Author Topic: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look  (Read 17952 times)

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SneeR

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2011, 08:58:24 PM »
Quote from: Monster Manual 1, under "gaze attack" entry in glossary
Averting Eyes: The opponent avoids looking at the creature's face, instead looking at its body, watching its shadow, tracking it on a reflective surface, and so on. Each round, the opponent has a 50% chance not to need to make a saving throw against the gaze attack. The creature, however, gets concealment against that opponent.
Emphasis mine.

Its hard to hit someone you aren't looking directly at. Concealment is defined as a 20% miss chance. Total concealment is a 50% miss chance.
There you go.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 09:36:18 PM by SneeR »
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I don't know if the designers meant you to take Skill Focus for every feat.
Sounds a little OP.

The monk is clearly the best class, no need to optimize here. What you are doing is overkill.

It's like people who have no idea what a turn signal is. They ruin it for everyone else.
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Mooncrow

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2011, 09:06:45 PM »
Quote
I guess I figured it couldn't see into the material plane from the ethereal (from the SRD, "Phase spiders dwell and hunt on the Material Plane"). Hmm. That's a good point, I don't know how I'd rule this given that information. Is that true?
 

Looks like it is; it can stay ethereal for 15 rounds (works like Ethereal Jaunt, CL 15) though its sight is limited to 60 ft.  It makes the fight pretty problematic.  


Kaelik

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #42 on: October 01, 2011, 09:14:09 PM »
Honestly, that's just an oversight on my part. I'd thought that I went back and removed a few ranks from Balance and other skills like that, ones I don't need so many ranks in, to add Search, but I guess I forgot to. I also thought I had the Wand of Detect Magic in SGT 5 (because I really should have...) Though, the Bag of Tricks should help out in this encounter seeing as how I completely fucked this one over. :blush

Yeah, I assumed lack of Search was a mistake, and didn't notice Bag of Tricks but CR 4 repeat Fireball traps still basically can't be beaten except through hope and guessing.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree, because apparently you don't interpret (from SRD), "Looking at the creature’s image (such as in a mirror or as part of an illusion) does not subject the viewer to a gaze attack," to mean what I interpret it to mean.

?? Are you looking at it? No. So you are averting your eyes, and fall under the 50% rules. Do you have your eyes closed? Then you can't get 100% protection. Looking at a mirror image doesn't cause the gaze, but it does quite clearly also not protect you from the gaze you would otherwise suffer because it is very specifically "averting your gaze" it's in the example of averting your gaze. Merely declaring that you are attempting to use a small hand mirror does not grant you magic immunity to something that you would otherwise have to roll if you had your eyes open, but declared yourself to be not looking at the Basilisk.

Where in the rules does it say that, when looking at something through a mirror, you give it concealment? How much concealment? I looked for a rule like this myself, but couldn't find it, and so I went on assuming that you attack as normal when "aiming" via reflection.

When in the rules does it ever say you can aim by reflection at all? Give you a hint, it's an example of "averting your gaze." The rules for concealment are in the gaze attack section, where it makes clear that for averting your gaze, you attack as if it has concealment.

It waits around the corner. Of the desert. Explain to me how that makes any sense to you. No, I interpreted "in it's burrow" to mean in it's fucking burrow.

Great. Now be slightly smarter than the average idiot and ask yourself if burrows are 2ft depressions, or actual holes in the ground that make turns and go past where you can see.

1, 2, 3 You do not appear to have line of effect to any of those burrows, merely to the opening, try again later.

I guess I figured it couldn't see into the material plane from the ethereal (from the SRD, "Phase spiders dwell and hunt on the Material Plane"). Hmm. That's a good point, I don't know how I'd rule this given that information. Is that true?

Well how do you think it manages to coincidentally go Material right next to you and get the surprise round if it can't see. The part you want is in the Etherealness special ability descriptor. Specifically, "An ethereal creature can see and hear into the Material Plane in a 60-foot radius, though material objects still block sight and sound."

EDIT: Want to be clear about what an above poster said. Yes it can "only stay ethereal for 15 rounds" in the sense that at some point during those 15 rounds it has to spend a free action and a move action starting it over. But since you can't even move faster than it's move speed anyway, it will just follow you, always keeping you within 60ft at the end of every turn, and if it loses you, it just has to run under the ground/behind a rock to refresh, and start hunting again. I'm going to call it a loss for the Factotum if his response to Phase Spider is to start sprinting in one direction and never ever stop or pass go or collecting 200 dollars.

Yeah... I'm stunned that there's no range/attack given. I filled in the blanks with it and called it gospel, to the point that I was certain it was range touch/touch attack, but nothing is given. lol. There's not even errata, a sage's advice, or FAQ for it. In the interest of trying to avoid shady rulings, and to offer an excuse for why I didn't do that, let's call it range touch/touch attack. I thought it was a touch attack, and thus I didn't use it to channel positive energy since I would have such a low chance of hitting it anyway.

I don't know why it would surprise you, the class is extremely poorly designed. You are playing with a houserule for inspiration too, because the Raw is so dumb.

Metamagic Rod of Empower does it for me. Why not Empowered Twinned? Because there is no Metamagic Rod of Twinning. :P So, no I don't have any illegal spells. Why do I want Fireball and Scorching Ray? Fireball for large groups of mobs, both of them just so I have another chip on my shoulder (helps to balance out that I'm using Alter Self and Polymorph).

Well 1) You should probably clarify that under spells prepared (IE, that you did not prepare Empowered Fireball, you prepared Fireball, and you'll have to take a move action to put away your Bow if that's what you are holding, and then another to pull out your rod of empower). 2) You should probably replace Scorching Ray with Lightning Ball, unless you are really concerned about Ref saves.

Hmm... good point. I assumed Disable Device +20 would be more than enough for this sort of thing, but when half the CR 10 magical traps in the SRD are 9th level spells with search and disable DCs of 34... well, a) that's pretty bullshit, and b) you're right there's no way a trapfinder can bypass these through conventional means. Stupid. I suppose we'll send some lovely little critters from the Bag of Tricks through the hallway and hope it's enough.

Yeah, as long as the first symbol you run into isn't a death, as long as you are willing to take several hours to make it down a hallway, you can totally do it with a bag of tricks. Might want to rest, Prepare Dimension Door, and then go, it will probably be faster than Bag of Tricksing.

Except the Factotum has +22 to hide/move silently? And the Fire Giant suffers appropriate distance penalties. I should have no problem sneaking up within charging distance.

I read the level 5 numbers for this part.

The Gray Render typically has a +20 mod, but with Brains Over Brawn it now has +25. Putting us on equal terms, except that for the Fire Giant to pin me he'd have to do nothing but attempt to grapple me, whereas I can just Bite him, something I would normally do anyway, and get two free grapple attempts per turn. I thought all of this was pretty clear in my analysis.

???? So... learn the polymorph rules then get back to me? You have a BAB of +7. Grey Render's have a BAB of +10. Polymorph does not give you a Grey Render's BAB. Therefore, you have, even after Brains Over Brawn, a +22. So the Giant can win checks, pin you, and then damage you, because opposed rolls drastically favor the side with the slightly higher bonus (compared to assumed 10 DCs).

The Trolls are easy. Empowered Fireball, Empowered Scorching Rays, that's guaranteed to kill two of them if not more. Enlarge Person + attacks of opportunity takes care of the rest. Oh, and sure, I'll Polymorph into something if I get scared. Yeah, I'll get a little roughed up, but probably not bad enough even to warrant using opportunistic piety to heal. I'm confused as to how you have any doubt that I beat them.

A) Empowered Fireball plus Scorching Ray isn't guaranteed to kill two, although that is likely. But more importantly, if the very first thing you do is anything besides Polymorph into a Fire Elemental, you lose, because if they grapple you in the surprise round, or at any point before you Polymorph, you can't actually beat them, and they all start grappling with repeated Rends, and you can't break out of multiple grapples at once. If you start by Polymorphing to a Fire Elemental, you can then rely on Burn to beat them, and sure, throw the fireball to speed things up, but if you polymorph into something that doesn't both do fire damage and beat them in grapple checks, you can't even kill them all.

The Shadows are even easier. Opportunistic Piety (hell, Empowered Fireball has 50/50 shot of killing them all). At an average turning check of 9 that allows me to affect up to a 9 HD undead. More than enough. Average turning damage (or total HD turned) of 16 means that, on average, an Opportunistic Piety turns 3 of the suckers (luckily that's just enough). From the SRD, "If you have twice as many levels (or more) as the undead have Hit Dice, you destroy any that you would normally turn," Shadows have 3 HD, and so even with their +2 turn resistance, any Shadows I turn get automatically destroyed.

Fireball only might kill them if you have line of effect to all of them, and that's only likely to be the case the round after all 12 of them did their surprise round punching, and you'll have to hit yourself too, and of course, You are totally wrong about how Fireball interacts with incorporeal creatures, it has a 50/50 shot against each one, so you'll still have 6 left most likely. Turning is going to be the go to move probably, although, it may be better to start with the fireball after they ambush you, and then start turning, since they don't do HP damage, it won't matter. Which is why I said I'd have to do the math on how damaging the initial surprise round is vs how fast you can turn them.

The Mindflayers I'm sure I can kill in any variety of ways involving Polymorph. I had been entertaining the idea of changing into a Bulette, burrowing underground, and then Leaping out from underneath one. Four claw attacks at +15 each will kill a Mindflayer in one round. Now, maybe the other one had readied an action to Mindblast, but with Cunning Insight I still have a 75% to succeed, and then it's just another burrow + Leap.

Yeah... again, you find out the Mindflayers exist when they both Mindblast you at the same time. Then, they have levitation, so you'll actually want to try to burrow above them to drop down on them instead.

Did you ever read Frank running things through the SGT? He's very clear about the Mindflayers starting out hidden among the stalactites and then double blasting to start things off.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 09:21:32 PM by Kaelik »

Mooncrow

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2011, 09:14:45 PM »
Quote from: Monster Manual 1, under "gaze attack" entry in glossary
Averting Eyes: The opponent avoids looking at the creatures face, instead looking at its body, watching its shadow, tracking it on a reflective surface, and so on. Each round, the opponent has a 50% chance not to need to make a saving throw against the gaze attack. The creature, however, gets concealment against that opponent.
Emphasis mine.

Its hard to hit someone you aren't looking directly at. Concealment is defined as a 20% miss chance. Total concealment is a 50% miss chance.
There you go.

That's what the MMI says, the SRD adds this: "Looking at the creature’s image (such as in a mirror or as part of an illusion) does not subject the viewer to a gaze attack. "

Not sure where that comes from though.

Mooncrow

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2011, 09:24:04 PM »


Did you ever read Frank running things through the SGT? He's very clear about the Mindflayers starting out hidden among the stalactites and then double blasting to start things off.

edit: nm, not really relevant.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 10:19:41 PM by Mooncrow »

Kaelik

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #45 on: October 01, 2011, 09:25:34 PM »
Quote from: Monster Manual 1, under "gaze attack" entry in glossary
Averting Eyes: The opponent avoids looking at the creatures face, instead looking at its body, watching its shadow, tracking it on a reflective surface, and so on. Each round, the opponent has a 50% chance not to need to make a saving throw against the gaze attack. The creature, however, gets concealment against that opponent.
Emphasis mine.

Its hard to hit someone you aren't looking directly at. Concealment is defined as a 20% miss chance. Total concealment is a 50% miss chance.
There you go.

That's what the MMI says, the SRD adds this: "Looking at the creature’s image (such as in a mirror or as part of an illusion) does not subject the viewer to a gaze attack. "

Not sure where that comes from though.

That does not contradict the other part though. Looking at a mirror does not trigger the gaze. Looking in the opposite direction also does not trigger the gaze. But if you look in the opposite direction, you still have a 50% chance of needing to make a save anyway, because anyone who is within 30ft and has their eyes open has a 50% chance of accidentally looking at the Basilisk per the averting the eyes rules. This is my point, looking away from the Basilisk offers only 50% protection, so why would a mirror being where you are looking magically make that 100?

Kaelik

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #46 on: October 01, 2011, 09:28:05 PM »


Did you ever read Frank running things through the SGT? He's very clear about the Mindflayers starting out hidden among the stalactites and then double blasting to start things off.

Did Frank actually write the SGT?  That would actually explain a lot, including why it's a terrible test.  Otherwise, I don't really care about his opinions.


No one cares about your grudge. If someone is running the SGT, and they wonder about how to set the environment for a particular fight, IE, if the Basilisk is sitting on top of a burrow, or is deep in one, or if the Mindflayers are standing around waiting for you to say hello, or hiding above your darkvision waiting to double mindblast, referring to already run SGTs made by the person who designed the encounters is kinda important.

Mooncrow

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #47 on: October 01, 2011, 09:33:20 PM »


Did you ever read Frank running things through the SGT? He's very clear about the Mindflayers starting out hidden among the stalactites and then double blasting to start things off.

Did Frank actually write the SGT?  That would actually explain a lot, including why it's a terrible test.  Otherwise, I don't really care about his opinions.


No one cares about your grudge. If someone is running the SGT, and they wonder about how to set the environment for a particular fight, IE, if the Basilisk is sitting on top of a burrow, or is deep in one, or if the Mindflayers are standing around waiting for you to say hello, or hiding above your darkvision waiting to double mindblast, referring to already run SGTs made by the person who designed the encounters is kinda important.

edit: nm, it's not really relevant.  If he designed it, than yes, he has some say over how it goes.  If I cared more, I would go back and re-run the test, but this has already been pretty time-consuming :p
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 10:17:06 PM by Mooncrow »

bkdubs123

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #48 on: October 01, 2011, 10:10:27 PM »
Looking at a mirror image doesn't cause the gaze, but it does quite clearly also not protect you from the gaze you would otherwise suffer because it is very specifically "averting your gaze" it's in the example of averting your gaze.

I take it to mean that viewing the Basilisk through a mirror protects you from the passive form of the Gaze, but only offers the 50% "averting your eyes" protection vs the active Gaze. I can't tell if that's exactly what you're saying, or if you don't agree with that. Remember I said as long as the mirror doesn't provide full protection from the Gaze that it's a definite loss.

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Great. Now be slightly smarter than the average idiot and ask yourself if burrows are 2ft depressions, or actual holes in the ground that make turns and go past where you can see.

Uh-huh, and let's see, the Basilisk doesn't have line of effect for Gaze when he's hiding down there, and has +7 Listen and Spot compared with my +15 Hide and Move Silently, so if the Basilisk is hiding in his Basilisk Hole, and being the genius Factotum that I am, I see the hole, but I do not see the Basilisk, I go ahead and sneak past the hole from a safe distance, who wants to bet the Basilisk never even comes out of that hole because he has no fucking clue I'm there? I'll take that bet. While you accused me of assuming I always get a surprise round, you seem to be arbitrarily giving all of the monsters a surprise round when they don't deserve one.

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I'm going to call it a loss for the Factotum if his response to Phase Spider is to start sprinting in one direction and never ever stop or pass go or collecting 200 dollars.

The idea here was that, yes, he withdraws, sprints away, and then Hides. Since the Spider can only see 60ft into the ethereal, I'm assuming it would hunt in the material plane rather than the ethereal one. The Factotum will rely on his superior Listen and Spot checks to notice the spider before it notices him, and have a readied action to shoot at it. The spider on the other hand can ready an action to go ethereal every turn, but doing so drastically limits its ability to hunt for the Factotum, which it already isn't going to be very good at. Worst case scenario sounds like a draw to me.

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I don't know why it would surprise you, the class is extremely poorly designed.

Agreed. I'm hating it more and more. I used to love it, but it's so, so poorly designed. I'm going to work on a Factotum Fix sometime soon solely because of how dissatisfied I've been running these tests.

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Well 1) You should probably clarify that under spells prepared (IE, that you did not prepare Empowered Fireball, you prepared Fireball, and you'll have to take a move action to put away your Bow if that's what you are holding, and then another to pull out your rod of empower).

No... I prepared an Empowered Fireball and an Empowered Scorching Ray. The rod grants use of the feat three times per day. I use the feat when I prepare my spells (since I can't use it spontaneously anyway).

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You have a BAB of +7. Grey Render's have a BAB of +10. Polymorph does not give you a Grey Render's BAB.

I facepalm'd.

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Therefore, you have, even after Brains Over Brawn, a +22. So the Giant can win checks, pin you, and then damage you, because opposed rolls drastically favor the side with the slightly higher bonus (compared to assumed 10 DCs).

You might be right about the grappling strategy being such a bad idea. I'd have to run all new numbers, and with grappling rules being so damn complicated, I really don't care to do it. It would be much simpler to polymorph into something else. I'm sure there's an answer in the MM somewhere.

Quote
A) Empowered Fireball plus Scorching Ray isn't guaranteed to kill two, although that is likely. But more importantly, if the very first thing you do is anything besides Polymorph into a Fire Elemental, you lose, because if they grapple you in the surprise round, or at any point before you Polymorph, you can't actually beat them, and they all start grappling with repeated Rends, and you can't break out of multiple grapples at once. If you start by Polymorphing to a Fire Elemental, you can then rely on Burn to beat them, and sure, throw the fireball to speed things up, but if you polymorph into something that doesn't both do fire damage and beat them in grapple checks, you can't even kill them all.

Why are you giving Trolls of all things a surprise round? They have no stealth skills whatsoever and have inferior initiative.  ??? I'm carrying a Flaming Longsword. I can damage them easily.

The Shadow surprise round I'll give you, but not to the extent that suddenly I'm surrounded by 8 Shadows in the surprise round. The Shadows will presumably be occupying the spaces of trees so that I can't see them, so I might be right next to a couple of them. In the surprise round only those couple that I'm right next to can try their incorporeal touches on me and even without Cunning Defense I don't have bad odds.

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Yeah... again, you find out the Mindflayers exist when they both Mindblast you at the same time. Then, they have levitation, so you'll actually want to try to burrow above them to drop down on them instead.

Did you ever read Frank running things through the SGT? He's very clear about the Mindflayers starting out hidden among the stalactites and then double blasting to start things off.

No, I didn't read Frank running things through the SGT. I did assume they would be underground (since that's where the MM says they usually are), so hiding seems key. This is exactly the sort of thing the Bag of Tricks is for though. I'm human, and underground, so I can't see. I have a torch with me, but that makes me more of a target than anything else, so I have little critters with scent running around ahead of me. If I hear them getting horribly mauled by a vicious beast I know I should be ready for trouble. If I know I'm heading to a Mindflayer den I can have them track Mindflayers by scent and report back to me if they catch the scent up ahead.

EDIT: Also, I hope we can avoid getting into arguments about Frank Trollman. I respect the guy, but he's an asshole. Can everyone get over themselves and stay on topic? I hope so. It hasn't gotten out of hand or anything yet, and nobody's made a big stink, so don't think I'm calling anyone in here a drama queen or anything. I hadn't expected I'd need to add "Frank Trollman" to the list of things I don't want to discussed in this thread, but before we blow up into a tangent about how great/awful he is, I want to nip it in the bud right now. I don't want to hear about anyone's personal feelings about Frank Trollman, or any other related butt-hurt. Kaelik, you have every right to bring him up as a reference for the SGT though.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 10:22:12 PM by bkdubs123 »

SneeR

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #49 on: October 01, 2011, 10:28:14 PM »
Looking at a mirror image doesn't cause the gaze, but it does quite clearly also not protect you from the gaze you would otherwise suffer because it is very specifically "averting your gaze" it's in the example of averting your gaze.
I take it to mean that viewing the Basilisk through a mirror protects you from the passive form of the Gaze, but only offers the 50% "averting your eyes" protection vs the active Gaze. I can't tell if that's exactly what you're saying, or if you don't agree with that. Remember I said as long as the mirror doesn't provide full protection from the Gaze that it's a definite loss.

So he loses.
The entry says nothing about being protected from the passive effect. Where on Earth did you get that notion?
The answer to everything:
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I don't know if the designers meant you to take Skill Focus for every feat.
Sounds a little OP.

The monk is clearly the best class, no need to optimize here. What you are doing is overkill.

It's like people who have no idea what a turn signal is. They ruin it for everyone else.
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Kaelik

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #50 on: October 02, 2011, 12:10:03 AM »
I take it to mean that viewing the Basilisk through a mirror protects you from the passive form of the Gaze, but only offers the 50% "averting your eyes" protection vs the active Gaze. I can't tell if that's exactly what you're saying, or if you don't agree with that. Remember I said as long as the mirror doesn't provide full protection from the Gaze that it's a definite loss.

No, I mean it provides the averted gaze problems exactly, and gives a 50% chance on both passive and active, and of course, 20% concealment for the Basilisk.

Uh-huh, and let's see, the Basilisk doesn't have line of effect for Gaze when he's hiding down there, and has +7 Listen and Spot compared with my +15 Hide and Move Silently, so if the Basilisk is hiding in his Basilisk Hole, and being the genius Factotum that I am, I see the hole, but I do not see the Basilisk, I go ahead and sneak past the hole from a safe distance, who wants to bet the Basilisk never even comes out of that hole because he has no fucking clue I'm there? I'll take that bet. While you accused me of assuming I always get a surprise round, you seem to be arbitrarily giving all of the monsters a surprise round when they don't deserve one.

No, I give the Factotum a surprise round on the Basilisk if he doesn't use a light source, and probably even if he does. He just loses anyway. If you sneak past his burrow, you didn't go into his burrow and fight him, and you don't get XP or treasure. If you are admitting that every time the plot hook "need or want X, which is in a Basilisk Lair" or "kill the monster that's Ying" comes up, the Factotum has to go cry in a corner and give up, where the Barbarian closes his eyes, walks inside, and power attacks for full, then you are just admitting that the Factotum loses this challenge. That's fine, because Wizards and Rogues also lose this challenge, so he's in good company on that front.

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The idea here was that, yes, he withdraws, sprints away, and then Hides. Since the Spider can only see 60ft into the ethereal, I'm assuming it would hunt in the material plane rather than the ethereal one. The Factotum will rely on his superior Listen and Spot checks to notice the spider before it notices him, and have a readied action to shoot at it. The spider on the other hand can ready an action to go ethereal every turn, but doing so drastically limits its ability to hunt for the Factotum, which it already isn't going to be very good at. Worst case scenario sounds like a draw to me.

I'm assuming as a Phase Spider with int 7, it's not retarded, and has figured out that no one can attack it on the ethereal, and better to let any prey which survives it's initial assault have a small chance of getting it away while it tracks them down then to walk around the material plane getting gang banged, especially since it moves faster than it's prey.

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Why are you giving Trolls of all things a surprise round? They have no stealth skills whatsoever and have inferior initiative.  ??? I'm carrying a Flaming Longsword. I can damage them easily.

Yeah, I forgot about that, I kinda wondered why you picked such a terrible weapon, but that makes sense. Still can't damage them if they grapple you. Surprise round is of course because trolls live in their dark den, and you bring a light source in, so they know you are coming, and they don't have to move, and so you can't detect them until you have line of sight. Meanwhile, as prepared as they are, they murder you.

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The Shadow surprise round I'll give you, but not to the extent that suddenly I'm surrounded by 8 Shadows in the surprise round. The Shadows will presumably be occupying the spaces of trees so that I can't see them, so I might be right next to a couple of them. In the surprise round only those couple that I'm right next to can try their incorporeal touches on me and even without Cunning Defense I don't have bad odds.

a) Or they could be in the ground, because they are incorporeal, and all spring out hitting you at once, because of course, incorporeals can all stack on top of each other, and can stay in the ground at all times.

b) Don't forget that Cunning Defense is actually terrible and only applies to one opponent, making it a huge waste of IP in this situation.

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No, I didn't read Frank running things through the SGT. I did assume they would be underground (since that's where the MM says they usually are), so hiding seems key. This is exactly the sort of thing the Bag of Tricks is for though. I'm human, and underground, so I can't see. I have a torch with me, but that makes me more of a target than anything else, so I have little critters with scent running around ahead of me. If I hear them getting horribly mauled by a vicious beast I know I should be ready for trouble. If I know I'm heading to a Mindflayer den I can have them track Mindflayers by scent and report back to me if they catch the scent up ahead.

Only if Mind Flayers are stupid enough to attack blind puppy dogs when they know there's a person nearby. Keep in mind you still have to handle the animals, which means you have to be in sight of them, which means you are in sight of the Mind Flayers. Also, the smell distance is pretty short, so you can probably be blasted from out of range of the dogs scent.

bkdubs123

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #51 on: October 02, 2011, 12:46:44 AM »
No, I give the Factotum a surprise round on the Basilisk if he doesn't use a light source, and probably even if he does. He just loses anyway. If you sneak past his burrow, you didn't go into his burrow and fight him, and you don't get XP or treasure. If you are admitting that every time the plot hook "need or want X, which is in a Basilisk Lair" or "kill the monster that's Ying" comes up, the Factotum has to go cry in a corner and give up, where the Barbarian closes his eyes, walks inside, and power attacks for full, then you are just admitting that the Factotum loses this challenge. That's fine, because Wizards and Rogues also lose this challenge, so he's in good company on that front.

Sorry, no I wasn't trying to say that sneaking past the Basilisk lair was winning the encounter, I brought all that up because it sounded like you were giving the Basilisk a surprise round to attack from beyond line of effect. I was all, "Wuuuut." Anyway, we both agree that the Basilisk encounter is a definite loss, so however we get there is off-topic. Definite loss. Okay. Moving on. :D

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I'm assuming as a Phase Spider with int 7, it's not retarded, and has figured out that no one can attack it on the ethereal, and better to let any prey which survives it's initial assault have a small chance of getting it away while it tracks them down then to walk around the material plane getting gang banged, especially since it moves faster than it's prey.

So, the spider doesn't kill the Factotum and the Factotum doesn't kill the spider? Draw? Or are you saying that because the Factotum hides from the spider he loses? Because... if the spider is hiding in the ethereal plane...

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Yeah, I forgot about that, I kinda wondered why you picked such a terrible weapon, but that makes sense. Still can't damage them if they grapple you. Surprise round is of course because trolls live in their dark den, and you bring a light source in, so they know you are coming, and they don't have to move, and so you can't detect them until you have line of sight. Meanwhile, as prepared as they are, they murder you.

Yeah, I picked a terrible weapon for the express purpose of picking a terrible weapon. Same reason I picked fireball and scorching ray, really. I wanted to see what a basically no-op build could do. I'd be willing to bet that the Factotum could hear the Trolls. They don't know I'm coming after all, and it's not like the Trolls are just standing stock still in their home. I really don't see the Trolls getting a surprise round here unless the DM is being really asshatty.

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a) Or they could be in the ground, because they are incorporeal, and all spring out hitting you at once, because of course, incorporeals can all stack on top of each other, and can stay in the ground at all times.

b) Don't forget that Cunning Defense is actually terrible and only applies to one opponent, making it a huge waste of IP in this situation.

Good points, good points.

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Only if Mind Flayers are stupid enough to attack blind puppy dogs when they know there's a person nearby. Keep in mind you still have to handle the animals, which means you have to be in sight of them, which means you are in sight of the Mind Flayers. Also, the smell distance is pretty short, so you can probably be blasted from out of range of the dogs scent.

I don't believe you do have to use the Handle Animal skill for Bag of Tricks, but I'm not up for arguing the point either (requiring Handle Animal makes sense). Without it, my plan for avoiding the insta-mindblast-death goes out the window. I'd need a way to get really good darkvision (90ft or more) and there is none that I'm aware of.

The Mind Flayers don't automatically get to know I'm nearby. My stealth skills are far better than their perception skills (setting aside Mindsight which is beyond the sources allowed in this exercise), and I'm coming after them not the other way around. So, this pair of Mind Flayers is a couple of watchmen who pulled the short sticks when it came up for duty. If I didn't have to carry a torch they'd have to spot me like anyone else. 'Course... I think I need that torch.

I suppose my plan would have to be to move at 15ft per round (forgot half speed) while carrying my torch (because aside from Bag of Tricks I can't think of a way to get around in the dark), and have a readied action every round along the lines of, "If I'm targeted by an attack or special attack, Polymorph." That way I get to see before I get Mindblast'd. Granted, you're right, without Bag of Tricks for reconaissance, I get double-blasted before I ever know the Mind Flayers are there.

EDIT: Note to self: Next build, try a Dwarf Factotum. Can you say, "no downside?"
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 08:55:06 PM by bkdubs123 »

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #52 on: October 02, 2011, 12:53:48 AM »
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I don't believe you do have to use the Handle Animal skill for Bag of Tricks
And you are right. It only mentions Handle Animal commands, not that you have to use Handle Animal.
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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #53 on: October 02, 2011, 01:24:26 AM »
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I don't believe you do have to use the Handle Animal skill for Bag of Tricks
And you are right. It only mentions Handle Animal commands, not that you have to use Handle Animal.

It mentions that they'll follow the commands given in the Handle Animal description. To command an animal to perform a trick you usually have to use the Handle Animal skill, therefore, it's a reasonable ruling.

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #54 on: October 02, 2011, 01:27:58 AM »
I interpret it as using the commands as in the skill, not the skill to command them. That's also a reasonable ruling.
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"Take less damage to avoid being killed."
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[spoiler]
Quote from: Lateral
Or you could just be a cleric of an ideal. Like, physics and say that the domain choices reflect potential and kinetic energy.

 Plus, where other clerics say "For Pelor," "For Nerull," or "For Crom?" You get to say, "FOR SCIENCE!" *fanfare*

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Quote from: dark_samuari
I know your game, you just want a magical Amazon.com to knock off those good ol' honest magic shops run by polite, old wizards!
Use Iron Heart Surge on the sun. That'll teach him to use fluff as RAW.

Damn you! You totally ruined my build that was all about getting epic far shot early and throwing my enemies into the sun!
[/spoiler]

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #55 on: October 02, 2011, 06:37:40 PM »

So, I'm mostly staying out of this thread because you've seen my input on the subject and mostly don't need it here, but the obvious question to me is this: on the SGT at level 10, why not animate the Fire Giant (as an Animate Dead Skeleton you've got level 3 spells, I don't see why you wouldn't) and thus have a minion to provide support in the later fights?  This is a totally core thing that's available.

Isn't animate dead a 5th level spell for wizards and thus not available?
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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #56 on: October 02, 2011, 06:47:52 PM »

So, I'm mostly staying out of this thread because you've seen my input on the subject and mostly don't need it here, but the obvious question to me is this: on the SGT at level 10, why not animate the Fire Giant (as an Animate Dead Skeleton you've got level 3 spells, I don't see why you wouldn't) and thus have a minion to provide support in the later fights?  This is a totally core thing that's available.

Isn't animate dead a 5th level spell for wizards and thus not available?


4th level spell.

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #57 on: October 03, 2011, 06:25:45 PM »
Why is your factotum not using more alchemical items in at least the 5th level encounters?

Tanglefoot bag, thunderstone, flash bang item that blinds and dazzles, or even a burlap sack as an improvized hood/garrote could get you at least some chance to win the basilisk encounter. Hell smoke sticks, Darkness, or fog cloud can negate the gaze attack, since full concealment cancels it out. At least then you're both fighting blind instead of just you.

Tanglefoot bags, vials of oil, and your flaming sword would do well against the trolls for cheap. The goal is just to stay ahead of them and keep pegging them with oil, alchemists fire, and tanglefoot bags to fall back away from them till they burn to death. slowing their speed by half is a huge advantage you aren't even considering.

How are the Shadows, hiding in the ground, even aware of the Factotum moving through the area? They can't see through the ground to see him coming. They'd take a minimum of a -5 on their listen checks to hear him and that's assuming the ground isn't stone. Even if they have Lifesight the ground would still break line of effect/sight so they couldn't see the light of his body coming.

Reading through this it almost seems like you're intentionally stacking the deck against your guy. Play to the Factotum's intelligence. He's an adventurer so would be prepared for a lot of these things, especially if he can get any forewarning.


If I have time after work I'll go through this and build a character who I think can accomplish this, with your listed conditions for books and such.

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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #58 on: October 03, 2011, 08:34:46 PM »
Don't forget to sneak-n-run with those alchemist fires. An inspiration point spent on Int-to-damage (or sneak attack with Craven, assuming you go for it) can cause a lot of damage in one go, and fire damage means they're taken out fairly quickly.
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Re: The Factotum and The Same Game Test: An Honest Look
« Reply #59 on: October 03, 2011, 09:00:22 PM »
Reading through this it almost seems like you're intentionally stacking the deck against your guy.

That's exactly what he was doing.