fact, the core argument about how this *debate* started has been completely tarnished at this point. The original argument was quite simple: That some classes (specifical spellcasters) outdo fighters in martial prowess; a feature where fighters are supposed to excel.

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by logic_error View Post
    @pleh

    It is not just that. In fact, the core argument about how this *debate* started has been completely tarnished at this point. The original argument was quite simple: That some classes (specifical spellcasters) outdo fighters in martial prowess; a feature where fighters are supposed to excel.
    Thatīs part of a tangent I wanted to touch on earlier. For that we have to contrast the peak performance of a class with two builds - one that is self-reliant, the other that is buff-reliant and will get the necessary buffs - then compare how resource expenditure sums up. But, alas, still have visitors around, so not until monday evening or so.

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    I made one tweak to the halfling sniper build: removing the inherent bonuses to dexterity and adding a robe of eyes. This makes to hit and initiative slightly worse while providing 120' darkvision, see invisible, see ethereal, keep Dexterity bonus when flat footed, can't be flanked and adds another +5 to spot. Altogether this provides even stronger tactical information advantage without significantly altering expected combat outcomes.

    I also worked out in detail two other reference points. A Ranger 20 is a clearly better chassis because of a good class skill list, Hide In Plain Sight, and (potentially) Favored Enemy yielding Spot+10 and weapon damage+10. Overall, the ranger does a little bit more damage (280 vs. 245) and has total tactical information dominance.

    In contrast, a Commoner 20 takes a huge hit to damage (98 vs. 245) while mostly maintaining a strong advantage in tactical information.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    I made one tweak to the halfling sniper build: removing the inherent bonuses to dexterity and adding a robe of eyes. This makes to hit and initiative slightly worse while providing 120' darkvision, see invisible, see ethereal, keep Dexterity bonus when flat footed, can't be flanked and adds another +5 to spot. Altogether this provides even stronger tactical information advantage without significantly altering expected combat outcomes.

    I also worked out in detail two other reference points. A Ranger 20 is a clearly better chassis because of a good class skill list, Hide In Plain Sight, and (potentially) Favored Enemy yielding Spot+10 and weapon damage+10. Overall, the ranger does a little bit more damage (280 vs. 245) and has total tactical information dominance.

    In contrast, a Commoner 20 takes a huge hit to damage (98 vs. 245) while mostly maintaining a strong advantage in tactical information.
    One thing I noticed...

    You subtracted 2 from STR & added 2 to DEX... twice. Once for Size and once for Race.

    That's not the way halflings work.

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagroth View Post
    One thing I noticed...

    You subtracted 2 from STR & added 2 to DEX... twice. Once for Size and once for Race.

    That's not the way halflings work.
    He used reduce person

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    Default Re: Archers vs outsiders split from unfairly powerful monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    He used reduce person
    Right. Permanency Reduce Person is just below the 3K gp cutoff for routine spellcasting services.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
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    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
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